Cannabis drug use and its effect on male fertility

How does Cannabis impair fertility?

Cannabis sperm motility fertility
Sperm motility

It is known that both Cannabis (Marijuana) can impair male fertility by the effects that it has on sperm motility, and several studies have suggested that Cannabis may also affect sperm production so that the sperm are abnormal in shape and size.

This is obviously quite worrying. If you are trying to conceive, it is sensible to stop using these drugs before you start trying for a baby, as we do not know if these drugs may damage the sperm and lead to problems with the pregnancy.

A study done at the University of Sheffield by Dr Allan Pacey suggested that male Cannabis users should stop using Cannabis well before trying to conceive

How long do the effect of Cannabis and Cocaine last?

Cannabis metabolites are stored in fat in the body and can be detected on a urine Cannabis drug test kit for up to 30 days after last use.

In view of this our advice would be to wait at least 30 days before you start trying for a baby. That will give time for the Cannabis metabolites to leave your system and for new sperm to be produced. You do not need to stop having sex during this time, simply use a condom.

One thing to bear in mind is that sperm can live in the testicles for up to 2-3 months, so it is important to keep having sex  (with a condom) so that the older sperm that have been affected by Cannabis have been used up. Fresh sperm is best for conception.

Will my fertility return to normal after I stop using Cannabis?

As long as everything else is normal, and you are not using other drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol then the sperm morphology and motility should return to normal once the drug causing the problem has left your body, although this could take several months.

The best advice is to stop using drugs well in advance of trying to conceive to optimise your chances of conceiving quickly and having a successful pregnancy for your partner and a healthy baby.

 

 

How do you take your basal body temperature ?

Buy fertility thermometer uk
High accuracy digital thermometer

We thought it would be worth covering this subject as we have had a few customer service queries recently concerning basal thermometers and how they should be used.

Here are our tips to using basal temperature to monitor fertility:

  • The basal temperature increases and stay elevated once ovulation occurs.
  • Use a high accuracy digital thermometer that has two decimal places
  • A fahrenheit thermometer is best if you can get one
  • We have found that the mouth, under the tongue, is the most reliable place to take the temperature.
  • Take the temperature first thing in the morning before rising from your bed.
  • Do not drink anything before you take the temperature
  • Place the thermometer under the tongue and leave it there keeping your tongue firmly pressed on it and still until it bleeps indicating it has reached a steady temperature. This make take several minutes.
  • Take the temperature at the same time each day. It may be worth setting your alarm.
  • Basal temperature means your resting temperature so it must be the first thing you do as soon as you wake up.
  • Keep a record of your basal temperature on a chart each day
  • After the first month you will start to see a pattern which should help you to know when your fertile time is.

Visit Access Diagnostics UK fertility site for fertility thermometers, ovulation tests, early detection pregnancy tests, home fertility tests  and fertility friendly lubricants.

 

 

Female Fertility Predictor

The results of a new study from Denmark reported in the Journal of Reproduction has shown that your mothers age at menopause may be a good predictor of fertility.

The researchers  studied  527 women between the age of 20-40 years of age, and found that women whose mothers had an early menopause had far fewer viable eggs in their ovaries than those women whose mothers had a later menopause.

Women are born with all the eggs that they will ever have, and so those women that had fewer viable eggs have fewer chances of conceiving. This can be measured and is known as the ‘ovarian reserve’

The message from the study seems to be that if your mother had an early menopause then statistically you have a higher chance of having a low ovarian reserve and so should avoid postponing trying to conceive and start early. But this does not mean you can be complacent if you mother had a late menopause.

The message for all women is to avoid postponing & start early as ovarian reserve declines with age. In times of recession lots of women may put off starting a family and then face difficulties later due to reduced fertility.

Source BBC news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20217735

Amy Marner’s Summer Newsletter (2012)

Life Upgrade Expanded

I had a great time on the Life Upgrade Expanded course in May.  It was wonderful to finally be able to attend and meet lots of new people (and old friends).  The weekend was uplifting and inspiring however not without it’s uncomfortable moments.  But then that’s what Life Upgrade is about; deal with those discomforts so that you can feel better, more free and in touch with your intuition.  After addressing those uncomfortable feelings I left the course feeling an amazing sense of peace, which was better than I could have ever imagined.

Since then other discomforts have surfaced as I go about my day-to-day life and I know I need to use the tools I have learnt to address those too.  Interestingly that peaceful feeling, although now passed, does not feel too far out of reach, if I keep using Life Upgrade tools I know I will be able to reach it again (hopefully for longer next time too).

Bristol Centre of Reproductive Medicine (BCRM)

I had the privilege of talking at the BCRM in June, it was a very enjoyable evening.  I met people who are going through some really challenging times, who were very inspiring in the ways that they were coping with their stress levels.  Interesting topics came up during the evening one of them being should those trying to conceive drink alcohol?

My recommendation is always to cut out drinking in order to give your pregnancy the best chance.  However if you do find yourself having a glass, feeling guilty about it and beating yourself up that’s not going to do you any good either!

My aim is to support clients to achieve their best chance of conception, that means getting mind and body in tip top condition, drinking is not a part of that.  It’s about addressing the feelings that make you want that drink in the first place (or feel guilty about having one) as there is likely to be underlying issues which need resolving.  Life Upgrade as a system is effective in addressing and resolving those issues.

Stepping off the emotional roller coaster of infertility

 sarah holland fertile mindset

I realise that you may feel in need of emotional support as you try to conceive through fertility issues. You need support that’s effective, works quickly and can bring you the peace of mind and positive thinking that you know is so vital to supporting your fertility.

Perhaps you’ve heard about how successful EFT is at dramatically reducing negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness, worry and fear. But you’re not sure how to learn it or apply it to your own unique situation, and achieve the positive results in your emotional well-being and mindset that you know would be SO beneficial.Well here’s the good news! I have developed a low cost, fast working solution to help yo u switch your thinking from negative to positive, and support you in a multitude of ways as you try to conceive your baby.I know what an emotional roller coaster it can be when you have fertility issues, and I’d like to invite you now to take my hand as a support you stepping off the roller coaster and on to a much smoother, easier to navigate path.What am I talking about? Click below to find out!http://www.fertilemindset.com/inner-saboteur
Don’t delay in clicking above and making a decision whether to sign up. There are only limited spaces available, and the ‘early bird’ booking price ends soon. PLUS if you’re one of the next few to sign up you’ll be able to grab one of the remaining chances to have a private one-to-one telephone session with me, to work on a key emotional issue for you.

I look forward to you joining me on this exciting adventure!

With love and best wishes on your fertility journey,

Sarah Holland
Fertility Support Specialist

Spring News From Amy Marner

Birth Preparation

Relaxation For Pregnancy and Childbirth

Life Upgrade for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Maternity Leave

Feels funny calling this a Spring newsletter with this fantastic warm weather we are having!  I hope you have all had a chance to enjoy the sunshine.

Birth Preparation

I have now begun to support women in preparing for their birthing experience.  As some of you already know I am keen to support women to have a positive birthing experience and now, as well as providing positive birthing stories, I am also offering Tracy Holloway’s ‘Relaxation for Pregnancy and Childbirth’ Hypnosis CDs and Life Upgrade sessions for those women who wish to address their fears during pregnancy and childbirth.

Relaxation For Pregnancy and Childbirth

“By taking time to relax deeply, women can tap into their innate wisdom, trust their birthing body, remain calm and feel confident – throughout pregnancy and birth.” Tracy Holloway.  For more details about the benefits of these Hypnosis CDs please visit my website.

Life Upgrade for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Life Upgrade is a great for women who have fears about pregnancy and/or childbirth.  It is an effective system for addressing fears and allowing women to live in the moment happily without letting their worries take over.

Life Upgrade is helpful for any fears, which pregnancy and childbirth can bring up however I have experience working with women who fear miscarriage, have fears surrounding the birth, and fears that may arise for those who are pregnant due to IVF treatment.

It’s also a great system for use during labour to remain focused and in the moment clearing any fears that may come up.  What’s more the tools are extremely helpful for the parenting to come!

My Website has more details:

Maternity Leave

As I am currently 8 Months pregnant I am planning to take some time out from clients as soon as my baby is born.  I will be back in October 2011.  If you know someone who you feel needs some support before I am back feel free to get in touch as I do have a couple of excellent practitioners I can refer them to.

In the meantime the Hypnosis and Meditation CDs will still be available from my website.

 

Flower Power Mom Launches A Child After 40

It’s a mother of an evolution—launching Mothers’ Day 2011.If you’re on a journey of motherhood after 40—whether via natural fertility, IVF, egg donation, surrogacy, adoption, or you’re parenting in progress—it’s your time to stand up and be counted.

On May 8th, we invite all women who have become mothers after 40—along with those who wish to be—to join the community of A Child After 40 at Flower Power Mom.

A Child After 40 will empower women and mothers over 40 by uniting them and getting the message out to the rest of the world that it’s time for change.

It’s time to expose the truth about motherhood after 40. Learn about cultural discrimination, social isolation and the secret strengths of women who dare to be mothers in midlife.

Watch the video—A Child After 40—and hear the voices of what has, until now, been a silent and growing maternal army.

In 2010, the CDC reported that the only age group in the United States to show a RISE in birth rate were women over 40.

I have a theory that everyone is now just 1 or 2 degrees away from a mother over 40 or a woman who’s going to be.

We talk of supporting the next generation of children who are faced with saving a planet nearly crucified by human greed.

Who’s empowering the mothers who will raise them? A growing number of them are mothers over 40.

The evolution of women having children later is bringing change at the bedrock of our culture.

And take heed: The same sort of people who now criticize us—accuse us of being selfish granny-moms who put their careers first—will one day wake up and find themselves calling us “Mom.”

To paraphrase Horton, ‘a mother is a mother, no matter how old.’ Respect comes with the job.

So far, we’ve kept our lips zippered about our journey—how challenging it can be facing motherhood, aging and the generation gap, all at the same time.

Sadly, we’ve bought into a culture of ageism and discrimination—the shame of daring to fulfill our dreams of motherhood when we should be sinking gracefully beneath the wrinkling decay of old age.

In fact, the popular image of older mothers has become a cultural archetype.

Or even become a caricature– someone like Eunice’s mama from The Carol Burnett Show, complete with a blue rinse and Coke-bottle bottomed spectacles, whacking anybody with her handbag who dares to speak out of turn.

So far, we’ve swallowed it, laid in the childbearing beds we made for ourselves and kept schtum.

Because they’ve made us feel like the queens of Advanced Maternal Age hiding at the back of the auditorium full peaches-and-cream complexioned Young Homecoming Moms.

But those days are over now.

Our numbers are growing. Our voices will be heard. We’re making our mark on the modern family, despite being discriminated against, at times even vilified, by public and press because of our age.

A new hybrid is emerging–one that fuses a mother’s devoted heart with a grandmother’s ageless wisdom.

Now, that’s as good as it gets!

Isn’t it time for the truth about motherhood after 40?

On Mother’s Day 2011, celebrate the journey of motherhood after 40—join our community and empower each other or those you love who are on the same journey at A Child After 40.

Pay it forward with a Mother’s Day Wish pendant for a donation towards IVF or adoption for another woman over 40.

A CHILD AFTER 40 from www.flowerpowermom.com: empowering women on the journey of motherhood after 40—from fertility, birth and adoption—to a midlife renaissance of parenting and self discovery.

How to get involved with A Child After 40:

A Child After 40 is the first campaign to empower women on the journey of motherhood after 40.  Watch and share the revealing new video. Join the coming A Child After 40 online community. Check out the Resources with websites, blogs, books and info for mothers over 40 and women who wish to be—whether through natural fertility, IVF, egg donation, surrogacy or adoption. Pay It Forward with A Mother’s Day Wish pendant. Get involved with A CHILD AFTER 40!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/flowerpowermoms

Campaign Info Page: www.flowerpowermom.com/a-child-after-40

Mother’s Day pendant: http://www.etsy.com/shop/flowerpowermom

About the author:

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (www.flowerpowermom.com), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40. She conceived naturally and gave birth at 41 and 44.

Fertility Road Magazine Issue 5 Out Now!

Subscription SJP Cover

In this issue we have an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker and her chance for surrogacy. We’ve great ideas for that romantic getaway, a chat with Tony Reid, the creator of Fertility Friends – the biggest online fertility forum, plus news and reviews.

Also, we have one woman’s story on preserving her fertility with Ovarian Tissue Freezing, Cooking to Conceive and the lowdown on surrogacy in South Africa. There are some great prizes to be won in this issue, simply drop us an email with your details, and you could be the lucky winner of two tickets on the Eurostar to Paris.

 p.s. Make sure to put a note in your diary for the 15th and 16th April as the Fertility World Show comes to London’s Olympia. With Doctors, fertility experts and a great line up of renowned speakers including Zita West and Professor William Ledger. So if you have any questions you want answering pop on down – we would love to see you there!

 Until then, kick back, relax and enjoy our magazine…  Subscribe Now…

FERTILITY WORLD:
If you are planning to start a family but are having difficulties getting pregnant, then you must visit the Fertility World Show on 15 – 16 April at Olympia London – the one stop exhibition for all the help, advice and information you need to have a baby.

 – IVF & fertility clinics from the UK and abroad

– Talks from leading fertility experts

– Natural and complementary treatments

– One-to-one advice from fertility experts

 Seminars in the Fertility Road Seminar Theatre Include:

Maximising your chances of getting pregnant

Choosing a fertility clinic

Going overseas for fertility treatment

How the NHS can help with fertility costs

Same sex fertility treatment

The donor and surrogacy route

Fertility information resources

Natural methods to boost your fertility

 Book your FREE TICKET at www.fertility-world.co.uk

The Fertility Focus Telesummit is underway. but there is still time to join in!

The second interview of the Fertility Focus Telesummit was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.” I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them. The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.

The 2nd Fertility Focus Telesummit, created and moderated by Sarah Holland, is running this week.  Twelve fertility experts from around the world, and 3 fertility bloggers, are speaking throughout the week on various aspects of fertility health and support.  Sarah started things off on Sunday, the 20th of March, with an introduction to the Telesummit and an explanation of how to get the most out of it.

Yesterday, Monday the 21st, saw the first two interviews; Dr Marion Glenville spoke on the nutritional aspect of fertility health, giving much of her hour-long presentation over to listeners’ questions and providing really comprehensive responses.  The second interview of the evening was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.”  I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them.

The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.  Click here to register for the Fertility Focus Telesummit FREE!  You can listen live, and submit questions for each of the speakers, or listen at your leisure to the recordings afterward.  If you are really busy this week and know you won’t be able to listen in, OR you just want to have all 17 audio files to refer to over and over, Sarah provides the option of upgrading to a Golden Ticket so you can purchase the whole Telesummit’s talks, which will be emailed to you as an MP3 file afterward. This is an incredible value, this week only while the Telesummit is running, at US$67, including several bonuses. You can find all the information at the Telesummit website.

Because I’m a bit late in letting you know about the Telesummit and my own presentation on creating a support network, I’d like to share some of that information with you here.  Having been through several challenging years of recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility myself, I have the benefit of hindsight telling me that I really could have coped far better if I had been more proactive about getting myself, and my husband, the right balance of emotional and practical support.  Infertility put a big strain on our marriage, and I felt very alone and fearful that I would not be able to have the children I had always dreamed of having.  We are fortunate to have come through those rough times, and to have our two children.  Using my training and experience as a fertility coach, I have developed a system to help each of my clients create a support network for their unique needs, thus easing their experience of infertility and efforts to conceive and helping them to feel less isolated and stressed.

During the call, I explained:

  • Why infertility support is so important;
  • The 5 most essential types of support every infertile person needs;
  • Why your partner is not always the best source of support;
  • How you actually create your personal support network;
  • What you can do is someone you expected to be supportive has turned out to be the opposite; and
  • How to maintain a really effective support network over a long period of time.

I’m also offering a Free Bonus to Callers from the Telesummit! I’ve created a comprehensive Worksheet that takes you through the process of creating your own infertility support network, step by step. So, if you haven’t already registered, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

I’m listening to the other speakers throughout the week myself. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ve learned a lot already from both Dr Glenville and Andrew Loosely, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. Other expert speakers during the week include Sarah Holland on using EFT for conception, Kristin Hayward, Zita West, Gabriela Rosa, Toni Weschler, Sue Dumais, Nicola Smuts, Deirdre Morris and Cindy Bailey. Then, you can listen to talks from 3 prolific bloggers, including the authors of “From IF to When,” “Eggs and Sperm” and “Survive and Thrive.” I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.

The Fertility Focus Telesummit

This ground breaking online event is in its second year and it’s completely free of charge for you to register and attend!  The Fertility Focus Telesummit 2011 features 12 fertility experts from around the world, including Toni Weschler, Dr Marilyn Glenville and Zita West.  Every expert will be speaking live and sharing their insights, tips and techniques to help you improve your fertility and move closer to conceiving your baby. You can listen in to all of the presentations either online or on the phone from the comfort of your home.  And you even have the amazing opportunity to ask these world class fertility experts YOUR burning questions about your fertility.

Fertility subjects featured will include Hypnofertility, acupuncture, fertility astrology, aging eggs, how to create a support network while you try to conceive, and much more.   You really don’t want to miss this fantastic event, and best of all there is no charge to listen in live and for 24 hours after each presentation!  If you’re busy and don’t want to miss out on any of the presentations (and I’d recommend you try to listen in to them ALL) there’s an option to upgrade to Golden Ticket access to the event, which gives you all the recordings as MP3 files plus over $600 of bonuses from our fertility experts for just $67!  This low price is valid right until the end of the telesummit on Monday 27th March.

To sign up right now and get access to the first presentations starting at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern/8pm UK time just visit www.FertilityFocusTelesummit.com

I look forward to ‘seeing’ you there!

Sarah
Creator and host of the Fertility Focus Telesummit

Fertility World / April 15th & 16th 2011 / London Olympia

       

Fertility Road Magazine (Europe’s Number 1 Fertility Magazine) is excited to announce the “Fertility World Show in Association with Fertility Road” at London Olympia on April 15th & 16th 2011.

Fertility World ( www.Fertility-World.co.ukbe a section of this year’s Destination Health Show and dedicated to helping people on their path to parenthood.  Fertility World will cover a number of subjects in the “Fertility Road Seminar Theatre” including cross-border reproductive care, IVF, PCOS & ‘Expectant Management’ an overview of options for couples trying to conceive in the current climate of NHS cut backs.One in six couples now face infertility in the UK, and the problem is growing. Looking to start a family? Join us at Fertility World and visit the Fertility Road Seminar Theatre.

                

Fertility Road Magazine is aimed at helping women and men on their journey to parenthood. The Magazine provides not only information on the latest treatments and drugs to help people conceive, but natural conception options as well, such as healthy eating and fantastic places to conceive written by Doctors and Industry specialists. Other features include book reviews, cooking to conceive with Dr. Marilyn Glenville, Zita West (Pregnancy Author) is our “Expert Witness” answering your questions, alternative options, celebrity births, success stories, as well as a cutting edge science section.  

For more information please visit FertilityRoad or contact us at info@FertilityRoad.com 

Increasing Fertility and your Chances of Getting Pregnant with Lubricant Containing Magnesium and Calcium.

Magnesium and Calcium are some of the earths most abundant trace elements and vital in the health of all living cells. Scientific research has shown the fundamental role trace elements such as Magnesium and Calcium play in the most complex cellular processes of our body including in the process of fertilization.

Most of us are familiar with the benefits of dietary supplements of calcium in the formation of healthy bones and in the prevention of osteoporosis. In fact Calcium (Ca2+) has a myriad of functions in biology, and new roles are still being discovered. At the cellular level calcium controls a number of complex cell events from cell metabolism, membrane binding, interactions between cells (cross-linking) and enzyme activation.Magnesium (Mg2+) is the fourth most abundant mineral found in our bodies. Needed for over 300 biochemical reactions, magnesium maintains normal muscle and nerve function, keeps the heart rhythm steady, supports the immune system, and keeps bones strong at the same time as playing a vital role in functioning of enzymes.

Magnesium, and Calcium ions are found naturally in sperm, seminal fluid and cervical fluid, with Magnesium working in different ways to maintain a healthy environment for sperm in order that fertilization can occur.[1]  Calcium ions play a major role in cellular signaling[2], a form of chemical communication between cells that occurs between sperm and the egg during the process of fertilization. Here the signaling works to promote egg and sperm compatibility and controls a complex series of interactions designed to achieve the proper sequence of events leading up to the formation of the zygote, which then develops into the embryo.

With the goal of naturally improving human reproductive health and fertility scientists at Sasmar researched and patented the concept, combining Calcium and Magnesium ions in a pH and electrolyte balance gel to match and complement natural fertile body fluids, specifically cervical fluid and by doing so promote sperm health, egg health as well as promote sperm adhesion to the egg.

Sasmar a consumer healthcare company, recently released a new fertility lubricant, aptly named Conceive Plus based on this research.

                                 

At the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in 2009 clinical data was published confirming that Conceive Plus fertility lubricant is safe for sperm, safe for embryo development, is non-spermicidal and does not harm the viability or motility of human sperm. The data shows Conceive Plus does not hinder the process of fertilization between ova and sperm and it does not affect embryo development.  This is significant as research shows that regular lubricant is unsuitable for use when trying to conceive because it either damaged sperm or formed a barrier to sperm.

With fertility rates dropping and couples facing an array of barriers like stress, obesity, and as fertility decreases with age the release of a readily available, affordable over the counter lubricant for couples which promotes getting pregnant naturally is an important break.

Clinically tested, non-spermicidal, pH and electrolyte balanced, sperm friendly and with Calcium and Magnesium ions to mimic natural body fluids makes Conceive Plus fertility lubricant ideally suited to couples who are trying to conceive a baby naturally.<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>


<!–[endif]–><!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–> Association Between Seminal Plasma Copper and Magnesium Levels with Oxidative Stress in Iraqi Infertile Men Omar F. Abdul-Rasheed<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[2]<!–[endif]–> Essentials of medical geology: impacts of the natural environment on public environment. Olle Selinus 2005

What is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

Fertility Solutions was developed by Tracy Holloway as a whole person programme to support couples going through Fertility difficulties.

Experiencing fertility problems is one of the most stressful experiences to go through.  What is more a lot of people do not understand what it is like for couples experiencing problems.  Often couples who have been planning for a baby for years are asked “When are you going to start a family?”  This can only add to the stress, particularly if the couple have decided not to tell others about their fertility challenges.  What is more high stress levels are known to reduce the chances of conception so it is very important for couples to reduce their stress levels as best they can.

Fertility Solutions aims to give couples their best chance of conceiving by supporting them through the ups and downs of their fertility journey.  The programme includes Hypnosis, lifestyle support and a minimum of six sessions of Life Upgrade.

Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is a natural state that we all enter daily.  It’s those times when your imagination is active, so watching a film or reading a book.  If you are immersed in the story and your imagination is involved that is hypnosis.  You are completely in control and free to leave it at anytime.  Our subconscious does not know the difference between our imagination and reality so we can use our imagination to access the subconscious and create what we want in our lives.

Using hypnosis is a great way to address fertility, because we can access our imagination and address what is going on in our subconscious.  For example we may have spent years trying not to get pregnant, our subconscious may not have caught up with our new plans to start a family so using the imagination we can show the subconscious what we really want and it can catch up.  This then supports our body to conceive.

We may often have negative thoughts running through our minds, worry creating more worry and affecting our well-being.  Our negative thoughts can affect our hormonal balance but with hypnosis it is possible to bring them back to a healthy equilibrium therefore supporting conception.

Fertility Solutions hypnosis CDs have been developed by Tracy Holloway (a qualified hypnotherapist and renowned fertility specialist) in order to prepare the subconscious mind for conception.  The powerful CDs begin with deep relaxation; this prepares your mind for suggestion and supports you to release stress.  Once you have listened for at least a week to the first CD you can move on to the next.  Each one brings you relaxation and prepares the body for conception.  Some are designed specifically for those who are planning to conceive naturally, others support assisted conception and there are also CDs for those who have experienced miscarriage and fear their body cannot support a healthy baby.

These powerful CDs go hand in hand with the Fertility Solutions Programme but can also be very effective in their own right.

Lifestyle Support:

The Fertility Solutions Programme also provides advice and support on lifestyle.  For example I recommend that clients stop smoking and drinking alcohol in order to get their bodies in the best place for conception.  I will also make suggestions about diet and supplements to support fertility.  I recommend organic food as much as possible to reduce the residue toxins in the body and increase the nutrients in the diet.  For Couples with specific physical symptoms effecting fertility I may recommend certain supplements to support their body’s health.  Some people find these changes difficult and if this is the case then at least one of their Life Upgrade sessions will be dedicated to supporting graceful, effective and lasting change.

Life Upgrade:

Rather than an alternative therapy, Life Upgrade is a system which allows you to become more present in your day-to-day life.  It gives you simple tools that release negative thoughts running through your conscious and subconscious mind which have such an impact on the way you feel.  Letting go of those thoughts supports your well-being as a whole, physically and emotionally, as when we are in the present moment our body and mind is free from the distractions that create ill health and unhappiness.  The beauty of it is it is truly empowering; you are the one in control, you can deal with those thoughts and emotions as they come up rather than having to wait for your next session with a practitioner.

So how does it work?

Whatever is running in our subconscious mind affects the reality we experience.  The old programmes that are running are taken on by our subconscious mind because it think we need them to survive.  Some of those programmes are our own (from our childhood experiences for example) others have been passed down from our ancestors.

So here’s a simplified example; say one of my relatives had a bad experience at school, their teacher punished them for something they didn’t do.  Let’s say they got caned as a part of that punishment.  As an attempt to stop this happening again their subconscious mind took on the programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’.  This gets passed down the generations to me.  So I’m running the old programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’ I have no conscious knowledge of this programme nor of the events that took place to create it however it is there in the background as I go through life.

So every interaction I have with teachers in my lifetime is going to have alarm bells going of in my subconscious mind ‘Teacher’s can’t be trusted!’ therefore I will be searching for examples of this, on high alert for untrustworthy things teachers might do to protect myself from harm.  I am likely to misunderstand events as examples of untrustworthy teachers, which will only reinforce the programme I am already running.  I will certainly find it impossible to fully trust a teacher with all that going on in my subconscious.

Say I could clear that old programme so it no longer gets in the way?  Say I could completely delete it so that I can begin to interact with teachers and see them for who they really are?  Using Life Upgrade tools makes this possible.  Once I recognise that I am unhappy with my interaction with teachers I can clear the old programmes quickly and easily.  (I don’t even need to know what the old programmes are.)  What’s more it’s so simple you can do it yourself as you go about your daily business.  Each time you observe something that you want to change you just get out your tool box and change it!  I find that really exciting!

Life Upgrade tools make it easy to get back to the moment because they deal with the old programmes in your subconscious mind that distracted you from the moment in the first place.  What’s more in clearing these old programmes you are less likely to be distracted next time.  So Life Upgrade doesn’t just support you to get back into the present it also makes it easier to live in the moment, as each time you use the tools you are clearing old programmes that you no longer need.  Not only is this extremely helpful for those going through a long fertility journey, it is also useful for parenthood.

Who is Fertility Solutions Suitable For?

Fertility Solutions is suitable for anyone who is on their fertility journey and would like to support themselves to cope better from day-to-day.  It is suitable for those who are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’, those with physical symptoms which are effecting their fertility (e.g. Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Fibroids and other complaints) and those who are going through medical intervention.  It is suitable for those who simply wish to improve their reproductive health and those who have decided to end their fertility journey and wish to live a fulfilling life without children. For more details visit my website or contact me to book your Free Initial consultation.

Reiki and infertility

So, my original plans when I trained with Reiki,  was to use it to help women through all the physical challenges and transitions in their lives and also to work through bereavement and loss.

The bereavement side stemmed from my own experiences and also with the idea that it could help people who have suffered miscarriage and still birth. Then, one of my friends suffered some complications after the birth of her first child, and I felt like I was supposed to help her through the process of living with that. This also featured a lot around loss, trauma and in a lot of ways, without divulging her personal details, a kind of bereavement.

I also wanted to help other women during pregnancy as it had made a massive difference to me. SO I thought well, why not try and roll it all into one, perhaps it could work – but i hadn’t really thought about helping ladies when they were trying to have a baby.
I came across a facebook discussion of a friend’s facebook status. Her friend was having some serious issues and was asking about reiki- I started replying about it – and thought what a shame, I could have given her a treatment – I presumed that, as my friend lived down south, so did hers. Turns out, she was only just a few junctions up the motorway from where I am. So, we arranged that after she had recovered from her surgery, we would meet up and have a treatment. All she was really expecting was that it would help her relax and that in turn would help her give up smoking, something she was going to have to do as a start on her journey to fertility treatment. I also felt that it would help her to emotionally deal with the difficulties she was having, and should it have happened, that if she was not able to have a baby, she would have the mental strength to work through that journey too.

That first time, was a really powerful session. With in that session, somehow she found she didn’t need to smoke anymore and has not smoked more than a couple since. She felt incredibly calm and positive and slept really well that first night.
I came away from it feeling amazingly energised and within 3 days had gone from considering the posibilities of becoming a therapist and maybe one day becoming a yoga teacher for children- to being booked on my next reiki course, booked on a yoga teaching course and having a name for my new company – I had also been given a treatment table that someone else had been wondering what they would do with it. A really powerful sign that I was thinking the right things !

A few weeks later my client suffered a very early miscarriage, major enforced changes on the front at work and at home,  and was really struggling. So, on our journey home from the north, we swung by and I gave her a treatment to help her sleep and relax after the real stresses she was experiencing.

Around about 4 weeks later, she texted and said she was most likely pregnant.

And here we are 33 weeks later and still going strong. There have been lots of stresses for her and she has been closely monitored after no end of problems.

I am absolutely not able to say that it was definately Reiki that enabled her to get pregnant – but she was expecting fully to have to go through fertility treatment and take clomid, which was only going to be a short term chance due to advanced endometriosis, in addition to a number of other complications.
At twelve weeks she wrote a review for my feedback page. I won’t put it all on here but the full story is available through the website. http://positivelycalmyoga.co.uk/index.php?url=feedback.html

And here we are 33 weeks later and still going strong. There have been lots of stresses for her and she has been closely monitored after no end of problems, trips to hospitals and worrying moments- but she has had lots of scans and baby is in there and doing well.

I have seen her several times over the last few months, and “little reiki baby” as he has been nicknamed for now, is kicking hard and rocking around. I know the arrival of this baby will be a very special moment for her, her husband and all of her family and friends and it is amazing for me to see how things have helped. I found her original information form that suggested she would be beginning fertility treatment in september 2010 – obviously, she hasn’t needed it.

I am not sure how to explain, really, how I feel that Reiki has helped her because really, there is no proof. However, her consultant has said he didn’t expect her to conceive on her own. He performed an operation at the start of the year but it was really with the plan that it should help her with the fertility treatment. He can’t say it was reiki – but he knows he didn’t think she would get pregnant. I am only guessing but I suppose it is something he has done many times before, and hasn’t usually resulted in an un assisted conception.

What I do know is that the Reiki energy balances the chakras ( energy points) in the body. It also assists the body to heal itself, to release negative energies and as these things happen, then the body can balance itself, allowing it to function as it should. It is a complementary therapy and I would always suggest it is used along side the advice of qualified doctors and medical advice.

It also aids relaxation and that is certainly something that has been proven as being a big facilitator in conception. It is also very gentle and non invasive. It simply goes where it needs to in the body, and does what is required. It can result in a feeling of calm, needing sleep or even being full of energy. I have had clients who have had a strong emotional release – either sudden needs to cry, scream or shout – and can also help with a physical release, often like suddenly need to go to the toilet. My reiki teacher has always described it as “new plumbing” because it releases blockages and clears out your energy pathways and allows your body to physically balance out.

I need to emphasise strongly that I am not claiming that if I – or any therapist- give a treatment to someone who is struggling with fertility, they will then definately get pregnant within a few weeks or months. However, I do feel that there are lots of positive points to suggest that it is worth looking after yourself when trying and the nature of reiki and its healing qualities, may aid relaxation and put your body into a more positive place when trying. What it can’t do is hurt you. The energy is gentle, natural and will help you work through the emotional stresses of the fertility journey. I believe that everyone is on a life journey, and the reiki can also assist in helping you to deal with the ups and down of that. It may be the case that you will experience miscarriage during your attempts, or may ultimately be unable to conceive even with help – but i also feel that the reiki treatments can help women – and men – to deal with this devastating situation and to find a positive way of dealing with it as an individual and, hopefully then, as a couple.

The beauty of the reiki is that it knows what each person needs and will guide them along their journey.  So far I have only worked with one person who was undergoing a fertility issue, along with several ladies during their pregnancies (  a future blog!) but I sincerely hope that I can work with other couples, as in fact it has turned out to be, and help them through in what ever way they need support.

In addition, I have found that Reiki pulls people towards it when they need it and usually gives you a good sign that it is right for you. If you feel that you want to investigate it, it will probably be worth your while – whether with me or any other therapist. Listen to your own body, and let it look after you.

Namaste

xxx

Fertility Yoga is a Healing Community

The main reason I created and starting teaching a Fertility Yoga class was to support my own health and well being. In the depth of my own fertility challenges, I was becoming more and more disconnected, depressed and isolated. Although my husband was very supportive he just couldn’t understand the extent of my grief. I felt misunderstood and at times, I thought I was actually losing my mind. I watched myself spiraling out of control and realized that I needed to shift something quickly.

The first class I taught filled up with little effort. Women were nervous and at the same time relieved to find some support. I experienced such a warm comfort as we shared our experiences with each other and I realized that I wasn’t alone and that other women were on a similar emotional roller coaster.

We all had such a profound experience in the first session of classes and I discovered a community of support that gave me HOPE! Within months I opened Family Passages Mind Body Studio where I continued to teach Yoga for Fertility classes as well as private yoga therapy session and a Couples Mind Body Program. I was touched by the impact the space had for women and couples and I was grateful to witness such amazing transformations in such a short period of time.

The classes provide a space for healing the mind, body and spirit. The yoga postures help support the body by reducing the effects of stress and improving blood flow to the reproductive organs. Each posture is held for 3-5 minutes and accompanied by a dialogue specific to fertility. The class allows for a deep experience of the posture and fosters a level of healing that miracles are made of.

I love to witness women coming in the door feeling defeated, confused and stressed and by the end of the class they leave feeling relieved, calm and supported on their journey. It is the most rewarding class as an instructor that I have ever taught in my 18 year career. It is like a yoga support group. There is comfort just walking in the door and realizing they are not alone. There is peace in re-connecting to their own inner guidance/intuition as they realize they no longer need to desperately seek answers outside of themselves.

They begin to befriend their body again, follow their guidance, find a sense of calm and discover a strength that will help them through their journey. I watch them come alive as they begin to take back control of their life. The learn how to identify and process their emotions and they use the mind body tools to shift their experience outside the class. They bring their yoga practice off the mat and into their lives each day, and their experience of fertility shifts and transforms.

Most importantly I don’t see women as “infertile” or “broken” or “failures”.

I see women as the Mothers I know they are.

I hold FAITH for them!

I BELIEVE in them, no matter what!

You can be a Mother! I know with my whole heart, that one way or another, you too, will bring your baby home into your arms. I will hold FAITH for you until you BELIEVE it as deeply as I do! Because when you BELIEVE something is possible, impossible is nothing.

To learn more about Sue Dumais and her Fertility Yoga classes and resources visit www.familypassages.ca

My fertility journey

Hi – this is my first post, so figured the best place for me to start was with my own journey.

Which in itself is a little bit scary, as in a place that is helping people who are finding it hard, I don’t want to be seen as a bit smug and insensitive to say that we caught the first time we started trying. Which we did.

However, our ttc was subject to quite a delay.

We planned to start ttc July 07  and felt that we were ready to see where we ended up.

However, in the January, I was signed off work due to infections and stress related to a family situation. Just as I was then about to go back to work, my sister took her own life and I was thrown into a world that before I had only seen in films.  Between march and may, I attended 3 funeral of close relatives.  I was working as a teacher, which of course is not known for being a stress free job, and with feeling isolated by friends, some of whom thought I would be “over it” by now, I found that I was in a constant state of stress and was also starting to lose my hair. It was definately no way to begin pregnancy so we decided to hold off, even though we really wanted to start our family. I knew my body – and mind- were just not up to it.  There was little available in terms of GP or councelling support, so in the end I started investigating alternative means of help.  I decided to have some Reiki treatments as a friend had previously practised on me in her training and found a local practitioner. ( I will blog more about this later). This really did help me relax -I had time to myself, to allow the positive energies involved in the Reiki to help me release the negative emotions that I needed to release. Through this, I started becoming aware of my own need to change. That I needed to do more exercise and to over all improve my physical and mental health. I had also been considering starting yoga classes, so when a children’s yoga teacher came to work with the children at school, I took my chance to give it a try.

After one session, I felt so energised and positive, I decided i wanted to join an adult class and really start finding out how good I could feel. I joined in with the class for a few more weeks and found i just felt better- more relaxed yet energised-each time.

In the mean time, I was feeling a lot brighter in myself, and for the want of a better word, human again, so we decided to ditch the contraception and start trying. I did check out where I was in my cycle, having been tracking it monthly and then using an online calculator to find out roughly when I was fertile but thought well, it could take a while so lets live for today and see what happens.

And, yes, we caught probably first or second time. I was convinced that it couldn’t be, having been so stressed for so long, yet there was the line on the stick telling me it was a bfp.

So I investigated antenatal yoga instead. When I got chatting to my yoga teachers, it turned out that yoga is often linked to the idea of helping with pregnancy. It is known to balance the mind, body and spirit, so perhaps adjusts the body internally too and gets parts set that things can just naturally “fall into place”. It also appears to be a common occurence that females who are training to be antenatal yoga teachers fall pregnant during the course, probably due to learning all the best practises to assist the body during pregnancy. Either way, I felt very strongly that the yoga really made a big difference, not least because i was so relaxed.

This is my little story, one that I am convinced was aided by the alternative paths I went down. I hope one day I  will become an adult yoga teacher as well and will be able to help  others on their path with yoga.

I have  been drawn to using Reiki in the fertility field as i feel that this too can make a remarkable difference, something i have already witnessed happen with a client. I am not saying that Reiki gets you pregnant, but it can definately help you relax.  And the relaxation part is something that comes up time and time again in relation to fertility.

I will continue to blog at another time and explain more about how I feel Reiki can help with fertility, with the aim that others will benefit from what I have experienced and what Reiki has to offer. And if neither of these things actually does help with the physical act of getting pregnant, it certainly doesn’t do the mental health of the mummy to be – or daddy to be- for that matter, any harm at all.

Namaste

5 simple things you can change that may increase your chances of conceiving

Its funny how often the simple changes can bring the biggest rewards.

1) Make sure you have sex at your most fertile time .

Now this is not to say that you should only have sex at your fertile time, in fact there is lots of evidence to show the opposite. To keep the sperm supply at its best, you should have regular sex throughout the month but it is pretty crucial that you have intercourse during your fertile time (around ovulation)

How do you know when its your fertile time ? That the subject of a whole other blog post on ovulation predictor tests & methods

2) Replace your usual personal lubricant with a sperm friendly lubricant

These days many couples use intimate lubricants either for foreplay, intercourse or both. Many intimate lubricants (including saliva) in common useage are not sperm friendly ie this means the lubricant can actually impair or damage sperm-not good news when you are trying to conceive.

In the UK there are currently 3 personal lubricants on the market that have been designed especially for couples trying to conceive and are clinically proven to be sperm friendly. They are Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus and Zestica Fertility.

To find out more about fertility friendly personal lubricants click here

3) Stop your man using his laptop on his lap

It is amazing how many men spend most evenings with a laptop on their laps while watching television or travelling on a train. Laptops heat up very quickly and generate large amounts of heat that can be detrimental to sperm. The testicles, which is where the sperm are produced and stored, are outside the body because if they were inside the body the heat from the body cavity would impair & damage the sperm. When a man has a laptop on his lap it is right over his testicles and this is likely to cause overheating.

I recently came a cross a couple where the man’s sperm count had come back with a low motility count, and he was using a laptop on his lap for extended periods most nights. He changed this laptop behaviour & the sperm count and motility has improved.

4) Keep your weight at a healthy level.

There has long been  anecdotal eveidence to suggest that weight is important but now this has been backed up by clinical evidence to suggest that fertility is reduced in both overweight women & underweight women.

5) Relax-

I know its easier said than done, but more and more studies are confirming that stress can be a big factor in unexplained infertility. Sometimes the stress of trying to conceive itself can actually hamper your attempts.

Look at other areas of stress in your life and see if you can reduce or alleviate them. Consider alternative therapies which are often excellent at helping to alleviate or manage stress. Yoga and Pilates for example are great at teaching you to relax. Make a list of things that you can do to help you relax each day and make sure you do one of them each day. It can be as simple as taking a lovely bubble bath or taking a walk outside in the sunshine. You know the things that help you to relax-so make time to do them

Select the sources of your information about infertility carefully to avoid overwhelm

We now seem flooded with so many references to infertility that many of the information and resources currently available are being overlooked. Infertility and IVF have almost become ubiquitous topics in the health sections of major newspapers and monthly magazines, like weight loss, skin care and cosmetic surgery. Infertility support websites, forums and blogs abound, but even if an infertile person belongs to dozens of them, how many can they actually read and appreciate? I check out as many as 10 new infertility resources a day, and I can tell you that there is a wide range of depth and quality of the information available.

Is there too much information about infertility available now?

My first instinct would be to say “no, absolutely not!” There are women and men out there who don’t know nearly enough about the road ahead of them as they begin to wonder why they haven’t conceived yet.

Anyone who has been diagnosed as infertile and doesn’t know what to do next, where to get support or the pros and cons of treatment, has a steep learning curve. There’s also the potential of vital time being wasted as overwhelm sets in and incapacitates infertile people who need to research, reflect and agree. On top of these first-hand needs, there’s the need to promote public awareness about the physical, emotional and financial aspects of infertility; to promote sensitivity, encourage medical science, motivate regulatory change and improve access to treatment.

However, we now seem flooded with so many references to infertility that many of the information and resources currently available are being overlooked. Courses, conferences and symposiums are going begging for attendance; whether aimed at professionals or the prospective patient. Infertility and IVF have almost become ubiquitous topics in the health sections of major newspapers and monthly magazines, like weight loss, skin care and cosmetic surgery. Infertility support websites, forums and blogs abound, but even if an infertile person belongs to dozens of them, how many can they actually read and appreciate?

I check out as many as 10 new infertility resources a day, and I can tell you that there is a wide range of depth and quality of the information available. It can be incredibly confusing for the newly diagnosed or freshly motivated infertile person to encounter. How do you know who to follow, what to attend or how much validity to give to a particular expert, whether professional or from personal experience?

Ten tips for fighting infertility information overload

  1. Browse – Whether on the internet, at an event or looking through the back of a magazine, take the time to investigate all of the groups putting out information about infertility.
  2. Ask for information – One fantastic aspect of social media is being able to pose a question to the universe and get an answer. It’s like Google info + opinion in one.
  3. Go by recommendations – If you see something you like posted on Twitter or Facebook by people you respect and like, chances are that you will like the sites they like.
  4. Categorize – Balance is everything when your mind is focused on one subject: infertility. So gather and categorize resources. Ex. medical information, emotional support, infertility news, beautiful writing, humour, etc.
  5. Find the right site for your personality – If you want to share your test results down to the nth degree of detail with others who understand the numbers, find the right site for that. Others may just want to share feelings.
  6. Look at an event’s content before registering – Some of the biggest events are more about selling you treatment and travel options rather than giving you substantive information. It’s great to know about providers and get a chance to talk with them, but you don’t just want to go home with loads of brochures for the bin. Are there seminars offered at the event? Is there a Question & Answer period?
  7. Don’t join everything – One of the greatest causes of overwhelm can be too many email newsletters flooding your inbox. Instead, try bookmarking or Favourite the blogs and websites you find and go to them occasionally, until you decide how useful they are.
  8. Leave comments where asked – Give feedback after articles, on blogs, on forums and at events telling how useful, enjoyable and accessible you found them, or where they missed the mark.
  9. Support the infertility resources you do value: When you have found an excellent resource, help keep it afloat by paying the membership price, buying the entry ticket, book or magazine, nominating the blog for an award, Tweeting the link, or donating to the charity.
  10. De-clutter – If you look back a month and see repeated, unopened emails from infertility groups or blogs, take the pressure off yourself by clicking on “Unsubscribe.” You can always visit those sites and blogs if and when you find extra time.

Fight the overabundance of information and overwhelm by singling out the good resources by quality and deleting or ignoring the rest.  Likewise, if you think a particular health journalist is doing a great job, champion their efforts by replying when appropriate and posting links to their work on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t be afraid to make a comment rating the value of what’s out there on infertility. It’s worth showing a bit of loyalty to a particular source too: It’s a win-win situation.  You can develop a rewarding rapport with a blogger or a group of contributors to a forum. You may also qualify for special deals on publications and events. Your membership, visits and purchases help their stats, which raises their profile and/or brings in revenue.

Readership is everything, so if you aren’t supporting the less-than-helpful information providers, they will get the point eventually. Remember, it’s not about how much information you can take in; it’s about the quality and usefulness of that information.

Lisa Marsh is the owner of Your Great Life, which provides one-to-one and couples’ fertility coaching, educational seminars, support groups and advocacy for matters related to women’s health, infertility and family-building. Contact Lisa by email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk or by following her on Twitter @yourgreatlife.

How Successful is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

This question has come up a few times in conversation with people lately so I thought I would write about it in this blog.

It’s a relevant question but one that is difficult to answer because it depends on your criteria for success.  I cannot use pregnancy rates to gauge success because not all my clients want to become pregnant as a result of their sessions (some come to me for their reproductive health, rather than to conceive).  I can say that all the clients I have had have reported back that they have felt better in some way.

Those coming to me for reproductive health, Fibroids or Endometriosis for example, have told me they have noticed a shift in their symptoms after their sessions.

After specialising in Fertility Solutions for just over a year 3 of the women I have worked with are now pregnant or have had their baby.  One of these women listened to the hypnosis CDs alone the others also had Theta Healing.

Some of the women I have been working with are still planning to conceive and some of those have chosen to use medical intervention.  However all the women who are still planning for their babies have said that the programme has supported them to cope on their Fertility Journey in some way.  Some have said they are less stressed, others find they are no longer upset about seeing other women with babies and I have also supported women to feel at peace with past abortions or miscarriages.

So Fertility Solutions is not just about pregnancy rates, it is about enhancing reproductive health, supporting the over all well-being and in doing so it also gives couples their best chance of conception.

I offer a free initial consultation so you can find out if Fertility Solutions is the right choice for you. Contact me for more details.

Theta Healing and Fertility

Theta Healing is and energy healing which allows us to explore and release the memories we hold which may be blocking our full potential.  The Fertility Solutions Programme uses Theta Healing and Hypnosis to gently discover and release any beliefs, memories or emotions that may be blocking conception.  The process can also address physical symptoms such as PCOS.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Tracy Holloway developed the Fertility Solutions Programme after years of working in the area of fertility.  Tracy has worked as a Hypnotherapist, Psychologist and Theta Practitioner who is renowned in the area of fertility.  She has brought together her rich knowledge and experience to develop the unique programme which explores the well being of the whole person in order to support their reproductive health.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Using Theta Healing it is possible to address physical symptoms which may be affecting fertility, for example PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis and Sperm motility (to name a few).  It is also possible to address emotional issues which affect couples who are experiencing fertility challenges.  Many of my female clients will talk to me about their grieving each time their period arrives.  They describe their fertility journey as a roller coaster ride. They have hope during the month then the grieving starts as their cycle begins again.  Using the Fertility Solutions Programme it is possible for women to view each cycle as a positive thing, their body is working in the way that will make pregnancy possible at some point in the future, rather than a setback.  Sometimes a simple relieving of stress is enough to support conception.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> One thing that is important to remember is each couple is unique, their journey is unique and they will conceive in their own time.  In other words it’s best not to compare yourselves with others because everyone’s journey is different.  Using the Fertility Solutions programme it is possible to address the emotional stresses and strains and focus on other areas of your life (enjoying your relationship for example) rather than relying on conception to bring happiness.  By addressing both physical and emotional aspects of fertility it is possible to have your best chance of conception.

Finding Support for Your Infertility

How do you find the support you need for your infertility?  Regardless of how you came to be infertile or what your goal, it can be a challenge to find someone who not only empathizes with your situation, but also is prepared to be there for you on either an emotional or practical level. You may wonder why, for something so fundamental to your happiness, someone wouldn’t want to be counted in your support network. 

Why You May Not Be Getting the Support You Need from Logical Sources

  1. They believe that you must be responsible for your infertility somehow.
  2. Your partner is ambivalent about becoming a father or mother.
  3. You want to be a single parent.
  4. You are not married to your partner.
  5. You are in a gay relationship and they believe every child needs a father
  6. They are infertile also and worry they will lose you to a baby and mom-friends.
  7. It’s your boss. Doctor appointments and maternity leave will inconvenience them.
  8. People think you should be grateful that you already have one child.
  9. They are jealous of the attention and sympathy you get for your infertility.
  10. They are too wrapped up in their own life to realize you need them.

Those people may not realize they are being unsupportive. What is obvious to you may not occur to them.  An example:  your mother phoning you daily with details of her friend’s daughter’s pregnancy.  “What do you mean? I thought you would be happy for her.” Or, someone may think if you needed them you would ask and you haven’t.

They may be judgmental.  “Well if she hadn’t (pick one) a) taken such a stressful job, b) had that abortion years ago, c) waited so long or d) gained so much weight, she wouldn’t be in this situation now.” In fact, almost the entire list comes from people judging you and your condition by their own values, rather than stepping into your shoes to think what it must be like to be you.  However, you may be able to turn their attitude around.

First, look at your own responsibility for the situation and take ownership of it.  In that way, you will be less likely to assign blame, feel resentment and put other people on the defensive.

  1. Have you failed to let people know about your infertility? (Most can’t read minds.)
  2. Have you made it so much a part of your identity that you sound like a broken record?
  3. Have you not been there for them when they needed your support?
  4. Have you isolated yourself from all your friends who have children?
  5. Have you held back on congratulations toward a sister-in-law, cousin or colleague who has had a baby?
  6. Did you previously fail to show empathy toward someone else who was infertile?
  7. Do you whine too much?
  8. Have you lost your perspective?
  9. Have you made sex seem like a chore, obliterating the romance and passion in the bedroom?

If you don’t keep up your work, friendships, social or sport activities, you may become “out of sight, out of mind.” If you no longer accept invitations, people may assume you no longer want or need their company.  Though it may seem logical to you and very unfair to compare the situations, a friend who has had a difficult pregnancy or birth, postnatal depression, has a colicky baby or has had a miscarriage, may feel that you have not supported her when she needed you.  It isn’t your friend’s fault that you haven’t yet had a baby of your own.  Messages can be misconstrued and feelings hurt on both sides.  All relationships need to be nurtured in order to thrive, so give to get.

How to Find The Right Kind of Support

The trick to getting support is to first list the type of support you need, and then identify who can provide it.  For example:

  • Someone who will listen and keep it confidential
  • Go with me to the doctor
  • Someone who’s also infertile and knows what it’s like
  • Friends I can go out with, to forget my problems
  • Cover my workload when I need time off
  • Friend(s) who won’t need an explanation or take it personally when I opt out of get-togethers and baby showers
  • Give me my injections  
  • Pass the word so that I don’t have to get into it 10 times a day
  • Friend who will rescue me from upsetting conversations
  • Help me with my food and fitness plans

Now, split your list of needs into two, under the headings: emotional support and practical support. Connect the tasks with the names of people you know. Then ask yourself a very important question: “Is it reasonable for me to expect this person to provide this support.”  Consider:

1.     your relationship

2.     their nature (sensitivity, generosity, etc…)

3.     their availability

4.     their reliability

Next, look at acquaintances in an outer layer of your life.  A colleague at work may also be trying to conceive.  You may click with a nurse at the clinic.  That other woman you always see in the RE’s waiting room may be happy to go for a coffee. A friend of a friend may have had the treatment you are considering and be happy to answer your questions. Reach out when you feel strong enough or the need is big enough. Infertility seems like a personal or sensitive subject that people may wait for you to bring up the conversation. So go for it; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

When No One Close at Hand Will Do – Infertility forums are wonderful resources for information, camaraderie and supportive conversations.  They all have a “personality” of their own, so cruise them for a few days to figure out which one is a good fit for you.  There are also hundreds of blogs written by infertile women (and a few by men) to which you can subscribe.  Again, cruise the blogs until you find an appropriate few, keeping in mind that they are the product of someone else’s personal experiences, attitude and knowledge level.  After a little while, if you keep reading and commenting on the forum(s) or blog(s) of your choice, you will feel a part of that community.  Be careful though not to take someone else’s experience or opinion as valid medical advice unless they are medically qualified.  Always check with the doctor treating you before trying anything that may interfere with or delay your chances of treatment.

Professional Support – Last, but not least, there is an advantage in having a specialist fertility coach if you are not coping well with your infertility.  The criteria to look for in a coach include training, rapport between the two of you and their ability to teach and motivate you to achieve the positive changes you are after. While coaches don’t absolutely need to have personal experience with a client’s issues to be effective, I believe that it is a genuine advantage in the area of fertility coaching. A fertility coach who has herself had difficulty conceiving, will have an authentic understanding of the emotional, physical, financial and social aspects of the fertility rollercoaster ride.

There is plenty of evidence that your state of mind can affect your fertility.  If you are overly stressed, feeling negative, comfort-eating, arguing with your partner or not sleeping, you are not creating the best possible state of wellbeing for conception, pregnancy and childbirth.  A fertility coach will look at the whole person to determine which small changes in your attitudes, actions and lifestyle will make a difference to your overall wellbeing.  From that better place, you will work together to find the best way to create and build your family. By aligning your goals with your value system, your coach may also be able to help you determine whether to undergo or continue fertility treatment, if and when to stop trying to conceive, end fertility treatment or consider an alternative path to parenting, such as egg or sperm donation, surrogacy or adoption.

In the end, it’s your choice of how open or private you will be about your infertility and that will directly affect what kind of support you receive.  Just remember support comes in many forms and from many places and sometimes must be earned. Be understanding; over time, supporters can be more or less active in your life as their own circumstances change.  Giving support is not a job description; it’s a gift.

Lisa Marsh is the fertility coach  and owner of Your Great Life in Stanmore, North London.  For more information about her, go to http://yourgreatlife.co.uk. Subscribe to her blog at http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com or to arrange a coaching session, in person or via telephone, please contact her at 020 8954 2897 or lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

You can also follow Lisa at http://twitter.com/yourgreatlife for helpful Fertility and Miscarriage Support Tips, as well as other information about news in the field of women’s reproductive health.

Your Weight Could Be a Fertility Issue

Have you considered your weight as one of the possible obstacles to your dreams of having a baby? This isn’t about being fat or skinny; no judgment about your appearance is being made. Your weight can play a significant part in the ability of your body to ovulate, produce quality eggs and maintain a healthy pregnancy, especially if you are extremely underweight or overweight.

You may already have some idea about your weight’s impact on your reproductive system if you have had irregular menstrual periods, the onset of a thyroid condition or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or vitamin deficiencies.  What you may not know is that very overweight or underweight women have a much lower chance of conceiving, even with fertility treatment. As a result, many fertility specialists won’t take on a patient who wouldn’t benefit as much from their help and/or whose unsuccessful treatment would affect their success ratings.

Many clinics will use your weight, or Body Mass Index (BMI), as criteria for accepting you as a patient.  There is no hard and fast rule on this because one athletic woman with developed musculature can weigh more and carry less fat than another woman of similar age and height.  BMI of 19 – 24 is considered normal and 25 – 29 overweight. If either your weight or BMI falls under 19 or above 29, you may encounter a delay in being accepted for treatment, with instructions to lose or gain weight before coming back.  Whether you are still trying to become pregnant naturally, or if fertility treatment is your next step and your weight is a possible issue, here are some steps that you can follow to move forward with your family plan.

Your Attempts to Conceive Keep notes, not only of your weight, but also how often you have a period and how often and when you have sexual intercourse without the use of contraceptive devices. There are books available that provide a structure for tracking essential information for fertility, but any journal or notebook will do.

Identify Your Obstacles See your doctor to identify whether your current weight is a possible obstacle to conception. You must be forthcoming about your pattern of weight gain and loss, your eating habits and any extreme dieting or exercising you have done, even if you find these topics embarrassing.  You may be tested for high or low blood pressure, thyroid function, diabetes, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and the level of oestrogen you are producing.

Eating Disorders Serious eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and extreme compulsive overeating require medical supervision, structured programs and counselling over a lengthy period to ensure and support recovery. Anorexia and obesity can both affect ovarian function adversely and bulimia is linked to PCOS, so pregnancy is unlikely, though not impossible. If you do conceive while battling an eating disorder, it could impact negatively upon the baby’s ability to thrive as well as your own health. Think about everything you eat and drink passing to the baby in your womb, though in a slightly different form. Not only nutrients are taken in by the baby, but also the high calorie/ high sugar and high fat content of your less nutritious food.

Recovery from an eating disorder can be a long and difficult process; it’s not only about what you eat, but also why you eat it that needs to be determined.  The destructive cycle of thought and behaviour has to be broken and relearned in a positive way.  The baby will be dependant upon you and require a fully present parent.

Eating disorders actually require an enormous amount of mental energy, planning the next binge, the next purge (self-induced vomiting) or how to avoid eating without anyone else noticing.  These disorders are nearly always accompanied by some degree of self-hatred. Dissatisfaction with the sufferer’s appearance, social relationships and/or self-belief fuels the fire and that brings on more irrational and dangerous behaviour.

If you think, or know, that you have an undiagnosed eating disorder, don’t waste a minute before you consult a doctor.  I am not minimizing the difficulty in admitting it to oneself; it will take courage and commitment.

Your GP can probably refer you to a specialist medical unit where counselling  and other practical assistance is offered.  There are also many groups where you can meet with people who have experienced similar disorders and receive confidential support.

Lifestyle Changes for Self-CareYour health is vital before, during and after you conceive, carry and deliver your baby.  You can’t breathe a sigh of relief upon conceiving and then let yourself go to pot.  Bad habits don’t disappear overnight, so get working on them immediately.

If your current weight is due to poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking or over-consumption of alcohol, a nutritionist and an experienced personal trainer can advise on necessary changes in your lifestyle.  This is no time for a crash diet or the use of over-the-counter weight-loss or weight-gain drugs or powdered drink mixes. Don’t put all of yourself into a weight-loss or weight-gain scheme just to win the approval of your RE, only to let it all go back the way it had been afterward.  Careless indulgence in bad habits means that you aren’t prioritizing self-care.

How fit you are will also determine how you carry a pregnancy.  Over the nine months, you may be carrying anywhere between 18 and 45 extra pounds, putting extra pressure on your skin, muscles, veins, spine, breasts and joints.  Stretch marks only mar the surface of your body, but varicose veins can result from carrying too much weight and excess blood flow during pregnancy and knee trouble is quite common in obese women.  That’s just during pregnancy.

Then comes the aftermath: life with baby.  Think about how often mothers  have to bend over, crouch down on the floor, get in and out of the car or bus, lift car seats and play cots and balance a baby on one hip.   If you were quite overweight before conceiving, and continue your poor habits, you could easily find yourself 75 to 100 pounds above your optimal weight before you give birth.

Trading One Habit for Another Keep in mind that what you ingest (not just food) during pregnancy and breastfeeding, your baby will too. Do not consider turning to cigarettes, alcohol or caffeinated, artificially sweetened soft drinks to help you avoid eating.  Nicotine and damaged lung tissue stay in your system for a very long time.  Smoking itself can cause low birth weight and nicotine addiction in newborns.  Alcohol could result in your baby being born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which could cause low birth weight, developmental problems or epilepsy among other symptoms that could affect him for life. The soft drinks will just fill you up, make you gassy and add no nutrition relative to the volume you consume.  Since you need extra nutrients for optimal health at conception, don’t waste space on junk drinks.

Your Motivation Finding the motivation to change your behaviour should be simple because you already have a goal in mind. You want to become pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby. Use that goal as motivation to change your attitudes and behaviour.  Think of yourself as a healthy vessel for conceiving, carrying and then caring for your child. When you are on the verge of bingeing, skipping a meal or eating junk food, consider how that would impact upon your weight and health and ultimately upon your attempts to conceive.

Your Plan Bad habits take a long time to embed, so they are not going to change over night. If you and your doctor believe that you can make positive weight changes yourself, formulate your own structured plan. Write down your:

  • specific weight,
  • a realistic time frame,
  • a list of quality foods in moderate quantities and
  • the exercise you will do to boost your health and strength
  • other healthy strategies to achieving your goal weight.

Keep track of your efforts and your achievements as you move toward your goal. While there may be other obstacles to conceiving a healthy pregnancy, if you persevere, you will have eliminated weight as one of them.

Lisa Marsh is a qualified life coach in
London, UK, specializing in Fertility and Miscarriage Support. She is dedicated to educating and supporting men and women concerned with reproductive health, infertility, fertility treatment and all forms of family building.

To find out more about Lisa and her work as a fertility coach, visit her blog at  She can be contacted at lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk  for coaching, article writing or speaking engagements.

Hypnosis and Fertility

Hypnosis is a natural state that we all enter daily. It’s those times when your imagination is active, so watching a film or reading a book. If you are immersed in the story and your imagination is involved that is hypnosis. You are completely in control and free to leave it at anytime. Our subconscious does not know the difference between our imagination and reality so we can use our imagination to access the subconscious and create what we want in our lives.

Using hypnosis is a great way to address fertility, because we can access our imagination and address what is going on in our subconscious. For example we may have spent years trying not to get pregnant, our subconscious may not have caught up with our new plans to start a family so using the imagination we can show the subconscious what we really want and it can catch up. This then supports our body to conceive.

We may often have negative thoughts running through our minds, worry creating more worry and affecting our well-being. Our negative thoughts can affect our hormonal balance but with hypnosis it is possible to bring them back to a healthy equilibrium therefore supporting conception.

Fertility Solutions hypnosis CDs have been developed by Tracy Holloway (a qualified hypnotherapist and renowned fertility specialist) in order to prepare the subconscious mind for conception. The powerful CDs begin with deep relaxation; this prepares your mind for suggestion and supports you to release stress. Once you have listened for at least a week to the first CD you can move on to the next. Each one brings you relaxation and prepares the body for conception. Some are designed specifically for those who are planning to conceive naturally, others support assisted conception and there are also CDs for those who have experienced miscarriage and fear their body cannot support a healthy baby.

These powerful CDs go hand in hand with the Fertility Solutions Programme but can also be very effective in their own right.

Facing Many Crossroads, Together

Part Two: Coming upon a Crossroads, What You Need To Make Your Decisions

The first crossroads is likely to be when you decide to see the doctor because, despite your efforts, you have not conceived.   It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, or culture, to expose their intimate life to the scrutiny of doctors or undergo blood tests and scans, checking for something “wrong.”  Some uninformed men may be unwilling to provide a semen sample, for fear of what the results may suggest about his manliness.

Both the woman and man may feel some anxiety about whose family line may be to “blame” for their inability to become pregnant.  If this pertains to you or your partner, you must cast these outdated stigmas aside and take some relatively simple tests to discover the cause of your infertility.  If having a baby is your ultimate goal, your value system may have to adapt to accept the help that modern medicine and technology offer.

The second crossroads is deciding whether to pursue more invasive medical investigations and/or treatment.  With a clear diagnosis and readily available treatment, it is easier to decide what to do because the options are more clearly set out.  Your personal life may present the deciding factor: your relationship, finances, career, religion or emotional wellbeing may all be taken into consideration.  Many couples have to contend with unexplained infertility, where early test results were ambiguous.  If you (or your doctor) are operating in the dark, it won’t do much for your confidence.  In this case, the dilemma about which treatment to pursue may be decided by not knowing what else to do. 

Whatever your decision, the most important factor is agreement between the partners, not only because cooperation, understanding and support are vital to keeping stress levels down, but also because it could mean the difference between having a genetic child or not.  From the point that you choose assisted conception you enter a different world; one where your daily life centres on the fertility clinic. For working men, the clinical, inconvenient scheduling, financial and sexual aspects of trying to conceive while being treated, put them into unfamiliar territory and cause stress.  Women will physically experience all of that, and possibly, mood swings, pain, invasive procedures and fear that time is running out as well. 

The decision-making shifts to:

  • Are you happy with the doctor/clinic you started with?
  • Should you try less invasive treatment first, or go straight to IVF?
  • Should we try complementary therapies before, or alongside, traditional medical treatment?
  • How will you pay for your treatment?
  • When should you begin treatment?
  • Can this be managed around your work and/or other obligations?
  • How many embryos do you want to implant? 
  • How many times will you undergo treatment?

These questions may have the two of you at a new crossroads every week. While some people may sail through and others agonize, it’s more likely that some decisions will bring up unexpected issues.  Pay really close attention how you are both functioning.  Your emotional state is important: Do either of you feel stressed, resentful, guilty, desperate, depressed, or hopeless?  Is one of you leaning one way and the other in another direction?  Are you fighting? That is where mutual respect, communication and agreement come into play.

Lisa Marsh is a Fertility Coach working with people on all aspects of fertility, including female and male infertility, pregnancy loss, assisted conception, alternative means of family-building and menopause.  Visit her blog http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com or her website http://yourgreatlife.co.uk for more information.  For coaching, email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

Facing Many Crossroads, Together

Part One: How Do You Function as a Couple? 

Infertility is no picnic. There are months or even years of suspecting a problem, opening up about it, asking for help, educating yourselves about issues, medical terms, finding acceptance and making decisions about how to proceed.  It’s not entirely straightforward for most couples.  How can it be, unless you are incredibly agreeable, immediately find the right doctor and receive an unequivocal diagnosis and solution?  Often, I get annoyed by the over-used term “fertility journey,” but it fits here too perfectly to cast aside, as I describe various crossroads you may reach on the way to creating your family.  A crossroads, in this context, is one of those times when you have to stop and deliberate a big decision that will affect the way you pursue parenting and its success.  You may have a possible diagnosis, a medical opinion, and/or the opinions of family, friends and forum members to contend with, fighting for attention in your head.  You have to pay attention to what your body is telling you as well.  Primarily, if you are in a relationship, you must come to an agreement with your partner at each of several crossroads. 

How will you get through these rather large bumps in the road? For the most part, that will depend upon how your relationship already works.

For a couple whose communication skills are quite healthy, facing these decisions may not be too difficult. Secure in their relationship, they may sit down together and have private, peaceful conversations every step of the way.  They will lay out the pros and cons very efficiently, really listening to each other and reading the subtext (that which is not actually spoken) to arrive at a decision that both find acceptable.

The couple who do not talk about much may just launch into medical investigations and treatment without much forethought.  That may seem unbelievable, considering the physical, emotional and financial costs, but it works for some.  This is the couple that knows they want children, want their “problem fixed” and allow their doctor to run the show. “It seems like everyone is having fertility treatment these days,” so why shouldn’t they? One concern is that if they don’t talk about huge issues like fertility treatment, they may not know when they need to be supportive of each other.

Where one person in the relationship is clearly dominant, the person who is in the power seat makes most of the decisions and their partner follows the lead.  When it comes to fertility issues, I would lay a bet down that the woman is making the decisions. This is actually more effective than you might think, in that traditional relationships assign matters of health, wellbeing and family planning to the woman. Her man goes off to work, doesn’t accompany her to the doctor’s office and understands the need for scheduling tests, scans, injections, sex and, well, life.  She only has to tell him where and when to show up to fulfil his parts of the equation. 

 Finally, there are the couples who discuss EVERYTHING in minute detail, who I divide into two camps:1)  The couple who talk about everything with each other and everyone else. Copious research, note-taking, question-asking, Google-obsessing, and forum-hopping is normal for them, but they do finally come to a decision and eventually take a step forward and 2) The couple that goes round and round the issues in circles, saying “What do you think? No, you say what you want first. Please just tell me what you want to do. Maybe we should discuss it more.”  This couple is in danger of losing valuable time in getting their treatment started or moving on to the next available spot with the clinic.

This is Part One of a Series. Please look for the next Part: Coming upon a Crossroads, What You Need To Make Your Decisions.

Lisa Marsh is a Fertility Coach working with people on all aspects of fertility, including female and male infertility, pregnancy loss, assisted conception, alternative means of family-building and menopause.  Visit her blog http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com or her website http://yourgreatlife.co.uk for more information.  For coaching, email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

Sex every day could increase your chances of being a father

New research indicates that sex every day may enhance the genetic quality of men’s sperm, and could improve their chances of conception and becoming a father.

New research indicates that sex every day may enhance the genetic quality of men’s sperm, and could improve their chances of conception and becoming a father.

Couples trying for a baby are usually recommended to only have sexual intercourse every other day in order to avoid reducing the man’s sperm count. A low sperm count may negatively affect men’s fertility levels and chances of fatherhood.

However, a new study conducted at Sidney IVF, a centre for infertility treatment, suggests that daily sex for a week could significantly enhance the genetic quality of sperm. Although refraining from sexual intercourse for a few days allows the sperm count to recover, the quality of sperm may be damaged from infrequent ejaculations.

It is believed that the DNA of sperm may become damaged while sperm rests in the epididymis due to heat and oxygen-free radicals exposure. Therefore, the longer sperm rest in the epididymis, the greater the risk of genetic damage. Dr Greening, who led the study, said that “through simply clearing the epididymis and testicles, DNA damage has less time to occur. There’s less time for vandalism.”

Since frequent ejaculations empty the sperm reservoir, newly produced sperm of higher genetic quality are more likely to be quickly available. Having sex every day during a woman’s most fertile days is therefore critical to achieving pregnancy, according to Dr. Greening.

The findings of this study are of particular relevance for couples undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. Before IVF, the man is usually asked to refrain from ejaculating for a few days before providing a sperm sample which is used to fertilise his partner’s eggs. Many couples do not have frequent intercourse during IVF treatment either.

A pilot study conducted two years ago found that daily ejaculation decreased levels of DNA damage by 12 per cent. The study was carried out on 42 men with high levels of sperm DNA damage, and was then repeated on a further 118 men. Incidences of DNA damage in the sperm of 81 per cent of these men fell by 12 per cent, although sperm DNA damage increased in the remaining 19 per cent of the men involved in the study.

According to Allan Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, clearing the sperm reservoir is particularly important in cases in which the sperm have high levels of genetic damage. There appears to be a clear trade-off between the quantity of sperm and genetic damage; according to the study, if a man has a decent sperm count but high sperm DNA damage, ejaculating every day will increase his chances of becoming a father.

Visit Access Diagnostics for ovulation test kits , ultra early pregnancy tests, Pre-Seed, Conceive plus, Male fertility test kits and lots more fertility advice and products.

Fertility talk while you get a manicure in USA

What a great idea! Hope this idea takes off in UK to.

Just read this great story online. The link was posted on Twitter.

DENVER — Martinis, manicures, and getting pregnant: the latest approach to talking sex and fertility isn’t happening in a doctor’s office, it’s in a nail salon near you.

Monday night, the drink of choice at Fingers and Toes nail salon in Denver was the “Fertilitini,” a non-alcoholic all-organic martini.

It’s part of a series of “Martini & Manicure” events being held across the country by the American Fertility Association

Here is link to read whole story

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/19435094/detail.html

Access Diagnostics launch new fertility website

Have you visited Access Diagnostics new google checkout fertility website yet

It is very quick and easy to navigate with the same low prices on fertility tests and fertility products, and great service we know you expect

Click here to visit Access Diagnostics NEW fertility website for fertility information, pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, fertility tests, fertility supplements, Pre-Seed and lots more fertility products

Do food packaging chemicals (PFC’s) affect female fertility ?

Just read this really interesting article online from January 2009 ,and wanted to share it with you.

A recent study has suggested that chemicals found in food packaging, pesticides & household items may be linked to reduced fertility in women. The study was performed on 1240 women at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). The scientists found that those women with higher levels of the chemicals (PFCs) in their bloodstreams took longer to conceive than those with lower levels.

Click here to read the article

Fibroids and infertility

Just found this informative article while reading another one and thought you may find it interesting. The article is from the Sunday Times October 19th . It is fairly long so I have edited it down.

Why are we so slow to spot fertility-threatening fibroids?

“I wish to God someone had sat me down when I was 30 and said, ‘You need to be having babies now,’ ” says Elaine Foran, a 40-year-old celebrity agent. Foran has had three miscarriages as a result of fibroids, a condition that affects up to half of all women, yet is often misdiagnosed or ignored. “It wasn’t until I had a miscarriage that the fibroids were spotted on a scan,” she says. “Nobody had even suggested I might have them before. People are quite embarrassed to talk about them. I bet if it was a condition that affected men, we would all know more.”

Fibroids are noncancerous growths of muscle tissue that form in the uterus, and can lead to infertility and miscarriage. They usually occur when a woman is in her thirties or forties, which means they are becoming an issue for increasing numbers of women choosing to have children later in life.

Yet there seems to be a conspiracy of silence about fibroids; because there are often no symptoms, they are rarely mentioned or checked for, until it is too late. Treatment can also be hit and miss. Doctors used to perform a hysterectomy in serious cases, but now that is a less viable option, as more women want to remain fertile for longer.

After three miscarriages, Foran decided to seek private treatment, and last year she had 17 fibroids removed in an operation known as a myomectomy. This is a complicated surgical procedure with a number of risks, and it can make conceiving more difficult. Foran felt she had no choice. “If I hadn’t had the operation, it would have meant getting pregnant again and potentially losing another baby,” she says. “After my last miscarriage, I was very depressed. I would wake up every day at 4am, and it took me a long time to recover.”

Foran’s operation went well, but since then she has not been able to conceive. “It is early days, but I have always got pregnant really easily, so I’m worried. The problem is that the fibroids were on the wall of my uterus, and you can get scar tissue that stops an embryo attaching,” she says.

Fibroids: the facts

Fibroids are benign growths of muscle that occur in the womb. They can be as small as a pea or as big as a melon. An estimated 20%-50% of women develop fibroids at some stage in their lives, usually those aged 30 to 50 who have not had children.

Symptoms can include heavy bleeding, weight gain, increased frequency of urination, back pain and trouble getting or staying pregnant. Many women, however, have no symptoms.

Fibroids are one of the leading reasons for hysterectomies, which are carried out on about 30,000 women a year in the UK. They are never removed during pregnancy because of the risk of bleeding.

The cause of fibroids is unknown, but genetics are a factor. If a woman’s mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.

An Italian study found that women who eat little meat but a lot of green vegetables and fruit seem less likely to develop fibroids than women who eat a lot of red meat and few vegetables.

Click here to read the full article

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

THE HIDDEN THREAT TO FERTILITY
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

Ovulation Microscopes : How do they work ?

Ovulation miscroscopes are an easy and cost effective way to identify fertile times at home. Ovulation microscopes are small hand held mini miscroscopes. They do not require any technical training to use as they are low magnification (50 to 60 times magnification) lenses.

How do I use the Saliva Ovulation Microscope ?

A simple focus mechanism allows the user to focus on a small integral specimen slide area. On each use, a dab of saliva is applied to the lens area and allowed to air dry. This takes between 3 and 6 minutes depending on room temperature.

If the oestrogen levels are at significant levels a ferning pattern appears on the slide due to an increased salt concentration in the saliva. Oestrogen only peaks normally at the mid cycle, just before ovulation, so by detecting this peak, the user can determine the timing of ovulation.

Ovulation Microscopes offer great value for money & flexibility for frequent testers

Ovulation microscopes are cheap to buy, totally re-usable and can be used at any time of day. Look for ovulation microscopes offering at least 60* Magnification and replaceable batteries.

Best buy in our opinion is the ISIS scope for all round value and performanace. The batteries in the ISIS can be replaced thereby extending the life of the ovulation microscope. 

Did you know ? : Oestrogen also peaks in horses and dogs and other animals, so these devices are used extensively by breeders.

When is the best time to test with a saliva ovulation test ?

Good news you can test any time of day. Some people recommend testing first thing in the morning, as at this time the mouth is empty and you can make it part of your morning routine.

Avoid testing immediately after eating, drinking or brishing your teeth as this may interfere with the saliva fertility test results. It is best to wait at least 30 minutes before testing.

Australian fertility expert says a small dose of daily sunshine could help men with fertility problems

Just read this article online and thought it was very interesting. Seemed surprising to me that Australian men do not get enough vitamin d with that lovely sunny climate.

May be something for couples having difficulty conceiving to consider. And look on the bright side (no pun intended) getting out in the sunshine for 10 minutes a day is good for us in lots of ways, improved mood, exercise, reducing risk of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), stronger bones-the list could go on and on. At this time of year it is lovely to go for a walk in the sunshine or get out in the garden-the autumn colours are fantastic.

Here is an extract from the article

Couples struggling to conceive should consider getting out more, research suggests.

A study found almost a third of men experiencing fertility problems have low levels of vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin’.

Just spending ten minutes outside in their shirt sleeves would be enough of a boost, according to Anne Clark, the medical director of an Australian fertility centre.

Previous studies have shown vitamin D, produced from natural light and found in oily fish and eggs, is important for a healthy pregnancy.

But the latest findings show a deficiency may also affect sperm.

‘The results show lifestyle changes can be beneficial,’ Dr Clark told the Fertility Society of Australia, in Brisbane.

The vitamin D deficiency could have been caused by worries about skin cancer and by men trying to avoid too much exposure to sunshine, Dr Clark

Other basic lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking, losing weight, and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, would also help. 

In her group, 105 men agreed to the changes, and to take multivitamins and antioxidants for two to three months.

Afterwards, tests revealed ‘an improvement in the shape of the sperm, which can enhance conception,’ said Dr Clark.

Click here to read the full article

Click here for Access Diagnostics fertility site for help trying to conceive

Chlamydia-can it affect male fertility ?

I was browsing through the Times online Fertility File and found this interesting article about Chlamydia and male fertility.

It is well known that Chlamydia can affect female fertility adversely by causing infection in the female urogential tract and blocking the fallopian tubes. Chlmaydia can also be a cause of recurrent miscarriage if untreated.

Here is an extract from the article

Chlamydia, the sexually transmitted infection (STI) carried by one in ten sexually-active young British adults can make men infertile by damaging the quality of their sperm, new research has shown.

While the condition, which usually passes undetected, has long been known to threaten female fertility, scientists from Spain and Mexico have now established that it presents similar risks for men.

Men with chlamydia have three times the normal number of sperm with genetic damage that can impair their ability to father children, the study found.

Antibiotic treatment can reverse the effect, and preliminary results indicate that it may dramatically enhance pregnancy rates when couples are trying for a baby. But the discovery suggests that the prevalence of the disease may be contributing to infertility across an entire generation of young adults.

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My FSH level is elevated-what does this mean ?

I have just checked my FSH level using a home urine FSH test, and it is elevated.

I did it about a year ago and it was negative. Howver I am 45 years old and have been having some flushes, which I had put down to stress. Now I am wondering if it is my hormones changing.

The test instructions say to repeat the test in 7 days, and if this is elevated this is significant. I will let you know how I get on. I have put it in my diary for next week. The test was very easy to perform and the result appeared within minutes.

After getting this positive result I decided to research FSH levels and their significance

First thing I found out is it could just mean I’m ovulating-phew. FSH rises sharply to stimulate the ovaries to release an egg-hence Follicle Stimulating Hormone.

As I did not write down my LMP (last period) I do not know if this is the case , although it does seem ages ago and I thought I was pre-menstrual, as have been quite snappy !

Other possible causes I found are that my FSH levels may be elevated due to declining ovarian reserve (not many eggs left in my ovaries). In this scenario the FSH is elevated in an attempt to kick start the ovaries-in my case it could be flogging a dead horse. MY cycle has been fairly erratic recently which is why I stopped writing them down.

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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?