ARC® Fertility Blog

Use Your Voice on Infertility Issues – Join Advocacy Day May 23!

“The time is now to get organized, be loud and show up. Family-building issues are bi-partisan and we need to find support where we can.” That’s the rallying cry of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association which created the annual Advocacy Day event to bring together the infertility community to discuss important issues with members of Congress.

Advocacy Day in Washington, DC provides an opportunity for patients and health professionals to remind policymakers that infertility is a medical disease (as determined by the World Health Organization and all the major reproductive medicine societies in the world) that needs to be treated and requires access to affordable coverage. Major issues that will be discussed on Capitol Hill this year include: increasing insurance coverage, covering fertility preservation, family-building options, financial relief, opposing personhood laws and helping veterans. Learn more about these issues.

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How to Face Mother’s Day When You’re Coping with Infertility

Mother and Daughter

How to Face Mother’s Day When You’re Coping with Infertility

Mother’s Day is not just another Sunday in May for women who are already dealing with the challenges of infertility. It’s a big splashy, impossible-to-miss holiday with flowers, cards, brunch and family get-togethers. Unlike other holidays that more broadly focus on families or couples – like Christmas and Valentine’s Day – Mother’s Day celebrates one unique and treasured relationship. For women with an infertility diagnosis, the holiday can feel especially painful and isolating.

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It’s a Dream, More than Just a Disease – Join National Infertility Awareness Week April 22-28

Flip the Script

It’s a Dream, More than Just a Disease – Join National Infertility Awareness Week April 22-28

Infertility can affect anyone – it doesn’t know the boundaries of gender, race, religion, sexuality or income. Everyone coping with this serious medical condition knows the challenges that abound – medical, financial, and emotional. What can help is creating an environment – or, better yet, a community – where facts, not myth, and acceptance not stigma, are the rule and not the exception. The ability to have a conversation and gain understanding and support goes a long way.

Since 1 in every 8 Americans has been diagnosed with infertility, it’s very likely someone you know – a family member, neighbor or co-worker – is dealing with the disease and all its stressors. As RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and sponsor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) reminds us, it’s not just older women who waited too long to have children. While you may not have yet had a conversation with someone close on the topic, there’s a way to show you care during NIAW from April 22-28. Join millions of people across the country dedicated to the proposition that everyone who wants to build a family should be able to.

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Infertility Stresses Men Too, According to New Research

Man Looking Out Window

Infertility Stresses Men Too, According to New Research

Everyone faces stress in their lives but research shows some life events – the death of someone close, a divorce, or loss of a job – have a bigger impact than others. Add infertility to the list as causing major stress: evidence shows that women faced with infertility have stress levels comparable to being a cancer patient.

But what about men?

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Fertility Counseling Before Cancer Treatment Improves Quality of Life

Fertility Counseling Before Cancer Treatment Improves Quality of Life

While it’s never good to receive a cancer diagnosis, today’s latest treatments often mean a long life as a cancer survivor. And, if you haven’t yet had children – or would like more – studies show that receiving pre-treatment fertility preservation counseling not only provides important information about options, it can also improve your quality of life. Currently, such counseling practice is not yet standard or widespread, but it should be.

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What’s Known, New, and Ahead with Endometriosis

What’s Known, New, and Ahead with Endometriosis

Much has been written about endometriosis which is not surprising given over 7 million American girls and women have the condition as do 176 million women worldwide. Those with the condition often experience significant pain and a major impact on their quality of life. Also, the condition explains infertility for 25-50% of women, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

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Bringing the Gifts of Mindfulness to the Challenges of Fertility

A Fertile Path

Buy A Fertile Path Book

Mindfulness has become extremely popular over the past decade . . . and for good reason. Our lives seem to be more stressful and full of anxiety than ever, and we need a way to find equanimity in the face of it all. In its essence, mindfulness is learning to accept reality for what it is with a sense of peace and stability so that we can better deal with life’s challenges.

One of the biggest challenges that life can throw at us is infertility.

Why is infertility viewed as a life crisis? Infertility reaches into the most important areas of our lives: our relationships, our careers, our finances, and especially our sense of self. It is typically experienced as one of the most difficult situations ever encountered. Unlike previous endeavors, effort does not equate with success, thus attempts to gain control over a situation that lies outside control, only heightens a sense of insecurity. And, because infertility challenges the inherent assumption that we can have children whenever we choose—that procreation is a birthright—the inability to father a child or become pregnant becomes a personal catastrophe.

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Remember Romance? Focus on Being a Couple This Valentine’s Day

Remember Romance? Focus on Being a Couple This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day might be considered the “official” day to show your love to your partner but for couples facing infertility, recapturing romance can be challenging. The stress of treatment – and all it involves – can feel exhausting, affecting your sleep and mood. Not to mention the need to schedule sex.

So, what can you do this Valentine’s Day to move past the focus on fertility? Flowers, candy and jewelry can help, but first, remember why you fell in love and want to have children together. No one will turn down tangible displays of affection expressed through red or heart-shaped gifts, but true romance is also about the small, unexpected gestures that show you care.

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Try Deep Breathing and Relaxation: Yoga Reduces the Stress of Infertility

Try Deep Breathing and Relaxation: Yoga Reduces the Stress of Infertility

At the start of the New Year, you may have already committed to a healthier lifestyle to help bolster your chances of becoming a parent. Reducing stress should be on the list, so it’s worth considering one very popular, evidence-based method for stress reduction: yoga.

Keeping stress at bay is important for couples trying to get pregnant. While the impact of stress on infertility is not well understood, the consequences do affect the probability of getting pregnant. Stress can cause poor sleep, unhealthy eating and weight gain, smoking and drinking – all known to have a negative impact on fertility. As RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association points out “While stress does not cause infertility, infertility most definitely causes stress.”

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Could Taking a Common Painkiller Impact Male Fertility? Maybe, More Research Needed

A new study released Monday reports that taking just 600mg daily of the common over-the-counter painkiller ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Motrin) affects male testosterone levels – at least in the short term. Low levels of the male hormone can affect sperm production and sex drive, among other things, potentially reducing the chance of becoming a father.

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Hope Ahead: First U.S. Baby Born From A Uterine Transplant

Hope Ahead

Hope has turned into happiness for one U.S. couple with the birth of their son last month, following the woman’s successful uterine transplant. The transplant and birth took place at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and is the first successful U.S. birth from such a procedure.

Until now, only Sweden had success: a healthy baby was born in 2014 as a result of a uterine transplant with a total of eight babies born since, all at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. A key member of Baylor’s transplant team, Dr. Liza Johannesson, an OB-GYN from the Swedish hospital, joined the U.S. effort. The first U.S. uterine transplant was performed at the Cleveland Clinic in 2016 but failed after two weeks due to an infection.

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A Healthy, Happy Holiday Can Help Your Fertility

A Healthy, Happy Holiday Can Help Your Fertility

Holidays can be a challenging time to maintain positive lifestyle goals to eat healthy, drink moderately, exercise and minimize stress. It’s easy to blow off the best of intentions starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year’s celebrations. Still, if you’ve been coping with the challenges of infertility, there’s more reason than ever to do your best.

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More Employers Offering Fertility Benefits Means Happier Employees Who Stay

There’s encouraging news for employees who may be facing the challenges of infertility: more employers – beyond tech companies – are now offering employee benefits that include coverage for fertility diagnostic tests and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Other industry sectors also covering treatment for this disease include Finance and Investment Banking, Consumer Products and Retail, Fashion, Luxury and Apparel, Media, Consulting and Audit, and Pharmaceuticals.

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20 Years Of Progress And Millions Of Babies: Milestones For Infertility

Advances made in the treatment of infertility over the past 20 years are impressive, ranging from radical new techniques to edit embryonic genes to incremental changes that improve IVF outcomes and are less invasive for patients. Treatment now extends to encouraging healthy lifestyles to improve fertility before trying to become pregnant. And societal attitudes have changed, too, with non-traditional families actively seeking advanced reproductive techniques (ART) to have babies. As the organization I founded celebrates our 20th anniversary, it seemed timely to review the field’s major milestones.

IVF – first live birth (July 25, 1978)

The major fertility advance begins within in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the successful birth of the so-called “test tube baby” Louise Brown. More than 60 failures beforehand serve as reminder that translating research to widely accepted medical practice takes time.

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If IVF, Then PGD Or PGS? What Genetic Testing Can Tell You About Your Embryo

If you’re a candidate for in vitro fertilization (IVF), you’ve probably learned a lot of new information before making the decision, and that likely includes a whole new vocabulary. There are a few more acronyms you should know if you don’t already: PGD and PGS, which are pre-implantation genetic tests. Although these terms may be used interchangeably, they are actually different.

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Please Ignore The Celebrity Hype, Fertility Really Does Decline With Age

Fertility is one hot topic and that means it gets a lot of media coverage. The good news is that there’s so much valuable information now widely available – in the news and online – to help couples learn about fertility and the factors that affect their ability to get pregnant. The bad news is that there’s a lot of misleading information, too. In fact, it’s hard to go a single week without hearing about someone famous who just had a baby at 46. While you might want such a medical miracle to be true and commonplace, in fact, pregnancy at this age is very much the exception, not the rule.

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