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a blog by Suzanne Rico, August 22, 2012
I have to admit, I never thought the tight pink Dittos I wore in high school might diminish my ability to have a baby. Or the Freshman Fifteen I put on my first year of college — or the anxiety of being a teenager in general. But over the last few weeks, news stories have come out that tight pants, obesity and stress can lower your fertility quotient, and eating walnuts can have the opposite effect.
It is true that lifestyle, past history and high anxiety come into play when trying to have a baby. Remember — a woman in her 20s with no fertility issues has only a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month when diligently trying, so even though most women spend their fertile years trying NOT to get knocked up, it’s actually not that easy. That means for those of us who’ve spent our future baby’s college fund on IVF, PGD, ICSI and IUI, keeping our bodies and our minds healthy is an invaluable component of success.
a blog by Claire, August 14, 2012
A recent study at the Drexel University School of Public Health found that people with a combination of obesity and vitamin D deficiency were at increased risk of insulin resistance, which is, of course, bad for fertility and for overall health.
The researchers analyzed data on serum vitamin D levels and indicators of insulin resistance and diabetes from 5,806 respondents to a major national health survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that while obese individuals with healthy levels of vitamin D had insulin resistance approximately 20 times more often than the overall study population, obese individuals whose serum vitamin D was low had insulin resistance about 32 tines more often than the overall study population.
a guest blog by Marcy Lerner at Zeel.com, July 31, 2012
You may have tried many different things to enhance your fertility, including IVF. But have you considered acupuncture? Acupuncture can both boost fertility and help maintain healthy pregnancies.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China, where it has been practiced for over 3,000 years. It involves the insertion of needles into specific points on the body by a trained and qualified acupuncturist. The needles target energy meridians that, according to traditional Chinese medicine, run throughout the body. By placing needles in specific spots on the body, this energy, called qi, is released, promoting better health.
When you are considering pregnancy, be sure to consider your oral health — it just may be the key to a healthier pregnancy.
Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums; dental caries, commonly known as cavities; and periodontitis, a severe form of gingivitis when inflammation of the gums extends to all of the supporting structure of the tooth, all negatively impact pregnancy. A connection between preterm birth (which results in low birth weight infants) and dental infections has been supported in recent research studies. There is some conflicting data, but the evidence of a link is mounting.
a blog by Krissi McVicker, June 8, 2012
Recently, I found something quite naturally beautiful right outside my living room window; a nest with four tiny baby birds. And, as I watched the mother bird fly around to find food and feed her babies, I was in awe. The nest looked so small, yet so uniquely designed. And beneath it hung a purple ribbon blowing in the wind. I was amazed by the blue nylon string that looked as though it was securing the nest in place around the branch. Crafty little creatures, these orange breasted birds. And it got me thinking about the nest, the safety net of life.
a blog by Serena H. Chen, M.D., IRMS Reproductive Medicine at Saint Barnabas, October 25, 2011
To read more of the IRMS Are You Trying to Conceive? blogs, CLICK HERE.
Should you stop your Zoloft if you are trying to conceive? Or your Prozac, Wellbutrin, whatever? Should you stop your psychotropic drugs before you try to conceive, before you get pregnant, once you are pregnant?
a blog by Serena H. Chen, M.D., IRMS Reproductive Medicine at Saint Barnabas, October 16, 2011
To read more of the IRMS Are You Trying to Conceive? blogs, CLICK HERE.
I recently read a very interesting article by Rossi et al. “Effect of Alcohol Consumption on In vitro Fertilization,” published in the prestigious journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in January 2011, volume 117, pages 136 to 142.
The authors looked at more than 4,700 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles in more than 2,500 couples. Couples were given questionnaires to fill out regarding their alcohol consumption at the time of the IVF cycle start, not during the IVF cycle or pregnancy. The primary outcome that the authors were interested in was the live birth rate after IVF. They found that for men or women undergoing IVF, drinking four or more drinks per week prior to an IVF cycle is associated with a 48 percent higher risk for failed fertilization and a 21 percent lower chance for a live birth.
a blog by Donor Diva, July 21, 2011
To read more Donor Diva: Let's Talk Egg Donation blogs, CLICK HERE.
Right after Ant was born was when I had the strongest desire to have another child. I am going to chalk that up to hormones (and thinking maybe he was our only child.) After we paid our first storage fee on our frozen embryo (‘totsicle’) I knew I wasn’t yet ready to have another.
We all know that smoking is bad for you. Smokers are at high risk for cancer, heart attack and stroke, among other things. However, when you are trying to conceive, quitting smoking is especially critical.
a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Director of Operations, Fairfax Cryobank and Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc., April 19, 2011
In a recent article in Fertility and Sterility, research was published confirming that higher age, along with lifestyle factors such as stress, smoking and alcohol are all factors that negatively affect semen quality. Different factors cause lower sperm count, lower semen volume, lower motility, etc. All of these parameters matter when it comes to characterizing a sperm sample as healthy.
If you are anything like me when I was going through my troubles conceiving, sex was the last thing I wanted. It's so ironic — the more you want to become a mother, the less you want to enjoy the love you can experience with your partner.
Like Bill Clinton’s famous campaign line, “It’s the economy, stupid,” scientists are now debunking the popular genetic theory of biology. The debate is currently raging over the relative influence of genes compared to the “environment,” or how our senses play a role in the expression of our cells.
a blog by Anna Pyne, LAc, MSOM, FABORM, Pulling Down the Moon, September 16, 2010
Soaking your feet in warm water for 15 minutes a night is a simple, effective way to de-stress and relax after work. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is quite beneficial to your fertility health as well.
a blog by Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW, Mar. 18, 2010
The “perfect infertility patient” has transformed her life. She dines on wheatgrass and flaxseed and avoids dairy and meat. She does yoga and meditates and avoids exercise that elevates her heartbeat. She sleeps eight hours a night and listens to guided imagery tapes in her car. She reads about infertility on the Web but knows when to shut the computer off. She is doing all that she possibly can and she is working hard not to drive herself crazy in the process. It’s a difficult balance.
I meet “perfect infertility patient” fairly often these days. It's not surprising. We live in a society in which hard work pays off and most of us believe that if we work hard at something, put our minds to it, do all we can, our efforts will pay off. That is, until we face infertility.
a blog by Deborah Moore, March 15, 2010
I saw a clip of the ladies from The View interviewing Giuliana Rancic, an entertainment reporter for E! News who married one of the Apprentices I think (I don’t watch reality TV!). She’s 35, and she and her husband have been trying for at least a year to get pregnant. They realized they need help and are preparing for the IVF process.
[Watch Giuliana and Bill on The View.]
While the majority of the interview was a civil and friendly discussion of the couples’ struggles, host Whoopi Goldberg ranted later that Guiliana just needed to “put on a few pounds,” with the implication that this would solve all their problems.
a blog by marie lee, Feb. 11, 2010
I’m giving up coffee!
This is not as simple as it may seem. First, coffee is part of my spiritual practice; I ALWAYS drink (make that “drank” ) coffee when I write. You can bet seven children’s novels, an adult novel, countless short stories and op-ed essays on that. Interestingly, I don’t need it or want it at any other time of the day, but in the morning, when I’m writing, nothing is nicer than a steaming cup of java.
a blog by David Kreiner, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Feb. 10, 2010
The most shocking thing I’ve experienced in my 30 year career in Reproductive Endocrinology has been the consistent “resistance” among specialists to treat women with obesity. This “resistance” has felt at times to both me and many patients to be more like a prejudice. I have heard other REI specialists say that it is harder for women to conceive until they shed their excess weight. “Come back to my office when you have lost 20, 30 or more pounds,” is a typical remark heard by many at their REI’s office. “It’s not healthy to be pregnant at your weight and you risk your health and the health of the baby.” Closing the door to fertility treatment is what most women in this condition experience.
A new article appearing in Medical News Today, “Obese Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment Advised Not To Attempt Rapid Weight Loss”, suggests that weight loss just prior to conception may have adverse effects on the pregnancy, either by disrupting normal physiology or by releasing environmental pollutants stored in the fat. The article points out what is obvious to many who share the lifelong struggle to maintain a reasonable Body Mass Index (BMI): Weight loss is difficult to achieve. Few people adhere to lifestyle intervention and diets which may have no benefit in improving pregnancy in subfertile obese women.
a blog by marie lee, Jan. 21, 2010
You need to wash your clothes. You should wash your clothes. In fact, you HAVE TO wash your clothes. Especially, when they are new. My friend who writes the enormously popular Green Babies organic blog warned me about all the crap they put on clothes to make them look brighter and more attractive in the store. Ready? Some special shiny “sizing” stuff which makes them fold better; pesticides if they are going to sit in the warehouse a long time; formaldehyde. She said this even happens with organic stuff, as once it leaves the factory, there’s not a lot of control. So wash up!
a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon
When we are trying to conceive, it is important to maximize our body’s ability to get rid of environment we live in is filled with substances that can negatively impact fertility. Pesticides used on factory farms mimic our reproductive hormones and modern building materials and cleaning compounds can trigger allergic responses and promote inflammation in the body.
Add to that the stress hormones and the hormone medications that are part of fertility treatment and it’s easy to imagine that our body’s detoxification capacity can be overwhelmed!
So what do we mean when we talk about “detoxification capacity”?
Goofy, yes, but in the ‘70s women’s consciousness raising groups used to do things like do a group speculum look into the vagina so you could identify its parts. They talked about the Moon Cycle, a.k.a., Aunt Flo, a.k.a. your menses.
Now, women don’t even know what’s going on “down there” because of tampons, mainly. Plug it and forget about it.
Well, I’ll write a whole other blog on why plugging up the drain is not the best thing for your fertility, but right now, I want to ask: Do you know what a normal period looks like?
a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon
Recently we were contacted by a reporter to comment on a study out of Denmark (the “Denmark Study”) that basically says “use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is associated with a 30% lower ongoing pregnancy/live birth rate during 12 months of fertility treatment." The reporter was a regular CAM columnist and she said she felt the study was somewhat negative and was curious about research out there that says the opposite, that CAM services actually help enhance conception rates.