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“Infertility” … “Fertility Challenged” … Insurance Coverage?

qmarkI’m wondering how folks feel about the word “infertility” vs. “fertility” and how you all feel about having fertility challenges considered a disease. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings.

From my point of view, of course there are a variety of physical conditions that can impact fertility negatively and some of these are classified as diseases. However, reading and hearing the label “infertility” rubs me the wrong way. It seems to infer hopelessness.

My experience involves a long 10-year road of “unexplained infertility” and I bristle at the notion of it being a disease. On the other hand, I can see where the labels of “infertility” + “disease” bring the advantage of validating the need for insurance coverage for “treatment.”

Another question I’m pondering:

If insurance is covering fertility “treatments,” what specific treatments do you believe should be included in that coverage. For example, do you believe all physical/medical treatments/technologies should be covered? Do you believe psychological/emotional/mental treatments/technologies/therapies should be covered? Do you feel/believe that any treatments that are currently available should be classified as elective, and if so, how should that impact insurance coverage in your opinion?

Please let it rip on your most heartfelt thoughts and feelings on these ideas.

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Financial Assistance for Fertility Treatments or Adoption

Not only are you struggling with getting pregnant and carrying to term, but you are now facing some tough financial choices. Or worse, you think you have no choice when it comes to the money you need to get testing, hormones, meds, procedures or maybe adoption. Fertility Within Reach has compiled a list of resources for grants and financial assistance. Included are tips for filling out applications and a list of mistakes to avoid. There may be a surprise piece to your puzzle here.

Have you found resources that have been helpful to you in paying for expenses related to becoming a parent? If so, what has worked best for you? If you have insurance, who is your carrier and does your carrier support fertility treatments and/or adoption? Please share in the comments box below. Let’s help each other find solutions.

Increase Fertility, Naturally: From Experience Life Magazine

Kristin Ohlson, a regular contributor to Experience Life Magazine, has written an up-to-date, concise primer on preparing your body for conception. Her article Increase Fertility, Naturally gives 9 practical strategies for cultivating a healthy pregnancy. She starts out with the reminder that, according to RESOLVE, one in 10 of us will experience infertility.

Each of the 9 suggestions (with accompanying explanation) is valuable. If you take all 9 and implement them as a package, you’ll be setting a solid foundation for trying to conceive. Of course, there may be other issues to address, but don’t sneeze at this set of 9. It’s a perfect place to start to ensure you’re creating the best possible conditions. The article is also sprinkled with useful references.

My personal favorite is Number 7. Look Beyond the Numbers.

On the web version of this article, Kristin has included a 10th (a Web Extra) to help men create the best conditions for the swimmers too.

For those of you experiencing a deeper level of frustration on the fertility path, I’m offering a complimentary guide Freedom from Infertility Frustration: 6 Steps to Relief. Visit Whole Vision Coaching to have the guide sent to you.

Coach Louise and Coach Julie

Dear blog reader,

Coach Louise began this blog with the intention that it be a place to share stories, ask questions, get support in a safe place of understanding and compassion, as well as a source for information on the topic of infertility, miscarriage, treatments etc. I am so excited to be taking over the administration of the blog and continuing on the mission of supporting you on your unique fertility journey. If you’d like to know more about me and what I offer, please click About Julie or visit Whole Vision Coaching. I’m so glad you’re here. Most importantly, I really want you to understand that you are not alone and this part of your adventure does not define who you are.

Having experienced the frustrations of unexplained infertility personally, I recognize that the experience can be isolating when the people around you don’t necessarily understand what you are going through. It is also often the first crisis couples come up against where there is really no control over the outcome. I want to connect with you and give you as much support as possible to lead a life full of joy and balance no matter the outcome of your pursuit of parenthood. I can also help to guide you and propose different alternatives that you might not have considered yet from a purely objective point of view.

Ultimately, I can offer you a space like a comfy sofa that you can fall into to feel comforted and reassured and so much more while on this unexpectedly challenging journey.

With love,
Coach Julie

Get a huge sprinkling of Baby Dust in the New Year: New Telecircle ‘ The Fertile Foundation Powercircle’ starts Mon 19th Jan & Tues 20th Jan. Available to all with a phone or Skype!

Get Inspired...

Get Inspired…

Dear Friends,

A new type of support group (with a coaching twist to keep us on a positive track) is starting soon!   The exciting part is that you don’t have to drive anywhere, you can just call in on a specific telephone number (that I will provide) at the same time each week for one hour.   This support group is quite different to any other that you might have come across in the traditional sense.   We will be coming to the calls from a place of love, non-judgement, and positive energy.

I have found that groups I do coaching with over the phone, really enjoy a close connection with each other, and I believe part of that is the fact that no one knows one another, and can’t see each other!  Hard to believe!?

Everyone relaxs in that space and just takes the time out to be nurtured, to share, to be coached, and to set inspired actions that week that will support the ongoing journey in trying to conceive, whether naturally or through medical assistance.

This group is specifically for those who face the challenge of infertility and the steps they take from that diagnosis.  There will be two groups, one for newbies who are new to this journey, and another for women who are at least 1 year in.

If anyone would like to enquire or book their space ( limit of 8 to a group, so everyone gets to participate) please email me at louise@keystoclarity.com or call me on 732-2992347.   The cost of belonging to this group is nominal to cover my personal outlay, as I see this as a way to give back a community that has been very important to me over the last few years.   The monthy fee is $50.

Baby Dust Powercircle     (for Newbies)  will take place at 12pm Noon EST or – 5 hrs GMT

Mega Baby Dust  Powercircle  (for the more seasoned ladies who have been on the journey for over a year) will start on 20th Jan 12pm Noon EST (or – 5 hrs GMT)

Please pass this information or link onto anyone you know who might like to know about this opportunity.  Many thanks!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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How to determine the quality of your eggs or sperm!

baby-in-vitro

Hi folks,

This is such a big question, but in truth there is a lot you can do improve the quality of either eggs or sperm!   It takes 3 months for follicles to mature into eggs, and also the same time for sperm to develop ready for ejaculation.    So it stands to reason that you want to give yourself at least a few months before you start seriously trying to fall pregnant to take care of things on your end!

Discovery Health did a recent documentary on men drinking a mix of fruit and veg smoothies twice a day for a few months, and the quality of their sperm increased dramatically.  These men were chosen as they were not successfully creating a pregnancy with their partner, and this was because their sperm was not up to scratch.   So even making that simple change can make the world of difference.   Often individuals, women and men included are not getting enough minerals and nutrients through their diet,  so this is a great place to start looking at how you can influence the outcome of fertility issues.

Minerals are also really important, so nuts like Brazil nuts are great because of zinc and selenium for men to produce healthy sperm.  Men, and women, need folic acid, so choose lot of green leafy vegetables to put into your smoothies, or juicing.   (if you’re juicing, which incidentally I love, make sure you are taking in enough fibre during the day, as juicing would not be enough)   Make sure you are mixing vegies and fruit as you want a really good mix of nutrients.  By the way asparagus has lots of folic acid!

I am by no means an expert but from my own experience and from all the reading and research I do, this seems to be a great platform to start from.

To add to the mix, do a little exercise too.  Don’t go crazy, and don’t do it in fits and starts – if you do that, it can potentially do more damage than good.   Fit regular exercise into your routine that gets the blood circulating.  Like walking or swimming.   For women, hard exercise is going to detract from the fertility process, so make sure you are moving but make it gentle.

Let me know how you get on!  Ultimately what this says to me, is rthat we really need to take good care of ourselves first!  Nature’s way of preparing us for taking good care of the little ones we will bring into this world!  And that we are able to do something before we resort to other methods and extremes.  Good luck!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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Male Infertility Cause – Vitamin D and low Folate…. curiouser and curiouser

Hi everyone,

I was doing some research and found an interesting article from an Australian website.  Whats interesting is that the men have low folate and high homocysteine levels,  they don’t mention the gene mutation of MTHFR, which men can have too.  MTHFR gene can lower the ability to turn folate into an amino acid which helps to lower homocysteine.  This is a known cause of infertility in women.  Interesting…? The status of this blog

 http://www.news-medical.net

‘Australian fertility experts say a dose of daily sunshine could help men with fertility problems and they suggest couples struggling to conceive should consider getting out in the sunshine more often.’

According to Dr. Anne Clark, the medical director of the Fertility First assisted reproduction clinic in Sydney, blood tests of 794 men who visited the unit found more than a third of them had vitamin D deficiency – they were also found to be deficient in folate and had elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood associated with cell toxicity.

While previous research has shown vitamin D, produced from natural light and found in oily fish and eggs, is important for a healthy pregnancy, this latest research shows a deficiency may also affect sperm.

Dr. Clark says the results show lifestyle changes can be beneficial and just spending ten minutes outside in their shirt sleeves would be enough of a boost along with giving up smoking, losing weight, and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake.

Dr. Clark says the vitamin D deficiency could have been caused by worries about skin cancer and by men trying to avoid too much exposure to sunshine.

A group of 123 men agreed to make the changes, and to also take multivitamins and antioxidants for two to three months, after which time tests revealed ‘an improvement in the shape of the sperm which saw a 75% reduction in the level of sperm fragmentation among the 123 men and 31 of the men went on to achieve a pregnancy.

Dr. Clark says the results clearly show that lifestyle changes and dietary supplements can be beneficial for the conception of a healthy on-going pregnancy.

Dr. Clark presented the paper to Fertility Society of Australia conference in Brisbane – the research is part of a study by University of Sydney doctoral student Laura Thomson who is investigating DNA fragmentation of sperm, a significant factor in male infertility which is most often the result of cellular damage resulting from infection, smoking or advanced paternal age.

Dr. Clark says their findings support a European study earlier this year that showed women’s vitamin D levels strongly correlate with their ability to conceive.

She says vitamin D and folate deficiency are known to be associated with infertility in women, but the outcomes of the screening among men in our study group came as a complete surprise.

Among the group of males tested, 40 pregnancies had been achieved, with more than half of those pregnancies occurring naturally or with minimal intervention such as intrauterine insemination and with only three miscarriages (6%) compared to an average 22% miscarriage rate among women using fertility treatment.

Dr. Clark says the findings could have major implications for the costs of fertility treatment as one in six Australian couples experiences infertility – a blood screening test costs about $450 while a cycle of IVF treatment is about $4,500.