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Monday, September 30, 2013

Phytonutrient DIM In Cruciferous Vegetables for Female Fertility


Fertility and Hormonal Balance With The Right Foods

I have previously done a post and a video about cruciferous vegetables for male and female fertility, but these vegetables are great for promoting hormonal balance and preventing cancer in women too.

See my site: www.getpregnantover40.com for my series on foods for fertility

This article talks about how these vegetable can help prevent breast cancer:

dimfaq.com

Here is my recipe for Greek coleslaw (I've heard purple/red cabbage is actually healthier than green):

Shred purple cabbage (I just use a manual cheese shredder)
Add some crumbled feta cheese (I usually buy garlic and herb flavor)
Add 4-5 greek olives
Add some viniagrette dressing (You can buy pre-made viniagrette spritzers which have very few calories)

Enjoy!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cinnamon and Coffee For Male Fertility

 Help To Have A Baby From Cinnamon

NAC is an antioxidant found in cinnamon. According to this article, it may help male fertility.
My site www.getpregnantover40.com has a series on foods for fertility
As far as coffee, it seems like one day the media says it's good, the next day it's bad...but this article also has good news for coffee drinkers! Read more:

Two recent trials describe a new application for NAC, improving male fertility. The first study involved 120 men who were diagnosed with idopathic infertility. 60 of the patients were given 600 mg of NAC per day for 3 months. The remainder received an inactive placebo for the same duration of time. Those receiving the NAC demonstrated improvements in sperm motility, viscosity and volume. In addition, the antioxidant levels in the blood increased, while oxidative stress decreased. Another trial from 2009 found that adding 200 mcg of selenium (a trace mineral) to 600 mg of NAC resulted in positive hormonal changes and improved semen parameters. The authors of that experiment concluded that, “These results indicate that supplemental selenium and N-acetyl-cysteine improve semen quality. We advocate their use for male infertility”. (1,2,3)

Uncontrolled blood sugar can endanger the health of diabetics or those with a tendency toward blood irregularities (”pre-diabetics”). A new paper published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine describes one simple way to improve long term blood glucose levels. A group of 109 type 2 diabetics were randomly given either 1 gram of cinnamon daily or a placebo for 90 days. All of the participants began and continued to receive conventional treatment in addition to the cinnamon or placebo. The researchers tested the patients’ hemoglobin A1C levels at the beginning and end of the trial. HbA1C is a test that reveals long term (3-4 months) blood sugar management. The men and women receiving the cinnamon showed a drop in HbA1C of .83%. It’s important to note that the change found in the cinnamon users could bring dramatic improvements to the overall health of diabetics. The lead author of the study concluded that, “According to the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, a drop of HbA1C from 7.9% to 7% lowers the risk of macrovascular disease 16%, retinopathy 17% to 21%, and nephropathy 24% to 33%; thus, a 0.83% drop in HbA1C levels in patients might be expected to yield similar reductions in morbidity.” There may even be applications for cinnamon in the population at large. Recent research from Baylor University proposes that cinnamon may help attenuate insulin resistance caused by a lack of sleep. (4,5,6)

from: 
www.healthyfellow.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013

pH Diet and Fertility

Pregnancy Over 40, Diet, and pH

I've read quite a bit of contradictory information about pH balance and fertility. Some resources will list certain foods as acidic and a different resource will list the same food as alkaline.

 See My Series on Foods For Fertility at www.getpregnantover40.com

Here is an article that talks in simple terms about pH and fertility

Chemistry 101

All you need to know about pH to start reaping the health benefits of a more balanced body chemistry, is that it is a measure of acidity (think vinegar) or alkalinity (think baking soda) from 0 to 14. Zero is the most intense level of acidity possible and 14 is the highest level of alkalinity possible, with neutral being in the middle.

Your body maintains much tighter reins than that range and will work diligently to balance your blood at a just slightly alkaline rate of 7.36. However, our highly acid-forming diet (meat, dairy products, sugar and other sweets, wheat and white-flour baked goods and pastas, coffee, tea, trans fats, and food additives found in most packaged and prepared foods) and our high stress lifestyles can take their toll on our body's pH balancing mechanisms, leading to acidity.

To be clear, it's not the acidity of the food itself that matters, but rather the effect of the food on your body chemistry. Food may test acid or alkaline in a laboratory setting, but that has no direct impact on whether it will have an acidifying or alkalizing effect on your body when metabolized. Lemons are a great example. They test highly acidic, but once inside your body they will help to alkalize it.


from: 
www.babyzone.com

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Leptin, Body Fat and Fertility

Pregnancy Over 40 May Be Affected By Low Levels of Fat in Thin Women

I have actually spent quite a bit of time talking about how women
(and men) who are overweight may have trouble conceiving.

See www.getpregnantover40.com for more articles on foods for fertility and resources on getting pregnant naturally

 But women with too little body fat have a problem as well.   I've known a number of women who are thin (or who are muscular with very little body fat) who have trouble conceiving.  It's hard to convince people that they  need to actually gain weight to get pregnant.  This article talks about the role of "leptin" produced in body fat and it's connection to fertility.
From the article:

Leptin is often recognized as an appetite and weight regulation hormone. But did you know that the hormone leptin also serves an indicator that tells the brain and other organs when extremely low energy is available?

Mantzoros goes on, “We know that leptin is produced by the body’s fat tissue and is secreted into the bloodstream in proportion to the amount of energy stored in fat. From there, it travels to the brain where it communicates exactly how much energy is available.” Because of this process, leptin regulates a number of important physiological functions that depend on adequate energy balance. These physiological functions include reproduction, metabolism, and bone function.

As a result, when women have severely low levels of body fat, which may occur after excessive dieting or exercise or in women with eating disorders, the body enters a state of “negative energy balance” that adversely affects reproductive function and metabolism according to Dr. Mantzoros. 

from: Read more:womenshealth.about.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

CUPPING TO GET PREGNANT: FOR FERTILITY

Pregnancy Over 40 Help From Cupping Therapy

I have heard of cupping from a number of sources (including my grandmother who used to use it for belly aches!).  Cupping is somewhat like acupuncture and it is supposed to help with circulation and lymphatic flow.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com for more on alternative medicine for fertility and links to my Fertility Bodywork Video

This site talks about some celebrities who have used it and it also gives reasons why some don't beleive in it:

From the site:
Dating back 5,000 years, the therapy is a form of acupuncture, and is based on the idea that suction from the cups draws the skin up and mobilises blood and energy around the body. 
‘If someone is under stress, or they’ve suffered a physical trauma like a pulled shoulder, the energy in their body can become stagnated,’ explains Ian Stones, an acupuncturist in Farnham, Surrey, and member of the British Acupuncture Council, who has been practising cupping for six years

Typically, a flame is first placed inside a glass or rubber cup, so the heat can create a partial vacuum, before the flame is removed and the cup held to the skin for about three minutes.
Although the resulting marks can look alarming, they are temporary, and this kind of cupping should not hurt in any way as the cups used are thick-rimmed and do not heat up. 

 from: dailymail.co.uk

New Study Confirms Higher Rate Of Birth Defects With ART

Fertility Treatments and Birth Defects

I have done a number of posts about how fertility treatments are associated with a higher rate of birth defects.  A new study confirms this and includes quite a bit of data. 

See My site www.getpregnantover40.com for natural ways to conceive 

I know some couples must undergo assisted reproduction to get pregnant, but Clomid which is a common drug given to women to use with inseminations is also associated with defects.  If you see my posting from Friday, Clomid doesn't even seem to increase the rate of pregnancy over trying naturally.  Read more:

IVF's main alternative, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which involves the injection of a single sperm directly into an egg, posed a higher risk for defects that cannot be controlled for by female fertility factors, and resulted in defects in one in 10 pregnancies.

However, ICSI is primarily used for male fertility problems, and its risk was significantly decreased using frozen eggs, according to the study's lead author, Associate Professor Michael Davies of the University of Adelaide.

He explained: "This may be due to developmentally compromised embryos failing to survive the freeze/thaw process," adding, "while assisted reproductive technologies are associated with an increased risk of major birth defects overall, we found significant differences in risk between available treatments".

In 2005, the last year for which data was available, 5,935 babies were born as a result of IVF treatment compared to 5,265 babies born with the help of ICSI.

One surprising find within the research was a tripling of risk among women who used the drug clomiphene citrate to stimulate ovary production,

from 
www.express.co.uk

Sunday, September 22, 2013

SEAWEED FOR FERTILITY AND GETTING PREGNANT

Pregnancy Over 40, Fertility Over 40 Help From Seaweed

I have heard about the nutritional benefits of seaweed for years.  It's starting to catch on in this country and has been very popular in Asia.

my site www.getpregnantover40.com has an entire series on foods for fertility, check it out here

Here is an article about the benefits of seaweed. If you scroll down to the bottom of the article, it also gives some recipes. Seaweed helps many bodily systems and functions including hormonal balance. Read more:

From the article:

SEAWEED IS A WAY TO GET YOUR JUICES FLOWING

Daily use of seaweed provides optimum nourishment for the hormonal, lymphatic, urinary, and nervous systems. The hormonal system uses minerals and trace elements so richly available from seaweed to repair tissue, build new cells, and create hormones responsible for regulating blood pressure, metabolism, fertility, sexuality, and reaction to allergens, to name but a few.


The lymphatic and immune systems are avid partakers of seaweed’s splendid feast of nutrients. Combined with this optimum nourishment, the communication enhancing effects of seaweed further enhance response time and strength in the immune system. This reduces opportunist bacterial and viral infections and helps prolong youth and vitality, not to mention joy and ease in life. 


see also: greens for fertility (www.getpregnantover40.com)

The urinary system gets a special boost from seaweed’s seeming excess of potassium and sodium. Those with cystitis, kidney weakness, gout diabetic kidney ills, and bladder weakness find health / wholeness / holiness with seaweed and Wise Woman Ways.

The nervous system relaxes in the presence of seaweed’s mineral abundance. Seaweed creates an inner environment where nerve signals flow more smoothly and where brain chemicals are produced as needed: to maintain alertness, increase memory, reduce pain, and provide a sense of buoyant bliss. (Envision the head sized floats of kelp bobbing on a gently undulating sea.) 

from: 


www.herbshealing.com

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reflexology For Fertility

Fertility Bodywork - Reflexology

My DVD called "Fertility Bodywork" has everything from fertility yoga, pelvic massage, to acupressure and reflexology which you may perform on yourself. I thought this article might be of interest from the UK's Daily Mail. One reflexologist claims an amazing success rate. Read more:

From the article:

Reflexology, a traditional healing art dating from the ancient Egyptians and Chinese, involves manipulation of pressure points in the hands and feet and is often used to ease period pain, headaches, sinus and back problems as well as the effects of chemotherapy.
Practitioners claim the soles of the feet are like a mini map of the inside of the body and are linked to our inner organs and systems, including the fallopian tubes and ovaries. By massaging different points on the feet therapists claim they can unblock energy pathways in the body and so help the body to regain its natural balance and heal itself.
Some points on the foot are associated with a woman's egg production and by manipulating these areas reflexologists claim they can correct the imbalances which can hamper pregnancy.
The latest research, a two year clinical trial at the IVF unit at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, is the brainchild of reflexologist Jane Holt. She approached the unit after 13 of the 23 women she treated with a range of fertility problems fell pregnant last year

 from:
(www.dailymail.co.uk)

New Gel May Help Sperm Swim

Trying To Conceive Over 40, Give Sperm A Boost

I have heard of and written about "sperm friendly" lubricants before, however, there is a new gel on the horizon which may actually help more sperm swim through the cervical canal.
Visit www.getpregnantover40.com for more articles on natural ways to conceive
This is a totally noninvasive treatment which may give just the boost a couple needs to get pregnant. Read more:

Fertility treatments basically involve helping sperm to reach the egg," said Jackson Kirkman-Brown, senior lecturer in reproductive biology at the University of Birmingham and director of the Centre for Human Reproductive Science, Birmingham.

"The majority of these involve doing something quite invasive to the woman, often even though she may be perfectly healthy. If you can give the man's sperm a little more va-va-voom, you could help fertility in a far less invasive way and it would be far cheaper," he said.

"We now have some compounds, that are in the early stages of testing, which can make more sperm swim through cervical mucus, which means you would get more sperm into the uterus. This should increase natural fertility," added Kirkman-Brown, according to the Telegraph. 

from: 
www.mid-day.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

USING DONOR EGGS OVER 40, SOME EGG DONORS HAVE REGRETS

Donor Eggs Over 40

Let me say up front that I personally know a number of women (and their children) who have used donor eggs to get pregnant.  However, I also know a couple of women who were told they needed donor eggs but wound up getting pregnant on their own - even over the age of 40.  One woman was taking a break to save up enough money for the procedure when she spontaneously conceived.

My site: www.getpregnantover40.com for more about donor eggs and IVF over 40


 I realize this is a viable option (and perhaps the only option) depending on your diagnosis. However, sometimes I wonder if the women who decide to undergo the rigors of donating their eggs really understand what the consequences are (some even claim that their future fertility was compromised). This article talks about a survey that was done with women who donated their eggs and their physical and emotional state afterwards. Read more:


From the article:

The study, from the University of Washington, examined 80 women from 20 states who had donated eggs from two to 15 years earlier. Participants, whose average age was 30, completed a detailed questionnaire. The researchers found that 16% of women complained of subsequent physical symptoms and 20% reported lasting psychological effects after donation. The physical complaints included bloating, pain, cramping, ovarian hyperstimulation, mood changes, weight gain or weight loss. Several women claimed the process damaged their ovaries, leading to a decrease or loss of fertility.

Psychological repercussions were feelings of attachment to the eggs or to the potential or resulting offspring, concern that a resulting child may want to have a relationship with them and stress resulting from the process. Some complained of being treated callously by clinic staff.

Egg donors are often college students, and they are paid an average of almost $4,000 for their services. The study showed that women who said they were motivated to donate for the money had less satisfying experiences compared with women who said they donated for altruistic reasons. About 19% said their motivations were purely financial and 32% said they just wanted to help others. The remainder of the women said both factors motivated them to donate.

"We were asking these women years later and a feeling of helping may last longer than money," said the study's lead author, psychologist Nancy Kenney, in a news release. "We know if clinics don't offer money, most women won't donate. Great Britain, where there is no paid egg donation program, for example, has a tremendous shortage of donors. But, as one of our donors said, 'If you do this just for money, you'll be sorry.' "

The study also found that a large number of women were not aware of the possible physical risks related to donation. Twenty percent said they did not recall being made aware of the physical risks at the time of their first donation. Young women, in particular, may not fully comprehend the risks, Kenney says. "Risks don't mean much to young women . . . If you are 25 and are told that something may cause cancer when you are 45 that may seem to be forever." More of the women reported being aware of the potential psychological risks.

The study seems particularly relevant during the current economic downturn, as more women might be considering egg donation as a way to make money. One Los Angeles infertility clinic employee I spoke with recently said the number of women enlisting as egg donors has quadrupled in recent months.

from:  

  (www.latimes.com)

Salsa Your Way Pregnant

This article has moved

See My Series On Foods For Fertility at www.getpregnantover40.com 








Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WHEN IS EGG QUALITY AND DEVELOPMENT DETERMINED? HOURS OR MONTHS?

This article has moved
SEE ALSO: DHEA FOR EGG QUALITY AND FERTILITY

FIVE FOODS FOR FERTILITY AND IRREGULAR CYCLES

Fish Oils and Other Foods May Help You Get Pregnant

I have previously posted how protein may help your menstrual cycle since hormones are made of proteins.  Additionally, a number of vegetables contain hormone regulating properties so eating a wide variety of colorful vegetables and greens can go a long way.
Today, I'm posting more about food and how it can regulate your menstrual cycle which will help you know the best time to conceive.

See also my new series on foods for fertility, click here:

Foods For Fertility, Sandy Robertson (www.getpregnantover40.com)

Five Foods That Make Your Menstrual Cycle Regular

Omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, sardines, etc

The blood vessels in your ovaries are tiny, which makes them vulnerable to damage and poor circulation. Smoking, obesity, and high cholesterol can negatively affect your ovarian blood vessels, which blocks hormones and blood flow. Fish oils enhance blood circulation, reduce damage from free radicals, fight the effects of aging, and increase dopamine (which improves your mood!). Dr Booth recommends adding a fish oil supplement to your diet, instead of eating a high fish diet (because of the mercury in some tuna, swordfish, mackerel, etc).
Non-white foods

Most natural foods are not white, so you can assume that if a food is white, it is probably processed to the point of being unhealthy! To make your menstrual cycle regular, avoid white flour, sugar, white potatoes, white bread, white pasta, and white rice. They disrupt your menstrual cycle by creating insulin surges that result in fat storage. This excess fat storage negatively affects ovulation and your periods.
Protein – cottage cheese, lean meats, nuts

“Finding sources of balanced protein can be a challenge for busy women, but it is a must for hormonal balance, writes Dr Booth in The Venus Week. The more you balance your hormones, the more regular your menstrual cycle will be. Plant proteins are especially good for enhancing fertility and hormonal balance: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cheese, hard boiled eggs, soy chips, hummus, canned sardines, and edamame.
Vitamin D – perhaps take a supplement

This vitamin improves communication between your cells, which stabilizes your hormones. Vitamin D is also vital in cancer protection – especially breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancers. “Vitamin D is a little hard to come by in food,” writes Dr Booth. Eat vitamin D-fortified milk products, tuna, egg yolks, salmon, sardines, and (yuck) cod liver oil.

To increase your vitamin D and make your menstrual cycle regular, make sure you getting enough sunlight. Where you live and the color of your skin determines how much time you should spend in the sun, but my research tells me that the average North American should spend about 10 minutes in the sun about 2-3 times per week.
Dark chocolate!

“Chocolate contains flavenoids, which have estrogen-like activity and help improve circulation by reducing platelet clumping, writes Dr Booth in The Venus Week. Flavenoids also enhance microcirculation in the ovaries and endocrine glands, and increase dopamine (a “feel good” hormone). Not just any old chocolate will do: eat dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids.


excerpted from
theadvertuouswriter.com

Monday, September 16, 2013

Having A Baby In Your 40's and 50's May Help You Live Longer

Having A Baby Over 40 May Help You Live Longer!

Good news for women who become mothers late in life. You and your siblings have a higher likelihood of living longer.

More articles about pregnancy over 40 at www.getpregnantover40.com

This interesting study cited below explains how having a baby over 45 may lead to a bright future. This certainly will give you a "come back" when people criticize how supposedly "selfish" it is to have a baby later in life because you won't be around to raise them...the fact is, you're more likely to be around to raise them! Read more:

1. Late fertility in women, which means giving birth at the age of 45 or above, was better-off. These women had a 15 to 17 percent lower risk to die at any age post to 50 in comparison to those women who had delivered their child before the age of 40. This is consistent with earlier studies that had already proven that late motherhood is associated with genes or social and environmental factors (like nutrition) leading longer life.

2. Brothers who had sisters giving birth at late age lived longer. It appeared that brothers who had a minimum of 3 sisters where at least one of these sisters gave birth after the age of 45 had 20 to 22 percent less likely to die during any year after the age of 50 in comparison to brothers, who had no late fertility sister. The study shows that the same gene may influence longevity of both male and female. 

from: 
immortalhumans.com

Fertility and Health May Be Affected By Popular Laundry Detergents

Fertility and Toxic Chemicals

I always loved that clean smell in my clothes after washing them in the "fresh scent" laundry detergents. Then there are, of course, all of the claims that your clothes will be cleaner and brighter with many of the advertised brands.

See my site for more articles on detoxifying your environment to conceive: www.getpregnantover40.com 

However, you may be interested to know that what makes your clothes look and smell so great could be a problem not only for your health and fertility, but also for the environment. Here is an article that discusses some of the dangers lurking in your laundry soap.  When I was trying to conceive, I tried to use only a minimal amount of detergent.

Here are just a few of the chemicals discussed in the article:

Phenols: According to the National Institutes of Health, phenol is toxic and people who are hypersensitive to it could experience death or serious side effects at very low exposures. Plus, it is rapidly absorbed and can cause toxicity throughout the entire body. Typically, death and severe toxicity result from phenol's effects on the central nervous system, heart, blood vessels, lungs and kidneys.

One common surfactant in U.S. laundry detergents is nonyl phenol ethoxylate (this chemical has been banned in Europe, and was found to slowly biodegrade into even more toxic compounds). Studies have found that this surfactant stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells and feminizes male fish.

Are chemicals in commercial laundry detergents leaving your clothes dangerously clean?

Optical brighteners: These synthetic chemicals convert UV light wavelengths into visible light, which makes laundered clothes appear whiter (although does not actually affect the cleanliness of the clothing). They've been found to be toxic to fish and to cause bacterial mutations. Further, they can cause allergic reactions when exposed to skin that is later exposed to sunlight.

Phosphates: These chemicals are used to remove hard-water minerals to make detergents more effective, and to prevent dirt from settling back onto clothes during a wash. A major problem with them is that, when released into the environment, they stimulate the growth of certain marine plants, which contributes to unbalanced ecosystems. Many states have banned or restricted the use of phosphates for this reason, and you may see laundry detergents advertised as "low-phosphate" or "phosphate-free."

Sodium hypochlorite (household bleach): This is a chemical precursor to chlorine, which is highly toxic and involved in more household poisonings than any other chemical. When it reacts with organic materials in the environment, carcinogenic and toxic compounds are created than can cause reproductive, endocrine and immune system disorders.


from: 

 (www.sixwise.com)

Friday, September 13, 2013

How Much and Type Of Protein For Optimum Fertility?

Pregnancy Over 40, Fertility Over 40 and Protein

Diets high in animal protein may not necessarily be the way to go. There are many sources of vegetable protein which may be a better option if you're trying to conceive. The daily protein needs of non-pregnant women run somewhere around 45-46 grams.

See Also My Series On Fertility Foods at www.getpregnantover40.com 

 Some protein in your diet is important because the building blocks of hormones are proteins.   Read more:

How Much Protein?

A high-protein diet increases the amount of protein you eat above recommended levels while also decreasing the amount of carbohydrates you consume. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that females ages 14 and older need 46 g of protein each day. This level of protein consumption is suitable for women during their childbearing years.

Fertility Complications

A high-protein diet might cause further complications for women with fertility-related problems. For example, a study published in the March 2004 journal "Fertility and Sterility" reported that when eaten over a one-month period during the study, a diet high in carbohydrates significantly improved fertility abnormalities for obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Women who ate a high-protein diet during the same period demonstrated no improvement in fertility indicators.

The source of the protein in your diet might impact your fertility. A study published in the February 2008 "American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology" found that women who consumed most of their protein from animal sources faced an increased risk of ovulatory infertility. In contrast, women who ate protein from vegetable sources instead of carbohydrates or protein from animal sources faced a "substantially lower risk of ovulatory fertility."
Other Risks

Consuming a high-protein diet impacts areas of your health other than your ability to conceive. The Better Health Channel says that high-protein diets can harm your kidneys and liver and cause dehydration. The high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol in animal protein can lead to high blood cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease. Restricting the amount of fiber in your diet can cause constipation and increase your risk of colon cancer.

from:

www.livestrong.com

Why Triclosan Hurts Fertility and Other Dangers Of Antibacterial Agents

This article has moved

 See Also:   Environmental Toxins and Your Fertility (www.getpregnantover40.com)

 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

VAGINAL LUBRICANTS AND FERTILITY

Safe Vaginal Lubricants To Get Pregnant Over 40

I think most of us know to stay away from vaginal lubricants when trying to conceive.  I have heard, however that some lubricants sold over the counter claim to actually facilitate conception.
See Also: Improving Your Cervical Mucus (www.getpregnantover40.com)
The study cited below shows that there are some sperm friendly vaginal lubricants including cannola oil (skip the vinegar!) Read more:


From the study:

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sperm motility was evaluated by manual motility counts and by computer-assisted semen analysis. Sperm viability was evaluated with Hoechst 33258 dye. The effects of the various lubricants were compared with those of a spermicidal agent, Gynol II (negative control) and Ham's F-10 (positive control). RESULTS: Commercial lubricants inhibited sperm motility by 60-100% after 60 minutes of incubation. Sperm exposed to Replens or Astroglide were nonmotile and nonviable after incubation for 60 minutes, similar to the control, nonoxynol-9 containing product Gynol II. Canola oil had no detrimental effects and was indistinguishable from Ham's F-10 in terms of sperm viability and motility.

from: 
from: NIH.gov

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Does High FSH Mean I Can't Get Pregnant?

Pregnancy Over 40:  FSH vs. Inhibin 

Women who want to conceive later in life seem to live and die by their FSH numbers.  I did have my FSH tested when I was going through fertility treatments and it was in the normal range when I was in my late 30's, but I didn't get pregnant with my daughter until many years after that and I'm sure it had risen.

Visit my site for more articles on FSH and natual ways to conceive ( www.getpregnantover40.com)

However, according to this article, FSH may not be the best measure of ovarian function. There is also something called "inhibin" levels which may provide a more accurate picture.  This article explains more:



From the article:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- New research suggests that measuring the levels of two specific ovarian hormones may help doctors better determine the reproductive potential of older women.

Researchers found that measuring the levels of the hormones inhibin-a and inhibin-b were a more sensitive test of a woman’s ovarian reserve -- or reproductive potential -- than the most commonly used test today. The current test measures the levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

“Measuring inhibin levels may be a more accurate way to assess a woman’s fertility,” said Douglas Danforth, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University.

Production of inhibin-a and inhibin-b drops as a woman goes through perimenopause, the phase just before menopause. Because the inhibins are produced in the ovaries, they can serve as a direct measure of ovarian function.

The research appears in a recent issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Danforth and his colleagues measured hormone levels in 25 women aged 39 to 52. Women in this age range are usually considered perimenopausal. All subjects still had normal menstrual cycles. Blood serum samples were analyzed for the hormone levels during specific times of the menstrual cycle.

The results showed that levels of inhibin-a and inhibin-b were lower in the women aged 46-52 than in the women aged 39-45. This is consistent with the fact that older women, who are nearer menopause, should have reduced ovarian function compared to younger women, Danforth said. However, the results showed no difference between the older and younger women in terms of FSH levels.

“This suggests that inhibin levels may be a more sensitive gauge of ovarian function than FSH levels

frojm: 
osu.edu

Monday, September 09, 2013

46 Year Old Spontaneously Conceives After Tubal Ligation

Pregnant Naturally At 46 With Tubal Ligation

I thought I had heard it all after writing this blog for a number of years. But I happened to see an episode of "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" on the TLC network.
Visit my site for more pregnancy over 40 stories (www.getpregnantover40.com)
 I always find it surprising that some women can go through a whole pregnancy and not know they are pregnant. But this particular episode was particularly impressive because the woman was 46 years old with two grown children and she had a tubal ligation after her second child. Amazingly, somehow one of her tubes must have grown back together and she conceived spontaneously! Read more:

Saturday, September 07, 2013

FOLKLORE AND OLD WIVES TALES ABOUT FERTILITY AND GETTING PREGNANT

Pregnancy Over 40, Folklore

I think we've all been there....turning to superstition, old wives tales and folklore to increase our chances of getting pregnant. Here is a fun article on "Fertility Folklore" - hey, it may help - even if your belief triggers the "placebo affect"!

See also: Create Your Own Vision Boards (www.getpregnantover40.com)

From the article:

Symbols and Personal Charms
Various items have been named as "lucky" or "positive" when it comes to influencing conception. Here are the most popular ones:


Kokopelli – Native American symbol of abundance, fertility and entertainment. Images of this flute player, depicted with a hunchback, can be found on jewelry and in artwork.
Rose quartz – This beautiful stone is sometimes called the "love stone" and has been credited with increasing fertility and creativity in those that behold it.
Cowery shell – The simple shape of this shell conjures up images of the uterus. Is it any wonder then why this item is believed to increase fertility and sexual potency? Bracelets and necklaces are a popular way to utilize the cowery shell in jewelry making.
These are only a few of the many people, places and things that are rumored to hold positive fertility powers. While it's never wise to turn you back on sound medical advice, it doesn't hurt to couple your doctor's wisdom with a little fertility folklore fun.

from:  preconception.com

Friday, September 06, 2013

EFT, Tapping and Fertility - Emotional Freedom Technique

Get Pregnant Naturally With The Emotional Freedom Technique

I remember, years ago when I was trying to conceive, I heard about EFT and tapping.  It's an interesting concept and I do recall trying it...who knows, it may have helped! This article explains how it can help fertility and the second link gives some specific instructions:

See my site for more natural ways to conceive: www.getpregnantover40.com

Fertility Issues

There are few things more heart breaking than working with clients who want to grow their families, but are having a hard time doing it. Even with infertility medicine there are still many couples that have trouble conceiving. In this article UK based Sejual Shah talks about some on the non-medical reasons that can make conceiving difficult as well as advice on how to approach some of these with tapping (EvEFT/EFT).

[Sejual Shah is a Hertfordshire, UK base practitioner. She works in person, by phone, and webcam with clients on over 4 continents. She loves seeing the joy her work brings to her clients. She can be contacted @ healthyinmind.com]

Wanting to conceive a baby is a natural part of our growth and development as humans. However, many find starting their families difficult. Using controlled practices such as timing intercourse to ovulation can lead to a lot of stress for both parents and conceiving even the first baby becomes a nightmare instead of the anticipated joy.

Pregnancies attempted late in life are perceived in the medical field as difficult since a woman’s fertility declines heavily after her mid-30s. What many Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) practitioners, myself included, are finding is that these and other problems can be neutralised with tapping to enable a healthy conception leading all the way to realising that cherished birth of innocent joy.

The support I give is of help to both people in the relationship. Men’s stress levels and worries about conceiving are equally important as the problems a woman experiences as both parents need to be healthy to create a baby.

Common Problems with Fertility
The most common problems I encounter in my practice and have success in helping with EFT are:

Unresolved grief about earlier miscarriages, stillbirths and traumatic loss of loved ones
High stress levels
Residual post-natal depression
Previous problematic births
Couple problems – relationship and communication issues.

This article will deal with the first two.

Unresolved Grief
Conceiving a child is an act of joy. When we are harbouring a deep-seated grief it is too far removed for the joy and happiness to come in. It is like the two sets of emotions are incompatible and as the grief has been there longer it stops the new possibilities from coming in.

This grief comes in so many shapes and forms. “Heather” was 44 and was still waiting to conceive her first child. She felt the pressure of not being able to, conceive. She had tried natural approaches and IVF, but nothing was working. When we talked about her personal history it quickly became evident that she’d never finished grieving over the loss of her beloved mother ten years before. She still had her mother’s ashes in a cupboard in the bedroom.


For more on EFT and Tapping Instructions, See www.getpregnantover40.com/emotional-freedom-technique-to-get-pregnant-fertility.htm

Women on Fertility Drugs: 90% Receive Wrong Dose

Trying To Have A Baby Over 40?  Watch Out For Fertility Drugs And Doseage


Wow, I was astounded when I saw this article. I've often wondered why fertility clinics use the "one size fits all" approach to fertility drugs.

More On The Dangers of Fertility Treatments at getpregnantover40.com

Back in the days when I underwent fertility treatments, my height and weight were never taken into consideration when I was prescribed fertility drugs. I'm not a large person, and I believe I fall into the 10th percentile for adults. Isn't is odd that I was given the same dosage of drugs as someone who could weigh 50-75 pounds more than me? No wonder I had hyperstimulation of my ovaries...the more I think about it, the more it upsets me that I voluntarily put my body through the rigors of pill popping and injections - especially now that I know I probably got the wrong dose. Read more:

From the article:

MORE than 90 per cent of women undergoing fertility treatments may be getting the wrong doses of the drugs used to stimulate their ovaries. As well as putting them at greater risk of side effects, the drugs may not work properly.

Women usually release one egg during each menstrual cycle, but during IVF, drugs are given to make them release more eggs, which are then collected surgically. Until recently, it was hard to work out the precise dose a woman needed. Now, Geoffrey Trew of Hammersmith Hospital in London and his colleagues have used a "dose calculator" to tailor the dose according to a woman's age, body mass index, the estimated number of eggs left in her ovaries, and levels of a hormone called FSH that triggers egg development.

They tried the calculator on 161 women and determined that 75 per cent of them should be given a lower dose of drugs than they would usually receive, while 15 per cent should get a higher dose. When 113 of the women were then given the right dose, an average of 10 eggs were harvested. "That is the ideal number of eggs you would be looking for," says Trew, who presented his results at a meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology in Lyon, France, last week. Over 40 per cent of the women become pregnant, which is comparable to standard IVF.

From issue 2612 of New Scientist magazine, 14 July 2007

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Can Endometriosis Be Identified With A Pelvic Exam?

Fertility and Pregnancy Over 40 With Endometriosis

Endometriosis can be a major cause of infertility. However, many women have endometriosis and don't even know it. That was exactly my situation until I had a laparoscopy prior to starting fertility treatments.  One big indicator for many women is painful periods, painful intercourse and just that feeling like things may be hooked together.

See Also: Endometriosis, Fertility and Miscarriage (www.getpregnantover40.com) 

 I've always wondered if there was a less invasive way to diagnose this condition, and according to the article below, there may be signs to look for in a pelvic exam.



From the article:

Uterus

Results that may indicate endometriosis include the following:

Your health professional may not be able to move the uterus even slightly during the exam, indicating that scar tissue (adhesions) may be binding the uterus.
You have pain or tenderness when the uterus is moved slightly.

Outside of the uterus

Results that may indicate endometriosis include the following:

You have pain when the area between the uterus and rectum is touched.
Abnormal tissue is felt near the uterus or between the uterus and rectum.
The ovaries are painful when touched, are enlarged, or are not movable. This indicates that adhesions may be holding the ovaries in place.
Hardening of tissue is felt.
The folds of skin around the opening of the vagina (external genitalia, labia) have small bluish bumps (lesions).
Lesions are present on the surface of the vagina or cervix. 

from: 
  (www.webmd.com)

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Creating A "Baby Alter" For Your Yet To Be Conceived Child

Pregnancy Over 40, Connecting With Your Baby

One of the women I worked with in the infertility support group I ran was a client of Teresa Robertson. Teresa is a birth intuitive who helps people connect with their yet-to-be conceived child. Below is an excerpt from her website about creating a baby alter to help with this connection.  I did not create an alter as mentioned here, but I did create my own "Vision Board" which I explain on my site here:

Have A Baby Over 40 With Vision Boards (www.getpregnantover40.com)


From Teresa Robertson: 
The baby altar is a way to create physical space within your home for an unborn child. It can also serve as a spiritual focus. Creating a baby altar is one of the things I urge anyone to do in preparation for conception or during pregnancy. Of course, my use of the word altar reflects my Catholic upbringing -- substitute any word (puja, shrine etc.) which has significance for you. The baby altar delineates a specific energetic space for the spirit of your baby. For several reasons, the bedroom is often chosen as its location. People with specific meditation rooms might wish to create a separate baby altar there. Your bedroom is usually a quieter and more private space, therefore it is an area that will gain the least attention and influence from other people. Secondly, for many couples the bedroom is their sanctuary and so contains that kind of energy already. Thirdly, your bedroom is where you are awake and sleepy -- times you may feel more connected to spiritual realms and/or the world of dreams. And finally, your bedroom is often the location where you will be making love to conceive this baby. The size of the altar and number of items on it are not important, but the intention of the space is. Again, maybe this is a reflection of my Catholic background, but I see a candle as an essential component of an altar. For many people the flame of a candle represents the essence of a soul quality, the spirit of life force, the spark of creativity. There are so many candle choices available now with many different colors, scents, shapes and sizes. I like to suggest placing a baby picture of each parent on the altar. Other objects which can be used include (but are not limited to) special cards, fertility symbols or amulets, baby booties, shells, stones, crystals, flowers or a plant.
from: 
www.livingintuitive.com

Estrogen Dominance, Balance Estrogen and Progesterone Hormones

If You're Trying To Get Pregnant, Balance Hormones First

Estrogen dominance is something many women experience in this day and age.
Also visit my website:  www.getpregnantover40.com
 We pick up estrogen-like substances from the environment, from our diet which may consist of processed foods or foods tainted with pesticides, and being overweight (like over half the population) only further compounds the problem.

See Also: Natural Ways To Increase Progesterone (www.getpregnantover40.com) 

 All of these factors can lead to hormonal imbalances which can either impair fertility or lead to conditions which ultimately result in infertility.

Here is an excellent resource on the subject of estrogen dominance. Give yourself some time to read through this site. It's one of the best I've come across:

Peri-menopause is a transitional stage of two to ten years before the complete cessation of the menstrual period (and thus, onset of menopause). Its average duration is six years, and can appear in women from 35 to 50 years of age. Peri-menopause is caused by the declining function of the ovaries, although women are still menstruating. A woman can find herself experiencing puzzling changes, and not know why. What is actually going on is a steep decrease of progesterone with a gradual decrease in estrogen. The manifestations of peri-menopause can vary greatly. Some of the common symptoms include:

Menstrual cycles usually become shorter, longer, or unpredictable the closer the women approaches menopause.
Headaches and breast engorge before period.
Cramping with periods and mid-cycle pain.
Bleeding problems, such as spotting or heavy period.
Weight gain around the waist.
Muscles becoming less firm.
Hot flashes (recur during menopause).
Depression, fear, and apathy.
Nasal congestion, recurrent respiratory infection.
Memory loss and foggy thinking.
Loss of balance and dizziness.
Irritability
Reduced sex drive
Headache.

from: (www.drlam.com)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Infertility Support Groups

Pregnancy Over 40 Helped By Infertility Support Groups

As I mention in my profile and on my website, I previously ran an infertility support group for my local infertility organization.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com for more articles on pregnancy over 40
 Not only was it helpful for me to take the focus off myself (I was trying to conceive at the time), but it was also very helpful for all the women who attended and could get the understanding and support they needed.  Here is a guest post on how Infertility Support Groups can help:

Guest Post By Aaren Humpherys and Heather Humpherys

Is infertility getting you down? Is your relationship starting to get affected by the stress of being repeatedly denied your own family? Do you feel your family and friends are of no help since they all have babies of their own? Are you starting to feel alone and isolated despite your partner's attempts to support you? This unfortunate situation occurs very frequently among those diagnosed with infertility and you might need help. With the stress that infertility brings, the situation may become so difficult that it becomes unfair to put the entire burden on yourself, your partner and your relationship, and your friends and family. You may have to seriously consider looking for an infertility support group.
An infertility support group is a congregation of people with shared experiences in dealing with infertility. Considering the fact that there are about 7 million American couples afflicted by the disease, a support group is a natural step for people. There are two kinds of support groups. One is peer-led where non-professionals organize and hold the meetings and activities. These are led by people who have accumulated a lot of experience on infertility without the benefit of formal training. The other kind of group is professionally-led, where a therapist or health professional will lead the group. These groups are often more formal and will have regular meetings and attendance fees. Do not confuse these therapist led groups as an equivalent session of therapy, however. Even though many have found support groups to be very therapeutic, it is still not a formal therapy session. If you feel that you and your partner need therapy, seek counseling and formal sessions. Support groups can still be attended to in correlation with these.
Support groups are designed to help you. Don't be intimidated or repulsed by the fact that you may have to share your life with a group of strangers. First off, you really don't have to share anything. The amount of things you open up to the group is totally up to you. Should you decide to keep things on more technical information and advice level that does not touch too much on your feelings or emotions, then you can do that. Secondly, most of these people will have a deeper understanding of what you're going through because they themselves are victims of infertility. Many people who went to support groups formed life-long bonds with their group mates and have kept in constant contact outside of the group meetings. This level of understanding is sometimes hard to come by through friends or even family that did not have the experience of going through infertility. Warming up to the group may take some time but the effects of opening up and sharing can be very helpful. The group can help you through some tough times if you let them, like dealing with a failed attempt at assisted reproduction. This can be so heart-breaking that the relationship is put in jeopardy, but a support group can relieve some of the pressure off the relationship. They can also be very helpful in helping you decide your course of action. The experiences they share can have a big impact in your trying to decide on potentially life-changing surgeries or procedures.
With the internet, support groups can be found very quickly and with ease. Sites like Daily Strength or Fertility Community are great starting points. They have tons of information not only on support groups but on the subject of infertility as well. They even have online forums that can start you off in sharing your experiences with people. Although you don't meet the other people in the community personally, you get to talk to them through the net and maintain a level of anonymity that can be very helpful if you are just starting out. Resolve: The National Infertility Association is another great place to start. This organization has a great website that offers information and many helpful tips in coping with the stress of infertility. The website also offers links to their own Resolve support groups, which are scattered all over the country. Through the website, you can easily contact a Resolve group close to you.
Heather and Aaren Humpherys suffered from infertility for over 7 years until they learned the secrets to overcoming infertility. They are now the parents of 3 children. 

For more great information on Infertility Groups, visit http://www.ReliableInfertilityAnswers.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Aaren_Humpherys

http://EzineArticles.com/?Infertility-Support-Groups&id=4651290


Dairy For Fertility - Does It Hurt or Help?

Pregnancy Over 40, Trying To Conceive Over 40, Is Dairy Recommended?

I've read from numerous sources that dairy may be detrimental if you're trying to conceive (especially in older women).

See Also My Site With Links To My Series On Foods for Fertility (www.getpregnantover40.com)

However, as usual, if you look long enough, you can find a study that contradicts previous research. Here is an article that talks about how there may be evidence that "full fat" dairy is better for women trying to concieve than "low fat" dairy. Aside from a little bit of shredded cheese in some of my cooking, I don't eat a lot of dairy (this was true while I was trying to conceive as well). According to this article, if you're going to eat dairy, go for the "full fat" version. Of course, like much of what's published out there the article says more study is needed. Read more:

The women who ate the most low-fat dairy foods were the most likely to report they suffered from anovulatory infertility, when the body fails to produce enough egg cells.

Writing in the journal Human Reproduction, Chavarro said he found no difference between women who ate the most dairy and those who ate little or none. He found the differences only when he broke down the types of dairy products.

"It was a bit of a surprise to us that high-fat dairy foods were positively related to fertility," he said. "There is really not a very clear explanation. It is possible that dairy fat or something along with dairy fat such as the hormones in pregnant cows may be affecting ovulation in women."

He said more study was needed before conclusions could be drawn.

Chavarro's team had earlier found that women who ate more iron from supplements and from plant foods were less likely to be infertile, and found no link between fertility and various types of fats.

But he does not recommend that women trying to conceive use this as an excuse to eat "buckets and buckets of ice cream."

"The benefit is at as low as one serving a day," he said.

from: 
reuters

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Improving Cervical Mucus



Click Here To Read The Full Article On Trying To Conceive and Improving Cervical Mucus (www.getpregnantover40.com)

One Woman's Life After InfertilityTreatments Fail

Fertility Treatments When Enough Is Enough

Many of my readers have gone through the traditional fertility treatment options.  They get frustrated with the assembly line practice of their fertility clinic and having their life run by doctors and nurses.
Click Here For More Artilces on Fertility and Pregnancy Over 40 (www.getpregnantover40.com)
 I myself went through IVF, inseminatons, medications, surgeries, etc. It's enough to make you crazy and little did I know all I needed was to get healthy physically and mentally. Here is one woman's story of "enough is enough" Read more:

Every woman facing infertility has to decide when she’s had enough, when she has reached her ethical, emotional, and/or financial edge. My sense of self-efficacy dictated that if I researched all the options, sought support from the right professionals and followed their instructions, I’d get what I wanted. I did all of these things to the point of obsession, but our options were running out. Another round of IVF? Egg donor? A surrogate? We really couldn’t afford any more treatments and we were starting to feel queasy about the risks associated with all the drugs and technology. But my main reason for calling it quits was that I was tired of feeling frustrated and desperate. I needed to stop trying so I could get back to living.

Since then, I’ve been reflective about my infertility journey and its aftermath. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after a year or more of unprotected intercourse. It isn’t a disability, because you don’t technically need to have children to live a healthy life. For me, infertility is more like a low-level, lifelong bio-psychosocial syndrome. My physical inability to produce children has emotional and social consequences that I struggle with, at least to some extent, every day. Here are some of its manifestations.

See Also: IVF Over 40 (www.getpregnantover40.com)

Family-lessness. I had thought a child would transform us from a happy couple into a proud family with a house full of love. This was important to me, because I unfortunately do not come from a loving, intact family. And the fact is that family remains the single biggest organizing principle of mainstream life. Just a walk through my neighborhood tells the story. After work, young couples chat on lawns while their children ride bikes and draw on the sidewalk with colored chalk. My husband and I are sidelined, left to feel aberrant. Infertility is a unique kind of loneliness.

Gender dysphoria. Motherhood is still central to womanhood, the magical thing that women’s bodies do. Motherhood is also socially rewarded and is a sort of proxy for femininity. In candid moments, mothers tell you that they liked being pregnant because of all the attention they got. As an infertile, I feel oddly unsexed, especially when I look at pregnant women. I cannot do that (be pregnant), so am I still really a woman? (That’s a hypothetical.)

Friend funk. It is challenging being friends with people who have children. Understandably, people who are devoting their lives to raising children want to talk about their children – the search for a good preschool, where to take a family vacation, how to install a car seat. I don’t relate, and I have nothing to add. At times, being subjected to exhaustive conversations about other people’s kids leaves me so alienated I feel the urge to get up and walk out of the room.


from: 
nytimes.com

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