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The Secret to Making a Baby Lies in Choosing What’s Best for You Traditional Strategies & Little Known Alternatives Doctors Often Don’t Discuss that Help You Increase the Odds of a Quicker Conception
By: Beth Kiley
© Beth Kiley 2006 All Rights Reserved
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Does Mother Nature Need a Nudge? Sizing Up the Situation to See If Your Fertility Is at Risk The ABCs of Conception – How to Boost the Odds of Having a Baby in Your Immediate Future Are You Ovulating? Predicting Your Chances for Pregnancy While Minimizing Irregularities Before You Turn to Your Doctor – Traditional and Alternative Tips to Help Hasten the Process of Pregnancy When Infertility Is an Issue – Dealing with the Tests, Emotions, and Outcome of a Diagnosis You Didn’t Want! When Medical Science Should Intervene – A Look at Today’s Breakthrough Technology for Increasing the Odds of a Baby Conception Isn’t One Size Fits All – Mapping Out Your Blueprint for Making Your Dream Come True
Chapter 1: Does Mother Nature Need a Nudge? Sizing Up the Situation to See If Your Fertility Is at Risk
When most couples decide to have a baby, they really don’t give very much thought to how difficult it might actually be. It seems simple enough…have sex…make a baby. The truth is, both men’s and women’s fertility levels are on the decline today. It’s quite possible that the trouble stems from the increased chemicals and pesticides in the foods we eat, toxins in the environment and the high stress levels of modern society. It seems that every little thing counts when it comes to trying to conceive a baby—from what you eat to what position you have sex. Now I don’t know your situation personally, but what I do know is that there’s a mountain of information out there, and I think you should be armed with all the knowledge you’ll need to map out your own blueprint to making a baby. It is your body, after all – not your doctor’s, not your best friend’s or wellmeaning mother-in-law’s – and certainly not the acquaintance you met on the Internet who declared nothing else works but her method.
Your Personal Present, Past, and Future Path to Pregnancy
Every woman has a different story, and this guide will cater to women in any situation. Maybe you’re just now considering parenthood and haven’t even really tried to get pregnant yet, but want to be informed before you get started. Or maybe you’ve tried every which way you know, and haven’t been able to get pregnant yet after months – or even years – of trying. Before you give up hope forever, you need to get to the end of this book and see what’s in it for you. Some of you reading may relate to my story of how my personal path to pregnancy was achieved. I was married at 35 and about a year later, we decided to try and have a baby. After getting pregnant fairly quickly, I lost my first baby in a miscarriage at around 4-5 weeks. Although I was very saddened and confused, I wasn’t too worried, since people told me that it was somewhat common. I thought I was lucky because I got pregnant again so quickly. At 7 weeks I saw my baby’s heartbeat on the sonogram. But at my 10-week ultrasound appointment, they told me my baby’s heart had stopped beating. I was devastated to say the least. And that’s when fear really set in. It took 3 more miscarriages before I was finally diagnosed with an immune related disorder that
as I wanted a baby so desperately. and if it can help you in your quest to parenthood. To separate the facts from the myths—the new research from the old. And even though I dug up all these buried resources. but nothing happened for several months. While my desperation and frantic anxiety took root. researching in every spare minute to find out what I could do to help me get pregnant more quickly. You have enough to deal with when trying to become a parent—the excitement.would require some treatments to prevent another miscarriage the next time I got pregnant. transcripts. So. research papers and published medical reports. then I’m happy to share what I learned so that you don’t have to waste time sorting through the mountain of information on the Internet. Long story short. It took so much time to simply sort through and make sense of it all. The wives tales from the truth. or quite possibly the depression and desperation that I went through. I researched on the computer every day. And you know what? There’s an absolute ton of information on this subject. This was devastating. the fear. I learned about all of these techniques in a desperate attempt to become a mother myself. I spent every free minute I had learning everything written on the topic of getting pregnant. My husband and I took a very pro-active approach. I conceived my son after only 1 month of trying. You will learn about various ways you can do something on . But within two months of implementing some of the techniques I uncovered. It was like it was “in the water” and I wasn’t getting to drink from the fountain. She was a beautiful baby girl and well worth the wait. articles. The battle between depression and desperation raged on and I joined online support groups and shared in the camaraderie of other women’s struggles and felt joy and jealousy whenever one of our own was able to conceive and bring a child into this world. This guide is meant to be a thorough look at all of the options that are available to you—including dozens of strategies that people don’t talk about and doctors don’t seem to want you to know about. I even had two expensive consultations with top experts in the field of reproductive endocrinology (fertility doctors) to try to find answers. We tried. the disappointments. I wasn’t sure the techniques would work. And when we decided to try and give her a baby brother or sister. I logged onto the Internet and devoured information. I read books. and I was terrified of not being able to get pregnant again. Imagine my surprise that my next step on the path to pregnancy was that I couldn’t seem to get pregnant again. I conceived and carried my first baby to term. Depression set in. it seemed like everyone else around me was getting pregnant. the nervousness.
traditional advice about how to combine Robitussin and water for improved cervical mucus. and I’m going to deliver them to you. Desperation Is Your Best Ally in Your Quest to Get Pregnant Being desperate is no picnic in the park. and anxious on a daily basis? While it was horrible to go through. But the point is. You won’t have to waste your valuable time sorting through the endless. frustrated. don’t you agree? That was my goal in creating this guide. Instead of making you go through the same process – picking the minds of experts. and I believe I have achieved what I hoped to accomplish in structuring it so that it’s easy and informative and can help you bring your dreams to fruition. Whether you’re a veteran at trying. Some might work for you and some might not. or a complete novice just now starting on your own journey to motherhood. including the natural approaches (no boxers for the husband. often conflicting information to learn what you can do to have your dream of a beautiful baby come true. Who wants to feel hopeless. But it’s also sure to have some new information that’s not widely circulated and that you didn’t have before – details that could be the very key you need to unlock the secret to having a baby. Maybe you’ve already been trying for several months or even years. it ought to be easy to access. Some worked. this guide will surprise you and show you that there is always something new to be considered in getting pregnant.your own to improve your fertility and therefore maximize your chance of conceiving a child the fastest way possible. no caffeine. you need access to the variety of techniques and strategies in an organized way so that you can put your own personal plan together. or when you want to know the most modern methods people and scientists have developed for getting pregnant. Some worked for other women. it did make me well educated in pregnancy-related issues. . and a long list of other strategies. some didn’t. When mainstream medicine doesn’t help you. Getting pregnant isn’t a cookie cutter issue – it’s not one size fits all. You have choices. This book may have some methods you’ve heard of before. alternative options like acupuncture. tons of vitamins). I’ve personally tried many different methods. talking to hundreds of women all over the world to see what worked for them – I decided to just compile what I learned and give you all of the options available to help you make a baby on your own – without budget-busting infertility treatments or years of waiting for it to happen.
they start to worry – even if there’s been no sign of a problem with their fertility. but it does include some of the more common issues that affect a couple’s chance of conceiving. and sterility. when growing up. there are a lot of myths floating around on the ‘net and offline that cause a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. Most women are worried because they are simply uninformed. many . If you’re wondering where you might be. you should know that 15-20% of couples in the United States alone encounter difficulties in getting pregnant. There are those who find themselves infertile after a year or more of trying to conceive. Here are some of the many reasons why you and your partner may be experiencing trouble getting pregnant if it’s been more than a year and you’ve had no luck making a baby: • • • • • • • • Ovulation issues Ovarian cysts Sperm issues Prior abortion Endometriosis Blocked fallopian tubes Stress Weight gain Of course this list isn’t comprehensive. Then when the time comes that they’re actually planning it. don’t consider whether or not they’ll be able to have a baby – they just assume they will one day. There are different levels of fertility. which means you have no chance of conception. Plus.Will I Have a Problem Getting Pregnant? Most girls. And unfortunately. The causes range from minor issues like using a non-productive position during sex to one of the partners being sterile. and will greatly benefit from chapter 2. There are people who just happen to not be pregnant yet. There’s also primary infertility (infertility without a previous pregnancy) and secondary infertility (infertility after having already conceived a child).
. you’ll learn more about what could be causing you and your partner a delay in becoming parents and find a solution to finally fix it so that you can start knitting baby booties sooner! How to Best Use This Guide If you’ve tried to get pregnant for the last few months and haven’t seen any results. seem to have nothing medically wrong with either of them. then you definitely want to read it carefully to see what they didn’t teach you in 8th grade sexed classes! If you’re a veteran. This information is not readily distributed. that does not necessarily mean you’ll need infertility treatments! There is a whole treasure trove of home and self-treatments you can do on your own before you even consider going to an infertility doctor for invasive treatments. As you go through this guide and choose various options that are available to you. The first place we’re going to start is with the basics. don’t you agree? Sometimes it may just take an alternative approach—a change in lifestyle or the use of alternative therapies for instance. which is the medical term for “we don’t have any idea why you’re not conceiving. and simply fall into the category of “unexplained infertility”. which means there is no obvious medical reason why they can’t conceive. If so many couples have “unexplained infertility”. so you want to make sure you exhaust your options before shelling out big money to a specialist when it may not even be necessary. It stands to reason that we all have the power to make changes within ourselves that can maximize our fertility and make the difference in our ability to conceive a baby. If you’re new to this. why not skim it over again anyway just to make sure there’s not something new in it that you didn’t know before? The key to your pregnancy may be a single sentence contained within chapter 2. And then the idea that both men and women can make a variety of personal changes to improve their own fertility really does make a heck of a lot of sense. doesn’t it stand to reason that there is a lot more to conception than the doctors know about.couples who can’t conceive a baby after a year of trying. to make conception possible. and you don’t want to pass it over. Conception is a miraculous and quite complex phenomenon—undoubtedly influenced by many subtle internal and external factors.” Which raises a very interesting question.
half will go on to get pregnant within two years after addressing some mild issues.Chapter 2: The ABCs of Conception – How to Boost the Odds of Having a Baby in Your Immediate Future Some of what I’m about to share. There are no guarantees and a million things that can affect your ability to conceive. more and more women are dealing with the problem of not being able to get pregnant quickly and easily. In a society where 20% of all first time moms are over the age of 35. Formula for Fertility The path to pregnancy can be a bumpy ride. But for the remaining 20%. by age: • Early 20’s: 4-5 months • Late 20’s: 5-7 months • Early 30’s: 7-10 months • Late 30’s: 10-12 months . Odds of getting pregnant in a given month. by age: • Early 20’s: up to 25 percent • Late 20’s and early 30’s: up to 15 percent • Late 30’s: up to 10 percent • Over 40: less than 5% Number of women who achieve pregnancy within the first year of trying. Your age will have a lot to do with your chance at conception. while the other half will need medical science to intervene on their behalf. you may already know – but there are always nuggets of information that you can apply that could very well be the answer to your hopes and dreams of parenthood. That’s great news for you – that means there’s a 90% chance you can conceive on your own! That’s what this guide is all about – and to help you determine when is the right time to find out if you happen to be one of the 10% of women who need extra assistance. Approximately 80% of women under age 35 get pregnant within the first year of trying. by age: • Early 20’s: 94 percent • Late 20’s and early 30’s: 70-85 percent • Late 30’s: 65-70 percent Average number of months until conception.
That doesn’t mean your case will strictly adhere to any certain group or timeline.5% infertility rate under 35 years of age.4%. which are hair-like “fingers” that move the egg along. so we’re not going to get that basic with our crash course.000 eggs remaining. If your doctor diagnoses any cervix problems. African American women have a 10. and with the tips you learn here. Anything is possible. so let’s look at how these contribute to your fertility. you only have about 1.000 to 400. the blood lining that results in your period each month if conception doesn’t occur. while Hispanic women have a 7% infertility rate and Caucasian women deal with 6. they’re just statistics. Sperm are produced every day. you’re sitting in school taking notes on how not to get pregnant. The uterus is your womb. Back to School – All About Our Bodies When they first teach you this stuff.000 eggs left. Your ovaries come in pairs – each woman usually has two of them. They’re the containers your eggs come in! When you’re born. But now you want the reverse lesson – where are those sex education teachers when you need them? We all know what a vagina and penis are. At age 50. The testicles are to his body what your ovaries are to your eggs – they create and hold his sperm. But when you’re dealing with conception strategies. This is where your egg comes in contact with a man’s sperm and hopefully. It’s lined with a thick endometrium. By the time you hit puberty. Some of these are abnormal eggs. which are the genes that will make your baby who he or she is. What this means is that if there is any . Near your ovaries are two fallopian tubes. Keep in mind that when we talk about numbers and percentages. Your cervix is located in the lower part of your uterus and acts like a muscle to keep the baby from delivering before it’s time. “Normal” eggs contain 23 chromosomes.Surprisingly. your ovaries have about 1 million eggs in them. His primary parts consist of testicles and sperm. you can increase your odds. makes a baby! Your fallopian tubes are lined with fimbriae. It also creates a barrier between your body and nasty infections that could harm your baby in utero. but they mature after 70 days. you have only 300. you may need a quick refresher on other body parts. even race plays a small factor in conception. It’s an organ that holds your baby until it’s time for delivery. it may be remedied simply by having the doctor suture the cervix with a cerclage.
Around the 14th day. If you don’t know when you’re most fertile. When one penetrates it. the sperm will enter through the cervix and swim up to the fallopian tubes. Basically. This is very important to keep in mind. The egg is viable for 12-24 hours. the egg will be flushed out with your menstrual cycle and the cycle repeats itself. the lining in your uterus thickens in preparation for the egg. from elements such as heat (to be discussed later). Only approximately 200 of them survive to make it to the fallopian tubes and encounter the egg. When you and your partner have sex right before you’ve ovulated. The embryo then enters the uterus and implants itself in the wall. In a perfect 28 day cycle (which not every woman has). Between the 6th and 13th day. you may miss the window of opportunity that could allow you and your partner to have a baby. he emits about 100 million sperm. How a Baby Is Conceived Conception has to be timed just right. . You miss your period – and a baby is on the way! Timing and Positioning Your Sex Just Right First of all. it will hopefully plant itself inside the uterus and begin to grow and be nourished. however many experts believe it is probably closer to 12 hours. the follicle bursts open and the egg gets released into the fallopian tubes. during the first 1-5 days. as that can seriously delay your chances of conception. If you’re not pregnant. it takes more than two months for new sperm to mature and be ready to fertilize an egg. But it’s also important to maintain the love between the two of you to lighten an already stressful time. Some women feel this sensation. and it’s discussed in detail in the next chapter. incorrect timing of intercourse is considered the #1 mistake couples make when trying to conceive. Sperm can live for up to 6 days in a woman’s body if the conditions are right. I know it’s important to time it right – and sometimes that means someone isn’t in the mood. the others are locked out. Given this time element. Half will pick door #1 while the others will choose door #2.damage to the sperm. Within the next 24 hours. the sperm find your egg and surround it. In fact. Your menstrual cycle plays an important role. if sperm has fertilized the egg. you ovulate. it is extremely important to get the timing of intercourse right. The half that picked the right fallopian tube will have a chance at penetrating the egg. From then on. an egg comes into maturity in an ovary. each one trying to enter the protective layering. it’s important not to make sex a chore when you’re trying to conceive. When a man ejaculates inside a woman.
Instead of your partner withdrawing after intercourse. you want to do everything in your power to make thing happen faster. every other day works great too. but as with everything when you’re trying to get pregnant. And gravity definitely plays a role. To better your odds at conception. But when you’re trying for a baby. here is a tip. It is important not to abstain from sex all month long in an attempt to “save up the sperm” for your fertile time. What you want is for your position during sex to offer the best way for the deepest penetration and contact with the cervix. unless you know that your partner has a low sperm count. If there are no sperm issues. Some say to also have intercourse the day after ovulation just to be safe. Some women know this time just by tracking their own body functions and watching for signs (to be explained later). are considered to be optimal positions as well. Sexual positions and after-intercourse routines can be personal. you must make sure you’re near ovulation. Research has shown that if a female has an orgasm after her partner. the sperm get sort of “sucked up” into the cervix . Alternatively. while minimizing the chance of leakage. the missionary (man on top) position and side by side. Regarding leakage. it is recommended that you have sex either every day or every other day up until and including the day of ovulation. Try to have sex at least every five days during the time you are not trying to conceive in an effort to flush out the sperm. have your partner keep his penis inside for as long as possible after his orgasm. If that is the case. the every other day approach is advised. This will ensure that you have healthy sperm at the time when you really need them! Approximately 5 days before you will ovulate. It doesn’t make very much difference which option you choose. This makes a good barrier and keeps the semen concentrated as close to the cervix as it can get. Another important tip has to do with your orgasm. it’s important to know which positions give you an increased chance at having a baby. you might pick up a few tips you haven’t yet tried to use! You’d think it wouldn’t really matter which position you had sex in to conceive a baby. Chapter 3 will go into much more detail on ovulation because it’s a vital part in your journey to pregnancy and I wanted to make sure I devoted a lot of insight into this topic. Others need a store-bought ovulation predictor test kit.When timing intercourse. do what works best for you—if you’re up for every day-great! If not. Rear entry is known among your veteran fertility warriors as being the best position for conception.
be aware this technique does carry some small risk. maybe you learned a couple of new techniques to put into practice. Do not get up before that to go to the bathroom and especially do not douche. and especially do not use saliva as it can be very damaging to sperm. It’s “sperm-friendly.” so you don’t have to worry about creating a hazardous environment for the little swimmers. Let’s start with how to determine when you’re ovulating.30 minutes. Many women have used egg whites. you’ll learn some other effective traditional and alternative methods couples are using all over the world to increase the odds of having a baby. to help lubricate their vaginas before intercourse. It’s sort of a little booster to get them going on their way. you may ask. elevate your hips for about 20. That means no KY Jelly or Vaseline. after sex. While many women do use eggwhites for lubrication. . Click here to check it out. as there is always the slight chance of salmonella when dealing with eggs. Now. Take an egg out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. And always remember. Or. You may have been doing all of the above things all along.. There’s only one product recommended for helping lubrication along – and it’s called Pre-Seed. Many lubricants can damage sperm so do not use anything store-bought unless it specifically states it will not harm sperm.. what about lubrication. Soon. Insert the egg white immediately after cracking the egg open to avoid any infections.which helps to bring them faster to where they need to be going. And speaking of saliva. do not engage in oral sex beforehand. because the saliva can ruin the sperm’s chances of survival. as this will help gravity get the sperm going in the right direction as well. which are what laboratories also often use to store sperm.
. you’ll allow the sperm to build up in higher numbers. eggs within the ovaries will mature and grow. In fact. When a man ejaculates frequently. there are plenty of ways that you can tell when you are ovulating – rather than just guessing. This is because sperm can live in the fallopian tubes for up to six days. the concentration of sperm can be lower which can lead to problems with conception. she still has a good chance of getting pregnant with the remaining tube. but the egg will only remain viable for about twelve to twenty-four hours. The choice of which fallopian tube the egg will be released into varies from month to month as does the ovary that releases that egg. each month the ovary will choose to release the most ready egg for fertilization into the fallopian tubes.Chapter 3: Are You Ovulating? Predicting Your Chances for Pregnancy While Minimizing Irregularities Ovulation is the time at which one or more eggs are released from the ovaries. If you want to become pregnant. Women who don’t have problems with their fertility have a twenty-five percent chance of becoming pregnant each month that they attempt it. never abstain for weeks at a time in hopes of “saving up” the sperm for when you are ovulating. But as stated previously. it’s possible it can have the reverse effect. But when you try to make an effort to have sex during the most fertile times of your cycle. In short. During the course of each month. It’s the most fertile time of a woman’s cycle and it creates the space in which the process of pregnancy can begin. allowing for an increased chance of conception. Why Planning for Conception Is Best The reason why it’s important that you know about ovulation is because having intercourse more frequently throughout the month in hopes of catching the right time doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of becoming pregnant. it’s the point of conception if a healthy sperm is available to fertilize this released egg(s). If for some reason a woman only has one fallopian tube (perhaps due to an ectopic pregnancy). Depending on the overall growth of the egg. Here’s why. How Can I Get Pregnant? The best time for a woman to have intercourse in the hope that you’ll become pregnant is during the five days before you ovulate and up through the day ovulation has occurred.
Typically.It’s best to make sure the male ejaculates around every five days when it’s not your fertile time. here are some basic things to look at that will indicate when you are ovulating. For example. Ways To Tell If You’re Ovulating If you want to get pregnant and are ready to start figuring out when the best times to have intercourse are. to flush out the sperm and keep them “fresh. . the luteal phase can last from 12 to 16 days. The only way to determine the length of your luteal phase is to keep track of the day you ovulate (will discuss some methods shortly). The countdown: The most scientific way to determine when you are ovulating works best for women whose menstrual cycles are regular. and then count the number of days until your period arrives. What you do is count back about twelve to sixteen days – that is your fertile time. Every cycle is made up of two parts. Other things that can affect ovulation are travel and illness. and you find yourself in a stressful situation early in the month. That means that your cycle length is approximately the same every month. Some doctors say anything less than 12 days could be a problem. Let me explain a little further how this works. the number of days until your period comes will be fixed each month and will not be delayed by any outside conditions such as stress. it will stay consistent from month to month. which can cause problems in achieving a pregnancy. It varies from woman to woman. with the optimum being around 14 days. your ovulation can be delayed by a few days. The length of this phase can vary from month to month so that you can not always accurately predict the day you will ovulate. The ovulatory phase starts on the first day of your period and ends on the day that you ovulate. you can time intercourse every day or every other day as stated earlier. during the 5 days before you will be ovulating. the ovulatory phase and the luteal phase. One of the things that can cause a delay in ovulation is stress. The second half of the cycle is called the luteal phase. you would probably ovulate somewhere between days 14 and 18. The twelve to sixteen days refers to what’s known as the luteal phase. Once you ovulate. It is important that your luteal phase not be too short. but once you know the length of your luteal phase. So if you normally ovulate on day 14 for example. if your cycle length is usually 30 days. . while others think 10 days or less is worrisome.” Then. as this would be a sign that there is a deficiency of progesterone.
which some women just don’t know. but it is very important to be aware of when trying to get pregnant. then you are very likely to be pregnant! Once your temperature drops a few tenths. Also. Once you see the temperature go up a few tenths of a degree higher than it had been for several days before. by charting you will be able to establish if you are in fact ovulating. This is something you may not have ever paid attention to. The release of progesterone causes the increase in temperature. is by temperature charting. BBT charting will only tell you that you already have ovulated—it can not predict ovulation. Secondly. also known as BBT charting. By monitoring your temperature over the course of a few months. The reason being. For one thing. it means you are likely to get your period that day or the next day at the latest. you can document your body temperature each morning before you get out of bed on a special chart and start to look for any times when it increases (aside from when you’re ill). The first step is to purchase an inexpensive basal digital thermometer. even though you can’t use the charts to predict specifically what day you will ovulate. .Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting: The best way to evaluate your cycle and especially to determine if you may have a luteal phase defect. Unfortunately. This information can be helpful as well –not in your quest to get pregnant—but it’s nice to have a warning that your period is due to arrive as sometimes it comes as a complete surprise when we are not exactly prepared!! Cervical mucus: Another very good indication of approaching ovulation concerns cervical mucus. Throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. the texture and the consistency of the cervical mucus will change. not on a typical thermometer you would use to check for fever. Another benefit of charting is you can probably determine if you are in fact pregnant without even taking a pregnancy test! If your temperature stays elevated for 18 days following ovulation. right after you ovulate. you can count the number of days in your luteal phase in order to determine if you have a luteal phase defect which requires progesterone supplementation in order to conceive. you’ll begin to see a pattern emerge that can be helpful in several ways. This can best be seen on a special basal body thermometer. you will get a good feel for approximately what day each month you ovulate and can time intercourse better to coincide with your fertile window. With this. Generally speaking your temperatures will have very minor fluctuations on a daily basis of about a tenth of a degree. the left over egg (which becomes a “corpus luteum”) releases progesterone in an effort to prepare your lining for the implantation of a fertilized egg. that tells you that you have just ovulated.
you should start having sex as soon as you see the cervical mucus become similar to an eggwhite. Just after ovulation. depending on the woman and her sensitivity to the pain. This is called mittelschmerz (which is German for ‘middle pain’) and this is felt by up to twenty percent of all women. This happens because the levels of estrogen are rising as the body prepares to release an egg. there will be some noticeable differences. Also. the cervical mucus is the most abundant and stretchy. And you will know when you have already ovulated. But as you approach ovulation. and it feels more like your lip than your nose. make sure you have clean hands and be sure to check your cervix around the same time each day. . the cervix will feel relatively firm –like touching your nose—and dry. as the cervical mucus immediately changes—it gets cloudy and kind of dries up—right after you’ve ovulated. It’s probably easiest to squat down and gently insert one or two fingers into your vagina and reach back until you can feel your cervix. During the first half of your cycle. The problem for using this pain as an indicator of when to time intercourse.As you get closer to ovulation. is that doctors aren’t sure if the pain is occurring right before. it would not be a reliable method to time intercourse. very stretchy and wet. the cervix begins to get firmer and drier. and therefore having much more sperm ready and waiting! Cervical Position Another change that occurs in your body as you approach ovulation is the position of your cervix. Usually on the day of ovulation. if you aren’t sure when you will be ovulating exactly. The pain or the achiness can last anywhere from minutes to hours. and the position will be low in your vagina (easy to reach). To check your cervix. during or after ovulation. wet. open. When it gets to it’s highest point (difficult to reach. the cervix will become softer and wetter. Possible pain in the abdomen: Some women will also feel a twinge of pain when their ovary releases an egg. You should continue having sex as long as you have this type of cervical mucus. As a rule. Obviously. Depending on the time of the month. the entrance will start to open and the position of the cervix will become higher (harder to reach). since the sperm live for several days. (you may have to practice this awhile before you can easily notice the changes). You might also feel back pain that accompanies the lower abdominal pain. and the entrance to the cervix feels open. You can remember this with the acronym SHOW – soft. The entrance to the cervix will feel closed. high. you would lose the opportunity for having intercourse a few times before ovulation. the position will become lower and the entrance will begin to close. you are at your most fertile time and very near ovulation. if it’s occurring right after. you will notice that your cervical mucus (vaginal discharge) changes from somewhat creamy to the consistency of an egg white—clear.
so you’re not restricted to 5 in a box. With at home ovulation predictor kits. Try to test around the same time everyday. There’s a great site online that sells these tests at a discount. along with the changes in the cervical mucus. and you can buy them by the piece. although any time between noon and 8pm is probably fine. which is an indicator that your estrogen levels have risen. Many women prefer these to the . The kits are said to predict ovulation up to thirty-six hours in advance and increase your overall chances of becoming pregnant. It’s best to follow the directions on the package.S. It’s much cheaper than buying them in the drugstore. The way it works is these levels will generally surge right before a woman is ready to release an egg into the fallopian tubes.These changes in the cervical position. Not only did this make pregnancy more private. you are looking for “ferning” or crystal patterns produced by the increase in estrogen that takes place prior to ovulation. What About Saliva Tests? Some test kits use your saliva instead of your urine to predict ovulation. it’s usually best between 2 – 4pm. Go here to view. women have been able to find out if they’re pregnant or not without having to go into the doctor’s office. but also more convenient. and they offer free shipping in the U. With the invention of the home pregnancy test. Definitely do not test with first morning urine. but here are some basic guidelines. What’s great about these kits is that they can predict the best times for conception in advance of the release of the egg. The saliva tests work by detecting an increase in your salt content. These kits measure LH (luteinizing hormone) levels in a woman’s body. can give you a very good chance at predicting your most fertile time. The reason is that most women have their surge early in the morning and it can take several hours for it to show up in your urine. so if you have very irregular cycles. Are Those Ovulation Kits Any Good? If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to evaluate all the signals from your body about your fertile time. Usually the kits come with five tests./Canada. women can begin to determine more scientifically whether or not they are in their fertile time of the month. you may need to buy two kits in order to have enough and not miss your surge day.. there are other ways to help predict ovulation. When you look through the microscope at a dry saliva sample. allowing you to better time intercourse.
“pee sticks” because the others have to be stored in a cool climate (which is hard to tote with you in your purse for on-the-go testing). This might be seen in signs like: • • • Irregular periods Absence of periods Abnormal bleeding But the only way to determine if these signs are indicating anovulation is to talk with your doctor and have them run tests to make sure that nothing else is wrong. leading to a condition known as anovulation.” which looks like an attractive lipstick case. it’s a one-time purchase because it can be washed and reused. With saliva test kits. and stores your data—it’s like having your own digital ovulation calendar. Better yet. you don’t have to wait for a full bladder – you can test at any time)! You might want to have a look at “Fertile Focus. and offers a powerful 50X magnification glass lens for accuracy and ease of use. tracks. Or.” which is a unique and sophisticated electronic monitor which is so simple to use. When you’re not ovulating: Some women aren’t able to ovulate correctly. portable. this monitor electronically creates. and in one minute you have your daily test result. you might have something bigger on your hands than an irregular cycle. You can purchase either of these saliva tests by clicking here. when all of the measuring and calculating aren’t adding up to a pregnancy. you can try “Ovacue Fertility Monitor. Problems that Can Occur with Ovulation However. Up to forty percent of women with fertility problems are not able to ovulate correctly. It’s also less expensive. (Plus. It’s affordable. There are many physical conditions that might lead to problems with ovulating: • • • Hormone imbalances Diabetes Liver disease . And the USFDA says they’re 98% accurate. Urine tests are pricey and new ones have to be purchased on a continual basis. you simply place the oral sensor on your tongue.
adrenal. Sometimes the dosage needs to be changed or the woman needs to be artificially inseminated in order to conceive. When you and your doctor have determined that you’re not ovulating as you should be. your doctor may want to prescribe fertility drugs that can help your body release the eggs that you want it to release. so try to keep your stress levels in check by using relaxation methods designed to calm your body. What you might want to keep in mind is that it can take time for these kinds of drugs to take effect in some women. Once any other conditions are ruled out.• • • • • Your age. with about eighty percent of women beginning ovulation after taking the drugs and half of them becoming pregnant within six months. The results are good for using these fertility drugs. Two specific drugs include Clomid and Serophene. There are also injectable drugs like Gonal-F that will do the same thing as Clomid and Serophene by increasing the FSH and LH in the body. there are many steps that you can take to correct the issue. They’re both highly effective and have a tested safety record for women over the last few decades. and spirit (to be discussed more later). These drugs can be taken orally (great for those that don’t want to inject themselves) and help to block the effects of estrogen in a woman’s body. But they can actually overstimulate the ovaries and cause side effects – bloating and pain. thyroid Emotionally stressful times can also contribute to fertility problems. This allows for natural ovulation. mind. There is an increased incidence of twins and multiple births with these fertility drugs – up to ten percent of women who take the drugs will have multiple births (as opposed to the normal rate of one percent). This is due to unfavorable changes in the cervical mucus which can hinder the travel of the sperm in the natural way. if you’re an older woman Ovary issues Miscarriages Weight Changes Problems with glands – pituitary. What happens when you take these kinds of drugs is that the body begins to increase the production of the LH hormone as well as the FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). .
Others can be stronger. obesity Hypertension Abnormal cholesterol Acne Oily skin Excess hair growth Insulin resistance . Some of the side effects are minimal – things like hot flashes or headaches. about twenty to sixty percent become pregnant. While there are various choices for stimulating ovulation. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Another possible ovulation complication in getting pregnant is PCOS. You may or may not experience any of these but it’s important to ask your doctor and be prepared for how it could affect you before you start taking any drug. Your doctor will evaluate your own individual symptoms and then choose the best drug to help you with your ovulation. They help stimulation and support the process of ovulation itself. they all have their own approach. The drugs that specifically treat ovulation do two things. and mood swings. but up to ninety percent of women will begin to ovulate normally with the injected drugs. And of those women. visual problems. including vomiting. dizziness. This is a condition that will affect anywhere from five to ten percent of women and may causes symptoms such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • Lack of ovulation Irregular ovulation Absence of periods Irregular periods Irregular bleeding Weight gain.A doctor will need to supervise this ovulation plan. or polycystic ovarian syndrome. and they block the production of hormones that are competing in the process.
Ovulation will usually return within three to six months for most women. Following Depo-Provera. • • • • Lose weight Control insulin levels Use hormone treatments IVF – in vitro fertilization If the condition is severe. when you stop the shots. He’ll also check your hormone levels. your cycles tend to resume fairly quickly. some women are most fertile during the three months after they stop taking the pill. they are likely to still be irregular. your cycles will go back to being as “normal” as they were before you started the birth control pills. . For women who have had this procedure. when you stop taking birth conrol pills. between 70-90% find success. Once the hormones are out of your body. however it is possible that you may not have your cycle for 12 to 18 months after discontinuing the injections. It is even possible to get pregnant after stopping the pill before you’ve had a period. fertility does not automatically return at the end of the 3 month period. So.• Male patterned baldness If your doctor suspects you have this condition. your cycles will begin to get back to normal. For most women though. and you don’t respond to medication. In fact. he or she can do a pelvic ultrasound to see if you have a lot of small follicles on your ovaries. there is no reported increase in miscarriage or birth defects. it really varies from person to person and it could possibly be a long wait. So if you had irregular cycles before birth control pills. then the doctors can perform a laproscopic laser ovarian drilling to puncture your ovaries and allow them to start functioning properly. Depo Provera and Birth Control Pills: The depo shot is supposed to prevent pregnancy for approximately 3 months. But there’s plenty that you can do to increase your chances of becoming pregnant when you have PCOS and the steps are generally based on controlling the symptoms that are above. it takes a few months for your menstrual cycles to be back to normal. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been on the pill. unfortunately. Alternatively. But remember. However.
The reason some doctors advise to wait until you’ve had a few normal cycles before attempting a pregnancy is not because there is any lingering effects that need to be “washed out.” Rather, if you wait for your cycles to completely return to normal, you can more predictably determine the length of your cycle, identify your fertile days, and be able to better date when you conceived once you actually do get pregnant. Miscarriage: There are many possible reasons for a first trimester miscarriage, most of them resulting from a chromosome abnormality. Unless there are complications, or you are suffering from multiple miscarriage (like myself), there generally is no waiting requirement to start trying again. Your cycle will usually return to normal rather quickly. While some doctors may prescribe “waiting out” three cycles, it is advised more for emotional reasons than physical ones. It’s always a good idea to wait until you have one normal period so you are better able to determine when conception occurred. The time you need for an emotional recovery is often much longer than the physical one, so use your own judgment for determining when you’re ready to try again. Other possible things that can lead to problems with ovulation: You might also have problems with ovulation when the following things are happening during your attempts to become pregnant: • • • • . Now it’s time to start learning what you can do to speed up the process of getting pregnant. I want to start with things you can do on your own – and when you hear the word “alternative,” it doesn’t mean it’s unusual. Alternative just means the scientific medical community doesn’t focus on anything that is not scientifically proven. Then tend to focus on what they can do for you medically, with drugs and treatments, not what you can do for yourself, which is often less expensive and less invasive. Increased stress Eating disorders Significant weight loss Excessive exercise
Chapter 4: Before You Turn to Your Doctor – Traditional and Alternative Tips to Help Hasten the Process of Pregnancy
You may be thinking that it’s taking longer to get pregnant than you had expected. And you may have already been advised by a physician to “just be patient.” Or, you may be on the verge of asking your doctor about infertility treatment options because you’ve just about run out of patience. But before you begin that lengthy process, consider some of the non-medical suggestions I’m going to talk about in this chapter. One of these may be the secret that unlocks your ability to conceive a child. Some of these methods might be familiar to you, but others might be new knowledge for you to consider. You owe it to yourself to carefully reflect on each topic and decide whether you want to give it a chance. Bear in mind that sometimes, what seems like a minor adjustment, could mean the difference in the miraculous world of conception. I’m going to include some traditional as well as alternative do-it-yourself methods to try out to increase your chances of pregnancy. Each of these suggestions have worked for some women, but aren’t appropriate for all. Try not to draw any conclusions about any particular strategy until you’ve given it a fair try. One or a combination of these suggestions might just be the winning combination that will ultimately be responsible for your success.
When “Just Relax” is Easier Said than Done
Anxiety and worry can cause you to be unable to relax enough to conceive. They can also cause physical problems that will affect your body negatively. It’s a Catch-22. You can’t get pregnant until you relax and you can’t relax until you’re pregnant. More and more research studies are pointing to stress as one of the most common contributors to decreased fertility. Our lifestyle today contains enough stress on its own – but when you combine everyday stress with that of desperately desiring a baby, stress levels can climb to dangerous levels. If well-meaning relatives, friends and co-workers know that you’re trying to conceive, they might be adding to your stress by suggesting remedies (including, “just relax”) of their own.
You may appreciate their input, but after awhile, knowing looks combined with a drawn out… “Well-l-l-l-l-l…?” can get on your nerves and actually cause you to be too anxious to conceive. There are ways to alleviate the stress and end the constant, irritating banter of others about your lack of luck in the pregnancy department. Maybe you and your partner can’t take an around the world cruise on the Queen Mary to relax – but there are alternatives that you can probably manage. • Yoga/Meditation Among the most helpful stress-relieving methods, practicing Yoga and meditation on a regular basis can be a viable answer to reducing stress levels in your life. Yoga can help you control stress on many levels. The poses and deep breathing exercises help you to control your body and tell it exactly what you want it to do. Meditation helps to quiet your cluttered mind and restore control. Regular meditation promotes tranquility in your life when you need it most. Yoga and meditation won’t solve all of your stress-related problems, but it will help you react to them in a way that will keep your mind and body calm. • Reflexology Reflexology is another natural remedy to promote relaxation. It involves applying gentle pressure to certain body points (usually hands and feet) and is gentle and calming on the entire body. A highly trained reflexologist will gently stroke and knead your feet, concentrating on the areas that will improve the functioning of your reproductive organs and glands. In the process, you’ll achieve a stage of deep relaxation. If relaxation is a problem for you in trying to conceive, try reflexology as a calming force to help you ease tension and handle life’s problems more efficiently. • Massage Massage techniques have long been used as a way to relieve stress and stimulate circulation. It also serves to promote hormonal balance and increase nerve action in the womb.
You may be shaking your head wondering. Although it won’t work for all. • Laughter Therapy Ever heard the phrase. your thoughts are often consumed with when it’s going to happen for you. you’re hypnotized and taught how to overcome the psychological barriers that could be contributing to your fertility issues. which is especially . “laughter is the best medicine?” Well it rings true for infertility. It specifically massages your body’s soft tissue. Researchers are now seeing that talk therapy is helping many women conceive. women exposed to laughter therapy during infertility treatments were able to get pregnant faster than women who did not participate. you may want to try massage on a regular basis to help your body relax so that conception can more easily occur. when a woman learns how to ride out stressful events in her life and talk them out. Both use essential oils and lotions to soothe the body and create gentle warmth that stimulates circulation and releases harmful toxins or impurities. • The Wurn Technique This technique is another form of relaxation and massage in the form of physical therapy. As your ovulation time approaches. your subconscious mind is often focused on what’s going wrong or why it isn’t happening quick enough. Since stress is a direct contributor to infertility. too. With hypnotherapy. • Hypnotherapy When you’re trying to get pregnant. Being told “it’ll happen when it’s right” or “just relax” may be meant to comfort you. Each is beneficial to relieving stress and tension. “How am I going to find any reason to laugh during this time when I’m so emotional and distraught?” In some studies. • Talk Therapy Words can sting.Swedish and Shiatsu are the better-known massage methods. Even when you’re consciously trying to avoid thinking of it. So go ahead – rent your favorite I Love Lucy episode or go with your partner to a comedy club tonight – and give your odds at conception a boost. It doesn’t seem to take much. either – just 10-15 minutes a day. but they’ll usually end up frustrating you even more when you’re trying to have a baby. it does work for some women and it’s worth looking into. she lessens her stress and increases her odds at conception.
Sometimes when your body is healing from these conditions. A weekend trip to a little inn or resort that you both enjoy can be relaxing and enjoyable – helping you forget the chaos of your daily life. It can also result in miscarriages and hormonal dysfunction. you are preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy. you can probably plan a romantic. If it interferes with your organs. Be sure you are exercising in moderation. where collagen fibers form in crosshair pattern at the site of the damaged tissue. by all means try it on a regular basis. There are other methods that you might try for yourself. try to plan a massage or reflexology session. he or she will gently apply pressure to stretch your body tissue and help the adhesions break down. it will negate what you’re trying to accomplish. When you have a massage therapist apply the Wurn Technique. • Exercise Exercise should become an important part of your life while you are trying to get pregnant. Relaxation and stress-relief have helped many a woman conceive – and you owe it to yourself and your partner to try and improve your chances of getting pregnant faster. While they’re meant to help you heal. as excessive exercise has been known to contribute to ovulation problems. For example. they often stick around forever and cause more pain than your original problem. While you’re there.helpful if you’re suffering infertility due to pelvic infections. if reading a good novel or drinking a hot herbal cup of green tea before going to bed is a relaxation tool for you. relaxing vacation. Your body may have initiated adhesion formation. As your health improves. the infertility can occur because they blocked your fallopian tubes or restricted your ovaries from performing correctly. It seem to be a very promising non-surgical way to assist in conditions such as blocked fallopian tubes. . The Wurn Technique reduces the pain and promotes healing. • Plan a relaxing vacation or weekend-getaway. Even if you can’t take a month-long cruise. will likely lose weight and gain muscle. If you’re uptight about getting pregnant while on a vacation. it actually results in more pain that lasts a long time and interferes with conception. or traumatic factors such as a fall or radiation. It will improve your immune system while reducing stress. You will have greater energy. surgeries.
both group results offered the same rate of success. and is now often recommended by fertility specialists for their patients. preferably someone who specializes in acupuncture to improve fertility. It is believed to work by stimulating “pathways” that carry energy flow throughout your body. . But because of the obvious success rates in these studies. What’s really interesting is.Acupuncture – An Ancient Remedy Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat and prevent illnesses. By stimulating these pressure points. When it comes to mainstream medicine. a highly regarded medical journal. Of course. Seek out a fully trained and licensed practitioner. some in the medical community dismiss the idea of acupuncture as a remedy for anything because there is no scientific evidence of “pathways” that conduct energy throughout the body. thin needles are inserted into specific areas along the pathways. first determine what is required of acupuncturists in your state. the conclusion was that acupuncture “offers a valuable alternative therapy for female infertility due to hormone disorders. But since acupuncture has no side effects. balance is restored and a natural healing process can begin. Sometimes these pathways can become blocked or stagnant due to an illness or a damaged or improperly functioning immune system. the physiologic mechanism by which acupuncture seems to affect the uterus and reproductive system hasn’t really been identified. And just think. are often dismissed. These herbs are touted by Chinese medicine to improve fertility in men and women. It’s an interesting fact that in a recent study comparing acupuncture to hormone treatments to promote pregnancy. treatments that aren’t exactly understood scientifically.” As recently as May 2006. imagine the possibilities for those of you who just need a little helpful boost. it seems to work. acupuncture is steadily growing in acceptance. yet the researchers found that as a practical matter. Fertility and Sterility reported on several new studies that were conducted to see if acupuncture could improve the rate of success for couples undergoing IVF. if it helps women who are undergoing IVF (who generally have more significant fertility issues). Long. A mixture of Chinese herbs is sometimes used in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. If you decide to try the acupuncture route to pregnancy. The results indicated that receiving acupuncture significantly improved the pregnancy rates for these couples.
Studies show that a low level of Vitamin E in males decreases sperm production and supplementation may also improve sperm motility. which reduces fertility. how you handle stress and damage your overall health. Acupuncture may seem a little scary at first – needles being poked into your body – but a good acupuncturist will insert them so that you’ll never know it’s happening. Vitamin C blocks damaging free radicals. The use of nutritional vitamin supplements can benefit both you and your partner by balancing hormone levels. Vitamin C might increase your chances of a better ovulation by assisting in ovarian function and egg development. If you’re currently taking the drug Clomid to encourage ovulation. women should avoid very large doses of Vitamin C because it can have the opposite effect. If your body is missing certain vitamins it can affect your hormone levels. it can be an extremely relaxing experience. I truly believe that acupuncture was one of the strategies that helped me conceive my children. In women. although it’s becoming increasingly popular to include in medical insurance plans. and although I started out very skeptical of the whole process. I personally used acupuncture in my quest to become pregnant. Not only that. which are necessary for conceiving. and dry up cervical mucus. which will make it more plentiful.You may also want to take into consideration that many insurance companies don’t cover acupuncture treatments. I came to be a believer. You can’t expect that just because you eat a balanced diet that you get all the vitamins your bodies need. Vitamin C may increase the amount of water in your cervical mucus. almonds. Here is a list of vitamins that could be effective in helping you achieve successful conception and why they might be valuable to you. It reduces sperm agglutination. Dosage: 400 IU daily Food Sources: wheat germ. Although of course I have no proof. vegetable oils Vitamin C – Also a powerful antioxidant. I wholeheartedly recommend the 2-step approach of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. green leafy vegetables. Vitamins to Revitalize Your Fertility Taking certain vitamins to increase your fertility quotient is another natural remedy that you should consider to help you get pregnant. vitamin E helps to normalize hormone production. a condition where sperm tend to stick together. Everyone is different – but most people in today’s fast-paced world of fast foods and foods in excess need to add some sort of supplement to their daily diets. • . • Vitamin E – Increased fertility in both men and women has resulted from this powerful antioxidant. However.
nuts. avocado • • . dry beans and peas L-Carnitine – This amino acid can help improve sperm development. Folic Acid also improves low sperm counts. and melon. orange. It helps women to more effectively utilize the hormones estrogen and progesterone. tomatoes. cantaloupe. increased levels of selenium have been found to produce higher sperm counts in men. whole grains • Selenium – Another antioxidant. peas.000 IU Beta Carotene Food Sources: carrots. Zinc deficiency will also affect how long the sperm can live in the vaginal tract. crab and turkey. Dosage: 50 mg. and sweet peppers. Dosage: 50-100 mcg per day Food Sources: liver. spinach. Also broccoli. this nutrient is essential for your pregnancy and your future baby’s health. A deficiency of Zinc can lead to decreased fertility and also increase the risk of having a miscarriage. which helps maintain sperm cell integrity. with a full glass of water Food Sources: oysters. In men. Be sure that you use the beta-carotene (vegetable) form of Vitamin A. Zinc is vital for producing healthy sperm and increasing sperm count in men. red meat and seafood. Vitamin A deficiency during a pregnancy can cause eye defects and other problems in newborns. • Vitamin A – This vitamin contains necessary antioxidants and is valuable when taken both before and during pregnancy. Folic Acid – A vital component during your pregnancy to prevent spina bifida (a neural tube defect) in your child. motility and function. It acts to help prevent oxidation of the sperm cell. kiwi. this anti-oxidant protects sperm from free radicals. chicken. Dosage: 300 to 1. beef.Dosage: Men – 200 to 1000 milligrams per day Women – Up to 1000 milligrams per day Food Sources: many fruits including grapefruit.000 milligrams three times a day Food Sources: red meat. As with all B vitamins. Dosage: Up to 10. Vitamin A can also help with the production of cervical mucus. The animal form (retinol) can cause birth defects if taken in excess. to achieve conception. sweet potatoes. It needs to be in your system at the time of conception so you should begin taking it well before you start trying to conceive. spinach and eggs Zinc – The focus of numerous studies in fertility of males and females. Dosage: 400 mcg per day Food Sources: Many sources including green leafy vegetables.
B12 – 1000 mcg per day. meats. which depletes your B vitamins even further in a vicious cycle. However. As with many alternative approaches. It’s best to consult with a qualified professional when you make your purchase or follow the dosage suggestions on the bottle. While many women complain of the bad taste. fish and whole grains Coenzyme Q10 . there is evidence that as little as 10 mg per day (over a two-week period) will increase sperm count and motility Geritol Tonic – Often referred to as a “Baby in a Bottle. eggs. There are increasing numbers of success stories . herbal fertility remedies are gaining popularity in the United States. Herbal Remedies for Fertility Problems Herbs. which are derived from plants and plant extracts. B-Complex vitamins help you reduce stress and maintain a healthy balance of hormones in your body. B6 is pretty much banned from your body when you’re on birth control pills. chives. sesame seeds. it builds up too much estrogen.• L-Arginine – The head of the sperm contains an exceptional amount of this nutrient. as more and more clinical data regarding these treatments appears. B vitamins are known to be stressreducing vitamins. almonds. When your body is deficient in B6. you produce more estrogen. 50mg all other B vitamins Food Sources: beans. legumes. It helps increase both sperm count and quality. For men. B-complex – contains 50mcg B12. While its exact role in the formation of sperm is unknown. others say to drink it with a cup of Green Tea and it smoothes over the ill effects. you can benefit from taking B6. which can be corrected with B6 supplementation. watercress. • • • All of the above vitamin suggestions offer a means to increase your health and benefit both male and female fertility. B12 and a B-Complex vitamin.” the liquid form of Geritol has been contributing to many couple’s successes in conception.D. causing your ovaries to shut down the production of progesterone. Brazil nuts. peanuts.100mg per day. B12 will help increase the quantity and performance of his sperm. nuts.A nutrient used by the body in the production of energy. Dosage: 1500 – 4000mg over the course of a day on an empty stomach Food Sources: Sunflower seeds. soybeans. modern researchers have often passed over using herbs as fertility therapy because of the absence of conclusive data to scientifically prove their value. B Vitamins – While your partner can benefit from B12. The dosages listed should be used as a guideline. Dosage: B6 -50mg . which is essential for sperm production. have been used to combat infertility since approximately 200 A. This can result in a luteal phase defect. When you’re low on B vitamins. broad beans and lentils.
specifically on the production of LH (leutenizing hormone). To make an infusion put one ounce of dried blossoms in a quart jar filled with . • Red Clover This herb is another highly touted fertility remedy. therefore it can be used to increase progesterone levels in the body. It contains estrogen like compounds which promote estrogen production which can boost estrogen levels in women with estrogen deficiencies. It acts on the pituitary gland. It is best to take it as an infusion (one ounce of dried raspberry leaves brewed overnight in a quart of boiling water). Vitex helps to correct luteal phase defects and helps to lower high prolactin levels. muscle cramps and fatigue. Vitex is not a fast acting herb and may need several months to build up in your system. The result is that it increases the production of progesterone. it is often recommended to drink the infusion during pregnancy. Like red raspberry.told on discussion forums detailing how women turned to herbal therapies and became pregnant after nothing else worked. They can be extremely useful in treating hormonal imbalances. Red Clover also contains calcium and magnesium which can relax the nervous system and improve fertility. which helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. Strain the leaves. and drink hot or cold. Some of the most popular herbs found to be effective in treating infertility are: • Chaste Berry (Vitex agnus castus) Vitex is probably the most well known and widely studied fertility herb. who drank up to a quart of red clover infusion every day for at least six weeks. You can refrigerate leftovers. and then became pregnant. capsules and teas. It is a phytoprogesterone. with honey if you prefer. It is also recommended to help the fertilized egg attach to the uterine lining and stay attached. Herbal remedies appear in many forms such as tinctures (extracts). It works by stimulating the hormones involved in ovulation and restoring female hormonal balance. There are many stories of women unable to conceive. which is a plant that acts like progesterone. both of which cause fertility problems. It is also very helpful to ease many of the discomforts of pregnancy such as morning sickness. The ancient Chinese used herbs to treat infertility and believed that it regulated menstruation and increased sperm counts. • Red Raspberry Leaf It has the reputation of helping to relax the uterus.
Some options for males to improve sperm function follow below: • Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’S) Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are key components for production of prostoglandins. Dosage: 1 tablespoon (14 grams) flaxseed oil per day • Panax Ginseng (Asian Ginseng) An effective herbal remedy for male infertility. . • Green Tea It is a powerful antioxidant that enhances your reproductive health by reversing the effects of the environment on your body. also known as “egg white cervical mucus. Dosage: Just ½ cup or more a day doubles your odds of conception every cycle. • Evening Primrose This will aid in the production of more sperm friendly cervical fluid. such as aging. hormone like substances that regulate many of the body functions. It acts like an estrogen “modulator” which activates or suppresses estrogen receptors within the pituitary to even out the hormones that bring on ovulation. lack of sleep and eating too many processed foods.boiling water. motility and testosterone levels. • False unicorn root Like red clover. stress. and steep overnight. according to a study in the American Journal of Public health. It can assist your body in the production of healthier eggs. including fertility. it can help balance hormone levels by making up for a shortage of estrogen or encouraging your body to excrete excess amounts. environmental toxins. • Dong Quai It is an ancient Asian herb which is known as the female hormone regulator.” It may take a month or two to build up. • Bee Pollen – . These fats benefit men with low sperm count. It has also been attributed with helping to build a receptive uterine lining. It has a normalizing effect on the ovaries and strengthens the lining of the womb. Panax Ginseng is said to increase sperm count.
and you certainly don’t want to take too many of one. you may come across some others such as licorice root. Just because they are freely available to purchase.Considered a complete food. does not mean that you should prescribe them for yourself. Following an organic or whole food diet can greatly increase your chances to become pregnant because it will better provide you with the vitamins and minerals that you can’t find in foods robbed of natural nutrients from too much processing. Warning: Before using herbs to increase your chances of pregnancy. you can be assured that you are doing everything possible to give the herbs the best chance of working for you. Many of the herbs listed above need to be taken during different phases of your menstrual cycle. You certainly may experiment with these herbs as well. and not enough of another. If you decide to try herbs as an option to increase your fertility. Also. Green Leafy Vegetables – high in magnesium (vital for female hormone balance). zinc and B vitamins. it is produced by the male part of flowering plants. black cohosh and ho shou wu. That way. folic acid and vitamin B6. Most importantly stop taking herbal supplements immediately when you become pregnant (unless you are specifically advised not to) and NEVER mix herbal supplements with fertility drugs of any kind. many herbs work best in combinations with others. A Natural Diet Designed to Promote Fertility Proper nutrition is crucial to a healthy pregnancy and in producing a healthy baby – but it’s also an important factor in balancing your hormones to make it possible and probable that you’ll conceive. It has been shown to improve sperm production in men. If you do some further research into fertility herbs. It contains all the necessary vitamins and ten essential amino acids necessary for a complete protein as well as enzymes and coenzymes. . and others need to be taken once you have already ovulated. Some can only be taken up until the point that you’ve ovulated. but the ones I described above are the most popular ones recommended for enhancing fertility. naturopath or Doctor of Chinese Medicine in your area. • • Whole Grains – high in selenium. it is best to consult with a professional. Since you wouldn’t take any medication without a prescription from your doctor. remember that herbs can be very powerful and have side effects. Look for a trained herbalist. lady’s mantle. it is a good idea not to self medicate when it comes to herbs.
containing the highest levels of antioxidants of any known food. Basically. Always consult your doctor before adhering to any specialized diet. However. Eat ¼ to ½ cup a day of pumpkin seeds to help maintain a healthy reproductive system. Lentils and other beans – high in folic acid Oysters – packed with zinc.• Nuts – high in B vitamins. which plays a role in semen and testosterone production in men and in ovulation and fertility in women. Almonds are high in zinc. Foods that contain additives. skinless chicken and oily fish such as salmon are good sources of protein. zinc. you want to add foods that are high in folic acid. It has been used as a medicinal food for thousands of years. In Asia. and many natural compounds that promote health. it is widely believed to increase sexual fluids and enhance fertility. Pumpkin Seeds – naturally high in zinc and essential fatty acids (EFA’s) which are vital to healthy functioning of the male reproductive system. You can supplement your diet by taking vitamins if you’re unsure or undecided about following a particular diet. Be sure to eat the whole berry. vitamin C or any of the vitamins listed earlier that help in fertility. Sperm are at their most efficient in an alkaline environment. preservatives and chemicals can affect hormonal balance in your body (processed foods). Vitamins B1. walnuts are high in zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. Certain foods can actually lower your ability to become pregnant. be aware that eating too much meat will increase ammonia which can interfere with the implantation of the egg in the uterus. 18 amino acids. 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges. Protein – adequate protein is important for people trying to conceive. If possible. more beta carotene than carrots. old hormones re-circulate and create imbalances. the goji berry is a sweet red fruit native to Asia. as many products on the market contain just a small quantity of goji berry extract. They are the most nutrient dense food on earth. Without this removal. Brown Rice – high in fiber and B Vitamins. • • • • • • A high-carbohydrate diet promotes the energy levels it takes to pursue pregnancy and also helps to keep your hormones balanced. Fiber strips old hormones and waste products from the system. more iron than spinach. Lean red meat. 21 trace minerals. Goji Berries – only recently introduced to the Western world. and has been studied extensively in modern times to substantiate its health benefits. it’s best to minimize or avoid the following: . Too much rich protein may also increase the body's acidity and affect sperm activity. B6 and Vitamin E. B2.
shark. retinal damage. it can cause uterine contractions and bring on a miscarriage. The FDA advises avoiding canned white tuna as well as swordfish. orange roughy. and even the sperm maturation process. When sleep suffers over the long run. Pineapple Juice – in large doses. . and skin cancer. Current research suggests that the hormones that trigger ovulation. such as an added dose of Vitamin D. a hormone that can affect the way your ovaries function. Lack of sleep can even cause you to stop ovulating altogether. so try to substitute wheat with another grain such as rye or pumpernickel when you can. you also want to make sure you don’t overdo it and get too much sunlight. tuna steaks. canned light tuna. High Mercury Fish – the FDA says that women trying to conceive can safely eat up to 12 ounces (two servings) a week of low mercury fish. Additionally. king mackerel. While sunlight is good for your health and contributes to a better reproductive system. such as shrimp. Long term sleep loss can disrupt the menstrual cycle. are somehow tied into the body's biological clock Since the same part of the brain that regulates sleep-wake hormones also stimulates daily pulses of reproductive hormones for men and women. it can impact your hormone balance. scientists suspect some feedback between these systems. tilefish. • • • • Get Plenty of Sun and Sleep Sleep helps restore many parts of our bodies. When your body is exposed to sunlight. Some say dairy products can thicken cervical mucus. Spanish mackerel. which can then cause a delay in the time it takes to get pregnant. marlin and grouper. Dairy – research in the United States and Finland reported that where per capita milk consumption is the highest. daily light exposure has an influence on ovulation and reproductive hormones. Sunlight also helps improve your mood. Wheat – some women can have an intolerance to wheat and not even know it. which is essential when you’re going through the process of trying to get pregnant. because they have the highest mercury levels. including the reproductive system.• Sugar – too much sugar increases your body’s output of insulin. women tend to experience the sharpest agerelated falloff in fertility. it also gets some much needed health benefits. salmon or catfish. This can lead to sunburns.
but the logic is that it is an expectorant used to loosen and thin mucus in the lungs. If there is a lack in this type of cervical fluid. get plenty of rest and a good dose of daily sunlight (approximately 1 hour) to keep your reproductive hormones in check. clear and stretchy and easily aids the sperm to swim through the uterus and into the fallopian tube. Some women are very dry and have problems in producing an adequate amount of fertile quality cervical fluid. To be sure. Ways to Increase Cervical Mucus Fertile cervical mucus is thin. Drink plenty of water so that your body isn’t dehydrated. Sometimes is will be fluid enough for the sperm to utilize and other times it will appear as if your body’s undergoing a drought! Remember. Vitamin A and Beta Carotene – improves cervical mucus Grapefruit juice – great source of vitamin C. Things That Might Hinder a Successful Conception . Well. it happens to work elsewhere too!! It is critical that you only use the plain Robitussin. which increases the amount of cervical fluid Garlic – thins mucus. it is only when your cervical mucus is of “egg white” consistency that you are in your fertile period. Take two teaspoons three times a day with water. Six to eight glasses per day. starting about five days before ovulation and continuing through ovulation day. thus enabling conception to happen even though you are ovulating several days later. both in the lungs and cervical fluid Evening Primrose Oil – increases production of cervical fluid • • • • • You’ll notice that your cervical mucus changes throughout the month. Here are six ways you can improve the state of your cervical mucus and help his sperm get to the finish line. the one with no letters after the name. it can impede and/or prevent fertilization. this type of fluid helps the sperm to stay alive for up to 6 days inside the fallopian tube.The bottom line is this. and to the egg. watery. Also. • Robitussin – at first you may wonder what on earth a cough syrup has to do with fertility. check the ingredients and make sure it contains only one ingredient – guaifenesin.
so a single quick jaunt can ruin your chance to conceive for an entire quarter of the year! • • • . The high temperatures can impact sperm two to three months in advance. such as over the counter painkillers. one study reported as little as one cup of coffee a day can cut your chances of conception in half. cocaine and other so-called “recreational” drugs can cause miscarriage. nicotine can also affect fertility and impair your ability to conceive. If you’re trying to conceive. activities and lifestyles that you should avoid in order to achieve your goal. which dry up cervical mucus and have a damaging effect on sperm. • Toxins – Fertility problems have been known to occur in men after they’ve been exposed to toxins such as insecticides or pesticides. Lifestyle and environmental items that you should avoid if you’re trying to conceive include: • Alcohol – Alcohol can affect hormonal highs and lows in your body and this could affect your menstrual cycle and ovulation. Women should also avoid chemicals for the home and garden such as household cleansers and some paints and glues. Marijuana. there are certain foods. premature delivery and brain damage to the baby. Although the research is mixed. might be new to your thinking. Look over the list and why they might inhibit attaining a successful pregnancy and ask your doctor if you’re confused about any of them. Caffeine – High caffeine levels are thought to cause decreased fertility in women.” Some items on the list. You should also avoid second hand smoke during the time you’re trying to conceive and afterward. Painkillers can stop ovulation and affect your immune system. it could ruin your chance at conception. Avoid medications such as Tagamet (causes abnormal sperm production) or antihistamines. “No Smoking. Hot tubs – While it may seem romantic to indulge in a dip in the hot tub. • Drugs – Over the counter drugs such as painkillers and antibiotics can decrease your chances of conception by greatly reducing your fertility. Chronic alcohol consumption can cause birth defects. Most on this list are common sense items – like. as it’s also been found to have a detrimental effect on fertility. you might benefit from reducing your intake of drinks that contain caffeine. and low birth weight). Nicotine – Besides the obvious impact on the baby after you conceive (premature birth.In your quest to attain that perfect bundle of joy. Men should avoid smoking. miscarriage.
it alters the acidity of your vagina. It seems that for every 20 pounds that a male is overweight. consult your doctor about how this might be affecting your ability to conceive.• Douching – Douching isn’t a good idea for anyone anyway. Fertility is impaired when a woman’s BMI is below 19 or above 25. washes away the cervical mucus. Too much exercise – Female athletes often have trouble conceiving because of menstrual cycle disorders.Crash dieting and binge eating should also be avoided both before and during your pregnancy as it can have harmful effects on your hormonal levels. There are many strategies that could work to achieve a successful pregnancy for you. If you are significantly underweight from poor eating or over exercising. multiplied by 703. The good news is gaining or losing the weight. his infertility increases by 10%. divided by 66 inches again. If you’re an avid exercise fanatic. so for the same reason you shouldn’t go hot-tubbing. do your own research. he should steer clear of the tighty-whities and go with boxers while you’re trying to conceive. Tight underwear for men – A man’s testicles need to be at a cool temperature. Body Mass Index (BMI) is your weight in pounds divided by height in inches. • • • • The issue of weight no longer belongs just to women when it comes to fertility New research has shown that overweight men are more likely to experience infertility issues than normal weight men. but when it comes to fertility. and can contribute to pelvic inflammatory diseases that will take time to clear up. it’s best to check with a qualified alternative medical professional such as a homeopath or naturopath. divided by 66 inches. try to incorporate something else. On the flip side. • Conclusion Remember. Remain optimistic and if one method doesn’t work after a period of time. Diet . multiplied by 703=BMI of 22. Doctors consider a normal BMI between 19 and 25 ideal. . being overweight can alter hormone chemistry and help prevent conception. Weight issues – Surprise – twelve percent of all infertility cases stem from weight issues. Example: 135 pounds. quickly restores fertility. So there is good reason for both of you to get to a healthy weight—it is good for your health and greatly improves your chances of conception. and of course. before you decide on which methods outlined above to put into practice. since a minimum of 22 percent body fat is necessary for normal ovulation and reproductive health. as the case may be. divided by height in inches again.. you can’t menstruate.
What’s wrong? Is it me or is it him? Your emotions are raw and exposed and you may have entered a low point in your life and/or relationship. Before the Tests – The Impact on Your Emotions If you’ve been trying to conceive for months or even years. Alternatively. Emotions. know that there are ways to deal with it effectively. And. here is all the information you will need to understand about the various infertility tests. You want answers – and you want them now! If you find yourself on an emotional roller coaster during this frustrating of all times. People who tell you to just take one day at a time may overlook the fact that depression keeps you from seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. you may want to have some fertility testing to look for medical issues that might be causing the difficulty. most of all. Either way.Chapter 5: When Infertility Is an Issue – Dealing with the Tests. If testing for a solution or diagnosis is imminent. You don’t have to feel isolated or misunderstood. you can go back and put some of the tips into practice. You may want to use this guide by putting some of the methods and strategies into practice for some time. I know what you’re going through because I went through it myself. I had several miscarriages before conceiving my children and went through the seemingly endless round of emotions that you’re going through now. But do you really want to know the answer? . You’re wondering why – and the tests you’re about to take will probably answer that question. And then. you don’t have to let those perfectly normal and understandable emotions have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner. if it’s been over a year. before pursuing fertility testing. you’re probably both on edge about it. and Outcome of a Diagnosis You Didn’t Want! You’ve tried for a year to conceive – and it just isn’t happening. Find out all you can about what you might be experiencing and how to turn it into a “positive” by learning a little about yourself. it’s bound to have had an impact on your emotions individually and as a couple.
• Talk to others who are having difficulty conceiving – Support groups or a new. online friend going through a similar situation can help you cope with your feelings right now.Couples who are about to go through infertility testing run a gamut of emotions – from an impending deep sense of inadequacy to anxiety beyond belief. Turn to each other for support and understanding whenever you can. Some pro-active steps that can help get you past this difficult time include: • Journaling -. Journaling is especially helpful when you find the subject of infertility too painful or difficult to talk about with your partner. The most important thing to realize during this upheaval is that you’re in it together – as a couple. • Make it a point to talk to your partner on a regular basis – Your experience of the situation might be different from that of your partner’s. Be sure to talk to your doctor about feelings of anxiety or anger. But finding neutral territory to state your fears and worries seems almost impossible. even for a few moments.Writing down your thoughts can help you gain an understanding of the feelings and emotions that are bombarding you on every level. . friend or family member. Even though your circumstances may be different from theirs. Empathizing with each other will help prepare you for what you’re going to endure during testing and afterward – and to develop a bond that will be so important to raising your future child or children. the bottom line is that neither of you has been able to conceive. He or she may be able to offer some helpful advice. Should you talk about alternatives to having your own children such as adoption or surrogacy – or is it too soon to bring up the subject? Dealing with your emotions effectively before you begin the tests can help you face whatever the test results will ultimately tell you about the future. any activity that can get your mind off of fertility issues. but he or she needs to know that you’re going through a difficult time and how he can help. could be an enormous coping tool while you’re going through this traumatic time in your life. Communication with your partner is crucial to overcome feelings of anger and blame toward yourself or the other person and rectify those feelings before they harm the relationship. • Focus on an activity or hobby – As simple as it may sound. The worst thing you can do as a couple at this time is to keep your emotions to yourself.
without a doubt. Take an ibuprofen before you go to your test. These tests are able to pinpoint the problem. Tests to Determine Your Fertility Include: • Baseline Blood Tests Baseline blood tests are conducted after your period starts. only to find out that I had an immune disorder that was eventually treated successfully. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – This test is given to both men and women to determine menstrual regularity and pituitary disorders in the ovaries or testes.Fertility Tests that Your Doctor Will Probably Recommend Recent scientific breakthroughs in fertility testing have made it possible to determine. This hormone is necessary to help the embryo implant itself in the lining of your uterus. o Estradiol – This blood test measures hormone levels and can determine if a woman is ovulating or not or if you have ovarian cysts. o o o • HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) HSG is an x-ray that’s usually performed in the radiology department of a hospital. if there is one. How painful it is will be different for everyone depending on your tolerance for pain and whether or not your doctor has to force more dye into your tubes if they’re blocked with debris. and provide the solution. if you and your partner are fertile enough to conceive. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – This test will probably be done on day three of your menstrual cycle. then you may have higher levels of LH. It’s a simple blood test where you get the results without undergoing anything more invasive than a needle prick. scar tissue and fibroid tumors in the uterus can also be seen and analyzed. . Dye is injected into the uterus through the vagina and cervix. Polyps. such as blocked fallopian tubes. causing cramps. If you have PCOS. Progesterone – A test that measures progesterone hormone levels that’s also an indicator of ovulation. usually on day 2-3. I went through most all of them. This test can be somewhat painful. The dye fills the tubes and spills into your abdomen. But I had to go through several of them to find that one solution. The problem is that there are so many tests to endure. It determines if your ovaries are functioning properly or if you’re going through perimenopause. making it easier to see abnormalities. It outlines your uterus and fallopian tubes.
then the doctor may not perform the test since it can spread the infection as the dye is pushed through the fallopian tubes. so the doctor will usually administer a local anesthesia or give you a Valium before the procedure. . The pain can be moderate to severe. fallopian tubes or ovaries that might contribute to your inability to conceive.If you have gonorrhea or chlamydia. they’ll remove it at that time. This is an outpatient procedure that’s performed at a surgical center or hospital and the pain afterwards is mild. If there is endometriosis or scar tissue. It’s an outpatient procedure where they insert a small tube through your cervix and into your uterus. It takes about a week to recover from a laparoscopy. Within 24 hours after intercourse. You’ll have to be on antibiotics beforehand. If you’re hospitalized. which is normal. he may hospitalize you to perform the procedure. If he sees signs of fibroids or polyps. he may order this test. They can also remove infected fallopian tubes. If it requires extensive work. • Laparoscopy Doctors use laparoscopy as a tool to help them examine the pelvic organs and determine if there are problems with your uterus. • Hysteroscopy If your doctor thinks you may have small polyps or fibroids inside your uterus. The camera can then help the doctor examine the pelvic organs. Another reason they may not perform the test is if you’re allergic to shellfish or contrast dye. then you will probably get an epidural. They inflate your uterus with carbon dioxide to give them a better view of the surroundings. then he may conduct an operative hysteroscopy where he removes the tissue. It’s best if someone can drive you to and from your appointment in case your cramping is moderate to severe. When the test is over. you may have a small amount of bleeding. • Postcoital A postcoital test (also known as Huhner test) determines whether or not sperm can survive in your cervical mucus. sometimes mixed with the clear dye. A small incision is made in the abdominal area so that the doctor can insert the laparoscope. which acts as a camera. the woman visits the doctor’s office where the cervical mucus is analyzed.
A saline solution is inserted through the cervix into the uterus and allows the doctor to better see abnormalities. • Semen analysis A semen analysis is performed when the fertility of the man is in doubt. The test is usually performed in the early stage of a menstrual cycle because it should not be performed on a pregnant woman. The doctor will analyze the sperm to see if all three components are intact – the head (which contains the genetic material). A doctor can also evaluate “incompetent cervix” in women who have had several miscarriages. they must be tested within 2 hours of collecting the specimen. your partner’s sperm sample should be 1. the midpiece (which has the energy needed to help the sperm swim). should have 20 million or more sperm/ml. polyps or abnormalities in the uterus and fallopian tubes.If the doctor determines that there are dead or stagnant sperm. • Sonohysterogram A Sonohysterogram is used to diagnose tubal obstruction. This is an outpatient procedure performed in your doctor’s office and isn’t painful for most women. If the sperm can penetrate a hamster egg. This is known as the zona-free hamster-egg penetrating test. too. should have 60% mobility. Was he sick? Did you both go hot-tubbing frequently? These kinds of things can affect his test results. it can penetrate your egg as well! Keep in mind that since it takes 3 months for your partner’s sperm to produce. A semen sample is gathered in the doctor’s office by the man masturbating into a container. and their ability to penetrate a hamster egg. • Thyroid . They’ll also be checking the Ph of the sample.5-5 ml (a teaspoon). and the tail (which catapults him through the cervix and fallopian tubes and toward the egg. he’ll then test for an antibody problem. He’ll be looking to see how the mucus looks. and if it’s a viable climate for the sperm to swim through. and 30% intact for size and shape (morphology). If the results are to be reliable. the presence of anti-sperm antibodies. Ideally. you have to consider what his life was like at that time. detect fibroid tumors. Male infertility accounts for about 40% of all infertility cases.
This is a common problem for women. This can be somewhat painful and result in a small amount of bleeding afterwards. You may also get a local anesthesia injected directly into your cervix. with 1 out of 8 women being diagnosed with thyroid problems in their lifetime. Women with thyroid problems may suffer miscarriages or have problems ovulating. When you start taking this. If you have an overactive thyroid. medication can usually bring them to normal levels. It is also measured by a blood test to the female and is done on the third day of your menstrual cycle. Normally. They can use this procedure to rule out a luteal phase defect. including the egg quality and egg quantity. it has to be performed at a specific time. A tube will be inserted into the uterine cavity to extract a piece of the lining for examination. it can contribute to a low sperm count or decreased mobility. Inhibin B is a protein hormone produced by the ovaries. then an endometrial biopsy can be performed to see if this is the reason your body isn’t supporting a pregnancy. • Endometrial Biopsy This procedure is conducted to take a sample of the lining inside of the uterus. If not. For infertility testing. The doctor will check to see if your thyroid is over (hyper) or under (hypo) active. If you’ve suffered repeated miscarriages. • FSH and Inhibin B FSH is a hormone that can be measured by a simple blood test to the male and female. If your partner has thyroid problems. the ovary starts reducing the amount of FSH and allows your ovaries a chance to produce an egg. then he or she may prescribe a synthetic estrogen. you could have trouble conceiving. your thyroid should be in a state of euthyroid (balance). If you are diagnosed with low levels of Inhibin B from your doctor. This hormone is secreted by the brain and encourages the presence of eggs in women and sperm in men. • Clomiphene citrate challenge test (CCCT) . It’s conducted either at your doctor’s office or in the hospital and you are usually instructed to take a mild pain medication like Motrin or Aleve before the procedure. known as the endometrium.This blood test determines if your thyroid levels (TSH and T4) are under control. The amount of Inhibin B in your blood directly correlates to the number of eggs that you have in your ovaries. The day 3 Inhibin B test is used in order to predict ovarian reserve. three days before your period.
Blood will be drawn at the doctor’s office on day 2 or 3 of your period.This test measures estradiol and FSH. This can increase your risk for a miscarriage but can be treated with steroids. Your doctor may order this test if you’ve had unexplained miscarriages. d) ATA – Antithyroglobulin: Measures the presence of antithyroid antibodies. blood will be drawn again. If you test positive. You may have high levels of this antibody if you’re having fertility problems such as premature ovarian failure or early menopause. you’ll begin to take Clomid (100 mg per day beginning on Day 5 of your period). If you’ve suffered multiple miscarriages. If it’s found that you have endometriosis. It can be treated with steroids. The test will be given again after taking a medication called clomiphene citrate for five days. This consists of taking two 50 mg tablets together each day at the same time. then your doctor will probably order this test. If you have an abnormal CCCT. then you may be one of the 30-40% of couples whose entire infertility issue stems from this often painful condition. b) APA – Antiphospholipid Antibodies: This is a popular test to see if these types of antibodies are circulating in your bloodstream and preventing the blood from flowing properly. Then. • Immune Disorders Your doctor may recommend testing for the following immune disorders: a) ASA – Antisperm Antibody: This test determines if sperm are not being produced because of problems in the systemic immune system. The results predict fertility potential and your likelihood of conceiving. it can mean that you have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). . Women will be tested through a blood sample while men’s samples will be tested through a semen sample. after you’ve taken Clomid for five days. the doctor will probably tell you that the chances of conception and delivering a baby with your own eggs is improbable. e) AOA – Antiovarian antibodies: Used to detect levels of specific antibodies in the bloodstream. On day 10 or 11. c) ANA – Antinuclear Antibodies: A test that measures abnormal antibodies that harm or work against the body’s tissues. as 5 million American women are diagnosed with. Its treatment can be as simple as taking a baby aspirin or other blood thinner.
There’s no reason for you to feel inadequate or isolated because you’re having these feelings. The problems associated with endometriosis can mean blocked fallopian tubes and ovulation troubles. it often grows right back. . The blood sits inside of your body and eventually results in scar tissue.Endometrial tissue reacts to your hormone levels the same way your uterus lining does. only it has no way to exit your body. But you must recognize them for what they are and take the necessary steps to deal with them. by bleeding. many of these symptoms are so general that your diagnosis can be wrong for a long time before they finally know what’s wrong. making it painful for you to endure. Here are some signs that endometriosis may be to blame for your infertility issues: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Pelvic pain Backaches Leg Pain Multiple miscarriages High blood pressure Rectal bleeding Blood in your urine Constipation Nausea Vomiting Diarrhea Chest pain Coughing up blood Incontinence As you can see. This means it gets inflamed and irritated. During Fertility Testing – Loss of Control and Other Feelings Fertility testing is a life-changing experience that can cause thoughts and feelings that you may have never had before. While it can be removed surgically.
options and treatments.When the medical fertility experts take over. • • • • • You should always find quiet times for yourself to think about what’s happening to you – your body and your mental state. Tell yourself over and over that what you’re feeling is normal and that you’re taking steps to correct the situation – whatever that may be. They’ll tell you what to do and when to do it and disrupt your entire life for an indefinite period of time. Make copious notes and jot down questions that you want to ask the doctor at your next appointment. You may begin to resent pregnant women you see in a store or in your own family. the bookstores and any other means of locating information about fertility. and as a couple. but infertility is such a personal subject that you might find it difficult to open up to a friend or family member. When You Can’t Cope Sometimes you may feel the need to talk to someone other than your partner. You now schedule your life – including sex . What used to be a private act of love is now scrutinized and analyzed by “professionals” trained to help you conceive. Don’t force yourself to go to baby showers or a child’s birthday party. Sex may become robotic and you may even come to resent your partner. Keep the lines of communication open and don’t be afraid to express your emotions. Support each other through the testing process by attending appointments together and talking about them afterward. Did she have to go through what I’m going through? Will I ever be where she is now? Use the same coping strategies during the testing that you used before the testing began – and here are some other tips that might help you through this stage: • Begin by acknowledging that this is going to be a fearful and anxious time for you – both individually. .around doctors’ appointments – and you may become angry and frustrated. Search the web. you may feel that your life isn’t your own anymore. This may be too painful for you at this stage and it’s perfectly understandable for you to want to avoid these types of gatherings.
if you’re in an infertility support group. You may want to interview several before deciding on one that you feel comfortable with. during and after fertility tests and treatments. Do consult a professional who is trained in treating symptoms that arise before. Your doctor may be able to recommend someone – or. seek out a trained professional to help you through the crisis. Don’t be embarrassed or feel guilty because you’re having these thoughts. learn how to cope and deal with the grief you might be feeling. you may find yourself at a crossroads that requires even more decisions on your part. He or she can help you sort through issues. can sometimes cause a chemical imbalance in your brain that makes it impossible for you to function on a normal basis. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by what you’re going through – and if you can find ways to cope. After Fertility Testing – Coming to Terms With the Outcome No matter what the outcome of the tests may be. friends or loved ones Extreme anger Lack of self-esteem Thoughts of death or suicide Prolonged depression. or sleeping too much Lack of concentration Loss of interest in being with family. Do we continue with other fertility testing methods? Are there alternative treatments that we should consider? Adoption? In vitro fertilization? . caused by stress.There are mental health professionals who can help you understand the emotions you’re feeling and successfully cope with them. You should immediately seek help if you experience symptoms of depression that include the following conditions: • • • • • • Sleeplessness. If you’re experiencing out of the ordinary thoughts or sensations such as those listed below. you’ll feel more in control. Don’t think that you can do it alone. Be sure that any mental health professional you choose has extensive training in treating the psychological trauma of infertility and that he has a graduate degree and a license to practice in your state. ask someone you trust for the name of a good professional.
can usually provide an answer. you may want to set a limit of how long you want to try to conceive before considering other ways to have a family. Your doctor may also be of help by explaining other options to you – the impact and the probable results of each according to your particular case. proficient in the area of infertility testing. diet. This is when open lines of communication with each other becomes a tremendous ally in your quest to make the right decision for you both. .If you’ve been consulting with a mental health professional. you may decide to try relaxation techniques. as a couple. but it just hasn’t happened yet. worry and anguish. It could be low sperm count. In this case. After all that testing. It may involve surgery to remove cysts – or something as simple as taking hormone-boosting herbs or drugs. If infertility is your problem. trouble ovulating or a number of things that your doctor will explain to you in detail. Some couples aren’t willing to invest more years and put up with the stress of trying to conceive. your diagnosis may be just what you’d hoped for – that everything is ripe and ready for a pregnancy. today’s medicine. How badly do you really want children? Now what? Sometimes these decisions are overwhelming for a couple. both Western and alternative. perhaps with the guidance of your doctor. Some topics that you’ll want to talk about include: • How long do you want to try before considering other options? Assuming that your fertility testing results proved that you’re both capable of conception and there’s nothing medically askew with either of you. or any of the other numerous ways mentioned in this book that can help your system be geared up and ready when pregnancy does occur. he or she may be able to help you sort out the facts in the decisionmaking process. The science of infertility has made such amazing progress that infertile couples have a wide array of available choices. The most devastating of diagnoses – that there’s no way you can become pregnant as a couple – requires even more serious consideration from you. This is a decision that you’ll need to make as a couple. You may get a diagnosis that fertility is a problem with one or both of you.
You may want to try fertility treatments in the future. you’re bound to feel let down or depressed about the outcome. It’s okay to delay making a decision until you feel sure that you can come to an honest and well thought out conclusion to your dilemma. If your fertility testing leaves you with an undesirable diagnosis. get together with your partner to develop a financial plan that you can deal with. Building a family can be an option for you no matter what the tests proved. • Optimism is important. Study these methods carefully and research them on your own before you make a decision on acceptable fertility treatments. Try not to be discouraged. The strain of making it through the past months. You need to be able to state your feelings and emotions about this development in the clearest of terms and to decide what’s best for you and as a couple.• Are you willing to try advanced fertility testing or undergo fertility treatments? Perhaps the tests were inconclusive and your doctor recommends taking the next step to discover whether or not fertility is a problem. prepare for the fact that it may not work. Even if the diagnosis wasn’t what you’d hoped for. You may find yourself having a good cry if a friend or family member calls to tell you she’s pregnant. . the next stage will require optimism as you delve into the options that are left. • Which fertility treatments are you willing to try and which won’t you even consider? In the next chapter. Fertility treatments are very expensive and may not be a viable option for you. • Put off making a decision. But if you decide that you want and need the treatments. I discuss the plethora of fertility treatments available and the possible side effects and outcome of each. No matter what you decide. by all means practice optimism. Your insurance plan might cover fertility treatments to some extent – or you may need to talk to them and negotiate. years – or however long it took to reach this point – has taken a toll on you. If you do decide to pay for part or all of the treatments. but right now you’re not sure of anything. More testing may cause further strain on your relationship or on yourself that you’re not willing to endure.
You’ve still got to make some decisions about what comes next. Being informed and aware can make the process a bit easier to endure and knowing your options can help you and your partner get through this emotionally stressful time. take some time to get away and just have some fun. but if you set it aside. . If possible. But you deserve some rest and relaxation before you have to make another decision. Take care of yourself! Find a new activity that interests you or join a group that you’ll enjoy. babies or what you’re going to do about the future. Take some time to re-visit the journals you created –learn a little about yourself and the way that you. you may find that you have renewed energy and focus when it is time for you to revisit the issue. as a couple. There’ll be time for that later. The quest for pregnancy doesn’t have to be over. just for a little while. interacted during the most stressful of times. Now we’re going to go through the final phase – treating your infertility using the treatment that medical science has to offer. No fair talking about anything that has to do with fertility.Now. your relationship – you! It’s Time to Think About You! Your quest for pregnancy isn’t over yet. it’s time to focus on other matters – your job. There are things to learn and possible methods to choose.
. These are great places to find others who are going through the same thing as you are. you might not like a doctor who jokes around with a topic you’re taking very seriously. Find out what timetable they have set up for their patients to try one method before moving on to something else. You can find some specialists online at sites such as www.Resolve. Any time you feel uncomfortable. Don’t just go to someone because your doctor. You may not like a doctor who takes your case too seriously. preferring someone who can ease your fears and allay your anxiety. it’s okay to move on and find a specialist that has the same approach you have in mind.Chapter 6: When Medical Science Should Intervene – A Look at Today’s Breakthrough Technology for Increasing the Odds of a Baby If your natural efforts haven’t worked and you’re ready to move on and give medical science a trial run. you need to know how the procedures work so you’ll be physically and mentally prepared for it. will he take a different approach? Your personalities have to mesh well. so you want to choose someone who’s right for you and your partner.org. or family member suggests them. Sometimes people (even doctors) recommend someone they happen to know – not necessarily someone that would suit your needs and interests most. for instance. How to Choose a Doctor The first thing you want to do is see your doctor and find out what kind of specialist he recommends that you go see. friend. Or. not just an ordinary ob/gynecologist. You want to see a fertility specialist. You don’t want someone who just wants to try you out on different medications to slowly eliminate possible causes. Not everyone has the same needs and experiences.inciid. If a certain treatment isn’t working after four months. Always ask why the person is recommended – is it because he or she is a member of a certain organization or is it because they have a reputation for having a solid success rate with infertile patients? You want a doctor who will do some preliminary testing to see what could be causing the delay in getting pregnant.org or www.
so you’ll need to use some of the tactics mentioned earlier to combat this side effect. which creates more FSH. Clomid. All of this works to help your ovaries produce more estrogen and stimulate a follicle to grow. there may be a chance that you’ll conceive twins. including abdominal pain and severe bloating. Of course your treatment will also depend on your reasons for infertility. If it does. where the sperm is delivered directly into the uterus via a threaded catheter. Minimally Invasive Treatment Options for Minor Issues If your partner’s sperm count is found to be a bit low. then your specialist will probably recommend artificial insemination in the form of an IUI (intrauterine insemination) cycle. Some cramping can occur afterwards. You may feel like you’re on a roller coaster. or Clomiphene citrate. Most women report that it isn’t painful – at least no more than a typical pap smear. so the body counters by releasing GnRH. Clomid is usually taken for cycles of five days. but it’s no more painful than during menstruation. can help you release eggs and produce good eggs. The side effects can be minimal – mimicking menopause – or they may be severe. Clomid Can Sometimes Increase Your Odds of Conception Your regular ob/gyn may put you on Clomid before you even go to see a specialist. You’ll probably be asked to try Clomid for 3-6 months to see if it works. This drug tricks your body into thinking it’s low on estrogen. then Clomid can contribute to you being able to continue the pregnancy through maturity because it increases your progesterone. beginning around day 3-5 of your menstrual cycle. An IUI only takes a few minutes. You’ll probably start out taking one pill per day and then if nothing’s happened after one month. so weigh your options carefully. you’ll move up to 2-3 pills if you still aren’t ovulating properly. If sustaining a pregnancy is an issue for you. at which time you should call your doctor. It also causes you to not produce as much cervical mucus. moving from something as simple as blood tests and discussions about ovulation to injections and invasive surgeries. . or possibly triplets. which is also known as Serophene. Clomid has an 80% success rate in helping women ovulate.Treating infertility can be time consuming and costly.
To ensure this. Sometimes you’ll be recommended to do more than one treatment at a time. It takes some getting used to. your hormone levels will be monitored to see if your estradiol has risen to 150-300 pg/ml. Injections are sometimes a necessary evil in the race to conception. The technique is called COH (controlled ovarian hyperstimulation). and the nurses will walk you through it the first time. Most specialists have a video that shows you how to do it. It probably sounds worse than it is if you’ve never done it before. Which drugs will you use? There are some choices. and it’s the injection of gonadotropins. You’ll probably be asked to try artificial insemination 3-4 times while on Clomid before moving on to injectible infertility drugs. Undergoing injections means going for more routine testing in the form of blood drawings and ultrasounds. your doctor may have you start a round or more of injectible drugs. . you’ll feel like an old pro. it’s usually time to move on to IVF. First you may want to determine if certain drugs are covered by your insurance. Your partner’s sperm will be collected in a sterile container (or a special condom if your religion prohibits masturbation). since many can be quite expensive. Then the sperm is “washed” for an IUI. After four tries with injectibles. but once you’ve done it a few times. You only want to use these procedures when you’re sure your body has produced a good egg. which means the sperm cells are removed from the seminal fluid and placed in a nutrient solution that may stimulate motility and enhance fertilization. Pills such as Clomid have to pass through your digestive system and don’t get absorbed as well as a direct injection. it is a major component of conception.Another option is for an ICI (intracervical insemination) to be done where they insert the sperm directly into the cervix. These are what make your follicles grow. Injectible Infertility Drugs After taking Clomid and trying artificial insemination. You’ll also notice your LH surge right before the egg is released so that you can time the procedures just right. You can either learn how to give yourself shots or have your partner learn how to do it. and since your follicles contain eggs.
recombitant medications are more expensive but all are given subcutaneously. You may also be injecting hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). . weight gain and mood swings. Your body reacts by producing LH and FSH and stimulating the ovaries to release an egg. This simply means it can be injected into the fatty tissue just under the skin with a fairly small needle. which can make some people squeamish. Implementing IVF Into Your Infertility Treatment In vitro fertilization is what many women consider to be bringing out the big guns to treat infertility. Other shots require you to inject the needle deep into your muscle tissue. is an intramuscular drug but certain forms such as Ovidrel are now being released as subcutaneous. too. This is a shot you give yourself after you’ve ovulated to make sure your progesterone levels stay high enough for implantation and maintenance of the pregnancy. It’s not only high-tech. which means your estradiol levels have risen to dangerous heights and you may need to be hospitalized. It’s a normal result of altering the hormone balance in your system. Every 90 minutes it releases a small dose of GnRH. These are called an intramuscular injection. Some women experience headaches. If needles make you cringe. then you may want to choose a subcutaneous medication.Price-wise. These shots are also given intramuscularly. so if you’re not covered under insurance. but it comes with a high price tag. Sometimes booster injections are also necessary in the form of progesterone. This. bloating. call your doctor immediately: • • • Difficulty breathing Increase in weight of more than 10 pounds in a short span of time Difficulty urinating These symptoms may mean you’ve developed OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). There are some side effects to injecting these drugs. you may need to work out your finances before considering this option. which matures your eggs and helps them get a release from the follicles. If you notice any of the symptoms below. Some women are even using pumps similar to diabetic pumps to deliver their hormones.
so check with the administrator. there are some great drawbacks to IVF that you need to be prepared for. Your insurance may cover blood being drawn. you can always repeat your earlier options again. Once you reach 35-37 your chances are set at about 30%. drugs and ultrasounds. Plus. but each office is different. But in reality. Some states mandate that insurance companies cover IVF treatments. you have to add on ultrasounds and more blood work to the mix. The success rate is 25% for women under age 35 per IVF cycle. The coverage may vary – for instance. it’s the last hope. Contact your insurance company ahead of time to find out where you stand in having to finance your infertility treatments. or that varies from one clinic to another. West Virginia says insurers must cover infertility costs while Arkansas only requires coverage up to a $15. which is why it’s known as creating a “test tube baby. ultrasounds. and certain medications. These are all options on the horizon if you choose to use them. It drops to 22% if you’re between 38 and 40. The High Cost of IVF Each cycle of IVF can cost up to $10. IVF is actually only used by about 2% of infertile couples.IVF is when medical science uses a test tube to join your egg and your partner’s sperm. If you hated the injection phase. But you may find after IVF that you want to look at other options. but it’s time-consuming as well.000 or more. That probably doesn’t include blood work. There are some clinics that have an exchange program – you donate eggs to couples who need them in exchange for IVF treatment. Sometimes your coverage will be partial.” While the rewards (a baby!) may be great. But then they won’t cover the actual procedures. . then you won’t like IVF. either. like adoption or using a donor egg or surrogate. you still won’t have any guarantee that you’ll have a baby in your future because IVF isn’t predictable. What worries most women is that they feel like after getting to this point. After undergoing all of this. Insurance companies may turn you down for IVF coverage because it’s an expensive procedure that doesn’t have a high success rate. which often works for women who go through a second round. goes to 12% if you’re over 40 and after 45 you’re usually looking at donor egg options. It’s a lot of money and time for many couples to invest. The couple needing the eggs are the ones who will be paying the IVF costs for you. It’s not only an expensive option.000 cap.
which is your particular blueprint for how the IVF process will be carried out. You’ll usually be monitored every couple of days using blood and ultrasound and as you get closer to ovulation this may increase to every day. Ask questions. Which drug you’re on will be determined by your age. You can access it here. The CDC publishes an annual Fertility Clinic success rate. Because this procedure is so costly. You would be surprised to find that there are great differences in success rates from one clinic to another. Everyone will have a unique protocol. Sometimes the doses last 10 days and occasionally it goes up to 21 days.htm One of the most important factors in determining where you do an IVF procedure is the success rate of the clinic. it’s something you should consider if you are going down this road What happens during IVF? First you’ll be given a protocol. You have to take an . http://www. so don’t be tempted to go by what your best friend said she went through – study your own.cdc. Who Will Perform My IVF? How do you choose your doctor or clinic? Some women prefer to stay with their current specialist while others want to go somewhere where the procedure is common. After you’ve been on the injections for a few days. they may change your medication or the dosage. While our hopes may rise a bit with an over-the-counter ovulation predictor kit.gov/ART/ARTReports. the numbers don’t vary that much from year to year. It will tell you what medications you’ll be on. and do your own research. Even though travel is another element to add on top of an already taxing procedure. it makes sense to invest in a clinic that will give you the highest chance of success. your test results. If anything is amiss. the more we spend on facing our infertility. both mentally. It might even be worth your time to travel to a clinic if you don’t live near one that has great success stats. it isn’t nearly as emotional as when you undergo an IVF cycle and then find it didn’t work. physically and financially. the higher our expectations. Your first step will be in starting a cycle of drugs. the clinic will probably ask you to come in for some monitoring so that they can see if your follicles are responding and if your estradiol is rising. and explain all of the procedures you’ll go through. and even though it runs a couple of years behind. and your ovulation circumstances.For some reason. Find out how many egg retrievals and embryo transfers the clinic does each year.
they check for fertilization. sometimes the embryos that looked good on day . Assisted hatching is done the day of your transfer. Your timing must be exact –if they tell you to take the injection at 2 o’clock in the morning. He uses the ultrasound to locate your follicles and punctures them to suck out the fluid. Sometimes they use frozen samples. That night. Any leftovers can be frozen and used at a later time if necessary. When the staff comes in the next morning. Ask whether or not your clinic will do a blastocyst transfer – where they allow the embryo to develop for five days and then choose the best ones to transfer. your eggs are incubated with your partner’s sperm in a petri dish. but they always prefer a fresh batch if possible. Even if the egg is immature. Anything over 7 millimeters is thick enough to allow the transfer to go forward. You’ll usually find out the day of the retrieval how many eggs were viable and the next day. Not all clinics do this. The downside is that by waiting until 5 days. The success rate for this procedure is 70% compared to 50% with three-day IVF transfers. it might mature within 24 hours. During this entire process. The embryologist will look for eggs that are round and mature. Frozen embryos are kept inside a liquid nitrogen tank temporarily until you’re ready for their use in a transfer. The transfer process When the eggs are ready to be transferred. the doctor will make sure the lining of your uterus is ready to support the embryo. The doctor goes in through your vagina with an ultrasound probe tipped with a needle. then make sure you do it at that precise time. They’ll go over your identity to prevent any mix-up with the eggs and then they’ll administer the medicine to make you go to sleep while the procedure is performed. They’ll continue doing this until they empty the follicles – taking a total of 30-40 minutes. how many were fertilized. you’ll be given an IV after changing into your gown. your partner will be providing his semen sample. They create a small hole in the shell of the embryo so that it can easily break through the shell and attach itself to the lining. Some clinics conduct hatching techniques to help the embryo implant in the uterus. The embryologists will make sure they only transfer good embryos.injection of a drug called hCG approximately 35 hours before you go in to have your egg retrieval done. After a few days the embryos will be evaluated and your doctor will decide how many to transfer back into you. which is where your eggs will be when they look under the microscope. When you go in for your egg retrieval.
the catheter moves into the uterus and allows the embryos to be injected into the uterus. or lift anything heavier than 10-15 pounds. some clinics will continue monitoring you to ensure the pregnancy sticks. you will probably have started wondering if your pregnancy has taken hold. Again. If you are. won’t make it until day 5. you will likely take a blood test to determine if you are pregnant. You may get a false positive or false negative. You will likely have to take progesterone injections after the procedure as stated above. have sex. This enables the doctor to see your uterus better with the ultrasound. The chance for ectopic pregnancy is twice what it is in non-IVF pregnancies. they may not allow you to do strenuous exercise. There’s also a risk of ectopic pregnancy. It is unknown whether these same embryos might have made it if transferred. You lie down on the exam table with a full bladder. As stated. On one hand you’re happy that it’s over and on the other you’re anxious and worried that it won’t work – fearing what happens if it doesn’t. Resist the urge to do a home pregnancy test.. where the embryo may implant in the fallopian tubes instead of in the uterus. This can be an emotional time. You may or may not be instructed to stay on the table lying down for about 20 minutes. You might be given a Valium as a sedative for the transfer.3. Don’t blame yourself – sometimes it just doesn’t work out the first time. Waiting after IVF Approximately 10 – 12 days after your IVF cycle is complete. . What if IVF doesn’t work? This is a personal choice. The cervix is then washed and through a speculum. During the waiting period. multiple births are common – by about 25%. while others move on to other means of improving their fertility. although it is probably not necessary. Additionally. They’ll monitor your hCG (pregnancy hormone) and progesterone levels to make sure the pregnancy is proceeding normally. as the environment in a woman’s body is much better for embryo development than the lab. they’ll verify your identity before the ultrasonographer places the probe on your abdomen so the doctor can see your uterus. your clinic will conduct a blood test to see if you’re pregnant. That’s because 2-4 embryos are generally placed in the uterus during each cycle. What are the risks? Well. Many couples immediately sign up for round 2.
Others have a line drawn in the sand and once it gets crossed. ZIFT offers the best of both IVF and GIFT procedures. the normal site for fertilization. Make sure if your emotions are out of control that you take a breather from it all and recoup before you launch a new trial of attempting to get pregnant. back-to-back. Here is some brief detail on these: • ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) . .It’s normal to grieve and feel angry about the situation. It is used during an IVF cycle when severe male factor issues are present. Some will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes and let their physical and mental health take continual hits. or that work hand in hand with IVF. motility or morphology. • • When to Say When Every woman and couple is unique in how much they’re willing to alter their lives to devote to fertility. Both eggs and sperm are put into the fallopian tubes and conception happens naturally. It is suitable only for women who have at least one healthy fallopian tube. Instead of the fertilization taking place in a dish in the laboratory. GIFT (Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer) – It is a modified version of the traditional IVF technique. ZIFT (Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer) – It involves the transfer of embryos (zygotes) into the Fallopian tube 24 hours after fertilization. just like in a natural pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend trying IVF for up to three times. Assisted Reproductive Technology – Some Variations You may have heard about some other procedures similar to IVF. you can always find a doctor who does agree with your stance.It involves injection of single sperm in to single eggs in order to get fertilization. such as reduced sperm count. and then replace the early embryos in the fallopian tube. they sit down and make tough decisions about their future fertility efforts. There is no right or wrong answer. The aim is to achieve fertilization in vitro (in the lab). it occurs in the fallopian tubes. If you and your doctor disagree about your future plans.
As a couple. . come to terms with your blueprint for achieving pregnancy and find a common ground you can agree to on when it’s time to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a different route to parenthood.If you’ve been giving yourself injections for 6 months and you are emotionally breaking down from the physical endurance of it all. it’s okay to stop and try something different or take a break. You also have to tune into what your partner is undergoing because a man’s mental and physical health is at stake as well during this process.
remember that all of the advice in the world won’t be the answer to your hopes and prayer unless you follow through on what you feel is best for your body. Through it all. be sure to remember everything you went through and try to balance your excitement with empathy for those still struggling to find the right answer. I am so glad that I discovered so many treatments to try and that I endured the emotional roller coaster that allowed me to eventually end up a mother after numerous obstacles. When I look at my children.Chapter 7: Conception Isn’t One Size Fits All – Mapping Out Your Blueprint for Making Your Dream Come True Everything you’ve learned about improving your fertility has to be applied the way you feel is best. Ignoring your own needs won’t help you get pregnant any faster – and in fact it may delay the process. You. treat. I wish you all the success in the world with your present and future journey and I welcome each and every one of you to share your thoughts and success stories with me so that others can learn what may work for them and deliver a bundle of joy to their waiting arms one day. The statements regarding any natural or herbal products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on my website or in this ebook is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your doctor. As you set out on your own personal path to pregnancy. These products are not intended to diagnose. You don’t have to do something just because it worked for someone you know. make sure you take care of yourself as you dedicate your life and your time to finding your fertility. . like me. cure or prevent any disease. may experience the ups and downs of discovering you’re pregnant – only to end up losing the baby after several weeks of joy and bliss. I simply feel that women should have all options available to them and should know that sometimes it’s the simple things that can lead to major changes with regard to your fertility – things you can easily fix on your own without expensive procedures and doctor’s visits. When the day finally comes that you find yourself blessed with a baby.