Thursday, August 5, 2010

Helping the IF community!

A very close friend of mine here in Toronto is a Chinese Medicine Doctor who works primarily in Woman's Health. For the last few years she has been dedicated to helping 
woman & couples with infertility Issues. To help her understand the "emotional" side of fertility, and to design a program that could benefit our IF community, she has created a survey to get to know us better. If you have a few minutes please answer the 
questions below either in the comments or send the answers to my e-mail address, you may also reach her directly if you choose. 

Below is a note about Tanya, the survey is to follow....Thank You in advance for helping out, I know she is going to create a wonderful program that will help 
many IF couples in the future!

Tanya Smith, is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine that works with women and couples who are feeling devastated by their struggle to get pregnant. She is working on developing fertility programs to help couples get pregnant and finally start their families. 

She is looking for couples who would be willing to help her develop these programs by answering a few questions related to your experience of your fertility journey. Please fill out the short survey. Alternately, she is happy to meet with you either in person or on the phone. If you are willing, 
please contact her at or 
647-428-7200 within the next few weeks.

She greatly appreciates any input you would have!

The Survey:

What is your biggest frustration right now related to getting pregnant?

What worries you? What keeps you up at night?

What changed have you already made to get pregnant?

Where do you get your information about fertility treatments and improving your chances 
of getting pregnant?

What help are you seeking to help you get pregnant? how do you decide who's 
help you will seek?

How much time are you already investing into getting pregnant?

How much money are you willing or able to Invest?

What would you like to learn more about in relation to your fertility?

Who do you consider an expert or Authority in fertility?


  1. 1- My biggest frustration is not knowing if I am doing the right thing. For example- should I be going through with this surgery? Is it even going to help? Does my doctor really know what he is doing, or is he just pushing IVF because it's the fastest way to get me pregnant and out of his hair?

    2- What worries me? See #1. Also, what if I spend all my money on fertility treatments and it doesn't work? Then I won't have money for adoption and I'm totally screwed.

    3- I have changed so many things, from when I have sex, what supplements I take, temperature charting, seeing an RE, eating different foods, avoiding certain foods, etc..etc...

    4- I get my information from my RE, books about TTC, and support site friends

    5-I am currently getting help from my RE. I was recommended to him through my OB, but later found out that 4 co-workers also went to him when they had fertility issues.

    6- I spend practically every waking moment thinking about getting pregnant. Should I eat that? Will running that extra mile hurt or help me? Let's have sex now! Let's not have sex now, because we want to save up for 2 days from now! In addition to it taking up mental space and time, let's not forget every drive to and from the RE (1 hour away) for treatments's just say a hell of a lot of time!

    7- We have decided to go through with 3 IUI's total (max total cost would be about $4,500) Then, we would move on to adoption if that didn't work. The thought of spending $15,000 on and IVF and having it fail, is too depressing.

    8- I feel as though I receive so much conflicting information about what is the right way and wrong way to treat IF. For example, some people push that the mind-body connection is super important, others push that nutrition is key, some push eastern medicine such as acupuncture, and others are about western medicine. I don't make decisions well and therefore always wonder if I should be focusing more on one of the "other options" really I just wish there was ONE right answer. It's so complicated.

    9- I do not consider ANYONE an expert on fertility. Honestly, it's so complicated...see answer to #8.

    There you have it! I hope this helps her out!


  2. Great survey! I answered the questions on my blog, and sent the email to your friend. Very interesting stuff - I think we all should answer this every 6 months or so. It helped to clarify my thoughts.

  3. Tishi let me know if it's ok for me to reply even though it seems that we finally succeeded on this long journey, I'd be happy to help! Fran

    pa: thanks so much for your comment on my post, I'm going to try the pillow!

  4. I've decided to post my answers in here to share with others and hopefully gain some more new blog friends.

    1.What is your biggest frustration right now related to getting pregnant?

    #1--the infertility treatments--going through it and paying for it--i have now done 3 IUI with unsucessful results. #2--The stress of knowing that i might have to do IVF and it isn't cheap--$10,000--we don't even own our own home yet so really dreading this day. If all else fails where are we going to find the money for adoption? we will be in debt by then.

    2. What worries you? What keeps you up at night?
    Not getting pregnant and never going to be a mother...not having the chance to have my own child coming out of my body. I question my womanhood and "why me". The stress of seeing others who are close to me having kids with no problems and again the question of "what the heck is wrong with me".

    3. What changed have you already made to get pregnant?

    1. No coffee, decaf tea-absolutely no tea during treatment.
    2. No alcohol--1 or 2 glasses of red wine in a period of 3 months when not in treatment. In treatment absolutely no alcohol.
    3. Daily prenatal vitamins
    4. healthier diet--more chicken, fish, ocasional red meat--lean, lots of green leafy veggies, lots of fruits..lots of water
    5. Excercise--try to go 2 times a week--while there, do treadmill, light weights and machines, eliptical at the end to finish off the routine.
    6. going to bed earlier
    7. remove alot of stress--try to avoid it if possible.
    8. Read ALOT!

    4. Where do you get your information about fertility treatments and improving your chances
    of getting pregnant?
    The internet, books and my support group.

    5.What help are you seeking to help you get pregnant? how do you decide who's
    help you will seek?
    I am a patient with IVF Canada, I have for quite a while decided that I will need infertility treatment but have been hesitant at first because of the cost and the pain factor...totally scared of needles! I needed to see a ob/gyno who understands how to treat fibroid as well as being an infertility doctor. So if i did get pregnant through treatments the same doctor can help me deliver my baby and take out the annoying fibroid at the same time.

    6. How much time are you already investing into getting pregnant?

    Almost 1 year now.

    7. How much money are you willing or able to Invest? We are willing to finish the 6 iui cycles and do two ivf if we need too but that is it.

    8. What would you like to learn more about in relation to your fertility?
    Others who have succeeded through IUI and IVF and what did they do that I haven't looked into yet to help them succeed.

    9.Who do you consider an expert or Authority in fertility?
    I personally consider IF doctors who perform IUI/IVF treatments to be the expert. I believe in science and western medicine but do not like the "side effects" that comes along with it but luckily the side effects are temporary.

    Okay, that is it and hope this helps.
    my blog:

    I welcome anyone who might want to follow it and maybe able to give me some much needed support and maybe I can learn about your sucess story as well or maybe learn about your journey through IUI or IVF or just plain old going through this infertility journey through your blogs.

  5. 1-For me it was mostly the unknown. Will I ever have a normal pregnancy? I never got pregnant naturally, but I got pregnant twice with IVF/ICSI, unfortunately on both occasions it was ectopic. If there were a way I could know I would have dealt with it and stopped wrecking my brain.

    2- Definitely the fear that the next pregnancy was going to be again ectopic. The knowledge that a BFP for us din't mean joy but fear. It was such a conflicting set of emotions...

    3- well, I had tried everything before getting to an IF clinic: charting, OPKs, acupuncture, healthier lifestyle (I never smoked or drank so I thought I was already on a good path), reading books that supposedly would have helped getting pregnant etc. Then I had a Lap&Dye and D&C to see if tubes were clear and the "refreshed" lining might just do the trick. No joy. Low sperm count for my husband meant IVF with ICSI was our only option

    4- in almost 4 years of infertility I think I've read almost everything there is available including medical research papers. As to what could have improved our chances I think I almost ticked every single box and so did my husband. Yet nothing worked so I became quite sceptical that something can help (I mean I'm sure it can help others but nothing helped us).

    5- i certainly looked for something that helped me stay calm and positive during IVF/ICSI cycles, and while initially I was doing acupuncture, I fond that in the end that was not really for me. Between visits to the clinic and the acupuncturist I was always on the go and in fact relaxed little. I didn't really enjoy my acu session yet I went for at least 3 cycles. As to how I decided, I suppose I was quite influences buy other people positive experiences (not necessarily BFPs) and read some reviews where acupuncture seemed to improve IVF outcomes. This until I found a more recent review where the initial theory was dismissed. I had discussed this on my blog too.

    6- I feel this is a strange question and I'm not sure how to answer. We decided we wanted to start a family and we were committed to the task. So initially was just our own time in the bedroom then it became the time at the clinic. A lot of time I suppose.

    7- Thankfully this was not an issue for us and it wouldn't have been the money to make us stop or keep going, much more an emotional thing (how long can we keep going without crashing emotionally?)

    8- I always had a very scientific approach, I am a scientist so knowledge of the protocols, the blood tests and the technique used for our specific case was what I wanted to know.

    9- The doctors at my clinic have an excellent reputation and that's how I selected that specific clinic. I liked their aggressive approach and their excellent statistics. Having worked with them for two and half years I can confirm that I consider them very advanced on fertility treatments.

  6. Thank you so much to each of you who responded to the survey.
    Please know you are making a difference in the lives of people struggling with infertility with your generosity.