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a blog by Joanne Verkuilen, Founder, Circle+Bloom, May 17, 2013
Stress negatively impacts our fertility. And unfortunately, stress is compounded when we try to conceive month after month, creating a downward spiral that is difficult to break.
Studies actually show women who are experiencing problems getting pregnant have similar levels of depression and anxiety as those suffering with life-threatening diseases like cancer or heart disease. This makes sense to us because infertility impacts every facet of ones life, similar to life-threatening diseases.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, May 15, 2013
May 12-18 is National Women’s Health Week, so now is the time to think about ways your health could impact your fertility and how you can optimize your chances of having a baby.
There are several unsuspecting health conditions that impact fertility and pregnancy. Conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, and endocrine system hormone imbalances can contribute to infertility. All medical conditions should be discussed with your fertility doctor, and you should discuss any medications you may be taking to assess potential risks to fertility and pregnancy.
a blog by Helen Denise, CEO, Knowhen®, May 14, 2013
For some couples, conceiving a baby is as easy A-B-C, and as simple as 1-2-3. All Jackson 5 rhetoric aside, it is true that the vast majority of all couples trying to conceive will achieve success naturally. By naturally, we mean without the help of a fertility specialist. However, a staggering 10 percent of women trying to become pregnant will eventually be diagnosed with infertility. Doesn’t sound like much? When you consider that there are approximately 4 million births annually in the United States alone, 10 percent suddenly affects the lives of a lot of women.
a blog by Mylene Yao, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Univfy, Inc., May 13, 2013
In the first two posts, we looked at ovarian factors and sperm factors that impact your chance of becoming pregnant with IVF. In this post, we’ll examine other non-reproductive system fertility factors that can affect your personal probability of getting pregnant with IVF.
a blog by Melinda Davis, May 12, 2013
This Sunday will be the first Mother’s Day I get to celebrate with a baby in my arms. I have dreamed of being a mom all of my life, and in some ways, it’s still hard to believe my dream has finally become a reality. I spent so many Mother’s Days trying to forget the day even existed. Going to church only resulted in fighting back tears as I watched baby dedications, and was constantly reminded that I still was not a mom...even after all of my efforts.
If you can relate, then I’m writing this for you. I have been in your shoes, and know how hard it is when the one thing you want more than anything in this world remains missing from your life. I have cried more tears than I can count, screamed at God in anger, begged God to fulfill my request, collapsed in my husband’s arms each month for years, and continually asked one question throughout it all...why me?
a blog by Carrie Gottlieb, Ph.D., May 11, 2013
Every woman dealing with infertility will tell you that there the reminders of this struggle are everywhere. From the pregnancy announcement on Facebook to the strollers that run over your feet at the grocery store- bellies, babies, and other reminders are at every turn. When you are an infertility patient, this seems to always be the case. But if reminders are ever present, this is doubly true on Mother’s Day.
In all medical fields, you will find there are many physicians who excel in their technical knowledge and skill. It is no different in reproductive endocrinology — there are many physicians who can quickly diagnose a fertility issue and successfully treat it either with surgery, medication or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
a blog by Fran Meadows, May 10, 2013
For those who are still trying to build their families, Mother's Day is not just for mothers. It's for the mother-to-be and for those still trying to build their families through fertility treatments, adoption, surrogacy, or other family building options. YOU ARE SPECIAL TOO! Think of it as a day to honor special women, which you all are. Make it a day all about you!
a blog by Jennifer A. Redmond, May 9, 2013
Dr. Evan Rosenbluth, a reproductive endocrinologist with Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area has performed award-winning research studying non-invasive methods for determining embryo implantation potential. Biopsies - including preimplantation genetic screening or PGS - are invasive and can add can $5,000 to $6,000 to an IVF cycle, he says. Currently that is the best option for determining which embryos are chromosomally normal. His goal is to develop biopsy-free methods for selecting healthy embryos.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, May 9, 2013
When it comes to trying to conceive, we spend so much time worrying about the best time to make a baby that we forget to stop and think about times we should not have sex. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, there are times you should abstain.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, May 7, 2013
On Wednesday, May 8th, 2013, members of the infertility community will join staff and volunteers of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association on Capitol Hill where they will address important fertility issues and legislation with Members of Congress.
It is the goal of RESOLVE and the infertility community to raise awareness and that by voicing concerns about infertility treatment costs, tax credits, and insurance, legislators will vote favorably on laws that can benefit men and women struggling to build their families with fertility treatment and adoption.
a blog by Mylene Yao, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Univfy, Inc., May 7, 2013
In the previous post, we talked about ovarian fertility factors that must be considered together to get a complete picture of whether you are likely to become pregnant with IVF. Your ovarian reserve and your previous response to gonadotropins, along with your chronological age are all contributors to your fertility. With so much emphasis on the female, we should not forget the male side of things. We also need healthy sperm to create healthy embryos.
a blog by Suzanne Rico, May 4, 2013
How does this sound? A room--quiet, comfortable and private-- earmarked for intended parents who need to bond with their just born, surrogate carried baby! This over-the-rainbow room didn't exist when I had my baby via surrogate five years ago, but it does now--the first of it's kind--at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Orange County, California.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, May 3, 2013
The goal of fertility treatment is to become pregnant, so it seems like a no-brainer to discuss Pregnancy Awareness Month and how to best optimize your body for conception and pregnancy.
Maintaining a healthy balance of diet and exercise, getting the appropriate vitamins, and kicking bad habits are just a few of the ways women should be working toward good health. By raising awareness of the potential risks to a woman pregnant after infertility treatment, fertility patients can make the right decisions for getting their body baby-ready.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, May 2, 2013
Scientists have discovered that variations in the coding of the gene for Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) may provide insight into the diagnosis and treatment of male and female infertility.
FSH is produced by the pituitary gland and sends appropriate signals for egg maturation in women and sperm production in men. FSH binds at receptors on cells in the ovaries, testes in a healthy menstrual or sperm production cycle. For women, having a high FSH level can impact ovarian reserve, hinder ovulation, and can reduce her chances of getting pregnant. For men, low FSH can impact sperm production and affect sperm quality or quantity.
a blog by Helen Denise, CEO, Knowhen®, May 1, 2013
Since the 1960’s a lot has changed in the United States. In particular a lot has changed for women: how they are expected to act, how they are treated, what kinds of careers are available to them, what their duties are at home, the list goes on and on.
a blog by Mylene Yao, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Univfy, Inc., April 29, 2013
You may find yourself at a crossroads in your infertility treatment and wishing for a crystal ball that can show you the future and point you down the right path. Should you try a first or second IVF? How likely are you to get pregnant with your own eggs? Should you consider the option of donor eggs?
a blog by Fran Meadows, April 27, 2013
Infertility, I have to admit, is nothing that crossed my mind in my early twenties. Which club or hangout to go to was more the focus for me. In your early twenties you are more carefree and not thinking of having children. In your mid to late twenties when things change in only a few years' time, you have a different focus. When infertility hits after you finally settle down with the right person and you are prepared to start a family, it can be confusing. Infertility is something you cannot be prepared for emotionally.
a blog by Catherine Arizan, April 26, 2013
Beginning treatment for infertility can let loose a dam of information and emotions, all of which can be overwhelming and difficult to organize, let alone process. A word of advice from medical professionals: take it one step at a time.
a blog by Holly Gregg, April 26, 2013
Quite often those facing infertility feel alone- afraid to share their embarrassment at being unable to conceive as naturally and easily as they believe everyone around them can. It is more than a little intimidating to share something as personal, emotional and trying as infertility with even one’s closest friends and family. When my husband and I began trying to conceive, it wasn’t exactly something we advertised, it was a personal decision and we figured we would tell everyone once there was a baby on the way to tell them about. But when months and then years went by without a pregnancy to announce, we began to feel more uncertain and more alone.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, April 25, 2013
I remember getting a phone call from my OB-GYN informing me that my husband’s semen analysis results were abnormal. According to the Kruger strict scale, 4% morphology is normal, but my husband’s results came back at 2% normal morphology; 98% of his sperm were misshapen and therefore probably could not penetrate an egg. Combined with the fact that my body couldn’t get it together to ovulate, we were basically taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the improbable to happen.
I was scared, I was devastated, I felt alone. I didn’t know anyone who had been diagnosed with infertility and didn’t know where to turn. It felt so personal, yet I wanted someone to share with. My friends didn’t quite understand what I was feeling and although they meant well, comments like “It will happen when it is meant to happen” didn't change my outlook.
I scoured the internet for resources and realized there are other women and men out there going through infertility. I came to learn that 1 in 8 couples were struggling to build their families, a statistic that has since narrowed to 1 in 6 couples. You can easily name six couples off the top of your head, yet the hush-hush nature of infertility might prevent you from ever finding out that your sister, your best friend, or your cousin shares your grief.
Medical conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can cause cardiovascular and endocrine system health risks, including infertility.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can have many variable and subtle symptoms. Unfortunately, some doctors may overlook the diagnosis in young women not trying for pregnancy, especially if they are simply interested in regulating periods with medications, such as Provera or birth control pills. PCOS has several potential implications for fertility and is the most common form of female-related infertility caused by the absence of ovulation. However, PCOS may also lead to numerous serious general health problems. PCOS Awareness is an important first step. There's no single test to definitively diagnose PCOS. For this reason, it is important to have a thorough evaluation to help rule out other conditions such as adrenal or thyroid disease, and to accurately confirm the diagnosis of PCOS.
a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, April 24, 2013
Okay, that's clearly a lie. Even if you've never been through infertility and don't know anybody who's gone through infertility, you undoubtedly still know that saying it's fun is a lie. (And incidentally, about 1 in 7 couples has fertility issues at some point or other, so if you think you've never in your entire life come across an infertile person it's similar to saying you've never come across a gay person. To both of these I say respectfully: "I know we don't know each other but 'Yes-You have'".)
So what's so unfun about infertility and why am I such a bitter woman? Luckily for you there's only room in this post to answer the first question.