toconceive, key to conceive

Friday, October 31, 2014


Trying To Conceive, Dealing With Reminders

Halloween is the beginning of the holiday season which revolves around kids. How do you survive these family and kid oriented days and nights like Halloween?
Well, for starters, you really can't get away from it. Depending on where you live, you'll probably have kids at your door. It's easy to be bitter that everyone else seems to be out there having fun with their kids while you're marinating in thoughts of failure and feelings of being left out.


If You Are Trying To Get Pregnant and Dealing With Infertility, Try These Survival Tactics During Halloween

 My best advice is the following:

-Join in as much as possible - when I was TTC, at times like halloween, I would have fun opening my door to all the kids. I'd make a mental note of the cute little costumes imagining how my baby/child would look when I dress them up (yes, I know this is all before they're conceived, but if you really want something, you have to behave as if you already have it).

-Engage the kids in conversation when they come to your door. It really is fun to talk to them - ask them about their costumes and compliment them on how good they look. Being around kids will attract kids into your life - remember, what you put out "there" comes back to you.

-When I was TTC, it wasn't the kids that made me feel bad, it was usually the parents who were endlessly going on and on about all the fun things they were going to do. Try to have fun with the kids on Halloween - it will help you visualize you future life with one of your own.   Remember, you will attract to yourself what you focus on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


If you're trying to get pregnant over 40, pumpkin seed are super nutritious

It's fall and its pumpkin season if you haven't noticed! If you're trying to conceive over 40 or any age, take advantage of every nutritional benefit this season has to offer.  I never think of pumpkins as squash, but essentially, that's what they are.  They are loaded with phytochemicals and phytonutrients which tend to be good for overall health


Pumpkins are a great source of zinc and other nutrients Pumpkins are very affordable and pumpkin seeds are wonderful sources of zinc, essential fatty acids and many other nutrients which are great for male and female fertility.  Unfortunately, these fertility superstars are usually thrown out when people carve their pumpkins.  To prepare the pumpkin seeds, scrape out the inside of the pumpkin, separate the seeds, boil them for 10 minutes in salted water, then bake till crispy on  a baking sheet with olive oil.

Here is an article about the nutritional value of pumpkins

Pumpkin seeds, raw

In-depth nutrient analysis:

Pumpkin seeds, raw
(Note: "--" indicates data is unavailable)
amount 0.25 cup
total weight 34.50 g
Basic Components
nutrient amount %DV
calories 186.65 10.37
calories from fat 142.36
calories from saturated fat 26.93
protein 8.47 g 16.94
carbohydrates 6.14 g 2.05
dietary fiber 1.35 g 5.40
soluble fiber 0.19 g
insoluble fiber 1.16 g
sugar - total 0.35 g
monosaccharides 0.00 g
disaccharides 0.35 g
other carbs 4.45 g
fat - total 15.82 g 24.34
saturated fat 2.99 g 14.95
mono fat 4.92 g 20.50
poly fat 7.21 g 30.04
trans fatty acids 0.00 g
cholesterol 0.00 mg 0.00
water 2.39 g
ash 1.68 g
nutrient amount %DV
vitamin A IU 131.10 IU 2.62
vitamin A RE 13.11 RE
A - carotenoid 13.11 RE 0.17
A - retinol 0.00 RE
A - beta carotene 78.66 mcg
thiamin - B1 0.07 mg 4.67
riboflavin - B2 0.11 mg 6.47
niacin - B3 0.60 mg 3.00
niacin equiv 2.48 mg
vitamin B6 0.08 mg 4.00
vitamin B12 0.00 mcg 0.00
biotin -- mcg --
vitamin C 0.66 mg 1.10
vitamin D IU 0.00 IU 0.00
vitamin D mcg 0.00 mcg
vitamin E alpha equiv 0.35 mg 1.75
vitamin E IU 0.51 IU
vitamin E mg 3.76 mg
folate 19.84 mcg 4.96
vitamin K 17.73 mcg 22.16
pantothenic acid 0.12 mg 1.20
nutrient amount %DV
boron -- mcg
calcium 14.84 mg 1.48
chloride -- mg
chromium -- mcg --
copper 0.48 mg 24.00
fluoride -- mg --
iodine -- mcg --
iron 5.16 mg 28.67
magnesium 184.58 mg 46.15
manganese 1.04 mg 52.00
molybdenum -- mcg --
phosphorus 405.03 mg 40.50
potassium 278.42 mg 7.95
selenium 1.93 mcg 2.76
sodium 6.21 mg 0.26
zinc 2.57 mg 17.13
Saturated Fats
nutrient amount %DV
4:0 butyric 0.00 g
6:0 caproic 0.00 g
8:0 caprylic 0.00 g
10:0 capric 0.00 g
12:0 lauric 0.02 g
14:0 myristic 0.02 g
15:0 pentadecanoic -- g
16:0 palmitic 1.94 g
17:0 margaric -- g
18:0 stearic 0.97 g
20:0 arachidic -- g
22:0 behenate -- g
24:0 lignoceric -- g
Mono Fats
nutrient amount %DV
14:1 myristol -- g
15:1 pentadecenoic -- g
16:1 palmitol 0.03 g
17:1 heptadecenoic -- g
18:1 oleic 4.88 g
20:1 eicosen 0.00 g
22:1 erucic 0.00 g
24:1 nervonic -- g
Poly Fats
nutrient amount %DV
18:2 linoleic 7.14 g
18:3 linolenic 0.06 g
18:4 stearidon 0.00 g
20:3 eicosatrienoic -- g
20:4 arachidon 0.00 g
20:5 EPA 0.00 g
22:5 DPA 0.00 g
22:6 DHA 0.00 g
Other Fats
nutrient amount %DV
omega 3 fatty acids 0.06 g 2.50
omega 6 fatty acids 7.14 g
Amino Acids
nutrient amount %DV
alanine 0.35 g
arginine 1.21 g
aspartate 0.75 g
cystine 0.09 g 21.95
glutamate 1.30 g
glycine 0.54 g
histidine 0.20 g 15.50
isoleucine 0.38 g 33.04
leucine 0.63 g 24.90
lysine 0.55 g 23.40
methionine 0.17 g 22.97
phenylalanine 0.37 g 31.09
proline 0.30 g
serine 0.35 g
threonine 0.27 g 21.77
tryptophan 0.11 g 34.38
tyrosine 0.31 g 31.96
valine 0.59 g 40.14
nutrient amount %DV
alcohol 0.00 g
caffeine 0.00 mg
artif sweetener total -- mg
aspartame -- mg
saccharin -- mg
sugar alcohol -- g
glycerol -- g
inositol -- g
mannitol -- g
sorbitol -- g
xylitol -- g
organic acids -- mg
acetic acid -- mg
citric acid -- mg
lactic acid -- mg
malic acid -- mg
choline -- mg --
taurine -- mg


Monday, October 27, 2014


I know there is a lot of information out there about getting pregnant over 40 or any age.  I am frequently asked,  "If you could pick the top 5 recommendations, what would they be?"
I thought I would develop an infographic (which you can share with the code below) that summarizes the top recommendations to get pregnant over 40:
  1. Hormone Regulating Foods
  2. Self Pelvic Massage, Reflexology and Acupressure
  3. Meditation and Visualization to attract a baby into your life
  4. Stress and Cortisol Reduction
  5. Healthy Weight and Only light exercise

Top 5 Things To Get Pregnant Over 40 - An infographic by the team at

Embed Top 5 Things To Get Pregnant Over 40 on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Trying to Conceive: Can Egg Whites Help Fertility?

Most fertility doctors will tell you to stay away from the traditional vaginal lubricants because they may hinder sperm because of their thickness and consistency.  However, there are a number of vaginal lubricants on the market that are actually quite sperm friendly and can help facilitate the transport of sperm and ultimately fertilization (some examples are "Pre-seed" and "ToConceive" see the banners at the top of this page).   
Many women may want to use natural methods if they want to improve their own cervical mucus or even use things like eggs whites.  Here is a page on my site that give instructions on how to use egg whites and how to improve your cervical mucus naturally:



Friday, October 24, 2014


Secondary Infertility Hurts Too

I frequently hear from women who had a child or children when they were younger and want to have another when they're older.  When I ran an infertility support group, there were a few women who had secondary infertility.  They had an older child or they perhaps had fertility treatments for their first child.  They wanted a second child, but could not get pregnant again. 
Sometimes they remarry or sometimes they just decide it's time to add to their family. Since they already have a child, they are very surprised and frustrated to find they can't seem to get pregnant again.


Secondary infertility doesn't seem to get as much attention and the women and couples suffering from secondary infertility often don't get as much sympathy or support because they attitude may be: "At least you have one child, I don't have any".  The New York Times did an article on this subject and how the couple may feel about their secondary infertility:
from the article:
And I got to experience this not just once but twice. Now I have two beautiful, dazzling little girls. And I feel lucky. And sort of greedy. Because I desperately want a third. And a part of me feels like I should be satisfied with my two healthy children. But my family just feels incomplete.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Thyroid, Fertility and Miscarriage

Your thyroid may be one important factor if you are failing to conceive.  When I ran an infertility support group, two of the women there were finally diagnosed with thyroid disorders and, after treated, both went on to have babies.  If the thyroid is underfunctioning, it can lead to hormone imbalance in estrogen, progesterone and prolactin.  There are natural ways to correct a thyroid imbalance, but of course, you should consult a health professional if you are trying to conceive.  Read more:


Monday, October 20, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40, What You Wear May Help!

I've always loved the paisley pattern, and come to find out, it is supposed to represent fertility.
 Is this all nonsense? Will you really become more fertile if you wear paisleys? I don't know, but if you think you will be more fertile, you probably will!
This article explains the paisley-fertility connection:

"There are so many theories," explains Valerie. "Some people think the motif is a mango, others a Chinese dragon, others half of the yin-yang symbol. We prefer the idea that it represents the growing shoot of the date palm, which was a "Tree of Life" in that region of the world, important for food, shade and building materials. Gradually the symbol came to represent growth and fertility."


Well there can't be any argument about that. As I peered at the mannequins in the glass cabinets, their dress morphing with the fashions from the 18th to the 20th century, I was struck by the sensuality of the motif. It makes you think of germinating seeds, fecund wombs and wriggling spermatozoa. It encapsulates every Western stereotype about the erotic East. And yet it writhes sexily across the blue-and-white "kirking shawls" once worn by respectable Scottish ladies to weddings and christenings.

Saturday, October 18, 2014



 Many women are told they have high FSH and immediately told to consider donor eggs (see also: do you need donor eggs over 40?  Here are three success stories as reported in the Oxford Journals Human Reproduction:

Case #1 was a 36 year old with an FSH of 143
Case #2 was a 35 year old with an FSH of 105
Case #3 was a 46 year old with an FSH of  22
If you have undergone fertility testing, you are probably aware that doctors usually want to see an FSH under 10.
Although all the women in the report citing these three cases underwent fertility treatments to get pregnant, they did NOT use donor eggs and they had normal live births.



 "The relatively quick success of these patients with very inexpensive therapy allows the treating physician at least to advise a couple not interested in using donor oocytes or adoption that, although a successful outcome is unlikely, there does not appear to be a ceiling on the FSH concentration where conception in a woman with incipient ovarian failure is not possible. Furthermore, they can be advised that there is at least one precedent for temporary reversal of apparent overt menopause with successful delivery in women up to the age of 45 years."
oxford journals

Thursday, October 16, 2014


 Considerations when using donor eggs

First, let me say that I know a number of women who have had babies with the use of donor eggs and their husband's sperm and they were perfectly happy with their pregnancies and they have never regretted their decision.  I never considered using donor eggs even though the option was presented to me by my doctor when I was trying to conceive and experiencing recurrent miscarriage.  My gut instinct told me to hang in there because the thought of having a third party involved was more than I could handle at the time. 
So should you consider using donor eggs?  Of course its a decision that you have to make with your doctor and a number of factors need to be taken into consideration.  However, if your infertility is "unexplained" it may not necessarily be your egg quality as an underlying cause.  Here are some things to consider when using donor eggs...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Fertility Jewelry, Gems and Symbols

There are a number of symbols that represent fertility and have been worn throughout the ages to help women and couples conceive.  My website just started carrying a line of fertility jewelry which includes the following:

Kokopelli earrings:

Kokopelli is a flute player with feathers on his head.  He originated in the Native American Culture and is thought to deliver unborn babies to women (which he carries on his back).  The rose quartz on these earrings also attracts love energy and targets the heart chakra.

Fertility Angel Necklace:

This necklace has the traditional fertility goddess shape combined with angel wings.  It symbolizes angels looking after your future child and your fruitful womb. It comes with a black silk organza voile ribbon cord.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Surprise Pregnancies over 40

On my website, I write about how I became pregnant by surprise at the age of 49 after having my successful pregnancy with my daughter at the age of 44. I know most of you reading this blog would be elated to become pregnant. But I've written before about how there are quite a few women who become pregnant unexpectedly over the age of 40 because they think they're too old or going through menopause. Here is a video and article that discusses unplanned pregnancies over 40 (it could happen to you!)

Emily James of Marie Stopes International said: "Many older women facing an unplanned pregnancy are completely shocked to find themselves in this position - many assume that their irregular periods are due to menopause, and are surprised to learn that they are in fact pregnant.

Friday, October 10, 2014



I had a number of miscarriage on my journey to a successful pregnancy.  Some miscarriages were so early that an early pregnancy test and a few minor symptoms were the only reason I knew I was pregnant.  The pregnancy expelled on its own and I went on to have normal cycles the next month.  However, I did have one pregnancy that had progressed further, miscarried but did not expel.  To make a long story short, I had my HcG levels checked and it was alarming that they were continuing to go up.  My doctor was concerned that I had a molar pregnancy (a nonviable pregnancy where the tissue can turn malignant).  I had a D & C which showed that the pregnancy was not a molar, it just was taking a long time to expel.

There are ways to encourage your body to expel a non-viable pregnancy if you are trying to avoid having a D & C.  Like all surgical procedures, D & C's have risks, and if  you are trying to conceive again, you probably want to do all you can to avoid scarring and other complications.  This page on my site summarizes my research on how to have a natural miscarriage:


Wednesday, October 08, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40, Yes, Stress Can Cause Infertility and Miscarriage!

The term "stress management" is used so much anymore that people seem to almost overlook it. We live in a society that is so "hustle bustle" that most people don't even know what a normal existence is.

The outward manifestions of a stressful life could be anything from tapping your foot because your computer isn't working fast enough to feeling that 'punch' in the pit of your stomach when you interact with less than diplomatic people. When I worked in the corporate world (which I did for 19 years before embarking on my natural journey to pregnancy), I would run around like a maniac multitasking to the point of not having enough eyes, hands, and phones to do everything at once. I would frequently get irritated with people who didn't move as fast as I did. The funny thing is, at the time I would have told you "my stress is totally under control"
I have this article posted on my website: which gives a great explanation of how stress causes infertility and miscarriage.

More From WebMD:

Researchers have long known that during times of stress, the brain releases several hormones -- including one called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). In past research, women who deliver prematurely or have low-birth-weight babies were often found to have high levels of CRH in their bloodstream, and other studies show a greater risk of miscarriage in women reporting stress. CRH is a hormone the brain secretes in reaction to physical or emotional stress, and it is also produced in the placenta and the uterus of a pregnant woman to trigger uterine contractions during delivery.

But this new research suggests that CRH and other stress hormones may also be released elsewhere in the body, where it specifically targets localized mast cells -- those best known for causing allergic reactions. Mast cells are abundant in the uterus. During stress, the local release of CRH causes these mast cells to secrete substances that can cause miscarriages.

Monday, October 06, 2014


How Iron Helps You Get Pregnant

Iron may be just what you need if you are trying to conceive.  First, women may be losing iron through their monthly periods (especially if you have heavy bleeding).  Second, if you do become pregnant, your body may become deficient as the baby will take quite a bit of iron from your body.
Additionally,  iron may actually make you more fertile.  Women who take iron supplements have fewer ovulatory disorders.  Research has shown that women who took more than 41 mg of iron daily had a 62% lower chance of having a problem with ovulation.  Other sources of iron are non-heme iron which is found in plants.  Non heme iron is harder to absorb, but both are important because heme iron may help the absorption of non-heme iron.  Foods high in vitamin C can also help get the iron into your system.
    Foods rich in heme iron:
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Lean beef
  • Lean pork
  • Poultry (dark meat, in particular)
    Foods rich in non-heme iron:
  • Leafy green vegetables such as turnip greens, kale, broccoli, and spinach
(see my instructions on how to cook greens  here (
  • Beans (black, kidney, lima, pinto)
  • Raisins
  • Hummus
  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Enriched breads, pastas, and cereals
  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Figs
  • Peanut butter
  • Tofu
    Foods rich in vitamin C:
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Tomatoes
  • Red peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi

Saturday, October 04, 2014


Body Fat and Fertiltiy

All you diet and exercise fanatics out there may not be doing your fertility any favors. Although these are things that we typically think as good, too much of a good thing may sabotage your efforts to get pregnant. Losing too much body fat can affect your levels of "leptin" which starts a chain hormonal reaction. This article explains more:

Now, a study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) offers the first definitive proof that a lack of leptin contributes to hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) and that treatment with a synthetic form of the hormone can restore fertility and reduce the risk of bone fractures in this group of patients. The findings are reported on-line this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


"This condition accounts for over 30 percent of all cases of amenorrhea in women of reproductive age, and is an important problem for which we didn't have a good solution," explains senior author Christos Mantzoros, MD, Dsc, Director of the Human Nutrition Unit at BIDMC and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"Our findings now prove beyond any doubt that leptin is the missing link in women with significantly diminished body fat, and that this, in turn, results in numerous hormonal abnormalities." Without leptin, he explains, menstrual periods cease, the body becomes chronically energy-deprived and women experience bone loss and an increased risk of bone fractures.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014


Inflammation and men's fertility

Inflammation seems to be the buzz word among all the health gurus nowadays. It seems to be responsible for everything from cancer to infertility. Here is an article about how men can be affected by a pro-inflammatory substance call MIF.  This substance seems to be found in people who have inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases.  I have known a number of people with autoimmune disease who were able to control it (even without medication) by eating an "anti-inflammatory diet.  Most of the foods I recommend for fertility (see (see fertility foods - are anti-inflammatory.

Read more:

Yousef Al-Abed, PhD, and his colleagues at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have isolated an immune substance called macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in semen samples from infertile and reproductively healthy men. MIF is key to helping sperm mature, which is necessary for its union with an egg. The finding could lead to a diagnostic test to determine fertility status.

The study appears in the latest issue of Molecular Medicine. The semen samples were collected from men three to five days after a period of sexual abstinence. The scientists had no idea when analyzing levels of MIF whether the sample came from any of the 68 men who had problems conceiving or from the 27 healthy controls. The findings have a Goldilocks kind of quality: Those with infertility problems had MIF levels that were either too high or too low. Those who had no problems conceiving had levels that were just right. 


Monday, September 29, 2014


Trying To Get Pregnant Over 40 Can Be Psychologically Difficult

I hear from women all the time who aren't just dealing with the physiological aspects of infertility, they are dealing with the emotional aspects as well - there are so many feelings that erupt inside of you.

I guess that's a nice way of saying they're downright angry, enraged, fuming, you name it. Almost anything dealing with pregnancy, children, and of course trying to conceive is a landmine ready to explode. This anger affects their relationships with family and friends and can be very isolating (sometimes its just easier to avoid everyone). All this anger has other side effects too. That constant churning in the pit of your stomach or in the center of your chest can't be helping your body prepare for conception or pregnancy.

Infertility Leads To Anger and Jealousy

I don't know why drug addicts or teenagers who eat junk food, smoke and drink get pregnant time after time...I've often wondered why the "powers that be" thought them more worthy than so many couples who have so much to give to a new baby. None of us will ever know why things like that happen...but one thing I do know is that holding on to anger and jealousy will only keep you or at the very least delay you from realizing your dream of having a child.  Everyone is on their own path in life and your job is to prepare your body and mind for a new life.

Try To Get The Anger of Not Being Able To Get Pregnant Out of Your System

Remember your goal here is to get pregnant, right? Think of a baby deciding whether or not to come to you as their mother. Would they want a calm peaceful loving environment or one filled with rage, envy, and ill will? Perhaps it's no coincidence that I got pregnant with my daughter right after I screamed and cried so loud that I'm surprised my neighbors didn't come over. I finally got all that built up rage out of my system - I'm convinced it made made my body more receptive because I got pregnant with my daughter right after that.  Maybe you do need to find a private place to let it all out.  Believe me, it feels good to release the tension and "not be strong" if even for a little while.

 Here's an article about changing your mindset to conceive

Why Can't I Have A Baby?

Friday, September 26, 2014


A Silent Epidemic

Guest Post By Eric Daiter, MD

Billboards, television ads, and 7th grade health teachers all proclaim the message of safer sex, yet the U. S. Department of Health and Services estimates that 13 million people become infected with a sexually transmitted disease every year.  According to the Center for Disease Control, Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States with 3 million new cases occurring each year.  This article will talk about signs and symptoms of Chlamydia, how to treat it, and how to avoid it.


Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex.  It can also be transmitted to a new born baby as it passes through the birth canal of the infected mother.  50-75% of women infected with Chlamydia show no signs or symptoms and have no idea they are infected, which is why it is sometimes referred to as "the silent epidemic".  Chlamydia, when untreated, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.  This puts the woman at risk for infertility, endometriosis, and damage to the reproductive system.   Endometriosis symptoms can be extremely painful, and if considering conception, may require infertility treatment.  Common symptoms of Chlamydia include unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain in the abdomen, fever, and painful urination.   In order to diagnose Chlamydia a culture swab must be obtained
Once detected, Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics.  The most commonly used antibiotics in treatment of Chlamydia are Azithromycin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Erythromycin.  Antibiotics must be prescribed by a physician and are administered orally according to the doctor's specifications.  It is also important to complete your course of medication completely in order to recover from the infection. It may be a good idea to return to your doctor for Chlamydia testing every year, as it is possible to be re-infected with the disease even after treatment.  Abstain from sex while being treated for the disease even if you no longer have symptoms.  You can resume sexual activity once your course of antibiotics is finished.
The risk for transmission is dramatically reduced with the use of condoms with a water based lubricant, such as K Y Jelly.  Petroleum based lubricants, such as Vaseline, should not be used because they break down latex (the material the condom is made of).  The only sure way to avoid becoming infected with Chlamydia is abstinence (not having sex) or monogamy with an uninfected partner.
It is important for partners to discuss their sexual history before having sex and have STD tests done.  Essential to prevention for sexually active individuals is an understanding of sexually transmitted diseases and how they are spread.
Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms.  For more information, please visit
Article Source:,_MD

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