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A Q&A video series

Ask Monica

Your fertility questions, answered by an expert.

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What is Ask Monica?

Ask Monica is a Q&A style video series where Nurse Practitioner Monica Moore answers questions from real fertility patients with expert insight and empathy.

These videos are informative, easy to digest, and above all - honest.

Monica is an Illume Fertility Nurse Practitioner and health coach with over two decades of experience in the fertility field, and now, she's ready to answer your questions!

You can ask questions about topics like:

Have a question for Monica?

Ask Monica Video Library

Episode 36: How do I calculate my due date after IVF?

Finally having a successful embryo transfer that leads to pregnancy is one of the most exciting moments of an IVF journey, but it can also bring up a lot of questions. One of the most common ones we hear following a positive pregnancy test is regarding due dates. So, how DO you calculate your due date after IVF? 

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Episode 35: How is PCOS diagnosed?

Although you may be familiar with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common endocrine condition that can cause the growth of ovarian cysts, you still might be wondering how this condition is diagnosed. Monica is here with her trusty whiteboard to help answer that question.

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Episode 34: What is male factor infertility?

Unpacking everything you need to know about sperm function and health, as well as what’s involved with fertility testing for men.

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Episode 33: What happens during the two week wait?

While it’s undoubtedly an anxiety-filled time for most, the biological processes that occur during these important days post-embryo transfer or IUI is pretty incredible. In this episode, Monica explains what happens in the body during the two-week wait and how to manage the roller coaster of emotions you may feel during this time.

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Episode 32: Did I cause my pregnancy loss?

Monica tackles a question that many folks in our community grapple with after experiencing a loss. If this is you, please remember that (1) it is natural to feel those feelings, (2) you did not cause your pregnancy loss and (3) it is not your fault. 🤍

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Episode 31: Why do some fertility clinics have a BMI limit?

Monica explains exactly why BMI is a valuable data point when designing your treatment plan, what your first visit will look like and the other important information we gather during your initial evaluation.

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Episode 30: Can pre-implantation genetic testing detect genes like BRCA?

Watch the full video to hear more about PGT-A vs. PGT-M, what they can screen for, and if getting these tests during your fertility journey might be helpful for you.

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Episode 29: What is "mini" or natural IVF?

While many patients do opt for a traditional IVF cycle, others prefer to explore modified IVF cycles with fewer medications or monitoring. In this episode of Ask Monica, she explains what it means to do a “mini” or low-dose IVF cycle, and who might be a good candidate for this type of treatment.

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Episode 28: Is PCOS reversible?

A common question, and one that the internet often gets wrong! The short answer is no but the good news is that PCOS symptoms can certainly be managed - Monica is here to explain.

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Episode 27: After having a baby, how long should I wait to TTC again?

One of the most common questions we hear from our patients is “How long should I wait after delivery before trying to conceive my next baby?” Monica explores this highly sought-after answer for fertility patients eager to grow their family after a successful IVF or IUI cycle. 

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Episode 26: What medications are used during an IVF cycle?

Is your head spinning about IVF meds? Monica is here to explain commonly used medications for IVF, how they all work, and how we use them to help you find fertility success through IVF treatment. 

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Episode 25: How many IUIs should I do before switching to IVF?

Currently navigating an IUI journey? Monica is here to explain a few factors that we’ll consider with you before switching to IVF (like how you respond to medications and what your insurance coverage looks like).

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Episode 24: Why do we weigh you at a fertility clinic?

Monica explains exactly why we weigh you and why it can be a valuable data point when personalizing your treatment plan, giving you the best chance of success.

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Episode 23: What does a typical IVF protocol look like?

Monica explains what a typical IVF protocol looks like for many fertility patients, and what these medications do to help prepare your body for the perfect embryo transfer.

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Episode 22: What does a fertility nurse do?

Monica explains how your nurse is your go-to “person” to help guide you through the process, breaks down the typical responsibilities of a fertility nurse and how they play an essential role in your fertility success!

Episode 21: When should I worry about first trimester bleeding?

Monica explains what happens to your body in the first trimester and when/if you should worry about bleeding.

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Episode 20: Why can't all my fertility testing happen in one day?

Monica explains exactly why we ask that you come in for multiple days of testing and what each of these specific days can tell us about your fertility and the journey ahead.

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Episode 19: How does age impact fertility?

Did you know that age is one of the most common causes of fertility challenges? We’ve all heard about the ol’ biological clock, but what does that REALLY mean for your fertility?

Episode 18: Why do we need so many eggs for IVF?

Have an egg retrieval coming up? Monica is here to unpack why we want to get as many eggs as we can during egg retrieval. 

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Episode 17: Why do embryos have to grow in the lab for 5 days?

Monica explores the amazing science behind IVF, why we wait 5 days for those little embryos to grow, what a blastocyst is, and why we do embryo transfers at the blastocyst stage. 

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Episode 16: Should I get the COVID vaccine during pregnancy?

Are the vaccines safe? Monica tackles some of the biggest concerns around the COVID vaccines, fertility and pregnancy. 

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Episode 15: Can I sneeze out my embryo after transfer?

Monica explains whether or not you need to worry about the fragility of your embryo after transfer (spoiler alert: you don’t!)

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Episode 14: What's the best exercise for insulin resistance?

Monica gives tips the best exercise if you have PCOS or insulin resistance, and how to establish a movement practice that you can stick to. 

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Episode 13: When do I go back to my OB/GYN after treatment?

Monica explains why your fertility clinic will typically release you from their care to your OB/GYN around 10 weeks into pregnancy.

Episode 12: Can I exercise during pregnancy?

Monica explains what a healthy movement routine can look like for your pregnancy, whether you're continuing activity or establishing a new movement practice. 

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Episode 11: When should I see a fertility expert?

Monica breaks down why you might need to see a reproductive endocrinologist, some key things to identify when TTC, and explains what fertility services typically help achieve. 

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Episode 10: How can I be more sensitive to insulin?

Monica explores actionable, easy steps you can take to help combat insulin resistance and help your body become more sensitive to insulin.

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Episode 9: What is a vaginal ultrasound?

Ever wondered why you need to have a transvaginal ultrasound instead of an abdominal ultrasound? Monica explains what a vaginal ultrasound can show us, and why they're used. 

Episode 8: Why is Day 21 testing so important?

One of the ways to check for an optimal embryo implantation environment is to check progesterone levels during your cycle. Monica explains how Day 21 testing helps us evaluate your fertility.

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Episode 7: What is insulin resistance?

Insulin Resistance (IR) is one of the most common health challenges associated with PCOS. Monica explains exactly what it is, how it can affect your body, and suggest some strategies to cope with IR. 

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Episode 6: What is Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)?

PGT can be a helpful tool in assessing the potential of your embryos prior to an embryo transfer, and can optimize your chances of choosing the best embryo to have a successful transfer and a healthy baby.

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Episode 5: What is "lean" PCOS?

While 2/3 of PCOS patients have a higher BMI, some don't - but still struggle with other aspects of PCOS. Monica breaks down the definition of Lean PCOS, how to manage its symptoms, and much more!

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Episode 4: How does yoga impact my fertility journey?

In this week’s episode of Ask Monica, she explains why yoga is such an amazing and useful tool to add to your fertility treatment plan. 

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Episode 3: Will acupuncture enhance my fertility journey?

Should you add acupuncture to your fertility journey? Monica explains why acupuncture is an amazing (and effective!) addition to your treatment plan in this third episode of Ask Monica. 

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Episode 2: Will fertility treatments deplete my egg supply?

Monica uses a quick visual to explain how egg retrievals really work, how they affect your fertility and egg supply, why we do procedures on specific days of your cycle, and much more!

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Episode 1: How "full" should I be for an embryo transfer?

Ever wondered just how "full" you should be for your embryo transfer? Or been curious why you need to have a full bladder at all? Monica tackles this frequently asked question with an easy-to-understand explanation (and diagram)!

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