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Monday, March 31, 2014


Many of my readers turn to their faith when they are struggling with infertility.  I know from my struggle with trying to get pregnant for 6 years that it can take a toll on your marriage.  Even though I can't claim to be a "religious" person, I did say many prayers on the road to parenthood. 
For more articles on getting pregnant over 40 or any age, visit: 
 Fortunately it all worked out in the end, but if you are Christians struggling with infertility, this article may be helpful:

Infertility: Staying In Agreement With Your Spouse

Author:Mardie Caldwell
'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7,8

Prayer is the lifeline of a believer when he or she is pulled by the currents of trials and tribulations. When prayer becomes as natural as the air we breathe, it opens up opportunities for God to answer our prayers. Mind you, His answers may not be the ones we specifically seek, but there is always the promise of an answer.
See also: infertility-in-the-bible (

If you are a couple dealing with infertility, these may be times of frustration, anger, and hopelessness. According to medical terms, a couple is infertile after at least a year of unprotected sex. For most couples, once this dreaded deadline passes, it is the beginning of innumerable medical tests and painful poking and prodding. When they eventually learn that they have remote chances of conceiving naturally, it takes them on an emotional and spiritual rollercoaster ride. The stress of whether to go in for fertility treatments, adoption, or simply wait on God for a miracle can be too much to bear, even for a Christian couple.
Couples struggling with infertility go through a whole range of emotions. But, the ones that weigh in the most are feelings of being abandoned by God and a sense of incompleteness. If you relate to this problem, then I want you to know that God has not abandoned you. Being \'childless\' does not make you any less in the eyes of your Maker.

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on the path to take (adoption or assisted reproduction), it may do you a world of good to surrender your future to God\'s perfect will. As we see in Mathew 7: 7-8, continuous prayer leads to receiving, finding, and opening of doors of opportunities. The Bible declares that when two or more of God\'s children come together in His name, He is in their midst. Spend time everyday in prayer as a couple. Welcome God into your marriage, ask Him to strengthen you as a couple during this difficult time, seek His wisdom and will concerning your options, and knock on the doors of Heaven until it opens up its blessings for you and your spouse.

I worked with Lisa and Thomas many years ago through Lifetime Adoption Center, as they were in deep disagreement over the route to build their family.  Lisa had endured seven unsuccessful attempts at intra-uterine insemination and she was ready to start adoption.  Thomas came from a large Italian family that valued children and family heritage. 

When speaking with them at length, it became very clear that something had to give.  Lisa was exhausted of the shots, the attempts, and the monthly failure.  Thomas feared that an adopted child would not be readily accepted in his family since the true Italian bloodline would not be preserved.  We prayed together, asking that God would give Lisa strength if she was to continue, Thomas courage if he decided to speak with his family about adoption, and both of them wisdom to understand that in following God\'s perfect plan, the decision they made would be blessed by Him.

Today, they have a beautiful 6-year-old daughter, placed in their arms the day of her birth.  She is wholly and lovingly accepted into Thomas\' proud, Italian family as God intended. 
The Word of God declares children to be a material and spiritual blessing: they are to take care of us in our old age and are our heritage. God will never deny you this blessing. It is His desire that every one of His child bears fruit, physically and spiritually. As a Christian couple, I urge you to believe that God has a definite plan for your parenthood and that He is in control, even though your life seems to be in turmoil. Let prayer unite you in all the areas where you are not in agreement with your spouse, so that you can make godly decisions for your future.
Article Source:
About the Author
 Mardie Caldwell, Certified Open Adoption Practitioner, founded Lifetime Adoption Center  in 1986 and is currently facilitating over 130 adoptions a year.  She has also written numerous books on adoption, including Called To Adoption: The Christian\'s Guide to Answering the Call.


Pregnancy Over 40 For Me Was Best Naturally

I hear from many women who try the high tech route to conceive. Like me, they try fertility medications, inseminations and IVF with no success or they miscarry.
For more on women getting pregnant naturally after IVF or failed fertility treatments, visit:
Everytime I think back to those days where my life was controlled by what felt like an assembly line practice, I literally can feel my blood pressure rise and that knot in the pit of my stomach comes back. The thought of waiting around for those phone calls from the fertility clinic nurses which inevitably were more "bad news" still makes me sick. I can't believe the amount of money we shelled out and how willingly we handed it over (especially since we're VERY financially conservative people). But when do you know it's time to stop?

Hindsight is 20/20, if I knew then what I know now, I would have never gone through fertility treatments at all. Of course the reason for your infertility has to be taken in account here too. Technically, my diagnosis was "unexplained"...and the older I got, my age was, of course, was given as a logical reason I was having trouble (not to mention I only had one fallopian tube). If you know you have a diagnosis where you can't get pregnant naturally (blocked tubes, etc.) you're probably going to be more motivated to continue with assisted reproduction.

For what it's worth, here were some of the factors which led to our decision to end fertility treatments:

- we already had spent $25,000 - we couldn't bear the thought of depleting all of our savings on something that clearly wasn't working

- my physical condition was worse than when we started treatment. I had two ectopic pregnancies and lost a fallopian tube, I had to undergo two surgeries, and I had hyperstimulation of my ovaries which was very uncomfortable and can even be life threatening.

- I have always been kind of an "earthy" person - injecting myself with these powerful fertility drugs was totally against my way of life and personal philosophy. Somehow my all consuming desire for a baby made me forget who I really was and what I stood for.

- I started to read about how some babies born with assisted reproduction may be at a higher risk for certain conditions/defects - not to mention the higher chance of multiples and all the associated complications.

- It seems when we did decide to stop, no matter where I went or who I talked to, I would hear another story of a woman getting pregnant naturally well into her 40's -this motivated me to continue trying - but naturally.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


USP Natural Progesterone - Exactly What Is It And What Does It Do?

Many women hear about natural progesterone cream to help with fertility and hormonal balance.  When I was trying to conceive, I did use natural progesterone cream because I had been told that my progesterone fell too early in my cycle (this was a test I had done when I went through fertility treatments).  I'm certain that it did help me conceive by resolving some of my estrogen dominance.  This article explains what natural progesterone cream is:
Click Here For Full Article

Saturday, March 29, 2014


IVF and Embryo Transfers

Everyone's heard of the "Octomom" by now. It has obviously brought some unwanted attention to fertility doctors who aren't following what is considered the standard of practice when it comes to embryo transfers. Here is an article that talks about how it's not that uncommon. Read more:

Fertility doctors say there are many reasons clinics skirt the guidelines: pressure from patients who want to use more embryos to improve their chances of getting pregnant; financial concerns from those who are paying for their treatment out of their own pockets; and the competition among clinics to post good success rates.
See also: for more on getting pregnant without IVF
And the only penalty for violating the guidelines is expulsion from some of the industry's professional organizations, though that can affect whether insurance companies will cover a clinic's treatments.

"You have patients who are desperate and you have doctors who are driven by success rates. It's not a good combination," said Pamela Madsen, founder and former head of the American Fertility Association.

When the guidelines were issued in 1996 by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the intent was to cut down the number of multiple births, particularly triplets and higher, that can result when many embryos are implanted and more than one takes. Big multiple births can lead to disastrous, life-threatening complications, lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, and crushing medical costs.

The guidelines suggest how many embryos doctors should use, with the number varying by age and other factors. They also allow for some flexibility for more if previous attempts have failed or the embryo quality is poor.

"These decisions are complex and need to be individualized, which is why we strongly believe that guidelines are better than hard rules," said Dr. David Adamson, a former president of the reproductive medicine society.

The group credits the guidelines with reducing triplets and higher multiple pregnancies from 7 percent of attempts to 2 percent in 2006. Nearly two-thirds of the procedures involved four or more embryos in 1996; that has fallen to 16 percent.

But for women under 35, government records show that just 83 of 426 clinics followed the guidance calling for one and no more than two embryos. The average for fresh embryos (as opposed to frozen) implanted in women in that age group ranged from a 1.4 to 4.8. The vast majority of the clinics averaged between two and three embryos.



Home sperm test

 I just thought this might be of interest for couples who are trying to conceive. Going to the doctor's office to give a "sperm sample", is quite an embarrassing experience, and this may provide an alternative - at least initially.
For more on getting pregnant naturally see:
This test may be a good starting point. Read more: 
A home sperm test is set to join dozens of female fertility predictors on drug store shelves this spring.

Walgreen’s and CVS are already selling the sperm-counting kit, called SpermCheck Fertility, online. Now they’re banking on men — and their mates — favoring a quick pick-up at the drug store over a trip to the urologist.

“There is nothing like it on the shelf,” Maeve Egner of Fusion Marketing, the company hired to help market SpermCheck, told Bloomberg. “It’s plugging a gap.”

The $40 test is set to hit stores in April. To use it, a man mixes his semen with a solution in the kit and drops it onto a test strip. A reddish line means the sperm count is above 20 million per milliliter, which is considered normal. A negative test shows no color and means the man should “should consult a physician about a complete fertility evaluation,” according to the kit’s instructions. have found that SpermCheck Fertility correctly counted sperm 96 percent of the time compared with laboratory sperm- counting methods. But some doctors say sperm count is only one aspect of male fertility.

“There are four major things we look for,” said Dr. James Goldfarb, a fertility specialist at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland: The number of sperm; their shape; their mobility; and the volume of the ejaculate. “This test only measures one thing.”

Friday, March 28, 2014


IVF Over 40

I know some couples must turn to assisted reproductive techniques, however, it never hurts to be informed of the risks (which many couples are not informed of at all - some of these risks are just being discovered).
For more on IVF and Donor Eggs over 40, visit:
 This article talks about one woman's freightening experience with ovarian hyperstimulation and some of the dangers fertility treatments may pose to babies. Read more:

With all parties desperate for results, the tendency has been to use more drugs to produce more eggs and ? hopefully ? more babies.

But critics claim this approach has resulted in increased risks to the mother (cancers, clots and hyperstimulation) and to the unborn child, as well as an explosion in multiple births.

Today, the twin birth rate is 23.6 per cent for IVF mothers, compared with between one per cent and two per cent in the general population.

Not only are they more likely to be born prematurely and underweight, but there is also a greater risk that they will be stillborn or with a disability.

Rules governing IVF mean that women under 40 in Britain can have two embryos implanted, while those over 40 are allowed three.

But the Human Fertilisation And Embryology Authority (HFEA), which licenses fertility clinics, is running a public consultation to examine whether single-embryo implantation should become the norm.

While this shift will address the problems associated with multiple births, it's not the end of the matter.

For reasons that remain unclear, there are also higher incidences of post-birth difficulties with single IVF babies.

Studies have shown that they are two-and-a-half-times more likely to have a low birth weight ? and small babies are known to be more likely to grow up to develop vascular disease, diabetes, hypertension or osteoporosis.

Further, analysis of the records of some 60,000 deliveries in Ontario, Canada, during 2005 found the 1,394 babies born via ART were 60 per cent more likely to have defects than children conceived naturally. Gastrointestinal abnormalities were most common, though the babies also had a higher risk of bone, muscle and heart defects.



Privacy and Your Fertility

I never could believe my ears when people asked me that question...that's why we decided to keep much of our struggle to get pregnant very private. I always wanted to give some snide response like..."Gee...we never thought of that...hmmm...seeing a doctor...what a novel idea!" I have a neighbor who was very persistent about asking when we were going to have kids. Finally I told her we'd been trying for a number of years, and yes, I had seen a number of doctors, etc.
Then comes a whole bunch of unwanted advice on this friend or that friend who saw this doctor or that doctor...
For more articles on sharing information about your fertility, visit:

I really don't like to share my personal information whether it's trying to get pregnant or anything else. That's why I finally resorted to telling people we weren't going to have kids even though we were trying to get pregnant. Yep, I lied, but at least it stopped the intrusive and hurtful questioning. None of these people have medical degrees, but when it comes to getting pregnant, it seems everyone is an expert. The real key here is being prepared. Some people will undoubtedly ask whether or not you are having children. Come up with 2 or 3 responses that you can always "pull out of your back pocket" when the need arises. That way, you'll never be caught off guard.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Acupuncture for Fertility

First let me say that aside from a few "trial" treatments, acupuncture was not part of my "pregnancy protocol". By the time I even thought about trying acupuncture, I had already spent about $25,000 on failed fertility treatments and I couldn't justify spending another $50-70 per week on acupuncture.
See Also: Fertility Bodywork DVD - for acupressure you can perform on yourself (
Even though that's a drop in the bucket compared to mainstream fertility treatments, we really wanted to cut our losses at that point. But just because I didn't make it part of my protocol, that doesn't mean it's not a legitimate treatment that may get results.
Again, consider your options carefully and, as the article mentions, it may be helpful to get a referral to an acupuncturist who is affiliated with a major medical center. Some insurances may help pay for or give discounts for acupuncturists who are part of their network.
Here is an interesting and encouraging article if you're considering accupuncture: 
The research

Marshall cites a 2002 German study suggesting that acupuncture may, in fact, work. The study looked at 160 women undergoing IVF, half of whom received acupuncture along with IVF, and the other half who received IVF alone. They found pregnancy rates among the women undergoing acupuncture were significantly higher.

from: cbsnews


Celiac Disease - Infertility -You May Have it And; Not Know, Find Out Why It's Important!

By Bruce Dwyer

CD Female & Male Fertility
There are many dire diseases associated with celiac disease however none are so insidious as its effect on fertility. While other diseases manifest themselves with observable symptoms, infertility is the absence of something (pregnancy) that until recently could not be proved or even inferred. While the information quoted below is not definitive, it strongly suggests that untreated CD can increase infertility and that maintaining a strict gluten free diet can massively reduce infertility effects.
The effects on pregnancy are better defined and are discussed at the end of this article.

See my series on foods for fertility (including some recipes) at: 

The papers on celiac disease and infertility seem to quote the same statistics, which since 2000 all retain the same positive message. That is, If you are celiac, you must maintain your gluten free diet while attempting pregnancy and once successful, during pregnancy. The only extra advice is to replace the vitamins and minerals that you may be missing by excluding gluten grains from your diet.
The reason for maintaining a gluten free diet during attempts at conception are that it is believed that Infertility and miscarriage in celiacs are caused by mal-absorption affects - due to the body's inability to absorb the nutrients required conceive and then carry a healthy baby. In fact studies have shown that "the incidence of celiac disease in women with unexplained infertility has been estimated at four to eight percent."
Researchers also found that "CD women who were not on the gluten-free diet started their menstrual cycle up to a year and a half later than women with celiac disease who were following the diet. In addition, researchers found that up to 39% of women not on the gluten free diet experienced periods of amenorrhea (irregular periods), compared to only nine percent of women with the disease who were on the gluten-free diet. Women with celiac disease who were not on the gluten-free diet were found to enter menopause four to five years earlier than women with celiac disease who were on the diet. Researchers who have studied women with infertility have found that they test positive for C.disease-related antibodies at a rate that is ten-fold higher than the normal population.
It is noted that many of these 'infertile' women often go onto delivering healthy babies, assisted by eating a strict gluten free diet. In Australia the typical method of resolving infertility issues is to see a naturopath, take lots of vitamins and then see an IVF specialist. The reality with this is that these methods are very costly and time consuming and if you have celiac disease and don't know it, it is likely that your chances of conceiving will not increase any.
Technically they call this unexplained infertility. And the explanation may very well lie in either being a celiac or being gluten intolerant. Either way, if you are borderline in age or other health or conception issues and you are not getting enough nutrition, the core effect of celiac disease is to decrease your vital conception nutrition even further.
Celiac disease and infertility causes the menstrual cycle to be an 'on again off again' thing. Unfortunately, under those conditions, it may take longer to become pregnant, if at all, since a gluten free diet may bring on the menstrual cycle earlier and menopause earlier.
While none of this data proves that celiac disease causes infertility, it strongly suggests that people diagnosed as celiacs are likely to have more difficulty conceiving and they can massively improve their chances when observing a strict gluten free diet.
Male infertility is often harder to prove than female infertility. Typical male test are just to see if the shape, number and general agility of the sperm are 'normal'. What these simplified tests do not show is anything to do with normalcy of the complex genetic code that the sperm carry. Looking normal and being normal are very different things when it comes to sperm. So even if the little feller's swim well and seem to be doing the right things, it is very possible that they contain too much junk DNA to have an embryo mature.
The other issue is that masculinity usually dictates that the man's area is handled and if a couple don't become pregnant, it's due to "women's problems". The majority of the time in an IVF cycle is spent ensuring that the women's egg is ok, they guy is there for support. Men, do not neglect to be tested for celiac disease if you have any of the symptoms.
"A Male CD person has a greater risk of infertility and other reproductive disturbances, as well as a greater incidence of hypoandrogenism." This medical condition means a deficiency of androgens in the body that leads to a lack of virility and sexual potency.
"As regards nutritional aspects, the folic acid deficiency of CD can affect rapidly proliferating tissues, such as the embryo and the seminiferous epithelium. More attention should be paid to deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and E, observed in Cel. D. Vitamin A is important for Sertoli cell function as well as for early spermatogenetic phases. Vitamin E supports the correct differentiation and function of epidydimal epithelium, spermatid maturation and secretion of proteins by the prostate. Therefore, male patients should be considered as vulnerable subjects" (ref 4).
The practical conclusion of this is that just as CD has a profound effect on women's fertility, it has a similar effect on male fertility via the quality of their sperm. Again a gluten free diet is the only viable 'fix' for infertility issues for males who experience unexplained infertility.
The adverse effects of this disease are equally devastating on pregnancy, though as for conception, celiacs pregnancies can be restored to near normal by following a gluten free diet. Rather than 'gild the lily' I will simply quote the known statistics below:
"In a study of 25 patients and 60 pregnancies of Coeliac women, researchers found that 21% of women who were not on the gf diet experienced pregnancy loss, and 16% of women experienced fetal growth restriction". "In a large Danish study with 211 infants and 127 mothers with celiac disease, researchers found that the mean birth weight of children born to mothers on a g-containing diet was significantly lower than babies born to mothers without celiac disease. Interestingly, this same study determined that women on the gf diet gave birth to children weighing more than those born to mothers without cd!" (ref 5)
"In a case-control study that looked at the effect of the gfree diet on pregnancy and lactation, investigators learned that women with celiac disease who were not on the gfree diet experienced pregnancy loss at a rate of 17.8%, compared to 2.4% of women with celiac disease who were on the gf diet." in a group of women with celiac disease who had been pregnant more than once, researchers looked at the effect of the gluten-free diet on their future pregnancies. They concluded that the institution of the glutenfree diet upon diagnosis caused a relative 35.6% drop in pregnancy loss, 29.4% drop in low-birth weight babies and an increase of two and a half months of breastfeeding." (ref 5)
As you can readily see, celiac disease, caused by eating grains that include gluten, has far reaching effects regarding inhibiting reproduction. If you have any of the symptoms (discussed on the site in the ref box), it is a relatively simple process to get yourself checked out. Unexplained infertility is a growing subset of the reason people can not have children. If you think you have some of the symptoms, as well as infertility, there are several non invasive tests you can try before going the IVF path.
In the Last few years I have had a strong interest in e-marketing and website optimization. My strongest desire is to be working in the sustainability industry which causes large reductions in greenhouse gases. [] - Original Articles section.

Article Source:,-Find-Out-Why-Its-Important!&id=2281732

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Male Fertility: Testosterone Lower In Obese Men

Male Factor Infertility Related To Weight

I think most of us have heard how weight may be an issue for women who are trying to conceive.
Visit: for more resources on fertility and natural conception
However, the article below talks about how men who have extra weight may have lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels. Read more:

Studies have shown that levels of the male hormone testosterone decline in men as body-mass-index goes up. It’s theorized that excess fat makes testosterone convert into estrogen, so obese men have higher-than-normal estrogen levels. These hormonal changes are harmful for the production of sperm. And sperm counts do appear to be lower in obese men than in men who are at a healthy weight. 
from: www.sciencedaily/

HAVING BABIES OVER 40 - Radio Discussion

A few years ago, I was asked to speak on an Irish radio program called "The Inbox" on 98fm (Dublin) I'll have to admit, I've never been to Ireland, but I was happy to be a guest on their show where the discussion for the hour was having babies over 40 - the challenges vs. the rewards.

On the show, I told my story of how I had my daughter at the age of 44 after going through fertility treatments and how I conceived naturally after embarking on an all-natural protocol. A big focus of the program was whether or not their listeners thought 40 was too old to have a baby.
See also: for more on natural pregnancy over 40 without assisted reproduction
One of the DJ's played "devil's advocate" and asked me if I thought it was selfish to have babies when I may not be around to see them grow up. Most of the listeners who called in thought it was fine and were quite supportive (A 22 year old called in and said his mother had him at the age of 50! He was the youngest of 8). There was also a reproductive endocrinologist on the show who was actually quite positive (where was he when I was going through fertility treatments?) By the way, when the DJ asked if I was being selfish to have a baby at my age, I told him about an article I have posted on my website which talks about how women who have their first child over the age of 40 are statistically 4 times more likely to live to be 100 than women who have babies in their 20's and 30's. Part of this is thought to be because older women who have children are more motivated to stay healthy and in shape It's also thought that the surge of estrogen in pregnancy may have a rejuvenating effect on your body. Additionally, older mothers tend to have fewer children which is less wear and tear on your system.

So the next time you happen to be in a position of defending your decision to conceive over the age of 40, just rattle off a few of those numbers. Granted, you don't have to explain "nothin' to nobody" - but it may help change the general attitude that 40 may be too old to have a baby. Most causes of early death are preventable. High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers can be prevented with the right lifestyle choices. Everyone with a child worries about dying before your child grows up - but I think women over 40 actually take the steps to do something about it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


 IVF and Fertility Treatments May Not Be Necessary Even Over The Age Of 40

How many times have you heard "if  it ain't broken, don't fix it?
 For more articles on getting pregnant naturally, visit:
 I wish I would have thought more about how to help my body function properly before undergoing fertility treatments. I guess reproductive endocrinologists are just trying to do their job, so I can't totally blame them. It's kind of like going to any specialist, they're probably going to find something wrong and recommend some treatment that deals with their specialty. For example, if you go to a cardiologist, they'll find a cardiac problem. If you go to a neurologist, they'll find a neurological problem. If you go to a reproductive endocrinologist, they'll recommend fertility treatments. How many RE's do you think tell a patient over 40, "you need to give yourself time to conceive naturally"...? I'd be hard-pressed to find one.

I'm not saying it isn't a good idea to see an RE, because there might be a real anatomical problem that can't be overcome without medical intervention. However, if you fall into the unexplained category, time may be the cure.

Again, I think RE's are doing what they do (or think they do) best: prescribing fertility drugs and administering fertility treatments. I think they probably feel obligated to do something and their patients expect the same. It might be time to step back and have confidence in how well your body works or could work if given the chance. If you fall into the unexplained category, give yourself the easiest cure of all---patience, a healthy lifestyle, and time.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Too Fit To Get Pregnant

Female Athletes and Getting Pregnant

I've written so many blog posts about how over-exercising can lead to infertility that I've lost track of them all. This article states some surprising facts. For instance jogging only 12 miles per week can lead to poor follicular development and 44% of ballet dancers have no periods! It reminds me of when I was in college, I exercised quite a bit and didn't get a period for 5 months. At the time, you think it's great, but when you're ready to have a baby, watch out. Read more:

According to Dr. David Hoffman, a IVF Florida Reproductive Associates, female athletes are more likely to have ovulation and menstruation disorders that thwart conception.

"A lot of them are runners and ballet dancers because they starve themselves, and gymnasts with no body fat -- anyone who takes anything to the extreme," he said.

Hoffman knows firsthand. He treated nine-time swimming medalist and Olympic swimmer Dara Torres when she was trying to conceive. She made a dramatic comeback at the age of 41 at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Torres became a hero to millions of American women when she spoke out about the trouble she had conceiving her now 4-year-old daughter, Tessa Grace, the daughter she shares with Hoffman. [Hoffman did not treat Torres for her successful pregnancy.]

Just this week, tennis player Gigi Fernandez admitted publicly that she had seven failed fertility treatments before conceiving with her partner, and doctors blamed it on her athletic career. 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Exercise and Fertility

Pregnancy Over 40, If You're Trying To Conceive, Go Easy On Exercise

I'm all for exercise, however if you're trying to conceive, you should exercise only in moderation.
See also: for more on ways to enhace fertility naturally
Here is an article about how exercise did not work in favor of women going through IVF:
Even though this article is about exercise and women going through IVF, too much exercise can also be a problem for women trying to conceive naturally.

This paragraph from the article gives a good explanation why excessive exercise may be bad for fertility"

"One way to think about it is that way back in the caveman days when we were running from the wild animals, starving, stressed as a population, there wasn't such a good time for people to get pregnant," Cholst said. "Nature's kind of built in a defense mechanism so that when there's a lot of exercise or other kinds of stress, pregnancy doesn't occur so easily."


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Interesting Treatment For PCOS

PCOS Helped with Cholesterol Drug

Of course I'm an advocate of conceiving via the natural route, but I found this article about PCOS and how the drug "Zocor" could help women with the condition.
See also: for other natural remedies for infertility and miscarriage 
Even though I did not have PCOS, some readers of this blog may find this information helpful - always, you should be careful what medications you take if you are trying to conceive:

A non-prescription drug that cuts the risk of stroke and heart attack also reduces symptoms of one of the main causes of female infertility.
Research in the United States shows that simvastatin, marketed as Zocor and widely used with other statins to lower cholesterol, can also treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
The condition, caused by an excess of male hormones, affects up to four million women in Britain.
Symptoms include acne, irregular periods, heart disease, late onset diabetes, infertility and hirsutism - unwanted facial and body hair.
Forty per cent of sufferers are overweight.

from Telegraph

Friday, March 21, 2014

Focus On Having A Baby NOT on The Science Of Conception

Having A Baby Over 40

Estrogen levels, progesterone levels, FSH levels, egg quality, sperm quality, ovulation, fertilization, uterine lining, implantation, HcG levels, etc. etc. etc.

Whoa! STOP!

Volumes have been written on all of the above. Do we really need to delve so deeply into our reproductive physiology to have a baby? Well, I guess that's what we pay reproductive endocrinologists for. It's mind boggling to think about the synchronistic orchestration of events that have to occur to get pregnant and have a baby. But is all this really necessary? Is it all just luck or a random luck of the draw that determines who gets pregnant and who doesn't? Especially for us "long shots?" Do we all really need medical degrees? And even if we all had one, would that help us get pregnant? Is it a productive use of our time to try to control microscopic events? Whew!

Let me propose that you step back for a moment and try a different approach:

Focus on the outcome of your desires, not the path that will get you there.

If you desperately want a baby, you need to be focused on having a baby, not on every blip of your lab work. That's one reason why I'm so glad I discontinued fertility treatments. I didn't want someone telling me every reason in the world why I wasn't going to get pregnant(and every reason why I would miscarry if I did). I was going to have a baby and that was that! So there!

So how do you shift your thinking? First of all, I do believe in preparedness. That's one reason I developed my pregnancy protocol. It helps to prepare your body for conception and pregnancy. But a major factor in success (not just in getting pregnant) is visualizing the outcome. For example:

If you desperately want a baby, visualize how happy you'll be when you hold that baby in your arms... don't focus on how you want a baby and you don't have one

Visualize playing and laughing with your baby, feeding your baby, dressing your baby, and loving your baby. Your visualizations should be so strong that you're your smiling and happy the rest of the day because you know your baby is on the way... not sad and depressed that everyone has a baby except you

It's a small but powerful shift in thinking and it's a heck of a lot easier than going to medical school (I have a CD on visualization and meditation which may help - click here.) I don't know the universal mechanics, but it's what you focus on that you attract. If you focus on your baby, you attract a baby, if you focus on not having one....guess what? If you're in the negative mindset...have a good cry, maybe even scream while your at it. Once you get it out of your system, you may be better able to focus on what you want, not what you don't have.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Getting Pregnant Over 40: Why So Secret?

Pregnancy Over 40 Is a Private Matter

One thing many women over 40 who are trying to conceive have in common is they seem to be very private about their infertility. I even knew one woman who was in her mid 40's who fired her housekeeper for coming at unpredictable times before all the "fertility related" paperword etc. could be put away.

For another article on whether or not to share information about your infertility,

Everyone is different and some people are more comfortable sharing information than others, but for me, here are the main reasons I kept my fertility issues under wraps:

1. The age factor: Society seems to judge "older" women more harshly. Some people view getting pregnant only for the young. Older women who try to have a baby are judged harshly as if there's some kind of cut off point when getting pregnant is no longer acceptable. That's starting to change as many high profile celebrities and women in general are having babies at an older age.

2. Fertility issues revolve around the most private bodily functions. Getting pregnant is all about egg quality, sperm counts, intercourse, menstrual cycles, etc. It doesn't get more private or personal than that.

3. Failing in private is easier than failing in public: Whether it's getting pregnant or anything else, who needs the public humiliation?

4. Many people think having children later in life is "selfish" and "self-serving" -that's hard to listen to (as if it's anyone else's business). People think that just because you're over 40, you're going to die before your child reaches adulthood. Hey...all I can say is that the average life expectancy for women is almost 80 years old. Older mothers also have a great incentive to keep themselves healthy - and there's some evidence that women who become mothers later in life live longer. So there!

5. Even after my pregnancy was common knowledge, I still received comments like: "I can't imagine having a baby at your age" or "why would anyone want to have a baby over 40?" All I can say about that is most of the people making those comments had kids too young in life. They had a hard time struggling with work, finances, etc. What they don't realize is that although having kids late in life is some work, it's mostly fun - you have so much more time, patience and insight. Because you're a better parent, your child/children are better adjusted, and not constantly acting out to get your attention.

So, the moral of the story is: people who harshily judge come from their own set of beliefs and experiences which are totally different from yours. Keeping your information private is certainly a way of avoiding this negative influence into your life. That's one reason why I recommend a support group. Most of the women are a little older and it's a safe place to let it all out.

Traffic Fumes and Male Fertility - Male Factor Infertility

Air pollution and Traffic Affect Sperm

My husband always teases me because I'm such a fanatic about avoid traffic fumes. I'll even go as far as to ask a car sitting next to me in a parking lot to turn off their car while I'm trying to load my groceries.
See also: for more on environmental toxins, fertility and miscarriage 
Well, I might have been doing my husband a favor all these years because these fumes may be detrimental to male fertility. Read more:

"Researchers in Italy have found evidence that traffic pollution reduces the quality of sperm in young and middle-aged men.

They believe nitrogen oxide and lead in exhaust fumes may be to blame.

Their findings suggest that men who are exposed to traffic pollution every day, through work for example, are most at risk.

from: BBC

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kiss Therapy For Fertility?

KISS Therapy To Get Pregnant

When I was in college, KISS meant, "keep it simple stupid".  But for now, it's going to mean something different.  I never knew there was such a thing as a KISS gene. Well, it's not exactly what you think. Apparently there is substance called kisspeptin which comes from the KISS gene.

visit: for more on getting pregnant naturally and avoiding miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage 

Treatment with kisspeptin could help with fertility by giving hormone production a boost. Read more:

Kisspeptin is a product of the KISS-1 gene and is a key regulator of reproductive function. Animals and humans lacking kisspeptin function do not go through puberty and remain sexually immature.

Dr Waljit Dhillo and colleagues have already shown that kisspeptin treatment leads to the production of sex hormones in fertile women.

Now, they have extended their research to look at the effects of kisspeptin in women whose periods have stopped due to a hormone imbalance. 


Herbs For Men's Fertility and Better Sperm

I have done a number of posts on herbs for female fertility and I have a number of articles on my website ( about the use of herbs for fertility.  This article focuses on how men can enhance their fertility with herbs.

Increase Male Fertility With Herbs

Guest Post By Diana Farrell

A number of couples have successfully conceived through the help of certain supplements and extracts. Herbs can increase male fertility by providing the nutrients needed as well as the energetic properties that are sometimes lacking for healthy and plentiful sperm production. Effective as some herbs might be, remember that infertility is a complex condition that may require more than one kind of treatment or herbal remedy to resolve. If you want to try using herbs for enhanced fertility, it is beneficial to talk with a professional herbalist who can recommend a combination of herbs specific to your symptoms.
Below are some herbs that may be prescribed to address problems with male fertility.
The extract of the French maritime pine tree has numerous benefits on health, but the latest research of the West Essex Center for Advanced Reproductive Technology shows that pycnogenol can also benefit male fertility. Pycnogenol contains bioflavonoids and natural antioxidants that protect sperm until they reach the egg. The October 2002 issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine documents a study where 19 subfertile men had improved sperm quality and function after 90 days of consuming pycnogenol. The study recommends taking 100mg - 200mg pycnogenol supplements three months before an ART cycle for best results. Pycnogenol can be found in most health food stores.

See Also: Top 5 Herbs For Fertility and Pregnancy (
Dong quai
Dong quai is a natural blood thinner that is well-known for its positive effects on the female reproductive system. However, Chinese herbalists sometimes recommend this herb for male factor infertility as well. The active ingredient of dong quai is an antioxidant called ferulic acid, which can protect sperm, increase their viability, and improve sperm motility. Dong quai is usually consumed as a tea, but there are topical solutions that prevent premature ejaculation and ensure longer intercourse. The cream is usually applied to the penis an hour before intercourse, but Chinese herbalists recommend doing a skin allergy test first. In rare cases, some men experience allergic reactions to other ingredients in the cream.
Cornelian cherry
Asiatic cornelian cherry is another traditional Chinese herb for treating male infertility. These bright red berries contain iridoids, a plant metabolite that stimulates sperm production and protects them from oxidizing, as well as triterpinoids and glycocides for better sperm motility. Cornelian cherry also causes prolonged intercourse so that sperm can have a better chance of reaching the egg. You can find this herb in traditional Chinese herbal stores as dried fruit.
The ginsenosides found in Asian ginseng is known to strengthen the immune system and studies done in China conclude that this herb can also counter impotence and low sperm count. Consuming 100-200mg of ginseng a day can cause a significant increase in sperm count, sperm motility, and testosterone levels within three months. Asian ginseng root can be brewed into a pungent tea or consumed in capsules.
Asparagus root
Asparagus root is rich in folic acid, which regulates hormones and improves the overall health of the male reproductive system. Two other ingredients called furostanol glycocides and spirostanol improve male fertility by increasing sperm count. Ayurvedic medicine also considers asparagus root as an aphrodisiac for its reported benefits to the male sex drive. Finally, asparagus root's ability to treat diabetes and lower blood sugar levels has a positive though indirect effect on male infertility.
Diana Farrell is an author who holds a Masters Degree in Psychology as well as advanced training in a number of alternative therapies. Through her own journey overcoming infertility, she discovered a wealth of information that can greatly improve a couple's chances of fulfilling their dreams of parenthood.

Article Source:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sperm Swim Better With Carnitine

 Carnitine Supplements for Sperm

If you've never heard of Carnitine, you're probably not alone.  It can be found in just about every cell in your body.  Usually the liver and kidneys produce enough Carnitine, however some people don't make enough.

See also: for my entire series on foods for fertility and pregnancy 

 Animal products like meat, fish, poultry, and milk are the best sources. In general, the redder the meat, the higher its carnitine content. Dairy products contain carnitine primarily in the whey (NIH)
Carnitine is a supplement which is available over-the-counter. I've heard before that it can help with sperm motility. This study done specifically on Carnitine seems to confirm its usefulness. Read more:

Testing Carnitine
The study was small; only 30 men participated. Their average age was 34. All had sought help for fertility problems. The men were diagnosed with decreased sperm motility.

For three months, the men took a placebo. Then they took 2 grams of L-carnitine supplements orally every day for three months. After that, the men didn't take anything for another three months.

Semen samples were taken four times: at the study's start, after taking the placebo for three months, after taking carnitine for three months, and three months after treatment ended.

Temporary Improvement
Sperm motility improved while the men took the carnitine supplements. The placebo didn't help at all.

The benefit's extent varied depending on the men's condition. The key may lie in their mitochondria, the main power source for cells.

Some participants' sperm had mitochondria that weren't working properly. Their sperm motility improved with carnitine, but their results didn't match those with normal mitochondria.


Natural Conception After IVF

First Set Of Octuplets Have Naturally Conceived Sister

I do remember the first set of octuplets who were born in 1998. They didn't get even a fraction of the attention as the so called "Octomom". I had no idea that this couple who obviously received fertility treatments to have their 7 children (one died shortly after birth), got pregnant naturally with another child who was born in 2002.
 I have an article posted on my website about how there seems to be a growing number of women who conceive naturally after having a baby through IVF. It just goes to show you that some couples may be jumping into fertility treatments, exposing themselves to a multitude of complications, multiple births, and a huge financial burden when if they would have waited, they could have had a child the old fashioned way. See more about the Chukwu octuplets:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, March 17, 2014


Estrogen Needed For Healthy Pregnancy

Although the following article is technical in nature, it explains that estrogen plays a critical role in embryo implantation by activating a critical protein (Cx43). When I read articles such as this one, it reinforces the importance hormonal balance prior to conception. Read more:

Connexin 43 (Cx43) belongs to a family of proteins that form junctions between cells that regulate the flow of ions and small signaling molecules from cell to cell. At the time of embryo implantation, this gap junction protein is essential to the rapid growth of new blood vessels needed to support the development of the embryo and allow it to implant in the uterine wall, the researchers discovered.

See also: for more on regulating hormones naturally

The researchers chose to study Cx43 after analyzing genes that are activated in the presence of estrogen in uterine cells. They found that Cx43 was prominent among the genes whose expression was increased in cells after exposure to estrogen.

University of Illinois veterinary biosciences doctoral student Mary Laws studied the role of Cx43 in pregnant mice and in human endometrial cells. By deleting the Cx43 gene in the uterus immediately after pregnancy in mice, a technique developed by researchers at Baylor, Laws was able to reliably prevent implantation of the embryo in the uterus.

In human endometrial cells (provided by co-author Robert Taylor of Emory University), Cx43 enhanced the differentiation of cells that make up the stromal tissue of the uterus. These cells produce factors that promote the growth of new blood vessels.

One of the factors secreted by the endometrial cells, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is essential to angiogenesis. In the absence of Cx43, Laws found, the cells failed to differentiate or to produce enough VEGF to spur blood vessel growth.


Pregnancy Over 40 - Just Luck Or Is It More Than That?

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

UTI's and STD's and Birth Defects

UTI's and STDs and Birth Defects

If you are trying to conceive, you should be checked for STD's and Urinary Tract Infections. That's a little scary because these infections (especially UTI's) can be quite common.

See also: for more on having a healthy pregnancy and enhancing fertility over 40 
According to the article below, these infections might put a woman's baby at risk for birth defects. Some of these infections go undiagnosed, so it's important to check before you get pregnant. Read more:

Women with both an STD and urinary tract infection during early pregnancy are four times more likely to have babies with gastroschisis, a severe birth defect in which infants are born with their intestines and other internal organs outside the abdomen, say University of Utah researchers in the British Medical Journal...

The study established that women who reported having both an STD and UTI immediately before or early in pregnancy were four times more likely to have a child with gastroschisis. Although the association between having both an STD and UTI and the risk for gastroschisis needs more study, it's possible the link might be even stronger than the study suggests, according to Feldkamp, as STDs and UTIs often go undiagnosed. "One of the problems, especially with Chlamydia, is these infections are subclinical [unreported] because the woman doesn't know she has it," Feldkamp said. "We probably have many cases that go undiagnosed."

from: (

GMOs (Genetically Modifed Organisms), Our Food and Our Fertility

GMO's, Can They Affect Your Ability To Get Pregnant?

There has been so much in the media lately about GMO's and their possible negative health consequences. I was surprised to find out that much of our food supply is already made with GMO's. For instance, many canned goods like canned soups, frozen processed foods, cereals (even those targeted to children, Vegetable Oils, and soda pop all contain GMO's. In the USA, GMO labeling is currently not required, however there are efforts out there to change that.
Click here to read the full article on What GMO's are and how they may affect your fertility

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Getting Pregnant: Learn To Let Go

Pregnancy Over 40, Trying To Conceive Over 40

I've often said that you need to lower your resistance to succeed.
See also: for articles on getting pregnant with vision boards and the stress/fertility connection
We get so determined to achieve our goals that we wind up trying too hard which is counterproductive. I've always admired Deepak Chopra, and here is one of his articles that gives some good advice about "surrendering". Read more:

From the site:

At the level of spirit, everything is always unfolding perfectly, and you don’t have to struggle or force situations to go your way. It is only your ego-mind that believes you are an isolated individual trying to survive in a hostile world. In truth, you are a spiritual being. By surrendering to Spirit, you end the struggle, freeing yourself from fear and doubt and releasing the obstacles your ego has created.
The entire spiritual path could be described as learning to let go, but letting go all at once isn’t possible. This is a path of many small steps, gradually replacing automatic reactions with deepened awareness. Here are the guidelines along the path that have proved effective for me personally and that I feel will work for many people...


Aspartame:  Can It Hurt Your Chances Of A Healthy Pregnancy?

At one time, I was a big fan of diet pop, however when I was trying to conceive, I totally cleaned up my diet and removed not just caffeine, but also Aspartame from my diet.  There are conflicting views on whether Aspartame is safe for consumption, but some research out there suggests that it can not only hurt your chances of conceiving, but it may also be a neuro-toxin and teratogen (substance that can cause birth defects).  Here is an article that explains what Aspartame is and why you should stay away from it:

See also: Foods For Fertility at

Aspartame & Disease - Could a Simple Sweetener Be Causing You Pain and Suffering?

Guest Post By Stacey Becker

Having a serious illness is bad enough, but at learning that Aspartame may be the cause for diseases such as Lupus, M.S, Fibromyalgia and Cancer is downright bewildering. In this article we will look at the claims against artificial sweeteners and allegations that it's causing serious disease.
Let's start with exactly what Aspartame is, common symptoms and disease claimed to be associated with its use, the Aspartame - diet relationship, and sweet, healthy alternatives.
What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is a sugar substitute that was discovered in 1965. It is 200x more sweet than natural sugar and is marketed as a product to help our never ending quest to be slim.
The chemical make up of Aspartame 
Aspartame contains 50% phenylalanine. According to the 1976 Grolier's Encyclopedia, 'cancer cannot live without phenylalanine'.
Many advocates of Aspartame claim that phenylalanine is an amino acid and safe. However, this is true when amino acids work in the appropriate context and proportion to all other substances in the body. In this case, one amino acid dominates (as with regular Aspartame consumption) and the result is the 'seizure threshold in the body is lowered'.
Another 40% of Aspartame is aspartic acid. This has been linked with creating lesions in mice brains and other lab animals resulting in brain tumors. This ingredient is also known to break down into a substance known as methanol, 10% wood alcohol by weight, plus formaldehyde, formic acid and DKP or diketopiperazine, (a brain tumor agent).
When Aspartame reaches 85 degrees (or higher), it breaks down into the above components. Since our body temperature is 98.6 degrees on average, it takes about 10 minutes after ingesting to start its toxic transformation.
Aspartame and Disease
Many people believe methanol toxicity creates symptoms similar to many dangerous diseases (see below) and have been diagnosed in error as a result of Aspartame reactions.
Dr. Janet Hull, a nutritional expert says: "As a nutritionist, over ninety percent of my clients experience some form of health problem associated with Aspartame: weight gain, hair loss, severe medical ailments, eating disorders, mental disorders, and fatigue." After eliminating its usage, health has for some returned back to normal. Dr. Hull claims "Eight out of ten of my clients have health symptoms that disappear when they stop using Aspartame."
Aspartame side effects are indicative to your genetic individuality and physical weaknesses. It is important to identify which side effects (if in fact any) Aspartame is creating within you." Side effects can be immediate, occur gradually or be acute reactions.
If you are a high-use Aspartame user consuming quantities of diet sodas, coffee with sweeteners, or regularly consume foods made with this product it may be an idea to consider a change to your diet practices.
However, due to the quantity of foods now including Aspartame, it is important to become an avid reader of food labels as well. NutraSweet, Equal, and Spoonful are all common brand names for Aspartame that you'll want to watch for in addition to 'low calorie' and 'diet' products.
Keep in mind, although many of the diseases associated with Aspartame are not necessarily fatal, methanol toxicity is.
Aspartame has been linked to trigger, or mimic the following illnesses:
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Epstein-Barr
  • Post-Polio Syndrome
  • Lyme Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Grave's Disease
  • Meniere's Disease
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • ALS

Aspartame and diet - Just how effective is it?
Although Aspartame is marketed as a product helpful for weight loss, according to the American Cancer Society it actually may cause people to gain weight. Why? Because Aspartame users often experience carbohydrate and sugar cravings, which then lead to an over-consumption of food.
In addition to these enhanced cravings, the chemically altered sodium (salt) is believed to be stored in fat cells in the hips and thighs. Not exactly what diet seekers are looking for!
Common symptoms claimed to be linked with Aspartame:
Some other side effects that may be linked to Aspartame use you should be aware of also include:
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Loss of balance
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Mood disorders
  • Hearing impairment
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Speech problems (slurred speech)
  • Seizures
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Chest pain
  • Arrhythmia
  • Menstrual complications

If you're an avid Aspartame user and have noticed any of the above issues or symptoms stated above, it may be helpful to eliminate Aspartame from your diet and work with a health expert to see if any of your symptoms show any improvement.
Since many doctors do not consider this product a health danger, working with an alternative health expert such as a naturopath may prove beneficial in determining if Aspartame is a causal factor in your symptoms.
Here is a list of common foods to watch out for that may include Aspartame:
Jello's and puddings, frozen foods, iced tea, Crystal Light, Kool Aid, cereal, baked goods, hot chocolate, dried fruit, chewing gum, multi-vitamins (children's and adults), chewable aspirin, ...and that's just a few for starters.
Remember, there are thousands of foods made with this product in our grocery stores, so consider taking an extra few minutes and start to keep track of the food you may want to avoid if you'd like to eliminate this chemical from your diet and note any health changes or benefits.
Some sweet solutions to Aspartame
If you want to sweeten up your foods, a few of the most common healthy alternatives include: blackstrap molasses, stevia, honey, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, rice syrup, small amounts of licorice root, and barley malt.
There are also several good resources for additional products you can easily access as in addition to these items.
If in doubt... see how YOU feel
I am not a medical doctor or liscenced health specialist. I have however, turned around a so-called 'incurable' disease myself (Lupus) and believe that we all have a personal responsibility for our own health and must not rely on doctors alone. Even within the medical community it is common to see conflicting information on what we should or shouldn't do as it concerns our health and what is safe.
There is currently a strong movement calling for natural, healthy alternatives for foods, treatment of disease and lifestyle options that are challenging the often inefficient and ineffective methods of the medical and pharmaceutical approach.
I hope you take it upon yourself to consider your own 'Aspartame' health test and see if you have any improvement in any condition or unwanted physical symptoms you may be experiencing in your own life. What matters most are 'results' that may affect the future of your health.
For more information on Lupus related issues, lupus diet do's and don't s and natural healing solutions please visit
For more information on Dr. Hull's research on Aspartame please visit the resource used for this article.
Stacey Becker is the author of 'I Don't Have Lupus Anymore', at It is a true story about how she and others have healed Lupus. The book is a practical guide with a holistic approach to healing that addresses: Lupus diet do's and don't s, nutrition, supplements, stress, answers to common (and uncommon) Lupus questions, self-healing strategies including meditation and visualization, the power of intention, faith, plus many other important factors helpful in reversing disease through natural means.
Stacey's message is one of hope, since patients are told there is no Lupus cure and believe they must live with it for the rest of their life. Visit her site for a free mini course and newsletter on how to empower your health if you or a loved one has Lupus or an auto-immune disease.

Article Source:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Getting Pregnant Naturally After IVF and Other Fertility Treatments

Natural Pregnancy After Failed Fertility Treatments

It seems like everyone knows someone who went through the rigors of fertility treatments then got pregnant naturally. Many couples have one baby, but then get pregnant with their second baby by surprise. Frequently, couples who undergo fertility treatments are diagnosed with "unexplained fertility" which basically means that nobody really knows why they are not getting pregnant (or they just blame it on their age).  If you are familiar with my story, I went through two cycles of IVF, ending tragically in miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies (and the removal of one of my fallopian tubes).  Against all odds, I conceived my daughter the good old fashioned way and had her naturally at the age of 44.

See also: for many other stories of women who conceived naturally after failed fertility treatments or after having a child through IVF

This is why I focus so much on lifestyle changes. Sometimes, the smallest things can bring your body back into sync and set the conditions right before your try to conceive. Additionally, preventing miscarriage occurs before you conceive as well. If your hormones are balanced, you will have the right amount of uterine lining, the right levels of estrogen and progesterone to support a pregnancy and so on.

Here is another article about couples conceiving naturally after IVF:

 An even simpler explanation is that some women are rushing into assisted reproductive technology and that given more time, they might have gotten pregnant on their own. Much about infertility and its roots is still a mystery, and to have a baby, the complex processes of ovulation and fertilization need to go just so. Around one-third of infertility cases are traced to female problems, such as ovulation disorders and structural complications; one-third stem from male problems like deficiencies in sperm count and ability to swim; and one-third are due to both partners, or are unexplained.
from huffington post

Fertility Study Participants Needed

Barriers to Treatment for Fertility Problems

The purpose of this study is to learn about the psychosocial aspects of treatment for problems with fertility. It will take about 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is completely anonymous. Women who are between the ages of 18-45, not currently pregnant, and have difficulty conceiving naturally through unprotected intercourse, and/or carrying a pregnancy to live-birth delivery are invited to participate in this study. You must also have an in-person source of social support.

In appreciation of your participation, two $100 donations are being made to the American Fertility Association and Resolve: The National Infertility Association by the research team to thank you for sharing your experiences and to benefit others who struggle with fertility problems. If you have any questions about this study, you may contact the Principal Investigator, Dr. Pamela Geller, Ph.D., or the research coordinator, Mitra Khaksari, B.S., at 215-553-7121

Click on this anonymous survey link to participate:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Surprise Pregnancy Over 40: Risks Not As Great As The Media Portrays

Fertility In Women Over 40

Did you know the rate of unexpected pregnancy in women over 40 is second only to teenagers?  Along with that goes a high rate of abortions in this age group.   Although those statistics may be troubling to some, it should actually be encouraging for women who are trying to conceive because it shows that they can still be quite fertile.

If you read my blog and my WEBSITE, you know that I had my daughter at the age of 44 naturally after failed fertility treatments.  I also became pregnant at the age of 49 by total surprise (even after all of us in the household had the flu and I couldn't even remember seeing my husband let alone having sex with him!) See 49 and Pregnant (

This article explains more:
Media sensationalism and the protectionism bred by fear of medical malpractice lawsuits perpetuate the myth that having a child naturally later in life is virtually impossible —and therefore should be avoided.
The media’s infertility stories and glamorization of alternate means of achieving parenthood, along with medical experts’ reasonable cautions about pregnancy after age 35, have been distorted to mean that natural pregnancy after age 40 is rare and a significant health risk for mother and child. Yet the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that “many older women show no greater signs of problems than do younger women. Age need not be a barrier to a safe, healthy pregnancy.”5
The well-publicized increased chance of chromosomal defects resulting in conditions such as Down syndrome and trisomy 18 can horrify women, even though such risks are actually still very small. According to the ACOG, at 43, my age-related risk for a Down syndrome baby was two percent and three percent for a baby with any chromosomal defect.6 According to my OB-GYN’s office, when my health and my baby’s ultrasound were factored in, the calculated risks were 1.5 percent for Down syndrome and .02 percent for trisomy 18. Thus, older women who are healthy enough to conceive naturally without “trying” are often healthier than age-related risk calculations might reflect.

from clmagazine

Online Privacy - Are You Being Followed and Tracked Online?

Am I Being Followed Online?

Guest Post By Gowri Kumara

Right People at the Right Time:
This is the most common selling slogan for advertising companies. This is commonly called targeted advertising. The advertisers get to choose the demographic of the advertisers that they want to sell their products to. Even beyond applications like Facebook where people voluntarily share information like Relationship status and Likes, there are other companies that collect similar data based on user activities online.
Through the hundreds of web pages that you visit everyday, you're leaving a trail of information that advertising companies can track. All these websites are able to provide all the free services that they do, only because they can make up the costs through advertising. So success for the websites comes from driving traffic through their websites. Success for advertisers comes from providing the most relevant ads for each user so they end up clicking on the ads and possibly paying money for products or services they are selling. They data the advertising agencies track is not something that you can erase by closing your browser or even restarting your machine.

See Also: How Private Are Your Internet Searches?

Web Cookies:
According to the wikipedia - A cookie is used for an origin website to send state information to a user's browser and for the browser to return the state information to the origin site. The state information can be anything that is actually stored on your computer. So should you permanently disable cookies? Usually it is a good thing to allow cookies on your computer inorder to enjoy full benefits of a website. For e.g. when you're shopping on and you added a few items to your shopping cart, you should have cookies enabled to be able to come back the next day and continue shopping from where you left off. So it is a very good thing in terms of convenience.
Advertising companies use the same technique to store cookies on your computer and track your online activities. This page ( ) lists cookies from advertising platforms that are currently working on your computer. If you watched carefully it will be advertisements placed by one of these companies, that will be most relevant to your recent online activity.
How to protect myself:
Even though most ad companies are not malicious and don't profit by selling your personal information, it is good to aware of what is happening so close to you. There is some information that you'll never want to share with anyone, like maybe your medical situation. For such information you should know how to protect yourself from involuntarily divulging it to online companies. Here are a few tips:

  • Delete your cookies once in a while. There is plenty of help online on how to do it.
  • Beware of malicious sites. Remember they too can place cookies on your computer.
  • When entering secure data like bank details or passwords, make sure that page is encrypted by HTTPS. You also get plenty of help if you search online on this topic.
  • Once in a while, look at the cookies on your computer to make sure that someone else using that computer is not going to malicious sites.

There is online security organizations and security enthusiasts who check advertising companies if they try to go over board. It is good to know a few of these organizations:


Medical information online:
Particular care must be taken when you're searching for medical answers online. Usually search engines store IP addresses of its users so it can trace a particular search query to an individual quite easily. When doing medical searches, try to use websites that don't store any information that can be used to identify you. Try to find services that do not store any information that be used to trace a search query back to you and thus protecting the privacy of your medical information.
Prevention is better than cure. The Internet is still evolving and we don't know what it be look like tomorrow. It is better to protect any sensitive data and continue enjoying all the benefits of the Internet.
Gowri Kumara - Get answers to your medical questions fast!
A user friendly medical search engine that helps you quickly find accurate answers to your health questions from only the most trusted online sources.

Article Source:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pregnancy Test Accuracy: Believe That Pregnancy Test? Maybe Not...

Pregnancy Test Accuracy

Are you a pregnancy test addict? I have to admit, I was always well stocked in my TTC days. I had a couple of pregnancies where I tested and the test came out negative, then I waited 2-3 more days and it came out positive.
See also: for more on conceiving and getting pregnant - especially over 40 
 It's possible that I started testing too early (sometimes as early as day 25) but according to the article below, some pregnancies implant late and therefore wouldn't show as a positive test even when your period was scheduled to begin. Read more:

From the article:

"The interesting thing we were able to look at was how the time of implantation varies among women in relation to their expected menstrual period," he said. "While on average, most people will implant before their expected menstrual cycle, the natural variability is something that doctors and pregnancy kit manufacturers haven't taken into account."

The new study shows clearly that 10 percent of the embryo attachments -- and hence new pregnancies -- had not occurred by the day women expected their periods to begin...

from:   (


Can Herbs Help You Conceive Over 40

Although I didn't go the herbal route while I was trying to conceive, but I found a good article on the subject by an herbalist, Susun Weed.

 Here is the article in it's entirety:

Feeling Frisky? Herbs for Fertility
Guest post by Susan Weed

 For thousands of years knowledge of the herbs and wild plants that could increase fertility were the secrets of the village wise women. But after the holocaust against European Wise Women (the "burning times") and the virtual extermination of Native American medicine women, this knowledge virtually disappeared. In fact, many people erroneously believe that "primitive people" had no means of controlling the likelihood of pregnancy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many common plants can be used to influence fertility, including red clover, partridge berry, liferoot, wild carrot, and wild yam. Some of these grow wild, others are easy to cultivate, and, with the exception of wild carrot, all are also readily available at health food stores.

One of the most cherished of the fertility-increasing plants is red clover (Trifolium pratense). Common in fields and along roadsides, it has bright pink (not really red) blossoms from mid-summer into the chilly days of fall. A favorite flower of the honeybees, the tops (blossoms and appending leaves) are harvested on bright sunny days and eaten as is, or dried for medicinal use. The raw blossoms are delicious in salads and nutritious when cooked with grains such as rice or millet.

See also: Top 5 Herbs For Fertility

 To make a fertility-enhancing infusion, I take one ounce by weight of the dried blossoms (fresh won't work for this application) and put them in a quart size canning jar. I fill the jar with boiling water, screw on a tight lid, and let it steep at room temperature overnight (or for at least four hours). Dozens of women have told me that they had successful pregnancies after drinking a cup or more (up to four cups) a day of red clover infusion.

It is especially helpful if there is scarring of the fallopian tubes, irregular menses, abnormal cells in the reproductive tract, or "unexplained" infertility. It may take several months for the full effect of this herb to come on and pregnancy may not occur until you have used it for a year or two. You can improve the taste by including some dried peppermint (a spoonful or two) along with the dried clover blossoms when making your infusion. Treat the father of the child-to-be to some red clover infusion too!

That little evergreen creeper that carpets some parts of the woods around your house is partridge berry (Mitchella repens), also known as squaw weed, supposedly because of its ability to enhance fertility. (My teacher Twylah Nitsch, grandmother of the Seneca Wolf clan, says that "squaw" is a slang term meaning "schmuck" or, in the proper term, "penis," and therefore should not be used in denoting a plant meant to be used by women.) Keep an eye out this spring and see if you can catch Mitchella blooming. Then you'll see why she's sometimes called "twin flower."

Interestingly, when the paired flowers fall off, they leave behind but one berry to ripen. (The shiny red berries you've noticed in the forest winter or spring. Yes, they are safe to eat, but leave some for the partridges.) The symbolism of two flowers forming one berry is certainly a suitable icon for fertility. I make a medicinal vinegar by filling a small jar with the fresh leaves, adding apple cider vinegar until the jar is full again. A piece of waxed paper held in place with a rubber band and a label (including date) completes the preparation, which must sit at room temperature for six weeks before use. I enjoy up to a tablespoonful of the vinegar on my salads or in my beans.

By mid- to late-May, the yellow blossoms of liferoot (Senecio aureus) enliven my swamp (in upstate New York) and the neighboring roads where there is adequate water and rich soil. A powerful medicine resides in all parts of this lovely wildflower. As the root has a dangerous reputation, I restrict myself to using only the flowers and leaves, which I harvest in bloom, and quickly tincture. (For instructions for making your own tinctures, please see any of my books.) Small doses of this tincture (3-8 drops a day), taken at least 14 days out of the month, will regulate hormone production, increase libido, normalize the menses, relieve menstrual pain, and improve fertility. The closely related Senecia jacobea and Senecio vulgaris can also be used.

Wild carrot (Daucus carota), better known as Queen Anne's lace, is such a common roadside plant that most people are amazed to learn that it is a proven anti-fertility herb. In addition to being the wild cousin of carrot, it is related to parsley, dill, caraway, anise, celery, cumin, and a (now extinct) plant whose seeds were the birth-control of choice for many a classical Greek or Roman woman.

The aromatic seeds of wild carrot are collected in the fall and eaten (a heaping teaspoonful a day) to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. In one small study the effectiveness rate after thirteen months of use was 99%. As modern scientific medicine reports that one-third of all fertilized eggs are passed out of the body without implanting in the uterus, this method of birth control seems in complete agreement with nature.

Of the hundreds of women currently using this anti-fertility agent, I have heard virtually no reports of any side-effects. Note that many books caution you to beware the danger of confusing poison hemlock and wild carrot. Poison hemlock is rather scarce in our area, and, at any rate, does not smell or taste of carrot (as does Queen Anne's lace), so I believe this warning to be a red herring. In addition, wild carrot leaves have small hairs on them, while the leaves of poison hemlock are smooth.

Another anti-fertility herb that has been tested by small groups of modern women is wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). Since birth-control pills were originally made from this plant, it is not at all surprising that it has the effect of blocking conception when taken daily in rather large doses: either a cup of tea or two capsules taken three times a day.

Does it have detrimental effects? Current studies are too small to show any, but there is a possibility that there could be. Interestingly enough, if wild yam is taken in small doses (a cup of tea or 10-20 drops of the tincture daily from onset of menses until mid-period) it increases fertility! In either case, the effect seems to be triggered by the large amount of hormone-like substances found in this root. When taken daily, these substances may be converted into progesterone, thus decreasing the possibility of conception. When taken for the two weeks preceding ovulation, these substances may be converted into LH and FSH, hormones that are needed to make the egg ready to be fertilized.

Other common weeds and garden plants of our area that have been used to increase or decrease fertility include stinging nettle, oatstraw, pennyroyal, Jack-in-the-pulpit, rue, and parsley.

The earth is full of wonders, and green magic abounds. As more and more women remember that they are wise women, more of the wonders and the magic will be revealed. May your days be filled with many green blessings.

Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.

Susun Weed

PO Box 64

Woodstock, NY 12498

Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at

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