Infertility Doesn’t End With Pregnancy

I was part of a conversation the other day about parents not letting their children grow up and wanting to keep them small as long as possible.  The conversation addressed that the issue was more about the parents not wanting to let go, than it was about the benefit of the child.  I then learned that the parent being discussed was a person who experienced fertility issues.

This reminded me of how I felt with our first daughter conceived via IVF.  Each moment I wanted to have last because I was not certian I would ever experience it again.  It seems reasonable to think that a parent who has faught so hard to conceive a child would want to hold on to moments a little longer than most.  Each snuggle, each feeding, every fight for a nap, teething, and other moments with my daughter felt more like a blessing than a hassle.  I kept telling myself that I needed to hold on to each moment and remember just incase I never had the experience again.  I suppose it would be easy for some parents to take that emotion or feeling to the extreme.

Now that my daughter is older, I still have the desire to protect her from any harm that might come.  I have to continually remind myself to step back and let her be a normal kid.  I have to let her fall and learn to get back up, so she can learn.  

The question of what is “normal” for a parent to feel and what is because of the experience with infertility is hard to separate.  Do the infertile feel a different type of attachment to their children?

What do you think??  Share your story.

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In the News: Skeleton Regulates Male Infertility

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have discovered that the skeleton acts as a regulator of fertility in male mice through a hormone released by bone, known as osteocalcin.

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In the News: Sperm ‘Cloak’ Mutation May Explain Male Infertility

Some men may be less fertile than normal because they have a genetic mutation of a protein that coats the surface of sperm, scientists have found…..

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In the News: Cellphones, Cancer and Infertility

…..potential health problem associated with cell phones is gaining attention. Researchers in Austria compared cell phone users to non-users and have found cell phone use capable of damaging sperm production and may be a contributing factor in male infertility…..

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In The News: Bone Hormone May Impact Male Infertility


A hormone produced by bone-building cells may have a role in regulating male fertility.

Osteocalcin seems to promote production of the sex steroid hormone testosterone, and increase fertility, in male mice, according to a study led by Gerard Karsenty, a geneticist at Columbia University in New York, and published in Cell.

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Is This Real?

The process of any infertility treatment is not easy.  Thoughout the process you not only question what techniques are being used and how you got to that point – but you also begin to question who you are, if you really want children, and what your purpose might be in the world.  When you get that positive pregnancy test, all your worries should wash away…. right?

After conceiving by way of fertility treatments, when does the preganancy start to feel real?  With my fairst pregnancy following IVF it did not feel real until we knew the sex of the baby and chose a name for the baby.  This second pregancy (17 weeks) with twins following IVF it still doesn’t feel real…even with little movements, seeing ultrasounds, etc.  To me, I still feel like I am in the IVF process, where I am not secure in believing in my pregnancy.  I am sure for all of us in this position there is a point in the pregnancy for which we all finally can stop worrying and start enjoying the fact that all that we have been through worked.

Please share with the readers at what moment you stopped askind “is this real” and started believing in it.

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Wierd News Today: Clowns help IVF Success?

Infertility researchers in Israel have found a 15-minute encounter with a clown immediately after fertility treatment dramatically increased the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Dr. Shevach Friedler an doctor with the Infertility and IVF unit at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, in Zrifin, Israel, led a study of the effects of a bedside encounter with a professional medical clown on the pregnancy rate of women undergoing (IVF).

Dr. Friedler and colleagues tracked 219 women undergoing IVF treatment at the medical center and, over a period of a year, treated half of them to a medical clown’s 15-minute routine of jokes, magic tricks and other clowning immediately after their were implanted. The clown’s routine was created especially for the study by Friedler and a colleague.

The results showed 36.4 percent of women exposed to clowning immediately after embryo transfer became pregnant, while only 20.2 percent of the controls became pregnant. Dr. Friedler said the reason was probably because the clowning reduced the stress of what for many was many years of grueling IVF treatments, but this is not certain. It is also unclear what role, if any, stress may play in the success of IVF treatments.

Dr. Friedler, who is also trained in movement and mime, originally thought of the research after reading about laughter as an anti-stress mechanism. He realized that IVF patients are often extremely stressed, and wondered if relieving that stress through clowning at a crucial moment in the treatment could help.

Dr. Friedler and colleagues conclude that medical clowning may be a beneficial adjunct to IVF treatments and it deserves further investigation. Medical clowning is already used to good effect in hospitals in Europe, Australia, North America and Israel, particularly in children’s hospitals.

Dr. Friedler also pointed out that clowning is “one of the least hazardous interventions in our field.” Other methods of reducing could also be investigated. The findings are reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

More information: The effect of medical clowning on pregnancy rates after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET), Shevach Friedler, M.D et al., Fertility and Sterility, published online 06 January 2011, doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.12.016

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