Posts Tagged ‘trying-to-conceive’

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

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!

What is a Semen Analysis (SA) Exactly?

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Unfortunately, when trying to get pregnant many couples encounter difficulties and visiting a fertility specialist becomes necessary. This is not just for the ladies…men may be asked to have a semen analysis done as inadequate sperm count, motility, and/or morphology affects more than 30% of couples facing infertility. A semen analysis measures the amount and quality of semen in the sample to determine if there is infertility issue.

The preparation for a semen analysis is actually quite simple. He may be asked to abstain from any sexual activity 2-4 days before the analysis. It is also recommend to not avoid sexual activity for the 1-2 weeks before the analysis, because sexual inactivity can hinder the results. At the appointment, he is asked to masturbate into a clean, wide mouthed bottle. This bottle is then delivered to the laboratory for testing. Men that are concerned with the process of masturbating in the doctor’s office should ask for alternate ways to provide the sample.

Approximately 30 minutes after the sample is taken (allowing the semen to liquefy), multiple tests are performed:

Semen Volume: 2-6 ml is a normal volume of ejaculate in a healthy man. An especially high or low volume can signify an issue that may need to be investigated.

Semen Viscosity: Semen should liquefy in about 30 minutes. If it doesn’t liquefy, this likely indicates an infection of the seminal vesicles and prostate.

Semen pH: The alkaline pH protects the sperm from the acidity of vaginal fluids.

Presence of fructose: Fructose provides energy for sperm motility – an absence of fructose may indicate a block in the mail reproductive tract.

Sperm Count: Sperm count is measured by an examination under the microscope. If the sample is less than 20 million per sperm per ml, this is considered low sperm count.

Sperm Motility: Sperm motility is the ability of the sperm to move. For fertility purposes, it’s important to remember that only the sperm that move forward fast are able to fertilize the egg. Motility is graded from A to D;

A – sperm swim forward fast in a straight line

B – sperm swim forward, but in a curved or crooked line, or slowly

C – sperm move their tails, but do not move forward

D – sperm do not move at all

Grade C and D are of concern when testing for fertility.

Sperm Morphology: Sperm should have a regular oval head, with a connecting mid-piece and a long straight tail. Abnormal sperm is distorted in shape (round heads, large heads, double heads, absent tails, etc). A normal sample should have at least 15% with normal form.

Sperm Clumping: Sperm clumping (or agglutination) means sperm stick together. This impairs motility.

Pus Cells: Some white blood cells in the semen is normal – however, many pus cells suggest the presence of an infection.

For couples that are trying-to-conceive, if the semen analysis is abnormal, it will likely be repeated 3-4 times over a period of a couple months. This will help to confirm if there is indeed an abnormality present. If so, you can then work to treat that specific issue.

Not sure if you need a semen analysis? The SpermCheck fertility test is a convenient and affordable way to measure for normal count. You can test in the privacy of your own home, if the result shows low sperm count it would be a good indicator that thorough analysis is warranted.

There also are herbal supplements available on the market to help address issues with sperm count, motility, and morphology. FertilAid for Men works to promote the healthy production of sperm and has been shown to have a positive effect on all three of those parameters. For men diagnosed with low sperm count (under 20 million per ml), CountBoost can be taken in conjunction with FerilAid for Men to specifically address a low sperm count. For men diagnosed with low motility (grade c or d), MotilityBoost can be taken in conjunction with FertilAid for Men to specifically address poor motility.

Finally… an Accurate At-Home Sperm Test for Assessing Male Fertility

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Fairhaven Health Introduces the SpermCheck Fertility Test

No man relishes the idea of having a semen analysis conducted to assess his fertility. The prospect of “procuring a sample” in a clinical setting is enough to make most men uncomfortable, to say the least.

While laboratory-conducted semen analyses are by no means a thing of the past, there is at least now an at-home option that provides concrete data on one of the most critical parameters of male fertility – sperm count.

The brand-new SpermCheck Fertility Test is an easy-to-use, affordable (retails online for around $35) male fertility test distributed by Fairhaven Health. Within minutes, the SpermCheck Fertility Test can tell you if your sperm count is within the “normal” range – 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen or higher, as defined by the World Health Organization.

Developed by researchers at the University of Virginia, the SpermCheck Fertility Test works by detecting an antigen found on the surface of the head of a sperm cell known as SP-10. The method employed by the test has been demonstrated to be accurate 96% of the time.

To learn more about the SpermCheck Fertility Test, visit the product website. Units are available for purchase directly from Fairhaven Health.

Guest Feature by Toni Weschler – The Fertility Awareness Method

Monday, March 15th, 2010

I never cease to be amazed by the number of times I run into people who tell me that they have been trying to get pregnant for nearly a year, but have never been taught the most basic information about their bodies.  If only people were routinely taught the fundamentals of human reproduction in school, scores of couples would not be erroneously led to believe they have an infertility problem. This is where the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) comes in.

The Fertility Awareness Method is an easy but scientific means of charting the woman’s menstrual cycle on a daily basis. It involves observing the two primary fertility signs: waking temperature and cervical fluid, and the optional third sign: cervical changes.

It is the most practical way that a woman can tell on a day to day basis what is going on in her body. Not only can she use it for pregnancy achievement or natural birth control, but it can alert her to numerous potential gynecological issues.

The hallmark of a healthy cycle is ovulation, and more specifically, when it occurs in the cycle. Charting easily allows women to know if and when they are ovulating. If a woman isn’t ovulating, it can be indicative of many possible causes which would need to be rectified if a woman wants to become pregnant.

But a doctor is only as good as the data he/she has to work with. So if a patient comes in with nothing to provide her physician, her doctor will have to start at Square One and conduct all sorts of potentially invasive and expensive diagnostic tests, many of which would be totally unnecessary if the woman were charting her cycles.

FAM allows women and their health practitioners to determine many potential problems relating to their cycle, including:
• not ovulating
• delayed ovulation
• luteal phase defects
• unsuitable cervical fluid production
• hormonal imbalances
• insufficient progesterone levels
• miscarriages

The Fertility Awareness Method is incredibly simple. When the alarm rings, you simply slip the digital thermometer in your mouth until it beeps, about a minute. Then whenever you use the bathroom, observe what it feels like when you wipe herself (always from front to back!) Does it feel dry? Creamy? Slippery? Then in the evening, record it. That’s it!

Yet it’s amazing how many women are initially put off by the thought of “so much work.” But do you begrudge brushing your teeth every day? FAM doesn’t take anymore time to chart your two fertility signs each day! And scores of women have the same reaction to learning how to chart: initially, they are incredibly excited about the sense of control they finally feel over their bodies.

But that excitement often evolves into anger when they realize all of the years that they thought they were infertile, only to discover that they simply needed to understand their particular cycles. Or when they realize all the side effects and physical ramifications they endured over the years with most methods of birth control. Or they feel humiliated when they remember all the times they ran off to the gynecologist, seemingly every month, for what turned out to be absolutely normal and healthy cyclical cervical fluid.

So what is the most practical take-home message I could give you when trying to get pregnant? Learn the empowering benefits of charting your cycle! Then have sex on those few days each cycle when you have slippery cervical fluid at your vaginal opening. And keep in mind that it won’t necessarily be Day 14, since women may ovulate earlier or later in the cycle than that day.

Good luck!

By Toni Weschler, Fairhaven Health guest contributor

Toni Weschler is the author of “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”, a national bestseller widely regarded as the preeminent guide to helping women conceive naturally. For over 20 years she has been a committed educator having started “Fertility Awareness Counseling and Training Seminars (FACTS) back in 1986. She recently completed another book, “Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen’s Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body” which helps teenage girls to better understand their bodies on a day-to-day basis.

Improve your Odds of Conceiving

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Knowing what you should and shouldn’t be doing when trying-to-conceive can greatly improve your odds of getting pregnant. First things first, it is important that you are having sex at the right time of the month. Timing intercourse during your “fertile window”, the days leading up to ovulation, will dramatically increase your odd of conceiving. See Am I Ovulating, to learn when you ovulate.

If you are having a hard time predicting your ovulation due to an irregular cycle, natural fertility enhancing supplements can help to regulate your cycle and boost your fertility. FertilAid for Women, promotes hormonal balance, which helps to regulate ovulation and improve overall reproductive wellness. FertilAid for Men is designed to increase sperm count and motility by supporting the healthy formation of sperm. When you are trying-to-conceive, make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamins – including folic acid,  as it can help to reduce the chances of neural tube defects.

Now for a couple things to steer away from…no smoking or drinking when trying-to-conceive. It is a good idea to decrease your caffeine intake as well. Also, something you may not have thought of – if you are taking any prescription medications, talk with your doctor to make sure you are not negatively impacting your chances of conceiving.

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