How much do you really know about fertility? Perhaps you are nearly an expert from all the research you've done online about how to get pregnant faster, or perhaps you are a healthcare professional who advices women on best practices when it comes to trying to get pregnant. Regardless of who you are, it's fun to test our knowledge base on questions about our incredible bodies and the miracle of conception. Go ahead, give it a go.
Outside of the ‘fertile window’, a woman has a 0% chance of conception. Medical opinion tells us that our fertile window is about 6 days long. More specifically, the ideal time for conception is 1-2 days prior to ovulation. That’s because a woman’s egg typically lives for 12-24 hours and sperm typically live 1-3 days inside a woman’s body. Therefore, the highest pregnancy rates seem to be when there is sperm waiting for the egg during this ‘fertile window’ time frame. In this post we explore the current methods to detect the elusive fertile window.
Tracking ovulation to get pregnant is serious business. Following the wrong information could mean a missed opportunity for pregnancy. With so many to choose from, which is the best one to use? For this guide, we review applications that mainly use algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) or calculations based on your cycle start and stop dates.
While waiting for a missed period and the right time to do a pregnancy test to obtain an accurate result, many women start to wonder if their bodies will show any clues or symptoms that pregnancy has occurred. In today’s blog we address the question, ‘are there any signs of pregnancy before a missed period’?
Any day of the year can be a new day to start a goal. New Years Day is simply another day on the calendar, but there is something special about having a designated day where millions of people around the world start (or revisit) goals. If you are thinking about or currently trying to get pregnant, there are lifestyle habits that can make a significant difference on your fertility, as well as the health of your pregnancy. Here we address 3 modifiable lifestyle factors that can help you get pregnant faster and are fantastic New Year Resolutions (or any day goals) for a healthier version of yourself.
After years of struggling to figure out what was wrong with her body, Dr. Kyle Willets ditched birth control and completely changed her diet. By eliminating foods such as sugar, Dr. Willets healed her body from PCOS and no longer needed to be on medication to regulate her cycles. As hard as it may be to believe, it’s been scientifically shown that by making changes, such as adding 30 minutes of walking a day, to losing 10 pounds, hormonal imbalances can be fixed and therefore, lead to regular cycles in some women. Here we address 5 common causes of irregular cycles in which lifestyle changes may help to regulate your period.
There are several things that have to happen to get pregnant. One, a woman needs to ovulate; two, a man needs to have viable sperm; and three, the two have to get together. If you have very irregular periods, it’s hard to know when you are ovulating or even if you are ovulating. Having irregular cycles may make it more difficult for a woman to become pregnant than it is for a woman with regular cycles. Dr. Don Aptekar, MD FACOG, explains, “a woman that has regular periods may ovulate 12 times in a year, while a woman with irregular periods may ovulate 6 times a year. Since she has fewer chances per year, it may take her longer to get pregnant.”
According to the National Center for Health Statistics more than 3 million women of childbearing age in the U.S. who have one biological child have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying another to term (source). If you and your partner have successfully had a child or children without any previous problems, you may be wondering what could be causing it to be so difficult this time around. Here is a review of what can be behind secondary infertility and when you should seek help.
As if getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) isn't bad enough, if you are trying to get pregnant, STDs can harm your fertility as well as your future baby. If people think their grandmothers (or worse their dads) giving sex advice is embarrassing enough, talking about STDs is a whole new level all together and likely to be incredibly uncomfortable. Since 1 in 4 Americans will develop an STD sometime during their lifetime, this is a topic that needs to be addressed (source). Whether you have been diagnosed with an STD in the past or not, this is a conversation to have with your doctor at your preconception visit or annual physical. If you or your partner has a history of multiple sexual partners, it’s especially important for the both of you to get screened. Many STDs are asymptomatic (have no signs or symptoms) and since routine gynecological exams do not often test for all STDs, you could have one without even knowing it (source). For this blog post we review the 7 STDs that can harm fertility and even cause infertility if left untreated and what can be done to protect you and your future baby.
It’s no secret that fertility declines with age. The exact age a woman’s fertility declines is unique for each individual. Some women will struggle to conceive in their early 30s due to age-related egg quality and others will find themselves still fertile at 46 years of age. Nevertheless, your body may give you some subtle clues that your fertility is changing. Here we examine how a woman’s cycle can change with age and how these changes impact fertility.
For many of us, we thought getting pregnant would be as easy as 1-2-3. I mean, why would we work so hard not to get pregnant if it was hard to get pregnant in the first place? There also is the fact that we live in a day and age where we are used to being in control of our lives. So it can be quite surprising and frustrating when we are ready to get pregnant and, well, it doesn’t happen in the time frame we envisioned. The older we get, the longer it can take to get pregnant. With many couples waiting longer to start their families, and with the ‘biological clock’ ticking loudly in our heads, it can be super stressful when the months pass by with out a positive pregnancy test.
With Halloween candy laying around and the holiday's coming up, what do the experts say about how and what to eat for a healthy body and fertility wellness? In other words, if you are wondering how much pecan pie our bodies can really handle and if those bread rolls really will make you gain weight, read on to learn what the research shows.
Physical activity is essential for good health and that is a fact. Exercise in general has been found to help with our mental well-being as well as some protection from obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis. But what about fertility? If you've done any online research on exercise and fertility, you may find more articles on how exercise can hurt fertility, rather than help. Indeed, some research shows that too much exercise can harm fertility. With only 31.8% of Americans getting the recommended amount of exercise per week, however, the problem for the majority of us isn’t doing too much exercise, but not getting enough.
So your partner has been diagnosed with low sperm count or an abnormal semen analysis. Now what? If your doctor has confirmed that you are ovulating and are physically normal, but your partner’s semen analysis came back abnormal, you may be wondering 1) what do these numbers mean? 2) how will we solve this? And 3) if needed, what are the treatments?
A warm cup of coffee in the morning is as much a part of a daily routine for some of us as brushing our teeth. For more than half the population in the U.S., drinking coffee is a daily affair. Unlike smoking, which is clearly bad for fertility and pregnancy, drinking coffee isn't as clear cut. In other words, consuming coffee may impact fertility or it may not. If you enjoy coffee to help wake up and focus at work, however, giving up coffee may not be worth getting pregnant in the first place. Ok, that is extreme, but seriously, for the group of us women who depend on our coffee to be functional and happy, do we need to give up our favorite part of the morning? Here we explore what the big players in both food and pregnancy safety say about coffee/caffeine consumption when trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
We give up drinking alcohol, we switch out our anti-wrinkle and/or acne cream for not so quite effective creams, cut back on eating tuna and may even give up coffee, all in effort to protect our potential pregnancy. So when the news and media share a study that says, 'study shows a hint of a possible link between miscarriage early in pregnancy and flu vaccine', it's natural to be concerned. Why are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) still recommending the flu shot and is it safe for pregnancy?
No one can fully understand the weight of having been robbed of a life dream until it happens to them. Couples unable to conceive face similar feelings of loss and depression that befalls athletes sidelined indefinitely by an injury and people who have received a diagnosis of a disabling chronic illness. When diagnosed with infertility it may feel impossible to find joy in life when a life-dream deeply tied to your identity and purpose has been pulled out under from your feet. While it may be impossible to untangle your identity completely with the inability to conceive, it is possible to gain purpose and overcome jealously by cultivating outlets that foster a deep love for yourself and others.
Unlike coffee and intense exercise, which have conflicting evidence on the impact on fertility, weight has a clear impact not only on fertility, but also pregnancy and even the future health of your baby. For women with a BMI in the overweight or obese category, it is recommended to lose weight before becoming pregnant. By adopting a healthy diet and exercise program you may not only lose weight, but you may also feel better, have more energy and yes, become more fertile. Here is a guide on what to eat to maximize your fertility health and prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
"Try drinking cough syrup", "You must have an orgasm" and "Keep your legs up for 20 minutes after sex". What other advice have you read or received if you are trying to get pregnant? After trying to conceive for several months with zero success, many women will try any method they hear about that could potentially help. There are a good deal of myths and false information on what affects conception. To help alleviate trying to conceive stress and confusion, we address lifestyle factors that have been scientifically analyzed for whether they help or interfere with getting pregnant.
Vitamins and supplements can be miraculous for those with diet deficiencies. In pregnancy, for example, research shows that having healthy levels of folate reduces babies being born with spinal cord abnormalities. The effectiveness of taking dietary supplements in high concentrations, however, is questionable. In fact, it can be dangerous. When trying to conceive, how do you know which vitamins and supplements are essential to take versus harmful? In this post, we examine up to date scientific research and current recommendations.