The Emotional Plight of Infertility: The Strains on Intimacy

***T H E  S T R A I N S  O N  I N T I M A C Y***

Welcome back! We hope you are learning a lot this week and we hope you are starting to realize that You Are Not Alone.💕

In the magazine “Inside Medicine,” Dr. D writes about the strains on intimacy that can come as a result of a couple’s plight with infertility…

“During a couple’s struggle with infertility, it is very common to see sex become a chore rather than a show of intimacy. The mental association that a woman may develop between sex and failure may make it to where she is only interested in sex around the time of ovulation.

Conversely, misconceptions about the optimal frequency and timing of intercourse in order to conceive often results in couples having intercourse much more frequently than is even enjoyable for either of them.”

So there you have it. If you’ve been feeling this way, know that you are not alone. It is very common to have these struggles and there are so many other couples who are going through the exact same thing.

In fact, tomorrow we will discuss how common it really is, how many other couples are going through this, and what realistic expectations truly are when a couple is determining how soon they should conceive.

👉Join us here tomorrow to learn more about *Misdirected Expectations.

How Affordable Is This Really?

Oftentimes, couples are hesitant to proceed with looking into fertility testing and treatment because of the worry about cost. However, you may be surprised at all the options that are actually available to you financially.  

Let’s take a look at some of the different categories of services and which financial options are available for each.

*Office Visits

At FINA, we will submit the charges for office visits, labs, ultrasounds, and procedures to your insurance company. However, for those services that are not covered by insurance, we try to make them as affordable to you as possible. In these cases, we bundle services together in order to discount the overall cost to you. Our staff will confirm what services are covered by your insurance, but we encourage all of our patients to verify their coverage as well.

If you do not have insurance or prefer that we do not file your fertility treatment with your insurance company, we offer cash pay packages for your visits. These packages are specific to the types of office visits, lab work, or procedures you may undergo. Our financial counselor will be happy to go over these costs with you.

*Medications

Fertility medications are sometimes paid for by insurance, but every policy is different. Our financial counselor will go over your coverage, if any, at the time you need medications.

Some local pharmacies carry fertility medications. However, these pharmacies may not offer the same discount as a mail-order pharmacy, but can oftentimes send your medications directly to your address overnight.

*Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Some insurances will offer partial or full coverage for IUI’s. If your insurance offers no coverage, we do have a cash package that will allow this option to become more cost efficient.

*In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) / INVOcell

As the need for more advanced therapies arises, we encourage you to double check with your insurance carrier to see which services are covered. In Alabama, only a limited number of insurance plans offer coverage for IVF or INVOcell. However, we do offer several packages along with financing resources for those patients without insurance coverage in order to make these options more affordable for you. Prior to proceeding with these services you will meet with our office manager to ensure your understanding of your options and costs.

Insurances Accepted at FINA:

+Blue Cross Blue Shield

+Cigna

+United Healthcare

+Aetna

+Humana

+Tricare

IVF or Tubal Reversal?

Tubal Reversal vs. IVF…Which is right for me?

Robotic tubal reversal, also called Reanastomosis, is a procedure for women who have had their tubes tied but now desire to conceive. So which is the right option? Should you keep your tubes tied and proceed with IVF (in vitro fertilization) in order to become pregnant, or should you have a tubal reversal instead? There are so many factors that go into the decision.

Certain things to consider are:

-Patient age

-Amount of good tube left

-Insurance coverage

-History of tubal disease

-Known pelvic scar tissue

-Future fertility plans

-Type of tubal ligation performed

-Other indications for IVF

Dr. Davenport believes strongly that each patient who has had a tubal ligation should be individualized when deciding the best method to conceive. We encourage you to find as much information as possible (including obtaining an operative report from the surgeon who tied your tubes) prior to your consultation.

Fertility 101

Have you ever wondered?…

  • What is infertility?
  • How many couples does this affect?
  • Does this affect females as well as males?
  • What are the odds of having a successful pregnancy if you’ve had recurrent miscarriages?
  • How do you know if it’s time to consult a doctor?

**Female Infertility**

You may be surprised at how many couples deal with these same struggles. In fact, infertility occurs in 15% of all couples.

So what exactly is infertility, and how do you know if this is something to take a further look into?

✔️If you are younger than 35 years old and have been trying for 1 year with no success of pregnancy

✔️If you are older than 35 and no pregnancy after 6 months of trying

The most common cause of female infertility is irregular or lack of ovulation. Therefore, the first step will be to ensure that you are ovulating predictably. If it is determined that you are not, your ovulation can be induced via medicine. If ovulation is confirmed, a thorough history and examination can be used to search for other causes.

Some of these issues could be:
+ Hypothalamic/Pituitary disorders
+ Tubal disease or dysfunction
+ Uterine defects (polyps or fibroids)
+ Uterine malformations
+ Endometriosis
+ Metabolic disorders

However, females aren’t the only ones who deal with infertility.

**Male Infertility**

In fact, 40-50% of all infertile couples will have some form of male factor infertility, with male factor being the sole cause in 30% of cases.

As a matter of fact, more cases of infertility are due to a male factor than any other single cause.

There are several different male issues that can be tested for.
+ Low sperm counts
+ Low motility
+ Poor morphology
+ DNA fragmentation
+ Immune-related
+ Metabolic disorders

If it is determined that any of these factors are an issue that you or your partner are struggling with, there is help available. Technology has come such a long way to help couples reach their pregnancy goals.

**Recurrent Miscarriages**
The definition of recurrent miscarriage, (aka recurrent pregnancy loss), is the loss of 2 or more clinically-recognized pregnancies involuntarily before 20 weeks.
A little known fact is that 15% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, it is only 1-2% of all women who experience recurrent miscarriages.
If you are in this small percentage of women, don’t lose hope! Even after 4 consecutive miscarriages, the chances that your next conception will be a live birth are at least 70%.
The various causes of recurrent miscarriages can be:

+ Hormonal abnormalities
+ Immune-related causes
+ Environmental factors
+ Uterine abnormalities
+ Female genetic abnormalities
+ Male genetic abnormalities
+ Infection or inflammation

Frustratingly, 50% of women never figure out the cause of their recurrent miscarriages. However, greater than 80% of these women will go on to have a live-born baby if they are appropriately counseled and receive psychological support.

There is so much hope for those struggling. In addition to the advances in technology that help couples reach their pregnancy goals, our infertility clinic is designed to personally assist you through this tough time. You do not have to take this journey alone.💕 Don’t hesitate to call us at 256-217-9613 if you are ready to talk with someone to see how we can help!

#FINA #HelpingFamiliesBuildFamilies