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Are you the right candidate for Lasik Surgery?

JANA2Wearing glasses or contact lenses makes you wonder if maybe a Lasik Surgery could be the right choice for you. Yes, the Lasik Surgery gives the best results today and it can reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses, but it still remains the question: Are you the right person for this procedure?

Like any other medical procedure the Lasik Surgery carries its own risks and it may not be the most appropriate vision-correction for everyone. If you want to find out if you are the right person for this procedure keep on reading to determine:

When a Lasik Surgery can be a good choice?

A type of refractive surgery is a Lasik Surgery. During this procedure the eye surgeon will create a flap in the cornea and he will use a laser to reshape the cornea in order to correct the focusing problems in the eye. That is why Lasik Surgery is most appropriate for people who have a moderate degree of:

Nearsightedness or myopia- you can see nearby objects clearly, but those objects that are distant are blurry

Farsightedness or hyperopia- you can see the distant objects clearly, but those objects that are nearby are blurry

Astigmatism- this is a condition of a blurry vision

Can I have a Lasik Surgery for presbyopia?

Most adults may lose their ability to focus on nearby objects (presbyopia), and their condition may continue to worsen until the age of 65. If you have a difficulty to see nearby objects you have to know that the Lasik Surgery will give you clear distance vision, but you may not be able to see objects close up.

Monovision is a procedure that will maintain your ability to see close objects. With this procedure, one eye is corrected for distant vision and the other eye for near vision. Not everyone can agree with this procedure, the best choice still remains to do a trial with contact lenses until having a permanent surgical procedure.

Risks…..

Like any other surgery the Lasik surgery has its own risks too:

Under-correction, astigmatism or overcorrection: Removing too much tissue from your eye will bring you negative results, or you will not get the clearer vision you wanted. The same result you will get with uneven tissue removal which can result in astigmatism.

Vision disturbances: This can happen after the surgery, you may have difficulty seeing at night. Double vision, glare, halos around bright light are few of the vision disturbances that you may notice after the surgery.

Dry eyes: Until your eyes completely heal you may feel them unusually dry. The Lasik Surgery can cause a temporary decrease in the tear production.

Flap problems: A rare complication which can happen while folding back or removing the flap from the front of the eye during the surgery. This can cause complications, infections, excess tears and swelling.

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Getting ready for IVF- what is reproductive immunology?

jana3“In the 1980s, it became clear to me that products of an activated immune system could damage the placenta and cause miscarriage, as well damage the embryo and cause implantation failure. Natural killer cells, which help to keep the body from developing cancer, can over-populate the uterus or exist at too high levels within the blood stream. These cells than go overboard, killing the embryo or interfering with the endocrine system that produces the hormones that are essential for pregnancy. This response can often be associated with complications for both the mother and her baby if the pregnancy occurs without treatment to suppress the activity of the immune system“.  – Dr. Alan E. Beer (“Is Your Body Baby Friendly?”)

Dr. Alan E. Beer is widely considered as the pioneer in the field of reproductive immunology, he believes that it is not simply due to back luck that some women fail to conceive or have repeated pregnancy failure.

If you have a complex medical and fertility history, and failed fertility treatments, you might want to consider making further tests in advice with your doctor for your immune system. If you have repeated miscarriages, some doctors think that your immune system may be rejecting your pregnancy. So in normal pregnancy, it is thought that your body does something to stop the fetus being rejected. However, there is no convincing evidence that immune rejections of the fetus does actually ever happen in women with fertility problems.

summary of the most relevant testing:

  • Antiphospholipid Antibodies (APA). These are the glue molecules for implantation and placentation.
  • Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA). Some women develop antibodies to the baby’s DNA or DNA breakdown products and this problem is reflected by a positive Anti-nuclear antibody test (ANA). This is often with a speckled pattern. We also advise that women have testing to double-stranded DNA, single-stranded DNA, polynucleotides and histones.
  • Elevated CD 56+ Natural Killer Cells. This test determines the killing power of a woman’s Natural Killer Cells in the test tube. Elevated NK numbers and/or NK activity can be associated with increased risk for infertility and loss.
  • Th1/Th2 Cytokines (chemical messengers in the blood). The immune system is balanced between a TH1 (autoimmune) and TH2 (pregnancy or suppressive response). TH1 predominance can also be associated with reproductive failure. The Th1 Th2 Assay can help to determine a patient’s risk for this problem.
  • T regulatory cells (Treg). Higher numbers of Tregs in the blood have been associated with better pregnancy outcome.
  • Thrombophilias . Thrombophilia is increased tendency to clot.Throughout an entire normal pregnancy, the mother’s ability to produce blood clots in the uterus and the placenta is suppressed. However, in some mothers, this clotting tendency is not suppressed sufficiently. This can contribute to many pregnancy complications.
  • CD57 cells in the endometrium. High levels of CD57+ cells may be associated with increased risk of infertility and loss.

From your circumstances, and medical history, your consultants aim to advice you on the most appropriate tests and treatments for you. Depending on the tests results you will get appropriate immune treatments and medications.

What should I ask my doctor?

If you are recommended immunological treatments as part of your fertility treatment, we advise you to make sure you feel properly informed about the potential benefits and risks of the tests and treatment.

Your clinic should explain:

  • why they think the tests and treatment may help you
  • what the risks and side effects may be
  • the costs you will incur.


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Fertility & infertility

jana4Fertility and infertility where the IVF process starts, how will I know if I am that person who is in need of IVF?

The IVF testing takes several steps in order to detect and then treat the causes of infertility. This process takes less than six weeks and then you can find out the causes of infertility. It is considered that about 80% of infertility is caused by one or more of three problems. Those causes are:

  • Ovulations problems
  • Sperm problems
  • Fallopian tube problems

By taking these three fertility tests you can find out which one of these three tests is going to be the answer of your problem. This is a procedure that lasts only 6 weeks.

Taking step 1: the male fertility tests

This test needs to be done in order to confirm the male sperm quality. They have to take a sample of the male’s sperm and analyze it for sperm count. First the husband has to abstain for three days and leave the sample in the laboratory. After he leaves the sample in the laboratory, the sample is evaluated for volume, sperm count, motility and morphology. A normal sperm count is >20 million/ml, normal motility and morphology is >50%. You have to do this test in order to rule out the male cause for infertility. If this cause is ruled out then you can consider for other treatment such as the artificial insemination.

Taking step 2: Ovulation detection

There are several sings of ovulation. Most women do not know how to detect those signs in order to make love regularly during the 5-6 fertile days, which is before and after and the day of ovulation. Here are some advices for you to find out if and when you ovulate:

  • Calculate- check out the calculator of your fertile days
  • Measure your temperature every morning
  • The cervical mucus changes
  • Mittelshmerz (pain in the area of the ovary that is felt at the time of ovulation -usually midway through the menstrual cycle).
  • Find out more about the Ovulation predictor

Taking step 3: the egg quality and hormones

FSH- the FSH is a gonadotropin hormone that increases normally as the menopause approaches. When menopause approaches the ovary begins to show signs of aging. When you have your test done and the result show a high level of FSH then it means that the ovaries are not responding to the brain signals and do not develop follicles for ovulation.

Prolactin: the prolactin is a pituitary- gland hormone which goes up in women with small benign growths of this gland. It may also give similar results in women that are on certain medications.

Thyroid tests: This test is done in order to find out if the woman has a problem with her thyroid. In this case she may not have enough or too much thyroid hormone.

Testosterone, DHEAS, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone: these hormones are male hormones; they might be useful to check them in women who have a problem with excessive hair growth. Most women have that kind of signs and avoid checking these hormones.

Simple explanation about the IVF process

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janaSimple explanation about the IVF process in few steps that you might be interest about reading it!

You and your husband are trying to have a baby, but something is not right and you are tired trying at all. There’s got be a solution for your problem. You have considered about all options about conceiving and you have probably heard already about the IVF procedure. You have talked already, and you want to find out what this procedure includes. Yes this procedure that most couples are considering today if they cannot conceive on the natural way. Before you start this procedure you have to be prepared.

Besides preparing  physically, emotionally you should also be prepared for all IVF costs that you need to cover. IVF is the longest procedures of all. You have to know that you must be extremely patient and you have to learn how to manage not to be disappointed if this procedure doesn’t give you the result that you have expected even after the first time you try.

Have you start with the IVF process?

When you start with the IVF process you have to prepare yourself on what to expect when you’ll first start with this procedure. You have to answer all the questions that are related on you medical history and social history. By answering these questions you can allow the clinic to assess the impact of a potential birth on the baby and on any other children you may have.

You are now accepted for treatment, blood tests will be taken from you and your partner. Your hormone profile will be done via blood sample that if going to be taken in the menstrual cycle in order to see if there is likely to be any difficulty in obtaining eggs and if there is a hormonal imbalance. Your clinician will be with you in every step of this procedure to discuss about your treatment plan. If you have any questions you have to know that counseling is always available and it can be helpful while you go through this process.

Loans & doctors

There are couples that are going through the same procedure. Your clinician can point you at the right direction so you can have a talk about their experience and share some thoughts. Be careful about the loans and the health insurance, you might find yourself in a very difficult situation during this process. Check out your health insurance policy and see what they can or can’t cover. There are a lot of options that your doctor or your clinic can offer you, you might get lucky and not pay for the fees that most couples pay. First of all choose the clinic that has most successful rates. It may be more expensive, but if there are good results it may be cheaper than paying twice for the same procedure in some other clinic. Do not let the cheaper prices full you against the successful rates, most couples do that.


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Endometriosis

Endometriosis facts

  • Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium), but in a location outside of the uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly includes your ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel or tissue lining your pelvis.
  • The exact cause of endometriosis has not been identified.
  • Endometriosis is more common in women who are experiencing infertility than in fertile women, but the condition does not fully prevent conception.
  • Most women with endometriosis have no symptoms, in which case therapy is not necessary. Treatment of endometriosis includes medication for pain relief and treatment of infertility, in severe cases surgery is needed.
  • Severe pelvic pain during menstruation or ovulation can be a symptom of endometriosis, but may also occur in normal women.
  • Endometriosis can be suspected based on the woman’s pattern of symptoms, and sometimes during a physical examination, but the definite diagnosis is confirmed by surgery, usually laparoscopy.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a long term (chronic) condition that cause painful and heavy periods. Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells (endometrial cells) similar to those that form the inside or lining the tissue of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus. Endometrial cells are cells that are shed each month during menstruation. The cells of endometriosis that are found on tissue outside the uterus are called endometriosis implants. These implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They can also be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder, although less commonly than other locations in the pelvis. Rarely, endometriosis implants can occur outside the pelvis. Endometrial implants, while they can cause problems, are benign (not cancerous). The surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions (abnormal tissue that binds organs together).

Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain and cramping during menstrual period and extends several days into your period. Pain can be increased over time and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
  • Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
  • Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
  • Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
  • Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate endometriosis. The cause of chronic or severe pelvic pain may be difficult to pinpoint. But discovering the problem early may help you avoid unnecessary complications and pain.

Treating endometriosis

There is no known cure for endometriosis. However, the symptoms can often be managed with painkillers or hormone treatments, which help prevent the condition from interfering with your daily life. Surgery can sometimes be used to improve symptoms and fertility. A healthy diet can improve energy levels and help regulate bowel movements and sleep patterns. Pregnancy sometimes reduces the symptoms of endometriosis, although symptoms often return once the menstrual cycle returns to normal. Endometriosis can be a difficult condition to deal with both physically and emotionally.


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IVF payment procedure, costs, do you have to pay for IVF

Few words about the IVF payment procedure, costs, do you have to pay for IVF?

The very first this that most couples worry about is the IVF payment procedure and this can be a great concern when you make your choices about accessing IVF treatment and care. Most of the couples are aware that paying for IVF is nearly impossible. For those that have health insurance make sure that you check with them first, and see if they cover all the expenses of IVF, you have to know that only 10% of the insurance companies do cover IVF and your insurance companies may not be a part of this process. If your company is not in this process you may look out these options:

The IVF Scholarship

Yes, there is an IVF Scholarship that might help you during this process to cover everything that you need. INCIID is a non-profit organization that provides IVF scholarships and helps anyone who can’t cover the IVF costs. This is the only national company that provides a free IVF treatment for those couples in need. You have to follow their rules which means that you have to visit their doctor and donate $55,oo per year as also being registered as a member of their company, and poses a letter from their doctor that confirms that IVF is medically necessary in your case. Yes, this might sounds like a lot of work, but considering that the cost of IVF is $10,000, it is for sure that you will consider this option.

Risk programs

If you participate in a “shared risk program” this is how most IVF centers call it, you can be paid upfront for the procedure, and if it turns out successful the clinic will keep the fees. On the other hand if this procedure turns out as not successful a large portion of the fees are returned to you. You have to check if your clinic offers these kinds of programs and if not you can find companies that offer a shared risk program.

The In-office payment plan

Check with your doctor if he can offer you the In-office payment plan. You can actually enter into a contact with the clinic to pay off the IVF bills in a set amount of time. You might be lucky if they let you do this without interest, but only if you have to paid it off in a year. If you haven’t paid it off there are penalties and interest.

Loans

Check out if your doctor has a relationship with a financial institution, this might help you to get a lower rate. It is less risky than the in-office payment and you will have more time to pay the loan off. Consider this without all the penalties, which may be a much more convenient option for you. When it comes to the IVF payment procedure costs, do you have to pay for IVF, loans are pretty much the first option that most people consider and taking their chances with.


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Before IVF- What is intrauterine insemination?

What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves a laboratory procedure to separate fast moving sperm from more sluggish or non-moving sperm.The fast moving sperm are then placed into the woman’s womb close to the time of ovulation when the egg is released from the ovary in the middle of the monthly cycle.

Is IUI for me?

Your doctor may recommend IUI if:

  • there is unexplained infertility
  • there are ovulation problems
  • the male partner experiences impotence or low sperm count or decreased sperm mobility
  • you do not have any known fertility problems but may not have a male partner and are trying for a baby using donated sperm.
  • Ejaculation dysfunction

In sum, IUI is a reasonable therapy for some infertility patients, but should be abandoned for IVF by the end of the third IUI cycle.

It is essential that your fallopian tubes are known to be open and healthy before the IUI process begins, because one of the most common causes of infertility is blockage of the fallopian tubes. A tubal patency test is usually carried out as part of your assessment by the fertility clinic. When the pelvis and tubes are healthy, dye passes freely through both tubes. There should be no adhesions present that might prevent an egg from having access to either tube from the ovaries.

The second essential requirement is that there is no significant problem with sperm numbers or sperm quality. If your partner is unable to provide sperm, or if you do not have a male partner, you may want to consider donated sperm.

How does IUI work?

For women:

  • If you are not using fertility drugs IUI is done between day 12 and day 16 of your monthly cycle – with day one being the first day of your period. You are given blood or urine tests to identify when you are about to ovulate. Many clinics will provide you with an ovulation predictor kit to detect the hormone surge that signals imminent ovulation.

– or –

If you use fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation, vaginal ultrasound scans are used to track the development of your eggs. As soon as an egg is mature, you are given a hormone injection to stimulate its release.

You should consider the best option for you with your doctor.

  •  The sperm are inserted 36 to 40 hours later. To do this, the doctor first  inserts a speculum (a special instrument that keeps your vaginal walls apart) into your vagina.

A small catheter (a soft, flexible tube) is then threaded into your womb via your cervix. The best quality sperm are selected and inserted through the catheter.

The whole process takes just a few minutes and is usually a painless procedure but some women may experience a temporary, menstrual-like cramping.

  • You may want to rest for a short time before leaving the clinic – ask your clinic what they recommend.

For men:

  • You will be asked to produce a sperm sample on the day the treatment takes place.
  • The sperm are washed to remove the fluid surrounding them and the rapidly moving sperm separated out.
  • The rapidly moving sperm are placed in a small catheter (tube) to be inserted into the womb.