Amy’s New Year Newsletter 2012

Happy New Year

Here’s to 2012! May your year be full of cooperation, love and joy.

Oneness Meditation

Tracy has specially recorded a Oneness Meditation to prepare hearts and minds for the opportunities 2012 will bring. As always I highly recommend her meditations what’s more this one is free, what have you got to lose?

http://www.tracyholloway.com/blog/2012/01/2012-oneness-meditation/?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=twitterfeed

Make Space

It’s always a good time to make space in your life, clear your mind of clutter.  I do feel though that at this time of year it is important to let the past year settle and make space for what the next will bring.  Set your intention, make sure it is clear what you want from 2012.  (Listening to Tracy’s Oneness Meditation will help you do this.)  Keeping your mind clear of clutter will enable you to achieve what you want.  Those of you who have had a session with me and /or been on Tracy’s course/s will know how to use tools to keep your mind clear and stay in the present moment.  When those ‘old programs’ come up you know what to do! 😉  For those of you who wish to conceive, make space for your baby, in your mind and in your life, taking time out to relax will help you do this.

Who Are You?

Another reminder of Tracy’s excellent home study course available to all.  Called ‘Who are you?’ it has been developed for those who wish to access their authentic self and discover lasting change.  The course consists of a workbook with insights and practical exercises and 10 CDs of powerful meditations to support you along the way.  There is also access to webinars held by Tracy Holloway and membership to a supportive, likeminded online community.  An opportunity not to be missed by those who wish to move on from the past, live fully in the moment and begin experiencing the life they dream of.  Follow this link for more details: http://www.tracyholloway.com/who-are-you/?a=unkx

Best wishes,

Amy Marner

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

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.

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

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

How do you begin again after a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle?

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again.

If you are on Twitter, or you follow some of the infertility blogs, you may be familiar with some of the abbreviations used by women who are trying to conceive and have a baby. One that frequently tears at my heart is BFN:( . It means “big fat nothing,” as in not pregnant this month.  You examine and re-examine the dates on the calendar, plan your activities around the possibility that you might be pregnant by then, and spend money on pregnancy tests that you know are going to come out negative.  You may also have experienced the elation of finding out you were pregnant and whispering it to the chosen few you trusted to support you through those intial, very secretive and exciting days, only to have to return to them weeks later and explain that the pregnancy was over.

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again. You must consider your current health, age, fitness, need for medical intervention, financial position, other commitments and your doctor’s advice. Assuming that you have decided that you do want to try to conceive again, naturally or with assisted reproduction techniques, the next set of decisions will be about when you begin trying.

Your timing

“When can I try again?” is one of the first questions that will come up in a woman’s mind once she has determined to pursue another pregnancy. Opinion, even among medical professionals, varies. Some doctors will say that, all being well, 3 months is a good amount of time to wait after a miscarriage. Others will suggest that an otherwise healthy patient wait until after she has had one menstrual period before trying to conceive. I believe that readiness is a combination of having had a check-up by the doctor or nurse a few weeks after your miscarriage or IVF procedure, feeling well in yourself physically and determining that you and/or your partner are both emotionally prepared to take the risk again. Why do I use that word “risk?” While many women go on to achieve a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage, and IVF can certainly be successful on a subsequent attempt, there is a risk that they will not be successful. Can both of you gather all your resources together and steel yourself against that possibility or do you feel painfully vulnerable?

Are you up to it?

Miscarriage and fertility treatment are both hard on the body and can cause you to feel physically depleted.  This is exacerbated by the emotional toll that they take. It isn’t unusual for a woman to feel that she wants to, or has to, jump right back in and try again and simultaneously think that going through this process again is the last thing in the world she wants to do at that moment. Have you ever felt torn in that way? The reason for this dichotomy can be that you have not recovered fully and need to build up your strength and stamina. It may be worth asking your GP for a once-over health check, paying attention to your appetite, sleep, energy levels and hormone levels.

Your emotional wellbeing

It could also be that you are putting on a front, trying to fool yourself and others about how you are really coping. What you say and what you truly feel must be congruent, or the result could be additional stress, sleepless nights and high emotion.  There may be no doubt that you want a baby, but being pregnant may be another matter entirely. Do you feel resilient; as if you have been able to pick yourself up, put your disappointment aside and look forward to the future? Or, do you feel fearful or hopeless? Your thoughts will affect your behaviour and very possibly, your outcome.

If you are trying to conceive, while simultaneously thinking that it will never happen, or that it will end disastrously, you are draining your positive energy away from your goal. You are literally telling your body, that it will not function the way it is meant to do and reinforcing that message every time you let your mind obsess in this manner. Ovulation does not occur in a vacuum; it is dependent upon signals from your brain to your ovaries. Additionally, the stress caused by negativity has been known to interrupt reproductive function, which may affect your periods, ovulation, fertilisation and/or implantation of the embryo.

Your negative thoughts, sadness, anger and stress are all understandable responses to either a miscarriage or the disappointment of a failed IVF cycle. How quickly you move through various feelings or thought processes to a state of readiness is unique to your circumstances and how you respond. You may feel conflicting emotions and be confused as to whether you are ready to try to conceive again. If so, a fertility coach can help you isolate your feelings about your miscarriage or IVF experience. This can help you prevent or reverse the spill-over into your abilities, body, medical treatment, relationship and future.

Are you both ready?

It isn’t unusual for two people in a relationship to have different ideas about whether they are ready to try to conceive again. On the one hand, the woman may (erroneously) believe that the previous attempt is her fault and feel the need to make up for it or prove herself. She may be itching to try immediately, in contrast to her partner’s more measured approach. Even if this self-blame is not present, she may feel there isn’t any time to waste. Only she can truly know how strong and physically healthy she feels, so her partner is reliant upon the information she provides.  A partner may be concerned about her health and want to ensure the safety of a subsequent attempt to conceive.  On the other hand, I have had female clients whose partners want to sweep it all under the rug and move forward as if nothing has happened. She may be unready; lacking in self-confidence and feeling unsupported.

Marriages have broken down from the stress of trying to conceive. One party may feel less committed to the idea of having a child than the other, so that when the disappointments, difficulties and costs are tallied up, they decide that they don’t want to put everything into the attempt.  The sacrifices necessary to divert money from other dreams to fertility treatment may be more than one is willing to make. To contemplate trying to conceive only for your partner’s sake, or while you are unsure, will only add to the stresses you will have to endure.

The best advice I can give any couple in this situation is to talk. Be open about how you feel, what the loss meant and how you want to proceed now. If either of you are unable to communicate effectively without someone teasing the words out of you, get someone to act as a facilitator. A good fertility coach will help the two of you say what you really think and feel; not imposing her own ideas or taking sides. Perhaps a joint visit to your GP or gynaecologist will help the two of you find mutual ground.

Just knowing when it’s right

As quickly as it came over, an emotional cloud can lift. A new day, an overheard inspiring word, reassurance from someone you trust or just some release inside of you; any of these can shift how you feel about beginning the process of conception over again.  You may not be able to explain it to someone else, but you just know you are ready.  If trying again feels right and you can maintain that feeling for a few calm days (no roller-coaster emotions and changing of mind), trust your instincts. Only you can know for sure.

Lisa Marsh is the owner of Your Great Life, a fertility coaching and advocacy business in Stanmore, North London. She also writes for her own blog; http://yourgreatlife.typepad.co.uk.   You can follow her on Twitter @yourgreatlife. Contact Lisa for individual or couples fertility coaching, via phone or office visits, or to find out about educational workshops on fertility issues from menstruation to menopause: Tel #011-44 (0)20 8954 2897 or email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

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.

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

Fathers genes may influence sex of baby

Just read this interesting article at bbc online . here is an extract from the article below.

A man’s genetic make-up may play a role in whether he has sons or daughters, a study of hundreds of years of family trees suggests.

Newcastle University researchers found men were more likely to have sons if they had more brothers and vice versa if they had more sisters.

They looked at 927 family trees, with details on 556,387 people from North America and Europe, going back to 1600.

The same link between sibling sex and offspring sex was not found for women.

The precise way that genes can influence baby sex remains unproven.

Click here to read the full article online

10 things you should know before trying for a baby

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

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

 I thought it might be a useful reminder.

From

November 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Ovulation Tests & Predicting Ovulation-When am I going to ovulate ?

HOME OVULATION PREDICTION-When is the best time to get Pregnant ?

Around 15-20% of couples are infertile or sub fertile, and many more experience delays & resulting anxiety in conceiving which may often be caused by bad timing. Knowing the best time to get pregnant can help

An average couple takes 6 months to conceive and many GP’s will not refer for investigations until a couple has been trying for at least 12 months. As many couples are starting to try for a baby later in life these days, this delay can become quite worrying & cause a lot of anxiety.

Some of the delays in conceiving may simply be a matter of bad timing i.e. having intercourse at the wrong time in the woman’s cycle. Recent research has suggested that the fertility window (ie the best time to get pregnant) each month may in fact only be 3-4 days, and so timing intercourse to coincide with this time of maximum fertility is obviously very important.

Ovulation predictors can be helpful in two ways:

1)To help time intercourse to maximize the chance of conception

2) To help identify if ovulation problems exist and so accelerate referral for specialist advice.

If you cycle is very regular and the same length each month timing ovulation is fairly easy. You ovulate 14 days before your next period is due, and so you should make sure you have intercourse just before ovulation and around the time of ovulation to maximise your chances of conceiving.

If your cycle is a little erratic or irregular like many of us find particular as we are getting older, then there are ways you can predict when you are going to ovulate or have ovulated.

What types of ovulation prediction methods are there?

1) Urine tests-test urine for the presence of luteinising hormone (LH tests).Available in midstream, cassette and dip strip test. They give you advance notification of ovulation and are therefore called ovulation predictors. To see full range of urine home ovulation tests click here

2) Saliva Ovulation Microscopes-many resemble a lipstick. At ovulation, the hormone estrogen is increased, which increases the salt levels in your body. This salt increase is evident in saliva. Saliva ovulation mini microscope allows you to see the salt crystals that dry on the microscope glass slide. For more information on the Saliva Ovulation microscopes click here. Click here for more information & to see a range of ovulation microscopes

3) Basal Temperature– A simple inexpensive way of telling if you have ovulated. You should take your temperature orally each morning before getting up, eating or drinking. Digital thermometers are used for their accuracy and ease of use. Ovulation usually occurs one day before the temperature rises. BBT evaluations only confirm, but do not predict, ovulation. For more information on the Basal Thermometers click here. Click here to see Basal Thermometers suitable for ovulation

4) Cervical Mucus or Billings method-the consistency of the cervical mucus changes during your cycle due to hormonal fluctuations. You are considered at your most fertile when the mucus becomes clear, slippery, and stretchy. Many women describe the mucus at this stage as resembling raw egg whites. One word of caution however – sperm can be confused with the mucus secretions and you could make the wrong assumption.

5) Fertility Monitor-the Clearblue Fertility Monitor also works by detecting the LH surge as well as measuring Oestrogen levels. The monitor then builds up a detailed picture of your unique hormone cycle. Clearblue Fertility Monitor is the most advanced home method to maximise your chances of conceiving. In recent research use of the Clearblue Fertility Monitor was shown to increase the chances of conceiving by 89% over the first two cycles of use. Click here for more information on the Clearblue Fertility Monitor or to buy

Study shows coffee can reduce your chances of getting pregnant

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

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

Here is an extract from the article:

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

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

Visit Access Diagnostics UK Fertility site