Optimizing Reproductive Health for Conception
Most people are aware of the impact of maternal lifestyle on a developing embryo and fetus during pregnancy. Gradually, more are becoming aware of the importance of lifestyle issues for both men and women when conception is a goal. This is often referred to as pre-conception planning. What follows is an overview of what to avoid, what to do differently, and what to know before trying to conceive, in an effort to provide as clear a path as possible toward conception.
The Ovulation Cycle
While most women have some understanding of their menstrual cycles, many are surprised to learn that they don't know much about the ovulation cycle itself -- or that there's even a difference!
Reproductive Assistance: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (or insertion or microinjection), also known as ICSI, is an innovative procedure used to literally inject the male gamete (sperm) into the female gamete (egg) in an effort to achieve conception.
Endometriosis, or "endo" as it is sometimes called, is believed to be quite common -- estimates of occurrence range from approximately 6% to 15% of all women. As with many unseen diseases, actual occurrence rates are hard to come by, due to difficulty of diagnosis.
Toxin Exposure Effects
Most of us know that the word "toxin" refers to unhealthy substances. Things like insecticides and gas fumes come to mind. Unfortunately, many toxins are not so easily detectable. Some toxins can have an impact on a person's fertility.
Can Control Freaks Conceive?
Can you relate to being a control freak or perfectionist? References to these terms are heard often in our chatroom and forums. Could there be a connection?
Making Babies for Gay Men & Lesbians
Infertile couples are not the only people who make use of assisted reproductive technologies to build their families. Single straight adults, gay men, and lesbians also access many of the resources used by folks who have a hard time conceiving. This article focuses on the issues and resources available to gay and lesbian parent wannabe's...
Looking for That Fertile Window?
If you're trying to conceive, you've heard of the "fertile window," and you're probably focusing on your own right now. For the uninitiated, the term refers to a reportedly very small period of time during a woman's cycle when she is able to get pregnant.
Breast Cancer & Fertility
While most connections between fertility issues and cancer are regarding cancer of the reproductive organs, some may have questions about the relationship between other, more common forms of cancer and trying to conceive. Here, we'll address any relationship between what is a very common cancer -- cancer of the breast -- and infertility.
Age as a Cause of Infertility
It is probably too well-known to some that the older a woman gets, the more likely she is to have fertility problems. Researchers are just learning that the same might be said for men.
Unspeakable Realities Entwined: Child Abuse & Infertility
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Child abuse is not something that most of us like to even think about, especially those who are longing for children of their own to care for and love.
Since most folks in the United States do not have insurance coverage for fertility treatment, we're always on the lookout for other ways to handle the expenses of our infertility journeys. For many, one of those ways is through understanding your tax-related options.
What Infertile People Find Scary About Adoption
For most visitors to this site, adoption is something that they may never have considered before being confronted with infertility. Getting to the point of considering adoption is typically not something that comes quickly or easily; rather, it is a bend in the road that must be journeyed to by people seeking to build their families.
What About Sex?
Okay, so you want to get pregnant -- you just need to have a lot of sex, right? The correct answer is "Maybe..." Test your knowledge!
Future Fertility - Play Now, Pay Later?
Is there a simple test for future fertility? No. However, there are some health indicators which might act as red flags, signaling possible problems. Most importantly, it is possible to make efforts to protect your plans to have children.
Fathers-To-Be Speak Their Minds
It's a common fact that men simply don't use support groups or services in the same way or frequency as women. When situations in their lives warrant assistance from others, many men choose to hunker down and deal with things alone. It's no different regarding the situations that come with infertility.
Having a good foundation of knowledge about the workings of your ovulatory cycle is important, to say the least, when planning a family. However, not everyone will have or make the time to learn about their reproductive hormones and natural ways to predict fertility. That said, we will begin our discussion of the variety of mechanical methods to determine ovulation.
Keeping Your Marriage Alive
To the uninitiated, the term "trying to conceive" (or TTC) is synonymous with inspired sexual relations and all that can mean to a marriage. For those who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to have children, however, TTC can become a disabling label that can end even the best of relationships.
So You Want to Be A Dad?
When conception difficulties are in the way, many folks immediately jump to the wrong conclusion -- that the man is "shooting blanks." Such words strike humiliation in the hearts of most men. This is not only insensitive, it also results in many men side-stepping the crucial diagnostic phase. The fact is that, of those cases of infertility which will have a diagnosed cause, virtually half are resulting from male-factor issues.
Financing Infertility: Creative Funding Sources
Now that you have your plan in place, where do you get the money? Through your initial planning, you may have found (like most of us) a shortage of extra funds to be used for infertility treatments.
The Impact of Language
Words are powerful; just ask anyone who has recently heard the word "infertile" applied to their personal situation. Confusion surrounds medical terminology in many arenas, and reproductive medicine is no different. In the New England Journal of Medicine, several letters to the editor took issue with a study published in the January 1999 edition. The large clinical study, Efficacy of Superovulation and Intrauterine Insemination in the Treatment of Infertility (Guzick DS, Carson SA, Coutifaris C,
Impact of Lifestyle Choices
Most of us have good ideas about what it takes to be a good parent. Most people who are planning to be parents one day also plan to make changes to their lifestyle when that time comes -- after all, many things about our pre-parenthood lifestyle simply don't mix with children in the home.
Could it be that something as simple as what you eat can have an impact on your fertility? There are no specific foods or beverages that will definitely make anyone more fertile. However, one's overall nutrition has a subtle, but powerful effect on all of the body's systems, including the reproductive.
Infertility and Holidays
As holidays approach, it's easy for people experiencing infertility to feel gloomy. Regardless of culture, religious affiliation, or socioeconomics, most holidays conjure up media-fed images of happy families gathering. For anyone who's having trouble conceiving or maintaining a successful pregnancy, these images can dredge up emotional pain, even in folks who felt that they have been dealing well with their family-building struggle.
Virtual Commemorative Candlelighting
Losing a child is supremely painful, no matter the child's age or circumstances of the death. People coping with infertility are, in general, at higher risk for miscarriage for many reasons, so there are many among our trying-to-conceive (TTC) community who are not just TTC, but are working to bring a conception to a happy fruition. There are many, many among us who are silently grieving lost children whom they have never seen.