Fertility : We Can Help

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The Guide to Fertility and Treatments to Help

Having a baby is something most couples look forward to—but when getting pregnant doesn’t happen fast or at all, it can leave them feeling lost, scared, and disappointed.

Most couple’s will conceive within a year of having unprotected sex. However, about15% will have problems becoming pregnant. Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after 12 months of trying to conceive. This does not mean that couple’s are unable to have a child, however, as modern technology and treatments drastically increase the likelihood to conceive.

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What causes in fertility/problems getting pregnant?

Fertility problems can effect boththe female or male partner. Problems with fertility are common and can usuallybe diagnosed by a fertility specialist.

Fertility problems can effect both the female or male partner. Problems with fertility are common and can usually be diagnosed by a fertility specialist.

Physical and Medical Exam

Your doctor will want to know your medicalhistory as well as any current conditions you have to best treat you. If youhave had prior pregnancies or miscarriages, your doctor will ask you about these as well.

Transvaginal ultrasound

To evaluate the structure of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Bloodwork

To evaluate general health, potential hormonal imbalances, ovarian function, or thyroid function.

For the male partner, blood work may also be obtained but the main test is done through a semen evaluation which analyzes sperm quality, volume, concentration, and shape. To evaluate general health, potential hormonal imbalances, ovarian function, or thyroid function.

A fertility specialist can workwith you to determine what may be causing your infertility and what treatments will be most successful in making you pregnant.

Fertility and Lifestyle

One of the best things you can do to increase your chances of becoming pregnant is make healthy lifestyle choices. The way you treat your body has a big effect on your chances of conceiving.

Maintain a healthy weight

If you are trying to become pregnant, it isimportant to take diet and exercise into account. When you are underweight, thebody is less likely to ovulate. On the other hand, if you are overweight with aBMI over 30, you can have a reduced fertility of up to 50%.

With this in mind, don’t overexercise, as this can actually cause hormonal issues that can decrease fertility. The optimal BMI fortrying to get pregnant is between 20 and 25. One of the best things you can do to increase your chances of becoming pregnant is make healthy lifestyle choices. The way you treat your body has a big effect on your chances of conceiving.

Reduce Alcohol and Caffeine Intake

Heavy drinking can affect ovulation and decrease your chances of conception. Heavy drinking can also effect male fertility bylowering sperm production. It is also recommended that women keep their consumption of caffeine under 200 mg a day if trying to become pregnant.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking has been shown to be damaging to botheggs and sperm. Smoking also can lead to a number of other problems associated with fertility and pregnancy including erectile dysfunction, pregnancy complications, and birth defects.

Reduce Stress

Stress can effect your hormones and ovulation. Make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself, relax, and engage inquality time with your partner. If infertility is causing you extra stress or depression, you can always seek a counselor or therapist.

Make the Most of Your Love making

If you’re trying to conceive you should be having regular, unprotected intercourse. However, how you have sex can matter. If you are a woman monitoring your ovulation and having sex around the time you are ovulating will maximize your chances of getting pregnant. Becareful of certain lubricants, which can actually reduce the quality andmovement of sperm up to 60-100%.

Fertility and the Treatments Available Now

In 85-90% of cases, infertility is treatable by conventional medical treatments.  There are several options available when it comes to modern fertility treatment:

There are several options available when itcomes to modern fertility treatment:

Fertility Drugs

There are several drugs that canaddress specific problems that cause both female and male infertility. Female infertility drugs generallyincrease egg production and stimulate ovulation(common drugs include: Clomid,Femara, dopamine agonists, or gonadotropins).  

Male infertility drugs treat sperm production, low testosterone, or sexual problems. Treatments can include fertility injections or drugs to increase sperm count and quality.

Fertility Drugs

IUI or artificial insemination isan option when low sperm count, decreased sperm mobility, ejaculation problems, or unexplained problems cause fertility issues. Semen is collected and washedto maximize the number of sperm cells. The sample is then inserted into theuterus during ovulation.

IVF (In vitro fertilization)

IVF is probably the most commonlyknown treatment when it comes to fertility options. IVF takes place in multiplestages and requires both an egg and sperm sample from each partner. A doctorwill then fertilize the egg with the sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg willthen be inseminated in the woman’s uterus with the hope of the embryo attachingitself to the uterine lining.

IVF (In vitro fertilization)

IUI is much more cost effective than IVF, but may not yield the same results. Depending on the cause of your infertility, IUI or IVF may be a better fit for you. Your doctor can help youto decide what treatment will be most effective based on you and your partner’sfinances, medical history, and pregnancy goals.

Male Infertility Treatments

Problems with infertility resulting from the male partner can be detected in a sperm analysis. Problems with sperm quality, infections, or problems with erectile dysfunction and ejaculation can allcontribute to male infertility. The most common treatments include antibiotics,fertility drugs to improve sperm quality and production, and surgery.

Surrogacy

If a woman can not get pregnant or carry apregnancy to term due to medical issues such as uterine problems, pre-existinghealth conditions, or a hysterectomy—choosing to have a child through asurrogate is always an option. Parents can still their eggs and sperm or adonors’ to implant an embryo into a qualified surrogate mother.

Egg, Sperm, and Embryo Donation

If a fertility problem arises because one partner does not have viable eggs or sperm—there are many resourcesavailable to get an egg, sperm, or embryo donor. You can find donors throughfertility clinics, through family and friends, or through online programs ofqualified donors.

Egg Freezing

Many women have started to freezetheir eggs due to health issues or the desire to get pregnant later in life.During this process, women are given ovulation drugs to increase eggproduction. Eggs are then retrieved from the ovaries and frozen forfertilization later on.If a fertility problem arises because one partner does not have viable eggs or sperm—there are many resourcesavailable to get an egg, sperm, or embryo donor. You can find donors throughfertility clinics, through family and friends, or through online programs ofqualified donors.

Affordable Fertility Options

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, your income shouldn’t prevent you from having a child. Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to affordable fertility treatments.  

One of the first and best things you can do is make recommended lifestyle changes, as outlined above. However,you can still meet with a qualified fertility specialist who can work with your financial situation.  If cost is an issue when it comesto your fertility treatment, don’t lose hope—there are options:

If cost is an issue when it comes to your fertility treatment, don’t lose hope—there are options:

Fertility Treatments Don't Always Mean IVF or IUI

Many cases of infertility can be treated with health changes or drugs like clomid.

Financing Fertility Treatments

Many fertility clinics now offer financing forexpensive treatments like IVF. This can make it easier to space out payments.

Refunds on IVF and Fertility Treatments

Some clinics offer packages that ensure a partial or full refund if you do not become pregnant after a cycle of IVF treatments. Since IVF treatments can take multiple cycles, this can offer somefinancial security for couples.

Fertility Grants

There are several nonprofits that offer grants or scholarships for families who need help accessing fertility treatments. CoFertility has an entire directory of organizations that offer fertility financial assistance to different groups.

LGBTQ+ Fertility Options

Families come in many different forms—and same sex couples have more pathways to parenthood than ever before. Some clinics offer packages that ensure a partial or full refund if you do not become pregnant after a cycle of IVF treatments. Since IVF treatments can take multiple cycles, this can offer somefinancial security for couples.

Overview

Some clinics offer packages that ensure a partial or full refund if you do not become pregnant after a cycle of IVF treatments. Since IVF treatments can take multiple cycles, this can offer somefinancial security for couples.

Sperm or Egg Donation & Surrogacy

For lesbian couples, your providercan match you with a qualified sperm provider as part of the IVF or IUIprocess, using one or both partners’ eggs.  For gay couples, sperm iscollected from one or both partners or a donor and is implanted into asurrogate.

The Mobile Apps for Fertility We Love

Being in tune with your body is essential when trying to conceive, and there are several mobile apps that can help you do just that. We applaud how these apps are utilizing technology to help with fertility. We look forward to more of these mobile applications helping those in need.

Flo

Flo is an app for women that allows them to track everythingabout their menstrual cycle and fertility. If you are trying to conceive, youcan input this into the app and keep track of when you are most likely toovulate and be fertile. Flo lets you keep track of your body’s symptoms andpossible signs of pregnancy. Being in tune with your body is essential when trying to conceive, and there are several apps that can help you do just that.

Expectful

Is a mobile app that can help you get in the right mindset during the stress of trying to conceive. The app offers meditations for women trying to conceive and their partners.

Glow

Glow is designed specifically for those trying to conceive and can help women track their ovulation, sexual activity, and overall health with customized health data. The app also connects those trying to conceive with communities that discuss fertility topics. There is also an option for male partners to get involved and monitor their own health during the conception process too!

Fertility Support and Resources

Struggling with infertility can be emotionally, physically, and relationally draining for both partners. It’s important that you get support and take care of your emotional well being during the entire process.

Support Groups

Dealing with infertility can feel extremely lonely. Joining a support group in-person or online can connect you with those who share your struggles and can offer you hope and support. You can find a list of fertility support groups nationwide here.

Infertility Therapy

If infertility is causing you to feel depressed, anxious, or is causing problems in your relationship—consider seeking a professional counselor. Many qualified mental health professionals specialize in working with individuals or couples struggling with infertility.

Your worth is not based on your fertility. Conceiving can take time, but for most couples, having a child becomes a reality. Stay positive and stay in a circle of support. 💜

Follow the Leading Voices in Fertility

If you are struggling with infertility, you have probably readarticle after article about how to increase your chances of conception—but what about filling your feed with something less medical and more positive during your journey? 

Here are some of our favorite accounts that you should follow if you are struggling with fertility:

Overview on Fertility from JOY MD™.

Infertility effects couples of all kinds and can be a difficult process. We hope that this information has provided you with the necessary information to start your journey and get connected to providers and platforms within your reach.

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