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Rachel Gurevich

Fertility

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Considering Crowdfunding for IVF? Here's How to Get Started

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Whether you call it crowdfunding or running a "kickstarter" campaign, collecting money from your social connections to fund a project or need is gaining popularity. Should you try crowdfunding to pay for your fertility treatments?

Piggy bank receiving red injection of IVF drugs

I personally have contributed to a several crowdfunding campaigns, including one that was raising funds for a medical crisis, a few for families who found themselves unexpectedly out of work, and a few campaigns raising funds for a creative project.

As a donor, I can say participating always gave me a good feeling, and I was happy to have had a chance to support someone else, whether it was a friend in need or a creative person I admired. I'm glad they asked so I could give.

Crowdfunding is being used to raise funds for IVF and adoption. Not everyone feels comfortable with crowdfunding for IVF - perhaps because it's a non-guaranteed treatment. But what is guaranteed in this life? The real question is whether you feel comfortable with crowdfunding.

Raising money this way isn't for everyone. Crowdfunding looks deceptively simple, but it can be a lot of hard work. You also need to have a large number of social connections to really pull it off, and be comfortable not only sharing your story with people but also with asking people for financial support.

I put together three articles to help you consider whether it's for you and, if yes, how to get started:

Are you crowdfunding for infertility? Feel free to leave a link to your campaign in the comments below, and share how your campaign is going!

(Disclaimer: I will delete any links that look spammy, and of course, reader beware before sharing personal information or giving money online. A link appearing in the comments is not an endorsement.)

More on IVF treatment:

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Photo: Artpartner Images / Getty Images

Can You Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods? Is Your Period Irregular?

Sunday April 13, 2014

Irregular periods are a symptom of possible infertility. But do irregular periods mean you will definitely have trouble getting pregnant?

When will you ovulate next?

Not necessarily.

While it may make getting pregnant trickier, having an irregular period doesn't always lead to infertility. Whether or not you'll have trouble getting pregnant depends on just how irregular your periods are, what the cause of the irregular periods are, and whether you can time sex for pregnancy well.

Learn more about getting pregnant and irregular periods in this article:

How regular your periods are is just one aspect of your menstrual health.

There are other factors -- like how long your periods are, how heavy your bleeding is, or how bad your cramps are -- that also should be taken into consideration. There are also symptoms of infertility besides irregular periods. Check out these two quizzes to learn more:

Learn more about your period and infertility symptoms in these articles:

Would you like to receive trying to conceive tips and infertility information every week? Sign up for a free fertility newsletter here!

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Photo: Malcolm Park / Photolibrary / Getty Images

What to Do with the Passover and Easter Blues

Monday April 7, 2014

Holidays are often difficult for those dealing with infertility. Passover, which begins next Monday evening, on April 14th, can be a tricky holiday for the childless. The holiday's main event - the seder, which involves telling the story of the Exodus - includes many child-centered activities. In fact, one of the primary goals of the ritual is to pass the story onto the next generation.

Family on Passover stands around table drinking wine

If you think you can't participate in the Passover holiday because you don't have children of your own, think again. You just may need to think outside of the box. In this article, I'll give you some ideas, plus a story that is sure to inspire.

Easter is also coming up, on April 20th. Family gatherings and child-centered traditions (egg hunts, Easter bunny stories) make it emotionally difficult for many fertility challenged couples.

How do you cope during the holidays? What are your struggles? Feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

More on coping when trying to get pregnant:

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Photo: Jupiterimages / Photolibrary / Getty Images

National Infertility Awareness Week 2014 Is Coming! Things You Can Do

Friday April 4, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is April 20th through 26th this year. Sponsored by RESOLVE, National Infertility Awareness Week is the perfect time to raise awareness about infertility.

Making this year extra special, it's the 25th anniversary of NIAW! Let's hear it for 25 years of raising awareness!

Man holding megaphone up to telephone

National Infertility Awareness Week is a week not just for raising awareness in those who are oblivious to the men and women living with infertility, but also a time to get educated about our options.

The more you know about infertility testing, treatment, and coping skills, the better able you'll navigate the infertility maze.

What can you do in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week?

If you're a blogger, you might want to consider entering RESOLVE's blogger challenge. The theme is "Resolve to know more...", asking bloggers to share what they've learned and help educate the public on fertility issues.

How will you be spending National Infertility Awareness Week? How do you make a difference?

Things you should resolve to know:

Would you like to receive trying to conceive tips and infertility information every week? Sign up for a free fertility newsletter here!

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Photo: Daniel Hurst Photography / Getty Images

Were You a Tiny Baby? You May Be at Risk for Infertility.

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Were you tiny when you were born? A new study has found that women who had low birth weights as newborns may be more likely to experience infertility.

Prematurity is a risk in a multiple pregnancy.

The study, published in BMJ Open, looked at the records of about 1,200 women born in 1973 or later, who sought fertility treatment between 2005 and 2010. Researchers considered the cause for infertility (whether it was female, male, unexplained, or a combination of male and female infertility), alongside the women's birth weights.

Women who were born at a low birth weight were 2.4 times more likely to be suffering from female infertility when compared to couples being seen for male or unexplained infertility.

Women born small for gestational age were 2.7 times more likely to be dealing with female infertility.

The question is... why? Is it a complication from being low birth weight?

I wondered about why they were born smaller in the first place. We know that infertility increases your risk of giving birth prematurely, and increases your risk of having a low birth weight baby. (This risk, by the way, applies even when you're expecting a single baby. It's not just with multiple pregnancies.)

Is it possible that their mothers had some undiagnosed fertility issue? Which caused their daughter's to be born low birth weight?

Perhaps future research will answer these questions.

More on causes of infertility:

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Photo: Anthony Saffery / Getty Images

Should You Create a Personal Ritual to Deal with Infertility Losses?

Monday March 24, 2014

There's so much loss when going through fertility. From "small" losses, like a single month that doesn't lead to a pregnancy. To the larger losses, like a year's worth of failed cycles.

Man in prayer

Then there are fertility tests, and discovering why you can't conceive. Or not getting any answer, being diagnosed with the vague and frustrating "unexplained infertility."

I was thinking of all these losses, big and small, when I read at article at The Atlantic on using personal rituals to cope with loss.

It's a great article, you should read it:

In very short summary, researchers found that those who are more resilient when facing grief seem to create personal rituals.

For example, one woman, to cope with the loss of her mother, played Natalie Cole's "I Miss You Like Crazy," and cried while listening.

What if we created personal rituals to cope with fertility loses? A ritual to cope with a negative pregnancy test. A ritual to cope with the loss of our family dreams.

What kind of rituals do you have? What might you start doing?

More on coping with infertility:

Would you like to receive trying to conceive tips and fertility information every week? Sign up for a free fertility newsletter here.

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Photo: bacon_pola / Stock.xchng

Nutrition and Your Fertility

Friday March 21, 2014

Way too often, we're focused on dieting - as in eating less so we can lose weight - instead of focusing on having a healthier diet. And yes, as you might have guessed, diet is important to your fertility.

Greek Courgette Feta Salad

March is National Nutrition Month, an awareness campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Their theme this year is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.

When trying to eat right, don't assume you need to resort to plain dry carrots. (Unless you love plain carrots... in which case, enjoy!)

Take some time to research healthier recipes. Try out new herbs and spices. There are so many amazing bloggers out there now who aim to create tasty, amazing meals that are also healthy.

And if you really don't like something, don't eat it... ! It'll just turn you off to healthier eating.

Personally, I strongly dislike whole wheat bread... but there are other alternatives -- alternatives that are as healthy, or healthier, than the whole wheat bread I'd rather not eat.

How are you making healthier eating tastier?

More on boosting your health and fertility:

Join the conversation!

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Would you like to receive trying to conceive tips and infertility information every week? Sign up for a free fertility newsletter here!

Photo: Georgia Glynn Smith / Getty Images

Playing Pregnancy Detective

Wednesday March 19, 2014

When trying to get pregnant, I think many of us become pregnancy detectives. We look for any possible sign that this month we're going to be pregnant.

Pile of pregnancy tests from the two week wait

Women who chart their cycles look for signs on their BBT charts. Some of us do "daily breast checks", to see if they are sore or more tender than usual. And some wonder if their cervical mucus may contain clues.

If we're feeling a little tired, we assume it's related to a possible pregnancy... and it may not occur to us it's from staying up late, worrying whether or not this trying to conceive journey will ever end!

Unfortunately, the only way to find out if you're pregnant is to wait until your period is late and take a pregnancy test.

While there are "signs and symptoms" of early pregnancy, most if not all of these signs can occur even when you're not pregnant. Many may even appear every month.

More about pregnancy:

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Photo: Thomas Northcut / Photodisc / Getty Images

Purim, Infertility, and Miracles

Friday March 14, 2014

Happy Purim - or Purim Sameach! - to all those celebrating this weekend. If you don't know, Purim is a Jewish holiday centered around the story from the Book of Esther. (You can read more about it here at About Judaism, or watch a fun video on YouTube that tells the story here.)

Man's hands over a pregnant woman's abdomen

In the entire Book of Esther, God is never mentioned. Unlike other Bible stories, where if a miracle happens, God is usually mentioned and given credit right away, in Esther you could say all the events are man made only. Or you could say God was working in the background.

This reminds me of a common debate among the fertility challenged, which is whether or not pregnancy after treatment is a "miracle."

Is something a miracle if you have to work for it? Is something a miracle only if it comes easily, with fireworks and heavenly booming voices? And does it even matter if it's a miracle? What is a miracle, anyway?

Personally, I waver back and forth on this question. Some days, I really want to believe in miracles, and I do, and I see them everywhere. On my pro-miracle days, everything looks and feels brighter. Happier. Other days, miracles seem as real to me as unicorns. But regardless of whether or not I see my children as "miracles" or not, I always see them as beautiful, precious blessings in my life. After all, isn't life itself a grand miracle?

Whether you celebrate Purim or not, I'd love to hear your thoughts on miracles and infertility in the comments below. Just be respectful, as I know these kinds of discussions can get heated quickly!

More on coping on the holidays:

More about pregnancy after infertility:

Would you like to receive trying to conceive tips and infertility information every week? Sign up for a free fertility newsletter here!

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Photo: Julia Wheeler and Veronika Laws / Getty Images

The High Cost of Infertility

Monday March 10, 2014

Infertility carries a heavy price tag.

Oversize pill with coins inside

There's a social cost. Friends have kids, and you feel left behind. Social gatherings begin to focus on children, and sometimes, it seems like conversations can only circle around pregnancies and babies.

There's an emotional cost, certainly made worse by the social costs. It's not uncommon for those with infertility to deal with anxiety, sadness, and even depression.

And for some, infertility comes with a serious financial cost. If you need IVF, treatments can quickly move into the thousands of dollars.

None of this is easy to deal with. But I do want to encourage you to take steps to rein in some of these costs.

There are things you can do.

To mitigate the social costs, you may need to teach your friends how to support you. Don't forget that you can find new friends, too. Joining a support group can also help you feel less isolated and alone.

For the emotional cost, it's really important you take care of your mental health. Mind-body programs -- whether they are fertility specific or not -- can be a big help in reducing stress and anxiety. Consider seeing a therapist, which can be a lifesaver.

Financial costs are tricky to get around, but there are ways to make fertility treatment more affordable.

How have you fought back against the costs of infertility?

More on facing financial challenges:

Would you like to receive trying to conceive tips and fertility information every week? Sign up for a free fertility newsletter here!

Photo: Last Resort / Getty Images

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