Just one person's tale to tell....

I am a 35-year-old journalist who has decided there is no better way to overcome difficult times than to write--feel free to post, comment or just read along. This is my blog about the struggles I endured of trying to conceive. For all those out there who are experiencing the same difficulties--sometimes it is nice to hear that you are not alone.
"I have not failed 10000 times; I have successfully found 10000 ways that do not work." ~ Thomas Edison

Monday, September 20, 2010

In-vitro success rates much higher in spring

September 16, 2010
Debra Black
Staff Reporter
The Toronto Star

Spring is often associated with the blossoming of new love. It may also be the best time for in-vitro fertilization.
New research presented at the World Congress on Fertility & Sterility in Munich this week indicates that in-vitro fertilization is almost one and a half times more likely to be successful in March, April and May than in other months.
That may be due to the increased amount of daylight in those months and its impact on women’s hormones, said Dr. Daniela Braga, the lead researcher of the study, which was conducted at the Assisted Fertilization Center in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
“It has been suggested the fertility of animals is increased because of the length of the day,” she said in a phone interview from London. “That probably happens in humans as well.”
Braga, a former veterinarian, had noticed there is a seasonal breeding period in the animal world.
“I used to work with buffalo and cattle,” she said. “We know buffalos are seasonal breeders. We also have noted that there are other mammals that are seasonal breeders, as well as others that are not mammals, such as fish.”
She wondered if the same could apply with humans. So, Braga left her career as a vet, went back to school and studied human reproduction and the biotechnology of reproduction. She eventually joined the team at the Brazilian centre in Sao Paolo.
There, she and a team of researchers looked at the cases of 1,932 women undergoing egg retrieval for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a kind of in-vitro fertilization treatment, during all four seasons.
The results surprised her. While the percentage of developing eggs, high-quality embryos, implantation and pregnancy rates didn’t differ between seasons, the rate of fertilization did.
Specifically, the study found a 1.45-fold increase in the fertilization rate in the spring.
The researchers also measured the levels of different hormones in the female patients and found that the estrogen levels were significantly higher in the spring as well. That increase may be due to the increasing daylight in the spring, she said.
“It is possible that what we are seeing is the effect of changing light on the neurons in the brain which produce gonadotrophin-releasing hormones (GnRH).” That hormone controls the secretion of estrogen from the ovaries, she explained.
The study could ultimately improve the chances of some women getting pregnant, Braga said.
“In practical terms, this may mean that if you are having real difficulty in conceiving, it may be better to have an assisted-reproduction cycle during this season.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finally an update!

Sorry its been so long since I've blogged---but we went for our official 7 week u/s and we have one healthy  little bean right where it should be! Leading up to the u/s I was worried about ectopic and then had two days off work for cramping a few days before our appt.---got a bit scared that the embryos had floated back up my tubes--which many people don't realize is still a risk for IVFers. So it was a HUGE relief to see that beating heart right where it should be. (and the cramping can be a side effect of the prometrium)
We have just passed our nine week point--almost 10 weeks and what that means is NO MORE PROMETRIUM!! I know those lil puppies are really good for my uterus lining and the little bean but I will not miss those at all. I'm actually going to have a Farewell Prometrium party (with sparkling juice of course!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Panel calls for state-funded IVF in Ontario

01 September 2009
By Antony Blackburn-Starza
Appeared in BioNews 523
Leading fertility and adoption experts have called upon the Canadian government to fund three cycles ofIVF for women under 42 in the state of Ontario. The Ontario Expert Panel on Fertility and Adoption, which released its report last week, recommended the province should fund IVF as well as including proposals to reform the adoption system.
The report acknowledged that cost was the major obstacle for those seeking treatment with one cycle costing around $10,000. ‘These recommendations will go a long way toward helping couples face infertility issues - their implementation will make both infertility treatment and adoption more accessible and affordable,' said Beverly Hanck, Executive Director of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. Supporters said it was only ‘equitable' to fund fertility treatment as with other medical interventions. ‘What we're advocating is that when your doctor prescribes it, because it is medically necessary, that it should be paid for equitably, not for some and not others,' said Mr. Attaran, professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa.
The report also recommended that IVF clinics should be accredited and as part of this be obliged to reduce the multiple birth rate to 15 per cent in five years time and ten per cent within ten years. The multiple birth rate following IVF was 27.5 per cent in 2006. Multiple births pose a risk of health to the mother and baby and the authors of the report said that the high cost of IVF was putting pressure on patients to opt for multiple embryo transfer in the belief this would increase the chances of pregnancy.
In addition, the report estimated that the province could save between $400 to $500 million over the course of the next ten years by reducing the frequency of multiple births. ‘Over a period of years, the savings from those multiple birth incidents would more than cover the cost of public funding of three cycles of IVF,' said the chairman of the panel and president of the University of Waterloo, David Johnston.
A similar postcode lottery in access to IVF treatment exists in the UK, where a report published last month showed that 8 out 10 Primary Care Trusts are failing to provide couples with the full three cycles of IVF treatment recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
A year ago the British Fertility Society (BFS) and the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) introduced new guidelines advising all UK clinics to adopt a single embryo transfer (SET) policy for all women under 37. The move is aimed at reducing the number of risky multiple births amongst IVF patients in the UK.