Being proactive about your fertility is one of the most empowering decisions you can make as a woman. Life moves fast, and in reality, our window of peak fertility is relatively short. Sometimes we discover that we’re happiest with a completely independent lifestyle but know that having a child is what we’ve always wanted. Sometimes the perfect partner doesn’t appear “in time” and we aren’t willing to compromise on love or on our dreams of having a baby. Instead of waiting for the stars to align, many single women are forging their own paths to parenthood with the help of assisted reproduction.
Donor reproduction or third party reproduction is a process where someone other than the intended parent or parents provides DNA (in the form of an egg or sperm) or gestation (through surrogacy) to help bring a baby into the world. The use of donor sperm in intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common type of third party reproduction, and there are many reasons why it’s such a good option for so many patients.
While sperm donation has often been the butt of jokes in the media and the process is often misunderstood, third party reproduction of this type is a very routine part of modern fertility treatment. Sperm donors make it possible for all kinds of families to welcome a new child into their lives, and we think the subject deserves a spotlight. Today, we’ll take a look at the types of patients whose lives can be transformed by fertility treatments using donor sperm.
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition which affects more than ten million women around the world. PCOS causes a wide range of symptoms which can be very disruptive to a woman’s life, and which can interfere with her fertility. There is no cure for PCOS, but there are many treatments available which can be very effective: thanks to advances in fertility medicine and technology, most patients with PCOS who want to get pregnant eventually do.
Today we have another entry in our ongoing Doctor Spotlight series. September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month, which makes this a perfect time to introduce Dr. Carolyn Alexander. Dr. Alexander is known affectionately in the fertility community as the “PCOS Queen” for her unparalleled expertise and knowledge of this subject.
Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of female infertility, and it affects up to 10% of women of childbearing age, according to the National Institute of Health. As if the extreme chronic pain and heavy bleeding that endometriosis can cause were not enough, it can also seriously derail your plans to get pregnant. Of the more than 5 million American women coping with endometriosis, at least a third must also deal with its impact on their fertility.
The financial side of fertility treatment is fraught for many patients, and figuring out how to fund your care is challenging. Often, the last thing you want to think about are the intricacies and bureaucracies of insurance, but understanding your rights and your options can make a huge difference as you move forward. To help you get a clear picture of what you need and can expect from your insurance provider, we have put together this clear guide. Asking the right questions is the first step towards getting the right answers.
All of us at SCRC are committed to education. Providing access to cutting edge research, dispelling common myths about fertility, and helping people understand how fertility treatment might be able to help them: it’s all part of our mission, and it’s important work. There’s a lot of information out there about fertility. Some of it’s great, some of it’s incomplete or outdated, and some of it is actually full of inaccuracies and misunderstandings. Sorting through it all to find out what you need to know can be a real challenge.
In our many years of speaking with and treating patients, there are some questions that our fertility doctors hear time and time again. Today, we’ll take a look at some of these queries and offer some straightforward answers.
Dealing with the emotional fallout of infertility is hard at any time of the year, but there is one date on the calendar which can be particularly difficult. For anyone who is struggling to have the baby they want so badly, Mother’s Day can feel like a slap in the face. Not only is it a holiday that specifically excludes women without children, it’s also another reminder that time is passing while you are still waiting for your baby.
Late last year, famous TV uncle John Stamos was excited to announce that he and his then fiancée, Caitlin McHugh, are expecting their first child. At 54, Stamos falls on the older side of the scale for a new dad. He’s certainly not alone. Both men and women are delaying parenthood, with the average age of first time parents climbing all the time. Currently, in almost 10% of all U.S. births, the father is over the age of 40, a percentage which has more than doubled since 1973 when that number was only 4.1%. Fathers over 50 are still outliers, however, accounting for a little less than 1%. The links between maternal age and fertility have been deeply studied and these findings get a lot of media coverage, but are there risks that potential older fathers should be aware of?
Egg freezing has become an important part of today’s fertility conversations. New techniques and technologies in cryopreservation have made this a viable option for many young women who know that they want to have children, but are not ready to be pregnant right now.