Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Stork Brings New Fertility Aid To The Privacy of Your Home #ad #TheStork


Sometimes necessity truly is the mother of invention and this invention just may help millions become mothers!

Sure, in the childhood fairy tales, the stork just effortlessly drops a cute little bundle of joy off in the arms of happy prospective parents. Reality just isn't that easy.  That's why, here at ChiIL Mama, we were excited when The Stork and The Motherhood asked us to spread the word to our readers about a new, less invasive, less expensive starting point to boost your odds of conception.


Many many couples today struggle with fertility issues (7.3 million couples in the US in fact, or 1 in 6, according to The Stork's stats!) We've seen more than a few of our friends go the infertility treatment route with varying degrees of success... or not.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Stork and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.



When you want to start a family, finding out you're pregnant can be one of the most joyful experiences of your life - and we know that getting to that milestone isn't always easy. To that end, ChiIL Mama (via The Motherhood) is partnering with a company called Rinovum Women's Health to spread the word about a game-changing option for improving the chances of conception, called The Stork.

The Stork was designed as a natural, cost-effective option to help couples bridge the gap between natural conception and more aggressive treatments. It can be used in the privacy of the home without affecting daily routine (which we love) - both for couples with no known fertility issues and for those who are experiencing difficulty conceiving. 

We're also pretty excited that The Stork is a new and improved way for unconventional families to successfully have children. This is so timely with gay marriage finally becoming legal now in so many states.  Here at ChiIL Mama, we also have more than a few friends who rocked the "turkey baster" method so two moms could raise a child together or a single mom could have her family without a messy paternity situation, with someone she didn't want as a life partner. They are all WONDERFUL, loving families whose children are thriving and excelling. And we're thrilled there is a private, easier way for ALL types and configurations of loving families to increase the odds of having a much wanted child.


The Scoop on The Stork:

ChiIL Mama was invited to an informative, on line chat with Steve Bollinger, CEO and Founder of The Stork. He personally experienced infertility issues with his wife, Adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon of Pittsburgh. Here's what we learned and we're happy to share the information with our readers. Chances are good, the info will be relevant to you or someone you know and love.

What is Rinovum?
  • Pittsburgh, PA-based, privately-held women’s health company dedicated to bringing products into the market that will enhance women’s lives and empower them to take charge of their health. 
  • Our first focus is an Rx device – The Stork, driving towards a direct-to-consumer device, for reproductive health to aid in natural fertility and conception in the privacy of the patients’ home.
    Today, approximately 7.3 million couples (1 in 6 couples) in the United States have difficulty conceiving.

    Factors That Add to the Era of Infertility 
  • Increasing fertility issues related to environmental and lifestyle factors
  • Women are trying to conceive later in life
  • Limited options available for those initially struggling: 
  • Couples over 35 suggested to wait 6 months Growing population of same-sex couples
Treatments today are slow, invasive and costly!
40% of diagnoses are attributed to the male, 40% to the female and 20% are diagnosed as unexplained
  • Male Factor: estrogen levels are higher than ever before resulting in low sperm counts, motility and morphology issues 
  • Female Factor: imbalanced vaginal pH, diminishing ovarian reserve, PCOS, endometriosis, etc. 
Females age 20-25, 25% chance per month of conceiving Females age 30-35, 15% chance per month of conceiving Females age 35-40, 10% chance per month of conceiving Female age 40, 5% chance per month of conceiving
Long waiting periods given by physicians before further assistance for help
Under 35 years of age suggested to wait 12 months before seeking medical treatment.  Only 14 out of the 50 states require reimbursement by insurance (many of which are partial).

Introducing the Stork:

Risk factors of other pregnancy methods:
1. Multiple-births: one third of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) result
in multiples
  1. Genetic risks to offspring 
  2. Increased health risks to female 

  •  Women are placed on intensive hormone medications 
  •  Increased rates of breast and ovarian cancer 
  •  Treatment options are stressful which actually reduces the women’s chance  of conceiving 

The Stork Conception System is indicated for assisted insemination in instances where low sperm count, sperm immobility, or hostile vaginal environment has been diagnosed. The system (cervical cap in a condom-like silicone sheath) is used to collect semen into a cervical cap, and then deliver the cap to the outside of the cervix as an aid to conception. It is to be used at home following physician instructions. You can see a full video for how to use The Stork kit here.

Because of the low price on The Stork, many physicians are prescribing couples to do this process three times during a women’s optimal ovulation cycle.

Approach
Cost/Attempt*
The Stork®
$210.00/cycle
IUI
$1,000-$5,000/cycle
IVF
$12,400-$20,000/cycle
*national average

Cost: $79 for one or $210 for a one-month supply of three individually- packaged Stork devices.

Pre-natal vitamins are also available for both the male and female on The Stork store website.

Benefits of The Stork:
  • Proven technique: Physician technique now available for use in the privacy of
    home 
  • Safe: FDA Authorized prescription product. Non-reusable device 
  • Natural: Drug-free product that requires no drugs 
  • Non-invasive: Requires no injections or surgery 
  • Easy –to-Use: Condom-like in collection, tampon-like in delivery 
  • Cost-effective: Compared to “next-step” treatment options 

How to Purchase The Stork
  1. Contact healthcare provider for prescription 
  2. Purchase The Stork from the website
  3. The Stork ships directly to your home
Coming Soon for The Stork:
  • The Stork will soon be available over the counter at Amazon and at CVS in the family planning aisle for their new category of aiding in conception 
  • Follow The Stork to stay updated on news!
    Facebook Twitter


Common Questions/Answers:
Will a prescription be required when it is available over the counter at CVS? What is the anticipated timing of when The Stork will become available in CVS?
You will no longer need a prescription when it is available at CVS. We are shipping product to CVS in July and it should hit the shelves in late August or early September. 

Can you use The Stork with Clomid?
What we do is mechanically make sure that all of the swimming sperm can make it into the cervical mucus and can get as close to the cervix as possible. OB-GYNs will normally give infertile couples Clomid. And if you are already going on a pharmaceutical therapy to increase your egg production and consistency, then it makes sense that you use the mechanical options as well. So you are trying to reduce the additional hormones in your system.

Many physicians now who are prescribing The Stork will either start with just The Stork or The Stork and Clomid, depending on the timing of the couple. We seem to find a lot of OB-GYNs match these two together because they believe it makes the most sense.

Should The Stork be tried before trying other medical intervention, like Clomid? The Storks offers the most natural way of conceiving. The female hormone system is a fragile system. If you don’t need to alter the female hormone system, then I would recommend first trying The Stork before going to the next step!

If CVS doesn’t carry it in the fall, can we order it online without a prescription?
In the summertime, once the FDA gives us final approval, you can purchase online through Rinovum or on Amazon, even before it hits the shelves of CVS in the fall.

After the semen has been collected into the cap, do you have to insert the cap into the vagina right away or can you wait?
We only recommend that immediately after collection, you insert. We have not done the studies for delayed inseminations, but in the future we are looking into a product that will allow for this.

When do you typically suggest someone start using the product?
When sex is no longer for fun, but for propagation—that is your moment to try using The Stork!


If a couple doesn’t have insurance, can they still use The Stork?
This actually isn’t an insurance-based program. The product costs $79 for one device, and we thought this would be a reasonable price for most people. Most couples trying to conceive are spending so much money on other ways to conceive, so this is a small moment to give them a true chance at conception.

Does this product work on woman with a tipped uterus?
Women have always been told they have anteverted or retroverted uteruses, which is inside of the back of the cervix. So the cervix is like a golf ball, and the uterus is behind it —up, down, or tilted in many ways. I tell people to picture a golf ball (the cervix) glued into a back of a balloon (uterus). As long as you dilate the balloon with The Stork device by pushing it in all the way, the device still reaches that golf ball. This is helpful, because The Stork places the sperm right next to the uterus.

How many months does it normally take to be successful with The Stork? How does it compare to IUI?
IntraUterine Insemination (IUI) gives about a 10-20% success rate. To be successful, typically you will need four or five attempts over five months. The Stork product has the same statistical value as IUI. It may take a couple months, but it may not. Infertility is a multifactorial, and every couple is different!

If you leave the cervical cap in longer, does it equal better results?
It really doesn’t. That six-hour window is really interesting. When you leave it in there for six hours, the sperm gets released into the cervical mucus and it actually gets longevity to its path.

Are there side effects?
Because we use implantable grade silicone, the same thing used for body implants, it is the least reactive material and we have had no complications or issues with the device. The only time you shouldn’t use it is if your physicians advises you as such.

Are you marketing to alternative demographics, for instance in place of surrogate mothers or for gay couples?
We love helping people with alternative lifestyles build their families! The Stork really caters to non-traditional couples because all you need is a donor and a recipient.




The crazy, invasive trials and tribulations of infertility treatment can be barbaric and painful. 
 
Two strong, amazing women I know who went through the experience, turned their physical and emotional travails into two incredible plays! We highly recommend you check them out if you ever have the chance. They're painfully funny productions and have been a great, cathartic, healing process for the performers and the audience! 


Journey to the Center of the Uterus by Kathleen Puls Andrade 

www.journeytouterus.com

This original show takes you on a roller coaster ride through the fertility fray with differing doctors, "supportive" friends who declare "you'd get pregnant if you weren't so fat!", adventures in the "special man room", and so much more. Through entertaining characters, animation by Andrew Eninger, interviews with men and women ages 35 to 85, and funny inventive music by the talented singer/songwriter Marshall Stern, the show promises to make the audience laugh while giving them perspective on the whole conception conundrum. This universally appealing show will make both men and women laugh, gasp, and think.

"Kathleen Puls Andrade's one-woman comedy recounts her taxing, marathon efforts to get pregnant despite being over 40 and having a uterus roughly the size of an "over-roasted cashew." One countrified musical number features... "Goin' down the hoo-ha highway" (...in another song she rhymes "tutor us" and "uterus," which ain't half bad). ...the handful of quiet, truthful moments are incredibly moving. A scene where Puls Andrade receives a hope-dashing phone call while standing in line at a Circuit City store had me wiping away tears."
--Zac Thompson , Chicago Reader





Danielle Mari’s one-woman show, Inconceivable: Adventures in Reproductive Endocrinology and Other Absurdities, traces the bizarre and often funny rides at the Infertility Amusement Park. The message, however, reaches beyond personal experience, speaking to anyone who has, in the attempt to attain a dream, little by little, found herself acting like a crazy person.

I've seen both shows performed live, and as fabulously funny and poignant as these two are, we hope that the advent of The Stork age will mean far less invasive, painful, and expensive tortures are in store for more women than ever!  I wouldn't wish the battery of infertility tests and the treatment regime on my worst enemies, let alone my best friends.


Disclosure: Once again, this post was sponsored by The Stork and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

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