Pink Timeline Campaign from First Response

The company that brought you First Response pregnancy tests has launched a new campaign in the UK called The Pink Timeline. The campaign includes a really great, interactive site for those trying to conceive. The pages are easy to navigate and highlight information that is important for those trying to get pregnant. The Countdown page shows you what exactly is happening in those first weeks if conception did indeed take place, they also highlight some symptoms of early pregnancy. Other pages include information on a woman’s general wellbeing (includes healthy tips), your cycle & sex, frequently asked questions and information regarding their product.

What I found really fantastic about the site is the Forum or support integration, as well as the fundraising section (Especially since recently in the news crowdfunding sites for fertility have been a hot topic). There are even videos from the UK’s #1 Fertility Expert, Zita West. Great Job First Response, the site looks great!

TTC? How Our Circadian Rhythm May Be Affecting Our Fertility

A recent study out of Northwestern University studied the effects of disruption to the circadian rhythm of mice and how this affects their fertility.

The female mice were mated with the males, then their circadian clock was disrupted. Some of the female group was given extra hours of daylight, while others had hours taken away. The group given extra hours of daylight, only about half produced litters. The group that had hours taken away, only approximately 20% produced litters. These were in comparison to the control group who had a steady 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night= 90% of this group produced litters. You can read all about the study here: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/05/24/daily-rhythm-disruptions-linked-to-fertility-problems/

This was quite interesting, because let’s be honest, most of us are running around for more than 12+ hours a day (I’m thinking more likely 18). While the study findings may not directly be able to link to human’s fertility, it is something to think about. More research today is showing sleep deprivation or poor sleep may lead to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes (among others).

Read more about your circadian rhythm here: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.htm

Wi-Fi and Male Infertility

The June issue of Women’s Health Magazine had a small blurb on recent findings with male fertility and wi-fi findings. There was a study completed in Fertility and Sterility that took semen samples and studied the effects that Wi-Fi had on them from a laptop. The results showed that after a certain amount of time (I believe four hours), the approximately a quarter of the sample were no longer active! Does your partner place his laptop on his lap often while doing work at home? Have him place it on the coffee table or separate it from his lap with a pillow. Previous studies have shown that heat from laptops can also damage semen quality, so having a laptop cooling fan attached to his laptop can also help!

Crowdfunding For Fertility Treatments

I read a very interesting article this morning (http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/hold-crowdfunding-fertility/) on couples who had used crowdsource funding to finance fertility treatments and/or adoption. I have posted before about crowdsource funding for other creative projects related to fertility, but this was the first time I had heard about the website www.giveforward.com and user’s developing pages to raise funding for fertility treatments.

While all the crowdsource funding sites are such an effective, creative way to raise the funds for projects, this one blows me away. The site lets a user set up a page, provides them with the resources to “spread the word” socially and once the fundraiser hits its end date- the funds are transferred how the user set it up. Many couples have used the website to help in raising money for fertility treatments, surrogacy and even help towards the cost of adoption. The article above discussed the ability to post the page created on the user’s social network accounts to help raise money. I am sure many of us have seen similar set-ups like this before in our news feeds for fundraisers or links to pages where social network friends new and old can offer to help if they’d like. Many of the pages that were created for fertility were shared between family and friend networks that the user was able to reach easier through their social media. The article discussed one couple who saw such generous donations from acquaintances they had not seen/spoken to in years!

Browsing through the site, I noticed currently only a small percentage of fundraiser pages for fertility treatments.  We use our social media accounts to update people on our lives, find support, stay connected and bring awareness to issues we may be passionate about, would you use it to help raise money for the dream of having a child?   Have any of you used crowdsource funding to help with fertility treatments? or even just a fundraiser set up through family or friends?

Obando Fertility Festival

The yearly Obando Fertility Festival is in full swing from May 17th to May 19th in Obando, Bulacan (Philippines). The festival dates back to the pre-Spanish era.  The three day festival celebrates a different saint for each day of the festival. Tourists from all over, devotees and locals participate in street dances in hopes for fertility to be bestowed on them, to help them find a partner, to thank them for the gift of fertility given to them and/or to just show their devotion to the patron saints celebrated.

May 17th- The festival celebrates San Pascual Baylon. This is the patron saint for fertility, abundance and wealth.

May 18th- Celebrates Santa Clara. The saint for those who wish to have a child. During this day, many females dance in the processional dance to ask for fertility.

May 19th- Celebrates the patron saint for a good harvest and the saint for fisherman. Nuestra Senora de Salambao

The participants may don the traditional garb of the patron saint they are asking a gift from or they may carry with them a cart that has the statue of the saint in it.

There are some great videos posted on YouTube from individuals that have witnessed the festival. Check them out!

National Women’s Health Week- 5/13-5/19/12

It’s National Women’s Health Week. While every woman should be conscious of her overall health regularly, this week is a great time to sit down and schedule those screenings, look over your diet and exercise plan, mental health, etc.

Scheduling screenings: Every woman should have regular check-ups for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, reproductive health and mental health. In fact, heart disease is still the #1 killer in women! There is a great interactive screening chart on the WomensHealth.gov site- http://womenshealth.gov/whw/health-resources/screening-tool/index.cfm

Diet and Exercise: What a woman should eat and what sort of daily activity she should engage in will vary based on her own personal health. The general guidelines are:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fish, Lean Meats, nuts
  • Light dairy products
  • Grains- whole grain products
  • Healthy oils

At least 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Mental Health- minimizing stress (I know, this can be very tough with the many obligations we have in our daily lives, but trying to minimize stress can help one lead a longer, healthier life), getting plenty of sleep at night. Engaging in health behaviors (quitting smoking and drinking in moderation).

Have you had your checkups?!?!?!?!

Way to Go!! What Makes a Baby!

I discovered a really cool project on Kickstarter* a few months ago that I had wrote up a quick post about. The project was for creating and distributing the book, What Makes A Baby by Cory Silverberg and illustrations by artist, Fiona Smyth. Below is a link to the project on Kickstarter.

(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1809291619/what-makes-a-baby)

The project explains to children pre-school to 8+ years how they may have come into this world where other books have left out. They discuss fertility doctors, surrogates, sperm donation, adoption agencies, friend, turkey basters, etc. What a cool project! In this day and age children are conceived in such a variety of ways, what a perfect way to explain to your child how they came into this world.

The project not only reached their goal of $9500, but they surpassed it by a large, wonderful amount! Way to go!!!!!

*(Kickstarter is a crowdsource funding platform for creative projects where backers can pledge funds towards projects. If the project meets its pledged goal, then the backers funds are used, it is an all or nothing funding platform- www.kickstarter.com).

Have you tried an at-home insemination method that worked?

And we are not talking about the turkey baster you use on your Thanksgiving Day turkey.  The turkey baster method for conception is the term given to a natural, at-home insemination method that woman have been attempting for years.  It is always recommended to speak with your doctor before trying anything yourself. There are numberous websites online outlining step-by-step how to do an at-home insemination, but again it is best to check with your doctor for receiving instructions.

The preferred turkey baster method uses needle-less syringes, tubes similar to a catheter tube and sperm sample. The sperm can be from your partner (fresh sperm) or a through a sperm donation organization. Fresh donor sperm from an unknown donor is still considered very risky since it is easier to transmit STD’s with this type of sample. A frozen sperm donation from a clinic is a more common route for many. The sample will come frozen, please contact the clinic for instructions on thawing.

The items needed: needle-less syringe, cap/cup or condom, saline-if you prefer (without additives), some women to also attach catheter-like tubes to the end of the syringe.

The basics: get all the air out of the syringe by doing an initial drawback on the syringe and push out all the air. Place the end into the sperm sample and drawback again, try to tap out any air bubbles afterwards. Lie back comfortably in a reclining position and insert the syringe into the vaginal tract. Attempt to get the syringe as close the cervix as possible (some recommend gently locating the cervix with your finger beforehand). Deploy the syringe and remain lying back comfortably.  While it is hard to get the exact success rates, they are considered to be similar to those of natural intercourse.

Another at-home insemination method that can be used while trying to conceive:

Cervical Caps- The cervical cap is loaded with sperm and placed inside on the cervix. The cap should remain close to the cervix for several hours.

At-home insemination methods have seemed to grow in popularity over the past decade with the constantly changing healtcare system, fewer states and insurance companies cover ART methods. Have you tried an at-home insemination method that worked? We would love to hear from you, info@rinovum.com.