April 2016
EWSE Webinars

Did you miss an Every Woman Southeast webinar? All of our archived webinars can be found on our website here. 

Upcoming Event!
April 24-30, 2016 is National Infertility Awareness Week! This week is not only an opportunity to raise awareness, but also motivate all that are touched by infertility to commit to the cause. Help us spread the message, #StartAsking.
A Journey through Infertility 
A journey through infertility -- over terror's edge | Camille Preston | TEDxBeaconStreet
A journey through infertility -- over terror's edge | Camille Preston | TEDxBeaconStreet
In this TED Talk, Camille Preston, an executive coach, explains her tumultuous and isolating journey through infertility and IVF. Faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacles, she explains how failure and unimaginable sadness can lead to transformative perseverance and compassion.
Click here to view an infographic that explains infertility, its causes and contributors. 

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. 

Path2Parenthood (P2P) is an inclusive, national, not-for-profit organization committed to helping people create their families by providing leading-edge outreach programs and timely educational information. The scope of their work encompasses reproductive health, infertility prevention and treatment, and family-building options including adoption and third party solutions. 

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) is the primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of IVF, or assisted reproductive technology (ART). SART's mission is to establish and maintain standards for ART so that patients receive the highest possible level of care. This organization promotes and advances these standards to the benefit of patients, members, and society at large.

CDC's Division of Reproductive Health, in consultation with other governmental and non-governmental organizations, released the  National Public Health Action Plan for the Detection, Prevention, and Management of Infertility. It details the need to better understand population-level issues that contribute to and cause infertility and may affect the health of a pregnancy. Specifically, it focuses on promoting healthy behaviors that can maintain fertility, encouraging prevention, early detection, and treatment of conditions that can threaten fertility, and reducing exposure to contaminants that can harm fertility.
Understanding Infertility
If getting pregnant has been a challenge for you and your partner, you're not alone. Infertility affects approximately 10% of the population. Since infertility impacts people from all socioeconomic levels, races, ethnicities, and religions, chances are great that a friend, relative, or neighbor is attempting to cope with the medical and emotional aspects of this issue.

What is Infertility?
Before discussing infertility, we must note that pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps. To get pregnant, a woman's body must release an egg from one of her ovaries, a man's sperm must fertilize the egg along the way, the fertilized egg must travel through a fallopian tube toward the uterus, and the fertilized egg must implant inside the uterus. 

Infertility may result from a problem with any or several of these steps. In general, infertility is a condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and is under 35 years of age. If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.

What Causes Infertility?
Infertility is often thought of as a women's issue; however, approximately 30% of infertility is due to a female factor and 30% is due to a male factor. In the remaining cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause simply cannot be explained.

In men, infertility may be caused by varicoceles, a condition in which the veins on a man's testicles are large and cause them to overheat, affecting the number or shape of the sperm. Additionally, medical conditions or exposures such as diabetes, trauma, infection, or chemotherapy/radiation treatment; unhealthy habits such as heavy alcohol use or smoking; and environmental toxins such as pesticides and lead all contribute to male infertility.

Among women, the most common causes of infertility include problems with ovulation, damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus, or problems with the cervix. Age can contribute to infertility because as a woman ages, her fertility naturally tends to decrease: her ovaries become less able to release eggs, she has fewer eggs left, her eggs are not as healthy, she is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems, and she is more likely to have a miscarriage. Smoking or excessive alcohol use, or experiencing extreme weight gain/loss or excessive physical or emotional stress also contribute to this condition.

How is Infertility Treated?
Infertility can be treated with medication; minor surgery to remove blockage or scar tissues from the fallopian tubes, uterus, or pelvic area; intra-uterine insemination; or assisted reproductive technology, though many times these treatments are combined. Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility based on the factors contributing to the infertility, including its duration, a woman's age, and a couple's treatment preference after counseling about success rates, risks, and benefits of each treatment option.
Infertility Resources

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. In August 2015, RESOLVE released their 3rd annual State Fertility Scorecard. This scorecard evaluates states based on the number of peer-led RESOLVE infertility support groups, the number of fertility doctors at accredited clinics, the number of women in the state who experienced impaired fecundity, and state insurance mandates (or lack thereof).

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which in turn can lead to infertility. The National Chlamydia Coalition (NCC) addresses the high burden of chlamydia by promoting equal access to comprehensive and quality health services. Coalition members are working together to educate, translate research findings, and develop and promote policies that ensure access to chlamydia screening and treatment for all populations. On their Sexual Health Resource Exchange, you can search and download customizable public awareness and education materials and share your resources.

States Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (SMART) is a collaborative project between CDC's Division of Reproductive Health and state health departments in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Its purpose is to establish, evaluate, improve, and promote state-based surveillance of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), infertility, and related activities. This surveillance can be used to monitor and study maternal and infant health outcomes related to ART. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has a fact sheet providing additional information about the SMART Collaborative.
New Blog Post!

Jennifer "Jay" Palumbo is a Writer, Infertility Advocate, Author of the blog, 'The 2 Week Wait,' the Director of Patient Care at Fertility Authority, and a Proud IVF Mom. In her story, Coming Out of the Infertility Closet to HAVEABABY, she talks about the "The Infertility Closet" -- the decision to either hide or come out when you struggle to conceive.

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