Planning for parenthood can involve a roller coaster of stress and joy. Many elements of the journey are profoundly personal. Other aspects of the journey are universal, affecting couples all around the world.
At Reproductive Medicine Associates of Pennsylvania (RMAPA) we understand that the process can represent a physical and an emotional challenge for our patients. To make treatment easier and more comfortable, we are one of the few infertility centers in the world to offer a comprehensive program of support and education to help couples manage the emotional aspects of treatment and to achieve a maximum level of “wellness.” Known as Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), our unique program is available to help you address many of the common and uncommon issues that may be associated with your treatment. Our goal is to make this experience as positive as possible with a focus on the health of your mind and body.
Dr. Andrea Mechanick Braverman, a world-renowned psychologist and specialist in infertility-related counseling, is the director of the CAM at RMAPA. She has developed effective counseling strategies that can empower you with the information you need before, during or after your treatment with us. This program can help you to make important decisions and address emotional challenges with greater comfort and security. You can learn new ways to relieve anxiety and cope effectively. Many couples find that this special service helps them to continue with treatment as they handle day-to-day responsibilities and relationships at home and at work. This may include the best ways to discuss treatment with family and friends, workplace issues, sexuality and maintaining a positive self-image.
Dr. Braverman and the CAM team at RMAPA are able to custom-design a counseling and treatment plan that works for you, including:
Individual or Couples Counseling
As individuals or couples plan for infertility treatment and especially for the advanced therapies including in vitro fertilization, egg donation, and gestational carrier, counseling and support services help them to process emotions and make informed decisions. RMAPA offers a counseling program that can last on average one to six sessions where individuals or couples meet with one of our licensed mental health specialists. Our clinician team is recognized for many outstanding contributions to research and understanding in the specialized area of counseling related to infertility treatment, egg donation and other family building options.
Many people also find it helpful to learn from others who are facing similar challenges in a supportive group setting. Led by an RMAPA mental health professional, support groups offer the opportunity to hear how others have managed the pressures and joys of planning to be parents. Many people find it enriching to share their own stories with others in the group. Group support is available for individuals, couples, lesbians, gay men, donor recipients and donors.
Today there are many innovative relaxation techniques that offer special benefits to individuals and couples who are in treatment and who are participating in third party reproduction. From deep breathing and guided imagery to yoga and CAM will help you customize a program that identifies effective relaxation strategies for you at any phase of your treatment.
Support for Couples Using Donor Egg and/or Sperm
This four-week session will help you to explore many of the special issues associated with the use of either donor egg or donor sperm to have a baby. In this program, couples find helpful insights and recommendations regarding privacy vs. disclosure, speaking with family and friends, donor selection, and understanding parenting when one does not have a genetic connection to a child.
Screening of Donors and Recipients
In accordance with the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), RMAPA’s Complementary Alternative Medicine clinicians provide comprehensive psychological assessment and screening services for egg and sperm donors, recipients, gestational carriers and intended parents. This process represents an important and essential opportunity for all participants in third-party reproduction to explore and understand all of the issues associated with these family building options.