Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

Worried about Your Eggs?

This scene is something that a lot of women can relate to as they age. More specifically, egg freezing is a trending topic that we are also seeing more and more of in the news. Most recently, Apple and Google announced that each would be providing special benefits to women who would like to freeze their eggs. Many believe that women are waiting longer to have children because they are focusing on their careers, and progressive corporations like these see it as a way to give back to them for their dedication. 

I reached out to Michael Thomas, M.D., a respected Professor and Division and Fellowship Director in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to get his take on this topic…


All women are born with over one million eggs, which is all she will ever have.  These eggs decrease in number from birth and are all gone by the time she is 50 years old…also known as the menopause.  Though the age of menopause varies from woman to woman, it is usually the same age that your mother or your older sister have or will go into the menopause. Between birth and menopause, a woman loses about 1,000 eggs each cycle.  Also, as a woman gets older her eggs start to develop problems in their chromosomes that increase the risk of miscarriage, or developmental problems in the baby.  These chromosomal abnormalities especially increase when a woman is over the age of 35.  Therefore, it is easier for a woman to get pregnant in her 20s or early 30s.

Because of this, fertility doctors are now giving women the opportunity to retrieve their eggs at an early age, then to either freeze them or mix them with male partner or donor sperm to freeze embryos.

How does it work?

Eggs are obtained by in vitro fertilization (IVF).  During an IVF cycle, women are given medicines to rescue some of the eggs that would have died off during a normal menstrual cycle.  These eggs are obtained by using a catheter through the vaginal tissues directly into the ovaries.  Once the eggs are removed, they can be frozen immediately (future pregnancy rate is 2-12% per egg) or mixed with male partner or donor sperm to make embryos or fertilized eggs (future pregnancy rate 35-60% per embryo).  The biggest advantage of frozen embryos over frozen eggs is that embryo survival after thawing may be higher, which increases the chance of future pregnancy.

The advantage of freezing eggs without fertilization is that they can be fertilized with the sperm of a future male partner or donor sperm no matter what your age may be at that time.  Another way to look at this is that if you freeze your eggs at age 24, you will always have a 24-year-old version of yourself waiting for you while you continue to complete your career and/or find the right time in your life to have a child with or without a partner.  Some patients opt to freeze half of their eggs and fertilize the other half.

Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not pay for egg freezing.  But if egg freezing is being performed to store eggs prior to taking chemotherapy or radiation because of a recent diagnosis of cancer, some insurance companies may cover this procedure. (Chemo and radiation destroys eggs that are developing in the ovaries.)

Egg freezing is not a guarantee that a future pregnancy will take place.  Many things factor into a successful pregnancy, including the age of the woman and/or the quality of the eggs at the time of egg freezing.

I applaud companies like Google and others who are paying for employees who aren’t ready for a pregnancy now, but would like to in the future. There are many professional businesswomen who are now in their 20s and 30s who don’t want to force a pregnancy before they are ready; it’s also common for women to freeze their eggs when they simply have not found the ideal partner yet; that being said, it’s a great resource for those who want to have a family, but also do not want to settle!

If you have questions or for more information, you can contact your local fertility practice or reach me at or  Follow us on Twitter at @ucfertility.  More information for any reproductive health topic can be obtained at

Football 101

Tonight’s Cincinnati Bengals Thursday night NFL prime time game will determine whether our hometown football team will continue to go undefeated. It’s an exciting time for our team and I feel an even more personal connection to them because of the long-term partnership we have had with the Marvin Lewis Community Fund and their awesome long-running Football 101 program.

Football 101 is a fun and interactive “debrief” for women on the ins and outs of the sport that raises money for the various important causes of the Marvin Lewis Community Fund. This year’s event took place on October 21st with 450 women making it the biggest “Girls’ Night Out of the Year!” Female Bengals fans received swag bags, bid on auction items, tried some of the city’s top signature cocktails and fare, learned first-hand from Bengals’ coaches on topics like passing, field goal kicking, game strategy, and even practiced drills


Pure Romance is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this event. Each year we set up a booth and invite a handful of Pure Romance employees to join us through a special in-office raffle. With more than 150 employees, it’s a fun and fair way to reward them. In the case of Football 101, we kept some Blow Pops up at our front reception and for any of the female staff that bought one with a surprise red sticker on the bottom were eligible to win a spot to attend the event. Meanwhile, two men who played won $100 gift certificates.

The girls who won absolutely loved it! Many had never been to Football 101 before, or even touched or thrown a football in their lives. At Pure Romance, we love any opportunity to give back and the events we choose to participate prove that giving back can be not only rewarding, buy very fun.

Each year during the event a cancer survivor is honored at Football 101 with the “Pink Football Award” presented by TriHealth, the MLCF and the Cincinnati Bengals. This year, the 11th annual award was bestowed upon Debra Nickell, recognizing her strength, courage and perseverance in battling this devastating disease. In 2014, my daughter’s friend Jill was also recognized for her resilience and strength after her breast cancer diagnosis. Needless to say, almost all of us have been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form in our lives at one time or another.

The Cincinnati Bengals and Marvin Lewis continue to show through this event, and others such as the Cincinnati Scurry, the Marvin Lewis Golf Classic, and much of the charity work they do throughout the city that they are committed to giving back to our community. We look forward to cheering on our talented and caring team tonight to becoming 8-0!

Guns N’ Hoses

Growing up, I wasn’t the biggest fan of boxing; I couldn’t get past the fact that it appeared to be nothing but fighting. Now my family – that was another story. One of my relatives actually had Rocky Marciano as his Best Man, and that was something that made my dad especially proud. The closest thing I came to boxing was buying a Foreman Grill at the height of its popularity, but I never watched a George Foreman boxing match in all my years.

However, when the Guns N’ Hoses Southwest Ohio fundraising event was brought to my attention, I was excited to get involved. The match was held at the Horseshoe Casino on October 9th and benefitted the families of firefighters and law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty. The boxing tournament featured three, one minute round matches between area Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters. The winner of each bout received a Championship Belt, and the runner up received a medal.

This foundation especially resonated for me because they were the organization responsible for funding Sonny Kim’s family to travel to the United States for his funeral – travel that would not have been possible if they would have had to wait for standard procedures surrounding benefits associated with this type of tragedy. For example, state funding sometimes isn’t available until 8-12 months after our heroes have fallen.

I was so proud that Pure Romance was able to sponsor such a noble cause, and give back to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our community. The organizers treated me to a wonderful surprise, inviting me into the ring to accept a championship belt in recognition of Pure Romance for being one of the top supporters of the event.











One of the biggest surprises of the night was when I found myself jumping up and down out of my seat screaming in excitement for several boxers. I couldn’t help myself from reading all of the bios in the program, and I’m pleased to say that out of 21 fights, I had predicted 17 wins right! (Look out, Vegas; I might have to share my predictions for some big up and coming matches!J) 

This amazing organization and their outstanding event are proof that giving back can really be fun. I came out of this experience a changed person and learned a little more about a sport that I had previously misjudged. Who knows what can happen when you make an effort to give back to causes that are important to you!







Living in a Barbie World

When my daughter Lauren was a little girl, I gave her a Ken and Barbie for Christmas, and she opened up the Ken doll before the Barbie and cried for hours. She was so angry about not getting Barbie, I couldn’t get her to open any of her other gifts.

Barbie was introduced just a few years after I was born and was all the craze for decades and still mesmerizes girls throughout the world. Part of her popularity was that it was the first doll that was not a baby. She was fashionable and worldly. Nowadays, she seems to be capable of every career, from Dr. Barbie to just plain Sit-There-And-Look-Pretty Barbie. She appears to be able to do it all. I will even admit – one of my favorite T-shirts donned the words, “I want to be like Barbie, the Bi*ch has everything.” In all seriousness, how realistic is Barbie? Especially when it comes to her bodily dimensions?

A new doll called Lammily challenges the Barbie role model and attempts to provide girls with a doll that has a more realistic figure that they can relate to, and find accessible in their lifetimes. I love this!

I think about all of my granddaughters, and how delicate their self esteem can be at a young age; I’m so thankful they have dolls like this today that will teach them they don’t have to look like Barbie to be beautiful. Luckily, many of my granddaughters weren’t as into the whole Barbie thing as my daughter’s generation. However, I’m still excited to see that there are some other options out there that challenge the message Barbie is sending, and help to teach self-love and self-acceptance. We are all unique and beautiful in our own way, and that’s something every child should grow up knowing, and carrying into their adult relationships.

The Patty Brisben Foundation For Women’s Sexual Health 10th Annual Gala

This Saturday, we are hosting the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health Gala with a glamorous Golden Age, Old Hollywood theme. Pure Romance has always been an event-driven company – and that passion certainly carries over to the Foundation. We truly pride ourselves on making our events fun! Every year, we strive to make this event bigger and better than the year before, as well as give our patrons an experience they will always remember. If you’ve been to one of our past galas, you know that this isn’t always an easy task; however, we have a brilliant and creative team, and we always find a way to out-do ourselves. And let me tell you, this year’s event will be truly incredible. As the 10thanniversary of the gala, we will be pulling out all of the stops! From the moment our guests arrive to the very last dance, there will be fun-filled, paparazzi-laden Old Hollywood – themed spectacles and surprises. Click on the image below to view the official digital invite.

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The Gala gives us the opportunity to introduce even more people to the importance of women’s sexual health, and thank all of those who have worked diligently to contribute to this cause. It’s also a time to discuss upcoming initiatives, and celebrate all that we have accomplished this past year within our Foundation’s four areas of focus, including Vulvovaginal pain disorders, Sexual Health issues Related to Peri-Menopause and Menopause, Intimacy-Related Sexual Dysfunction After Cancer Treatments and Libido and Desire.

We are proud to announce that we raised $464,000 for women’s sexual health in 2014 alone.

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to watch this organization grow over the years, but there are still people out there who continue to feel uncomfortable when it comes to addressing women’s sexual health. I would never want my daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters to suffer just because no one wants to speak up about the “big pink elephant” in the room. The Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health is led by people who aren’t afraid to stand up and let people know just how critical this issue is, not just to women, but to the very families their lives also touch. I’m so proud of the team behind this organization and the path we continue to blaze for women’s sexual health.

Please take a moment to read about some of the grants made possible by our Foundation here!