The ARC Fertility Blog

ARC® Fertility Blog

Thinking About Pregnancy? Think About Your Thyroid!

Fertility specialists have long noticed a relationship between thyroid disorders and reproductive health issues including irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant, and multiple miscarriages early in pregnancy. During Thyroid Awareness Month and with new research, it’s worth knowing about a not uncommon and treatable problem that may be affecting your plans for a new family.

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Finding the Right Support on Your Infertility Journey

Finding the Right Support on Your Infertility Journey

The topic of infertility is often in the news – from celebrities sharing their personal struggles to the latest medical treatments available to help you have a baby.

Most recently, Chrissy Teigen and Tyra Banks discussed their own painful experience on their show FABLife. For Teigen, married to musician John Legend, constantly being asked why she doesn’t have children has been intrusive. Still, she noted that the minute you open up about having problems getting pregnant, you find out how many other people are also seeing fertility specialists. With the recent news of her pregnancy, she has a happy outcome and lots to talk about.

Read more on Dr. Adamson’s blog on the Huffington Post.

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Preserving Your Fertility After a Cancer Diagnosis

Preserving Your Fertility After a Cancer Diagnosis

Imagine receiving a cancer diagnosis when you’re trying to get pregnant or are considering pregnancy in the future. Fortunately, with advances in treating cancer and options to preserve fertility, cancer survivors may still be able to start or add to their family.

While you’ll want to focus on treatment for your condition, if your plans include having children, you’ll also want to understand the impact on your fertility and consider options to help improve your chances of getting pregnant later – before starting cancer treatment. That doesn’t always happen and health professionals recognize they can do better.

Read more on Dr. Adamson’s blog on the Huffington Post

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Could Taking a Common Pain Reliever Affect Your Fertility?

Could Taking a Common Pain Reliever Affect Your Fertility?

The news these days is full of things to do — and not do — if you want to increase your chances of getting and staying pregnant. Add another item to the list, according to a small study presented at a Rome medical conference in June — taking common anti-inflammatory pain relievers.

According to researchers, the study of 39 women confirmed a relationship between taking certain pain relievers — non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) containing Ibuprofen or Naproxen and a disruption in the menstrual cycle which may interfere with ovulation. Over-the-counter (OTC) medication containing these ingredients include Aleve, Motrin and Advil.

Read more on Dr. Adamson’s blog at Huffington Post

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The Future of Fertility Treatment

The Future of Fertility Treatment

The Future of Fertility Treatment

If you need help getting pregnant these days, there’s an array of advanced techniques available to both diagnose and treat infertility in men and women. If you needed medical assistance thirty years ago, you had few treatment options — basic surgery or limited hormonal therapy for women and varicocoele http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/varicoceles repair for men.

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To Maximize Fertility, Men Should Minimize Bacon Consumption

Bacon and IVF

To Maximize Fertility, Men Should Minimize Bacon Consumption

If you and your partner have decided to seek medical assistance to help get pregnant, your doctor may have handed you a list of “lifestyle” instructions to follow to enhance the success of your treatment using assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

Now, along with not smoking, drinking less and maintaining a healthy weight, comes word that men should step away from the bacon to maximize their fertility.

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ART Babies Develop the Same as Other Babies

Group Of Elementary Age Schoolchildren Running Outside

ART Babies Develop the Same as Other Babies

Every parent thinks about what their child will be like when they get older, no matter how their child was conceived. For those parents who successfully used assisted reproductive technology (ART) comes reassuring news – there appears to be no difference in cognitive development and academic performance for their children compared to kids spontaneously conceived.

While there are still few long-term studies examining whether children conceived through ART perform differently in school than their peers, results from two large studies confirm that in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is safe over the long-term with no negative effect on cognitive development.

One robust study showing comparable development included every child conceived by ART and born in Denmark between 1995 and 2000 (a total of 8251 children). As 9th graders, they were compared to two control groups: all twins born in Denmark during the same period and a randomly selected group of spontaneously conceived singletons. Also, ART singles and twins had comparable test scores.

Another major study by the University of Iowa followed children conceived using IVF through their hospitals and clinics. The age of children at the start of the study ranged from 8-17. Children were assessed through tests (grades 3 through 12), observation and answers given by parents on questionnaires.

The study showed IVF children performed better than peers matched by age and gender except that singles performed best and multiples (twins and triplets) tended to score slightly lower, though not significantly, than peers. Factors found to affect test scores included maternal age, parental education level, divorce and the child’s BMI. Cryopreservation, length of embryo culture and method of insemination did not affect scores. http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/01/building-a-brighter-kid-consider-ivf/

Additional long-term research is needed including the effect of IVF multiple births. After all, every parent wants to have children who are smarter than they are if just to avoid helping with the math homework.

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Using Prostaglandins Following Miscarriage

Using Prostaglandins Following Miscarriage

When a woman experiences a miscarriage or has a termination during the first trimester, a dilation and curettage (D&C) is commonly used to remove the remaining tissue. However, if future pregnancies are being considered, other treatment options should be discussed as the procedure has recently been linked to preterm (less than 36 weeks) and very preterm (less than 32 weeks) delivery. The consequences of such early delivery can be serious and long lasting.

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A Milestone in Fertility Treatment: The Uterine Transplant

uterine-transplant

A Milestone in Fertility Treatment: The Uterine Transplant

Medical breakthroughs for previously untreatable conditions often make the headlines. Add one more milestone to the list – this time in reproductive science – the world’s first live birth last year by a 36-year-old woman who received a transplanted uterus from a 61 year-old woman who had already gone through menopause.

Uterine transplant has been likened to other breakthrough infertility treatments, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), ovarian transplantation, preimplantation genetic diagnosis and egg freezing. Previously, women with uterine factor infertility – where uterine issues interfere with pregnancy – were considered to have the last untreatable form of infertility. Now, there’s a potential solution.

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Egg Donation and the Older Patient

To use your own eggs or not use your own eggs

Egg Donation and the Older Patient

To use your own eggs or not use your own eggs really is the question for women over a certain age facing challenges in becoming pregnant.

When the decision is to use in-vitro fertilization (IVF), the next question is whether a woman will use her own eggs or donor eggs. The answer and likelihood of getting pregnant are strongly related to age. Especially for women aged 38 and over, studies show a lower pregnancy success rate when women use their own eggs in treatment.

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I Wish I Could Talk About It – Dealing with Infertility and My Culture

I Wish I Could Talk About It

I Wish I Could Talk About It – Dealing with Infertility and My Culture

Not being able to conceive when you want to is really hard, and not being able to discuss the intensely personal issue with family or friends due to cultural issues can make the situation even more painful.

In her column titled “How Woman Around the World Cope with Infertility,” Karen Springer tells Mamta Jhunjhun Wala’s story. Wala, of Mumbai says, “People ask a woman’s name—and then, ‘How many children do you have?’ When the woman answers ‘none’, […] they don’t know what they can talk to you about.” http://www.newsweek.com/how-women-around-world-cope-infertility-89405 And, self-described “Type A Latina” Annette Prieto-Llopis wrote in a CNN blog that even now it’s “hard to believe that infertility remains a taboo subject especially in the Hispanic community.”
http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/23/opinion-the-unheard-voice-of-infertility-a-latinas-story/.

No matter where you live, for some cultures it is simply not considered appropriate to talk about infertility. The inability to talk about the emotional issue means some “suffer in silence,” and couples facing the situation speak of feeling isolated.

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What are the Challenges to Patients Choosing Elective Single Embryo Transfer?

What are the Challenges to Patients Choosing Elective Single Embryo Transfer?

2015_0619_ARC_Infographic

Click for a Printable Version

A multiple birth significantly increases the risk of serious health problems to the mother, fetus, and newborns

  • Prospective risk of fetal death more than triples in twins vs. a singleton
  • The average gestational age at delivery is 35 weeks for twins and 32 weeks for triplets vs. 39 weeks for singletons

So why do so many women choose Multiple Embryo Transfer (MET)?

It all comes down to having the right information!

Patients often make a major medical decision regarding embryo transfer without knowing the full risks of a multiple birth.

Read more about this issue here!

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I’m Ready: How Do I Choose A Reproductive Endocrinologist?

How Do I Choose a Reproductive Endocrinologist?

I’m Ready: How Do I Choose A Reproductive Endocrinologist?

If the most important thing for you and your partner is having a baby – and you’re having trouble conceiving – the next most important thing is finding the right reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to get help.

A reproductive endocrinologist is an OB-GYN who specializes in diagnosing and treating infertility in women and men. They’ll direct medical testing to first help diagnose why you may be having trouble getting pregnant. And, they’ll work with you to determine the best way to overcome the problems you may be experiencing.

http://infertility.about.com/od/choosingadoctor/a/Fertility-Specialists.htm

Here are a few important factors to consider when choosing the reproductive endocrinologist that’s right for you.

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What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

What Is IUI?

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

There are many different reasons why a woman may have difficulty becoming pregnant. Fortunately, advances in treating infertility have led to effective procedures that help address specific problems and unexplained infertility. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one such first-line treatment for many couples.

When couples have fertility issues, a complete assessment of both partners can help identify the likely obstacles. If the problems are related to sperm – such as low count or motility, or incompatibility with a woman’s cervical mucus or problems with sexual intercourse – IUI may be helpful. The procedure can be performed with the partner’s sperm, or when donor sperm is used, and it is also often a first treatment for unexplained infertility and endometriosis issues.

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When, Where, and How to Start Your Fertility Journey

Where Should I Start?

When, Where, and How to Start Your Fertility Journey

When a couple is eager to have a baby and isn’t getting pregnant right away, time seems to stand still. The first place to start is figuring out if there is a problem. Infertility is defined as not getting pregnant after 12 months (or more) of regular unprotected sex. Ninety percent of couples get pregnant during this timeframe.

If there is trouble conceiving, experts have recommendations on how soon to consult a fertility specialist based on a woman’s age and past reproductive history. Guidelines suggest a woman under the age of 35 should seek help after 12 months, which drops to six months for women aged 35 to 39. And women aged 40 and over should seek fertility assistance after trying to get pregnant for three months without success. If the woman has a known reproductive problem such as irregular cycles, hormone problems, history of pelvic surgery or if the man has a history of problems that might affect sperm production, then they should seek medical help right away.

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