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Fertility and Infertility Glossary

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Egg Freezing Procedure In the News!

It was recently reported that Diem Brown, a contestant on the reality television show “Real World/Road Rules Challenge,” has decided to undergo a fertility procedure known as egg retrieval and egg freezing. According to news reports, Ms. Brown has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the second time. Before she undergoes cancer treatment and removal of her remaining ovary, she has decided to undergo fertility procedures to retrieve and freeze her eggs for use in future assistive reproductive technology.
The 30-year-old Brown is currently getting hormone injections in advance of the egg retrieval surgery she is scheduled to have soon. She reports that the whole process, from the first hormone injection to retrieval, takes about 16 days. Says Brown,“If you are interested in egg freezing to preserve your fertility DO IT! I'm so thankful for the technologies we have today and I am kicking myself for not doing this egg freezing process years ago."
To read more about her experiences during the entire retrieval and egg freezing process, follow this link to Diem Brown’s blog on People.com.

To learn more about egg freezing, storage and egg donation, visit these pages on FertilityProRegistry.com.

Friday, May 25, 2012
Reducing Future In Vitro Fertilization Costs

Infertility affects patients throughout Beaumont, Texas and around the country. It is a source of frustration and stress for a lot of individuals and couples who are struggling to get pregnant, and leads many to seek treatment to reach their goals. One of the most common fertility treatments available is in vitro fertilization (IVF), which creates embryos by combining sperm and eggs in a laboratory setting, and later transferring the embryos to the woman's uterus. 

While the procedure is very popular and well-known, its success rate hovers around 40 to 50%, or much lower depending on the factors causing the infertility. Women who are over 35 or 40 may have even lower chances of success. What's more, the procedure costs about $10,000 to $15,000 per session. The cost of just one treatment is substantial to a lot of patients, and couples who require more than one session to reach their goals may end up spending an even greater amount of money. To reduce costs, some choose to freeze embryos that are unused in the first session so they can be used in subsequent sessions, if they are necessary.

Patients are encouraged to speak with a Beaumont fertility specialist about IVF and how they may reduce subsequent costs if the first session is unsuccessful, and how they may improve their chances of success so that subsequent sessions are unnecessary. Of course, nothing will raise the chances of success to 100% so there is still a large amount of uncertainty associated with the procedure. Some choose to first attempt intrauterine insemination, in which sperm is directly injected into the uterus where it may swim into the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg, because it is much cheaper in most cases. However, the chances of success with IUI are generally much lower than with IVF, although this varies.

To improve chances of success, patients may be encouraged to reduce stress levels, eat right, and perhaps even engage in some light exercise. Follow doctor's orders, though, as some may be encouraged to avoid certain activities and foods. For those who are unable to produce healthy eggs or sperm, egg and sperm donation services may be a viable option to improve the chances of success. Donors are screened to ensure they are healthy and produce mature eggs and healthy sperm capable of fertilization to help otherwise infertile couples.

Learn more about in vitro fertilization in Beaumont, Texas.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Intense Pulse Light Therapy May Relieve Spider Veins

Spider veins, while they may not cause pain and heaviness the way varicose veins do, may be troubling for individuals in Chicago, Illinois and other areas of the country. They appear as thin, tangled veins that are often purplish or reddish in color. Not surprisingly, many consider their appearance to be very embarrassing and seek relief through various minimally invasive procedures available. One such treatment option available to a lot of patients with this condition is intense pulse light therapy, or IPL for short. The treatment works by sending pulses of intense light energy towards the problem veins, which causes them to shrink and disappear.

Patients may find success in relieving veins appearing on various areas of the body. IPL may treat spider veins that appear on the legs, ankles, arms, thighs, face, and more. Patients are encouraged to speak with a vein specialist in Chicago to determine if IPL is a proper therapy to help them find relief from these veins. Individuals should be in good overall health and should not have a disorder affecting the blood vessels or problems with bleeding. The best results are often found in patients who have fair skin, although patients of various skin tones have found success. Individuals who are taking certain medications, are pregnant, have scaring, have acne, or who have other problems may not be ideal candidates.

A hand piece is used to deliver the pulses of intense light energy towards the problem veins. The blood absorbs the energy and the vessel lining is damaged, causing the vessel to collapse and shrink. The targeted blood vessels are damaged, leaving other blood vessels and tissue in the area unharmed. This is a non-invasive treatment that may be used to treat veins that are deeper under the skin that may be more difficult to reach with the shorter wavelengths of other laser procedures. Some combine sclerotherapy with IPL treatments.

Some possible side effects associated with intense pulse light therapy for spider veins are bruising, blistering, redness, and swelling in the treatment area. Most side effects go away after a few days and do not require any further treatment. Patients can go back to work or return to their normal activities right after treatment, and results are evident after only a short time, further adding to the convenience of IPL therapies. Full results are evident after a few weeks in most cases.

Learn more about intense pulse light therapy in Chicago, Illinois.

Monday, May 14, 2012
What is Involved with Surrogacy?

Surrogacy has helped couples and individuals in Cincinnati, Ohio as well as other parts of the state and country reach their goal of becoming parents. It is a process in which a third party carries a child for an otherwise infertile couple. The child may be conceived using donor eggs and sperm, eggs and sperm from the couple, the surrogate's eggs, or some combination of those options. Which method works best for you and your partner is something you will have to discuss with your partner and a fertility specialist familiar with surrogacy and the various assisted reproductive technologies and other fertility procedures.

Traditional surrogacy involves use of an embryo created with the surrogate's egg and sperm from the male partner or donor sperm. The sperm is introduced to the egg through intrauterine insemination, in which sperm is injected into the uterus, or in vitro fertilization, in which eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory setting to produce embryos. In this case, the surrogate will be biologically linked to the child, but agrees to release the child to the legal parents at birth. 

Gestational surrogacy involves use of sperm and eggs from the couple, or from donors. The embryos are created by combining the sperm and eggs in a laboratory such as in IVF, and then transferring the embryo to the surrogate's uterus. In this case, the surrogate is not biologically linked to the child, but carries the child for the couple until birth. This is the most common type of surrogacy.

Candidates for surrogacy include those who struggle to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, women with a uterine lining abnormality, women who have undergone hysterectomy, women with medical conditions that may lead to complications during pregnancy, as well as those who have unexplained causes of infertility. Gay couples who want a child that is genetically linked to one of the partners may turn to surrogacy to achieve their goals as well.

There are a number of financial and legal concerns that may be agreed upon before the process can begin. A specialist in Cincinnati may offer guidance and expertise on the matter, although legal consultation is encouraged for all of those involved, including the surrogate. This helps to ensure that all are comfortable with the process and their role, and documents must be signed to ensure all parties understand their rights and responsibilities throughout the treatment, pregnancy, and following delivery. Many surrogates are financially compensated, although some do not receive compensation, especially if they agree to carry a child for a family member or friend. The medical expenses, and perhaps other expenses, of the surrogate are paid for by the couple.

Learn more about surrogacy in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Monday, May 14, 2012
Possible Risks of In Vitro Fertilization

For a lot of people and couples in Atlanta, Georgia or in other parts of the country, in vitro fertilization represents hope in overcoming infertility to get pregnant. But the procedure is not without its risks, and those who are interested are encouraged to speak with a specialist to discuss them to help determine whether the treatment is right for them. IVF is one of the most common and well-known fertility treatments available. It's helped patients throughout the world reach their goals, and it's trusted by fertility specialists to give patients a good chance at success.

In vitro fertilization involves the combination of sperm and eggs in a laboratory to create embryos. The embryos are transferred a few days later to the woman's uterus using a fine tube, where they may implant in the uterine lining and develop. The egg retrieval process and sperm collection requires the couple visit the clinic prior to embryo creation, and the woman must return to the clinic for the transfer of the embryos to the uterus. Some women take fertility medication to assist in egg production, while some couples use donor eggs and/or sperm depending on whether they are able to produce healthy samples on their own.

Side effects may be associated with fertility medications used to stimulate production of mature eggs. Nausea and other side effects are possible, and it is important that women take this into consideration when deciding whether to take medications or coordinate egg retrieval with their natural cycle. 

Another risk of IVF is multiple births. To reduce this risk, most transfer a limited number of embryos. Some advocate transfer of only one embryo, although this is a conversation you should have with your Atlanta fertility specialist to determine if this is right for you. Most transfer two or three embryos per cycle, although this varies on a number of factors. Some choose to freeze unused embryos for use in a future IVF cycle.

Success rates of IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies hang around 40 to 50%, although this is largely determined by the cause of infertility, age of the couple (especially the female partner), and the number of embryos transferred. Women over the age of 35 experience a lower chance of success, and rates continue to decline with age. Still, the procedure has helped women of a variety of ages get pregnant, with some finding success into their 40s. 

Learn more about in vitro fertilization in Atlanta, Georgia.

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