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Pregnancy after 40

Pregnancy after 40

How often have you heard that women over a certain age cannot get pregnant?  Well according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, planned pregnancies among women 40 and over are becoming ever more prevalent. However, that does not mean there aren’t certain biological issues that arise when a woman over 40 attempts to conceive.  At the age of 40, your chances of conceiving falls to 5 percent over the course of a menstrual cycle. Although there are more challenges for women attempting to conceive over the age of 40, there are some measures you can take to ensure your best chances.

  1.       Pre-conception Counseling

Mapping out a pregnancy with your doctor is good idea to make sure you understand and address all possible medical complications for you or your future baby.

 

  1.       Timing, Timing, Timing

As women near the age of 40, their bodies begin to prepare for menopause.  Understanding the changes of menopause is important in being able to conceive after 40.  Once you understand the changes happening in your body, you can better plan out the timing of attempting to get pregnant.

 

  1.       Healthy Habits

If you are over 40 and trying to get pregnant, being healthy is an absolute must.  Eating healthy and exercising can help your body to be in its best shape to conceive. Moderate exercise such as swimming and running are a good place to start, according to WebMD.

 

Some other small changes you can make to give yourself the best chances to conceive are taking special supplements like coenzyme Q10 and reducing stress wherever possible in your life.

If all of these changes do not seem to be helping, you might consider alternative options such as an egg donor.  An egg donor would allow you to carry your child with the help of an egg donation.  While the child may not genetically be tied you, most women find that by carrying their child they still feel the same connection.

7 Pregnancy Misconceptions You Might Believe

7 Pregnancy Misconceptions You Might Believe

How many pregnancy myths have you heard in your life? Chances are you’ve heard quite a few and chances are you’ve believed some too. Many women still have many misconceptions about getting pregnant.

For example, some women believe that having irregular periods won’t affect their ability to conceive.   However, an irregular cycle can definitely reduce your chances of conceiving.

Another common misconception is that being sexually active more than once a day will increase your odds of getting pregnant.  There is no evidence to confirm this claim, rather a man’s sperm volume lowers with each time they ejaculate.

Keep reading here to learn about more pregnancy misconceptions.  

Don’t Worry About Pregnancy’s Effect on Your Egg Count

Don’t Worry About Pregnancy’s Effect on Your Egg Count

Remember the older generation that would have 10 or more kids without a problem? Well, if you’re worried that you’re past pregnancies will affect your egg count, then hear what Lindsey Mack has to say on Romper.

She basically points out that Dr. Christos Coutifaris, a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of Pennsylvania, says that a woman ovulates about 400 eggs in her reproductive life. This number is minimal in comparison to the total number of eggs she has available.

While egg count and fertility in general can be affected by other external factors, it’s not worth your time to worry about the effects of your past pregnancies. Even if your egg count did drop postpartum, it’s out of your control anyways, so there’s no point in worrying.

 

Stop Saving Yourself for When She’s Fertile

Stop Saving Yourself for When She’s Fertile

Yes, you heard me. The common misconception about conception is that couples should be abstinent outside of the woman’s fertile period so that the man can “save himself” for when her eggs are ready.

According to the latest study by Indiana University scientist Tierney Lorenz, it is important for couples trying to conceive to have more frequent sex outside of the woman’s ovulation.

The reason behind this evidence comes down to the relationship between the woman’s immune system and her reproductive system. It is the immune system’s job to keep out foreign intruders (for example, sperm cells) so she stays healthy and can avoid disease. As we all know, the reproductive system’s job is to welcome the sperm cells, so now there’s a conflict.

All of this ties together with the woman’s menstrual cycle, where evidence shows that women’s tendency to get sick increases during ovulation. This is direct proof of this relationship between these two systems.

Lorenz main conclusion was that when women have sex outside of their ovulation period (when their immune system is in more control), they are training their immune system to be okay with the intrusion of sperm cells, in a sense. This results a much more welcoming environment for the sperm cells, especially during ovulation.

Helper T Cells are the cells in the immune system that attack the invaders. Each T cell is programmed to attack a certain type of invader. When couples trying to have a baby have more sex, the woman’s helper T cells become more diverse. So when the woman is more sexually active, there are more helper T cells that allow the intrusion of sperm during ovulation, and more that deny sperm intrusion during other periods in her cycle.

When Pregnancy Dreams Become IVF Nightmares

When Pregnancy Dreams Become IVF Nightmares

It all started when Malissa Pineda received a troubling call from her fertility doctor. His voice sounded anxious when he said, “I need you to come into the office right away.

Malissa is one of the many participants of IVF treatment. In vitro fertilization, one of the most costly fertility treatments available, is a part of a $3 billion U.S industry. To some parents, it was a blessing from above to have a successful IVF session. But it is not without risks. The surgery risks as well as the costs are extremely high. Malissa knew of these risks going in, but it’s what she didn’t expect that almost changed her life forever.

Read more about Malissa’s traumatic IVF scare here.

5 Questions You Should Be Asking Fertility Clinics

5 Questions You Should Be Asking Fertility Clinics

How does one decide which fertility clinic is best? Before jumping into a clinic, and especially a treatment, make sure you have all the information laid out in front of you. It’s important to make the best choice for you!

What is the success rate?

Knowing what actual success rates are can give you a good idea about what conceiving will look like. Ask for statistics on numbers of birth, number of pregnancies, and age as a factor.

Is the treatment specific to me?

Whatever treatment you choose will be for a certain reason. Most likely because it will fit so well within your goals, schedule, and lifestyle. Ask if treatment alternatives are individualized in any way so that you can get the perfect fit for you.

What does the support look like?

No treatment is perfect. Patients can experience all sorts of emotions, side effects, and stress when trying to conceive. Perhaps one clinic offers a weekly support group, and another offers one-on-one counseling. Comparing the perks and benefits can be useful.

What is the wait period?

Deciding which fertility clinic and which treatment to undergo is a timely process. Unfortunately, the waiting has hardly even begun. Wait periods can vary, but patients can wait for months on end for a donor. Wait time is typically due to availability shortages.

How close is the clinic?

Location, location, location. Engaging in fertility treatment is a time commitment. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a clinic that is too out of the way. You will regularly be visiting the clinic, and this way you can save on travel time and costs.

Kids born through fertility treatment show normal mental development

Kids born through fertility treatment show normal mental development

(Reuters Health) – Despite concerns that children born through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) may develop differently from other kids, a UK study finds they have normal mental development until at least age 11.

In fact, at ages 3 and 5 years, kids born as a result of these techniques had greater verbal cognitive ability than those born through natural conception, though this gap diminished with time. Researchers say that the older, better educated and more financially well-off parents of ART kids may play an important role in this difference at early ages.

“In the last decade, we’ve seen a huge increase in the use of ART and discussions about the outcomes and child development,” said lead author Anna Barbuscia, a sociology researcher at the University of Oxford.

The first “test tube baby” was born in the UK in 1978. And globally, about 5 million children have been conceived with ART since then, according to the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

“We’re finding that this way of birth is not linked to problems, and in fact, could show consistent better cognitive development in early childhood years,” Barbuscia told Reuters Health. “We were surprised about the results.”

She and her Oxford colleague Melinda Mills analyzed data on 15,218 children from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, which follows infants born in 2000 and 2001. All had been tested on vocabulary, verbal ability and reading at ages 3, 5, 7 and 11 years. Within this group, 186 children had been conceived through ART.

The research team found that children conceived through ART had higher verbal ability scores at ages 3 and 5 years, but the difference decreased over time and disappeared by age 11.

“We want to be very clear that our results don’t show that ART is better but that it has no impact overall on cognitive abilities,” Barbuscia said. “We’re doing additional studies now to see what the comparison is after age 11.”

One limitation of the study is the small number of ART-conceived children included. In addition, the research team writes in the journal Human Reproduction, more study is needed to understand the higher verbal skills scores among ART children at early ages.

Parental socioeconomic status, education and home environment may play a large part, for example, if those who can afford ART spend more time or money on early education efforts, the authors suggest.

“It’s perhaps surprising that the differences do not persist, but as the authors note, other factors external to the home may have more influence as the children grow up,” said Claire Carson of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford.

Carson, who wasn’t involved in the current study, has conducted similar research on the same Millennium Cohort Study population and found no differences in cognitive abilities for 3- and 5-year-olds, as well as some evidence of mental health issues among ART kids at ages 7 and 8.

“Cognitive outcomes are only one area of research into child outcomes after fertility treatment that is being conducted globally,” she told Reuters Health by email. “There are still evidence gaps with regard to long-term health and development that need to be addressed.”

To try to fill those gaps, Carson is looking at long-term health in a study of more than 200,000 children, which should include enough ART-conceived kids to assess a range of outcomes, she said.

Barbuscia and colleagues are also currently studying new data for children up to age 14, and examining influences such as socioeconomic status and parenting style.

“When it comes to fertility, medicine has to keep up with society, not the other way around,” said Dr. Jacques Balayla of the University of Montreal. Balayla, who wasn’t involved with the current work, has done similar research on ART-conceived babies in Canada. In a study published earlier this year, he found no differences from other children in the cognitive abilities of 2-year-olds born through ART. (reut.rs/2rU0NWK)

“Women are delaying motherhood, which is associated with higher risks for fertility, and we’re seeing an increasing need to use ART,” he told Reuters Health. “Understanding the consequences – not only in the short-term and for the mother, but for the long-term and in the children – is of paramount importance.”

Article provided by Reuters and Health News.

Infertility’s Impact on your Mental Health

Infertility’s Impact on your Mental Health

One in eight couples cannot conceive or carry a baby to full term. Many people do not know the causes of infertility or how to prevent it. Social isolation and comments from friends and family can cause a number of mental concerns, including depression and anxiety. Doctors believe with improved fertility education, couples will be more knowledgeable and experience less mental distress while trying to conceive.

Read more about Doctor’s recommendations for fertility education here.  

The Best Fertility Options For Transgender Individuals

The Best Fertility Options For Transgender Individuals

Many transgender individuals find reproduction significant for their life fulfillment, but lack knowledge about their fertility options.  

A study of 213 adult transgender individuals shows that 21% of childless transgender individuals express interest in having children in the future, but only 3% of them had sperm or eggs banked before undergoing hormone therapy. The main reasons why only a few have used fertility preservation are:

  1. Lack of awareness about fertility options (64%)
  2. Cost (44.1%)
  3. Not wanting to delay hormone therapy treatment (19.7%)

Modern technology allows transgender people to have their own biological children. The options for transgender individuals’ reproduction are sperm and egg preservation, embryo preservation, and in vitro fertilization after the eggs or sperm have been preserved. 97% of transgender individuals wish that banking eggs and sperm were offered to them before hormone treatment.  

Early discussions with healthcare providers before hormone therapy treatment can raise awareness and access to available reproductive options.  

Why Surgery May Be the Answer to Your Fertility Issues

Why Surgery May Be the Answer to Your Fertility Issues

Women who suffer from endometriosis often experience issues with conception. While 10% of reproductive women have this disease, a further 12% of them have a more advanced form, known as deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE). Typical tactics that work for regular endometriosis may not necessarily work as well for DIE. IVF has been one of the most successful methods to combat endometriosis infertility. Practices like surgery are becoming more popular as well, but not without risks.

Check out this review on surgery as a solution to endometriosis issues.