Friday, October 30, 2009

Laparoscopy using Ultrapulse Laser for Endometriosis and Pelvic Adhesions

Laparoscopy with Ultrapulse Laser for Endometriosis and Pelvic Adhesions

The Ultrapulse CO2 laser is the best surgical instrument for the treatment of endometriosis since it can vaporize undesired tissue (such as endometriosis or pelvic adhesions) without producing char (carbonization that results from charring or searing tissue with heat), with minimal risk of lateral thermal damage, and with little drying (desiccation) of treated tissue. Char, thermal damage (burn injury), desiccation of tissues, and damage to surrounding normal tissues will result in poor tissue healing, scar (adhesion) formation, increased inflammation with greater postoperative pain, and destruction of normal tissue that surrounds the tissue being treated.

The Ultrapulse CO2 laser is the gold standard surgical instrument used by Plastic Surgeons for the removal of skin scars (including burn scars), wrinkles, and damaged skin since it provides the best cosmetic results and postoperative skin tone. For more information on this laser see their website at

The Ultrapulse CO2 laser has also been used for about 20 years for the treatment of pelvic endometriosis and pelvic scar tissue (adhesions) by many of the most experienced laparoscopic surgeons since the postoperative results following pelvic repair are similarly remarkable.

Many Reproductive Endocrinologists, including us, stress that endometriosis lesions must be removed in their entirety for longterm benefit.

Some of these surgeons claim that the lesions must be excised with scissors or other cutting instruments to insure that the base of the lesions are completely removed. The Ultrapulse CO2 laser is fully able to ablate abnormal tissue regardless of its depth or size with minimal lateral tissue damage. Manual excision with cutting instruments always damages underlying normal tissue since some of this normal tissue is removed along with the endometriosis lesion and the remaining tissue within the pelvis will have bleeding that must be controlled with cautery. Cauterization of bleeding vessels is designed to burn the bleeding vessels to form char, that then further damages the normal tissues surrounding the sites of excision and increases postoperative adhesion formation.

Other reproductive surgeons use instruments that are not as “delicate” for the surrounding tissues, including but not limited to the harmonic scalpel, monopolar or bipolar cautery devices, CO2 lasers with either continuous or superpulse waves (that cannot provide the same degree of safety and protection from lateral thermal damage when compared to the Ultrapulse CO2 laser), other non-CO2 lasers such as KTP or YAG lasers, and mechanical devices like scissors or cutting instruments.

The Ultrapulse CO2 laser is not available at most operating rooms, seemingly for a variety of reasons. The laser is extremely expensive and must be maintained properly so hospitals are very reluctant to purchase it. The laser requires significant time and experience by the surgeon in order to feel comfortable. Surgeons are often creatures of habit, so that when the surgeon becomes comfortable with a particular surgical tool it is inherently difficult to switch to a different surgical instrument.

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has been using the Ultrapulse CO2 laser routinely since the early 1990s and has extensive laparoscopic experience over thousands of surgical cases treating endometriosis. Results in terms of reduction of pelvic pain and improved fertility have often been remarkable. For more information, consider a consultation with Dr. Daiter at 908 226 0250 or visit us on the web at or

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Laparoscopy for Pelvic Adhesions

Laparoscopy for Pelvic Adhesions

Pelvic adhesions (scars) develop as a normal tissue response to inflammation, which occurs whenever the tissue is damaged. Infertility surgeons make every attempt to limit or prevent pelvic adhesion formation following laparoscopy or laparotomy, and an experienced fertility surgeon may be able to significantly reduce the bulk of previously formed pelvic adhesions through meticulous care at laparoscopy.

Ideally, infertility surgery adheres to the principles of “microsurgical technique,” a set of surgical methods designed to reduce adhesion formation. Crush injuries to tissue can result in scar formation, so very gentle tissue handling is encouraged. Blood is very irritating to the lining cells overlying the pelvis, called peritoneum, so thorough control of even small amounts of bleeding and removal of any blood collected in the pelvis and abdomen is important. Identification of the proper tissue planes is important in order to avoid surgical damage to the tissues that are being separated so magnification should be available when needed. Tissues that dry out become damaged much more easily than tissues that are kept moist, and it is much easier to maintain adequate tissue moisture during laparoscopy as compared to laparotomy since the abdomen is essentially closed during the laparoscopy procedure. Infection should be avoided (and if inevitable then infection should be treated as early as possible) since a pelvic infection can rapidly destroy the very delicate reproductive tissues. Carbon deposits or char caused by the use (or overuse) of cautery to burn or sear abnormal tissues or control bleeding can result in adhesion formation and should be minimized whenever appropriate. Devascularization of tissue or ischemia can result from burn injuries that damage the blood vessels feeding tissues, so use of the ultrapulse CO2 laser is ideal for many infertility laparoscopy procedures since this tool allows vaporization of unwanted tissue with minimal lateral thermal damage to surrounding tissues.

Dr Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has personally performed over a thousand laparoscopy surgeries using the ultrapulse CO2 laser for the treatment of pelvic adhesions during the past 20 years. He would be happy to help you. Contact the office at 908 226 0250 for an appointment. Also, visit us on the web at or

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ovulation and Trying to Get Pregnant

Ovulation and Trying to Get Pregnant

When trying to get pregnant, a couple ideally should have frequent intercourse (hopefully increasing the chances of exposing the egg to active sperm) just before and around the time that the egg is released from the ovary (ovulation). Trying to get pregnant, rather than simply finding out that you are pregnant “by accident,” can seem unnatural for some couples and this can add stress to a relationship. Initially, keeping things as natural as possible may be beneficial, since stress is rarely helpful.

Ovulation generally occurs about 14 days (2 weeks) prior to the onset of the next menstrual flow. If the menstrual cycle intervals are normally 28-30 days, then ovulation usually will occur around cycle day 14-16. If the menstrual cycle intervals are every 60 days (2 months), then ovulation usually will occur around cycle day 46. If the menstrual cycle intervals are very irregular, then detecting when ovulation is occurring using tests like ovulation predictor kits, serial blood work, or serial ultrasound exams can be helpful.

If ovulation is rare or extremely irregular, then fertility medication may be helpful in inducing or enhancing ovulation. An infertility doctor should be considered when fertility medications are being selected and administered.

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC is board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and he has extensive experience with ovulation problems and menstrual irregularities. Dr. Daiter would be happy to help. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. Please visit us on the web at and

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Ovulation and The Menstrual Cycle

Ovulation and the Menstrual Cycle

The onset of menstrual flow (menses) generally marks the beginning of the female reproductive cycle, during which an egg is matured and the uterine lining (endometrium) develops, to allow for embryo implantation and the development of a normal pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, then the endometrial lining is shed (the menstrual flow begins) and the cycle begins once again. Normally, menstrual cycle intervals are about every 28-30 days. Many fertile women have somewhat longer or shorter menstrual cycle intervals, suggesting that the egg quality at full maturity is somewhat independent of the time taken for the egg to develop fully.

The initial part of the menstrual cycle is often thought of as the “egg development” phase, and since the eggs develop within ovarian cysts called follicles this is usually referred to as the “follicular phase.” Ovulation normally occurs once a mature egg is developed. The final part of the menstrual cycle is the “luteal phase” marked by elevated progesterone production. The progesterone appears to modify the endometrium within the uterine cavity to allow for a 4-5 day “window of uterine receptivity” for embryo implantation, and if no pregnancy develops then the entire lining is shed about 14 days after ovulation. If a pregnancy does develop, then progesterone production normally remains elevated throughout the course of the pregnancy.

There are some problems with ovulation that can reduce fertility. Hormone imbalances involving thyroid hormone or prolactin can interfere with ovulation. If the egg is released from a follicle that has a smaller diameter than usual, then a relative progesterone deficiency may develop during the luteal phase of the cycle (luteal phase defect). Also, genetic or inherent problems with the egg can impact fertility.

At The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, Dr. Daiter is experienced in identifying and treating ovulation dysfunctions that can result in reduced fertility. For an appointment to discuss your ovulation or fertility concerns with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. Visit us on the web at or

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ovulation Detection

Ovulation Detection

Normally, a reproductive age woman will have regular menstrual cycle intervals every 28-30 x 4-5 days. Prior to the onset of the menstrual flow, premenstrual symptoms are common (including breast tenderness, headaches, abdominal bloating, and mood swings), which generally reflect the cycle’s normal changes in reproductive hormones. A history of regular menstrual cycle intervals with premenstrual symptoms is fairly strong clinical evidence that ovulation is occurring monthly.

Ovulation normally occurs about 14 days (2 weeks) prior to the onset of the next menstrual flow. In women with very regular menstrual cycle intervals, counting back 14 days from the expected next menstrual flow provides a rough estimate of the date of ovulation.

Ovulation tests include ovulation predictor kits that use test strips that are dipped in urine daily, which cause a chemical reaction that changes the color of the patient’s test result when LH is present. When a mature egg has been developed within the ovary, the body signals the ovary to get the egg ready for fertilization and to release the egg (ovulate) with a surge in the hormone LH. When the patient’s concentration of LH is great enough to suggest the LH surge (trigger to ovulate) then the patient’s test line on the test strip is often equal or darker than the test strip’s reference line. Since the egg normally will ovulate about 36 hours (one and a half days) after the onset of the LH surge, once the test strip is initially positive for the LH surge then ovulation can be expected within a day or so. These test strips are usually accurate for women, but sometimes they don’t seem to be reliable for (work effectively for) a particular woman.

Ultrasound examinations of the ovaries can determine the size of follicles (ovarian cysts that contain an egg) and serial ultrasound exams during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle (egg development phase) can usually determine with high accuracy when a mature egg has developed. Once the egg is mature, ovulation can be triggered by administering the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which acts exactly like the LH surge to trigger ovulation. In this way, the timing of ovulation can generally be predicted accurately within a few hours.

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has extensive experience with ovulation problems and ovulation detection. He would be happy to help you. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. Visit us on the web at or

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ovulation and Infertility

Ovulation and Infertility

Successful human reproduction normally requires the coordination of several different events, including ovulation (release of a mature fertilization capable egg from the woman’s ovary), sperm production and release (ejaculation of mature motile sperm within seminal fluid), fertilization of the egg in the fallopian tube (sperm moves through the uterine cervix and uterine cavity into the tubes), and implantation of the developing pre-implantation embryo inside the uterine cavity.

Normally, a reproductive age woman will produce one mature egg per month, which is released from the ovary during ovulation. The eggs mature in ovarian cysts called follicles and during the “follicular phase” (egg developing phase) of the menstrual cycle the hormone FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) has a primary role in stimulating the maturation of eggs. Once the egg is developed, then the hormone LH surges to trigger the release of the egg at ovulation. After ovulation, there is an increase in the ovarian production of the hormone progesterone, which modifies and enhances the endometrial lining in preparation for embryo implantation.

Many abnormalities of the menstrual cycle and ovulation can occur and any of these problems will generally reduce fertility or cause infertility. A Reproductive Endocrinologist can suggest a diagnostic evaluation and infertility treatments based on the findings of the diagnostic tests.

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has extensive experience with all types of ovulation problems and menstrual irregularities. Dr. Daiter would be happy to help you to determine the cause of an ovulation problem and suggest treatment options. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. Please visit us on the web at and

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Monday, October 19, 2009

semen analysis cost

Semen Analysis Cost (2009)

The semen analysis is a basic diagnostic test for male infertility that can determine whether the sperm that is produced within the semen (at ejaculation) has a normal appearance. Sometimes, the semen analysis is proposed as a “sperm function” test, such as when “strict morphology” is performed, but the reliability of a semen analysis to determine the ability of the sperm to fertilize an egg (it’s function) is low (it is unable to accurately predict function).

A semen analysis is a valuable and a relatively inexpensive fertility test. In our offices a basic semen analysis costs 100 dollars and determines the volume (of the total ejaculate), concentration (number of sperm per mL ejaculate), motility (percentage of the total sperm that are moving), and morphology (shape of the sperm) of the sperm. With this information, our Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist will be able to consult with you to further discuss useful diagnostic tests and infertility treatments. If a mild to moderate male infertility problem is suggested, starting infertility treatment with natural cycles and intrauterine insemination (IUI) is usually considered. If these are ineffective, more aggressive management is then considered.

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has extensive experience in the treatment of male infertility and he would be happy to help you. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. Also, you can visit us on the web at or

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Male Factor Infertility

Male infertility

When a couple has been trying to get pregnant for a long time, the partners often try to figure out the reason for their lack of success. Statistically, the reason involves male infertility about one third of the time, female infertility about one third of the time, and a combination of male and female infertility factors the remaining one third of the time. Consulting with a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility expert can significantly help to determine the range of causes and develop an infertility treatment plan.

Male infertility can be due to difficulty in completing intercourse, an inability of the sperm to live within the female reproductive tract long enough to fertilize the egg within the fallopian tube, or a problem with the production of normal sperm.

Difficulty with completing intercourse can be due to an erectile or an ejaculatory problem. Sometimes these problems can be effectively treated with medication. When treatment is not possible, but the man is able to produce a semen sample into a container, then intrauterine inseminations (IUI) that are timed at ovulation are often effective.

The sperm normally fertilizes the egg within the woman’s fallopian tube. There is usually a tremendous decrease in the number of motile sperm along this journey from the initial placement within the vagina (where sperm is usually destroyed within about one hour due to a difference in acidity between the semen fluid and the vaginal vault) to residing within the uterine cervical mucus (where sperm can usually survive comfortably for several days) to passage through the uterus and into the fallopian tube. Generally, it is estimated that if 50 million sperm are placed within the vaginal vault during intercourse only a few thousand of these sperm ever reach the fallopian tube, where they have a chance to fertilize the egg. When this type of male factor is a cause of infertility, then IUI (intrauterine insemination) procedures to place the sperm near the egg at the time of ovulation can be helpful.

The semen analysis is the most common test to determine whether normal sperm are being produced. The major variables that are tested include volume (amount of semen in the ejaculate), concentration (number of sperm per unit volume of semen), motility (percent of sperm that are moving), and morphology (shape of the sperm present). When these numbers fall within the normal range for semen analysis, the sperm is thought to be “good.” But really only a history of proven fertility, such as having achieved a pregnancy with someone in the past or having fertilization at IVF (in vitro fertilization), demonstrates that the sperm is actually capable of fertilizing a human egg. For most mild to moderate male infertility problems involving the production of normal sperm, IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a reasonable treatment alternative. If there is a severe male infertility problem with the sperm, then ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which is a form of assisted fertilization) or the use of donor sperm may need to be considered.

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has extensive experience with male infertility and has personally performed thousands of semen analyses. He would be happy to help you. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. Visit us on the web at

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Monday, October 12, 2009

IUI (artificial insemination)

IUI (Artificial Insemination)

Artificial insemination within a New Jersey fertility office usually includes an IUI (intrauterine insemination). IUI is an office procedure that involves the collection of a semen sample, the washing of the semen sample to remove the semen component, the resuspension of the sperm in a buffered inert medium (often a modified human tubal fluid), and the placement of the washed sperm sample into the woman’s uterus using a thin flexible catheter.

The IUI procedure is relatively inexpensive (generally 200-400 dollars), painless (sometimes slight cramping may occur), and risk free (minimal bleeding and cramping may occur, infection is very rare, and trauma to the uterus is also rare).

IUI (artificial insemination) is an effective treatment when there is a mild to moderate male factor (abnormality in the semen analysis), difficulty completing sexual intercourse (erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction), female domestic partners, an abnormal postcoital test (sperm mucus interaction problem including hostile mucus), or in conjunction with ovulation enhancing fertility drugs (clomiphene citrate = clomid or menotropins including Bravelle or Menopur).

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has extensive experience in IUI and would be happy to help you. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250.
For more information please visit us on the web at

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Infertility Doctor

Can't afford infertility treatment? Dr. Eric Daiter is an infertility doctor who can help you.

A couple that is struggling with their attempt to become parents is often under significant stress. This stress may impact the very relationship that initially brought the couple together. Men and women generally expect to have the opportunity to have children and develop their own family as soon as they decide to do so. Concerns with infertility can be frightening, stressful, and ultimately destructive.

Medicine has developed a great deal of information about infertility, including a growing appreciation of the causes of infertility and effective treatments for these causes of infertility. Reproductive Endocrinologists are infertility specialists with special training in the useful tests and treatments for couples suffering with fertility problems. Consulting with an experienced infertility expert can be very helpful in several different ways: you can learn about (1) the normal physiological events that must occur for fertility to be successful, (2) the male and female infertility tests that are available to determine where a problem may exist, and (3) the infertility treatments that should improve your chances of conception.

Infertility treatments can vary in terms of their invasiveness (more or less natural), aggressiveness (more or less focused), cost (more or less expensive), or suitability for a particular couple (more or less customized to match the couple’s own unique personal desires for care).

Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility and he would be happy to help you customize a management plan that fits your own lifestyle. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. You can also visit us on the web at

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

IUI Process Explained

As couples exhaust their non-medical resources and steps toward conception prove futile, they often contact their trusted physician or other fertility expert for advice in what ways to proceed. For many, intrauterine insemination, or IUI, appears as a viable option and is one of the lesser-invasive procedures offered.

A first step in the IUI process involves tests that help provide a better prediction of what day a woman’s egg is released. Ultrasounds can be used to monitor egg development within the ovarian follicles. Urine tests are used to identify and measure the luteinizing hormone levels that rise significantly in the hours preceding ovulation. These urine ovulation predictor tests may be administered at home and can be read by the couple trying to conceive. After ovulation predictor kit analysis provides the best choice of days for the treatment, preparations will be made for that day. This involves readying the sperm to be used for insemination. This sperm will be examined and shown to be fertile through testing. It is also necessary to wash the sperm to remove any chemicals that might cause unwanted reactions within the woman’s uterus. Often, antibiotics and protein supplements are added to the semen to enhance its viability and the seminal fluid is removed so that concentrated sperm is all that will be used for the procedure. This process of sperm washing is often very helpful in situations where the male partner possesses a low sperm count or the sperm is experiencing difficulty surviving its trip to the womb. The IUI process is often used successfully in cases where the female does not posses a partner that will be supplying the sperm, but might be using instead sperm chosen from a bank of sperm donors. Once the sperm has been readied, on the designated day, the process will begin. If there exists a problem with a woman’s ovulation, a doctor might feel the need to prescribe fertility drugs in order to amp up ovulation to release more eggs prior to the designated day. The sperm is inserted in the woman’s uterus by way of a catheter. By placing the sperm nearer the eggs, the sperm is given a better chance to fertilize the egg and stimulate a successful implantation and pregnancy.

Intrauterine insemination is often one of the first medical steps women choose because of its relative inexpensiveness as compared to in-vitro fertilization. IUI is less invasive, but is also proven less effective, with a success rate below 25%, where IVF has a success rate nearing 60%. It is best to contact a physician or fertility clinic in order to arrive at the best course of action.

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

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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 or

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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 or

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

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

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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, March 4, 2008

Egg Donation Part 2 - Egg Retrieval Procedure

Once you have been pre-screened and qualified to be an egg donor for in vitro fertilization the egg donation center that you are working with will teach you how to self-administer the medications used during the process. Be forewarned that you will be injecting yourself with these medications. Two types of medication often used for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation include Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Lupron. FSH stimulates the production of eggs while Lupron prevents the ovaries from releasing the eggs before the retrieval process takes place. Some possible side effects of these drugs include fatigue, moodiness, headache, ovarian cysts, and in some rare cases hyper stimulation syndrome of the ovaries. An indication of hyper stimulation syndrome is enlarged painful ovaries and would be detectable on an ultrasound.

Timing is everything when it comes to the administration of these medications. Lupron is typically begun 5-6 days before the start of your period. When your period starts you will need to have a baseline vaginal ultrasound prior to starting the FSH. This will help to detect the presence of any cysts on the ovaries. Ovarian cysts are not uncommon and usually resolve on their own but large or complex cysts may require treatment. If the ultrasound is clear you will begin taking the FSH approximately 2-3 days after the start of your period. Your blood will be drawn at regularly to monitor the level of estradiol, the hormone secreted by developing eggs, in your system. Another vaginal ultrasound will be performed to determine the size and number of eggs in your ovaries when your estradiol level is at the appropriate level. A single injection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropins (hCG) will be administered when the eggs are ready for retrieval. HCG is a naturally occurring hormone that helps with the last stage of development of the eggs. About 36 hours after the hCG injection the eggs are ready for removal.

Since you will be sedated when your eggs are removed you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the procedure. When you arrive for the procedure you will change into a gown and an IV will be started for the administration of medications and fluids. Then you will be given medication to ensure you are adequately sedated and comfortable during the egg removal. Once you are sedated, a thin needle is inserted through the vagina into the ovaries and the eggs are aspirated into the syringe.

After the procedure you may experience some pelvic discomfort, small amounts of vaginal bleeding or blood in your urine. These side effects usually clear within a day or two. You will be able to return home a few hours after you wake up. You will need to have someone drive you home since you will still be feeling the effects of the medication used to sedate you. You will be given a prescription for pain management as well as an antibiotic to decrease your chances of infection. After the eggs are removed your part is done. The eggs will then be used for the infertility treatment called in vitro fertilization.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to explain in vitro fertilization in plain language. To review this information, please visit

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Egg Donation Part 1 – Qualifications for Donors

Many women are unable to have genetic children because of fertility problems related to egg production. As result of cancer, congenital absence of eggs, or early onset menopause these women no longer produce eggs that can successfully be fertilized. These women are usually candidates for an infertility treatment called in vitro fertilization with a third party egg donor. If you have considered becoming an egg donor but are unsure of the requirements to qualify as one here’s what you need to know.

In order to qualify to be an egg donor you need to be a female between the ages of 21 and 36 and who has given birth before. You need to be healthy and devoid of genetic disorders. Stable mental health is also a qualifier as a history of depression is contraindicated with some of the medications used in the process. Lactation can reduce the effects of the fertility drugs used which might result in lower egg production. If you are considering becoming a donor you will need to stop breastfeeding a few months before egg donation will be possible. If you have met these pre qualifiers here is what you can do next.

Contact an egg donation center and set up an assessment appointment. At this appointment they will obtain your medical history, give you a physical examination, and conduct a psychosocial evaluation. They will be trying to determine the health of the eggs to be donated, as well as the psychological impact on you, the donor, of giving up your eggs. They will also draw blood to test for infections. During your physical exam they will obtain cervical cultures to rule out sexually transmitted diseases. If your blood tests and cultures are negative for any infectious agents or STD’s they will check for normal levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in your blood. FSH in women stimulates the production of eggs. The normal level for FSH in a menstruating woman is between 5mlU/mL – 20mlU/mL. Having a normal level of FSH in your blood stream is required to be an egg donor. If you’ve met all of these qualifications the egg donation center will invite you to an informative counselling session about the ethical, legal, and financial side of donating your eggs. Some egg donation centers offer financial compensation for the donation of your eggs. At the end of this session, if you are still ready and willing to donate your eggs you will move on to the next phase in the process of egg donation.

Make a list of any questions or concerns you might have and don’t be afraid to ask. If you qualify as a donor then be sure to educate yourself about the procedure of egg removal and what your involvement will be in the process. Donating your eggs can bring about the hopes and dreams of yourself and others.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to explain in vitro fertilization in plain language. To review this information, please visit

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Understanding Pelvic Ultrasound

If you have been experiencing painful periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, or are having difficulty conceiving your doctor may recommend a pelvic ultrasound. This test is a safe, non-invasive way for your doctor to obtain more information to make an accurate diagnosis and offer appropriate options for infertility treatment.

Ultrasound or sonography uses sound waves to produce an image of organs and other tissues in the body. Pelvic ultrasounds are helpful for identifying abnormalities of the reproductive organs such as uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts and can assist your doctor to determine appropriate infertility treatment options. Ultrasounds are also used during pregnancy to monitor growth of the un-born baby. Another advantage of having an ultrasound is that there is no risk of potentially harmful radiation as with an x-ray.

Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been scheduled to have a pelvic ultrasound. Most doctors’ offices will remind the patient before their ultrasound that having a full bladder helps to give clearer images of the pelvic structures. Upon arrival the patient is brought to an examination room with an ultra sound machine. Once in the room the patient will be instructed to lie on the exam table. Depending on the type of ultrasound you may be asked to remove your personal clothing and adorn an examination gown. Next the technician will ask you to raise your shirt or gown to expose your stomach so they can apply a thin layer of gel. The gel may feel cool at first but will quickly warm to the temperature of your skin. The gel acts as a transducer for the sound waves to travel through. The tech will then move the ultrasound probe across your abdomen and an image will be transmitted to a monitor nearby. The tech may take some time to make measurements of different structures and should be able to point out certain things such as kidneys, ovaries, or a developing baby. The tech may limit the amount of information he or she shares, as they are not doctors. A radiologist, one who specializes in reading diagnostic images, is the one who reviews the footage and your doctor will let you know if there are any concerns from your ultrasound results.

A trans-vaginal ultrasound maybe needed to get a better view of certain structures or abnormalities. Instead of the ultrasound probe being used on the stomach an ultrasound wand is inserted into the vagina. It should not be painful, but may feel uncomfortable especially with a full bladder. If you have any questions or concerns during or after the exam don’t hesitate to ask.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about chronic pelvic pain. For more information, please visit

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Test Tube Babies

When most people hear the phrase “test tube baby” they may conjure up an image of an X-files episode where special agents Dana Sculley and Fox Mulder discover a secret underground laboratory filled with row upon row of genetically engineered fetuses growing in large cylindrical tubes. The common misconception is that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a purely scientific procedure with little with the biological parents. This infertility treatment is ideal for couples who have been unsuccessful with other methods of assisted reproductive treatments.
The phrase “test tube baby” is an informal term which refers to a baby conceived in a tube-shaped glass commonly found in biology labs. In vitro fertilization usually takes place in a shallower container called a petri dish. The term “In vitro” refers to a biological procedure that is performed outside the living organism where it would normally occur. In this case, the ova and sperm are removed from their normal hosts and placed in a fluid medium to allow the sperm to fertilize the egg. The fertilized egg, or embryo, is then transferred back to the woman’s uterus. Since in vitro fertilization is a more expensive infertility treatment, it is usually recommended only when less expensive options have failed.
IVF requires a healthy egg and viable sperm, as well as a uterus that can maintain a pregnancy. A woman’s age is a major factor in the success rate of IVF. Pregnancy achieved through IVF for woman under the age of 35 is approximately 43% in the U.S. Success rates begin to drop significantly over the age of 35 and women over 40 attain pregnancy only 4% of the time. There are a vast number of factors involved, some of which are not fully understood, and reasons for failure are many. Embryos may not develop properly, or may not implant once inserted into the uterus. Experienced physicians have higher success rates. It is best if the woman’s own eggs are used. Often multiple embryos are transferred to the uterus to increase the likelihood of pregnancy; however, this practice creates a higher risk of multiple pregnancy.
While the actual conception takes place in a “test tube”, IVF is a complex and involved process for couples trying to conceive. Extensive testing and screening is done to ensure the best success for clients considering IVF as an infertility treatment. Although it can be extremely challenging physically and emotionally, giving birth to a “miracle” child is just the beginning of a life of unforgettable experiences.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to explain in vitro fertilization test in plain language. To review this information, please visit

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Male Infertility and Testicular Sperm Extraction

Male factor infertility is accounted for in approximately 50% of couples attempting to conceive. This is attributed to a wide range of factors including stress, excessive use of recreational drugs, hypogonadism, erectile dysfunction, hypospadias, obstruction of the vas defens, oligospermia, and infections. Azoospermia and necrospermia are among the more serious forms of male infertility and generally require infertility treatment in order to achieve a pregnancy.

Men with azoospermia have no sperm in their ejaculate. This is further categorized into obstructive azoospermia, where there is a blockage in the pathway from the testes to the point of ejaculation, and non-obstructive, where there is a problem producing the sperm in the testes. Necrospermia is where the sperm in the ejaculate is dead or lacks motility. These conditions are congenital and cannot be cured. Immotile cilia syndrome is a congenital disorder in which the sperm are actually alive but cannot move. Live sperm that is arrested in development may not be able to be released from the testes, and in these situations advances in infertility treatment, such as testicular sperm extraction, can provide an infertility solution.

The hormones FSH and LH are responsible for sperm production in men, which begins in the testes. Sperm cells go through several phases in the testes and eventually become mature spermatozoa. Spermatozoa leave the testes and travel into the epididymis. It is here where they develop motility and become fully mature sperm capable of fertilizing an egg. It was once thought that no motile sperm could be found in the testes. This has proven true for cases where there is no obstruction in the pathway. When a blockage is present healthy motile spermatozoa have been found in the efferent ducts or the caput epididymis.

Retrieving the sperm is a relatively simple and painless procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis. The skin is stretched out tightly and a small “butterfly” needle is inserted into the testes. Movement of the needle draws out testicular tubules. The needle is withdrawn slowly taking a strand of testicular tissue with it. The tissue is grasped with forceps and gently pulled from the testes. Placed in a culture medium the sample can be examined under a stereozoom microscope for presence of suitable sperm.

The physician will be looking for healthy motile sperm with proper morphology, or shape. Samples don’t often possess enough sperm for intrauterine insemination (IUI), but can work well with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection(ICSI). ICSI is a microscopic procedure that requires in vitro fertilization, involving the placement of individual sperm cells into individual eggs using a glass needle. The fertilized egg or preimpantation embryo is then transfered into the uterus. The fertilized egg is then inserted into the uterus. While the process is not without risk, ICSI has become accepted as a relatively safe medical procedure.

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

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Requires Infertility Treatment

If you are a sexually active woman who has begun menstruating then you should know about pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Educating yourself about this disease can help in prevent it or detect it in its early stages. This is a serious disease that can lead to life threatening illness if left untreated. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women will have PID, and 75% of the cases will occur in women under 25 years of age.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive organs. The infection is typically caused by harmful bacteria introduced to the vagina through unprotected sex with a person carrying STDs, such as Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia. Other causes of the infection may include an imbalance in the vagina’s normal bacteria or introduction into the uterus of harmful bacteria during medical procedures such as vaginal delivery, abortion, or dilation and curettage. Inflammation can occur in the uterus, fallopian tubes and in some cases the ovaries. If untreated, the infection can become quite severe and causing irreversible damage to the reproductive organs.

Inflammation from PID in the fallopian tubes often leads to infertility. It is the most common cause of ectopic pregnancy. This is when the fertilized egg is unable to make its way to the uterus and becomes lodged in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancy may be hard to detect as the symptoms experienced are similar to a normal pregnancy. Once the damage has been done, couples attempting to conceive will require infertility treatment, such as in vitro fertilization.

While actual symptoms vary among women, typical signs of PID are abdominal pain, pain during intercourse, and pain throughout the month similar to endometriosis symptoms. Other signs include malodorous (bad smelling) or unusual discharge from the vagina, burning pain while urinating, and unusual bleeding from the vagina. Some women will run periods of chills or high fever throughout the month combined with nausea and vomiting. Diagnosis of PID is usually determined when a patient suffers from the symptoms listed above and is confirmed by laboratory tests.

Typical treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease is a course of antibiotics taken by mouth, as well as medication for fever and pain. In severe and high risk cases, such as women who are pregnant, hospitalization is required for administration of intravenous antibiotics. It is recommended to abstain from sexual activity while completing the course of antibiotics. Although the bacteria that cause PID may be killed with antibiotics, there is no cure for this disease and it can be contracted again. Yearly pap smears can help with early detection. Prevention is best accomplished through monogamy, sex with only one partner as well as using condoms when sexually active. It is also critical to discuss sexual history, including STD’s, with your partner or partners.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PID, have had sex with someone you suspect may be carrying a sexually transmitted disease, or if you or your partner have multiple sexual relationships you should see your doctor immediately. Your life could depend on it.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Silent Epidemic

Billboards, television ads, and 7th grade health teachers all proclaim the message of safer sex, yet the U. S. Department of Health and Services estimates that 13 million people become infected with a sexually transmitted disease every year. According to the Center for Disease Control, Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States with 3 million new cases occurring each year. This article will talk about signs and symptoms of Chlamydia, how to treat it, and how to avoid it.

Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can also be transmitted to a new born baby as it passes through the birth canal of the infected mother. 50-75% of women infected with Chlamydia show no signs or symptoms and have no idea they are infected, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “the silent epidemic”. Chlamydia, when untreated, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This puts the woman at risk for infertility, endometriosis, and damage to the reproductive system. Endometriosis symptoms can be extremely painful, and if considering conception, may require infertility treatment. Common symptoms of Chlamydia include unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain in the abdomen, fever, and painful urination. In order to diagnose Chlamydia a culture swab must be obtained

Once detected, Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. The most commonly used antibiotics in treatment of Chlamydia are Azithromycin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Erythromycin. Antibiotics must be prescribed by a physician and are administered orally according to the doctor’s specifications. It is also important to complete your course of medication completely in order to recover from the infection. It may be a good idea to return to your doctor for Chlamydia testing every year, as it is possible to be re-infected with the disease even after treatment. Abstain from sex while being treated for the disease even if you no longer have symptoms. You can resume sexual activity once your course of antibiotics is finished.

The risk for transmission is dramatically reduced with the use of condoms with a water based lubricant, such as K Y Jelly. Petroleum based lubricants, such as Vaseline, should not be used because they break down latex (the material the condom is made of). The only sure way to avoid becoming infected with Chlamydia is abstinence (not having sex) or monogamy with an uninfected partner.

It is important for partners to discuss their sexual history before having sex and have STD tests done. Essential to prevention for sexually active individuals is an understanding of sexually transmitted diseases and how they are spread.

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit

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Ovulation Test Kits

If you and your partner are trying to conceive an ovulation test kit is a great tool. It can help you by finding out when your body releases an egg from your ovary, an ovulation, and pin point the time of the month when you are most fertile. The egg, once released from the ovary, only has a 24-48 hour life span, while sperm can survive for about 72 hours. You are most likely to become pregnant when sperm is present on the day prior to, the day of, or the day following ovulation.

Ovulation test kits measure the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. Luteinizing hormone is always present in human urine. LH increases dramatically just before a woman’s most fertile day of the month in a process commonly referred to as the “LH Surge”. This LH increase triggers ovulation, which means an egg is released from the woman’s ovary. It is important to know that some infertility treatment medications, such as menotropin, may affect the test result. Certain rare medical conditions or the onset of menopause can cause elevated levels of LH. Some women do not ovulate every cycle, and therefore will not see any increase in the level of LH hormone during these non-ovulating cycles. Women with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) may not get reliable results from ovulation tests, as a result of related hormone imbalances. Please check with your doctor if you are unsure.

To find out when to begin testing, determine the length of your normal cycle. The length of your cycle is from the beginning of one period (the first day of bleeding) to the day before the start of the next. If your cycle length is irregular (varies by more than a few days each month) take the average number of days for the last 3 months. Ovulation typically occurs in the middle of your cycle. It is recommended to begin testing a few days before ovulation occurs. For example, if your period normally begins every 28 days then ovulation would occur on or around day 14 of your cycle. In this case, you would want to begin ovulation testing eleven days after the beginning of your last period. Most test kits come with a sample calendar to help you determine which day in your cycle to begin testing.

Read all the instructions that come with the test kit fully before starting your test. The best times to test are from 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 10pm. Early morning testing is not recommended as most women experience a blood LH surge that will not show up in the urine until later in the day. To make sure you catch your LH surge, test twice a day, once in the earlier time frame and the other in the later time frame. Reduce your liquid intake two hours before testing since drinking excessive amounts of fluids can dilute the LH in your urine yielding a false negative result. Test at the same time each day. Have intercourse during the 48 hours following your LH surge to maximize your chances of conception.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to explain what an ovulation test is in plain language. To review this information, please visit

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Infertility Treatment Articles: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition characterized by high levels of androgen hormones, missed or irregular periods, and multiple cysts on the ovaries. Researchers estimate 1 in 10 women have PCOS, although many are unaware they have it. Because of the confusing nature of the disease and the extensive list of symptoms, coping with PCOS poses a significant emotional and physical challenge.

While researchers have been aware of polycystic ovary syndrome for over 75 years, the exact causes are unknown. Some scientists suspect genes to be the cause. Often women who have PCOS will also have a sister or mother with the disease. Another theory is based around insulin. Women whose bodies have difficulty utilizing insulin end up with higher than normal levels of insulin in their system. Excess insulin increases the production of androgens, male hormones, which may lead to acne, facial hair growth, weight problems, and cysts on the ovaries. Other symptoms may include male pattern baldness, oily skin or dandruff, high blood pressure and cholesterol, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and sleep apnea. Many women also experience bouts of depression related to their appearance or inability to conceive.

PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. Clinical studies show approximately 70% of infertile women with an ovulation problem have PCOS. High levels of insulin stimulate the ovaries to produce testosterone. This excess testosterone can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg, resulting in irregular menstrual cycle. Irregular and missed cycles reduce the chances of conception. Once pregnancy is achieved, it can cause complications during pregnancy which may lead to miscarriage or premature delivery. Incidence of miscarriage may be as high as 50%, or 35% higher than the national average. The theory is that high insulin levels result in an irregular blood clotting around the uterine lining which compromises the flow of nutrients and release of wastes between the placenta and the fetus.

Unfortunately there is no cure of the disease; however the symptoms are largely treatable by adjustments in lifestyle and medications. Some medications used during infertility treatment, such as metformin, can help normalize insulin levels and reduce the symptoms experienced. Losing weight may also help reduce symptoms. Oral contraceptive pills, such as can be taken to help regulate periods and cut down on the unwanted hair growth. Treatment plans must be customized, as each woman will experience varying levels of the symptoms.

Researchers are seeking women ages 12 and up to join in studies related to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome all across America. More information about these studies, ranging from genetics, to diabetes, to reproduction, can be found online at

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about chronic pelvic pain. For more information, please visit

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Female Infertility Factors

If you have had difficulty conceiving for more than twelve months, or six months if you are over 35 years of age, you may be wondering if you are infertile. Researchers estimate that one in six couples face fertility challenges as a result of male or female health complications. There are multitudes of factors that can affect your chances of conception. Here we will briefly outline three major causes of infertility in women: endometriosis, fallopian tube damage or blockage, and ovulation disorders.

Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue shed during a woman’s “period” implants outside of the uterus. The implanted tissue responds to the hormonal cycle and continues to grow, shed, and bleed in sync with the lining of the uterus each month. This can lead to inflammation and eventually scarring which adversely affects functions of the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Pelvic pain and infertility are common in women with endometriosis. Upon examination, more than 40% of infertile women of reproductive age are found to have endometriosis. Laparoscopic surgery to remove abnormal tissue is a commonly used treatment option for this condition.

Fallopian tube damage usually results from inflammation of the fallopian tube. This blocks the passage of the egg through the fallopian tubes on its way to fertilization and implantation in the uterus. Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, is the most frequent cause. Tubal inflammation can cause pain and fever, or it may go unnoticed. Tubal damage is the major risk factor for ectopic pregnancy. Here a fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tubes. One episode of tubal infection may cause fertility difficulties. The risk of ectopic pregnancy increases with each occurrence of tubal infection.

Some cases of female infertility are caused by ovulation disorders. Disruption in the part of the brain that regulates ovulation can cause low levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. Even slight irregularities in the hormone system can affect ovulation. Specific causes of hypothalamic-pituitary disorders include injury, tumors, excessive exercise and starvation. Ovulation-stimulating drugs, follicle-stimulating hormones, human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), and in vitro fertilization are possible treatments for this condition.

If you are one of the many couples experiencing problems with conception talk to your general practitioner. Most of these problems can be resolved with medical treatment or lifestyle adjustments. Your doctor will be able to diagnose any conditions present and give you treatment options, or refer you to a specialist.

About the Author:

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit

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Semen Analysis

For couples facing infertility, it is necessary for both partners to undergo equally thorough examinations. Male factors are found to be the sole cause of infertility in one third of couples, and are in combination with female factors in over half of all infertility cases. This usually comes down to problems related to semen production or delivery. Typically a thorough medical history is taken, and a semen analysis is done. The semen analysis test is the best way to help doctors determine whether or not a man’s sperm has the ability to fertilize an egg.

While a woman is born with all the eggs she will have in her lifetime, the male testes are continually producing sperm by a process known as spermatogenesis. It takes about three months for spermatozoa to reach maturity. Abnormalities at any point in this process can contribute to the male factor infertility.

The semen analysis test is simple. For a proper analysis, two samples should be taken at different times with at least 48 hours between ejaculations. The samples are measured, put on slides, and examined under a microscope. An individual’s test results can vary significantly, and a single abnormal result may be no cause for alarm, only an indication for further testing. A wide range of factors based on genetics, lifestyle, and presence of various medical conditions can affect the quality of sample as well. Five major factors that contribute to sperm quality are: sperm count, concentration, motility, speed, and morphology or shape.

Sperm count is the number of sperm present in a sample. Normal samples will contain around 40 million spermatozoa. Some causes for low sperm count may be exposure to excessive heat or radiation, drug use, consumption of alcohol, smoking, previous medical surgeries, or infection. Concentration refers to the amount of sperm present per millilitre of ejaculate. Results can range between 2 million/ml and 300 million/ml, but average around 40 million/ml. Conditions such as azoospermia, where sperm is produced but unable to mix with the ejaculate, contribute to low sperm count. Motility describes the sperm’s ability to move in fluid, or its “swimming ability”. This enables the sperm to make the journey through the uterus and fallopian tubes to penetrate the egg. In healthy samples at least half the sperm should be active. Speed is a measure of the forward progress a sperm makes. The morphology of a sperm should be similar to that of a tadpole. The genetic material is contained in the head while the tail provides propulsion.

Comparing these factors to set standards helps fertility specialists target possible causes of male infertility. A closer look at specific areas is necessary to develop the most effective infertility treatment plan.

About the Author:

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about male infertility. For more information, please visit

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The Pain of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue found in the lining of the uterus attaches to organs and other areas outside the uterus. It is thought to occur in 10-20% of women between the ages of 20 and 45. While the cause of endometriosis is still unknown, there is a relationship between hormone estrogen and immune system dysfunctions.

During a women’s menstruation the lining of the uterus bleeds and sheds and is forced out of the uterus by small uterine contractions. Uterine tissue, called endometrium, that is shed makes its way into the pelvic cavity. This is referred to as retrograde menstruation. This displaced tissue may then implant on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and on top of the uterus or its supporting ligaments. Other areas of occurrence are the abdomen, the area between the vagina and rectum, bowel, bladder, vagina, cervix, vulva, and in abdominal surgical scars. In rare circumstances they can be found in the lungs, arms, or thighs.

Women who suffer from endometriosis have been found to have excess levels of estrogen in their system. Studies have proposed that women with excessive levels of estrogen are at higher risk for endometriosis. This is because estrogen stimulates cell growth. Normally, the immune system is able to take care of any endometrial tissue that finds its way in to the pelvic cavity via retrograde menstruation. However, high levels of estrogen counteract the body’s ability to cope with the invading tissue. The immune system is overwhelmed and the implanted tissue grows and flourishes. This tissue will continue to respond to the hormonal cycle, and the shedding and bleeding causes inflammation and scarring.

One difficulty in diagnosing endometriosis is that the symptoms mimic several other medical conditions, such as ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, fibroid tumors, or irritable bowel syndrome. The most common of endometriosis symptoms is pain. However, some women may experience no symptoms at all. Other symptoms include pain in the abdomen and lower back associated with the changes occurring during the menstrual cycle, pain experienced during intercourse, heavy or irregular periods, painful bowel movements and urination, diarrhoea or constipation, fatigue, and general chronic pain at any time. Additionally, endometriosis will cause infertility in 40% of women affected.

Treatment of endometriosis is the subject of some controversy, as the exact causes of the condition are unknown. Some treatments may focus on eliminating or reducing the amount of estrogen a woman’s body produces. Laparoscopy is a common infertility treatment when endometriosis affects a woman’s ability to become pregnant. Less obtrusive treatments suggest changes in diet and exercise routine, thereby strengthening the body’s muscles and immune system which help the body naturally fight the condition.

About the Author:

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit

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