Each month I like to feature one of my clients that is making a difference in society but one client in particular Katie O’Connor of ShineFertility.org has really touched my life personally so I felt compelled to write about her and her company.
Katie O’Connor runs an infertility support group in Chicago called Shine Fertility and she was a client that in our opinion came to us just in the nick of time as we started one of the most difficult journeys of our lives together a battle with PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Having kids was the last thing on my husband and I’s mind 10 years ago when we 1st met. I was finishing school and we were both working hard to pay for it. We did not think that fertility would be an issue because of a daughter conceived during my husband’s previous marriage but 5 years later we were sitting in a fertility doctor’s office discussing our options. To go through almost 3 years of IVF procedures, one that resulted in an ectopic, another that resulted in a frozen embryo and the 3rd resulting in a negative pregnancy was heartbreaking for both of us.
I broke down with every disappointing result and I often felt helpless. I am an online marketing consultant and after our 1st cycle failed we received a call from Katie looking for help for her site ShineFertility.org. Before taking on her site as a new project I decided to get a feel for what she does by going to one of the meetings she has. To my husband and I fertility had been our silent struggle but at these meetings we learned not to be ashamed because there were many more people like us. The support was overwhelming and the ability to be able to email Katie throughout the process of each of her cycles with questions helped her to make each loss a little more bearable.
We now openly talk about our infertility struggles because we realize we are one of the 1 in 6 couples, totaling 7 million people who experience fertility issues.
According to the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination a couple is considered infertile if they are unable to conceive a child within six months of unprotected sexual intercourse. There are many reasons this may happen. Such factors may affect either the male or the female, or both partners.
Causes of Male Infertility
There are several factors that are recognized as male infertility, chief among them is sperm production. An infertile male may be producing very little sperm cells or very sperm cells with low mobility, can be affected by underlying diseases or medical conditions such as endocrine problems, diabetes or drug and alcohol-related problems, which hinder the production of hormones necessary for sperm production.
Although without empirical scientific study, researchers have pointed out that Obese Men tend to reduce physical activity and which can decrease testosterone. Bad nutritional habits, stress, junk food and other factors contribute day after day to a dramatic explosion of obesity and obesity can have negative impacts on the sexual life and on the sperm quality.
Some men have problems with their reproductive organs, such conditions include Klinefelter’s syndrome, testicular trauma, mumps and several others. Other men might be able to produce healthy sperm but are unable to releasing them during intercourse or their exists an obstruction in the tube that connects the testicles to the penis, infection, retrograde ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and hypospadias. These conditions bear a direct effect on the testicles themselves and may hinder healthy sperm production which prevents the successful transfer of sperm to the female reproductive system.
Causes of Female Infertility
Women might have problems with the production of healthy eggs, can commonly suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, luteal dysfunction, diminished ovarian reserve, Turner syndrome, anovulation, ovarian neoplasm and premature menopause. All of which hinder the healthy production, growth and release of eggs.
They can also be suffering from other conditions that affect their reproductive health; including diabetes, adrenal disease, liver or kidney issues, thyroid disorders and psychological problems.
Glandular issues can also impede production of needed hormones for reproduction or they can be among the low percentile of people who must deal with Kallmann syndrome, hypothalamic dysfunction, hypopituitarism and hyperprolactinemia.
Fortunately, modern medicine has provided parents with dependable treatments for both male and female infertility. Some issues are fixed as simple as getting the sperm to the egg, while others require long term treatment such as the 3 IVF cycles I had to go through.
As we go through our next cycle, a frozen embryo transfer cycle we now know we’re not alone and if you’re going through the same issues know that you’re not alone.