Most couples expect getting pregnant to be easy – until it isn’t. After months of trying, frustration and fear can run high and leave you with lots of questions. Finding the cause of infertility can be simple or complex and infertility treatments can vary depending on the cause. Helping you see those two pink lines may be as simple as timing sex during the month or taking medications to release an egg on schedule

Different Solutions For Men and For Women

For men, the most common issues are low sperm and general sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction (ED). For women, you might not be ovulating, or your tubes might be blocked. You might have hormonal imbalances, structural problems with your uterus or endometriosis that needs to be treated to boost your fertility. We won’t know until we look and explore your unique situation.

No Two Patients Are Alike

Because no two patients are alike, we will make sure that you have the proper exams to determine the cause of your problem. We offer in-office labs and minimally invasive testing without radiation exposure from x-rays or other imaging procedures. To make sure the path an egg takes to reach the sperm is clear, we use ultrasound technology and a special device called the FemVue Sono to rule out any problems. Procedures are customized to your unique situation and needs, so not every patient may have the same set of tests.

In the even that you need more advanced procedures like minimally invasive surgery, including hysteroscopy, myomectomy surgery or laparoscopy, you can feel confident with our skill and expertise. We also offer early referrals to fertility specialists for advanced ovulation procedures if we feel it’s right for you.

Facts & Myths About Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is always a tragedy because it is 100% preventable by simply abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy.

You may have heard that the occasional glass of wine does not harm a developing fetus. But research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that there is no known “safe” quantity of alcohol during pregnancy. There is also no safe time of day, nor type of alcohol, so the best course of action is to abstain completely.

Symptoms of this lifelong condition include growth problems in the womb and after birth, poor coordination, muscular problems, heart defects, and many issues with development of the face. FAS can also cause the child to experience delayed thought, speech, movement, and difficulty relating to others. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause a multitude of other problems with the birth process including miscarriage, premature delivery, and even death.

Due to the lifelong effects FAS has on an infant, women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant are encouraged to abstain from drinking. In the United States, half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and a woman may be pregnant for several weeks and not know it. Women who are not trying to become pregnant but who are sexually active and drink alcohol should use a form of birth control (condoms, the pill).

Unlike many pregnancy-related issues, prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is simple. That is not to say that quitting drinking is easy for everyone. Group therapy and counseling can be very effective for helping women overcome alcoholism and provide a better quality of life for themselves and their child.

If you think you may need help controlling your drinking, Dr. Hessel would be happy to recommend a supportive program or other options. You’re welcome to stop by our offices at any time.


What To Expect?

What To Expect?

What to expect when you’re expecting

When you’re pregnant, your baby’s health is your first concern. Dr. Hessel specializes in prenatal care for normal and high-risk pregnancies. She also performs on-site ultrasounds. And when it’s time for your baby to enter the world, Dr Hessel and her team will keep you comfortable by handling your labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care. Thanks to that more personalized approach, you can rest assured you’ll receive the best possible care from Dr. Hessel and her team.

Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. Some glow with good health and others feel absolutely miserable. Here are some of the changes you might experience during your first trimester:

Bleeding. About one in four pregnant women experience slight bleeding during their first trimester. Light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. If you have any bleeding, talk to Dr. Hessel.

Breast tenderness. Sore breasts are a common early sign of pregnancy. Triggered by hormonal changes, this condition will likely last through the first trimester.

Constipation. Constipation and gas can make you feel bloated throughout your pregnancy. Increase your fiber intake and drink extra fluids to keep things moving smoothly. Physical activity also helps.

Discharge. A thin, milky white discharge called leucorrhea may occur early in your pregnancy. Do not use tampons because they can introduce germs into the vagina. A foul-smelling, green or yellow discharge should be reported to Dr. Hessel. Wear cotton next to your skin as much as possible.

Exercise. Having a daily regimen is encouraged. However, any activity that may lead to falling (e.g. rollerblading, outdoor cycling, water sports, etc.) should  be avoided during your pregnancy. Also avoid the sauna, steam room and hot tub.

Fatigue. Your body is working hard for a growing fetus, which can wear you out. Take naps or rest as needed throughout the day. Make sure you’re getting enough iron to avoid anemia, which causes fatigue.

Food cravings/aversions. Your food tastes can change while you’re pregnant. Over 60% of pregnant women experience food cravings or food aversions. If you are generally eating healthy, it’s okay to give in to an occasional craving. Cravings for non-foods like clay, dirt and laundry starch – a condition known as pica – can be dangerous. Report this kind of craving to your doctor immediately.

Foods to avoid. You should not eat sushi or any other raw fish. Tuna, shark, mackerel and tile fish contain high levels of mercury (a known cause of birth defects) and should be avoided. If you eat deli meat or unpasteurized cheese like brie or feta, you will need to bring it home and cook it. It can contain harmful bacteria. You should also avoid caffeine.

Frequent urination. Your growing uterus is putting pressure on your bladder. You may feel like you constantly have to urinate. Your body needs fluids, but it’s a good idea to cut down on caffeine, which stimulates the bladder. When the urge hits, go right to the bathroom.

Heartburn. Your body is producing more progesterone, which relaxes the ring of muscle in your lower esophagus. This normally keeps food and acids in your stomach. Muscle relaxation can lead to acid reflux or heartburn. Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day. Avoid greasy, spicy and acidic foods (like oranges or lemons). Try raising your pillows when you sleep.

Mood swings. If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to Dr. Hessel – she can refer you to a mental healthcare professional.

Morning sickness. Nausea is one of the most common and talked about pregnancy symptoms. It affects up to 85% of pregnant women. It can last through the entire first trimester. Nausea is usually worst in the morning. Try eating crackers, meat or cheese and sipping water, clear fruit juice or ginger ale. Severe nausea can affect the amount of nutrition getting to your baby, so call Dr. Hessel if you can’t keep food down.

No tobacco or alcohol.

Weight gain. This is one of the few times in your life when weight gain is considered a good thing, but don’t overdo it. During the first trimester, you should gain about 3 to 6 pounds. Dr. Hessel may recommend that you adjust your weight gain up or down based on whether you started your pregnancy underweight or overweight. Don’t “eat for two.” You only need about an extra 150 calories a day during your first trimester. Get those calories by adding extra fruits and vegetables, milk and lean meat to your diet.

High-Risk Pregnancies

High-Risk Pregnancies

Every mother looks forward to delivering a healthy baby and feeling well during her pregnancy. But sometimes a previous medical condition, or an issue that develops while you are carrying your baby, can mean you will need more prenatal care and closer monitoring by Dr. Barbara Hessel.

Some of the conditions that may need to be watched more closely include:

History of preterm labor, preterm delivery or miscarriage

High blood pressure before or during pregnancy

Mental illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder

Placenta complications

Severe, long-term vomitingA baby that is growing too slowly

A genetic or physical problem in the baby

Carrying more than one baby (like twins or triplets)

A very young or older-than-average mom (teenage and over age 35 mothers)

Other medical problems such as asthma, lupus, thyroid problems or epilepsy

How Will Dr. Hessel Care For You?

If Dr. Hessel feels that you need more frequent prenatal care, you can feel comfortable knowing that you and your baby will be closely monitored. This may mean more frequent ultrasounds and measuring of the baby to see how he or she is growing, checking your vital signs more often or referring you to a nutritionist, mental health counselor or other medical professional as needed.

When it’s time to meet your baby, you’ll deliver at Long Island Jewish University Hospital, where a team of trained nurses, nursery staff and Dr. Hessel will be helping you every step of the way. From natural delivery to planned C-sections and everything in between, you will receive the most advanced care possible as we team with you with the same goal: healthy baby and healthy you.

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