8 Ways to Handle the Holidays During Infertility

8 Ways to Handle the Holidays During Infertility

These tips have proven helpful for myself and  other women I know during the holidays. Some of these ideas I learned from other women on infertility forums that I found to be really useful. They may not be the best option for you, so consider your own life circumstances and decide what is right for you. Consider the pros and cons if you were to do the following tips. Above all else, consider what is best for your own physical and emotional health.

1) Declining a Holiday Party Invitation is Okay

I had to do this a few times when I knew there would be pregnant women and small children. I seem to be a magnet for little kids. As much as I love kids, after having a miscarriage so close to a holiday it was just too much to bear. So I made the decision for my own mental health take a step back and take care of myself. Other people may be confused or irritated by your decision but it’s so important to take care of yourself if you feel like it will be too difficult.

2) Ask for Your Partner’s Help

During one holiday gathering of just a small group of my husband’s family, I requested he speak to his family on my behalf and that they please not ask questions related to my miscarriage or infertility. I wanted to be able to go to the holiday event, enjoy myself, and not deal with any questions regarding my infertility. I only recommend doing this for very small gatherings where you feel people would be understanding and respectful of this wish. It was nice to be able to go out and not have to deal with the questions when my heart was still hurting from a recent loss. 

3) Address Potential Questions Ahead of Time 

Sometimes you want to share what you are going through but you may not want to do it during Thanksgiving or Christmas when there’s a whole room of people you may not want to hear your story. So if you know there are certain people who are curious by nature, try chatting with them before the party if you feel comfortable doing this. You can share what you are going through if you feel like doing so. You can even ask them “Please don’t share this with anyone.” Don’t forget to thank them for letting you share. But also keep in mind whether they have a track record of having loose lips if they have a few drinks. In that case it might be best to avoid talking with them before the party, because they may accidentally talk about what you said to them.

4) Be Vague 

Sometimes the best response is a vague one. I’ve had some people in my life ask me “When are you going to have kids?” and when I say, “Hopefully soon” I get a slew of not so savory responses. Some of those responses include, “What are you waiting for?” or “You’re not getting any younger” and the all-time most detestable one… “You better get on that” with the emphasis on “that” being a purposeful innuendo. Really people?! So rather than leaving the door open for a plethora of insulting comments, I’ve decided to have a canned response that not a single person felt compelled to push the subject or make stupid comments. My go-to response to the question of “When are you going to have kids?” is now “Whenever God lets it happen.” So far not a single person has pressed the subject or made any demeaning remarks to me when I use that line. In my experience, this is a polite response that shifts people’s attention to God as opposed to anything I’m personally doing. Because you can’t argue with God.

5) Be Honest 

Most people do not intend to be hurtful with the questions they ask. I’ve found that people are just curious or are trying to be helpful. With that in mind, you can choose to speak up about how you really feel. For the people who continually ask questions you really don’t want to answer you can simply say, “I appreciate your concern and that you care enough to ask, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet. If I do want to talk about it I will let you know. Thank you for understanding.” For the people who truly care about your feelings they will understand. I told a coworker years ago that line and they gave me an angry look and left the room. In that situation I knew that person loved to gossip and I believe she was hurt that I didn’t give her information she wanted to spread to the office. As I said, if they truly cared and respected your emotional well-being they would most likely not respond that way. You are not obligated to share your story if you don’t want to, nor do you need to justify your reason for not sharing.

6) Change the Subject

This one is probably one of the easiest tricks in the book when you sense the conversation is turning towards your fertility. If you are chatting with a group of women who are all mothers and they are talking about raising children and pregnancy, it’s possible they will begin to ask you questions about your experience or lack thereof. Sometimes you can change the subject in a subtle way without completely diverting the conversation on another tangent. For example, you can ask questions about their children. You can learn a lot of good parenting advice this way too without the focus being on you and instead focus on them and what they’ve learned over the years.

7) Relate in Other Ways

People love to be heard and understood. Just because you don’t have kids does not mean you can’t relate on any level. When people share some of their parenting stories they might remind you of your experience with your nieces or nephews or if you’ve worked with children. You can find ways to talk about children without being a parent. For the most part I find it incredibly rare that someone makes the comment, “You don’t understand because you’re not a parent.” Sometimes people say this because they feel like you cannot relate or understand. You can deflect this comment with something like, “What do you normally do that helps in that situation?” this way you sidestep their  comment, get them to focus on a solution, and you can possibly learn from them.

8) Have an Exit Strategy

I remember years ago after my first miscarriage my husband thought it might be good for me to get out of the house and enjoy the holidays. I went to a Christmas event with him. I realized it was not a good idea after having several parents hand me their infants while they got something to eat, toddlers insisted I play with them, and people were asking me, “Why don’t you have any kids yet? You are so good with them.” I ended up crying in the bathroom multiple times. I asked my husband if we could leave but he told me we couldn’t because we had been parked in by four different cars. There was no escaping. So I continued to cry in the bathroom off and on until it was time to go. It was horrible. The following year I decided to ask him to park away a bit so if I needed a break or if I wanted to leave early we could. One time we went for a brief walk and that helped too.

 

The holidays were meant to be enjoyed. Don’t be afraid to speak up for your needs, because oftentimes people will not understand your perspective unless you say something. It’s possible to still have a good time if you plan ahead and anticipate certain scenarios and what you can do about it. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!

 

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Source: Pixabay

 

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Today’s Question: 

What advice would you give someone experiencing infertility during the holidays?

Check out my previous posts by going to my archives page.

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Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list. 

Featured Image: https://www.verywellfamily.com/family-gatherings-and-infertility-1959983

 

Want to Get Pregnant? Nah, You Need Birth Control

Want to Get Pregnant? Nah, You Need Birth Control

I call this chapter in my infertility journey “The Deer in Headlights.” Some women choose to take a break from TTC for a multitude of reasons. The biggest one being they need a serious emotional break, but my current situation is a little different. My doctor adamantly told me recently, “Absolutely do not get pregnant for the next six months.” He went on to explain that I am at risk of Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) due to the suspected partial molar pregnancy I had with my sixth miscarriage. GTD can turn cancerous. I interpreted his professional explanation into something like this in my mind, “Julie, don’t be the world’s biggest idiot and go get pregnant if it puts you at risk of cancer.” Got it! Message read loud and clear doc.

Although it’s a seemingly simple task, it’s also a real mindf***. It’s too easy to inadvertantly condition my mind to think “sex is bad” over and over again for six months. Not to mention the fact I’ve had so many miscarriages over the years it would be a very easy belief to take on. But my doctor did not say, “Don’t have sex” he instead said, “He needs to use protection and you should be on birth control.” As much as I hate being on birth control, if it means potentially preventing a flare up of GTD that could turn cancerous I will happily take that daily little pill.

I normally hate being on birth control. Years ago I took a birth control pill that I think caused my blood pressure to go so sky high my nurse said it was at “stroke levels.” I decided to stop taking the pill immediately, making no other lifestyle changes. When I came back to the doctors office several weeks later they told me my blood pressure was completely normal and said, “You must be exercising and eating better.” To which I replied, “Nope I’m still a couch potato and eating junk. The only change I made is I stopped taking that birth control pill.” To this day I’m convinced the pill caused my blood pressure to reach “stroke levels.” I learned that one of the possible side effects of that birth control pill was “increased risk of stroke.” 

Flash forward about one decade later to today and my blood pressure is genuinely high and I need medication for it. I’m hoping once I lose some weight it will help lower it. So what do you do if you have high blood pressure and your doctor tells you you need to be on birth control? Ask about the progesterone-only pill or “mini pill.” Thankfully I am able to follow my doctor’s orders and it not affect my blood pressure by taking this alternative pill. But it is not some magical pill, it comes with side effects too.

 

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List of side effects from mini pill including mood swings. (Image Credit: WebMD)

 

The biggest side effect I am experiencing currently with this birth control pill is mood swings, mostly feeling weepy. It is so damn hard to keep my emotions in check. Even a simple moment of drama in a movie can cause a tear to roll down my cheek now that I’m on this pill. And a hard day at work…don’t even get me started. Let’s just say Kurtis is getting lots of hugs and sniveling from me lately. Both he and I are legitimately concerned about the effect of this pill on me. “Why do you have to take the pill if I’m using protection?” he asked me. I explained my doctor wants us to be doubly sure we don’t get pregnant until my body is ready. I’m also dealing with daily headaches and some have been turning into full-blown migraines. I am not a happy camper lately.

I plan on asking my doctor about what he thinks as far as the mood swings and this pill. I imagine he will tell me they will wane as my body adjusts to them. When my neurologist (for my migraines) was asking about any new medication I was on, told her about the mini pill and how I was concerned about how I’m having more headaches and mood swings. “I would think those would go away soon because you are getting a steady supply of hormones with no placebo pill week.” This was reassuring I suppose, but I haven’t yet reached that state of equilibrium. Hopefully within the next week or so I won’t be so weepy over nothing.  

 

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 How I look watching a drama on birth control pills. (Credit: GIPHY )

 

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Today’s Question: 

Have you taken a break from trying to conceive? What was that experience like for you?

 

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This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

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Featured Image Credit: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/6/25/18715504/birth-control-side-effects-pill-iud
GIF Credit: http://gph.is/VwMZN7

Tested for Uterine Cancer

Tested for Uterine Cancer

As you could probably tell from my last post I was dealing with a lot of heavy emotions regarding potential Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) and possible uterine cancer. My doctor wanted me to have a second surgery right away to remove a mass they found in my uterus. He suspected it was one of two things; 1) remaining products of conception from my most recent miscarriage, or 2) tumors that have developed from GTD. If it was the latter, I would need to begin chemotherapy.

I got the phone call from my doctor last night with the results, and I am happy to announce that I do not have cancer! It turns out the mass they found was part of my placenta from my last miscarriage that hadn’t been cleared from the first surgery. I feel so relieved, especially considering I know two infertility bloggers who just recently got diagnosed with uterine cancer right around the same time I was waiting to hear back about my results. The one blogger is starting chemo and the other had a hysterectomy in order to save her life from the cancer spreading, and she now has to find a surrogate to complete her Frozen Embryo Transfer. I keep thinking, “That could have been me” and “I could have been dealing with permanent infertility, a hysterectomy, or battling cancer right now.” I dodged a major bullet. It could have easily been me. 

My Next Steps:

  • Continue weekly blood draws until hCG levels are back down to zero
  • Once hCG levels drop to zero must do monthly blood draws (to monitor if Gestational Trophoblastic Disease develops)
  • Per doctor’s orders wait 6 months before doing Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) (April or May at the earliest)
  • Before FET must do SIS (Saline Infusion Sonohysterography) procedure
  • Fly to Seattle for FET in mid-2020

 

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Sunset on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska from August 2019. It was my first visit to Homer and I absolutely loved it. It was one of our “mini-vacations.”

 

This recent cancer scare has really put a lot of things into perspective for me. It got me to reevaluate my expectations of God and to renew my faith but in a different way. I feel like I have a greater appreciation for how short life can be. A while back I created another website (still being developed) where I wanted to track my life goals or “Bucket List.” I want the site to include resources for people to pursue their own life goals too. It would be kind of similar to HopingForBaby.com in that I’d want it to be a hybrid of a personal blog plus informational posts. I would be talking about my progress with my life goals and posting articles related to self-development and achieving goals. 

The high cost of infertility is definitely a major obstacle when it comes to pursuing other life goals. Recently my husband and I realized that he and I haven’t gone on vacation together for three years. For a couple that loves to travel that is a really long time. We are planning to go out-of-state together here in a few months as long as his time-off request gets approved.  All of my money has been going towards paying down my medical bills since my last round of IVF. It’s so easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to trying to have a baby. But perhaps this recent cancer scare was meant to shake me out of that all-or-nothing mentality. I need to create more balance in my life, and I think pursuing my other dreams could help me gain that balance. 

Comment below to Today’s Question and receive bonus entry to the current contest.

Today’s Question: 

What life goals do you have that you’ve put on pause while dealing with infertility? What is one of your life goals you can start working on today?

Thank you for reading. 🙂

Check out my previous posts by going to my archives page.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list. 

 

Another Surgery & Thoughts on God

Another Surgery & Thoughts on God

I recently did a post-surgery ultrasound to check to see if my body went back to normal after my surgery in September (due to missed miscarriage). I’ve had so many ultrasounds over the years that I’ve learned to spot abnormalities on the ultrasound even before the ultrasound tech shows any indication of something being off. Unfortunately, this time I was looking at a black mass on the ultrasound screen that I knew should not have been there. 

The ultrasound tech could not confirm exactly what the black mass was and said she would show the images to my doctor to review and he would get back to me within the next few days (due to him being out of the office). On the morning of October 15th I did my own Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Loss Day at home. That was the first time I participated and although it was therapeutic it was also emotionally draining. So imagine how I felt when later that afternoon I got the phone call that there was in fact something off about my ultrasound. My doctor referred to that black mass and said, “It could either be retained products of conception or it could be an indicator of Persistent Gestational Trophoblastic Disease from a partial molar pregnancy. But we should definitely do a second surgery.” In the past I needed two surgeries from one miscarriage to clear my uterus, which was not a big deal other than the inconvenience of a second surgery. But the main difference between that time and this time is that I wasn’t dealing with a partial molar pregnancy before. 

 

This ultrasound photo is not a picture of my ultrasound, but it appears very similar to what mine looked like with a black mass and cloudy or “snowstorm” appearance surrounding it, typically found with molar pregnancies.

 

 

I asked my doctor, “So what’s the next step if this second surgery doesn’t work and it looks like something is still there or develops more?” My doctor told me that I would need to start the medication Methotrexate. His nurse had mentioned that same medication a few days prior when I asked her a similar question. I had assumed that Methotrexate was similar to Misoprostol, which is a common medication I’ve had just prior to each of my surgeries for miscarriages. Misoprostol is a medication softens the uterine lining to make the surgery process easier. I decided to Google what this new medication Methotrexate was, since I was unfamiliar with it. Neither my doctor nor my nurse fully explained what it was. As I was reading the description, all the words fell away except one…chemotherapy. Methotrexate is in fact a type of medication to treat cancer. 

My doctor wanted me to have my surgery the following day, but I chose to wait a couple days so I wouldn’t have to take time off work. On Monday (October 21st) I went to my usual surgery center. Out of curiosity I asked my doctor how many times I’ve had surgery there, because I had actually lost count. He looked at my paperwork and told me that this was my fifth surgery there. That did not include the two surgeries I had out-of-state in Seattle for my first and second round of IVF. So in total I’ve had seven surgeries related to infertility and miscarriages from 2016 – 2019. 

As of today, October 24th, I’m still waiting for the pathology report to learn what exactly that black mass was. Ultimately this next phone call from my doctor will determine whether I will need chemotherapy or not. I’ve been trying not to worry about it, although the first few days after the 15th were the hardest. I was tossing and turning at night and not getting enough sleep. I told my husband and my Mom. Both of them tried to reassure me by saying “Try not to worry.” But the primary emotion I was feeling was not worry, it was anger.

I was angry at God. I was so angry and frustrated for all of these years of struggling and now He decided to throw in a potential cancer diagnosis. Then my thoughts began to expand out to everyone I’ve known who has battled cancer and how much they suffered. I was thinking, “How could a God allow so much suffering?” God took my Dad away from cancer in 2016 and my mom has survived cancer twice. Then I kept seeing so many commercials on TV for St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital with all those little kids and babies who were completely innocent suffering from cancer. I just could not wrap my mind around any of this.

But I had a conversation with my Mom the other day on the phone that helped me to see things differently. Mind you, I’m not particularly religious. I was “saved” years ago, but after dealing with so much loss over the years my relationship with God was now hanging by a thread. After talking with Mom it helped solidify a thought I had and bring it more to the forefront of my mind. I believe there is a Creator, something greater than us that helped get this world spinning. But as far as a God that intervenes in our daily struggles, well I’ve moved on from that belief. 

Believe it or not, I feel more at peace with this concept that God does not intervene. I still believe there is a usefulness to prayer. It can be a way to socially connect on a deeper level and to set positive intentions together. Prayer can also bring us the quiet contemplation we need to help us to potentially find solutions to our problems if we choose to use prayer in that way. What I no longer believe is that praying hard and often leads to the outcome we want. I prayed so hard for each of my babies and set all my intention on positive outcomes. It was suggested to me by various people that perhaps I wasn’t “praying hard enough” or that I needed to “pray more.” I think my issue at the time was my idea of God was changing yet the people around me continued to talk about God the way I used to view Him. These past several years I felt like giving up on my faith. It took me so long to develop a new view of God that He could simply be a Creator and not necessarily an intervener. For me at least this brings me a sense of comfort and peace.

I should be getting my pathology results here soon. I will let you all know what they are once I get them. For now I will be taking it easy resting after this recent surgery. I went back to work the following day after my surgery, which I think was good for me because it serves as a good distraction. I’m trying to take it easy this first week as far as movement goes, by taking a break from exercising. I feel pretty good but have some twinges of pain here and there. I’m going to try to stay optimistic while I wait for my results.

Thank you for reading. 🙂

Today’s Question: 

Have your spiritual beliefs changed over time through your infertility struggles? If so, how have they changed?

Comment below with your response to receive a bonus entry to the current contest.

Check out my previous posts by going to my archives page.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list. 

 

 

Featured Photo Image Source for Ultrasound Picture: MedPix National Library of Medicine
URL:
https://medpix.nlm.nih.gov/case?id=7fd9d54c-da23-4248-bb30-bd4993d6efb9

Movie Review: “Don’t Talk About the Baby”

Movie Review: “Don’t Talk About the Baby”

HopingForBaby.com Rating: 4 out of 5

Don’t Talk About the Baby” is a great documentary to watch if you’ve experienced Pregnancy and Infant Loss and you feel you are prepared to hear other people’s difficult stories. I believe sharing stories is so important for healing, especially sharing to others who understand. I’ve dealt with a lot of loss over the years and I believe I’ve developed more resiliency over time. This movie is great if you also feel you are at a point where you are mostly past the initial stages of grief. That is the only reason I gave it a 4 out of 5 rating because it may be too triggering for some viewers. 

I strongly believe in people sharing their story, but I personally choose to not tell everyone graphic details of the trauma of pregnancy loss. I believe this part of my story was best processed with a therapist or through journaling. I also believe expressing this through works of art can be therapeutic for others. Everyone processes their grief in their own way, so if you believe in fully expressing every aspect of your loss more power to you. If you find yourself easily triggered by traumatic details, I’d recommend taking that into consideration when you decide to watch this documentary. 

Don't talk about the baby

Image Source: princetonlibrary.org

 

On the flip side of that word of caution, I think this movie did an absolutely fantastic job of showing so many different stories of courage and hope. I felt a huge sense of connectedness to the women that were interviewed. I’ve watched a handful of other documentaries about infertility and IVF, but this one really touched my heart. There were several instances I just wanted to reach through the TV screen and hug the woman being interviewed. There was such a rawness with the emotions they shared, that takes an immense amount of courage. I find it hard sometimes to write some of my blog posts about my recurrent miscarriages, but I always feel better after I do.  My hope is maybe someone reading my posts might feel a little better knowing they are not alone during their struggles. I feel this film was created with this same spirit. 

I love how the documentary interviewed a variety of women who are at different points in their journey. Some are still deep in the emotions of their recent loss, others are a little further along, and some who have moved on from their loss and share their stories of how they healed. Another important aspect of this movie is that they take the time to interview multiple doctors who specialize in pregnancy and infant loss. The statistics they share may initially seem overwhelming to hear. But I believe the filmmaker’s intention was to emphasize that so many women experience this kind of loss and to show viewers they are definitely not alone. 

Finally, the subject that I found most important in this film is the need to fight the stigma of pregnancy and infant loss. There is a huge stigma in our culture around this type of loss. As our culture becomes more comfortable talking about the hard subject of pregnancy and infant loss the stigma will begin to fade away. One of the women in the film remembers how cancer actually had a stigma and some people would avoid talking about it. But over time more people openly talked about cancer which created more awareness. More awareness resulted in more funding for research. Now there is an immense amount of energy put into raising funds for cancer research and education today. All of that effort has lead to a greater understanding for the public to know when to get screened for cancer, helping to catch it early on and save more lives with treatment at just the right time. The film “Don’t Talk About the Baby” discusses our culture can do the same exact process of openly talking about pregnancy and infant loss just as we now openly talk about cancer today. 

That cultural shift can be duplicated with conversations about pregnancy and infant loss and maybe one day there won’t be as much of a stigma. The more people actually talk about it the more likely funding efforts will increase. Increased funding can allow for more research efforts to potentially find the causes to “unexplained infertility” which is said to account for up to 30% of pregnancy losses (Sadeghi, 2015). More research also needs to be put towards learning more about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Even the diagnosable conditions still have many questions surrounding what the root cause might be. It is incredibly important to increase research and educating the public to help prevent pregnancy and infant loss, and this includes  reducing the stigma.

Thank you for reading. 🙂

 

Today’s Question:

What have you done to help reduce the stigma of pregnancy and infant loss? Have you educated a family member or friend on this subject by sharing your story? 

Comment with your response to receive a bonus entry to the current contest.

 

Click here to watch “Don’t Talk About the Baby” on Amazon

 

Check out my previous posts by going to my archives page.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here
Sources:
Featured Image: https://www.donttalkaboutthebaby.com/
Full Image of “Don’t Talk About the Baby” Poster: https://princetonlibrary.org/event/film-and-panel-discussion-dont-talk-about-the-baby/
Sadeghi, Mohammad Reza. “Unexplained infertility, the controversial matter in management of infertile couples.” Journal of reproduction & infertility vol. 16,1 (2015): 1-2.

Remembering My Babies on October 15th

Remembering My Babies on October 15th

This was the first year I participated in the October 15th event of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I had to work that night and chose not to go downtown to participate in the community event, but I took the time to do this at home. I didn’t even realize a new miscarriage and infant loss group had started up again in my city. That group organized the event downtown for October 15th. A few years back I went to one of those meetings but I was only one of two people, shortly after I went I got a letter in the mail saying that group had ended. Maybe I’ll start going to the new group. The other reason I didn’t go downtown for the October 15th events is that I didn’t feel like sharing that moment of remembrance with strangers. I’m sure it could have been nice for some people, but I felt like this first year of doing it would be more meaningful if I did it at home.

Several things happened on the 15th that were really difficult, I’ll address those in a future post. But for this post, I wanted it to focus on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I wanted to light a candle for each of my pregnancy losses and remember each of them individually. I decided to take some photos to remember today. After nearly four years of infertility and six miscarriages, I finally decided to take part in my own way at home. 

I used my Moroccan candle holder as the centerpiece, and put six tea light candles inside, each one representing one of my pregnancy losses. I lit each candle and took one minute between lighting each one to pause and remember each baby. I said a prayer for each one, each prayer slightly different than the last. There was something about this process that gave me a sense of peace and I could feel the heaviness in my heart lifting. 

 

Lighting the candles one-by-one, saying a prayer for each of my babies.

 

I have a temporary keepsake box (good ol’ shoebox) of my letters, cards, ultrasound pictures, and this little stuffed elephant. Eventually I will get a nice keepsake box. I bought this elephant with my first baby and gave it to Kurtis when I first shared my pregnancy news with him. Someday this little elephant will be cuddled, drooled on, squished, and dragged around by my future baby. I put flowers around the candle holder to add some color and bring a delicate beauty to the centerpiece. 

 

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Overall I found the experience to be more emotional and meaningful than I had anticipated. Some women choose to honor their baby on the day they would have been born. Initially I had done something like that but after six losses I honestly cannot remember the dates. I think part of that is that I was emotionally blocking out that info. I plan on contacting my doctor in the future to find out this info so I can either buy or create a necklace with the birthstones for each one. I have a necklace with a birthstone for my first pregnancy loss but I haven’t added on to it. I believe it would have been too overwhelming for me to honor each of my babies at six different times throughout the year on their would-be birthday. So the idea of doing it once a year on October 15th is easier on me emotionally. I think it’s important to remember our babies and the hope that they brought to our lives. Just as when someone comes to the end of their life it’s important to remember the good moments. I remember the good moments of announcing the pregnancy news to Kurtis, family, and friends. I remember seeing strong heartbeats on the ultrasound that I never imagined possible, I saw this two times. Those heartbeats were a sign of hope. 

 

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Writing a letter “To each of my babies in heaven.” Writing a letter to your baby, to God, or journaling your emotions and thoughts can help you process the loss and feel more at peace.

 

It’s important to take care of yourself emotionally. I think participating in Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a way to stay connected to our past and not forget how strong each of us really are. If you’ve experienced this kind of loss just know that you are not alone and there are so many others out there going through the exact thing you are. 

 

Comment below to Today’s Question and receive bonus entry to the current contest.

Today’s Question: 

If you’ve experienced pregnancy loss and/or infant loss, what healthy coping skills have you done to help you heal?

Thank you for reading. 

Catch up on past entries by clicking here for the archives page. 

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This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here
Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list.


Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15th

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15th

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pregnancy-infant-loss-remembrance-day

 

Did you know that October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day? In 1988 President Ronald Reagan declared the month of October to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. President Reagan gave the following speech on the subject:

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.  This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities” (October15th.com, 2019).

 

Small-Bird-image

 

Years later in 2002, October 15th became the official day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In 2004 the International Wave of Light is a global candlelight vigil, “Lighting begins at the International Date Line, in the first time zone, remaining lit a period of one hour, with the next time zone lighting respectively, moving through each time zone as the Wave of Light circumnavigates the globe. The result is a continuous chain of light encompassing and spanning across the world and around the globe for a 24-hour period, illuminating the night in love and light in honor and remembrance of our children” (Wikipedia, 2019). It is both a beautiful way to remember as well as feel a greater sense of connection to others who know exactly what you are going through.

 

5 Ways to Remember Your Baby

1) Light a single candle or one for each of your losses.

 

wave-of-light-candle

2) Write a letter to your baby or journal your feelings.

 

pexels-photo

3) Share your story. Join a support group or talk with a friend you trust.

 

blog-event-support-group

4) Make a donation to a charity in your baby’s honor.

 

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5) Wear remembrance jewelry or clothing.

 

I have a necklace with simple silver wing with a diamond for the birthstone for the month my first baby would have been born. I have yet to add more birthstones for my other losses but I will probably do that in the future. It felt really nice to have that to remember my baby and to help me heal.

Jewelry

  

Baby Name Necklace – ROI – Dainty Feet Footprints Charm – Memorial Infant Loss Gift – 5/8 Inch Disc – Handstamped 14K Gold Filled Jewelry – Personalized Birthstone

 

 

Gold Angel Wing Necklace – ROI – Dainty Memorial Charm Gift – Delicate Loss Pearl – Handstamped Jewelry – Personalize Initial Crystal Color


 

 

Angel Baby Memorial Charm • Miscarriage Necklace • Tiny Winged Heart • Sterling Silver • Too Beautiful for Earth

 

 

Tiny Angel Wing Necklace – Dainty Silver or Gold Guardian Wing Necklace Minimalist Jewelry – Memorial, Miscarriage Infant Loss, First Communion Gift

 

 

GLAM ”Always in My Heart” Sentimental Quote Thin Brass Bangle Hook Mantra Bracelet

Clothing Items

TeesPass October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month Shirt Hoodie

 

Heart Blue Pink Ribbon Pregnancy Infant Loss Awareness T-Shirt

 

Mom of an Angel Shirt Infant Loss Grieving Mom Gift Gift for Mom Miscarriage Gift Gift for Grieving Mother Angel Mom Shirt

 

Angel Mommy T-Shirt. Miscarriage Awareness Infant Loss Tee

 

Daddy Of An Angel T-Shirt National Pregnancy and Infant Loss

 

Grandma Of A Little Angel Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Long Sleeve T-Shirt

 

Comment below to Today’s Question and receive bonus entry to the current contest.

Today’s Question: 

Have you participated in a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness event? If so, how would you describe your experience?

Thank you for reading.

Catch up on past entries by clicking here for the archives page. 

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Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list. 

 

 

Image Sources:

Featured Image:
https://www.funeralwise.com/digital-dying/october-15th-pregnancy-infant-loss-remembrance-day/
Wave of Light Image:
https://cmvaction.org.uk/news/baby-loss-awareness-week-9-15-october-2017
Woman Writing Image:
Photo by Negative Space from Pexels
Support Group Image:
https://fcionline.com/fertility-blog/monthly-infertility-support-group/
Donate Image:
https://www.kiplinger.com/article/taxes/T032-C001-S003-donate-your-rmd-tax-free-to-charity-in-2016.html
I Will Always Wonder Image:
https://handtohold.org/national-pregnancy-and-infant-loss-awareness-day/

 

Best & Worst States for Infertility Services

Best & Worst States for Infertility Services
This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

During my research for my post Top 7 Websites Comparing IVF Clinic Success Rates, I came across Resolve.org’s State Fertility Scorecard. It shows a color-coded map of the United States as quick visual of the states that have better grade for access to infertility services. You can see your state’s grade and compare your state to others based on the following criteria (quoted from Resolve.org):

 

  • “Number of peer-led RESOLVE support groups in state for people experiencing fertility issues
  • Number of physicians specializing in infertility in state, at SART-accredited fertility clinics
  • Number of women in state who have experienced physical difficulty in getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to live birth
  • Insurance mandate information in each state” (Resolve, 2019).

 

 

Best States for Fertility Services with a grade of “A”:

  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Illinois

 

Worst States for Fertility Services with a grade of “F”:

  • Alaska
  • Wyoming
  • Mississippi

 

 

Resolve.com Fertility Score Card

Resolve.org’s Fertility Scorecard map of the U.S. The states with the best access to fertility services are in green, the worst states in red.

 

 

Overall Alaska ranks the worst out of every state, with Wyoming shortly behind when based on the highest number of women with zero access to fertility services. Although I was somewhat surprised that Alaska (my state) ranked so low, I didn’t imagine we would be one of the top three worst states to live in for those struggling with infertility. But in a way it also makes sense. I’ve had to fly out of state for both my first and second round of IVF treatment. We have zero support groups of any kind for infertility. A few years back I attended a miscarriage support group and I was just one of two in attendance, but I learned that group has since ended. That was the only group in the city related to infertility. Since my reproductive endocrinologist (RE) retired earlier this year there are zero RE’s within my health insurance’s network. I’ve heard from my OBGYN there isn’t a single RE in the state anymore. That means 15,612 women who have dealt with infertility or pregnancy loss does not have any access to a fertility specialist either (Resolve, 2019). Yet there are zero laws on the books regarding fertility treatment, which also means there is no obligation to provide insurance coverage of any sort. Not even partial coverage is an option here.

 

 

Resolve.com Fertility Score Card Alaska

Alaska’s Fertility Grade of “F” as viewed on Resolve.org’s Fertility Scorecard page.

 

 

Having learned all this, I feel very strongly that I should speak up and encourage our legislators to include at least partial insurance coverage for fertility treatment. I believe reproductive rights should include fertility treatment.  There are so many women like myself who are unable to have a child naturally. I understand that I will probably have to navigate many questions during my time advocating for change. But through everything I’ve already faced, I feel like I’ve developed thicker skin which is probably going to serve me well when I get involved in the legislative process. When I think about it, not only am I advocating for legislative change for other women but it would also benefit myself too. I’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain. 

 

Comment below to Today’s Question and receive bonus entry to the current contest.

Today’s Question: 

If you live in the U.S., what is your state’s Fertility Grade on Resolve.org’s Fertility Scorecard?

 

Thank you for reading. 

Catch up on past entries by clicking here for the archives page. 

ENTER TO WIN THE LATEST HOPINGFORBABY.COM CONTEST.

 

Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list. 

 

Sources & Images:

Resolve.com Fertility Scorecard: http://familybuilding.resolve.org/fertility-scorecard/

Results from Anora Test

Results from Anora Test

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

My husband and I were debating whether to do the Anora test from this pregnancy loss. We’ve done the test before with two of our other miscarriages. Both of those tests determined that the embryos had a chromosomal abnormality caused by maternal origin. One had Trisomy 15 and the other had Trisomy 16. My other miscarriages we did not test. At first he and I were leaning towards not doing the test for my most recent loss this September, because we assumed it would be the same exact scenario of a Trisomy due to maternal origin. We believed it would have been a waste of time and money. But my doctor had a good reason to try to talk us into doing the test again.

 

Now that we have recently found out I have the MTHFR gene mutation, my doctor wanted to determine whether this embryo had a chromosomal abnormality. He said, “If the embryo does not have a chromosomal abnormality we might have you try Lovenox.” Lovenox is a medication used to help during pregnancy for women who have a MTHFR gene mutation. He said that he would talk to my out-of-state doctor as far as the next steps after the Anora results.

 

When my doctor called me several days later with the results he said, “It was a triploidy of paternal origin.” This was the first time my egg quality had nothing to do with the chromosomal abnormality. But unfortunately, now we also have a chromosomal abnormality issue from my husband’s side (paternal origin). So I’m unsure whether I will still need to take Lovenox or not as a precaution with my next pregnancy. That’s one of the questions I need to ask him. He explained there were two YY chromosomes in this embryo, in other words two sperm had entered one egg. I remembered that the clinic I went to just prior to my current doctor believed this pregnancy was either one of two things; 1) pregnancy with multiple embryos, or 2) a molar pregnancy. 

 

But he confirmed this was not a pregnancy with multiples, and that it could be a partial molar pregnancy. A molar pregnancy is bad for several reasons. I was feeling very overwhelmed because I had done prior research and understood that molar pregnancies could cause some serious complications. Even with the D&C surgery, it is possible the partial molar pregnancy could have already triggered issues in my body.

 

A partial molar pregnancy, from what I understand, is when the cells of the baby can mutate within the mother’s womb and cause tumors within the uterus. The worst case scenarios for a molar pregnancy is permanent infertility and/or cancer. Even as I am writing this now I paused my typing for a few moments and I feel a sense of dread. Two terrible possible outcomes. So why does my doctor think it might be a partial molar pregnancy? He said one of the possible complications of a triploidy of paternal origin (the results of my Anora test on the embryo) is a molar pregnancy. And one of the possible complications of a molar pregnancy can lead to something called Persistent Trophoblastic Disease (PTD), which is caused when tissue from a molar pregnancy isn’t completely removed. 

 

Genetic-events-occurring-in-normal-conceptions-and-complete-and-partial-molar-pregnancies

Image of normal conception compared to complete mole and partial mole. Partial mole shows two paternal sets of genes resulting in in non-viable fetus.

 

PTD can lead to Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) and this can lead to Choriocarcinoma which is a fast-spreading cancer that starts in the uterus. Needless to say I’m feeling overwhelmed. I asked my doctor how they would know if it was a partial molar pregnancy and he said, “We have to check your blood levels weekly to make sure your hCG levels are dropping back down to zero. If they don’t drop down to zero within a few weeks it could indicate a partial molar pregnancy.”

 

I did some research about molar pregnancies prior to talking to my current doctor, the reason being that my previous doctor said, “It’s either multiples or a molar pregnancy.” With a molar pregnancy the hCG level rises so dramatically it can be mistaken for a pregnancy of multiples. My first doctor said my hCG level was 81,000 when a normal range at that time would have been around 3,000. Clearly my levels were very high.

 

So there is a very real possibility that I might have to deal with the after effects of a partial molar pregnancy. It’s already affecting my plans. I was planning to do my Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) in December 2019. I was going to do the Saline Infusion Sonohysterography (SIS) procedure to make sure my uterus was good to go with no abnormalities and then be jetting off to my procedure in Seattle. My doctor said, “Unfortunately both [doctor in Seattle] and I think that it would be best to postpone your FET until we rule out a partial molar pregnancy. Two months is just not enough time to figure that out. We will need to do weekly blood draws until your hCG drops down to zero. Once it drops down to zero we will need to monitor your blood levels each month for six months. He and I think that you should wait at least six months before you do the transfer.” Some websites suggested waiting 6-12 months before trying again. The risk of doing it too early is it could trigger the cells to become cancerous. So at the earliest I could do my FET in April 2020. 

 

I have my 2-week post-op doctor appointment here on Thursday. I’ll be doing my first weekly blood draw on that day. My doctor will also be putting me on birth control for a while, I’m assuming until I am ready to start my FET protocol which could be anywhere from 6-12 months from now. My little embryo has been waiting so long already and I hate to think that it has to sit even longer. But like my doctor and I agreed over the phone, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

 

I’ve had so much bad luck over these years I’ve come to expect it. I suppose it has become a defense mechanism of sorts. “Hope for the best but expect the worst.” Part of me feels like if I don’t expect the worst then I won’t be mentally prepared to handle it when it comes. Like with this situation for example, I was already learning what molar pregnancies were before my current doctor said this is what we might be dealing with. Initially I was very overwhelmed after that phone call. But what can you do? You just have to follow the doctors orders and learn what you can online about whatever issue you are dealing with. If there is nothing you can do about the situation in that moment you just have to let it be. Personally, I think it’s better to do research shortly before meeting with your doctor so you can at least be prepared with certain questions. By doing that closer to your appointment you are less likely to sit there stewing on potential negative outcomes. Granted, I am saying this about a diagnosis that has not been confirmed as cancerous. I believe if I was diagnosed with cancer I would probably be researching every corner of the internet to figure out how to get rid of it. But for now, I am trying to guard myself against “worst-case scenario” thinking. The best way I know how to do that is to distract myself.

 

I’ve been listening to my audio book and watching TV lately as a distraction.  Maybe I’ll listen to my audiobook while I clean the house. My house could use a good clutter clean, deep clean, and every other clean in between. I suppose that would help me take my mind off of this too. I think it’s so important to lean on healthy coping skills during the times that we are worried about the future. Beyond distraction comes acceptance, learning, and healing. With each new obstacle that comes my way I choose to remain determined to keep moving forward and do everything I can to create our family. I want to look back on these times and know without a doubt I did absolutely everything I could.

 

Thank you for reading. 

Catch up on past entries by clicking here for the archives page. 

ENTER TO WIN THE LATEST HOPINGFORBABY.COM CONTEST.

 

Comment below to Today’s Question and receive bonus entry to the current contest.

Today’s Question: 

What are some healthy ways you choose to cope with infertility challenges?

 

Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list. 

 

Featured Image Credit: Doctor Reading Results Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Image Credit: Partial Molar Pregnancy Diagram by Phillip Savage on ResearchGate

Top 7 Websites Comparing IVF Clinic Success Rates

Top 7 Websites Comparing IVF Clinic Success Rates

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

Question: 

How do I find the top-ranked IVF clinics based on success rates? 

 

Answer: 

The answer to this question is not as clear as you may think. The most important thing to consider before undergoing your search is to understand that “success” can mean different things. Those struggling with infertility may assume “success” means a live-birth, which would make sense, because that’s the end goal. But many fertility clinics view success differently. The statistics of an IVF clinic’s success rates can be skewed for different reasons. How is that possible? One way is they can alter the definition of success. 

 

Here are different ways a clinic may define “success”

5-Day Blastocyst stage reached

Embryo Implanted

Transfer results in one implanted embryo (but multiple embryos were transferred at one time)

Positive beta (positive pregnancy test)

Live birth

 

Aside from the varying definitions of success, there are many variables that can influence the outcome. Some IVF clinics turn away people due to the difficulty of their case, which would increase the clinic’s success rate. Essentially, the clinics that accept the harder cases also accept that they may take a hit on their success rates. There are variables some IVF clinics choose to avoid and they might suggest to patients to seek treatment with a different clinic. This is an example of lowering the pool of patients which increases the odds of more favorable results for the IVF clinic to report.

 

“Difficult Cases” Certain IVF Clinics Avoid

Higher Maternal Age

Poor Egg Quality (Low Ovarian Reserve, PCOS, etc)

Infertility Diagnosis (Hormonal, abnormal uterine structure, etc.)

High Body Mass Index 

Treatment used prior, including number of prior attempts

Patient history of miscarriages and previous live births

Male Factor Infertility

Genetic predispositions (MTHFR gene mutation, balanced translocations, etc.)

 

As you can see there are many variables that affect fertility. Those variables combined with the different definitions of success can make it challenging to find a truly balanced report of IVF success rates. Ultimately it is up to those dealing with infertility to do their due diligence with researching the clinics they may be interested in. Simply knowing that data can be potentially skewed can help someone be more careful while researching whether a clinic is right for them.

 

Selecting an IVF Clinic is Not Just About Statistics

  1. Consider your specific diagnosis, expected treatment, and rule out the clinics that are unable to provide the assistance or technology for your specific need. 
  2. Read what patients are saying based on their experience with their doctor, nurse, and office staff. Seek out reviews from those with a similar diagnosis as you. 
  3. Good communication with your clinic is vital. They should listen carefully to your concerns and respond promptly to your questions. Any miscommunication can lead major issues such as incorrect administration of medication. 
  4. Provides information on the realistic odds of a live-birth for you as an individual. 
  5. Find a clinic that creates a protocol to fit your specific situation and diagnosis.  

 

Top 7 Websites Comparing IVF Clinic Success Rates

 

#1 

CDC’s NASS 2.0 (United States)

I recently asked Rebecca Fett, writer of “It Starts with the Egg”, what website she would recommend that ranks IVF clinics and she responded with a link to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page about the National ART Surveillance System (NASS) 2.0.  This website shows a map of the United States. You can click on individual states to view statistics. The CDC’s NASS site has become one of the most reputable sources for finding statistics on success rates. The general consensus among many online infertility groups is they overwhelmingly recommend this site as their go-to source for information in the United States. Before the CDC’s website became the number one source of IVF clinic success rates, one of the top sites was SART (now in our #3 spot).

CDC Clinic Summary

 

CDC NASS Data

 

 

Link:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page about the National ART Surveillance System (NASS) 2.0: https://www.cdc.gov/art/artdata/index.html

 

#2 

FertilityIQ (United States)

If you want to read what actual patients thought about their experience with a certain clinic FertilityIQ.com is one of the best resources out there. You can choose how you want to filter your results when you click the Research Doctors & Clinics button, these include View by Patients Like Me, View by Doctor, and View by Clinic. The View by Patients Like Me option is great if you have a diagnosis that is considered harder to treat, and you want to see where you can go for treatment that is more individualized to your needs. This site also integrates the CDC’s success rates which is a great feature of FertilityIQ, but if you read the FAQ section of  FertilityIQ you will see they point out some of the data may not have been updated for several years. 

 

FertilityIQ Clinic Overview

FertilityIQ View by Clinic

 

FertilityIQ View by Doctor

 

FertilityIQ Patients Like Me

Links:

Fertility IQ: https://www.fertilityiq.com

FertilityIQ Research Doctors & Clinics: https://www.fertilityiq.com/#doctor-search

 

#3

SART (United States)

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) shows data that was reported by clinics. One criticism of this site is that the data has not been updated since 2016 (as of 2019), whereas the CDC’s site was updated in 2017. On the Arizona Center for Fertility Studies (ACFS) website they point out the main distinction between SART and the CDC site, “According to the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act, all ART cycles performed in the United States fertility clinics are legally obligated to report to the CDC.” Due to clinics being required to report their data only to the CDC, some clinics like ACFS chose to discontinue reporting to SART. The SART site still has helpful information but overall it is not as comprehensive as the CDC’s site. SART is better viewed as a supplemental source of information.

 

SART SRM

SART SRM data with graph

 

Links:

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART): https://www.sart.org

SART Find a Clinic: https://www.sart.org/clinic-pages/find-a-clinic/

 

#4

HFEA (United Kingdom)

The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) is similar to the CDC’s NASS, both are regulating organizations that collect data the IVF clinics are required to report. You can do a search on a fertility clinic’s”Inspection Rating” given by the HFEA as well as view the “Patient Rating.” These ratings are shown side by side for comparison, which is a great feature to quickly gauge how a clinic is doing overall. But keep in mind that the pool of patient participants can greatly affect the patient rating. Fewer patient ratings can equate to less reliable of a rating due to the smaller pool of people. Two bad ratings with a small pool of say five people can dramatically change the rating. Another nice feature is that you can click “View birth statistics” then “View detailed statistics” to use their filters to narrow down categories such as age and treatment type. 

 

HFEA

 

Links:

Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA): https://www.hfea.gov.uk/

https://www.hfea.gov.uk/choose-a-clinic/clinic-search/results/9141/

 

#5

CARTR (Canada)

The Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Register (CARTR) is where the data can be found that is reported by the Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society (CFAS). The CFAS was originally founded prior to the invention of IVF and initially it focused studying infertility. You can view the CARTR Annual Reports here. The annual reports are useful for looking at the overall picture of ART statistics gathered in Canada. The reports do not show individual clinic success rates and currently there does not seem to be a website that Canada has to compare clinics. 

 

CARTR

 

Links:

CARTR Annual Reports: https://cfas.ca/cartr-annual-reports.html

Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society (CFAS): https://cfas.ca/index.html

 

Additional resources to find clinics in Canada:

Fertility Clinics: http://www.fertilityclinics.ca/

Infertility Network: https://www.infertilitynetwork.org/fertility_clinics_cda

 

#6

EIM & ESHRE (Europe)

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) focuses on testing and research and publishes their findings for members to access on their website. ESHRE created the European IVF Monitoring (EIM) to gather the data as part of their publications. Similar to Canada’s CARTR Annual Reports, there is not a comparison of individual clinic’s success rates but rather an overall look at the data compared as a whole. You can view the annual publications of the reports here

 

List of Included Countries with EIM:

Albania

Armenia

Austria

Belarus

Belgium

Bosnia

Bulgaria

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Georgia

Germany

Greece 

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Kazakhstan

Latvia

Lithuania

Macedonia

Malta

Moldova

Montenegro

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

The Netherlands

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom
ESHRE 2014 Publication on ART in Europe - Edited

 

Europe data

 

Links:

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE): https://www.eshre.eu/en

European IVF Monitoring (EIM):

https://www.eshre.eu/Data-collection-and-research/Consortia/EIM

 

#7

GCR (Worldwide)

I had issues at first navigating the Global Clinic Rating (GCR) website. But once I figured out the problem I was able to access some helpful information. Their search fields on their homepage were not setup correctly. I would type in “IVF”in the first field and it would automatically send me to the clinic of IVF Spain’s rating page, even when I had not entered a location yet. Finally I figured out that I needed to type in “fertility” in the first field and then I typed in the location in the second field. There were a few times I typed in IVF and I ended up with a list of dentists. If you run into issues with your search try slightly adjusting your search terms to see if you get the result you wanted. Although initially very frustrating, I found the site helpful once I figured out the specific terms needed they actually accept.

 

Some locations seem to have much more detailed reports and reviews from many patients, while other locations are significantly lacking data and reviews. Depending on the popularity of your clinic, you may find this site useful. If you cannot find as much detailed information I would suggest viewing this site as more of a supplemental source of information. 

 

GCR

 

GCR Clinic pt 1

 

GCR pt 2

 

GCR pt 3

 

Link:

Global Clinic Rating (GCR): https://go.gcr.org/

 

Comment below on Today’s Question and receive bonus entry into the current contest.

Today’s Question: What are some of your go-to websites to learn about infertility solutions?

 

Thank you for reading. 

Catch up on past entries by clicking here for the archives page. 

ENTER TO WIN THE LATEST HOPINGFORBABY.COM CONTEST.

 

Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list. 

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