Just 3 Weeks Until the Race for the Family – Start Fundraising Today!

Cade Foundations Race for the Family Presented by Shady Grove FertilityEvery year, Shady Grove Fertility physicians, staff and patients come together to support the Cade Foundation’s annual fundraising effort, Race for the Family. The 2014 5K Run and Fun Walk, presented by Shady Grove Fertility, is on September 13, 2014 at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, MD.

Annually, via the Race for The Family, the Cade Foundation is able to raise awareness and funds to support the local community. Proceeds from the Race help the Foundation serve the needs of families battling infertility through education, outreach, and grants that help couples pay for infertility treatment or domestic adoption. The money you help raise might just be able to help you or someone you love on their journey to parenthood too!

Participants can register to walk or run to help support the cause. But if you are interested in winning the $10K raffle to be used towards fertility treatment at SGF, you can also buy a raffle ticket or receive an additional entry to the raffle for every $40 you raise. Thus, if you register to walk and then raise $400, you will have 11 times the chance of winning than if you just registered!

Join this fundraising initiative to help a fantastic cause. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Fundraise for the Race for the Family1. Set a Goal. Before you begin the fundraising process, set a goal for yourself. Don’t be afraid to aim high – this is a foundation you believe in and people love to support a good cause.

2. Engage Your Social Network. Posting, pinning, tweeting, Instagramming, and blogging are constant parts of your life. Why not use your social power for good? Create a fundraising web page and email it to your friends and family. Better yet – link to it from all of your social media accounts. Create a hashtag. Maybe even Vine about it. Getting donations has never been easier, thanks to the power of online fundraising.

bake-sale3. Embrace the Local Community. Online fundraising is great, but don’t forget good old-fashioned FUNraising. Go door-to-door. Have a bake sale. Host a yard sale. Are you crafty? Sell your wares and donate the proceeds (you could even use Etsy!)

4. Attract Corporate Sponsorship. Do you have a relationship with a local store owner? Perhaps a doctor’s office? Or maybe ask your own employer about matching donations. You can work with the local business to host a fundraising event, or simply leave a donation jar or put up flyers. The greater your reach, the more success you’ll have!

5. Harness Group Power. Individual fundraising is important, but having an entire team fundraising together can be even better. Work with a group of friends or coworkers to pool your resources and create fundraising opportunities. Throw a “Jeans Day” where employees contribute to the cause and in return, get to wear jeans. Have an office potluck where everyone gets to eat if they donate. The possibilities are endless when you have a group to aid in the cause.

6. Share Your Passion. No matter what path you take to fundraise, remember that enthusiasm is infectious. If you believe in your cause, other people will too.

With only three weeks left until the Race for the Family, now is a perfect time to sign up for the race and begin your fundraising effort. For more information, visit www.mdraceforthefamily.com. Donate today!

If you would like to learn more about the fertility program at Shady Grove Fertility or are ready to schedule an appointment, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.

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Does Vitamin D Impact IVF Success?

Does Vitamin D Impact IVF Success?U.S. News & World Report Vitamin DOn August 14, 2014, U.S. News & World Report published the results of a small study suggesting that vitamin D deficiency could lower a woman’s chances of getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In this study, researchers in Italy compared the success of IVF in two groups of women: those with vitamin D deficiency and those with sufficient levels of vitamin D. The study’s results, first published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that women with sufficient levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to get pregnant compared to those with vitamin D deficiency. In addition, women with sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to have higher-quality embryos and their embryos were more likely to implant in the uterus.

The study’s co-author, Alessio Paffoni of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, warned that the study did not conclusively prove cause-and-effect. While the relationship between vitamin D status and pregnancy has long been suspected, studies have been inconclusive and inconsistent. Some studies have suggested that low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, preterm labor, caesarean section, and low birth weight. Other studies though failed to show this increased risk.

Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine” vitamin, enhances and helps to regulate the intestinal absorption of essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. These levels are maintained through either dietary ingestion or through the skin’s exposure to sunlight.  Though vitamin D’s connection to fertility is still inconclusive, there is no question that it is beneficial to overall health. For that reason, Shady Grove Fertility suggests that women with a low vitamin D level take a supplement and ultimately maintain a normal level.

The effect that vitamins have varies from person to person. Whether you are trying to conceive or looking for ways to promote a healthy pregnancy, it is important to speak with your physician before starting any vitamin or supplemental regimen. More on vitamins for fertility and healthy pregnancy.

If you are ready to schedule an appointment at Shady Grove Fertility, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.

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Mom.me: A Case for Gestational Carriers

In a recent blog on Mom.me, Te-Erika Patterson discussed gestational surrogacy, covering its proponents and detractors. A gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate, is a paid volunteer who carries a pregnancy for someone who cannot otherwise carry a pregnancy for herself. The eggs and sperm are derived from the intended parents (or through an egg and/or sperm donation) through the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF), with the fertilized embryo being transferred into the uterus of the gestational carrier.


Malina, born via gestational carrier, shares how surrogacy helped her fathers complete their family. Image via Malina Simard-Halm/Twitter

Since the child is not biologically related to the gestational surrogate, there are some who are very vocally opposed to the process. To combat these allegations, Patterson put a human face on the debate, interviewing a young woman who was the product of gestational surrogacy. “I would not have been born without surrogacy,” Malina Simard-Halm shared. “My parents fought for nearly a decade to have me, and it was surrogacy that came through.” Gestational carriers have helped many couples to become parents, including women who are unable to carry a pregnancy and LGBT couples.

While there are clear benefits for the intended parents, those who are against gestational surrogacy allege that the gestational carriers themselves can be emotionally and physically harmed by participating in assisted reproduction. According to Gilbert L. Mottla, M.D. of Shady Grove Fertility’s Annapolis, MD office, “Negative experiences in the context of being a gestational carrier are quite rare. Comprehensive medical and psychological screening of gestational carriers and intended parents greatly minimize complications.” Abby Estwick, a former gestational carrier, looked back on her experience very fondly, saying that “There is a unique sense of joy that comes with giving the gift of parenthood.” Read more about her experience at Mom.me.

At Shady Grove Fertility, the Gestational Carrier Program represents another way for our patients to overcome infertility. SGF has extensive experience coordinating all aspects of the gestational carrier cycle, from working with agencies and attorneys to medical/psychological testing for intended parents and gestational carriers. Intended parents are also eligible for our unique Shared Risk 100% Refund Program when using a gestational carrier. With this program, the intended parents may attempt up to six IVF or donor egg cycles (with the gestational carrier) for a flat fee. The couple either takes a baby home from the hospital upon a successful treatment cycle or, if all six attempts are unsuccessful or they opt out of the program, 100% of the fee is refunded.

While there are dissenters to the Gestational Carrier Program (like those mentioned in the blog), we make absolutely certain that our intended parents and gestational carriers are well taken care of. Find out more about our program here.

For more information about Shady Grove Fertility’s Gestational Carrier Program or to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, please contact our New Patient Liaisons by calling 888-761-1967.

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