Congratulations on taking the first step to learning more about your fertility needs so you can get to parenthood as quickly as possible!  

My Fertilities are often like me- busy people who need things done correctly and quickly.  So, let's work fast to educate, empower, and produce successful results for you.  I also like to laugh a lot so expect humor sprinkled into my content.  I have no more shame after ten rounds of IVF. 

FIRST STEP, click above for the 5 fertility mistakes download, or read it below.

NEXT STEP, please schedule a FREE one-on-one with me.  We can make sure you are on the right track to getting pregnant naturally or with fertility treatments, and I will give you plenty of follow-up content that is customized for you.  

Thank you for becoming an FU Insider!  I look forward to getting to know you....and eventually meeting your new baby.  

xoxo,
Tasha
P.S. HERE is a little bit more about me.  And HERE is a video about the CRAZIEST thing I ever did to try and get pregnant.  Enjoy!



Fertility Mistake #1

Cut off your relationship with IUI.

If Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)  and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) were in high school.  IUI would be the super cute, tons of fun, popular girl that everyone loves and wants to be, while her older sister, IVF, is the awkward, still growing into her looks, nerdy one that just loves books, and no one wants to hang out with. 

Well, we have all seen the end of this story before.  IUI, the cute, popular one looks great from the outside, but inside she is a bit mean and two-faced.  She peaks in high school never studies to learn a trade hoping to just make it on her looks alone and doesn’t do much good with her life. 

IVF, however, continues to grow and evolve and eventually becomes so much more beautiful (inside and out) and successful than her younger sister. She is kind and helpful and ends up to be very, very successful. 

When I first heard that we were not able to do IUI and had to skip right to IVF, I was devastated.  IVF seemed so major and horrible.  I wanted to do IUI- so much easier. 
Well, now that I know the truth, I am so thankful I never had to do IUI. 

Yes, on the surface, IUI seems so much easier, more pleasant, and cheaper than IVF.  Once you look closer, you can see that it is not.  Plus, it has such a low success rate (last I heard was 8%) compared to IVF 30% national success rate with up to 60% success rate at most reputable clinics, that is just becomes an annoying, hope-crushing, time, money, energy, and mental health waster. 

I know, I am quite subtle when I feel strongly about something.  But, my goal is to help you get pregnant quickly, and I have seen way too many women get caught in the trap of IUI and end up too stuck to escape which leads them just to give up.  I do not want this to happen to anyone I know. 

Here is the truth about the popular girl, IUI:
1.) There is almost just as much work involved as with IVF.  Women still have to go to the same early morning monitoring appointments and tracking ovulation which is the bulk of the BS that goes with IVF. 

2.) The drugs are similar but worse. Women on IUI usually have to take the pill clomiphene citrate or Serophene (Clomid).  How nice to have to take a pill and not inject a drug.  Nope.   For all of my clients and myself, this drug caused the most adverse reactions with anger, agitation and constant headaches.  The IVF drugs that you inject,  however, typically do not cause any reactions at all. 

3.) No anesthesia.  Now one can argue that the actual procedure of IUI is easier than the egg retrieval, but I would also argue against that comment.  I have done IVF 10x and can honestly say that my favorite day is the egg retrieval because you get the BEST anesthesia!!  I have never been one to do drugs, but I completely understand how some celebrities overdose on this one (too soon?)  You wake up feeling A-MAZ-ING.  Like you just had the best, most restful sleep of your life.  I still miss it. 

4.) IUI is less controlled.  If you are taking egg-stimulating drugs and then fertilizing, you might fertilize five eggs like my hairdresser did.  Yup.  True story. None of her eggs looked strong, and she needed to do IUI three times before insurance would pay for IVF, so the doctor proceeded as a “throw away” round.  All five of those weak eggs took.  And stuck.  She ended up having a multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR).  The hardest decision she has ever had to make. 

IVF, however, is very controlled and you only end up like Nadia Suleman if your doctor is a dickhead and you are insane.

So, while IVF might include shots (yuck), and you have to have a simple surgery (egg retrieval), it is a T.I.M.E. Saver (my tips for managing Time, Investments (money), Mental health, and Energy) because ultimately it is less effort, less mental strife, and faster reward of a baby!

The only time to consider IUI is if:

- You are under 35 AND

- You have unexplained fertility issues AND

- Your partner has no fertility issues AND

- You are just starting out on your fertility journey AND

- You have the time and patience to give is a couple of years OR

- You have to do IUI before your insurance pays for IVF.  

Then, give IUI a try for 2-3 times max.  No more.  But if you are none of the above, or do not have the time, energy, and money to waste on trying something that probably will not work, but completely drain your mental health, go straight to IVF.  You will be a mom so much faster.

 

Fertility Mistake #2

Your fertility clinic does not fit your needs

When I do a free fertility consult with women, I ask her to fill out a form so that I can see her fertility journey so far including what clinic she is using.  

See, though I feel that everyone should go to the best IVF laboratories to save the most T.I.M.E.  (Time, Investments (money), Mental health, and Energy), there is a certain group of women that MUST go to only the best labs.   

This is the group I call the, "Can't F Around" group.  A woman is a part of this group if she:

- Has had multiple failed rounds of IVF OR

- Is over 36 and wants more than one child OR

- Is doing genetic testing OR

- Has limited funds OR

- Has limited patience OR

- Is prone to anxiety and stress.

Why wouldn't everyone just go to the best IVF labs?  Convenience.  The #1 response that I get when I tell a someone to change clinics is, “But Tasha, I work a full-time job and cannot get to that Exceptional Baby Making Laboratory as easily as the one I am using.”  I completely understand. When I was doing IVF, I had a full-time job in advertising sales, and I did not want anyone to know about my treatments.  I needed to be at early morning meetings for work, and fit in my monitoring appointments as well.  

It was not until my 10th round of IVF that I decided to stop messing around.  I went to CCRM across the country.  Yes, it was an inconvenience.  Yes, I did have to pay for a hotel, flights, and dinners out.  But, they got me pregnant on the first try.  Think about how much T.I.M.E. I would have saved going there in the first place.

And did you know that you can do the bulk of the work (monitoring appointments) at almost any fertility clinic that will partner with the Exceptional Baby Making Laboratory?  The only time you need to be at the Exceptional Baby Making Laboratory is for the egg retrieval and transfer.  

Why is the laboratory so important and not the fertility doctors?  Because IVF is a laboratory science.  The most important factor in the success is the handling of the eggs, the fertilization process,  and growing of the embryos.  This is the work of the embryologists, not the fertility doctors.  The protocols for drugs are mostly the same, "anyone" can do the monitoring appointments, the egg retrieval and transfer are "simple" procedures.  The variable- the one thing that makes the most difference in whether or not your round of IVF will work- is how they handle and grow the embryo.  Each lab has a special process.  The air it does or does not touch, the pH, the medium it grows on.  It is like a gardener that created their own environment and soil for seeds.  Every gardener extracts the seeds from the flowers/plants the same way, but the difference will be in the environment and soil that the seed is grown in.

Creating the optimal environment for embryos is a special process that very few have mastered.  

My next question that I often get is how do I know if my lab is exceptional.  Well, first, I would dare to say that there are only 3-4 laboratories that I would say fit the “exceptional” description in the United States.

This article has some sources on how to analyze the laboratory, and in my online course, Patient-to-Patient Guide to IVF, I also share the questions that you should ask to make sure you are at one of the best. 

One great question is, “How does your live birth rate with donor eggs compare to the national average?”  Even if you are not using donor eggs, the answer to this question will tell you tons about how effective the clinic’s lab is.  See, donor eggs are 20-something-year-old eggs.  There should be minimal issues with them.  The success rate of the clinic/IVF lab should be off the charts (especially compared to the national average.) If the success rate is average, then they are not handling and growing the embryos properly, and you need to find another clinic/IVF lab.  

Another red flag is if you have multiple eggs at retrieval and no good embryos at the end.  If this happens, you need to find another clinic/IVF lab.  
IVF will take you the same amount of time to prep for and complete no matter where you are so why not put as much T.I.M.E.  (Time, Investments (money), Mental health, and Energy), into that round to ensure you will only have to do IVF a couple of times.  Ultimately, investing your T.I.M.E. in IVF the correct way is the ultimate T.I.M.E. Saver.

I truly believe that if I knew then what I know now about the best IVF laboratories in the country, I would have been successful much sooner.  BUT, I am so grateful that it took me ten rounds.  First, I would not have had my daughter Mila (as every egg/sperm that gets released creates different children).  Second, I would have never gained as much knowledge and strategies that I have about IVF to help you.

 

Fertility Mistake #3

Mental Breaks to Avoid Mental Breakdown

I have already mentioned my T.I.M.E. Savers a bunch which are tools to save you Time, Investments (money), Mental Health, and Energy.  Fertility treatments suck the life out of all four of these things, but I have found many ways to preserve them.  I sprinkle them throughout any of the FU-TV blogs/vlogs, and my entire online course, Patient-to-Patient Guide to IVF  is one big T.I.M.E. saver broken up into 11 different categories/lessons and three hours of content. 

Here is another T.I.M.E. investment for the ultimate T.I.M.E. Saver I get a lot of pushback on.   But, I stand by this one and have seen it work over and over again. Many times this one element was the only change that my client made in her fertility journey when she ultimately got pregnant.

It is a 5-7 day stay-cation after the embryo transfer.  

The transfer is the hardest part of the entire fertility journey because it is all mental.  The physical work is over.  What is left is your thoughts and you about this embryo that might, or might not, still be there.  This period is when I get the most emergency calls from my clients and even new patients. The stress of it not working and the progesterone are a perfect mixture to create anxiety attacks.

It did for me too.   I was a nut-job for the week leading up to the pregnancy test every time and a few times, had a full-blown anxiety attack. Not the best environment for an embryo trying to implant because anxiety releases hormones which can interfere with the proper functioning of the reproductive system.  But how could I have been any other way?  The embryo was finally inside.  It was there.  I just didn’t know if it decided to stay.  And if it didn’t stay, I was going to have to do this time-sucking, mind f*&%ing process all over again?!! 

I developed a strategy to prepare for the transfer until the pregnancy test, and this stay-cation is an important part of the plan.  Easy, right? And so much fun when prepared correctly.

The timing for this fun, relaxed stay-cation is during the days while the embryo potentially implants.  The implantation, however, could take 1-5 days.  So, if you could do the full five days that is the best.    

Here are a couple “rules”:

-This stay-cation starts the day of the transfer and lasts 5-7 days.

-If you are working, you have to take 4-5 business days off of work- you can't work from home- you have to be completely offline.  Yes, you can do it.   No really, you must.  This one is non-negotiable.  

-If you have children under 10-years-old, plan on them sleeping somewhere else, or rent a hotel, for the first two nights minimum, and then make sure they have someone else to care for them for the rest of the five-day stay-cation.

The goal of this stay-cation is to keep your hormones balanced and keep your body and mind really happy and peaceful.  We want anything that might cause stress, anxiety, or anger to stay away.

I get the most push-back from my clients that work and they agree to work from home, but working from home will get you even more anxious.  You have the pressure of not being there and not being able to tell why (anxiety), you will still get those emails from your client/boss that makes you want to jump out of your skin and possibly slap someone (anxiety), and the people handling your stuff will rely on you too much if they even sense your presence (anxiety).  So, you must get offline.  Plus, this will be the first step to creating boundaries in the workplace before having a baby.  So please just take off.  This investment in your mental health, and vacation days at work will be a major T.I.M.E. Saver.

 

Fertility Mistake #4

Three Simple Blood Tests

Ask your doctor if they have tested for:

MTHFR mutation

Blood clotting disorders

Genetic panel (carrier screening and karyotype screening)

I came up with these three blood tests because of the women who would tell me about their fertility struggle and what ultimately helped them get pregnant and keep it.  These three blood tests kept coming up. 

Your doctor might say that they only test for these things if they see recurrent miscarriages or multiple failed rounds of IVF, but I say, why wait? Just note, the genetic panel will take out so much blood that you will worry if you have any left, but it’s definitely worth that small physical investment.

Here are some quick notes about each one, but before I start,  I was a biology teacher and can totally nerd-out right now.  I will refrain for risk of having your pass out from boredom.  You’re welcome.

MTHFR mutation- this mutation means that you cannot break down folic acid properly.   Also, new studies have shown that a male partner having this mutation could also affect fertility.  Here is a link to a website that a woman created all about the mutation and here is a link to the actual research study.   I also get pushback from doctors about needing to test for this mutation, but I stand by it.  

A pregnant woman needs folic acid to drastically reduce brain and spinal cord defects, heart defects, a risk for trisomy, and even autism. Even if you are not trying to get pregnant, but have this mutation, you should know about it as certain foods might be a bit toxic to your system.

If this runs in your family, and you haven’t had the blood test yet, to be safe, start taking 5-MTHF- the already broken down version form of folic acid.  Once you get tested, however, you will be able to get the proper supplement to help the exact mutation.

Blood clotting disorders.  These can be developed later in life.  Even if you are just heterozygous for a blood clotting disorder (meaning you just have one gene for it and are a “carrier” of the gene, so you do not have the disorder), you will need medication or baby aspirin to help prevent possible clots because you are more prone to blood clots.

Genetic panels. There are two types of genetic panels.  Carrier screening checks to see if you are a carrier for any of the major genetic disorders, such as Cystic Fibrosis, for example.  If you are a carrier, they will also want to see if your male partner is.  If so, your baby has a 25% chance of getting that genetic disorder.

The second one, karyotype screening, checks for balanced and unbalanced chromosomal translocation. All you need to know is that if you have a balanced chromosome translocation, the genes are a bit rearranged, but there is no missing genetic information- you are normal.  This rearrangement being passed down to offspring (your baby), however,  could cause multiple miscarriages.  

Before requesting any of these tests, please make sure your doctor is on board, and make sure you check to see if they are covered by insurance. 
 

Fertility Mistake#5

Proper Baby Making for Baby Making

As a former Biology and nutrition teacher, and natural baby-making-wannabe, I know how to get women knocked up quickly from just doin’ it.  

The first step to getting pregnant naturally is to know when you are ovulating.  There are so many things that you can check, but not all are that easy to analyze.  I remember when I was trying to take my temperature every morning, I never saw the trend the book kept on telling me to look for.  Clearly, I was doing something wrong, but all I knew that it was an annoying waste of time.  And then the book said how I had to check my cervix for softness and substance.  Really??  I have to finger myself every morning?  Seriously?!

So forget the thermometer and fingering yourself (unless you want to).  The only tool you need is a non-digital ovulation test.  I say non-digital for two reasons.  First, in trying to get pregnant naturally, the start of the second line forming is when I want you to start doin' it.  Second, the digital ones did not work well for my clients or me ever.  I would go from not ovulation to peak ovulation and skip the in-between step, but I knew I was not ovulating.  It was way too early, and I was always super regular.   Plus, when I fingered myself there were no egg whites.  Ok, ok, TMI.  I will stop about the fingering.

So, buy the non-digital ones where the two lines show up.  Bonus- they should be cheaper too!

If day 1 is the first day you get your period, start checking your ovulation around day ten if you are a fairly regular and get your period every 28-30 days.  If you have no clue when you get your period, then start checking your ovulation around day 7.

You test the first pee of the day.  If you do not want to pee all over your hands, get a cup and pee a little bit into the cup and then dip the ovulation stick into the cup.  This trick took me way too long to learn.  

Once you start to see the second line on the ovulation test forming, that is when you should start having sex.  Continue having sex every other day until the second line on the ovulation test completely disappears.  

Happy Baby Making!

 

** Disclaimer.  I am not a doctor (but my sister did play one on TV).  Please consult with your doctor on any recommendation that I make that you are considering.