Tips to help treatment

1. keeping a healthy weight. increases ones chances of pregnancy by any method.

According to the NHS, a weight under BMI of over 25 is ideal, they recommend that couples trying to get pregnant work toward achieve a healthy weight. It is thought that an obese woman may have hormonal issues which may impede pregnancy. Follow a healthy exercise and diet plan with your doctor will help you achieve the right weight for your height.

2. it is recommend that adults embark on 150 mins moderate to light mins exercise a week. Exercise activity which increases the heart rate helps to lower blood pressure, fight diabetes and increases a couples chances during IVF.

3. consume coffee in moderation. Some scientific research suggest that women undergoing IVF should consume no more than 3 cups of coffee daily. Too much caffeine can make it difficult to fall pregnant.

4. Start trying early: age plays a huge part in both natural conception and IVF pregnancy. the chances of a woman falling pregnant over 35 declines significantly. It is advise to seek treatment as soon as you start to try without success… The miracle of medicine means that more couples are become parents with the help of donor eggs and adopting. So don’t despair, you can still become a parent.

5. do not smoke, it is though that the quality of egg and sperm is affected by smoking. Before undergoing treatment speak with your doctor on how to quit.

6. Take measures to reduce your stress level. IVF is stressing enough, Being stressful will interfere with both the quality of egg and sperm. incorporate some mediation, yoga, pilates and acupuncture into your daily life to help reduce stress.

sources: NHS ENGLAND

Debbie

Your partner in Hope

Related post.

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

IVF PROCESS: Step by Step

The Over 50 Debate

Tips on Staying Healthy.

Treatment and COVID-19

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

To add or not to add

According to a recent report by an Australia IVF specialist, standard IVF works therefore there is no need for expensive adds on.

for instance 

ICSI which stands for Intracycloplastic was developed in 1992 as a way of treating male infertility. However, a growing number of clinics are now using it for men with normal sperm count. 

A recent article in the medical journal the lancet based on data from Vietnam, reports that ICSI although much expensive, does not improve the chances of success. 

Their hunch is that “doctors may recommend it for fear of patients’ reactions if the eggs don’t fertilise, even if ICSI doesn’t improve the ultimate chance of a baby for those with a normal sperm count.”

Couples with infertility belong to a very vulnerable group who will do almost anything to achieve a pregnancy. They deserve our dedicated care and evidence-based treatment.” The report concluded. 

So before accepting all that’s recommended by your clinic, 

  • review your results.
  • Ask specific and detailed questions.
  • Undertake your own research into your own Diagnosis, 
  • Review the data  available and read the latest in medical intervention and their successes. 
  • Make your own mind up and resist pressure from your clinic. 

I know it’s difficult to argue with the doctors and the presumption is that they know what they are doing. But when it’s your body and issue, you can certainly ask questions and be satisfied that what you are paying for is absolutely necessary. And lastly, be positive and know that whatever is in store for you will be nice. 

Your Partner in Hope

Debi

Fertility Awareness

It was national fertility awareness week recently and I want to highlight some stats about.

In some countries like Canada, more people are living with infertility than diagnose with lung cancer which is the leading cause of death in Canada.

According to Dr Gaberielle Cassir, who appeared on the Global News in Montreal. Up to 15 % of couples are infertile and the numbers are rising.

There are various causes of infertility: which ranges from the rising age of women having babies as more women are putting off having children later, to unexplained infertility.

There is no perfect answer the specific causes are evenly divided

in 35% of cases, the causes of infertility is due to problems with the pelvic or fallopian tube abnormality.

10% of cases relates to unexplained causes which is usually hard to deal with.

35% male factor

15% ovulatory disfunction.

It is important to create awareness on the causes of infertility to make sure that couples seek help quickly and avoid unnecessary delays which might lead to more problems later.

Currently the world is also dealing with covid and there are various theories on its impact on fertility.

Again, it is generally agreed in the medical world that this is fueled by myth being propagated on social medial.

While is it normal to question the impact of a new vaccine on ones fertility, it is also important to look at the data.

If you are worried speak with your doctor and find out all you need to know about the vaccine.

Is it necessary to talk about fertility issues with the young generation?

I think it is : this is because the first time most couples become aware of the issues surrounding fertility is when they start to try to have a baby, I think talking about it earlier in a young person’s life may be the difference between delays in seeking help and waiting for miracles to happen.

The emotions we feel are common emotions and are distressing and these can cause a huge physiological toil.

Society can prepare youth for the chances of infertility and open an avenue to speak about it.

No one wants to spread fear to our young people, but at the same time it is important to create an awareness. Parents can have that conversation with their kids same as talking about changes in the body during puberty years and teen years, although a bit later.

The emotions are intense and can cause a huge toil on one’s health, no one can be prepared enough, but at least the being in the know can make a huge difference on how one handles the challenges pose by infertility.

We need to demystify the fear and taboo around taking about having fertility issue.

There should be no guilt, shame, taboo surrounding the topic of infertility.

There should be a conversation and women should feel they have a safe place to talk. I am glad that women like Chrissy Teigen, Hilaria Baldwin, Amy Schumer are open about their struggles with infertity and I think this has done more to increase the awareness around miscarriage and IVF. Women are beginning to see that they are not alone and there is some conform in knowing that others have felt the way you do.

Be encouraged and seek help earlier.

Wishing you every success on your fertility journey.

Your Partner in Hope

Debbie

Read More »

Fertility Journey: Part 2

In our second series of fertility journey today we look at Medical Procedures:

Surgical procedures

This will be necessary ifyour fallopian tubes have become blocked or scarred, you may need surgery to repair them.

Surgery can be used to break up the scar tissue in your fallopian tubes, making it easier for eggs to pass through them.

The success of surgery will depend on the extent of the damage to your fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis is when parts of the womb lining start growing outside the womb.

Laparoscopic surgery is often used to treat endometriosis by destroying or removing fluid-filled sacs called cysts.

It may also be used to remove submucosal fibroids, which are small growths in the womb.

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a minor surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling can be used if ovulation medicine has not worked.

This involves using either heat or a laser to destroy part of the ovary.

Correcting an epididymal blockage and surgery to retrieve sperm:Causes of Infertility In Men

The epididymis is a coil-like structure in the testicles that helps store and transport sperm.

Sometimes the epididymis becomes blocked, preventing sperm from being ejaculated normally. If this is causing infertility, surgery can be used to correct the blockage.

Surgical extraction of sperm may be an option if you:

have an obstruction that prevents the release of sperm,

were born without the tube that drains the sperm from the testicle (vas deferens):

have had a vasectomy or a failed vasectomy reversal,

Both operations take a few hours and are done under local anaesthetic as outpatient procedures.

You’ll be advised on the same day about the quality of the tissue or sperm collected.

Any sperm will be frozen and placed in storage for use at a later stage.

Disclaimer. This author is not a medical practitioner, the article has been written with the help of reference materials taken from NHS England. Please consult your Medical practitioner for further advice if you suspect you may be affected by the topic discussed here.

Yours In Hope

Debi

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

How to cope with the stress of infertility

One of the worse things a couple can learn is that they are unable to have children. This very discovery can either make or break a relationship.

Having spoken with so many couples about their experiences I have discovered that everyone is affected in a different way, but one common factor is stress.

This post brings you ways of coping with the stress brought on by infertility.

The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is real to the infertile couple, this feeling if left unchecked can wreak more havoc.

The commonest forms of stress are depression, feelings of anxiety, and mental health problems.

Here are 5 ways you can adopt to deal with stress

1. Identify your feelings: Sometimes it is very difficult to know which feelings you are exhibiting so it is important to identify your feelings. It might hep to Talk to a professional to help you get in touch with your feelings. Identifying how you feel is the first step in dealing with other emotions like anger, guilt, fear, jealousy and shame.

2. Seek Help for your situations : there are a lot of resources on fertility options. (see sources below) rather than waste precious energy on negative emotions, busy yourself by seeking help. Find out all you need to know about your issues. Your doctor should be your first point of call as they will kick start the treatment process.

3. Consider the options available to you. Your research should include cost, the type of treatment available IVF, IUI, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, other alternatives such as adoption, fostering, surrogacy should be considered also. Advancement in medicine has made possible the impossible.

4. Have a support net work. It is much easier to cope with a stressful situation by talking to someone than by coping alone. Your support net work can be a close friend, who will not be judgemental or a family member like a mum or sister. It can consist of a group or an individual. Be sure they they are people you can count on to be discreet and to always be supportive. There are lots of support groups on social media You can join but only share if you comfortable doing so.

5. Take on a hobby: Find something to do to take your mind off the situation. It can be a passion you had packed away, hiking, fund raising for a good cause, cooking or writing poetry etc. The very act of being engaged in something rewarding frees your mind from the stress of infertility.

Finally always look on the bright side. No matter how worse or bad a situation feels believe it can get better.

So I encourage you to hope for the best.

Believe the best

and expect the best to happen.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Read More »

IVF:Stages to egg implantation

  1. Meeting with Team: this is the initial consultation with the clinic to go throughout process.
  2. The process: The woman will be given medication to suppress her normal menstrual cycle. This is usually given for 2 weeks. My first cycle was a nasal spray but the final cycle was an injection which I learned to inject myself. After which step 3 begins
  3. Boosting the egg supply: This will include stimulation of the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual, to increase the number of eggs for fertility. You will be given a fertility hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This is also a daily injection you give yourself or your partner can assist if they want to be involved and feel connected to the process. It’s usually for 10-12 days.
  4. Monitoring. you will be monitored while on the FSH, some clinics will scan every 2 days while others maybe twice weekly during the process. The monitoring may be ultrasound scans to monitor the size of the ovaries, blood test or both. The ovaries are usually measured to see how big the eggs are and a final hormone boost may be given 34-38 hours prior to collection.
  5. Collecting the eggs: Eggs are usually collected on days 10 or 12 depending on the sizes/ how well the ovaries have been stimulated. collecting is usually done under local anesthetic where you will be sedated. A needle is passed through the vagina into each ovary under ultrasound guidance. This procedure may take 15-20 minutes. You may experience cramp or light bleeding afterwards.
  6. Fertilizing the eggs: Once the eggs are collected they are mixed with your partners or the donor sperm in the lab. They are checked after 16-20 hours to see if Fertilization has occurred.
  7. In some cases the eggs may be injected individually with a sperm called ICSI.
  8. Egg Monitoring: The embryos are left to continue to grow for 6 days before being transferred into the womb. The best 2 are usually selected to be transferred.
  9. Embryo Transfer: The embargo’s are transferred into the womb using a thin tube called a catheter passed into the vagina. The procedure is quite simple and doesn’t involve any sedation.
  10. Then began the 2 weeks wait. see next post for how to cope.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/05/11/a-woman-in-waiting/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/07/11/surviving-treatment/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/09/22/exploring-other-options/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/10/26/choosing-an-ivf-clinic/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/03/31/it-only-takes-one-egg/

Surrogacy: I call it a helping hand.

Gone are the days, when having a baby means you have to be pregnant. While pregnancy is a beautiful experience. Sadly many women have suffered needlessly without success. With surrogacy, hope is restored and couples can now experience the joys of being parents.

I am so glad about the attention surrogacy is getting thanks to some high profile births via surrogates.

Like Candy from the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Kim and Kanye West.

To me, surrogacy means fighting to defeat infertility, doing whatever it takes to hold that precious soul in your hands.

It means not being ashamed to asked another to be the womb that holds your jewels, to trust someone with your heart.

It means exploring what is possible.

To be an expectant mother without the visible sign, but knowing that your heart is pregnant and bursting with love and gratitude.

Surrogacy, it is indeed the helping hand we all need.

In March we I’ll explore more on the topic.

Stay tuned

IVF PROCESS: Step by Step

Do you know what you are getting into I asked, no I don’t and I don’t care. The only thing I care about is that a baby comes out at the end of it all. This was the conversation I had with a colleague a few weeks ago. 

2 months into her treatment, she was exhausted, miserable and an emotional wreck. She was broken in more ways than she ever thought possible.

She has 3 failed cycle. Before finally conceiving on the 4th.

So what can we do to prepare for Treatment.

First we need to understand the process. What is involved and the help available to you.

Below are 9 steps to be aware of before embarking on treatment 

  1. IVF treatment requires a lot of doctors visit, this is for the clinic to find out the cause and commence the appropriate treatment. After this comes the shots 

  2. The shots: These are administered for 10 to 12 days to stimulate the woman’s ovaries. During a normal cycle, a woman produces one or two eggs. During an IVF cycle the ovaries are stimulated to produce lots of eggs to increase the chances of success. You will be monitored daily or every other day. This will involve ultrasound to measure the size of the eggs as well as ensure that the ovaries are not over stimulated.

  3. After the stimulation phase comes the egg retrieval from the ovaries. This is done under general anesthesia. It is then put in a dish (usually in the lab) to be mixed with the sperm.

  4. Then comes the monitoring stage. 3 to 5 days after the egg retrieval if fertilization occurs, the embryos will be placed back into your uterus. 

  5. Sometimes the eggs maybe abnormal and no fertilization will occur, where this happens it means the cycle has failed. 

  6. The transfer only occurs where the eggs have been fertilized by the sperm. 

  7. You may have some embryos left over and decide to freeze them for later. 

  8. Two weeks after the implantation: you will be invited for a blood test by your clinic to see if you are pregnant. 

  9. This is a very stressful time and you may want to occupy yourself during these 2 weeks wait. 

  10. Pray, believe and rest. 

This is a summary of the IVF process. 

You maybe wondering if it will work, there are no guarantees in life, but we can only try, pray hope and believe.. 

Your Partner in Hope 

D’Ebi 

Related links

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/07/14/what-if/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/13/single-women-and-ivf/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/07/17/the-uk-commissioning-groups-decides-who-gets-funding-for-ivf-there-are-some-factories-they-take-into-consideration-i-deciding-who-gets-funded-this-post-looks-the-criterial-for-funding/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/15/exploring-other-options-icsi/

Identity

Anyone who has ever suffered infertility knows too well the roller coaster of emotions they go through.

One minute you are full of hope and happy the next minute you see a pregnant woman and everything changes.

I am not certain any other illness do this to anyone, maybe it does. For me having experience infertility as well as Other illnesses. I find that I am most affected by infertility than any other illness.

Why is this so? Maybe because having a child is a build in desire. A desire to birth, to want to procreate seems to trump any other desire.

Life has season, our seasons of infertility will come and go.

Weather we will be gifted with a child in the way we desire tile will tell.

But whatever the path we take to a new season, we must keep our identity in view.

We are not define by infertility, do not make it your identity, Do not class yourself as an infertile woman/man.

You are gifted with abilities and potentials, crafted in the image of the maker of the universe.

Delicately and wonderfully  made,

Living in the abundance of His grace,

Wrapped in His beauty,

Fashioned with the best of His storehouse.

Here are ways to help you stay focus on who you are in Christ.

  1. Stay connected to God, being connected to God and the word will help you grasp who you are in Christ.The enemies of our souls knows this and wants us to only keep in focus the lies about who we are. if you believe you are worthless unable to parent a child, you will be unable to lay hold on the promises of God’s word concerning children. Staying connected to the word about who you are

  2. Speak positively about your situation, speak life to your body, claim the promises available to you as you stay connected, you will begin to have a new reality.

  3. The battle is ongoing  to remind yourself of who you are, set reminders throughout the day by immersing  your love in God’s truth. Put memory verses in your car, in your purse. Set reminders on your phone with encouraging quotes to remind you of your identity..

  4. Avoid events or issues that might draw you away from God! Draw near to Him throughout the day. By doing this you will be able to resist the temptation to give in to your emotions when those ugly thoughts about your infertility rears their head, you can chop it off with the word of God.

The battle is not over until we win. We will win because the word says so. So set your mind free from fear and live in the hope of coming into Hos promises for your life.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Encouraging post

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/11/22/joy-after-%f0%9d%97%a3%f0%9d%97%ae%f0%9d%97%b6%f0%9d%97%bb/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/03/04/do-you-call-it-quits/

Whatever you do, Don’t Stop Trying.

Happy New Year, it seems like it was only yesterday we watched the fireworks display and then sang the Happy New Year song.

It’s 4 years now since  I stopped making New Year’s resolutions, simply because I never keep them.

I think same can be said for most people, resolutions are sometimes about our hopes and aspirations what we wish we could become in the New Year.

For me pre kids days, every year I resolve to be pregnant and set about to do everything I possibly can to bring that dream to to reality.

the funny thing was looking back now I use to include it as part of my New Year’s resolution.

The things we do to in our quest to have a baby.

So what’s your resolve this year? To be a parent? Either via natural conception, IVF, or adoption, whatever the route, I hope that this will be the year you see that reality.

My advice to you is this:

Don’t hesitate, whatever the method through which you expects to become a parent, begin to find out all you can about the process.

If it’s IVF, find out what’s available in your area, what are treatment options, The cost, the process and then book an initial consultation with your Doctor as a starting point.

If you have being through IVF before and receive a diagnosis follow it up, what’s the next step, can you embark on another course of treatment?

If you are considering adoption, find out about the process, what’s required of you, what’s the local authority procedure.

Get started now.

Are you thinking of surrogacy? How would you go about it?

What are the applicable laws where you are?

In all cases consider the financial and emotions impact on you as a couple or single, are there support groups that can help during each process?

I have previously written about each process

See the link below.

Whatever you do, don’t waste another moment, all the best as you embark on the next phase of your journey.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Relevant link:

On Funding

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/07/17/the-uk-commissioning-groups-decides-who-gets-funding-for-ivf-there-are-some-factories-they-take-into-consideration-i-deciding-who-gets-funded-this-post-looks-the-criterial-for-funding/

In Adoption

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/12/10/to-adopt-or-not/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/10/06/the-adoption-process/

On Surrogacy

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/10/11/surrogacy/

Choosing a clinic

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/10/26/choosing-an-ivf-clinic/

Exploring treatment option

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/07/02/exploring-treatment-options/