Saturday, May 31, 2008

Using Fertility Awareness Methods to Focus Conceptive Efforts

As couples embark upon the second stage of family planning, conception, after many years of practicing contraception, they may soon find that becoming pregnant might just be more difficult than they had previous believed. Just think: all of the right conditions must be in place for sperm to live to reach an egg, for an egg to be fertilized, and for that egg to succeed within a woman’s body. Many reproductively minded women find it helpful to become more aware of their bodies’ cycles in order to both better know themselves and increase their chances of conceiving. There are three signs that women can monitor successfully and thus feel empowered that they are actively involved in their successful conception. Please note that “self tests” for determining when ovulation is occurring are not always accurate or reliable. If you seem to be having problems with these tests, you can consult with your physician about more reliable tests that are available.

The first step in using Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) to promote pregnancy involves the female’s Basal Body Temperature (BBT). A woman should take her body temperature in the same place (orally or vaginally) and at the same time each day, before daily activity begins, in order to be most accurate and most beneficial. Basal Body Temperature charts are readily available for free download on the Internet; each daily body temperature should be recorded on one of these charts with dots and connected with straight lines. When the full monthly cycle has been charted, the six temperatures occurring before the midcycle rise should be highlighted and the highest of these six duly noted. Another line, called the coverline will need be drawn above this highest temperature demarcating the time when ovulation most likely occurred. This charting should continue regularly in conjunction with the next two observations until conception is achieved successfully.

The next step a woman can take is making sure to observe the consistency of the cervical fluid. Beginning with the last day of bleeding from menstruation, it is helpful to check cervical fluid; always using clean hands, the vaginal lips should be separated and the fluid within swiped with fingers. It is helpful to check this at each restroom visit. Careful attention to the integrity and consistency of the fluid should be observed and charted. By putting finger and thumb together with fluid, pull fingers apart and check to see if it is sticky and tacky, or if it immediately pulls apart. Note when it is sticky and slippery, similar to egg white consistency – this is indicative of fertile days. Pay special attention as well to any sensations felt vaginally and note them. The wettest and stickiest day of the fluid checks should be noted as the day of optimum fertility and indicative that ovulation has occurred.

Perhaps the most difficult observation is the last one, and it involves checking the position of the cervix. Best observed during the fertile (wet and sticky) time preceding ovulation, in the squatted position, a woman should use their middle finger and note the condition of their cervix. Is it especially wet, high, soft, or open? A dot can be used on the chart to denote a closed and firm cervix, a small circle to show a partially open cervix, and a larger circle to show a high and open, soft cervix. Any other symbols can be used as well, just keep straight what each one means. When the cervix is soft, open, and high, a woman is at her most fertile and receptive of the male’s sperm. Take note of this, and compare with the results from the other two observations.

By combining and cross-referencing the data found with each observation method, a woman will successfully increase her chances of conceiving as well as becoming more aware of the changes within her body. Learning to listen to the body and being aware of each of its stages are ways to become actively involved in conception. Seeking advice from a doctor is always beneficial as well, so never hesitate in asking questions.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of ovulation testing. For more information, please visit http://www.infertilitytutorials.com/ http://www.drericdaitermd.com or http://www.ericdaiter.com/

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Intercourse Positions to Aid in Conception and Gender Selection

Making a baby is supposed to be fun, right? For millions of couples each year, however, this becomes an arduous task fraught with anticipation, disappointment, and hard to avoid stress. Stress in the mind leads to adverse conditions, especially in a woman’s body, and is to be avoided. But how can you avoid stress when sex has become a full-time job, a calendar watching, temperature-taking sojourn for a conception-minded couple? Maybe try mixing it up a little. Perhaps a little hiatus from having a baby one-mindedness could help. A little diversionary route into gender selection techniques might just be the change of focus that is needed to get things headed in the right direction and make conception a reality. The following discussion is very controversial as it is not based on high quality scientific research, but is presented as it is often a focus of discussion.

Conception chances increase by making sure that the man’s sperm is deposited as closely as possible to the woman’s cervix, so positions allowing for maximum depth of penetration are most advantageous. Remember gravity can be your friend when attempting conception, so “woman on top” positioning is not the best for conception due to the necessary upward travel of the sperm. The objective is to make sure all of the male’s sperm has its best chance to reach the cervix, so gravitationally challenged positioning could allow an excessively unnecessary amount of the sperm to leak out. A position that fits this criteria and, according to a method developed by Landrum B. Shettles will help have a male offspring, is the rear entry or “doggie” position. Allowing the sperm to be deposited nearest the cervix gives the best chance for shorter living Y-chromosome, male producing sperm to fertilize an egg. Shettles also advises to have sexual intercourse as near to ovulation as possible so don’t put those basal body temperature charts away! Allowing Y chromosome sperm this smaller distance to travel increases the chance for its survival. A female orgasm is also advisable to increase Y chromosome-favorable alkaline secretions within the vagina. For chances resultant in a female offspring to be increased, Shettles recommends having sexual intercourse in the missionary position (man on top), but with shallow penetration. This idea is motivated by the X chromosome’s (girl sperm) ability to live longer than the male sperm. To promote female egg fertilization, Shettles recommends that intercourse happen several days before ovulation in order to give these long living, girl producing sperm a better chance of outlasting the Y chromosome sperm and reaching the egg.

Most couples having trouble conceiving will of course be happy with any gender offspring, but perhaps a little change of focus might be the variety necessary to achieve success. As always, ask your doctor for more tips and hints, and remember to enjoy these attempts, relieve some stress, and conception just might be easier!

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 http://www.infertilitytutorials.com/ http://www.drericdaitermd.com or http://www.ericdaiter.com/

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ovulation Pain (Mittelschmerz)

The decision to (try and) conceive is one made excitedly by couples each day. One of the first steps to scientifically better chances of this happening is for the woman to determine approximately at what time each month she ovulates. This does change slightly from month to month, but with Basal Temperature Charting, an approximation can be made and is very helpful for many women. While basal charting can be tedious and time-consuming, some women find that charting their time of ovulation is indeed no problem whatsoever. 20% of all women do have this easier time of pinpointing ovulation, but for a not so desirable reason. Nearly a quarter of women experience pain with ovulation called mittelschmerz, in German, meaning middle pain. This pain happens in the middle of a woman’s cycle, at ovulation, and this is where it gets its name.

This middle pain experienced by some women is not always felt in the middle (of their abdomen) but usually on the side, depending on which side the ovary releasing the egg that month resides.
The degree of pain is different from woman to woman, with some experiencing nausea due to intense pain, while others might experience merely a dull pain resembling indigestion. The length of this pain varies as well and, for some, is accompanied by bloody discharge. Scientists are not sure why some women experience this pain and others do not, but speculate that the blood released along with the egg during ovulation might in some way aggravate the lining of affected women’s abdominal cavities. Treating this pain, which should not last more than 24 hours, is relatively easy. Most women find that warm baths, warm compresses to the abdomen, and over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen work well enough to relieve the pressure and pain. Women for which mittelschmerz causes extreme pain that truly disrupts their daily living may find it necessary to take some sort of prescribed birth control pill to stop ovulation all-together. With no ovulation, no pain is experienced, but women trying to conceive, obviously, should not take this route.

Because this 20% of women experience this true indicator of when they ovulate, they do, in a sense have an advantage when deciding to conceive. Their charting might not need to involve a thermometer whatsoever, but merely a dot showing when, each month, this middle pain begins and ends. Having sexual intercourse in the days preceding this monthly pain would be advantageous and chances of conceiving, provided normal fertility exists in male and female partner, are quite good.

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

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Increasing Male Fertility

Millions of couples each year decide it is time to start a family. A substantial percentage of those find that after several years of successful family planning to avoid conception, getting pregnant can be elusive and seemingly impossible. In these situations, infertility responsibility should not merely fall to the female, for research has shown that male infertility shares the burden of conceptive issues. In fact, male infertility has shown to be a contributive factor in 50% of all infertility cases and the sole reason for unsuccessful conception in nearly 33% of all infertility cases. Male partners must be conscious of their lifestyle in order to put their best sperm forward that will prove viable and capable of making contact with their partners’ eggs and flourish.

Many men are less fertile because of their negligible diets. Eating potato chips, drinking beer, and sitting on the couch each and every day does not provide the due diligence necessary to be a productive partner for the female you care for and want to start a family with. Men need to be more conscious of their diets. Diets rich in zinc provided by multi-grain cereal, seafood, and eggs, have shown to increase sperm production in healthy men and increase viable sperm production in less fertile men as well. Men should also consistently eat 5 servings or more of fruits and vegetables daily to help promote motility in their sperm. A diet rich in antioxidants can help men produce vigorous and healthy sperm that will have no trouble wriggling their way through their partners’ vaginas and ultimately fertilizing an egg.

Daily exercise is not only helpful at keeping obesity and that unsightly paunch at bay, regular exercise has been shown to help relieve the stress and anxiety which often affects fertility in both men and women. Men should exercise at least 45 minutes, 5 times a week to help promote a healthy body weight and increased sperm production, not to mention its positive affects on male libido. Research is split over cycling however, with studies showing that the friction the testicles are subjected to can increase their temperature and cause lower sperm counts.

As always, the use of tobacco products, excessive drinking, and illicit drug use are not good for the body, male or female. Men should abstain from use of these recreational substances as part of their conscious effort to help with conception.

Male fertility can be increased by simply adapting better food and exercise choices. It is only fair that fertility responsibility be shared by a hopeful couple as they look forward to the future of shared responsibility that is parenting.

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

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Basal Body Temperature Charting for Conception

So you’ve made the decision. You and your partner have decided to start a family. If you’re like most couples, you’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying not to conceive; be prepared, it might take more time, energy, and perseverance, to get that baby started. While being conscious of lifestyle (i.e. health, exercise, diet, etc.) is necessary, there are other things that a woman can do to know her body better and help to maximize the chances of conceiving. Guys, you have your own health considerations to consider, but it is important to keep in mind that charting basal body temperature in order to conceive a child is the first effort made when a pregnancy does not occur naturally. It can be an arduous and frustrating endeavor at times, and the woman usually feels the brunt of responsibility for success in determining and interpreting the parameters necessary to achieve a budding pregnancy.

Most women are well familiar with their menstrual cycle inasmuch as they know when it begins due to the beginning flow of their period. Knowing when ovulation occurs requires more attention and observation. This observation of changes in body temperature as an indicator of ovulation is known as Basal Body Temperature Charting. Let’s start by looking at the monthly menstrual cycle itself. The cycle can be observed as two halves: the first part being the follicular phase, the second, the luteal phase. During the follicular, or proliferative phase, follicles that have been growing in the uterus for much of the year mature and begin to compete with each other for dominance. As estrogen levels increase, the clear follicular winner (or sometimes two) emerges. Estrogen, oft described as a “cool” hormone in temperature, is secreted at highest levels during the follicular phase, and lowers a woman’s body temperature minutely. For this to be adequately observed, a digital thermometer is a necessity, for the difference is in the decimals, and body temperature should be taken orally (vaginally for more precision) at the same time each morning, before ingesting anything. This observation should be recorded on a daily chart, and on a month-to-month basis, a discernable pattern should emerge. The second half of the cycle, the luteal, or secretory phase, begins as the follicle is released, usually 6 to 7 days after the temperature drop. Progesterone, a “warm” hormone, then takes over, and a woman’s body temperature can be observed to rise .2 degrees higher than the temperatures of the previous 6 days. This temperature will then stay elevated for at least 3 consecutive days, denoting that ovulation has truly occurred. Charting this temperature rise, and keeping in mind the temperature drop, can help better discern when ovulation occurs, and allow a couple to pinpoint the times and days to have intercourse and better their chances of conceiving.

Observing basal temperature, though, admittedly tedious, is a viable non-medical, intervention-free tool at a couple’s disposal when attempting conception. The best a male (or non prospective child bearing partner) can do during this time is listen and be supportive; otherwise, the charting and observation that most always falls to the female can often result in feelings of isolation and insularity to the burden bearing partner.

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

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