Time to get real…
Four years of riding the infertility roller coaster was emotionally draining, IVF is no walk in the park and certainly not a quick route to having a baby. In full transparency, it was stressful, painful, time-consuming and worst of all: expensive – thanks in large part to our broken U.S. healthcare system. From a $20,000 miscarriage, to a failed egg retrieval (leaving us with no viable embryos). We hit rock bottom, but it was then that we made the promise that round three would be our last and final attempt at IVF. We invested ourselves metaphorically and literally, hoped on a plane to Colorado to visit the very best of the best fertility specialist there is and decided we would accept the outcome (whatever it would bring). And then, round after round (after round) it finally happened – we got our sticky embaby, I would go on to have an uneventful pregnancy and a healthy baby girl!
Do I regret undergoing multiple infertility treatments? Absolutely not! How could I? Thanks to the incredible team at CCRM, we have an amazing tiny human as a direct result of IVF, and for that I will be forever grateful to the miracle that is modern day medicine for giving us our daughter. But I also know that physically and mentally I’m simply not game to handle those highs and lows again. Which is why, when we decide to try for a second child, this time around I will be taking my fertility health into my own hands (without the assistance of In Vitro Fertilization).
Is our infertility really unexplained?
Our diagnosis, unexplained infertility, is frustratingly common. Approximately 1 in 4 fertility challenged couples will be told there is no explanation for why they can't conceive. By definition, it is a diagnosis of elimination . But unexplained infertility doesn't mean there are no options. Quite the opposite, there is a reason for hope!
Did you know that one of the biggest indicators of overall health is your fertility cycle?
By tracking your cycle, you can learn to tell the difference between what’s normal and what could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
Maybe you’re a little curious about what’s going on inside your body every month?
Maybe its time for you to take charge of your fertility?
Infertility can be caused a host of reasons (such as: ovulation issues, blocked fallopian tubes, congenital abnormalities, PCOS, uterine fibroids, or even age); unfortunately gaining a proper diagnosis can be costly. The good news is that science is available to change this paradigm. And on this note, I’m cautiously optimistic that I may not need to take a similar route again in order to conceive. For starters, having now carried a baby full-term, I know that my body is capable of creating and sustaining life; it may just need a little tuning in to some core hormonal issues. There are a variety of tools you can use to track your cycle. While mucus charting and taking basil body temperature changes are good methods, they haven’t exactly worked for me (and my inconsistent cycles) in the past.
Tracking your fertility
Luckily learning about my cycle has never been simpler, thanks to SmileReader More than just an ovulation predictor kit (a.k.a. LH test strips), SmileReader is an in-home fertility-tracking tool. Efficient and easy to use, it offers the ability to map everything out - capturing data trends, so you know your best chances for conception. This.Is.Incredible! Women can now gain more knowledge about their fertility cycles and possible imbalances, potentially cutting out the need for pricey doctor office visits and perhaps even IVF.
Just snap a photo of the ovulation test and let the SmileReader App take out the baby making guesswork. The best part... receiving a smiling baby on the screen when its go time! Also included are pregnancy test strips, which means no more questioning those second line squinters - the App determines your HcG level (a.k.a. positive pregnancy).
3 elements that determine a healthy cycle, to keep in mind while using the SmileReader App
Ovulation – if you are consistently experiencing very long or anovulatory cycles, it’s best to talk to your doctor and consider whether stress/exercise/diet are affecting your cycle. Surges in hormone levels don’t just ensure your fertility—they are also required for building and maintaining your bone, keeping your brain healthy for the long term, and keeping your skin, hair, and nails looking healthy and lustrous.
Luteal phase (lasting at least 10days between ovulation and your period) – under 10 days can make it difficult to get pregnant, since the uterine lining sheds before a fertilized egg is able to implant. Stress, age, being over- or underweight, and exercise can sometimes lead to a shortened luteal phase. Even if you’re not trying to conceive, the length of your luteal phase is still important, because it’s a good proxy for your progesterone levels. A short luteal phase is also a sign of low progesterone levels, which can have implications for bone health, among other things. Other signs of low progesterone include spotting during your luteal phase and low basal body temperatures during your luteal phase.
Menstruation – Heavy bleeding can be the result of a many reasons including polyps, endometriosis, fibroids, and even copper-containing IUDs. Whatever the cause, heavy bleeding can cause iron deficiency. Ask your doctor for a complete blood panel to test for anemia, and treat with iron supplementation, if necessary.