By the time you begin your fertility treatments, odds are you’ve already strapped on the seatbelt and checked the emergency bars in your roller coaster car. Only those who have been on the same ride understand what an up-and-down, high-and-low experience infertility can be as you transition from the couple who are trying to conceive – to the couple who are working to figure out why you’re not conceiving – to the couple who has a bona-fide infertility diagnosis and is taking advantage of modern medicine to get pregnant.

Infertility Counseling is an Amazing Tool for Couples Navigating Fertility Treatments

If you are undergoing testing and/or treatments for infertility, we highly recommend you and your partner pursue fertility counseling to help you cope with the emotions, stresses, worries and hormonal changes that may occur during the next several months or years. If you have a counselor you are currently working with, and are happy with, it may be enough support for you. Otherwise, begin the search for a certified infertility counselor.

Image Courtesy of anat_tikker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Infertility counselors are a specialized version of a psychologist, psychiatrist, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or Certified Masters in Social Work (MSW). These professionals take their existing credentials and enhance them by getting education and training specific to the arena of fertility counseling. This provides the skillsets and medical/scientific knowledge that a traditional therapist will not be privy to via their training.

You can learn more about the qualifications of an infertility counselor, as well as find contact information for infertility counselors in your area, on the ASRM Infertility and Counseling Support Fact Sheet.

Working with a fertility counselor can help you:

  • Cope with the general stress of infertility and the emotional components that can arise with an infertility diagnosis.
  • Learn relaxation and stress relief techniques that can be used for the rest of your life, but specifically to navigate the anxiety that surrounds loss of control, doctor’s appointments, tests, procedures and test results.
  • Incorporate exercises and practices to stop negative thought, emotion and reaction pathways and create new, more positive and sustainable ones.
  • To understand your partner better, and for your partner to gain a better understanding of you. This can help bolster your support for one another since emotional reactions (or a seeming lack thereof) and coping mechanisms are rarely the same between two different people.
  • Continue to develop your own romantic, intimate and sexual relationship with your partner so it isn’t all about body parts, hormones, physiology and pregnancy test results.

The work you do with your infertility counselor is a win-win. Not only will it help to provide invaluable support throughout your infertility roller coaster ride, it will make you and your partner stronger and healthier as individuals – and as a couple. This is a major bonus once you get off this roller coaster ride and board the next one – Babyhood and Parenting Express!

Another bonus to pursuing infertility counseling? While stress still hasn’t been officially designated as a cause for infertility, we do know that sound mental and physical health promote fertility and increase women’s chances of IVF success. Recent studies published in the Oxford Journals of Human Reproduction have demonstrated a correlation between increased levels of stress enzymes and infertility. Other studies have shown a strong link between the mind-body connection and IVF success rates as well. The more we learn about the human body, the more likely it is we’ll be able to make the connection between emotional well-being and fertility the same way we can connect fertility to physical well-being.

If you feel your infertility diagnosis, and/or your current fertility treatments are having a negative impact on your mental and emotional health, please reach out to an infertility counselor for a consultation. The help and compassionate support these counselors provide can be instrumental in experiencing the least tumultuous track on the infertility roller coaster.

Contact RRC to learn more about your fertility treatment options or to find qualified fertility counselors in your area.

Image courtesy of anat_tikker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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We’re excited to announce that Reproductive Resource Center has expanded to provide easier access to RRC services for our patients in east Kansas City, Independence, Mo. and the surrounding areas.

In addition to our Overland Park location, our new fertility center is now open in Centerpoint Medical Center at 19600 East 39th Street, Suite 335B in Independence, Mo. Office visits are available by appointment only.

Dr. Celeste Brabec, Nurse Manager Marge Vogt, Medical Assistant Cynthia Bocanegra and Business Development Associate Tami Reinhard on site at our new Independence location.Dr. Celeste Brabec, Nurse Manager Marge Vogt, Medical Assistant Cynthia Bocanegra and Business Development Associate Tami Reinhard on site at our new Independence location.

RRC is led by Medical Director Dr. Celeste Brabec, a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.=

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Centerpoint Medical community in Independence and bring our experience, innovation and hope to more couples experiencing infertility,” said Dr. Brabec.

“As the number of couples seeking assistance in growing their families continues to increase, this new RRC location allows us to provide comprehensive, high-quality fertility care for patients closer to their homes with convenient access from I-70.”

Since RRC’s establishment in 1988, there have been more than 10,000 babies born from all therapies, and more than 3,800 babies born as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART). If you wish to start a family or grow your existing family, please contact RRC today.

We look forward to seeing you in Independence or Overland Park!

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