The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc

Chat Bytes: Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Treatments for Infertility.

Webinar Weekly (Lunch Bytes Fridays starting up again November 20, 2020, 4:00 PM ET: REGISTER

Mike Berkley, L.Ac., FABORM is the founder and director of The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness. Mike is licensed and acupuncture board-certified in New York State and also certified in Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Mike graduated from The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York in 1996, and he has been treating reproductive disorders since then. Berkley is the first acupuncturist/herbalist in the United States to work exclusively in the field of reproductive medicine.

He enjoys working in conjunction with some of New York’s most prestigious reproductive endocrinologists while delivering attention and treatments meeting fertility patients’ needs. Call (646) 832-4480 to schedule an initial appointment today.

 

 

 

Mike’s Personal Story

"I developed an interest in acupuncture and herbal medicine due to a very personal and difficult reason - infertility. My wife and I decided that we wanted to start a family soon after we got married. We tried and tried for two years before seeking the help of a reproductive endocrinologist. My wife was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and an autoimmune marker. At our follow-up examinations, we were “cleared” of all obstacles to conception and told to go home and “try.” We tried for another six months without success.

At this point, my wife sought out the help of an acupuncturist/herbalist who had some basic knowledge of reproductive issues. After treating with acupuncture and herbal medicine for six months my wife got nothing more than a regulated period. We were disappointed, then, the very next month, the miracle manifested! She was pregnant and she carried to term without a hitch. We had a beautiful 7.5-pound little tiger who is now a young man, healthy, happy, and productive! I was amazed, humbled, and enormously excited and gratified by the result which was yielded by what seemed like some hocus-pocus newfangled type of medicine, but it really worked.

It was then that I started to explore acupuncture and herbal medicine on my own. I had a curiosity to learn more. I couldn't believe it when I found out that this type of medicine had existed for 3,000 years and there are hundreds of medical texts dating back centuries on the subject of reproductive disorders and how to treat them.

I responded to an ad in the Village Voice for an open house at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s New York campus and left almost six years later with a degree in acupuncture and a National Board Certification in herbal medicine.

With license in hand, I devoted every free moment to studying Western medical and Chinese medical approaches to treating infertility. After years of study and clinical experience, I have been fortunate in that I have been able to develop my own unique acupuncture protocols and proprietary herbal formulas."

INCIID"s Infertility Project

INCIID Birthday Cake

Happy 25th to INCIID

Challenge: The photo below of twins is just one example of what INCIID's outreach in the form of information and our National IVF Scholarship provides to consumers.
On March 17th, 1995, INCIID received its 501 C 3 and incorporation as a charity. On March 17, 2020, INCIID celebrates 25 years of supporting families. INCIID was the first infertility site on the World Wide Web. In order to continue to help and support our mission to help the more than 6 million affected by infertility and multiple pregnancy loss, INCIID needs an updated web platform.

Recently the technical person who donated so much of his time and gave so much of himself retired with some health issues. INCIID continues to provide help to consumers as an all-volunteer organization. Donations go right back into the maintenance of the charity. We need updated technical support and have volunteers lined up to help us move INCIID's thousands of articles, install updated software to a new platform and design an easier access and accessibility compliant venue. But to do this will need to raise a minimum of $12,000 dollars.

We need 480 people to donate $25 dollars by March 17th so we can enact the Fertility Project. 

Solution

Building a new Website with an updated Drupal platform will enable INCIID to reach more people securely and allow more interaction and support to consumers. It will allow us to continue to securely take donations, and launch a regular newsletter to consumers who not only need information but also support. It will allow us to man our immediate chat mechanism and launch a new interactive and support network that is secure and private.

Long-Term Impact

Longterm this project will allow us to expand our base and continue the work we do for consumers. It will allow us to expand funding through professional memberships thus allowing us to provide more scholarships to consumers and ultimately help those who want to build their family through treatment or adoption. The Infertility Project will arm consumers with the information and support they need and that we launched 25 years ago.

Send INCIID a Birthday Present today. We need 480 people to donate $25 dollars each by the end of March. Please donate today

We need 480 people to send INCIID  a $25 Birthday Present  Happy 25th Birthday, INCIID.

INCIID needs a number of crucial updates to our website. Our fundraising goal is $12,000.
INCIID is a charity. We were the FIRST to launch a website dedicated to infertility on March 17, 1995.  INCIID was also the first to provide professionals to interact and answer questions online for consumers. 
We've been supporting the community for 25 years but now we need your help! 

We only need 480 people, consumers, industry professionals, interested parties or family members to send us just $25 dollars by our March 17th birthday.

We have a plan in the works but we need to fund it in order to continue our IVF Scholarship and mission to educate and support the infertility community. 
Read more about The Infertility Project here.
I hope you will consider helping us by donating. Please send us a Happy Birthday note and let us know how you're doing.

For more information call us at 703-379-9178 or email us.

 

How to Become a Fertility Nurse

A close up of the face of a masked fertility nurse

How to Become a Fertility Nurse

Fertility nurses play a very important role when it comes to reproductive health. These nurses, also referred to as reproductive nurses, are there to provide help and support to women dealing with fertility issues. They might be asked to work with couples who have difficulty conceiving, menopausal women, and women going through infertility.

This is a great career choice and a good option for those who want to help women and couples deal with reproductive issues. Let's take a look at what you should do to become a fertility nurse. We'll also touch on what the job entails and some of the outlooks for the position.

What do Fertility Nurses Do Exactly?

Fertility nurses have a lot of responsibilities. One of your primary jobs will be to educate patients on different fertility treatments including the benefits and disadvantages of different options. Fertility nurses are also there to give patients and the ones close to them support and counseling. All of this will need to be done in a non-judgmental way. Also, these nurses might teach patients how to administer fertility treatments.

The responsibilities go way beyond working with patients. Fertility nurses have to be up-to-date on all the latest procedures in the field. They may also assist in cloning or stem cell research as well as facilitate the egg donation process. They will often act as bridges between the donor and the receiving parent.

On a typical day, nurses will have to interact with patients a lot. This makes it a great job if you love the public and want to help. This is also a great option for those who want a fulfilling nursing job and directly see the effects of their work. Parents often form a very special bond with their reproductive nurse and some have relationships that last a lifetime.

You will spend a lot of your day speaking with patients and conducting interviews. You might also be teaching medication administration, making follow-up appointments, and speaking about different treatment options with families. Besides, you might be asked to perform blood tests and scans, help with embryo transfers, and perform physical examinations, among other things.

How Can I Become One?

If you want to become a fertility nurse, you will first need to at least have an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree. The good news is that anyone can get their bachelor’s through accelerated BSN online programs even if they are not coming from a nursing background. Schools like Elmhurst have accredited accelerated BSN online programs that allow students coming from other fields to get their bachelor’s in as little as 16 months.

Once you have your degree, you will need to pass your National Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) so you can become a registered nurse. Only once you've gotten your RN license can you enter reproductive nursing. Know that you can also get additional certification through the National Certification Corporation. While it's not mandatory, it could increase your prospects and your salary. The exam is taken by computer and consists of multiple-choice questions related to reproductive health and nursing.

What are the Skills Needed to be a Good Fertility Nurse?

First of all, you need to have a real desire to learn and teach about reproductive health. Your true goal should be to help patients first and foremost. Reproductive nurses have to be patient and be great at simplifying complex concepts. Patience will be important as some patients may grow desperate and impatient themselves or disagree with what you have to say. Also, you will have to be compassionate. Couples who are going through infertility require support and you will need to learn how to support them while still being realistic. You have to be there to hear their concerns and help them throughout the process.

Reproductive nurses also have to be open to continuing education. This is one of the most dynamic fields in healthcare and changes to procedures and sometimes philosophies can be introduced overnight. So, know that you will need to dedicate your whole life to the field.

Another skill you will need to have as a fertility nurse is investigative skills. It is during interviews that you will get to know a lot about someone’s reproductive health. You might be able to get more information out of them if you know how to ask the right questions. Just doing this will make you much better at your job and will help you find better solutions for patients.

Last, but not least, fertility nurses need to be physically fit. Working in this position means that you'll be spending a lot of time on your feet looking after patients and you’ll need to have a basic level of fitness to be able to get through the day.

What Are the Prospects for Fertility Nurses?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups fertility nurses with registered nurses and the prospects for those is really good. Jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow by 7% leading into 2029, which is higher than the average for all professions. They can earn anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000 or more per year depending on their expertise and level of certification.

Another great thing about working as a fertility nurse is the specialization opportunities. This is a great way to transition into fields such as family nursing or become a NICU nurse. Some decide to become OB/GYNs or move into research. Fertility nurses are at the forefront of innovation in the field. They know practically better than anyone else what is going on the ground and the effects of different methods and treatments, which makes them a great fit for research. All of these positions are in very high demand and are some of the best paying in the nursing field.

Working as a fertility nurse is your chance to make a real difference in the life of someone else. It's a great career option with promising prospects, so, if you think you’re cut out for it, we suggest you look into it in more detail.

Saying Goodby to an Icon: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Headshot photo of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
A photo of NPR's Nina Totenberg interviewing Ruth Bader Ginsburg about the movie "On the Basis of Sex"

Protecting Reproductive Rights: “Women’s rights are human rights.”

“The right to family planning is inherent in the right of human dignity.” This quote is announced, articulated, and pronounced in the UN Charter and further reiterated in all international and regional human rights agreements. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This week we mourn the passing of one of the most iconic figures dedicated to equal rights. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though tiny in stature was a giant among those who paved the way and laid the foundation for equality and not just for women.

Family planning is not only a matter of human rights; it is also central to women’s emancipation, decreasing poverty, and achieving forward movement and development.

Early in her career, arguing before the very court on which she would eventually sit, she told the justices that she asked for no favor for her sex – only that men “take their feet off our necks,” quoting abolitionist Sarah Grimké.

The “notorious RBG” as she was affectionately known to many, is often recognized as a champion for women but she saw that gender equality was beneficial not just for women but for everyone; men, women and, families.

So much of who Justice Ginsburg was is encompassed by her creation of foundational principles matching cultural movements to the law – laws that often were not adequate for our times.  Our reproductive rights and laws need to continue to be updated as do our institutions so we can match today's conversations, needs, and family-planning to the laws that protect privacy and personal choice.

Family-Building

Most people think of the Roe V. Wade case as a choice to terminate an unplanned pregnancy, but that decision comprises many more complicated and complex ramifications for family-planning then just “a woman’s right to choose”.

Family-planning in its least demanding form is an extremely personal decision. It’s about when to get pregnant and how many children one might plan for, whether you have the resources to support the child and care for it.  Planning a family for some is also about the “how” we conceive. Having a child involves intimacy. Whether that be with a partner or singly, and it’s a private and personal decision dependent on many factors known often only to the parties involved.

Over almost two decades, I‘ve had the pleasure of coaching and supporting, family-building with those who struggle through reproductive treatment and failure; the sorrow-filled experiences of multiple losses, of stillbirth, genetic challenges, and more. This is personal to me, having survived 7 years of infertility and 4 pregnancy losses myself.
 

A Little IVF History

In July of 1978, Louise Brown was born in Oldham, England. This event was the beginning of IVF (in vitro fertilization) where doctors extract eggs from the ovaries and mix them with sperm in a petri dish or tube to create an embryo. Once the embryo begins to grow, doctors transfer it to the uterus.

Reproductive research pioneers Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe were initially criticized but today IVF is the most important method for the treatment of infertility. In 2010 the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Robert Edwards for the development of in vitro fertilization. In 2018, more than 80,000 babies were born from IVF procedures in the United States alone and more than a million around the world.

The Present Condition of Reproductive Equality

A large void in the fight for human rights now exists in the passing of Justice Ginsburg. As far as reproductive rights go, more than 60% of polled Americans support choice. It would be unconscionable and totally unacceptable to make an appointment to the court that could shift it away from choice when voting has already started in many states and the majority of the population supports privacy and choice.

A photo of NPR's Nina Totenberg interviewing Ruth Bader Ginsburg about the movie "On the Basis of Sex"What’s at Stake?

The Supreme Court hears and decides cases that have broad and sweeping legal, political, and social significance. The opinions issued by the Court will have a substantive impact on society, but more importantly on every one of us - personally.

The right to choose IVF to plan your family in on the ballot alongside healthcare including pre-existing conditions. A shift in the court here could leave millions of people without healthcare during a pandemic.

 

 

If there was ever any hope of getting IVF covered by insurance, this could make all the efforts of many reproductive rights organization null and void.

Whether survivors of sexual violence can get the services they need is on the ballot.

Equality is on the ballot. So much is at stake.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a struggled  as a young attorney and new mother. She faced many obstacles and laid ground-breaking legal precedence in her fight for equal rights changing the way the courts view gender discrimination.

Movie Trailer for: On the Basis of Sex

 

 

 

Photos used under the following Creative Commons license

"Nina Totenberg (NPR) interviews Ruth Bader GinsburgThe Wide Wide World is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

" The Portrait photo: A Beautiful Ruth Bader Ginsburg" by John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mental Health and Starting a Family: A Guide

Happy couple looking at a pregnancy test

Mental Health and Starting a Family: A Guide

Starting a family is a life-changing experience which many people aspire to at some point in their life. Having a child truly is a miraculous experience which has the power to change everything, both regarding your life and regarding you as a person.

As with any life-changing event, your mental health may be impacted by the change, as well as being severely compromised if you have trouble starting a family or if you run into problems conceiving the way you had hoped. You may then feel as though you need further tailored support, such as from someone with a masters in mental health counseling.

Perhaps you have always thought that you would like to start a family and are wondering whether now the right time for you is. When making this decision, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you financially able to support a growing family?
  • Is your home equipped for a new baby, such as having the right amount of space and room?
  • How will your career be affected by having a baby? Are you ready to take a career break, or have your job take a back seat for a while?
  • Are you with the right person, or are you mentally ready to raise a child alone if you are considering family options as a single person?

This guide discusses the issues you may face where mental health is concerned, and important steps to consider when starting a family.

Mental Health and Trying for a Baby

Deciding to try for a baby and start a family is a significant step. No matter whether you've always planned for it or whether you've recently decided, it would be natural to feel overwhelmed by such a momentous decision. It's possible that your mental health can therefore be compromised if you feel the pressures, as well as the desperate desire, to start a family.

Although starting a family and trying for a baby is a wonderful thing, it can take a lot of planning, crucial steps and lifestyle changes. It may also take a very long time to conceive. This can easily affect your mindset and mental health if the routine becomes too draining or if you develop anxiety over not being able to conceive as quickly as you would have hoped.

It's important to be as positive and healthy as you can be while trying for a baby. Undue stress on the mind and body may only make it more difficult to naturally conceive or make it difficult to enjoy the process. To make everything easier, consider:

  • Seeking advice regarding how to improve your chances of conceiving
  • Try to avoid treating intimacy as a strict routine and instead try to conceive when you naturally feel ready to try
  • Speak to others about how you're feeling, including your partner if the situation is becoming overwhelming

Trouble with Conceiving: Which Steps to Take

It may be that, after trying to conceive for a significant period, it simply isn't working. This, naturally, can have a detrimental effect on your mental health, as not only are you not achieving the beginning of your new family, but you may also begin to worry why it is not working for you and whether there is any cause for concern health-wise for you and your partner.

In the first instance, it is crucial to speak to a medical professional regarding your trouble conceiving so that you can discuss the possibilities. Tests may need to be carried out, and your next options may need to be explored. This can be a difficult and worrying time which can take a toll on your mental health. Still, it's important to understand that difficulty conceiving in the first instance doesn't mean that you will never be able to start the family that you've been dreaming of. Alongside health and physical attention, you should also seek mental health support if necessary, from those with a masters in mental health counseling.

If you cannot conceive naturally, there are other steps you can take, such as:

  • Adoption
  • IVF treatment
  • Treatment options for infertility
  • Sperm or egg donation
  • Surrogacy

When considering which option may be right for you, be sure to do as much research as possible and gain the relevant medical advice. Taking one of these options, even if it means you can achieve the family you had hoped, can still be overwhelming and upsetting, therefore affecting your mental health.

Support is crucial during this key decision-making, so be sure to check your options from those with a masters in mental health counseling.

Mental Health and Helping Others

If you are a parent who has experienced mental health issues relating to starting a family, or perhaps an individual who has suffered from their mental health following infertility issues and not being able to start a family, maybe you're eager to help others struggling through the same — whether those with general mental health issues or specifically parents who are suffering through mental health concerning conception or raising a child.

There are various avenues to explore if you would like to help others, including seeking a career in counseling and a masters in mental health counseling so that you can support others going through the same journey or any related issues with mental health.

Wanting to start a family and either wanting to be a parent or becoming a parent, naturally means you're a compassionate and caring person who wants to help and care for others (your own child or family), so these are virtues which can be applied to counseling and helping others, too.

Mental Health and Adoption

Adoption can introduce a variety of mental health issues, both for you as a parent, and for an adopted child. For a parent choosing to adopt, it can be a difficult path if you always wanted to conceive naturally. It is a big step in deciding to seek an alternative to raising a family and helping a child who needs to have a home and a family.

Furthermore, it's important to be in a healthy and good mental state when preparing yourself to adopt a child. If your mental health has become compromised due to difficult circumstances around trying to conceive (such as being told that you're infertile), it may be a good idea to take a break and concentrate on your own recovery before adopting. That way, you can be in the healthiest condition to care for a new child. It's, therefore, imperative to seek out support options, such as sessions from a licensed individual with a masters in mental health counseling.

Regarding an adopted child, if they are at an older age when they are adopted, or if you choose to tell your child the truth about their adoption when they reach a certain age, this knowledge can affect their mental health. They may struggle emotionally trying to understand about their birth parents, or why they had to be put up for adoption. Or perhaps the truth may simply be something they struggle with mentally. It may even be the case that an adopted child suffered through difficult circumstance or even trauma, leading to the need for them to be adopted, and this could result in issues later in life.

Your child always has the option of receiving counseling at any age from someone with a masters in mental health counseling.

Mental Health and IVF Treatment

If you've chosen the IVF route, then firstly, it can be expensive, depending on how many attempts of the treatment you need. Therefore, you may experience stress and anxiety relating to your finances when trying to get pregnant through IVF. It's essential to manage your finances properly and plan for the cost of IVF treatment in advance, to have a better understanding and avoid any unwarranted stress.

Furthermore, IVF treatment is never guaranteed to work successfully. This can be extremely traumatic for those parents who had hoped the treatment would work for them. There are other options you can consider as an alternative if IVF treatment is not a success for you, or you can try again with the same treatment. Alongside this, support your mental health during this journey by seeking out services from someone with a masters in mental health counseling.

Mental Health and Your Growing Family

Mental health issues can arise at any time, at any age, in anyone. This means both for you as a parent, and for your growing child. You can never plan for how your child is going to behave, whether in their childhood years or as they develop. You can easily run into difficulty and negativity as a parent if you are worried about your child's behavior or if they are difficult.

Additionally, your child may develop mental health issues of their own as they age. It's important as a parent to know what to look out for in others regarding signs and symptoms of mental health issues such as depression.

In growing children, this could include:

  • Persistent low mood
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Disruptive or out-of-control behaviour
  • Speaking of negative or troublesome thoughts
  • Issues with behaviour and mood in other situations, such as school or out in public

There is always support available for parents struggling with their own mental health issues, such as from those with a masters in mental health counseling, or for parents with children who have mental health problems.

Mental Health and Suffering with a Miscarriage

While it is possible to heal and gain support from loved ones and professionals who can help through the process of miscarriage recovery, your own mental health and how you choose to handle the situation is what is most important. Nobody can tell a parent how to act when they have lost a child, and it's important for you to never keep it inside about what you are experiencing.

You may want to speak to other parents who have suffered through the same experience so that you can gain a better understanding and the support you need. Naturally, those who have never experienced the loss of a child will not be able to understand or support you fully — even if those people love you and care about your grief — so it can be very helpful to speak to other parents who know directly how it feels.

Physical, mental and emotional health can be severely impacted following the loss of a child, perhaps even for the rest of your life. The emotional distress and grief experienced by those who suffer from a miscarriage will undoubtedly mean that their mental health is compromised, and they may benefit from the services of a professional with a masters in mental health counseling.

It's important to understand that suffering a miscarriage does not mean that you can never try again for a family or that you will never be able to have a child. Still, it's also important to allow yourself enough time to understand, grieve and heal.

Understanding Postnatal Depression

You can never plan for postnatal depression, and you may think that it would never happen to you, but the truth is, it can arise in any parent following giving birth to their child. What's important to remember if suffering through postnatal depression that is — just with any mental health illness — it is not your fault, and it does not mean that you are any less of a loving parent. After all, having a baby is completely life-changing, which means it can trigger new and overwhelming responses in your mind and body when raising a new child.

The signs of postnatal depression include:

  • Feeling anxious and tearful. While this is natural after giving birth, if these symptoms persist for a long period, such as a month or longer after giving birth, it could be a sign of a large problem
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired
  • Loss of interest in anything
  • Withdrawing from other people, or different situations
  • Worrying thoughts involving your baby, including negative thoughts towards them

Strategies to cope with postnatal depression include:

  • Seeking professional help and support, such as from those with a masters in mental health counseling
  • Being prescribed medication, such as anti-depressants
  • Speaking with loved ones
  • Trying to keep up with a healthy routine, such as exercise and your diet choices
  • Trying to partake in activities which will help you to feel more positive, such as pastimes you've always enjoyed
  • All of the above

Take Away

While the experience of trying for, and raising, a family is rewarding and positive, it's undoubtedly one where many problems can be faced. These problems don't mean that raising a family isn't everything you'd hoped for or that it can't be a success, it simply means that better care and planning may be needed for problems which can arise.

Most importantly, it is your own emotional and mental wellbeing as a parent — as well as that of your child — which needs to be taken into consideration during this important time, and you can always seek support from those with masters in mental health counseling.

Webinar: East Meets West (Reproductive Endocrinology and Acupuncture)

Dr. Mark Perloe and Acupuncturist, Mike Berkley, L.Ac. (Acupuncture & Board Certified Herbalist) both practice in "hot spots"around the country. Dr. Perloe is a reproductive endocrinologist in Atlanta and Mike Berkley is an acupuncturist practicing in Manhattan (NYC). The video is long approximately 40 minutes but you can skim through the topics; everything from practicing in a pandemic to donor eggs and epigenetics.

 

 

COVID-19 Scholarship Medication Giveaway

Team of scrub nurses tinted blue

Due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis, INCIID is altering the Scholarship With the rapid spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks, there has been a significant impact on all across the healthcare spectrum - patient, provider, and more.
We have a limited number of IVF ovarian stimulation medications from EMD Serono available through application to the scholarship program.

As a leader in patient advocacy, we remain committed to helping patients who have experienced interruptions in their family building journey in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
To help support our healthcare professionals and their patients, INCIID has a limited number of medications (for Ovarian Stimulation)

We are giving to give those away to qualified applicants who make an application to the  INCIID the Heart Scholarship Program.
There are no fundraising requirements for this medication donation in 2020.

Join us for a Webinar to answer your questions: May 21, 2020, 2 PM ET 

What we need from you is our one-page application, 2 recent paystubs, a financial form (assets and liabilities), the most recent (either 2018 or 2019 tax return), and a compelling video or story.  
All documents can be faxed to (703) 379-1593. This number forwards all faxes to a HIPAA compliant secure fax. We are not taking any paper applications at present.

General Criteria: No insurance for IVF, Infertility as defined by ASRM, and Financial need.

You must be in (IVF treatment) by December 1, 2020. The medications go through your clinic
You will still have to sign a release. If someone in your family has lost their job, document this from your previous employer.
We ask that you honor the $55 donation to support INCIID but if this is a hardship please send us an email explaining your situation. INCIID works very hard at finding matches for scholarship recipients. Due to COVID-19  All donations, memberships, and corporate donations are currently at zero. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us. If there is enough interest, please sign up for the Webinar here

In the Future.

EMD Serono has been very generous in their donations to patients, They continue to prioritize patients currently undergoing treatment, or wishing to do so in the future.

EMD Serono has assistance programs and additional information for those who have had their cycle canceled due to COVID-19 and can be found at www.fertilitysavings.com, EMD Serono is maintaining its focus on ensuring that their medicines, products, and services continue to reach the patients who rely on them. INCIID encourages patients to reach out to EMD Serono for help.

 

Live Webinar May 12th: East Meets West: Fertility Treatment During a Pandemic

Dr. Mark Perloe
Mike Berkley, L.Ac., FABROM

Dr. Mark PerloeWebinar Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 7:00 PM ET: Register here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Mark Perloe earned his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center, and served his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Perloe completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Minnesota.

He has extensive experience treating conditions related to infertility including polycystic ovary syndrome, recurrent pregnancy loss, menstrual disorders, fibroids, male factor infertility, endocrine disorders, and other reproductive health problems. His patients have access to the latest in vitro fertilization techniques including fertility preservation, the use of donor eggs, donor sperm, and gestational surrogacy.

Dr. Perloe has served as principal investigator in numerous reproductive health research studies including innovative IVF treatments, ovulation induction, polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as investigational medications for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction. He has served as consultant and a task force member to the Women’s Initiative of the American International Health Association and was active in establishing the first approved endoscopy-training center in the former Soviet Union at the Russian National Institute of Women’s Health.

In 1986, he co-authored Miracle Babies and Other Happy Endings for Couples with Fertility Problems. Dr. Perloe is a frequent speaker at community and professional educational seminars, blogs regularly on Facebook, and has created a YouTube PCOS Awareness Channel.

Dr. Perloe has served as principal investigator in numerous reproductive health research studies and has served as a consultant and a task force member to the Women’s Initiative of the American International Health Association. Dr. Perloe has been an active participant educating consumers for more than two decades.

Mike Berkley, L.Ac., FABORM is the founder and director of The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness. Mike is licensed and acupuncture board-certified in New York State and also certified in Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Mike graduated from The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York in 1996, and he has been treating reproductive disorders since then. Berkley is the first acupuncturist/herbalist in the United States to work exclusively in the field of reproductive medicine.

He enjoys working in conjunction with some of New York’s most prestigious reproductive endocrinologists while delivering attention and treatments meeting fertility patients’ needs. Call (646) 832-4480 to schedule an initial appointment today.

Mike’s Personal Story

"I developed an interest in acupuncture and herbal medicine due to a very personal and difficult reason - infertility. My wife and I decided that we wanted to start a family soon after we got married. We tried and tried for two years before seeking the help of a reproductive endocrinologist. My wife was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and an autoimmune marker. At our follow-up examinations, we were “cleared” of all obstacles to conception and told to go home and “try.” We tried for another six months without success.

At this point, my wife sought out the help of an acupuncturist/herbalist who had some basic knowledge of reproductive issues. After treating with acupuncture and herbal medicine for six months my wife got nothing more than a regulated period. We were disappointed, then, the very next month, the miracle manifested! She was pregnant and she carried to term without a hitch. We had a beautiful 7.5-pound little tiger who is now a young man, healthy, happy, and productive! I was amazed, humbled, and enormously excited and gratified by the result which was yielded by what seemed like some hocus-pocus newfangled type of medicine, but it really worked.

It was then that I started to explore acupuncture and herbal medicine on my own. I had a curiosity to learn more. I couldn't believe it when I found out that this type of medicine had existed for 3,000 years and there are hundreds of medical texts dating back centuries on the subject of reproductive disorders and how to treat them.

I responded to an ad in the Village Voice for an open house at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s New York campus and left almost six years later with a degree in acupuncture and a National Board Certification in herbal medicine.

With license in hand, I devoted every free moment to studying Western medical and Chinese medical approaches to treating infertility. After years of study and clinical experience, I have been fortunate in that I have been able to develop my own unique acupuncture protocols and proprietary herbal formulas."

Biotin Interference

Biotin Interference E-Learning Module

If you take a B complex or multivitamin, or prenatal vitamin, or if you eat food hearty in B7, review this 15 minute mini-course in Biotin Interference. If you are a laboratory technician or a physician who orders diagnostic bloodwork, you may also be interested.

Biotin in the blood from supplements can cause some lab test results to be either falsely increased or falsely decreased, causing misdiagnosis or wrong treatment protocols

Some labs using a testing and diagnostic process called Streptavidin Technology. This technology uses a method for testing a patient blood sample in a laboratory that may give falsely increased or falsely decreased test results if the patient sample contains natural free floating biotin from diet or supplements the patient is taking. One patient died because of false-negative results.

Watch the presentation

An Interview with Singer-Songwriter, Edie Carey By Zoe Hemenway

A photograph of musician, Edie Carey.

Though she always wanted and loved kids, she wasn’t sure if marriage and children were in the cards for her due to her career.

Everything changed when she met her husband while on tour in 2005. Matt embraced her job and didn’t see it as a negative. The two were friends first and set on a romantic course in 2007. They wed in 2009. In 2010 their world turned upside down when Edie experienced a massive health crisis. They hadn’t been trying to have a baby at the time, but she wondered if she might be having a miscarriage. It turned out to be a hemorrhage from a cervical fibroid tumor that caused her to nearly bleed to death.

“I didn’t quite crash on the table but I went into shock,” Edie explained. She needed blood transfusions to prevent her from bleeding out. To stop the hemorrhaging her doctor cut off the majority of the blood supply to her uterus with uterine artery embolization. This cutoff is meant to be permanent. She was told that it would be very challenging to have a baby because her uterus now had very little blood flow. However, if she were to get her period again, pregnancy was a possibility.

Edie remembers, “I never prayed so hard for a period in my life.” Her period did indeed come back after a few months and she was told to start trying to get pregnant as soon as possible. They tried naturally for nine months, but Edie’s uterine lining was very thin. At that point her doctors said she probably needed IVF (in vitro fertilization). Despite living in Chicago where there is excellent insurance coverage for IVF, neither of them worked for a major company, therefore they didn’t have the mandated insurance for IVF and the procedure was out of reach financially for the couple. 

Their luck turned around when they discovered an IVF raffle in the suburbs of Chicago, a raffle they ended up winning!  The first round of IVF didn’t work, which deeply disappointed her. They didn’t give up though, and in 2012, thanks to the raffle, they had their son Luca after a frozen embryo transfer.
Their second child was a little more difficult. They could now afford IVF due to her husband getting a job with excellent fertility coverage, but Edie’s egg quality was pretty terrible and IVF wouldn’t work with her eggs. She used an egg donor in order to conceive her daughter. The process of having two kids took six years, two and a half for her son and three for her daughter. 

Her song “These Things” reflects on what she thought she would never have. She says that infertility can cause imposter syndrome for some new parents. 

Thinking back, “I can’t quite believe I have two children after being told it would never happen.” 

There’s still a big stigma around infertility and miscarriages. Edie didn’t share her struggle publicly at first. She wrote some songs about it, but she didn’t talk about it on stage. Edie realized that people who came to her shows were around the same age as she was, and some of them were probably going through similar trials. She made a choice to be more open about her infertility issues. After her decision to become more public with their infertility struggle, many people came up to her to talk about their experiences with IVF and adoption. Talking about it with her audience members made her realize she wasn’t alone in this battle. There were so many people who understood exactly what she went through.
Edie doesn’t tour as much as she used to, now that she’s a parent. She usually only leaves for a concentrated amount of time, because being away too long is too hard for their children. She is a stay at home mom when she’s not on the road. Touring gives her the opportunity to connect with other adults, something she needs from time to time. Plus, she gets to do what she loves and gets paid for it. Edie jokes that every stay at home parent should occasionally get to go on “tour,” even if that’s just going to a hotel for the night by yourself.
 
It can be difficult to balance work and home and she says there really is no true balance. She may be a stay at home mom, but she admits to being a bit of a workaholic. 

Edie Carey is self-managed, so she organizes and books all her shows herself. She explained that she doesn’t need someone else to do it for her garnering a 15% cut of her earnings. Due to this hectic life, she found that a small tour once a month seems to be the best balance for her. 

Edie’s number one piece of advice to other women struggling with infertility is to find a support group. She found an amazing support group while in Chicago and it helped her tremendously. She even ran the group for three years after the original founder couldn’t do it anymore. She explained that isolation can take over your whole life and she can’t imagine what it would have been like without the women she met in her group. If there are no support groups near you try to find someone online, even if it’s just one other person. In addition to having a support group, always having a plan “B” is crucial. Edie’s doctor told her she seemed emotionally exhausted during what would be her final round of IVF when trying to have her daughter. Her doctor is the one who suggested an egg donor because it was obvious that the IVF was taking a toll on Edie. She stressed how important it is to find a doctor who understands the emotional component as well as medical expertise. 

Edie and her family now live in Colorado Springs. She still tours, but she knows that she has a limit on how much. From Edie’s perspective, her struggle was absolutely worth it, having her children of course but also meeting so many other women who went through similar struggles. 

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