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  1. In IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a common infertility procedure performed by a RE or OB/GYN and is scheduled for women with PCOS (and women with other fertility issues) after a heavily medicated cycle (Clomid/Femara and injectable medications). Tests are performed prior to the IUI to insure the patient has at least one, if not more, mature follicles (ultrasounds and estradiol levels as mentioned in the previous posts). The IUI is often used when a patient has clearly had mature follicles but still is unable to get pregnant. It is a good way to "bypass" a hostile inner environment and/or hostile cervical mucus. Prior to the procedure, your husband will be instructed to visit the lab and provide a semen sample. The lab will then take this sample and put it through the "washing" protocol. After the semen is washed, it is brougt to your exam room. The doctor starts with inserting a speculum, just like in your annual exam. Then using water or a sperm friendly lubricant like PreSeed, the doctor inserts a very thin and flexible catheter in the cervix. Washed sperm (Sperm washing allows your husband's sperm a higher chance of survival and fertilization. Washing separates sperm cells from semen, which helps get rid of dead or slow-moving sperm and chemicals that may impair fertilization) is then injected through that catheter and into the uterus. IUI's are usually performed around 24 hours after your HCG trigger injection, prior to ovulation, so that the sperm are in the uterus, waiting for the egg. The process is actually quite short, maybe only a few minutes from start to finish. IUI's are not usually painful, you may experience some slight cramping (similar to the cramping felt during your period) both during and after the procedure. The only other discomfort most comment on is the discomfort of the speculum. After the procedure is completed, you will be instructed to lay flat on the exam table for 20-30 minute then you are given the ok to leave. Most doctors suggest you go home and rest for the remainder of the day, and it is a good idea. One of the most common questions is "will I have to lay down the rest of the day? Won't "it" leak out?" The answer is NO. The semen will not "leak" out because your cervix is completely closed. Some doctors will suggest you have intercourse following an IUI to insure you timed it correctly, and that there are some sperm there waiting for the egg. If your husbands sperm count is good, you can have intercourse every other day during your fertile period, and this, in theory, increases your chances of conception because you are insuring that one of those little guys catches that egg !! Just like any other cycle, you will be able to test for pregnancy 2 weeks after your ovulation date. IUI's are not the same as IVF. IVF is a very aggressive infertility procedure often performed when the previously mentioned protocols have not worked, or when suggested by an OB/GYN or RE if pre-existing conditions exist. An IUI is just another addition to the already detailed and busy medical protocol used to help women with PCOS conceive. Visit My Blog For More Information & Tips
  2. So you are finally pregnant after however many heart-wrenching soul-and-budget-destroying tries at IVF. Is it time to relax? To cut loose, feel normal again, to let your soon-to-be-luxuriant-thanks-to-pregnancy-hormones-hair down? Time to join all the other smug pregnants shopping at Egg and flaunting their bellies at every snatched opportunity? By all means feel free to try but there are those of us, who, after so much worry and hopelessness, find it hard to stop worrying and rid ourselves of the nagging spectre of doom. After the euphoria of the positive pregnancy test wears off a feeling of anxiety, even fear can replace it. Oh my God, how am I going to cope with twins/triplets/quads? What if after all this I miscarry? Will my baby/s be normal? Why am I thinking this stuff? Maybe part of the reason lies with the fact that an IVF pregnancy is illuminated at every step of the way. There’s barely a minute when you aren’t being tested for something and monitored for something else long before you even conceive and beyond, until the end of the first trimester. Firstly there’s all the blood screening tests then the drug screening tests, the ultrasounds, then when your baby is barely more than a four cell genetic (and oh so cute – looks like DH when he first wakes up) cluster you get to see it on a screen and it gets a rating. Meantime you are following its progress like you’re the paparazzi and it’s Paris Hilton. You’re obsessed with every detail, how many cells is it now, is it a Grade One or Two, how’s it doing? Is it transfer-worthy? Is it implantation worthy? How’s it doing? It’s only eight cells and you’re turning into an anxious parent mulling over its achievements. On the day of the transfer, you’re up at dawn, having not slept a wink. After the transfer you feel every little twinge, you don’t want to drive or make any sudden movement in case you dislodge it. You become constipated for fear of it falling out when you go to the toilet. You cross off not the days but the hours, the minutes, until the pregnancy test. No wonder, by the time you get it, you’re exhausted. Then there is the scan to wait for before it becomes an official positive. You get to see the tiny pole beating. Then, if you’re 35 or over you have the further abnormality testing to get through and another scan at the end of the first trimester. Meantime the non-fertility challenged woman has had sex, merrily gone on her way probably drinking and generally obliviously enjoying herself. At some stage she realized her period was late and peed on a stick. Oh, OK, I ‘m pregnant. A couple of months later she rocks up at the obstetrician’s office for her first appointment. So it’s little wonder the woman experiencing pregnancy after IVF may suffer higher anxiety levels than a non-fertility challenged woman and surprising that more of us don’t end up sedated. What do the statistics say? Is the IVF pregnancy less likely to succeed? Marginally. There is a higher rate of miscarriage although this is largely due to IVF being prevalent amongst those over 35, where the rates of miscarriage are higher anyway. There is a higher risk of premature birth but again this is so for multiple pregnancies or older women too. So there is nothing conclusive to say we should worry more but, I say, after all we’ve been through you can hardly blame us, can you? Visit My Blog for More Info & Tips
  3. The emotional roller coaster that a mother experiences before and after a miscarriage can never be described in words. From an emotional high with knowing that she is pregnant to a low of losing the baby, it can sometimes be too much to ask of a mother to try for another pregnancy again. Due to the emotional scarring that a woman experiences after a miscarriage, planning another pregnancy after miscarriage sometimes may not be an option. The experience may give rise to feelings of frustration and helplessness, and because miscarriage doesn't only leave a physical scar but an emotional some as well, some couples simply choose not to have another pregnancy after miscarriage. This is unfortunate as there have been countless couples who become successful after the second or third tries. Their willpower is indeed commendable, yet the hesitation of couples to take another chance is clearly understandable. How counseling can help Depending on the circumstances surrounding the miscarriage, it is true that some women are forever denied the chance to become pregnant again. But there are also other reasons for miscarriages which are avoidable. Counseling can help couples conquer their feelings of frustration and depression and address all the questions that they need answers to. While there may be some who would deem counseling unnecessary, these are people who are not professional mental health consultants and are thus not qualified to decide whether or not a couple considering pregnancy after miscarriage need counseling or not. Have a physical to prepare yourself for a pregnancy after miscarriage As mentioned earlier, there are cases when it becomes impossible to try for another pregnancy after miscarriage. Undergoing a hysterectomy simultaneous with the miscarriage, for instance, makes it impossible for a woman to conceive again, but there are still other options. If the miscarriage is due to other reasons which could easily be treated, it's best to have a physical checkup to know if your body is primed for your next planned pregnancy. A checkup for both you and your partner could give light on the possible causes of the miscarriage and could pave the way for appropriate treatment. One of the things to take into consideration is that the couple planning a pregnancy after miscarriage should make a few lifestyle changes as well. This increases the chances of making another attempt successful, and both the man and the woman must cooperate in this venture. As soon as a positive pregnancy comes up, it is advisable to take things easy and to avoid being strained at work. At this point, your foremost concern would be not just the health of the baby but your own well-being, too. Visit My Blog For More Pregnancy Info & Tips
  4. Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in the body. The signs of being pregnant are essentially the same yet, ironically, vary from woman to woman. Also, there are women who may experience some symptoms within a few days after conception, while others begin to experience and take notice of these signs a few weeks after conception. A lot of women are actually confused since a lot of the signs of being pregnant are very similar to the symptoms which signal the coming of menstruation. The only tangible yet often unnoticed difference would be higher body temperature in pregnant women. Perhaps the earliest sign of pregnancy is implantation bleeding which happens six to 12 days after conception. This occurs when the embryo embeds itself to the uterine wall, in which some women may experience spotting and cramping. A missed period is actually the most common pregnancy symptom. Although there are instances when women bleed even during pregnancy, bleeding is usually lighter or shorter than the usual menstruation. If there is any reason to believe that one is indeed pregnant, then a pregnancy test may be used a few days after the expected menstrual date when delayed. Another one of the earlier signs of pregnancy which may come as early as a week into pregnancy would be nausea and vomiting. A lot of women experience morning sickness although this does not necessarily connote feeling sick in the morning only, but may occur any time of the day, or for some even the entire day. Although the reason behind this is not known, it is helpful to eat small frequent meals throughout the day or eating crackers or corn flakes before rising in the morning. It is also helpful to eat an apple or to drink a glass of milk before going to bed to make it easier it the morning. As early as one to two weeks after conception, breasts may be very tender, swollen or sore. They may also be enlarged and the nipples start to darken in color. At around six to eight weeks, the pregnant woman may start taking more frequent trips to the bathroom to empty their bladders since the uterus puts more pressure into it. Major hormonal changes are also responsible for fatigue or tiredness during pregnancy due to the high temperature produced by increasing hCG levels which causes pregnant women to be sluggish. Pregnancy hormones are also responsible for slow bowel movement which may later on cause constipation. Being irritable is how the body copes with the many symptoms associated with pregnancy but may be handled by proper exercise and a healthy diet. Need More Pregnancy Information? Click Here To More Info & Tips
  5. If you and your spouse have been trying for a baby, you may wonder about the earliest signals that will announce a pregnancy. While some women experience early symptoms that indicate pregnancy, others suspect it only when they realize that they have missed their periods. For those impatient aspiring dads who can't wait longer to find out, here are the eight top early pregnancy symptoms that they should look out for: Darkening of the nipples Darkening of the nipples, or more precisely the skin around the nipples (called areola), could be one of the early pregnancy symptoms. However, it could also be a sign of hormonal imbalance, so hold on before you jump to the wrong conclusions. Odd food cravings A sudden and inexplicable craving for certain foods is another potential, though not always reliable, sign of pregnancy. So if you find your spouse midnight snacking on a chili cheeseburger for the nth time this week, you have good reason to keep your fingers crossed. Headache or dizzy spells Pregnancy will cause hormonal changes in your spouse's body that may lead to headaches. A sudden onset of headaches, especially if she never had them before, could be an early pregnancy symptom. Bouts of dizziness, due to a drop in her blood pressure, may be another early sign that she is expecting. Urge to urinate During pregnancy, your spouse's body will release the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that induces increased urination. Her frequent bathroom visits may actually be something to be happy about. Cranky moods Frequent mood swings and crankiness are yet another early pregnancy symptom, as you will soon find out. While this may not be the happiest part of the pregnancy where you are concerned, at least you can blame it on those raging hormones. Swollen breasts If your spouse complains that her breasts seem sore or tender when touched, that's another sign that you may soon become a dad. Nausea Nausea and vomiting, starting few weeks after conception or even earlier, may be one of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. The popular term "morning sickness" is a misnomer though, as the symptoms are felt pretty much throughout the day. Missed periods A missed period, especially if your spouse is generally regular with them, may be a very likely indication of pregnancy. However, only a pregnancy test will confirm this for sure. Check My Blog For More Pregnancy Info. Click Here To Check My Blog