A Guide To Pregnancy Options And Fertility Alternatives With Dr. Jessie Rubin
Having children is a lifelong dream for many women. For some, they see it as their purpose and calling in life. However, pregnancy is not something that comes easy for all women. The journey looks different for every individual, and various factors affect how it goes. Fortunately, there are various pregnancy options for women who are having a hard time getting pregnant naturally. And these alternatives are all valid ways to build a family.
In this episode, Dr. Jessie Rubin joins us to talk about fertility struggles and pregnancy options. She discusses the process of IVF, how to optimize its success, and its cost. She also touches on the different treatments and options for female and male infertility. Dr. Jessie then lays down some critical tips in optimizing women’s chances of pregnancy. She imparts how to make the initial consult and the importance of seeing a fertility specialist.
Tune in to this episode to learn the different alternatives for natural pregnancy.
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Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Understand the different processes of infertility treatment.
- Learn why both female and male fertility testing are critical in the pregnancy journey.
- Find out how to optimize women’s chances of getting pregnant.
Reason for Increasing Women’s Fertility Struggles
- Women are delaying when to have children. They make sure we feel professionally, personally, and spiritually ready before deciding to have children.
- Women are becoming more open and vocal about their fertility journey.
- It used to be taboo to talk about fertility struggles. But now, it’s becoming a common thing to talk about.
Pregnant at 35 or Geriatric
- There’s a notion that women need to have kids before 35. Otherwise, they will be considered geriatric.
- Reaching 35 increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and pregnancy complications.
- Health is more critical in increasing the chance of a successful pregnancy at any age.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- IVF is an excellent option for women struggling with natural pregnancy or who have a fallopian tube problem.
- One branch of IVF is freezing eggs and doing fertility preservation.
- The IVF process takes about two weeks. It involves taking medication to have the body get overstimulated and grow more than one egg.
- Egg retrieval happens after two weeks of daily medication.
- The process only involves around three to four doctor’s visits. It’s often a successful option depending on a woman’s personal fertility journey.
- Embryo banking involves doing multiple IVF cycles in a row.
- An embryo is a fertilized egg.
- Many women in their mid to late-30s who want to have multiple children take part in this process.
- We also refer to the fertilized eggs collected in this process as “embryos for the future.”
Optimizing IVF Success
- It becomes hard to be successful with IVF as women get older.
- Changes in both the health and number of eggs start in the mid-30s.
- IVF becomes a challenge for women in their early 40s because of the diminishing egg number and quality.
- It’s best to make an appointment with a fertility doctor for assessment sooner rather than later.
IVF Cycle Success Rate
- Younger women are more likely to undergo fewer IVF cycles and find success.
- Ovarian reserve involves undergoing blood tests and ultrasound to check for the egg count.
- The higher the egg count is, the better.
- Not everybody’s IVF journey is the same. The individual woman and the results of their partner’s screening are matters of consideration.
Male Fertility Testing
- Men’s fertility doesn't get affected as much as women get by age. However, reaching the age of 45 may show some increased risk for future offspring.
- About 20 to 25% of infertility cases involve a male factor component.
- It’s crucial to have the male partner assessed as well from the initial visit.
- Men can make sperm every couple of months. However, it also takes some time to treat abnormalities once they get detected.
Options for Male Infertility
- The treatment can include taking multivitamins, hormone medication, and surgery like a testicular biopsy to extract sperm.
- The field of male infertility has developed significantly over the last years.
- Men doing semen analysis is just as important as women doing fertility testing.
Initial Steps for Women’s Infertility Treatment
- Fertility assessment becomes necessary for women under 35 who have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.
- There’s a 20% chance to get pregnant every month if everything’s healthy and normal.
- Doctors recommend doing a fertility evaluation for women in their mid-30s who have been trying for six months.
- Fallopian tube issues, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and irregular menstrual cycles should be addressed by a fertility doctor.
How to Optimize Women’s Chance of Pregnancy
- Know whether you fit under normal parameters or infertility.
- Check with a fertility doctor for baseline testing if there's anything you're worried about.
- Make sure to take prenatal vitamins and lead a healthy lifestyle.
- Pregnancy puts stress on the body. Being healthy helps ensure a successful and uncomplicated pregnancy and postpartum course.
Options for Women with Low Egg Count
- Having very low egg counts can mean not growing enough eggs for a successful IVF cycle.
- The first option is to try and see how you will respond with IVF.
- Another option is taking oral medications and combining them with insemination. It tries to get you to grow only two or three eggs.
- The third alternative is donor egg therapy or treatment. It involves using eggs from a woman donor who’s typically in her 20s.
- Women can purchase donor eggs, fertilize them with a partner donor sperm, and carry on with the pregnancy. It works for women of different ages.
Fertility Treatment Financial Options
- Jessie's clinic Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA) is part of the Prelude Fertility Network.
- The Prelude Fertility Network offers discounted rates for egg freezing ranging from $9000 to $11,000 per cycle.
- RBA also offers discounted rates for multiple IVF cycle packages.
- Patients can also apply for loan programs and other financing options.
- There are many fertility treatment grants for women diagnosed with cancer.
How Dr. Jessie Became a Fertility Specialist
- Jessie wanted to be a physician from a young age. She came from a family of doctors.
- She used to joke that she doesn’t want to be an OB-GYN because she doesn’t want to deal with hormonal women.
- She immediately realized it was where she wanted to be during her infertility rotation during medical school.
- Her job is to figure out how to take the stress off the patient's journey and get them pregnant. Tune in to the full episode to hear more about Dr. Jessie's job!
- She doesn’t feel she’s working because she’s having fun helping women create babies.
5 Powerful Quotes
[19:32] “Remember that even though there are traditional statistics of how women's egg number declines with time, not everybody is exactly like the statistic.”
[20:02] "I think the biggest message overall is although it can be really intimidating to sit down with a fertility doctor and hear what might be wrong, or what might not be a normal result, it's really helpful because there's a lot of different options that are out there."
[29:08] “While it's such a hard journey, I think it's really called a journey for a reason because for most women, it's not an easy thing. And there are bumps along the way but most of the time we are able to achieve that success at the end..”
[33:50] “The universe works for us and not against us. And I think we see that by looking around in the world, in the environment, all the support of friends and family, especially for people going through fertility journeys.”
[34:00] “We don't operate as independent beings, I think we are so shaped by the environment we were raised in and the community that's around us.”
About Dr. Jessie
Dr. Jessica Rubin is a board-certified Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialist and Reproductive Endocrinologist. Dr. Jessie's clinical interests include fertility preservation, in vitro fertilization, third-party reproduction, PCOS, and diminished ovarian reserve. Furthermore, she focuses on fertility preservation for women undergoing cancer therapy.
Dr. Jessie is known as a passionate patient advocate providing an individualized approach to fertility medicine. She has received several awards for her scholastic achievements and research endeavors. She has also co-authored book chapters on ways to preserve fertility for cancer patients.
If you wish to connect with Dr. Jessie, you may visit Reproductive Biology Associates.
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