Does you career affect your fertility ?

Just read this article online at Timesonline fertility file

Recent research suggests a superwoman lifestyle can affect hormones and even body shape, damaging a woman’s chances of having a baby

Go-getting women with highpowered jobs and salaries to match might appear to have it all. But results of a new study suggest that, unwittingly, these twenty and thirtysomethings are reducing their chances of having children by doggedly pursuing demanding careers

Click here to read the full story online

10 things you should know before trying for a baby

Just read this article below online. Its by Suzi Godson from the Times 29/11/08

Suzi Godson is also the author of a comprehensive guide to sex book called  The Sex Book 

 I thought it might be a useful reminder.


November 29, 2008

10 things you need to know before you try for a baby

1. It can take about three months for full fertility to return after giving up the Pill, but some doctors suspect fertility is boosted in the first two weeks after a woman stops taking it.

2. Start taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day to decrease the risk of neural-tube defects such as spina bifida. Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, lettuce and peas are also rich sources of folate.

3. Clean up. Both of you need to cut out fags and alcohol. Steer clear of caffeine, Chinese herbs, herbal remedies and large doses of vitamin A as it can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. Check your vitamin supplements don’t contain vitamin A and steer clear of liver which also contains it in high doses. Also avoid raw or undercooked meat/eggs, soft cheeses and over-the- counter medicines (unless approved by your pharmacist) because they stay in your system and might be harmful if you become pregnant.

4. And shape up. Being overweight or underweight can increase the risk of birth defects or low birth-weight babies. You’ll need a complete check-up, including smears, screening for sexually transmitted infections and outstanding immunisations. Discuss your medical history and blood types with your GP and get yourself to the dentist. Pregnancy can play havoc with your teeth.

5. Know your cycle. Ovulation usually happens about 14 days before the first day of your next period. If your cycle is 28 days, with your period arriving on day one, day 14 is your most fertile day, but if you have a 32-day cycle, ovulation occurs on day 18. If you examine yourself daily, you’ll notice a vaginal discharge that’s transparent and stretchy between your fingers, like egg white, on your most fertile days.

6. Don’t become obsessed. Limiting your sex life to the few specific days each cycle when you think you might be ovulating will kill the spontaneity in your sexual relationship.

7. Instead, try to have sex every other day to ensure a continuous fresh supply of sperm (storing up sperm for longer than three days is detrimental to quality).

8. Have sex the day before you ovulate. Sperm can live for several days inside the body so making love before ovulation occurs gives it time to travel up the Fallopian tubes to lie in wait for the egg.

9. Let gravity lend a hand. Make sure he’s on top and put a pillow under your bum or practise your shoulder stand after he ejaculates.

10. Be patient. For every 100 couples having sex two to three times a week, about 30 will conceive within one month, 60 within six months and 85 will have conceived within one year.

Ashermanns Syndrome-the hidden threat to fertility

 Here is an extract below from an article I read in the Times last year, about a little known condition called Ashermanns Syndrome

A rarely diagnosed condition called Asherman’s causes miscarriage and can prevent pregnancy, yet it’s cheap to test for and can be treated
Catherine Bruton The Times Dec 10th 2007

Sarah Raynes had no trouble conceiving the first time around. But when, a year after her son was born, she wanted to try for her second child, her menstrual cycle hadn’t resumed – despite confirmation from a home ovulation kit that she was ovulating regularly. At her GP’s advice, she gave up breast-feeding, but several months later there was still no sign of her periods returning, and Sarah started to get concerned.

She turned to the internet for advice: “I typed ‘ovulation without bleeding’ into a search engine and came across a condition called Asherman’s Syndrome.”

Also known as scarring of the uterus, this syndrome can result in permanent infertility and recurrent miscarriage. It is usually caused by a D&C (a dilation and curettage) procedure, performed to clear the uterus after a miscarriage, to remove a retained placenta after the birth of a child or, in a minority of cases, to abort a pregnancy.

Here is the link to read the full story

Study shows coffee can reduce your chances of getting pregnant

Read this article online from this summers Telegraph newspaper that thought was interesting-the headline certainly grabbed my attention as I love a good cup of coffee or three.

A study published recently, has shown that drinking more than 4 cups of coffee a day, may significantly reduce a womans chances of getting pregnant. Good news when your not trying to conceive but not so great when you are. It seems a heavy caffeine intake may be as bad for womens fertility as being obese or heavy drinking.

Here is an extract from the article:

The findings, published at the European Society for Human Reproduction & Embryology (ESHRE) conference in Barcelona, suggest that drinking large amounts of coffee can reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant by a quarter. Researchers looked at more than 8,000 women who had IVF treatment between 1983 and 1995 in the Netherlands. More than 16 per cent of the women went on to conceive naturally in the following years. When the scientists analysed the women’s lifestyle they found marked patterns in the birth rates. Women who drank four cups of coffee a day were 26 per cent less likely than average to have conceived naturally, the findings show.  Click here to read the full article

Paradoxically a previous study into male fertility suggested that coffee could increase sperm mobility, raising a man’s chances of getting a woman pregnant, but that is a subject for another blog.

Visit Access Diagnostics UK Fertility site

Can work related stress affect your fertility ?

I Just read this very interesting article online about work related stress, and how it affects women. The article is from September 21, 2008

Here is an extract of the article, explaining how stress can affect fertility:

Risking infertility

One in seven couples in the UK now struggles to conceive and, for many women, prolonged stress and anxiety could be the root cause. Professor Sarah Berga of Emory University in America is a leading proponent of the link between chronic stress and compromised fertility. She has shown that stress often triggers a cascade of events that result in reduced levels of two hormones that are crucial for ovulation, and that women with hectic jobs on top of busy lives are most at risk. One of her studies, published two years ago, showed that women who didn’t ovulate had excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol present in their brain fluid.

“Your brain is hard to fool,” says Berga. “If you are undereating, overworking and overexercising, then the hypothalamus — the part of the brain that controls the release of hormones — keeps a running tally of what you are doing.”

For many women, stress-related infertility can be reversed. Berga found that ovulation was restored in seven out of 10 women who underwent “talking therapies” such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

I Froze My Eggs-From The Sunday Times October 12, 2008

Pending Mr Right’s arrival, I had my eggs frozen. But will putting a baby on hold be worth it?



Does Obesity Affect Male Fertility ?

I was doing some research on this subject this morning, and came across this online news article about male fertility, which I wanted to share with you.

Diabetes and obesity are linked to male infertility From Times Online July 9, 2008
Mark Henderson, Science Editor, in Barcelona

The obesity epidemic could be contributing to falling sperm counts and increasing male fertility problems, according to research that shows that both excess weight and diabetes can reduce the quality of a man’s sperm.

Men who are obese or overweight are significantly more likely to produce abnormal sperm and low volumes of semen than those of healthy weight, and those with diabetes — which is commonly triggered by obesity — are more likely to have sperm with genetic damage, two British studies have found.

You can read the full story at Times Online.

Male fertility tests for home use and male fertility products are available to purchase online in UK at Access Diagnostics fertility site

Home test kits for diabetes may be purchased online in the UK from Valuemed


Fertility Advice-when do I ask for help ?

At what point do I ask for help, is a common question amongst women trying to conceive. I have been researching this, and the common consensus seems to be, that if a couple have been trying to conceive for 12 months without success, they should seek the advice of their doctor.

 However I have also found that there are some exceptions to this-the age of the women is very significant-how long should we leave it if the mother is over a certain age and what is the age ?

From my research, the consensus seems to be, that if the women is over 35 years, and the couple have been trying for 6 months without success, it is advisable to see the GP.

If possible go to see your GP as a couple, and book an appointment for each of you. GP’s are usually quite happy to discuss fertility concerns.

The Sex Education Show-did you see last Tuesdays ?

Episode 4

First shown on 30th Sep 2008, Channel 4.

Anna has a fertility test

37 year-old presenter Anna Richardson came off the contraceptive pill 2 years ago. Despite her relatively clean-living lifestyle, she and her partner haven’t yet conceived a baby. Anna visits fertility and pregnancy guru Zita West for advice and a fertility test.

 Click here to watch the feature on fertility if you missed it

Instead Cups-have you heard of them before ?

Just come across this product. Not tried them myself yet.

Instead Cup (Softcup) holds rather than absorbs menstrual fluid, you should be able to wear the Softcup twice as long as a tampon up to a maximum of 12 hours.

INSTEAD Cup (Softcup) has a flexible circular rim which is approximately 7cm in diameter. When compressed for insertion, INSTEAD is about the same size as a tampon – approximately 1-2cm wide and 9cm long. One size fits nearly all women for excellent leakage protection, even on heavy days.

Just read online that some women are using Instead Softcups to aid conception. They are inserting the instead cups after intercourse to help keep the sperm close to the cervix. They combine this with laying down after intercourse. That’s certainly lateral thinking. I will research and see how successful it is.

Click here to buy home ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, fertility lubricants, home fertility tests and other fertility products to aid conception online in UK 


Fertility Issues-useful web pages

Just found these useful webpages from the BBC website on fertility issues. Covers such issues as assisted conception, fertility facts, ethical issues in fertility treatments, specialist advice. You can even have fertility advice sent straght to your mobile phone !

Click here to visit the BBC Fertility Pages

Visit Access Diagnostics UK fertility site