Pregnancy After Age 50

In one of my favorite movies, Father of the Bride Part II, Diane Keaton and Kimberly Williams play a mother and daughter who conceive around the same time and give birth on the same day. Keaton’s character, Nina, suspects menopause, so it’s assumed that she must be in her fifties. In the US, giving birth beyond age 50 is fairly rare, but it happens more than it used to due to fertility treatments, which allow women of “advanced maternal age” to use the eggs of younger women. Pregnancy in the sixth decade is extremely risky. Surprisingly, risk increases significantly between … Continue reading

Embryo Adoption, Part Two

My last blog was on a relatively new type of adoption, embryo adoption. The visibility of embryo adoption will, I predict, increase quite a bit for three reasons. The increased debate about stem cells will impact people’s awareness of and beliefs about frozen embryos, which are a main source of embryonic stem cells. Some scientists say that embryonic stem cells, which have not yet differentiated into different types of tissues, will be the most useful for treating diseases (although non-embryonic stem cells, obtained from blood, umbilical cords or other tissue, have already been used to treat aplastic anemia, and other … Continue reading

The Link Between Infertility Treatments and PPD

An Australian study suggests a link between infertility treatments and post partum depression. The study of 700 new mothers showed a four times greater incidence of PPD in the mothers who had undergone treatment for infertility prior to getting pregnant. This study shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that all women who are in treatment for infertility will develop post partum depression. It just means there is an increased risk. Understanding the risks and symptoms of post partum depression is an important factor in getting treatment and feeling better. Additional Risk Factors for PPD: * The number of children. Women with … Continue reading

Infertility Testing: Hystersalpinogram

Beginning with this blog, I will be doing a series about common infertility testing. When you first visit a reproductive endocrinologist, you will hear about a myriad of testing procedures. This can be confusing and cause anxiety. I know it did for me. I’ll start this series by talking about a test called the hystersalpinogram. I had this test done twice, once fairly early in my six years of infertility and the second time just prior to undergoing IUI to conceive our first baby. The hystersalpinogram is a very long name for a fairly simple test. The test is basically … Continue reading

What is Selective Reduction?

Selective reduction is a procedure used to reduce the number of embryos in a multifetal pregnancy. This procedure is sometimes used when too many embryos implant in a pregnancy that is achieved with assisted reproductive technology. When too many embryos implant successfully the chance of carrying the pregnancy to term drops significantly. Selective reduction is generally used for pregnancies with more than two fetuses. Preventing medical problems in the pregnancy or the loss of all the fetuses is the reason for the procedure. In some cases, fetuses that are considered to be at greater risk for defects are selected for … Continue reading

Infertility: Taking Care of Yourself

When you are going through infertility treatments, it’s easy to neglect your health. You are so focused on treatments and running back and forth to doctor’s visits that you may neglect your health. If you have been going through infertility for an extended period of time, you may feel depressed. This can cause you to neglect yourself. It’s important to take care of yourself when you are going through infertility treatments. Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. The time you invest in caring for yourself now will benefit your baby later. A healthy mommy increases the chances of … Continue reading

Waiting to Take a Pregnancy Test

When you are trying to conceive, your life feels like it revolves around your cycle. The longest time is the weeks between your fertile days and the day you can take a test. This was the hardest time for me when we were trying to conceive our first baby. The rest of the month seemed to go twice as fast as the days waiting to test. During those days my mood would routinely change from optimism about the prospect of pregnancy to feeling depressed and certain it didn’t work. Every woman that I know who has gone through infertility has … Continue reading

Maintaining Your Marriage

Infertility is devastating to most couples. The diagnosis and treatment process can take a toll on even the strongest marriages. Nothing sucks the romance out of intimacy more than trying to have a baby. Spontaneity goes out the window as intercourse becomes planned and scheduled around the best time of the month for conception. Couples need to make a real effort to keep the romance alive during the time they are trying to conceive a baby. If you get your baby, but destroy your marriage, you will have many regrets later. Although it can be hard to be spontaneous, it’s … Continue reading

The Effect of Stress on Fertility

Infertility is a major life event for nearly all couples who experience it. As the months slip by without a baby, the disappointment is devastating. The six years my husband and I spent trying to conceive our first baby remains the most stressful period of my entire life. In most cases, stress does not cause infertility or make it worse. Your mother, friends and grandmother keep telling you to relax and you’ll get pregnant. Although this is meant to be helpful, it can make you feel more stressed and even blame yourself. This is not productive and not true. If … Continue reading

What to Expect: Artificial Insemination

The world of fertility treatments can be intimidating and stressful for couples. You’ve been evaluated by the doctor and told you need artificial insemination. You may worry and wonder what will happen. Our first child was conceived with the help of this procedure. I remember feeling very nervous and unsure during that first cycle. Often, women take fertility drugs early in the cycle of the insemination. Depending on the cause of your infertility, you may be given oral or injectable fertility medications. The doctor will monitor your eggs with transvaginal ultrasounds to determine how many eggs are developing and the … Continue reading