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How’s Your Fertility IQ?

Written on April 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm , by

(Image courtesy of MERCK)

Happy news today in the celebrity world: After years of dealing with fertility issues, Giuliana and Bill Rancic will soon be parents with the help to a surrogate! It’s also National Infertility Awareness Week, a good time to brush up on fertility facts—especially if you’ve got baby making on the brain. See the larger version of this infographic. –>

This item from the April issue of FITNESS answers a key question a lot of women have.

Q “I’m trying to get pregnant. How long should I wait before seeing a specialist?”

A One year if you’re under 35, six months if you’re 35 or older or not having regular menstrual cycles. “Ninety percent of fertile couples will be pregnant within 12 months if they stop using birth control and have sex whenever they want,” says William Schoolcraft, M.D., author of If at First You Don’t Conceive. “If it doesn’t happen within a year, that’s a clue something is up.” Time is the biggest enemy: “After 35, there’s a tick downward in egg quality every six to 12 months,” Dr. Schoolcraft says. So don’t wait too long. Ninety-one percent of couples seeing a fertility specialist say they wish they had gone to one sooner, according to a recent survey.

Merck conducted the survey mentioned. The company recently teamed up with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and today launched fertilityguide.com, as part of their It’s Just a Conversation campaign to get couples talking about infertility. Visit the site to take a fertility knowledge quiz, find a fertility specialist in your area and download a checklist of questions to ask your doctor.

More from FITNESS:

Endometriosis Awareness: Those Crazy Cramps Aren’t Normal

Written on March 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm , by

susan sarandon, tamer seckin, padma lakshmi

Susan Sarandon, Dr. Tamer Seckin, and Padma Lakshmi

“Don’t accept it as natural,” actress Susan Sarandon firmly told a crowd of Endometriosis Foundation of America supporters last week, referring to intense pain from severe cramps. “It is not okay.”

A lot of us have come to accept certain things about being a woman. (These high heels hurt! Why are my breasts itchy? I have a serious chocolate craving.) But when it comes to endometriosis, a disease that affects 1 in 10 women, accepting discomfort is what needs to not happen. The organization mentioned above, founded by Dr. Tamer Seckin and the stunning “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshi, is trying to change that. Its goal is to educate young women about endo and help those who have it.

At the foundation’s 3rd Annual Blossom Ball, I had the chance to listen to how both Padma and Susan suffered from endometriosis, a debilitating and incurable disease that can be managed and treated if caught early. But because its symptoms are the kinds of signs that most women would rather keep a secret—painful sex, gas-y period cycles, insane menstrual cramps that leave you in bed for days—endo goes an average of 10 years without being diagnosed. TEN. YEARS. OF. PAIN. To top it all off, it can also result in infertility.

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get clinical with what else I learned during Endometriosis Awareness Month. In short, endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue in your uterus lining wanders outside your uterus…and then grows and can spread and cause problems throughout your body. There is no actual cause or reason for why a woman gets endo. Although, she’s seven times more likely to have it if her mother did. Something else important to know: It’s not uncommon for endo to occur when you’re a teenager. So if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “My period is really awful, but it’s been this way my whole life,” then  you should talk to your doctor, stat.
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