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Blog Posts (19)

  • National Infertility Awareness Week: Breaking the Silence and Building Support

    National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), observed annually in April, serves as a crucial reminder of the millions of individuals and couples facing the challenges of infertility. As it stands, 1 in 6 people struggle with fertility, meaning millions of people struggle to have the family they desire every single year. Founded in 1989 by RESOLVE, NIAW aims to: Enhance public understanding that infertility needs and deserves attention. Ensure that people trying to build a family know the guidelines forseeing a specialist. Educate lawmakers about how infertility impacts people in their state. This year, NIAW’s theme is “Empowering YOU to change the conversation,” a theme we are especially proud of as Grain Fertility was built to help empower fertility patients through their data. We invite you to join us, RESOLVE, and others as we work to raise awareness, promote understanding, and offer support to those on the journey to build their families. Understanding Infertility Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse (or six months if the woman is over age 35) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. It's a complex medical condition that affects approximately millions of individuals and couples in the United States, yet it unfortunately remains shrouded in stigma and misconceptions. Unfortunately, infertility treatment is often not covered by insurance, meaning patients often have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to attempt to have a child, placing additional burdens on people who have gone through so much. Breaking the Silence One of the most significant barriers individuals face when dealing with infertility is the silence that surrounds it. Due to societal pressures, shame, and lack of understanding, many people suffer in silence, feeling isolated and alone in their struggles. NIAW aims to break this silence by encouraging open conversations about infertility. By sharing stories, experiences, and information, we can challenge stigma, dispel myths, and foster a supportive community where individuals and couples feel heard, understood, and validated. After founder Joe Cody and his wife started to talk about their own infertility journey, they were surprised how many friends and family came forward to tell them about their own experiences. Whether or not their voices helped others feel more comfortable talking about their experiences publicly or not, they all now had individuals and a community to talk to. Building Support Support is a vital component of navigating the emotional, physical, and financial challenges of infertility. Whether it's through family, friends, support groups, or professional counseling, having a strong support system can make a world of difference. During NIAW, there are a number of webinars, in person events and social media campaigns to provide resources, share information, and connect individuals with support networks. You can find events through RESOLVE’s NIAW calendar at https://www.infertilityawareness.org/niaw-calendar. Taking Action As we recognize National Infertility Awareness Week, let's commit to taking action to gain a better understanding of Infertility: Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about infertility, its causes, treatments, and emotional impact. Knowledge is power, and understanding can help break down barriers and foster empathy and compassion. Grain Fertility Premium Users gain access to exclusive webinars, 1:1 private consultations with our Patient Empowerment Coach Kim, a fertility nurse and educator of 5+ years. Listen and Validate: If someone shares their infertility journey with you, listen with an open heart, offer validation, and avoid making assumptions or offering unsolicited advice. Sometimes, a listening ear and empathetic response can make all the difference. If you need help or advice on listening and validating someone’s journey, you can check out RESOLVE’S resource at https://resolve.org/get-help/helpful-resources-and-advice/infertility-and-relationships/for-friends-and-family/. Connect: At Grain Fertility we are proud to connect people with organizations that are working to help, including support groups. You can find organizations we work with and support at https://www.grainfertility.com/partners. Speak Up: Use your voice to raise awareness, challenge stigma, and advocate for policies and practices that support individuals and couples struggling with infertility. You can offer your support and share your stories by attending RESOLVE Advocacy Day, held virtually on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. If you cannot attend Advocacy Day, you can send a letter to your Member of Congress, share your story on social media with #NIAW2024, or join RESOLVE’s Advocacy Network to stay up to date on the ways to help the community. Offer Support: Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues who may be dealing with infertility. Offer your support, lend a listening ear, and let them know they're not alone in their journey. National Infertility Awareness Week serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience, strength, and courage of those facing the challenges of infertility. By breaking the silence, building support, and taking action, we can create a more understanding, compassionate, and inclusive society where everyone feels valued, supported, and empowered on their fertility journey. If you are looking to learn more about infertility; whether for yourself or a loved one, our patient empowerment coaches are here to help you and navigate your journey. They will help you prepare for your upcoming consultations with your provider and they will provide resources tailored to your individual needs. Our PEC's are committed to supporting you throughout your fertility journey. You can become a Premium member and take advantage of a risk free two-week trial by signing up today at https://app.grainfertility.com/signup.

  • Fertility Injection Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

    By Megan Kukic Note: Administering fertility injections is one of the most stressful components of the fertility journey. The pain aside, the constant pressure of thinking you are going to “mess up” adds so much to the injection experience that it can become one of the most dreaded parts of fertility treatment. To help, registered nurse, fertility patient, and founder of 412 Fertility, Megan Kukic, provides patients with some tips, tricks, and techniques designed to help make the process a little easier and allow you to be more confident when you administer your next shots. The first night I needed a fertility injection, I told my husband I wanted him to do it so he could be “a part of the experience”. While that was true, I was also not looking forward to stabbing myself with a needle. I had him watch the video on how to administer a subcutaneous injection. We set our alarm in case we got sidetracked. He was ready and confident, and I was confident in him. All was well. When the alarm went off, I went to the refrigerator and pulled out the medication. I started wiping my stomach with an alcohol prep pad when he asked, “Can’t you just do it?!” The truth is that I could do it. I had been a registered nurse for years prior to this moment. I had administered more injections throughout my career than I could ever recall. Not to mention that I was working as an RN in a fertility clinic at the time. Although I had the background, training, and skill, the thought of having to inject myself was a totally different experience. If you find yourself not looking forward to starting fertility injections, I can assure you that you are not alone. Many patients experience the same fears related to injections: What if I do it wrong? It’s going to hurt. How am I supposed to know what I’m doing? I can assure you that knowing how to prepare, what to expect, and how to make it less painful is all going to help you feel more confident when you get to this stage of your fertility journey. Understanding Fertility Medications While there are numerous medications your reproductive endocrinologist could place in your protocol, they will most likely fall under two categories: subcutaneous (SubQ) or intramuscular (IM) injection. Injections for IVF stimulation, ovulation induction, and most triggers are given subcutaneously. IM injections are typically used for medications like Lupron for suppression, Progesterone in oil (PIO) for embryo transfer, or occasionally HcG trigger for egg retrieval. Getting Started The basics for fertility injections remain the same: wash your hands, clean the site with an alcohol wipe, let the alcohol dry, inject slowly, remember to breathe, and rotate left and right sides daily. A personal favorite is to listen to your favorite music as you prepare and administer your medications. You could also repeat affirmations, do a meditation, or whatever else might make you feel relaxed and ready to begin. Give yourself time to prepare so that you don’t feel rushed through the preparation process. I also recommend having a treat waiting for you as a reward to yourself – you deserve it. There are some tips, tricks, and techniques that are specific to SubQ vs IM injections. Subcutaneous (SubQ) Injections SubQ refers to the layer of fat beneath the skin. Most fertility injections will be given in this fatty layer of the abdomen. When choosing the injection site, it is recommended to inject ~1-2 inches away from the belly button. My favorite tip is to think of your belly button as a nose and then inject where dimples would be when smiling. Avoid injecting directly above or below the “nose”, but rather a smidge below and to the side. Once you find your intended injection site, ice the area as you prepare your medications. This will not only help with comfort, especially if injecting Menopur. Icing also constricts small blood vessels/capillaries beneath the skin, which can help prevent bleeding and bruising. Using your non-dominant hand, “pinch an inch” of the skin you want to inject. This allows the fatty layer to be pulled away from the abdominal muscle, ensuring appropriate injection technique. Intramuscular (IM) Injections Intramuscular is exactly what it sounds like: into the muscle. Most clinics will recommend using your glute due to how large of a muscle it is. Because the needle needs to reach the muscle, you will notice these needles are a bit scarier. It is easier to have someone administer these to you, but it is possible to do them on your own! If you divide one buttock into fours, always use the upper, outer quadrant. Think of where the top, outer corner of a pant pocket would be. Pro tip: locate iliac crest (where back dimples are on lower back), then locate greater trochanter (golf ball-size bone on the side of upper thigh – press hard to find this). Draw an imaginary line from iliac crest and greater trochanter. Inject where this point meets. Although an IM injection can technically be injected anywhere in the glute muscle, these techniques help to avoid the sciatic nerve and prevent additional discomfort. You want your glute to be as relaxed as possible when injecting. If you prefer to stand, place all your weight on the side you are not using for injection. You can also lie down if that’s more comfortable. Instead of pinching the skin like we would for SubQ injections, we want to use our non-injecting hand to hold the skin taut between the thumb and pointer finger. Progesterone in Oil (PIO) Injection Tips PIO injections are the most common fertility injections that are given intramuscularly. Some tips specific to these injections include: If using lidocaine or numbing cream, place a quarter-size amount on the intended site, do not rub in, and cover with Tegaderm or saran wrap up to an hour before your injection time. Simply wipe with a paper towel and clean the area with alcohol prior to injecting. Some people prefer using a heating pad prior to injection, others prefer an ice pack, some prefer nothing at all. It truly depends on the person. Try each and see which feels best. If icing prior, I do not recommend icing for more than five minutes. Once the medication is drawn into the syringe, place the prepared syringe in your bra or underneath your arm. Using body heat warms the oil for easier injection. Heating and massaging the area after injection are key. Whether it’s a warm shower, a warm washcloth, or a heating pad, heat will be so helpful. A massage gun is also recommended. If you’re able, perform some squats/lunges after the injection. I know, exercising after an injection is probably the last thing you want to do, but people swear by this to help prevent lumping! Lumps in the injection area are common but are avoidable by proper heat, massage, and movement after each injection. Be sure to avoid re-injecting into major bruising/lumping. Common Side Effects and What to Look Out For With any injection - SubQ or IM - redness, bruising, and mild irritation can be normal. However, if you become concerned about any reactions, please do not hesitate to contact your medical team. If you have any questions related to your medications, you can not only reach out to your medical team, but you can also reach out to the pharmacy you ordered your medication from. Pharmacists are great resources for any medication question and are typically easy to get ahold of. This is a gentle reminder that you are your greatest advocate and that it is better to ask for clarity than wonder with uncertainty. About Megan Megan Kukic is a registered nurse and fertility patient. She worked in the operating room of a fertility clinic before launching her own business, 412 Fertility Services, in March of 2023. 412 Fertility is an injection administration and medication teaching service specific to fertility patients. Her goal is to use her education and training as a nurse and her compassion and understanding as a fertility patient to guide patients through the injection process of their journeys. More about Megan and her business can be found at 412fertility.com and on Instagram.

  • Endometriosis: An Overview from Grain Fertility Empowerment Coach Kimberly

    As Endometriosis Awareness Month comes to end, it's crucial to continue to shine a spotlight on this often misunderstood and under-diagnosed condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. As a fertility nurse, I've witnessed firsthand the impact of endometriosis on individuals' lives, its impact on their fertility journeys and their quality of life. In this blog post, I aim to raise awareness about endometriosis, share insights on its effects on fertility, and offer support to those affected by this condition. What is Endometriosis? Endometriosis (“Endo” for short) is a chronic and often painful condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus, commonly on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even up to the  pelvic organs. Despite affecting an estimated 1 in 10 individuals of reproductive age, endometriosis remains widely misunderstood. What Endometriosis Is Not? “Just painful periods”. Unfortunately, because the most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, it is often dismissed as anything more than a painful period. This misconception often leads to women going months to years without a diagnosis and potentially continue to experience unnecessary pain without proper treatment and guidance. How Does Endometriosis Affect My Cycle? Each month the endometrium, or the inner lining of your uterus, grows in response to hormonal fluctuations between the brain and the reproductive organs. The endometrium will begin to thicken in the middle of a cycle around the time of ovulation and peak during the luteal phase (post ovulation). The endometrium thickens to create a nice cozy hospitable environment for an embryo to grow & develop in. If a pregnancy does not take place, the brain signals the uterus to shed the endometrium lining. Women often experience cramps due to uterine contractions and the endometrium can safely exit the body through the vaginal canal. This becomes problematic for women with endometriosis. With endometriosis, endo-like tissue will begin to grow in neighboring organs outside of the uterus and it will act just how it does within the uterine cavity. If a pregnancy does not take place, the endo tissue in the pelvic and/or abdominal cavity will shed as well. The problem is it will have nowhere to go and the endometriosis tissue will shed into the pelvic/abdominal cavity causing pain, inflammation & scar tissue. Impact on Quality of Life: Endometriosis may cause debilitating pain that may prevent a woman from going about her day to day activities. Women often talk about sudden, sharp pain that is crippling, taking breath away and making them nauseous. Signs & Symptoms to look out for: Pelvic pain Excruciatingly painful menses Dyspareunia (painful intercourse) Pain with bowel movements or urination Excessive bleeding Infertility Unfortunately, a number of these signs & symptoms may be overlooked by a healthcare provider and be mistaken for menstrual cramps. This may lead to a misdiagnosis and a delay in treatment. Endometriosis & Fertility: One of the most significant concerns for individuals with endometriosis is its impact on fertility. The presence of endometriosis can lead to a number of fertility challenges, including: Pelvic Adhesions: Endometrial tissue can form adhesions or scar tissue, causing organs in the pelvis to stick together. This can impair fertility by affecting ovulation, fertilization, and implantation of the embryo. Ovulatory Dysfunction: Endometriosis can disrupt the hormonal balance necessary for ovulation, leading to irregular menstrual cycles and difficulty conceiving. Reduced Egg Quality: Research suggests that endometriosis may be associated with decreased egg quality, potentially affecting embryo development and pregnancy outcomes. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5508680/) Increased Risk of Miscarriage: Individuals with endometriosis may have a higher risk of miscarriage due to factors such as inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and uterine abnormalities. As a fertility nurse, my role extends beyond providing medical care; it also involves offering support, education, and advocacy for individuals facing fertility challenges, including those with endometriosis or who think they may have endometriosis. During Endometriosis Awareness Month and throughout the year, it's essential to: Raise Awareness: Educate individuals about the signs, symptoms, and impact of endometriosis on fertility to promote early detection and treatment. Provide Support: Offer resources to individuals with endometriosis as they navigate their fertility journeys. Support groups, online forums, and counseling services can provide invaluable support and encouragement. You may be wondering when is a good time to talk to your OBGYN if you think you have endometriosis? Here at Grain Fertility we are all about patient advocacy and encouraging you to be your number one advocate. It may be nerve-racking to face the reality that you may have endometriosis, but the sooner you work through it with your doctor, the sooner you may be on the path to greater quality in life. If you are in your 20’s-40s’ and you are experiencing pain, painful menstrual cramps, chronic lower back pain and pain during sex, it may be time to talk to your healthcare provider. At Grain Fertility, Premium Users have the opportunity to work 1:1 with our dedicated Patient Empowerment Coaches. They will help you prepare for your upcoming consultations with your provider and they will provide resources tailored to your individual needs. Our PEC's are committed to supporting you throughout your fertility journey. You can become a Premium member and take advantage of a risk free two-week trial by signing up today at https://app.grainfertility.com/signup. Endometriosis is a complex and challenging condition that can significantly impact fertility and quality of life. As we commemorate Endometriosis Awareness Month, we want to reassure all of our users here at Grain Fertility that we are here to support you and your battle with endometriosis. By fostering understanding, empathy, and empowerment, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those living with this condition and help them on their journey towards building their families and achieving their reproductive goals. About Kimberly Kimberly Shamroth, RN has worked as a fertility nurse at a top clinic for 5+ years, helping patients through some of the most difficult parts of the fertility journey. She provides guidance and detailed explanations to encourage self-awareness, confidence and continued motivation. You can learn more about Kimberly at https://thefertilityrn.net/

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  • Partners

    Partners We Work With Navigating infertility can be overwhelming. To help you with the many aspects of fertility care, we only work with partners we trust to join you on this journey, providing the support you need when you need it most. OVUM Get personalized fertility care from the comfort of your home with an online, multi-disciplinary clinic. ORGANIC CONCEPTIONS Support and self-discovery programs providing tools you need on your journey to parenthood and beyond. Footprints Coaching Infertility and Loss/Trauma informed coaching to help you become your best, most fulfilled self FERTILITY ANSWERS Ask board certified experts anonymous questions and get same day answers to your fertility questions. EMBRACE FERTILITY Get IVF cycle coaching, 1:1 support, and resources from an award winning Fertility Nurse. LITTLE LIFE NUTRITION One on One Coaching and lifestyle and nutritional counseling to optimize your chances of getting pregnant. THE FERTILITY RN Personalized Fertility Coaching & Education to Help You Navigate Your Fertility Journey. Organizations We Trust Your infertility journey is unique, and so is the information you need. Discover valuable resources from scientific organization, non-profits and trusted sources, selected with care to support you every step of the way. RESOLVE Dedicated to ensuring that all people challenged in their family building journey reach resolution through being empowered by knowledge, supported by community, united by advocacy, and inspired to act. START An organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of IVF, or assisted reproductive technology (ART). THE BROKEN BROWN EGG Inform, empower, and advocate for individuals and couples experiencing infertility and reproductive health issues, with an emphasis on the Black experience of them. RESOLVE NEW ENGLAND Providing the psychosocial support, resources, and advocacy that are critical to those trying to grow their families. FAMILY EQUALITY Ensuring that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing equality for the LGBTQ+ community. ASRM A trusted source for accurate and up-to-date information on reproductive health, fertility, contraception, and pregnancy. JEWISH FERTILITY FOUNDATION Engaging hopeful parents by providing financial assistance, emotional support, and infertility education to those struggling to build their families. Grants You Can Apply For Unfortunately, we know infertility treatment is really expensive. We are working on that. In the meantime, we have put together some amazing organizations that help patients afford infertility treatment. CADE FOUNDATION Providing information support and financial assistance to help needy infertile families OVERCOME infertility. GIFT OF PARENTHOOD Dedicated to taking away the stigma and financial strain of infertility while also offering support, inspiration, and resources to future parents. HADWIN FAMILY FOUNDATION Assisting individuals and families as they navigate their own trials as well as provide support and partner with other nonprofits with like minded missions. STORK FUND Created under the umbrella of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies 501c3, the Stork Fund raises money to fund fertility treatment and adoption fees The third-party names and trademarks referenced above are the property of their respective owners. Reference to third party marks or other companies here does not indicate endorsement or sponsorship by, or a partnership relationship with, these third parties.

  • Grain Fertility | fertility application

    Take Control of Your Fertility Journey. Easily store, organize, and share all of your fertility information, helping you make informed decisions and leading to improved outcomes. GET THE APP With Grain Fertility, you can: Feel Empowered Be in control of your information, knowing it's securely in one place and easy to share with your team. Save Time Stop juggling emails and paperwork. Easily access and organize your information all in the app. Stress Less The fertility journey is stressful enough. Have peace of mind and a better experience with our app. Here's how it works: Upload information from across your care team Securely upload, access, and use your fertility records for more informed decision making Easily locate your information using intuitive labeling and organization Track every step of your fertility treatment to have a clearer understanding of your journey Create Timelines Keep track of important dates and milestones Reduce stress and anxiety by having a visually organized record of your fertility journey Integrate lifestyle events to provide a holistic view of your fertility journey Share information with your care team and loved ones Create a supportive ecosystem by fostering communication amongst those who need it Collaborate with your healthcare team and loved ones in decision-making Reduce the risk of miscommunication and missed information Simplify your fertility journey. Sign up today! Free Account Everything you need to get started: Upload and store documents and records Personalized fertility timeline Select pre-defined organizational labels Search, sort, and find records and data instantly Expert articles to help you on your journey Discover resources and organizations to help you on your journey GET THE APP FOR FREE Try it Free for 2 weeks! Premium Subscription Only $12.99/month Includes everything from the free plan, plus: 1:1 Expert coaching and guidance Resources and tools timed to where you are on your journey Discounts and offers from Grain Fertility partners Exclusive live community events with fertility experts and leaders Create custom organizational labels Ability to share your information with your spouse, partner, care team, or whoever you choose Personal fertility expense tracking tool START YOUR FREE 2-WEEK TRIAL What Our Community Says Natalie, IVF Patient I never felt prepared for my fertility journey until now. Grain Fertility helped me think through and document all the medical things, all the procedures I went through, my goals and questions I had for my physician. That helped me feel prepared. Lauren Haring, RN Award Winning Fertility Coach "Your fertility journey should be as stress-free as possible and Grain Fertility is the ultimate companion to make that a reality!" Anonymous, IVF Patient As a first time IVF patient, staying organized feels daunting. I want to keep all my IVF info in one easily accessible and organized area. Frequently Asked Questions Why Is Organization So Important During Fertility Treatment? During fertility treatment, you get A LOT of information and patients unfortunately are asked to shoulder a lot of responsibility. Patients are often expected to remember past medical history, update medication schedule and dosage on the fly, and try to keep track of how much all of this costs, all while going through an incredibly hard experience that is mentally, physically, and emotionally difficult. ​ Studies show that patients who access and use their information can have improved outcomes and often report better experiences. Grain Fertility helps you feel more prepared for what comes next, get ready for appointments, and feel more confident about your care. Is My Information Safe with Grain Fertility? We know you are trusting us with some of your most sensitive information, which is why we secure it from unauthorized access with encryption features and access management tools. We pledge to do everything we can to keep your information safe and put you in control of who can see it. What Does Grain Fertility Do With My Information? Grain Fertility was founded with a scientific advancement and advocacy-driven purpose. With this in mind, we do hope to use aggregated and de-identified data to help drive the development of the next generation of reproductive health innovations that expand access, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. We wiIl never share any information from the platform with anyone without your explicit consent. ​ Grain Fertility will only partner with organizations and companies whose values align with ours and are actively advancing patient privacy, health equity, and infertility science. Grain Fertility will be transparent with who we work with and pledges to publicly report how we are helping to advance reproductive and fertility health care. ​ Is the App Free? We believe that you own your health information and should never have to pay to access or use it, so we are proud to offer a free version of the application that lets you access, organize, and use your information as you see fit. ​ However, there are some patients who want additional resources and assistance to help them with their journey, so we are pleased to offer a premium version of the application for only $12.99/ month. We proudly offer new users a two-week free trial to see how a premium membership can help make your fertility journey a little easier. What is Included in a Premium Account? In addition to access to organizational tools and resources offered by the free version, a Grain Fertility premium account offers users: ​ Access to experts to help make their journey easier with personalized coaching and guidance Resources and tools tailored to where you are in your journey that help you better understand and prepare for the next steps and make decisions that are best for you Discounts and offers from Grain Fertility partners Exclusive live community events with experts and leaders in fertility Additional features in the Grain Fertility application including custom labeling, sharing information with others, and other important capabilities that help reduce stress, save time, and make your journey a little easier. The only app available to help you manage your fertility information. Get the app today and feel more confident about your care. SIGN UP TODAY

  • Member Page | Grain Fertility

    We can’t find the page you’re looking for This page doesn’t exist. Go to Home and keep exploring. Go to Home

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