Technology is rapidly changing, providing couples with more and more ways to build their family. But with these new options come more choices and, sometimes, more obstacles. In the November-December 2014 issue of Arlington Magazine, infertility and its effect on three local couples was explored in-depth.
Alison and Dan
Genetic Testing Provided Necessary Answers
Alison and Dan married in 2011 and began trying to conceive shortly after their wedding. In 2013, after two years of trying, they began seeing Dr. Eric Levens of Shady Grove Fertility’s Annandale office. When patients begin treatment at SGF, they are put on a course of low-tech treatment if it’s medically applicable and move to more advanced treatment options as needed. This was the case for Alison, who transitioned to in vitro fertilization (IVF) after failed intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles. During Alison’s IVF experience, Dr. Levens provided a stepped approach to care, making gradual adjustments to improve Alison’s chances of conceiving. After three miscarriages, genetic testing was performed, and it was discovered that Alison had a genetic mutation that was causing recurrent miscarriage. Read on to find out what happened in Alison and Dan’s story.
- Read about how preconception genetic screening can help you on the road to conception.
Using Acupuncture to Relieve Stress during Fertility Treatment
Sarah and her husband began trying to conceive when she was 37. SGF recommends that women who are 35-39 should see a fertility specialist after six months of trying to conceive. Sarah ultimately came to SGF to begin treatment. While undergoing treatment, Sarah began to see an acupuncturist. Though extensive studies looking at the impact that acupuncture has on treatment outcomes have yet to find concrete evidence, studies have shown that acupuncture may help with reducing stress. Sarah felt that “If nothing else…acupuncture helped [me] relax in the midst of all of the emotional and physical stress…”
Sarah became pregnant twice through IVF, but sadly, each pregnancy ended in miscarriage. She and her husband decided to try donor egg treatment via SGF’s Shared Donor Egg Program. In the Shared Donor Egg Program, two or three patients are matched with a single egg donor. The patients share the donor’s eggs – and the cost of treatment. This Program also provides patients with six treatment cycles or a full refund. Read about Sarah’s donor egg treatment experience.
- Learn about how acupuncture works and what it can do for those undergoing fertility treatment.
Jenny and Ron
Finding Support through the Infertility Community
Jenny, the author of this article, and her husband, Ron, spent six years trying to conceive. Jenny was discovered to have endometriosis, which made conception very difficult. She went through many courses of fertility treatment, including IUI and IVF. As time went on, her endometriosis symptoms became more severe, though, and she had to have a subtotal hysterectomy. During this time, she began to attend meetings with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. RESOLVE is the only nationwide non-profit organization established to promote reproductive health. Jenny, like many other women, found solace in this support group, finding a community of others who understood exactly what she was going through. Read on to find out how the support community empowered Jenny.
Choosing the Right Path for You
All of these couples experienced infertility, but they all had the opportunity to choose the treatment path that was best for them. Infertility is a very emotionally and physically difficult experience, but today, there are more options to support families than ever before. From the treatment side, technology provides reproductive endocrinologists with increasingly greater insight into the best care for individual patients. At SGF, we always try to have a stepped care approach, increasing treatment types and medications gradually and only as needed. Our goal is to support all aspects of a patient’s treatment experience and to be a resource to them, whether it’s through referring them to RESOLVE for support or to our own psychological support services team, or to seek alternative therapies like acupuncture from Pulling Down the Moon. Infertility is a journey and Shady Grove Fertility works with our patients to provide individualized support at every step of the way.
If you have questions regarding infertility treatment or would like to schedule a new patient appointment, please call our New Patient Center at 877-971-7755 or click to schedule an appointment.