Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eating With Fertility in Mind

Everyone is aware of a good diet’s affect upon energy and health. Men and women feel better, are more energetic, and yes, more fertile when eating foods that are nutritious and vitamin packed. Certain foods (and drinks) are detrimental to viable sperm production in men and ovulation in women, so attention to particularly vitamin-rich and nutritious meal plans is essential to couples hoping to conceive.

Watching what you eat is vital for conception. Obesity has a negative effect upon fertility because of its adverse effects upon sex hormone secretion and metabolism. Obesity in women can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, a disorder that decreases regular ovulation and menstruation, and causes a woman’s body to release larger amounts of androgenic hormones (including higher testosterone). PCOS is a leading cause of infertility among women of reproductive age. Obesity is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction in men, as well as being proven to reduce sperm formation. Obesity is not the only reason to watch nutritional intake when trying to conceive. Researchers have proven the age-old myth of increased male potency from eating oysters. Oysters are advantageous to male fertility because they are abundant in the zinc men need to maintain high levels of semen and blood testosterone. Studies have shown that men should consume high amounts of zinc, calcium, and vitamins D and E, in order to have increased sperm motility and potency for impregnating their hopeful partners.

Many women are unhappy to learn of the adverse effects of alcohol and caffeine upon fertility. Research has shown that drinking any amount of alcohol when trying to conceive reduces a woman’s chances by up to 50 percent. Alcohol has shown to be a factor in many ovulatory dysfunctions as well as altering levels of estrogen in the body. For men, alcohol can cause sperm producing cells within the testicles to become ineffective or even perish. Caffeine’s effects are different for women and men; while bad for women’s fertility, it seems to have a positive effect on the motility, or movement of men’s sperm, especially when ingested in the hour immediately before making love.

Recent studies have shown that women should drink and eat soy products moderately when trying to conceive. While soy products have positive effects upon women in menopause or inhibiting growth of certain cancerous cells, in excess, soy has shown to be detrimental to conception. Other nuts and many legumes are extremely rich in the protein hopeful mothers need to be more fertile and come highly recommended for healthy snacking and eating options.

A healthy focus on diet and exercise are just two easy ways to increase a couple’s chances of conceiving. Talk to your physician today to receive more helpful hints.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of infertility treatment. For more information, please visit

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Personal Lubrication and Conception

A very popular television advertisement proudly proclaims: “Having a baby changes everything”. A truer statement has never been uttered, as the birth of a child is definitely one of the most amazing occurrences that life has to offer. The growth, development, responsibility, and awe that follows is nothing short of spectacular, though often frightening and exasperating as well. Sleep becomes a premium, as well as peace and quiet, but nothing in the world will ever replace the wonder a baby can provide. Birth is magical, but birth can never occur without the often misunderstood and quite complicated nexus of sperm and egg that is conception. Just the right conditions have to be present, and many couples become thwarted by this process, adding strain and stress to their relationships.

Stress, as we all know, affects not only our mental attitude, but also our bodies. In women, stress in their mind often manifests itself in their bodies as vaginal dryness, hindering both the desire to have sex and the ideal chemical situations for successful conception. Millions of couples each year turn to the personal lubrication market in their effort for more enjoyable intercourse, and among these couples are those who are also trying to conceive. Reading the labels to make sure the lubrications they choose are spermicide-free, couples feel safe to proceed, often looking at their calendars, checking their body temperatures, and amping up the romance, although achieving conception after failed attempts can often feel programmed or rudimentary, in efforts to conceive naturally. Could their choice of lubricant, though free of spermicide, actually be thwarting conception for other reasons of which they are not aware?

Fertility aside, the vulnerable mucous membranes of the vagina are very susceptible to irritation by preservatives and other ingredients often found in personal lubricants. Women feel protected by using preservative-free lubricants, but the slippery, gooey, viscosity lubricants provide, that is indeed part of their allure and a much-touted selling point, actually hinders the migration of the sperm to the cervical mucous where conception can take place; though the vagina might feel more hydrated and penetration is aided by this slipperiness, overhydration caused by lubrication can reduce sperm motility. Another detriment to the successful sperm migration to egg is the acidic environment created by the vaginal secretions at all times except just before ovulation, when the secretions and vaginal pH become more alkaline and advantageous for sperm survival. The advantageous pH needs to be between 7 and 8.5, and many personal lubricants actually have a pH as low as 3.5, resulting in a harmful and disadvantageous vaginal situation for sperm prosperity. Thankfully, there are several lubrication products (as well as common household products) that promote sperm migration and survival, so don’t dismay. These methods will be profiled in detail in a successive article.

Conception, though sometimes elusive, can be achieved with education, knowledge, and of course, perseverance, and all the work put in is duly rewarded when a successful pregnancy is attained. Conception-minded couples should talk to their physician to receive both encouragement and more information.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of infertility treatment. For more information, please visit

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Male Infertility Testing

The University of Virginia has been conducting research on the development of a post-vasectomy sterility test for men, and SpermCheck is one of the many products adapted from that technological research by John C. Herr, of UVA’s Center for Research in Contraceptive and Reproductive Health. The technology has been licensed and patented by the University of Virginia, and though many have attempted to create such a home test, SpermCheck stands out because it is the first to achieve FDA approval.

It is the result of years of clinical chemistry and scientific research according to Dr. Herr who collaborated with Dr. Stuart Howards and Charles Flickinger. The idea is similar to that of a home pregnancy test for women. SpermCheck is the first diagnostic home test with the ability to accurately detect low sperm count, largely targeting post vasectomy men. Previously, men were required to return to a physician or specialist after a vasectomy in order to confirm a drop in sperm count. With SpermCheck, these men will have the option of home testing to confirm sub-fertile sperm counts, saving time and money.

Out of the hundreds of thousands of men who undergo vasectomies, approximately one percent will experience recanalization. It is actually possible for the vas deferens to spontaneously heal, thus rendering the vasectomy ineffective. Though this is a real possibility, most men do not continue regular check-ups with a physician in order to prevent the risk of pregnancy especially because the risk of recanalization is much higher in the first month following the procedure. This is another useful application for SpermCheck, providing men with an easy, at home method of testing their sperm count in order monitor the risk of pregnancy.

Pure curiosity about male infertility is another important application for SpermCheck. For pre-marriage and fatherhood men, SpermCheck will provide a simple solution for analyzing their sperm count, establishing the future possibility of fathering children. This may help couples to make decisions about their future, bringing more awareness to the possibility of impotence. This kind of awareness can serve to reduce the psychological stress of male infertility, giving men an easy method of determining the possibility of fatherhood earlier in life.

The University of Virginia and John Herr are very excited to see 20 years of research result in an actual product on the market. It is the first time for the biology department of UVA to experience such an accomplishment. This simple test for scientific knowledge will truly serve the public good by preventing unwanted pregnancy by a failed vasectomy and easily bringing new reproductive awareness to men.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading expert in female and male infertility. For more information, please visit

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