Posts Tagged ‘Fertility Good Health’

Seasonal Foods That Increase Your Fertility and Contribute to a Healthy Pregnancy

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Can lemons increase fertility? What about a regular diet of swordfish?

There are tons of myths floating around about foods that supposedly aid in increasing fertility. You’ve probably gotten advice from friends, family, random websites, and even complete strangers, making it difficult to separate myth from fact.

In this article, Ethan Lynette explains how certain seasonal foods can increase women’s fertility, as well as the benefits of eating seasonally.

View the full article here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/parenting/pregnancy/seasonal-foods-that-increase-your-fertility-and-contribute-to-a-healthy

Q&A with Fairhaven Health and Rosie Pope!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

As you’ve probably heard, we’ve partnered with the one and only Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s Pregnant in Heels! Although Rosie is known from her show, she’s also an accomplished designer, educator, and an all-around hip mom. We’re on a mission to educate couples about fertility and pregnancy wellness.

Have you ever wondered how she stays so stylish with 3 kids (#4 on the way!)? Or if she struggled trying to conceive? Read our fun and informative Q&A with her 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!

The Benefits of Vitex and Other Herbs on Fertility

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The benefits of herbal supplementation to enhance fertility are unfortunately often overlooked. One of the most recognized and recommended herbs used in fertility enhancement is Chasteberry, or Vitex (vitex agnus-castus). Vitex is a fertility-promoting herb that has been used as far back as ancient Greece. Vitex was and still is recognized for its medicinal properties, which are used for a number of ailments. For centuries, women have used vitex to increase their odds of conceiving a baby, as well as to treat symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance and PMS.

Recently, Vitex has been shown in several clinical studies to help stimulate and stabilize the reproductive hormones involved in ovulation, cycle balance, and menstrual vitex1regularity. These studies also document a statistically-significant increase in fertility among women using vitex, with more pregnancies than in control groups using a placebo. Vitex is an important ingredient in both FertilAid and FertiliTea which contain a number of other fertility enhancing and nutritive herbs such as Red Raspberry Leaf, Green Tea, Ladies Mantle and Nettle Leaf.

Couples who are trying to conceive are now, more than ever, turning to more natural ways of addressing infertility. Scientifically validated ingredients found in fertility supplements may lead to increased conception rates and provide a healthful alternative to conventional treatments such as prescription drugs or other invasive treatment options.

Alternative Therapies: Improving Fertility With Acupuncture and Yoga

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Dating back thousands of years in China, acupuncture is increasingly becoming a respected form of treatment in Western medicine for many ailments and conditions, including infertility. Yoga is also increasingly viewed as a legitimate alternative fertility treatment. Traditionally Indian, meaning “union” in Sanskrit, yoga is a series of physical postures and poses designed to create union between the mind, body and spirit. Combined with proper supplementation, yoga and acupuncture may help you increase your fertility odds, and is a great alternative to harsh and expensive fertility treatments!

Acupuncture

In acupuncture, based on the problem you’re experiencing, different ‘points’ are stimulated using long, thin acupuncture needles. These long, thin needles vary in length according to which point it is to be inserted into. The idea is that by stimulating these points, energy flow is reAcupunctureFertilitybalanced and the body can then begin to heal itself. While Western practitioners admit that they are unsure of the connection between acupuncture and fertility, many recommend it as a way of regulating ovulation and menstruation for women trying to conceive, as well as decreasing stress levels, opening blocked sperm ducts in men, and increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. Acupuncture has been recommended by fertility specialists and naturopaths and homeopathic specialists for both diagnosed and non-diagnosed couples with fertility problems. It has also become widely recommended to women undergoing In vitro Fertilization (IVF) and other fertility treatments. In fact, A German study in 2002 found that performing acupuncture about 25 minutes before and 25 minutes after an embryo transfer increases pregnancy rates to 42.5 percent, compared to about 26 percent without acupuncture! *

Yoga

While gaining popularity by many Westerners as great exercise and an alternative to the gym, like Acupuncture, yoga has also become a recommended alternative to infertility treatments such as In vitro Fertilization and Clomid. Yoga and specific yoga poses recommended for fertility, help to balance 6771_110377760781_92240570781_2157315_114072_nhormones while others increase the amount of blood flow to your organs, thereby stimulating and strengthening them. Meditation can also be a part of yoga, which can be a great stress management technique. Check out PhD, RYT, scientist and yoga instructor Anna Davis’s Bend, Breathe & Conceive for a respected fertility yoga DVD that receives incredibly good feedback and reviews!

* http://www.alpineacupuncture.com/Infertility.htm

An Interview with Elizabeth Austen, the Founder of ‘Fill Their Arms’

Friday, October 16th, 2009

“…infertility has had such a huge impact on my life – I’m going to have a huge impact on infertility”!

beth1.5Elizabeth Austen is the Founder of Fill Their Arms, a non-profit organization created to provide financial support for those struggling with infertility. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University of Northridge as well as a certification in crisis counseling from The Women’s Coalition of Ventura, California. Elizabeth is married and has experienced the pain of infertility and miscarriage. We feel very fortunate to have been able to interview her about Fill Their Arms and hope you find this information helpful.

Fill Their Arms Mission Statement: We intend to eliminate the financial hardship that infertile couples experience by empowering family and friends to contribute and provide support. We strive to increase infertility awareness by educating the public and spreading truth.

Fairhaven Health: What prompted you to start a business like Fill Their Arms?

Elizabeth: There is a huge need! During my and Zach’s four year struggle with infertility, we found that our options were extremely limited. Fertility care and treatment was a struggle because of the expense; Adoption was completely out of our reach. Meanwhile, I observed how other foundations served people who had illnesses. I thought to myself, “What about infertility? Why isn’t there something for that?” I thought about how much easier things would be if everyone in our family and circle of support donated towards our efforts to become parents. As I began to connect with other couples in the same boat, I saw that there was a real need.

Fairhaven Health: And then you started Fill Their Arms?

(more…)

What is Pre-Seed Sperm Friendly Lubricant?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Hi all! A lot of people have been asking me about Pre-Seed- the sperm friendly lubricant. I poked around for information, and even got a letter from the inventor of Pre-Seed with a lot of information….

Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

early-pregnancy-tests_2073_6538990
* Does not harm sperm, or interfere with fertilization & embryo development as shown in presentations at major medical meetings
* Numerous US and International Patents
* Contains the plant sugar, arabinogalactan, for antioxidant support of sperm
* Pre-Seed is applied internally, because it has the same pH, ion concentration and viscosity (consistency) as fertile cervical mucus.
* Clinical tests support Pre-Seed’s benefit in peer-reviewed published studies
* Used in and recommended by hundreds of fertility and women’s health clinics -
* Read our many inspiring Users’ Stories from people just like you
(more…)

Infertility- Some Thoughts From Those Who Suffer

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Thank you so very much, to all of you who have opened your hearts and shared your story with Fairhaven Health. Here are some thoughts that have been shared by our customers, friends, and online community about infertility.

Infertility…

  • is the time a future parent suffers the most for their child.bigstockphoto_Couple_In_Love_73114
  • can be scary, emotional, and very difficult to deal with. But it doesn’t have to be dealt with alone!
  • is a struggle that can be overcome… we just have to believe and stay positive!
  • is a struggle that no one can understand until it happens to them.
  • is really difficult, but “Some of the BEST things in life are WORTH waiting for.” :)
  • has been and still is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through.
  • is the most frustrating & heart wrenching aspect of life one can go through. To not know “why” and “what” is the biggest problem.
  • is something most don’t understand. Those suffering from it would give anything in the world to get pregnant. Along with infertility comes: tears, charting, OPK, BBT, frustration, neg pregnancy tests, and much more.
  • is hard to deal with but worth it in the end when your blessed with an angel!
  • changes the lives of many. Not only do we have to deal with all the problems of trying to get pregnant, but also the many losses that can also result from infertility issues, then we try and pick up the pieces and start all over again. It gets harder and harder as more time goes by.
  • gets harder and harder as each HPT is negative.
  • is rarely talked about and the person next to you could be experiencing the same thing and u never know it. It is one of those things u wanna hide in the closet and leave there. Quite depressing really when all u want is a child of your own!
  • is very emotional, it makes you a whole different person. You feel like no one understands you and what you are feeling and struggling with. It is also very hard on couples to become so consumed with with having a baby
  • is life altering. You never think you are going to be “that person” until you go through it first hand and the experience really changes you- as a person and as a couple.

__________________

  • Waiting *patiently* for a baby isn’t easy, it’s quite a roller coaster ride! Between the hopefulness, anticipation, letdown and tears, not to mention the insensitive comments from others, it’s overwhelming sometimes.
  • No matter how tiring and frustrating it may become…we will continue to push forward in hopes that one day soon we will be blessed w/ another child.
  • I so want my little boy to have a sibling soon. I wish for it real soon, but know it will happen on God’s timetable.
  • People tell me that since its me and not my wife and that we still have a chance of getting a pregnant. People tell me to get a sperm donor and that hurts me very much. Prayers are appreciated from a great man that wants to be a great father.
  • After trying for 7 years, we finally became pregnant in 2005 with our now three year old son. We started trying again in 2007, so that there wouldn’t be a big age gap between our kiddos, well two years later and one chemical pregnancy, we still do not have another baby. I really want to give my son a sibling and want to feel the joys of being a mom all over again.

Please read Melissa Sanford’s blog post about Staying Positive in the Midst of Infertility for tips on how to keep your chin up!

How Can I Stay Positive During infertility?

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

We feel honored today to be joined by Melissa Sanford, who is a life coach who helps women deal with the emotional ups and downs that come from struggling with infertility issues. Melissa herself is trying to conceive, and has done many years of research on staying positive during infertility.

MelissaSanfordHeadShotHow can I stay positive during infertility?
There are many ingredients necessary to staying happy and peaceful during infertility. These include fully grieving your losses, pursuing your passions and nurturing yourself and your marriage just to name a few. But the most important thing you can do to stay mentally healthy during fertility issues is manage your thinking. And I don’t mean just walking around trying to think positive thoughts, I mean picking out painful thoughts, questioning them and then consciously replacing them with thoughts that feel better. Here’s how this Notice/Question/Replace process works.

1. Notice what you’re thinking
The first step to staying positive is to actually notice what you’re thinking and find the painful or limiting thoughts. Seems simple, right? Well, it can be tricky to get down to the thoughts at first. If you’re having trouble I recommend first tapping into how you’re feeling. Are you sad, angry, anxious or confused? Your feelings are actually driven by your thoughts. Once you have figured out the feeling, ask yourself why you feel that way and write down any thoughts you uncover. (Note – if you’re feeling great there’s no need to do this work on your thoughts).

2. Question the thought
Step two in the process is to question whether or not the thought is true. It’s simple, but powerful. So, read the thought you wrote down and ask yourself this: “Can I know with 100% certainty that this thought is true?” If your answer is yes, that’s okay. You may really believe it’s true. But oftentimes, the answer to this question will be no. Realizing that your thought is not completely true removes much of its power.

3. Replace it with a true, better-feeling thought
The last step is to replace your thought with a different thought that is true AND makes you feel better. You cannot replace a thought with what you think you should be thinking – that never works. You must choose a replacement thought that you believe and that improves your feeling state.

Let’s look at an example. I had a client who was feeling completely hopeless about her fertility issues. When I asked her why she felt hopeless she answered “Simply put – I’ll never be a mother. My body will never sustain a pregnancy. I’m pretty much not getting the family I dreamed of having.” There were three separate painful thoughts that were leading to her feelings of hopelessness. Let’s plug the first thought into the Notice/Question/Replace process.

Notice – Her painful thought was “I’ll never be a mother.”

Question – When she asked herself “Can I know with 100% certainty that thought is true?” the answer was no. This immediately started shifting her feelings.

Replace – The client chose a replacement thought that was true for her and felt better: “I know I’ll be a mother someday but motherhood may look different then I thought it would.”

This thought work gave the client instant relief as it often does. I use this process daily in dealing with my own infertility and I know it can help you, too. Infertility is a winding road fraught with disappointments, uncertainty and wildly shifting emotions. So, grab a pen and paper and get to work on your thinking – it’s the surest and fastest path to peace.

To learn more about Melissa, and living with peace, joy and abundance in the midst of infertility, see her website: http://findingfertileground.com. Also, be sure to check out her new Fertile Ground Coaching Circle! http://findingfertileground.com/coaching-circle

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