Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2015

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Page 27 of 41 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 27 • Kids parties • Sweet sixteens • Proms & school dances • Communions • Neon parties • New Green Screen photo booth Conception concerns There are many reasons for infer- tility, and it isn't only a woman's issue. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine attributes one third of cases to male factors, including sperm count or quality; one third to female factors, including ovulation disorders and endometrio- sis, age, smoking, stress and obesity can increase infertility risk. One third of cases are due to a combina- tion of factors or to unknown causes. Melissa Ford, author of "Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infer- tility and Exploring Your Options," likens infertility to the Bermuda Triangle. "The physical, emotional, and fi nancial stressors of infertility are intense," Ford says, "and it's easy to get lost." Most couples take one step at a time, venturing deeper into the unknown as they go. Each couple has to fi nd their own way out. Pathways out of infertility Infertility might be simpler if there were only one way out. But, there are many options, Ford says, and it's helpful to explore them with your physician as your journey unfolds. Many couples start with the least invasive options — fertility medica- tions and intra-uterine insemination — before moving to more invasive (and more costly) procedures like in vitro fertilization. (Continued on Page 38) Tips for coping with infertility • Acknowledge your sadness. Share your feelings with each other, but don't be consumed by negativity. Put limits on when and where you will discuss emotions. And don't do it in the bedroom! • Ration your energy. If baby showers and kid-focused conversations are weighing you down, it's okay to opt out sometimes. Friends and family will understand. Participate in social events how and when you can. • Be united. For most couples, infertility is too heavy an emotional load to shoulder between just the two of them. Working through who to tell and how much to share can increase your emotional intimacy. Treat infertility as a couple's issue and stay connected. • Seek support. Don't let infertility tear you down. Join an online community or get counseling. Many clinics have psychologists on sta and most use sliding fee scales. Reach past the isolation and get help.

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