Michaella from ‘Bringing Up Bates’ Discusses Fertility Treatment

Michaella from ‘Bringing Up Bates’ Discusses Fertility Treatment

The sister of 18 siblings updates us on her journey for a child

The reality show follows the larger-than-life Bates family of Rocky Top. Together, husband and wife Gil and Kelly Jo Bates raise their family of 19 children, plus five sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

During the January 11th episode of “Bringing Up Bates,” Michaella Bates Keilen revealed that she and her husband have been working with a fertility specialist for a year now. The Keilens have been married since August 2015, and their fertility struggles have gone back to season six of the show.

  • Michaella’s sister, Erin Bates Paine, and mother, Kelly Jo Bates, discovered this on their trip to Chicago to visit the young couple.
  • The couple is still waiting for answers to their fertility problems.
  • The cost of using a specialist has taken a toll on their bank account.

A Trip to Chicago

The couple recently obtained a new rental house in Chicago, and during Erin’s visit, she asked how the couple’s fertility journey was going. Even though they live in Chicago, the couple plans to go to East Tennessee again for another test. In terms of their struggles with getting pregnant, the couple has both good days and bad days.

“Perspective changes a lot when I focus on what I do have. Brandon’s gracious…he prays with me. He leaves me notes and roses, and he’ll wake up early and get coffee, just lets me know that he cares…that helps a lot, but at the same time, I just, there’s days I cry a lot, and there’s other days that I don’t seem to be fazed. We just take walks and have fun together, so it’s a lot of back and forth.”

Still Waiting for Answers

According to Michaella, “The whole journey to find an answer and just see what might be the problem is very emotional. I think we’ve tried all of the major tests, and there’s one more procedure that I want to have done, and then after that, just take a break and enjoy each other and maybe start this journey again later if we don’t have an answer.”

Financial Tolls

Fertility specialists can be quite pricey, a phenomenon that the Keilen’s are painfully aware of. Michaella says that their own has cost quite a lot of money.

The couple’s struggles are shared by many others who are having issues becoming pregnant. Hopefully, this episode will let other couples know that they are not alone.

The Dangerous Way That Cocaine Affects Your Fertility

The Dangerous Way That Cocaine Affects Your Fertility

CocaineThe fact that cocaine will negatively affect one’s health shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Not only will it lower a female’s fertility, it will also negatively affect a male’s fertility. Over 600,000 people were reported to have tried cocaine back in 2012 and over 658,000 people sought help for cocaine addiction that same year. So, unfortunately, cocaine use has become a nationwide problem.  Here are some more facts that you should familiarize yourself with before trying cocaine.

  • Cocaine messes with a woman’s long term fertility in multiple ways.
  • Cocaine can cause hormone level changes in men which affect sperm movement, and thus cause infertility.
  • Studies have shown that cocaine causes birth defects in children.

Getting pregnant will be harder if you are using cocaine

During the 1990s, Dr. Nancy Mello studied cocaine and its impact on fertility. According to her findings, cocaine can affect a woman’s ovulation as well as the hormones associated with implantation. This, in turn, messes with her menstrual cycle. Fallopian tube abnormalities may also occur and her long term fertility will be negatively impacted as a result.

Men are affected too

Several studies have proven that a man’s fertility can also be lowered from cocaine. According to a study conducted in 1990 by Yale University, men who used cocaine were found to have significantly lower sperm counts than those that didn’t. Long-term use can also cause difficulty for men in maintaining testosterone levels, which then hurts the quality of sperm in men. Cocaine can also harm a man’s ability to become erect as testicular blood flow becomes restricted as a result of its use. So, while the drug may cause short time effects that are perceived positively, its long term effects can be quite devastating for anyone considering starting a family.

Your children can also be affected

Not only will cocaine negatively impact the health of the parents’, it can be quite harmful to the child as well. In fact, because the drug can pass from the sperm to the egg after it is fertilized, the mother can end up miscarrying. It has also been known to cause birth defects such as stunted growth and nervous system damage. The children will also face a higher risk of Sudden Infant Death and can go through withdrawal symptoms if their mother is hooked on it during her pregnancy.

Couples who are tempted to try cocaine while attempting to conceive are discouraged from doing so as it is not only extremely addicting, but detrimental to everyone involved. However, it is still possible to quit if one ends up addicted to cocaine, and users are encouraged to seek help from the numerous resources available to them.

Chrissy Teigen debuts pregnancy photo of baby number two

Chrissy Teigen debuts pregnancy photo of baby number two

In celebrity news, model and television host Chrissy Teigen debuted an photo displaying her baby bump with her second child.  She gave birth to her first child, Luna, with her husband John Legend almost a year ago.

Teigen revealed the photo on Snapchat stating that she is, “Very excited to not have to hide this anymore.” She also took to social media to make the original announcement, posting a video on Instagram with Luna.  Although more photos have been taken, there is still no confirmed due date.  However, Teigen described details of her pregnancy in an InStyle interview last month.

  • Teigen and Legend utilized IVF methods for their first child.
  • This second child is the last embryo from their fertility treatment, following a first failure, and then their first pregnancy.
  • Teigen has previously detailed other pregnancy struggles, including postpartum depression symptoms of anxiety and a change in temperament.

Following this initial Snapchat, fans will no doubt anxiously wait for more photos of the beloved celebrity mom and Twitter icon.

What Happened to America’s Scheduled “Baby Boom?”

What Happened to America’s Scheduled “Baby Boom?”

According to experts from the U.S. Census Bureau and Demographic Intelligence, birth rates were predicted to increase starting in 2014, giving us a miniature baby boom. Instead, they’ve dropped.

Demographic Intelligence reports that births decreased by about 2.8 percent in 2017. This amounts to an average of 1.77 children per woman, which is under the “replacement rate” of 2.01 children per woman. Predictions fell short by about 210,000 babies – the lowest amount in 38 years.


Why was it predicted?

Demographers believed we would experience a baby boomlet – a mini or secondary baby boom – due to economic recovery and improving employment rates. A peak number of millennial women reaching their early to late 20s was additional cause to expect higher fertility rates, but we’re experiencing the opposite.


Why isn’t it happening?

Reasons behind the decline are unclear, but experts have a few theories. Women could be choosing to postpone or even forgo having children at all. Data from a General Social Survey indicates a drop in sexual activity in young adults may be the primary reason. Demographic Intelligence reports show frequency of sex among young adults ages 18-25 has fallen from 91 percent in 2010-2012 down to 78 percent in 2014-2016.

Research from psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego State University offers another explanation. Perhaps overuse of smartphones and social media may be responsible for creating a disconnect between people. A decline in young adult relationships directly correlates to decreased sex and thus births. Abortion is a non-contributing factor, as percentages have diminished.


The impact of not having a baby boom

Possibly the most significant impact dwindling birth rates may have is on the elderly generation, according to researchers at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. A small working population will struggle to support the needs of a large elderly population. Social programs such as Social Security and Medicare will suffer or become strained. Fewer people paying to support those benefiting from these systems will eventually lead to the depletion of funds. In fact, researchers are already questioning whether the Social Security Trust Fund will remain intact. Projections say it could be drained as early as 2030.

Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher, associate director of research at the Center for Retirement Research, says another potential problem could be a compromised ability for people to physically care for the retired folks. Relatives of the elderly and other informal caregivers are the main providers of care. Boomers outnumber their children. If parents are divorced, that means their adult children are required to manage two households, or look into formal caregivers. The question remains: will we be able to provide enough support for the elderly?

However, there is some good news. A more positive outcome of reduced fertility rates is a decreased risk of overpopulation. Edwin S. Rubenstein from the organization Negative Population Growth says fewer people means our eco-system will have a better chance of replenishing the resources we heavily consume.

Experts are unsure whether this dip in birth rates will be a long-term trend. Either way, we need to start thinking about how we’re going to answer some of the questions this unexpected turn of events has presented. How will we meet the needs of the elderly population?

Can This Ancient Mayan Massage Technique Increase Fertility?

Can This Ancient Mayan Massage Technique Increase Fertility?


Enhancing fertility has been a goal for couples as far back as ancient civilizations. While Western medicine has made many bounds with understanding and improving fertility, looking at the practices of our ancestors may be more relevant than we think! Rosita Arvigo, D.N., has spent 40 years researching natural and herbalist remedies, and what she has found, can possibly help you. Read on to learn about the holistic miracles of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy!

  • The Fertility Massage – That’s right, self-care and relaxation are oh-so important.
  • Arvigo in Action – Her program is specialized for you, and to work with you.
  • Care For Men – Yes, your male partner gets some loving too.

The Fertility Massage

“Give nature half a chance, and there is a miracle in store for everyone,” says Arvigo. This miracle she is referring to is the fertility massage. Arvigo recognizes the five systems of flow: arterial, venous, nerve, lymphatic and energetic. No matter what a couple’s problems are with fertility, Arvigo focuses on these systems in order to bring everything back to the way nature intended. This massage is all about normalizing functions and increasing proper nerve flow. Get ready to relax!


Arvigo in Action

You both have the same end goal: increased fertility and the likelihood of conception. Because the goals are usually the same but the situations are usually not, Arvigo offers two specialized programs for two different couples. The first is a one-month program for couples who desire immediate conception. The second is a three-month program, which offers more time to work with and learn about the specific couple and their difficulties. Both include professional sessions to help aide in nutrition, herbalistics, ovulation, and overall support. Pick which one is right for you to ensure the highest likelihood of success.


Care for Men

We did mention Arvigo works with couples, right? That means your man will be getting some attention as well. Arvigo relies on special techniques and tactics to improve greater sexual function in men and relieve any congestion that might have built up in the prostate. Yes, that means they get a massage too. As well as nutrition and diet tips, because chronic digestive complaints are often related to reproductive issues, for both men and women.

Whether you’re trying to conceive right away, improve overall reproductive function with your partner, or search for holistic remedies to naturally soothe the body, Arvigo may just be the doctor of your dreams!

Millennials Not Having Enough Kids to Reach Replacement Rate

Millennials Not Having Enough Kids to Reach Replacement Rate

Millennials are some of the most professionally driven, innovative, and creative-minded generations people to ever walk the planet. Having grown up during the largest economic recession since the Great Depression, millennials are economically savvy and are known to make life and family-planning choices later than the generations before them. However, we’re encountering a big problem – we are not reaching the replacement rate.


What is the Replacement Rate?

Why negative population growth is harmful to society

Replacement refers the number of births that need to occur to keep population stable from generation to generation. Therefore, this is directly connected to the necessity to keep fertility rates stable. Right now the fertility rate is 1.8 births per woman and the replacement rate is 2.1 births per woman, creating negative population growth. With the younger population shrinking while older populations stay constant – and older populations live longer than ever before – we are creating imbalance between caretakers and those in need of care, as well as innovators and those in need of innovation.


What is Driving this Decline in Fertility?

Millennials are to blame (as always, it seems) for the discrepancy

A report from Negative Population Growth Inc. says millennials alone are to blame, reporting that birth rate for women under thirty has fallen to a record low. But this is not necessarily a surprise to sociologists – millennials were born during a huge economic recession, having seen their parents lose jobs, homes, and work through the stresses of economic instability. Millennials are savvy enough to make family planning decisions that align with economic stability necessary to avoid the problems their parents faced during the recession. Even if this means getting married later or delaying the purchase of their first homes, millennials are taking caution.

Millennials Weigh-In on Fertility Crisis

Voicing their opinions where they know best – social media

On twitter, @chriscorrigan says, “OR ‘Millennials introducing reasonable family sizes in response to their grandparents’ overbreeding.’”

Twitter user @SauceWatch adds, “1/ Counterpoint: Baby Boomers destroyed the environment making millennial a question whether having kids is ethically viable.”

Having learned about the blame of a declining population being shifted on themselves, millennials look to provide understanding to older generations who continuously shift the blame of society onto them. Many cite issues of overpopulation and carelessness by baby boomers or the financial responsibility millennials accept in having children – a responsibility they do not believe they are ready to take on.

It may take decades for us to see the effects of fertility decline, if we see any at all. It is important to note that with economic changes comes changes in fertility, and that we must look at the full picture of society when making assumptions about a single generation. For now, let’s all agree that family planning is a personal choice that will be made when a couple is ready to take the wonderful step of parenthood in their lives.


Your Mother-In-Law May Affect Your Fertility

Your Mother-In-Law May Affect Your Fertility

A new study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, suggests that living in the same household with a woman’s mother or mother-in-law may lower the number of children the woman has. The new research was carried out by Susanne Huber, Patricia Zahourek, and Martin Fieder–all from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Vienna in Austria.

The researchers studied the effect of living with one’s mother or mother-in-law on the young woman’s fertility by existing literature, which suggested the opposite: that the presence of the woman’s or the husband’s mother may increase fertility. To clarify the effect of a mother’s and mother-in-law’s presence on fertility, Fieder and colleagues examined the medical records of over 2.5 million women from 14 countries across the globe.

The women were of reproductive age (between 15 and 34 years old), and the data was gathered from the IPUMS-International census database. In their analysis, the researchers considered a variety of variables, including: the number of children the women had given birth to until the census, the woman’s age, an estimation of the woman’s reproductive period, as well as whether their mother or mother-in-law was present in the household during the woman’s reproductive period. Using these variables, the researchers came up with a generalized linear model that included all of the factors, alongside additional statistical tools meant to account for potential confounders and other variables.

In the end, the researchers found that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the mothers did not choose to live with either their mother or the mother of their husband. In fact, with the exception of Iraq, across all countries, the majority of women live only with their spouse in the household. After excluding Iraq, the remaining 13 countries offered a sample of wide cultural variety, as they ranged from Pakistan to Zambia, including Romania, Brazil, and the United States, among others. In these countries, the study found, if the women do live with their mothers or mothers-in-law, they are considerably more likely to have fewer children, on average, than women who live with their spouse only.


Is Chrissy Teigen Using IVF For Her New Pregnancy?

Is Chrissy Teigen Using IVF For Her New Pregnancy?

Rumors are spreading that model Chrissy Teigen is a user of IVF treatments for her new pregnancy

Adored model and charismatic host Chrissy Teigen announced last week that she and her heartthrob husband would be adding a plus one to their small family. Teigen is expecting her second child, and fans are more than excited about it. One thing they are wondering? If IVF was involved, considering the star’s public history of fertility issues.

  • The baby announcement that changed it all
  • Teigen opens up about her past pregnancy issues
  • The emotions behind IVF that are difficult to share


The Baby Announcement That Changed It All

Teigen’s adorable baby announcement!

In the typical Chrissy Teigen fashion, her new pregnancy was announced with humor. She posted a sweet video to Instagram of herself asking her 1-year-old daughter what was inside her belly. Luna adorably replied “baby!” giving the news away. Insert humor next, when Teigen captured the vid “It’s John’s”. And the reign of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend continues. But fans who follow the famous duo know well that they have experienced many issues conceiving before. So how did they do it this time?


Teigen Opens Up About Past Pregnancy Issues

Yes, Chrissy Teigen has used IVF treatments before

It is no secret that the star has struggled to conceive in the past. She has bravely used her platform to share her personal issues with the topic, creating awareness and giving hope to many with similar positions. It is also true that she has used IVF treatments in the past. Although not all stars are this candid with their personal matters, Teigen has even shared how many viable embryos her and John had after treatments. The magic number is 3: the first sadly failed, and the second resulted in the birth of her daughter Luna. The third? We’re thinking it’s the precious one on the way.


IVF Users Find It Difficult to Share This

Emotions run high throughout difficult procedures like IVF

While Teigen has yet to identify whether she used IVF procedures for the conception of her second child, it is, of course, an ultimately personal matter. In the past, she has used social media as a way of sharing her experience with others, although it clearly was not easy. She once admitted, “emotionally, it could be really hard. When you have these high-highs and low-lows, and you’re, like, cuckoo pants. You don’t want to get your hopes up, but of course, you do”. So what is keeping her quiet when she’s been so open in the past?

While it is likely that Chrissy Teigen did use an IVF procedure to aid in her new pregnancy, she has yet to officially comment on the topic. Either way, she has a lot to say about its benefits, its effectiveness, and its helpfulness for women.

According to leaked White House memo, President Trump Wants More Women to Implement the “Calendar Method” for Fertility Family-Planning

According to leaked White House memo, President Trump Wants More Women to Implement the “Calendar Method” for Fertility Family-Planning

While no White House official has verified the veracity of the memo just yet, if the memo is real and its plans are true, the politics around women’s access to birth control could be changing.

The Trump administration wants to replace tried and tested birth control methods with “fertility awareness,” a family-planning technique that fails nearly a quarter of women every year. In the leaked memo, White House officials wrote that they intend to slash federal funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s family-planning budget and require “equal funding” for fertility awareness. The memo further specifies that fertility planning should be the sole birth control method made available to young girls.

Fertility planning, also known as the “calendar method” or “rhythm method,” requires women to diligently track their menstrual cycles and then pinpoint the days when they’re ovulating and avoid sex during that time. Because about 30 percent of women experience irregular periods, fertility planning has one of the highest rates of failure of any family-planning method.

Healthcare professionals believe an increased use in fertility planning could lead to more unintended pregnancies, some of which would be especially harmful to girls who don’t have an awareness of their bodies or of other evidence-based methods to prevent pregnancy.

Nowadays, rates of unintended pregnancy and teen births have hit record lows over the last two years. So has has the abortion rate. Experts agree that access to birth control and more information about effective ways to prevent pregnancy have contributed to this downward trend. However, Trump’s endorsement of calendar planning could send those rates soaring again if more women adopt the “calendar method,” which is not a suggested form of birth control.

High-Pesticide Grocery Produce Linked to Lower Fertility Rate, says study

High-Pesticide Grocery Produce Linked to Lower Fertility Rate, says study

While a correlation between exposure to pesticides and infertility is not new, previous studies tied higher rates of exposure to pesticides to decreased male fertility. This new study’s research, however, looked at women who are already undergoing some form of infertility treatment.

The new study was primarily done by researchers at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the results of the study surprised researchers. In the study, researchers focused on 325 women undergoing infertility treatment at Mass General Hospital in Boston. Specifically, they looked for correlations in whether women successfully got pregnant and gave birth with their diets. The subjects self-reported what they ate, and the researchers took careful note of the amounts of fruits and vegetables associated with very high levels of pesticide residue, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Among those fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue are the following: spinach, strawberries and peaches. And the fruits and vegetables with the lowest levels of pesticide residue? Avocados and onions.

The results of this new study are staggering, though: of those subjects who consumed more than 2.3 servings per day of high-residue fruits and vegetables, the study found an 18 percent lower probability of getting pregnant and a 23 percent lower probability of successfully giving birth. On the other hand, there seemed to be no correlation between those women who consumed lots of low-residue fruits and vegetables.

It is important too keep in mind that this study is not proof of causality, though. The women surveyed are demographically limited by geographic location (being that they’re all seeking treatment from a single hospital), and they were all seeking fertility treatment in the first place, which might skew the findings. And, of course, the study relied on self-reporting, which can have flaws, too. Nonetheless, it is surprising news that fruits and vegetables, which are thought to be good for you, could be harmful to women who are trying to have children.