Fertility education should be a fundamental part of pre-conception care, and the primary care of couples when they first report difficulty conceiving.
Bellingham, Washington (PRWEB) September 19, 2012
Many medical professionals encourage their patients to consider costly medical procedures like in-vitro fertilization to combat infertility issues, even before pre-conception education and more affordable natural supplementation, according to an Australian study published in the International Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Shockingly, researchers reported only 13 percent of the women seeking fertility assistance could correctly identify specific days of the menstrual cycle that they could become pregnant (the 4-5 days before and during ovulation). Unfortunately, 68 percent of the women surveyed believed they had accurately timed intercourse, leading to the conclusion that women need more fertility education.
In-vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is a costly Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedure where physicians manually fertilize an egg, combining the egg and sperm in a petri dish for fertilization. For a successful procedure, the embryo must be physically transferred into the uterus, a somewhat uncomfortable and invasive process.
In 2010, approximately 99,467 cycles of IVF were performed in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At roughly $12,000 per cycle, the U.S. spent approximately $1,193,604,000 on procedures that year. When the cost of prescription medications and other expenses are included, the estimated total cost of these procedures approaches $3 billion annually. With so much money up for grabs, its no wonder infertility clinics intensely advertise and incentivize their services to attract the attention of trying-to-conceive couples.
But is it always necessary for couples to endure the stress and expense that accompanies these treatments? In some cases, IVF may very well be a couple’s only chance at having a baby. But, in most cases, IVF should be viewed as a last resort due to its invasive nature and expense. In fact, the results of the Australian study suggest that poor fertility awareness could be a contributing cause of infertility. Perhaps we are too quick to push medical interventions on couples experiencing fertility issues.
“Accurately timed intercourse on fertile days of the menstrual cycle may reduce the time it takes a couple to get pregnant, helping some avoid unnecessary ART treatment,” said Kerry Hampton, principle investigator from Monash University’s Department of General Practice. “Fertility education should be a fundamental part of pre-conception care, and the primary care of couples when they first report difficulty conceiving.”
Increasing fertility awareness allows couples to accurately predict ovulation and time intercourse appropriately. Timing is critical. For conception to occur, sperm must be in the fallopian tubes the moment the egg is released from the ovary. Sperm can only survive for five to seven days in the female reproductive tract, so a woman is only "fertile" for a short window of time each month. Couples must plan to have intercourse during the 4 – 5 days prior to ovulation to maximize their chances of conceiving.
As the leading provider of doctor-designed, non-prescription products to help couples conceive, Fairhaven Health agrees that fertility awareness is paramount to achieving pregnancy naturally.
“We take calls each and every day from women who are having difficulty conceiving, yet they know very little about their own cycles,” said Ethan Lynette, a partner with Fairhaven Health. “When we take the time to explain their 'fertile window' and how best to predict ovulation, we see great results.”
Fertility awareness and menstrual cycle tracking can also help women identify potential fertility issues, including whether or not they are actually ovulating. Conception can be difficult, if not impossible, for women with irregular cycles or ovulatory issues. Fairhaven Health offers tools that can help predict ovulation, as well as natural supplements to help promote hormonal balance and ensure cycle regularity like FertilAid for Women - a top-selling fertility supplement since 2002.
Tracey Morgan-Downey took FertilAid for Women after three failed intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatments and two failed IVF treatments. Tracey and her husband had been trying-to-conceive for almost 16 years, and they were ready to try something new.
“I was waiting two months before I could try my next IVF cycle,” Morgan-Downey said. “I heard about FertilAid for Women, so I decided to try it. I bought a one-month supply for my husband and I, and we started taking it. Twenty-seven pills into my month supply, I went in for my regular OBGYN yearly check up and told her all my troubles of getting pregnant. She asked me when my next menstrual period was due and I told her that it was due now. So she took a pregnancy test and to my surprise it was positive. I couldn't believe it!”
Fairhaven Health said they have collected hundreds of similar customer testimonials from people who have used their products. Physicians prematurely said IVF or other ART procedures were the couple’s only chance in conceiving, but many couples ultimately conceived naturally.
About Fairhaven Health
Fairhaven Health manufactures safe, natural, doctor-designed products to promote fertility, pregnancy, and nursing health. They provide ovulation prediction tools, fertility supplements, prenatal vitamins and breastfeeding support with all U.S. manufacturing governed by strict Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations overseen by the Food and Drug Administration. Distribution partners include hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, specialty retail stores and online retailers such as CVS.com, drugstore.com and walgreens.com.