PCOS: the Need for Resiliency, the Route to Resiliency

PCOS does not preclude pregnancy. It does demands more patience for the extra time it may take to conceive. Therein resides a great deal of the problem, and at the same time, hints at the solution. How could this be? Patience is a component of resilience. And resilience, the ability to bounce back after an [...]

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Life is Full of Curve Balls

Infertility involuntarily changes your life. You’re not in the driver’s seat and the roller coaster climbs slowly and plummets quickly. With all this mental and physical motion and commotion, every day can seem like a year when your quest for a baby is thwarted. If you relate to this description, take note: You may not [...]

Self-Advocacy: Claiming What You Need From Your Doctor

Let’s get one thing straight right away: It is normal to feel intimidated in any doctor’s office and it is normal for your IQ to drop to zero when creating the next generation becomes an ordeal. That being said, how do you maximize the opportunity to minimize your stress with good self-advocacy? How can you [...]

The Power of Reframing

Reframing is about deciding to look at our thoughts from a different perspective. When it comes to infertility, the act of reframing is a skill worth cultivating. Keep reading to find out why. As a rule, thinking negatively is part of the human condition. Because caveman presumed that the twig that snapped was a saber [...]

Excerpt from, “On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility”

Purchase Helen's book, On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility. The following excerpt from my book speaks directly to those in an infertility struggle, but keep in mind that the tenets apply no matter what adversity you might be dealing with. On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility by Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD Chapter 10 Gain from the Pain: [...]

Unexplained Infertility and the Mind/Body Connection: Food for Thought

When I first went into practice in 1979 as a psychotherapist serving infertility patients, the scuttlebutt was that any inability to conceive for which there wasn’t an explanation meant that research hadn’t yet clarified the person’s specific problem. Today, much has been clarified and medical experts believe that if a correct diagnosis could be guaranteed, the number of those labeled “undiagnosed” would be very small indeed, rather than the 10% to 30% or more (depending upon whose statistics you look at) who fall in this category now.

Humor and Infertility?

When I first began to run mind/body support groups for women struggling with infertility, I included a segment on humor. A few colleagues thought I was nuts, reminding me that there is nothing funny about infertility as if I didn't know. Humor as an important coping mechanism has remained part of my program since the beginning. We need to laugh, perhaps never more than when we're dealing with adversity.

Privacy vs. Secrecy: Whom Do You Trust?

The advice to set rules makes sense. But as a therapist, when I work with people I like to frame things so that you can feel successful. It you think it is easy to set rules and then you and your partner get tangled up in issues that are attached here, you’ll only wind up feeling worse. It makes more sense to see the “whom-do-we-tell” issue as being attached to many things that you might need some professional help unraveling.

Creating an Eye in the Infertility Storm

With Hurricane Irene front and center, either because you lived through it, or you were innundated by news about it, I was reminded of the infertility article I wrote way back in 2003. Suddenly, the rain and wind subside for a while until the "back end" of the storm brings its fury to your doorstep once again. For ideas about how to create an eye in the infertility storm and reclaim your sense of yourself, click on the link below this article:

Stress Reduction Controversy

Evidence-based research is both useful and not helpful when it comes to infertility. It is inspirational when you realize that if, as the research has shown, you can rid yourself of migraines with biofeedback by using your mind to control your temperature, it is only a short distance from there to realizing that you may not be helpless when it comes to influencing your fertility. (Of course this would only have merit if there weren’t structural abnormalities.) Feeling helpless will certainly contribute to stress.

Grieving a Miscarriage

Miscarriage is a loss which has no official ceremonial protocol attached to it. Ken had it right because he and his wife created their own ritual when they planted a bulb in their yard, and took the time to honor and metabolize their feelings of loss. The symbolism is obvious and perfect.

The Concept of Stress Revisited

This entry is very simple. It is just meant to call your attention to what might be a more panoramic view of stress than you might currently be aware of. Consider my “3 A’s” approach to coping with stress: If you ACCEPT the reality, if you become more self-AWARE, and if you learn ways to ADAPT to the infertility experience, you can shift from feeling vanquished to feeling victorious.

The Stigma of Infertility

The results of a recently released study of 50 infertile couples claims that couples hold back from sharing their infertility because they feel stigmatized. While couples might feel stigmatized, in my 32 years of practice I have observed that it makes sense to hold back from sharing their infertility because it’s nobody’s business but theirs.

Impatience and Infertility

Impatience is virtually universal when our deepest longings are thwarted. And longing for a baby generates a particular agony because of the extended period of time that it can take until the baby quest is resolved. The following is a lovely story, synopsized from the book Stories for the Third Ear by Lee Wallace. This little metaphor may serve to settle the pressure that you may be putting on yourself in an attempt to barge through to parenthood.