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I can’t afford IVF

If you tried for some time and can’t afford IVF (in-vitro fertilization), because it has become a financial burden, but you still want to try, we can raise your hope and suggest a list of financial help for couples that can’t afford IVF. Since IVF costs vary based on location and degree of health insurance, check with your doctor to see what financial options are best and recommended for you, based on your specific situation. This is what we suggest for making your fertility treatments affordable:

Refund programs

The general concept of IVF refund programs or shared risk program is that you pay fee for a number of IVF attempts, and if at the end of the cycle you have not taken a baby home, you get your money back (usually from 80% to 100%). The direct information for each program can be taken from IVF centers of your interest. The centers that provide these programs do not guarantee a successful outcome, but they guarantee that your money is refunded if the outcome is unsuccessful. The drawback of these programs is that if you do get pregnant during your first or second IVF cycle, you will not get a refund.

Loans

Patients that can’t afford IVF can obtain unsecure loans that cover the expenses. There are several companies that work with loans specifically for IVF, for example (http://www.arcfertility.com/affordable-payment-options.html) or (http://www.carecredit.com/).

Low cost programs

This includes looking for programs on fertility clinics specifically offering low cost procedures or visiting overseas clinics that can provide IVF treatment with lower costs. (http://www.themedvacation.com/ivf-loans ). Before you make a decision to leave the country and go abroad, you should learn more about the clinic and their success rate. You will also have to determine how much you will need for travel expenses, and the amount of time that you will need to take off from work to travel abroad. Also you can apply for a grant for a scholarship program through some organizations like (http://www.inciid.org/ )

Health insurance

Some health insurance cover a portion of the costs associated with IVF. You can contact your health insurance company or your employer’s human resources department to learn if some of the IVF costs are a covered expense. Contact the insurance commission in the state where you reside because the state laws vary in some states the law is requiring insurers to cover the treatments.

Egg shearing

Some fertility clinic programs offer discount or free IVF cycles to women who are willing to donate any remaining eggs that are not being used during their IVF. Usually you will have to meet certain egg donor requirements and criteria to be eligible.

Lower technology treatments

Before trying IVF consider lower cost treatments like IUI. IUI program may be good option for couples with fertility issues like low sperm count, endometriosis, or unexpected infertility.  You should discuss your options with your doctor, and find out witch treatment make most sense for your fertility issues, though IUI does not have the same success rate as IVF.

 

 

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Simple explanation about the IVF process

Simple 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.

Not only you have to be prepared physically, emotionally but you have to 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 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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Before IVF- More about the fertility drugs

Generally, fertility drugs are used to treat problems with ovulation or recurrent miscarriage. However, this is not always the case, so even if you’re using assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), fertility drugs are still an important part of treatment. In this case, fertility drugs may increase the number of eggs the women produces. Some are taken orally, and some are injected. What do these wonder pills and injections do? In general, these medications work by causing the release of hormones that either trigger or regulate ovulation. Fertility drugs can also be used in men to treat male factor infertility, but this is less common.

Commonly Prescribed Fertility Drugs

Since the number and names of all of the infertility medications may seem dizzying, here are the basic facts on the drugs most commonly prescribed.

  • Clomiphene
    Clomiphene is usually the first choice for treating infertility, because it is effective. Clomiphene works by stimulating hormones in your brain (hypothalamus and pituitary gland) to release hormones like GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone) – that will stimulate the ovaries to produce egg (or several) each month, while gonadotropins stimulate your ovaries directly to produce an egg (or several). That’s all some women need to get pregnant.
  • Gonadotropins
    Brand names: Pergonal, Repronex, Fertinex, Follistim, Gonal F, Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl, Profasi, and Menogon and Puregon (available only in Europe). These drugs are meant to mimic the LH hormone in the body, LH triggers ovulation. And sometimes they are combined with FSH treatment, also known as human menopausal gonadotropins (hMG), but this may be used in some special cases, not that requently. They are injectables.

But like many other fertility solutions, such as in vitro fertilization, fertility drugs can increase your chance of multiple births — and the more babies you carry, the greater your risk for complications such as miscarriage and premature labor. About 10 percent of women who take Clomid have multiples (mostly twins), as do 10 to 40 percent of women who take gonadotropins.

Risks of Fertility Drugs

As with the use of any drug, risks come with fertility drugs. One risk you’re no doubt familiar with is the risk of a multiple pregnancy. Multiples, either twins, triplets, or higher-order, can occur when using fertility drugs.  The side effects of clomiphene are generally mild. They include hot flashes, blurred vision, nausea, bloating, and headache. Clomid can also cause changes in the cervical mucus, which may make it harder to tell when you’re fertile and may inhibit the sperm from entering the uterus.

Another potential side effect of fertility drug use is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or OHSS. OHSS happens when the ovaries are overly stimulated, becoming dangerously large and filled with too much fluid. This fluid, which is released with ovulation, can lead to serious complications. OHSS is rarely life threatening, but it should be taken seriously.


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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.


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Getting ready for IVF- what is reproductive immunology?

“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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10 proven sperm killers

Want to get pregnant? First you have to know about the 10 proven sperm killers and be prepared for all the things that can go wrong.

Trying to get pregnant is not as easy as everyone think it is. There are lots of things that can go wrong like sperm allergies, poor egg quality and ineffective sperm.  It is proven that one in ten couples are infertile.

Men produce millions of sperm a day. This millions of sperm are nothing compared to the 300-400 eggs that women release during their lifetime. However there are some external factors that can affect the health of these little swimmers. Temperature is one of the reasons that can have big influence on these swimmers, but as we know the sperm cells take about 75 days to grow to maturity. This can also affect your fertility. Check out the 10 proven sperm killers, you might be surprised knowing what may affect a man’s sperm:

High temperature

The function of the human testes is strongly connected with overheating. In order for the human testes not become overheated they need to stay cooler than the rest of the body. The nature has done miracle with this area, male anatomy is designed to create a distance between the testes and the core body temperature. It well known that if the temperature of the testicles is raised to 98 degrees than the sperm production is interrupted. Overheating of the testicles and interrupted sperm production can have a negative impact for months.

Hot tub relaxation

There are times when myths become reality. One of those cases is the influence of the hot tubes and Jacuzzi over the sperm production. More than 30 minutes in a hot tub or in a Jacuzzi can temporarily decrease the sperm production? Now how can that be true?

It is because of the wet heat exposure. If a man exposes himself to a wet heat, it may have an impact on his sperm for a long time. A man’s sperm takes long time to mature, and if he does anything that will reduce this time, it may take six to nine months to show any benefit.

High fever

If there is anything that is most similar and has the same impact to the man sperm, than it is for sure that we are talking about the high fever’s impact on a man’s sperm. It gives the same lasting effects. Generally it depends on the timing in the sperm production process, but the sperm concentration can degrease up to 35% following a fewer.

Laptops

Leave the laptop on the desk? If you are trying to conceive, you have to know that there is a direct correlation between the laptop use and increased scrotum temperature.  This increase has a harmful effect on the spermatogenesis.

 

Boxers are better than Briefs

Yes, boxers are better than briefs, but why? It is because if the man is wearing tight bicycle shorts for a long period of time this may affect if the sperm count is on the low side. If the sperm count is normal than it probably affect, but very little.

Enlarged varicose veins

Nearly 15% of men have varicoceles, or enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum. This varicocele veins are usually in the left testicle. With a low sperm count, you may think of a procedure that repairs enlarged varicose veins.

Cell phones

It is better for man to carry their phones is their briefcases rather than in their pockets. If you carry your cell phone in your pocket more than four hours per day, than you may be facing with a lower sperm count in future.

Obesity

According to the World Health Organization, obese fertile men have reduced testicular function and significantly lower sperm count. Obesity reduces the sperm count and only in some cases obesity may have a negative influence on the male reproductive potential.

Lifestyle

It is recommended for those that want to conceive to avoid tobacco, alcohol and marijuana; it can affect the semen quality, production and sperm’s motility.

Other factors

Anti-sperm antibodies, testicular cancer, hormonal imbalance and sexual problems are few of the most dangerous sperm killers.

 

 

 

 


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40 are the new 30?

Wait, what? 40? Really? Aging really is a state of mind, women in their 40s are looking and feeling better than ever!

Who really buys this idea of 40 being the new 30? As it turns out, women more so than men. In a recent poll, twice as many women vs. men think that 40 is the new 30.

Who doesn’t buy this idea? Not surprisingly, people who have not yet turned 30 definitely don’t think that 40 is the new 30.

We are living faster, getting married later, and having children a decade (or more) later than prior generations. Due to technological innovations and advances in science and medicine, we are improving our health and as a consequence, prolonging our lives. What this means according to scientists, is that middle age is coming on later. But also there is the fact that our body is changing, and we are getting tired easily when we are in our 40s, and we are seeing more of the lines and wrinkles on our faces. So what we should do?

We can magnify imperfections that other people don’t even see, and we should start by not obsessing over everything. We must stop comparing ourselves with other women in general, especially those that we see in the magazines. We are all different and unique, and we must focus on what makes us happy and better, and start focusing on how to take better care of ourselves. Replace the negative remarks with positive, and you will see how amazing you will feel through each day.

Many people become depressed when they hit the big 40, but contary to popular belief, there’s no real reason to fear age 40. It is becoming accepted that a person of this age has fewer limitations with regards to health and lifestyle options than those of previous generations.  People are living longer lives and, with proper lifestyle changes, can be as healthy, fit and vital, not to mention youthful in appearance and physique, for many of these years. All of this posturing to be a decade younger? Are we obsessed with looking and being young? Of course we are. And, there are billion dollar cosmetics, health and fitness industries to prove it. At some point we’ll all come to the grips of aging, it is inevitable, but we should embrace it and make that our strength because with age comes wisdom and grace. We are learning how to get more comfortable in our skin, to focus on what is important in our lives and what makes us happy.
This idea of an older decade being the ‘new’ younger decade is not a novel concept. It was first tossed years ago when stars like Sheryl Crow, Courtney Cox and Sarah Jessica Parker turned the big 40. Now that more of our most adorable starlets–Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Renee Zellweger and Taraji Henson, along with many of our leading men–Matt Damon, Vince Vaughn, Tyson Beckford, Ethan Hawke, and Malcolm Jamal Warner–have hit that number in the last couple of years, Hollywood, the fashion industry, the media and, yes, the world are rethinking the way we look at those over 40.

Maybe that explains it. It’s all a matter of perspective or is this just our way of making aging more acceptable? What do you think?