Dr. Oz and the Fertility Crisis

Don’t forget to check out the Dr.Oz show today, 1/27/2012. The topic is The Fertility Crisis: When are we too old to have a baby?

http://www.doctoroz.com/newsletter/live-better-newsletter-january-27-2012

A women over 40 has a 2-4 % chance of natural conception a month and about 12,000 of the 1-2 Million eggs she was born with left. For a better chance of naturally conceiving it is best to plan ahead. Many women do have a healthy chance of pregnancy after 40 with the help of ART, such as ICI, IUI or IVF, however some women in their 40’s do end up conceiving naturally and have a successful pregnancy.

I know I will be tuning in to see how Dr.Oz and the team tackle this sensitive topic.

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The Pill and PCOS

While on the elliptical machine yesterday I encountered an article in the February issue of  Self on PCOS. This time the article was about the still unknown long-term effects of birth control and how it may hide the symptoms of PCOS. It really got me thinking how so many women my age have been on the pill for decades and really may not know if there are any fertility issues until we start trying albeit much later in life. For me, I was put on the pill at a very young age of 14 to regulate my cycle after having ovarian cysts removed, like the woman in the article.

The article goes on to state that over 3 million women are on the pill simply to regulate cycles and have been for years. The pill may mask symptoms of PCOS and one is encouraged to be screened early on, especially if having been placed on the pill in her early teens for ovarian cysts. Having a checkup with your doctor and being screened for PCOS early on can help with issues that may occur later on in life.

Their PCOS protection plan:

-Knowing your risk

-Identifying the signs

-Don’t delay

-Staying on the pill after diagnosis

Turkey Baster Method, ICI, Cervical Cap? Which method do you prefer?

There are many different artificial insemination techniques one can do with sperm donation. Some of those 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?

How The Stork™ works:

Upon receiving The Stork™ product, there are two clearly defined male and female parts of the package:

The male portion of the product includes a small cap that is integrated at the tip of a specially designed condom. During the act of intercourse, the cap collects the semen and then is removed and fitted onto the end of The Stork™, one simple step from collection to insertion.

The female portion of the product includes an applicator that is then inserted into the vaginal tract (tampon-like in delivery) until it rests against the cervix, placing the semen in close proximity to the woman’s cervical entrance. The cap can stay inside the woman’s body for three to five hours before being pulled out by a string, very similar to tampon removal.

Future technologies are also in-process for a delayed insemination option to support couples when ovulation timing and partner timing are not quite together.

Continue to augment your conception process by using The Stork™ without altering your daily routine.

Vitamins to Aid Ovulation

Folic Acid- women who regularly take folic acid are said to have less of risk for ovulation problems and egg production issues.  Lowers the risk for neural tube defects.

Vitamin B6– improves a woman’s chances for ovulation. This vitamin also is said to regulate a woman’s hormones.

Vitamin D– Low levels of vitamin D are said to cause problems with ovulation. Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption and regulation which may increase her odds of ovulation by helping with the development of her follicles.

Vitamin C– increase fertility in women who have luteal phase defects. This vitamin may increase hormone levels.

Iron– May be important in the maturing of the egg in preparation for healthy ovulation.

How to Use an Ovulation Predictor Kit

Ovulation predictor kits work by detecting the luteinizing hormone, more specifically the LH levels in your urine. Right before a woman ovulates there is a surge (increase) in the LH. The OPK detects this surge. Ovulation generally occurs within the next 36 hours after the LH surge.

OPK’s help you detect this surge.

There are a variety of different kits, do you research when selecting or maybe try out a few to pick one that is best for you. Some you pee on stinks and others use cups.

Tips:

  • Test early afternoon. It is recommended not to use your morning urine.
  • Test around the same time every day.
  • Once you detect your LH surge, begin having sex that day and for the next couple of days.
  • Result window (depending on test) should have a line the same color or darker than the control line.
  • Urine always has LH in it. The test may pick this up and show a faint line.
  • If you are in a fertility treatment, contact your physician regarding test usage and LH surge

*Use an OPK in addition to the Basal Body Temperature method*

Detecting your ovulation cycle

Menstrual Calendar:
Becoming aware of your menstrual cycle is the first step in using the calendar method. The average woman has a menstrual cycle between 28 to 32 days. Day 1 actually being the first day of your period. Approximately around days 7 to 21; ovulation occurs. Around day 28, the hormone levels in a woman’s body drop and the uterine lining starts to shed (actual shedding is the first day of your next cycle).
Women using the calendar method will track their menstrual cycles for at least 8 months prior to wanting to conceive. This method will take into account your first day of your last menstrual cycle, the average length of your cycle (generally not recommended for cycles less than 27 days) and the length of days past ovulation (luteal phase). This method can help determine trends and abnormalities in a woman’s monthly cycle.

Basal Body Temperature:
This method requires charting the woman’s basal body temperature over her cycle. There is a change in a woman’s BBT that will occur directly after ovulation and will continue to remain elevated until her next period. After a woman has charted her BBT for a few cycles, she can look through them to determine the pattern of her BBT when ovulation is expected/anticipated. The woman takes her temperature every morning using a basal thermometer (temperatures generally only escalate between 0.4 and 1 degree Fahrenheit when a woman ovulates). The woman will then record her temperature on a chart.

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

Cervix:
This method requires charting changes in a woman’s cervical mucus during her menstrual cycle. Directly after a woman’s period, a series of dry mucus days will occur. However, when an egg ripens the cervical mucus changes and may become yellow or white/cloudy and feel “sticky”. In general, a woman will have the most mucus right before ovulation in which the mucus becomes clear and feels “slippery” (commonly referred to as “egg whites”). These mucus days are considered a woman’s most fertile days. The mucus will then become considerably less and appear cloudy/feel sticky again after approximately 4 days and then again dry right before her period.

Ovulation Predictor Kits:
Ovulation predictor kits work by picking up on the LH or Luteinizing Hormone. This hormone is present in your urine and the amount of it will increase approximately 24 to 48 hours before ovulation. The LH surge is what causes ovulation to occur; this surge will release an egg from the follicle.

The Phases of Ovulation; what really happens?

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

During the first half of a woman’s cycle, the FSH or follicle stimulating hormone is produced. This hormone is what tells your body to begin the process of maturing the eggs for ovulation. The eggs that are maturing are contained within a follicle until they are ready for ovulation. While your eggs are maturing, the follicle continues to enlarge and produces estrogen while doing so.  The high levels of estrogen in your body are what cause the LH surge or the Luteinizing Hormone surge. This LH surge is what causes the matured egg to release from the follicle = ovulation.

The second half of a woman’s cycle is called the luteal phase. The remaining part of the follicle, after the egg has been released creates progesterone which will help to thicken the lining of the uterus for the egg to implant if conception occurs. If you become pregnant, the growing embryo delivers hcG to your body. If you do not become pregnant, the levels of progesterone and estrogen begin to drop; signaling to your body to shed the uterine lining resulting in menstruation. The luteal phase may last 12-14 days depending on the individual length of a woman’s cycle.

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.

The Stork™

Some of you may have noticed that we are no longer calling the product FocusTouch. We have decided to rename the product, The Stork™.

The new name will start to appear in postings, on our website and future marketing, as well as new logos.

The Stork™ is an effective medical device that has been used in the doctor’s office for decades with great success that will soon be available for use in the privacy of the home. Its driving features are how easy the technology is to use.

If the female is comfortable placing a Tampon and the male is comfortable using a Condom, this device will be a perfect aid to augment the couples’ conception path.

This medical technique, intracervical insemination, can now be optimized with this technology. This process and device enables the highly concentrated sperm to be placed and kept near the cervical os to optimize your chances of getting pregnant.

We look forward to helping you on your path to conception in 2012!