April 23-39: NIAW events in Las Vegas and nationwide
For one in eight couples – that’s 7.3 million women and men in the U.S. – infertility gets in the way of their dreams. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association works year-round to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of the infertility community, culminating in National Infertility Awareness Week. NIAW events are happening across the country throughout the month of April, and event organizers urge people to “Listen Up!” about issues surrounding infertility.
Why become part of the movement? The keys to taking charge of your own fertility are understanding how infertility might affect you, knowing when to see a fertility specialist and educating yourself about the many ways to build your family.
You can do all three by attending one of our free, monthly fertility seminars, where you’ll get to tour our fertility center, learn about the cost of fertility treatment and ask our Las Vegas fertility doctors anything you’d like. Our next seminar takes place April 19, 2017, at our Summerlin, Nevada, office. Reserve your spot now.
Find NIAW events across the country
Whether you’re on your own family-building journey or want to help someone else, NIAW events are a great way to get empowered and show that you care.
Check out the complete schedule of NIAW events at infertilityawareness.org, and encourage your family and friends across the country to take part in their own communities. From movie showings to seminars to free fertility screenings throughout the month of April, NIAW events offer many ways to “Listen Up!” and get involved.
Because infertility awareness is a year-round issue, related events also take place all year long:
- The Walk of Hope, RESOLVE’s signature fundraising event, raises money and awareness in multiple communities across the country. Find a Walk of Hope near you.
- May 18 is RESOLVE’s 2017 Advocacy Day, when infertility advocates converge in Washington, D.C., to fight for reproductive justice. If you’re interested in educating your members of Congress about infertility, make your voice count.
Learn more about your fertility
If you’re ready to take control of your fertility, NIAW events are a good place to start. Take action locally by attending one of our seminars or scheduling a consultation with one of our Las Vegas fertility doctors.
“There were times when I wanted to give up, but the support I had during the IVF process pushed me through,” says Ashley, a young mother and former patient at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas.
Ashley and her husband Kenneth tried to get pregnant for two years. After four rounds of Clomid and trying everything to get pregnant naturally, it just didn’t happen. “We so badly wanted to become parents,” she said. “We decided to seek help.”
Steps to IVF
The couple tried intrauterine insemination (IUI), and were pleasantly surprised to get pregnant. Sadly, Ashley miscarried, and they were heartbroken. The couple decided to move on to IVF at our Las Vegas fertility center.
“In the Henderson office, the ladies were so incredible,” Ashley said. “They made me feel like I was family, and I felt like they genuinely cared about me.”
When she miscarried the first time, the ultrasound ladies hugged Ashley, and she remembers that together they shared tears. “It was so nice to have that support,” she said. “When I did become pregnant again and had my last appointment, those same ladies were just as excited as I was. It was great!”
Compassionate care and support
Arleen at the Sahara office of our Las Vegas fertility center was one of the outstanding staff members who helped Ashley throughout the entire IVF process. “I really don’t know what I would have done without her,” said Ashley. “She promptly responded to my many questions and never made me feel like I was a nuisance. IVF was new to me, and I was scared and nervous. I know how busy she was, but she always responded quickly to me.”
Ashley’s lead physician, Bruce Shapiro, M.D., was instrumental in the successful outcome. In Ashley’s words: “He is awesome – so nice, with a great bedside manner.” She was grateful that Dr. Shapiro was her doctor, especially when the couple learned they had to have IVF.
“I was devastated and started crying in his office, but he hugged me and told me it would work,” she said. “The next day, I received a follow-up call just to check on me and see how I was doing. That meant so much and truly showed me that Las Vegas fertility center cared. I knew I was in the right hands.”
From heartbreak to unspeakable joy
When Ashley and Kenneth learned that IVF treatment was successful, she cried tears of joy. “I will be honest,” she said. “After years of trying and having a miscarriage, it was the second trimester before I finally let my guard down. I couldn’t bear another heartbreak.”
IVF was a very emotional process, but Ashley feels so grateful to have had “an amazing fertility clinic like The Fertility Center of Las Vegas.” She also found support groups through Instagram (#ttccommunity and #ivf community) to help her cope “Without that support, it would have been impossible for us.”
Looking back on her infertility experience inspired Ashley to share her story with others and to support and encourage women who are having a difficult time conceiving.
The Link Between the Spring Equinox and Fertility
March 20 marked this year’s spring equinox – the annual moment when the day and night hours are in perfect balance, and the sun rises precisely in the East and sets precisely in the West. In legends and lore, there have long been ties between the spring equinox and fertility, as the day marks not only the change of seasons from winter to spring, but also Ostara, an ancient Pagan holiday honoring fertility and rebirth.
In fact, the ancient Anglo-Saxon holiday is named for the fertility goddess Eostre, traditionally depicted as a young woman who symbolizes dawn, new beginnings and spring. Eostre is often associated with the same symbolism as the Christian Easter holiday. Rabbits, spring flowers and eggs are all symbolic of fertility and the awakening of life during the spring season. In fact, the Easter holiday may get its name from the Saxon fertility goddess, and many of its traditions from the spring equinox festivals of the early Pagans.
The Legend of the Spring Equinox and Fertility
Many people think of spring as a time when the world comes to life, when animals pair off for mating and the trees burst into bloom. It is a season ripe with new beginnings, associated with fertility and birth.
Long before microscopes and science lifted the veil on the mystery of sperm, eggs and human conception, the egg was associated with fertility. For hundreds of years, eggs have been used as a symbol of spring, the spring equinox and fertility, as part of both Easter and the Pagan Ostara celebrations. So it seems fitting that on the first day of spring, many of our patients are focused on how science can help them use their own or donated eggs to create new life.
In keeping with the season, Pagans traditionally mark Ostara by planting gardens and trees, or simply by spending time in nature celebrating the new life emerging all around. In old times, the spring equinox was a time of great celebration because it marked the shift from the cold, dark days of winter, when food was scarce, to the longer, sunnier days of the season of plenty.
As we mark the first day of spring while struggling with infertility, the spring equinox reminds us to be hopeful that brighter days are coming, and that a balance between light and darkness is possible. This is a time to celebrate life and new beginnings – your own, your partner’s, and whatever the future may hold for you. With such close links between the spring equinox and fertility, this is a perfect time to make a new beginning, and commit to doing whatever is necessary to make your dream come true.
A Time for New Beginnings
After the spring equinox, days will begin to grow longer, with more sun to light our way and nurture the growth of all living things. What better time to focus on your own fertility, and to follow your dreams of motherhood?
Can You Be A Surrogate If You Have Diabetes?
By Elisabeth Almekinder RN, BA, CDE
Sam contacted TheDiabetesCouncil to find out if she could be a surrogate for a couple who couldn’t have their own baby while having Type 1 diabetes.
Can she legally be a surrogate for another couple having diabetes? We didn’t know the answer to this unusual question either, so we thought it would be a good idea to investigate the surrogacy process specifically for people with diabetes or for others who may have this same question.
In this article, we will explore the possibilities of whether or not you can be a surrogate if you have diabetes. We will also look at what might happen if you are already a surrogate and you develop gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. We will look at some of the legality in brief. Understanding that we are not lawyers at thediabetescouncil.com, it’s best and always recommended to seek legal counsel when you are entering a surrogacy situation and are not sure of the process around it.
Baby Your Fertility: Advice from our Board Certified Fertility Specialists
A recent article in the Las Vegas Sun brought to light an issue that many men and women struggle with in silence. Infertility affects 1 in 7 couples in this country, and oftentimes people waste months and years of precious time unaware of proactive steps they can take to protect and preserve their reproductive health.
Bruce Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D, and Carrie Bedient, M.D., board certified fertility specialists, host free informative seminars every month to raise awareness for actions to take in your 20s, 30s and 40s. They also discuss the growing array of treatments that help restore fertility and improve upon IUI, IVF and third-party reproduction.
In the article, Dr. Shapiro emphasizes the need to get tested. “Health-conscious Americans tend to know their cholesterol, blood pressure and weight/BMI numbers. If you are of reproductive age and wish to start a family now or in the future, you should also inquire about ovarian reserve testing and semen analysis.”
5 Steps to Protect Your Fertility, According to Our Board Certified Fertility Specialists
- Don’t wait. If you want to postpone family building, get a clearer picture of your ovarian reserve with AMH and hormone testing. Dr. Bedient noted that by age 37, women face greater obstacles to getting pregnant on their own. Ask about fertility preservation, egg freezing, and setting a realistic timeline for starting a family. As a rule, partner with a fertility specialist after one year of trying to conceive, or six months if you are over 35.
- Focus on one baby at a time. Access to genetic information in the IVF lab gives parents-to-be the confidence to transfer one healthy embryo at a time. With PGS, families can grow, adding siblings from embryos that were pre-screened and frozen during your first round of IVF. “We educate our patients about the benefits of adding PGS to IVF,” said Dr. Shapiro. “While genetic testing adds to the cost of IVF, it also greatly improves upon the odds for having a successful pregnancy.” The cost for both at our center typically runs closer to $20,000.
- Consider new additions to fertility. Mom’s egg + dad’s sperm = a baby? Not always. We live in an exciting era of breakthrough treatments that can redefine the equation. Donor eggs, embryos and sperm as well as surrogacy are helping create families for the LGBT community, single parents and women of advanced maternal age.
- Manage the cost. While it has been reported that IVF can cost upwards of $30,000, our Las Vegas fertility center works to find the best treatment protocols for each individual, and that may simply include IUI or lifestyle changes. We also strive to make IUI and IVF treatment accessible and affordable. Ask us about fertility drug discounts, grants, financing and other patient resources.
- Be the change. Boost natural fertility. Our board certified fertility specialists encourage you to adopt a healthy lifestyle, stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight and avoid risky sexual behavior that can expose you to STDs.
Finally, if you notice some problems – heavy or irregular periods, for instance – come in sooner rather than later. Contact our Las Vegas fertility center. The earlier we catch infertility issues, the more likely it is that we can address them with a cost-effective treatment plan.
Infertile on Valentine’s Day: Where’s the Love?
For many couples, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love with flowers, gifts or a special date. But for some couples struggling with infertility, it’s hard to get excited about a holiday that’s all about romance.
After months or years of focusing on little else but making a baby, infertile couples’ relationships can feel like they’ve been pushed to the back burner. This Valentine’s Day, our Nevada fertility center encourages you to put your relationship first.
Valentine’s Day is about the two of you
When you fall in love with someone and decide to build a life together, it feels like the possibilities are limitless and the future belongs to the two of you. Like so many other couples, you’ll just decide when it’s time to start a family, and everything will simply fall into place. No wonder infertility can make you feel like you’ve been blindsided.
Infertility can place extra stresses on even the strongest relationship. It’s emotionally draining, it can get expensive, and it’s just plain frustrating. It’s normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, but because the clock is ticking, taking a break may not feel like an option.
This Valentine’s Day, we hope you will take just one day to set all the stress of infertility aside, and simply focus on each other.
Even if you’re honestly not feeling the romance, use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to reconnect and remember all the reasons you chose this other person to be your partner in life.
- Remember that hobby you both used to love? Make a date to enjoy it again, together.
- Can’t handle another restaurant full of families with kids? Stay home to cook a gourmet meal, and dine by candlelight.
- Worn out from talking about your infertility treatment? Pledge to avoid that subject, just for the day.
- Need to just forget about it all for a while? Pull out your favorite funny movies and cuddle up on the couch for a movie marathon.
- Has spontaneous intimacy been replaced by a schedule? Today, it’s enough to simply be close, without the pressure.
An unstoppable team
No matter what life throws your way, you and your partner can handle it –together. The thing that makes you strong is the love you have for each other. Take time to nurture that love this Valentine’s Day, and you’ll feel re-energized and ready to tackle whatever it takes to make your dream come true.
To learn more about overcoming infertility, contact our Nevada fertility center.
IVF Success Rates and Choosing a Fertility Specialist
If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people each year who need in vitro fertilization to have a baby, choosing a care team is a big decision. For many patients, IVF success rates are a big factor when choosing a fertility specialist.
Thankfully, most fertility centers’ IVF success rates are available online, for all to see. Our Nevada fertility center reports the combined, overall IVF outcomes of our practice to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), which has tracked such statistics since 1988.
We also compile our data for internal tracking to ensure our quality of care and treatment success is continuously maintained. Each of our skilled physicians use the same methods and share the same IVF laboratory and clinical team – so no matter which specialist you choose at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, you’ll be in very capable hands.
What’s behind our IVF success rates?
Since our founding 28 years ago, our fertility specialists have fine-tuned our highly effective IVF procedures and processes to ensure optimal, consistent treatment for all patients. But there’s more to IVF success than the skills and expertise of the reproductive endocrinologist. It takes an expert care team to make a baby with IVF.
At our Nevada fertility center, our longstanding, full-time biostatistician evaluates the success of our procedures, providing reliable outcomes data while helping us continuously improve our processes and technologies. And, our physicians are assisted by the best in their fields at every step of the IVF process.
Our IVF team includes highly trained embryologists, who work behind the scenes in our IVF laboratory to take care of your most precious assets: your genetic material and embryos.
Their job is to:
- Prepare sperm for use in IVF
- Fertilize eggs with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
- Monitor and evaluate embryos
- Select the highest quality embryo for transfer
- Load the transfer catheter with the proper fluid volume surrounding the embryos
- Examine the catheter to ensure that the embryo was safely delivered to its destination
Consistency is key to success
This trusted team is the same group of experts behind our documented IVF success rates, providing the consistency and quality control on which our Nevada fertility center is proud to stake our reputation.
To learn more about our IVF success rates, contact our Nevada fertility center.
As we begin the new year, many people make resolutions to exercise more and eat healthier to lose weight. While many people take up these resolutions because they want to look good, consider what these activities could do for your fertility. Check out how exercise while trying to conceive can improve fertility and help you start your family.
Exercise for Fertility Improvements
Fertility-boosting exercise for women
A recent study showed that women who participated in at least 30 minutes of daily exercise reduced their risk infertility due to ovulation issues. However, another study showed that some vigorous exercise can actually harm your fertility. Because of these somewhat confusing results, fertility experts recommend women relax the intensity and duration of their exercise for the best fertility boosting results.
Depending on conditions like your age, menstrual cycle, the condition of your uterus, and the quality of your partner’s sperm, your fertility doctor can determine what is too much or too little exercise for you. BMI is one of the most important factors for women trying to conceive. Doctors want you to achieve your ideal body weight; sometimes exercise can help you regulate that weight.
To create a fertility exercise plan, start with 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. You may break and sweat, but you don’t want to be exhausted and completely out of breath. Try low-impact, moderate cardio exercises, or moderate strength training. Yoga can also be beneficial to improve fertility because it helps with relaxation and flexibility, in addition to reducing the stress that infertility may cause.
Fertility exercises for men
According to Medical News Today, one- third of infertile couples can’t conceive because of poor sperm quality in the male partner. To learn more about improving male fertility, fertility experts studied the effect of exercise on male fertility.
Male participants in the study exercised for different amounts of time each day, ranging from no activity to high-intensity workouts. All men who exercised showed improvements in their semen quality, but the most fertility boosting results came from the men who exercised with moderate but continuous workouts. For example, some men in this group ran on a treadmill for 25-30 minutes 3-4 days each week.
After exercise stopped, however, sperm quality went back to previous numbers. Fertility specialists concluded that to improve fertility, men should participate in moderate, continuous exercise every week. They found that a sedentary lifestyle can harm sperm. Men can increase fertility by taking walks throughout their work day and working toward their ideal BMI through continuous exercise.
Learn More about Your Fertility
Here at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, we not only want to provide treatments for your infertility but also educate you about it. Check in to our blog every week to read more articles about the causes of infertility and how to prep for your new baby.
The world is diverse and beautiful. We love our international patients here at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas. In this week’s blog, we celebrate world fertility and the unique pregnancy traditions around the globe.
Birth Rituals and Pregnancy Traditions across the Globe
Asian fertility customs
China: The Chinese believe that the temperament and personality of the baby is affected by the state of the mother’s mind and body during her pregnancy. For this reason, they practice one of our first world pregnancy traditions of avoiding evil spirits, funerals, and sex during their pregnancies. They’re also told to control their thoughts and actions by not gossiping, behaving impulsively, or doing physical labor while carrying their baby.
Cambodia: In Cambodia, a unique world fertility ritual is practiced. After a woman gives birth, her placenta is wrapped in a banana leaf. It sits next to the newborn for three days. After that, it’s buried.
Birthing practices in Africa
Morocco: During delivery, the midwife, (known as the gabla), massages the pregnant woman’s stomach and vulva with olive oil. This practice facilitates the baby’s delivery. The gabla also creates herbal infusions to ease any pain caused by contractions.
Niger: According to Muslim tradition, only the husband is allowed to touch a woman’s genitals. So, he takes the lead in assisting with delivery, while midwives offer the expecting mother herbal drinks to ease her pain.
South American traditions
Guatemala: During their pregnancies, many Guatemalan women stay inside their homes for the full nine months. These women fear being exposed to illness, evil spirits, and the ill will of other people. They believe these things could interfere with a healthy pregnancy.
Mexico: Pregnant women only bathe in warm water during their pregnancies. If the water is too hot, Mexican women believe it could cause circulatory problems, and if the water is too cold, it may cause the pelvis to be rigid and lead to a difficult delivery.
Greece: When a new baby is born, it’s a joyous occasion for the whole community. When the baby is a few days old, family and friends will gather for the birth rituals of showering the baby with gifts. These presents include regular items found in a layette, in addition to silver and gold coins and stones to ward off evil spirits.
Switzerland: Expecting parents in Switzerland keep their baby’s name to themselves during the pregnancy. It’s considered bad luck to reveal your baby’s name before he or she is born.
Thinking about Having Your Baby in America?
At The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, world fertility is important to us. We welcome many expecting parents from many nations. America is a great place to visit to start your family. Visit us to learn how easy it is to travel for fertility treatments.
The New Year is here! Along with the coming of 2017 comes the annual creation of our New Year’s resolutions. This year, we encourage you to take back your fertility health. Follow these steps that can help you improve fertility at home.
Increase Fertility in the New Year
Live a healthy life
If you’re looking for tips on how to make yourself more fertile, the best way to start is to consider your lifestyle choices and how healthy you are overall. If you are underweight or overweight, your body may have a hard time conceiving. Contact a doctor to find your ideal BMI to get pregnant.
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a great way to help your body get ready for carrying a baby. Consistent workouts can help regulate your blood sugar, blood pressure, and a healthy body weight.
Another way to maintain fertility health is to eat right. Many foods increase fertility. Limit your intake of processed foods, and create a balanced diet full of the right amount of good carbs, healthy fats, and lean proteins. When in doubt, eat fresh fruits and veggies and drink lots of water every day!
Understand your cycle
Each month women have a fertile window, which are the days around ovulation when your body is most ready to conceive. Women with normal cycles are the most fertile between day 10-17 of their cycle. If you have irregular periods, however, you can try an at-home ovulation kit to track your fertile window. The best of our fertility tips, however, is to get educated on your cycle and contact a fertility doctor who can help you.
Know fertility do’s and don’ts
Alcohol and cigarettes are big no-nos when it comes to your overall health. They also make it harder for women to get pregnant. If you’re considering becoming pregnant in the next year, quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake. Your baby—and your long-term health—will thank you.
Another one of our natural ways to boost fertility is to eliminate stress from your life. High levels of stress can negatively affect your hormone levels and in turn, affect your ovulation cycle. Try relaxing activities like taking a soothing bath or practicing meditative yoga to limit the stress in your day.
Consult a Fertility Specialist
If you’re looking to start your family in 2017, the best way to great fertility health is to get help from the experts! At The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, we’ll be there for you throughout the process of diagnosing your infertility, creating a fertility treatment plan, and helping your new baby enter the world in a healthy state. Contact us for a consultation today.