An Interview with Alice (Ally) Domar & Elizabeth (Liz) Grill about Male Factor Infertility
The psychological journey through male factor infertility is a lonely and confusing one for men. Most men recoil due to ignorance or ego, and the ones that try to step in and play active role do so with little support or understanding of how to ‘be’ with their wife through this difficult time. Well, Ally and Liz have gone to great lengths to try and remedy this situation. They have planted the seed and now it is all of our turn to help ‘fertilize’ the male mental-emotional side of modern reproduction. ~ Spence
‘I think what’s also missing for men is that the way our society works is that women can talk about being distressed, and a lot of women with infertility choose to tell people about her infertility, and she’ll seek out support groups or online groups or whatever – men don’t do that, they do not talk about male factor infertility. I have a patient right now whose husband’s a firefighter and he’s very open about his infertility, and he recently went to the fire station and was talking about how hard it was for him that his first IVF cycle didn’t work. And he got like verbally abused, like, oh, ‘you’re shooting blanks’ and ‘what’s wrong with you’, and that was really hard for him. And it became like this macho thing. That’s I think how a lot of people think of it. They don’t think about it as, infertility is a disease, it’s been classified by the World Health Organization as a disease. And the emotional hit that both members of the couple experience is really significant…But apparently, after he got abused very surreptitiously, a number of other men in the firehouse have been coming to him and saying that they were going through infertility too, and they’re asking him for advice. So, end story is, now he feels empowered because he is helping other people, but there was a little bit of a baptism by fire.’ – Alice Domar
1980 BA Colby College, Waterville Maine
1986 MA and Ph.D in Health Psychology, Yeshiva University, New York NY
1987 Massachusetts clinical psychologist license
Author or co-author of seven books including Conquering Infertility
Co-founder of the new apps FertiCalm and FertiStrong
Leading expert on the relationship between stress and infertility, including male factor infertility
Board Member for Resolve: The National Infertility Organization, 2006-2016
Currently Executive Director, Domar Centers for Mind/Body Health
Director of Integrative Care at Boston IVF
Senior Staff Psychologist, Dept of Ob/Gyn, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, part-time, Harvard Medical School
Director of Psychological Services at the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine
Associate Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Medicine and Psychiatry of Weill Cornell Medical College
Assistant Attending Psychologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Experienced psychologist and medical researcher with a special focus on the emotional aspects of infertility including male factor infertility, IVF treatment, third party reproduction, fertility preservation, oncofertility, stress and infertility, and sexual dysfunction.
Postdoctoral training includes a fellowship year at the Center for Reproductive Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College.
Trained and certified at the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School and developed and conducts stress management workshops for infertility patients focusing on relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, assertiveness skills and other helpful ways to manage emotional distress
Completed a two-year fellowship as a sex therapist at the Human Sexuality Program, Payne Whitney Clinic of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, founded over thirty years ago by Dr. Helen S. Kaplan.
Member of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and was Past Chair of the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Served two terms on the Content Review Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Executive Board of RESOLVE, the national infertility association and is the Continuing Education Officer on the Executive Council for The Society for Sex Therapy and Research.
Cofounded and is CEO of FertiCalm, an app that provides coping strategies to manage infertility related distress.
Editorial reviewer for Fertility and Sterility and Journal of Andrology.