March 2008 Blog Archive
Monday, March 31, 2008
Dancing with the Stars Celebrity Offers Encouragement to Women with Infertility
We recently took a look
at a case of celebrity infertility involving Dancing with the Stars
star Marissa Jaret Winokur. The television actress suffered from cervical cancer that made it impossible for her to have her own child with husband Judah Miller. However, the couple has chosen to use surrogacy
to bring a baby into their home and are expecting that child to join them soon.
In an update provided by Celebrity Baby Blog
, Winokur spoke more candidly about the infertility issues that she has faced. She then offered encouragement to all other women who are dealing with infertility. She says:
"You can find a way to do this. If you want to have a baby, you can adopt, there's in vitro, there's surrogacy."
Winokur opted for surrogacy in her case because the cancer that she dealt with makes it unable for her to carry a child of her own. However, she is quick to point out that the child is biologically hers. She also notes that she's experiencing a few of those great mom-to-be moments like feeling the baby kick for the first time, although she's experiencing them in a way that she didn't originally plan.Question of the Day: Is it encouraging to you to see celebrities overcome fertility issues?photo link
Friday, March 28, 2008
Our Doctors in the News: Huntington Reproductive Center
We are always happy to see our doctors make their local news. That was the case recently for Huntington Reproductive Center which operates a series of fertility clinics throughout the Los Angeles area
. They were profiled in Westside Today
in an article entitled "Huntington Reproductive Center:
Bringing Dreams to Life for More Than 20 Years".
The article reviews the achievements that have been made by these doctors in the twenty years that they have been in operation. In addition to the standard procedures (such as in vitro fertilization and egg donation), the office has been a leader in areas such as PGD sex selection
and egg freezing.
Currently, Huntington Reproductive Center is one of very few fertility clinics which works with a technology called MicroSort which is being tested out for further approval by the FDA. This technology is another method of sex selection that might be of interest to the fertility patients that the business treats down the line.
Of course, you might not be located in the Los Angeles area. This is just one example of a doctor's office that has been doing great fertility work for years. You can check our network
to locate a doctor who works closer to you.Question of the Day: Would you be interested in sex selection services from your fertility doctor?photo link
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Celebrity Infertility Update: Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon
Back in January we discussed
the recent birth of twin boys to Haitian actress and model Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon. She had struggled with infertility problems for over five years and finally used in vitro fertilization
to get pregnant. The twins were born healthy and are doing well.
In an interview with Celebrity Baby Blog
, more information has been revealed about the infertility issues and the pregnancy trouble that Garcelle dealt with in order to get pregnant and have the twins. The main thing that she discusses is that the process of in vitro is difficult and it's draining on a romantic relationship (but of course it's worth it in the end.)
Garcelle says that there are many ups and downs when dealing with in vitro. This is due to many causes but she specifically mentions that the ongoing process of thinking that you might be pregnant and then finding out that you're not is draining. Additionally, Garcelle and her husband dealt with several miscarriages before these healthy babies were born. Question of the Day: Do you believe that conception is worth the ups and downs of IVF?photo link
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Birth Control Pill Can Actually Help You Get Pregnant
Women who are taking birth control pills are trying their hardest not to get pregnant. Little did we know that you can also use these pills to assist you with conception if you're having trouble with infertility issues. New research
reveals that birth control pills can be used to control the timing of ovulation in order to assist doctors and patients with mroe effective use of in vitro fertilization
Basically, the short of it is that women who are using IVF to get pregnant have to make sure that they're timing everything around the specific part of the month when they might be able to get pregnant. The new study showed that "a two-week intervention treatment using a standard low-dose birth control pill can help time egg harvesting" so that the process is more controlled and less reliant on chance than it has been in the past.
Timing is a difficult thing to coordinate in this day and age when life is so busy. Both the fertility doctor
and the woman trying to get pregnant need to be on the same schedule. This method allows the schedule to be controlled in order to optimize the procedure and increase the chance that the IVF is going to be effective. It's a finding that is important in the modern world.Question of the Day: Would you be interested in using birth control pills to improve the likelihood that your IVF treatments would work?photo link
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Celebrity Surrogacy: Dancing with the Stars
If you are an avid fan of the television reality competition Dancing with the Stars
then you might be familiar with the name Marissa Jaret Winokur
. You may also know this actress from her television roles on shows like Dharma and Greg
or even from her Broadway performance in Hairspray
If you know who she is and you've seen any recent pictures of her, you might be surprised to find out that she's expecting
a baby. There are two reasons for that. The first if the very obvious one that she doesn't look pregnant. And the second is because she is a cancer survivor who had a hysterectomy as part of her treatment.
As you might have guessed then, Winokur isn't pregnant herself. She is using a surrogate
to carry the baby for her. This isn't the first case of a celebrity using a surrogate to bring a child into her life. (Kelly Klein
is a good example.) Nevertheless it remains rare and noteworthy.Question of the Day: Who you would want to be a surrogate for if you could?photo link
Monday, March 24, 2008
Celebrity Fertility: JLo Confirms She Didn't Need In Vitro
When Jennifer Lopez finally got pregnant last year, many people speculated
that she must have used in vitro fertilization to conceive. She's pushing forty, an age at which it is still possible to get pregnant with the help of infertility treatments but also an age at which that likelihood is getting slim.
When it turned out that Lopez was pregnant with twins, the rumor mill about IVF
started really churning. That's because multiple births are much more common among people using IVF than they are in just the general population.
Despite that, Jennifer Lopez recently gave an interview
in which she confirmed that was able to conceive the babies naturally. She also said that she misses the feeling of being pregnant; the babies were born about four weeks ago and are doing well.Question of the Day: Were you one of the folks who suspected that Lopez must've needed infertility treatments to get pregnant with twins?photo link
Friday, March 21, 2008
India Tightens Regulations on Surrogacy for Pay
At the end of last year, we reported
that there was a growing interest among women in India to offer their services as surrogate mothers
. Many women from around the world began flocking to India in order to find a surrogate who would carry their baby into the world at a very low cost. That trend may rapidly see a decline as a result of the fact that India is drafting new laws
that could tighten up regulations on surrogacy in the country.
India is concerned that the baby industry there is growing out of control. Reports indicate that the combined business of surrogacy and IVF
could be worth as much as $12 billion there this year. The country wants to institute more legal controls on this business in order to make sure that the procedures are safe for everyone involved.
"Voicing concerns that the surrogacy surge is built on the "economic exploitation" of Indian women, officials at India's Women and Child Development Ministry said that political pressure is building to curb the "rent-a-womb culture". "
Other than the women in India who have been providing these services, it is primarily women in the UK and the United States who will be impacted by these changes. These are the two countries that send the most people to India and other places in order to get a surrogate at a low cost. The argument against the practice is essentially that women from these economically advanced countries are "taking advantage" of the lower economic position of Indian women by effectively buying their wombs at a low cost. The difference can be as much as $60,000 when the procedure is done in India as compared to the U.S.Question of the Day: Should India create stronger laws to protect the women there from engaging in surrogacy?photo link
Thursday, March 20, 2008
BBC Celebrity Overcomes Infertility
You may not know who Lucy and Rhodri Owen
are but they're a well-known Welsh couple that are recognized by fans of the BBC. They are both television news presenters in Wales who met on the job and married naerly four years ago.
Both of the television news stars have wanted to add children to their partnership. However, they have struggled with infertility which made this goal difficult to achieve. They were happy to announce last year that they had overcome the problem of infertility through the use of in vitro fertilization
Of course, you never know how IVF pregnancies are going to go. There are a lot of complications that can come up in these high-risk pregnancies
so many women hold their breath for those nine months (and keep their doctor's number on speed dial!)
The couple can breathe easy now because the baby has been born
and is healthy. There is no word yet as to whether or not the couple will use in vitro to conceive again in the future.Question of the Day: How would you feel about your infertility being under the celebrity microscope?photo link
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Problems Associated with Infertility
Dealing with infertility is obviously a difficult thing. It is emotionally trying and it can be physically exhausting. However, those are problems that you probably expect when you realize that you are facing fertility issues in your life.
There may be some other problems that you didn't expect. Here is a look at some of those problems and how to avoid them.
- Divorce. Couples often assume that they'll deal with the problem together. Unfortunately, it often gets to be too much. One blames the other or one wants to stop trying and things go downhill. Communication is the key to avoiding this side effect of infertility.
- Debt. It's expensive to get in vitro fertilization or to use a surrogate to conceive. Even with medical insurance, you might find yourself in credit card trouble because of the infertility. Budgeting your money and making responsible financial decisions is the key to bypassing this problem.
- Discovery of other health problems. You'll be spending a lot of time at the doctor and getting check-ups that are more extensive than you might have had in the past. This can reveal cancers and other health problems. Of course, it's better to find out about these early and nip them in the bud but that doesn't make dealing with them any easier. The key to dealing with this is to take one health issue into focus at a time. Get healthy and then work on getting pregnant.
The main issue in dealing with the infertility problems that may arise for you is to try to stay rational. Emotions can get high during this time of your life but that's not going to resolve the issues! Stay calm, focused and committed to stabilizing your life and you should come out on the other end of infertility just fine.photo link
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Celebrity Infertility: Julie Snyder
If you haven't heard of a celebrity named Julie Snyder
then that's probably because you only follow American celebrity news. Snyder is a woman who is well-known in both Canada and France as a television personality and talk show host. She hosts her television show in Canada but has been seen on TV in both countries in a number of different roles. She is best known as the host of Le Banquier
which is the Canadian version of America's Deal or No Deal
Snyder had her first child three years ago when she was 37. She struggled with fertility problems probably resulting from the fact that she had waited until later in life to try to conceive. She did undergo treatments for infertility but ultimately conceived naturally. Now that her child is going on three years old, she and her husband are ready to add to the family again. They have just announced
that they are expecting another baby to be born in October.Question of the Day: What questions would you have for Julie Snyder if you could interview her about her struggles with infertility?photo link
Monday, March 17, 2008
Companies Supporting International Fertility Treatment
We have mentioned
on this blog in the past that there is a big industry known as "medical tourism" which serves the needs of many women seeking assistance in dealing with infertility. This basically means that women with fertility problems are traveling to foreign countries to get in vitro fertilization
or egg donation
. They do this primarily because the cost of the procedures is significantly lower in these foreign locations.
For the most part, people talk about these trips in a negative light. It's not recommended as a good idea to travel away from your local fertility doctor
to get a procedure as serious as this one completed. Additionally, there are health insurance concerns and other medical and legal issues which can complete the ease of the transaction.
Despite this, there are some people who support the idea of medical tourism for many different ailments including infertility. For example, there is a company called StatMedica
that works specifically with patients in the UK who are interested in traveling to Poland to get a reduced cost medical procedure. The service provides advice and assistance to these people to help them make sure that their international medical experience goes smoothly.
There does not appear to be similar service for U.S. patients at this time. However, there may be a growing need for this type of service if women continue heading out of the country to treat their infertility. Question of the Day: Do you support the idea of businesses that assist women with getting international infertility treatment?photo link
Friday, March 14, 2008
Reproductive Doctor Honored with Woman in Science Award
There are many great doctors out there who are working in various aspects of women's medicine. This, of course, includes reproductive medicine. Most of these doctors go about their jobs without recognition from anyone other than the women that they are helping on a daily basis. And that's considered enough reward for doing the work that they both love and find to be important to their communities. But it's always nice to know that there are occasional times when these doctors are recognized by the rest of the medical community for the work that they are doing.
That was the case recently
when the American Medical Women's Association issued their 2008 Award for Women in Science. The recipient of the award was a doctor named Linda C. Giudice who primarily works in the University of California - San Francisco medical system. Her life's work has been devoted to making advances in multiple areas of women's medicine including the treatment of infertility. She has devoted a significant amount of her clinical research to the issue of infertility.
Doctors don't get into their line of work to win awards; they do their work in order to help people. But isn't the people who are helping others the group of people we should be recognizing most for their work? This is one example of when that happens.Question of the Day: What other areas of women's medicine concern you?photo link
Thursday, March 13, 2008
3 IVF Alternatives
Most women who are having trouble with infertility find that their best bet is to use in vitro fertilization
to get pregnant. However, not all women want to go through the IVF process. Some women find that the expense, the time, and the difficulty of the medical procedure just isn't how they want to have a baby. Other women try IVF for a long time and don't achieve results from the procedure.
Frequently, this women will turn to either surrogacy
or adoption as a means of having a baby without using IVF. However, there is an article online
which suggests that natural healing alternatives may be something to look into if IVF isn't the right infertility option for you.
The article recommends three different alternative treatments, two of which we've reviewed on this site before:
- Acupuncture for infertility.
- Herbs for infertility.
- A baby vacation.
These are options that you may consider as alternatives to IVF. You may also want to use them in conjunction with IVF since chances are they can't hurt the medical process (although you should ask your doctor before adding herbs to your diet). Whether or not you want to pursue these methods will depend on your perspective on alternative healing as a whole.Question of the Day: Of the three alternative healing options for IVF, which do you think is most likely to be effective?photo link
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Teens May Be Risking Infertility from STDs
There was an article
making the rounds yesterday that served to shock the parents of teenage girls across the nation. The article reported that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over twenty five percent of teenage girls have a sexually transmitted disease. This means that over three million teenage girls are suffering from an STD right now.
And of course the worst part is that many of these girls either don't know that they have the STD or aren't getting the proper treatment for it. Teens who are having unprotected sex may not have the awareness or maturity level that is necessary to nip STDs in the bud. Certain STDs, such as chlamydia, that go unchecked for a long period of time can lead to long-term problems in the body such as increased risk of infertility.
We've reported in the past
that there are doctors and researchers working on ways to raise awareness about chlamydia and its related infertility problems. The hope is to reduce ifnertility by encouraging women to prevent getting these STDs and to get them treated in the early stages if they do contract them. Unfortunately, this type of targeted awareness doesn't necessarily focus on teens.
In general, teens are going to be more concerned about the immediate impact of STDs than the long-term impact that they can have. As they get older, they will realize that they may have done some major damage to themselves. When they're required to use in vitro fertilization
to have children, they'll be thinking twice about that unsafe sex but by then it's going to be too late.Question of the Day: How can we raise awareness of long-term STD concerns among teens?photo link
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Women Head to China for Surrogates
We've mentioned here before that international surrogacy
is on the rise. Women are heading to other countries to find someone to carry their babies for them because of the high cost of getting a surrogate here in the United States. One of the most popular choices for international surrogates has been India
but there seems to be a growing interest in going to China
for getting this kind of infertility help.
It should be noted that there are several concerns to keep in mind when considering using a surrogate from another country to bring a baby into your family. This is particularly true of China where the act of surrogacy isn't even exactly legal. According to a report in The China Digital Times
, "China's Ministry of Health banned medical institutions from assisting in surrogate motherhood in 2001". It doesn't specifically ban the act of linking together people seeking surrogates with women wanting to be surrogates and reportedly the country turns a blind eye to the fact that it's going on but it's not really an above-board activity either.
Additionally, it's always a wise choice to get medical procedures done through a doctor located near you. This allows you to be close to your family and friends during a time when you really need that type of emotional support system. It also helps make sure that you're going to be able to have easy access to your doctor should problems arise.Question of the Day: Would you consider international surrogacy as a solution to infertility?photo link
Monday, March 10, 2008
Infertility and Carbs
It wasn't that many years ago that nobody talked about carbohydrate intake. Then we saw the introduction of the no-carb and low-carb diet fad into our society. Now everyone has an opinion on carbs. And most people have some knowledge of how many carbs they take in. This may be particularly true for women who are concerned about keeping to a strict diet.
But did you know that there might be a link between carbohydrate intake (or lack thereof) and problems with infertility?
An article in the Chillicothe Gazette
discusses numerous aspects of infertility and diet and speaks specifically about the relationship between carbohydrates and problems with fertility. It offers a diverse amount of information on the topic but essentially says that there are two kinds of carbs - fast-acting carbs like white bread and sugars and slow-acting carbs that are healthy and rich in fiber. Fast carbs may cause problems with fertility. However, you should still be sure to get your slow carbs because a total lack of carbs can also create fertility problems.
It's never particularly good to follow diet fads. That's even more true when you are trying to keep your body healthy for the baby that you want to have. Make sure that you get informed about the nutrition that your body needs and work with a fertility doctor
who understands the importance of a healthy diet
.Question of the Day: What other health changes will you make as you work to overcome infertility?photo link
Friday, March 07, 2008
The Good and Bad of High Risk Pregnancies
A recent news report
pointed out a fact that many people might consider to be alarming and that fact is that the number of high risk pregnancies is on the rise in the United States. More women are having trouble with conceiving and more women are experiencing pregnancies that are prone to complications. However, there's an upside to the report and that is that more women are also successfully conceiving and delivering healthy babies despite the risks that are involved. This speaks to the fact that modern medicine is working hard to keep pace with the rest of modern life.
Part of the reason that high risk pregnancies are on the rise is that more and more women are postponing pregnancy into their later years and requiring infertility treatments in order to get pregnant. This, along with the fact that infertility treatments are more readily available to a broader population of women today than they were in past, leads to an increased number of people who didn't get pregnant the good old-fashioned way. And that means that there are more people who are at risk during their pregnancies.
"Exact numbers are not available, but doctors say that tens of thousands of organ transplant recipients, breast cancer survivors, women with heart defects, and even women with the AIDS virus have decided to risk childbearing in the last several years." (source)
On the flip side, these women are under the care of a fertility doctor
who is trained in the issues that are unique to women dealing with infertility. As a result, it is more likely than not that these women will ride out the difficulties of the pregnancy and deliver healthy babies.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Infertility Treatment Success Story
There are many emotions ups and downs to deal with when it comes to infertility. That means that there are also many positives and negatives to report on when it comes to infertility news. It's always nice when the reports floating around lean towards the positive instead of the negative. Such is the case with a recent report
on a family that struggled with infertility and survived it, raising two children happily for the past eleven years.
The story made the news this year because the twins were leap year babies that recently celebrated their eleventh birthday. But there's more to the story than that. The parents had struggled with infertility and weren't sure that they'd ever conceive when they did get pregnant. They had triplets but they were born early and one of them died shortly after birth. The other two were in the hospital for the first five months of their life in order to receive the care that they needed. Despite these struggles, the children came home and are healthy.
Eleven years later, the struggle with infertility isn't forgotten but it's no longer at the forefront of the family's concerns. Instead, they get to spend their days dealing with the ups and downs of being a family, just like any other family would have to whether they'd ever experienced issues with infertility or not!Question of the Day: What infertility success story can you share with us?photo link
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Using Infertility to Celebrate Fertility
Earlier this week, The Huffington Post
had an article celebrating the life and work of Barbara Seamen who passed away recently. She was a woman who played a great role in women's health, advocacy and education and those who were around her in life say that she is sorely missed. In addition to providing interesting information about this individual, the article makes a really interesting point about the relationship between infertility and fertility in our society.
Boiled down to its basics, the point is that young women today spend so much time dealing with the realities of infertility that they may have forgotten the awe and wonder of fertility itself. They have to make conscious choices from a young age about whether or not to take birth control, whether or not to postpone having children due to their careers and how to cope with the medical facts of fertility and infertility. As a result, these women are more familiar with the negative side of fertility than with the magic of the pregnancy experience.
This isn't to say that we should stop talking about infertility issues. But it does suggest that there's an important need in society today for discussing the good things about fertility as well. Women who are struggling with infertility may use their reality to remind younger women of the good parts that fertility has to it.Question of the Day: How can we balance the need to provide information about infertility with the need among society's young women to have an appreciation for the beauty of fertility?photo link
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Women Lie About Infertility
Have you gotten into watching that television show called The Moment of Truth
? If so, you might have asked yourself whether or not you've be able to tell the whole truth about your life on national television. And even if not, you might want to consider asking yourself whether you regularly tell lies about important things in your life, such as your situation with infertility.
A news report
indicates that women really don't have much problem telling lies (or "fibs"), at least not in comparison with their male counterparts. The report shares the results of a study which shows that the number one thing that women lie about is the amount of money that they spend. Down the line, it's also noted that women lie about motherhood in general and infertility specifically.
Women lie for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it's to save face. Sometimes it's because they just don't want to talk about it. Infertility is a really close-to-the-heart issue and a woman may lie about it because she doesn't feel that it's any business of the person she's talking with.Question of the Day: Would you lie about infertility?photo link
Monday, March 03, 2008
Surviving Infertility Won't Make You The Perfect Mom
Believe it or not, one of these days your battle with infertility is going to be over. You will eventually get pregnant through in vitro fertilization
, bring a child into your home with the help of a surrogate mom
or adopt someone else's children who are in need of love. And when you do, you are going to have all of the flaws that every other parent has.
There was a recent article at MomLogic
on the idea of "Mommy Rehab", a place where moms could go to get the much-needed break from their kids, spouses and real life that can sometimes make you feel like you're going insane. In passing, the author of the article mentions that she sometimes wants to get away from her kids despite all of the infertility issues she struggled with to have them.
Many women who suffer from infertility make the mistake of thinking that they aren't going to take their kids for granted because of the amount of work that went in to conceiving. The reality is that you're going to be just as tired, just as grumpy ... and just as great of a mom as anyone else might be.
Surviving infertility is something to be proud of ... but it doesn't mean that you are going to be perfect once your kids are finally in your life. In fact, you're going to be exactly what you always wanted to be - just a normal parent!Question of the Day: What do you think might be different for you as a parent because of your experience with infertility?photo link