At Shady Grove Fertility, one of our goals is to care for the whole patient—and while you are likely familiar with the medical and financial support Shady Grove Fertility provides to patients to help them achieve their dreams of parenthood, one commonly unspoken aspect of fertility care is the attention and commitment Shady Grove Fertility gives to patients’ emotional well being.
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that stress causes infertility. What is clear, however, is that many patients with infertility experience high levels of stress, comparable to a life crisis such as cancer. “Patients with high stress are more likely to discontinue fertility treatment prior to delivering a baby compared with those who are not experiencing high stress. In fact, it’s not the financial or physical impact of infertility treatment; rather the lack of emotional stamina is what the majority of our patients report as being the reason they chose to discontinue treatment. ” says Sharon N. Covington, MSW, LCSW-C, director of Psychological Support Services at Shady Grove Fertility. So, in that sense, stress is thought to have an indirect effect on success rates.
Caring for each patient’s emotional well-being is as important to us as treating their infertility. We understand that each patient’s experience and needs are unique. That is why at Shady Grove Fertility, we have several, varied support resources integrated into our fertility program. To help Shady Grove Fertility and non-Shady Grove Fertility patients alike achieve their goals, we offer many options to help reduce stress.
Resources to Help Manage StressOnline Communities and Support
Facebook Community: Shady Grove Fertility's Facebook page is a vibrant and active community of more than 16,000. The ease of accessing this supportive community and the ability to participate on your own schedule and time frame makes it an ideal place to get support.
Shady Grove Fertility.com provides several online resources assembled by our Psychological Support Services staff, including online articles, support group information, and holistic care services for fertility patients.
Support Groups: Shady Grove Fertility offers monthly support groups on a number of topics, including General Infertility, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, For Single Women, among others. Facilitated by professional counselors with extensive training in infertility, these free groups afford Shady Grove Fertility and non-Shady Grove Fertility patients the opportunity to share, connect, and learn from others in a similar situation. Registration is required as space is limited. See the Support Group Calendar.
Discussion Groups: Discussion Groups, which also take place on a monthly basis, are similar to support groups but offer a more specific agenda. Each of these groups is led by an expert speaker who provides information and answers questions about a variety of fertility-related topics. Typical discussion topics may include: specific infertility diagnoses, coping with pregnancy loss, adoption, and talking with children about their origins.
Individual and Couples Sessions: Counseling sessions for individuals and couples offer a more personalized experience, where Shady Grove Fertility’s professional counselors can tailor coping strategies more closely to a patient's needs. These sessions provide a safe and confidential opportunity for patients to talk about the different aspects of their experience that they may feel uncomfortable sharing in a group setting.
Resolve and the American Fertility Association: Shady Grove Fertility also works with Resolve (a national advocacy and support organization for couples with infertility) and the American Fertility Association. Both organizations provide support groups, information, and weekly internet chat sessions for patients who are experiencing infertility.
The Wellness Center at Shady Grove Fertility offers complementary therapy services such as acupuncture and massage therapy. Their services do not replace advanced reproductive technology but rather support the patient during treatment. Trained by medical infertility specialists to help them blend their specialties with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Wellness Center's experienced holistic practitioners specialize in fertility therapies.
Treating the "whole patient" is important to the success of each woman we treat. We welcome all couples trying to conceive, whether they are our patient or not, to participate in both the online communities and in-person events we host.