7 “Don’ts” When Try To Conceive

7 “Don’ts” When Try To Conceive

Trying to increase yours odds of conceiving? Here is a list of seven things to avoid if you are trying to get pregnant.

Smoking

Smoking is never safe for your health but it is especially bad for you when you are trying to conceive. The various chemicals in commercial cigarettes have a number of damaging effect on eggs and sperm. Smoking cigarettes or any other drug usage can seriously affect your chances of getting, or staying pregnant.

Alcohol

Although the evidence is clear about the negative effects of alcohol consumption while pregnant, various studies are now connecting excessive drinking will decrease odds of conception. Researchers at Harvard studied couples undergoing IVF treatment and found that those who consumed six servings (not drinks!) of alcohol per week dramatically decreased their odds conceiving

Caffeine

Like alcohol, fertility experts recommend limiting caffeine consumption. Although researchers are conflicted, it is generally recommended that women consume between 200 and 300 mg of caffeine each day. Any more caffeine than that could prevent the eggs from reaching more maturity, so next time order a decaf.

Extreme Fluctuations in Weight

Great job shedding those pounds if you are struggling with excess weight! However, extreme changes in weight can throw off your hormone levels and affect a woman’s ability to ovulate. Eat healthily, and keep up a steady exercise routine, just try to not gain or lose too much weight in a short period of time.

Excessive Exercise

If you are training for the Olympics, or have extremely low body fat percentage, you may also find your ovulation is irregular. If you find your fitness routine seems to be affecting your regularity, consider talking to your healthcare provider and your fitness trainer to come up with a plan.

Mercury Consumption

Heavy mercury consumption can have devastating affects on a baby’s neurological development and can even cause a number of health problems in healthy adults. Mercury is most often found in certain large fish, like shark or swordfish, so avoid eating these foods while trying to conceive.

Artificial Lubricants 

Sometimes, it is nice to have a little extra moisture while in the bedroom. Unfortunately, some types of lubricant can actually kill sperm. If you are trying to conceive, check out sperm friendly lubrications or go “au naturale”.

The Truth About 5 Common Fertility Myths

The Truth About 5 Common Fertility Myths

The internet is flooded with information, do’s and don’ts, doctors advice, and new research that can help you with your fertility journey. But is too much information or incorrect information confusing your efforts? Is day 14 of your cycle the best day to conceive? Will steroid injections or topical gels increase your testosterone? Can you really wait until your 35 before starting your family? Doctors and fertility specialists discuss the top five myths they hear from patients and the truth about these statements with the Chicago Tribune.

Read more about these five myths and discover the truth, here. 

All About Sperm

All About Sperm

It may only take one fast sperm to make a baby, but his chance of success is truly one in a million. How much do you know about sperm and its effect on fertility? Read on to find out!

What is normal sperm?

Unlike women who are born with a set number of eggs, men produce 40 million to nearly 1 billion sperm cells each time they have sex. It truly is a case of the strongest will survive, as the journey to the egg is treacherous. In terms of fertility then, more is definitely better. Many studies have shown that a man’s fertility chances improve as his sperm count increases. At a minimum, 15 million sperm per mL of semen is considered normal. If you are looking to optimize conception, a sperm count of 55 million per mL is ideal. For some men, higher quality sperm can make up for smaller concentration. Unfortunately, once a sperm count drops below 10 million per mL natural conception can be difficult.

How can you improve your sperm count? 

First, it is important to remember that sperm count can fluctuate. At a minimum, take the average number of two tests done about one month apart to establish a baseline fertility rate. The more data you have, the better your understanding of your sperm count will be. Try an at-home sperm test to make this a convenient task. If your sperm count is still low, try improving your health. Simple lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding drug and alcohol use, and limiting elevated heat near your belt buckle can improve your sperm count. If you still find your sperm count is not improving, it may be time to talk to a urologist. The doctor will give you an overall examination which will include semen analysis, hormone measurements, and genetic testing. Based on your results, you and your doctor can discuss the next steps in treatment to improve your fertility.

The Dangers of Pregnancy after 35

The Dangers of Pregnancy after 35

As couples wait longer to have children, focusing on education and careers rather than family planning, it is not uncommon for women to delay pregnancy into their 30’s. Despite the rising age of first-time moms, fertility experts still warn of the dangers of women giving birth after age 35. As women age, not only does the opportunity to get pregnant decrease, women are more likely to suffer a miscarriage or have other pregnancy complications.

Learn more about the dangers of pregnancy after age 35 with the American Pregnancy Association and USA Today with this video.

Turning Off Your Ovaries During Cancer Treatment

Turning Off Your Ovaries During Cancer Treatment

Cancer can have debilitating effects on those who would like to start a family in the future. For those diagnosed with hormonal breast cancer, a new option improves a patient’s chances of conceiving naturally in the future.

New research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago shows that temporary blocking the ovaries from releasing eggs during chemotherapy treatment could improve the odds of having a baby in the future. The treatment involves injections of an existing drug called Goserelin, which lowers estrogen levels thus suppressing a woman’s menstrual cycle. Doctors found that the women who received the shot cut their chances of ovary failure in half. In addition, the women who received the shot were twice as likely to become pregnant and to deliver a healthy baby. Halle Moore, the lead author of the study and oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, believes that women beginning chemotherapy for early breast cancer should consider including Goserelin as part of their treatment in an effort to protect their ovaries from any adversely damaging effects. This treatment is a much less invasive and less expensive than harvesting eggs for in vitro fertilization.

 

Alcohol and Pregnancy Never Mix

Alcohol and Pregnancy Never Mix

Despite recent debate online, the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists want to make it clear to all soon-to-be mom’s on the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant. Meta-Analysis of thirty-four separate studies has found that even light drinking can cause developmental problems.

Learn more about the connection between alcohol consumption and developmental problems for children from the Washington Post here.

Fertility Grant Opportunities

Fertility Grant Opportunities

Infertility can be an expensive journey for any couple who is having difficulty trying to conceive. With many treatments in many states not covered by insurance, it is not uncommon for couples to finance their fertility treatments in a variety of ways. One option to help cover the costs of your fertility treatments are the variety of grant options provided by a number of local and national organizations. For example, the  Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation, from Chicago, Illinois, recently announced their new financial assistance program, 2017 Life Grant Applications. This grant, like many others will help cover some of the costs of fertility treatments or even adoption services.

Read more about this grant opportunity, and others on the Chicago Tribute. 

Your Asthma May be Effecting Your Fertility

Your Asthma May be Effecting Your Fertility

A recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal published results showing that women with asthma take longer to conceive and have lower pregnancy rates than women without the disease. Researchers followed 245 women between the ages of 23 and 45 who were undergoing fertility treatment.

On average, Women with asthma took almost two years longer to conceive than the women without. Of the women who participated in the study, less than 40% were eventually able to conceive compared to 60% of the healthy women. As the women aged, the gap between the healthy women and the asthmatic women’s ability to conceive increased even more.

Doctors are unsure what the exact relationship is between fertility and asthma. A number of complex factors including the types of asthma, types of asthma medications, and asthma’s effect on hormones complicate the issue further. It is not uncommon for doctors to advise patients to limit their asthma medication intake during pregnancy. If you are trying to conceive, work with a medical professional to control your asthmatic symptoms.

Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy

Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy

Even before getting pregnant make sure you are practicing these 5 healthy lifestyle practices to prepare your body for pregnancy .

Stay Fit. Staying active is important for both you and your baby during pregnancy. So start a regular exercise program now so that your body will be ready for baby.

Stretch. It’s not uncommon for even the fittest of women to forget to stretch. Most frequent bodily aches and pains can be improved with some simple stretches. Make sure to include stretching as part of your fitness regime.

Take your vitamins.  Most doctors will recommend that women who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant boost their fertility by taking a prenatal or multivitamin. Prenatal vitamins often include higher levels of certain nutrients, like folic acid, that are necessary for the early stages of pregnancy.

Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake. Most experts agree that pregnant women should not consume alcohol or caffeine. Even when trying to conceive, research has shown that increasing your intake of both alcohol and caffeine can improve your chances of conception.

Maintain a balanced diet. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet of protein, fat, and carbohydrates while limiting excess sugar while pregnant. Improve your diet now before baby to make your healthy eating a regular part of your lifestyle and not a special diet.

The Sometimes Long Road to Baby

The Sometimes Long Road to Baby

For some couples, the road to starting a family can be difficult. Infertility is often a private journey, wrought with heightened emotion and a sea of unanswered questions. For women who have trouble conceiving, suffer numerous miscarriages or fail to identify the reason for their fertility issues often a fertility expert is needed. With the help of a fertility doctor, many more women can successfully fulfill their dream of motherhood with the birth of a baby.

Read more about one couple’s journey to parenthood, through numerous struggles and a difficult delivery on the Motherlode, the New York Time’s parenting blog.