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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Drink Alcohol? Eating Fish May Preserve Fertility

 Pregnancy Over 40:  Essential Fatty Acids May Preserve Fertility


If you're trying to conceive, I recommend both men and women not drink alcohol. However, according to the article below, if men drink alcohol, they should also eat fish to help preserve their fertility. Fish are a good sourse of essential fatty acids. Read more:

Eating Fish Especially Important If You Drink High Levels Of Alcohol - Could Prevent Infertility (www.medicalnewstoday.com)

From the article:

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are just that; an "essential" part of the total fat intake necessary for a healthy human diet. Most EFAs come from plants, but some are animal-sourced. A new study has found that men who binge drink have substandard intake of n-3 fats, one of two types of EFAs, indicating poor dietary choices with negative long-term health consequences.

Results are published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"Essential fatty acids are important building blocks of living cells, making up a substantial part of cell walls," explained Norman Salem, Jr., chief of the Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism "EFAs also have many biological functions, and a lack of them leads to loss of growth and development, infertility, and a host of physiological and biochemical abnormalities." Salem is also the study's corresponding author.

The most important EFAs are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), said J. Thomas Brenna, professor of human nutrition and of chemistry & chemical biology at Cornell University. Particularly two types, Brenna noted: the omega-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA), also called n-6 fats, and the omega-3 PUFA linolenic acid (ALA), also called n-3 fats. "Most Americans consume adequate amounts of LA in their diets through the use of vegetable oils, but tend to have low intakes of ALA," said Brenna.

This imbalance, added Salem, has become pronounced only in the last century and many believe it is a source of the increase of many common diseases in Western society. Salem and his co-authors wanted to investigate what influence alcohol consumption might have on EFA imbalance in the Western diet.

Researchers used data from 4,168 adults who self-reported their alcohol consumption as part of the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were also interviewed about their EFA intake during a single previous 24-hour period.

Results indicate that EFA intake drops as alcohol consumption increases, particularly among men.

"Our most important finding is the decrease in n-3 EFA intake in binge-drinking men," said Salem. "We really couldn't evaluate women who binge drink two or more times per week due to the low numbers in this population, although it is quite possible that we would obtain similar findings. The changes we found indicate that those who drink alcohol make food selections in such a way as to decrease foods with this important nutrient. The binge-drinking men have decreases in the longer chain n-3 fatty acids, the ones that we typically get from eating fish, and so this suggests that they eat less fish."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Needle or Knife For Male Obstruction?

If you as a couple suffer from male factor infertility and are considering your options, this article might be of interest. Sperm may be obtained through needle aspiration directly. Read more:

www.fertilicare.org

From the article:

The alternative to surgical reversals or reconstruction / repair is sperm retrieval by needle aspiration, and the techniques commonly employed, are PESA (Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration) and TSE (Testicular Sperm Extraction). Most men are familiar with their soft and squishies, but know little of the epididymis; sausage-like sacs attached behind each testicle that contain meters of tightly coiled miniscule tubes and canals. In essence, they connect the testicles bilaterally to the vas deferens, which constitute the main 'pipeline' of the male's reproductive tract. The epididymis is the subject of controversy, but it can be safely said that they act to accumulate and transport sperm. In the normal male, it takes 6 weeks for sperm to travel their path from genesis in the testicles to ejaculation, and a large part of that time is spent in the epididymis. The controversy though is intriguing. Some specialists believe that the very fine hairs within the epididymis literally stroke the sperm in passing and 'teach' them the fine art of swimming straight. Others believe it all has to do with the epididymal sperm being older or more mature than their testicular compatriots. Nevertheless, normal epididymal sperm generally exhibit this straight-swimming trait, and can fertilise the egg naturally, or by assisted means such as GIFT, IVF and ICSI. Aspirated testicular sperm on the other hand are immature and do little but wriggle a little and go around in circles, they cannot fertilise the egg naturally, and in fact will only effectively work in ICSI. Viable sperm can be obtained with either technique but in TSE, the sperm are immature, that's why a physician's first choice is to try for epididymal sperm, and if he has no luck, go into the testicle. Epididymal sperm freeze and thaw quite well and can be banked for future use, testicular sperm on the other hand do not and are attenuated (weakened) by the process. But above all, fresh ejaculated sperm is tops, and that dear friends sets the gold standard in fertility, naturally.

Needle aspiration is normally quite quick and convenient, with only mild resultant pain or discomfort, and can be performed under a local aneasthetic, but I personally would prefer not thank you. And be warned, if you choose this option, make sure the performing physician is skilled, this technique in hapless hands has the propensity for mass destruction to the the very fine epididymis and injury to the testicle/s. Please be absolutely sure that the physician knows his oats, and understands the importance of steering clear of the head of the epididymis where damage to the delta of minuscule canals would be very difficult to bypass or repair, if you one day decide for a reversal. Also, ask your physician to only work on the one side, and resort to the other only if things are not going to plan.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fertility and Light Therapy

Pregnancy Over 40, Light Therapy And Getting Pregnant

I never tried actual light therapy when I was trying to conceive, however I did make a point of trying to get at least an hour of sunlight every day.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 This site has some useful information about how light is essential for strong menstrual cycles and how women tend to be indoors more than men. This site does sell products related to light therapy and I'm not necessarily endorsing them - but you may find their information helpful. Read more:

www.lighttherapy.com.au

From the site:

Two Fold Benefit of Light—Light aids fertility in two ways:
First, Bright light during the day helps increase fertility. Scientists theorize that bright morning and evening light sends a signal to the body clock that it is the right time of year to conceive. (It is more difficult to conceive during the short winter days.) Bright light also controls the overproduction of melatonin, which may stifle fertility.

Second, evening light and dusk simulation help regulate menstrual cycles, and a regular menstrual cycle increases the odds of conception. Several studies show that using light at night regulates irregular and longer menstrual cycles, even in women whose periods lasted nine weeks or more. Irregular and long menstrual cycles were normalized within a few weeks of treatment. Apollo Health has participated in many of these studies.

Why Nightlight Regulates Cycles
While our daily sleep/wake cycles are tied to bright light, menstrual cycles are tied to moonlight. As explained in Dr. Smolensky’s book, The Body Clock Guide to Better Health:

“Our words, ‘menstruation,’ ‘moon,’ and ‘month,’ all come from the Greek word for ‘measure of time.’ A woman’s menstrual cycle runs its course in about twenty-eight days, one lunar cycle.

Circadian Rhythms and Conception
The body clock dictates when the ovaries prepare and release eggs for fertilization. One of the best signs of fertility is immediately after ovulation, when body temperature increases 1°. However, conception is more likely to happen a day or two before this rise in temperature. Maintaining a normal menstrual cycle makes it easier to predict the best time to conceive, and helps relieve the stress some couples experience trying to conceive

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Are Fertility Drugs Connected To Autism?




I had read a while back that children conceived through IVF may have an increased risk for a number of conditions, one of which is autism. However, here is another recent article which confirms those findings. This study cites fertility drugs as the possible underlying cause. Read more:

www.publicradio.org

From the article:

a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health points to another culprit:infertility drugs. The study found autism was twice as common in women who were treated with infertility drugs. According to the story in Time, “the link persisted even after researchers accounted for the women’s age.”

“Moreover, the association between fertility drugs and autism appeared to strengthen with exposure: the longer women reported being treated for infertility, the higher the chances their child had an autism spectrum disorder.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Infertility: Men Suffer Too

Here's an article that discusses an aspect of infertility that is commonly overlooked: how men may suffer too. Read more:

Men With Fertility Problems Suffer Psychologically Too (www.medicalnewstoday.com)

From the article:

"Perhaps surprisingly, though, we found that men in all four groups suffered equally. Infertile people appear to rely particularly on their social environment for support, and this seems to deteriorate over time. Couples should be made aware of the possible decline in their social support network and encouraged to organise support systems that no not solely include close friends and family."

Counselling in the early stages of infertility is not often a desirable option for couples, and especially for men, say the scientists. Couples should be encouraged to focus on their partnership and communicate with each other in a mutually supportive way. They might also be directed to online support services, and given the chance to speak to other couples with fertility problems

"But psychosocial counselling may be beneficial and more readily accepted in the later stages of treatment, when social networks are at their weakest, and also after repeated treatment failure", says Ms Peronace. "Men who are particularly affected by fertility problems should be considered for counselling, since this may improve their mental well-being as well as their perception of their social environment. Given the level of suffering we found among men, it is important to continue to research into their needs."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fertility Superfoods You May Not Have Heard Of

Foods To Help You Have A Baby

I thought with all my research I knew every fertility food out there.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 Thats why I was surprised when I found this article. It mentions some new foods that I have vaguely heard of but didn't know how they could help the reproductive system. You might want to give some of these a try:

www.simplylimliving.com

From the article:

Most Important SuperFoods:

1. Maca – helps to increase progesterone, which is extremely important to enhance fertility and the ability to hold the pregnancy. Maca comes from peru and is a tonic for the endocrine system. You can take this product daily. It comes in liquid, capsule and powder form.
2. Spirulina – a tiny aquatic plant that has been used by humans since pre-historic times. It is packed with nutrients (protein, vitamin A, iron, phytonutrients, etc). The most important quality is its ability to detox the body and help to keep it alkaline.
3. Acai Berry - boosts energy levels, improves digestive function, improves mental clarity/focus, promotes sound sleep, provides all vital vitamins, contains several important minerals, and is an extremely powerful free radical fighter. Acai also has very high levels of fibers, cleanses and detoxifies the body of infectious toxins, strengthens the immune system, enhances sexual desire and performance, fights cancerous cells, slows down the aging process, promotes healthier and younger-looking skin, alleviates diabetes, normalizes and regulates cholesterol levels, helps maintain healthy heart function, minimizes inflammation & improves circulation.
4. Bee Pollen - Bee pollen contains all the essential components of life. The percentage of rejuvenating elements in bee pollen remarkably exceeds those present in brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. Bee pollen corrects the deficient or unbalanced nutrition, common in the customs of our present-day civilization of consuming incomplete foods, often with added chemical ingredients, which expose us to various physiological problems.
5. Royal Jelly - This rich concentrated food contains remarkable amounts of proteins, lipids, glucides, vitamins, hormones, enzymes, mineral substances, and specific vital factors that act as biocatalysts in cell regeneration processes within the human body. Although some of the elements found in royal jelly are in microgram quantities, they still can act supremely with co-enzymes as catalysts or can act synergistically. (Meaning, the elements’ action combined is greater than the sum of their actions taken separately.) Royal jelly is rich in protein, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, C, E, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, inositol and folic acid.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Preconception Communication


I've always been fascinated with the concept of preconception communication. I firmly believe that I met and communicated with my daughter prior to her conception. I talk a little about this in my meditation and visualization CD. The site below expands on the concept of preconception communication with your yet to be conceived child. Read more:

healyourearlyimprints.com

From the site:

often in dreams or visitations the child will appear older, e.g. 3 or 6 years old, and multiple experiences may happen so that you really get to know your child before conception.

I felt for many years before my granddaughter was born that I knew her, knew that she would come and that she would definitely be a girl. I waited for her for a long time; at least it felt that way to me although my son was only 23 years old when she was born! We have a very strong connection even though I physically don’t see her very often. I didn’t have a visual sense of her, it was more an inner knowing of her, as if I already knew her and knew without a doubt that she would come.

Many people dream before conception about what their child will look like at a certain age and when they get to that age they look exactly the way they did in the dream. Couples who have no intention of having a baby, or who have even had tubal ligations, will dream of a child wanting to be born to them, and this will have the effect of them changing their minds, even reversing surgery. Clearly these are not your ordinary everyday dreams, they have a clear and powerful message that can be life changing. At the least they offer the opportunity to fall in love with your child right from the beginning.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hormones - Lab Values Explained



I recall when I went through fertility treatments. There were so many lab values and terms I didn't understand, and of course, it seemed everyone at the clinic was too busy to explain them to me. Although I finally said the heck with all the numbers, I'm going to try naturally, this article may be of interest to some of you who have had lab work done. Read more:

www.fertilityplus.org

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

VEGETARIANS TRYING TO GET PREGNANT: WHAT TO EAT

Pregnancy Over 40 As A Vegetarian

I was a vegetarian for many years, however, I did start eating meat a few years before trying to conceive.
See also:  www.getpregnantover40.com for my entire series on foods for pregnancy and fertility

 Vegetarians who want to get pregnant should be aware that they may need to supplement their diet to get some nutrients they may not normally get. Here is an article in its entirety about trying to conceive as a vegetarian:

Trying To Conceive As A Vegetarian (www.getpregnantover40.com) 


 



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