New Tool to Help Decide if IVF is For You

New Tool to Help Decide if IVF is For You

Univfy Helps Women Decide Their Next Step

A new company, Univfy, emerged in 2009 to help predict the possibility of a woman getting pregnant while on IVF. Its founder, Dr. Marlene Yao, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who noticed that some women end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on IVF and are never able to conceive.

Around 12% of women between the ages of fifteen and forty-four have trouble conceiving, and many turn to IVF. A single round of IVF can cost as much as $23,000, and can be hard on a woman’s body. Additionally, many have to go through multiple rounds before they are able to conceive.

  • Univfy is a new fertility tool that helps women decide whether or not IVF is for them
  • With machine learning technology, it is constantly improving
  • IVF, while often rewarding, can also be expensive and stressful and Univfy helps women make that difficult decision

 

What does Univfy do?

Dr. Yao wanted to find a way to predict how likely a woman was to get pregnant from IVF, and likened her method to a FICO score, which is a financial risk assessment for loans. So she works with IVF clinics across the United States to calculate women’s chances of pregnancy.

12 centers are currently using Univfy, but 50 more are set to start during 2018.

 

How does it work?

Univfy has machine mapping technology that assesses the likelihood of an individual conceiving during three cycles of IVF. It uses a lot of data to calculate this, including the prospective mother’s body-mass index (BMI), her age, her hormone levels, and her partner’s fertility.

In an interview with CBS MoneyWatch Dr. Yao explains why she chose to use machine learning, “Without using machine learning, using traditional statistics, you would have to set up a threshold or cutoff — different programs use different criteria: Your age has to be under 38, or your BMI has to be under 35, or your ovarian age has to be under a certain amount. So there would be all these cutoffs so that program could be viable. But then, only 10 percent to 15 percent of people will qualify.”

Machine learning technology means that as more and more clinics continue to use Univfy it will continue to become more accurate and will be able to help even more women decide if IVF is the correct path for them.

 

How does this help?

It gives women an idea of whether or not IVF is worth the price and the changes to their body. While IVF can be an amazing procedure for some, for others it just doesn’t work, for whatever reason. Dr. Yao’s program can help those women decide whether or not to go through with it or to consider other options, such as adoption or surrogacy.

It also helps IVF clinics calculate refunds, if a woman decides to go through with the procedure and is not able to become pregnant.

If you’re considering IVF, Univfy is a great tool to help make your decision–but of course, so many factors go into the whole fertility process that you should also consult with your doctor every step of the way!

 

Danica Patrick Admits Her Truth About Fertility Treatments

Danica Patrick Admits Her Truth About Fertility Treatments

Race carsSome people, like NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, can seem invincible. Danica is beautiful, fit, strong, and practically bleeds confidence. A racer, businesswoman, and NASCAR model of marketing and advertising, she’s a perfect example of a powerhouse woman who is willing to attack anything and make it look effortless.

But in an interview that took place January 2nd, Danica allowed herself to become a bit vulnerable.

She talked about her book, “Pretty Intense”, and hinted at a couple of life problems discussed within its pages. Danica admitted she has undergone a few fertility treatments in the past. They included freezing her eggs, hormones, gaining four pounds, and doing IVF treatments. “I just needed to try something new,” she explained.

Her fertility is a subject Danica has become more open about.

She talked about it in a documentary directed by ESPN sportscaster Hannah Storm that was completed before the breakup between her and her longstanding boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Having children wasn’t always something Danica wanted. In fact, she used to not even be remotely interested in being a mom. However, she confessed the prospect of one day having kids has become more of a possibility now, especially because of her relationship with Ricky. Although, she isn’t planning on starting a family before marriage.

In the documentary, Danica also talked about what it was like going through IVF treatments. She was unsure of her future in terms of children but wanted some control when it came to potentially becoming a parent. Danica has much to keep her busy, including the upcoming Daytona 500 this February. Fertility treatments gave her a way to freeze 33-year-old eggs now so it was one less thing to worry about later.

Even women warriors like Danica Patrick are prone to having moments where nothing seems to work out the way they want. But by opening up about fertility and life after racing, the NASCAR driver has proved she’s stronger than ever before.

Woman Shares Wisdom on Pregnancy After Years of Struggling with Infertility

Woman Shares Wisdom on Pregnancy After Years of Struggling with Infertility

Writer Kelsey Holland had spent months struggling with her battle with infertility. Now more than 29 weeks pregnant, she opens up about her ongoing battle with her infertility and sense of self inspired by her pregnancy. She compares her pregnancy to an ongoing mistrust in her body as her pregnancy continues that feels much like PTSD or anxiety. For weeks, she could not enter the nursery she and her husband designed and found herself constantly saying “if the baby comes” rather than “when the baby comes.” In emphasizing the emotional toll of her IVF journey, she delivers these words or wisdom and solidarity to women in a similar position:

Give yourself permission

Kelsey emphasizes the importance in allowing yourself to process your feelings of skepticism and mistrust in your own body. Carrying a child after a struggle with infertility can be scary and emotionally draining. She recommends surrounding yourself with those who validate your feelings and experiences, and pushing aside those who think telling you to “relax” is a message of solidarity.

 

Find a provider you trust

With having lost a relatively high amount of trust in your own body and its functional abilities, it’s vital to find providers who are there to support you. Kelsey said her OB went above and beyond, even inviting her to come hear the heartbeat when anxieties were high. Your constant questioning on your baby’s health and other anxieties can feel like a burden on the people around you, but finding a midwife or OB who can answer your questions and act as a support system will be extremely beneficial to your pregnancy experience.

 

Sign up for a birth class

Kelsey and her husband took Bradley classes in hope of restoring some of the intimacy that IVF robbed from their relationship. Not only were the classes fun, but the two learned a lot about their pregnancy and birth, medical consumerism, pain management techniques, and a variety of other labor suggestions. These classes prepare your for the eventual birth and prepare you for the emotional tolls that giving birth can take, making it a worthy investment for IVF patients.

 

Connect and discuss

Pregnancy is a psychologically and physiologically challenging time for all women, and having gone through IVF does not make it any easier. Kelsey suggests that power lies in creating a coalition of women who allow themselves to be vulnerable, honest, and supportive of one another while they encounter road bumps. This coalition can make pregnant women feel less isolated through helpful advice, feedback, and genuine empathy for one another.

While following some of these words of wisdom, Kelsey suggests that IVF patients who have a successful pregnancy will feel less alone and more comfortable in their journey. Thank you, Kelsey, for these beautiful words of wisdom that will definitely help others.

4 Chrissy Teigen Quotes About IVF & Fertility Struggles

4 Chrissy Teigen Quotes About IVF & Fertility Struggles

Chrissy Teigen is now the mom of an 18-month-old daughter — but getting there was a long and hard process. Well before Teigen and her husband, John Legend, welcomed Luna Simone in April 2016, she was open with fans about her struggles to get pregnant and the couple’s subsequent decision to use IVF to build their family. Let’s revisit some of the best quotes Chrissy Teigen had about IVF and fertility struggles.

  1. In September 2015, before anyone knew that her daughter would be born just months later, Teigen alluded to her fertility struggles in a conversation with Tyra Banks on FABLife, according to Us Weekly:

 

  • “I can’t imagine being that nosy, like, ‘When are the kids coming?’ because who knows what somebody’s going through, who knows if somebody’s struggling? I would say, honestly, [that] John and I were having trouble. We would have had kids five, six years ago if it had happened, but my gosh, it’s been a process.”

 

  1. One month later, Tiegan revealed on another episode of FABLife that she was, indeed, pregnant, and wasted no time informing her Twitter followers that she had IVF to thank. And soon after her daughter, Luna, was born, she told People magazine that she wanted more kids and would go about having them in just the same way:

 

  • “The number of embryos we have left is not matching the number of people I want at my dinner table, so I’ll have to do it again. I wish I had frozen my eggs earlier. We have a few more on ice. Who knows what will work? … It would have been better if I had made a ton of embryos when I was already doing the shots. Because now I have to do the shot thing again. I think about that.”

 

  1. While her decision to specifically choose a girl embryo was met with some controversy, Teigen was upfront about it.

 

  • “I’ve made this decision, Not only am I having a girl, but I picked the girl from her little embryo. I picked her and was like, “Let’s put in the girl.”

 

  1. Also, Teigen plans to have much more than just one baby. The Lip Sync Battle commentator actually plans to “be pregnant all through [her] 30s.” She told SELF magazine:

 

  • “I’ve always pictured everyone around the table for the holidays and together once a week. It will be heartbreaking if it doesn’t end up happening, but hopefully it will. We’ve got some embryos on hold.”

 

Why a Surrogacy Agency Could be Helpful in Your Family Planning

Why a Surrogacy Agency Could be Helpful in Your Family Planning

 

family in sunset field kissing babyIt comes as no secret that family planning involves some of the most important decisions of your life, especially for those struggling with infertility. A great option for both families struggling with infertility and families looking to take an alternative route towards their pregnancy exists within the use of a surrogate.

There’s some things, however, that you should know before moving forward with a surrogate:

  • Every fertility treatment is approached with different techniques, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about what fertility options are best for you.
  • Surrogacy Agencies play an active role in helping couples trying to start a family achieve their goals in a respectful, sensitive environment.
  • As a parent, the choice is yours on how to approach your pregnancy!

A Variety of Options for Prospective Parents

Making the Best Decision for You

With a variety of options and a large discourse around family planning – and similarly, life planning – it can be difficult to sort through your options as you look to become a parent. A good rule of thumb: leave it between you and the professional. In Vitro Fertilization is a great, viable option for many families looking to conceive. However, a doctor may suggest the IVF is not the best option for you, but this is by no means a dead-end in your parenting dreams! Stay optimistic, and consider another option: surrogacy.

Surrogacy Agencies and Your Family Planning Decisions

The Role a Surrogacy Agency Could Play for You

Plain and simple – surrogacy agencies know what they’re talking about. Within discussion of fertility and family planning options, a variety of myths and stories circulate that can sway a couple trying to conceive one way or another. Professionals can help you break through these myths and make the right decision for yourself, whether you struggle with infertility, have a medical condition that makes pregnancy difficult or dangerous, are a member of the LGBT+ community, or are looking to approach parenthood through a non-traditional route.

An Honest, Helpful Resource in Your Family Planning

Surrogacy Agencies Help Prospective Parents Make Informed Decisions

When considering surrogacy, it’s important to ensure the health of the surrogate, your baby, and yourself! Surrogacy agencies work with you and your partner to make sure you are informed about what to expect and help you plan for the pregnancy and beyond. A surrogacy agency can help match couples with a surrogate whom they trust and can form a relationship with, but most importantly works to respect the intimate, personal experience that family planning entails.

With a variety of options to sort through when looking to start your family, it can be confusing and frustrating to decide where to begin. Rest assured that there are professionals who look to be friends and confidants throughout your family planning process while helping you sort through the medical and financial responsibilities involved in conceiving – no matter how you decide to go about it.

Birth Facts: US Fertility Rate at a 30-Year Low, Teen Birth Rate Continues Sharp Decline, And More…

Birth Facts: US Fertility Rate at a 30-Year Low, Teen Birth Rate Continues Sharp Decline, And More…

 

BabyWomen in the United States are having fewer babies than ever before.

However, women in their 30s and early forties are having more babies than in past years.  

The U.S. general fertility rate has declined to a 30-year low point at 62 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2016, according to a study done by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This number is down 1% from 2015, and it marks a cultural and demographic change across America, one where fewer women are having children due to a multitude of reasons.

Birth rates for women in their 20s declined from 2015 to 2016 by 4% for women aged 20-24 years old. During the same time span, the rate for women aged 25-29 years declined two percent.

Birth rates for women older than 30 rose.

Since 2007, the birth rate has risen 19 percent for women in their early forties, two percent for women in their early 30s, and 11 percent for women in their late 30s.

Teen birth rates have also declined 51 percent since 2007.

The preterm birth rate rose for the second consecutive year.

Preterm birth rates declined from 2007 to 2014, according to CDC research. “This decline is due, in part, to declines in the number of births to teens and young mothers,” the CDC notes on its website.  However, the preterm birth rate is up four percent from 2014 to 2016. It’s unclear, and too early to tell, what caused this uptick.

 

Fetal Deaths up 58 Percent Since Flint, Michigan Water Crisis, According to New Controversial Study

Fetal Deaths up 58 Percent Since Flint, Michigan Water Crisis, According to New Controversial Study

Flint Water and Fertility

Study claims that lead in Flint, Michigan water caused lower fertility rates and higher infant death rates in areas affected by the public health emergency.  Government officials now say that while water quality in Flint has returned to acceptable levels, bottled water use is recommended.  

According to a new study done by Daniel S. Grossman of the University of Kansas and David Slusky of West Virginia University, fetal deaths in Flint, Michigan have increased by 58%, a claim that is contrary to the conclusion State Health Officials have drawn in the past.  These officials have claimed that there was no evidence that indicates the water supply switch from Lake Huron to the Flint River contributed to high fetal death rates, or a decrease in fertility rates.  

This new study is controversial, though, because it was conducted using controversial research methods.  In the study, researchers compared Flint’s fetal death records with the rest of Michigan between 2008 and 2015.  But Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Geralyn Lasher said research methods used in the study were not consistent with the way this type of analysis is traditionally done in epidemiology.

Nevertheless, after completing his research study, head researcher Daniel Grossman concluded that there was, in fact, a considerable fetal death rate increase in Flint following the water supply, but there was no fetal death rate change in any other part of Michigan.  

Currently, Nigel Paneth, a Michigan State University Professor, is reviewing this study along with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and he already has some serious concerns about the methods, results, and conclusions used by Glossman and Slusky. This is not the first time research regarding Flint, Michigan was contested by the DHHS. In 2015, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s study claimed the percent of children with elevated blood lead levels in Flint doubled after the city’s water supply changed, but DHHS officials initially contested her findings before top government officials accepted them as fact.

All in all, how much–if any–the Flint, Michigan water supply change affected pregnancy rates or infant mortality is unclear.  While a drop in pregnancy rates could be explained away by many people’s decision not to have a baby in such a potentially unhealthy environment as Flint, Michigan, fetal mortality could still be connected to Flint’s water supply emergency.  However, the data is still inconclusive and the new study is still under review.  

 

Background Information on Flint, Michigan

In April 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Since anticorrosive measures were not implemented correctly in the transition, lead poisoning plagued the area. However, the exact death ratio and miscarriage statistics findings related to the Flint public health emergency were inconclusive.

For more information on Lead Poisoning

Izzy Judd Opens Up About Her Infertility Heartbreak

Izzy Judd Opens Up About Her Infertility Heartbreak

McFly’s Harry Judd and his wife Izzy Judd open up about their fertility after their tragic miscarriage. After finally becoming pregnant for the first time, the two faced complete heartbreak when the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. Izzy and Harry decided to seek professional help and turned to IVF to conceive naturally. The proud parents of now 16-month old daughter, Lola, are expecting to welcome another child this fall. In a recent interview, the celebrity pair has opened up about the struggles of becoming a parent and all the pain and loneliness they’ve felt throughout the process.

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Confronts Infertility in the Realest Way

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Confronts Infertility in the Realest Way

Pretty Little Liars has had a successful run over the years, captivating their fans with some absolutely ridiculous and thrilling storylines. In the series finale, things got very real as the show tackled fertility. (Note: If you’re a fan and haven’t watched the finale yet, know there are spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned!)

Since the series pilot episode, Aria and Ezra, portrayed by Lucy Hale and Ian Harding, have been a couple that even the most craziest of things couldn’t tear apart, including (but not limited to) the inappropriate student-teacher relationship and disapproving parents. Jumping ahead to the finale of seven-year run, Aria cries on the night before her rehearsal dinner that she can’t go through with the wedding. The reason being that she found out she won’t be able to have children and had yet to speak with Ezra about her infertility.

Not only is Aria facing infertility, but another power couple Hanna and Caleb, played by Ashley Benson and Tyler Blackburn, are struggling to get pregnant as well. What’s so refreshing about these scenarios being portrayed in the popular TV show is the fact that they are so real. For once, the writers dropped the plot twists and gave the viewers something that happens to women everyday all over the world. When Ezra finds out about Aria’s infertility, he is supportive and promises they can adopt, use a surrogate or go to fertility clinics. A switch is flipped when he finds out that she held on to this secret for weeks, enduring the entire process on his own. In Aria’s eyes, she was the one unable to carry their children- she was the failure, not him.

Meanwhile, Hanna and Caleb face the harsh reality that pregnancy doesn’t happen overnight. They find themselves tracking her ovulation and menstrual cycle, having sex only on specific days. This is something many couples go through.

Pretty Little Liars notoriously gives their audience twisted plots that no one expects, or let’s face it, aren’t always the most realistic. While it would’ve been easy to go to the extreme with this one, the screenwriters delivered something authentic that many women can relate to. In the end, Hanna and Caleb excitedly announce that they’re expecting their first child, careful not to hurt Aria. However, Ezra and Aria accept the hand they’ve been dealt and promise to look into adoption once returning from their honeymoon.

Remy Ma Vows to Help Women Battle Infertility

Remy Ma Vows to Help Women Battle Infertility

It is no secret that famous rapper, Remy Ma, has had her own difficulties with pregnancy. She disclosed earlier this year her experience with an ectopic pregnancy, which unfortunately ended in a miscarriage. Remy Ma has vowed to use this tragedy as a motivator to help other women with similar situations.

What is an ectopic pregnancy? An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg attaches itself somewhere other than the uterus. This anomaly can appear in every 1 out of 50 pregnancies. There are many reasons an ectopic pregnancy may occur. Some of these are inflammation of the fallopian tubes, residual scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, or adhesions of the tubes from a previous surgery in the area. If you think you may be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, contact your doctor or OBGYN immediately.

When Remy Ma discovered that her pregnancy was an ectopic one, she was at first ashamed. She felt “less of a woman” when doctors told her that a natural pregnancy would be nothing but dangerous. They recommended in vitro fertilization (IVF), a suggestion she immediately accepted. Remy Ma has made it clear that she is fortunate enough to have had the finances to undergo this alternative, but is well aware that many women do not share the same luxury. She has since decided to launch a fund that will assist women in need who experience similar issues with fertility and turn to IVF as an answer. The hope is to assist, “women who are like me or have a similar situation to me, but they can’t afford it, could possibly get these procedures done and have children, because as a woman, that’s one of the things you can do that no other being can do”.