Disclosure: Affiliate links. Book was provided for review consideration.
Discussing fertility isn’t something new to Beauty and the Bump because
it’s something we’re experiencing personally. 
I love sharing what I’ve learned on my own personal journey along with the
stories of what other people going through the same things have
experienced.  However, it’s also good to
get expert advice on the matter.  This
time, I have an interview with CNN correspondent Kyra Phillips, who, along with
Jamie Grifo, MD, PhD, program director of the NYU Fertility Center, authored
The Whole Life Fertility Plan (Harlequin
Nonfiction; on sale February 2015; $25.95 U.S. /$28.95 CAN.) a proactive and
comprehensive guide that answers every question about fertility
health—including many you may not have known to ask like the following:
  • What you should ask your gynecologist at every annual exam, even long
    before you’re ready to have a baby?
  • How smoking and drug or alcohol use affect your fertility?
  • Which STIs and STDs can ruin your chances of having a baby?
  • What your weight has to do with your fertility?
  • What to expect when visiting a fertility clinic?
  • How lifestyle can affect a man’s fertility, too?
  • How old is too old? Major advances in the field make having a baby a
    new possibility for some?
Continue reading for an exclusive interview about The Whole Life
Fertility Plan
as it pertains to fertility health.
Beauty and the Bump (BATB): The
idea behind this book seems interesting. 
As a woman that has not ever had the sex or reproduction talk with her
parents, I would have appreciated being gifted this book in my late teenage
years.  How old do you think someone
should be to receive this book or any book with information pertaining to
infertility?
Kyra Phillips (KP): I would
have loved to have this book, too! That’s why I wanted to write it. I feel THE
WHOLE LIFE FERTILITY PLAN should be given to each young woman the first time
they see an OBGYN. There are great questions to ask your doctor and this book
is the perfect guide for that.

BATB: At 24, when I was
ready to start my family, I found out I had fertility issues; recurring
miscarriages during the first trimester, which were most likely caused by
chromosomal abnormalities. In this
instance, how will The Whole Life Fertility Plan help?
KP: The beauty of age 24
is that you are still young and there is A LOT of troubleshooting you can still
do! Simple blood tests, among others, can help you discover what’s really going
on so you can be proactive and get that baby that you so desire!

BATB:I’m no stranger to a
fertility clinic – taking multiple rounds of Clomid or Femara along with IUI’s
that turned out to be unsuccessful – after so many failures, I’m somewhat
skeptical of alternative ways of tackling my fertility.  What advice would you give to me and someone
else to help us embrace the Whole Life Fertility Plan is beneficial?
KP:Did you ever get a
second opinion? Did you meet with more than one fertility doctor? I had a very
bad experience when the fertility doctor told me he was just going to follow
the same protocol, so I went to see another doctor and eventually got pregnant.
Our book also talks about surrogates and the beauty of adoption. There are
always options.



BATB: Actually, I started off only seeing one fertility specialist, which was in 2009/2010; however, over the last two years or so it’s been two. If you reference back to my earlier posts, you’ll see I get different perspectives on this issue from both RE’s. One discussed jumping right into IVF, and currently the other one wants to try two rounds of IUI’s before jumping into IVF. 

BATB:  One thing that is gaining popularity
these days is egg freezing.  Do you
believe in egg freezing to preserve your infertility? Why or why not? How does
the Whole Life Fertility Plan fit into this equation?

KP:YES! Egg freezing has
come a long way and is a very beneficial and successful option. You can always
carry a baby later in life, but you only have a certain amount of time to
produce healthy eggs. Thanks to science, you can now put your DNA on ice and
stop that biological clock from ticking!

BATB: I just turned 30 years
old in August.  I never wanted to have
children passed that age.  Plus, I’ve
always been told and have read that having children passed 35 is “…the edge of
fertility.” However, you’ve stated that, in fact, that’s false, and 40 is more
accurate.  But, for someone at 30 with
existing fertility issues does 40 really seem realistic? 
KP: Why don’t you want to
have kids past the age of 30? You are wiser, more mature, will have had more
life experience and will probably be a better mother! I was!  Now, having a baby in your 30’s could be
harder than your 20’s. Don’t forget to look at the stats….when you are in your
20’s, you have about a 86% chance of getting pregnant, that drops to about 53% once
you turn 35, then only 5% once you hit 40. 
Anything is realistic when you have options and means to do IVF.

At 40 years old or more I do not
think my body will be prepared for the trauma of pregnancy and childbirth. At
26, I had a hard time recovering from having aching bones, fatigue, etc.

KP: Aching bones and
fatigue is common in any pregnancy at any age. If you are healthy and exercise
regularly you will more likely feel better when you are pregnant.

BATB: There are celebrities
having babies older than 40, let’s take Halle Berry for example.  Do you think women like her give women
waiting later to have children an unrealistic expectation of how long to put off
starting a family?
KP: Appearances can be
deceiving. Most pregnancies over the age of 44 are accomplished by using donor
eggs. Fertility is cut in half from age 30 to 40. It is cut in half again from
40 to 42 and again from 42 to 44.  It is
extremely rare that a woman gets pregnant naturally over the age of 44 and IVF
rarely works at that age unless donor eggs are used…

BATB:  When speaking of infertility, men are
often left out. What advice can you give to women to help aid their partners in
opening up about infertility?
KP: Men need to realize that they could be the problem, not the woman. Even
though age doesn’t affect men’s fertility as significantly as it affects
women’s, recent research has shown that sperm does age the way eggs do and can
become chromosomally abnormal. Aging sperm has also been linked with increased
risk of autism, Down syndrome and other genetic abnormalities. There are also a
number of preventable causes of male infertility like anabolic steroid use,
smoking, drugs, alcoholism, high BMI, high blood pressure sleep apnea and high
prolactin levels. Our book also talks about causes of male infertility that are
more or less out of your control, in addition to vitamins and supplements that
can boost men’s fertility.

BATB: As a makeup artist and
beauty editor, one of the things that jumped out at me was the mention of lead
in lipsticks, and other chemicals found in cosmetics and skincare.  Although I avoid things like BPA, phthalates,
parabens, sulfates – and I even stopped relaxing my hair, I just wonder how
much of an effect these things have had on my fertility.  There are individuals that argue that some of
these claims regarding these chemicals causing cancer and infertility are
unfounded, and then there’s naturalists that believe all of these things should
be avoided for the sake of your health. I guess my point is, how much is too
much?  And is wearing my favorite red
lipstick (red generally has the most lead) really harming my fertility?

KP: Here is how I see it:
Before I started trying to have a baby, I didn’t know the difference between a phthalate from a potato. I really didn’t care about all these details until I
realized it could impact my ability to have a baby. Yes, it’s a chore to do
research — that’s why we lay everything out in this book. You will know about
lead in lipstick, the danger of pesticides, fighting formaldehyde, the price of
nice scents and how to put this all into perspective. Just being aware of the
dangers and cutting out what you can will be helpful.

BATB: What advice would you
give Beauty and the Bump readers to help them take charge of their fertility at
any stage of their lives?
KP: As soon as a woman
discovers her body and sexuality there are things that she can be doing to take
charge of her fertility and be empowered. The first time you see an OBGYN you
can ask to take a simple blood test called the Ovarian Reserve Test and see
right away how many eggs you have. Just knowing that could help you determine how
you live the rest of your life while thinking about having a baby, too.
However, make sure you are mentally prepared for this test. If the results are
bad it will have an impact.

Kyra Phillips, her husband & the twins she had via IVF
Thank you, Kyra Phillips for participating in this interview. I’ve read
the Whole Life Fertility Plan in its entirety, which was a quick read.  It was nice to have a book written from two
perspectives: a woman who dealt with infertility, and her doctor–a very experienced
fertility specialist.  Even though, as an
experienced “infertile” I knew a bulk of the information contained within its 288
pages, but I still found the book to be helpful. 
The Whole Life Fertility Plan, using relatable anecdotes and easy to
understand terminology, provides a good overview of how to take charge of your
fertility at any stage. The guide has great advice for young women who plan on
having kids in the future, and also touches on egg freezing just a bit. It also
contains in-depth information regarding what to do when infertility smacks you
right in the face, which is what I can relate to currently.  Check it out, and take charge of your
fertility today!

The Whole Life Fertility Plan can be purchased from Amazon.com for $19.99.

Disclosure: Affiliate links. Book was provided for review consideration.

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Kim is the do-it-all mom (and wife) who not only works full-time and is a freelance makeup artist, but also blogs about her love of family, travel, beauty and skincare. Now that she has a kindergartener, Kim has added Class Parent to her resume. These are all tough jobs, but somehow, she makes them look easy.