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

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

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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 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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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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Friday, March 14, 2008

Two Ways to Tell When You’re Ovulating

Getting pregnant does not always happen when you would like it to. Some couples decide it is time to have kids and within a month or two they are announcing they are pregnant. Other couples try month after month without success. If you are one of the couples having difficulty, do not feel discouraged. It is estimated that 25 percent of couples trying to conceive experience problems with fertility. There have been great advances in infertility treatments over the last ten years. A better understanding of the reproductive system may help to solve the problem.
Knowing when you are most fertile is a significant step towards conception. This will be the few days a month when you are ovulating. Ovulation is when the ovaries release an egg and it is deposited in the uterus. Your menstrual cycle begins with the first day of your period and ends with the last day before your period. Ovulation will typically occur mid cycle. Once released the egg is only viable for fertilization for 24 hours. Sperm can survive for approximately 72 hrs. If you do the math you will see that the2 to 3 days before you ovulate are the best days to try for conception. Knowing exactly which day you are going to ovulate may seem difficult, but here are some helpful tools.
Ovulation test kits measure the amount of Luteinising Hormone (LH) in your urine stream. Prior to ovulation there is a surge of LH in your system to cue the ovaries to release an egg. This happens approximately two weeks after your period. You will need to know how long your menstrual cycle normally is, as cycles can vary from 28 to 34 days. Ovulation test kits come with step by step instructions and will supply a chart to help you determine which days to start testing your urine. It is important to test urine at the same time every day. False positive results can occur as a result of some oral medications. Check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. When the test strip detects higher levels of LH that means ovulation will occur within the next 48 hours. This is when you should have intercourse. Ovulation test kits are available at any drugstore or online at many fertility or pregnancy websites.
Another method is charting your basal body temperature (BBT). This method requires you to measure your body temperature during the first few hours of waking. By charting these temperatures over a period of time you will be able to determine when you are ovulating. During your menstrual cycle there are two hormones that play important roles. Estrogen is the hormone that is active in your system during the first half of your cycle, also called the follicular phase. Estrogen helps to trigger the ovaries to release an egg. When ovulation occurs Progesterone is released to help prepare the uterus for possible implantation. These changes within the body create fluctuations in your BBT. Typically, you can expect to see a decrease in BBT just prior to ovulation and then a significant increase, approximately.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more, once the egg has been released. Your BBT’s will remain high if conception takes place, but will return to their base line if your period starts. By tracking and charting your temperatures you will be able to know when the best times are for intercourse. A digital thermometer that measures to the tenth of a degree is easiest to use. You can make your own chart to keep track of your temperatures or download and print one from an infertility treatment website. If you are uncertain about your temperatures or do not see any change in BBT consult your doctor.

Like so many aspects of life a little understanding goes along way. Maximize your chances using these tools. If you still are unable to conceive after 1 year, or 6 months if over 35, talk to your doctor about infertility treatment options.


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 www.infertilitytutorials.com.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Healthy Tips to Help With Conception

You and your partner have decided it’s time. You’ve stopped using birth control and you’ve begun the fun part of having kids, making them. Don’t stress out if you’re not pregnant in the first couple of months of trying. Here are some important things to keep in mind when trying to conceive.

The body works best when it is not stressed out. Studies show that 8 out of 10 women suffer from significant stress in their day to day lives. Whether it is work, family, or financial stress it can wreak havoc on your system. Here are some simple ways you can work on reducing your stress level. If you feel your stress level rising, no matter where you are, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. The oxygen to your brain and body help to reduce the level of stress plus it gives you a couple of seconds to regain composure or think about what needs to be done and what can wait till later. Take 10 minutes a day to sit in silence or with calm music and think about your favourite thing to do, place to visit, or memory. This simple exercise helps your body and mind to come to rest and recharge on thoughts that are happy and pleasant.

Now that you are ready to be pregnant you have stopped eating junk food and drinking caffeine by the pot. It is time to start consuming the types of food that will help your body prepare for and carry the baby you are hoping for. Caffeine increases levels of stress and anxiety. Most doctors recommend the cessation of caffeine intake while pregnant because it can affect the development of the baby and increase the baby’s heart rate. The baby growing inside you will be borrowing from your sources of nutrients for its own development. This means no more skipping meals. A skipped meal can leave you fatigued and faint. Most health care professionals recommend six small balanced meals a day to keep your metabolism at an even level instead of the highs and lows experienced with only two or three large meals a day. Prenatal vitamins should be taken as well. Besides being a multivitamin, they contain folic acid. Folic acid helps to prevent neural tube defects during your baby’s prenatal development. It is a good idea to begin taking them right away since you will not know when you do become pregnant. During the first four weeks babies grow by leaps and bounds. It is imperative that you stay adequately hydrated during pregnancy. At least 64 oz. of water a day is recommended. Carry a water bottle with you throughout your day and don’t forget to DRINK IT.

A relaxed and well nourished body also needs regular exercise. Not marathon over the top exercise, but 25 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise that maintains your heart rate at your target heart rate. Talk to your doctor about your target heart rate or if you belong to a gym you can talk to a personal trainer. Aerobic exercise is continuous motion with adequate oxygen. Ideas for aerobic activity include biking, swimming, speed walking, running, aerobics class, or stair climber. Find something you enjoy doing or alternate activities to break up the monotony and make it a part of your day at least 3 times a week.

It’s important to know when you are most fertile (likely to get pregnant). Purchase an ovulation test kit from any drug store and follow the directions. If you are between 20-35 years of age and have been trying to conceive for more than 1 year, or 6 months if over 35, you may require infertility treatments and should speak with your doctor.

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

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

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 www.infertilitytutorials.com.

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