Posts Tagged ‘ In Vitro Fertilization ’

Would You Fund Another Couple’s Pregnancy?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Kickstarter campaigns used to be reserved for funding business startups or helping families in medical crisis. But these days, more and more couples are using internet sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe to help cover the big price tag of growing a family, whether through expensive infertility treatments or pricey adoptions. (GoFundMe estimates that over $1 million has already been donated through its site toward IVF treatments, and in the past six months, they’ve already seen more donations than all of 2013.)

A recent New York Post article highlighted a few couples who are using the internet fundraising sites to build their families, including some who offered perks like autographed CDs and theater tickets to people who donated at certain levels. (Others just went with a plea to the heartstrings of friends, family and strangers willing to pony up toward surrogates or fertility treatments.)

But the practice isn’t without its detractors. Some people say that if you can’t afford to pay for the infertility treatments or adoption fees on your own (or through a line of credit), you have no business adding to your family. In adoption circles, where families sometimes use heartbreaking pictures of the child they wish to adopt and a “save this child” wording, it feels even more exploitative.

What do you think? Would you fundraise for your fertility treatments or adoption fees? And would you be willing to donate toward a friend’s (or a stranger’s) attempt at building a family?

Are you hoping to add another little one to your family? Find out if you’re maximizing your fertility! And like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the latest pregnancy trends.

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

Image: Pregnant woman with piggy bank by  lightwavemedia/Shutterstock.com

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How Fertility-Friendly Is Your State? Find Out!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Though infertility is often kept hush-hush, it’s more prevalent than you might think: It turns out that one in eight couples has trouble getting pregnant.

If you’re struggling with infertility, one of the first things you probably think is: What am I doing wrong? (We always blame ourselves, don’t we?) But surprisingly, where you live might play a role in how successful your attempts to conceive may be. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, recently released its second annual Fertility Scorecard, which sheds light on the discrepancies between access to fertility treatments and support by state.

The report found that the most “fertility-friendly” states to live in are Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. The reason? According to RESOLVE, they have better insurance coverage of in vitro fertilization, a higher number of fertility specialists relative to the state’s infertile population, more infertility support groups, and less of a history of trying to pass laws that negatively impact infertile couples. Therefore, they all received an “A” grade.

Meanwhile, Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming are pretty much the exact opposite—with little insurance cover for IVF, few infertility specialists and support groups, and more laws that hurt infertile couples in the long run, which is why they earned an “F” grade. The majority of northern states scored a B or C, while most southern states were more likely to earn a C or D. (For a closer look at your state’s rating, click here.)

With this being National Infertility Awareness Week, RESOLVE is hoping their findings will “bring attention” to these state-by-state discrepancies. And wouldn’t it be nice if every state eventually earned an “A”? I think we all know someone who has struggled to get pregnant, and they definitely need plenty of support—both emotional and financial—while going through expensive and trying rounds of IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF.

Trying to conceive? Talk to other women who are, too!

TELL US: What grade did your state get on RESOLVE’s scorecard?

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Image courtesy of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

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Playing Music During IVF Helps Fertilize Eggs

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

I’ve heard playing music for plants can actually help plants grow to be taller and stronger, thanks to the mild vibrations the music emits. But could the same technique help to fertilize eggs during IVF? A new study suggests yes.

This far-out idea could potentially help the 7.3 million infertile couples in the U.S. as well as millions of others struggling to have children around the world. While infertility affects one in 8 couples in America, one in four couples are plagued by it in developing countries. That is a lot of people who want desperately to have kids, but can’t.

This promise of new hope is music to their ears. At the Institut Marques fertility clinic in Barcelona, Spain, researchers studied whether playing music in IVF labs would boost the odds of fertilization by injecting sperm in almost 1,000 eggs and putting them in dishes in incubators.

Then they divided the incubators in half. Five hundred received no music, while the other 500 had speakers placed in them, where everything from pop tunes by Michael Jackson and Madonna to rock songs by Nirvana and Metallica to classical works by Mozart and Vivaldi were played 24/7.

Not all of the eggs were fertilized, but fertilization rates were 5 percent higher in incubators with music (there seemed to be no difference in success rates based on type of music played). The theory is that musical vibrations could mimic what occurs naturally during conception, where the fertilized egg is rocked as it rolls down the fallopian tube, and then receives gentle contractions in the womb. As bizarre as it sounds, according to The Daily Mail, “Music is thought to ease the passage of nutrients into the egg and speed the removal of toxic waste, so increasing the odds of fertilization taking place and the fledgling embryo surviving.”

Though it is too early to say whether the technique makes a significant difference in the odds of giving birth, couples in 17 countries have become parents thanks to the unorthodox technique. So just as music can help a couple get in the mood for baby-making, it seems it has the same effect on your eggs—even if they’re in a petri dish.

TELL US: Do you think music really can make a difference in conception? If so, what tunes would you want on your eggs’ IVF playlist?

Take our fertility maximizer quiz to see if you’re making all the right moves to get pregnant.

Sperm Meets Egg: Weeks 1 to 3 of Pregnancy
Sperm Meets Egg: Weeks 1 to 3 of Pregnancy
Sperm Meets Egg: Weeks 1 to 3 of Pregnancy

Image of woman with headphones courtesy of Shutterstock.

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A Baby With Three Genetic Parents? Yes, I’ll Explain!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

There’s new hope for moms who have mitochondrial defects that could potentially cause everything from muscular dystrophy, respiratory problems, blindness, organ failure and stroke in their newborns. A new in vitro fertilization technique, known as mitochondrial transfer procedure, combines the nuclear genes from a mother’s egg (that determine traits like hair and eye color) with the mitochondrial genes of a donor woman. When fertilized by the father’s sperm, it causes the baby to have three genetic parents—canceling out the defective genes. So if this new procedure can help make healthier babies, why is it so controversial?

A federal committee that advises the Food and Drug Administration listened to two days of hearings about how the procedure could help birth healthy children (referred to as 3-parent babies), but the concern is that it becomes a slippery slope of human gene manipulation. Once you start manipulating genes, things could be taken even further. If you want a baby with blue eyes, red hair, and tan skin, you can have it! Want a taller, smarter, stronger baby? You can make that happen too! Like a sci-fi movie brought to life.

As reported by CNN, medical ethicist Art Caplan said the same technology could be used to modify an embryo to make “super babies,” a practice he said amounted to “eugenics.”

“The big issue over the next five to 10 years is going to become how far do we go in pursuit of the perfect baby,” said Caplan. “Do I think we’re going down that road? Yes. Does it creep me out? Yes. Are you going to be able to draw a clear line? I don’t think so.”

So the question is: Is this amazing new technology that should be embraced, or feared, and how far is too far? Should women with mitochondrial defects be forced to have unhealthy babies, or be forced to adopt or use other women’s eggs completely in order to have a healthy child? Or is it ok to use a procedure like this as long as the health of the child is the main objective? But who is to say some people wouldn’t think a smarter baby is a healthier baby? A more attractive baby equals a more successful human in the long run (remember the piece I wrote about models and actresses now being the most in-demand egg donors?)? I don’t want to deny anyone a healthy baby, but it does beg the question: where do we draw the line?

TELL US: Do you think gene manipulation is a good—or dangerous—thing?

 

Image of baby and two moms courtesy of Shutterstock.

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How Did an Egg Yolk Help One Woman Get Pregnant?

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Science is a wonderful and crazy thing! After multiple miscarriages and shelling out a whopping $50,000 on in vitro fertilization treatments that nearly bankrupted them, British couple Mark and Suzanne Harper were running out of options. They wanted a baby desperately, but all cards seemed to be stacked against them. Mark had two bouts of testicular cancer that left him with a sperm count of zero. But Mark’s low sperm count wasn’t the couple’s only fertility problem. They tried artificial insemination and three rounds of IVF before doctors realized Suzanne’s immune system was producing cells that would attack her embryos, making her pregnancies unviable.

After the couple’s sixth ICF attempt that resulted in a miscarriage six weeks in, CARE Fertility Nottingham, where they were receiving treatment, then suggested something pretty bizarre. Suzanne was to be treated with a concoction of a yolk from a hen’s egg and soy oil, known as intralipid. The fatty acids in the combo are thought to prevent the cells from attacking the embryo, therefore leading the way to a successful pregnancy.

The Harpers were surprised by the main ingredient. “But we were willing to try anything to try and have a baby,” Suzanne told the New York Post.

The intralipid, in conjunction with their eighth IVF attempt, brought them their daughter Libby, born in December 2009. When the couple tried to conceive again, they used the yolk technique along with IVF, and on their fourth attempt their second daughter, Connie, was born in December 2013. “And it’s all thanks to egg yolk,” said Suzanne.

TELL US: Would you be willing to try the intralipid technique to get pregnant?

Image of egg yolk courtesy of Shutterstock.

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