The Western Fertility Institute at Men Having Babies in San Francisco
The Western Fertility Institute and the WFI Research had an amazing experience at the Men Having Babies’ Conference in San Francisco. The Conference was organized over two days: on January 13th and 14th.
On Saturday, before the beginning of the conference, the staff met an Australian couple. WFI helped them to complete their family. The couple has two little daughters, and one of them was very little, she was just born 6 days before.
An interesting panel opened the Conference on Saturday: “Is surrogacy right for you? Overview and personal stories”. It was divided in two sections: during the first section, two fathers and two surrogates discussed their journey; during the second one, a surrogate’s daughter and a gay couples’ daughter, discussed their story as well the beauty of their lives. It was fascinating for the WFI team to listen to their point of view, as well as all the other families, fathers, surrogates and children. This moment was also a huge opportunity for all the intended fathers who were attending the conference: it is quite different to listen to a story of surrogacy directly from people who have lived these kinds of experiences. Indeed, at the end of the panel, some IFs had asked questions regarding how to manage the relationship between parties.
Likewise, the second panel was quite amazing too: “A mindful look at surrogacy – Attitudes and Ethics”. Ron Poole-Dayan, surrogacy father and Executive Director of MHB, was the panelist of this section. The panelists discussed about the concerns about exploitation and commodification in surrogacy and on the experiences of surrogates. They highlighted that surrogacy cannot be considered as a simply transaction, because it involves emotions and feelings from all the people involved in the journey.
The common thread of the panel was the ethics: Ron suggested to have a look on the document entitled, “A Framework for Ethical Surrogacy for Intended Parents” visible on http://www.menhavingbabies.org/advocacy/ethical-surrogacy/
Which are the “best practices” to assume during the surrogacy’s journey? And indeed, at the end of this section, our Researcher Dr. Corinna S. Guerzoni presented her research “The Surrogacy Pathways: An Anthropological Analysis”. All too often, we wait for others to forward our cause. We forget that it is our responsibility to advance our own culture and ideas that are important to us. It is our responsibility to be able to tell the world about what kind of experience it is for the intended parents, for the surrogates. This is why the Western Fertility Institute created the WFI Research, because it is keenly interested in surrogacy from all view points, medical, clinical, relational and socio-cultural. You can follow her work on https://wfiresearch.org/
After dinner, the organizers projected a surrogacy movie “Baby Steps”. The Director and star of the movie presented and commented on it. It has showed the potential risks on Surrogacy as transactions, how it is performed in other countries.
On Sunday the 14th, the conference started with a medical section: “Medical Aspects of Surrogacy”. Dr. Kumar had a speech, “From Sperm to Life”, in which he presented how the sperm is treated after the collection, which analysis are performed on the semen, and the difference between fresh and frozen cycle. After lunch, it occurred the EXPO Parenting itself; our staff was there to answer all the questions of the Intended Fathers.
The WFI loves to be part of this great connection with Men Having Babies. The Conference was an opportunity for several reasons. It was an occasion to meet other colleagues who work in the same field; having the possibility to share the clinical knowledge on Surrogacy with them. It was also an opportunity to listen to different IVF and patients’ experiences. This experience has been exciting and it was amazing to see all that energy only in one place.
Every information we collected is important for the Western Fertility Institute. The stories heard from intended fathers, surrogates and egg donors allow us to reflect on the path we observe daily; especially, on the difficulties of the route, on the importance of intertwining relationships between all the parties involved in the path, on the need to create a fertile environment in which to welcome the life experiences of men and women who undertake these paths. We will work hard to improve our practices and offer our patients the best care ever.
Thank You to Men Having Babies for having constructed such an amazing conference!
Learn More About Optimizing Natural Fertility
Diet and lifestyle: Moderate alcohol and moderate caffeine because they can have effect on your fertility.
Clinicians can provide some recommendations that can optimize the probability of achieving pregnancy. This paper is based on a consensus of expert opinions published on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (2017).
Firstly, what does fertility mean? Fertility is defined as the ability to produce a child. In general, it occurs in the first few months of unprotected intercourse. It has been estimated that 80% of couples conceive in the first 6 months of attempting pregnancy. In women in their 30s the fertility is decreased by about half compared with women in their 20s. The chance of conception decreases significative after 35s. Male fertility does not appear affected at the same age of the female, but there is definitely a decrease after 50s. The effects of age are more pronounced in women.
Now, what is infertility? Infertility is defined as a disease. It is a failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months (or more) or regular unprotected intercourse (or exposure to sperm).
Fertility window: is defined at the 6-day interval ending on the day of ovulation. To estimate the interval of maximum fertility there are several things people can do, like analysis of intermenstrual intervals, ovulation predictor kits or cervical mucus scores. It has been estimated that intercourse is most likely to result in pregnancy when it occurs within the 3 days, ending of the day of ovulation. Notice that, cycle fecundability increase with the frequency of intercourse during the fertile window.
Monitoring ovulation: cervical mucus provides a private index of when ovulation may be expected. The probability is highest when the mucus is slippery and clear (figure 4).
Coital practices: there are no scientific foundation that a woman who remains supine after the intercourse can increase the probability to achieve the pregnancy.