Monday, May 14, 2007

Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor deals

Clearblue easy fertility monitor dealsThere are some very good deals on the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor up on eBay. List price of this product is $200 and it goes for around $150 at Amazon. But a new in box Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor can be had for around $50 on eBay. There seem to be new auctions regularly so if you miss this one there are more.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sometimes better off without fertility treatment

I stumbled across an article from last July on that talks about a study done in the Netherlands that showed that in many cases women's chance of conceiving is higher when they don't receive fertility treatment. The researchers said that identifying that group of women is possible and should be common practice.

Couples who don't get pregnant right away sometimes rush to the fertility doctor for help. But in their study of 253 couples over six months the researchers found a higher rate of pregancy in the untreated couples. They use an established predictive model to identify those women who have a good chance of becoming pregnant by allowing just a little more time. Avoiding the expense and risk of multiple births with fertility treatment is beneficial result of this method.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

IVM with frozen eggs

IVM with frozen eggsIn vitro maturation (IVM) is the process of harvesting immature eggs and then maturing them in the laboratory. The potential advantage of IVM is that large doses of follicle stimulating hormone are not required as in traditional IVF where the desire is to collect a large number of mature eggs. Lower doses of hormone means a safer and less expensive procedure.

Researchers at McGill Reproductive Centre in Montreal, Canada claim to have successfully combined IVM with egg freezing. They collected immature eggs, matured them in the laboratory, then froze them for two months. After thawing they were fertilized and a successful pregnancy and birth resulted. The center claims this is the first time the combination of IVM and frozen eggs has been successfully demonstrated.

The details of the success are described in a story at There is another interesting data point in that story, which is that in Korea, where natural cycle and IVM have long been pursued, doctors collect one mature egg that has ripened naturally and three to five immature ones that undergo IVM in the lab. They report success rates around 43% which is as good as standard IVF where large numbers of mature eggs are stimulated, collected and fertilized.

The story also says that about 1,000 babies have been born of IVM worldwide. That's the first time I've seen that statistic. The success rate of IVM is also stated as around 20 percent compared to standard IVF at 50 to 60 percent, according to the story. There is that 60 percent success rate number again. I still haven't seen any solid numbers from fertility centers that back up that claim. I've see a number in the 30 to 35 percent range - that is the probability of achieving a live birth from one round of IVF. Are they coming up with a success rate based on multiple rounds of IVF?

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Frozen eggs versus frozen embryos

Freezing eggsThe ethical question of what to do with the frozen embryos left over from IVF may become a non-issue if progress continues in the use of frozen eggs. Some fertility centers are reporting excellent results using eggs frozen after collection but prior to fertilization. West Coast Fertility Centers of Fountain Valley, California claim a 60% pregancy success rate utilizing frozen eggs. That's quite a claim, but that's what they say in this press release. Perhaps they are stacking the deck a little by using frozen eggs only in cases where all other success rate factors are very high.

Regardless, the good news is that a number of centers are using frozen eggs now and the practice could soon become standard, eliminating the ethical dilemma of frozen embryo disposal. There are also other advantages, such as facilitating the use of donor eggs since they can be collected and stored then used when a patient needs them.


Free fertility treatment push in Bahrain

A story comes from the Gulf Daily News of an initiative to make fertility treatment free in Bahrain for Bahraini couples. What is interesting about the story is the cost data points that were mentioned. They said the costs range between BD1,400 and BD1,600 for "regular cases" and BD3,000 to BD4,000 in "complicated" ones.

The current exchange rate is about 2.7 US dollars per Bahraini Dinar. So that would mean the regular procedures cost an average of about US$4,000 and complicated ones US$9,500. They didn't give specifics as to what procedures were being performed in the two groups of cases. If one were to assume they are talking about a standard cycle of IVF for the regular cases and a couple cycles or perhaps ICSI plus PGD for the complicated cases then the cost data is quite interesting, on par with costs in some of the fertility tourism destinations such as Thailand and India.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Maternity Card PPO offers savings

Maternity Card PPO offers savings

Maternity Card PPO is offering a program they say will save women as much as 60% off their maternity bills. They guarantee that customers will save money on
  • Doctor Visits
  • Hospital Stays
  • Lab Work
  • Sonograms
  • 24 Hour Counseling
  • 24 Hour Nurse Hotline
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Pre Natal Vitamins
  • Newborn Tests and checkups
  • Immunizations
  • Prescription Coverage
And they are backing up those promises with something they call their Certificate of Guarantee, stating that you will save at least the cost of your yearly membership or they will pay you the difference plus $200 and you get to keep the benefits for an additional 12 months free of charge.