Chances are you know someone who has had difficulty conceiving a child, though you may not be aware of their struggle. Endocrine disruptors are widespread in our environment, and may be affecting sperm counts or female fertility.

Modern medicine has a lot to offer couples who are having trouble with fertility. Men with low sperm counts and women with endometriosis can often be treated successfully. Both intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization are tools that can be used to help a couple conceive.

The Fertility Doctor:

Dr. Rebecca Flyckt has focused her practice on fertility preservation. She explains the conditions that can interfere with conception and how they can be addressed. Hormonal imbalances may be corrected, and fibroids may need to be removed. What role does polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) play? How about lowered sperm counts?

The Heartbreak of Infertility:

Cathy Quillet is a marriage and family therapist who has worked with couples facing infertility. She has personal experience with the emotional toll infertility can take on both partners and on their relationship. Sometimes well-meaning friends and family members can make very hurtful comments to people in this situation. What can you say or do that will be helpful rather than harmful?

This Week’s Guests:

Rebecca Flyckt, MD, FACOG is a board-certified OB/GYN with subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She earned her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. She then returned to her native city of Cleveland to complete residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospitals of Cleveland followed by fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Flyckt is Director of the Fertility Preservation and Cancer Program at the Cleveland Clinic. The photo of Dr. Flyckt is courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic.

Cathie Quillet, LMFT, has been working with couples for years as an independent marriage and family therapist. Unable to have children, Quillet is familiar with all of the complexities of the infertile journey. Not Pregnant: A Companion for the Emotional Journey of Infertility is a compilation of tough lessons she learned and what no one warns you about when standing face-to-face with infertility. In addition, Quillet collaborated with her ob-gyn, Dr. Shannon Sutherland, to further explain the medical side of infertility.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD

Download the mp3

Air Date:April 28, 2018

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  1. Elle

    Some years back there was mention of men’s jockey shorts being too tight and causing a lower sperm count.

  2. Dolores
    Green Bay

    I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early twenties after years of irregular menses. I was given some bizarre reasons for my infertility before the diagnosis. When I first went in for my initial appointment, the usual questions were asked, and as I gave my answers I was actually scolded for not having proper treatment for pregnancy, until I was able to get a word in edge-wise and explained my answers. I went through nine months of diagnostics and finally I was given some solutions. This was in the 1960’s. I chose one solution. I had a few miscarriages and finally gave up when the marriage failed.

    During my second marriage I finally adopted children and was told to my face by a number of people that I wasn’t really a mother, as I hadn’t actually given birth. My opinions about parenting were always discounted for this same reason. I don’t know why some people have the audacity to judge others when they are going through infertility problems. I never told anyone about it as I didn’t feel it was their business, and family support was spotty at best. Even when my adopted son died as a child a co-worker told me I didn’t have feelings about it because I didn’t exhibit the “proper feelings or behavior” while in public (I didn’t go around crying and looking properly sad). I saved my feelings and grief for when I was in the privacy of my home. Even my spouse was unsupportive, as he had biological children and apparently thought I couldn’t really “feel it”. He had other opinions, also. Needless to say that marriage was over soon after.

    • Susan

      Dolores and Marie, thank you for sharing your stories. The insensitivity of some people is amazing and outright shameful. Some in the medical community of that era were just as heartless and callous.

      I had two close friends who adopted children after years of trying to conceive. I wanted to be supportive, but never knew what to say.

      However, I never considered them different from mothers with biological children. They were wonderful moms. God bless you for your welcoming hearts and for being parents in every sense.

      I’m writing this on May 12. Happy Mother’s Day! Dolores, please accept my condolences for the loss of your son.

  3. Marie

    Infertility is painful and hurtfull . We went thru it for 11 yrs. before adopting our 1st daughter and then a 2nd daughter 5 yrs. later. I had to listen to insensitive comments, mostly from family, that hurt so bad. They wanted to know everything,and of course I was very hurt and didn’t want to talk about it. You share your deepest hurts only with those you trust! You are depressed, and baby showers are not fun to go to. I finally got to the point that sometimes I’d just send a gift. God heard our prayers, and He will hear theirs too. Meanwhile, if you want to help, pray for these couples. Be a sensitive friend.

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