Monthly Archives: April 2013

Canadian fertility Consultants - Screening for Male Fertility

Published April 30, 2013

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Canadian Fertility Consultants – A full medical and reproductive history, along with any surgeries you’ve had and medications you’re taking; Lifestyle questions, including your exercise, smoking, and drug use; A physical exam; A frank discussion about your sexual life, including any problems with sex or previous sexually transmitted diseases

Semen Analysis– Sperm is collected into a specimen jar and presented to a lab technician who examines the sperm under a microscope in order to evaluate the count, shape, appearance, and mobility of the sperm. If the sperm count is found to be low, the fertility specialist will probably test the blood testosterone, FSH, LH and prolactin levels.

Urinalysis– to be used to search for white blood cells



CFC has developed a new Fertility Coaching/Referral program.

Published April 26, 2013

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During your Fertility Coaching sessions, you will receive 3 hours of consultation services, along with a referral to a minimum of two clinics (telephone or in person meeting w/ top fertility Drs).

This will include 2 hours with Leia Picard, an Industry professional who has several years of experience working within North American clinics, as well as those abroad.

You will also receive a 1 hour consultation with CFC



How do you explain surrogacy to small children?

Published April 26, 2013

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How does Barbara F. Meltz, parenting consultant, and author of Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World., answer the following question:

Due to cancer, my cousin can no longer carry a baby. I would love to be able to do this for her, but I don



Things Your Doctor May Not Have Told You About Your Birth Control

Published April 24, 2013

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A problem exists with the way medicine is currently practiced. One issue is that things really aren’t set up so doctors can get to know their patients well, thoroughly answer all questions and concerns, and also adequately inform their patients of all options and the ramifications of each one…. I passionately believe that women deserve to know how their bodies naturally work and how each form of contraception interferes with their natural functioning. How can they give informed consent without
it?

This is the opening of a post found on My Feminine Mind, a blog that I follow. To read more about what is said about birth control, please visit this post at: What you don’t know about BC



Paternity case settled out of court leaving sperm donor laws far from clear

Published April 22, 2013

Growing numbers of children are being born in Canada as a result of in-vitro fertilization and other forms of



IVF pioneer Robert Edwards dead at 87

Published April 12, 2013

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Nobel Prize winner Sir Robert Edwards, a pioneer of in vitro fertilization (IVF) research, which culminated in the highly controversial birth of the first test tube baby in the late 1970s, died Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 87.

Edwards, who began working on fertilization techniques in the 1950s, concluded that eggs fertilized by sperm in a laboratory could be a viable solution to human infertility issues.

Edwards and the late Dr. Patrick Steptoe were able to bring their research to fruition with the 1978 birth of Louise Brown.

To read the full article please visit USA TODAY



Surrogate Mother - Interview

Published April 12, 2013

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Your First Name: Melanie
Surro Baby’s Date of Birth: #1 September 2, 2010
Triplets January 6, 2013

Why did you decide to become a surrogate mother?
The Surrogate mother: I LOVE being pregnant, I do it well, I typically heal fast as well. We were done having kids of our own, but I felt that my body was not done having babies. Also, at the time that I made the choice to go ahead with it, I had seen so many friends and family suffer the pain of miscarriages and still births, it broke my heart. I figured that there must be more people out there struggling as well.

How did your family/children/support people react when you told them you wanted to be a surrogate mother?
For the most part, MOST people were supportive, I found that it was those who know nothing about surrogacy who are not supportive. My kids, the 2 youngest were too young to really know, my oldest just said as long as we don;t have to bring the baby home.

What did you enjoy most about your surrogate pregnancy? Everything. I love being pregnant. I feel healthiest when I am pregnant. I also really liked the relationship that developed between me and my IPs

Pregnancies are not always smooth sailing, what pregnancy related issues did you experience and how did you cope with them. Example-morning sickness.
I never had full blown morning sickness, just all day nausea, it was tolerable. The heartburn was BRUTAL, I took zantac. The HARDEST part was with my second journey, carrying triplets, I ended up leaking at 21 weeks, and was put on hospital bed-rest for a month. During this time, I only saw my kids once the whole time, it was very difficult, not only on me, but on my kids as well. The Hospital is great, they have nutritionists to help with diet, and they had counsellors to talk to if needed.

When your surro baby was born, what were your first thoughts, what did you say to the Intended Parents, what was the mood in the L&D room?
For both journeys the IPs were not there. The first one simply because it happened really fast, and I was a week early, so there were not here. The second was an emergency c section, so no one was in the room. I was relieved that the babies were all doing well, with the triplets, despite being 10 weeks premature, were doing pretty good. When I saw my IPs (both times), I simply said Congratulations!!

Having been through your journey, what are your plans now, is there another journey on the horizon, are you going back to school, are you focusing on family?
I am done now. Not because I do not want to do it again, but because I promised my family that I would not do another one. I am now focusing on myself as well as my children.

Are there any additional comments you would like to share?
When people find out that I was a surrogate, I constantly get told what a gift I have given, or what a saint I am. The truth is, surrogacy was a gift to me as well. It showed me that I am much stronger than I give myself credit.



Surrogacy - Intended Parents Interview

Published April 11, 2013

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What brought you to surrogacy?
We decided to pursue surrogacy after a friend began a journey and showed us that surrogacy was a real option. Up until then we were unsuccessfully trying to carry on our own, choosing to overlook significant medical risks to both the baby and I if I were to carry to full term.

How long have you been looking into Surrogacy?
I was fortunate to find Canadian Fertility Consultants almost immediately upon beginning my research

How did your family/children/support people react when you told them you were looking into having a surrogate mother?
They had lots of questions, but were very relieved that I had decided not to carry a pregnancy myself

What do you wish the general public knew about surrogacy?
That surrogates don



Canadian Fertility Consultants - How to Choose A Reproductive Doctor

Published April 11, 2013

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Canadian Fertility Consultants – The following information is provided to help you select a reproductive specialist.
Factors to Consider

The following are some important factors to consider when searching for your fertility doctor or service:

  • Success/pregnancy rates
  • Qualifications and experience of personnel
  • Types of patients being treated
  • Support services available
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Recommendations & Reputation


Success Rates

To further your research, the success rates of reproductive clinics are available at the following links:

  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)

It is important to note that these numbers are two to three years old and can sometimes be reported differently by different centers, so these figures should not be the only factor that you consider.
Sample Questions

The following are sample questions that may help you make an informed decision:

  • What procedures do you offer?
  • How much experience do you have in these procedures and what are your success rates?
  • What are your criteria for seeing patients (e.g. waiting list, age limits, single vs. married, etc.)?
  • What screening tests are required?
  • What is the time commitment?
  • Does the program meet and follow ASRM guidelines?
  • Does the program report its results to the SART Registry and the CDC?
  • Is the program a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology?
  • How many physicians will be involved in my care?
  • Are your physicians board certified in reproductive endocrinology and in good medical standing?
  • What types of counseling and support services are available?
  • Do you have an outline of the costs of the tests and procedures I may need?
  • What are your available payment options?
  • Is staff accessible to answer questions about treatment, forms, or payment?
  • Do you accept insurance?
  • What are the on-going storage costs of tissues (sperm, eggs, etc.)?

SURROGACY

  • What are your requirements/screening regarding surrogates- ie, Number of pregnancies, number of c-sections, BMI, etc
  • Are you open to using a protocol that an experienced surrogate has previously used (at another clinic), do you require medical records from previous deliveries? If so, at what point?
  • Do you require surrogate (experienced) to travel to you for screening
  • Will you accept previous psych assessment



Canadian Fertility Consultants - Questions about Surrogacy

Published April 11, 2013

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Canadian Fertility Consultants – Once I made the decision to become a surrogate mother, and I was going into my first conference call, I had a list of questions that I wanted to know about my potential intended parents(IPs). I felt that getting to know them during that first contact, could be tricky, but if I was prepared going in, I would feel better in the end. Choosing IP(s) is a big part of your journey and should be decided only after all your questions have been answered. I had certain qualifications in my mind for the match to be successful and I hope that by sharing them with you, it will help you in your search for IP(s).

What type of couple are you wanting to help…Are you looking to help a single parent, or a couple? Would you prefer a straight couple, or are you open to same sex couples? How about IP(s) who have children already, would this matter to you, or would it depend on what their infertility issues were? Having some idea about the type of IP(s) you are looking for will make the match somewhat easier. We all have ideas of who we want to help become parents, and this will help as you hear the story of what brought your Ips to surrogacy. Remember, that no one will judge you for your decision on who you are wanting to work with or not. We all have expectations, IP(s) included, and its important to hang onto those.

What reasons do the IP(s) have for finding a surrogate, what are their infertility issues… Is there a condition that did not allow for the mother to carry a child? Is this a single intended father you are talking with? Has the couple been trying for a lengthy time to conceive a baby with no success? Has the couple dealt with multiple miscarriages? Sometimes we, as surrogates, choose couples based on why they cannot have a baby of their own. Whatever the reason for infertility, many times this will affect whether we move forward with the IP(s) or not.

What expectations do you have in regards to contact with your IP(s)… Does the couple want to stay in contact with you during the pregnancy and after the baby is born, do they want to keep an open relationship or go their separate ways? Some IP(s) chose to keep the surrogacy quiet, whether it is a decision based on their faith or circumstances. While others intend to tell the child how they came into the world. Consider their choice and decide if you are OK with what their expectations are, are their thoughts for the future matching up with yours?

What about location…You might be more comfortable looking for IP(s) that are close enough to attend every appointment with you. Some surrogates want 110% involvement with the IP(s), others are looking for a slightly distanced relationship with their IP(s), filling them in on the developing pregnancy through Skype, email, or photos. Again, both sides of the journey have expectations in regards to location and closeness…which relates back to expectations of contact during the journey.

There are some more sensitive topics that you need to consider regarding your journey, and know ahead of time your views on them. Keeping to your beliefs about these topics is important, and you need to feel comfortable discussing them with your IP(s) at the beginning, not as they may come up.

One of these areas are Abortion and Selective Reduction. You already know what you feel, but asking your IP(s) to share their thoughts is a necessity at this point. Are the IP(s) doing genetic testing prior to transferring the embryos? Are they not wanting to have the pregnancy result in multiples? Do they, and you, understand the possible risks of SR? What situations are you comfortable doing SR, or would you leave that decision completely up to your IP(s)? Though we are the ones carrying the baby, it is our IP(s) right to make these decisions. Knowing where your comfort level is beforehand will make the conversation easier to have.

How many embryos would you be willing to transfer? Would you go with what your IP(s) request of the doctor, or do you have a limit for your body. Are you not wanting to carry multiples, or have you in the past and are OK with this. Bringing up embryo numbers prior to contract stage is a good idea for that you are not stunned by what they are going to do.

One last possibly sensitive issue for surrogates is Amniocentesis. Some surrogates I talk to, myself included, discuss placing this on the



Canadian Fertility Consultants - How Does Infertility Impact Finances?

Published April 02, 2013

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Canadian fertility Consultants – One in six Canadian couples experience infertility, according to the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. And for many, it