lists over 11,000 items under the search term "fertility"
Image: Easy Sunday morning in Soller, Mallorca, by Guenter M. Kirchweger from FreeImages
Photo credit: Easy Sunday morning in Soller, Mallorca, by Guenter M. Kirchweger
From a Chinese perspective, the main causes of male infertility fall under two broad categories:

1. deficiency of the Kidneys (KiYi- or Ki Yan-) or the Spleen (Sp QI-) or
2. excess of stasis, stagnation or damp heat (DH) in the pelvic organs.
Even when symptoms indicate patterns of damp heat, Qi stagnation and Blood stasis, they are usually superimposed upon or even caused by Kidney deficiency.

To improve poor morphology and decrease high levels of oxidants in the seminal fluid:

• Take antioxidants and superantioxidants like Pycnogenol - 125 milligrams per day from various sources.
• Invigorate the Blood with Blood movers.

The plasma membrane of human sperm contains high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, making it extremely susceptible to damage by free radicals, which can lead to lower motility and poor morphology. Adding unsaturated fatty acids like those found in sesame, almonds, flaxseed, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkins seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, walnuts, olives, avocados, soybeans, and quinoa as well as Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil to the diet can improve sperm integrity. prevent further free-radical damage to developing sperm, the following nutritional supplementation should be used by most, if not all, men.

• Vitamin C: 2,000 milligrams per day, in divided doses

• Vitamin E: 800 international units per day

Beta-carotene: 100,000 international units per day

• Selenium: 200 micrograms per day

Other important nutritional supplements include:

• Zinc: 60 milligrams per day (sperm production and testosterone metabolism)
• Vitamin B12: 1,000 milligrams per day (replication of cells)
• L-arginine: 2 to 4 grams per day (promotes cell replication)
• L-carnitine: 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day (assists motility)

One of the most potent bio-active antioxidant sources pycnogenol, is made from pine bark extract, red wine extract, grape seed extract and bilberry extract. Pycnogenol also enhances the effects of other antioxidants.

NOTE: This article is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this article and linkages to other sites, I provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. I am not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this article.

Image: The Way of the Fertile Soul: Ten Ancient Chinese Secrets to Tap into a Woman's Creative Potential, by Randine Lewis. Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words; Original edition (November 6, 2007)The Way of the Fertile Soul:
Ten Ancient Chinese Secrets to Tap into a Woman's Creative Potential
by Randine Lewis

Being fertile and fruitful can mean giving birth to a child -- but to have a fertile soul means to give birth to the true self a woman wants to be: to live a life filled with passion, strength, joy, and adventure.

In The Way of the Fertile Soul, Dr. Randine Lewis outlines ten ancient Chinese medical and Taoist secrets that hold the little-known key to successfully conceiving babies, new dreams, and a fulfilling life for women at any phase in their lives.

The Way of the Fertile Soul encourages women to strive toward health, abundance, and a fruitful, joyous approach to life.

By using diagnostic questionnaires, qi gong exercises, and guided meditations to help the reader understand how the elements of nature express themselves in her body, mind, and spirit, The Way of the Fertile Soul provides the tools to greatly increase a woman's chance of conceiving, identify imbalances, reduce stress, increase energy, and uncover her intrinsic creativity and express it fully.

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Image: Hello in there!, by Adrienne Bassett, on Flickr
Photo credit: hello in there!, by Adrienne Bassett
October 27, 2006 - The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID) and Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (Amex: HTI), a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing recombinant human enzymes, announced the results of a survey designed to determine in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients' level of awareness of lab practices surrounding intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedures on their eggs.

While over 82 percent of the 168 survey respondents are generally aware that there are a number of procedures performed on their eggs after retrieval, only 8 percent are aware that many IVF clinics use slaughterhouse-derived animal extract products (from bovine and ovine sources) to treat eggs prior to the ICSI procedure.

More than 89 percent of respondents do not know that the use of animal extract products may have a potential impact on the outcome of an IVF cycle, such as fertilization rates and quality of embryos, for example. Fifty-seven percent of IVF procedures performed in the U.S. are ICSI or include ICSI.

Source: ARLINGTON, Va., and SAN DIEGO, Oct. 27, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/
Full article:

Image: Pregnancy Miracle: clinically proven holistic and ancient Chinese system for permanently reversing your infertilityPregnancy Miracle
by Lisa Olsen

-- A 279-page, instantly downloadable e-book presenting a 5-step, sure-fire, 100% guaranteed, clinically proven holistic and ancient Chinese system for permanently reversing your infertility and your partner's infertility disorders and getting pregnant quickly, naturally and safely within 2-4 months without drugs, dangerous surgeries, side effects, or expensive infertility treatments.

It's probably the most powerful infertility reversal system ever developed, and currently the best-selling e-book of its kind on the entire Web!

Here's what the author Lisa Olson had to say about her incredible program:
After 14 years of trial, error and experimentation, I finally discovered the answer to infertility and developed a fool-proof system to getting pregnant the natural way - no drugs, or surgery necessary.

It took a lot of research to get to where I am today, to know exactly what works and what doesn't. Yes, after desperate trial and error, countless of useless treatments, disappointments and agony, a simple holistic system opened the door to my new and much brighter life of motherhood.

I was also excited to see that my other infertility related symptoms had diminished. After years of waiting I was finally free from Infertility! I have become a proud mother of two.

And now I'm finally revealing my secrets in this new 'encyclopedia' of pregnancy called, Pregnancy Miracle.

I will be your own personal coach, take you by the hand, and lead you through the lousy advice, hype and gimmicks... and directly to the sort of inner balance perfection that will end your battle with infertility forever and help you become a proud mother of your healthy children.

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Pregnancy Miracle

Image: 5 Pack Menopause FSH Midstream Urine Kit Pregnant Hot Flash PMS | Fast Results (3-5 minutes)
 Menopause FSH Midstream Urine Kit
Measure, Track and Plan Your Mid-Life Transition says the advertising on the feminine pink and white box. If only it were so easy! The newly marketed Menopause Home Test by Physicians Laboratories claims to provide a means for midlife women to monitor their hormonal status in much the same way as a home pregnancy kit: with a urine sample and a plastic indicator.

If the pretty packaging doesn't lure you in, as the company hopes it will, the box also comes complete with dire warnings for the skeptical consumer: Undiagnosed menopause can devastate your health, family, and social/sex life.

Their website further trumpets the alarm: It's your health -- it is an 'emergency!' And in a parody of self-empowerment, the manufacturers claim that their test will provide women control and power over their midlife transition.

Consumers are advised to use the test every six months from age 35 at an incredibly hefty $59.95 US per pack (each pack holds 2 tests). Considering the average woman does not reach menopause until her early-fifties, the company is banking that the baby boom generation is very naïve indeed, with each woman willing to dish out around $1200 to affirm her menopausal status.

That's assuming that FSH tests make a contribution to the health of mid-life women. They don't.

The traditional blood test to diagnose menopause is a measurement of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in the blood. FSH is a hormone that is consistently elevated many years after a woman's last menstrual period.

However, during the years before the last menstrual period and during the early years after the last menstrual period, FSH levels regularly bounce up and down. An elevation of FSH may mean that a woman will never have another menstrual period, and therefore is menopausal, but it may also mean that this hormone is in its normal bouncing-around phase, perhaps years before a woman's periods will have finished.

Like the blood test, the new urine test sold in the Menopause Home Test measures FSH. And like the blood test, the urine FSH test would not be expected to diagnose menopause with certainty until many years after a woman has had her last menstrual period - in other words, when a diagnosis of menopause would not require any testing at all.

FSH tests, however, may be useful for women who are having trouble becoming pregnant. An FSH result on day 3 of a spontaneous menstrual cycle can predict whether a woman's eggs have aged beyond the likeliness of successful pregnancy and birth. FSH levels should be at their lowest in the early part of a woman's cycle.

Women with elevated FSH values on day 3 are unlikely to become pregnant (or, if they do become pregnant, they are unlikely to carry the pregnancy very long). An elevated FSH reading can be disappointing, but it can also save a woman from spending large sums of money on assisted reproductive technologies that will not likely be successful. However, this urine kit is not designed to pick up the subtle increase in day 3 FSH that will help with fertility prediction, so don't waste your money on it.

The woman who is having an increase in the variability of her menstrual cycles in her 40s or early 50s is almost certainly a normal healthy woman with age-appropriate changes in ovarian function.

The presence of other symptoms, such as hot flashes, breast tenderness, or mood changes, may be due to these natural hormone fluctuations or may be fortuitous, due to aging or to life circumstances. No FSH test, either blood or urine, will add information of any use to the health or well-being of women in this age group.

The implication by the makers of Menopause Home Test that the elevation of FSH in a woman's body represents a disease requiring immediate medical attention and therapy is misleading and insulting. The makers of the Menopause Home Test are preying on our society's fear of aging and hoping to turn a quick profit from the medicalization of menopause, a natural and perfectly normal transition for the midlife woman.

Source: Canadian Women's Health Network

Image: Smokin, by Neon.Love, on Flickr
Photo credit: Smokin, by Neon.Love
A reproductive medicine specialist at the University at Buffalo has shown a new compound may improve the fertility of tobacco smokers who have low sperm count and low percentage sperm motility.

The sperm from male smokers were washed with a synthetic chemical called AM-1346.

After incubation, there was a doubling in the fertilizing capacity of sperm from poor quality semen, results showed.

It does appear that sperm functioning in tobacco smokers with low fertility and low semen quality is quite different when compared to smokers with higher fertility and good semen quality.

Nicotine appears to change the sperm membranes and sperm receptors.

It also raises the question of why sperm from some smokers are protected from the effects of tobacco and nicotine.

Read the full article

Image: Dr. Richard Marrs' Fertility Book: America's Leading Infertility Expert Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Getting Pregnant, by Richard Marrs. Publisher: Dell (February 9, 1998)Dr. Richard Marrs' Fertility Book: America's Leading Infertility Expert Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Getting Pregnant
by Richard Marrs

-- A pioneer in the field of assisted reproduction, Dr. Richard Marrs has spent his life counseling couples who struggle with the pain of infertility, developing new treatments, and helping thousands to experience the wonder of birth.

Now Dr. Marrs shares his knowledge and expertise in a groundbreaking book that answers all your questions, understands your concerns, and covers every aspect of fertility problems, including infertility's emotional price as well as its financial one.

Based on the latest research and technologies -- and the real-life experiences of thousands of couples -- Dr. Marrs tells you everything you need to know about getting pregnant.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 528 pages
Click to order/for more info: Dr. Richard Marrs' Fertility Book

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Image: Traditional and Modern Medicine by spotreporting, on Flickr
Photo credit: Traditional and Modern Medicine, by Spot US
When I couldn't find a doctor to give me progesterone, I looked for an alternative.

I spoke with a lady that works in our local health food store, and she suggested I look into a doctor who specializes in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, (also known as BART or Bio-identical HART).

This is how I found one: I simply looked in the local Yellow Pages for a compounding pharmacy - it usually says so right in their ad.

This is just a regular main-stream pharmacy, but they are licensed to make up special prescriptions. They specially dose, flavor, and mix medications for patients as per a doctor's prescription - like bio-identical hormones.

Or you can check out the list of compounding pharmacies, Canadian Compounding Pharmacies or through Project Aware.

Then I called their pharmacist and asked for a list of local hormone doctors. These hormone doctors usually work with menopausal women, testing and prescribing hormones for them. But hormones are hormones, after all!

The hormone doctor I found was willing to help me anyhow. He tests my hormones regularly and prescribes me what I need.

Just an idea to try...

Are Bio-Identical Hormones For You?

Often referred to as BART uses hormones natural to the human body to replace hormones that are out of balance. BART can relieve the symptoms of Menopause and PMS in women
What Does Bio-Identical Mean?
Bio-Identical hormones are natural to your body. They are non-synthetic, and have no animal byproducts to cause additional side effects. These hormones are not drugs but supplements derived from plant sources like soy beans and yams. We compound Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapies (BART) identical to the hormones produced in the human body. So you get a supplement easily recognized by the body and has no contaminants like the synthetic and commercially available products. This means lower doses and fewer side effects.

Read more: Human Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Image: Inconceivable: A Woman's Triumph over Despair and Statistics, by Julia Indichova. Publisher: Three Rivers Press (October 9, 2001)Inconceivable: A Woman's Triumph over Despair and Statistics
by Julia Indichova

-- A memoir of hope for the thousands of women struggling with infertility, from one who beat the odds by simply tuning in to her body and tapping her well of sheer determination.

At a time when more and more women are trying to get pregnant at increasingly advanced ages, fertility specialists and homeopathic researchers boast endless treatment options.

But when Julia Indichova made the rounds of medical doctors and nontraditional healers, she was still unable to conceive a child.

It was only when she forsook their financially and emotionally draining advice, turning inward instead, that she finally met with reproductive success. Inconceivable recounts this journey from hopeless diagnoses to elated motherhood.

Anyone who has faced infertility will relate to Julia's desperate measures: acupuncture, unidentifiable black-and-white pellets, herb soup, foul-smelling fruit, even making love on red sheets.

Five reproductive endocrinologists told her that there was no documented case of anyone in her hormonal condition getting pregnant, forcing her to finally embark on her own intuitive regimen.

After eight caffeine-free, nutrient-rich, yoga-laden months, complemented by visualization exercises, Julia received amazing news; incredibly, she was pregnant.

Nine months later she gave birth to a healthy girl.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 208 pages
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Image: Beautiful, perfect boy, by David Donachie on FotoCommunity
Photo credit: Beautiful, perfect boy, by David Donachie
Earlier this year, Brian Skotko, a student at Harvard Medical School, published papers in two academic journals, based on a survey of more than 1,000 mothers.

The survey asked an unusual question: How were they told that their child had Down syndrome?

One woman said that after her baby was born in 2000, the doctor flat out told my husband that this could have been prevented ... at an earlier stage.

Of 141 women who learned through prenatal testing, many said they felt urged to terminate the pregnancies.

One said that after learning her amniocentesis results, the doctor told her our child would never be able to read, write or count change.

Mr. Skotko, whose sister has Down syndrome, saw his project swept up in a complicated debate over the termination of fetuses diagnosed with disabilities.

It raised a provocative question: Can what a doctor says influence how a woman chooses?

Full article: A Brother's Survey Touches a Nerve

Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives
by Kathryn Lynard Soper (Author), Martha Sears (Foreword)

-- Having a baby with Down syndrome is not something most parents would willingly choose. Yet many who travel this path discover rich, unexpected rewards along the way.

In this candid and poignant collection of personal stories, sixty-three mothers describe the gifts of respect, strength, delight, perspective, and love, which their child with Down syndrome has brought into their lives.

The contributors to this collection have diverse personalities and perspectives, and draw from a wide spectrum of ethnicity, world views, and religious beliefs. Some are parenting within a traditional family structure; some are not.

Some never considered terminating their pregnancy; some struggled with the decision. Some were calm at the time of diagnosis; some were traumatized. Some write about their pregnancy and the months after giving birth; some reflect on years of experience with their child.

Their diverse experiences point to a common truth: The life of a child with Down syndrome is something to celebrate. These women have something to say--not just to other mothers but to all of us.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 326 pages;
Click to order/for more info: Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

Image: Medicine pills, by Steve Buissinne on Pixabay
Antidepressant drug use could severely lower men's sperm counts, according to a case report presented at yesterday's American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in New Orleans.

Dr. Peter Schlegel of the Cornell Medical Center in New York, along with a colleague, recently treated two men for infertility and found when both patients stopped taking their prescription antidepressant medications -- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) -- their sperm counts dramatically increased. Schlegel then observed that when both men re-started their antidepressants, their fertility problems returned.

One patient was taking citalopram -- sold as Cipramil -- and the other was on sertraline, sold as Lustral. The second patient switched to venlafaxtine -- Effexor -- and again his sperm count dropped to near zero. Schlegel believes that because SSRI drugs affect both sperm count and the ability of sperm to move, the antidepressants may be preventing sperm from reaching the semen.

The patients had normal sperm counts and motility before medication, Schlegel said.

On the medication they have deterioration of both. The same patients going on and off medication had the same pattern. It shows a strong association.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration required most SSRI drugs to carry the agency's strongest black box warning in 2004 for their association with increased risk of suicide. Other common side effects of the drugs include impotence and delayed ejaculation.

Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said, There does seem to be a major correlation. Maybe this is an unknown side effect of these drugs that is only just coming to light.

Read full article

Image: The Sperm Meets Egg Plan: Getting Pregnant Faster, by Deanna Roy. Published: Casey Shay Press (October 9, 2012)The Sperm Meets Egg Plan: Getting Pregnant Faster
by Deanna Roy
-- The Sperm Meets Egg Plan is a step-by-step guide to achieving pregnancy without taking invasive tests, charting temperatures, or making mistakes in predicting your ovulation that result in mistimed attempts at fertilization.

Designed by Deanna Roy after months of trying made her believe she had a fertility problem, the plan will help you time intercourse whether you have a typical or atypical cycle.

It includes adjustments for common fertility problems, what to do if you are over forty, and considerations for trying again after a pregnancy loss.

This booklet includes 40 pages of instruction plus a 10-page sneak peek of Deanna's book Baby Dust. It should be a free download.

This FREE booklet is a THANK YOU to all the women who have supported Deanna's web site since the loss of her first baby in 1998.

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Image: Female hips, by Lucas Cobb, on Flickr
Photo credit: Female hips, by Lucas Cobb
The background of the study. Hypothyroidism may reduce fertility. To determine whether hypothyroidism reduces the rate of success of assisted reproduction, serum thyrotropin (TSH) was measured in a large group of infertile women undergoing this procedure.

How the study was done. Serum TSH was measured in 509 women with infertility who underwent assisted reproduction, consisting of controlled ovarian stimulation, retrieval of oocytes, in vitro fertilization, and transfer of embryos to the woman's uterus. The main outcomes were the frequency of successful oocyte retrieval, fertilization, and implantation; clinical pregnancy; spontaneous abortion; and live birth during the first cycle of treatment.

The results of the study. The causes of infertility were tubal infertility in 118 women (23 percent), male factor infertility in 92 women (18 percent), endometriosis in 74 women (14 percent), ovulatory dysfunction in 54 women (11 percent), and other or unexplained in 171 women (34 percent).

The serum TSH concentrations were similar in the 30 percent of women who became pregnant and the 70 percent who did not. Serum TSH concentrations were higher in the women whose oocytes were not fertilized, but not in the women from whom oocytes were not retrieved, those in whom the embryo did not implant, or those who had spontaneous abortions.

The conclusions of the study. High serum TSH concentrations are associated with decreased in vitro fertilization of oocytes in women with infertility.

The original article. Cramer DW, Sluss PM, Powers RD, McShane P, Ginsburg ES, Hornstein MD, Vitonis AF, Barbieri RL. Serum prolactin and TSH in an in vitro fertilization population: is there a link between fertilization and thyroid function? J Assist Reprod Genet 2003;20:210-5.

The success rate of in vitro fertilization of oocytes is reduced in women with high serum thyrotropin values


Image: The Conception Chronicles: The Uncensored Truth About Sex, Love and Marriage When You're Trying to Get Pregnant, by Patty Doyle Debano, Courtney Menzel, Shelly Sutphen. Publisher: Health Communications (June 1, 2005)The Conception Chronicles: The Uncensored Truth About Sex, Love and Marriage When You're Trying to Get Pregnant
by Patty Doyle Debano, Courtney Menzel, Shelly Sutphen

-- When we first started down the baby-making path, we thought we'd be pregnant in no time. We'd just toss out our birth control pills and before we knew it, we'd be rocking our little one to sleep.

Little did we know what was in store for us, or the energy it would take to face all of the crazy, unpredictable and (sometimes) irrational emotions we felt along the way. Neither did our husbands. Sound familiar?

Then this is the book for you. Whether it's been three months or three years since you've been trying, the more complicated and overwhelming the process becomes.

The Conception Chronicles shares candid humor, hold-nothing-back banter and practical advice on everything that goes along with trying to start a family: from dealing with your fertile friends to the battery of tests you may have to face; from surviving sex on demand to navigating the ins and outs of high-tech fertility treatments.

This book will guide you through the emotional journey to motherhood, offering compassion and laughter like only your best girlfriends can. And we promise you'll never hear us say, Relax and you'll be pregnant in no time.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 284 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Conception Chronicles

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Image: Fertilization, by Peiling Tan, on Flickr
Photo credit: Fertilization, by Peiling Tan
Once sex has occurred, approximately 100 million to 300 million sperm are injected into your vagina.

Your cervix, located at the end of your vagina, is usually closed tightly, but if you have sex during ovulation, your cervix will be open to allow the easy passage of sperm into your uterus.

The sperm cells use a liquid called semen to get into your uterus, and then they use the fluid within your uterus to move around. Of that large number, only 3,000,000 sperm cells actually make it through your cervix and into your uterus!

Since only one tube holds the egg, many of these sperm will swim up the wrong tube and never find an egg to fertilize. The ones that do choose the right tube will encounter roadblocks as they search for the egg. Many get pushed back by the constant motion of the fallopian tubes. Others get tangled in the cilia of the tubes. Still others get attacked by white blood cells searching for intruders.

It is estimated that only 500 sperm actually reach the egg! This is one way to make sure that only the strongest and healthiest sperm reach the egg.

Sperm have been known to live for up to 5 days, which is why you can get pregnant from having sex 5 days before ovulation! The time that fertility is at its highest is the day before ovulation; that way the sperm are waiting in place before the egg is ovulated.

The egg only lives for 24 hours, so any sex that occurs more than 24 hours after ovulation has occurred should not result in pregnancy.

Image: So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope, by Tertia Loebenberg Albertyn. Publisher: Porcupine Press trading under DGR Writing + Research; 2nd edition edition (January 27, 2009)So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope
by Tertia Loebenberg Albertyn

-- Meet, marry and make a baby: That's how it's supposed to go, right? What happens when you start trying for a family ... and trying, and trying some more?

How far do you go to achieve your dream of having children?

So Close is the heart wrenching, exhilarating, devastatingly funny story of Tertia Albertyn's battle with infertility. Tertia wanted a baby so badly she went through nine IVFs.

Most people give up after the third. I don't think I am being brave at all. I am just too terrified NOT to try again.

In her worst nightmare she could never have imagined that making a baby would take her four years, each treatment bringing her and her husband Marko closer and closer to creating their family.

During Tertia's journey everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

Until, finally, everything goes just right.

Tertia is as hilarious as she is irrepressible, as approachable as she is knowledgeable.

If you are struggling with infertility, have triumphed over infertility or have felt empathy with someone who is going through this experience, you will find a friend in Tertia.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 308 pages
Click to order/for more info: So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope

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