At age 43 I was diagnosed with "diminished ovarian reserve", a common situation to find yourself in when you are what's considered to be of "advanced maternal age". Statistically speaking, I had a 3 percent chance of conceiving naturally over the course of a year. That was over a year ago. Today I find myself struggling to come to terms with the idea that that my fertility journey may not lead to conceiving a child. Finding the balance between facing this reality, while remaining open to the possibility that conception may still be possible, can be tricky. For couples struggling with fertility issues, statistics can be disheartening and the journey toward conception can be long and uncertain. Finding resources to support you during this time is key.
The National Infertility Association Resolve.org, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders.
Infertility Therapists in San Francisco
Infertility therapists are specially trained or experienced in treating individuals and/or couples who are going through the unique struggles involved with infertility. A therapist may help you work through fear when you are first diagnosed with infertility, anger or guilt that often accompanies it, or sadness and grief if fertility treatment does not work. Infertility therapists teach you practical ways to manage your feelings, cope with grief, and enact helpful changes in your own life. There are a number of infertility therapists in the San Francisco Bay Area:
- Deborah Cooper, M.A., MFT
- Juli Fraga, Psy.D
- Abigail Levinson Marks, Ph.D.
- Peggy Orlin, M.S., M.F.T
- Robert S. Badame, Ph.D.
Childfree After Infertility: Moving From Childlessness to a Joyous Life, by Heather Wardell. This book focuses on the formerly infertile, and how they have created happy, childfree lives. Including the stories of many who have made this transition, the book shows the infertile man or woman that it is possible to put infertility aside, and choose to live childfree, not childless.
The Way of the Fertile Soul, by Dr. Randine Lewis. Being fertile can mean giving birth to a child - but to have a fertile soul means to give birth to the true self a woman wants to be. In the Way of the Fertile Soul, Dr. Randine Lewis outlines ten ancient Chinese medical and Taoist "secrets" to successfully conceiving babies, new dreams, and a fulfilling life for women at any phase in their lives.