Posts in Fertility
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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IT’S NEVER TO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT MALE FERTILITY

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
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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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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Secondary Infertility

Secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant or to carry a baby to term after previously giving birth to a baby. Secondary infertility shares many of the same causes of primary infertility. Secondary infertility can be surprising and stressful.  There are no exact figures available for rates of Secondary Infertility but depending on who you speak to range from 30-60% of couples presenting to fertility clinics.  The immune system is inextricably linked with fertility issues but more so with secondary infertility. Supporting the immune function should be prioritised during the pre-conception and conception period

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How to help friends who are trying to conceive

The latest research from PROCEIVE, along with Mummy Pages highlights how women feel when they are asked are they are trying for a baby. The hardest part of the conception journey reported by our mums-to-be is when people enquire if they are ‘trying’ or by reminding them that their biological ‘clock is ticking’ (33%), when their friends make their own baby announcements (31%), and seeing pregnant women (18%).  

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To Coffee or not when trying for a baby?

Caffeine consumption is a much debated subject when it comes to conception and fertility issues. Coffee can be described as a double edged sword. Coffee beans come from a plant so they are essentially a healthy food choice. They are packed full of health promoting plant chemicals. When the beans are picked, they are roasted and this process increases their health promoting anti-oxidant levels.

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The Egg Story

Women are born with around 1-2 million follicles (immature eggs). This is their complete supply and they don’t make any more. At puberty the number of eggs has dropped by over half down to 400,000-500,000. With each menstrual cycle up to 1000 follicles begin getting ready for ovulation. Only 1 becomes mature enough to do so. The other 999 or so are lost, so once you start your regular menstrual cycles, you begin to lose eggs on a monthly basis.

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