How worried should you be about Zika virus and pregnancy?
As spring heats up and the mosquitoes come out, it’s time to start thinking about the risk of Zika virus. Zika can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and may cause a birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other serious brain defects. Arming yourself with knowledge about Zika virus and pregnancy is the best way to protect yourself and your future family.
Pregnant women can contract the virus by being bitten by infected mosquitoes, or by having unprotected sex with someone who is infected. To help you stay safe, our Las Vegas fertility experts share the latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Update on Zika virus and pregnancy
CDC recently issued guidelines for travel, prevention, testing and preconception counseling for pregnant women and couples who are trying to conceive. The agency also created a world map highlighting two areas: Zika active transmission areas, or “red areas,” and Zika cautionary areas, or “yellow areas.”
At this time, Nevada is not considered a risky area for Zika virus and pregnancy, as the only two U.S. states affected are Texas and Florida. If you are considering travel to an area where Zika virus has been reported, be sure to tell your Las Vegas fertility experts, and keep CDC guidelines in mind.
- If you are pregnant, do not travel to red areas, and consider postponing travel to yellow areas.
- If you are trying to conceive (or are a surrogate), avoid non-essential travel to red areas. If you must travel, follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
- Women who are planning to conceive and have been exposed to Zika virus should wait at least eight weeks to try to conceive.
- If you are an egg donor or considering donating your eggs, delay travel to yellow and red areas until after your donation cycle has completed.
- Men who may have been exposed should wait at least six months after symptom onset or the end date of the last possible exposure.
If you don’t know, ask
Researchers do not yet know if there is any safe point during pregnancy to travel to a high-risk area, or how likely it is that your baby will be affected if you become infected. Your Las Vegas fertility experts stay continually updated on the latest information about Zika virus, and are happy to answer your questions and address your concerns. Please be sure to tell your fertility specialist if you think there’s a chance you may have been exposed, and talk to your doctor if you’re considering travel to any area where Zika virus is a threat. Ask us about freezing sperm, eggs or embryos prior to travel.
To find out more about Zika virus and pregnancy, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Las Vegas fertility experts.
Which Companies Offer the Best Fertility Benefits
Infertility can be expensive to treat, and unlike many other medical conditions, it’s not always covered by employer insurance plans. For couples that need assisted reproductive technology to have a baby, fertility benefits can mean the difference between fulfilling or giving up on their dreams.
Coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other advanced treatments is especially critical. The cost of medications, services and facilities in just one IVF cycle can often add up to a price tag that’s unattainable for many employees. Thankfully, many employers realize that one way to win employee loyalty is to provide insurance benefits that not only keep them healthy, but that help them grow their families.
Tech Firms Are Fertility Benefits Leaders
According to Fertility IQ’s “Best Companies To Work for as a Fertility Patient: 2016 – 2017 Rankings,” for 80% of patients, employers pay for either all or none of the cost of IVF treatment. But one industry – technology – is raising the bar for fertility benefits, providing better and more inclusive coverage than any other business sector.
While the study identified the best fertility benefits offered in a diverse range of industries, six companies in the top 10 have one thing in common: All are technology companies. Among the top 10, in order, are these tech leaders:
Overall, tech businesses’ fertility benefits are almost 35% better than peer companies in other industries, the study shows. And, tech companies don’t need to be large for their fertility benefits to have a huge impact on their employees’ families. Even some small, private technology companies offer fertility benefits that are on par with tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.
While the companies at the head of the pack, across all industries, don’t cap the cost of fertility treatment, many do limit benefits to individuals with an infertility diagnosis. This means that fertility benefits aren’t available to employees who need a fertility specialist because they are same-sex couples or wish to become single parents.
Some technology companies, however, break down such barriers by providing fertility treatment without any such restrictions. This is great news for gay employees who need IVF and a surrogate to have a baby, or for lesbian couples or single moms-to-be who need intrauterine insemination (IUI) with donor sperm. Intel, Apple, Facebook and Google were the leaders on this criterion. Some companies, such as Intel, also provide coverage for fertility preservation procedures such as egg freezing, as well as embryo freezing and storage.
Offering fertility benefits to employees is an expensive proposition. For some large companies, it can add millions to the cost of the company’s insurance plans. But for workers who are struggling with infertility or need assisted reproductive technology to build a family, this coverage can literally make their dreams come true. In fact, the Fertility IQ study found that employees whose IVF was covered feel more loyal, and stay in their jobs longer, and 72% credit their jobs for helping them bring their child into the world.
Make the Most of Your Insurance
Regardless of your employer, our business office team will work closely with your insurer to make sure that you can get the most out of any available fertility benefits. To get started, contact our Nevada fertility center to schedule an appointment.
We protest the protest against access to Las Vegas surrogacy
Our fertility center recently presented at a surrogacy conference in Madrid, Spain, where protesters had gathered outside. We understand that third-party reproduction is a complex issue, and one that only those who need it to build their families can truly understand and appreciate.
The fertility treatment combines egg and sperm in the IVF lab, and then relies on the generosity of a third person, a surrogate, to carry the baby to term. For many men and women, including same-sex couples and women with insurmountable health conditions, this is the only way to build a family.
Our Las Vegas surrogacy firm fills an international void
Surrogacy is illegal in Spain – and other countries countries like France, Japan, Germany and China – so the Surrofair 2017 conference was held as a beacon of hope for anyone struggling to have a child and interested in traveling to the U.S for surrogacy services. An article about the protest stated that international adoptions can take up to eight years. This path to parenthood is an alternative to that long wait.
“We have attended this surrogacy fair twice, and received an email the week before the conference alerting us that the location had to be moved,” says Shiva Price, The Fertility Center of Las Vegas’ vice president of global operations. “We were saddened to hear that a large feminist protest group was equating surrogacy with female trafficking.”
Many of the protesters’ concerns were based off of misinformation, equating surrogacy with the “sale of children” and accusing agencies of targeting women who are financially destitute. In reality, only women who pass strict medical, psychological, social and financial screening can become surrogates in the United States.
In fact, says Price, the majority of the cost of surrogacy covers medical treatment and legal costs. The surrogate receives reimbursement for travel expenses and a nominal reward for her time and commitment that does not amount to a life-changing sum. Most women decide to become surrogates because they know someone who has struggled with infertility and they want to help give another couple the ultimate gift of a family.
Putting a face on surrogacy
One of our Las Vegas surrogacy patients shared her story of overcoming cancer only to be left infertile by the disease. For her, third-party reproduction was the only way.
She had this to say to the protesters in Spain: “I am fighting to be a mom, and I don’t care whether it’s a right or not. It is my dream.”
If you are considering traveling to the U.S. for surrogacy, please contact us to arrange for a free Skype consultation with Dr. Bruce Shapiro who is fluent in Spanish, or Dr. Carrie Bedient. Our Las Vegas surrogacy center has served the global community since 1988.
We’re now home to Nevada’s only female board certified fertility specialist
Our Las Vegas fertility center has a big announcement to make: Our own Carrie Bedient, M.D., recently became the state of Nevada’s only female board certified fertility specialist, or reproductive endocrinologist.
Board certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility is awarded by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology only after several years of advanced medical training and an intensive testing process, making Dr. Bedient one of a small number of reproductive endocrinologists nationwide who meets our nation’s highest standards for knowledge in this sub-specialty field.
What it takes to become a female board certified fertility specialist
Before becoming our state’s only female board certified fertility specialist, Dr. Bedient completed an intensive fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) at Emory University, as well as a residency at Case Western Reserve University & Cleveland Clinic Foundation. We were proud to welcome her to our team of Las Vegas fertility specialists in 2015.
To earn REI certification, Dr. Bedient received extensive training focused on diagnosing complex reproductive disorders, as well as the latest advanced treatment options to help men and women grow their families. To become board certified, she passed both written and oral exams proving her knowledge of this complex and evolving field of medicine.
An award-winning physician and researcher, Dr. Bedient shares her knowledge as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
Board certification is a tremendous accomplishment for any specialist, but it’s just one milestone in Dr. Bedient’s journey of lifelong learning. To maintain continuous certification, Dr. Bedient will pursue ongoing training, assessment and examinations, staying abreast of the newest developments in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Her ongoing commitment to education places our team of Las Vegas fertility specialists at the forefront of our field.
We hope you’ll get to know Dr. Bedient and take full advantage of her expertise in infertility and reproductive endocrinology on your own journey to have a baby. To make an appointment with Nevada’s only female board certified fertility specialist, contact us today.
Get informed about infertility legislation
Once you become part of the infertility community, it’s hard not to become passionate about topics like access to care, insurance coverage for infertility treatment, and the effect of infertility legislation on whether or not people struggling with infertility are able to build their families.
Each year, RESOLVE brings the infertility community together in Washington D.C. for Advocacy Day, when thousands of people affected by infertility gather to meet with their elected representatives and make sure that their opinions are heard. Advocacy Day 2017 will take place May 18, and your Nevada fertility specialist hopes that some of our patients will represent our great state this year at our nation’s capitol.
Advocacy Day is hosted in partnership with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a renowned professional organization in which both Bruce Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., and Carrie Bedient, M.D., maintain active membership.
Infertility legislation: Your opinion matters
For this year’s Advocacy Day, RESOLVE encourages participants to bring their representatives’ attention to two pieces of infertility legislation that affect access to important family-building options:
- The Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act, (Senate bill S 700 and House bill H. R. 1681): This bill will require the Veterans Administration to provide family-building options, such as IVF and adoption assistance, to veterans left infertile by wounds suffered in service to our country. This bill overturns the VA’s ban on IVF and expands family-building options for wounded veterans.
- The Adoption Tax Credit: Although the ATC is a permanent part of the tax code, tax reforms that will be debated in Congress this year could put this pro-family tax credit at risk.
RESOLVE provides all the training you need to make an impact, even scheduling your appointments for you. All you have to do is show up in Washington D.C. the day before Advocacy Day, start making friends, and learn how to most effectively share your message in conversations about infertility legislation.
Make your voice heard
It’s tough to work in a trip to D.C. during treatment, but you can still call your U.S. Representatives and follow the phone scripts provided by RESOLVE. We value the unique perspective that each of you brings to the national conversation about infertility and access to treatment. To schedule a consultation with a top Nevada fertility specialist, contact us.
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.
Iconic singer and songwriter, George Michael recently passed away in his home from heart failure. Although this is a sad event to account, we’d like to spend time celebrating the kindness and charity he spread while he was living.
George Michael and Fertility Treatments
George Michael was a pop star in the 80s, performing with the band, Wham!, and as a solo performer. He won Grammys and inspired many with his talents. In the late 80s, he announced he was gay, and he then began working for LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS awareness.
After George Michael had passed this week, a British TV reporter went to Twitter to tell about the selflessness of Michael and a time he helped a woman in need. On the Deal or No Deal TV show, a woman announced she needed 15,000 Euros for an in vitro fertilization procedure. According to the reporter, George Michael called the woman the next day, agreeing to pay for her fertility treatment procedure in private, amounting to $18,435.
After the reporter’s announcement on Twitter, many other people began discussing George Michael’s kindness and his desire to always help people in need.
Need Help with Your IVF Cost?
The Fertility Center of Las Vegas Discount Programs
Unfortunately, not everyone has a guardian angel like George Michaels to cover IVF costs. For those patients who need fertility assistance but also need help paying for treatment, The Fertility Center of Las Vegas offers various discount programs.
Many people may qualify for IVF grants for veterans. Others can apply for our in-house discount programs for financial assistance. We believe nothing should get in the way of you starting your family. Contact our office to see what type of discount program can help you with fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization.
With each passing year, fertility specialists continue to make advancements in reproductive medicine. Every month this year, we want to keep you updated on the latest news in fertility treatments. To start, we’ll discuss everything you need to know if you’re considering egg freezing to preserve your fertility.
The History of Egg Freezing
Historically, the egg freezing process was meant for medical purposes. Doctors recommended cancer patients to freeze their eggs before undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. Such cancer treatments could possibly damage a woman’s eggs, causing infertility. But, with the choice to freeze their eggs, women could preserve their healthy eggs and use them at a later time after treatment. The process of freezing eggs for such medical reasons has been available for about three decades.
Advancements in the Egg Freezing Process
Some older egg freezing techniques were unsuccessful. The old freezing process caused crystals to form in the egg cell, which damaged the cell. After these eggs had been thawed, they were not useful in creating a pregnancy.
Lately, fertility specialists have started using a process called vitrification to freeze eggs. This process freezes the eggs so quickly the troublesome crystals cannot form. In 2012 after the advancement of this process, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) announced that egg freezing was no longer an experimental procedure. They also declared vitrified eggs were similar to fresh eggs in their ability to create a pregnancy.
Growing popularity of freezing eggs for later pregnancy
After this ASRM announcement, there became a higher interest in freezing eggs for later pregnancy. Specialists predict the process will become even more popular as technology continues to advance and the egg freezing cost begins to drop. Also, more companies, like Apple and Facebook, are offering their employees insurance coverage for egg freezing.
Throughout the last decade, the reproductive medicine community has made improvement in egg freezing technology, resulting in higher egg freezing success rates and more pregnancies. We can now offer egg freezing to women for elective reasons, as opposed to solely medical reasons. We are opening up the market to women concerned about their declining fertility—and not just cancer patients.
In 2013, around 4,000 women froze their eggs, which showed an increase of 2,500 from 2012. Women can have their eggs frozen for years until they’re ready to become pregnant. The egg freezing process is gaining popularity with women who are focusing on their career and single women who have not found a partner to start a family with.
Learn More about Our Egg Freezing Services
The egg freezing process can now not only help women undergoing cancer treatment, but also women who are concerned about their biological clock. Doctors claim the best age to freeze eggs is during your 20s or early 30s. To learn more about egg freezing at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, read our online resources or contact us for a consultation.
Many people come to the United States from abroad for fertility treatments. Some countries do not allow certain treatments, like the surrogacy process, while others can’t offer the same advanced reproductive technology America does. Read about a new law Spain passed that recognizes the right to maternity leave for parents who used surrogacy, and find out how to start your trip to the US.
Complicated Laws in Spain
Spain is one of the countries where surrogacy is illegal. However, many patients forgo these rules by traveling abroad to get such treatments. But, with these international fertility treatments comes a little complication when the new parents return to their home country. For a long time, Spain has had very complicated rules on how they recognize children born from international fertility treatments when it comes to Social Security benefits.
New Laws Allow Maternity Leave after Surrogacy
For the first time in history, Spain’s Supreme Court approved a law to recognize a parent’s right to maternity leave after using surrogacy to have a child. Although using a gestational carrier is still illegal inside the country, the court ruled that “attention to minors” should take priority when it comes to Social Security benefits and allowing parents to stay home and care for the child.
They decided having a new child shows a real necessity for being able to take time off work. The court also ruled to allow a transfer of maternity leave to the father, which is great news for all new parents in Spain.
Why do people come to the United States for surrogacy?
The United States is a great place to visit for surrogacy. With access to the most advanced technology and high success rates, our fertility center can help you start your family in the way that works best for you.
Explore our website to learn more about how the surrogacy process in the United States works, in addition to finding resources for traveling. Visit The Fertility Center of Las Vegas from abroad, and we’ll offer special deals and services to make your trip go more smoothly.
Often, women receive a diagnosis that affects their ability to conceive a child on their own. Many women, like reality star Kim Kardashian, begin to research options that will allow them to start or continue their family, without risking a complicated pregnancy. See why Kim Kardashian, and other celebrities like her, are exploring surrogacy options.
Kim Kardashian’s Pregnancy Complications
36-year-old Kim Kardashian has had pregnancy troubles with both her children, North and Saint.
During her first pregnancy, Kim was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure, swelling in the hands and feet, and pregnancy complications. Kim delivered North early at 34 weeks.
Doctors said complications during her first child could cause a higher risk for later pregnancies. But, she got pregnant with her second child, Saint, despite these warnings. Granted, the warnings did cause some anxiety for her during her second pregnancy. When she delivered Saint, she suffered from placenta accreta, a rare condition in which the placenta is stuck inside the uterus after delivery and needs to be removed by a medical professional.
Celebrities and surrogacy
Despite Kim’s complications during both pregnancies, she and her husband, rapper Kanye West, wanted to continue their family. In a teaser for the upcoming episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Kim expressed an interest in exploring her surrogacy options. She has fears that carrying another pregnancy will be risky for both her and her baby’s health.
Many people, like Kim Kardashian, choose to use a surrogate to start or continue their family. With a surrogate, parents can use their own genetic material, or that of a donor, and not have to risk the possibility of a complicated pregnancy.
Get Started with Your Surrogacy Journey
At The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, we have many surrogacy options and resources. Schedule a consultation and we can answer any questions you have about whether surrogacy will work for your family.