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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Male Fertility Pill

Men's Fertility - High Quality Sperm

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I'm an advocate of enhancing fertility through natural methods.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 So you may wonder why I'm writing about a fertiity pill for men. Yesterday I wrote about how antioxidants can help fertility--well it turns out this fertility pill for men is mostly antioxidants. Read more:

Male fertility pill to boost conception www.thewest.com.au)

From the article:

Dr Turner said good general health could encourage better quality sperm, but the tablet could also act as a boost. “It is a simple one tablet a day medication that can hopefully improve sperm quality and avoid men even having to seek assisted reproductive technology,” he said. “Or if not when it comes to using it, there are better fertilisation and conception rates.”

The pill is thought to work by neutralising free radicals through a combination of antioxidants, vitamin C and E, folic acid, garlic oil and zinc. Dr Turner said preliminary trials showed an increase in sperm count and quality in users of the pill.

He said he hoped men would embrace the new pill, which will be available in pharmacies from mid-June. “Men would feel as though they are a part of the quest for parenthood, being more concerned, involved and helpful. They could feel as though they are taking responsibility and being involved and not just dumping everything in the lap of the woman,” he said.

Monday, December 22, 2008

PHYTOESTROGENS FOR FERTILITY AND GETTING PREGNANT (PLANT BASED ESTROGENS)

Pregnancy Over 40, Plant Based Estrogens

Phytoestrogens are plant based estrogens which are also called "dietary estrogens" when consumed.
Soy foods contain phytoestrogens and I did make soy a part of my diet while trying to conceive.

If You're Trying To Get Pregnant, Phytoestrogens May Be A Good Addition To Your Diets 

 For my entire series on foods for fertility, visit getpregnantover40.com and click on "Foods For Fertility"

 However, since that time, I've read some articles on how soy may be detrimental to fertility (as with much research, if you look long enough, you can always find opposing viewpoints).

There are differing opinions on soy for fertility

This article seems to support the use of soy in women because of something called "isoflavones" which are phytoestrogens.   Please note:  most sources seem to agree that soy may have a detrimental affect on men's fertility.Read more:

In a study at University Hospital in Perugia, Italy (Fertility & Sterility 2004), women who were undergoing IVF treatment (fertilization of the egg takes place outside the body and is implanted in the uterus) were given progesterone with 1,500 mg of soy isoflavones, while the control group was given progesterone and a placebo. Progesterone is required to assist with the implantation of the embryo in the uterus, and it became apparent that the soy isoflavones assisted with greater fertility and birth success rates.

The study assessed rates of embryo implantation, biochemical pregnancy (based on hormone levels), actual pregnancy (seeing an embryo with heartbeat via ultrasound), miscarriage, and delivery. Women who had received the isoflavones had significantly higher rates of pregnancy and delivery than the control group. Thirty percent of the study group gave birth, compared to 16 percent in those who received no soy supplementation. The soy phytoestrogens, while having no adverse side effects, may have a hormone-like activity in the body and consequently enhance fertility for women in an IVF program. Further study is encouraged to understand how phytoestrogens exert their positive effects.

 from:(www.alive.com)





Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Evidence On Fertility Drugs/Cancer Risk

I can't tell you how many years I've been reading about whether or not fertility drugs increase the risk of female cancers. Almost everything I've read until now focused on the increased risk of ovarian cancer (and most studies have now concluded there is no correlation between fertility drugs and ovarian cancer). However, this interesting article talks about an increased risk of uterine cancer after fertility drugs. Read more:

Fertility drugs increase cancer risk
10 December 2008 by Alison Motluk and Celeste Biever www.newscientist.com


From the article:

Now Ronit Calderon-Margalit at Hadassah-Hebrew University in Jerusalem and colleagues have tackled the problem by comparing cancer incidence in a group of 15,000 Israeli women 30 years after they gave birth. Of the 567 women who reported having been given ovulation-inducing fertility drugs, five developed uterine cancer - which is about three times the incidence in members of the group who had not been given these drugs. For the 362 women who took clomiphene, which tricks the body into making extra eggs by blocking oestrogen receptors, the risk was over four times that of women who did not take the drugs (American Journal of Epidemiology, DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn318).

There were also smaller but significant increases in breast cancer, malignant melanoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma associated with taking the drugs, but not in ovarian cancer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Discovery Health: I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant

I was watching a program last night, which of course, caught my eye. The title of the program was: "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" which goes through some amazing stories of couples who had babies and didn't know they were pregnant. My first thought when I saw the name of the series was, how could you not know you were pregnant? But after watching the program, I understood. Some of these women were older and had been told by the medical community that their chances of having a baby or another baby were slim to none. Despite the odds, they did become pregnant, but because they were so sure they couldn't, they never considered some of their strange symptoms could be related to pregnancy. See more about the series:

health.discovery.com

The program had a number of "quiz" questions before the commercials and they emphasized that you can get pregnant during periomenopause. One woman said because of her weight and other health issues she hadn't had a menstrual cycle in 14 years. Despite all of that, she got pregnant naturally with twins.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

False Results on Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy Over 40, Can You Trust Your Pregnancy Test?

Are you a pregnancy test addict?
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 I'll admit, I was. You want so badly for it to be positive that you probably get over anxious and test too early or keep trying to read a test past the time listed on the instructions. Here is an article about getting false results on pregnancy tests and how to avoid it:

Evaporation Lines On Pregnancy Tests (www.early-pregnancy-tests.com)

From the article:

Evaporation lines can confound results if tests are not interpreted within the clinically recommended time frame. The complete reaction time of our pregnancy tests is 5 minutes. With most home pregnancy testing products, the "reaction time" of the test is a minimum five minute interval to verify a negative result for pregnancy. Generally, at three to five minutes, you can interpret the test results. To be accurate, the test results should be read within the reaction time of the test, which is usually at 5 or so. Manufacturers also recommend that you should not read tests after a designated time period, as most test brands have the possibility of developing evaporation lines...

... Now, an evaporation line will not be confused with a faint test line (valid positive) if the test is read within the five minute reaction time interval. Other explanations for faint test lines include:

Testing Too Early in Your Cycle: If you test too early, earlier than seven to ten days past ovulation, the hCG may not be at a sufficient level to produce more than a very faint line. If you do see a faint positive test result, then we always recommend a follow up test in a day or two using that first morning urine.

Lower Test Sensitivity: Different tests have different sensitivity levels. Check the sensitivity level of your test and try to purchase higher sensitivity pregnancy tests so you can have accurate results sooner.

Diluted Urine Sample: Urine samples may experience "dilution" due to frequent urination or consumption of liquids. This is whey first morning urine is recommended for pregnancy testing as it contains the most concentrated amount of the hormone, hCG.

Chemical pregnancy: A chemical pregnancy is indicated when implantation of a fertilized egg takes place and hCG is produced. A chemical pregnancy is, by definition, very shortly followed by miscarriage before any other pregnancy signs can be detected. Hence, a faint positive line on a pregnancy test may be detected, but there is a a miscarriage very quickly following implantation.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Oops! Having An Unexpected Pregnancy Over 40

Pregnancy Over 40 Is Sometimes Unexpected

It seems like all we hear about is how hard it is to get pregnant over the age of 40. I'm going to dedicate my post today to how easy it may be to get pregnant long after you thought you could.

My site: www.getpregnantover40.com

Below are some links to stories about women who unexpectedly became pregnant well into their 40's. The articles focus on their challenges, but I'm posting it here because if you're trying to conceive, it may help dispel the myth that this is an impossible dream. Read more:
_____________________


"Oops!" babies pose challenge to parents and siblings.
______________________

Experienced Woman Founds Group for Unexpectedly Expectant Moms Over 40 By Mary Rettig

From the article:

The "Surprise Moms Over 40" founder says she also discovered during her own surprise pregnancy that there was a dearth of support for such mothers as well, with very few ministries existing to offer advice and uplift to women in her specific circumstances. There were moments during that time when a word of encouragement would have really helped, she recalls, "like, when I was eight weeks pregnant, and a customer service rep asked me if I wanted to sign up for the senior citizens' discount."

Her search for help for herself convinced Coolidge of the need for "Surprise Moms Over 40." So, "in sheer obedience to the Lord," she says, she created the web-based support group "to serve the needs of these women."

Coolidge adds that her ministry is there to reach out to "surprise moms" and to encourage them to keep their babies. She says she wants to remind any woman going through an experience similar to her own that all life is fearfully and wonderfully made, despite the age of the mother, and that God wasn't surprised by her pregnancy but wanted her baby to be conceived.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Some Birth Defects Can Be Prevented Even Before You Conceive


Lets face it, whether you're 20 or over 40, most women worry about having a baby with a birth defect. I found a very informative site which not only explains birth defects, but it also explains how birth defects are reported (for statistical purposes)and some known environmental causes of birth defects. Read more from the following link and be sure to scroll down to the section with the tables showing which substances and/or environmental toxins to avoid:

www.protectingourhealth.org

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hairspray Linked To Birth Defects

I've often thought about the toxic smell of beauty parlors. There's one in the local indoor mall which you can smell long before you even approach it. I frequently worry about the people who work in salons because they must breathe in the fumes all day. Apparently there's good reason to worry. This recent article in newscientist.com talks about a link between hairspray and birth defects:

Hairspray link to genital birth defects (www.newscientist.com)

Here is another post I did on my other blog about the dangers of hair salons:

How Safe Is It To Work in A Salon if You're TTC or Pregnant?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Infertility and Pelvic Adhesions: What Do They Look Like?

Pregnancy Over 40, Adhesions May Get In The Way

My last post talked about damage to the fallopian tube fimbria.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com

 Pelvic adhesions can occur all around the reproductive organs. These adhesions can hook organs together almost like a spider web. This interesting picture gives a good visual of what adhesions look like.

Women's Health Information, D. Ashley Hill, MD

from the site:

Picture: Women's Health Information
Pelvic adhesions can be filmy (kind of like sheets of saran wrap), or thick. Some contain small blood vessels. If they involve the fallopian tubes, they can cause infertility or lead to tubal (ectopic) pregnancies. If they are above the liver they can cause pain with deep breathing. If near the vagina, there can be pain with intercourse. And, if they involve the intestines, there can be pain with exercising, reaching for objects above one's head, or when stretching.

They are diagnosed by laparoscopy (putting a thin tube in the belly button to look around the pelvic area during surgery), and are treated by cutting with small scissors or other cutting devices. Unfortunately, sometimes they return, and in these cases either further surgery, or treatment with various pain medications is used. Gynecologists know that for reasons we don't understand the female organs tend to produce scar tissue when irritated. For this reason, we take great care in handling these organs and tissues during surgery, to minimize the chance of scar tissue formation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Conception Kit - A Natural, No Drug Alternative

Pregnancy Over 40, Conception Kit

Quite some time ago, I did a post on the "Conception Kit" (see
here
 My site: www.getpregnantover40.com

I was recently contacted by the company who provided me with additional information about this kit. It costs around $300, and apparently does increase the chances of success. As I mentioned in my original post, this product was not around when I was trying to conceive, but I probably would have given it a try if it was. Read more:

NationWide Survey FOUND that Nearly 50% of Women Trying to Conceive Had Fertility Issues and Turned to Treatment

21% of Women Trying to Conceive Spent More Than Two Years and $10,000

Using $300 Conception Kit™ 19% of Women in Survey Conceived in First Three Months

Saranac, Michigan, October 15, 2008 – The results of a nationwide survey of women trying to conceive found that nearly 50% of women suffer from some type of fertility issue. These women turned to a variety of fertility-enhancing treatments, including Clomid ™, artificial insemination, cervical cap insemination, in vitro fertilization and others, to improve their chances of conceiving.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Conceivex, Inc. in advance of National Infertility Awareness Week, also found that 21% of these women spent more than two years and $10,000 in an attempt to have a child. Women in the survey who were having difficulty getting pregnant were provided the $300 Conception Kit, and 19% achieved pregnancy in the first three months. Motivated by the Kit’s effectiveness, ease-of-use, safety and privacy, 78% of the women who used the product recommended it to their friends.



Infertility is more prevalent than commonly thought, affecting 7.3 million people in the U.S., or 1 in 8 couples. A couple between the ages of 29 and 33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month. Today there are a myriad of fertility treatments available, but many of these cost from $1,500 to $20,000 per attempt. In the current economic emergency, parents-to-be are looking for an affordable alternative to help make their dreams of completing their families come true.



“Couples suffering from infertility don’t need to lose hope or break the bank in order to improve their chances of conceiving. There are options out there that are effective, inexpensive, non-invasive and can be used in the privacy of your own home,” said Dr. Barker, a family practice physician in Michigan, “Just last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the Conception Kit, a 3-month long reproductive treatment that has been shown in clinical trials to have a 24% success rate. In the time the Conception Kit has been on the market, it has helped thousands of couples address their fertility challenges.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pregnant By Self Insemination After Loss Of Fallopian Tube



I'm really trying not to jump on the sensational media bandwagon regarding the "pregnant man", however, last Friday, I watched the Barbara Walter's special where she interviewed the so called "pregnant man" who recently had a baby and just now announced that he's pregnant again.

This has been in the media so much that it seems everyone has heard the story now. One thing that I heard in the interview last Friday that caught my attention is he became pregnant by having his wife inseminate him at home with a syringe purchased at a pet store. Additionally, one of the articles below from about.com talks about how this man had been pregnant before with triplets, however, because this was an ectopic pregnancy, he lost a fallopian tube. The only reason I bring this up here is because this couple had quite a few strikes against them, (i.e., even though he had his female reproductive parts, he had been on male hormones, lost a fallopian tube, used frozen donor sperm and self inseminated) they still were able to get pregnant two times. Even though "Thomas" was still in his 30's, it just goes to show you that pregnancy can happen even when the odds are against you. Read more:

www.abcnews.go.com

and

womensissues.about.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

STRESS CORTISOL AFFECTS FERTILITY AND PROGESTERONE

Don't dismiss the stress and fertility connection

We've heard it all before, stress can affect fertility.
 As a matter of fact, we've heard it so much that I think it's dismissed as one of those things that we tend to say "tell me something I don't already know", but in fact, our stress levels are still high. It's kind of like when people say "diet and exercise" to lose weight, people want something more exciting to deal with their weight problems.

Stress Increases Cortisol which robs the body of progesterone

 Anyway, getting back to the whole stress and fertility issue. I found an excellent article on the subject of stress and cortisol from "Health Tips from Dr. Len" which goes into detail on how stress increases cortisol, but for the body to produce cortisol, it robs progesterone. All of this affects fertility. Read more:

Stress, Cortisol and it's far reaching Impact

Reproductive Function

Many women face decreased levels of progesterone, which is associated with hot flashes, bone loss, PMS, fertility, fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, decreased libido, etc. The problem is pregnenolone and progesterone are being ‘stolen’, to make cortisol. Click to see hormone pathway for male and female This is very important because in order to make cortisol….the adrenal glands need progesterone. It is one of the raw materials needed to make cortisol. So, if your adrenals are always stealing pregnenolone and progesterone to make cortisol – you may not have enough of those hormones which are needed to make DHEA, estrogen and testosterone.
_____________

SEE ALSO: NATURAL WAYS TO INCREASE PROGESTERONE (getpregnantover40.com)

_____________

DHEA is called the anti-aging hormone because it is known to increase lean muscle tissue, burn stored body fat, balance blood sugar, improve memory and support immune function.

Ladies, keep in mind that as you approach menopause your ovaries stop functioning. Now, it is up to your adrenals to produce all your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. However, if your adrenals are exhausted, how are they supposed to pick up the slack and keep up the same pace as the ovaries? It doesn’t happen… which is why so many people struggle with menopausal difficulties.

Yes, men and women both make estrogen and testosterone, the only difference is that men make more testosterone and women more estrogen. Don’t forget our libido is determined by our testosterone levels! If you’re always making cortisol, you may not be making enough testosterone, which could also explain your drop in libido…it could be stress related.

FYI…infertility and miscarriages are closely associated with low progesterone. Progesterone is needed for gestation, growth of the embryo, but how can the body support an embryo if all the progesterone is being used to make cortisol? 

excerpted from Dr Len Lopez (www.healthtipswithdrlen.com)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do You Need To Gain Weight To Get Pregnant?

With the obesity epidemic and the sedentary lifestyle in this country, we don't usually focus on people who may be underweight or people who may exercise too much. There is a segment of the population who are very health conscious and work out sometimes excessively. Here is an article about fertility and body fat and how some women may need to gain weight and curb workouts to get pregnant:

Fertility and Body Fat

From the article:

Unfortunately, the body that is depicted as being totally fit and sexy is not always the same body that is fit for pregnancy.

Fortunately, many reproductive endocrinologists have been able to help many women conceive without
giving up their bodies they have worked so hard to obtain. However, the level of body fat your body has does play a huge role in conception. The more fat cells your body retains, the more estrogen your body will produce.
Estrogen is the hormone converted from the adrenal hormone androgen, which is one of the key hormones for egg production. Without egg production and release, you cannot get pregnant.

The first consideration many women who are thinking about having children should consider is how intense their workouts are and how many calories are being consumed. Doctors are finding that it is not your weight necessarily that could be stopping you from conceiving but your body fat. Elite athletes who train many hours seven days a week would scientifically have more difficulty getting pregnant than a woman who sits behind a desk all day. The athletes calorie expenditure and metabolic rate are much higher. Unfortunately, the more intense the workout is, the more calories and ultimately, the more fat the body will burn. Of course, we must consider how many daily calories one is eating to determine if their is a deficit or not. One the flip side, too many fat cells in the body can over produce estrogen and hinder conception. The odds of this being a problem are rare.

Many studies have been performed with women asked to gain weight to reach their ideal fertility weight.
One study was completed by Dr. G. William Bates, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical University in South Carolina at Charleston. Dr. Bates asked women to gain weight to raise their estrogen level. Each woman worked to gain 1/2 to 1 pound per week resulting in about an average of 8.2 pounds per person. Twenty four of the twenty six women became pregnant within 1-3 years following the increased body fat. No drugs or surgery were needed to achieve ovulation or conception.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Having a Baby Over 40 After Miscarriage and Ectopic

Photo: E!Online



I previously wrote about how Nicole Kidman was pregnant over the age of 40 and she jokingly attributes her pregnancy to the fertile waters in the Australian outback. Here is a link to the post if you didn't see it:

Fertility Waters

Well, if you didn't see Oprah yesterday, Nicole was on her show. She has now had her baby and she frankly spoke about her struggle with infertility and miscarriage. One thing she said that I did not know is that she had two miscarriages and one was ectopic. I don't know for sure, but it sounds like she may have had only one fallopian tube.

More evidence that getting pregnant over 40 after infertility, miscarriage, and even the loss of a fallopian tube can and does happen - and not just to me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fertility and Voting Patterns

In honor of election day, I thought I'd veer a little away from the "getting pregnant" theme to something fertility related but still relevant to today's events.

Fertility can affect voting patterns. Here is an article that was published in 2007, but speaks about the ramifications for years to come. Read more:


Fertility and Voting Patterns
(www.probe.org)


From the article:

Does fertility affect voting patterns? Apparently it does much more than we realize. And this has been a topic of discussion for both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans.
Arthur Brooks wrote a significant op-ed on the "Fertility Gap" last year in the Wall Street Journal. He said: "Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them . . . and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result."
He noted that "if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids." That is a "fertility gap" of 41 percent.
We know that about 80 percent of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote essentially the same way as their parents. This "fertility gap" translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats who will vote in future elections.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surrogate Mothers

Picture: Carrie Pratt (www.tampabay.com)
Obviously I'm an advocate of getting pregnant naturally, however, I realize there are many couples that have physical limitations or past surgeries which would make a natural pregnancy impossible. I was contacted by Leonora LaPeter Anton, a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, about her series on surrogate mothers. For anyone interested, here is a link to the story:


The Surrogate (www.tampabay.com)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Questionable Need For Postcoital Test

I did have a postcoital test when I began fertility treatments. However, since then, I've come across a number of articles such as the one below which question the usefulness of this procedure. My post-coital test did come back somewhat abnormal, however, I conceived naturally many times after that. As a result of this test, many couples undergo inseminations which is not only costly, but may be unnecessary. Here is an article from WebMD about the post-coital test:

Postcoital Test (www.webmd.com)

A postcoital test checks a woman's cervical mucus after sex to see whether sperm are present and moving normally. This test may be used if a woman is not able to become pregnant (infertility) and other tests have not found a cause.

The test is done 1 to 2 days before ovulation when the cervical mucus is thin and stretchy and sperm can easily move through it into the uterus. Within 2 to 8 hours after you have sex, your doctor collects and looks at a cervical mucus sample.

Many doctors question the value of the postcoital test to check for infertility. It is not done very often.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sperm Allergies Uncommon

I can't tell you how many times I've read about sperm allergies in relation to infertility. This interesting article sets the record straight about how sperm allergies are actually uncommon and a bigger problem (although also uncommon) is if a man has antibodies against his own sperm. Read more:

Allergic To Sperm (www.healthline.com)

From the article:

Many people say that they are allergic to their partner’s sperm, and that can mean different things, depending on the testing done. True incompatibility with sperm is very uncommon. Some female patients may have had a blood test to see if they have “anti-sperm antibodies” circulating in their blood stream. A positive test result actually does not correlate well to a true problem of incompatibility and infertility, and therefore this blood test is no longer recommended as part of infertility testing. An uncommon, but more relevant problem would be if the MALE partner were making sperm antibodies against his OWN sperm. Men who are at risk of this are those who have had testicular injury (scrotal trauma) or testicular surgery (torsion, tumors, or other indications). Antibodies are also commonly found in men who have undergone vasectomy reversal, especially if the interval between vasectomy and vasectomy reversal is a long one.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Endometriosis: New Discoveries

Pregnancy Over 40, Endometriosis and Infertility

I frequently write about endometriosis since it can be one of the underlying causes of infertility.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
There are many theories of endometriosis but based on everything I've read, it's still a mystery how and why women have it. Here is an article that talks about yet a new discovery which may help us understand more about the condition. Read more:

New culprit suspected in endometriosis (www.aphroditewomenshealth.com)

The enzyme in question, called telomerase, is released by cells in the inner lining of the womb during the latter stages of the menstrual cycle in women who are affected by endometriosis. Telomerase is not commonly found in the cells that make up the body, but is uniquely found in the inner lining of the womb and in some special cells, such as sperm and egg cells. The enzyme is also found in cancer cells.

"Endometriosis occurs when cells of the inner lining of the womb are found growing outside of the uterus. At the time of a woman's menstruation cycle these cells, called endometrial cells, are shed and can be expelled into the abdominal cavity. If these cells continue to live and are implanted in the pelvis and abdomen it can cause severe pain and in serious cases can lead to infertility," explained researcher Dr Dharani Hapangama.

Hapangama found the telomere - a region at the end of all chromosomes that prevents the chromosome destroying itself during cell division - is abnormally long in women with endometriosis. During menstruation telomeres normally shorten in length with each cycle of cell division until they reach a certain length at which they can no longer divide. An enzyme called telomerase can extend the length of the telomeres so that they can continue to divide and this can happen in some special cells such as sperm and egg cells, but not normally in cells that make up the organs of the body.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fertility Treatment Providers Hit The "Motherload"


Yes, pun intended. Well, I did my part - I helped contribute to the wealth of a number of fertility doctors. Here is an article about how fertility treatment providers are becoming some of the highest earning physicians. This article quotes figures in the UK, and it's a few years old, but I'm sure current figures have probably gone up.

The baby millionaires: Fertility experts become medical profession's highest earners
Helping desperate women to conceive earns these 'unorthodox' specialists more money than even the best-paid plastic surgeons. By Sophie Goodchild and Jonathan Owen


From the article:

New research published next month will reveal that the worldwide market in fertility treatment is now worth more than £3bn. Academic Debora Spar, in her book The Baby Business, argues that the potential for exploitation is huge and that more safeguards for patients must be put in place.

"You have a large number of potential customers each of whom is willing to do whatever it takes and pay whatever they can to purchase the product at hand," said Professor Spar, of Harvard Business School.

"When you have this kind of demand some of the suppliers are going to make lots of money."

Her findings will be presented in March at the annual conference of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates treatment in this country. The HFEA is calling on clinics to publish costed treatment plans in writing so that patients are fully aware of the costs involved and can complain about unreasonable charges.

Unlike other procedures that are limited on the NHS, such as weight reduction operations and breast enhancements, fertility treatment is a gruelling process that often involves more than just one session of treatment. This can put a big psychological and financial strain on couples who already feel defeated by their inability to conceive naturally.

The fees for one cycle of fertility treatment can vary from £800 to £3,000 and these figures can increase dramatically to as much as £20,000 for those who do not get pregnant at the first attempt. At private clinics, costs are obviously higher than the NHS and patients must also pay for fertility drugs as well as extras such as anaesthetic, which can cost up to £300.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fertility Waters?

Photo: E!Online

I have followed Nicole Kidman's career for years. She's always been one of my favorite actresses because I think she's good at what she does and beautiful on top of it. I certainly could relate to her struggle with infertility and miscarriage. The break-up of her marriage was all the more devastating especially after adopting two children. I was elated when she announced her pregnancy and the birth of her baby. Here's yet another high profile woman having her first biological child over the age of 40.

Yesterday, I stumbled across this article where Nicole Kidman talks about an area in the Australian outback which she claims has "fertile waters". She feels that she and a number of other women became pregnant after swimming in the water of Kununurra in Western Australia. She says her pregnancy was unexpected and she thought she would never get pregnant and give birth. What a great story...it just goes to show you, infertility can strike anyone and there can be a happy ending - just when you least expect it. Read more:

Kidman credits ‘fertility waters’ with pregnancy
‘There is something up there in the Kununurra water,’ actress says (www.msnbc.com)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Infertility Prayers

Prayers To Get Pregnant Over 40

Yesterday I had a post referencing a Newsweek article about whether or not religion can help a couple conceive and some of the religious views on fertility treatments.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 For anyone interested, here is a link to a site called "fertility moon" which has infertility prayers from around the world. Read more:

Infertility Prayers From Around The World (www.fertilitymoon.com)

Here is one of the prayers from the site:




Fertility Prayer
Prayers for pregnancy

Father,

This couple wants a baby
that can only come to them
if by your will and your will alone.

No matter what you decide in their life,
what you choose to do
is what is best for them,
and is accepted as your will completely.

So if it is your will
to bless this couple with a baby,
may your perfect will be done,
in the most precious name of Jesus,

Amen.

author of Fertility Prayer
unknown

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Interview With Newsweek - Sandy Robertson

I was honored and flattered when I was asked by Newsweek reporter, Joan Raymond to be a part of her article on women over 40 having babies.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 The article examines pros and cons and looks at both sides of getting pregnant later in life along with successes and failures. On the upside, it features three women who succeeded in having babies over 40 the old fashion way. I was one of the three women who underwent fertility treatments, faced the heartbreak of miscarriage, but got pregnant naturally.

Of course, if you've visited my website or have been reading my blogs, you know I wholeheartedly believe that there are many aspects of our fertility we do control. Yes, getting pregnant over 40 (or any age) involves an element of luck, however, to a great degree, you make your own luck by having preparedness meet opportunity.

Here is a link to the article:

 http://infertility-fertility.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-interview-with-newsweek.html

"Not every egg over age 40 is created the same," says Dr. Karen Ashby, assistant professor of reproductive biology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "Some healthy women will get pregnant without a problem..."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Interview with Newsweek

Sandy Robertson's Interview With Newsweek On Pregnancy Over 40

My site:  http://www.getpregnantover40.com

by Joan Raymond, NEWSWEEK

(September 14)—Jennie Villa wanted to have it all. A great education and career. Financial security. A loving husband. And kids. For Villa, the dream came true, albeit a little later than she would have liked. At age 37, she met that man of her dreams. Three years later they got married. This past August, at age 41, Villa, of Cleveland, gave birth to fraternal twins: a son, Quinn, and daughter Kendall. Her life, she says, is "pretty perfect." And when it comes to her kids, she is over the moon. "I think they're a miracle," says Villa, who got pregnant the old-fashioned way, without the use of assisted reproductive technologies.

Any woman who has had a child after age 40 can understand Villa's hyperbole. That's because, statistically speaking, the chances of having a successful pregnancy at what doctors call an "advanced maternal age" are fairly dismal. By about age 40, a woman's chance of getting pregnant naturally is only about 5 percent in any given month (down from about 20 percent at age 30). The use of assisted reproductive technologies ups the odds—but not as much as it could if a woman were younger. By age 45, a woman's chance of getting pregnant with her own eggs is virtually zero.

Still, some women are defying those odds. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of mothers giving birth at age 40 or older has doubled in the last several decades, partly due to medical assists like in vitro fertilization or the use of donor eggs.

The reasons women become first-time moms or add to the brood later in life are as varied as the women themselves. There are career goals to meet. And bank accounts to grow. Some women waited for marriage. Some never married at all. There are second marriages. And even surprise births.

For those who wait, getting pregnant is a roll of the dice even with the help of science. "Not every egg over age 40 is created the same," says Dr. Karen Ashby, assistant professor of reproductive biology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "Some healthy women will get pregnant without a problem, other women simply won't."

It's clear that even as medical interventions are helping more older women get pregnant, science can't keep up with the increase in the number of women who delay childbearing and then find themselves battling the clock. For every high-profile midlife mom like actress Marcia Cross or Nicole Kidman, there are lots of women who can't get pregnant. The total number of women age 40 to 44 who don't have kids at all is about 20 percent—double what it was 30 years ago, according to a census report released in August.

There's no breakdown of how many of the childless women in that age group chose not to have kids and how many didn't have them because of fertility issues or other circumstances. But choice seems to be the operative word when it comes to how women feel about the lack of children. Women without children who believed it was better to have a child were more likely to report being lonely and depressed in their later years than women who said it didn't make a difference, says Tanya Koropeckyj-Cox, associate professor of sociology at the University of Florida, author of a 2003 study that analyzed data from a survey of more than 3,800 men and women about relationships and family life.

Those women who do get pregnant after 40 may face a laundry list of age-related medical issues. "When you're older you tend to acquire diseases" such as high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which can affect pregnancies, says Dr. Alan Peaceman, chief of the division of maternal fetal medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and professor of obstetrics-gynecology at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

And simply being older and pregnant carries a much greater risk of miscarriage. Babies of older moms aren't immune to problems, either. They may be born too small or have underdeveloped lungs. And there is the risk for Down syndrome, which increases with maternal age, a problem that was in the spotlight recently when 44-year-old Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose 5-month-old son Trig has the disorder, became the Republican nominee for vice president.

But "assuming they can get out of the first trimester without a miscarriage, most women can do fine," says Peaceman, who stresses that if women want to get pregnant later in life, it's important to protect fertility. That means quitting smoking, staying at a normal weight and avoiding sexually transmitted diseases.

The problems with later-in-life pregnancies are all too familiar to Terry Runyon, a 41-year-old banking executive from Chicago. Diagnosed with unexplained infertility in her mid-30s, Runyon underwent a series of assisted reproductive treatments. She got pregnant, but miscarried. Then she got pregnant again, and 17 weeks into the pregnancy, she lost one of the twins she was carrying. The surviving twin, Brandon, now 3, is healthy, happy and "completely the love of our lives," says Runyon.

And earlier this year, Runyon got a surprise. She's pregnant and due this October. "Everyone said I was infertile—and then I get pregnant just by having sex with my husband," she says. "I'm astounded."

She admits that the fears of the pregnancy problems like those she experienced in the past made her first trimester difficult. "I know what can go wrong, and I was petrified," she says. "But at the end of the day, I can only change certain things. I can't change the fact that I'm older, but I can take the best care of myself as possible."

That's what Sandy Robertson did. When she was in her late 30s, Robertson, a part-time teacher, went through numerous medical treatments, including fertility drugs, insemination and in vitro fertilization. She did get pregnant with IVF, but miscarried due to an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in the loss of one of her fallopian tubes. Robertson quit using medical assists. Her doctors told her she would probably never get pregnant again.

She refused to accept what they said. She started taking better care of herself by improving her diet and reducing stress with meditation and visualization. Despite the odds, she did get pregnant several times in her early 40s. But the pregnancies ended in miscarriage. At age 44, Robertson got pregnant again. This time she carried to term, and she is now the proud mom of 5-year-old Patricia.

But the pregnancy wasn't easy. "Every doctor I saw put me through every test possible," she says. "But all the doctors could find was that I was a 44-year-old woman with one fallopian tube who just happened to be healthy and pregnant."

With celebrity magazines chock full of photos of famous over-40 moms, it's easy to forget that women like Robertson are the exception, not the rule. Reproduction has its own timetable, doctors caution. "It's not our place to tell women forget your education and career and go have babies," says Dr. Tommaso Falcone, professor and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic. "But it's irresponsible to not share information. And it's clear that it's harder to have a child at 40. No one should get pregnant until they are ready to be pregnant, but women need to make reproductive decisions based on facts."

Those facts can't take the glow off successful late-in-life moms. "I said numerous times that I should have had kids earlier," says Villa, who was monitored closely during her pregnancy and was on bedrest for several weeks due to complications. "It can be a rough ride when you're older. I am probably in the worst shape of my life. But I'm also the happiest. I was ready to be a mom." Which is the best reason to get pregnant—regardless of age.

SOURCE: NEWSWEEK

Monday, September 08, 2008

Getting Pregnant: Top Ten Tips


Getting Pregnant Over 40, Top 10 Tips

I totally forgot about this book which I remember seeing in a bookstore near my RE's office.
 My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Of course this was years ago back when I was going through fertility treatments (before trying to get pregnant naturally). The book was called "I Got Pregnant, You Can Too" by Katie Boland. I actually never bought the book but I recall thumbing through it in the bookstore. What little I read of it struck a chord with me. In retrospect, I should have bought the book and left my reproductive endocrinologist. I just came across an article written by Katie Boland who is now part of the Mind/Body Institute in California. She discusses her "Top Ten Tips For Conception". Read more:


Top 10 Tips For Conception (that docs will never tell you) by Katie Boland (www.mindbodyinfertility.com)

Here are a few:

 1. Do make the sex as exciting as possible. Sperm counts rise with the level of excitement.
Cervical and uterine movements that accompany a woman’s orgasm assist sperm. The better
the sex, the better chance for conception.
2. Don’t waste energy fantasizing about the nursery d├ęcor. Remember that the baby's first
home is your body and prepare it as lovingly as you would a room in your home.
3. Don’t deliver yourself into doctors’ hands expecting them to get out their wands. Choose
your doctor meticulously and take 50% of the responsibility for your care.
4. Don't anticipate trouble. It can become self-fulfilling. The value of a positive mindset
cannot be overstated. Envision yourselves as parents and stay focused on that picture. It will
reassure and sustain you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Surprise Moms Over 40


Pregnancy Over 40 Happens....By Surprise!

I've written before about how many women think they're too old to have a baby, they may get a little lax with their birth control, and bingo! They're pregnant.
http://www.getpregnantover40.com
The number of unplanned pregnancies in women over 40 is second only to teenagers. Here is an article about women who got pregnant unexpectedly at an older age.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/im-too-old-to-get-pregnant/article570413/

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Over 40 Mother: Sarah Palin

Pregnancy Over 40, Sara Palin

Nope, this is not a political blog. I don't claim to be a Democrat or a Republican...but everywhere you turn, the stories in the news are about the upcoming election. My reaction to McCain's announcement of his running mate was probably the same as everyone elses....Who?
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Anyway...I seem to have a one track mind: fertility over 40 and pregnancy over 40. Politics aside, what caught my eye was that Sarah Palin is 44 and just had a baby this year. I'm sure this was a natural pregnancy since this was her 5th child - it seems I don't have to look very far to find examples of women over 40 having babies. Now, the other thing that has been mentioned in the media is that her new baby has Down Syndrome. Okay...lets address the whole Down Syndrome issue since I know that much of the literature out there cautions women in their 40's that there is a higher rate of babies born with "trisomy 21".

First of all, the majority of Down Syndrome babies are born to women under 35 (part of that is because they have the majority of babies). Second, even though there is a higher rate of Down Syndrome in "older" women, think about this: out of every 1000 births to 40 year old women, 990 will be normal. In women under 35, 999 will be normal. Yes, the risk does continue to increase with age, but the fact remains, the vast majority of babies born to women over 40 are perfectly normal. As a matter of fact, I personally know two women with Down's kids - one was a teenager when she had her child, and one was in her 20's.

For your reference, here is one of my posts on my "pregnancy over 40" blog which addresses the positive side of Down Syndrome:

Down Syndrome: The Positive Side

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Plastics May Be Affecting Your Fertility

Plastics Mimic Estrogens and Cause Hormone Imbalances

I heard about how the use of plastics may contribute to hormonal imbalance quite some time ago.
 My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 I try, whenever possible to drink from glass containers and if I do have water or other beverages from a plastic bottle, I never re-use it. I remember as a child how we all thought it was such a great idea to have everything bottled in plastic - afterall, it never broke. However, now that the widespread use of plastics has been going on for 35 or more years, we're seeing the affects not only on the environment but in our overall health. Here is an article that explains more about how plastics can affect fertility:


Plastics In Common Household Items May Cause Fertility Defects
Science Daily — The contaminant bisphenol-A (BPA)--widely used to make many plastics found in food storage containers and dental products--can have long-term effects in female development, according to a recent study by Yale School of Medicine researchers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Believe It Or Not...Ripleys Fertility Statues Are Back!

Get Pregnant Over 40 With Ripley's Fertility Statue!

Quite a while ago, I did a post on the Ripleys Fertility Statue.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Apparently the statues were "retired" some years ago, but due to popular demand, they're back! I originally learned about the statues on a re-run of the old TV show "Unsolved Mysteries". Since my original post on this, I was contacted by Ripley's and I'm happy to pass along this information:

Here is their press release:

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square
To Host Exhibit of Fertility Statues

World Famous Cote-d’Ivoire Statues are linked
to more than 2,000 pregnancies – So proceed with caution!

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (Aug. 14, 2008) – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium on 42nd Street in Manhattan will host the first stop of a three year, multi-city tour of the world famous Ripley’s Fertility Statues!

“Please Don’t Touch – Unless You Want a Baby!”

More than 2,000 women have reported they became pregnant shortly after touching the wooden statues. Many of them had been told by doctors they would never be able to conceive! Since the women’s stories became public in 1994, millions have visited the statues.

Beginning Aug. 26, the statues will be on display for a three-month engagement in the lobby of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Times Square. Would-be parents are invited to come in and touch them for FREE during regular business hours.

The five-foot tall wooden statues were acquired from the Ivory Coast (Cote-d'Ivoire ) of West Africa in 1993, and were placed in the lobby of Ripley Entertainment’s corporate headquarters in Orlando. Within months, 13 women, including staffers and office visitors were pregnant.

Following a December 1995 story in the Wall Street Journal chronicling the phenomenon, the demand to touch them became international news. In the ensuing years, the edifices made three trips around the world, stopping at Believe It or Not! museums, allowing millions easy and free access.

They were retired to the Ripley warehouse in 2001, but due to great demand, they were put on display at the Ripley headquarters in Orlando where they have been seen by hundreds each month who made a special pilgrimage to see and touch the statues.

“For years now, we have been inundated with requests to make these statues available once again at our odditoriums throughout the world,” said Edward Meyer, VP Archives & Exhibits for Ripley Entertainment. “Amazingly, people are still finding out about them and call us wanting an opportunity to come in and touch them. Due to this demand, we have decided to tour them again.”


Here is a video about the statues (although, at least on my end, the sound is muffled)

www.ripleys.com

Photobucket

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More On Smoking and Fertility


I know you already know that smoking is bad for fertiity but the article below talks about how smoking doesn't just hurt your ovaries, it also can affect the "receptivity" of your uterus:

Smoking's Effects on Uterus Harm Fertility (www.revolutionhealth.com)

From the article:

"The effect of cigarette smoking on the ovaries has been known for a while, she said. "There's often ovulatory dysfunction in heavy smokers, and they tend to have menopause at an earlier stage," Wu noted.

The authors of the study looked retrospectively at 741 non-heavy smokers (under 10 cigarettes a day) and 44 heavy smokers (over 10 cigarettes a day). All of the women had received oocyte donations as part of in vitro fertilization (IVF) between January 2002 and June 2005.

None of the women's partners smoked and none of the oocyte donors were heavy smokers.

According to the study, the lighter smokers had a significantly higher pregnancy rate (52.2 percent) than the heavy smokers (34.1 percent).

The fact that the oocytes were donated means the problem lies with the uterus, not the ovaries, the researchers noted."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pregnant: Another High Profile 44 Year Old


Reille Hunter Pregnant At 44 Probably Naturally

I'm not much for gossip, but it seems like everywhere you look there's another sensational story about John Edwards, his mistress Rielle Hunter, and how she had a baby which may be his.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 I have no idea who the father of her baby is, but here's another example of a woman over 40 giving birth. I know very little about this story, but I'm guessing this was a natural conception and she became pregnant somewhere around the age of 44 (the news stories say she's 44 now and she gave birth in February '08). I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt she underwent fertility treatment especially under these circumstances.

Even though this story is riddled with questions about the father of Rielle Hunter's baby, one thing is for sure - she had a baby well into her 40's. Read more here:

www.cnn.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SAINTS FOR INFERTILITY AND HELP WITH GETTING PREGNANT

I realize I have readers of different faiths and beliefs, but I have received many inquiries about which saints to pray to if you are trying to conceive or struggling with infertility. The saints for fertility and conception include:
Saint Rita of Cascia, Saint Gerard, Saint Anne, Saint Mary,
St. Raymond Nonnatus, Saint Dominic of Silos.  This article has moved to my website:

Click here to read the full article on saints for fertility and getting pregnant including prayers (getpregnantover40.com)
_____________


http://getpregnantover40.com/saint-gerard-for-fertility.htm



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See Also: Infertility In The Bible (www.getpregnantover40.com)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Miscarriage Rate Cut In Half With Fruit and Vegetables


Miscarriage Over 40, Cut Risk With The Right Diet

I can't say enough how important your diet is before and of course during pregnancy.
http://www.getpregnantover40.com
 Here is a good article about the importance of your diet in the prevention of miscarriage:

UK: eating fruit and veg 'halves miscarriage risk'

From the article:

"A good diet is vital in pregnancy. Eating fruit and vegetables daily halves the chance of miscarriage, research shows. A study of thousands of pregnant women revealed those who included fruit and veg regularly in their diet were 46 per cent less likely to miscarry..."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Could Weight at Birth and Early Childhood Affect Future Fertility?



I found this interesting article about how low birth weight and above average childhood weight may affect how early a child gets their first period. All of these factors may also affect their future fertility. Read More:

Early weight influences age when periods start

The age at which girls begin menstruation, termed menarche, is likely to be early if they were small babies but heavy as children, according to an Australian study.

"The relationship between birth weight and age at menarche has been controversial, and mechanisms regulating this association are unclear," write Dr. Deborah M. Sloboda and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The researchers from The University of Western Australia, Perth investigated this topic in a group of girls who were followed from the time they were born in 1989-1991.

A total of 776 girls from the cohort were enrolled in the study, and 349 had had their first monthly period. This occurred significantly earlier in girls with below-average birth weight, the team found, and an above-average weight at age 8 years.


The age at menarche in girls with the lowest birth weight and the highest childhood body mass index, or BMI, was 12.5 years on average, while among those with the highest birth weight and lowest childhood BMI it was 13.2 years.


"Our findings provide further evidence that birth weight and childhood overweight may potentially compromise reproductive health in women," Sloboda and colleagues conclude.

"Early age at menarche may be a marker for early life events regulating reproductive, endocrine, and metabolic development that may manifest later in life as polycystic ovarian syndrome, the metabolic syndrome, and potentially breast cancer," the investigators speculate.

"Understanding factors determining age at menarche and pinpointing those individuals at risk for these diseases early in life may result in novel interventions or preventative strategies relevant to common diseases of adulthood," they suggest.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fertility Myths From WebMD


I found this common sense article from WebMD called "The Overachievers Guide to Getting Pregnant Fast". It gives some good information about some of the misinformation out there when it comes to fertility. Read more:

(www.webmd.com)

From the article:

MYTH: You are most fertile two weeks after your period starts.
This rule holds true only if your cycle length happens to be 28 days. However, many women have cycles that are either shorter or longer than this, or are highly irregular. (Just a reminder: The length of your cycle is defined as the length of time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next.) Since ovulation occurs approximately 14 days before the onset of your next period, if your cycle is 35 days long, you can expect to ovulate on or around day 21.

On the other hand, if your cycle is highly unpredictable—that is, 28 days one month and 35 days the next—you could find it a little more challenging to predict your fertile days. We'll be giving you some pointers on predicting your fertile days elsewhere in this chapter.

MYTH: Taking your temperature every morning will tell you when to have intercourse.
Many women who are trying to conceive make a point of taking their temperature each morning so that they can track their basal body temperature (BBT), or resting temperature. Although tracking your BBT can provide plenty of valuable information, it won't tell you when to have sex. The reason is simple: by the time your temperature starts to rise, ovulation has already occurred.

What you can learn from tracking your BBT, however, is whether you are ovulating at all, whether your luteal phase (the second half of your cycle) is long enough for implantation to occur, whether your progesterone levels (the so-called pregnancy hormones) are sufficiently high during your luteal phase, whether you are pregnant (if you have more than 18 consecutive high temperatures), whether you are in danger of having a miscarriage (if your temperature suddenly drops), and whether you were pregnant before having what seemed to be a "late period."

The only way you can use a BBT chart to predict your most fertile days is to look at a few months' worth of charts and try to determine whether your cycle conforms to any repeatable patterns. For example, if your temperature always shoots sky-high on day 14, you'll know that you have a good chance of ovulating in that same time frame during your next cycle.

MYTH: To maximize your chances of conceiving, you should make love during the days leading up to and following ovulation. Although part of this statement is correct, it's living proof that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. It's a good idea to time intercourse on the days prior to ovulation, but you've missed your opportunity if you try to conceive more than a day after ovulation has occurred.
The reason is simple: the egg is capable of surviving for only 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, so if it hasn't been charmed by a sperm cell by then, it's too late.

A recent study conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences confirmed the importance of timing intercourse prior to or at the time of ovulation: all of the 192 pregnancies that occurred in the 625 couples participating in the study resulted from intercourse the day of ovulation or within five days before it.

MYTH: There's something wrong with you if you don't conceive within the first three months of trying.
This is a particularly nasty bit of misinformation because it causes a lot of couples a tremendous amount of anxiety and grief for no good reason. Although some couples do manage to conceive within the first three months of trying, a large number of other highly fertile couples take considerably longer than that. Consider the numbers for yourself:

Your odds of conceiving in any given cycle are approximately one in four.

Approximately 60% of couples who are actively trying to conceive (having intercourse two to three times a week) will conceive within the first 6 months of trying, 75% within 9 months, 80% within a year, and 90% within 18 months.

MYTH: Your fertility declines dramatically after age 35.
Although it's true that your fertility declines as you age, you still have an excellent chance of having a baby even if you're past the reproductive world's magic age of 35. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, you have a 96% chance of conceiving within one year if you're under 25, an 86% if you're between 25 and 34, and a 78% chance if you're between the ages of 35 and 44.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fertility Awareness: Basic Principles


Pregnancy Over 40 - Fertility Awareness Can Help You Conceive


I never really thought about it, but the same principles that help you avoid pregnancy can actually help you get pregnant. It's all about fertility awareness. This site also gives some advice on enhancing fertility. I stumbled upon this website called doctoryourself.com and it has a segment on contraception and conception.Read more:

Conception and Contraception (www.doctoryourself.com)

From the article:

If you WANT to conceive, try having the man take megadoses of vitamin C for a few weeks prior. At least 6,000 milligrams a day, and as much as 20,000 mg/day virtually guarantees very high sperm production. Divide the dose throughout the day for maximum effect. And that effect is what, exactly? More sperm, stronger sperm, and better swimming sperm all occurred, at even lower daily C doses, in a University of Texas study. Take more C and you'll make vast quantities of super sperm. You think this won't work? Have I shown you my baby pictures?

Here’s more: zinc and plenty of it helps the prostate and increases seminal fluid production. There is a scientific literature a mile long about zinc and male fertility. About five to ten times the RDA will do it. That is approximately 50 to 100 mg of zinc daily. For best absorption and best results, divide the dose into two, or better yet, four doses. Zinc gluconate is well absorbed, and zinc monomethionine better still. These are available at any health food store without a prescription.

A lot of wussy nutritionists will tell you that such levels of zinc are harmful. Truth is, most men don't even get the puny RDA of zinc, set laughingly at 10 or 12 milligrams. Zinc lozenges for the common cold are many times higher than this. Up to 550 mg of zinc has been safely given daily for a few weeks.

Continued high doses of zinc can produce a copper deficiency, and sometimes a copper deficiency anemia. This is very easy to compensate for. To begin with, most Americans have copper water pipes in their homes. Drink a glass or two of cold water first out of the tap every morning and you'll get copper. Secondly, eat more raisins and other copper-high foods. Third, take a multiple vitamin (as you should be doing anyway) with copper in it. Finally, do what people in India have been doing for thousands of years. Buy a copper metal cup, fill it with cold water at bedtime, and drink it first thing the next morning.

I have worked with supposedly "infertile" people who have tried "everything" to conceive a child. Nutrition, especially the vitamin C part, is not even mentioned in any fertility textbook I've ever seen. I've received some nice postcards from couples who have taken an odd idea or two of mine and gotten pregnant within a month or two. It is a wonderful feeling, by the way, to have helped them bring a soul to the Earth.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fertile Women More Likely To Have Gay Sons



Yes, this post is a little off topic from my usual getting pregnant theme, but I always find these types of articles interesting. As you're probably aware, there has been a long-standing debate out there as to whether or not homosexuality is biological or a choice. I have an old high school friend who recently confided in me that her son is gay. She said it wasn't a big surprise when he told her because she recognized some major differences between him and her other son when is was as young as one year old. The article below seems to support the biology theory. What's interesting is that they found sons of highly fertile women were more likely to be gay. Read more:

Are Highly Fertile Women More Likely To Have Gay Sons? (www.blogs.discovermagazine.com)

From the article:

In 2004, the team studied Italian families and found that the female relatives of gay men were more fertile than average women. After using a series of computer models to analyze that data, the scientists released a study this week saying that homosexuality in men is genetically connected to women who have high fertility. In their model, male homosexuality has to be governed by two genetic loci—particular fixed positions on a chromosome—and at least one locus and maybe both must be on the X chromosome, meaning it’s passed down from mother to child.


What’s more, Camperio-Ciani and his team now say male homosexuality is an example of sexually antagonistic selection—meaning a trait that gives one of the sexes a reproductive advantage diminishes the reproductive advantages of the other. This shows up all the time in the animal kingdom—for instance, fruit fly seminal fluid makes females lose interest in mating with other males, and actually shortens their lives. Most of the time it’s males taking the advantage, but in this case the researchers say it’s vice versa: Homosexuality means men will probably have fewer children, but their females relatives will have more, keeping homosexuality in the gene pool.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fertility Clinic Advertising - Beware

It seems like a "free-for-all" out there when it comes to evaluating the services and success rates of fertility clinics. Having worked with healthcare statistics in my previous career, I know how data can be manipulated. It's almost funny to think how naive I was back when I started looking into fertility treatments. Oh, if I only knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself so much physical and emotional turmoil. Here is an article about fertility clinic advertising and how couples need to take a "buyer beware" approach to evaluating the different programs:

Questions Raised Over Fertility Clinic Advertising

Advertising guidelines that clinics should be adhering to require clinics to provide specific information about how in vitro fertilization outcome statistics are reported, mandate that clinics follow Federal Trade Commission guidelines, and warn against the comparison of success rates between clinics. But the researchers found that approximately half of the websites published success rates, and of those, the percentage adhering to the advertising guidelines was low in all categories evaluated.

"Despite an attempt to clarify assisted reproduction information on the Internet, there is a great deal of disparity among how clinics publish success rates on their Web sites," said Jain. "Patients need to carefully evaluate the information presented on Web sites, and they need to know what questions to ask when they meet face-to-face with a physician."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fertility and Flower Essences

Trying To Get Pregnant?  Smell Of Flowers May Help

I found the following site which at first glance looks like it might be part of the "old wives tales and folklore" category that I posted earlier.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
however, as I read through it, a lot of what is said makes sense. I've read numerous articles about how we underestimate our sense of smell and it's affect on brain chemistry and body chemistry. Here is an article about flower essences and fertility:

Fertile Emotions (www.flower-essences.net)

From the site:

To begin with we need to understand how the mind and body communicate and how negative emotions affect hormonal balance. All our experiences from in-utero to now are stored in the emotional brain - some of these experiences we remember, many of them are stored in the subconscious. Emotions such as anger, fear or depression are our responses to these experiences. The brain transforms these emotions into biochemical and electrical messages from the hypothalamus and pituitary glands and they are distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. This negative hormonal communication along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad axis is responsible for many reproductive problems. Research is now showing that resolving unfinished business from childhood and earlier adult life can impact positively on our hormonal systems, thereby enhancing our ability to conceive and birth a healthy baby.

How flower essences can be used and how they will help you to feel if you are trying to conceive:
Essences can help you to feel less anxious before or during a doctor's visit or medical procedures or when waiting for results.
You will recover more quickly emotionally and physically after surgery, failed cycles, miscarriage or stillbirth and other traumatic events or procedures.
Essences can help you cope more easily when you hear about other women conceiving and/or at Xmas or a family gathering where there are babies or young children present.
You will become more aware of how you really feel and learn to express these feelings appropriately. For example grief and anger are both emotions that when not expressed can, over time, have serious psychological and physiological consequences.
Essences over time will help you become more intuitive and peaceful and more able to know what is right for you (which treatment to follow, how long to carry on trying etc) and feel less affected by negativity around you - regarding e.g. your age or diagnosis. Personally, I feel that labels such as infertile or too old are incredibly damaging and can ultimately impact on how the woman or man feels about her/himself and therefore negatively affecting fertility.
Essences can help us become more accepting and forgiving each time pregnancy does not occur and ultimately if we decide to stop trying.
Finally and very importantly, flower essences can help us to make contact again with the beautiful, creative, joyful woman inside of us all.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Caffeine and Fertility


I think we all have come across an article or two about how caffeine should be avoided if you're TTC or pregnant. Years ago, when we first starting on our TTC journey, one of the first things I did was to wean myself off caffeine. I was surprised how hard it was. I had headaches and really felt like I was going through withdrawals! I found this site which has a very detailed article about the effects of caffeine on women's health including fertiity and pregnancy. I'll warn you up front, this site (link below) sells caffeine free herbal coffee and I've never tried their product. However it appears they have done their research on caffeine so it's certainly worth reading:

Effects of Caffeine and Coffee on Women's Health:
Fertility, Menopause, Breast and Uterine Health (teeccino.com)


On the other hand, the following article talks about how caffeine can actually help sperm:

Caffeine Perks Up Sperm (www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trans Fats and Fertility

I'm so glad the mainstream media has finally started talking about the dangers of trans fats. Even Jay Leno told a joke about how trans fats can cause infertility. If you're sitting there eating some sort of packaged food, there's a good chance you're getting a dose of this artery clogging fat not to mention that it could be hindering your attempts to conceive. Start reading the labels of packaged or processed foods. If you see "partially hydrogenated oil" or "shortening", those are trans fats. Try switching from margarine (made from partially hydrogenated oils) to some of the newer "buttery spreads" which contain no trans fats. Many of these new products are also enriched with omega 3 oils. Read more:

Trans Fats May Increase Infertility
Study Shows Latest Nutrition Bad Guy Can More Than Double Infertility Risk By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Medical News


From the article:

"In their study, nutritionnutrition researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that women with ovulationovulation-related fertilityfertility problems tended to eat more trans fats than fertile women.

Obtaining just 2% of total calories from trans fats instead of healthier monounsaturated fats was associated with a doubled risk for this type of infertility.
In addition, each 2% increase in trans fat consumption as a replacement for carbohydrates brought a 73% greater risk of ovulation-related infertility, after adjusting for other known and suspected infertility risk factors, according to the study."

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