Posts Tagged ‘infertility terms’

Fertility Coaches – Who They Are and How They Can Help

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Fertility coaches, also known as infertility life coaches, help a couple to steer their way through the difficult decisions and treatment options that may be presented throughout their bout with infertility. As many know, this time can be especially trying on your relationship as well.  Family and friends may not know what to say or how to help. A fertility coach can help to lay out all the information necessary while providing full support throughout your decisions.

Fertility coaches can be there every step of the way whether for advice on medical procedures, prescription medications or even alternative treatment options. They can walk you through the entire process (and confusing medical terminology) while explaining the benefits and/or consequences to each option. This helps a couple to feel more prepared and confident when picking the option that is right for them and are better equipped to communicate more effectively with their doctor. Some even help determine if insurance will help to cover your specific treatment choice. If infertility persists, fertility coaches can help support the couple as they determine if they want to consider adoption or a life without children.

Dealing with infertility can be quite an emotional rollercoaster for a couple – and having to make such important and possible life-changing decisions can put an even bigger toll on your relationship. Having a fertility coach to talk with allows the couple to discuss each of their own fears and concerns, as different as these concerns may be, in a safe environment.  Individual, couple, and group sessions are available dependent upon the fertility coach. Many offer sessions over the phone or online to provide a certain type of comfort and confidentiality if that is what the couple prefers.  Fertility coaches can help you to look forward in your battle against infertility and lend a hand in helping you choose the best option for you.

A Few Ovulation Myths Uncovered

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from one of your ovaries and travels through the fallopian tubes to await fertilization. On average, the egg will live approximately 12-24 hours awaiting fertilization from sperm. If conception doesn’t occur, the unfertilized egg, uterine lining, and additional blood will be shed during menstruation. If conception does occur, the egg will implant in the uterine wall within about 6-12 days.

Understanding ovulation is very important if you are trying to conceive. Here are a few common myths and misconceptions.

A Woman Can Get Pregnant Only One Day During Her Cycle. It is true that ovulation (meaning the dropping of one or more eggs) generally only occurs on one day of the cycle, but a woman can actually get pregnant from having had intercourse 4-5 days before ovulation occurs. The reason for this is that sperm can live for up to 5 days in a healthy reproductive tract.

A Normal Menstrual Cycle is 28 Days, and Ovulation OccuEggs-Basketrs on Day 14 of the Cycle. The reality is that every woman’s cycle is different, and generally ranges from 24-36 days. Ovulation days can also depend on the woman and can occur many days before or after the 14th day of her cycle. You will not necessarily be fertile on the 14th day of your cycle. Fertility Charting, and the use of ovulation microscopes and other predictor devices are recommended to test for your window of fertility.

Women Can Ovulate More Than once During Her Cycle. This is not true. Ovulation only occurs once during the cycle of a healthy woman. It is true that more than one egg may be released during ovulation, but this almost always occurs within 24 hours of each other.

Women Ovulate on the Same Day Each Month. While most women ovulate towards the middle of their cycle, the actual day can change month to month, even in women with regular cycles. This is one reason that tracking for ovulation is so important!

What is a Chemical Pregnancy?

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Have you ever received a faint positive on a pregnancy test… only to be later told by your doctor that you’re not, in fact, pregnant?

What you may have experienced is known as a “chemical pregnancy”, a clinical term used to describe what is essentially a very early miscarriage. In a chemical pregnancy, it is thought that an egg is fertilized but fails to implant. It is believed that chemical pregnancies occur quite frequently (around 50% of first pregnancies end in miscarriage very early on in the pregnancy). They often go unnoticed, however, unless the woman is actively testing for pregnancy with early detection pregnancy tests prior to her expected period.

More readily available today, early detection pregnancy tests can predict pregnancy days before a missed period. This style of test is designed for couples who want to know of their pregnancy as early as possible. Unlike older style tests that are to be used after a missed period, early detection tests have the ability to detect a chemical pregnancy.

Doctors are unsure why chemical pregnancies occur, but they are thought to be similar to a miscarriage in that there may have been chromosomal abnormalities in the developing fetus. Chemical pregnancies are not a result of anything that you have done, nor can you prevent them.

Many women suffer the emotional affects similar to those of a miscarriage; it is OK to feel these emotions and feelings of loss. While you will most likely not experience reoccurring chemical pregnancies, if you do, please see your doctor to discuss possible causes and solutions.

What are Early Detection Pregnancy Tests?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Many store-bought pregnancy tests recommend waiting to test for pregnancy until after a missed period. In contrast, early-detection pregnancy tests (often used in fertility clinics) may detect pregnancy as early as just six to eight days after conception!

Early pregnancy tests can come in the form of a test strip (like the ones clinics use to dip in a cup of collected urine) or a midstream test (the same style you would find at a drug store where you urinate directly on the test stick). Both test types are capable of detecting human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG (a hormone present in women’s urine during pregnancy) at very low levels (i.e. ~20 mIU/ml/hCG). This means that instead of waiting for a missed period to test for pregnancy, you can begin testing about a week before your missed period.

Many women don’t realize that the same pregnancy tests found in your neighborhood drugstore are available to purchase online for a fraction of the price. A store we recommended is They have an excellent reputation, offer free shipping, and they also supply fertility clinics and hospitals around the country.

Trying to Conceive? Learn the Lingo to Help You On Your Way…

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Fertility SeedlingFor all of you newbie TTCC’s (trying to conceive couples), or family and friends who seem lost when you talk about your TTC endeavors, here is a great little list of terms you will want to be familiar with.

BBT Charting. Basal Thermometer
Charting your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). BBT charting measures the rise in body temperature just following ovulation. By charting BBT, you can begin to understand your cycle and predict your most fertile times. Basal thermometers.

OPK s or Ovulation Tests
Ovulation predictor kits can anticipate ovulation, predicting your most fertile times. OPKs are a reliable and increasingly inexpensive way to predict ovulation accurately. Better yet, ovulation tests also provide a day or more latitude to plan for intercourse. These tests come in two formats: OPK strips and midstream.

Cervical Mucus / Cervical Mucous
Examining changes in your cervical mucus can tell you a great deal about where you are in your cycle. Directly prior to ovulation, changes in the consistency and color of your cervical mucus can alert you to impending ovulation. At ovulation, the quantity of mucus will increase greatly and the appearance will resemble “egg whites”, often semitransparent. The texture will become increasingly slippery and ‘stretchable’. This is your most fertile time.

Corpus luteum
A structure that develops in the ovary and secretes progesterone, which is vital to maintain a uterine environment capable of supporting pregnancy. When the corpus luteum stops functioning, and if a fertilized ovum does not embed in the uterine lining and the placenta begins producing hormones of its own, hormone levels quickly decrease and menstruation begins.

Chemical Pregnancy
A spontaneous miscarriage just following implantation of the egg. You may test positive for pregnancy, as hCG levels do increase for a short while; hence the term chemical pregnancy.

It is a fluid-filled sac in the ovary that sustains the developing egg, and from which the egg is released during ovulation. The follicle is stimulated to release the ovum by a hormone called FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), which is made by the pituitary gland.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It is necessary to achieve pregnancy because it stimulates the maturation of a follicle (within the ovary), allowing for the process of ovulation.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG) is the hormone that prolongs the lifespan of the corpus luteum as well as stimulates production of progesterone, another hormone essential to maintain the pregnancy. Our early detection pregnancy tests detect the hCG hormone.

When the fertilized egg settles into the uterine lining or endometrium.

Implantation Bleeding
A slight spotting can sometimes, but not always, result from implantation of the egg.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)
A female hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, necessary to regulate ovarian function. Ovulation tests detect LH, thus indicating peak fertility.

LH Surge
The increase in luteinizing hormone in your urine. You are most likely to become pregnant if you have intercourse within 24-48 hours after you detect your LH surge, with 36 hours marking your peak fertility time. Ovulation tests detect your lh surge, allowing you to predict fertility, the time you will most likely become pregnant.

“Middle pain” – an ache or twinge in the lower abdomen – caused by ovulation.

One of the two female reproductive organs in which eggs are formed.

The release of the egg (ovum) from the ovary. Ovulation usually occurs approximately 14 days before the next menstrual period is due. Women with irregular cycles can benefit from using a saliva ovulation microscope like Fertile Focus or Ovulook.

Ovulation Test, OPK, Ovulation Predictor Tests
A home ovulation test detects a woman’s LH-Surge – or the time a woman ovulates, allowing a determination of when conception is most likely to take place (period of peak fertility).

Pregnancy Test, HPT, hCG Home Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests detect in urine the hormone your body makes during pregnancy: hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). The amount of pregnancy hormone increases as pregnancy progresses.

One of the female sex hormones, which is produced by the ovary and placenta. Progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus, for implantation of a fertilized egg, and helps maintain the pregnancy.

The male reproductive cell. Healthy male sperm can survive approximately 72 hours in a woman’s body.

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