Category: Blog

Researching Fertility Preservation

Egg freezing, sometimes referred to as fertility preservation, has come a long way in the past five years alone. More young women are aware of their family planning options, which can include freezing their eggs now so that the eggs can be used to help grow their families at a later date.

Women have many different reasons for taking this step, and their motivations are what differentiate those seeking elective egg freezing from those seeking fertility preservation. Both processes will be explained further for women interested in future family planning below.

What is elective egg freezing?

Elective egg freezing (social egg freezing) is used when women choose to freeze their eggs for the following reasons:

  • They are prioritizing certain goals ahead of having a family, such as their careers, financial independence, travel, or school.
  • They have not yet met the right partner to start a family but want to be proactive about family planning in the meantime.
  • They are aware that they do not wish to start a family until five, ten, or more years in the future, when their fertility may be impacted by their age

What is fertility preservation?

Fertility preservation (medical egg freezing) is used when women choose to freeze their eggs for the following reasons:

  • They are dealing with a cancer diagnosis and their physician has approved egg freezing ahead of treatments that can damage fertility — chemotherapy and/or radiation (oncofertility).
  • They have a family history of early menopause and are concerned that they will be affected before they are ready to try for a pregnancy.
  • They require surgery that impacts reproduction, potentially putting their ability to conceive at risk.

In short, elective egg freezing is undertaken for reasons that are generally defined as social in motivation. There probably isn’t an immediate need to freeze your eggs, but you want to be proactive and make informed decisions about how your family will grow in the future. In fertility preservation, a medical reason makes family planning decisions a priority, and egg freezing is used to help preserve fertility where it might otherwise be at risk.

If you have questions or are interested in egg freezing with Aspire Fertility, please contact our staff today.

Navigating male fertility can be complicated and confusing, especially with so many misconceptions that still surround the condition, even today. Approximately 9% of men are diagnosed with infertility every year in the U.S., yet many — men and women alike — hold pervasive myths as truths while seeking to build their families.

Below we’ve outlined five common misconceptions surrounding male fertility and infertility.

Myth #1 — Age doesn’t affect a man’s fertility.

While many believe that only women’s fertility is affected by age, men must also consider their age if planning to start a family. Although men don’t go through menopause as women do, meaning many men can still conceive children later in life, sperm quality and quantity both begin to decline around age 40.

Myth #2 — Only hard drugs affect men’s ability to conceive.

It’s not just hard drugs that affect fertility; tobacco use, too, can result in decreased fertility in both men and women. The chemicals in cigarettes can damage sperm, resulting in longer time to conception. Even secondhand smoke can affect male fertility. If pregnancy is achieved, the health of the child may be compromised as well, as smoke affects the DNA in sperm as well as men’s hormone production.

Myth #3 — Men don’t need to take supplements to increase fertility.

While it’s common knowledge that taking folic acid can help women get pregnant, men can also benefit from folic acid supplements. Taking folic acid daily can help men maintain a healthy sperm count. Low folic acid intake is also linked to a higher rate of chromosomal abnormalities in sperm.

It’s not just folic acid that can help in achieving pregnancy; coenzyme Q10 has been shown to increase sperm count and improve sperm motility. Vitamin E can also help in increasing sperm count.

Myth #4 — Caffeine doesn’t have an effect on sperm count.

While one or two of cups of coffee a day won’t impact sperm count or quality, anything more than four cups a day may result in abnormally shaped sperm, according to a 2017 study in Nutrition Journal. Plus, more than two caffeinated beverages a day in the weeks before conception can heighten the risk of miscarriage.

Myth #5 — Laptop use won’t affect male fertility.

Although this has seen debate in recent years, research points to the fact that heat exposure can result in lower-quality, less-motile sperm. This isn’t just confined to laptops, though, which should be used on a desk, but if using on the lap, something should be placed underneath to protect the testes.

Mobile phones, too, can impact sperm quality; it’s best to avoid keeping a phone in a front pants pocket. Other sources of heat, like saunas, hot tubs, and even heated car seats, can also affect sperm production and quality. Luckily, one probably doesn’t have to worry too much about any of the above unless such exposure is a regular occurrence, but it’s wise to play it safe.

Understanding Male Fertility

Although misconceptions about male fertility and infertility still abound, simply developing an understanding of these pervasive myths can be hugely helpful when trying to start a family, whether someone is currently trying to conceive or planning ahead.

If you’re having trouble conceiving or want to learn more about the points discussed above, connect with a male fertility specialist at Aspire Fertility today.

Partner support during fertility treatment goes both ways. Sometimes just one partner is undertaking the physical side of treatment, and sometimes it’s both. But in any situation, consistent effort is needed to help ensure that the process doesn’t get the best of a growing family.

There’s a lot of consider when using fertility treatments like IUI, IVF or third-party reproduction. You’ll have to stay organized, with appointments, paperwork, insurance claims, medications and the actual procedure(s) all in the mix. With all of these responsibilities and the emotional challenges that accompany them, one partner cannot be expected to run things alone – it’s simply unfair.

At Aspire Fertility, we’ve worked with countless couples over the years who have looked for advice on how to be a supportive partner – and how to speak to their partner about needing support. Speaking to your partner involves honest communication about your needs and coming to an agreement on expectations for meeting those needs, but being a supportive partner may require some extra advice, which we’re happy to share below.

Don’t wait to be needed – you’re needed now

Assuming that everything is fine and you’re doing your part is a very human error that we’re all guilty of at one time or another. So often in relationships, we tend to think that we’re the ones doing the heavy lifting and the other person is just along for the ride, but this is rarely a correct assumption. We all do things for our families that go unnoticed, and we do them without “making a spectacle” because they’re things that need to be done.

The best way to be a supportive partner during fertility treatment is to never assume that you and your partner are on equal footing in terms of both responsibility and emotional well-being. Asking your partner how you can be more involved or helpful is one important step, but so is taking the initiative to move forward with scheduling an appointment, refilling a prescription, making a call to the doctor and so forth, without having to be asked (or worse – reminded).

Make communication a real priority, and stick with it

Sometimes the fertility treatment journey can seem daunting. Even with optimistic test results and a treatment plan in place, the road to parenthood can stretch. When progress seems slow or even stalled, it may seem difficult to talk about how you feel on a regular basis, but failure to communicate your thoughts, concerns, and high and low points is a mistake. Support groups for fertility patients that include couples – whether online or in person, depending on your preference and local availability – can really aid in keeping the lines of communication open.

Remember, no one expects you to be a perfect partner 24/7. Fertility care is as much a process as are many of life’s other challenges but working on being a supportive partner will keep your relationship balanced. If you have questions about fertility treatment support, please contact Aspire Fertility today.

Stress-free Ways to Kickstart Everything from IVF, Egg Donation, Surrogacy, Egg Freezing and More

Do any of your 2019 resolutions include fertility planning goals? The idea of starting a fertility treatment plan or even fertility testing may seem daunting, but it really doesn’t have to be. The Aspire Fertility team truly understands the reluctance of those who might hesitate to schedule their first fertility consultation — it can be difficult to come to terms with the idea that your route to parenthood needs a physician’s care. That’s why we’re committed to an optimal patient experience, from your first consult with one of our experienced fertility specialists to undergoing a treatment plan highly customized to fit your fertility goals.

Whether IVF is the recommended path or third-party reproduction such as gestational surrogacy or using an egg donor, our team can help make your 2019 resolutions a reality — without the stress.

Three ways to make starting fertility treatment easier

Get organized – Part of what can make fertility treatment so overwhelming is the number of appointments involved, the paperwork, insurance information, medication(s) and coordinating with a surrogate or egg donor if applicable. Getting organized and keeping up with it throughout your treatment plan is one of the best ways to keep the stress out of assisted reproduction. For some, going digital and scanning paperwork to store online is the easiest route, while for others, keeping folders or binders that break down across their clinic, their insurance, etc., works best.

  • Open mail from your fertility clinic and insurance provider when it comes in and file right away; don’t leave it on counters or tables to accumulate or be lost accidentally.
  • Update your calendar with appointments and times when scheduled. Don’t wait to do it when you get home or at a later date if you can help it. This way, you’ll know whether conflicts arise during scheduling versus at a later date.

Join a fertility support group – The great thing about fertility support groups is that depending on your location, you most likely have options. Support groups for those undergoing fertility treatment, including third-party reproduction, can be in-person, online, couples, female-only, male-only, etc. They offer a unique opportunity to connect with others who are sharing a similar experience, one that your family and friends might not as easily understand or empathize with all the time. Find a support group in your area.

Read other patient stories – In addition to or if you’re unable to join a fertility support group, one of the best ways to understand what it’s like to be a patient of a certain clinic and feel encouraged is to read stories/testimonials from other fertility patients. If anyone understands what it’s like to struggle to conceive or need a third party’s help to grow your family, it’s someone who has already been through the process and is now on the other side of the process. Many patients just starting out are looking for moments of hope and reassurance that pursuing treatment is the right decision, and success stories can alleviate concerns.

Please note: Remember, if you’re feeling particularly emotional or frustrated by your experience, it’s OK to bypass things that might remind you of fertility planning. Even if things are going well, you probably don’t want to be reminded of the road ahead every moment of the day. It’s okay to take a step back from patient stories and support group talk when you need to. A good balance should always be the goal in order to stay positive and stress-free.

Get started with Aspire Fertility

When you’re ready, we hope you will contact our team to request an appointment. Please visit our contact page for phone numbers across our locations or to complete an online contact form. If you’d like to speak with a staff member today, we do recommended calling your closest location directly.

Good luck on your 2019 resolutions and fertility planning goals. We hope to speak with you soon!

This article was originally published on UT Health Austin’s blog. You can view it in its original form here.

“One in ten couples suffers from infertility. Approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance and of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% will give birth. Infertility can be a complex and difficult condition for many patients to manage. Winifred Mak, M.D., Ph.D., Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) Specialist at UT Health Austin’s Women’s Health Institute is working with Aspire Fertility to simplify the treatment process, streamline communication, and offer the most advanced therapies available to patients seeking services.

Infertility can be a female or male condition and can be caused by a range of issues such as irregular periods, fallopian tube issues, fibroids, early menopause, decreased sperm count, sperm motility, lack of sperm and more, explains Dr. Mak. Same-sex couples and other members of the LGBT community also often seek fertility treatment options to begin or to continue to build their families.

Aspire Fertility offers treatment options including In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), egg and sperm donor, third party reproduction, LGBT family planning, egg freezing, counseling and wellness, genetic testing and more. “We offer comprehensive diagnostic testing and are well equipped to treat the entire breadth of infertility diagnoses. We pride ourselves on offering a unique personalized patient experience in a comfortable environment,” says Dr. Mak. “This is a very difficult and often stressful time for many of our patients and it is our job to make them feel as much at ease as possible while we figure out the best pathway to move forward together.”

Dr. Mak explains that while in medical school she fell in love with delivering babies and decided specializing in ob/gyn was something she wanted to do. After medical school, she worked as a resident in the ObGyn at the University of Cambridge in England, where the world’s first IVF baby was conceived and her connection to that environment led her to be very involved with research specifically in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

She has since served as Assistant professor in the Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Department and Director of the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program at Yale School of Medicine where she focused on the full range of reproductive endocrinology diseases including infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). She says that she has made it her life-long career mission to use her research studies to help build families and give her patients 110% of her effort.

More recently, Dr. Mak joined as an Assistant Professor in the Women’s Health Department of Dell Medical School, which means that education and training medical students and residents is also a huge part of her mission here in Austin. “I came here to Austin and to The University of Texas for the opportunity to start something new – to build a reproductive endocrinology and infertility division from the ground up. It has been very exciting with a lot of energy, so I’m thrilled to be here and contribute to the community and educate the learners as well,” she says.

One of the biggest projects Dr. Mak has been tasked with since starting work at the Dell Medical School has been to launch an affordable, low complexity fertility/REI clinic to bring services and high-quality care to those who may not normally have access to it. The Esperanza clinic is a Dell Med resident-run clinic that will provide services including consultations, hysterosalpingograms, semen analysis and more for patients at a discounted rate. “We have seen a huge need and lot of interest in the community for a clinic like this and my hope is that it will not only be a great service to the community but also an excellent educational opportunity for the Dell Med ob/gyn residents,” says Dr. Mak.

Dr. Mak is also involved with a new oncofertility program launching in 2019 at UT Health Austin in partnership with the LIVESTRONG Foundation that will focus on coordinating the care for cancer patients looking to preserve their fertility. “With this new program we hope to bring the most cutting-edge fertility preservation techniques” she says.

Furthermore, Dr. Mak has a special interest in couples experiencing multiple miscarriages and she will continue her research program to investigate why miscarriages happen. In addition she looks forward to start up a recurrent pregnancy loss program with focus on a multidisciplinary team approach.

For more information about Dr. Mak and services provided at Aspire Fertility please call 1-512-479-7979.

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin, the group practice designed and managed by the faculty and staff of the Dell Medical School, focuses the expertise of a team of experienced medical professionals to deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality. Our experienced healthcare professionals treat each patient as an individual, with unique circumstances, priorities and beliefs. Working with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room, and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.”

This article was originally published on UT Health Austin’s blog. You can view it in its original form here.

RMA of texas and aspire merge logos

Inception Fertility Ventures has partnered with RMA of Texas and has merged RMA with its Aspire Fertility operation. The merger forms the largest provider of fertility services in Texas, with operations in greater Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and McAllen. With the exception of McAllen, the merged business will operate under the Aspire Fertility brand. The McAllen location will continue to operate under its current name: smartIVF.

RMA of Texas was founded by Francisco Arredondo, MD, MPH. For the past 10 years, he and his six-member physician team have helped make over 2,000 dreams of starting a family come true. With a unique perspective on the fertility market, they built their clinics on a foundation of transformation, with an over-arching theme that will become integral to the new venture: Today you, tomorrow a family. For Dr. Arredondo and his team, the fertility business is not just about helping people get pregnant, but about meeting each and every patient where they are, and successfully guiding them along the path that leads to parenthood.

In the two years since they opened their doors Aspire Fertility has successfully served patients in the greater Houston area, as well as Dallas and Atlanta, with a clear purpose: to achieve the highest bar in experience, science and medicine—no exceptions. Having once been the patients themselves, founder and CEO TJ Farnsworth and his wife Margaret have made it their mission to employ innovative communications technologies and advanced therapies to maximize outcomes, and make the following promise: Every patient can expect a five-star experience. Every time.

In the new venture, Dr. Arredondo will continue to serve as Chief Medical Officer. He and the entire RMA team look forward to the new venture and tremendous growth opportunities for the combined company.

“At this difficult place in our patients’ lives, our business is first and foremost about their experience, and Dr. Arredondo and his team share that conviction,” says TJ Farnsworth, Inception Founder and CEO. “RMA does not have ‘staff members;’ instead they have advocates, champions, smiles, shoulders, dream makers, believers, well-wishers, and those in the lab even refer to themselves as ‘first babysitters.’ Most top-tier fertility clinics share similar success rates, and we both strive to stay ahead of the national average. But that is only part of the equation. For this new venture, it is our combined passion for our patients on their journey to expand their family that will continue to set us remarkably far apart in the fertility marketplace.”

Adds Dr. Arredondo, “We’ve been courted by numerous other fertility companies but none have been the right fit―until now. We have the utmost respect for Aspire Fertility and we share a critically important cultural commonality in that providing a world-class patient experience is just as important as our ability to help them start or expand their family. To that end, we are excited to work together to help a considerably wider audience achieve their dreams.”

About Aspire Fertility

Aspire Fertility is a subsidiary of Inception Fertility Ventures, headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company’s mission is to shift the paradigm of the IVF market by raising the standard of care, streamlining fragmented components into an integrated system, and enhancing the overall patient experience. In business since 2015, the company operates facilities in Houston, Dallas and Atlanta. For more information about Aspire Fertility, please call 713.300.1123 or visit aspirefertility.com.

About RMA of Texas

In operation since 2008, RMA of Texas is one of the state’s largest and most experienced centers for infertility treatment. RMA’s mission is to know each patient as a person, with their own medical, emotional and financial needs, as well as their own ethical and social values. RMA goes to great lengths to make each patient feel safe, pampered, and stress-free in facilities that feel more like a spa than a medical clinic, even as they provide cost-effective treatment options. The company operates facilities in San Antonio and Austin; their smartIVF fertility center operates in McAllen.

What Ever Woman Should Know About Reproductive Health | Aspire Fertility

How does my body work? Why do I get a period each month? Do I have a sexually transmitted infection? A woman’s reproductive health plays an important role in not only her sexuality but her general health as well. Here are 5 things we think every woman should know about her reproductive health.

5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Reproductive Health Infographic | Aspire Fertility

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1) All about your body: Let’s face it: women’s bodies are complicated! There are many different structures, muscles, nerves and hormones involved, and many women aren’t familiar with the fine details. But knowing and understanding how your body works is absolutely essential! Being educated on your body can not only help you have better conversations with your doctor, but can help you have a better sex life because you can communicate what you like (or don’t!) with your partner.

2) More about your cycle: Even though our periods can be somewhat annoying (or even very irritating!), the menstrual cycle plays an important role in your health. How long is your cycle? Is it regular or irregular? Has your period or cycle changed recently? Having a basic understanding of the menstrual cycle can help you take charge of your reproductive health, be better prepared to deal with your period and even plan for or avoid pregnancy.

3) The symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Did you know that many sexually transmitted infections have few, if any, symptoms? Even without symptoms, it is possible to transmit these infections to someone else, or get them from another partner. Other infections, like chlamydia or gonorrhea, can have vague symptoms like pain with urination, vaginal discharge, or bleeding between periods. If you are not in a monogamous relationship, it is important to use barrier contraception and be tested regularly. In addition, some HPV infections are associated with cervical diseases, making it essential that you don’t skip your yearly pap smear or well-woman visit.

4) Fertility declines with age: A woman’s fertility begins to decline in her 30’s and will significantly decrease by the time she reaches her early 40’s. Despite numerous celebrities becoming pregnant in their 40’s, this definitely is not the norm. It is important to think about your family building goals early on and consider freezing your eggs.

5) There are many fertility resources available: Many women feel very alone and overwhelmed when starting a fertility cycle. They may not want to talk to friends about what they are going through, or not aware of just how many resources are available to them. Some reputable online sites are:

 

You can also speak with your doctor for a recommendation; your doc should be able to refer you to a reproductive therapist or let you know of local support group or resources.

What Every Woman Should Know About Ovulation

Ovulation is one of the most important, yet most commonly misunderstood events in the menstrual cycle.

In 2014, Fertility and Sterility published a study where researchers surveyed 1,000 women to look at what they know about their own bodies and menstrual cycles, and the results were surprising! The researchers found that almost 40% of women surveyed didn’t understand the process of ovulation, the menstrual cycle, or the role that these processes play in their health and ability to conceive.

Understanding how our bodies work is important! Knowing how ovulation works can make it easier for you to get pregnant (or avoid pregnancy until you aren’t ready) and can even help you have more productive conversations with your doctor about your symptoms. Read on for the answers to some common questions about ovulation, you might also be interested in learning more about ovulation strips, (from somewhere like https://www.countrywidetesting.com/products/ovulation-strips) for more information.

What is ovulation?

Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovary. It occurs once each month, about halfway through the menstrual cycle from the time a woman gets her first period until she goes through menopause.

In fact, you are born with all of the eggs you’ll ever have already in your ovaries. Once you go through puberty, a group of eggs will be recruited each month. Usually, one (or two in the case of fraternal twins) will mature and the rest of that group of eggs will be reabsorbed into the body. The number of eggs will continue to decline until you reach menopause, when ovulation stops completely. There are quite a few symptoms when you reach menopause including headaches and hot flushes. This is because there are lots of changes happening to your body at this time. If you are being affected daily then you should go to a gynecology like Advanced Gynecology (http://www.gyngeorgia.com/) for help.

How does ovulation happen?

Your menstrual cycle lasts from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next and lasts about 28 days on average, though anywhere from 23 to 35 days is considered to be normal.

At the beginning of a cycle, an egg starts to develop inside of a fluid filled sac called a follicle. As the follicle grows and the egg matures, your estrogen level increases and causes the lining of the uterus to thicken. This is known as the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle.

Once the egg is mature, another hormone (luteinizing hormone, or LH) surges, triggering ovulation, or the release of the egg from the ovarian follicle. The egg then travels down the fallopian tube towards the uterus, and if a sperm doesn’t fertilize the egg in the fallopian tube, then the egg degrades and is reabsorbed.

How long is an egg “good” for after ovulation?

An egg is usually viable, or “good” for around 12-24 hours after ovulation. After that, the egg is no longer able to be fertilized or able to lead to a pregnancy.

When is the best time to have sex to get pregnant?

The best time to have sex when trying to conceive is the two days before ovulation occurs. Sperm can survive in the body for up to 4 or 5 days, but the egg is only viable for about 24 hours. Having sex a few days early means that the sperm will already be in the body when the egg is released.

Can I get pregnant during my period?

Yes! If you have shorter cycles and have sex towards the end of your period, it is possible for sperm to survive inside your body until ovulation occurs. It is important to always use contraception if you aren’t ready for a pregnancy, no matter where you are in your cycle.

Am I ovulating if I get a regular period?

Usually, but not necessarily. It is possible to have irregular, light spotting or a regular, heavy period even if you are not ovulating. Many women are surprised to discover that they are not ovulating or that they have problems with their fertility, even though they have regular periods.

How do ovulation kits work?

Ovulation kits test for the surge in LH that occurs 24-36 hours before ovulation occurs. When you get a positive result on the test, it means that you are about to ovulate and you are in your most fertile time.

It is best to start testing a few days before you think you will ovulate. It’s also important to remember to test at the same time every day, although the actual time isn’t that important. You can figure that out by looking at how long your cycle is and subtracting 14 days. For example, if your cycle is 28 days long, you are probably ovulating around day 14, and you should begin testing a few days before that, around day 10.

It is important to check in with the doctor if you never get a positive result on your LH testing, or if you always get a positive result. Both situations can indicate that something is going on with your ovulation and fertility and need to be checked out.

What is ovulation pain?

Some women experience some discomfort towards the middle of their cycle. This is also known as mittelschmerz, which is German for “middle pain.” Some women don’t have any discomfort during their ovulation, but other women may notice twinging, a dull aching, or a sharp pain on one side. Ovulation can be very brief, or it can last up to a day. Other signs of ovulation can include:

  • Bloating
  • Spotting
  • Increased vaginal discharge

If you have additional questions regarding your fertility or reproductive wellness, contact Aspire Fertility to learn more about the fertility treatments available at our Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta locations.

IVF Treatment for Teachers | Aspire Fertility

Teaching while going through IVF can present some unique challenges for couples. This often leads to many teachers trying to squeeze in an IVF cycle over the summer while on break before heading back into the classroom.

You may be surprised to find that waiting until summer to get started may actually make it more difficult in the long run. The ideal time for teachers to start an IVF cycle is in the springtime.  Here’s why.

The Time Involved

While the IVF cycle itself may only take a few weeks to a month or so, the time needed to prepare for the cycle often catches people off guard.

At your initial visit, the doctor will suggest diagnostic testing that often includes hormonal testing on day three of your menstrual cycle. Certain other types of diagnostic testing, like hysterosalpingogram (HSG), can also require that you be at a specific point in your cycle as well. This can add up to several weeks or even a month or so, depending on where you are in your cycle.

Some women may also need to see their primary care physician, obstetrician or other medical specialists before they can proceed with a cycle. This is decided on a case-by-case basis but is usually necessary when a woman is older or has health problems that can potentially make it unsafe or more difficult for her to carry a pregnancy. Again, depending on the reason for these extra consults, it can add up to a delay of several weeks or even months.

There are many other things that can come up in the course of preparing for an IVF cycle, which may cause a delay. Just a few examples include:

  • Having an ovarian cyst that needs a cycle or two to go away
  • Needing to be on birth control pills for a month or two
  • Getting your period late or skipping a period
  • Having an infection that needs to be treated
  • Unexpectedly needing to select donor sperm or eggs
  • Meeting insurance requirements and obtaining authorizations if you are lucky enough to have fertility benefits
  • Having additional questions or not feeling ready to proceed

Sometimes, delays can happen due to unforeseen or unpredictable circumstances. While these delays can be understandably frustrating, it’s important to remember that the goal is a healthy and happy pregnancy and delivery.  Starting early can help to minimize frustration if/when delays come up.

Making a Plan

At your initial consultation with the doctor, make sure to have a discussion about your timeframe, including when you’d like to get started, the date by which you’d like to finish the cycle, and any other dates that might be problematic for you. Having the dates of your last few periods can also be helpful for future cycle planning.

Since you may need to have time- or cycle day- sensitive testing, you may need to coordinate additional time off from work, even before the cycle begins. Ask your doctor about what can be expected before and during your cycle, and how much time you’ll need to take off. You might also ask whether the appointments can be scheduled before or after school hours.

Another consideration is the timing of your embryo transfer.  Doing IVF and freezing your embryos allows you some control over when your transfer will be, therefore controlling (to a certain extent) when you will deliver.  If your desire is to deliver during the summer months, you should aim to do your embryo transfer in September or October.  Doing your transfer just before heading back to school in late August would result in delivering sometime in May.

IVF Cycle During the School Year

If you decide that you’d rather not wait until summer for your cycle, no problem!  There are many teachers who go through infertility treatment during the school year. You may need to work with your employer so that you can get the time off you’ll need. Much of the required testing prior to the start of your IVF cycle can be done in the late afternoons after school.  Once you are in-cycle, you will have a period of approximately two weeks where you will be required to come to the clinic for blood testing and ultrasounds to monitor your cycle.  These appointments are done in the mornings prior to 10 am so that blood results can be back the same day to allow your physician to make any necessary medication dosage adjustments.

You will need a full day off the day of your egg retrieval.

It would be ideal to be able to plan for that day off specifically, however, the timing of your egg retrieval is based on your bodies response to the medication.  You will have an approximate date range but will not know until about 36 hours in advance when your retrieval will be.  The date for your embryo transfer is usually set a few weeks in advance, making it easier to schedule a sub in advance.  It is not required to take the entire day off on the day of your transfer as there is no anesthetic used for the procedure and the appointment should not be more than an hour to an hour and a half. Planning ahead for missed lessons can help to make time-off less stressful.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to get started, or start planning for your summer cycle, get in touch with us today to book an appointment with one of our doctors!

The Aspire Fertility family in participating in the Walk of Hope events in both Dallas and Houston. Below is information on each event if you would like to join us in the walk or contribute to our fundraising:

Walk of Hope Houston

  • Sunday, April 22 at 8am
  • Sugarland Town Square, Houston TX

Walk of Hope Dallas

  • Saturday, April 28th at 9am
  • Addison Circle Park, Dallas TX – around the corner from the clinic.

 

 

Both walks coincide with National Infertility Awareness Week from April 22-28. Learn more about NIAW.

 

 

 

“We are one in 8 – That’s why Aspire Fertility was born.” – TJ Farnsworth

To learn more about Aspire’s Practice, contact or visit one of our locations below: