How STDs can Harm Fertility (and what to do about it)

How STDs can Harm Fertility (and what to do about it)

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. 

Do the Changes in the Menstrual Cycle Due to Age Indicate Changes in Fertility?

Do the Changes in the Menstrual Cycle Due to Age Indicate Changes in Fertility?

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.

Most Commonly Asked Questions when Trying to Get Pregnant

Most Commonly Asked Questions when Trying to Get Pregnant

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.

Can Carbs Impact Fertility? What to Eat this Holiday Season for Fertility Wellness

Can Carbs Impact Fertility? What to Eat this Holiday Season for Fertility Wellness

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.

Can Exercise Help with Fertility?

Can Exercise Help with Fertility?

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. 

Low Sperm Count or Abnormal Semen Analysis? Now What?

Low Sperm Count or Abnormal Semen Analysis? Now What?

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?

Can you Drink Coffee when Trying to Get Pregnant?

Can you Drink Coffee when Trying to Get Pregnant?

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.

Is the Flu Shot Safe when Trying to Get Pregnant?

Is the Flu Shot Safe when Trying to Get Pregnant?

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?

How to Overcome Pregnancy Envy & Sadness

How to Overcome Pregnancy Envy & Sadness

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. 

Is it Safe to Diet while Trying to Conceive?

Is it Safe to Diet while Trying to Conceive?

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. 

What Lifestyle Factors Can Help or Interfere with Getting Pregnant?

What Lifestyle Factors Can Help or Interfere with Getting Pregnant?

"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.

Are Dietary Supplements Safe and Effective when Trying to Conceive?

Are Dietary Supplements Safe and Effective when Trying to Conceive?

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. 

What to Know about Chemical Pregnancy “Early Miscarriage”

What to Know about Chemical Pregnancy “Early Miscarriage”

Since pregnancy tests are able to detect pregnancy earlier than ever before, it’s becoming more common for women to detect a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy is an early pregnancy loss that occurs shortly after implantation.  Today, women who are actively trying to conceive and taking early pregnancy tests or, going through fertility treatments and monitoring hCG levels, may become aware of having had a chemical pregnancy. Chemical pregnancies, miscarriages, implantation bleeding, and period vs pregnancy symptoms, all can lead to total confusion when trying to conceive. In this blog post, we cover the most commonly asked questions regarding a chemical pregnancy. 

Who Needs Birth Control After Infertility?

Who Needs Birth Control After Infertility?

Birth control after infertility might sound crazy, but unless either you and/or your partner has been diagnosed with sterility, your doctor will most likely recommend that you go on birth control after conceiving. This is applicable even for couples that took several years and medical intervention to conceive. For the purpose of this blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of the 4 most effective and safe non-hormonal birth control options.

How Soon to Take a Pregnancy Test for Accurate Results

How Soon to Take a Pregnancy Test for Accurate Results

Since getting pregnant is the single most important thing for women trying to conceive, the two week wait before taking a pregnancy test can be excruciating. It doesn't help that the signs of pregnancy can be similar to the signs of getting a menstrual cycle.  During this time it is common to question every symptom, or non-symptom, and have a deep desire to know if pregnant or not. In this blog post, we answer the most common questions women have about pregnancy tests including how soon you can take a test and how you can get a false positive. 

Pinpointing Ovulation when Trying to Conceive

Pinpointing Ovulation when Trying to Conceive

While nearly every other species of animals knows when they ovulate, we women pee on sticks, look at spit under a microscope, and even wake up each morning to take our temperature- all in an attempt to determine the elusive impending ovulation. Given that the current options for predicting the fertile window are not always accurate, it's not surprising that we have lots of questions concerning when we ovulate. Read on to see what was revealed in a Q&A with veteran OB-GYN, Dr. Don Aptekar, on the most commonly asked questions he receives when his patients are trying to conceive. 

5 Tips to Prevent Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

5 Tips to Prevent Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Debilitating, painful and annoying, back pain affects a whopping 50-70% of women during their pregnancy (American Pregnancy Association). If you have ever experienced back pain, or know someone who has, you know that the pain can significantly impact your everyday life and is worth the effort to avoid. By following the 5 tips below, your body will be better prepared to maintain alignment and balance throughout your pregnancy to prevent back pain.

What Works to Lose Weight when Trying to Conceive?

What Works to Lose Weight when Trying to Conceive?

Eating when not hungry or overeating at first may pacify the thoughts spinning in our minds and sure, that chocolate bar may momentarily quiet the noise, but the noise quickly turns into “why did I eat that!” and “Oh no, now I have to eat salad ALL DAY tomorrow.” When tomorrow rolls around, however, we may eat salad for lunch but by 4pm all will power goes out the door. Suddenly cookies seem more important than anything else in the world. So how do we turn on the willpower deep inside each and everyone of us to make healthier eating choices to save our waistlines and health?