How To Select Your Fertility Counselor

It's very important that your counselor be trained and well versed in the issues of fertility, both the causes and the treatment options. That way the counselor can truly understand the range of physical issues and emotions that you are facing.

Start by talking with your own fertility specialist and medical staff at your fertility clinic. Fertility clinics may have counselors who are associated with the clinic and ready to help you, and if not, they likely have already compiled a list of good fertility counselors for your consideration. Some clinics also offer special relaxation and stress reduction programs to help you manage your overwhelming feelings. If these choices don't work, try the ASRM website: asrm.org. They have a list of mental health professionals who specialize in fertility issues. Another alternative would be to contact a national support group such as RESOLVE (resolve.org) or the American Fertility Association (theafa.org).

When narrowing down your search for a fertility counselor, feel free to interview several and see who best fits with your needs and values. Make sure you choose a counselor who is familiar with the emotional experience of infertility. It is also recommended that they have:

• A graduate degree in a mental health profession

• A license to practice counseling

• Experience in the medical and emotional aspects of infertility, including such topics as ART, third-party reproduction, pregnancy loss, and adoptions

• Other patients that they are currently treating for fertility issues

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