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a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 27, 2013
Can organic produce benefit your health and fertility? A new study published in PLOS ONE says yes.
Under the direction of principle investigators, a Texas high school student sought to find out if the benefits of organic food were worth the hype.
Organic produce is grown without the use of harsh artificial fertilizers, hormones, or pesticides. It is supposed that these chemicals can disrupt endocrine system function causing hormone imbalances which impact health and fertility.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 25, 2013
Many women diagnosed with cancer are able to overcome the disease due to advances in cancer therapy. However, those undergoing chemotherapy often suffer compromised fertility as the treatment impacts ovarian reserve and uterine receptivity to embryo implantation. One of the most common types of cancer found in women of reproductive age is leukemia.
March 24, 2013
You’re going to have a baby using donor eggs. Until recently, your best option was a fresh cycle. I wondered, do donor egg banks reduce the burden on physicians, patients and donors? I spoke with Dr. Daniel Shapiro, Medical Director of Reproductive Biology Associates and Clinical Manager of My Egg Bank North America, in Atlanta, GA on the advantages of fresh versus frozen cycles. Here are some points to consider:
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 22, 2013
A study published in the journal Nature in October 2012 discussed the new, seemingly sci-fi, technique that could help couples prevent genetic conditions from being passed down from mother to child. Scientists at Oregon Health and Sciences University suggested that a small amount of DNA from a donor could be transplanted into the intended mother’s egg to replace her faulty DNA, and then combined with the sperm of the intended father. If you’re still following, that means the child would be biologically related to three parents: two mothers and one father. The process would be very similar to in vitro fertilization (IVF) with egg donation, but the mother would have her own eggs transferred back into her uterus.
News has surfaced this week that the UK has taken a step toward becoming the first country to permit the donor DNA transplant. The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has stated that there is no evidence of safety concerns with this remarkable technology, though ethical concerns have been voiced; the benefits appear to outweigh the risks.
a blog by Fran Meadows, March 21, 2013
April 21-27th is National Infertility Awareness Week. Get creative with raising infertility awareness in your community! Like last year I have once again put together my video movement for others to share their stories of infertility with mentioning Resolve, The National Infertility Association. Share along what you will be doing to raise awareness. Let's join together for this movement! For information on how to get involved visit my website.
Can you lower your child’s risk for a birth defect just by taking your vitamins? A provocative new study was recently published in the February 13, 2013 issue of JAMA – The Journal of the American Medical Association - demonstrating a dramatic 40% lower risk of autism in children born to women who took Folic acid supplementation from 4 weeks prior to conception through pregnancy. Folic acid, or Folate is a type of B vitamin. The study was done in Norway and looked at over 85,000 children born in 2002 through 2008 and followed through March 31, 2012. At the end of the study children ranged in ages from 3 to 10 years old, average 6.4 years. About 270 of these children had a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Only 0.1% of the children whose mothers took Folic acid were affected while 0.21% of children who were not exposed to Folic acid during pregnancy had a diagnosis of ASD. While this study does not establish a causal relationship between Folic acid use during conception and pregnancy and autism, this new data, and the fact that Folic acid supplementation is known to lower the risk for neural tube defects (a potentially serious, sometimes fatal birth defect) makes taking your vitamins much more compelling.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 20, 2013
While you are probably aware that exercise is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and boosting fertility, you may not know exactly how much exercise is recommended for fertility patients and which exercises should be avoided.
Research has shown that a balance of healthy diet and low impact exercise is important for regulating hormones. Inactivity can worsen conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), while excessive amounts of exercise and calorie restriction are linked to fertility conditions like Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.
Let’s face it, not everyone can afford one, let alone two or more IVF cycles. But Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center is doing their part to help childless couples who have had a failed IVF cycle build their families. According to Dr. Cynthia Austin, Director of the In Vitro Fertilization Program at Cleveland Clinic, the concept behind their Harboring Hope Fund is this: Some women have good reason to be successful but were just unlucky with their first IVF cycle. For those patients, who also meet certain financial criteria, the program allows them to do a second cycle free of charge.
a blog by Claire, March 19, 2013
The overall vibe in Hollywood is that pregnancy over 35 is easy. Celebrities get pregnant in a snap and it is nine months of smooth sailing. Every once in a while, a celebrity opens up about their pregnancy or infertility struggles and it not only gives us hope, but sheds light on the true health and fertility concerns that come with age.
In an interview this past Sunday, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage after the birth of her second child, Moses. Paltrow explains that although she yearns for another child, her age and recent health complications have caused her to rethink her parenting plans.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 19, 2013
The egg donation process can be quite involved and many patients are disappointed to find they are placed on a waiting list to receive donor eggs, and must coordinate their treatment cycle with that of the egg donor. The process could take anywhere up to ten months to find a donor and complete a fresh donor egg cycle. One New Jersey fertility clinic has partnered with NW Cryobank to make the donor egg process more convenient.
Can folic acid reduce the risk of more than neural tube defects? That’s what recent research suggests —women who take folic acid supplements before and during their pregnancy are less likely to have children with autism.
The National Institutes of Health defines autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as “a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior.” Autism is a specific type of disorder on that spectrum.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 17, 2013
A young woman who received the first successful uterus transplant is now planning for pregnancy via frozen embyro transfer.
Derya Sert was just 21 years old when she received the uterus of a cadaver donor last year. Sert was born without a uterus and would have had to rely on a gestational surrogate to carry a pregnancy for her. However, research efforts in Turkey allowed Sert to undergo the organ transplant and has prompted similar research in other parts of the world.
a blog by Claire, March 16, 2013
What do The Little Couple and Jennifer Love Hewitt have in common? They're in this week's fertility news.
We’ve come to learn that Dr. Jennifer Arnold and husband Bill Klein, known for their show The Little Couple, are going to be parents through adoption. Last year Arnold and Klein worked with a surrogate to become parents, but were devastated by the news that she had miscarried.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 15, 2013
Did you know men have healthier sperm in the winter and spring? I didn’t, but I wonder if that is the reason my in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in April 2010 was successful.
A new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology examined semen samples of 6,455 men, between January 2006 and July 2009, who were being treated for male factor infertility. Researchers found higher count, higher motility, and fewer men exhibiting morphology problems when the sample consisted of sperm made in the cooler months. A sperm production cycle takes approximately three months, so sperm produced in the fall was likely collected in the winter and sperm produced in the winter was likely collected in the spring. Sperm quality showed a steady decline into the summer and fall months, sperm which would have been produced in the spring and summer months.
a blog by Holly Gregg, March 15, 2013
Infertility is a very important and powerful term. It gives us a medical diagnosis, a definable issue to understand and try to cope with. But for so many who struggle with "infertility", the term itself leaves us feeling incomplete. It doesn't quite encompass what the struggle is really about. It fails to include new surges of pain at a disrupted adoption, a failed cycle, a canceled donor or a lost pregnancy. It leaves out the millions of people struggling month after month who know things aren’t going as planned but haven’t yet met with a doctor to try to find out why. Most importantly, it fails to adequately name what matters most to those who are facing it. Specifically, people with infertility, often don't care about being infertile as much as they care about not having children despite wanting them more than anything. Infertile is second to being involuntarily childless.
a blog by Catherine Arizan, March 13, 2013
As anyone who has begun the process of treatment for infertility knows, navigating the complicated world of insurance coverage can be overwhelming. Mandated versus non-mandated states, deductibles, percentage co-pays … the factors that decide whether or not your treatment will be covered – and if so, how much - are almost infinite. The biggest factor that people overlook, however, is their employer.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 9, 2013
The costs of fertility treatment add up quickly whether your protocol consists of fertility drugs and intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Countless couples with infertility must dig deep into their pockets to find the funds to build their families.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 8, 2013
Many women who are trying to conceive turn to tracking ovulation as a means of predicting their most fertile time. Charting Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is one of the more common and most accurate ways of predicting ovulation.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is the base temperature of your body after a period of rest. A woman charting her BBT would do so first thing in the morning after getting a minimum of four hours of sleep. She would then record her temperatures on a graph and watch for a slight increase of 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which would suggest she is ovulating. After a few months of charting BBT, a woman will notice a pattern in her menstrual cycles and be able to predict the time of month at which she ovulates.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 7, 2013
A review of the literature on a woman's diet and the incidence of endometriosis was published in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online in January 2013. The researchers discussed scientific findings over the years that point to a link between diet and onset of the disease that affects ten percent of women world-wide.
Though very few studies exist on the topic, there does seem to be some scientific evidence (and plenty of anecdotal experience from skilled fertility doctors) that diet, particularly one high prostaglandin producing foods, impacts endometriosis. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause muscles to contract and can also increase inflammation. In general, we know diet impacts ovulation disorders like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and can impact male fertility, so why wouldn’t the same be true of endometriosis?
a blog by Ebru Halper, March 4, 2013
Hope: The state which promotes the belief in an outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.
Most of the time, the clients I meet are just about the embark on the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) roller coaster and despite feeling overwhelmed, they are mostly hopeful. After all, they have taken the proactive steps to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) who will help them create the family they’ve longed for. Even the most hardened veterans among us can remember that initial optimism. But, when time is measured by the next blood test, ultrasound appointment, ovulation triggers and due-dates that never were, hope can be elusive.
a blog by Fran Meadows, March 2, 2013
March is Endometriosis Awareness month. Knowledge is power and educating yourself on women’s health is something doctors should encourage. Being your own health advocate and getting all of the answers can be a job in itself but it helps you to feel confident that you've been accurately diagnosed rather than feeling confused and doubtful. It will make decisions easier even though they can be scary and you will be confident that the treatments recommended are the best option for you.
a blog by Kim Griffiths, February 27, 2013
The spring season is often a reminder of new life and new beginnings. Holidays like Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day focus on the family; babies and new life in particular. It can be a difficult time of year for couples coping with infertility.
a blog by Claire, February 26, 2013
Khloe Kardashian is one of few celebrities who openly shares their struggle with infertility. Just this week, reports claimed Kardashian plans to allow cameras to document her fertility treatments in the upcoming season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.