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.

 

 

Fertilityscore male fertility test

Fertility score home male fertility test
Fertilityscore male fertility test

There has been a lot in the news recently about the reduction in male fertility. Sperm counts are on the decrease, globally, with a combination of lifestyle and dietary causes being blamed.

There are a growing number of home tests available for couples concerned about fertility. At the cheaper end of the market, these tests simply look at the number of sperm per ml and only test a small 1ml sample of the ejaculate. While the accuracy of these tests is good, the limitations given above do reduce their value.

The FertilityScore home test kit is unique in 3 ways. Firstly the pack contains 2 complete tests. More importantly the test screens for motility across the whole ejaculate sample, and finally the test only gives a positive result, indicating good fertility for motile samples above 20 million per ml.

By completing 2 tests at 7 to 10-day intervals, FertilityScore offers the highest confidence of sustained fertility available in a home test.

FertilityScore is widely available online in the UK from Access Diagnostics Fertility Site, other medical and fertility shops and also on E-Bay and Amazon for around £19.99 a pack.

New home fertility test for men

male fertility test kit uk
Home male fertility test kit

We have a new home male fertility test kit in stock for 2016. The test is quick and easy to perform and takes just 5 minutes. The test checks whether the semen concentration is above or below 15 million / ml. The fertility test kit has a 97.98% accuracy rate in clinical studies.

Use coupon code ADT before the end of January 2016 to save 5% when you shop online at Access Diagnostics UK fertility site

 

Laptop caused heat damage to sperm & revealed as culprit in couples difficulty conceiving

An article in The Daily Mail this week, revealed how a couple who had been trying for a a baby for about 6 months without success, expressed concerns to their GP. Because the man had previously had mumps, he was referred to the hospital for a sperm test.

The results of the test where startling, showing that although he had a healthy number of sperm, the sperm showed abnormalities consistent with heat damage. The tails of the sperm where wrapped around the heads meaning they could not swim properly.

On closer questioning of the couple it was revealed that the man spent several hours every night with his laptop on his lap. He was advised to stop this practice, and to put the laptop on a table instead. He did this and 3 months later his wife was pregnant, and they now have an 11 month old daughter. The couple had no idea that the laptop could damage sperm in this way.

Heat can be a cause of infertility in men, and has long been recognised in chefs who work long hours in hot kitchens.  Laptops emit a lot of heat when they are on and if sat on your lap can cause overheating of the testicles. The widespread use of laptops has meant that this cause of male infertility is on the increase. The good news is it is reversible.

The message is clear. If you are trying for a baby keep your laptop off your lap and give the little swimmmers a fighting chance.

You can read the news article here

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2228121/Couple-conceive-stunned-doctors-reveal-husbands-LAPTOP-cooking-sperm.html?goback=%2Egde_3043944_member_182443828

p.s  Just a thought even if you are not trying for a baby it makes sense to keep your testicles cool. We don’t yet know what other harmful effects sitting a laptop on your groin may have, but it seems wise to exercise caution in this area.

Male Fertility Test | In infertility investigations it is crucial to check male fertility

Fertilityscore home male fertility test UJK
Fertilityscore home male fertility test UJK

We received a phonecall last week from a woman who had been trying to conceive for several years and had been undergoing infertility investigations which had not revealed a cause for her infertility. She was desperate for help & advice.

When questioned we were surprised to find that her partner had not had his sperm checked, and that she had been advised this was ok because he had fathered a child in a previous relationship over 7 years ago. While this is a good sign it does not mean that his fertility is necessarily ok. Fertility can change and seven years is a long time. Our advice to her was that she should talk to her partner & then with his agreement make an appointment with her GP or gynaecologist and arrange for him to have a sperm count done. She seemed to think that they were very unlikely to do this for him as she had asked before and been turned down.

Male fertility is a tricky issue for some men and often there is reluctance on the part of the man to be tested or to come forward for investigations. Particularly when they have already fathered a child in a previous relationship they may feel that the problem must be with the woman.

We regularly receive phonecalls from desperate women whose male partner has refused to be tested by the GP or hospital, and the woman wants to  purchase a home male fertility test kit. Sometimes her partner will agree to doing a male fertility fertility test in the privacy of their own home. Our advice in this situation is to do the home male fertility test. If the fertility test shows a low reading then there is a good chance that the partner will consent to further investigations with the GP or hospital. It may also help to speed up referral if the reading is low. If the reading on the home sperm test is normal then the man may still consent to having a further semen test with the GP ‘just to confirm it’

More information or to buy home male fertility test kit that checks sperm count and motility

Did you know boys have FSH and LH too?

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (Lutineizing Hormone) are usually attributed as female only hormones. But in fact they are just as present in boys as girls.

The two hormones are Gonadotropins, which means that they take action on the gonads (The primary reproductive organs) and they are both released, as you probably know, by the pituitary gland in the brain. A common misconception is that the pituitary gland is the starting point for all hormone secretion. When in fact its in the middle – a respondant: it is triggered by a hormone called GnRH, standing for gonadotropin releasing hormone, which is secreted by the Hypothalamus, which is just above the pituitary gland.

 Anyway GnRH is secreted within the brain`s of both boys and girls, and so consequently FSH and LH are secreted by the pituitary in both sexes – but they have very different affects. In girls FSH and LH are crucial for maintaining and managing the menstrual cycle. However in boys FSH is the hormone which triggers the testes to produce sperm cells, whilst LH causes testosterone to be made and secreted by the testes. Testosterone is the hormone that causes facial and bodily hair growth and muscular development, as well as accounting for male sexuality. But it does not actually cause sperm production!

This is why men who are extremely masculine, can actually suffer from infertility, because although their levels of LH are high – their FSH levels may be low, causing sperm production not to be prevalent enough to achieve fertilization.

Will Zita West tablets, for men help improve sperm count and motility ?

zita west vitamen buy uk online 

 Here is a question that we received this week regarding male fertility:

Hi, Will Zita West tablets, for men help improve sperm count, and motility?? As my husband has a low sperm count, and poor motility sperm. Many thanks. Look froward, to hearing from you soon.

Here is our answer:

Vitamen is a multivitamin & mineral supplement designed to support male reproductive health. Deficiencies in vitamins & trace elements have been shown to be detrimental to sperm production & sperm health

Here is the information for Vitamen from the manufacturer below in bold & I have put links to some blog articles we have written on improving male fertility which you may find helpful:

Nutrition for conception

Healthy parents tend to produce healthy babies. And healthy babies, in general, grow into healthy children and adults. Much emphasis is given to the importance of a woman’s health and nutritional status before and during pregnancy. But her male partner plays an equally crucial role at conception.

The creation of a healthy baby requires not just a healthy egg but a good supply of properly formed mobile sperm as well.Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of men with low sperm counts.

Recent research suggests that of the one in four couples who take longer than the average to conceive, the cause, in around one-third of cases, lies with the male partner.

Other research has indicated that up to eighty percent of birth defects are caused by defective male sperm. And it is now known that the cause of a Down’s syndrome baby may also lie with either the mother or the father.But don’t worry – there is a lot that can be done simply by making changes in nutrition and lifestyle.

Poor sperm health, whether it be a low count, poor motility or malformations, can generally be improved by optimising the father’s overall health and nutritional status. But it is sensible to start this process as soon as possible.

Sperm take ten weeks to develop sufficiently to leave the body, so planning for a pregnancy should start at least four months before conception takes place. That means giving up smoking, alcohol and social/recreational drugs, checking for genito-urinary infections, avoiding hot baths and tight clothing, eating healthily and taking supplementation, when necessary, to help redress nutritional imbalances.

Vitamen is a high quality supplement specially formulated for men. But remember, it is no good taking vitamins if you are not getting the rest of the basics right. Drinking plenty of water is one of them – at least 2 litres a day. Water is a large component of sperm, so a good, regular supply is vital in the process of production.

Vitamen is a premium multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement. It contains essential nutrients that contribute to a healthy conception and, in particular, the production of healthy sperm.

It may also be worth reading these blog articles on improving male fertility:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistence 

Kind Regards

8 ways to improve sperm count & motility naturally

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Avoid overexercising which may cause overheating of the testicles-particularly prolonged cycling & horse riding
  3. Stop using a laptop on your lap-causes overheating
  4. Avoid illicit drug use ie use of anabolic steroids, Cannabis etc
  5. Eat a healthy balanced diet with plent of fruit & veg
  6. Avoid very hot baths, saunas etc
  7. Take a male fertility supplement-studies have shown that trace elements in the diet can play a significant role in male fertility
  8. Reduce your alcohol intake

Male infertility on Gavin & Stacey

I watched an old episode of Gavin & Stacey last night on BBC3 in which they tackled the subject of male infertility in a light hearted way yet with sensitivity and understanding.

Stacey has been trying to get pregnant for the last 12 months without success. She persuades Gavin to go with her for tests with the doctor, and they are both surprised when the test results show that Gavin has a low sperm count.

This started me thinking about male infertility.

What is male infertility ?

Male infertility is the inability of a male to produce a pregnancy in a women. Most commonly this is due to a problem with the sperm ie a poor sperm count, poor motility or abnormal morphology of the sperm although sometimes it can be due to other causes such as structural or ejaculatory problems.

How common is male infertility ?

Depending on the source you use, male infertility seems to account for between 30-50% of cases of infertility. Ths figure is surprising to many as public perception tends to be that the problem is more likely to be with the women.

What causes male infertility ?

There are many causes of reduced fertility in men. Sperm quality is thought to be declining in the western world in recent years and this has been attributed to many factors including changing working practices for many men involving long working hours, long periods of time sat either at desks or in cars, diet, smoking, alcohol, drugs, stress.

Some medical causes of male infertility include:

  • obstructive problems (blockages in sperm-carrying tubes)
  • testicular injury and disease
  • varicocele
  • sperm disorders
  • genetic disorders
  • problems with erection and ejaculation
  • hormonal problems
  • general medical disorders that reduce fertility
  • drugs that reduce fertility
  • Environmental toxins and radiation

Other factors that may affect sperm count & quality

  • Anything that causes overheating of scrotum may be a factor for some-ie overexercising, cycling, horse riding, very hot baths, saunas, laptop use, sitting at desk for long periods of time, obesity etc
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Recreational drugs such as Cannabis

Click here for information on home male fertility test & erection aids

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.

Male Fertility Tips-optimising your fertility

We read lots today in the news about how stress, modern lifestyles & enviromental pollutants can affect men’s fertility adversely.

Here are some quick tips of things to do and things to avoid:

  1. Guys keep the laptops off the laps-anything that causes overheating in the groin area can damage your fertility. This is why testicles are not inside your body like the other organs-it is to keep them cool. Make sure you sit at a table when using a laptop so the laptop is not on your lap. (This is also much better for you back as you will tend to sit up straight rather than slouch)
  2. Give up smoking-studies have shown that smoking adversely affects male fertility
  3. Keep alcohol consumption at a low level and avoid binge drinking
  4. Avoid going in very hot baths or saunas as this will cause overheating of the testicles
  5. Eat you 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and eat a healthy balanced diet. Try to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight can affect your fertility adversely.
  6. Consider taking a multivitamin supplement that is specifically for men such as Wellman as they contain key supplements that are important for sperm production and general & sexual health
  7. Avoid taking any recreational drugs as many of them have been shown to affect male fertility adversely
  8. If you are on a prescription drug check with your GP whether it could affect your fertility
  9. Avoid overexercising-extreme over exercise has been shown to affect fertility adversely in both men and women. In men it may be due to the overheating element or their may be other factors. Regular moderate exercise is good-just don’t overdo it and try to avoid overheating in the groin area-wear loose fitting workout clothes, boxers or  shorts. Avoid the tight fitting lycra! Avoid strenuous riding (ie bicycle or horse) which may cause overheating of groin.
  10. Some enviromental pollutants can affect male fertility adversely-check if you are working with any toxic chemicals & make sure you are taking adequate health & safety precautions
  11. Try and relax. Stress can affect fertility adversely. Make time for relaxation every day.

We saved the best two until last:

  1. Have sex regularly. Studies have shown that having sex regularly actually improves your fertility. There is no advantage to saving the sperm up for the fertile time of the month. Old sperm are more likely to be damaged or have poorer motility. Try to have sex regularly 2-3 times a week to kep the sperm replenished and fresh
  2. Enjoy sex. Sex is and should be a pleasurable experience so keep it fun.

You can buy home male fertility test kits and fertility products online in UK from Access Diagnostics 

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.

My journey to motherhood and becoming a fertility coach

As I sit at my kitchen table and write this blog I am incredibly aware of just what a lot has happened over these last few years . And how , for all the noise , tantrums and lack of sleep I will never cease to be amazed that I have finally got here .That I can finally be a mum .I guess thats one of the only advantages to having had such a fight to get my family . I will never take it for granted .Change the scene to about 8 years ago and the situation was very different and in a sense  where our  journey began  . 

I had met my husband at university and always had a strong friendship as well as romantic hope for him . So it was with little suprise that we finally told family and friends that we were getting married in 1997 . We were very much in love and talked from early on about how great it would be to be parents .The summer before we officially started trying I remember being on holiday and writing a list together of our top girls and boys names for the family which lay just within our reach . There was such optimism and such hope . It was to be over so soon .We tried for a family for about 9 months before I could take it no longer and assumed there was something wrong .

I was never known for my patience and thus nearly everyone told me to calm down , stop trying so hard etc etc ….the usual . But deep down I really just wanted reassurance . And so I persuaded a doctor to do some initial tests on both of us . Fully expecting the results to match the helpful comments of friends and family . That we would be fine and to just relax more .However the results for my husband were utterly devestating . He was Azoospermic , there was no sperm whatsoever  present . The ” kindly ” doctor pronounced we would never have chidren and we were sent on our way .

And just like that our world crumbled and a new chapter began .We then went through every test we could do , choosing to use my savings rather than wait ..again that old impatience . I found out information about my inner workings that I never thought I would know . And certainly more about my husband than is common in most marriages !Finally we saw one of the top specialists in the country and were told in no uncertain terms that ours was one of the worst situations a couple could find themselves in .” If I were you mr Sizer i wouldnt put my wife through IVF but would look at Donor or adoption . You have a 1 in 125,000 chance of this ever working “To say my husband was crushed would be an understatement . And I grieved that day as Much for what it was doing to him as  for the loss of our dreams .

Over the next few weeks we re emerged from the duvet and began to talk . ..and talk ..and pray and talk . Until finally , and for no good practical reason we chose to give that 1 in 125,000 chance a go . Not good betting odds but I guess we needed to close the door before moving on .And so we started IVF number one at the lister clinic , a wonderful warm enviroment who supported us all the way , even when they felt it was a run to nothing .The cycle went badly to begin with and then got worse with the realisation that I was what they called a “poor responder ” ( how I hate that phrase !) and probably early menopausal ..just to add to the tension !!Finally however 4 eggs were obtained , my husband had a very painful op to remove the few sperm he did have and the wonderful world of science miraculously made 4 embryos .Just 3 days later 2 little bundles of potential were lit up on a screen and shown going into my womb …and so began the dreaded 2 week wait .Again we were so low on hope that I almost didnt do a test on the set date . But eventually we did . And amazingly 1 little ball had made it .I was pregnant !! 9 months of  elation and anxiety ensued until finally on April 26th 2003 our first miracle was born and Hope Sizer came into the world .We were literally over the moon to become parents and loved those early days with our new daughter .

And yet our dreams of a family had always been of two or more children .And though family and friends pretty much begged us not to keep going we entered the wonderful world of ART once again when Hope was just over a year old . The abridged version of what happened next was that amazingly , our odds actually seemed to get worse ! I was diagnosed with High FSH , and an over active immune system as well as the initial poor responder bit !  We went through 3 more cycles and two miscarriages before our final attempt at the ARGC clinic .This was to be it . Enough of the battering .And so a new regime was started ,new protocol and an immune suppresant drug for a mere £2000 extra .Two embryos put back in and …..well lets just say Barnaby sizer is a very meant little boy !

We finally felt like a family.I have done many things in my life that I am proud of and many things make me grateful . none of them howehver come close to the pride I feel personally and as a couple, in fighting for our family .It was without doubt the hardest thing I have ever done , possibly ever will do  , and amazingly it was worth it .During my time going through IVF I retrained from a counselling background , into Life coaching and began to specialise in supporting encouraging and resourcing couples through Infertility .

To come up with specific coping tools  through this most emotional of times .One of the key things I always say to people is to never belittle what you are facing . Infertility has recently been given a stress point reading akin to Cancer and Bereavement and as such a person dealing with fertility issues needs support . A new chapter has again then started for me through this work . A new chance to help support and encourage other people facing the difficulties of Infertility . Whether it is running the support group , running workshops or speaking to the media I remain passionate that people facing Infertility should be as best looked after as possible .

Best of luck to everyone reading this 

Anya Sizer

www.thefertilitycoach.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

Male Fertility Tips

There has been a lot of coverage of male fertility issues in the news this week, so I thought it would be worth doing a quick review of the info and some tips for improving male fertility

The good news is a recent study has shown that having sex frequently is good for male fertility.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5697634/Couples-trying-for-baby-should-have-sex-daily.html

Not so good news is that extreme cycling is very bad for fertility. Read this article if you guy spends a lot of time cycling, even if its at the gym.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8124458.stm

And those laptops are still causing problems !

http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20090515023655data_trunc_sys.shtml

Tips for maximising male fertility:

  • Avoid anything that gets the testicles over heated, as excess heat can damage sperm-this is why the testicles are external and not inside the body. Things that may cause overheating are:laptops on the lap, saunas, hot baths, tight underwear, cycling, medical conditions such as varicoele (varicose veins in scrotum-if you think you have this see your doctor)
  • Stop smoking as smokers have higher incidence of sperm problems
  • Keep alcohol consumption within safe limits
  • Eat a balanced healthy diet high in antioxidants, eat lots of fruit and veg & cut down on the meat-make sure he gets his 5 a day. A recent Spanish study has shown that men who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, in particular peppers, spinach and citrus fruits, have higher quality and faster swimming sperm.
  • Check if he is on any medication that may damage sperm e.g. some antidepressants, check with your doctor.
  • Exercise moderately-remember keep those testicles cool, and wear loose fitting boxers and clothes. May be best to avoid the tight lycra
  • Avoid recreational drug use-research has shown that cannabis may reduce male fertility http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3586115.stm
  • Taking a multivitamin containing L-Cartinine may help

If you would like to check your fertility at home you can purchase a home male fertility test kit that checks sperm count and motility from Access Diagnostics fertility site in UK

 

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.

Click here to read the full article

Click here for information or to buy home male fertility tests

Men who smoke marijuana (cannabis) may be impairing fertility

Men who smoke marijuana (cannabis) frequently have significantly less seminal fluid, a lower total sperm count and their sperm behave abnormally, all of which may affect fertility adversely.

The Study was first conducted at the department of reproductive physiology at the University at Buffalo 2003.

Marijuana contains the cannabinoid drug THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is its primary psychoactive chemical, as well as other cannabinoids.

”The bottom line is, the active ingredients in marijuana are doing something to sperm, and the numbers are in the direction toward infertility,” said Lani J. Burkman, Ph.D., lead author on the study. Burkman is assistant professor of gynecology/obstetrics and urology and head of the Section on Andrology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. UB’s andrology laboratory also carries out sophisticated diagnosis for infertile couples.

Men involved in actively trying to concieve a child should avoid THC, probably for at least a month prior to TTC.

You can buy a Cannabis drug test kit here to see if the cannabis is out of your system.

Male fertility test kit for home use

Male Fertility Tests | Male Fertility Test Kit | Fertility Test for Men

MALE FERTILITY TEST-an increasing number of men are checking their fertility by using a male fertility test kit at home.

Home Male Fertility Test Kit-What should we do if the result comes back low?

First thing to say is don’t panic. A low sperm count does not mean you can not conceive it may just make it more difficult. However you do need to go and see your doctor now for examination & further sperm tests-this is very important.

Some of the following factors may be worth considering while you are waiting for the appointment to see the doctor.

1) Was the sample ideal? Did you follow the instructions precisely? It may be worth repeating to check this. Cooling the sample or a delay in performing the fertility test can alter the number of active sperm, and give a false result.

2) High testes temperature. Sperm are made in the testes which are in the scrotum. This is the body’s way of keeping the testes slightly cooler than the rest of the body which is best for making sperm. It is often advised for men who have a low sperm count to wear loose fitting underpants and trousers and to avoid very hot baths, saunas, etc. This aims to keep your testes slightly cooler than the rest of your body, which is thought to be good for sperm production. It is not clear whether these measures improve a sperm count, but they seem to be sensible. Also best not to let him sit with his laptop on his groin !

3) Smoking can affect the sperm count. If you smoke, you should stop completely for optimum sperm production.

4) Alcohol. More than 16 units per week (equivalent to about 8 pints of normal strength beer or 16 small glasses of wine) may interfere with optimum fertility.

5) Drugs and medicines. Most do not interfere with sperm production, but some may do. These include: sulphasalazine, nitrofurantoin, tetracyclines, cimetidine, colchicine, allopurinol, some chemotherapy drugs, cannabis, cocaine, and anabolic steroids. They are always finding new drugs that can affect sperm. If you have a low sperm count, tell a doctor if you take any drugs or medicines regularly

More information or to buy Fertilityscore home male fertility test kit