December 17, 2014

10 Tips to Help Couples Conceive in the New Year

Every New Year marks new beginnings, new goals, and a fresh start. For some, the goal of parenthood is on their list for 2015.

Here are 10 helpful tips from Dr. Chris Sipe of Fertility Centers of Illinois that can help empower couples to approach conception with confidence and knowledge.

“We want everyone to be excited about starting this new chapter of their lives, and knowledge is power,” explains Dr. Chris Sipe. “Lifestyle changes and basic fertility knowledge can help couples increase their chances to have the baby of their dreams in the New Year."

1. Map Out a Blueprint
If you know exactly what you are working with, you can arrive at your desired destination more quickly. A Fertility Awareness Check-Up can give fast, easy insight to your fertility potential, at an affordable cost of $90 per couple. Men undergo a semen analysis performed by specialized laboratory professionals to evaluate semen count, shape (morphology) and movement (motility). Women undergo two simple blood tests known as FSH and Estradiol to help evaluate ovarian function and fertility potential, as well as an ultrasound.

2. Know Your Fertility Short-Cuts
When it comes to getting pregnant, timing sex with ovulation is imperative. Every month when a woman releases an egg into the fallopian tubes during ovulation, it only survives 24 hours. Sperm can survive in the uterus for up to five days after sex, therefore regular sexual activity during ovulation and in the days leading up to ovulation will greatly increase conception odds. In order to know when you’re ovulating, track your cycle every month using an ovulation calendar. Ovulation kits can also help when trying to conceive. If your period is irregular, you may not be ovulating regularly. If you are concerned about whether you are ovulating regularly, consult a physician to learn more.

3. Combine the East and West for a Balanced Approach
When you’re trying to conceive, or even pursuing fertility treatment, everyone always tells you to relax. The truth is the trying can become, well, very trying. Boost your chances of conception with alternative treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, and massage. Pulling Down the Moon offers all of these options and more, allowing your stress and anxiety to melt into relaxation and bliss. If you’re up for the challenge, they have also created a DIY 12-week holistic program called Fully Fertile to naturally increase fertility, with local chapters near you for support through the process.

4. Keep the Bedroom Fertility-Friendly
You may be accidentally decreasing your chances of conception without even realizing it. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, commercially available water-based lubricants, such as Astroglide, KY Jelly, and Touch, may inhibit sperm motility by 60% to 100% within 60 minutes of intercourse. Opt for canola oil or Pre-Seed oil instead.

5. Work Towards a Fertility-Friendly Weight
Extra weight introduces a host of fertility issues for both men and women. Extra weight causes hormonal shifts that can affect ovulation and semen production, hurting your ability to conceive. Increased weight can also make achieving a pregnancy more difficult, and can cause complications during gestation. The positive news is that losing as little as 5 percent to 10 percent of body weight can significantly improve fertility potential. The ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) falls in the 20-25 range. BMI levels from 25-30 are considered overweight, while BMI levels above 30 are considered obese. See where you fall on the BMI scale and set a New Year’s fertility goal to climb closer to that weight. You may conceive before you know it!

6. Nourish Your Body
A nourished, healthy body is a fertile body. The Mayo Clinic has found that Vitamin C can help in ovulation disorders, while Coenzyme Q10 has been found to increase sperm count and sperm motility. Vitamin E can also improve low sperm count, as does Folic Acid. Regular doses of Folic Acid also aid in the prevention of birth defects. Stock up your vitamin cabinet with nourishing supplements – and stack the odds in your favor.

7. Feed Your Fertility
A Harvard study found that women who maintained a whole food, primarily plant-based diet were able to increase their fertility six-fold. Men aren’t off the hook either – high fat diets have been found to decrease sperm count. Fill your refrigerator and pantry with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding thick cuts of meat and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and cookies. If navigating a new dietary world seems a bit overwhelming, consult the help of a nutritionist or dietitian. There are also programs available such as FirstLine Therapy for Fertility that can guide you through a fertility-rich diet while assisting in weight loss.

8. Ask Questions, Lots of Questions
If you’re trying to conceive, know that you aren’t the first to start this journey (this should hopefully provide some comfort). It takes the average couple six months to conceive, and there is only a 20-25 percent chance of pregnancy in any given month. Talk to your friends and your family, and ask about their experiences. If you’re considering talking to a fertility specialist, don’t just look at success rates for babies born. Ask your physician what their experience is in treating patients with similar medical diagnoses (such as endometriosis, low sperm count, polycystic ovarian syndrome, low ovarian reserve), center statistics on twins and multiple births, and possible treatment plans.

9. Have One Glass of Wine
High alcohol intake of more than nine drinks per week is associated with decreased fertility.  Low alcohol use (four drinks per week) seems to have no impact on fertility while moderate alcohol use (4-9 drinks per week) appears to be associated with an increased chance of conceiving. Drinking is ok – but don’t drink more than moderately.  When pregnant however, there is no known safe level of alcohol. Drinking during pregnancy is not advisable.

10. Rest Up for the Ride

Sleep is the body’s way of healing and resting. When your body doesn’t get the sleep it needs, there can be disastrous side effects, whether you are trying to conceive or not. Research shows that the hormone leptin, which has a critical role in female fertility, is reduced when the body is deprived of sleep. Make it a priority to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Your body will thank you for it!

December 3, 2014

12 Tips and Strategies to Cope with Infertility over the Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time with family and friends, but the season can also be difficult for those struggling with infertility. Regardless of culture, religious affiliation, or socioeconomics, most holidays conjure up media-fed images of happy families gathering together. For anyone who is having trouble conceiving or maintaining a successful pregnancy, these images can dredge up emotional pain.

The holidays tend to remind us that our family building has not gone the way we imagined. Seeing your siblings and cousins with their children can remind you of what you don't have. That's never easy.

Yet there are ways to minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

Here are 12 tips and strategies to make the holidays less stressful and more enjoyable for you and your partner.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. Realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season. Holding everything inside also does not help. It actually takes more mental energy to hold your feelings back than to express them. Allow yourself time to feel the sadness, anger, and frustration. The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” Unknown.
  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out support from your partner or a close friend. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Stick to a budget. Fertility treatment can be expensive and many couples feel stretched financially already. The holiday season can bring a lot of expectations, but before you go gift shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of presents.
  4. Plan ahead. People sometimes ask inappropriate questions at inappropriate times. So plan ahead. See if you can come up with an answer that feels comfortable to you. Some examples include: "Not sure. So, how's your new job?" or "Ask the powers that be, because I don't know." A simple response might be: "I'd rather not talk about it, thanks." Or, if you want to go for something gutsier, you might answer: "That's a rather personal question, don't you think? Anyway, how's your new job?"  Remember: Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”   Mahatma Gandhi
  5. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it's not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time. If you don’t have the desire or strength to attend a family party or holiday event, just say no.
  6. Be smart when buying gifts. You do not need to shop for your young or infant nieces and nephews, or good friends' children at baby stores. Instead buy gift cards for them.
  7. Avoid emotional triggers. Don't open Christmas cards from people you know will include photos of their happy, smiling family. You can always say “I got your lovely card thank you for thinking of us” and quickly move on to another topic of conversation.
  8. Only adults. If you want to throw a holiday party, make it "adults-only." You can take this further if you've had a really difficult year, and being around babies and children is the last thing you need for your mental health. Maybe that means skipping the holidays at your parents’ this year. Instead, you can make dinner at home, get together with some adult friends (without children) or even take vacation days and spend them with your partner on an adults-only getaway. Your family may get upset, but they'll eventually get over it, and most importantly, you'll be calmer in the long run.
  9. Practice relaxation: Learning how to relax and calm yourself can help when feelings become too intense. Relaxation and breathing techniques are all possible ways to calm yourself.
  10. Talk to your partner: Talk about your feelings together. Keep in mind, though, that men and women cope with stress in different ways. Women are more likely to express their sadness, while men tend to hold things inside. Neither way is wrong, just different. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”  Lao Tzu
  11. Don't let infertility take over your life: Make sure you fill your life and your relationship with other things. If it seems like infertility is all that you discuss, set a specified time each day for the topic, and use the rest of the day to talk about other things. Do something fun over the holidays like taking a trip or taking a new class at the gym or the local art studio.
  12. Take good care of yourself: Makes sure you are eating and sleeping well. Sleep can make a big difference for our mood and our emotional strength. With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.  Eleanor Roosevelt.
Remind yourself that the holidays and the way you choose to celebrate them will soon pass. This is not how it's going to be for the rest of your life. Your fertility struggles will resolve at some point, things will change and you will be able to celebrate again.

We can't stop the world from turning, but I hope this article will help you better cope with the holidays. I wish you a peaceful holiday season!

 Author Bio: Dr. Ariadna Cymet Lanski is a clinical psychologist who she specializes in reproductive health issues. In her career, she worked across the spectrum of reproductive health issues, including preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum adjustment to parenthood. She offers psychological services to meet the unique needs of individuals and couples coping with infertility challenges.

For those seeking support, she provides consultation during various stages of fertility treatment. Dr. Cymet Lanski also conducts egg donor assessments and does consultations with surrogates, recipients and intended parents.

Dr. Cymet Lanski received her Psy.D. in clinical psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 2004. She completed her doctoral internship at Illinois Masonic Behavioral Health, and received post-internship training at Swedish Covenant Hospital, and post-doctoral training at Chicago's Institute for Psychoanalysis.

December 1, 2014

December 2014 Patient Education Events!

If you are interested in participating in any of our complimentary education sessions, you may register online by following the "LEARN MORE" links after each event. Many events require registration & spots fill up fast - so sign up as soon as you can!

12/7 | Egg Donation as Your Path to Parenthood | Glenview | 2PM | LEARN MORE

12/9 | Egg Donation: Your Journey Starts Here | Online Webinar | 5PM | LEARN MORE

12/9 | Holistic Strategies for Healthy Holidays | Online Webinar | 6PM | LEARN MORE

12/17 | Egg Donation: Your Journey Starts Here  | Online Webinar | 7AM |  LEARN MORE

All FCI Patient Education Programs are open to the community. We continue to support your fertility journey by offering a selection of  complimentary patient education seminars, holistic healing seminars, and support groups. If you have any questions or comments please contact us at (877) 324-4483.

November 25, 2014

8 Ways for Men to Supercharge Their Fertility

Approximately 15 percent of couples have trouble getting pregnant, with 40 percent of infertility diagnoses due to male infertility. 

The advice for women trying to conceive is well-known and easy to find. What about ways for men to optimize their fertility?

For Dads-to-be, there are several different tips that can help boost male fertility. Here are eight tips and tricks that can increase your chances of conception.

November 18, 2014

Modern Mothers: 8 Surprising Facts

When you look at what it was like to be a first-time mother in the past, it is significantly different in modern times.

Comparing motherhood experiences across generations reveals stark differences – what you experience is not the same as your grandmother’s experience.

Have you ever been curious about how modern mothers are different?

I’ve put together the below eight surprising facts about modern mothers. Do any of these apply to you?

November 13, 2014

6 Ways to Find Gratitude During the Holidays on Your Infertility Journey

Thanksgiving is the holiday of food, family, and giving thanks. Is it possible to find thankfulness in the midst of an infertility journey?

Though it isn’t always easy, the answer is yes.

To arrive at your own place of gratitude, try to look with open-minded kindness at the life you have right now. Notice how much of your attention is on what is not present in your life (a pregnancy, a baby, another child), and then gently redirect your attention to the good that is present in your life. The good things may include people that you treasure, activities you enjoy and all that is comforting and fulfilling. For everyone it will be different things.

For me, years ago, it was gratitude for a small handful of friends who understood my longing; for the faith community that valued my volunteer efforts; for the graduate study program where I could feel completely normal; and even for my slightly misguided therapist who kept asking, “what’s really behind that desire for a baby?” I could not know how my journey to a family would turn out, but I could hold in my heart these gifts and give thanks for them.

Over the past 20 years, I have worked with thousands of people who have overcome their infertility diagnosis. They have shared the many ways that their infertility experience resulted in gratitude in different areas of their lives.

Thanksgiving is too special a holiday to miss out on. Find your gratitude place and inhabit it as fully as you can.

If tough days come along this holiday season, take a look at some of the positive viewpoints offered by others who have been in your shoes. Some share positive viewpoints that got them through, while others share viewpoints from the other side of their journey.

Here are their suggestions:

November 11, 2014

Fertility Centers of Illinois & Donor Egg Bank USA Hit 1,000 Embryo Transfer Milestone

Fertility Centers of Illinois and Donor Egg Bank USA, the largest frozen donor egg bank in the United States, have reached the milestone of more than 1,000 embryo transfers completed.

Fertility Centers of Illinois has partnered with Donor Egg Bank USA to provide frozen donor eggs as a treatment option for women who are unable to conceive using their own eggs. Donor eggs provide the highest pregnancy rates of any fertility treatment. After a frozen donor egg is fertilized with sperm, the resulting embryo is transferred to the patient’s uterus. As a partner of Donor Egg Bank USA, Fertility Centers of Illinois offers local patients access to a national donor database.

November 6, 2014

Analyzing Ethnic Disparity in Fertility Treatment Success for Black & Asian Women

Infertility is a devastating disease that spans all races and socioeconomic groups. One in 8 couples has difficulty conceiving and for anyone trying to have a baby, the diagnosis of infertility is life altering.

Fortunately, there have been many advances in the field of reproductive medicine over the past three decades and there are many cutting edge technologies available to help women conceive.

Understanding the Causes of Infertility
Infertility can be due to either male or female factors. Male factors are typically due to a low sperm count, poor sperm motility (the ability to swim) or abnormal morphology (the shape of the sperm). Treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) where the sperm is placed directly into the uterus, or in-vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) where the sperm is placed directly into the egg can overcome most causes of male factor infertility.

November 4, 2014

7 Facts About Stress & Infertility

Relax, stress can impact the ability to conceive during fertility treatments
While stress is not a cause of infertility, research has shown that high levels of longstanding stress can significantly impact the ability to conceive during infertility treatment. The positive news is that by decreasing stress, couples can experience higher fertility potential as well as healthier and happier wellbeing.

Many couples don't realize how much stress impacts health and fertility potential. The goods news is that stress is one of the fastest variables to change in the body, and taking proactive action through yoga, psychotherapy, meditation and potentially acupuncture is not only beneficial, but enjoyable.

To help couples combat stress, I have put together some helpful information below with Beth Heller of Pulling Down the Moon.

7 Facts About Stress & Infertility: 

November 1, 2014

November 2014 Patient Education Events!

If you are interested in participating in any of our complimentary education sessions, you may register online by following the "LEARN MORE" links after each event. Many events require registration & spots fill up fast - so sign up as soon as you can!

11/3 | Yoga for Fertility | Chicago | 6PM | LEARN MORE

11/6 | Cracking the Door to Adoption | Chicago | 7PM | LEARN MORE

11/10 | Egg Donation: As Your Path to Parenthood | Chicago | 7PM | LEARN MORE

11/5 | Egg Donation: Your Journey Starts Here – AM | Online Webinar | 7AM |  LEARN MORE

11/18 | Egg Donation: Your Journey Starts Here – PM Online Webinar | Online Webinar | 5PM | LEARN MORE

11/6 | Cracking the Door to Adoption | Chicago | 7PM | LEARN MORE

All FCI Patient Education Programs are open to the community. We continue to support your fertility journey by offering a selection of  complimentary patient education seminars, holistic healing seminars, and support groups. If you have any questions or comments please contact us at (877) 324-4483.

October 6, 2014

October 2014 FCI Patient Education Events!

10/6 | Yoga for Fertility | Highland Park | 6PM | LEARN MORE

10/14 | Egg Donation: Your Journey Starts Here – PM | Online Webinar | 5PM |  LEARN MORE

10/28 | Stop Your Biological Clock: The Advanced Technology of Egg Freezing | Online Webinar | 7PM | LEARN MORE

All FCI Patient Education Programs are open to the community. We continue to support your fertility journey by offering a selection of  complimentary patient education seminars, holistic healing seminars, and support groups. If you have any questions or comments please contact us at (877) 324-4483.

September 16, 2014

10 Sex Myths Debunked When Trying to Conceive

If you’re looking to conceive, you may have some questions about sex that you hadn’t thought of before. Over the years, countless old wives’ tales have been created around sex, conception, and pregnancy.

But constantly worrying about what you should or shouldn’t do when trying to conceive can take the pleasure right out of their intimacy. To help distinguish fact from fiction, I’ve debunked 10 myths below.

Myth 1: Does laying down after sex help with pregnancy?
While there is no scientific evidence that laying down after sex can increase pregnancy, standing up or going to the bathroom does cause gravity to pull sperm away from the direction of the cervix. Laying down for 15 minutes after sex can help sperm by giving them the time and directional ability to get where they need to go.

Myth 2: Do certain positions enhance the ability to conceive?
It has not been scientifically proven that certain sex positions are more effective. Sperm will travel to the cervix regardless of position, but may do so more effectively when gravity is working in its favor. Do whatever position feels right, then lay down after sex or finish in a position that won’t pull sperm away from the cervix.

Myth 3: Does having sex every day increase pregnancy?
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that having sex every day only slightly increases pregnancy versus having sex every other day. In men who have a normal sperm count, sex every day will not decrease the sperm concentration. This is great news for couples trying to conceive. Both findings allow couples to relax and have sex on their schedule, without concern of reducing conception odds.

Myth 4: Is it better to have sex in the morning?
Studies have shown that sperm count is slightly higher in the morning, which may make morning sex more effective for conception. But studies show this is only a slight difference, so if night sex works better with your schedule, stick to that.

Myth 5: Do aphrodisiacs really boost sex drive?
According to the FDA, there is no scientific evidence showing that aphrodisiacs increase sexual desire. In contrast, researchers have found that certain foods, herbs and supplements can stimulate hormone or chemical production, which can affect the libido (but they haven’t proven so conclusively). Monitoring the libido in conjunction with individual taste preferences introduces too many variable factors, as the sex drive and culinary preferences will vary from person to person. If champagne and chocolate puts you in the mood, go for it — but don’t put time into planning a menu in order to enhance desire.

Myth 6: Can a massage help when trying to conceive?
When it comes to having a baby, decreasing stress and relaxing is a critical component. In a Harvard Medical School study with women who had fertility problems, 55 percent of women who completed a 10-week course of relaxation training and stress reduction were pregnant within a year, compared to 20 percent of the group who did not take the course. Get a massage, meditate, rest, or do any other activities that aid in relaxation and decrease stress.

Myth 7: Can briefs and heat hinder a man’s fertility?
The testes are outside of the male body for a reason — to maintain a cooler temperature. Should the temperature of the testes reach 98 degrees, sperm production will temporarily cease. Conversely, cooler temperatures can cause sperm count to rise, but it takes at least two months of cool temperatures for sperm count to be affected. Activities that can heat the testes, such as long visits to the hot tub, hours of typing on a laptop, wearing tight briefs and logging Olympian-quantity miles on a bicycle can heat up the testes and decrease sperm count.

Myth 8: Can you become pregnant a couple days after you have sex?
Sperm can live in the reproductive tract for three days, allowing conception to occur up to 72 hours after sex. Due to the resiliency of sperm after ejaculation, having sex prior to and during ovulation can boost conception odds.

Myth 9: Do sexual pheromones really exist?
In a study, scientists found that “hormone-like smells ‘turn on’ the brain's hypothalamus, which is normally not activated by regular odors.” Additional research teams also found that hormone-like chemicals can produce changes in mood, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature, creating a pheromone effect. But do these changes affect sexual arousal? According to scientific research thus far, there is no clear tie.

Myth 10: Does lubricant affect my ability to get pregnant?
Water-based lubricants such as Astroglide and KY Jelly may inhibit sperm movement by 60-100 percent within 60 minutes of intercourse. Opt for natural oils, oil-based lubricants or even cooking oil, but be sure to keep any potential allergies in mind. Pre-Seed lubricant is a commercial product that may even enhance sperm’s ability to move.

Dr. John J Rapisarda Fertility Centers of Illinois Blog
Author Bio: Dr. John J. Rapisarda 
Dr. Rapisarda has been with FCI for nearly 20 years and is currently one of the managing partners. After graduating with honors from the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. Rapisarda completed both his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology in Chicago. He has also served as an Assistant Professor of OB/GYN at the University of Chicago before joining FCI.  Dr. Rapisarda has been deemed a ‘top doctor’ by Castle Connolly, U.S. News & World Report and Chicago Magazine for several years. His compassionate, personalized and understanding approach to care has made Dr. Rapisarda an annual recipient of the Patients’ Choice Award since its inception.  His professional interests include management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), repeated miscarriages and IVF.

September 4, 2014

September 2014 Patient Education Events!

9/11 | Getting Out of Your Mental Rut: An Experiential Training Session | Chicago | 6PM | LEARN MORE

9/17 | Acupuncture for Fertility: Helpful or Just Hype? with Pulling Down the Moon | Chicago | 6:30PM | LEARN MORE

All FCI Patient Education Programs are open to the community. We continue to support your fertility journey by offering a selection of  complimentary patient education seminars, holistic healing seminars, and support groups. If you have any questions or comments please contact us at (877) 324-4483.

September 2, 2014

Common Fears That Patients Have About Using Donor Egg (Dr. Marie Davidson)

When someone is considering using donor eggs, it’s usually not their first choice or what they had hoped for. Often, couples have gone through infertility treatment never expecting that they would need a donor egg. When they realize it is the best option, they may feel confusion, fear, indecision, and sometimes very alone. When you’ve given everything you can to have a baby, coming to terms with having to use donor egg is not easy.

I’ve helped thousands of couples over the past 22 years, and I can assure you that every single one of your feelings and fears are normal. You’re not unusual in feeling the way you do. Although the infertility community can be very private, you are certainly not alone. 

Here are seven common fears that I’ve heard repeated over the years:

1. What if I can’t bond with my baby?
Coming to terms with using another woman’s eggs to have your baby is not simple. It’s no wonder that this question has crossed your mind – and you are not alone. This does not happen, and if it does, it is exceedingly rare. Thousands of mothers with children conceived through donor egg have lovingly embraced their baby from the beginning as theirs. Which it is, of course. And it’s also the baby of the father, and he didn’t even carry this adorable infant.

2. Will I always feel sad that I am not my child’s biological mother?
Although another woman does have a biological connection to your child as the egg donor, she is not the mother. Donors never regard themselves as the mothers of any child conceived through their donation. You most certainly will be the biological mother. Pregnancy, birth, and lactation (if that is your choice) are all biological.

3. What if my child rejects me later and says, “You aren’t my real mother”?
Children regard parents as the people who care for them, spend time with them, love them, and guide them. This is extremely unlikely, and even if said, it is “teen code” that translates to “I hate how you are ruling my life, how can I wound you?”

4. What if my family does not accept my child?
Though this is very unlikely, it can be a valid concern for some. If your family is very traditional or places emphasis on genetics, egg donation may seem like a big hurdle to overcome. If that is the case, you don’t have to tell them. You might want to share this information later, or not at all. Often, the timing of telling family and close contacts is important. Talking with a counselor can be helpful as you walk through this decision.

5. Will telling my child just confuse him or her?
There is a lot of great information on this topic that is reassuring. When children grow up with the information that their parent(s) had help so they could be born, and it is never approached as a taboo subject, children are not confused. This is just simply part of their unique story. They may have questions, especially as they get older, but such questions arise from a desire to know more about themselves, not a place of confusion.

6. Is this a selfish choice?
No, it’s not. Allow yourself credit for how much you wanted to have a child and how you cared for your baby prenatally. You went through a lot to have your baby, and it was all in the interest of him or her. You looked at all options and this was the best one for you.

7. Are egg donors just doing this for money? Could they be lying about their family health history?
Many ask this common question — why would anyone donate? I have spoken with more than a thousand donors. Typically, they are typically well-informed, thoughtful, and have strong support from their family and friends. Would someone become a donor if they were not financially compensated? No. Because it’s just too hard. Is monetary compensation the only reason they donate? Sometimes, but even so, the donor knows they are helping someone. Most donors truly want to help others. They don’t see their donation as “giving up a child.” They are giving eggs, the building block of making a baby. Most often, they try to make a good faith effort about family history.

It’s important to internally work through each question and fear you have, and give yourself time to make your decision. Talk with friends or a counselor. Once you process everything and feel ready, you will know the decision that is best for you. 

Author Bio: 
Dr. Marie Davidson is a licensed clinical psychologist and patient educator with Fertility Centers of Illinois. She specializes in counseling individuals and couples who are coping with infertility, and has provided counseling services to patients, donors and surrogates since 1992. She facilitates patient education seminars, leads women’s and couples support groups, and is widely published in the fertility field. 

August 4, 2014

Late Summer 2014 FCI Patient Events

8/10 | Choosing Egg Donation as Your Path to Parenthood | Glenview | 7PM | LEARN MORE

8/21 | Five Element Theory & Acupuncture: Tips & Tricks for the Fertility Journey | Online Webinar | 7PM | LEARN MORE

8/27 | Acupuncture for Fertility: Helpful or Just Hype? with Pulling Down the Moon | Buffalo Grove | 6:30PM | LEARN MORE

9/11 | Getting Out of Your Mental Rut: An Experiential Training Session | Chicago | 6PM | LEARN MORE

9/17 | Acupuncture for Fertility: Helpful or Just Hype? with Pulling Down the Moon | Chicago | 6:30PM | LEARN MORE

All FCI Patient Education Programs are open to the community. We continue to support your fertility journey by offering a selection of  complimentary patient education seminars, holistic healing seminars, and support groups. If you have any questions or comments please contact us at (877) 324-4483.