Astroglide TTC personal lubricant now available in UK #fertility

Astroglide TTC lubricant UK
Astroglide TTC Trying To Conceive Personal Lubricant

TTC is a water based personal lubricant from Astroglide that is especially for couples trying to conceive. It is available in 8 pre-filled 5ml applicators.

TTC is suitable for either penile or vaginal application and has been designed to supplement the bodies natural lubrication and is the ph and isotonic levels have been adjusted to support fertility.

Astroglide TTC lubricant is compatible with sperm, oocytes, and embryos and can be safely used by couples trying to conceive.

Click here for more information or buy Astroglide TTC Trying To Conceive personal lubricant online in UK

6 reasons to use a fertility lubricant when you are trying to conceive

  • Most intimate lubricants are not fertility friendly.
  • Many popular lubricants can actually harm or kill sperm.
  • Fertility lubricants have been created to mimic fertile cervical mucus and to be sperm friendly.
  • Using a fertility lubricant can increase the pleasure in love making for both partners, and increase the chance of orgasm.
  • Vaginal dryness can be a problem for many couples trying to conceive.
  • Using a suitable lubricant reduces the risk of discomfort during love making for both partners.

Buy fertility friendly lubricants Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus and Astroglide TTC online in UK from Access Diagnostics

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.

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

Zestica Conception pack UK commercial release expected 3rd week in March 2011

Burdica Biomed Ltd (http://www.burdica.com ) the manufacturers of the Zestica range of personal lubricants have confirmed plans to commercially release the new Zestica Conception pack for UK sales during the 3rd week of March 2011

Initial sales of the Zestica Conception packs will be via specialist fertility web sites, followed by high street pharmacy, and supermarket pharamacy sales later in 2011

Commenting for Burdica Biomed Ltd (UK), Erik Hanau, specialist consultant.. ” we are very excited about the lauch of this unique fertility product, no other product has addressed the issue of BV (Bacterila Vaginitis) safely for women attempting to conceive. BV is accepted and recognised as a barrier to conception, but this largely remains un-identified outside of specialist fertility centres”

Burdica showed the Conception kit pre-launch packs at the UK fertility show recently, generating a high level of interest amongst the fertility community. It also took a large number of pre-production orders. Customers still waiting their packs of Zestica Conception pack will be given priority when the first production packs are released to sale during March 2011

Each Conception pack contains LH tests, treatments and fertility lubricants for 1 month together with full information and instructions for users.

Click here for more info on the Zestica

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.

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

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

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.

TLC For TTC

When we use the acronym TLC for tender loving care, we generally mean one person to another. However, I believe that it’s also to spend some time and effort on your own behalf.  I promote self-care in all areas of an infertile person’s life, both for emotional wellbeing and to maximize the chance of conception.  It’s not as easy as saying we will make changes.  It requires a positive attitude, a desire to change and taking action. I have to work at it too. This is part my own ongoing self-development, and being aware of it helps me understand a client’s efforts and difficulties. Success requires:

  • Self-awareness;
  • Honesty;
  • Motivation; and
  • Follow-through

The self-awareness that is required in order to improve lifestyle choices is:  1) knowing your own habitual way of operating, and 2) identifying the areas in your life which have a potential to be neglected, as a result. Even if others perceive a decline regarding your health, and tell you, it won’t make much difference until you can admit it to yourself. This realization may not be triggered until the connection is made between your choices (healthy sleep, eating, alcohol, exercise, hygiene, nutrition and/or medication) and the delay or absence of conception.   

The stress related to infertility can be unhealthy in itself, but in some ways, stress can actually provoke necessary action. If your fertility clinic delays your IVF cycle until you lose weight, stop smoking or bring down your blood pressure, it will force self-awareness, require honesty and provide motivation.  Honesty is an admission of the state you are in and your responsibility for it. It’s most important to be honest with yourself.  However, honesty with someone else about your difficulty in giving up a bad habit can be rewarded with support and helpful suggestions.  Choose the person who is likely to support your efforts the most, rather than a person who will express disapproval, criticize you and say I told you so

Motivation is what propels you forward. If becoming pregnant and having your own baby is the paramount issue in your life, then you have a motivator that is easy to visualize. You have probably thought and talked of little else lately, so it’s fresh.  Write down everything about pregnancy and motherhood that you daydream about, starting with the line on the pregnancy-test stick, to going to the playground with a group of friendly mothers, all with your babies in strollers. Your list may include:

  • Joy of telling my husband “we are pregnant;”
  • Feeling the physical signs of pregnancy;
  • Having a pregnant belly;
  • Picking baby names;
  • Shopping for cute baby clothes…and so on.

Next to each point, put a check mark if it is motivational or an X for something that won’t motivate you to work a bit harder on self-care.  If having a baby is your most important aim right now, use these motivators when reaching for a pint of ice cream, a cigarette, or a gin and tonic.

Just talking about making changes is not enough; it means nothing without follow-through. It’s one thing to identify what you need to do, another to honestly assess where you are falling short and still another to finding that which will prompt action on your part. The last piece of the puzzle is taking action, or following through on your commitment. This is where most people begin to feel like it’s all too much work. 

With infertility, you could be on this self-improvement course for months or years without yet achieving your ultimate goal: the baby.  Having only a long-term reward in sight, no matter how important, can’t always keep you going, especially when you may also be experiencing other challenges in your personal, social and work life.  Several short and medium-term rewards will work better to motivate you; so build them in to your scheme every few weeks.  Focus on one area for a while, to the point that you are satisfied that you have embedded a new habit. Reap a reward, and then add the next goal.

Ask for help. Do not just nominate a person to support you, putting the responsibility for action elsewhere, rather than on yourself. No one wants to be put in the position of nagging you and earning your resentment.  If you feel unable to do it on your own, consider partnering up with another woman who is also trying to conceive.  Alternatively, if there is an area of self-care that you and your partner both need to work on; such as weight loss, or giving up caffeine, you could have it easier if you both tackle it at the same time.  Agreeing to hold each other accountable for your commitments is a good way of keeping honest.

With the amount of hard work it takes to improve our habits and increase our self-care, it would be a shame not to sustain the positive results. In coaching clients, I have seen people who think that once they have heard something, they are capable of putting it into action.  However, hearing and learning are two distinctly different things.  You need to understand why you weren’t taking care of yourself before.  You must be equipped with the tools to counteract temptation and subconscious habits. You need to develop trust – a belief that you are deserving of TLC. This takes time to embed.

Every once in a while take a stock-check of your emotional and physical health, taking care to note where they may have declined. Go back to the beginning by reflecting on your attitude, behaviour and effort.  You will have already learned the methods needed for improvement, so a reminder will set you back on a healthy path. Use positive affirmations such as EFT techniques to embed the new learning. Why? Because you’re worth it.

Lisa Marsh is a fertility coach, working with individuals and couples to enhance their chances of conception, reduce stress and carry a healthy pregnancy among other things.  She has a fertility blog http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com, coaches in person in North London, and by phone in the UK and internationally.  You can contact Lisa for coaching on lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk .  You can follow Lisa on Twitter @yourgreatlife to get great Fertility Support and Miscarriage Support tips, as well as links to news, her articles and connect with others in the IF community.

Diary of trying for a baby and eventally having a baby

13th September 2005 Miscarriage @ 6-7 weeks (First) 5th July 2006 Miscarriage @ 12 week went for 12 week scan told called a blighted ovum there was a sac and no baby but the sac was still producing the pregnancy hormones (Second) 9th November 2006 1st appointment at hospital- history 13th November 1st 2006 blood test x7 Inc rubella test @ day 3-5 plus sperm analysis  

December 6th 2006 2nd blood test @ 27 days 

December 2006 18th  Internal scan all ok,  

4th January 07 2nd consultation said it’s not ploy cystic ovaries and that, send us for chromosome tests and said about having scan to check my fallopian tubes appointment never came through and I never chased as I do seem to ovulated as have fallen pregnant before .all tests have come back normal. 

8th March 2007 all test have come back normal, now prescribed clomid to take on day 2 of my cycle 

31 March 2007 pregnant again 3 time lucky 

30 May 2007 went for 8 weeks scan baby only 2.3 mm and no heartbeat told to come back 06 May 2007 started to bleed slightly, called hospital told to wait!! 

08 June 2007 another internal scan baby now 6mm still no heartbeat advised to wait a week again. They say it’s suspicious as baby grown, don’t know how has grown as no heartbeat detected. 

08 June 2007 Miscarriage @ 10 weeks Same day very bad pains and bleeding later on in evening lost a big clot so have miscarried again at 10 weeks. (Third)  

13 June 2007 another internal scan to check everything came out, and everything has so I don’t need to have a D & C. 

15 June 2007, another appointment to see Consultant, got questions to ask don’t seem to have trouble falling there must be something else going on have read about this condition called ,Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). A couple of blood test would rule this out, and will ask about embryo screening is suitable. Ran these tests all normal again. 

25 July 2007 saw dr. again said that the tests for asp came back normal and that he cannot find anything wrong! He has put me on clomid for another two months. I was supposed to have another scan but he had not made arrangements for that so will have to have in few weeks to rule out or diagnose poly cystic ovaries again! Asked for test for thyroid and blood sugar. Will next see him 25 October unless I fall pregnant in between, and if I do need to call up straight away! He said would treat me differently next time, I will definitely push for blood tests next time. 

18 October 2007 another scan to check for poly cystic ovaries, I was supposed to have this re checked 4 months ago; I am starting to get really annoyed. Cont.- saw consultant and was too upset to ask about the embryo screening, asked for blood test for Antiphospholipid (test came back ok) syndrome. Want to see me in 6 weeks to have a scan again for poly cystic ovaries really confused don’t have a clue why he doing that again when he ruled it out months ago. 

I will be seeing Dr a again, in 3 months time, let’s see was he says or does this time, I am staring to lose confidence in them at the hospital 

I have just read every something on the internet that said with every miscarriage chances of a successful pregnancy go down with 3 miscarriages go down to 60%. 25 October 2007 saw Dr a again told him I was a bit fed up, he said that understandable. Has requested I have a laparoscopy to see what going on and if need be drain my ovaries. Won’t bill until January time. And just realised have no follow up appointment. No more medication given so will just have to wait until the operation. 

3rd January 2008 had laparoscopy and they drilled my ovaries and checked my fallopian tubes, (was very painful on the night I had it done) the following days then started to feel a bit better until it got infected., was given another course of anti bionics, but 2 day after needed stronger ones. My ovaries were poly cystic, but have sorted that out, hopefully. Has prescribed 2 months of Clomid.    Feb. 2008 still not had period yet done 3 test all negative, but boobs feel bigger, will probably come on in next few days I really hope I do fall pregnant soon think Mike and I would be good parents.  

05 February 2008 came on, and on day 2 started to take clomid again. 

29th February been feeling ill all week migraine and or sickness and today upset stomach, been hoping because I am pregnant but probably just due on. Going to have this every month. 

5 march 2008 came on! so not preg, 2nd lot of clomid, finger crosses for this, month. Have good new mike and I are now engaged. 

15 then 22 May now 29 2008, 3rd time they have changed it!!  To see doc A again, it’s so far away, thought I may have had an appointment sooner, but I guess he feels I will fall pregnant in mean time. 

 29th may went to see doc a again now given me another drug similar to clomid called  letrozole that is not licence as a fertility drug which is really scary.. But seem to only be a problem if taken when pregnant not before, as does not stay in body long and it’s a steroid… Scary stuff  Next appoint been sent through 4th sept then changed again already too  11 th September!! Let’s see if they change it again. And guess what yet another letter they have cancelled it again now 18th sept getting stupid now, unless I fall pregnant between then o=and now I will not be happy as it will be13 2-3 months without any treatment. 

July 22 2008 have been on first course of Letrozole and still not come on, on 42 days now, I have done a pregnant test and not pregnant. Though the tablets were supposed to make me more regular, but did the ovulation test and they came up negative so looks like I did not ovulate this month. Had second course cycle getting longer not good not at 47 day 

4 sept saw doc a little bit worried why my cycle are so long especially when on those tablets going to sent me for another scan on 2nd and follow up appointment on 9th October 2008 to see what is going o and whether pco have come back. 

2nd October had scan and poly cystic ovaries is back that if it every went away going back to see doc a next week  

9th October 2008 dr given me metformin and letrozole again double the dose , the tab make me feel ill, the met are also an appetite suppressant great 

Wrote to dr as losing weight now under 6 stone, have brought forward the hospital appointment to 22 Jan 09 which is good. Told him I have taken my self off the tablets now.( mike having problems happened a few time  think it’s the stress so let’s see what he does next) 

220109 referral for ivf. Was really shocked did not think they would offer that yet. Think I need to put to weight, I weight 6 stone 4f 11 think I need to be at least 7 stone. Over-wise they may refuse to do ivf. Do not want to delay any longer. Both have to go for blood test. 

25/01/09 blood tests mike hep bcore antibody and hiv antibodyMe same hep bcore antibody and hiv antibody and fsh lh and oestradiol 

01/04/09 Went for first appointment up BARTS in London, mike sperm count down so have to go back on, did Rubella test which should have been done at Southend hospital 2/5 years ago!! And been told been put on waiting list 1-4 months! Want to start now really fed up with waiting. May have to do icis as low sperm count 

07/04/09 re do sperm test, results back and all ok 

15/05/2009 shock horror ect I am pregnant without treatment, called Barts but they said as I have not started I  there not responsible for my care and told me to go to gp asap to get some progesterone 

15/05/2009 when to doc refused to give me progesterone, sent me around to see nurses who were annoyed that doc p had sent me around there… Told me to see midwife next Wednesday 

20/05/2009 saw midwife was really nice and said may be if you see another doctors he may prescribe progesterone, so saw another doc and he refused as well, so annoyed I could cry. He has fax my original doc dr A and asked him to contact me, we wait and see; (by the time I get a prescription it will be too late thanks NHS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!!!!) 

22/05/2009 dr A prescribed the progesterone yippee told too take 2 every day u to 14 weeks. 

10/05/2009 first scan 8 weeks and 1 day baby 17 mm heart beat 181bpm
10/07/2009 12 week plus 3 days nt scan. Heartbeat 158bpm. Belly at 12 weeks and 2 days 

The NT scan showed a very increased fold which could indicate down, so referred to kings on Monday 

13/07/09 they did another scan baby and fold had grown 1 in 5 chances of downs. Had cvs sampling down were they take some of the baby placenta, really hurt. Have to wait up to 3 weeks for results. 

17/07/2009 first lot of tests to rule out in rule out down triomsy 13 and 18, going to check for more condition wait again. 

31/07/2009 brought a heart beat monitor so I can hear baby’s heart beat. 

03/08/2009 2nd lot of results in and all ok for what they tested for. Yeah can believe it. 

04/08/2009  now weigh 6, stone 12 so put on 8lbs already still don’t feel pregnant boobs are bit bigger and tummy pocking out a bit. 

07/09/09 kings again heart scan seems to be ok and baby growing as it should not she on length but weight is 15 oz nearly 1lb, got to go back in 4 weeks to check growth, been given 10 – 15 % chance something is wrong but will not know until baby is born, they’re going to test for one more condition but will not tell us what it is because we would find out the sex if I then came how and goggled it! Not sure how long I have to wait, here another picture.  

23/09/2009 had pre term scan and uses what everything ok. Cervix 31mm which is great anything fewer than 15mm would mean high risk of prem birth. Also blood pressure risk also ok.  

05/10/2009 hospital again baby grown they say bigger than average at 2lbs 1 oz already. Ouch, said slightly more amniotic fluid, and said the condition they were testing fr is Noonan’s but this affect both sex so a little confused, as he said last time that he would not tell us the condition as we would then know the sex of baby.    

20/10/2009 called kings to chase results of the above test, they said they have cancelled the request for the test as felt baby does not have that condition. Would have been nice to have been told 

26/10/2009 glucose test all ok yippee, made me feel so sick 

27/10/2009  28 week scan all ok say baby is now 3lbs 3 oz, still say rather large for dates. Still say something may be wrong so no update yet, still have to wait until baby is born.  

18/11/2009 fundal height measures at 32 cm= 32 weeks and iam 31 weeks and 1 day so slightly bigger than I should be. (37 inc belly measurements.)Picture of my belly at 30 weeks pregnant. I weigh 8stone now, so put on 1 stone and 10oz 

2/11/2009   32 weeks scan up to kings again. Baby now 4lbs and 10oz. 

09/12/2009 when to see consultant said may not be able to have epidural because of nf so shocked said only way would be to have MRI scan, he will look into whether it’s safe to have when you’re pregnant. 

18/12/09 scan and consultant. Baby now 6lbs and 6 oz they concerned so big so re doing that horrid sugar test asap. Recon at this rate will be 8/9 lbs 

22/12/2009 mri scan to see if any lumps in spine so I can have epidural if I need it. Had scan got to wait for results, was scary so confined. Belly at 36 weeks. Then few hours later had bleeding so went into hospital.Dr R actually came to see me!! Talk about concerns may be having c section at 39 weeks! Which would make it 12 Jan time? 

23/12/2009 sugar test again and midwife all ok 

08/01/10 scan and consultant will be 38 weeks plus 3days. Baby estimated weight is 7lbs 7oz. Said best to try for normal birth and they will monitor baby and me closely, if not had by due date will be induced on 20th at 8am 

19/01/2010 baby due. Called hospital at said to wait so called back 2 hours later as in so much pain, told to wait again and on 3rd call they told me to come in. I was examined by one midwife who said I was sonly 1cm dilated and said I would have to go home! Told her there is no way I can go home as I was in so much pain, she got a 2nd opinion and I was in fact 8cm dilated!!!! There was no time for pain relief just gas and air and baby Charlie born on due date at 5.11pm weight 8lb 10oz. and all seems ok. 

Coping on your Fertility Journey

Fertility problems are 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.

Mind/body techniques can be really helpful when dealing with the stress Fertility issues can bring. Meditating is great because it brings stillness to the mind relieving it of all the clutter that we tend to live with on a day-to-day basis. Regularly meditating can help to reduce that clutter at other times. If you are someone who finds meditating difficult listening to a CD of guided meditation can be helpful to start with. It’s a question of finding what works best for you.

Practicing being mindful during day-to-day tasks is also a helpful way to reduce stress. For example being mindful whilst eating means that you smell the food. Look at the colour. Be aware of the texture in your mouth. Really taste it as you chew. Take your time. You can apply this mindfulness to anything; just make sure you are using all your senses to do it.

Of course Fertility Solutions can help too. Using Theta Healing it is possible to reduce stress levels and using the Fertility Solutions Programme means you will not only reduce your stress levels but also give yourself the best chance of conceiving be it naturally or with medical intervention.

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

New Blogger

I am delighted to be accepted as a guest blogger on this site and I thought I would start by telling you a little about myself and what’s going on at present.

My name is Sarah and I have been married to my amazing husband for four years now. I turn 30 next week and he is in his late 30’s and we have been trying to conceive for about three years now.

I always thought that I would have fertility issues as I have had irregular periods before and after coming off birth control. When I say irregular, I am talking about only one or two periods a year.

About 2 years ago we decided to get medical help and I was referred to a specialist who prescribed good old Clomid. 50mg did not work but my first dose of 100mg resulted in a pregnancy around new years last year. It sadly ended in a miscarriage at the beginning of February.

I had to wait to be referred back to the hospital and now I am back on Clomid. Suffice to say, the last couple of years have been a bit of emotional roller-coaster and I never know how I am going to feel from one day to another. I am also trying to lose weight at the moment just in case I have to go for IVF. I currently have a BMI of 31 and I need to get it down to 29. I have lost about a stone and a half but I have kind of reached a plateau at the moment and can’t seem to budge my weight.
So where has that left me now?

I have so far had two more cycles on medication. One I ovulated but did not get pregnant, the second one I did not ovulate. The last time I went to see the specialist he prescribed me 100mg Clomifene (the generic form of Clomid) and this is the unsuccessful cycle on the same strength. I know both drugs are the same. However, I am going to ask my doc if he could prescribe the brand Clomid for me as opposed to Clomifene. I am not being too anal about it. It is just that you only get so many shots with Clomid and I do not want to waste them on this generic stuff if it is not going to work!

I have one sneaky lot of actual brand clomid left over from a previous doc’s appointment. So I am giving my body a break for a couple of weeks just to check I haven’t ovulated late. I am going to start Provera on about 9th Oct and Clomid on about 19th Oct and then hopefully ovulate at the end of Oct/Beginning of Nov…. In the mean time, I will go to docs and see if he’ll prescribe Clomid instead of Clomifene.

I also want to align my cycle with the moon cycle. I am at complete opposites at the moment, and would like CD14 to align with a full moon and CD1 to align with the new moon.

Please do not hesitate to ask me anything about anything I have blogged about.. Whether it is irregular periods, provera, clomid, even NHS procedure. I am becoming quite an expert on it (lol.)

I also chart and if you are interested in looking at my latest charts, you can do so at: http://forums.ovusoft.com/chart.asp?id=Freespirit

NEW Zestica Fertility Friendly Personal Lubricant

There is a great new lube for couples trying to conceive that has been show to not impede sperm. Many popular sexual lubricants can be harmful to sperm.

The new lubricant has been brought to the fertility market by a british company Burdica.

Click here for more info on Zestica fertility Lubricant

Trying to conceive tips from The Great Sperm Race show

I watched the show on Monday with my dh and made notes:

Here are some of the TTC tips for helping the sperm on their way that I wrote down. If you have any more please leave them in comments for us.

1) Have sex about every 2-3 days. there is no advantage to saving your sperm up. Fresh sperm are better than old sperm.

2) Avoid sperm hostile lubricants. The sperm can not swim as easily through them and may get stuck. Even saliva can be hostile to sperm.

3) Enjoying sex is important for both partners and may increase the chances of conception

4) When a man is highly aroused he ejaculates more sperm, so it is important to have ‘gourmet sex’ rather than just going through the motions.

5) Female orgasm is also though to be important and increases the chances of conception. It may work by altering the ph in the vagina to be more sperm friendly, and also by contractions that help the sperm on their way. Another older theory, and actually my favourite, is that after orgasm the female usually falls asleep, meaning that she stays horizontal and this may make the journey easier for the sperm.

6) Cervical mucus (CM) is very important as it allows the sperm to swim up into the cervix. For this the mucus needs to be stringy and of ‘egg white consistency’. This is what is known as fertile cervical mucus.

I hope you find these tips helpful.

If you missed the show it is worth watching on your computer-link in previous post.

By the way one of the shows narrators  Dr Joanna Ellington is a sperm physiologist. She with a colleague invented a product called Pre-Seed which is sperm friendly lubricant and also mimics fertile cervical mucus. Find out more about Pre-Seed here

Click here to buy Pre-Seed

Instead Soft Cups-can they help you to conceive ?

One of my ttc friends has just tried using these to help her conceive. Idea is that the instead cup helps to hold sperm close to the cervix. She inserted the cup immediately after intercourse (while she was still lying down in fact-sounds a wee bit tricky to me but I’m willing to try anything once)

She has been using the instead cups for her periods so is pretty adept at using them. This is the first month she has tried this so I will let you know how she gets on. She also inserted pre seed lubricant prior to sex .

She then inserted the instead cup  (while lying down !) using a small amount of pre-seed to lubricate the cup and stayed in bed. In the morning she removed instead cup. So cross fingers.

I will let you know how she gets on

 She has also heard of people also using them to actually insert the sperm ! Not really sure why though

Click here for more information or to buy instead cups in UK

p.s Just had a thought-if you have had a success using instead cups while trying to conceive please post your success story in comments

p.p.s While researching more information on the instead cup fertility as a fertility aid, I just found this interesting question and answer session about Instead Cups on the manufacturers website:

Question

 I am trying to get pregnant. Would inserting an INSTEAD® Softcup® Immediately after intercourse help trap sperm in place to help increase the probability that I get pregnant?

Answer

INSTEAD, Inc. has not studied the post-intercourse placement of an INSTEAD® Softcup® as a method to help improve the probability of conception. The use of the Softcup® as a pregnancy aid has not been cleared by the FDA.

Click here to visit the Instead cups question and answer session-the trying to conceive question is at the bottom of the page

More about ‘The Great Sperm Race’ C4

Tune in on 16th February on Channel 4 to see Pre-Seed’s inventor Dr. E as she helps narrate this exciting show.

It’s the most extreme race on earth – a contest with 250 million competitors, only one winner and relentless obstacles thrown in for good measure.

Click here for more information about The Great Sperm Race

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.

Putting the fun back into Trying to Conceive

Successful conception generally involves sex although not always . If you are struggling to keep the fun in trying to conceive or just need a little boost to get you going, then have you thought about using adult sex toys and /or marital aids to liven things up a bit.

 Everyones sex life hits a rut at some time or other, and if it is taking you longer than you had hoped to conceive, this can sometimes lead to added stress and pressure around sex.

Tips to keep it fun

1) Keep it relaxed-maybe have a date,  cook a meal together beforehand or watch a romantic or erotic film together

2) Relax before hand-wind down with a hot bath, scented candles maybe and /or a glass of wine

 3) Go to bed early-if you are rarely in bed before 11pm you are probably both too tired to make the effort & have rewarding sex

 4) Consider buying some adult erotica to read in bed to get you in the mood-you could read it together or have one each. Some Borders book shops now have an adult erotica section.

5) Use a lubricant for foreplay and penetrative sex if dryness is a problem (which it can be for many women) When trying to conceive we recomend Pre-Seed sperm friendly lubricant as this is the only lubricant clinically proven not to harm sperm or impair their motility. Pre-Seed works by mimicing cervical mucus.

6) Consider the use of sex toys or marital aids to increase the pleasure & arousal for both partners. There are now quite an extensive choice of sex toys for both men and women to use together. Studies have shown that female orgasm may in fact increase the chances of the women conceiving, as well as increasing her enjoyment of sex. Male orgasm is of course pretty crucial to succesful conception.

 Click here to check out a range of sex toys and marital aids all supplied fast and discretely

Click here to find out more about Pre-Seed sperm friendly lubricant

Some pitfalls of being an older mother

Just read an interesting article online at the Times.

As an older mother myself I can relate to many of the issues they raise in the article. My partner & I waited 10 years after we married before trying for a baby as we had busy careers and lives and the time did not seem right. I realise now this was probably foolish.

When we had our first baby my husbands parents who lived locally were in their late 70’s, and so less able to help than if they had been in their 60’s. Luckily we had a neighbour who was fantastic

As an older pregnant women I ended up having an amniocentesis in my second pregnancy, which I found quite stressful although thankfully everything was ok.

I also found I was often the oldest mum in the antenatal clinic and the oldest mum at the toddler group. Now I am one of the oldest mums in the playground !  

On the plus side it does keep you young, as many of my friends are younger than myself however if I knew then what I know now I would probably have started younger.

Here is an extract fromn the article:

The risks of trying to conceive a baby later in life, amid statistics about fertility plummeting with age and the relentless tick of the biological clock often hit the headlines.

Last week Maja Butscher made medical history when she was born after the world’s first successful ovary transplant. Her mother, 39-year-old Susanne, who had suffered early menopause, became pregnant a year after being given an ovary from her twin sister in a pioneering new procedure.

But while the number of women giving birth in their late thirties and forties has doubled in the past decade, there is little focus on the psychological and physical challenges of late motherhood. No matter how much they want it, pregnancy and the turmoil of bringing up a baby can still come as a huge shock.

Two years ago, 40,659 mothers in England and Wales aged 35 and over gave birth, compared with 19,468 in 1996. Of the 669,601 babies born in 2006, 22,512 were born to mothers aged 40 and over, according to the Office for National Statistics. A further 1,064 mothers aged 45 to 49 gave birth to 1,123 children, and 55 women aged 50 and over had 71 children.

Click here to read the full article

New UK research on possible effects of small amounts of alcohol consumed during pregnancy

This surprising article below was from yesterdays Telegraph. Here is an extract from the article below. The Department of Health last year advised women trying to conceive or who are pregnant that they should avoid alcohol completely, so this new research finding is interesting in the light of this.

Drinking a small glass of wine a week during pregnancy does not harm children and may actually improve their behaviour and vocabulary, British scientists have found.

Conflicting guidance has been issued by different health agencies to women about whether it is safe to drink small quantities of alcohol during pregnancy.

There has been little evidence of harm to the unborn child of drinking small amounts, but many experts feel this cannot be proven conclusively so it is better to be ‘safe than sorry’ and not drink at all.

Researchers at University College London studied data from 12,500 three-year-old children, looking at their mother’s drinking patterns during pregnancy and assessment of the behavioural and mental capacity for thinking and learning.

They found that children born to women who said they drank ‘a glass of wine’ very occasionally or up to two drinks once a week throughout pregnancy were less likely to have conduct problems, hyperactivity and emotional problems than children of abstainers.

Click here to read the full story online

The research is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Sex in marriage and sexless marriages

Just read this really fascinating article online in the Times about speculation as to why Guy Ritchie and Madonna have split up. 

It seems for many of us, our modern lifestyles may be burning us out, and leading to a lack of action in the bedroom for many couples. It can even affect celebrities!

There is also a book recomendation for spicing up your love life and keeping sex going. I recommend reading the whole article (link below). When we are trying to conceive the sex is obviously crucial.

I believe an active & fulfilling sex life is very important to keep a couple close, especially when trying to conceive. In my opinion sex should be fun and it is important to keep it such.  As I often say to my female friends ‘If you don’t use it you lose it’

Here is an extract from the article

In my 20-year experience as a psychologist, life coach and sex expert, I have found that people within a relationship invariably use sexual activity – and their sexual desire for their partner – as a way of measuring how much they care for each other. The bedroom becomes a litmus test, be it a battleground or an unspoken arena of seething resentment.

And with our increasingly frenetic modern lifestyles – our obsessions such as exercise, long working hours, material success and lots of unhealthy socialising – opportunities for resentments to fester abound. At some level our sexual feelings are intact (which is why we get so hung-up, hurt, and bitter over a lack of sex) and yet we have no sexual energy left for our partners.

For my new book, Sizzling Sex, I spent three years gathering information from more than 400 people and what I found was astounding: 90 per cent won’t have tried anything new sexually – not even the tiniest little thing – since about their first anniversary. Plus, once they are past the two-year mark, they are unlikely to ever try anything new.

 Click here to read the full article

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

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

What is Pre-Seed ?

Pre-Seed is a unique sperm friendly personal lubricant developed in the USA for use while trying to conceive. Pre-Seed lubricant was invented by Dr Joanna Ellington who is an internationally recognized scientist with over 75 publications.

Pre-Seed is the first ‘fertility friendly’ intimate moisturiser that mimcs your bodies natural secretions to relieve vaginal dryness while providing anoptimal sperm enviroment

Pre-Seed is the right solution for vaginal dryness when trying to conceive:

  • PreSeed is ph balanced to match fertile cervical mucus
  • the patented formula does not harm sperm
  • contains arabinogalactan for antioxidant support
  • an internal application of Pre-Seed coats the vagina and cervix
  • Pre-Seed has been clinically tested

Pre-Seed has been mentioned in two fertility books-see below for quotes:

“The bad news is that virtually all lubricants…can kill sperm. Until recently, there really wasn’t a viable option…Luckily, though, a revolutionary new vaginal moisturizer has been developed… It is called Pre~Seed…”
– Toni Weschler in International Bestseller “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”.

“Many women have avoided popular lubricants because they’ve been shown to interfere with normal sperm function. There is at least one product called Pre~Seed, that won’t reduce fertility.”
– Dr. Robert Greene in “Perfect Hormone Balance for Fertility”, 2008

Click here for more information on Pre-Seed

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.

Click here for more information on home FSH tests 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

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?

 

 

How much sex is enough sex when your trying to conceive, & when am I most fertile ?

Whenever I am trying to conceive I try and make sure we have lots of sex just before , during and after ovulation. Generally this has meant we have unprotected sex 2-3 times over a 3 day period in order to maximise our chances of conceiving.  I read that it is best to have some sperm waiting for the egg as it is released, which is why we do it just before ovulation, as well as during and after.

 I am lucky in that for most of my life I have had a fairly regular cycle of about 27-28 days and find it easy to predict when I will ovulate. This is not as easy if your cycle is erratic.

On a very regular cycle you usually ovulate about 14 days before your period is due 

ie

 if your cycle is 28 days long you ovulate around day 14

if your cycle is a very regular 34 days you ovulate around day 20

if your cycle is a very regular 24 days long you ovulate around day 10

You get the general point

 Unfortunately many of us have erratic cycles & lifestyles ! My cycle has been different at different stages of my life.

In my twenties when I was young and carefree, it was a very regular 27-28 days every month. In my early thirties (before kids) it went down to a very short but thankfully regular 24 days. It was as if my body was trying to increase the chances of me conceiving. Three pregnancies later and in my forties, my cycle is now erratic & anything between 24 days and 34 days. I don’t even bother to write it down any more. It is so unpredicable now.

The Sex Education Show-did you see last Tuesdays ?

Episode 4

First shown on 30th Sep 2008, Channel 4.

Anna has a fertility test

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

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

Meet the Babymaker

This is an old article I read online last year, but a very good one well worth reading, and also a very worthy cause whose fund raising efforts have now saved the baby unit.

 Meet the Baby-Maker-The Times 3rd November 2007

‘Professor Lesley Regan who is a consultant obstetrician and the head of the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic (RMC) at St Mary’s Hospital, in Paddington, West London.

Who is she?

Professor Lesley Regan is a consultant obstetrician and the head of the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic (RMC) at St Mary’s Hospital, in Paddington, West London.

She is also the first woman to hold a chair in obstetrics and gynaecology in the UK.

She has written several books on pregnancy and miscarriage including Your Pregnancy Week by Week, and Miscarriage: What Every Woman Needs to Know.

The RMC is the largest clinic of its kind in the world and it deals with more than 1,000 new cases each year, with a success rate of 80 per cent.

Click here to read the full story

 Click here to read more about the Recurrent Miscarriage Units future plans

Instead Cups-have you heard of them before ?

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test With Conception Indicator

Clearblue has launched a new digital pregnancy test with a conception indicator showing how many weeks it is since conception. The test can also be used up to 4 days before your period is due. For most accuate resuts the first urine of the day should be used. easy to read results appear in the window within 1-3 minutes.

Click here for more info or to buy Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception Indicator

Information from the manufacturer below

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception Indicator is a unique innovation in pregnancy testing – the only test that answers the first two questions women ask when they think they might be pregnant. Am I pregnant? And when did I conceive?

It provides an unmistakably clear result in words – ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’. And if the result is ‘Pregnant’ it also provides the additional benefit of displaying how many weeks ago you conceived – ‘1-2’, ‘2-3’ or 3+’.

The new test is easy to use, and the ‘Pregnant’/’Not Pregnant’ result is over 99% accurate when used from the day your period is due. It provides reassurance throughout the testing process by displaying clear symbols on the digital Display, showing test progression and any error messages.

Click here to see the full Clearblue range of home pregnancy tests, ovulation tests & the fertility monitor

More ultra early pregnancy tests are available from Access Diagnostics UK fertility site

Why is Folic Acid Important When Trying To Conceive ?

Folic acid supplementation is very important in early pregnancy & when trying to conceive
Folic acid( a B vitamin) is the only vitamin supplement that is recommended to be taken before pregnancy for women who are otherwise eating a balanced diet.

Folic acid is needed for the development of healthy red blood cells. An adequate intake of folic acid in the mother also decreases the chance of her baby being born with a defect of the neural tube, where the baby’s brain and spinal cord are formed. One well known example of a neural tube defect is spina bifida, where an area of spinal cord is not properly enclosed. This can cause problems such as paralysis of the legs and lack of control of bladder and bowels. The baby’s neural tube is completely formed by the fourth week of pregnancy – when many women have not even realised they are pregnant.

It is therefore important to start taking folic acid supplements while preparing for pregnancy or as soon as you realise that you are pregnant. 400 micrograms (mcg) is the recommended daily dose, which is over and above the usual recommended dietary intake of 200 micrograms. Folic acid occurs naturally in fresh dark green vegetables such as broccoli, peas, green beans and spinach. Many breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid and it is also found in wholemeal bread. You should continue to take folic acid tablets for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy even if you eat a good diet.

A higher dose of folic acid is recommended for some women. It is very important that women who have previously had a baby with a neural tube defect, or who have epilepsy or diabetes, consult a GP about folic acid supplementation before trying to conceive.

Click here to see a range of leading brands supplements all containing the recomended dose of folic acid and ideal when trying to conceive