There comes a time in a Doll’s life when the notion of starting a family becomes a reality. Oooooh the F word! It’s not what you’re thinking…. Well, sort of. Fertility. This exciting time comes with a flurry of excitement, anticipation, and confusion. Caitlin and Danielle were fortunate enough to have brunch (hosted by CCRM, a leading pioneer in fertility science, research and advancement) with a group of Chicago Dolls and an expert on the subject, Dr. Laxmi Kondapalli to discuss fertility, fertility treatment, family planning and more. Things got real.
Since 1 in 8 couples are impacted by infertility, we decided it was time to learn all we can to help normalize the conversation and share with you the options we learned and believe. #LetsTalkFertility
CCRM is encouraging people to speak more openly about infertility. Because it’s an issue that affects men and women equally, CCRM wants to remove the negative stigmas and barriers that stand in the way of prospective parents and help people feel comfortable opening up about fertility and family planning.
Trying to conceive is a very exciting time, but we quickly have found out that one size does not fit all. There are so many things that have to go right in order to conceive naturally – it really is the miracle of life. We wish all Dolls everywhere started their families the good ole’ fashion way, but there are many reasons why this isn’t the case.
Dr. Kondapalli works out of Denver at CCRM . Although CCRM does not have a facility in Chicago, more fertility specialists in Chicago refer to CCRM in Denver than any other facility. We met in Chicago at the super instagrammable spot, Hampton Social with our questions in hand.
Here’s what we’ve learned.
Infertility is diagnosed if you are under the age of 35 and tracked your cycle for one year trying to get pregnant, this has to take place during your ovulation window of your monthly cycle. If you are over 35, the window shortens to six months.
Oh how the tables have turned. Haven’t we all had those moments when we think back on how we have tried to avoid pregnancy? Now in our child bearing years, we are all learning it may not be that simple.
Here’s where to start:
Know your cycle schedule! Some women have 28-day cycles while others may have a 21-day cycle or a 35-day cycle. Your cycle length may change overtime due to age and hormonal fluctuations.
Ovulation happens 14 days before your period starts and you have three days of being fertile. This isn’t a lot of time so you’ve got to get busy…(wink)! Usually the 12th, 13th and 14th days is when it happens. If you’re on a 35-day cycle, you’ve got to get busy on the 19th, 20th and 21st days of your cycle.
Here are some ways to track your cycle at home:
1) Take your BBT – Your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is the lowest body temperature attained during sleep. You can measure your BBT by taking your temperature immediately after waking up – before you brush your teeth, before you check your phone, before your feet even hit the floor. Keep your thermometer next to your bed to record your temperature and then log it.
Ovulation may cause a slight increase in basal body temperature.
You’ll be most fertile during the two to three days before your temperature rises. By tracking your basal body temperature each day, you may be able to predict when you’ll ovulate. In turn, this may help you determine when you’re most likely to conceive.
2) Take home ovulation tests – Ovulation tests are used to determine your fertile days so you can maximize your efforts in trying to conceive. These tests detect a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which occurs a day or two before ovulation. This can be helpful to know when determining the best time to get it on.
Keep Track! There are a few great apps that you can keep on your phone to help organize all this data. We like Flo and Ovia.
If you’ve tried the above methods and you’ve reached a standstill, we recommend seeing a fertility specialist like CCRM .
What you can expect at your first visit:
A fertility assessment – You and one of CCRM’s team of award-wining physicians such as Dr. Kondapalli will discuss your health history and will perform some testing. After the results are in, they will literally draw you a plan. We are talking a legit map of what is going on with your fertility, the work that needs to be done in order to conceive and the treatment plan of how to get there. You can even frame it and hang it in the nursery!
IVF: Your eggs are extracted and prepped for pregnancy outside the body, combining your partner’s sperm with your egg. The fertilized embryo is then placed back in your body, hoping to create a successful pregnancy. Read the full process here: https://www.ccrmivf.com/services/ivf-fertilization/
On the other end of the spectrum there are Dolls who one day want a family but aren’t ready to have a family due to career, dating life and timing. For fertile women, your 20’s and 30’s are a fantastic age to freeze them to use later on when you are ready. Here’s what you should know about freezing your eggs:
We are born with a set amount of eggs and everything we are exposed to on a daily basis plays a role in the life of our eggs. What we understand is you inject yourself with hormones to amp up your egg production and have a procedure performed to extract the eggs. They are stored at the clinic until you are ready to use them. This way you can go on your merry way not worrying about your biological clock ticking. Read more here: https://www.ccrmivf.com/services/elective-egg-freezing/
You can check with your insurance to see what will be covered and what is not covered. CCRM also offers financing options.
The most important take away is that like most other things in life, although you have this desire to be in a certain place in your journey, you still need to relax and have fun with where you are at… Keep trying to conceive and if after a year you are still not pregnant, reach out to CCRM. They’ve worked many miracles! CCRM’s industry-leading approach to fertility research and treatment offers prospective parents the fastest path to the healthiest baby. CCRM offers a full suite of fertility services, innovative technology, and cutting-edge labs. It specializes in the most advanced fertility treatments, with deep expertise with in vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility assessment, fertility preservation, genetic testing, third party reproduction, and egg donation.
There are so many great options and ways to achieve the life you deserve.
Do you have a fertility story? Leave a comment below or send us an email! We would love to chat with you.