Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

6 Environmental Toxins that may be Decreasing your Fertility!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

When you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you study every food, drink, and supplement before putting it in your body. But do you consider the potential dangers of the window cleaner you use? What about your shampoo or the container you use to take your lunch to work?

Many toxins and chemicals found in everyday items can alter the body’s normal hormonal activities, making it difficult for women to conceive and for men to produce healthy semen. Chemicals can even cross the placenta, which can harm the fetus or lead to health problems later in life.

In this article, Ethan Lynette discusses the six most common (and dangerous) toxins you need to know about and the best ways to avoid them during pregnancy.

Read the full article here: http://naturallysavvy.com/care/6-environmental-toxins-that-can-decrease-your-fertility

It Takes Two: How to Support Your Wife When Trying to Conceive

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The decision to start a family is a milestone that will put any couple’s relationship to the test. Conceiving can take several months and often leads to frustration, stress, and doubt.

But by understanding the inevitable struggles of conception and supporting your wife throughout the bumps in the road, you can revive the passion in conceiving and make your bond unbreakable.

In this article, Ethan Lynette describes a husband’s integral role in his wife’s ability to conceive and offers ways he can offer support to ensure the greatest chance for conception.

Read more here: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/takes-two-support-wife-trying-conceive-kt/

Don’t Let Your Doctor Talk You Into IUI!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Sometimes pregnancy can seem like a race against the clock. Couples who are struggling to conceive have many options for improving their chances of having a baby, but deciding to use traditional fertility treatments requires careful consideration.

Eighty-five percent of couples become pregnant within a year of trying to conceive, but many turn to fertility treatments earlier than that to get the ball rolling. Although this may seem like a great solution, these treatments do have their downsides.

It’s difficult to be patient when you know you’re ready to expand your family, but sometimes, that’s just what the doctor ordered. Read on to learn more about natural fertility solutions and what you should consider when trying to expand your family.

Read more here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/03/reasons-to-pump-the-brakes-on-conventional-fertility-treatments-ethan-lynette/

Fairhaven Health Introduces BFP Brand Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips

Monday, October 7th, 2013

bfp-pregnancy-test-strips-16You can never have too many ovulation and pregnancy tests when you’re trying to conceive – but you could quickly deplete your bank account if you’re paying drugstore prices.

BFP Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips may provide the answer to this age-old dilemma. BFP tests provide you with the same type of accurate, high-quality tests used at your doctor’s office, but at a fraction of the price. In fact, you can buy BFP tests for as little as $0.56 each!

What is a “test strip” you ask? Unlike the midstream format tests sold at your local supermarket, test strips are designed to be dipped into collected urine. Simply collect your urine (a Dixie cup works great for this) and immerse the test strip up to the line marked on the tests. Your results will appear within minutes.

Manufactured in the United States, every order of BFP Test Strips ships with complete test instructions. Here’s to hoping you get your BFP (big fat positive) with BFP brand tests!

How accurate is the OvaCue Fertility Monitor?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

If you’ve done any research at all on the OvaCue Fertility Monitor, you have probably read that the OvaCue has been clinically proven to be 98% accurate in monitoring ovulation (based on studies from the National Institute of Health). So, what exactly does that mean? To give these statistics a “real life” perspective, we decided to put the OvaCue up against the transvaginal ultrasound to help showcase its accuracy in a different way. Transvaginal ultrasounds are the most accurate way to pinpoint the exact date of ovulation, as it makes it possible to visually monitor the development of the dominant follicle until it is released from the ovary and into the fallopian tube.

Sarah, Director of Social Marketing and Customer Service at Fairhaven Health, uses the OvaCue daily and blogs about her experience at OvaCue.com. Some of you may know her as “FertilityChartingWithSarah” at OvaGraph.com, and others of you may know her from corresponding with her about OvaCue customer service questions. Sarah has always been interested in female reproductive health and ovulation prediction, so she jumped at the chance to monitor an entire cycle with a series of transvaginal ultrasounds to predict and confirm when ovulation took place. She continued to use the OvaCue Fertility Monitor (oral and vaginal sensor) daily while also going to a fertility clinic for regular transvaginal ultrasounds. What did she find? Read the results here!

Controversy over Calcium Supplementation: What’s A Girl To Do?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

As many as 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and 34 million Americans have a condition called osteopenia (low bone mass), according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. These conditions affect women more frequently than men, due to the fact that as women age, a variety of factors can cause the loss of bone mass, including low estrogen, lack of calcium, vitamin D deficiency, and a sedentary lifestyle. And, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, a woman is also susceptible to bone loss, as her nutrient stores are continually tapped to ensure the growing baby receives proper nourishment.

As a result, it is no wonder women of all ages are constantly reminded to make sure they get enough calcium. After all, calcium is famous for its ability to build bone, and also offers many lesser known health benefits.  In fact, results from research studies conducted over the last several decades suggest that dietary calcium intake may help prevent hypertension, obesity and Type 2 diabetes, in addition to helping to prevent bone loss. So, unless you are absolutely certain that your diet contains at least the recommended amount of calcium (approximately 1,000 mg a day), supplementing your diet with a high-quality calcium supplement is a no-brainer.

But, if you happened to see the recent headlines about calcium supplements and heart disease, you might be a bit confused about the benefits and/or potential risks of calcium supplementation. Earlier this year, the controversial results of a study conducted by German and Swiss researchers were released, creating quite a buzz in the health world and generating some unnecessarily alarming headlines, such as Calcium Pills Linked to Heart Attack Risk.

The study, which followed 24,000 people over 11 years, was performed to evaluate the impact of calcium intake (from food and supplements) on cardiovascular disease risk. Participants were asked to report food and supplement intake from memory, using food frequency questionnaires given at specific intervals throughout the course of the study. Once all of the data was analyzed, the researches came out with some controversial conclusions. Contrary to the results of previous research suggesting that higher calcium intake protects against the development of cardiovascular disease, the German and Swiss researchers concluded that increasing calcium intake from diet does not provide significant cardiovascular benefits and calcium supplements might actually increase the risk of heart attack. The researchers went on to theorize that the reason calcium supplements might pose a threat to cardiovascular health is that calcium supplements might cause a spike in blood calcium levels, which may ultimately lead to calcium attaching itself to plaque in the walls of the arteries, leading to hardening of the arteries, a key risk factor for heart attack.

Unfortunately, these controversial results were widely disseminated and may have caused consumers some unnecessary concern about any potential risks associated with supplementing with calcium. But now that the dust has settled a bit, many health experts are pointing to serious problems with the design of this study and are raising doubt about the reliability of the conclusions that were drawn. One thing is certain: any time participants are required to self-report food and supplement intake based on memory, the results are likely to be suspect. And, even assuming that the participants reported their food intake with absolute accuracy (again, highly doubtful), it is important to put the results into the proper perspective. Only 850 of the 24,000 participants reported the use of any type of calcium supplement and dosages were not well-quantified. Among this small group of calcium users, only 40 participants had a heart attack, which equates to fewer than 4 heart attacks per year. Also, national surveys conducted in the United States suggest that nearly 11% of the population takes calcium supplements. In this study, less than 4% of the study participants used calcium supplements, suggesting that calcium use was significantly underreported in this study. The researchers themselves concede that, “It is possible that the unreported calcium supplementation would affect the accuracy of our results if identified calcium supplement users had a different cardiovascular risk profile than unidentified calcium supplement users.” (Heart 2012; 98:920-925)

The moral of this story seems to be that headlines rarely tell the whole story. So, what is a girl to do about calcium supplementation? When all is said and done, the weight of the scientific evidence clearly favors ensuring sufficient calcium intake from a combination of food and supplements, especially during specific life stages, including pregnancy and lactation. If you are currently trying-to-conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding, here are five important things to keep in mind about your calcium intake:

1.     Pregnancy and breastfeeding can deplete your stores of nutrients. Adequate intake of calcium is especially important during pregnancy and breastfeeding, unique times in a woman’s life when her own nutritional stores are constantly tapped to ensure that her growing child is properly nourished. Taking a high-quality calcium supplement before, during and after pregnancy ensures that you maintain adequate stores of this important nutrient.

2.     Bone health is just one of the reasons that calcium supplementation is important for pregnant women. Research indicates that calcium plays a role in preventing preeclampsia, a serious condition of pregnancy which causes high blood pressure and fluid retention. Ensuring optimal intake of calcium before and during pregnancy can go a long way in helping to prevent pregnancy complications, like preeclampsia.

3.     Experts recommend taking no more than 500 milligrams of supplemental calcium at one time. By limiting the supplemental dose to 500 mg, you can minimize the potential “spike” in blood calcium levels that the German and Swiss researchers theorized about, reducing any chance that the calcium will end up in your arteries where it doesn’t belong.

4.     Calcium does not work alone. To work effectively, calcium needs both magnesium and Vitamin D:  magnesium helps transport calcium into the bones and vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium.  Be sure to choose a calcium supplement that also contains magnesium and vitamin D to obtain maximum support.

5.     Consider the form of calcium in your supplement. Supplemental calcium comes in a variety of forms. While calcium carbonate is the most common supplemental form, calcium citrate is thought have better absorption rates. Choose a supplement that contains a combination of calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, and be sure to take your calcium supplement with food.

6.     Include calcium-rich foods in your diet. The healthiest choice is always to obtain vitamins and minerals from a variety of food sources, and to supplement when necessary. If you take a supplement containing 500 mg of calcium, you still need another 500 mg from food to meet the recommended daily amount of 1,000 mg. Low-fat dairy products (milk and yogurt) and green-leafy vegetables are excellent sources of calcium.

Fairhaven Health recently introduced the newest addition to our Pregnancy Plus line of products: PregnancyPlus Cal – Mag. This product was formulated by Dr. Amos Grunebaum, leading fertility expert and Director of Obstetrics and Chief of Labor and Delivery at one of the nation’s top university medical centers, to provide the optimal supplemental dose of calcium and magnesium. It contains a combination of calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, and vitamin D, to ensure optimal absorption of calcium.  For more information about PregnancyPlus Cal-Mag, see www.pregnancy-plus.com.

Increase Your Odds Of Conceiving – The Natural Way

Monday, August 20th, 2012

When we’re younger, we’re told (with good reason!) that nearly any instance of unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy.

When we’re actually trying to conceive, however, we discover that this is not necessarily the case. The reality is that most women have just a 3-5 day window each cycle in which pregnancy can occur. The result? If you’re not aware of your fertile window, the path to pregnancy can quickly become a very frustrating journey.

In calculating your fertile window, it helps to know your average cycle length and whether you have a regular or irregular cycle. You can determine your cycle length by simply counting the days from when full menstrual bleeding begins (cycle day 1) to when you see menstrual bleeding return. A regular cycle is one that contains roughly the same number of days in each cycle, give or take a few. An irregular cycle is when your cycle length varies considerably from cycle to cycle. For women with irregular cycles, ovulation prediction can be a bit more difficult and may be an indicator of an underlying ovulatory disorder. Many women indicate that FertilAid for Women has helped them in imparting some normalcy to an irregular cycle.

With this information in hand, you can begin to track your fertile window through a variety of means, including monitoring changes in your cervical mucus, using urine-based ovulation tests, taking your basal body temperature (BBT), or even using an electronic fertility monitor like the OvaCue.

Once the menstrual bleeding associated with your period ends, your body begins to prepare for its next opportunity to conceive and your ovarian follicle begins to develop and mature. At this time, production of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) increases to help facilitate the maturation of the dominant follicle. The dominant follicle is the “chosen” follicle that your body seeks to rupture, resulting in ovulation.

Your most fertile window is comprised of the days leading up to ovulation, as well as the day of ovulation itself. Due to the fact that sperm can survive within a woman’s body for up 4-5 days, it’s recommended that you time your “procreational” intercourse (aka “babydancing”) to occur just prior to ovulation, as well as on the day of ovulation, to increase your chances of conceiving.

During your fertile window, we would expect you to see a change in the quantity and consistency of your cervical mucus. What is referred to as “fertile-quality” cervical mucus very much resembles raw egg whites in both look and feel. This clear, highly viscous fluid provides the sperm with a healthy medium in which it can swim toward the egg for fertilization. FertileCM is a Fairhaven Health product designed to help support your body’s production of fertile-quality cervical mucus.

When using ovulation tests, you’ll find that knowing your average cycle length comes in handy to help you determine when to begin testing. Women with longer cycles will ovulate later; therefore they will begin testing for ovulation later than women with shorter cycles. Make sure to refer to the directions that come with your brand of ovulation test to you know when to begin testing. Ovulation tests detect the LH surge in your urine, and from the first positive test you see, you can expect that ovulation will occur anywhere from 12-48 hours later. This helpful tool provides you with advance notice of ovulation, allowing you to time intercourse to coincide with your most fertile window.

After ovulation, your body increases its production of progesterone to warm the body and prepare for pregnancy. This shift from estrogen dominance to progesterone dominance is a signal that ovulation has occurred. If you are using a basal thermometer, you will see this switch confirmed by the slight rise in temperature on your basal body temperature (BBT) chart. OvaGraph is a free online service that Fairhaven Health has created to allow women to conveniently chart their BBT online. At this point in your cycle you are in your luteal phase, or what some TTC aficionados affectionately call the “two week wait.” If the egg is fertilized, then your body will begin to prepare for pregnancy, and the fertilized egg will attach and implant to the uterine wall. If not, your body will begin breaking down the uterine lining, resulting in menstruation.

Many struggling TTC couples neglect to consider male fertility as a possible contributing factor, despite the fact that male fertility issues contribute equally to infertility. We recommend that all trying-to-conceive men take a comprehensive male fertility supplement, such as FertiAid for Men. Doing so will provide him with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids needed to ensure optimal sperm health.

Wishing you all the best in your trying-to-conceive efforts!

Chart Your Fertility Online – Free – at OvaGraph.com!

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Do you chart your fertility? That is to say, do you take your basal body temperature each morning and plot it on a graph to identify that telltale temperature spike that indicates your ovulation date? Or better yet, do you use the OvaCue Fertility Monitor – an electronic ovulation prediction device that pinpoints your most fertile time of month?

If you don’t do these things, you should! Basal body temperature charting is a wonderful way to learn more about your body’s reproductive rhythm. And using the OvaCue is simply the best way to ensure you identify your entire peak fertile period – that time of month when you’re most likely to conceive.

Good news! We’ve developed a site for women who’d like to have ALL of their fertility indicators charted and graphed in one convenient location – OvaGraph.com. At OvaGraph, you can enter your daily basal temperatures, OvaCue readings, cervical mucus status, intercourse days, ovulation test results, and much (much!) more. Want to share all of your fertility status with your ObGyn? No problem! You have your own unique link that displays your entire reproductive profile for that cycle, and previous ones as well. Not interested in sharing your fertile status with the world? No worries! Just configure your privacy settings to conform to your own comfort level. Click here to see the chart of Fairhaven Health’s own fertility specialist, Sarah.

Perhaps equally beneficial to trying-to-conceive women, OvaGraph also features a wonderful community of trying-to-conceive women who interact daily in the forum. Get your questions answered by other women in the same position (or by our product experts who log in daily to assist with interpretation) – or just get a bit of support from ladies who really know what you’re going through.

We invite you to come over to OvaGraph and establish your free account today!

Which Nursing Supplement is Right for You?

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Throughout your trying-to-conceive journey, vitamin supplementation, tracking ovulation, and living a generally healthy lifestyle likely played an important role in the conception process. Throughout your pregnancy, you made sure to do all the “right” things – prenatal vitamin supplementation, eating healthy for the two of you, exercising, and finally your little one has been welcomed into the world! Now that you are breastfeeding, it’s important to continue vitamin supplementation to help ensure proper nutritional support for Mom and Baby. Given there are unique nutritional requirements for lactating women, Fairhaven Health has developed two comprehensive vitamin supplements specifically formulated for nursing moms – Nursing Blend and Nursing Postnatal. Which one is right for you?

Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Supplement – This supplement provides the vitamin and mineral support nursing moms need to stay healthy and produce quality breast milk for their babies. It contains 200% Daily Value of the following B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. This complex aids in energy production, the proper function of the immune system and nervous system, and in the production of red and white blood cells. It also contains 700% Daily Value of Vitamin D. Recently, Vitamin D has been shown to play an important role in the prevention and treatment of many conditions, including high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, obesity, seasonal affective disorder, prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Nursing Postnatal also contains 100% Daily Value of most other vitamins and minerals recommended by ObGyns.

The Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Supplement is ideal for women that have a sufficient supply of breast milk and are looking solely for vitamin supplementation. However, if milk supply may be lacking, then we’d recommend the Nursing Blend Breastfeeding Supplement.

Nursing Blend Breastfeeding Supplement – This comprehensive formula contains all the vitamin support that the Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Supplement as well as proprietary blend of herbal galactogogues to help support breast milk production. Fenugreek and fennel seed, in particular, have been used for centuries to help stimulate milk production.

PCOS and Insulin Resistance

Friday, August 19th, 2011

A significant number of the women who experience issues with fertility also suffer from a medical condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  Unfortunately, PCOS affects as many as 1 in 5 women of reproductive age, and most of these women will have difficulty becoming pregnant.  Many women who are diagnosed with PCOS have multiple, small cysts in their ovaries, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and cycle irregularity. But, the presence of cysts on the ovaries is just one of the signs of this syndrome.  In fact, PCOS is characterized by a wide array of symptoms, including acne, weight gain, loss of hair, abnormal hair growth (typically seen on the face, back, or fingers), miscarriages, and sleeping problems.

While there is still much to learn about PCOS, it is now believed that the symptoms listed above, including the development of multiple cysts in the ovaries, appear when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive amounts of male hormones, particularly testosterone.  And, what stimulates the ovaries to produce abnormally large amounts of male hormones? The answer: Insulin.

What exactly does it mean to be insulin resistant?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. On the surface of each cell of the body there are insulin receptors, little doors that open and close to regulate the flow of glucose (the sugar that is used by your body’s cells for energy) into the cell.  These receptors, or doors, are activated by insulin.  Women who have PCOS often have insulin receptors that do not function efficiently. This causes a condition known as insulin resistance, which forces the pancreas to produce more and more insulin to push glucose into the cells. These elevated insulin levels have the detrimental effects described above. It estimated that anywhere from 30-50% of women with PCOS experience insulin resistance.

How is insulin resistance controlled?

Recently, I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion surrounding the benefits (or lack thereof) of taking the prescription medication known as Metformin for PCOS and insulin resistance. Metformin is a drug used to help control blood glucose in three ways; it decreases the absorption of dietary carbohydrates through the intestines, it reduces the production of glucose by the liver and it increases the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. Simply stated, it lowers insulin, glucose, and testosterone levels, which results in a decrease in the symptoms associated with PCOS. Therefore, addressing insulin resistance helps many women with PCOS restore cycle regularity and increase their chances of conception.

There is also a large amount of information available about lifestyle changes that could help control insulin resistance. Weight loss has shown to be helpful for women that may be overweight – yet, weight loss can be more difficult for those with PCOS. The combination of dietary changes and more aerobic exercise has been shown to help even if weight loss is not achieved. What dietary changes are most helpful? Eliminating high glycemic carbohydrates such as refined sugars, white bread, and refined corn and potato products and incorporating high-fiber foods (whole grain bread and brown rice) and non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc) is recommended.

For women with PCOS that are trying-to-conceive, herbal supplements (such as, FertilAid for Women) can help to restore hormonal balance and encourage cycle regulation.

Categories
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