What if I can't do IVF? But I want to get pregnant...

What if I can't do IVF? But I want to get pregnant...
Hopeless.
That’s how most women who can’t do IVF feel when they realize that’s their next step, or even worse they are told it’s their first step. If your one of the millions of women who are dealing with infertility, I’m here to tell you that not being able to do IVF is not a dead end on the road to fertility (like you’ve likely been told) Nor is it a hopeless situation if you don’t have the finances to fund ART (applied reproductive technology treatment).

Just because you are not a candidate for IVF doesn’t mean you can’t change your overall health. Yes- even IF – you have endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, blocked tubes, low AMH, DOR, thyroid issues, factor 5 Leiden, MTHFR and are over the age of 35. How do I know? Because I had 7 of the diagnosis on that list, and I was still able to get pregnant 4 TIMES after being told that I would need donor eggs. Just in case your thinking LUCK! Don’t fool yourself. One-time would-be luck but clearly to have that much luck would be like hitting the lottery 4 times.

Be empowered. The good news is you have way more control over your health and fertility you’re your led to believe. Overall health is the goal and pregnancy is the outcome. Even with seven diagnosis I STILL would have told you that I was “pretty healthy” but my body was telling a different story. I made as many diet and lifestyle changes as I could, as fast as possible. You can check out another blog about what changes I made to get pregnant HERE.


In the end had I not gotten pregnant I would have considered donor eggs. If this is something you’re considering and want to read someone’s personal story and be able to connect with them, check out “Infertility Success, Stories of Help and Hope for Your Journey" .Both Constance Lewis and Laura Watson were able to get to the family of their dreams using donor eggs. They both have resources at the end of their chapters to help you move forward on your journey.


Embryo adoption is a process where couples or individuals who are struggling with infertility adopt an embryo that has been created and stored at a fertility clinic. This option is becoming more popular as more people are becoming aware of it and as the technology surrounding fertility treatments improves. There are two main types of embryo adoption: open and closed. In an open adoption, the couple or individual knows who the donor is and may even have contact with them. In a closed adoption, the identity of the donor is kept anonymous. Couples or individuals can also choose embryos based on gender and other genetic factors. Embryo adoption is a great option for couples or individuals who are struggling with infertility because it allows them to experience pregnancy. It is also much cheaper than other fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). If you are struggling with infertility, embryo adoption may be a good option for you to consider.


Constance Lewis, Struck by Lightening

Constance Lewis, Struck by Lightening


What can I do to help my IVF work?

Erica, “what can I do to help my IVF work?” As an infertility mentor this is one of the most asked question. For anyone on the infertility journey IVF is usually not the first or second on the journey. By the time couples get to the place of agreeing to IVF there has already been a huge investment of emotional turmoil, time and money. The money. Oh, so much money for the chance to become parents. You wouldn’t go into any other transaction that costs as much without first safeguarding that you are in alignment to ensure the success of the outcome.
The reproductive system is so intricate that to even move the needle by millimeters could change the outcome. Here are my best tips to put into practice when you’re preparing for your IVF or IUI procedure. For more information and support like this join us over at Infertility Empowered.


1)Acupuncture- This eastern medicine modality has been utilized for millennia to prepare a woman’s body for conception. Today well-rounded REI clinics are offering this in house to help with relaxation and implantation either before or after the procedures. If your REI doesn’t offer this, speak to them about bringing your own practitioner or make an appointment that coincides with your treatment. There are tons of studies both clinical and anecdotal that support acupuncture as extremely complimentary for reproductive medicine.

2)Gentle movement- This will help originate your blood and provide much needed stress release. Swap out higher impact activities for ones that are lower impact but still increase heart rate. Research behind high impact activity is very divided with no clear answer as to whether or not this affects implantation. Traditional Chinese medicine defers to low impact activity during ovulation and the two -week wait.

3)Support your Liver/Gut- Both of these organs support your hormones so do all that you can to be gentle with them and make their job easier. Eat easily digested meals, drink plenty of water and avoid inflammatory foods like dairy. Your liver plays a very important role in your hormone balance so avoid alcohol during ovulation and the two-week wait.

4)Sleep- Sleep is important to restore your body. Remember the goal here is to grow a human. Make sure you get plenty of rest so your blood sugar/and cortisol levels remain stable as these are both big players in reproduction.

5)Supplements- Of course you know when you get pregnant that you will be taking a pre-natal vitamin to support your growing baby, but there is plenty of research to support taking one pre-conception can help you conceive also. Make sure the vitamins you are taking are whole food (meaning not synthetic) as synthetic vitamins can tax your liver and create toxicity. Confused as to what to take? And why? Get on the list for my workshop Decoding Supplements.









Can Ureaplasma cause infertility? The Test Fertility Dr.’s doesn’t want you to know about

Can Ureaplasma cause infertility? The Test Fertility Dr.’s doesn’t want you to know about

If you have unexplained infertility, you know that the list of possible tests is never ending. Well at least it’s not if YOU want to find a solution to YOUR infertility. Western medicine is famous for discounting symptoms and dismissing patients they cannot easily treat. Especially, if you have had chronic UTI symptoms you need to keep reading.

So, WHAT is it?
Ureaplasma is a bacterium that can be passed through sexual contact although it’s not considered a STI or STD because it has only a small ability to cause disease. It can live in the lungs, although most often in the reproductive tract or urinary tract.

What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms can range from none (other than unexplained infertility) to chronic and persistent UTI symptoms including pain, burning, frequency to urinate and foul smelling watery vaginal discharge. Some experience itching as well. Urinary symptoms can occur in both men and women.
Sometime associated with repeat bacterial vaginosis as well as repeat unexplained miscarriage.
If you have ureaplasma you may end up at a urologist who won’t be able to get to the bottom of your symptoms either since the bacteria lives in the vagina.

A $10 antibiotic is the cure...
While samples can be taken and cultured in a lab this is costly and usually not done unless a definitive diagnosis is needed. Sometimes you can have ureaplasma and the culture doesn’t grow. Sometimes only one partner is given antibiotics leading to even more confusion as this makes the symptoms go away temporarily (but quickly return) since both partners haven’t been treated. To be effective the infection is treated with antibiotics (Zithromax or doxycycline) in both partners (this is key in relieving the symptoms) with either

If you want to hear a real-life story of how this impacted one woman…

Erin Banks has an amazing story to tell about her battle to diagnosis over a 2-year odyssey where she went through 9 medicated cycles, 5 unsuccessful IUI’s (most of them should have NEVER been done) and 3 early pregnancy losses. All this could have been avoided if one of the 6 doctors she visited had done some further investigation surrounding her symptoms.

Do you have a story surrounding a UREAPLASMA diagnosis?
 Drop it in the comments below.




4 Tips to get the most out of your doctor’s appointments.

4 Tips to get the most out of your doctor’s appointments.
Let’s face it there are so many jokes about not wanting to go to the doctor because it’s pretty low on everybody’s list. One of the ways that you can maximize your doctor’s/Reproductive Endocrinologists visits (especially if it’s an out-of-pocket visit) Is by doing some planning ahead. This not only will maximize your financial investment, but also keep moving you forward on your infertility journey.

The first tip might seem pretty basic, but it’s oh so important. Ask yourself, how do you respond to doctors in general? Do you lose your train of thought? Do you feel intimidated? Can you easily voice concerns or ask questions? It’s good to know ahead of time what emotions may come up for you and mentally rehearse or prepare how you want to see the appointment playing out.

There’s nothing more frustrating than taking time out of your day to visit a Doctor Who has not received your bloodwork or not reviewed your bloodwork (this happens more than you might think) That’s why it’s SO important to take responsibility as a patient and understand to the best of your ability what your testing levels are. Most blood work reports give a range so that you can tell if your results fall in that range. If you have any questions or concerns flag those on the report or make a note to discuss this with your doctor. If you’ve been taking supplements to improve a certain vitamin store and it has not improved be sure to ask why that might be. Ask questions about test that fall in the “low normal” category to see if your doctor recommends supplements to help or a change in medication.

I can’t recommend the next point enough! Write down any questions that you have a head of time so that you can participate and direct the conversation towards things that are on your mind and you can leave having the answers that you want. There’s a saying in the medical community about if you hear hoofbeats assume it’s a horse, not a zebra. All that to say that you might in FACT be a zebra. Nowadays it’s harder than ever to give personalized care so doing your own detective work and advocating for yourself might be the only way to get to the end goal of a successful pregnancy.

In the weeks leading up your appointment take an inventory of how you’re feeling, sleeping, and your overall emotional state. How is the condition of your hair, skin and nails? Dry hair and brittle nails can be significant health markers. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor as these can be symptoms of other things going on in your body that you might not be aware of. In the end, no one knows your body better than you. Finding a doctor that you feel a collaborative relationship with might just be the key to unlocking your unexplained infertility or other health condition.

 
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