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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.

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