Surrogacy 101 for Gay Men

by jalkire on December 14, 2018

Surrogacy 101 for Gay MenFor gay communities across the US, it can be challenging when it comes to building a family. If you are interested in becoming a father and looking to add a baby to your life, there are many things to consider when planning for your journey to fatherhood. It takes time, patience, money, and hope.

Choosing an egg donor and a surrogate is not an easy task. You can either choose a friend or relative as an egg donor or a surrogate, or you can use an agency to find a gestational carrier (surrogate) who will carry the pregnancy but does not supply the egg. Through in vitro fertilization, the intended parents’ sperm and donor egg are combined and transferred into the gestational carrier’s uterus. Finding the right surrogate and making a connection with them takes time and effort. Gestational carriers and the intended parents must go through comprehensive screenings and psychological assessments to make sure they are a good fit.

There are also legal considerations. Surrogacy laws differ by state, so it is important to work with an attorney who is experienced in same-sex surrogacy cases. Your attorney will offer legal counsel and prepare contracts to ensure everyone’s rights are addressed. Having good legal representation also assures you that custody of your child is with you and not with the surrogate.

It is important to find the right agency that you trust and who has experience working with the LGBTQ community. We want all intended parents to have a sense of hope when trying to have a child, especially when choosing a surrogate. Please contact us with any questions you may have about surrogacy options and we will make every effort to match you with LGBTQ-friendly surrogates to help fulfill your dream of parenthood.

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Michelle Obama’s IVF Journey

by jalkire on November 30, 2018

Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama reacts while talking on the phone to children across the country as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program. Mrs. Obama answered the phone calls from Kailua, Hawaii, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Michelle Obama has accomplished a lot in her life to date. She recently shared with the world her years of struggle with infertility issues more than 20 years ago. What Mrs. Obama realized was that no matter how successful and educated you are or how much you love your partner, infertility can affect anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant or conceive after one year (or longer) of having unprotected sex. The CDC estimates that 12% of women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

The Obamas had tried to get pregnant and they succeeded at one point, but weeks later Mrs. Obama miscarried. Mrs. Obama admitted feeling “lost and alone”. The former First Lady felt like she failed because she did not know how common miscarriage was since it was a topic no one talked about. Couples struggling with the difficulty of miscarriage and infertility don’t always have an outlet to talk to about the suffering they are going through. Couples that are silent about infertility can create even more painful situation for themselves, including shame and frustration as months, then years pass without getting pregnant. Not talking about infertility can disconnect couples from the important people in their life who can provide support. What helped Mrs. Obama, in fact, was talking about her painful loss with her female friends, who in turn also shared their own experience with miscarriage.

What the former First Lady realized was that her biological clock was real and ticking. At about 34 years of age, the couple decided to try in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to have a baby. Michelle Obama endured hormone treatments, blood draws, and many clinical appointments. She was determined to get pregnant. With the help of successful IVF treatments, the Obamas were able to have two healthy daughters. According to the CDC, more than 8 million babies were born using IVF.

Mrs. Obama has shed light on the topic of infertility and IVF. The conversations are now happening more and more and there is less reason to be silent or ashamed. Contact Family Creations, an egg donation and surrogacy agency, to find out about options to build your family.

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Embryo Donation

by jalkire on November 17, 2018

Embryo DonationFertility guidelines by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) limit the number of embryos that can be created and transferred. During fertility treatments, it is typical for extra embryos to be frozen for use at a later time, especially since it may take multiple rounds for pregnancy to occur. However, when there is a successful pregnancy or multiple pregnancies, you will need to decide what to do with the extra frozen embryos when they no longer need treatment.

Depending on the state you live in and the policies of the fertility clinic, you may have the choice to keep the embryos to use at a later time, donate the embryos to another couple, donate them for research (stem cell research), or destroy them. This is a very sensitive topic and a difficult decision for those who have gone through infertility or the journey of trying to conceive.

Embryo donation is associated with moral political, ethical, legal and religious implications. It is important to consider your view and the fertility clinic’s view on how to handle the remainder of your frozen embryos when you no longer need them. Many times, people are so focused on the outcome of being a parent that they forget that when they succeed and have a baby, there are still frozen embryos waiting. A viable option is to keep the embryos frozen by paying an annual storage fee and just leaving them be. That way you don’t have to make a rash decision and the embryos are preserved or protected.

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Male Infertility Uncovered

by jalkire on November 2, 2018

Male Infertility UncoveredA man’s infertility is often overlooked as being an issue when it comes to trying to get pregnant. When couples have problems trying to conceive, up to half of the time it could be due to male infertility. There is more research being conducted to identify key issues causing a man to be infertile. Scientists are trying to find new technology to increase how sperm cells swim by supercharging the cells. The belief is that if a treatment can help increase the mobility of sperm, then this can increase the chance to reach a woman’s egg to fertilize it. This type of treatment or medication could be the answer for couples to conceive naturally and avoid expensive treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

As science and technology gets more cutting-edge, scientists are trying to develop treatments and procedures that are less invasive for the female and will cost less money overall. In general, currently, there are not many men can do when it comes to infertility treatment when their sperm quality is poor. Approximately one in six couples have difficulty conceiving. There are medications to treat hormone imbalances and erectile dysfunction. At times, surgery can repair blockages that transport sperm. However, there is nothing clinically proven to cure male infertility, yet scientists are not giving up on the search to find a treatment.

Approximately one in six couples have difficulty conceiving. If you are interested in finding out more about services to treat infertility, contact your doctor to speak about treatments and services that may be a good fit for you.

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October-is-Pregnancy-Infant-Loss-Awareness-monthIn October we acknowledge the women and couples who suffered loss and bereavement of those who have had a miscarriage or infant death, including stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or any death of a newborn. The research shows that approximately 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Miscarriage can cause a flood of emotions and feelings of pain and loss. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day was declared in 1988 when President Ronald Reagan declared the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month to support women and families who have suffered such an insurmountable loss.

Many people are unaware about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. However, we bet everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Why is it that more people don’t know or talk about pregnancy and infant loss? There is a stigma associated with this topic and people just don’t want to talk about something so sad and isolating. It is also difficult to find resources or support groups for those who suffer this unfortunate loss. Having a day to recognize women who have encountered such a loss helps build a community of those who have gone through the loss and can provide support for reaching out.

For anyone that has had a pregnancy or infant loss, we are sending you strength and encourage you to be open and share your story with others to get the message out there so people don’t suffer in silence any longer. You can wear a pink and blue ribbon to represent Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, light a candle, or provide support and empathy to someone you know suffered a loss.

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Prenatal Yoga Benefits

by Admin on October 5, 2018

Prenatal YogaPregnant women can benefit from prenatal yoga to help with stretching, while also releasing pains related to the pregnancy. By learning the fundamentals of prenatal yoga, you can have a more pleasant experience and be more in tune with your body while pregnant. This is a great way to connect with your baby and learn about your body.

Prenatal yoga focuses on the general yoga principles and poses. No yoga experience needed, which is great because this can help prepare you for birth by practicing deep breathing techniques. Prenatal yoga will help loosen back pain, help with sciatica, allow for flexibility, strengthen your lower body to support your upper body, and keep you balanced as your core center shifts

Prenatal yoga can greatly benefit you during your pregnancy. It is important to discuss taking prenatal yoga with your physician. Please be aware that prenatal yoga is not advised if you are in your first trimester, rather it is recommended and more impactful in the second and third trimesters. Also, if you have any pain, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, dizziness or feel faint, vaginal bleeding, contractions, chest pain or other symptoms that do not seem typical, please consult your physician before practicing prenatal yoga.

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Reciprocal IVF for Lesbian Couples

by Admin on September 20, 2018

We work with many same-sex couples who have decided they want to have a baby. There are a variety of treatment options to assist with conception, one of which is reciprocal in vitro fertilization. With reciprocal IVF, both female partners are given the opportunity to mutually be a part of conceiving their child.  This allows lesbian couples to both to undergo treatment at the same time so that they are equally bonded to their child.

One partner is the egg donor and supplies the eggs for IVF, while the other is the gestational carrier who will give birth to the baby. The female that will donate her eggs will go through a procedure to extract the eggs from her ovaries so that they can be fertilized by the sperm.  The other female partner will be prepped for the embryos to be transferred to her uterus so she can carry the baby to term. Another option is to freeze the embryos that are created and transfer them to the female after hormone treatment is complete. In general, the process mirrors a typical IVF cycle and is similar in cost for a cycle of IVF, fertility medications, etc.  Costs for reciprocal IVF are estimated to range from $16,000 to $30,000 depending on your specific situation. You should also consider any legal costs that may be associated depending on the state you live in.

Same-sex couples who may want a second child can reverse the roles for the next process so that each has a biological relationship with one child while also getting to experience giving birth. We are here to help guide you with any answers to your questions about treatment options for same-sex couples. If you’re ready to start a family, our fertility experts are here.

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Male Infertility Uncovered

by Admin on September 6, 2018

A man’s infertility is often overlooked as being an issue when it comes to trying to get pregnant.  When couples have problems trying to conceive, up to half of the time, it could be due to male infertility. There is more research being conducted to identify critical issues causing a man to be infertile. Scientists are trying to find new technology to increase how sperm cells swim by supercharging the cells. The belief is that treatment can help improve the mobility of sperm, then this can increase the chance to reach a woman’s egg to fertilize it. This type of treatment or medication could be the answer for couples to conceive naturally and avoid expensive treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Is there a Cure?

As science and technology are becoming more cutting edge, scientists are trying to develop treatments and procedures that are less invasive for the female and will cost less money overall. In general, currently, there is not much that men can do when it comes to infertility treatment when their sperm quality is poor.  Approximately one in six couples have difficulty conceiving. There are medications to treat hormone imbalances and erectile dysfunction. At times, surgery can repair blockages that transport sperm. However, there is nothing clinically proven to cure male infertility, yet scientists are not giving up on the search to find a treatment.

Approximately one in six couples have difficulty conceiving. If you are interested in finding out more about services to treat infertility, contact our offices to speak to one of our experts about treatments and services that may be a good fit for you.

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Coping With Summer Heat While Pregnant

by Admin on August 23, 2018

Pregnancy during the summer is hard, we feel you. It can be brutal dealing with the heat and humidity. We want to provide some tips to make your summer pregnancy more tolerable.

First and foremost, it is important to stay hydrated. In the summer months, you should be drinking a daily minimum of 8 cups of water. Fluids, especially water, provides essential nutrition for the baby and helps to remove waste from your body. You may also find that when you drink enough water and are sufficiently hydrated, your body will cool off quicker and also eliminate water retention so you will be less puffy and constipated.

Take advantage of the summer months and go to the beach or pool to cool off. Swimming and/or water aerobics can provide relief from the heat as well as great exercise which helps to relieve pressure on your joints. Consult your medical provider before starting any new exercise regimen. You can also take a cool, relaxing bath at home and hang out in the tub for a while. The bath will help cool you down and give your body a break.

Another tip is to wear loose fit clothing, such as a flowing maxi-dress or maternity shorts, to help keep you cool. Clothing that is too tight can make you feel uncomfortable by restricting your breathing.

Make sure to take it easy, rest and keep your feet up during these hot months.  The heat can add to swelling in the legs and feet which can be uncomfortable. Stay indoors with a fan or air conditioning and use a cold towel over your legs to reduce swelling.

Enjoy your pregnancy and stay cool!

Happy pregnant woman drinking water after yoga training on white background. 

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C-Section Journey

by Admin on August 7, 2018

There are some people who think that a C-section is an easier method to deliver a baby compared to traditional, vaginal delivery.  People may assume this because you can choose your C-section date making it seem like you can plan the birth of the baby. This also may seem like a better way to deliver so that you can avoid any surprises.

On the contrary, there are many reasons a C-section is medically necessary.  Many women actually try their best to avoid having a C-section. There are certain conditions, one of which is preeclampsia, where the blood pressure spikes which can lead to an emergency situation during labor. A medically necessary C-section can actually save the woman’s life, as well as the baby’s life.

C-sections are not an easy way out of labor and pain. There are risks with a C-section since it is considered to be a major surgery. Women can be prone to infection or complications such as hemorrhaging. Not only that, there can be risks to the unborn baby during a C-section.  In addition, there is a longer and more challenging period for a woman to heal after the procedure than for a normal delivery. It can be difficult to move, lift the baby out of the bassinet, bathe the baby or breastfeed. You should rely on others to help until the pain subsides.

There is nothing simple about the process of a C-section. Many women may feel upset that they did not have a natural birth. It is hard to face the fact that you may not have a choice as to how to deliver your baby. Many times, in a medical emergency during labor, the right thing is to have a C-section to maintain safety, as that is everyone’s concern.

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