IVF is not the only road to the holy grail of conception for those facing slim odds. Some look to it as the magic bullet — the one “sure” way to be parents using “our own” eggs and sperm. Even though it permeates the pop-culture mindshare — for example, HuffPost: IVF — it really is not the only answer and it’s not necessarily as reliable as it is often made out to be. And for some, it is simply not a realistic option.
However, for those who will go the route of IVF, there is good news. The advent of embryo vitrification (super-fast freezing) has greatly improved the viability of those embryos. In fact, the trending thought in the ART community is that a frozen embryo transferred into a womb under “natural” cycle conditions (rather than “stimulated” conditions) has a better chance than a fresh transfer.
Dr. Geoffrey Sher calls for a revision to the way IVF success rates are reported so that patients TTC can make better-informed decisions. He suggests that going forward, IVF success rates should be reported as “live births per embryo transferred.” For more on his reasoning, his post Taking a Fresh Approach to Reporting IVF Success Rate Statistics makes a lot of sense and sheds clear light on how results of the current technology can be best assessed.
Are you considering IVF? What about vitrification? Have you discussed the choice of fresh transfer vs frozen transfer with your clinician? What have you tried to alleviate your fertility challenges before going to IVF?
IVF = in vitro fertilization
ART = assisted reproductive technology
TTC = trying to conceive
On July 24th, Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac will be teaching about the connection between thyroid autoimmunity and infertility, early term miscarriage, and poor fetal health on a live free webinar. Thyroid autoimmunity is commonly found in women experiencing infertility or recurrent miscarriage. It can dramatically interfere with conception, increase the risk of first trimester miscarriages, and result in poor fetal development. You can significantly reduce these risks with appropriate management of your thyroid hormones and your immune system. Learn how TCM and functional medicine may be combined to the greatest advantage for a successful pregnancy outcome.
If you know you have a thyroid condition or if you are curious whether this might be a piece of the puzzle for you, click this link on Wednesday, July 24th at 5:30 pm (Pacific): http://bit.ly/Oldershaw Leslie will be presenting through audio and a slide presentation.
MediGogy usually archives the free teleseminars, so you may try to click through after the date and time have passed if it’s not convenient for you to attend the live presentation.
Have you been trying for a baby for a while now, and you’re now having to seek alternative methods to conceive successfully?
Have you been going down the road of IUI’s and IVF’s and still on that rollercoaster journey?
Have you experienced loss during your journey – with miscarriage in early stage or even late stage of pregnancy?
Wherever you are on this journey, it’s becoming commonly known that there are few things everyone experiences:
obsession with the fertility process
loss of balance with self, life and partnerships
a seeking for supporting the body and mind through alternative therapies
a confusion on which choices to make and when
and so much more…
In this interview, I’ll be sharing what to expect through this journey in much more detail and informaiton on how best to support yourself during your experience. I’ll also share about my journey of heartache and success, and what I know you can do differently to feel whole, balanced, and healthy on your journey.
Please share this with anyone you think might also be interested.
According to RESOLVE, “an estimated three to five million American women of reproductive age” experience endometriosis. It is well known that endometriosis impacts fertility, but how it actually interferes with conception is still under much investigation. Treatment for endometriosis to prepare women for conception involves surgery and has been around for many years now. However, there is improved technology now available that promises to make the surgery more accurate and thorough, and patients are finding a significant reduction in recovery time and time to conception.
Dr. Samuel Brown of Jacksonville, FL is touted as the originator of this procedure. ActionNewsJax.com covered the story and includes a video. If you know you have endometriosis, I thought it would be worthwhile to share the link with you. If you think you might have endometriosis but you’re not sure, RESOLVE has a useful Questions to Ask Series Article that will help you understand and open a discussion about it with your doctor.
Because it is a common barrier to conception and because some of the symptoms overlap with other menstrual complaints, doctors will often want to rule it out right away before pursuing fertility treatments and assisted reproductive technology. When I initially brought concerns of infertility to my primary care doctor, endometriosis was one of the first things she wanted to look for. At that stage of my fertility journey, I was still in denial that there could be something physical standing between me and conception. I wasn’t willing to accept that endometriosis could be a possibility. In the end, it was shown that I did not have endometriosis; however, I could have eliminated the doubt of it and moved down a more confident and clear path of progress if I had simply checked it out at the first suggestion. No harm in gathering data when you are completely in the dark about why you are trying so hard but not conceiving — especially if the data gathering is covered by insurance.
When I was trying to conceive and trying out every conceivable possibility (pun very much intended), nutrition and daily diet were on my mind constantly. I am still very food conscious, and I admit that I do not always choose the very best option — often it’s the yummiest-most-satisfying-at-the-moment option. But back when I was trying so very hard to make pregnancy happen, I wanted to know everything I could about the most current nutrition information. I thought perhaps you might be feeling that way too.
I recently came across this article from the Healthland section of Time: Is Your Problem Gluten? Or Faddish Eating? It has a lot of links to other articles on interesting questions and consideration of current nutritional and food trends. It’s not written specifically for enhancing fertility, but I believe that it still contains important considerations. And nutrition does impact overall health, which includes fertility and the ability to grow, carry, and deliver a healthy baby.
I remember being very concerned about using soy as a protein. I had been a vegetarian for many years and into the beginning of my fertility journey. I had also been strictly avoiding cow’s milk and doing most of the substitution with soy milk for multiple years. I was so confused about GMOs and the information about why you should avoid soy, while at the same time receiving information about all the benefits of soy. As with many things, it’s all in the nitty details. It sure did make my head spin and cause me stress.
Please comment here about what you think — what is confusing you on your journey and what do you think of the article? Also, what is your approach to diet and nutrition as you pursue parenthood? What have you found in the area of nutrition to be most supportive to your overall wellbeing and specifically to your fertility?