New Year, New Healthier You, New Baby?
At the start of every New Year, most of us pledge to do better to meet healthy lifestyle goals. For some, the stakes are especially high given that evidence shows good health positively impacts fertility. For those of you trying to get pregnant, there are positive, proactive steps you can take now to improve your potential.
In general, the healthier you are, the better your chances for getting and staying pregnant and delivering a healthy baby. Evidence shows adopting specific healthy behaviors are relevant to both future mothers AND fathers.
Healthy Holiday Tips to Survive the Holidays and Enhance Your Fertility
This time of year, there’s an abundance of advice telling you how to remain healthy and avoid the stress of the holidays and the New Year. For couples trying to start a family and coping with infertility, the advice takes on special meaning as lifestyle choices – no matter the time of year – impact your fertility in major ways. And, for many, holidays without children – when you’ve been trying to have a baby – adds stress and sadness that make keeping health resolutions even more challenging.
As part of our wish for a happy, healthy holiday and year ahead, we share advice from RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, with tips designed to keep your equilibrium when regular “baby blues” can turn into intense “holiday baby blues.”
Find Childfree Forms of Celebration and create your own holiday ritual without children: Do plan your own two-person holiday – consider taking a trip to ski or a spa getaway. Don’t put yourself through the extra stress of being around others who may not understand your challenges dealing with infertility.
Want to Predict Whether IVF Might Work for You, and What it Costs? To Calculate Your Success Rate and Affordability Log On…
Trying to predict the future and whether it might include the patter of little feet is now a little easier with a breakthrough combination of tools that link assessment of your individual chances of getting pregnant using in vitro fertilization (IVF) with an estimate of what it might cost based on your unique chances of pregnancy. It’s where hope and reality meet.
To show couples that IVF treatment may well be within reach, ARC Fertility developed The ARC® Affordability Estimator that uses personal data-driven results from the ART Patient Predictor developed by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Therapy (SART). While the Patient Predictor calculates the probability of IVF success based on key factors, the Affordability Estimator produces a snap-shot of ARC multicycle treatment and financing packages – with estimated monthly payments – tied to those estimated outcomes. The result is financing that aligns affordability with the likelihood of success.
The Kids Are All Right and So Are Moms and Families Using ART
Some things are universal – like worrying about your kids. That’s true no matter how you became a parent. Still, some moms and dads who gave birth with the help of medically assisted reproduction (MAR) or assisted reproductive technology (ART). may worry a bit more given the lengths they’ve gone to have children. Like all parents, they also have lots of questions. This brief summary of research shows that the kids are all doing fine no matter what specific technology was used – MAR (e.g. donor sperm) or ART (e.g. in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), donor egg, gestational carrier or surrogate).
What Grade Will Your Embryos Earn?
We’re all familiar with earning grades in school but did you know embryos are graded, too?
When couples go through in vitro fertilization (IVF) eggs that are fertilized are monitored to see if they develop into embryos and before one or more are implanted they will be graded. Specialists – embryologists – grade embryos in the lab to pick the highest quality in order to know which have the best chances of development and pregnancy. Grading is important as many couples seek to have just one embryo transferred to avoid multiple pregnancies. Grading is also used to select which of the embryos that are not transferred in the fresh cycle are good enough to be frozen for possible later use in a frozen/thaw transfer cycle.
As more women postpone having children until they’re older due to career or finding the right partner, some are choosing to freeze their eggs to use later, hoping to beat age-related fertility problems. Will the investment payoff? Maybe.
Couples undergoing infertility treatment usually have lots of questions and may worry about their chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. Now, some are wondering if they need to ask another question: should I worry about Zika? The answer today is probably not — based on what we currently know — but being well-informed is always a good idea.
While we know the Zika virus is spread primarily through daytime active mosquitoes (and nearly all of the more than 400 U.S. cases are from international travel), the symptoms can be mild or not present which makes it difficult to know of you have it. It can also be transmitted by a man to a woman through sex, through a blood transfusion and rarely from a woman to a man through sex.
I recently wrote about the world’s largest conference on issues of women’s health and rights and how infertility has finally made it onto the global women’s health agenda. That’s a big deal. Although such a development sounds disconnected from making a difference to your own experience in dealing with infertility, the truth is it matters.
Dealing With Loss After Infertility Treatment
My name is Stacy Bjorkman, and I am on AGC Scholarship Foundation’s Board of Directors. You may have read a little about my story in the “About AGC” tab on the website, but I’d like to share a bit more with you.
My now ex-husband, Jason, and I struggled with infertility for about 5 years. We conceived naturally the first time, but I miscarried our little girl at about 17 weeks when my water broke in the middle of the night. After that, there was radio silence in my uterus. So we got on the fertility train: the tracks with lots of twists and turns, but no stops, no final destination. After four medicated IUIs and four IVFs (two of which ended in miscarriage of twins), we were finally blessed with our son, Henry. With the help of both a reproductive endocrinologist and a reproductive immunologist, Henry arrived in our arms after a treacherous 36 weeks of fear, endless morning sickness, and lots and lots of drugs – but he was here – a REAL LIVE baby!
Infertility was a topic of discussion at the world’s largest women’s health and rights conference just held in Copenhagen by Women Deliver. While reproductive health issues such as maternal health and infant mortality are often the focus among global health topics, infertility is often not.
This year’s conference attracted worldwide interest with more than 5,500 conference participants drawn from government ministers, policy makers, business leaders, non-government organizations (NGOs), activists, celebrities and royalty to focus on how to improve the lives of girls and women by 2030. Issues discussed included child marriage, maternal mortality, and violence against women.
Infertility is often viewed as a woman’s problem but when a couple has trouble conceiving, there’s a good chance it’s related to male factors — in fact, that’s the case 40-50 percent of the time. That’s why the male partner should be part of any couple’s fertility assessment.
Not only is male infertility more common than most people realize, male factors are the sole reason for a couple’s inability to have a baby 15 percent to 25 percent of the time. While some reasons for male infertility are well understood, at least 50 percent of problems are due to unknown factors.
Pathways to Parenthood
When I was 18 years old, during the weekend of my college orientation, I was rushed to the hospital with severe cramping and bleeding. Following emergency exploratory surgery, I learned that I had severe endometriosis, a condition that would make it very difficult for me to conceive children. I was young and unmarried; at the time, I didn’t want to be married. While this news disappointed me, I didn’t appreciate the magnitude of that diagnosis then.
This week marks National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). If you don’t know about it, that’s ok, but consider this your official alert and opportunity to think about the people in your life — family, friends, neighbors — who might be struggling with infertility every single day. Chances are you know someone as more than seven million people or one in every eight couples in the US of childbearing age experience infertility.
ARC Fertility Encourages Patients to
#StartAsking for NIAW
ARC Fertility is proud to announce that it has partnered with Resolve as an official sponsor of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24-30, 2016). It is estimated that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, yet awareness remains low. This year’s theme is #StartAsking. We are encouraging those touched by infertility to become advocates for themselves and for the infertility community. They can do this when they #StartAsking for support from their employers, legislators, families and beyond. There is a NIAW toolkit with wealth of information and ideas to help facilitate.
Relieving Nightmares with Daydreams
Coping with Infertility
Infertility. The experience is a bad dream that couples may not wake up from for many months or even years. When it becomes clear that pregnancy is elusive, life as it has been known becomes unrecognizable.
In a sad development for the patient, the medical team at the Cleveland Clinic and prospective parents, comes news the first uterine transplant performed in the US has failed. The complex, eight-hour surgery took place on February 24 and the patient — Janice, 26 — was initially in stable condition. She was healthy enough just a few days later to briefly appear at the hospital’s press conference to announce the groundbreaking surgery. The failure occurred the next day although a biopsy performed earlier had shown no signs of rejection.
In a development that may someday help men facing infertility, Chinese scientists have just announced they were able to create sperm in a lab petri dish using embryonic stem cells from mice. The sperm was used to fertilize mouse eggs using in vitro fertilization (IVF), creating healthy babies that went on to have their own offspring. That’s promising.