Ovulation; Do you really know what happens?

Ovulation:  By now, we have become familiar with AF, however do most of us really know what happens during ovulation?

When an egg matures and is released from the ovary, it travels down the Fallopian tubes and is ready to be fertilized. The uterine lining becomes thicker in preparation for egg fertilization and implantation if fertilized. If the egg does not become fertilized/conception does not occur, the uterine lining will shed (menstruation).

Factors Affecting Ovulation: 

  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Health & Wellness
  • Disruption to a woman’s normal routine

Facts about Ovulation:

  • Generally only one egg is released per cycle.
  • The egg lives approximately 12-24 hours after being released.
  • Women are born with millions of eggs; that number decreases as they age.
  • An egg that is unfertilized will disintegrate and be shed with the lining during menstruation.
  • Some women experience minor pain or discomfort when ovulating, some experience light spotting.

Some signs of ovulation:

Basal Body Temperature– a woman’s body temperature will rise sharply when her body has released an egg. The rise in body temperature is to stimulate progesterone. Charting your basal body temperature for a couple of months prior to TTC will get you familiar with your monthly cycle.

Cervical Mucus – the consistency, coloring and amount of the cervical mucus changes closer to a woman’s most fertile timeframe. This is where the term “egg whites” comes into play. The mucus is said to resemble the consistency and coloring of egg whites when you are most fertile.

Middle Pain– Many women may feel a slight twinge or discomfort in their lower abdomen, concentrated on one side when they ovulate.

Vitamins for Trying to Conceive

Most of us have been taking vitamins since our early childhood. We take extra supplements depending on if our bodies need more of one or another vitamin; we take vitamins based on the needs of our ages in life, vitamins when trying to conceive, prenatal vitamins, etc.

In order for our reproductive systems to be at optimal performance, taking additional vitamin supplements may help our chances for getting pregnant. Paired with diet and exercise, you and your partner should look into taking the below vitamins regularly at least 6 months prior to pregnancy (as always check with your doctor before taking any additional vitamins or minerals).

  • Vitamin A- hormonal balance and may help increase sperm production
  • Vitamin C- may help with sperm motility and ovulation
  • Vitamin E- may help make sperm more fertility
  • Folic Acid- protects from neural tube birth defects

Where to find these vitamins naturally:

Vitamin A:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Paprika, Cayenne Pepper
  • Dark, Leafy Greens
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lettuce

Vitamin C:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Oranges, Clementines
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Broccoli
  • Papayas
  • Strawberries

Vitamin E:

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Mango

Folic acid:

  • Asparagus
  • Black Beans
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Orange Juice

Resources:

“Fertility Diet”; Jorge Chavarro, Walter C. Willett and Patrick J. Skerrett; 2007

September is PCOS Awareness Month

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a health problem that affects more than 5 million women across the globe.

It affects a woman’s health in many ways

*Her menstruation cycle

*Hormones

*Ability to have children

*Heart and blood vessels

*Her ability to have children

Although the cause of PCOS is still unknown; many studies have linked it to genetics. Hormones (body makes more androgen than normal) and insulin (too much in the body) have also been linked to PCOS.

What are the main symptoms of PCOS?

  • -Infertility (PCOS is a common cause)
  • -Weight Gain
  • -Ovarian Cysts
  • -Irregular, infrequent periods
  • -Depression
  • -Acne or oily skin
  • -Pelvic Pain

What are the risks associated with PCOS?

  • -Diabetes
  • -Heart Disease
  • -Infertility

How Can I Manage/Treat PCOS?

There is no cure for PCOS, but there are lifestyle changes one can do to manage PCOS.

  • -Follow a healthy diet and exercise
  • -Doctors may prescribe BC pills to help regulate periods and reduce symptoms such as acne or facial hair
  • -Doctors may prescribe fertility medicines if you are trying to conceive
  • -Diabetic medicine may be prescribed
  • -Not as common anymore is Ovarian Drilling

We wish you all the best on your path to conception!

Insurance vs. Infertility

Currently, there are 14 states that do reimbursement in some form or another for infertility treatments and that number will most likely dwindle over the next decade as healthcare laws change. If you happen to live in one of those 15 states, you may find over the course of your treatments, that this coverage is very partial and barely covers much of a patients expenses.

Although the description of a “patient”, coverage and limitations varies from state-to-state, below are some examples of what is/isn’t covered and what is/isn’t considered a patient:

-2 years of more of unexplained fertility, some were 5!

– Lifetime maximums at a low $15,000

-Limits pre-existing condition to 12 months

-No coverage for IVF in some of these states, some only 1 cycle of IVF

-Maximum amount of cycles limited to 4 or less

-Some states did have higher maximum lifetime payments and better coverage

Ultimately, the cost is a large issue for many trying to conceive. Infertility is a life crisis; despite this there is still little to no coverage. Not only is there a physical and emotional toll on those trying to conceive, there is a heavy financial burden. There are few alternatives to those who cannot financially afford fertility treatments.

The below link talks about different ways to finance fertility treatments.

http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-money/2010/12/27/financing-fertility-the-high-cost-of-bringing-home-baby/

Once you get the sperm donation, what is your method of insemination?

It is hard to miss all the controversy over the articles of sperm donation in the news this past week. If you happened to miss it, you can view the article here:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/09/06/inseminating-country/

The article questions the regulation standards of sperm donation. Regardless of what you think of this controversy, it had us thinking about what women/couples/partners do with the sperm sample when they have received it for insemination from the sperm bank.

The artificial insemination techniques one can do with sperm donation are:

  •  Intracervical Insemination (ICI)
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
  • Intrauterine Tuboperitoneal Insemination
  • Intratubal Insemination

*ICI is one of the more common procedures. The sperm is placed directly into the woman’s cervix, taking a high concentration of the sperm and placing it directly into it. This procedure is more popular due to it being non-invasive, considerably less expensive than other options and considered painless.

Alternative methods that can be done at home include:

The Turkey Baster Technique– using a turkey baster to deposit the semen just outside of the cervix. The woman will lie on her back trying to get an optimal position to maintain a pool of the semen on the cervix. The

 Cervical Caps– The cervical cap is loaded with sperm and placed inside on the cervix. The cap should remain close to the cervix for several hours.

Both of the above methods require the female to lie reclined and/or inactive for a period of time in hopes to keep the sperm close to the cervix.

What other at-home alternative methods have you tried?

**Please read out How It Works section regarding how FocusTouch can help you on your conception path.

Male Orgasm- Check, Female Orgasm- ???

While we all know that some sort of release of sperm during sex to create conception is necessary. I mean this step, is in fact essential for conc

eption. A male orgasm most of the time, needs to be achieved for ejaculation to occur and the sperm to be ejaculated into the vagina.

The female orgasm has remained a mystery for decades. Theories have developed through the years regarding it’s purpose, if any at all. Past theories have included:

-The female orgasm causes the cervix to contract. This contraction causes it to dip in and out of the vagina; creating an upward “suck” motion. Theory states that this “upward sucking” motion pulls in more of the sperm, increasing chances of conception. (Baker and Bellis Theory)

-The female orgasm evolved to create an intimate, strong bond between the two lovers. It is said to create feelings of intimacy and trust in the female towards her partner. This is part of a selection criteria theory on finding a partner to reproduce with.

-The “tired” theory. There is another theory out that believes when a woman achieves an orgasm, she becomes tired and needs to lie down. Most know that when they lie down the sperm is retained within the body much longer.

Whatever theory you believe/don’t believe sex should be a fun, loving experience on the path to baby-making. Yes, a female orgasm prior to intercourse can aid in lubrication, making the vaginal tract potentially more hospitable to the sperm, but it is not necessary since many women do not orgasm and still conceive.

We wish you the best on your path to conception.