Friday, August 29, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
This article has moved
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Long Island University, Brooklyn is currently conducting a research study to better understand the emotional and psychological experience of women who have experienced infertility.
· Must be women
· Must be between 18 and 50
· Must have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for at least the last 12 months or have received a diagnosis of infertility.
· Completing an online questionnaire about general demographics, infertility information, current mood and experience. The survey should take under 30 minutes to complete.
· All participants will have the option to be entered into a raffle to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards at the end of the data collection period, October 2014.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Trying to conceive over 40 - common factorsWhen I grew up, it was totally “uncool” for women to want the mommy track. It was a time when women were getting established in business and the hottest topic of discussion was how to “dress for success”. Those that went off to get married and have kids were really out of the loop.
I got a pretty good management job right out of college and I was on my way. Did I want to get married? Nope, not at all. The only role models I had were my parents who didn't really like each other all that much and were completely mismatched. My mother worked full time, my father was into his business ventures and what little time my parents had was spent on my older sisters who always had some crisis going on. Me? I was basically left to raise myself. If I do say so myself, I did a pretty good job. My parents have no idea how lucky they are that I didn't go down the wrong path and get into trouble like other kids who were starved for attention.
Parents of Baby Boomers Viewed Their Kids as A JobMany of us in the baby boomer generation had mothers who viewed kids as their "job" - they didn't always show love the way many mothers do today.
Everyone needs recognition in their life (ever study Maslow's heirarchy?), and I was no exception. I got my just rewards by climbing the corporate ladder. Every time I got a promotion, a new contract, or bonus, that was my substitute for the approval and attention I never got as a child. I worked long hours, didn't eat much, and my main activity after work was sweating it out at the health club. From the outside, I had it all. But I really had nothing.
When I was in my early thirties, after completing graduate school, I finally realized I might want some companionship in my life. I met my husband at a professional development seminar and decided that my marriage didn't have to be like my parents. Did I want to have a baby? Not really. I think when you grow up having to raise yourself, you fell like this is “my time” now, I can't devote my time and attention to caring for a baby and all that goes with it.
Getting pregnant over 40, I thought it would happen right awayAbout a year after we got married we started trying to conceive. I thought it would happen right away. I was still working in my “pressure cooker” job, and I seriously thought that had nothing to do with it. To make a long story short, we went to a fertility clinic, started inseminations
with clomid and nothing happened. We went through IVF twice, wound up with an ectopic pregnancy, and two miscarriages. I was done. We discontinued fertility treatments and decided to move to “childfree”. I had quit my job at this point and I decided to pursue some hobbies that I never had time for. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, I could still get pregnant...maybe I just need to get all these drugs and hormones out of my system from the fertility treatments. I needed to get back to good old fashioned “vegetable therapy” and “happy thoughts”.
I started a whole new way of eating. I literally got to know the produce manager on a first name basis at my local grocery store because I was there so much. I ate tons of hormone balancing vegetables and embarked on a whole new way of eating. I also explored the mind-body connection. Could my upbringing and my previous desire to not have a baby have something to do with not being able to get pregnant? I became my own therapist and confronted my attitudes about marriage and family after examining my childhood, my relationship with my parents, and my need to gain approval from others as a substitute for what I didn't get as a child.
I was shocked when I got pregnant naturally fast!
Shorty after embarking on my all natural journey to conceive, I was shocked when I became pregnant naturally on my own. I miscarried, but now I knew I could do it. Mind you, I only had one fallopian tube, so this was quite an accomplishment since I was in my early 40's. I got pregnant two more times, miscarried again, but still knew that one would stick eventually and it did. I got pregnant with my daughter at the age of 44 and had a perfect pregnancy and totally uncomplicated delivery.
Fertility treatments don't have to be your first plan of action
So what did I learn?
First, fertility treatments don't have to be your first plan of action. Examine your lifestyle, stress level and eating habits. No, it's not earth shattering information, but so many people want a quick fix...are you doing all you can do to improve your lifestyle?
Second, go back and look at your upbringing. Is there a reason that you've waited so long to have a baby? I realize that women have careers and delay marriage and childbearing, but maybe there is an underlying explanation for the path you've chosen that needs exploration.
Third, Is your mindset where it needs to be? Are you dealing with anger, frustration and all the emotions that come with not being able to have a baby? When I finally got pregnant with my daughter, I had really let go. I had accepted the fact that maybe I would never have a baby and I was okay with moving on. When I finally got rid of the anger, I had a successful pregnancy.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Protecting Men's FertilityEven though most of us think of men as the tougher gender, sperm are actually quite fragile. Perhaps that's why they manufacture so many, especially over their lifetime. Even if a man lives a healthy lifestyle, there are many pollutants in the environment that can affect sperm count.
Is Pollution Stealing Your Future
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Reproductive Problems - Could GMO's Be a Hidden Issue?
Canaries are miner's early warning system. They are used to warn miners about invisible but deadly levels of carbon monoxide. Are rats and other animals fed GMO's providing a similar service to humans? Here are some of the effects turning up in scientific studies.
Guest Post By Pamela Levin
Effect on Reproductive Tissue and Hormones Rats fed GM soy as opposed to non-GM soy had "proliferative growth (hyperplasia) of the (endometrial) cells lining the uterus".A Brazilian study published in The Anatomical Record in 2009, revealed that female rats fed GM soy for 15 months showed significant changes in their uterus and reproductive cycle. Senior UK pathologist Stanley Ewen speculated that the rats'significant hormonal changes might have implications for women who eat GM soy. He said this implies major changes in their reproductive hormones and repeated that the weedkiller in GM soybeans was the probable cause of the disruption.
Genetically modified soybeans are have a bacterial gene inserted into them which allows the soy plants to survive a normally deadly dose of Roundup herbicide, which is why they are called 'Roundup Ready'.
There is mounting evidence that glyphosate - especially in conjunction with the other ingredients in Roundup - wreaks havoc with the endocrine and reproductive systems. Glyphosate, states Dr. Ewen, is "an endocrine buster that interferes with aromatase, which produces estrogen."
Aromatase is required by luteal cells to produce hormones for the normal menstrual cycle. It is these luteal cells that show significant alterations in the rats which at GM soy.
Fertility Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding "neither breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior." Tests on the corn material revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females "at concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens."
Effect on Placenta of Developing Fetus Glyphosate is also toxic to the placenta, which brings in nutrients and oxygen to the developing baby and empties its waste products. A French study at the University of Caen in 2009 revealed that glyphosate can kill the cells in the outer layer of the human placenta (the trophoblast membrane), which in turn can kill the placenta. The placenta cells are, in Ewen's words, "exquisitely sensitive to glyphosate." Only 1/500th the amount needed to kill weeds was able to kill the cells. The amount is so small, according to the study authors the "residual levels to be expected, especially in food and feed derived from R[oundup] formulation-treated crops" could be enough to "cause cell damage and even [cell] death." Furthermore, the effect of the toxin may bioaccumulate, growing worse with repeated consumption from Roundup laden foods.
Ewen says, "If the endocrine functions of the placenta are destroyed by glyphosate in the test tube, by extrapolation, ovarian and endometrial function would be expected to suffer." The implications for pregnant woman consuming glyphosate, he says, could be abortion.
Miscarriage and Threatened Abortion Indeed, in a Canadian epidemiological study, which looked at nearly 4000 pregnancies in 1,898 couples, women exposed to glyphosate during the three months before getting pregnant had a significantly higher risk of abortions, especially for those above 34 years of age
Fathers exposed to glyphosate also increase reproductive risks. In the Canadian study above, even fathers who were exposed to glyphosate before their wives got pregnant showed an increase in early delivery and abortions. In addition, a study of male rabbits showed that glyphosate can cause a reduction in sexual activity and sperm concentration, and an increase in dead or abnormal sperm.
Birth Defects Birth defects increased in humans and animals. Numerous indigenous people and peasant communities in Argentina have blamed aerial spraying of Roundup on a significant rise of birth defects. Dr. Andreas Carasco of the Embryology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine in Buenos Aires exposed amphibian embryos to a tiny concentration of glyphosate (diluted 5000 fold). Summarized by the Pesticide Action Network, effects included:
- reduced head size,
- genetic alterations in the central nervous system,
- increased death of cells that help form the skull,
- deformed cartilage, eye defects, and
- undeveloped kidneys.
Carrasco also stated that the glyphosate was not breaking down in the cells, but was accumulating. The findings lend weight to claims that abnormally high levels of cancer, birth defects, neonatal mortality, lupus, kidney disease, and skin and respiratory problems in populations near Argentina's soybean fields may be linked to the aerial spraying of Roundup."
Although human embryos are not directly treated with glyphosate in the same way that Carrasco treated his amphibian embryos, it is known that glyphosate does cross the placenta and enters the fetal circulation.
In his article, Dr. Carrasco describes some disturbing findings in Argentina, where more than 50 million gallons of glyphosate-based herbicide is used on more than 45 million acres of GM soy.
In Argentina, an increase in the incidence of congenital malformations began to be reported in the last few years. In Cordoba, several cases of malformations together with repeated spontaneous abortions were detected in the village of Ituzaingo�, which is surrounded by GMO-based agriculture. These findings were concentrated in families living a few meters from where the herbicides are regularly sprayed.
Glyphosate may also cause reproductive disorders in the offspring of those exposed. When pregnant rats, for example, were exposed to glyphosate, their male offspring suffered reduced sperm production, increased abnormal sperm, and decrease in testosterone, in puberty and/or adulthood.
Sterility The few tests that have been done on animals are more than sobering. In April 2010, researchers at Russia's Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security found that after feeding hamsters GM soy for two years over three generations, by the third generation most lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, a high mortality rate among the pups, and a high incidence of a rare phenomenon of hair growing inside their mouths.
Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed. Every time a newspaper, magazine, or TV show reported Jerry's problems, he would receive calls from more farmers complaining of livestock sterility on their farm, linked to GM corn.
High Infant Mortality In 2005, Irina Ermakova, also with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The babies in the GM group were also smaller and could not reproduce. In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova's feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.
An Austrian government study published in November 2008 showed that the more GM corn was fed to mice, they had fewer the babies and the ones they had were smaller.
Testicular Changes. When Ermakova fed male rats GM soy, their testicles changed from the normal pink to dark blue! Italian scientists similarly found changes in mice testes , including damaged young sperm cells. Furthermore, the DNA of embryos from parent mice fed GM soy functioned differently.
Increased Rates of Breast and Prostate Cancer One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers found that the amount of the substances varied with GM corn varieties. The crushed corncob used at Baylor was likely shipped from central Iowa, near the farm of Jerry Rosman and others complaining of sterile livestock.
In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as well as frequent abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses. Many adult and young buffalo have also died mysteriously.
Biotech advocates usually deny or try to discredit the evidence, and often attack scientists who discover it. But they rarely call for follow-up studies. With little or no money to follow up on these findings, we won't know for sure if GMOs are the cause, or if it is glyphosate, or something else. But numerous medical doctors aren't waiting for more research. They are telling their patients, especially those pregnant or planning to have kids, just say no to GMOs.
So if you were still eating GMOs before you read this, perhaps it's time to take the doctors' advice.
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Monday, August 18, 2014
Having A Baby Over 40 Is PossibleThere's a lot of discouraging information out there about getting pregnant over the age of 40.
One article (actually a a radio address transcript) I have posted on my website helps to 'even the score' by confronting much of the negative information about pregnancy over 40:
Really, pregnancy over 40 doesn't have to be this terribly horrendous process that ends in a negative outcome. As long as women maintain a healthy weight, according to the article, they really don't have many more complications than younger women. Even Down Syndrome, which is every older woman's fear isn't that much more prevalent in women over 40 than in women under 35.
Here's an excerpt from the article:
But for those women of normal weight, however, who were over
40, there was no difference in high blood pressure, no increase in
large babies, no increase in fetal death rate, no more distress at
delivery. Women of normal weight over 40 did have a little more
diabetes and had a few more Caesarean sections. But their infant
outcome was no different from that of the younger women.
So the conclusion of the study was that women who are over 40,
who are of normal weight, if managed by modern obstetric standards,
can expect a good pregnancy outcome and have no more fetal
complications than younger women.
There was one other factor that was statistically significant
- not greatly so - and that was that, if she had had many babies,
was what we call a "grand multipara", then there was a very
slightly increased chance of problems for both. But the bottom
line was that there is very little additional risk to mother and
baby for a woman pregnant over 40, outside of the major risk factor
So if you're 40, and you want a baby, go ahead -- the odds are
heavily with you, but you better watch your weight.
A Baby at 40? (The Life Issues Institute, Inc.)
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Catholic Church, Fertility and Assisted ReproductionI realize my readers are from different faiths and backgrounds (from all over the world!). I'm posting this article because it gives the catholic church's stance on assisted reproduction for anyone interested.
I know many couples who want to be true to their faith struggle with whether or not going through IVF is consistent with their religious beliefs. I recall when I ran a women's infertility support group, a couple of women mentioned how they had conflicted feelings about this.
Encouraging Information on Getting Pregnant NaturallyBut even more than that, the article gives some encouraging information on how many (if not the majority) of couples can conceive with natural methods. Please know I realize some couples must use assisted reproduction to conceive and I pass no judgment on those that do. Read more:
According to the Centers for Disease Control, infertility is a condition that affects 2.1 million married couples (one in eight of childbearing age) and 6.1 million women aged fifteen to forty-four. Male factor infertility accounts for 30–40 percent of all cases. These rates are increasing as more couples delay marriage and childbirth to pursue careers and educational opportunities.
But did you know that according to Harvard researcher Alice Domar, "infertile women report equivalent levels of anxiety and depression as women with cancer, HIV status or heart disease"? She adds, "The majority of infertile women report that infertility is the most upsetting experience of their lives." Such heartbreak might help to explain why hurting couples are tempted to pursue morally questionable remedies for infertility.
Fortunately, though, most couples can conceive using natural techniques that accord with the Church’s wisdom on marital sexuality. Dr. Domar counsels:
Very few people have physical conditions that make it impossible to have a child, and in many cases simple lifestyle changes and low-tech strategies can make a decisive difference. . . . Many couples can be helped by our greater knowledge of how lifestyle factors like stress, exercise, and nutrition affect conception, of better ways to regulate and target ovulation cycles, and of common medicines to avoid that can inhibit sperm and egg production.
Dr. Paul Dmowski, a leading infertility specialist, estimates that "only 8–10 percent of couples in treatment need high-tech . . . procedures" such as in vitro fertilization. Indeed, Domar concludes that "so much attention in the media is focused on the latest high-tech intervention that many people forget to give nature enough of a chance."
These observations allude to a popular prejudice in our culture that nature and science are at odds with one another. Natural alternatives are thought to be inferior to their high-tech counterparts. In reality, scientific technologies that work in accord with nature have proven very effective in treating infertility. The Creighton System’s NaProTechnology program, for instance, boasts an overall pregnancy rate of up to 50 percent for patients of all ages and diagnoses—with rates as high as 80 percent for many couples. These figures are nearly two to three times higher than results from the leading artificial technologies.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Fertile Cervical MucusIf you are trying to conceive, you probably know that creating the right "sperm friendly" environment is critical to getting pregnant. As a matter of fact, those that teach natural birth control or the rhythm method, teach women how to tell if they have fertile mucus so they can avoid having intercourse on those days. Granted, it doesn't always work (the joke I frequently tell is: What do you call people who practice the rhythm method? Answer: Parents!)
Anyway, the point is that if you want to optimize your chances of getting pregnant each month, you not only need to recognize when you have fertile cervical mucus, you need to have it in the first place. There are things you can do to increase the quality and quantity of your vaginal secretions. This article explains more:
Monday, August 11, 2014
Is it easier to get pregnant when you are sick?I've written before about how it may be easier to get pregnant when you are sick. I had a number of miscarriages on the road to parenthood and many of my pregnancies were concieved when I wasn't feeling well. I have my own theory on this....if your immune system is suppressed, it may not get in the way of pregnancy. Some women who have a hard time getting pregnant may have problems with immunity. For example, the body may recognize sperm as an invader and attack it, or once the egg is fertilized, it may be seen as some type of foreign body.
When you are sick, it may be possible that your immune system has something else to attack besides your partner's sperm or the actual pregnancy. Read here how I got pregnant after being quite sick:
Click Here To Read The Full Article: 49 and Pregnant Again
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