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Friday, October 07, 2011
Problems with Fertility? Try These Diet Tips

When trying to conceive, one’s diet usually does not make the checklist of things to consider. However, if you are struggling with fertility issues, making healthful food choices will only help you on your way to conceiving. Both you and your partner should get on board with a healthy eating plan to boost your fertility and increase your chances of becoming parents.

Tips for Women

Eat a highly nutritional, balanced diet. Be sure to get enough B9, zinc, iron and calcium, which regulate your hormones and ovulation. Having a regular cycle can help keep track of your fertile window. Sources of B9 or folic acid include leafy vegetables, egg yolks and legumes. You can find iron in red meat or spinach, lentils, beans and fortified cereals. Foods that are rich in calcium include dairy products, kale, nuts and seeds. You should eat more fiber, which you can find in whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

Tips for Men

Zinc is particularly effective in promoting the production of healthy semen. Zinc is found in oysters, kidney beans, beef, oatmeal or sole fish. Vitamin C increases sperm motility, so tell your partner to get supplements or increase his intake of papaya, bell peppers, oranges and broccoli.

Tips for Both

Avoid consuming alcohol in excess, quit smoking and limit your coffee intake to less than three cups a day. These factors may affect fertility both in men and women. Refined carbs have been linked to inflammation which may also reduce your chances of getting pregnant, so cut down on white bread, pasta or white rice. When trying to conceive, you should be in the best health possible. However, if you still don't see results after several months of healthy eating, consult a fertility specialist for help. Click here to find a specialist in your local area.


Thursday, September 22, 2011
Maria Menounos Will Freeze Her Eggs
Celebrities and fertility treatments tends to be big news these days. In an interview with Dr. Drew Pinsky that will air Thursday on his Lifechangers television show, Maria Menounos revealed that she plans to freeze her eggs.

"I'm 33, and I decided that I know I have a couple of years of work I want to get to, and then do it," she said according to People magazine online. "I figured this is kind of an insurance policy."

Celebrities who undergo fertility treatment is nothing new, and their stories can act as an inspiration to many couples or individuals who are considering similar treatments.

A lot of couples and individuals who are considering fertility treatments such as egg freezing may have reservations about it. When we hear stories about celebrities who are considering the same types of treatment, it tends to relax us about it a little bit.

Egg freezing involves the extraction of the woman's eggs, which are dehydrated and frozen. They are then stored safely so they may be used for certain fertility procedures at a future date. Many women who would like to have children in the future?or who would like to keep the option open?but who are still pursuing a career or education, or who have not yet found a partner may consider egg freezing.

Menounos has been dating boyfriend Keven Undergaro for over a decade. She has worked for Today, Access Hollywood and Extra.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011
How Stem Cells Can Help Infertile Men

When we typically think about infertility, oftentimes we consider it mainly a women’s issue; however, in roughly 25 percent of infertile couples, it is the man who is infertile, so men should definitely also get tested.  

Luckily, stem cell research shows promise for helping men struggling with infertility. In a recent study, scientists at Japan’s Kyoto University have for the first time successfully created sperm from embryonic stem cells in mice, which were then used to produce healthy offspring. Using stem cells from mice, they were able to produce genetic precursors to sperm, which were used to fertilize mouse eggs in a lab dish. These fertilized eggs were implanted into female mice, developed normally as embryos and ultimately were born as healthy pups. Further, these pups fathered their own healthy offspring. This experiment leads researchers to be cautiously optimistic that the experiment could one day lead to an alternative treatment for infertility in men.

Stem cell research is just one of the many possible breakthroughs being explored in modern medicine today. Couples experiencing infertility issues should seek guidance from an experienced specialist to learn about the newest treatments and options available to begin their journey into parenthood. Click here to find a specialist in your local area.

Monday, August 01, 2011
IVF or IUI? ABCs of Fertility Treatment

Couples who are dealing with the frustration and disappointment of infertility may find new hope with recent advances in medicine that can increase many couples’ chances of finally conceiving and starting the family they’ve hoped for. Two of the most popular infertility treatments are IUI and IVF—read on to learn what these top treatments are all about.

IUI (IntraUterine Insemination)

IUI is a fairly simple treatment that is often recommended as the first treatment option after a couple has been diagnosed with fertility concerns. The idea with IUI is to help the male partner’s sperm by placing it closer to the egg, increasing the chances of the two making a connection. With IUI, your doctor will watch the development of your eggs using an ultrasound. Your doctor may recommend additional hormones to encourage your eggs to develop and your body to ovulate. Once your body is ready, the actual procedure only takes about half an hour, and involves the doctor placing the male partner’s sperm directly into the womb, where hopefully an embryo will be created and begin to develop into a healthy pregnancy.

IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization)

You’ve probably heard about IVF, the most popular fertility treatment, but may not be sure about what it actually involves. With IVF, the male partner’s sperm and the egg are joined together outside of the woman’s body, and then placed into the womb to develop into a pregnancy—this is done to take the ‘guesswork’ out of hoping egg-meets-sperm, increasing the chances of the woman becoming pregnant. To begin the IVF process, you will be prescribed hormones and other fertility medications to encourage the ovaries to produce eggs. Once the eggs are ready, the doctor will remove them and combine them with the male partner’s sperm, and then give the new embryo(s) a few days to grow and develop. Then, one, two, or more embryos (twins!) are placed back into your womb to continue to grow into healthy, normal pregnancy.

IVF and IUI are just a few of the many fertility treatment options available through modern medicine today. Couples should seek guidance from an experienced specialist to learn about the exciting new options that can help you conceive and begin building on their own dreamed-of family. Click here to find a specialist in your local area.

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Support on the Path to Parenthood: IVF Scholarships from INCIID

Many couples struggling with infertility face difficult choices when it comes to covering the costs associated with fertility treatments. Infertility treatments like IVF are covered by only about 10% of insurance companies, but new options like the infertility scholarships offered by The InterNational Council for Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID -- pronounced “inside”) give many couples what they need to make their dream family a reality.

INCIID has arranged for a number of respected IVF clinics in the U.S. to donate their expertise and state-of-the-art facilities so that patients who do not have the financial resources may have the opportunity to build a family. The program will cover most of the basic IVF expenses.

Candidates must contact INCIID to start the process of determining eligibility for the scholarships. "Our goal," says Nancy Hemenway, INCIID Founder and Executive Director, "is to give those without insurance coverage an opportunity to fulfill their dream of becoming parents."

Visit http://www.inciid.org/index.php?page=programs to learn more.

Friday, March 11, 2011
Celebrities Achieve Happiness Through Fertility Treatment
From Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, who turned to surrogacy, to Celine Dion and Rene Angelil, who achieved success through in vitro fertilization (IVF), many celebrities have turned to fertility treatment to help them get pregnant and have a child. But celebrities are not the only ones who have found success and happiness through these treatments, as couples and individuals across the globe have reached their goals through the use of fertility procedures.

Surrogacy is a procedure in which a surrogate carrier carries a child for an otherwise infertile couple or one struggling to conceive through natural means. In vitro fertilization is typically used with surrogacy so that the baby is related to the couple rather than the surrogate mother, making it possible for a family to be biologically related even if the mother doesn't carry the child. In vitro fertilization can also be used to help the female partner of the couple to become pregnant and carry the baby herself.

While these procedures have brought happiness to couples around the world, not everybody enjoys success on the first try, so speaking with a specialist regarding possible success rates is highly encouraged. Dion has even revealed several failed IVF attempts, but has stated that she and her husband did not abandon hope. Inspiring stories such as these help many women get through what can be a stressful time.

Those who enjoy the greatest chances of success tend to be those who are under the age of 35. Success is not confined only to those younger than 35, however, as many women including Dion, 42, have found success into their forties. The circumstances surrounding each woman may differ, making it difficult to reveal success rates without personally speaking with a specialist.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Nicole Kidman Opens up About Infertility Struggle

Nicole Kidman has opened up to talking about new baby Faith, the child born to her and husband Keith Urban, on Dec. 28 with the help of a surrogate.

The birth was "so deeply emotional and moving," Kidman says in an interview with Australia's 60 Minutes. She utilized the help of a surrogate mother, who carried the child after fertility treatments were used to enable Kidman and Urban to be the biological parents of baby Faith. "She was the most wonderful woman to do this for us. We were in the place of desperately wanting another child and this opportunity arose for us. I couldn't get pregnant and we wanted another baby. I get emotional even talking about it because I'm so grateful to her."

Kidman candidly spoke about her difficulties getting pregnant, beginning with an ectopic pregnancy she suffered ealier in her life when married to Tom Cruise. "I've had a very, very roller coaster ride with fertility. It has never been easy for me."

Now, she proudly says, "I have two gorgeous adopted children (Bella, 18, and Connor, 16) and two gorgeous biological children (Sunday, 2, and baby Faith). I can't believe what's happened."

Infertility can be a difficult struggle for many women and couples, but through modern medical technology, the dream of having a biological family can be achieved through a variety of treatments. Talk to a specialist today to learn more.

Friday, February 11, 2011
Celebrities Turn to Surrogacy to Grow Their Families
As infertility treatments become increasingly common among Americans, so they are also growing in popularity among celebrities.

Just a few weeks ago actress Nicole Kidman and her musician husband Keith Urban, both 43, announced that they had welcomed a second daughter into the family on December 28. Faith Margaret Kidman Urban was born to a surrogate mother at the Centennial Medical Centre. The couple are reported to be the biological parents of Faith, made possible by the use of gestational surrogacy.

Gestational surrogacy means that the mother and father donate their eggs and sperm, respectively, and the embryo is then placed in the surrogate mother’s uterus, where the pregnancy develops. Since the surrogate mother’s eggs are not used, the baby will have the DNA of the couple, rather than the surrogate.

Nicole Kidman has reportedly struggled with fertility and miscarriage, and has previously undergone IVF treatment. But ultimately, gestational surrogacy was the best choice for her.

“No words can adequately convey the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, particularly our gestational carrier,” Kidman and Urban said in a press release.

Another famous couple, Sir Elton John and his legal partner, David Furnish, also turned to surrogacy as a means to build their family.

A son named Zachary was born to the world famous singer, 63, and Furnish, 48, on December 25, 2010 to a surrogate mother. In this case, traditional surrogacy was likely used, where one of the father’s sperm was joined with the surrogate mother’s egg via IUI.

These uplifting stories prove that no matter the avenue used, creating a family is a beautiful, invaluable experience. To learn more about surrogacy, click here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Acupuncture for Infertility: Traditional Treatment of a Modern Problem

Infertility can be a difficult condition for many couples to overcome on their path to parenthood. There are a variety of medical treatments available that can help individuals become parents, like in-vitro fertilization and IUI. But many couples are interested in using more natural methods of alternative medicine, or even using a combination of western and eastern medical techniques to treat their infertility. Acupuncture is an effective, minimally invasive treatment that many have turned to in their struggle to become pregnant.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that has been used to provide relief from an abundance of pain, illnesses and conditions. It involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles in specific points on the body to release blocked energy, which practitioners believe may manifest in disease and illness. By doing so, many have found relief from a variety of ailments, including infertility.

Simply relieving stress may be a good first step towards improving fertility, although acupuncture has also helped treat male infertility causes such as low sperm count and sperm DNA fragmentation and female infertility causes such as endometriosis, PCOS, low ovarian reserve and others. Those with unexplained causes of infertility may find success through acupuncture as well.

Acupuncture has successfully helped many couples improve fertility, but it is often used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to help boost results and improve chances of success as well. If you're experiencing infertility and would like to learn more about how acupuncture may be able to help, see a fertility doctor or practitioner of acupuncture in your area. 

Friday, July 02, 2010
The ABCs of IVF
Couples who are dealing with the frustration and disappointment of infertility may find new hope with recent advances in in vitro fertilization that can increase many couples’ chances of finally conceiving and starting the family they’ve hoped for. Combined with other assisted reproductive therapies (ART), such as assisted hatching and sperm retrieval and hatching, IVF can dramatically increase a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant, whether the underlying cause of infertility is due to male or female conditions, or both.

In vitro fertilization begins with the administration of ovulation-enhancing drugs, which encourage a woman to produce multiple eggs during a single ovulation cycle. During this cycle, the signs of ovulation are carefully monitored to ensure the eggs are perfectly prepared for the treatment. Once they are ready, the eggs are combined “in vitro “ – literally, “in glass” – in a special vessel in a highly controlled environment, and introduced to sperm from the potential baby’s father. The eggs are monitored for signs of fertilization, and once fertilization has occurred, the embryos can be placed into the uterus. A few weeks and a pregnancy test later, hopeful couples will know if IVF worked for them, like it has for many couples in the past few decades.

IVF and complementary ART techniques have undergone significant advances in recent years, and couples should seek guidance from an experienced specialist to learn about the exciting new options that can help them conceive and begin building on their own dreamed-of family.

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