Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: More Women in China are Turning to Egg Freezing – Especially Celebrities


Conceptual Options
Surrogacy News: More Women in China are Turning to Egg Freezing – Especially Celebrities

More and more women reaching their 40’s are turning to egg freezing in order to give themselves more time to consider having a family.

As is being reported in Your Health Online Magazine,

Top Taiwanese model-actress Lin Chi-ling made the news recently after it was reported that she had frozen her eggs secretly at the National Taiwan University Hospital.

A friend had revealed: “After Lin Chi-ling turned 39 last year, her mother got very anxious about her getting married and having kids. In order to lessen her worries, Chi-ling went… for egg-freezing.”

Furthermore, as was just reported today in Asia One Women,

Chinese actress Michelle Ye revealed that she has frozen her eggs, not once but twice to ensure she can have a baby at a later date, My Paper reported.

With the topic of egg-freezing among China’s female celebrities a hot topic in the Chinese media recently, Ye revealed that she has done two operations to retrieve her eggs, with the first retrieval performed three years ago…

The 35-year-old Hong Kong-based actress, who is known to be dating renowned Chinese stylist “Mr Xiao Mo”, added: “To guarantee success, I’ve done the operation twice. Now women can be released from the pressure (of bearing children) and enjoy their life and work, I think it’s great.”

Read more here about Chinese celebrity women freezing their eggs.

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Michelle Ye

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Michelle Ye

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Pregnancy News: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg & Wife Expecting

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Pregnancy News: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg & Wife Expecting

On Friday afternoon, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced—via a Facebook post and photo starring their dog—that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting their first child: a girl who gave her soon-to-be father a thumbs-up “like” in an ultrasound.

Along with that exciting news, Zuckerberg also disclosed that the couple had been trying for years to get pregnant and had suffered three miscarriages.

Chan is at a point in this pregnancy where the risk of miscarriage is very low, but Zuckerberg shared their past experiences in order to open up the dialogue the emotional toll of a lost pregnancy.

At Conceptual Options we know that every pregnancy is a gift, as is evidenced by the struggles that many couples, like Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan face every day.  Congrats to the Facebook team and Mark and Priscilla!

He wrote:

“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you—as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.

In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.”

Read more here on Slate about Mark Zuckerberg and his wife expecting a baby girl.

Conceptual Options Facebook Founder Pregnancy Annoucement - it's a girl!

Conceptual Options Facebook Founder Pregnancy Annoucement – it’s a girl!

Conceptual Options’ Surrogacy News: Shayne Lamas Welcomes Son via Surrogate

Conceptual Options’ Surrogacy News: Shayne Lamas Welcomes Son via Surrogate

We all remember when Shayne Lamas suffered a miscarriage in 2014, causing her to be unable to carry any more children.  Fortunately, she found La Jolla IVF and Dr. Smotrich to help on the medical side, and she found her step-mother as her surrogate, who carried her son who was born on July 4th.  What a wonderful gift!

According to US Weekly,

Lamas and Richie’s son “arrived via natural water birth” on the Fourth of July at 6 pounds, 4 ounces, the couple told Closer magazine. “Everyone is healthy and happy.” (Craig and Lamas’ dad, actor Lorenzo Lamas, wed in April 2011. Craig, 29, stepped in after Shayne had a miscarriage in February 2014.)

“Shawna’s not just my stepmother. She’s like a soul sister,” Shayne told Closer in February. “She’s an angel that blessed my whole family, including my father.”

Congratulations to Shayne and her husband, Nik Richie.
Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Lamas Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Lamas Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Viva La France! Surrogate Children are Granted Legal Recognition Finally!

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Viva La France!  Surrogate Children are Granted Legal Recognition Finally!

According to news reports out of France from last week, it appears that France has finally changed their tune regarding surrogacy births overseas.  There have been many of our own clients over the years who have had to live in fear regarding the legal recognition of their children, but not any longer.

Time Magazine stated the following:

France’s highest court has granted legal recognition to surrogate children, in a major turnaround that will make their daily lives easier and could lead to greater acceptance of new forms of families.

The Cour de cassation ruled Friday that, while surrogacy will remain banned in France, children born abroad through this practice will now be legally tied to their parents and will be granted birth certificates and immediate means to prove their French citizenship…

Until now, surrogate children were deprived of any legal connection to their parents, or any civil status in France. They were considered as children born from unknown legal parents, since their foreign birth certificates weren’t recognized. One lawyer has described them as “ghosts of the republic.”

Unlike other children born abroad to a French parent, these children couldn’t get automatic ID cards or passports, or register for state health care or other services.

This exposed them to frequent problems, because many basic tasks are impossible in France without an ID or authorization from a legal parent.

Congrats to all of the parents in France who have been dealing with this issue for so long – Viva La France!!

Read more here about France legally recognizing children born via surrogacy.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy in France Ruling

Conceptual Options Surrogacy in France Ruling

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogate Support & Our Surrogate Community

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogate Support & Our Surrogate Community

At the end of last month, Conceptual Options was honored to show our gratitude while spending quality time with our community of surrogates.  This summer’s party was attended by all and was a huge success (see party photo below).  Children, spouses and significant others also attended, and there were gifts and prizes for everyone.

Feel free to come join us for our monthly support group meetings and our Summer and Holiday Parties that are thrown twice a year for the spectacular women and their families who mean so much to all of us here at Conceptual Options.  Join our community of surrogates that understand that they are a community of empowered women making the world a better place for families, including their own families.  Thank you!!!

Conceptual Options is a Premier Southern California Surrogacy Agency that is focused on the whole person experience for both the Intended Parents and their Surrogates.

Surrogate Community and Surrogate Support: Conceptual Options

Surrogate Community and Surrogate Support: Conceptual Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Being a Stay At Home Mom and Loving It as a Surrogate

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Being a Stay At Home Mom and Loving It as a Surrogate

We meet a lot of women who consider becoming a surrogate on a daily basis, but consideration goes only so far.  You need to be a dedicated individual who knows what she wants and how she wants to get there.  As with most of our Conceptual Options surrogates, many women are supplementing own income or they are using the money to allow themselves the ability to stay at home with their children.    But, being a surrogate is not for everyone, nor should it be.
In fact, one of current surrogates just let us know that she is glad she decided to become a surrogate – and she is loving the ability it gives her to be at home with her kids.

Jenny, Jessica, Tina and Staff – thanks so much for the opportunity to join your group of wonderful surrogates at Conceptual Options.  All of you there have given me the ability to stay at home and raise my kids.  I know that it is not for everyone, but it works for me and my husband.  Thank you again !  I am enjoying this entire experience beyond belief (although not so much in the morning with this morning sickness 🙂

Rachel

Need we say more?  Learn more about becoming a Super Surrogate at Conceptual Options here.

Conceptual Options Become a Super Surrogate

Conceptual Options Become a Super Surrogate

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: The Real Face of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: The Real Face of Surrogacy

At Conceptual Options all of us have come across friends and family that know nothing about surrogacy.  But, we have also found out over the years that what we often come across people who could really benefit from surrogacy but were always to afraid to ask – until now.  Well, that just happened to one of our staff members last week.  She sat down with friends for dinner that she hasn’t seen in almost a year, and they got right down to business, so to speak.

A little back story on this couple, they have been trying to have a baby for over 10 years. They have tried it all from holistic medicine to IVF. Their savings is quickly dwindling, as fertility treatments can be quite expensive, and they are tired. They are over it. They just want a baby. They wanted to know if Conceptual Options could do to help.

They were ready to start today. They weren’t afraid of the cost, they understood all the medical risks .. what they were afraid of was related to all the negative stories they have been seeing the last few days about Baby Gammy. Could the surrogate decide to keep their baby? Could she prevent them from being with their child?

She told them, just as with anything in life, there are never any guarantees, however there are certain precautions they can take to ensure a safe, healthy and happy surrogacy journey. Not all surrogacy stories are negative, in fact I can list hundreds of positive stories as well.

Deciding to use a surrogate to build your family is the hardest part. Once you decide, you need to start doing your research. Find an agency that you feel comfortable with, ask yourself what type of relationship do you want with your surrogate, what type of experience are you looking for – do you want to be fully involved or do you want to take a hands off approach? And understand that the process is costly. Agency fees, surrogate compensation, psychological evaluation fee, health insurance, IVF costs, attorney fees, court fees.. they all add up. So be prepared.

Our recommendation to them was to interview three different agencies, speak to three different reproductive attorney’s and three different IVF doctors. Then go with the agency they feel most comfortable with, one that matches their style and aligns with their values.

Do your research, ask questions, be involved and be patient. Surrogacy is and can be a beautiful, life changing event for everyone. We all just need to work together to make sure it stays that way.

*Note that all parties approved of our disclosure of their story.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

As we all know, Princess Charlotte was just born to the royal couple, Kate and William, last month.  But, Kate’s morning sickness was the original media story – for both Charlotte and George.  Instead of speculating on the gender and possible name of the new royal baby, all news outlets had been focusing on Kate’s horrendous battle with morning sickness.  Now, that the worst is behind Kate, we wanted to remind everyone about morning sickness, and how you can counter the effects to provide you a safe and healthy (and happy) pregnancy.

As was with her first pregnancy, the Duchess has once again been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Unfortunately, this isn’t just your regular “I feel a tad nauseous” type of morning sickness, we are talking about a sickness so severe that it can cause hospitalization and even death if not properly treated.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50% of all pregnant woman experience some sort of morning sickness during their first trimester. Whereas only a very small percentage of women (1% – 2%) are diagnosed with HG.

What is the difference between your typical morning sickness and HG? Below is a chart by the American Pregnancy Association, detailing the differences:

Morning Sickness: Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
Nausea that subsides at 12 weeks or soon after Nausea that does not subside
Vomiting that does not cause severe dehydration Vomiting that causes severe dehydration
Vomiting that allows you to keep some food down Vomiting that does not allow you to keep any food down

Additional signs and symptoms of HG include:

  • Rapid Weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low blood pressure

Why does HG and or morning sickness even happen? Although research has not nailed down the exact cause, it is believed that it may be due to a rise in hormone levels. Specifically, the rapidly rising levels of the hormones: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen.

What is hCG? When an egg is fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall, the placenta  starts to develop. This developing placenta then begins to release hcG. The function of this hormone is to basically ensure the production of progesterone, thereby preventing a woman’s body from having her period, which in turns helps to maintain a pregnancy.

What about estrogen? What is it and what does it do? During pregnancy, estrogen is also produced by the placenta. It’s role is to help the uterus grow, and to maintain the uterine lining, it also helps increase blood circulation and after birth helps with milk production.

The increased combination of these two hormones can throw things off in your system, producing the symptoms mentioned above. However, typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, in fact, many doctors think morning sickness is actually a good sign! Studies have found that women who have signs of morning sickness are less likely to miscarry and even have a reduced risk of preterm birth. But, not having morning sickness does not mean that you are at a higher risk of these things either, just means you lucked out!  Although typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or baby, hyperemesis gravidarum, if severe enough and left untreated, can be harmful.

How is it treated? For mild cases dietary changes, antacids and rest will do the trick. However for more severe cases, the mom-to-be will most likely be hospitalized so she can be hooked to an IV to replenish all her lost nutrients and electrolytes.

According to research,  here are some things you can do to relieve morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Drink fluids before or after a meal, but not with meals
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid warm places since heat can add to nausea
  • Acupressure  also has been used by many to help relieve the duration and severity of the sickness.

During pregnancy, a women’s body is put through a million different physical changes.. some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Regardless, it is very important for all women to be their own advocates. If something does not feel right, please speak to your doctor right away.

Read more here about Morning Sickness and How to Treat it in a healthy way for you and baby.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? A recent poll done by yours truly, indicated that many of us do not really understand what happens to our bodies every month.

I recently had a conversation with a woman in her 30’s about her fertility and menstruation. I was shocked by her lack of education about her own body. I was curious to know if this was an individual case or if other women lacked this knowledge as well. I started asking other women questions about their body’s – specifically about their periods. I was again surprised by how little women seemed to know about what was happening inside their own body.

So for this week’s blog topic, I want to discuss your menstrual cycle.

Your menstrual cycle has four distinct phases:

1. Follicular
2. Ovulation
3. Luteal
4. Menstruation.

1. Follicular phase
The follicular phase lasts about two weeks. The last 5 days are considered your fertile window. As an aside, a woman is only able to conceive on six days out of her entire cycle. So, women can only get pregnant on the day of ovulation or during the five days before ovulation.  Amazing!

Back to the follicular phase. During this phase your endocrine system specifically your pituitary gland, (a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain), releases a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone better known as FSH. This hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles.

Ovarian follicles are cells that each contain one immature egg. Although anywhere between 10 and 20 ovarian follicles may initially develop, by the end of the follicular phase, only one will remain. This means that you will only have one mature egg which will be released during the ovulation phase.

During this time the lining of your uterus (known as the endometrium) begins to thicken so it can be ready to receive a fertilized egg.

2. Ovulation
The day before you ovulate, your estrogen levels peak, triggering the lutenizing hormone (LH). The rise in LH causes your ovarian follicle to burst and release the egg. The egg moves into the fallopian tube and towards the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg will disintegrate.

 3. Luteal phase
During this phase the follicle that released the egg releases large amounts of hormone known as progesterone, this is to maintain the thick endometrium in case fertilization occurs. If fertilization does not occur, the progesterone levels will decline and the lining will disintegrate.

4. Menstruation
Menstruation occurs when the disintegrated endometrium flows out of the vagina.

There you have it, the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle.
Read more here about understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test-Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

There are reports that now claim that “Test tube babies” are not that rare these days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.5% of babies born in the US are conceived using what’s called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), of which the most common procedure is in vitro fertilization (IVF).

According to Business Insider UK,

Though thousands of IVF cycles are done every year in the US, it’s tricky to get a sense of an individual woman’s chance of conceiving with the procedure. Graphs from the CDC show exactly how often IVF resulted in a baby for women who went through the costly treatment using their own eggs, not donor eggs. A single IVF cycle costs an average of $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and women often need multiple tries to get pregnant.

About 36% of IVF cycles result in pregnancy, and 29.4% of cycles result in a baby…

A live birth rate of about 30% for IVF cycles is really pretty respectable. A healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant without assistance every month that she tries, according to the ASRM. That decreases to 5% chance each month for women aged 40.

For couples who try to conceive through IVF, a lot more is at stake financially, emotionally, and physically, even if the success rate is often better than the traditional method.

While looking at the national averages for IVF success rates is a good start for dispelling misconceptions, pregnancy and live birth rates differ from clinic to clinic, and the data don’t tell the whole story. There are many different causes of infertility, and IVF does not address the direct problem for every cause. Only a doctor can say what chance IVF has of success for a particular couple.

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies