I view infertility as a life crisis. As a former infertility client myself, I understand the cycle of hope and loss that infertility brings. We live in a world where there are constant reminders of pregnancy, children, and parenthood. I will help navigate how to handle friends, family, co-workers during this extremely challenging and delicate time. I have deep empathy for the grief, isolation, and despair that infertility often brings. I will meet you exactly where you are at in your journey towards parenthood.
In individual therapy or couples therapy, I will explore your different options to becoming a parent. Many clients come to me with issues surrounding ART, failed cycles, miscarriage, relationship issues, chronic illness and infertility, third party reproduction, egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, surrogacy, adoption (both domestic and international) and exploration of living without children. We look at when/if to begin treatment, when/if to stop treatment. I am familar with the psychological impact of medical diagnoses of endometriosis, PCOS, premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserve, elevated FSH, unexplained infertility and male factor. I see single people exploring various paths to parenthood. My infertility groups are inclusive of the unique issues that gay and lesbian individuals and couples face during the infertility journey. I will guide and support you with coping skills surrounding fertility and childbearing issues.
I work with individuals and couples when they face infertility after a cancer diagnosis and fertility preservation after a cancer diagnosis or diagnosis of a genetic mutation such as BRCA or HNPCC.
I am an active member of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Organization. I speak at Resolve conferences, worked on RESOLVE's infertility helpline, ran monthly drop-in groups with rotating reproductive endocrinologists, and facilitated many support groups for people with infertility. Additionally, I do national teleseminars through Resolve on a variety of mental health issues related to infertility. I also train support group leaders on faciliating infertility groups. I am on the mental health committee for the Association for Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Infertility is a major life crisis. I believe everyone who wants a child has the right to have a child. I know first-hand the despair that comes not being able to fulfill one's most natural biological desire-- having a child.
Published in Resolve for the journey and beyond, Spring 2012
Beth Jaeger-Skigen, LCSW
1197 Valencia Street, SF, CA, 94110