Fertility

What's your magic number? Scientists predict when you should start a family

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AMY CORDEROY Scientists have calculated at exactly what age you need to start trying to get pregnant to have the best chance of realising your dream. 

Should fertility checks become the norm?

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JO HARTLEY A new clinic claims to offer an expert one-stop fertility check. But is it really helpful?

IVF gender selection being considered for Australian parents

New guidelines are being drafted in response to a shift in community sentiment regarding IVF.

HARRIET ALEXANDER Couples using IVF may be able to choose the gender of their babies and women could be financially compensated for donating their eggs.

Yes, you can get pregnant before your period returns post-baby

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EVELYN LEWIN After giving birth, the last thing you want to think about is contraception. But you can get pregnant before your period comes back.

Gadgets

iSperm: the iPad home fertility test for men

Pig farm owner Sam Wang demonstrates how to use an iSperm kit in Yunlin, central Taiwan.

Michael Gold A new gadget uses a tiny microscope and the camera on an iPad to calculate sperm count and motility.

Woman falls pregnant three times using 'permanent' birth control

Olivia won a court case after her Essure contraception device failed, leaving her with pregnancies and health issues.

HARRIET ALEXANDER A growing number of women want a controversial method of permanent birth control removed from the market.

Comments

Why one expert says young men need to freeze their sperm

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JO HARTLEY We often read about women being advised to put their eggs on ice - but is it time men started the doing the same with their sperm?

Comments

One of the biggest controversies in reproductive medicine: natural killer cells

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Clare Sibthorpe Leigh Travers endured a six-year long struggle of seven heartbreaking miscarriages and $25,000 in IVF treatment before the successful birth of daughter Ava.

Uterine fibroids and fertility: the facts

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Brooke Tasovac Uterine fibroids can affect fertility, but with treatment it's possible to conceive and carry a baby.

Endometriosis can increase risks in pregnancy, study finds

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Margaret Scheikowski It's long been known that women with endometriosis have difficulties getting pregnant.

Woman has baby from ovary tissue frozen as a teen

A piece of ovarian tissue in a petri dish.

AAP In a world first, a woman has given birth after surgeons implanted ovarian tissue that had been removed when she was a child.

Secondary infertility sucks too

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Louise Wedgwood Having produced a child is no guarantee someone can do it twice. In fact, around 10 per cent of the mums you may know have been struggling to have another child for more than a year.

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

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

Michelle Duff "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.

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

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.

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Dealing with a toddler's morning tantrums

Your schedule is not important to your two-year-old, and you cannot convince her otherwise. So what can you do?

Child in suitcase 'could have died eight years ago'

A child whose remains were dumped in a suitcase in the South Australian bush is believed to have been a girl aged between two-and-a-half to four.

MP breastfeeds baby during parliamentary session

An Argentinian mum and politician has caused a stir on social media after being filmed breastfeeding her baby.

My baby's first seizure

It was 1am on a cold winter's night when I woke suddenly to the screams of my 12-month-old son. Our lives were about to change forever.

Portable pools 'more dangerous than permanent ones'

Inflatable and portable children's pools may be required to be sold with compulsory fencing to prevent backyard drownings, with some experts even floating the idea of a ban.

Heartbreaking moment mum kisses her one-week-old goodbye

At 11.07am on April 2 this year, Sarah Marriott welcomed baby Sebastian into the world.

The amazing Tee Pee bed and kid-friendly Frankie Bunk bed

These kids' beds definitely fit the brief of providing personality and personal space for little people who are moving up in the world.

The funny things kids say when you're pregnant

Since becoming noticeably pregnant, my son has taken more of an interest in the sibling he'll soon have.

The real problem with having one child

In this age of political correctness, it seems the one subject still subject to discrimination is that of the Only Child.

Six-week-old baby found dead, believed stabbed

A neighbour heard a child screaming before a baby was found dead, believed to have been stabbed, in a house in Newcastle.

The fire hazard in more than 70,000 Australian homes

So far, 206 Samsung washing machines have caught fire and some have exploded. But many remain in people's homes.

How having a baby can bring on OCD

We all know that having a baby can turn your life upside down - and it can also bring a raft of new anxieties and worries.

IVF gender selection being considered for Australian parents

Couples using IVF may be able to choose the gender of their babies and women could be financially compensated for donating their eggs.

The best age to get married (according to the latest study)

Not too young, and not too old. That's reportedly the best age to get married. Not everyone agrees.

Yes, you can get pregnant before your period returns post-baby

After giving birth, the last thing you want to think about is contraception. But you can get pregnant before your period comes back.

Fellow diner rewards mum after toddler's tantrum

Parents of toddlers everywhere know the feeling. After working up the courage to take your child out for lunch or dinner in public you are rewarded with a mid-meal meltdown. 

IKEA begins massive safety campaign after two toddler deaths

Two children were killed when pieces from their Malm furniture line tipped over.

Beaneasy: sweet nursery furniture with a twist

If you're looking to introduce an organic element into your baby's nursery but want to step away from natural timber, we have the perfect alternative.

A dad's guide to hyperemesis

I am in no way qualified to advise women on how to cope with hyperemesis, but I've learnt some lessons that might be worth sharing with other partners.

Woman adopts best friend's four daughters after cancer tragedy

Best friends share everything - and for these two life-long friends, that includes family.

Baby Leo's mum excluded from $500K trust 'for her own protection'

Samuel Forrest didn't want his wife as a trustee of their baby Leo's half million dollar trust for her own "protection", it has emerged.

Confirmed: men gain weight when they become dads

Men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, according to a new, large-scale study

Carer investigated over washing machine photo posted 'for a laugh'

She said the photo of a boy with Down syndrome in a washing machine was taken just for fun, but no one else was laughing.

Mum's premature labour nightmare after high tea salmonella outbreak

An opulent high tea at a luxury Melbourne hotel has left 44 people with salmonella poisoning - including a pregnant woman, who went into early labour.

The day my son started a fire

Would you know what to do in a fire emergency? How safe is your home and family?

Prince George celebrates second birthday

Prince George's second birthday has been marked by the release of an official picture showing the toddler smiling as he is held by his proud beaming father.

Which beauty treatments are safe in pregnancy?

Is it safe to use fake tan, hair dye and nail varnish during pregnancy?

The five ways I know my 'baby' is no longer a baby

The truth is, I can no longer deny that my walking, babbling, somewhat-independent little miss is no longer a bona fide 'baby'.

Review: Cybex Platinum PRIAM pram

I'm not usually one who believes in love at first sight but that's exactly what happened when I first saw the Cybex PRIAM.

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Why I'm choosing to be a single mother right from the start

I believe that you get out of families what you put into them, and I will give mine my all.

Mother and baby units are a necessity for mental health, not a luxury

I have had two postnatal psychotic episodes. The first when my eldest child was six weeks old, and another after my second child was born.

30 French baby names

French names are always in fashion, but a few have risen in popularity in recent years.

New mum's Spanish maternity nightmare

A British woman who gave birth in Spain has told of her ordeal after spending weeks trying to convince medics the baby girl was hers.

Preparing Rover to be a good dog with baby

Some friends of ours say that it's dangerous to have a dog around a newborn and that we should start looking for a new home for him. Is it?

Company offers to ship working mums' breast milk home

First Apple and Facebook announced they would pay $20,000 towards the cost of their female employees freezing their eggs, now IBM in the US has come up with an innovative new policy aimed at retaining female employees.

Prince William speaks of his pride at wife Kate and 'little joy of heaven' Charlotte

The Duke of Cambridge opened up about family life and his plans for the future in an interview to mark his first day as an air ambulance pilot.

'Glowing' eye saves baby Mason's life

A simple photo taken in front of an evening fire gave new mother Sarah Bowers the power to save her baby's life. 

Parenting and decision overload

Of all the advice people told me before having a baby, no one warned me about the amount of decisions involved.

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