Women confronted with a negative result from a pregnancy test are always disappointed and sometimes devastated. Many admit to becoming depressed and find it hard to associate with people and in places where there are pregnant women or babies. This gets extremely uncomfortable in social situations when a close friend or family member is enjoying that very thing that you are being denied. A negative test is a reminder of all those feelings of emptiness, sadness and grief over the void created by infertility.
We do not have control over these feelings and emotions. They affect our whole being and unchecked will continue until they have caused a complete state of depression. I am writing this article to arm you with a strategy to fight the potentially damaging effects that infertility threatens to do to you and your life.
First, upon seeing or hearing that gut wrenching news, breathe. Meditation, by controlling and focusing on one’s breathing can help you gain control of your emotions and calm your body, slow down your heart rate and assist you on focusing rationally on the issues. This can be difficult to achieve on your own and it helps to share this battle
with your partner or a special someone who can help you to calm down and regain control. Second, it is important to put this trauma into perspective. It doesn’t always help to hear that someone else is suffering worse whether it is earthquake victims or cancer victims but knowledge that fertile couple’s only conceive 20 percent of the time every month means that you are in good company with plenty of future moms and dads.
The third step is seeking help from a specialist, a reproductive endocrinologist (REI) who has seven years of post graduate training with much of it spent on helping patients with the same problem you have. He will seek to establish a diagnosis and offer you an option of treatments. He will work with you to develop a plan based on your diagnosis, age, years of infertility, motivation as well your financial and emotional means to support the therapy.
If you are already under the care of a reproductive endocrinologist the first two steps regarding dealing with the negative pregnancy test are the same. The third step becomes developing a plan with your REI or evaluating your current plan.
It is important that you understand the odds of success per cycle for the current treatment regimen that you are on. You want to establish why it may not have worked this time. It is the REI’s job to offer recommendations either for continuing the present course of therapy explaining the odds of success, cost and risks or for alternative more aggressive and successful treatments again offering his opinion regarding the success, costs and risks of the other therapies.
These therapies may be surgical, such as laparoscopy or hysteroscopy to remove endometriosis, scar tissue, repair fallopian tubes or remove fibroids. They may be medical such as including the using of ovulation inducing agents like clomid or gonadotropin injections, and may include intrauterine insemination (IUI) with or without medications. They may include minimal stimulation IVF or full stimulated IVF. Age, duration of infertility, your diagnosis and ovarian condition and financial and emotional means play a large role in determining this plan that the REI must make with your input.
It could be that there remain diagnostic tests, yet undone that may prove value in ascertaining the diagnosis and facilitate treatment. These include a hysteroscopy or hydrosonogram to evaluate the uterine cavity as well as the HSG, hysterosalpingogram to evaluate the patency of the fallopian tubes as well as the uterine cavity.
Complementary therapies offer additional success potential by improving the health and wellness of an individual and therefore her fertility as well. These therapies have been associated with improved pregnancy rates seen when used as an adjunct to assisted reproductive technologies. They include: Acupuncture, massage, nutrition, psychological mind, and body programs, hypnotherapy, etc.
The negative pregnancy test can throw you off balance, out of your routine and depress you. I have offered a plan to take control and not just improve your mood and life but increase the likelihood that your next test will be a positive one.
By Dr. David Kreiner, Infertility Specialist for FertilityTies.com