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Sunday, March 31, 2013

PROBIOTICS CAN HELP YOU CONCEIVE

I've heard that probiotics can really help your overall system, even helping with hormone production.  Many dietary factors can throw our system out of balance including the relationship between harmful and helpful bacteria.

According to Brad Douglass, beneficial intestinal microbiota, are more apt to flourish when exposed to a diet high in fiber (especially prebiotic fibers) and low in simple sugars and refined carbohydrates. Pathogenic bacteria tend to proliferate at a greater rate than probiotic bacteria when exposed to these hallmarks of a diet high in processed foods.


Click Here To Read The Full Article On Probiotics and Fertility  

 

 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Moon, Monthly Cycles and Fertility

Does The Moon Control Your Menstrual Cycle?

When I was trying to conceive over the age of 40, I read countless books and articles. One of the things that I read about was how the moon may influence our menstrual cycles and our fertility.
 My site:  www.getpregnantover40.com
I've read more than once that women frequently ovulate with the full moon and this could be optimal for conception.
See Also My Site On Short Menstrual Cycles And Fertility
My problem was that I almost always start my monthly cycle on the full moon. As a matter of fact, when I became pregnant with my daughter, once I made it past the full moon I had a good feeling that the pregnancy was going to make it.

Well, all this is fun to contemplate, but do it with a healthy dose of skepticism.


I've always felt deep down that the moon affects all of us in some way, but the problem is, nobody seems to be able to prove it. In the meantime, I can pretty much predict when my monthly cycle is going to start.
  Here's an article that explains more:

Women Who bleed with the moon
(www.rahoorkhuit.net)


Here's another article that seems to discredit any association between the moon, fertility, and a number of other things for that matter:
 Cosmic Messenger

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DHEA HELPS IMPROVE EMBRYOS

Pregnancy Over 40, DHEA May Help Embryos

I've written before about how DHEA can improve fertility especially in older women.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Here is an article that talks about a study which showed improved embryo quality. Of course, you should only take this under medical supervision. Read more:

  DHEA and Fertility

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Deficiency, Stagnancy, and Heat Syndromes Affect Fertility

 Alternative Medicine - Herbal Remedies

Although I did not go the "herbal route" when I was trying to conceive, there are quite a few resources on preparing your body for pregnancy with herbs. 
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
This excerpt from an herbal site explains more about how herbs can help:

1. A “deficiency” syndrome prevents the hormonal system from properly influencing the sexual and reproductive functions. This is said to be a weakness of the “kidney and liver” which may influence various body functions producing symptoms such as frequent urination, weakness and aching of the back and legs, impotence, irregular menstruation, and difficulties with regulation of body temperature. Deficiency syndromes are treated with tonic herbs that are said to nourish qi (e.g., ginseng, codonopsis, atractylodes, astragalus), blood (e.g., tang-kuei, peony, ho-shou-wu, gelatin), yin (e.g., lycium fruit, ligustrum, eclipta, ophiopogon), or yang (e.g., epimedium, cistanche, cuscuta, eucommia), and are selected according to the overall evaluation of symptoms.
2. A “stagnancy” syndrome prevents the sexual and reproductive organs from functioning despite normal hormone levels and normal ability to respond to hormones. This is said to involve a stagnancy of “qi and blood,” which has the impact of restricting circulation to the tissues involved. Qi stagnation is often noted by tense muscles, restrained anger, and digestive disorders; herbs for resolving the stagnancy include bupleurum, cyperus, lindera, and various citrus products. Other symptoms that might arise include abdominal pain or bloating, chronic inflammation, and formation of lumps (including cysts and tumors). Blood stagnation often occurs following childbirth, surgery, injury, or severe infection and is typically noted when there is severe pain (such as dysmenorrhea), or hard swellings and obstructions; abnormal cell growth, including dysplasia and cancer, are thought to involve blood stagnation. Herbs such as salvia, red peony, persica, and carthamus may be used.
3. A “heat” syndrome, which causes the affected organs to function abnormally. Heat syndromes may be associated with an infection or inflammatory process. This type of syndrome can produce abnormal semen quality leading to male infertility, while gynecologic infections can maintain female infertility by blocking the passages, altering the mucous membrane conditions, or influencing the local temperature. Herbs that inhibit infections and reduce inflammation are used, including gardenia, phellodendron, patrinia, and lonicera.


excerpted from:
back2basicnutrition.com


Click Here To Learn More About Alternative Medicine and Home Remedies For Miscarriage 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fertility Foods II - Fertility Yogurt

Fertility Yogurt - Tastes sweet and loaded with antioxidants

My last post talked about making a fertility salad.  If you want a nice desert to go with that, how about some sweet blueberry yogurt?
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com

Fertility Yogurt Recipe:
Start with plain unsweetened yogurt. Full fat dairy was found in one study to be good for female fertility - so you can choose full fat yogurt if you choose.
Sweeten yogurt with some liquid stevia. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame may have some detrimental effects on your health (although there is quite a bit of conflicting information in the literature). Stevia is a safe alternative. Use a couple of squirts from the dropper...

Click Here For The Full Recipe and Video 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fertility Foods - Fertility Salad

How To Make A Fertility Salad

Start with red (purple) cabbage. This is a great hormone regulator because it is loaded with phytoestrogens and antioxidants.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Cut it in half and save the rest for later. Shred about 1 cup with a cheese shredder as finely as possible. Raw cabbage can be a little hard to digest, so if it is shredded finely, it will help.


Cut up about 1/3 of a large cucumber. Cucumbers (especially the seeds) are considered a fertility enhancer in women...

Click Here For The Full Recipe and Video On How To Make A Fertility Salad

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Treating Endometriosis Naturally For Your Fertility: Can You Get Pregnant With Endometriosis?

What are signs that you might have endometriosis?

Endometriosis may be difficult to find on a pelvic exam. Depending on the severity of the condition, a women may be completely asymptomatic.
See also: www.getpregnantover40.com for more on natural fertility and preventing pregnancy loss with endometriosis and other abnormalities
 I had endometriosis (stage II) and I didn't have any direct symptoms of the condition. I did have some menstrual cramps the first day of my period, but nothing that I would consider to be “a problem”.

However, in more severe cases, endometriosis may be found on a pelvic exam. For example, if the uterus cannot be moved or can be only slightly moved during an exam, this might be an indication that scar tissue is present and adhering the tissue together. Ovaries may also be painful and difficult to move if endometrial implants are present.

Click Here To Read Full Article On Natural Treatments For Endmetriosis 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fertility Tea Blend, You Can Make It Yourself

Fertility Tea - You Can Make Your Own 

I've written before about teas for fertility.  Tea is such a great beverage because it can be hot or iced depending on the weather and your preference.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Tea is full of antioxidants and has many healing properties.   When I have mine iced, I even mix it with seltzer water to give it a little fizz.   There are plenty of fertility blend teas on the market, but I've always been a "do it yourself" kind of person.   When you blend things yourself, you know exactly what's in them and they can be less expensive. I've added a page to my website with instructions for making your own fertility tea:

Click Here To Learn How To Make Your Own Fertility Tea

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Yes, I Got Pregnant At 49

Pregnancy Over 40, Pregnancy Over 49

I thought I would revisit a previous post I did a few years ago about how I had a "oops" pregnancy at the age of 49.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 After years of infertility, fertility treatments, and finally a successful pregnancy at 44,  I found myself digging through my bathroom cabinet again for a pregnancy test just on the off chance that some strange spotting could actually mean I was pregnant again.

Yep, it was positive.......what? No way!  I had just gotten over the flu and had no recollection of even seeing my husband let alone having intercourse with him (he had the flu right before me).  And yet, there they were...two positive lines.  Maybe that test was expired...so I bought another one...

Click Here To Read Full Article (49 And Pregnant Again)



Monday, March 11, 2013

Cervical Mucus, What You Can Do To Improve Your Chances Of Conception Over 40

Getting Pregnant Over 40, Improve Your Cervical Mucus

As women get older, the amount of cervical mucus they produce declines. Optimal cervical mucus should have the consistency and feel of egg whites.
My site:  www.getpregnantover40.com
 Even though your body may be producing less cervical mucus, there are things you can do to increase the volume and make your mucus more sperm friendly.

I have researched a number of methods including everything from dietary changes to using egg whites as a vaginal lubricant. My findings can be found here:

Click Here To Read The Full Article On Improving Cervical Mucus



Saturday, March 09, 2013

Clomid May Not Help You Get Pregnant and Could Hurt Your Chances

Pregnancy Over 40, Clomid May Not Be The Best Choice

Most women who have undergone fertility treatments have either been given Clomid or their doctor considered giving it to them.  Since Clomid is relatively inexpensive, it tends to be one of the first drugs to try.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 First of all, if it has been determined that you are ovulating, Clomid may be of no benefit since it's primary action is to stimulate your ovaries.  Clomid can also create a hostile cervical environment which, without inseminations to by-pass it may be futile for getting pregnant.

Additionally, recent studies suggest that with a diagnosis of "unexplained infertility" the rate of conceiving naturally is actually higher than the rate of conceiving with Clomid.

Click Here To Read Full Article

Friday, March 08, 2013

Vitex: How It Promotes Fertility and How Much To Take

Vitex Chasteberry To Help Pregnancy Over 40

I've written before about Vitex (Chasteberry) for fertility.  Although supplements don't have the same rigorous study as FDA approved medications, there is some evidence that is can help increase progesterone and may have an affect on estrogen as well.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 This article explains how it actually works to promote fertility in your body and a recommended doseage. I drank Chasteberry tea, but it can be taken other ways as well.
Click Here To Read Full Article

Antioxidants For Oxidative Stress May Improve Fertility

Pregnancy Over 40, Help Conceive With Fruits and Vegetables

I've always been an advocate of "fruit and vegetable therapy" for infertility.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 The reason is because of all the antioxidants in these colorful foods. This article talks about how these antioxidants may help everything from erectile dysfunction to egg implantation. Read more:

www.medicalnewstoday.com

From the article:

If new approaches were developed successfully, the researchers said, they might help treat erectile dysfunction in men, egg implantation and endometriosis in women, and reduce the often serious and sometimes fatal condition of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy. The quality and health of semen and eggs might be improved.

As many as 50 percent of conceptions fail and about 20 percent of clinical pregnancies end in miscarriage, the researchers noted in their report. Both male and female reproductive dysfunction is believed to contribute to this high level of reproductive failure, they said, but few real causes have been identified.

"Some people and physicians are already using antioxidants to help with fertility problems, but we don't have the real scientific evidence yet to prove its efficacy," Hagen said. "It's time to change that."

Some commonly used antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, could help, Hagen said. But others, such as lipoic acid, are a little more cutting-edge and set up a biological chain reaction that has a more sustained impact on vasomotor function and health.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Are Sperm Counts Decreasing?

Fertility and Sperm Counts affected By Environmental Chemicals

I tend to focus on women's infertility on my website and blog, however, sperm counts seem to be decreasing in the general population.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Here is an alarming article about the decline in men's fertility and some possible reasons:

From the article:
During our everyday life we are continuously exposed to a cocktail of chemicals which can mimic the actions of the female hormone, oestrogen. Recent research has shown that many man made chemicals can act as weak oestrogens (xeno-oestrogens), mimicking in part the actions of our own natural hormones directly and indirectly (1, 2, 5, 14, 20, 30 and 31). These chemicals are present in the plastic lining of food cans, in pesticides, in plastics and in paints. In laboratories many designed chemicals have been shown to have oestrogenic effects.
Oestrogenic hormones exert their many effects by binding to intracellular oestrogen receptors, which consist principally of specialised proteins located within the target cells, they recognise the hormone and allow it to regulate specific oestrogen responsive genes within the cell. Oestrogen receptors allow many hundreds of different chemicals to bind to them. In some cases the chemicals have structures so dissimilar to that of the bodies natural oestradiol that they would never normally be thought of as having hormonal activity. These chemicals are very weak oestrogens (20, 30 and 31), but if given in high enough amounts they can activate oestrogen receptors in much the same way as natural hormones do (they do however bind to oestrogen receptors more weakly than the endogenous hormone). The presence of a phenolic hydroxyl group is a common feature of many oestrogenic compounds (30). For example, hydroxylation of o,p'-DDT leads to an enhancement of oestrogenic activity; nevertheless, the parent compound, o,p'-DDT and its (non-hydroxylated) metabolite, DDE, also exert oestrogenic effects .
It was always thought that there was only one oestrogen receptor, however a second receptor (ERβ) has been identified which binds preferentially to certain environmental and natural oestrogens compared with the original oestrogen receptor (ERα). This new receptor is located in higher amounts in specific tissues in the body, such as the prostate and brain (20). Scientists now believe that this combination of different types of oestrogen receptor and differing tissue distribution may be crucial in determining if a particular part of the body is likely to be affected by natural or environmental oestrogens, for example the testes.
One hypothesis is that these ‘false' oestrogens latch on to these hormone receptor sites in the body, possibly blocking the action of the naturally occurring hormone. Another explanation is that the chemicals may mimic its action, switching on or turning off biochemical pathways, and hanging around in the body far longer than natural oestrogen (1). The result is potentially devastating effects on oestrogen-sensitive tissues in both sexes, particularly in the developing foetus.
During our everyday life we are continuously exposed to a cocktail of chemicals which can mimic the actions of the female hormone, oestrogen. Recent research has shown that many man made chemicals can act as weak oestrogens (xeno-oestrogens), mimicking in part the actions of our own natural hormones directly and indirectly (1, 2, 5, 14, 20, 30 and 31). These chemicals are present in the plastic lining of food cans, in pesticides, in plastics and in paints. In laboratories many designed chemicals have been shown to have oestrogenic effects.
Oestrogenic hormones exert their many effects by binding to intracellular oestrogen receptors, which consist principally of specialised proteins located within the target cells, they recognise the hormone and allow it to regulate specific oestrogen responsive genes within the cell. Oestrogen receptors allow many hundreds of different chemicals to bind to them. In some cases the chemicals have structures so dissimilar to that of the bodies natural oestradiol that they would never normally be thought of as having hormonal activity. These chemicals are very weak oestrogens (20, 30 and 31), but if given in high enough amounts they can activate oestrogen receptors in much the same way as natural hormones do (they do however bind to oestrogen receptors more weakly than the endogenous hormone). The presence of a phenolic hydroxyl group is a common feature of many oestrogenic compounds (30). For example, hydroxylation of o,p'-DDT leads to an enhancement of oestrogenic activity; nevertheless, the parent compound, o,p'-DDT and its (non-hydroxylated) metabolite, DDE, also exert oestrogenic effects .
It was always thought that there was only one oestrogen receptor, however a second receptor (ERβ) has been identified which binds preferentially to certain environmental and natural oestrogens compared with the original oestrogen receptor (ERα). This new receptor is located in higher amounts in specific tissues in the body, such as the prostate and brain (20). Scientists now believe that this combination of different types of oestrogen receptor and differing tissue distribution may be crucial in determining if a particular part of the body is likely to be affected by natural or environmental oestrogens, for example the testes.
One hypothesis is that these ‘false' oestrogens latch on to these hormone receptor sites in the body, possibly blocking the action of the naturally occurring hormone. Another explanation is that the chemicals may mimic its action, switching on or turning off biochemical pathways, and hanging around in the body far longer than natural oestrogen (1). The result is potentially devastating effects on oestrogen-sensitive tissues in both sexes, particularly in the developing foetus.
- See more at: http://www.ispub.com/journal/the-internet-journal-of-urology/volume-2-number-1/the-sperm-count-has-been-decreasing-steadily-for-many-years-in-western-industrialised-countries-is-there-an-endocrine-basis-for-this-decrease.html#sthash.HHyhNti2.49OU5ZW1.dpuf



  Excerpted from:  Shiva Dindyal, MBBS (London) BSc. (Hons) Imperial College School of Medicine London United Kingdom
During our everyday life we are continuously exposed to a cocktail of chemicals which can mimic the actions of the female hormone, oestrogen. Recent research has shown that many man made chemicals can act as weak oestrogens (xeno-oestrogens), mimicking in part the actions of our own natural hormones directly and indirectly (1, 2, 5, 14, 20, 30 and 31). These chemicals are present in the plastic lining of food cans, in pesticides, in plastics and in paints. In laboratories many designed chemicals have been shown to have oestrogenic effects.
Oestrogenic hormones exert their many effects by binding to intracellular oestrogen receptors, which consist principally of specialised proteins located within the target cells, they recognise the hormone and allow it to regulate specific oestrogen responsive genes within the cell. Oestrogen receptors allow many hundreds of different chemicals to bind to them. In some cases the chemicals have structures so dissimilar to that of the bodies natural oestradiol that they would never normally be thought of as having hormonal activity. These chemicals are very weak oestrogens (20, 30 and 31), but if given in high enough amounts they can activate oestrogen receptors in much the same way as natural hormones do (they do however bind to oestrogen receptors more weakly than the endogenous hormone). The presence of a phenolic hydroxyl group is a common feature of many oestrogenic compounds (30). For example, hydroxylation of o,p'-DDT leads to an enhancement of oestrogenic activity; nevertheless, the parent compound, o,p'-DDT and its (non-hydroxylated) metabolite, DDE, also exert oestrogenic effects .
It was always thought that there was only one oestrogen receptor, however a second receptor (ERβ) has been identified which binds preferentially to certain environmental and natural oestrogens compared with the original oestrogen receptor (ERα). This new receptor is located in higher amounts in specific tissues in the body, such as the prostate and brain (20). Scientists now believe that this combination of different types of oestrogen receptor and differing tissue distribution may be crucial in determining if a particular part of the body is likely to be affected by natural or environmental oestrogens, for example the testes.
One hypothesis is that these ‘false' oestrogens latch on to these hormone receptor sites in the body, possibly blocking the action of the naturally occurring hormone. Another explanation is that the chemicals may mimic its action, switching on or turning off biochemical pathways, and hanging around in the body far longer than natural oestrogen (1). The result is potentially devastating effects on oestrogen-sensitive tissues in both sexes, particularly in the developing foetus.
- See more at: http://www.ispub.com/journal/the-internet-journal-of-urology/volume-2-number-1/the-sperm-count-has-been-decreasing-steadily-for-many-years-in-western-industrialised-countries-is-there-an-endocrine-basis-for-this-decrease.html#sthash.HHyhNti2.49OU5ZW1.dpuf
During our everyday life we are continuously exposed to a cocktail of chemicals which can mimic the actions of the female hormone, oestrogen. Recent research has shown that many man made chemicals can act as weak oestrogens (xeno-oestrogens), mimicking in part the actions of our own natural hormones directly and indirectly (1, 2, 5, 14, 20, 30 and 31). These chemicals are present in the plastic lining of food cans, in pesticides, in plastics and in paints. In laboratories many designed chemicals have been shown to have oestrogenic effects.
Oestrogenic hormones exert their many effects by binding to intracellular oestrogen receptors, which consist principally of specialised proteins located within the target cells, they recognise the hormone and allow it to regulate specific oestrogen responsive genes within the cell. Oestrogen receptors allow many hundreds of different chemicals to bind to them. In some cases the chemicals have structures so dissimilar to that of the bodies natural oestradiol that they would never normally be thought of as having hormonal activity. These chemicals are very weak oestrogens (20, 30 and 31), but if given in high enough amounts they can activate oestrogen receptors in much the same way as natural hormones do (they do however bind to oestrogen receptors more weakly than the endogenous hormone). The presence of a phenolic hydroxyl group is a common feature of many oestrogenic compounds (30). For example, hydroxylation of o,p'-DDT leads to an enhancement of oestrogenic activity; nevertheless, the parent compound, o,p'-DDT and its (non-hydroxylated) metabolite, DDE, also exert oestrogenic effects .
It was always thought that there was only one oestrogen receptor, however a second receptor (ERβ) has been identified which binds preferentially to certain environmental and natural oestrogens compared with the original oestrogen receptor (ERα). This new receptor is located in higher amounts in specific tissues in the body, such as the prostate and brain (20). Scientists now believe that this combination of different types of oestrogen receptor and differing tissue distribution may be crucial in determining if a particular part of the body is likely to be affected by natural or environmental oestrogens, for example the testes.
One hypothesis is that these ‘false' oestrogens latch on to these hormone receptor sites in the body, possibly blocking the action of the naturally occurring hormone. Another explanation is that the chemicals may mimic its action, switching on or turning off biochemical pathways, and hanging around in the body far longer than natural oestrogen (1). The result is potentially devastating effects on oestrogen-sensitive tissues in both sexes, particularly in the developing foetus.
- See more at: http://www.ispub.com/journal/the-internet-journal-of-urology/volume-2-number-1/the-sperm-count-has-been-decreasing-steadily-for-many-years-in-western-industrialised-countries-is-there-an-endocrine-basis-for-this-decrease.html#sthash.HHyhNti2.49OU5ZW1.dpuf

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Home Remedies and Alternative Medicine For Miscarriage and Fertility

Alternative Medicine For Fertility and Miscarriage

When I was trying to concieve, we had spent so much money on inseminations, medications, two fail IVF's, surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, and countless doctor's appointments and co-pays that I didn't want to spend more money even on naturopathic doctors, herbalists, acupunturists, etc.
See also:  www.getpregnantover40.com for my series on foods for fertility and more on alternative and Chinese medicine

Although I certainly agree more with the alternative medicine philosophy rather than the pharmaceutically driven western medicine philosophy, both of them can be expensive.  This is why I did my own reasearch and found things that I could do myself, in my own home without involving more appointments and more disruption in my life.  But for those of you interested, and especially those of you who have experienced one or more miscarriages, here is an article about Alternative Medicine and Home Remedies For Miscarriage:

Click Here To Read Full Article


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