Gum Disease and Fertility: How it affects you and your partner

When you decide to grow your family, it’s one of the most special times in your life as a couple. There is something so beautiful about having a baby and it’s something you and your partner will cherish forever. However, many couples may not know that their dental health can play a big role in fertility, especially if either of them are suffering from gum disease. Growing a family is a special time in a couple’s life, so it’s important that they have the best dental health while trying to conceive. I have been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years and have helped many couples with their dental health so that they can be as healthy as possible for conceiving a child. Here’s how gum disease can affect your fertility and some ways that you can work to prevent the condition

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Fertility, ConceptionOrla O'Connor
Important Nutrients for Fertility and Pregnancy By Kat Boyd ND.

Deciding to have a baby is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. It is only natural to want to get pregnant quickly, have a problem free pregnancy and the brightest, healthiest and most beautiful baby.

Many people start to look after themselves after they get pregnant, they stop drinking alcohol start paying attention to their diet. But, did you know that a baby body is completely formed just 10 weeks after conception?

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Vegan diets and conception

Plant foods
There is a growing trend in the western world towards eating a vegan diet.  A vegan diet is a diet that excludes all animal foods and foods produced by animals. These foods include meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, gelatine and honey.
A vegan diet is also called a plant based diet.  It relies solely on plant foods.  Plant foods are super healthy for us.  Most people do not consume sufficient plant based foods in their diets.  

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Explaining DNA fragmentation and why it impacts male fertility

Explaining DNA fragmentation and why it impacts male fertility

According to recent media reports, mounting evidence suggests that male factors may be the contributing factor in nearly half of all infertility cases.

Sperm DNA fragmentation - a term used to denote abnormal genetic material within the sperm, which may lead to male subfertility, IVF failure and miscarriage - is an increasing focus for discussion amongst researchers and fertility experts.

So, what can be done to support men who present with higher than average DNA fragmentation in their sperm?

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Macho Mark and the missing sperm…

I was 43 years old and genuinely thought the opportunity for me to have kids was gone. I was also concerned that my hectic lifestyle and questionable diet in the last 20 years might have affected my ability to have children. Eventually the question of children came to a head as we discussed whether to have nice wedding or try for a child. Myself and my fiancé were both desperate not to hurt each other’s feeling but fortunately we both wanted to give it a go. All that said it was an awkward conversation.

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Staying positive after many years of fertility struggles

Deciding to start trying to conceive was an exciting time – I remember having ‘the chat’ with Aaron six years ago and thinking that in a year or two’s time we’d have turned into a family of three! Sadly, despite our best efforts we are still just two, thousands of pounds poorer but not too mentally scarred from four cycles of IVF, three miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy. I think the key to this has been the strength of our relationship, the support of our family and friends and the acceptance and calm that eventually comes from years of fertility struggles.

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Over the last few years the term “metrosexual male” has become more and more commonplace. Apparently, it refers to city loving men who enjoy shopping, culture and fashion as much as some women; men are displaying their softer side, being more attentive to their partners’ needs and slowly throwing off some of their macho shackles. They talk more openly about their mental health, sexual preferences and some are happy to tell their good mates down the pub that they love them. The UK has active male focussed charities to raise awareness and hopefully prevent heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetes and getting men to cut down on their smoking and drinking.

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Understanding the Emotional Impact of Trying to Conceive

‘I just want to be pregnant!’, a common thought for anyone trying to conceive, whether a couple experiencing infertility or a single person or same sex couple who, because of their relationship status, had planned to conceive with assistance.  Friends, family members and sometimes our partners too, will suggest that we relax, try not to think about it and ‘it’ will happen.

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FertilityOrla O'Connor
Three ways to emotional self-care when you’re trying to get pregnant

When you’ve been trying for a while, as you probably know, it consumes your thoughts. It also takes sex off the nice-to-do list and onto your actual to-do list. Which is possibly the least sexy thing ever. It wasn’t until I’d let go of trying to get pregnant that I could look back and see how much I’d been obsessing about trying to get pregnant. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, right? 

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IVF, FertilityOrla O'Connor
Trying by Michelle & Clive

When somebody asks me how long we have been "trying", I ask them, have they got an hour for me to explain? I put trying in inverted commas because I don't actually know if I can still class us as a couple that have been "trying" nonstop for a certain amount of years. Our journey has been that of a rollercoaster, and during our time, we have had a failed IVF cycle here in Ireland, we were naturally blessed with the most precious child, our boy Zach, who was given to us for a short five weeks in August 2017 and then cruelly taken away from us again, and then a failed ICSI cycle in Prague as recent as February 2019. 

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Low AMH - don't panic

I am seeing more and more women attending me concerned about their AMH reserve.  AMH, is the short name for  Anti-Mullerian Hormone.  It is a substance produced by the granulosa cells in the ovarian follicles.  It is a routine test carried out in fertility clinics.  It may be interpreted as an indicator of low ovarian reserve, in other words a reduced supply of eggs in the ovaries.  

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Tasty Foods containing vitamins and minerals

There are lots of tasty foods which will make you really enjoy eating healthily and don't take too much effort to prepare.  Some of them include:

Walnuts contain Vitamin E, omega 3 oils, and healthy fats.
Brazil nuts contain selenium, magnesium, vitamins and healthy fats.
You can eat them raw, add them to cakes, muffins, scone mixes, or bread mixes as well as to salads.

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NutritionOrla O'Connor
Women take preparing their body for conception seriously

Research with Irish women has shown that we see losing weight, taking supplements, changing diet and cutting down on alcohol as important when trying for a baby:

•    53% of women feel losing weight will boost their chances of conception
•    38%  of women are taking fertility enhancing prenatal vitamins
•    37% are exercising more
•    36% change their diet, with most adopting a low-sugar way of eating

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40 years since the first IVF baby!

Louise Brown was born on November 10, 1977 – 40 years ago. Louise was the first IVF baby.  Prof Robert Edwards and Dr Patrick Steptoe pioneered a technique that would go on to give millions of couples the chance to have children.
The process of in vitro fertilisation involves removing an egg from the woman’s ovaries, fertilising it with sperm in a laboratory and then returning the fertilised egg – the embryo – to the womb to develop. More than five million IVF babies have been born around the world in the past 4o years. 

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