Fertility Book Review: Dare To Dream

Fertility Book Review: Dare To Dream

A book review of Dare To Dream by Izzy Judd, the wife of Harry Judd from McFly. Izzy explores her experience of PCOS, IVF and miscarriage in an honest, heartwarming book. Is an infertility autobiography written by someone in the public eye worth the read? Do the thoughts and feelings experienced by Izzy resonate with the reader? Check out the review to find out.

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Fertility Book Review: The Better Baby Book

Fertility Book Review: The Better Baby Book

A review of the Better Baby Book written by Dr Lana Asprey (genuine doctor) and Dave Asprey, a famous biohacker, if one can be famous for such a thing. All about how to have a healthier, smarter, happier baby but for those of us suffering with infertility it is how to whip that body and mind into shape to get pregnant through being super doper healthy. So, is it based in evidence? Does it work? Check out the review for further info.

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Fertility Book Review: Stick It To Me Baby

Fertility Book Review: Stick It To Me Baby

A book review of Stick It To Me Baby by Danica Thornberry, inserting spirit into the science of infertility. A book on mindset, emotions and spirituality to help you to conceive. Is it woo woo? Is it practical? Are the messages and case studies contained within this book inspirational? Check out the review for an honest account of my experience reading this book. Oh, and don’t judge it by the cover….  

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40 Years of IVF - Exposing myself at work

40 Years of IVF - Exposing myself at work

To celebrate 40 years of IVF I decided to expose myself at work. Not physically, although post IVF egg collection I repeatedly wandered around the office with my trousers undone because, quite frankly, the stubborn blighters refused to button up around my bloat. Instead I exposed myself emotionally, with a post on the work intranet informing the few thousand people I work with that I struggled with infertility and had IVF (you can read what I wrote on my website - link in bio). This morning the intranet opened up to a photo of me from the day of egg collection, wearing my hospital issue wizards outfit. It was a topical piece given IVF's birthday and not at all out of place for the intranet considering that I work for the Department of Health and Social Care. But prior to today's exposure I had told a total of 4 work colleagues about my infertility. Just 4. I knew that there must be others in the office who had been through similar experiences and by the end of the day I'd received half a dozen emails from colleagues who had also struggled to conceive. I knew it! (Slap hand on desk). We, the infertility community, are EVERYWHERE. So here is a copy of my IVF post for my work intranet, suffering slightly from the devastatingly restrictive 500 word count.

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Fertility Book Review: The IVF Diet

Fertility Book Review: The IVF Diet

A book review of The IVF Diet by Zita West, a hybrid between an IVF information book and a nutrition/recipe book.  For those wanting to be as healthy, calm and positive as possible heading into IVF, I thoroughly recommend this book. If you are wondering if this book is for you, how long it will take to read or whether the recipes are delicious or so ‘worthy’ that they will be mocked by your other half, then check out this book review for answers to these and other questions.

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Fertility Book Review: Taking Charge of your Fertility

Fertility Book Review: Taking Charge of your Fertility

If there is one fertility book I'd recommend above all others, it is Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It is the foundations upon which to build any dietary changes, lifestyle investments or fertility tests. Without the understanding in this book how do you know what is wrong with your fertility and whether any steps you are taking are working? Whilst waiting months in-between medical appointments and years in-between fertility treatments, this book empowers women to understand their bodies and take back control of their fertility. I would have been lost without it. A book review of one of the most important fertility books a woman can buy.

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INSTAGRAM: 10 of the BEST Infertility Accounts

INSTAGRAM: 10 of the BEST Infertility Accounts

There are plenty of accounts on Instagram focused on fertility treatment and infertility support along with an active and friendly infertility community.  It can be a lifesaver, a way of making you feel less alone throughout your fertility struggles.  Where do you start on Instragam? Who is worth a follow? In the view of The Preggers Kitchen, here are 10 of the best Instagram accounts on infertility.

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Fertility Book Review: Six Months to Change the World

Fertility Book Review: Six Months to Change the World

This fertility book review delves in to Six Months to Change the World, a book all about what to eat in your last six months of pregnancy to give your baby the best start in life. The book’s main focus is sugar, how to maintain steady insulin levels in the mother in order not to curse your child with potential diabetes and obesity in later life. A sobering thought. 

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Fertility Book Review: It Starts With The Egg

Fertility Book Review: It Starts With The Egg

This fertility book review considers the comprehensive and at times utterly terrifying content of It Starts With The Egg, a book outlining the scientific research  behind improving egg quality and all round fertility.  The review explores what the book covers, who it is suitable for (and who may want to give it a miss), why it is scary enough to deserve a stint in the freezer and examples of my book induced ‘mad moments’.

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A Man's View of IVF - The dreaded sample room

A Man's View of IVF - The dreaded sample room

It's fair to say that when going through IVF most of the focus seems to be on the woman - the drugs, egg collection, hormonal outrage and heavy bloating.  But do we forget about the men?  Being forced into a little room for a compulsory orgasm whilst a waiting room of people are sat just outside the door, all of whom know EXACTLY what you are doing, sounds like a nightmare to me.  So what is it really like to give a sperm sample? 

A brilliant and funny insight in to what occurs in THAT ROOM has been provided by Mans' IVF View.

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The Two Week Wait and Test day - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

The Two Week Wait and Test day - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

IVF is emotionally tough and no aspect of it more so than the tortuous  two week wait.  Fighting bloating, severe blues, the temptation of Google searching (no good comes from that, you naughty temptress) and endless symptom spotting. It is a real arse.  There is no way round it, we all have to endure it.  I'd love to provide advice on how to ace the two week wait but unfortunately, to be honest, I didn't.  Not even close.  This article covers my two week wait, when to do a home pregnancy test (and not to test), what the blooming heck is a Beta, why you are p*ssing your money away by obsessing over line progression and what to expect at the callously named 'viability scan'.  

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Fertility Book Review: Get a Life - His & Hers Survival Guide to IVF

Fertility Book Review: Get a Life - His & Hers Survival Guide to IVF

From laughing at a face erection to being touched by the best description of infertility ever written, this fertility book review gets stuck in to Get a Life: His and Hers Survival Guide to IVF.  The review takes a look at what the book covers (and what is doesn't), its best bits and who would benefit from a good old read.

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Embryo Transfer and Progesterone Pessaries - Could IVF be any more fun? The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

Embryo Transfer and Progesterone Pessaries - Could IVF be any more fun? The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

For me, this is where IVF really comes into its own.  Messy pessaries that ruin your pants, popping things up your bum, nerve wracking calls from the embryologist and full frontal genital exposure during embryo transfer.  This is where the going gets tough.  This article answers the questions I was faced with in the week following egg collection: Should the progesterone pessaries go up the front (vagina) or back (bum)?  What are the stages of embryo development and how many usually make it to that all important 'blastocyst'? Do I get a choice of how many embryos are transferred back?  Does embryo transfer hurt?  What's the advice I should be following post transfer?

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IVF Egg Collection - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

IVF Egg Collection - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

Egg collection is the time in the IVF process that everything is totally out of your hands and you have to surrender to the consultants.  You've done everything that you can and for this one day, what will be will be.  But what will be?  This article sets out a day in the life of a person being harvested.

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Are IVF injections painful?: How to shoot up with the best of them - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

Are IVF injections painful?: How to shoot up with the best of them - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

When you think IVF, you think injections, right?  Drugs, hormonal induce meltdowns and lots of jabs.  It is one of the most daunting aspects of IVF, but is it really that bad?  This article considers the key questions, surprises and issues that I experienced during druggie phase of IVF.  It explores whether the injections hurt (taken from the experience of a total wuss - me), what the different hormones do and what happens when you have a jab related disaster and spurt the contents onto the floor of a public loo.  

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Why IVF is not "whimsical"

Why IVF is not "whimsical"

Sirena Bergman wrote an article in The Independent suggesting that IVF should not be offered at all on the NHS, claiming that IVF is "whimsical".  In this guest post from Penguin and Pineapples, Kay explores the arguments advocated by Sirena and provides facts and thoughts which go to the age old question: 'Should IVF be funded by the NHS?'

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What happens at the initial IVF consultation? The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

What happens at the initial IVF consultation? The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

The most eagerly anticipated, long awaited, important appointment on our three year infertility calendar - the IVF initial consultation.  But what the hell happens at it?  What do I ask?  How long do I have to wait following it to actually start pumping my body full of hormones and get the IVF train out of the station?  Once again, I had as much knowledge of what occurs at the first IVF consultation as I do about quantum physics (and I studied humanities).  This article sets out all that happened to me at the initial IVF consultation so that you know roughy what to expect.

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IVF gift ideas - The Preggers Kitchen IVF series

IVF gift ideas - The Preggers Kitchen IVF series

Have you ever wanted to surprise a friend or relative going through IVF with a little something, just to let them know that you are thinking of them?  Not sure what to buy that would be useful or thoughtful, but won’t make them burst into tears or be left wondering as to the relevance?  Or maybe you want to treat yourself in the run up to an IVF cycle, because goodness knows you deserve it.  Here are some IVF appropriate gift suggestions to induce a smile.

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How long does it take to get referred for IVF - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

How long does it take to get referred for IVF - The Preggers Kitchen IVF Series

My estimated IVF timings were wrong, oh so very wrong.  In fact, they were out by 4 months and if I hadn’t pushed for an earlier initial consultation, they would have been out by 6. How did I get it so wrong? A failure to fully understand the process and making overly optimistic assumptions about efficiency and timeframes that bore no resemblance to the previous 3 years of long drawn out fertility investigations.

To avoid my mistakes and to help others to capitalise on my learning in order to avoid sinking into a pit frustration and despair (that joy comes later during the IVF two week wait), I’ve shared my IVF experience in a series of articles, beginning with a question I am frequently asked:  How long does it take to get referred for IVF?

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The Preggers Kitchen's 5 best cookbooks for boosting fertility and balancing PCOS cycles

The Preggers Kitchen's 5 best cookbooks for boosting fertility and balancing PCOS cycles

Worried that following a 'diet' specifically to help rein in those long and unruly cycles would be, well, shit, then you are not alone.  Despite constantly cycling through crazy food regimes over the past 2 years, I have eaten some of the most delicious food of my life (I was quite a poor cook at the start of this process so the only way was up) due almost entirely to these 5 cookbooks. In this post I outline my top 5 go-to weekly staples, the recipe books with cracked spines from over use, pages painted with brightly coloured cooking splatters and riddled with post-it markers reminding me to cook it again.  

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