Attain Fertility Blog

IVF for Specific Fertility Problems

By: admin Tuesday Jul. 29th
Filed in: Fertility Treatments & Options

injectable medicationBy Dr. Colleen Casey

Here are some common fertility problems that may benefit from in vitro fertilization (IVF). At the bottom of this blog post, I answer some commonly asked questions about IVF.

Tubal blockage
The initial testing for this would be to undergo a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). If abnormal, this usually is confirmed by laparoscopy (outpatient surgery) with a tubal dye study. IVF is the treatment of choice for women with blocked fallopian tubes.

Male factor
10 million total motile sperm or greater is recommended for an insemination cycle. I would counsel patients to consider IVF for anything less than that. A good semen analysis is (more…)

How Does an IVF Cycle Work?

By: admin Saturday Jul. 26th
Filed in: Fertility Treatments & Options

egg sperm reproductionBy Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata

By now, most everyone has heard about IVF (in vitro fertilization). What really is involved in an IVF cycle and why is it helpful for so many patients?

First, I’d like to share a little history of IVF. The first IVF child, Louise Brown, was born in 1978. When Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe began their pioneering work in assisted conception, they were looking for a solution to tubal factor infertility. Today, IVF can help patients struggling with infertility due to numerous causes including tubal disease, endometriosis, male factor and unexplained infertility. Think of IVF as the “ultimate” introduction service for the egg (oocyte) and sperm.

I like to think of the IVF process as 5 stages. Let’s look briefly at each.

Stage 1: (more…)

From Cancer to Infertility: Tabbi’s Story of Starting IVF

By: admin Wednesday Jul. 23rd
Filed in: Share Your Story

Tabbi IVF storyBy Tabbi Burwell

My story of infertility began much earlier in life than most. I didn’t grow up with abnormal periods or even cysts that would prevent my chances of having a family one day. My infertility story started when I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at just 20 years old. After two and a half years of chemotherapy, rebuilding muscle and growing out my hair again, I was told by my oncologist that my chances of having kids after 32 years old would be hard. 

You see, chemotherapy ages the inside of your body by approximately 10 years, putting me into menopause at an earlier age than most. And this is what I have learned since fighting this long battle of building a family, among many other things.

Getting Started with Fertility Treatments
My husband and I were married when I was 30 years old. We immediately started trying for a family and were referred to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) due to (more…)

I Am an Advocate for Infertility: Jen’s Story

By: admin Monday Jul. 21st
Filed in: Infertility Advocacy & Awareness

RESOLVE infertility volunteer and advocateGetting started as a volunteer

AF:  Why did you get into infertility advocacy or volunteer work and what do you hope to accomplish?

Jen: I got formally involved with infertility advocacy by attending RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. in 2012. It was a life changing experience that transformed the way I thought and felt about my infertility. Advocacy helped me feel more in control of my disease, and less like a victim. Every time someone with infertility speaks out about their disease – whether to friends or family, or on Facebook, or to elected representatives – we are making a difference. 

AF: Do you find it hard to fit your advocacy and volunteer work into your schedule? What would you tell people who may be hesitant to get involved as volunteers due to work, family, or other commitments?

Jen: Sure, it’s hard to make time for infertility advocacy. It’s hard to be a patient, a professional, a mom, AND an advocate. But, (more…)

The Beginning and the End

By: Stephanie Himel-Nelson Tuesday Jul. 15th
Filed in: Stephanie Himel-Nelson

You all know that I’m addicted to pregnancy tests, right? Well, a funny thing happened the last time I tried to buy one and I had to share it with all of you.

It was a Friday night at about 10pm and I was taking off my bra for the night. Now, this is notable because I am, ahem, well endowed and taking the bra off and letting the girls fly free is just about the best thing ever. But as I was taking off my bra I realized that the girls were feeling pretty tender. Like, tender in a feeling-I-remember-well-from-every-time-I’ve-been-pregnant sort of way. Hmmmmm.

I did some quick backwards math and gave a shrug because we’d stopped trying and there was no way I was pregnant. I told my husband “there’s no way, but I need to take a test or it’s going to drive me crazy,” and I headed to the grocery store for a pregnancy test. Of course, they had them all locked up in the pharmacy. The closed pharmacy. The very nice cashier told me I could come back at 8am for one. Uh, no way! So I headed to the closest 24-hour drug store.

The drug store was surprisingly active for a Friday evening at 10:30pm. There were at least a dozen people in the store. I swear that I must be the only married, adult woman in the world who is still embarrassed to be hanging out in the “family planning” aisle.  Between the pregnancy tests and the condoms (more…)