All Articles Tagged "fertility issues"

Comedian GloZell Green Gets Serious About Infertility, Surrogacy And Having A Baby At 43

May 2nd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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You either love GloZell Green’s eccentric act or you side-eye it all. But a recent interview with Refinery29 is exposing a different, vulnerable side of Green that is making everyone pay attention, and is also making the colorful comedian all the more relatable.

She spoke with the publication about infertility for National Infertility Week (which was last week, from April 24-30) and explained that while she was making people laugh in front of the camera, for the last few years, she was going through a painful fertility journey behind the camera. As Green, who is married, pointed out, she decided to put her quest for motherhood on overdrive at the age of 39, and her doctors told her that it was pretty much too late for her.

“My mom told me, ‘Make sure you do everything you want to do before you have kids,'” Green told Refinery29. “So that’s what I was doing. But biologically, the body is just like, well, you should have done it. And all the doctors that I went to, except for the last one, made me feel like I was just so old. You know, ‘You should have frozen your eggs at 20.’ Well, who’s thinking about that at 20?”

But Green didn’t give up. She pursued all of her options before eventually being blessed to have a surrogate offer to help, going that route because she had endometriosis and her uterine lining was thin. (Note: She did share that the surrogate is a White woman, which some people gave her flack over. But as she put it, “when you get to that point, you don’t care. You’re just happy that someone is willing to do be [sic] your surrogate, because it’s very dangerous.”)

“I started looking into this at 39, and I’m 43, and it’s just now happening,” Green said. “The only procedure I had done was the egg retrieval, and I had that done six times. I wasn’t going to carry the child myself, so I didn’t have to do any other procedures. It took three years from talking about it, to meeting with Wendie Wilson-Miller from Gifted Journeys Surrogacy, to finding the right doctor, to doing the egg retrieval, and finding the right surrogate.”

The baby, a girl, is set to be born in August, and in the meantime, Green is trying not to stress herself, or her surrogate out. She often finds herself worried when her surrogate travels, but she doesn’t want to keep the woman from doing what she wants and needs to for herself, in order for her pregnancy to be an easy and happy one.

As she waits, she’s also looking forward to hopefully having another child (“I have a few more eggs left that passed the test”) and continuing with sharing her story, so that other women know they’re not alone. And also so other women know that they shouldn’t let the ups and downs of such a painful process stop them from seeing it through.

“Don’t stop. It can get discouraging — Oh, it didn’t work or Oh, I lost the baby or I can’t do this again. You can. And when you get the kid, you’ll be happy that you did. But it’s a very painful process for a lot of people. You just have to figure out how it’s gonna get done.”

Serious Question: Would You Have Sex With Your Sperm Donor In Front Of Your Husband?

October 7th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Thirteen years ago, Ed Houben (pronounced who-been) decided to become a sperm donor because he doubted he would ever have a family of his own. As he became more comfortable with his side-occupation, Houben created a schedule where he visited the donation clinic twice a month. However, the Netherland’s citizen began to feel the process lacked intimacy. So, after donating in the icy atmosphere for the umpteenth time, Houben decided to create his own site offering artificial insemination services via house calls.

During his house calls, Houben would get to know his client/s and would then produce a sample of his sperm in their bathroom. The client/s would then insert his sperm into the syringe in order to get pregnant. However, during one visit, Houben’s procedure changed; instead of producing his sperm in a cup, the couple asked Houben to donate his sperm, the old-fashion way. Houben told GQ Magazine, the wife wanted to have sexual intercourse with him in order to expand her family because she felt artificial insemination was an impersonal process.

Interestingly enough, the woman’s husband joined her and Houben in bed, so he could be present when his child was conceived. “We were three persons in the bed, and I was so surprised that I didn’t know what to say. I had this combat inside—my head full of non-stimulating thoughts—but he never even accidentally touched me,” Houben reminisced to GQ. “He wanted to be present when his child was created.” Ever since that experience, Houben has been paid not only for his sperm donation but to travel across the world to help couples and single women create the miracle of life. Although Houben describes himself as “the truly ugly guy with glasses” and has not had a romantic relationship of his own in years, he has fathered over 106 children—something he thought he would never be able to do prior to becoming a sperm donor.

The BBC has hailed him as the “most virile man in Europe” and many in his local community call him the “Babymaker,” though many believe Houben is dismissing his morals and crossing boundaries between married couples. Houben explained his relationships with the women are just quasi-friendships and noted about 20 percent of the husbands are present while their wives and he engaged in sexual intercourse. Other husbands tend to wait outside the room or in the car. Houben also said many of these couples tried every reproductive procedure possible to get pregnant. So, after spending large amounts of money to help with their fertility issues, the option of  having sex with another person to conceive a baby doesn’t seem that out of the question or ludicrous.

While I read about how Houben donates sperm, I found it interesting people judged him and the couples who use his services. Cultures and societies, alike, believe producing children is the greatest accomplishment for individuals to achieve. Though when couples are not able to attain that particular goal, they are shamed and ridiculed. By couples taking a more modern approach with how they define marriage and achieve parenthood, they can be more comfortable with their unconventional choices. It also doesn’t allow them to succumb to society’s trick of wanting people to have it all but objects to the options they need to gain what they desire.

Would you have sexual intercourse with a sperm donor in order to get pregnant?

Rhonda Ross On Her 10-Year Struggle To Conceive

October 5th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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J. Quazi King

J. Quazi King

Rhonda Ross as told to mater mea
Images: J. Quazi King

My husband and I have been together for a long time, almost 20 years. For the first 10 [years], maybe longer, we tried unsuccessfully to conceive. I was in my 20s and everybody said, “Ah, you’re in your 20s! You’re fine! Just try harder!”

Then by 30, they’re like “Well, maybe we should check some things out.” And then by 35, they’re like “Well. Now you’re old.” (Laughs) It was a very difficult time. I think these kinds of things either make or break relationships, and it made ours. Infertility can be really hard, especially on a young marriage. Then in early 2006, we got pregnant through IVF and miscarried twins at eight weeks.

After that, we got pregnant naturally and it turned out that pregnancy was ectopic and so we lost that [baby]. Then we conceived naturally again and held that baby for four and half months. But I had fibroids and, as can happen when you have fibroids during pregnancy, I went into labor early. So we lost that pregnancy, too.

Photo: J. Quazi King Ross with her son Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick in their apartment's courtyard in Harlem.

Photo: J. Quazi King
Ross with her son Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick in their apartment’s courtyard in Harlem.

It was such a deepening experience. My faith got deepened, my communication with God got deeper, my “What do I really want?”, “What do I believe about God?”, “What do I believe about my own fears, my own regrets?” got deepened.

I knew, I knew, I knew that I would be a mother. I knew it. There was all of this darkness, but there was this pinpoint of light and I thought, “I still see it. Nothing is justifying it, but I still see it.”

One of the things I made a decision about after the third miscarriage was that whenever I got pregnant again, I was going to put myself on bedrest. I wanted to find a way to have income outside of my performances, and since I had already been interested in real estate investment [I started my brokerage firm]. I healed myself for a year. At the end of that year, we tried again.

And with one try, we were pregnant again and it was Raif. No help from doctors, no anything. I did go to a high-risk OBGYN, but the truth is it was a very healthy pregnancy and Raif has been very healthy ever since. It was like he was meant to be here. He wanted to be here. Despite wanting to have a child since my 20s and ending up having one, one week before my 38th birthday, the timing was perfect. That’s how God works.

reprinted with permission

mater mea is a website that celebrates women of color at the intersection of career and family. Visit for more great articles on work-life balance from a Black woman’s perspective.

Tyra Banks Talks About Her Fertility Struggles

September 16th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Celebrities visiting a gifting suite in Brentwood Featuring: Tyra Banks Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 16 Aug 2015 Credit:


It’s a big week for celebrity women talking about fertility issues. Just a few days ago Gabrielle Union discussed feeling “barren” when she thinks about choosing a career first over being a mother. not being able to have kids.

In the upcoming issue of People magazine (on newsstands Friday), supermodel-turned-mogul Tyra Banks opens up about her personal struggle with infertility. The entrepreneur just launched her new daytime talk show, Tyra Presents The Fab Life, but her one true dream is to become a mom.

“When I turned 40, the one thing I was not happy about is that I did not have kids,” Banks tells People. “I’m like, ‘Damn, the clock is ticking!’ ”

Banks, 41, reveals that since age 24 she would tell herself, ‘I will have kids in three years,’ but being so busy with work, she never found the time. When she was finally ready to become pregnant, she says, it just hasn’t happened.

Banks, who has been dating her boyfriend, photographer Erik Asla for two years, has undergone IVF procedures in hopes of conceiving. She says Asla has been a major support through some “not so happy, traumatic moments,” and they look forward to growing old together.

Banks says she still has hopes and wants a litter of kids, and has admittedly taken a much less workaholic approach to this new talk show. Her co-hosts, Chrissy Teigen (the resident food pro) Joe Zee (fashion), Lauren Makk (interior design) and Leah Ashley (DIY) are sharing their expertise – and lightening Banks’ load. “With this team, I’m presenting these people and their ideas, and I can sit back sometimes.”

We hope the best for her!

Things You’re Doing Today That Are Hurting Your Fertility Tomorrow

August 24th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Maybe you don’t want kids today. Maybe you don’t even want them within the next five years. But if you want them at some point, you should be preparing now. You can’t just rapidly clean up the mess you’ve made the moment you want to have kids. Mistakes you make today can permanently hurt your fertility. Here are 15 things you’re doing today that are hurting your fertility tomorrow.





Ask Dr. Renee: How Does Having Breast Cancer Affect Fertility?

July 24th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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How Does Having Breast Cancer Affect Fertility?

Image Source:

Breast cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. Unfortunately Black women are being diagnosed at younger ages. Black\women under the age of 40 are more likely to develop breast cancer than White women in the same age bracket. As if receiving a breast cancer diagnosis was not enough to worry about, now you have to worry about whether you will be able to ever have children once you become a survivor.

More than 11,000 women under the age of 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year. How breast cancer treatment affects fertility depends largely on three factors: the type of treatment used, type and stage of the cancer at diagnosis, and the age of the patient.

Type of Treatment

If your breast cancer can be treated with surgery and radiation and no chemotherapy there is no affect on your fertility. The women that are treated with chemotherapy have a greater risk of developing premature ovarian failure or very early menopause. Cyclophosphamide, one of the most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer, has a 40-80% risk of causing women to develop ovarian failure.

Type and Stage of Cancer

The severity of the cancer upon detection, as well as what type of cancer it is, decide whether chemotherapy will be required to treat the disease. The more advanced the cancer is upon detection, increases the likelihood that chemotherapy will be the treatment of choice. Chemotherapy drugs affect the whole body, which is why there are so many side affects when taking these medications.  A small tumor with small nodes that are localized and have no threat of spreading (metastasizing) can be surgically removed and radiation administered to make certain they are all gone. Compared to invasive breast cancer which will require chemotherapy.

There are different types of breast cancer tumors, which will also dictate which treatment is best. Some tumors can be treated with hormone-containing drugs.  There are a small number of tumors that are “hormonally insensitive,” meaning you can not treat them with hormones so your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Age of Patient

Age is a major factor in a woman’s fertility. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and you are already 30 your fertility was already declining. Now, you add the fact that you are taking chemotherapy drugs and have to wait a few more years after you are medically cleared to try to get pregnant. Many times chemotherapy sends women close to 40 into menopause.

Preserving Fertility

Recently I talked about whether or not you “should freeze your eggs.” Many of those methods are recommended to patients who want to preserve their fertility until after they are cancer free. If you have a partner you could try invitro fertilization (IVF) where your partner’s sperm fertilizes your eggs and they freeze the embryos for transplantation into your uterus at a later date.

It is rare for men to get breast cancer, but it happens. Male breast cancer patients that undergo chemotherapy and want to preserve their fertility can freeze their sperm.

Tamoxifen, a drug traditionally used to prevent breast cancer reoccurrence, was recently found to stimulate ovaries in breast cancer survivors during an IVF cycle, enhancing both egg and embryo production. This extra boost can combat infertility barriers such as age and the diminishing ovarian reserves, which occurs naturally with aging.

When Can I Try To Conceive?

Women that are fertile after their breast cancer treatment are generally told to wait two years before trying to get pregnant. The most serious relapses occur in the first two years. During pregnancy the hormone levels are so high that it could possibly contribute to a growing cancer tumor, which is why it is so important to wait at least two years before trying.

Science has come a long way and is still doing lots of research to figure out how to preserve male and female fertility during breast cancer treatment. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and you plan on having a family, I would recommend you have this discussion with your doctor immediately and ask for a recommendation for a reproductive endocrinologist. The oncologist and reproductive endocrinologist will have to work together to determine what is the best avenue for you to have a baby.


Source: Ask Dr. Renee

Source: Ask Dr. Renee


Dr. Renee Matthews has appeared on television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and WGN’s “People to People”  where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on Sirius XM/ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on Sirius XM’s “Sway in the Morning.” 

Dr. Renee earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005. She spent the early part of her medical career as an educator for numerous hospitals and attending staff on cord blood. 

Twitter: @AskDrRenee

Kenya Moore Says Her Body Has Been Cleared For Baby Making: ‘I Hope To Share Some Great News Soon!’

March 21st, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Kenya Moore Says Her Body Has Been Cleared For Baby Making

Source: Instagram

It’s no secret that Kenya Moore has big dreams of becoming a mom someday. And according to a recent blog post, she’s hoping to conceive in the very near future. With whom she’s looking to go half on a baby with is a completely different story.

“I underwent fibroid surgery early this year and it was very successful,” Moore gushed in the blog post. “Thanks to my amazing doctor and my many blessings, physically, I’m in amazing condition for pregnancy. I hope to share some great news soon.”

During Sunday night’s episode, fans witnessed the former pageant queen’s eagerness to conceive first hand when she invited a few of the Housewives to a Shaman cleansing, which is believed to assist with fertility.

“You never know how your blessings will come or from whom,” she explained. “The Shamans have been known to bless many women with children after their spiritual cleansing. I brought the women who had been supportive of me in my endeavor to have a family.”

Kenya then went on to express why she chose to exclude some of the cast from the ceremony.

“I excluded Phaedra who cold heartedly remarked about me having ‘scrambled eggs’ and Porsha for consistently taunting me about the men in my life, which leads to a family.”

“With that said, I now see that NeNe’s snide remarks made me regret inviting her,” adds the 43-year-old reality star. “I’ve been more than generous with her, but I am too fed up with her to see any good in her. This was my honest attempt at revealing more of who I am and what my real struggles have been.”

Despite her displeasure with NeNe’s response to the ceremony, she says that it wasn’t a complete waste, as she was able to connect with some of the other ladies.

“I’m thankful that they all were able to share their stories on motherhood allowing us to understand each other more. It truly inspired me.”

Good luck, Kenya!

Oh? Kim Kardashian Says Khloe Wasn’t Trying To Have A Baby With Lamar Because ‘She Knew It Wasn’t Right’

January 24th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Sources: YouTube, WENN

Sources: YouTube, WENN

After years of the public being led to believe that Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom didn’t have children together because of Khloe’s fertility issues, her older sister, Kim, is now saying that there’s a lot more to that story. According to Kim, Khloe wasn’t really trying to have a baby with Lamar.

“For so long everyone in our family was feeling so sad for Khloe, thinking that she wasn’t getting pregnant and everyone around her was,” Kim told Jimmy Kimmel. “And the whole time she wasn’t trying [to get pregnant].”

Kim went on to say that in addition to Khloe’s marital woes, she wasn’t really ready to be a mother.

“She wasn’t showing up to these doctor appointments behind our backs on purpose, and she just knew it wasn’t right [to get pregnant at that time].”

Kim later released a statement regarding the comments she made on the show, insisting that people are twisting her words.

“I’m so tired of people twisting my words,” Kim tweeted. “Khloe did start fertility and she wanted to have a baby, but I believe in the middle of the process she realized timing wasn’t good based on what was going on with her relationship. She was not ready to tell us everything so she stopped treatment without telling us. “

We can’t really see how her words were being twisted, when she clearly said that Khloe “wasn’t trying.” However, considering how quickly their marriage unraveled, it’s probably best that the soon-to-be divorced couple never had children.

Kenya Moore Undergoes Surgery To Improve Her Chances Of Conceiving

January 6th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Kenya Moore

Source: Instagram

Last month many “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fans were shocked when Kenya Moore revealed her plans to become impregnated within a six-month period.

“I plan on having a baby next year,” the former pageant queen said. “Within the next six months, I hope to be pregnant.”

Though most would have assumed that Miss Moore planned on getting knocked up by her rich oil tycoon boyfriend, it turns out she plans on going the IVF route.

“I am going to do in vitro,” she continued. “I just have to figure out whose sp*rm to use!”

Well, it looks like Kenya is dead serious about this pregnant in 180 days thing. According to TMZ, this past Friday, the 42-year-old reality star underwent surgery to improve her chances of conceiving and carrying out a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Sources close to the situation say that Kenya had several fibroid tumors removed from her uterus. We also hear that she plans to star In vitro fertilization treatments as soon as she heals from her surgery. Kenya confirmed the surgery via Instagram.

“Thank you for all your well wishes and kind regards,” she posted to her Instagram page. “Letting my family and friends know I successfully underwent fibroid surgery as it was reported. Yes, I’m okay. No appetite yet. Excellent female doctors in Atlanta! #proudsisters #closertomydreams #Im not 43 yet!”

We wish you all the best, Kenya!

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

MN, M.D.: What’s Up With The Egg-Freezing Craze And When Should I Really Worry About Having Kids?

April 29th, 2013 - By Mercy Edionwe MD
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Q: Everywhere you look on TV women, even as young as their early 30s, are talking about freezing their eggs and worrying about fertility issues. Is there really an epidemic going on among women? How young is too young to be concerned about the possibility of having kids?

It does seem like there is an increased concern about having a baby nowadays.  Experts have seen a huge demand for fertility services, even though the number of infertility cases has been at a stable level over the years.  In other words, there is not an epidemic of women being infertile. So why does it seem so common now?  Well, it could be due to any of the following factors: a high demand of older women delaying having babies until later in life, the high publicity of technological advances seen in getting pregnant, and celebrities or high profile individuals opening up to the public about their fertility issues on television and/or other media outlets.

When it comes to infertility, it should actually be considered a medical condition involving a couple, rather than a single person (eg, the female).  In a study that looked at who is the culprit when a couple cannot get pregnant,  researchers noticed that 37% of the cases of infertility were due to the female, 8% just the male alone, and 35% were due to both male and female reproductive problems, while about 5% was unexplained.   This goes to show that the inability to get pregnant may not entirely be the woman’s fault!

About 80% -90% of couples can conceive within one year of having sex. Infertility typically becomes a concern when a couple has tried to have a baby after 12 months of sex without any use of contraceptives in women who are 35 years of age or younger.  For those who are older than 35 years, infertility issues come to mind when the couple fails to get pregnant after six months of sex without contraceptives.

Of course, there are certain risk factors that bring questions of infertility into play sooner rather than later. In women, we already know the higher your age, the less likely  you can become pregnant.  But also smoking, being overweight, problems with your menstrual cycle, fallopian tube issues (eg, due to previous history of STDs), endometriosis, or having fibroids decreases your chances of becoming pregnant.  In men, risk factors include having low viable sp*erm counts or the presence of any obstruction within their male genital anatomy.  There are also individuals who have been born infertile due to a genetic abnormality either directly or indirectly causing it.

The take home message is that there are many factors involved in being infertile.  In general, anyone can have fertility issues.  At birth, the doctors may already know if your child may have a condition that leads to infertility. But unless you have been given such a diagnosis as a child, I would not start to be concerned about the probability of not being able to conceive unless you have been desperately trying and have not been able to.

If you have tried for a year and did not use contraceptives during that time, you may want to talk to your doctor about this.  He or she can refer you to an infertility specialist who would do blood tests, physical exams, and image tests on you.  Your partner should also be tested, especially if you received a normal report.

Mercy EdionweDr. Mercy Edionwe is a physician specializing in internal medicine. She earned her medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and afterwards, completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. During her free time, she loves to write and educate the public on medical issues. She currently resides in Texas. You can follow her on Twitter at @fuchsiamd.

Disclaimer: The information contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader.  It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion between you and your physician.  Please consult your physician for further information in regards to your own general care.  Knowledge is power!  Be informed.