Grappling with infertility is a lot like finding yourself trapped in a complex maze . You can't see what's ahead of you so you have no way of keeping your perspective . You wander the same path over and over again - totally lost and bewildered. You are alone with no one to show you the way out.
There are many questions - and few answers. Which are the best doctors ? Which is the most effective treatment ? What options can be utilised so that the way out can be found ?
This book is designed to give infertile couples a complete look at the infertility experience, to help them to negotiate their way through the maze as efficiently as possible. You need to find your own path - and this book will serve as a guide.
Infertility is a problem that affects two people – and their whole family. It brings with it fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, grief - and in the end, hope. It's a problem that reaches deep into your emotional life and invades your emotional relationship. Infertility can steal away all your energy and attention. It can also require a great deal of time and money - and can demand total committment. It may become your obession.
Confronting your infertility problem is a process that must be worked through - it takes time and effort. This book will show you that infertility is a difficult condition, but one which you can cope with and resolve.
The most important message of this book is that you must be an active participant in your medical treatment. You are a vital member of your medical team - the more you understand, the better you can participate in the decisions that directly affect your life. Infertility can bring on a feeling of helplessness because you cannot have a baby when you want to. An important way of regaining control is by taking an active part in resolving your infertility by being well-informed.
Why is it so important that you be well-informed ? Unfortunately, many infertile couples have had unhappy experiences, due to lack of information.
1. They may have a problem for which there may be an effective treatment but they may not receive this. Infertility for which there is no effective treatment is devastating, but infertility which is not correctly treated is the real tragedy !
2. They may not have had the correct diagnosis made.
3. Their doctor - no matter how knowledgeable - may not be putting all the pieces together correctly for them.
4. They may be receiving treatment that is actually decreasing their chances of conceiving.
5. There is a certain tolerance level which everyone has - and this limit may be financial, physical or emotional. Sometimes their tolerance may be exceeded before they receive appropriate treatment .
Most importantly, being informed may make a difference in your getting pregnant . It can help you determine if your time, effort and money are being well spent. It may also help you to know when to quit trying . An informed approach will allow you to maintain control of your life, and will help you to realise that everything within your control has been done. And even if you don't get pregnant, you will at least feel satisfied that you fully understand your condition, and that you did your best. That knowledge will be your strength.
This book can be read through from cover to cover - or you may refer to just a specific chapter, pertaining to your specific problem. We have deliberately allowed some repetition, so that chapters can stand on their own.
It is not the goal of this book to teach couples to bypass the medical care they may need . On the contrary, the goal is to educate couples sufficiently so that they can find the right doctor, and as informed patients, participate in their own care.
Our experience has been that the best patients are well-informed patients - patients who take an active part in their treatment, so that they can work with their doctor to develop an effective treatment plan. We hope this book helps to empower infertile patients, so that they can make the right decisions for themselves !
Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
Dr Anjali Malpani, MD
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