Carlos R

Florida-based SMP Pharmacy Solutions announces the strategic acquisition of Northridge Plaza Pharmacy to serve growing demand in California fertility market

Los Angeles, CA. October 4, 2019 –SMP Pharmacy Solutions, one of the fastest-growing privately owned pharmacies is now set to open a brick-and-mortar location to locally support fertility clinics in California and surrounding states.

The acquisition of Northridge Plaza Pharmacy (NPP), a well-known and trusted entity among fertility clinics in California, is part of a strategic expansion plan that will allow SMP to enhance its local presence in the West Coast region – where demand for support of the growing fertility market is among the highest in the U.S.

“We are excited to extend SMP’s white-glove services to the West Coast. This signifies a major step in our mission to provide our industry-leading services throughout the nation” said Armando Bardisa, CEO of SMP Pharmacy Solutions. SMP will provide a host of differentiated services to offices and patients to include personalized patient care, superior office support, and a robust technological platform.

The core values of NPP are similar to those of SMP Pharmacy Solutions; a highly personalized approach to customer service and a high standard of excellence. “We are confident that SMP will build upon the foundation we have worked hard to create here at NPP. Our patients and providers will be as thrilled as we are,” states Karen and Silva Ekizian, Owners of Northridge Plaza Pharmacy.

NORTHRIDGE PLAZA PHARMACY

Northridge Plaza Pharmacy was founded in 1993 by the late Rafi Ekizian, with a mission to provide quality pharmacy services in Northridge and its neighboring communities. NPP’s current operators, the Ekizian family, are confident that SMP will continue to provide true healthcare value to the California community.

SMP PHARMACY SOLUTIONS

Since 2003 SMP has grown from a local retail operation to a national award-winning fertility specialty pharmacy with licenses in 50 states and strategic partnerships with leading manufacturers. In 2018 SMP partnered with a healthcare-focused investment firm, Galen Partners, to help usher in the next phase of the pharmacy’s growth and service level. SMP has developed specific therapeutic expertise in fertility pharmacy and specialty services, holding major accreditations including URAC, ACHC, and PCAB. For information, call 855-255-5005 or send an email info@smppharmacy.com. Also, visit www.smppharmacy.com.

Carlos RFastest Growing Fertility Pharmacy to Deliver Enhanced Services and Programs to West Coast Clinics
read more

Fertility treatment is expensive. Most patients have no insurance coverage for their treatment, and even for the ones who do, some have coverage for the procedure, but not for the medications. Unfortunately, most people end up having to pay for their fertility medications themselves.

Because of the high cost of fertility treatment, many people have to get financing for multiple services – the fertility clinic, the medications, and more. This allows patients to pay off the cost of the procedure over several years, rather than having to pay the entire cost upfront. What’s more, with many of the participating lenders, you can submit one application for all of the fertility treatment amounts you need help with (fertility clinic, medications, genetic testing, donor services, etc.). Then, you’ll make your monthly payment to the lender, and the lender will coordinate payment directly to each of the providers.

At SMP, we’re a partner with some of the most common fertility financing companies, including Lending Club and CapexMD. These companies specialize in financing support for fertility patients, which means they are great partners in all aspects of the fertility journey. These financing providers also work with the majority of fertility clinics, so even if you need financing for medications in addition to your fertility clinic, you’ll only need to work with one lender. That’s a lot of time you’ll save by:

  • Only submitting one financing application (which checks your credit to obtain the rate you’ll receive)
  • Only submitting payments to one lender
  • Only having to keep track of one account, that you can use with multiple fertility providers (clinics, pharmacies, etc.)

So, what are the steps when you want to get a loan for your fertility medications and pay it off over time, instead of paying the entire cost upfront? The process is relatively short and simple – and the SMP team is your ally in getting it done:

  1. Have your fertility clinic write the prescriptions for the medications you need, and send them to SMP.
  2. Get a pricing quote from the SMP team, so you know how much you need to be financed. SMP will get other information from you then too, such as the address where the medications should be shipped. The SMP team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (855) 255-5007.
  3. Apply for a fertility financing program online. Apply at Lending Club here, or apply at CapexMD here. Good news – applying for these will not impact your credit score! (If you’ve already applied for fertility financing, contact that company to add the price of medication to your loan.)
  4. Once you’ve submitted your application, it can be approved, and the loan amount sent to SMP, in as little as 1-2 business days. Then, the medications can be sent to you from SMP!

The good news is, the SMP team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you through this process. Any questions about the fertility financing program can be answered by our team. In one year alone, we helped SMP patients finance over $1 million in medications, at an average APR of 10.9%. The good news is, if you have good credit and elect a plan as short as 24 months, you can get an APR as low as 4.99%! At SMP, we get it – fertility treatment is expensive, and many people need help covering the cost. Help with financing is just one of the ways that we help patients with paying for treatment. Be sure to check out all five ways we help our patients save money on their fertility medications (including medications discounts, grant programs, and more).

Carlos R4 Easy Steps in Financing your Fertility Medications
read more

If you’re struggling with infertility and you have decided to go after fertility treatment, you’re probably no stranger to stress. And we understand it, there’s a lot on your table.

Between finding a way to afford your medications and making sure you get your refill on time, there’s a lot to consider. 

Fortunately, there are great resources available to you if you know where to look. 

With the help of a Fertility Pharmacy, you can receive a customized treatment plan, access to the right medications when you need them, and the support you need to guide you through the process all in one place.

Fertility Pharmacies not only have specialized knowledge, but they also work directly with your doctor or doctor’s office to offer you a customized treatment.

Why should you choose SMP Pharmacy as your Fertility pharmacy?

  • We are a white-glove high-touch Fertility Pharmacy

Every detail makes a difference. SMP Pharmacy is a white-glove high-touch fertility pharmacy that focuses on making the fertility treatment process as smooth as possible for you; therefore we handle each prescription with the utmost care.

Not only that, but we hire and train our specialists so they can answer any questions or concerns you may have during your treatment process.

  • Always speak to a real person

You don’t have to worry about ever speaking to a machine over the phone; we don’t automate our customer service. Call us anytime with questions, concerns, or medication refill requests. Each time you will speak to a real person. 

  • Get personalized help: At SMP Pharmacy we treat all patients as VIPatients

We are a smaller pharmacy, which means we can offer personalized service.  We familiarize ourselves with your case to help you receive the best treatment possible.

It’s important to stay positive and on track. We act as an accountability partner for you. Checking in on your treatment and reminding you about medication refills is part of our job. We have one-on-one fertility specialists who learn about your case and help you stay on track with your treatment plan, and get the medications that you need.

  • We specialize in fertility

At SMP, we specialize in infertility. Our trained specialists have gone through this process time and time again. As our patient, you’ll be connected with a Fertility Care Coordinator that will assist you with your fertility medications, savings programs, and health insurance plans. A service you won’t get at your regular neighborhood pharmacy.

  • Rapid Prior Authorization Support

We know that communicating with your insurance company for prior authorization for your medication can be a point of stress, so we have a dedicated team to handle all of those communications for you. Just last year, we had a 93% success rate for more than 15,000 prior authorizations. 

  • We help you with your financial needs

Fertility treatments and medications can be expensive. At SMP, we offer financing plans to help you finance your treatment, receive accessible and affordable medications, and connect you with support groups. 

SMP helped patients finance over $1M at an average APR of 10.9% last year. In total, SMP helped save patients over $10M through foundations and patient financial assistance programs in the last year alone!

  • International Patient Support

In an effort to make your treatment accessible, our support extends to international patients, as well. Not only do we work with FedEx to ensure that your medications are delivered on-time, but we also adhere to the guidelines of each country to ensure that our shipping process is compliant.

Our website is translated into more than 15 languages to help as many patients as possible. We have a fully bilingual staff (English and Spanish) in-house, and we even staff members who speak Mandarin and Cantonese. Beyond that, we provide translation services for 240 languages. 

  • SMP is also a compounding pharmacy 

Our shelves are stocked with everything we need to deliver the right medication for you. This means that you won’t have to wait for days or weeks for your specific medication to arrive. We even offer medications that are hard to find at other pharmacies. 

If we don’t have what you need, we can create it. As a compounding pharmacy, you don’t have to worry about us running out of stock of your medication. We have the skills, expertise, and tools we need to create your medication and keep your treatment plan on track. 

  • Constant cooperation with Your Doctor 

The most important part of our job is making sure that your treatment goes well. Our top priority is your health and well-being before, during and after your fertility treatment. 

To better support you, we maintain a relationship with your doctor’s office. This helps us understand your specific treatment plan and stay updated on your medication needs.

We check in with your doctor’s office and speak to their staff regularly. The open communication and collaboration help ensure that your needs are met and that our medications align with your treatment plan. 

  • Confidently Choose SMP for Your Fertility Medications

Choosing the right pharmacy for your fertility treatment medications doesn’t have to be difficult. At SMP, we prioritize your health and have the fertility treatment expertise that you need. 

If you are interested in learning more about our pharmacy and how we can help you give us a call at 1-888-846-6745.

Carlos RUndergoing fertility treatment? Choose to have a Fertility Pharmacy as your partner through the entire process.
read more

Finding the right fertility pharmacy can sometimes be a time-consuming, not to mention costly process if not done correctly. Fortunately, there are a few things you can look out for to make sure you’re making the best decision for yourself and your future family. 
We’ve compiled a list of the five ways SMP Pharmacy Solutions helps you save time and money on your fertility medications and treatments.

1. Insurance Checks and Prior Authorization (PA) Assistance

Verifying the appropriate level of coverage is the first step in ensuring your costs stay as low as possible while preventing any unexpected charges. We do this by verifying all of your information during your first phone call, followed shortly by scheduling your pick-up or delivery if necessary.

What if you need a specific medication that requires a valid prior authorization? We’ve got that covered too.

Our team works hard to make sure your prescriptions are approved and verified. The moment we receive your prescription, we begin processing the order to verify coverage and, in the event that a medication requires prior authorization, our staff will begin gathering clinical notes to assist in completing the prior authorization process for you.

2. Competitive Pricing and Promotions

We offer some of the most competitive cash pricing on fertility medications in the fertility market. We also offer several promotions to help bring down the cost further for patients, and they often help to address shortages in the fertility medication space.

3. Financial Assistance

We help you minimize the up-front cost of your medications through the Compassionate Care program, where you can save from 10% up to 75% off of Gonal-F, Cetrotide, and Ovidrel medications. 

For eligibility information and more information regarding The Compassionate Care Program through Fertility Life Lines, please click here.

4. Medication Financing

Patients can finance the remaining balance of their treatment by applying to Lending Club or CapexMD or HCS programs. Our financing options make it easy to set up a payment plan that best suits your budget. Simply fill out a short online application and choose the plan that makes the most sense for your situation. You can see your available rates online as well – but don’t worry, applying for Lending Club or CapexMD will not impact your credit.

5. Fertility Support Organizations

We’re continually checking support funds to see if our patients qualify for grants. We understand that certain treatments and medications can have costly price tags, which is why we work with the following organizations and foundations for financial support:

  1. The CADE Foundation (TQCF)
  2. Fertility for Colored Girls (FFCG)
  3. Fertile Action
  4. The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination Inc. (INCIID)
  5. The Oncofertility Consortium 
  6. Path2Parenthood (P2P)
  7. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
  8. Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR)
  9. Stand Up To Cancer
  10. WEGO Health
  11. Baby Quest Foundation
  12. Men Having Babies (MHB)
  13. Livestrong Fertility
  14. The Alliance

We take a patient-first, service-driven approach to provide for our communities, and we don’t want financial restrictions to be a cause for you not receiving the appropriate care.

We work with a broad network of assistance programs to maximize your odds of receiving assistance. We can assist you with choosing the right program; just be sure to call us and ask how we can help you today.

__________

We strive to continue to be your first choice for fertility medications and related support. If you have any questions on how we can help you during your fertility process, just give us a call today at 888.846.6745 and we’ll be more than glad to assist you. 

Carlos R5 Ways SMP Pharmacy Helps You Save Money on Fertility Medications
read more

There are a handful of reasons why you or your partner may not be able to reproduce naturally, but fertility treatments continue to evolve and make the process of fertilization easier. 

Among all fertility treatments out there, IVF tends to be the most common.

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is one of the most effective fertility treatments. The treatment involves extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and combining the two as part of the fertilization process.  

As a soon-to-be mother who is about to begin IVF, it’s always helpful to know what you can expect from the process.

5 Steps of the IVF Process

The average IVF cycle takes usually takes around 6-8 weeks. 

The process begins on day 1 of your period. Naturally, your body produces a single egg during each monthly cycle.  For someone struggling to conceive, a single egg is not enough. Therefore, the first step in the IVF process looks to stimulate egg production.

1. Fertility Medication

On the first day of your period, you will begin taking medication that contains FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) to encourage the production of more eggs in your ovaries. You’ll take this for an average of 8-14 days. 

This medication is administered in the form of injections. Once you’re taught how to self-administer the injection, you do this part of the treatment at home following your doctor’s instructions. Blood tests and ultrasounds are used to monitor the process and adjust dosing as needed.

The dose of the injection varies depending on what your doctor feels is best for your situation. Generally speaking, the higher the dose, the higher the cost. While a higher cost may seem like a small price to pay to increase your chances of becoming pregnant, once you produce 15-20 eggs, your chances of conceiving stop increasing.

2. Egg Retrieval 

Next, once the doctor is satisfied with the number and size of the follicles that produce eggs, you will be given a drug that forces the eggs to mature. It’s essential to keep in mind that only about 75% of follicles produce a potentially viable egg.

After 36 hours, your fertility doctor will retrieve the eggs by inserting a small needle in your pelvic cavity to access the ovaries and drain the follicles. 

3. Sperm Collection

Before fertilization can occur, your doctor or the clinic will collect sperm from your partner or a donor. These cells are then prepared to be combined with the egg in a process called insemination.

4. Fertilization 

Once your doctor retrieves the eggs, they are placed in a petri dish to be fertilized. There are several ways to do this, but the technique used in your case will depend on both the clinic’s laboratory and your doctor’s decision. 

These options include conventional insemination, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, or ICSI. ICSI is most commonly used in cases where there is a low probability of fertilization. In this method, the sperm is injected directly into the egg. 

After this process, the eggs are monitored to confirm fertilization. If fertilization occurs, those eggs are considered embryos.

5. Transfer Embryos

The next step after fertilization is to grow the embryo. This step is the most difficult in the process, and as a result, most eggs and embryos are lost in this part of the process. 

Three to five days after the fertilization process the embryos are transferred to your uterus. Using a catheter or small tube, your doctor will transfer the embryos. This is a painless procedure for most women. 

If the cycle is successful, the implantation occurs six to eight days after the egg retrieval. 

What Happens After an IVF Cycle?

After undergoing IVF, you will have to wait eight to ten days to find out if you’re pregnant. During this time, you can return to your normal day-to-day life.

It’s important to understand that even though IVF is the most effective fertility treatment available, it doesn’t give you a 100 percent chance for pregnancy.

For many women, the first cycle is the most likely to work. If after the waiting period you learn that you are not pregnant, you can always do another round of the fertility treatment. While your chances of becoming pregnant lower with each IVF cycle, it’s not uncommon for the second or third cycle to result in pregnancy.

Sources

Carlos RThe Steps to the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Process
read more

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most popular, and most effective, procedures for couples that are struggling in their journey to expand or start their families.

If you have already determined with your physician that IVF is right for you, preparation is essential to maximize your chances of success.

Here’s a list of things you should consider to make the most of your treatment and maximize your chance of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Share
Providing as much information as possible at your initial consultation and pre-treatment appointments will help your physician customize a plan for you. It’s essential to always keep an open dialogue with your physician about your journey. Discuss with your physician your detailed medical history that includes medical and lifestyle factors that may affect conception.

Make sure you cover all of these points because they will influence the decisions your physician will make to determine your best possible treatment:

  • Details about past pregnancy attempts.
  • Medical conditions you or your partner may have.
    Weight, diet, medications, lifestyle, stress level, exercise routines, previous fertility tests or treatments.
  • For women: any sexual problems, menstrual history, family history of infertility.
  • For men: any sexual problems, history of the previous conception, family history of infertility, surgery, or recurring infections.
  • Pre-treatment exams
    Comprehensive testing is required for both you and your partner before beginning IVF to help maximize your chances for success and healthy pregnancy. Examinations may include:

  • General blood test: Before starting IVF, the woman’s blood type should be verified, and she should be screened for conditions that could affect the health of a pregnancy.
  • Tests for infection: Infectious disease is a possible cause of infertility. Doctors may use urine, blood, stool, or other types of tests to screen you and your partner for such diseases.
  • Ovarian reserve assessment: As women age, they have a decreased ability to conceive and an increased risk of miscarriage. Ovarian reserve testing tries to measure egg quality, quantity, and reproductive potential.
  • Semen testing: A semen sample is required to determine if the male partner suffers from abnormally shaped sperm, low sperm count or low motility.
  • A uterine cavity examination: The uterus is usually evaluated before IVF. Three methods can be used: a hysterosalpingogram, a saline infusion sonohysterography or hysteroscopy.
  • Work on your health
    When you’re trying to conceive, all you need is one good egg, so it’s important to remember that “egg quality” is directly affected by outside factors. Everything you do affects your eggs, and as you age and you are exposed to more environmental toxins, the more likely they are to be abnormal.
    However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to keep your eggs healthy as you age. The secret lies in working to improve your overall health and keeping your body as pristine as possible.
    Three to six months prior to IVF you should:

    Improve your sleep: The quality and quantity of sleep influences sex hormones, sperm production, and ovulation. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure you and your partner are getting enough good quality sleep, especially leading up to an IVF cycle.
    Quit smoking and alcohol consumption: Nicotine ages the ovaries, damages the eggs as they develop in the ovaries and makes eggs resistant to fertilization. Also, any alcohol consumed during an IVF cycle reduces its chance of success.

    Improve your diet: Cut down on sugar, caffeine and highly processed foods. Drink plenty of water and increase your intake of antioxidants, Omega 3s, and vegetables that are rich in iron and protein.

    Take vitamin supplements: Our cells are made up of what nutrients are available, and the largest cells in a woman’s body are her eggs. Therefore by taking a high-quality prenatal supplement, you are directly affecting the quality of your eggs and improving the fertile environment of your body. Be sure to discuss this with your physician as he will recommend the best supplements for you.
    Manage your stress: Lower levels of stress indicate higher IVF success. Make sure to manage your stress by slowing down your lifestyle pace and getting involved in de-stressing activities. Try meditating, practicing yoga, reading, or taking long walks.

    Get surrounded by the right people: Seek out people who can support you emotionally during this sometimes stressful process. Stay close to family and friends who understand what you are going through and are willing to be there for you. Sometimes it’s hard to find others in your “real life” who are living this experience and who can relate to what you are going through yourself. So if you are looking for more personal, first-hand accounts of what IVF would be like, there are many blogs and online forums where others write and record their journeys and are willing to share it for the benefit of all going through IVF.

    Sources

  • https://fcionline.com/first-steps/your-first-visit/
  • https://www.sart.org/patients/sart-patient-evaluation/
  • https://www.givf.com/fertility/ivfcycleindetail.shtml
  • https://www.fertilityclinicsandiego.com/treatment-options/in-vitro-fertilization/preparing-for-ivf/
  • https://www.fertilityanswers.com/infertility-blogs-podcasts-and-online-support-groups/
  • http://www.academicwino.com/2011/06/does-alcohol-consumption-affect-success.html/
  • https://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/trying-to-conceive/tips/ttc-7-real-ways-to-improve-your-egg-quality-for-better/
  • https://www.thetot.com/mama/tips-to-prepare-for-ivf/
  • Carlos RPreparing For IVF And How To Maximize Your Chances Of Success
    read more

    Did you know that during the week of April 21-27 we celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)?

    RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association has branded this year’s theme as #InfertilityUncovered. The week is designed to bring millions of Americans together to remove the obstacles to building a family. We want you to participate with us! That’s why we have put together a list of 9 different ways you can get involved this week.

    1. Wear Orange

    Orange has symbolized fertility since ancient times and is the infertility awareness color. When you wear it, you are showing support to your friends, family, and those in the infertility community.

    2. Post on Social Media

    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are great social media platforms that can help educate, spread support, and make others aware of issues concerning infertility.

    You can post your own picture, an official NIAW picture, or even create your own meme! Just be sure to use the hashtasg #InfertilityUncovered, #NAIW, and #NationalInfertilityAwarenessWeek and feel free to tag us @smppharmacy

    If you don’t know what to caption, try these examples:

    #InfertilityUncovered means to me…
    Infertility affects millions of people, it’s time to come together #NIAW

    3. Attend an Awareness Walks

    A “Walk of Hope” is a fundraising event where hundreds of people and businesses gather to walk one mile for infertility awareness. You can walk in an event that is already set up or you can create your own.

    4. Participate in Local RESOLVE Events

    There are many events nationwide that are available for you to participate in. They cover topics such as preserving eggs, “What to Expect When You Aren’t Expecting”, “Adoption, Donor & Surrogacy Connect-and Learn Seminar”, etc. Make sure to check out this list of events and attend one!

    5. Start a Mini Fundraiser

    Instead of asking for a birthday or holiday gift, you can ask family and friends to donate to the National Infertility Association.

    You can also ask local restaurants to donate a percentage of their revenue for a night. Many restaurants already have fundraiser programs in place and you can invite your friends to support you.

    6. Talk to Your Employer

    If your family building options are limited because your employer doesn’t cover fertility treatments in their healthcare plan, speak up! Talking to your employer about getting insurance coverage for IVF might sound scary. But you deserve to be covered.

    Bring the following statistics to their attention when you talk to your boss about healthcare coverage.

    Benefits of Employers Providing IVF-Covered Insurance to Employees:
    Employees are 2.5x less likely to miss time from work due to infertility.
    Employees are 1.5x more likely to recommend their workplace as a great place to work and feel their employer cares about their well-being.
    Employees are 2.5x more likely to believe their employer listens to their needs.
    Employees are 2x more likely to believe their employer is family-friendly.

    7. Write a Letter to Lawmakers

    Family building should not be a partisan issue. So write a letter to your state’s lawmakers urging them to invest and protect in the families that they represent.

    RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day for 2019 is May 15-16. They are partnering with American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) to lobby in Washington D.C. RESOLVE holds this annual event so you have a chance to make your voice heard.

    8. Share Your Story

    Sharing your infertility journey with other is a great way to spread awareness to others that have never experienced it. Sharing gives you a voice to express your concerns and be heard. It can connect you to the community and provide support to others. Read more stories about the infertility journey here.

    9. Learn More About Infertility

    Don’t be afraid to reach out to us! Our pharmacy specialists at SMP Pharmacy are here to answer your questions about fertility, medications, ART, and more.

    Those are 9 ways you can get involved during National Infertility Awareness Week, which one of those will you be doing?

    Carlos R9 Ways You Can Get Involved with National Infertility Awareness Week
    read more

    Have you been thinking about getting pregnant for a while now and finally you feel you are ready to adventure into the motherhood journey? Well, we have put together a list of questions you should ask yourself before taking action:

    How Old Are You?

    Healthy women under 30 years of age don’t need to worry about infertility unless they have been trying for over a year.

    But women over the age of 30 should talk to their doctor because a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant decrease after women turn 30. If you are 30 years of age or older and have been trying to get pregnant for over six months without success, then you should talk to a specialist.

    Women with the following health issues should see a doctor as soon as possible:

    Irregular periods or no menstrual periods.
    Painful periods.
    Endometriosis.
    Pelvic inflammatory disease.
    More than one miscarriage.

    However, no matter how old you are, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Doctors can help you prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. They can also answer any questions you might have on fertility and give you tips on conceiving.

    Are You Taking Care of the Controllable Factors that Contribute to Infertility from Your Lifestyle?

    These factors contribute to infertility:
    Stress.
    Poor Diet.
    Athletic Training.
    Being Overweight or Underweight.
    Tobacco Smoking.
    Alcohol.
    Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

    It’s up to you to manage your stress, diet, physique, and your smoking and drinking habits to give you the best chances of getting pregnant.

    Have You Considered These Factors?

    Financial Assistance

    Depending on your insurance, you may or may not be covered for fertility treatments. But don’t get discouraged by this. There are many grants and scholarships available to help out those in need of financial assistance.

    Time

    It takes time to make sure you are taking care of the controllable factors that contribute to infertility. Trying to get pregnant is a journey. So, put your best foot forward by keeping to a schedule that works for you.

    Self Care

    If you haven’t started a self-care routine, you should consider starting one. A healthy mind and body make the fertility journey smoother. Sometimes couples or individuals need to see a therapist or join a support group to gain the tools to cope with the stressors of trying to get pregnant. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

    Have You Explored All Your Options?

    There are many different medications and assisted reproduction technologies (ART) that are common for doctors to recommend patients that suffer from infertility.

    While you don’t need to know what each medicine does on the molecular level, you should have an understanding of its functions and side effects. Call SMP Pharmacy today if you need more information on these common medications.

    Common medications include:

    Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is an orally ingested medication that is typically used for women who have PCOS. It causes ovulation by acting on the pituitary gland.
    Human menopausal gonadotropin or hMG (Menopur) is a type of medication that is injected to treat women who have ovulation problems because of their pituitary gland. It works by acting directly on the ovaries to stimulate ovulation.
    Follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH (Gonal-F, Follistim) is similar to hMG. This injectable works to stimulate the ovaries.
    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) analog is a type of medication that can be injected or administered by nasal spray. It is used for women who don’t ovulate regularly every month and works by acting on the pituitary gland.
    Metformin (Glucophage) is a type of medication that is orally ingested. It is used to treat women who have insulin resistance and/or PCOS and works by lowering the levels of male hormones in the patient. Metformin is sometimes combined with clomiphene citrate or FSH.
    Bromocriptine (Parlodel) is used to treat women who produce an excess of prolactin, a hormone that causes the production of milk.

    It’s also important to consider the following types of assisted reproduction technologies (ART):

    In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most effective ART. First, Women are treated to produce multiple eggs. Next, the mature eggs are removed, and in a lab, they are put in a dish with healthy sperm. After the eggs are fertilized, 3 to 5 days, the embryo is implanted into the uterus.
    Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) or Tubal embryo transfer is similar to IVF. Fertilization occurs outside of the body in a lab, but the embryo is placed into the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus.
    Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) is a type of ART that transfers eggs and sperm into the fallopian tubes, meaning fertilization happens in the body.
    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a type of ART that transfers an egg into a woman’s uterus or fallopian tube after it has been injected with a single sperm.

    Conclusion
    Talk with your partner and health care provider about the options that are right for you. Consider the amount of time, money, and effort you are willing to put forth into becoming pregnant and be willing to reach out to the right resources for help.

    Additional Sources:

    SMP FAQ Infertility – Questions? Ask Jenny Now!

    Carlos R4 Questions about Infertility You Should Answer Truthfully
    read more

    A Man’s Guide to Supporting His Partner Through Infertility

    Useful Tips for Men to Support Your Partner During Infertility

    The fertility journey is stressful for everyone involved which can cause tension in your relationship. However, it doesn’t have to. You can practice the following tips to bridge the communication gap and bring you closer.
    Be There Physically and Emotionally
    Come to doctor’s appointments. Make time to go to doctor’s offices. It’s one way to show your support and shows that you are invested.

    Talk it out.

    You already know that communication is an integral part of any relationship, but it’s important to emphasize it. You and your significant other should talk about the limits you are willing to take to get pregnant. (These limits can always be re-evaluated later).

    Ask how you can support her.

    Ask how the treatment is making her feel. Ask if she is
    concerned about what the doctor(s) say. Also, let her know what you think about the process and share your opinion.

    Don’t bottle up your anxiety or grief.

    The path to pregnancy contains many hurdles. If you suppress your emotions about complications in the process or your anxiety over financial issues, then you are doing yourself and your partner a disservice. As men, it might not be your first instinct to share your emotions, but sharing can help your wife to know that she isn’t the only one burdened. Sharing your fears makes her feel like she isn’t alone and allows you to support her better.

    Show your support by alleviating other responsibilities.

    Taking care of chores that you wouldn’t usually do like laundry, cooking, or cleaning can all be ways to show you care that won’t go unnoticed. Chris Wohl, an infertility advocate who was featured on MTV’s True Life “I’m Desperate to Have a Baby,” writes in his blog post that he supported his wife by keeping track of and scheduling doctors appointments. He even administered her shots!

    Don’t try to “fix” her.

    It’s tempting to try to fix your spouse’s problems, especially when they are so emotionally charged. Don’t! She doesn’t need you to give solutions, only to empathize with her by listening. An excellent way to show your support is through active listening (hearing what the other person has to say and paraphrasing it back as a response).

    For example: If your spouse tells you after your doctor’s appointment, “I’m not sure what we should do. There are so many options.” You might practice active listening by saying, “It sounds like you are overwhelmed by all the options there are for treatment. Is that right?”

    Lastly, don’t make a promise on anything you can’t keep.

    While promising that she will get pregnant one day comes from a genuine place, you can’t guarantee it. Instead, offer comfort by telling her that you will be by her side no matter what.

    Research

    It is essential for men to come alongside their wives and research what methods are best for their situation. Learn about diagnostic tests and treatment options for both men and women. Research ways to finance if your health insurance doesn’t cover treatment. Read our blog posts about other fertility topics such as common medications and their side effects, the chances of IVF success, and fertility foods. Ask your doctor about any specific concerns you might have during your next appointment.
    Seek Out Help if You Need
    Know your limits and seek professional counseling (single or couple) if needed. Expanding your family shouldn’t destroy your relationship; it should strengthen it. The National Fertility Association (RESOLVE) has many support groups across the United States as well as an online community. Anna Slager, a RESOLVE group host, writes, ”Infertility can be an alienating experience. Many of us tend to suffer in silence. I’m grateful that with the help of my support group, I didn’t have to.”

    Conclusion

    You can support your partner by being present – physically and emotionally. Talk about fears and concerns that you might have and be willing to help alleviate other responsibilities, but most importantly listen. Keep up with research so you can help make the right decision for your family. Join a support group or get professional counseling if needed.

    Carlos RA Man’s Guide to Supporting His Partner Through Infertility
    read more

    Compounding is the pharmaceutical practice of creating personalized medicine.

    It can provide solutions to those with allergies to ingredients found in common medications, treatment to those who need a different dose than common shelf medication, or access to those that need a hard to find drug.

    Simply put, by creating medicine that’s customized for you, compounding closes the gap between what you need and what big commercial pharmacies can provide.

    The Role of Compounding In Hormone Therapy (HT)

    Compounding medication is an option for those that are going through hormone therapy (HT). Doctors prescribe bioidentical hormones for this type of treatment to supplement the body when specific hormones are not being produced enough. Bioidentical hormones match the molecular structure of the hormones found in your body. There are several different compounds found in bioidentical hormone creams:

    1. Estradiol
    2. Estriol
    3. Progesterone
    4. Testosterone
    5. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

    Compounded Medication Provide These General Benefits and are Important for Women’s Hormonal Health Because…

    • Medications can be made in different strengths. Compounding allows you to find the specific dose that the large chain pharmacies don’t sell. They can customize something that is right for you which is vital for those going through hormone therapy. Each woman is different and deserves to be treated so. Levels of hormones vary from person to person. The most significant benefit of compounding medication for hormonal health is that a dose is made just for you.
    • Medications can be customized. Pharmacists can use ingredients that don’t trigger an allergic response. For those with allergies to certain dyes, flavorings, gluten, or lactose, your medications can be customized to prevent sensitivity to a reaction.
    • Compounding can provide alternative ways of consumption. You won’t have to suffer from the horrible taste of some medications. Your medications can be converted to liquids, pills, topical creams, or injectables. They can even be flavored!
    • Sometimes compounding your medicine can be cheaper than commercial products. Depending on the medication, your pharmacy can combine several medications into one.

    Compounded Medications are Used for These Hormone-Related Conditions:

    • Infertility: Many women turn to specialized medicine to induce and maintain pregnancy. Compounded medicine can be used in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and other Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatments.
    • Menopause: Menopause is clinically diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without her period. It is a natural process but can include physical symptoms. Compounded medication may be used to relieve the symptoms if other medications are not adequate.
    • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Factors that play a role in this hormonal condition include an excess of insulin, excess of androgen, low-grade inflammation, and heredity. Women with PCOS experience infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods and develop follicles that prevent eggs from being released. Compounded medicine can restore hormones to a natural level.
    • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: POI is diagnosed when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40 years old. It is not to be confused with premature menopause which is when your period stops before age 40. With POI, you will experience an irregular menstrual period and sometimes can occur as early as a woman’s teen years.

    Conclusion

    Compounding medication can help women going through hormone therapy or those looking to become pregnant. The largest advantage of compounding is that it can be customized for you. Talk to your endocrinologist and see if compounding medication is right for you.

    Are you or someone you know in need of compounded medication? Give SMP Pharmacy a call.

    Carlos RWhy Compounding Your Medications is Important for Women’s Hormonal Health?
    read more