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infertility

  • Breaking Down ‘Top 10’ into ‘The One’ – How to Find the Right Fertility Monitor

    It seems like every week, a new “Top 10 Fertility Apps” article is published. While it is empowering that women have options for tackling their fertility challenges, these articles often leave readers with more questions than answers, as they often don’t attempt to explain the differences between these solutions.
  • Discovering a New Dream

    Since a young age, Lana from Goodland, Kansas, believed she knew how she wanted to start her family: through adoption. She had been struggling with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) since she was a teenager, a hormonal disorder that affects a woman’s reproductive system. She and her husband, Andy, were excited about the future and welcomed the prospects of being parents.

    In September 2017 at 36, Lana was shocked and excited to discover she was pregnant - something which seemed a very low probability during her 20s and early 30s. Because of her PCOS and her age, Lana was put in the high-risk pregnancy category, which meant she would need frequent doctors appointments and ultrasounds to make sure the pregnancy was progressing as it should and monitor for any risk factors.

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  • Follow Your Intuition: How Trusting Her Data Helped Lead to One Woman’s First Pregnancy

    When Sarah was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) at 23, she didn’t think much of it immediately. She was told that it might cause her some difficulty when she wanted to get pregnant, but at the time she wasn’t engaged to her then boyfriend (now husband) so trying to conceive was far from her mind. After getting married and talking with her husband, Rob, about beginning their family at 27, she spoke with a friend who encouraged her to talk with a reproductive endocrinologist right away.

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  • “I Helped My Doctors Diagnose a Cyst Because I Knew I Wasn’t Ovulating”

    Research has shown that in the US – and across the world – women are waiting longer and longer to have children due to a number of reasons including wanting to save up money in advance to finishing advanced education. But what does this mean on a personal level? For one woman – Stephanie, who is 37 and lives in North Carolina – it meant quickly understanding her fertility and educating herself about her ovulation cycle.

    After taking birth control on and off throughout her 20s, Stephanie was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in her mid 20s through. During her annual OB-GYN exams, her doctor would often find cysts on her ovaries. To help control the symptoms of her PCOS and stop cysts from forming, Stephanie was put on a low-hormone birth control pill.

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  • 28 Isn’t ‘Too Young’ - Setting Your Own Fertility Timeline

    When we think about infertility, we often picture someone in their 30s or 40s who may feel like they’re running out of time. However, once you’ve decided to start a family, these same challenges can impact women at any age.
  • IVF Add-Ons – Are they worth the expense?

    Many couples turn to IVF in pursuit of creating a family. These couples put their absolutely trust in their clinic and doctor to provide them with the most up to date and research based treatments and investigations. However there is increasing concern that many of the additional treatments and services offered by fertility clinics in the UK are not research based and are therefore misleading patients, increasing their financial burden and ultimately offering little more than false hope.

    IVF is expensive, especially when less than half the procedures receive NHS funding. Add-ons increase this financial burden. An endometrial scratch, for example, can cost over £300, time lapse imaging up to £850 and pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) in the region of £3500

    ivf

    Research conducted at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford (Heneghan et al 2016), aimed to assess IVF Add-Ons offered in all UK Fertility clinics against the following criteria:

    • Are the Add-Ons recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)?
    • Have Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT’s) been conducted to prove that the treatment or intervention is effective?
    • Are there any risks or adverse effects associated with the treatment or intervention?

    Following the assessment of the website of Fertility Clinics in the UK, the researchers were able to identify a total of 38 interventions and classified these as 27 IVF Add-On, 6 alternatives to IVF and 5 treatments for fertility preservation.

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  • Male Infertility - Abnormal Sperm Tests

    Male infertility accounts for almost half of infertility problems experienced by couples. However, men are more likely than women to feel embarrassed about their fertility problems and consequently find it difficult to get advice or talk to their doctor. It’s important to remember that men are half the fertility equation and therefore they experience the pain and grief of struggling to become a parent too. 

    sperm-abnormalities

    What causes an abnormal sperm result?

    A diagnosis of a poor sperm sample can cause huge distress and confusion to both the man and woman. My patients frequently ask me to explain what their sperm test results mean, why is the sample results so poor and what can they do to increase their sperm count? An abnormal sperm test result is caused by abnormal semen (the fluid containing sperm that is ejaculated during sex). Possible reasons for abnormal semen include:

    • Decreased number of sperm – low sperm count, or no sperm at all.
    • Decreased sperm mobility – making it harder for the sperm to reach the ovum.
    • Abnormal sperm – sperm can sometimes be of abnormal shape, making it harder for them to move and fertilise an egg.

     

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  • Fiona's story

    I'm Fiona.  I was diagnosed with PCOS and struggled for 2 years to conceive.  Thanks to OvuSense, I'm now pregnant!

    When I was 15 years old, I was diagnosed with PCOS after absent periods for over a year.  I was put on Metformin;  I suppose that I didn't realize the struggles I would face later on in my life when I wanted to have a child.

    I met my now Husband in 2010. I  was upfront with him from day one that I may have trouble conceiving but that didn't bother him in the slightest; he said he would do whatever it takes when the time came for us to start trying for a baby!  Well, that time came soon after we got engaged in 2013.  After many months of unsuccessful attempts, we decided to wait till after our wedding in September 2014 to go see the doctor and see what they were able to do for us. I was 27 and my husband 30.

    We (mainly me!) spent the next few months going for different tests to check what may be the issue. All tests came back clear except the cysts on my ovaries.

    In January 2015, a lovely friend of mine told me about OvuSense (I had used Clearblue ovulation sticks for about 6 months unsuccessfully before realising they don't always work well with ladies who have PCOS!).  I spent hours reading through the OvuSense website with my husband and discussing the money. We decided we would try OvuSense with the 4 monthly payment plan, which worked out great for us! 

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  • Eleven fertility myths...now busted!

     By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse  You only have to spend a bit of time on a fertility forum to read conflicting advice and opinion about many aspects of fertility. How many times have you wondered whether what you are reading is fact or fiction? Here are...
  • PCOS and you - the fertility diet challenge

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    Weight gain is one of the most common side effects of PCOS. It’s also one that affects your self esteem and compounds your difficulties in conceiving. However, the good news is that by paying attention to your diet, it is possible to lose the weight you’ve gained and feel better.
     
    Losing weight will also help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease as well as boosting your overall health and well-being.
     
    However, diet alone can’t cure PCOS but it can help to alleviate the symptoms, and with ovulation monitoring or further support from your specialist, losing weight can significantly increase your chances of conceiving.
     
     

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