Category: infertility information

Did You Know There’s a SPIRITUAL Aspect of Infertility? #NIAW

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Are you aware that there’s a spiritual experience associated with infertility?

Many people ignore the spiritual aspect of infertility.

It is so easy to lose focus on the spiritual nature of infertility when the physical aspect consumes your thought life and begins to overtake your daily life. You and your spouse can become so obsessed with finding the cause and the cure for your situation that it can rob you of your peace. When you’re not experiencing peace, you’re likely to ignore the one thing that can bring about the solution you’re looking for.

Spiritual Unrest

Some studies have shown that the degree of severity of a physical disease is often related to the degree of emotional and spiritual unrest being experienced by the patient. That unrest must be addressed. This is why it is important to strengthen yourself spiritually while dealing with infertility. Acknowledge the need to ask God for wisdom when faced with overcoming the enemy called “Infertility.” It may seem like a Goliath-sized enemy to you, but for God, “Infertility” is already a defeated foe because of what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection.

Infertility is not too hard for God to break or destroy. God said so when he defeated infertility in Sarah’s life:

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” ~Genesis 18:14

The story of each woman in the Bible that struggled with infertility ended with her becoming an overcomer and giving birth, no matter her age, socio-economic status, or how long she had been infertile.

Stay WITH God

Luke 18:27 shows that Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible WITH God” (emphasis mine). That preposition, “with,” is an important word because it means “in close proximity to”.  You can come close and join yourself WITH Him by asking Him for help and for wisdom in the decisions you make, by reading His word, and by speaking and meditating His Word.

Even if you feel as if God has turned his back on you and no longer hears your prayers, look to Him. When is seems like God is ignoring you (He’s not), look to Him. Even though things haven’t changed after you’ve begged, cried, and pleaded in your prayers, look to Him. And yes, when you find yourself thinking, “I’ve had enough of this. Let’s just throw in the towel and give up,” look to Him. Why? Because the bottom line is, He has never left your side. He loves you immensely and wants His best to be demonstrated in your life. You have an enemy but it is not God, it’s Satan. Jesus is the One who has the power to eradicate this issue and He desires to do so. He needs you to know that He is there with you, standing with you in the face of this enemy. Then you can have faith that He always keeps His promises.

Make a Decision

Make a decision to consistently address the spiritual aspect of infertility.  It will make a positive difference! Trust that God’s Word is true for you. Keep your focus on His promises of fertility. Ask for a fresh revelation of His love for you. It will bring you guidance, comfort, and ultimately, greater peace.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.”
~ Isaiah 26:3

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: but not as the world gives… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~ John 14:27


Find more direction about how to spiritually address infertility… check out my fertility devotional, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility.

spiritual aspect of infertility-A Seed of Hope

September is PCOS Awareness Month

Here’s an article from RESOLVE that gives some good insights about PCOS–Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Causes, Diagnosis

and Treatment

By Jennifer Kulp Makarov, MD
Published in Resolve for the journey and beyond, Winter 2011

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common disorder that many women first learn about while seeking the cause of their infertility. PCOS affects 5-10% of women of reproductive age, making it one of the most common hormonal disorders in this age group. The exact cause of PCOS is not known. It is likely that a combination of factors leads to the development of PCOS. PCOS is thought to be a genetic trait and may run in families. Environmental factors such as the diet that one consumes are also thought to play a role in the development of PCOS.

Women with PCOS have three characteristic symptoms. Women are diagnosed with PCOS when they have at least two of these three symptoms:

  1. Irregular periods
  2. Excess androgens — either measured in the blood or seen through symptoms such as acne or excess hair growth
  3. Polycystic ovaries — seen on ultrasound

Women with PCOS may have irregular periods. They may have only 6 to 8 periods per year. They may get their period every month for a few months and then skip a month or two or they may go many months without having a period. Many women with PCOS will have infertility associated with their irregular menses. Also, when women with PCOS do become pregnant, they have an increased rate of miscarriage.

Another common symptom of PCOS is acne or oily skin. Acne may occur over the face but may also be found over the back or chest. This is due to relatively higher levels of testosterone circulating in the bloodstream.  Testosterone is a hormone that is found in much higher levels in men. Women with PCOS do not have male levels of testosterone but the levels of testosterone may be higher than expected for females. These higher levels of circulating testosterone can also cause excess facial hair on the chin or upper lip or excess hair growth on the chest and abdomen. The hormone imbalances seen in PCOS can also cause a type of hair thinning which occurs at the front of the scalp. Sometimes blood tests can show excess levels of testosterone in women with PCOS but other times they do not.

The third common feature of PCOS is what is called polycystic ovaries. This can be seen on a transvaginal ultrasound. This is actually a misnomer as the ovaries of women are not really full of cysts but rather ovarian follicles that each contains an egg. All women have these follicles in their ovaries and each month a group of follicles start to develop, with one going on to be the dominant follicle that ovulates the egg. The ovaries of women with PCOS may contain many small follicles that do not go on to ovulate an egg each month. These follicles fail to develop normally because of the hormonal imbalances in PCOS. Because the ovaries do not grow and ovulate an egg each month, women with PCOS may also experience difficulty getting pregnant.

Obesity is also common in women with PCOS. Up to 50-60% of women with PCOS are obese. Symptoms of PCOS such as those described above can be worsened by obesity. The hormonal imbalances found in women with PCOS may cause them to be more likely to gain weight and become obese. Women with PCOS are also prone to developing insulin resistance in which the body produces excess amounts of insulin. This is thought to be a precursor to Type II diabetes. Women with PCOS are at greater risk of developing diabetes and therefore all women with PCOS should be screened for insulin resistance.

Treating the Symptom of  PCOS

There are treatments available for women with PCOS. These treatments do not cure the disease but rather help improve the symptoms of PCOS. For women with PCOS who are obese, diet and exercise to maintain a normal body weight may alleviate many of the symptoms of PCOS. In fact, for obese women, losing even 5-10% of body weight may help. Oral contraceptive pills are often given to correct some of the hormonal imbalances found in PCOS and can help decrease acne and excess hair growth as well as regulate menstrual cycles. Acne can also be treated with topical ointments or antibiotic creams. Women with excess hair growth often find laser electrolysis helpful. Metformin is an oral medication that may be prescribed to women with PCOS who are insulin resistant.

Women who are having difficulties conceiving may take a medication called clomiphene citrate or clomid to help them ovulate regularly. In women with PCOS who take clomid, about 80% will ovulate in response to the medication and 30-40% will become pregnant. About half of women will ovulate when taking one pill a day (50 mg) on cycle days five through nine. The other 50% of women do not ovulate on this dose of clomid and may need a higher dose or another medication. Using clomid increases your chances of having a multiple pregnancy to 8-13%, with twins being the most common. If pregnancy does not occur after six cycles of clomid use, further evaluation or a change in therapy is recommended.

If you think you may be experiencing any or all of the symptoms of PCOS, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Jennifer Kulp Makarov practices at Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine, both at Genesis’ main office as well as their new office, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Makarov graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Biology, earning her medical degree from the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and her fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Makarov has a special interest in the care of patients with PCOS, those in need of PGD to prevent transmission of genetic disease and women desiring fertility preservation.

You might also want to take a look at this previous post that is written from a more personal view of experiencing PCOS. 

Don’t Ignore This During Infertility

Image courtesy of markuso/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Markuso/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a reprint of a post I shared in 2012. I wanted to share it again because if you’re struggling with infertility, it may prompt you to consider infertility from a different aspect and develop a greater hope.

Don’t ignore the spiritual aspect of infertility.

It is so easy to lose focus on the spiritual nature of infertility when the physical aspect overtakes your daily life. You and your spouse can become so obsessed with finding the cause and the cure for you situation that it can rob you of your peace. When you’re not experiencing peace, you’re likely to ignore the one thing that can bring about the solution you’re looking for.

It is important to strengthen yourself spiritually while dealing with infertility. Acknowledge the need to ask God for wisdom when faced with overcoming the enemy called “Infertility.” It may seem like a Goliath-sized enemy to you, but for God, “Infertility” is already a defeated foe. It is not too hard for Him. God said so when he defeated infertility in Sarah’s life (see Genesis 18:14).

Luke 18:27 states, “And he [Jesus] said, The things which are impossible with men are possible WITH (in close proximity to) God”{emphasis mine}. Join yourself WITH Him by asking for wisdom in the decisions you make, by reading His Word, and by speaking and meditating His Word.

Trust that God’s Word is true for you. It will bring you guidance, comfort, and ultimately, greater peace.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” ~ Isaiah 26:3 NLT

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” ~ John 14:27

FREE Infertility Devotional

I know getting through Mother’s Day can be tough when you have tried and tried to get pregnant and nothing happens. As a means of encouraging you to keep your hope alive, I am pleased to offer to you or your friends/family the opportunity to get my ebook, “A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility”  for FREE during this weekend.

A Seed of Hope---God's Promises of FertilityAlso, consider using this offer as an opportunity to give the ebook as a gift to someone you know who is struggling with infertility. Even if they don’t have an e-reader, they can download it and read it on their computer. Look for the Gift button on the right side of the Amazon sale page.

This offer for the FREE ebook is good only during this weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 5/10-5/12. Click now and get your FREE copy of “A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility”.

National Infertility Awareness Week

Get more information at Resolve.org.

Image courtesy of RESOLVE.org
Image courtesy of RESOLVE.org

What is Hope?

Hope is not just thinking or wishing that something will happen or thinking, “Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t ; I sure do hope it will.” The Bible definition of hope is different from that “wishy-washy” point of view.

HOPE = THE CONFIDENT EXPECTATION OF SOMETHING GOOD

This confident point of view of God’s willingness to come through in any situation is what gives us the assurance to believe in His love for us and have faith in His Word.

If you’re struggling with infertility, I encourage you to find resources and activities that will promote and strengthen your hope in God. The spiritual aspect of infertility should not be ignored. Having a confident expectation based on the promises of God is what you’ll find in my ebook,  A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility. After many requests to have it in print format, I’m pleased to announce that it will soon be available to purchase as a paperback!

This devotional will inspire you to strengthen your hope for a child and to not give up! Each devotional reading in A Seed of Hope will encourage you because it is a product of my struggle and God-given victory over infertility.

To reserve your paperback copy and to receive an additional bonus with it, please fill in the information below.

Paperback Edition

Supernatural Truth

Supernatural Truth. Is there such a thing? The Bible says there is:

“Your word is truth.” John 17:17 [NKJV]

“Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63 [NLT]

God’s Word in the Bible is Supernatural Truth. It is eternal and unchanging. God gave us His Truth so we can use it. We are free to use it to bring life and light to our circumstances that seem to be filled with nothing but endless darkness. We use His Word  by believing and speaking it. 

We are enabled by His Truth when we wield it as a sword, using it as an offensive weapon in our struggles [Ephesians 6:17]. God promised that when we believe and speak His Word it would produce prosperous results [Isaiah 55:11]. By believing and speaking His Word, we are speaking words that are empowering, life-giving and situation-changing. Believing and repeatedly speaking His Word brings the essence of HOPE and LIFE to our lives.

Does the struggle with infertility weigh heavily in your life? It did in mine. Believing and speaking the Word help me to become an overcomer in that struggle. I want to encourage you:

Trust in the power of God’s love for you which is embedded in His promises in the Bible.

Believe in the unfailing power of His Word [” Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave…” ~ 1 Kings 8:56 {NLT}].

Bring life to your situation of barrenness by using God’s Word to tap into His good plan for your life.

Confidently trust the power of Supernatural Truth!

 

God’s Promises of Fertility

I hope you’ll be encouraged by this excerpt, which is one of the daily readings from my devotional e-book, “A Seed of Hope–God’s Promises of Fertility.”

Confidence

“Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ…”

~ 2 Corinthians 2:14 ~

Confidence. It means trusting in the abilities, strengths, integrity, or faithfulness of someone or some thing. Typically, we willingly speak out boldly about people when we are confident in them. We are told in 1 John 5:14 that having confidence in God means that we believe that He hears us when we pray according to His Word and that He will grant what we ask. Part of your battle plan against infertility must include increasing your confidence in God’s love for you.

Having confidence in others, even God, may sometimes be difficult.  Have you ever had trouble letting someone else be in charge? I have. Have you ever wanted someone else to take control of a situation and allowed him or her to do so, only to snatch it right back because you didn’t like how he or she was doing it? Maybe that’s what you’re experiencing with God—not trusting Him enough to completely let go of your circumstances and allowing Him to be in control. If so, you’ve got to get over the fear of what will happen if you’re not in control and instead, trust that His way is a better way. Develop a positive expectation of what will happen when He’s in control.

That’s what my husband and I experienced in our battle against infertility. As engineers, we both were good planners and detail-oriented. We had our lives planned out and thought we knew exactly when we’d start having children. We’d planned to wait until we had been married for 3-4 years, and of course we expected the pregnancy to happen within three months after we first started “trying”. On 6/2/86, I wrote in my journal: “Freeman and I are preparing to start pregnancy in July/August.” Well try as we may, our plan did not work.  It didn’t happen in July or August. Neither did it happen by the end of December. And so began the journey of going from doctor to doctor to see what was wrong with me and who could fix it. That journey did not last long before we decided we’d had enough. We clearly saw our need to develop confidence in God. We had to become better listeners to Him, through prayer and reading His Word, so we could follow His directions and find rest in His plan.

Speak the Word: I submit myself to God and His plan because I am confident that He always causes me to triumph in Christ Jesus.

More Encouragement: Hebrews 10:35,36; 1 John 5:14,15

I hope you’ll share this with others who need encouragement in their struggle. Remember, God loves YOU and He does not withhold good things from his children.

Benefit from having hope-filled daily readings like this at your fingertips. Check out the sample or purchase your devotional, “A Seed of Hope–God’s Promises of Fertility,”  on  Smashwords.

Grace Always, Part 2

Grace. It is God’s unearned favor, an unfailing strength that He pours out on His children, simply because they believe in Him.

Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 12:9, that God told him  His grace was sufficient for the struggle Paul was in. What do you think God meant? I think God was showing Paul that  he should utilize the strength (grace) that was already in him. It was in him because he believed what Jesus had done on the cross qualified him to receive it. Through Jesus, he would be strong enough to endure until the victory was manifested. It was a loving way of telling Paul to not give up because what he had inside of him, which was the grace imparted by the Spirit, was powerful! That grace would be enough to see him through to victory!

Likewise, God’s grace is powerful for us today in the 21st century. It is enough to see us through to victory. No need to fear. Simply believe, receive and depend on God’s grace.


Grace Always

Have you ever wondered if God is mad at you? Do you sometimes wonder if infertility is a result of God’s anger toward you because of something you’ve done or haven’t done?

The best thing to do whenever you’re wondering about the negative things in your life is to look to the Word of God. It continually points us to Jesus and His loving, all-encompassing work on the cross. Do you know that Jesus died for you so that God’s anger toward your missteps, your wrong choices, and your bad behavior would be totally satisfied? Because He died on your behalf, He took ALL the punishment and now you can simply rest in God’s grace.

“Rest” means living life knowing that everything is completed, there’s nothing left to do to satisfy God. Jesus did it perfectly and completely so that you can enjoy receiving all that God’s grace provides. God’s response to the believer in Jesus Christ is always grace. His grace is free, it is unearned favor—nothing you can do to acquire it, nothing you can do to lose it. Grace brings goodness in your life as you continually believe that God is for you and not against you.

So when you are once again faced with wondering if God is angry and sent infertility your way as a result, think again. Only this time, think about His grace toward you and how it is sufficient to turn infertility around and send it packing.

“And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.” ~~Romans 11:6  New Living Translation