Coping with Infertility

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,463
    Dr. Roger Lobo of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine discusses various methods of coping with infertility.

    Dr. Roger Lobo: Hi, I am Dr. Roger Lobo with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

    Today we are talking about coping with infertility. Although assisted reproductive technology procedures are often successful, they are not without difficulties. Psychological stresses come. It also takes a heavy toll on your finances and emotions. Some couples describe the experience as an emotional roller-coaster.

    Michelle Brock: Anybody else that I have ever talked to that's considering IVF, I always tell them that it's important to have a good support system. By the way, it would be participating in an online support group through home community chats, may be blogs.

    There is a wide network of infertility blogs that provide excellent support which I would have never been able to live without. But if you are going to get your IVF, you need the support, you need the emotional support, and you need to know that it won't be easy that you will get through it and there are people out there that will stand by you and help you through the process.

    Dr. Roger Lobo: Because of the medications, careful monitoring during an IVF Cycle with hormone testing and ultrasound as well as the laboratory expertise required, IVF is an expensive procedure. Nationally, IVF costs about $8,000-10,000 for each cycle. Success rates vary and depend on many factors including a woman's age, her ability to produce eggs and the ability of requirement sperm to fertilize her eggs.

    Patients have high expectations. Get failure is common in any given cycle. Couples may feel frustrated, angry, isolated and resentful. At times, frustration can lead to depression and feelings of low self-esteem, especially in the immediate period of following a failed ART attempt. The support of friends and family members is very important at this time.

    Matt Brock: Don't be embarrassed by the situation because a lot of people do feel like failures and they go certain amount of embarrassment. Talk to people about it, open up to people about it and you will be surprised that a number of people have undergone the same thing.

    Couples are encouraged to consider psychological counseling as an additional means of support and stress management. Many programs have a mental health professional on staff to help couples deal with grief, tension or anxieties associated with infertility and its treatment.

    Studies indicate that the chance for pregnancy in consecutive IVF Cycle remains similar in up to six cycles. However, many other factors should be considered when determining the appropriate end point in therapy, including financial and psychological reserves.

    Members of the IVF team can help couples decide when to stop treatment and discuss other options such as egg and/or sperm donation or adoption if appropriate. The physicians, support groups and other couples undergoing infertility treatment can provide valuable support and guidance.

    To learn more, check out our other videos on fertility or visit www.