How does surrogacy work?

This lesson aims to give an overview of the surrogacy journey for the Intended Parents (IP’s) and the Host surrogate. It will also cover the legal aspects of a surrogacy arrangement including applying for a parental order, legal parenthood and parental responsibility. To facilitate and provide guidance to people from the LGBTQ community as well heterosexual people accessing surrogacy services.

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Juliana Kassianos
What is gamete donation?

Many individuals may require the assistance of a gamete (sex cells) donor in order to create their family. This can be for a number of reasons and factors including: Premature infertility, Azoospermia (when semen contains no sperm), same sex female couples who may require a sperm donor or same sex male couples who may require the use of an egg donor and surrogate.

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Juliana Kassianos
What is MTHFR mutation?

With every passing year MTHFR (an enzyme critical for folate metabolism) seems to be becoming more important for anyone looking to educate themselves on how they can improve their fertility, and have fantastic pregnancy outcomes. To understand fertility, pregnancy, and what specifically makes your body and mind healthy – you need to have a basic understanding of what MTHFR is…

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Juliana Kassianos
Get to grips with TTC jargon

If you're trying to conceive, you'll probably find yourself scrolling through online message boards for answers you're looking for. The problem that you'll come across is that every other word in each post and comment will no doubt be an acronym or abbreviation that will leave you feeling completely clueless as to what it is your reading.

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Juliana Kassianos
The birth of IVF

Way back in 1979, the first IVF baby was born in Oldham, North of England (hoorah) within an NHS hospital, where, incidentally, most of the research had been performed too. There were three important people involved in this breakthrough. Firstly, Professor Robert Edwards, who amongst a few other notable activities, like collecting a Nobel Prize, supervised parts of my Doctorate.

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Juliana Kassianos
The role of your doctor and how to choose one

Have you ever questioned what the role of your Doctor is? When you go into the Surgery or the Clinic, what do you expect from them? What do you think Doctors are trained to do? After five long years at Medical School and then maybe another 10 spent training in some specialist area, followed by another couple of years subspecialising…

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Juliana Kassianos
What is egg quality?

The ovulated egg is the biggest cell of the human body. This single cell has the capacity to create a complex system made up from millions of cells with various functions. It is therefore not surprising that the egg stores a pool of encoded biological material which, when triggered by the sperm entry, is capable of initiating a cascade of cellular, metabolic and genetic events leading to formation of an organism.

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Juliana Kassianos
What is a clinical embryologist?

Clinical embryologists work as part of a multidisciplinary team to help define appropriate treatment options, analyse diagnostic tests, and interpret embryological aspects of an IVF cycle. The role is very much patient facing and embryologists will give patients daily updates on their embryos, discuss sperm and embryo quality and help patients make decisions about their treatment.

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Juliana Kassianos
What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a term used to describe a number of different fertility treatments performed to help achieve pregnancy. The following are defined: In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intra-Cervical Insemination (ICI), Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)…

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Juliana Kassianos
How the female reproductive system works

The female pelvis, namely fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and vagina are formed by the fusion of two separate tubes. The ovaries are formed from a different structure. This happens in the developing baby within the first few weeks and is completed by the eighth week of pregnancy.

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Juliana Kassianos
How women operate as egg warehouses

Unlike males who are sperm factories, women are egg warehouses. They have their full complement of eggs on the day they are born. Actually that’s not strictly true; women have as many eggs as they are ever going to have 20 weeks before they are born. From that time onwards they begin to lose eggs or shall we say that the eggs begin to pass their sell by date…

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Juliana Kassianos
How men operate as sperm factories

The major difference between men and women is that men are sperm factories. We have all the ingredients to make sperm every single day of the week. Sometimes we are good at it, some days not so good. Increasingly, we are becoming worse at making sperm. As such, being the factories that we are, men can make sperm every day of the week, right up until the day we die.

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Juliana Kassianos
What we can learn about sex from evolution

There are lots of things we need to know about our fertility, but before we learn about our bodies, it’s essential we know where we came from and why we do what we do. If we don’t understand that, then it’s going to be difficult for us to grasp just what’s going on. So, I will start at the beginning. Whilst our ancestors have been knocking around on the planet for a very long time…

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Juliana Kassianos
What are the phases of your menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but it can vary from 21 to 35 days. It is divided into four phases. For a 28 day cycle this would be: days 1-5: Menstrual Phase, days 1-13: Follicular Phase, day 14: Ovulation Phase, days 15-28: Luteal Phase.

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Juliana Kassianos
Why women have periods

I’ve been dealing with problems associated with periods professionally for over 30 years and socially, with a wife and daughters, for a lot longer. I suspect that over 50% of you reading this will be women. Most of you will have four or five days of bleeding from your vagina every month. Some periods will be heavy, some light, some regular and predictable, and some hardly ever.

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Juliana Kassianos
Travelling abroad: Zika Virus

ZIKV infection is spread by day-biting mosquitoes. A small number of cases of sexual transmission of ZIKV have also been reported and there is increasing evidence of transmission from mother to foetus via the placenta. It is recommended that pregnant women should postpone non-essential travel to areas designated as high and moderate risk for ZIKV transmission until after pregnancy.

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Juliana Kassianos
When to have sex to get pregnant

There’s a saying "timing is everything in life", which is especially true when it comes to making a baby. There’s only a short window of opportunity to conceive each month, so it’s really important to know which days to target. Your fertile window are the six days when you’re most fertile during your menstrual cycle.

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Juliana Kassianos
What vaccinations to have pre-pregnancy

Immunisation is the process in which you’re made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, usually by administering a vaccine. The vaccine tends to be injected into the muscle of the upper arm. Getting an infection during pregnancy may put your health at risk as well as the health and wellbeing of your unborn child.

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Juliana Kassianos