Fertility

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

Craig Berry and Andrea Donovan with their daughters Amelia and Harper.

Michelle Duff 4:35pm "I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

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Sian Roguski After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Twins' paternity case leads to very unexpected results

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Benjamin Mueller A mother was applying for government assistance when she made the claim that one man was responsible for her twins. She was wrong.

Sofia Vergara speaks out over embryo custody battle with ex-boyfriend

Nick Loeb and Sofia Vergara at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2013.

Michael Thurston TV star Sofia Vergara has broken her silence about a legal battle with her ex-boyfriend over frozen embryos they conceived while still a couple, in a case raising thorny ethical questions.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A breakdown of the $5,000 figure paid to egg donors includes costs linked to consultations, counselling, transport to the hospital, time off work and follow-up visits.

Craig Butt, Health Reporter A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

The previous longest time recorded for sperm taken posthumously that produced a healthy baby was 30 hours.

AMY CORDEROY Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Single man Kyle Casson uses mother as pregnancy surrogate

Kyle Casson spoke about his battle to become a single father on UK television in 2012.

Cristina Odone A mother has helped her 24-year-old son become a father by being a surrogate for a baby conceived using her son's sperm and a donor egg.

Sperm donor fights for rights as father

Kerrie Hancox, George Deka and daughters Clare and Ella.

LETITIA ROWLANDS George Deka, Kerrie Hancox and their two daughters may seem like a conventional family of four. However their story is actually so modern that the nation's legal system is yet to catch up with them. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, treatment and your fertility

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Roger Hart Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.

'Rarest of rare cases': intersex woman has twins

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An Indian woman who discovered she had mostly male chromosomes has given birth to healthy twins.

Coeliac disease may explain some fertility problems: study

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Lisa Rapaport Coeliac disease may be at the root of some women's problems with infertility, researchers say.

Jaime King reveals her struggle to become a mum

Jaime King on the red carpet, and clowning around with son James at home.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Actress Jaime King has spoken candidly about her battle to become a mum, revealing she struggled to fall pregnant, suffered many losses, and was in constant pain.

How do surrogate mothers cope post-birth?

Years after the event, the majority of surrogates still felt very positive about the surrogacy.

Lisa Rapaport Surrogate mums don't appear to suffer lasting mental health difficulties as a result of giving away the babies they delivered.

Five contraceptives of the future

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Shabnam Dastgheib A remote-controlled contraceptive chip, an "origami condom", an internal ring that can kill off HIV as well as prevent pregnancy.

Why a diagnosis of unexplained infertility isn't all bad news

Getting a diagnosis of unexplained fertility can be difficult and frustrating - but it's not all bad news.

JO HARTLEY Getting a diagnosis of unexplained fertility can be difficult and frustrating - but it's not all bad news.

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Stop freaking out about having babies in your early 30s

Unsurprisingly, there is no magic age limit for pregnancy that applies to all women.

Jenna Healey Surprisingly little is known about the exact decline of fertility with age, as there is no magic age limit for pregnancy that applies to all women.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Vaselgel is a long-term contraceptive solution which can be reversed.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

An infertility issue that is little understood

PCOS is a common cause of infertility.

Jane E Brody Sometimes medical syndromes are named long before they are fully understood. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one such condition.

I paid $50,000 to have a girl

Natural selection: Jayne Cornwill with daughter Emmerson.

Jayne Cornwill This time my husband and I hadn't taken any chances. We had paid $50,000 and travelled 13,000 kilometres to make sure the baby growing inside me was female.

The mum who fell in love with her sperm donor

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Not many couples can say they had a baby together before they even met, but that's the truth for Aminah Hart and her partner Scott Anderson.

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The family who'll have five babies under 14 months

Julie Grygla and her sons Abraham, Brady and Christian.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Julie Grygla wasn't sure she wanted to have children. Now the US woman and her husband Dave are set to become parents to five babies under the age of 14 months.

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Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

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Sarah Knapton Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Facebook and Apple offer to pay female staff to freeze their eggs

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JO HARTLEY Facebook and Apple are hoping to provide women with the freedom to build their careers without the added pressure of having children at or by a certain age.

Woman sues after having a mixed-race baby

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Meredith Rodriguez A US woman is suing a sperm bank after it sent her vials from African-American man, instead of the white donor she had selected.

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The Gardner quadruplets: a one in 70 million pregnancy

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LETITIA ROWLANDS This couple received an extreme shock as they found out theirs was a one in 70 million conception.

The mums suing over unplanned babies

Who should be held responsible when sterilisation doesn't prevent unwanted pregnancies?

A mother-of-five who calls her two youngest sons "miracle babies" is just one of many mums seeking financial compensation for their children's unplanned conceptions.

The fertility battle we don't talk about

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KERRI SACKVILLE “You’re nowhere near menopausal,” my doctor cheerily informed me, and my heart sank. I don’t want to live with worry about pregnancy anymore.

Many women shunning contraception

A dislike of the contraceptive pill is leading to women risking unwanted pregnancies.

Harriet Alexander and Brigid Delaney Women who underestimate their fertility are turning away from contraception, often resulting in unintended pregnancies.

When to have sex to get pregnant

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Karin Hammarberg Timing sex to coincide with your most fertile days can reduce the time it takes to conceive, and could even save you a trip to the fertility clinic.

The truth about sperm tests

One man shares his experience of undergoing sperm testing.

Justin McCabe One man shares his advice about the part potential dads-to-be need to play when a couple is seeking fertility treatment.

Pregnancy a tricky matter of timing for FIFO couples

FIFO workers often go to extreme measures when trying to start a family.

LIAM DUCEY Manipulating rosters, coordinating 'conjugal' visits, working on site with your partner; getting pregnant can prove stressful for FIFO workers.

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Why 'egg freezing parties' aren't such a crazy idea

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NEDAHL STELIO Welcome to an egg-freezing party, where women drink champagne, are educated on the science of freezing their eggs, and the offer of putting your fertility on hold is openly discussed.

Surrogacy baby abandoned by Australian parents

Gammy has Down syndrome.

LINDSAY MURDOCH Thailand's surrogacy industry has been thrown into the spotlight by the tragic case of six-month-old baby Gammy, whose Australian parents refused to take him after they discovered he had Down syndrome.

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Hold the phone: mobiles damage chance of becoming a dad

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LETITIA ROWLANDS For one in five infertile couples, the reason for the failure to conceive is male infertility. Recent studies have suggested mobile phones and cannabis use are two factors which could damage a man's chances of becoming a dad.

The invisible loss of infertility

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Melody McCabe "Infertility is an invisible loss. No one else can appreciate the depth and intensity." The words were part of advice I think every person battling to conceive should read.

You've got to have faith

Jo Stanley

Jo Stanley Whether it is placebo or panacea, traditional Chinese medicine gives me a sense of being better balanced - and I believe it gave me our first baby, too. So why isn't it working this time around?

High cholesterol may make it harder to conceive

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Lenny Bernstein In a study of 501 couples who were trying to conceive, the time it took for the woman to become pregnant was longest if both partners had high cholesterol in their blood.

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For many, fertility is far from finished at 40

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Julia Llewellyn Smith Many women think they're past having children once they hit their early forties. But while fertility does decline as you get older, the drop is not as great as we are sometimes led to believe.

How to support a friend trying to conceive

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DANIELLE COLLEY While some ladies fall pregnant with at the drop of a hat, other women may require more effort. If your friend is struggling to fall pregnant, here's what - and - what not to say to support them.

Men need infertility support, too

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Armin Brott My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for two years, and in that time, not a single person has asked how I'm doing. I'm getting really angry about being ignored, so how should I respond to well-meaning but hurtful comments?

Tomatoes boost male fertility

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A key compound in tomatoes could increase a man's fertility by up to 70 per cent, a study has found.

The quest for the first womb transplant babies

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Richard Orange Hundreds of Australian women are anxiously watching international trials of the next frontier of reproductive science: womb transplants.

Egg donation: a gift like no other

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Melody McCabe Could you donate an egg to a couple in need? This mum of two didn't think it was for her - but as time went on, she decided she would do what it took to help strangers become parents.

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Social surrogacy rids mums of the 'inconvenience' of pregnancy

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Surrogate mothers help women who can't carry their own baby achieve their dreams of motherhood. But a growing number of women in the US are seeking the services of a surrogate simply because they don't like the idea of going through pregnancy and childbirth themselves.

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A mum at last, Nicki's not giving up now

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Kellyanne Morrison After 14 years of infertility, Nicki and Tony finally became parents when Nicki's sister gave them a child. Less than a year later came a crushing blow - but Nicki's not giving up without a fight.

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'Egg yolk' treatment ends mum's miscarriage heartbreak

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Lorraine Donakey thought she might never become a mum after six miscarriages. But after undergoing a new treatment which involves the use of a substance containing egg yolk, she now has a healthy baby girl.

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Woman with transplant womb undergoes embryo transfer

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Richard Orange A woman is on course to become the first in the world to give birth from a transplanted womb, after doctors successfully introduced an embryo into her body.

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Choosing my partner over motherhood

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Genevieve Van Eden I have always loved children and dreamt of becoming a mother. But my life has taken a different course.

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Swedish doctors transplant nine wombs

Doctors in Sweden have transplanted wombs into nine women.

Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant, the doctor in charge of the pioneering project has revealed.

'So, whose fault is it?'

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GREER BERRY One of the first things people tend to ask me when they know that we're going through fertility treatment is (in a quiet, almost apologetic voice), "So, um ... whose fault is it?"

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Forums

Discuss conception with EB members!

Are you thinking about trying to conceive (TTTC) or trying to conceive (TTC)? Perhaps you're after information on assisted conception or donors? Ask for tips or help others in the Essential Baby conception forums.

Tools

Conception App

Download our FREE Ovulation Calendar; EB EggTimer iphone app to track and record your cycle, symptoms, & temperature.

Ovulation Calculator

Increase your chances of getting pregnant by determining when you are most fertile with Essential Baby's Ovulation Calculator.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Trying to understand why your baby is upset

Working out what’s underlying your baby's fussiness can be a case of trial and error. Here are a few common causes and how you can remedy each one.

When those you love judge your parenting

In today's society, never has it been harder to parent without judgment. But what about when judgment is coming from closer to home?

Don't play the victim blame game with family violence

It's not a woman's job to teach violent men how to behave.

11 truths about having two under two

When I told my mothers’ group that my husband and I had started trying for our second baby they told me I was crazy. Now I can see why.

'How do you say goodbye to someone you've only just started to get to know?'

New mum Sarah Sutton was faced with a shattering scenario no person should have to endure.

It's a ... boy! Couple welcomes son number 13

"It's a boy!" That's the phrase Kateri Schwandt has heard in labour delivery ward for the 13th time in her life.

Six reasons to go for a walk

Can't find time to get to the gym? It could be just as beneficial to put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there’s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it’s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

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What's hot on EB

Where are the childcare places?

It’s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

Toddler styling

Seven things my toddler taught me about my home

My standards at home were never that high but having a two-year-old has taught me to be cool with chaos.

Australia's top baby names of 2014

The numbers have been crunched and it's official: Australian parents are having a bit of an 'O' moment.

How to set up the perfect nursery for your baby

You'll soon be meeting your baby, but you've got one big task to get done first: setting up a comfy, calming nursery you'll both be able to enjoy.

Childcare rebate: tougher rules for stay-at-home mums

A new form of activity testing will be introduced to ensure the highest subsidies go to parents who contribute the most to the workforce.

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.