Fertility

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

Egg yolk

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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Claims of 'virgin births' in the US

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In a new US study, nearly one per cent of young women who became pregnant claimed to have done so as virgins.

The beautiful cervix project

Female reproductive system

JO HARTLEY The website itself describes the project as ‘a form of self-empowerment and education’, and offers women the opportunity to buy a self exam kit.

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The new young mums

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Nicole Thomson-Pride As the average age of women giving birth trends upwards, a new group of mothers has emerged: the 'new young mums’. Nicole Thomson-Pride writes what motherhood is like for women who have babies in their early twenties.

Fertility expert: 'Egg Timer Test is unreliable'

Fertility

Ellen Connolly A popular fertility test designed to tell a woman how long she has left to fall pregnant is providing inaccurate and misleading results, according to an Australian fertility expert.

Most Americans think women should be mums by 25

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Jessica Grose A new poll shows that the majority of Americans think that in an ideal world, women should start having children by age 25.

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Why we need to talk about male fertility more often

Time Flies

SARAH BERRY Men have biological clocks too, it turns out. But because we live in a society obsessed with male virility, it is a taboo topic.

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'I'm a sperm donor'

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Paul van Reyk Paul van Reyk doesn't recall wanting to have children, but has donated sperm to more than a dozen women. Some of those children call him 'Dad', while others don't. He tells his story.

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IVA part of the great fertility revolution

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Victoria Lambert The experimental treatments that today’s fertility scientists keep coming up with are astonishing - such as IVA, a new treatment for women who experience premature menopause.

Woman accused of impregnating maid with husband's sperm

Pregnant woman, pregnancy, blood pressure, health, doctor, hospital.

Nicole Pryor A New Zealand woman has been accused of secretly injecting her husband's sperm into their maid in a bizarre Dubai court case.

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Muslim cleric says driving damages ovaries

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A conservative Saudi Arabian cleric has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems.

Coping with secondary infertility

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CATHERINE RODIE Although it's not as common as primary infertility, it's estimated that as many as one in 10 couples experience secondary infertility.

Clearing the confusion on contraception

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M.J. Angel Choosing the right contraception method for many women can feel like playing hormonal Russian roulette. Contraception isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.

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New 'sleeping beauty' contraceptive

Professor John Aitken

Natasha Wallace Female contraceptive simultaneously paralyses sperm and protects from sexually transmitted diseases.

Video: A happy twist for Mary Coustas

Mary Coustas & George Betsis

Staff writers Mary Coustas has reason to smile again. Watch the moment she announces that she is pregnant and due in December.

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Our long and winding fertility journey

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Nicole Salinas I’m pregnant with my third baby. Many would read that and think ‘so what?’ but there was a dark and difficult time when I thought I would never have children of my own.

Meet 'the sperm whisperer'

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Staff writers A New York urologist dubbed "the sperm whisperer" says he's seen a dramatic rise in the number of men who are freezing their sperm for use later in life.

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The children I've never known

Mary Coustas & George Betsis

Actor and comedian Mary Coustas explains how her longing to be a mother ended in tragedy.

When kids don't happen

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Lori Carson I'll always wonder what it might have been like to have a child, but I know that no one gets to live out all her dreams. It's tempting to wonder "what if", but I think the choices we make are probably built into who we are.

Does this make you want to reproduce?

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CANDICE CHUNG One UK company has started an unusual campaign to get women thinking about fertility - and it's not doing anyone any favours.

What not to say to a childless woman

Wendy Squires

Wendy Squires There are two words for the woman who announced it was a tragedy that I was chlidless.

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The new wave of older mums

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Michaela Fox Halle Berry recently announced she is pregnant at the age of 46, but it’s not just high profile women who are delaying motherhood – since 2001, there's been an 80 per cent increase in mums over 40 in Australia. So what's behind the trend?

Surrogacy's painful path to parenthood

Surrogate.Northbridge.March 21st, 2013.Photo.Sahlan Hayes.Melbourne Age.Left to right. Philip Copland and Sam Everingham with their surrogate daughters, Ruby (purple) and Zoe.

Julia Medew Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, leading hundreds of people each year to pay women overseas amid difficult decisions and sometimes tragic outcomes.

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Why I took an Egg Timer Test

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JOCELYN BREWER A single woman took a blood test to find out about her 'ovarian reserve'. This is what happened next ...

'It is possible': how one amazing family came to be

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It seemed Lauren and Joe Kamnik would never have a family - until they started seeing things differently. Then life threw a few curve balls their way for good measure.

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Dispelling fertility misconceptions

Stephanie Gold

Rachael Oakes-Ash A leading professor has spoken about fertility in the hopes of combating common myths regarding to pregnancy and conception.

Cancer no reason to avoid baby talk

Sara D'Angelo stored some frozen embryos before treatment for Cervical cancer last year.
The Age/News, Picture Michael Clayton-Jones, Melbourne, Story Kate Hagan

Kate Hagan Research finds that fewer than half of young cancer patients discuss their fertility with experts before treatment, but there are options available to them.

Average age of mums still rising

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The average age of Australian mothers is still rising, but not as rapidly as it was a few decades ago, new statistics reveal.

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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.

Special offer: The Baby & Toddler Show 2014

At The Baby & Toddler Show, you’ll find everything you need to get ready for your new arrival and guide you through the early weeks and years of parenting.

An open letter to Tony Abbott: please salvage our super

We face financial ruin, but most of us don’t realise it. If we don’t act together to salvage our superannuation, I have no doubt the new GFC will be the Girls’ Financial Crisis.

'I'm happy to know I'm changing lives': surrogate mum of two

I know that once the baby is born, I will focus on the gift I have given, and watch the parents with their new child. I can't wait for that day.

Birth trauma and the issue of informed consent

There is a perception that women should just be happy they have a healthy baby in their arms. But for women who experienced birth trauma, there's a lot more to it.

Tips for managing pollen allergies and hayfever

They're simple tips, but they can have a big impact on those who suffer from hayfever and pollen allergies.

Ada Nicodemou shares tribute to her stillborn baby

Just over one month since Ada Nicodemou and her husband lost their second son, the Home and Away star has shared a touching poem for her baby.

Mum causes stir breastfeeding on train

“To the woman breastfeeding her kid on the train. Seriously! On the train?" began the letter of complaint.

10 things they don’t tell you about being pregnant

As I slowly waddle my ever-changing pregnant body towards the finishing line of my due date, it’s becoming increasingly clear there are a lot of things they just don’t tell you about pregnancy.

Overcoming a fear of the dark

A toddler's fear of the dark is very normal, but there are ways parents can help children through this stage in their development.

Kids, TV and movies: how young is too young?

It seems you don't have to throw the TV and iPad out the window - it all boils down to moderation, supervision and interaction.

Video: Baby's first birthday is a special day for mum, too

“A baby’s first birthday is also mum’s first birthday.”

The day Supernanny came to tea

Prince William's favourite celebrity child trainer Jo Frost puts Bryony Gordon and her toddler through their paces.

Tales from the homefront

When you're at work you sort of assume that your house is basically just sitting there quietly doing nothing until you return. However, since spending my days at home, I've learned this couldn't be further from the truth.

The words I hated hearing as new mum

It was less than a week after my son was born that I first heard it - from my mother.

To the pharmacist who sold me baby formula

On the rare occasion I catch sight of you at school, or around town, I think back to our earliest exchange. I’m sure you have no recollection of it at all.

Babies may benefit from autism therapy

Children showing signs of autism don't usually receive early intervention until well into toddlerhood or later, but a new study suggests infants with symptoms of the developmental disorder might benefit from therapy from as early as six months.

Knatalye and Adeline born with an everlasting bond

Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith are a lot like any other identical twin girls, but there is one dramatic difference: they're joined at the chest and shares several internal organs.

The question this dad wishes he'd asked his wife

I should have seen that my wife wasn't the same person I'd fallen in love with, but we were both too focused on simply trying to get by.

Why we should talk about the deaths of the Hunt children

The deaths are too horrible even to think about. Yet we owe it to the children - Fletcher, Mia and Phoebe Hunt - to think long and hard about it all.

Baby dies of meningococcal weeks after vaccine application denied

A six-month-old girl has died from meningococcal disease just weeks after an application for government funding of a vaccine for the most deadly strain of the virus was rejected.

Finding the right balance when playing with your kids

Being too involved in our children’s play and not allowing our kids enough free time for unstructured activities can mean our kids miss out on the value that play offers.

Creative DIY light shades

The Pop Light light shade comes in a flat pack already made - it's up to you to design it as you'd like.

The battle of iParenting versus imagination

Have we forgotten how to be imaginative, resourceful parents?

Why movement is so important for your baby's growth

Letting your child move as much as possible in the early years – using all senses, engaging in the real world, preferably outside – will help them grow up healthier, smarter, calmer and stronger.

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Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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What's hot on EB

Special offer: The Baby & Toddler Show 2014

At The Baby & Toddler Show, you’ll find everything you need to get ready for your new arrival and guide you through the early weeks and years of parenting.

Losing yourself to motherhood

While watching your baby grow into a unique little person is exciting and wondrous, the intensity of meeting everyone else’s needs can ever so sneakily overtake your own needs for self-care.

Tearing during delivery: the facts

Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby’s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend – me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum – I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women’s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

Single, pregnant - and 51

She first became a mum at 49 - now, two years later, Tracey Khan is pregnant with her second child.

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