Facts on the Fertility Shot
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Need a boost in fertility? Imagine getting a few shots and then producing a beautiful baby. It's not that simple, but it's very helpful for many couples.
Transcript: If you're looking to kick-start your conception, you might want to know about the fertility shot. When...
If you're looking to kick-start your conception, you might want to know about the fertility shot. When you receive "the fertility shot," you are injected with gonadotropin, a drug which is often sold under brand names like Pergonal and Fertinex. Because the full name for gonadotropin is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, the fertility shot is sometimes called the "HCG" shot. Gonadotropins may be administered to a patient if the fertility drug clomiphene does not help her to ovulate. They may also be used prior to in vitro fertilization. Men who are experiencing problems with their sperm may also be given gonadotropins. Although each form of gonadotropin is a bit different, here is how it generally works. You will be injected with the medication three days after your menstrual cycle starts every day for seven to ten days. The medication contains follicle stimulating hormone, or FSH, which will encourage you to produce several eggs instead of just one. During the time you receive injections, your doctor will monitor you to see when your eggs are mature. When this happens, you'll be given another injection of a slightly different medication,after which you will need to have sex or to be artificially inseminated. This treatment is more invasive and more costly than taking clomiphene, so it is a second recourse for conception difficulties.More »
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In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is where eggs and sperm from a couple are collected and joined together outside the body. For more information watch this video.
Transcript: Only five percent of couples with infertility problems have in vitro fertilization-but many of them are...
Only five percent of couples with infertility problems have in vitro fertilization-but many of them are rewarded with a baby. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, involves collecting eggs and sperm from a couple and joining them together outside the body. The embryos are then injected into the woman's uterus. IVF is expensive and invasive, and is not a first resort for infertile couples. However, if other treatment methods have not resulted in pregnancy, and your doctor decides that IVF is right for you, here's what you can expect. Your doctor will start by injecting you daily with fertility hormones. This will bolster your egg production. You will then be tested, either by an ultrasound or blood-work, to determine if your eggs are ready for retrieval. The eggs must be retrieved just before they emerge from the follicles in the ovaries. If the eggs are not taken out at the right time, they will not develop properly. When it's time for your egg removal, you will be at least mildly sedated. Your doctor will then use an ultrasound to locate and remove the eggs with a hollow needle. Immediately following the retrieval, your eggs will be mixed in a laboratory with your partner's sperm, which he will have donated shortly before. You will then go home to wait a few days for the fertilized eggs, or embryos, to reach a more advanced developmental stage. When the embryos are ready, you will return to your doctor to be injected with one or more of them. Luckily, injecting the fertilized embryos is less complex than harvesting your eggs. Your doctor will simply insert a catheter into your vagina and inject the fertilized eggs up into your uterus. Several hours later, you will be discharged to wait and see if the pregnancy has taken. To increase the chances of pregnancy, your doctor may recommend injecting up to four embryos at once. This can, however, result in multiple pregnancies, which may increase the health risks to both you and your babies. While age is a major factor in the success of IVF, about 35 percent of women under 40 who have the procedure will deliver a baby.More »
Last Modified: 2012-09-29 | Tags »
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Considering artificial insemination? Watch this video to learn more about how this procedure works.
Transcript: Many couples have difficulty conceiving, and artificial insemination is a commonly used method to help...
Many couples have difficulty conceiving, and artificial insemination is a commonly used method to help them to get pregnant. Artificial insemination, or intrauterine insemination as it is known today, involves inserting your partner's sperm directly into your uterus. This procedure may be used when a man has a low sperm count, or sperm that are weak swimmers. IUI may also be an option for a woman who has an abnormal uterine growth or endometriosis. Here's how IUI works: Your doctor uses a blood test to ensure that you're ovulating. Once it's confirmed that you're releasing an egg, your partner produces a fresh sample of sperm. The sperm are then "washed," a procedure that enhances the likelihood of fertilization by collecting the most active sperm. At this point, the sperm are placed in a catheter and inserted through the vagina into the uterus. This helps the sperm to bypass any possible obstructions, and makes it easier for them to reach your egg. This procedure won't take more than thirty minutes, and may feel similar to a Pap smear. After IUI is complete, you will be sent home to wait and see if you're pregnant. While artificial insemination is not successful for all couples, for some, it can be an effective way to conceive a baby.More »
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Think getting pregnant is just a matter of having sex? Well, it's a lot more complicated than that. Check out this video to learn more about natural fertility boosters.
Transcript: Ready to expand your family? While your most vigorous efforts will probably come in the bedroom, you...
Ready to expand your family? While your most vigorous efforts will probably come in the bedroom, you may want to invest some energy in the kitchen, too. While you're trying to get pregnant, both mom and dad can make some easy nutritional and lifestyle changes that will help improve your chances of conceiving. A. Because shark's fins were said to look like the male organ B. and figs like the female's, early civilizations encouraged eating them to boost fertility. Unfortunately though, there's no one magic food that will lure sperm to egg. Practicing all-around good nutrition, however, can help. The more natural your diet, the better off you'll be! Think bright reds, yellows and greens for fertility-boosting foods. Salad greens, peppers, carrots, mangos and oranges are particularly rich in the folic acid, Vitamin C and other nutrients your baby-making bodies need. Whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice are also full of folic acid. This mineral can help conception and lower the chances that your baby will develop neural birth defects like spina bifida. While trying to conceive, be sure to consume lots of calcium, a mineral vital for mom and her baby to-be. Milk, orange juice, salmon and edamame are all great sources of calcium. To fill dietary gaps, both mom and dad need to take a daily multivitamin. Look for one rich in folic acid, calcium, iron and zinc minerals that give fertility a boost. As with any supplement, never take more than the recommended dose. Doing so can actually make you less fertile. There are also some foods and drinks you should avoid. Alcohol decreases fertility in women and studies have shown that it increases the amount of abnormal sperm produced by men. Also, cut back on the caffeine. More than 300 milligrams, or three cups of coffee, daily can decrease fertility and even trigger a miscarriage. How you eat is as important as what you eat. To ensure healthy weight gain and proper delivery of nutrients for mother and baby-to-be, don't skip meals or go on a diet. A. Under pressure? B. Couples with extremely high stress levels may have more difficulty conceiving than C. their calmer counterparts. This is because, in women, stress causes extra uterine contractions which can delay ovulation and even prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Stressed-out men may experience reduction in both sperm count and sperm mobility. While no alternative therapies have been proven to increase fertility, there are certainly many that reduce stress-and that can help lead to conception. Finally, an excuse to get a couples massage. Yoga is another excellent way to de-stress and get your doctor-recommended exercise at the same time. Look for a fitness center offering classes in prenatal yoga. It can help to shop for aromatherapy candles and bath products scented with lavender, sandalwood or sage. These scents stimulate the release of relaxing melatonin. Preparing for pregnancy with diet and stress-relieving exercises can help ensure that it occurs! Remember, always consult your doctor if you're planning to become pregnant.More »
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Getting pregnant can be difficult for some couples. Luckily, there are steps you can take to solve this problem. Check out this video to learn more about infertility solutions.
Transcript: Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of actively trying. Fortunately for...
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of actively trying. Fortunately for the 20 percent of couples that DO have trouble, a number of assisted reproduction techniques can aid in getting pregnant. Intrauterine insemination is a process used in couples where the man experiences impotence or premature ejaculation, or the woman has problems with her cervical mucous. During intrauterine insemination, a thin catheter allows sperm to be inserted into the cervix through the vagina. The process, which takes place during ovulation, is fairly painless and is over in minutes. If a woman is considered a good candidate for intrauterine insemination, she will often take fertility medication that helps induce ovulation, hopefully increasing her future pregnancy rates. Another option, in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a technique in which a woman's eggs are removed and fertilized with her partner's sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs are then implanted in her womb. IVF is a good option for couples where the woman suffers from a condition called endometriosis, which can result in blocked fallopian tubes. It is also considered when the man has a low sperm count. Like in an intrauterine insemination, the woman will be given fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation and egg development. However, some women may have more luck using a donor's eggs, or may need to try IVF more than once. In some cases, a woman will not be able to get pregnant even with these fertilization techniques. At this point, some couples will consider surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy is a procedure where the commissioning parents produce an egg and sperm which are combined in a lab and then transplanted into a surrogate mother who will grow and birth the baby. In this procedure, the surrogate does not contribute genetically to the baby-to-be. Traditional surrogacy is a more common procedure, where a surrogate mother agrees in advance to give her genetic child to the couple who want a baby. In this case, the surrogate usually gets pregnant via artificial insemination, sometimes with the commissioning man's sperm. Infertility can be devastating for couples who wish to have a child, but modern science offers a host of options that can help. If you believe you may be infertile, talk to your doctor about the procedure that is right for you.More »
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As a woman ages, her chance of getting pregnant decreases. Watch this video to learn more about the correllation between age and fertility.
Transcript: Having a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby, becomes increasingly difficult with age. Why? A woman...
Having a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby, becomes increasingly difficult with age. Why? A woman is born with all of the eggs shell ever have. After puberty, she begins to ovulate and releases one of these eggs every month. As she ages, therefore, her supply of eggs dwindles. This reduces her chances of being able to conceive. As a result, the likelihood of a woman getting pregnant in any particular month, under optimal circumstances, is about 25 percent for a woman in her 20s, 15 percent for women in their early 30s, 10 percent in the mid-30s and just five percent for women over 40. Another difficulty with pregnancy later in life is that the number of genetically normal eggs that a woman has decreases with time. This leads to a higher rate of miscarriage and a greater chance for genetic abnormalities in babies of older women. In fact, the odds of a woman in her 20s having a child with Down syndrome are about one in 1,200. In contrast, among children born to women over 40, one child in 38 has a genetic abnormality. While this can be difficult for women trying to conceive after the age of 30, other fertility options, like using donor eggs, are quite successful in later life.More »
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Think getting pregnant is just a matter of having sex? Well, it's a lot more complicated than that. Check out this video to learn more about boosting fertility.
Transcript: Before you try to get pregnant, it will help to be familiar with your personal menstrual cycle. Believe...
Before you try to get pregnant, it will help to be familiar with your personal menstrual cycle. Believe it or not, you can ONLY conceive during your small fertile window, which occurs during each cycle, on the five days before, and the actual day of, ovulation. During ovulation, the ovary sends a mature egg through the fallopian tube and into the uterus, where it can be fertilized by your partners sperm. Egg release typically occurs in the middle of your cycle. You can determine your cycle length by noting the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. Keeping a menstrual calendar will allow you to know at a glance when your fertile window opens. In addition to watching your period, it can help to watch what you eat! A nourishing diet complemented with a multi-vitamin supplement increases your chances of conceiving by correcting any hormone imbalances you may have. Diet is important for other reasons, as well. Extra weight can cause the release of excess female hormones, resulting in a disrupted menstrual cycle and infrequent ovulation. For this reason, it can help to supplement your diet with a smart exercise regimen. Aim for thirty minutes a day, five times a week. Keep in mind, however, that weighing too little can lessen hormone production, with the same fertility-interfering result. So talk to your doctor regarding an ideal weight for you. Watching what you drink is almost as important as watching what you eat. Women who drink more than 300 milligrams (about three cups) of caffeine daily tend to have a harder time conceiving than those who dont. Youll also want to keep alcohol-intake to a minimum. More than two alcoholic drinks a day can impair fertility, because alcohol alters the levels of estrogen in your body, in turn, interfering with egg implantation in the uterus. Now is also a great time to cut out cigarettes. Toxins from the smoke can damage your eggs, alter the release of hormones, and decrease the ability of the embryo to implant. But there ARE fun parts about preparing to conceive. Get ready to relaxguilt free! Studies have shown that women experiencing psychological stress are less likely to conceive, because these feelings can alter your bodys hormone production. While youre relaxing, why not try some yoga? Its thought that certain yoga positions can increase your fertility by specifically targeting the reproductive organs and increasing the flow of blood to your pelvis, while other poses can stimulate your ovaries. Finally, make love! Of course, youre doing this already when youre trying to make a baby. But women who engage in regular intercourse have steadier ovulation patterns and increased estrogen production. Missionary is the best position to use if youre trying to conceive. Your partners penetration will be deeper and gravity will work in your favor, enhancing sperm movement towards the egg. Fertility experts also agree that lying down and elevating your hips for a few minutes after intercourse increases the chances of sperm reaching your egg. While many women have trouble conceiving, these tips can help. But remember to discuss any diet or exercise changes with your doctor before proceeding!More »
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Male infertility can be caused by a number of things--from low sperm count to exposure to toxins. Learn more about male infertility by watching this video.
Transcript: Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. Although...
Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. Although both females and males can have problems that lead to difficulty conceiving, ninety percent of MALE infertility derives from a deficient sperm count. Because most sperm are destroyed before they even reach the egg, a count below 500 sperm per milligram can make conception very difficult. Let's look at some medical difficulties that can lead to infertility. A varicocele is an abnormally enlarged vein in the scrotum which occurs in 40 percent of infertile men. Varioceles can cause blood to pool in the scrotum, raising temperatures and killing sperm there. Testicular overheating, and consequential sperm death, can also be caused by high fevers and excessive hot tub or sauna use. In up to 70 percent of men who struggle with infertility, infection of the reproductive organs is a problem. This can stem from any number of issues, but is commonly a result of the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia. Another medical problem that can lead to male infertility is hormone release. Low levels of the male hormone testosterone, or particularly high levels of the female hormone estrogen, can both lead to conception difficulties. Sometimes, infertility can be related to a man's environment. For example, emotional and physical stress can impair the production of sperm, lowering levels until they become almost non-existent. Exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals can further lower a man's sperm count. Because sperm are so vulnerable to the damage of free radicals like these, doctors have found sperm counts to be falling dramatically in the past few decades of increased pollution and industry. Another reason for decreasing sperm count relates to consumption. A diet deficient in the vital Vitamins E and C, and in the nutrients zinc and folate, can lead to low sperm count and infertility. Consumption of illegal drugs can play a role, too. Abuse of drugs like cocaine and marijuana temporarily reduce the quantity and quality of sperm by up to 50 percent. Cigarette smoking also impairs sperm movement and lowers fertility in men. A final factor that can adversely affect male fertility is...not surprisingly...aging. As a man grows older, he will experience a decrease in sperm movement, as well as an overall decline in the genetic quality of the sperm he releases. Because there are so many reasons that a man may be infertile, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are part of a couple that is having trouble conceiving. A variety of treatment options may be able to help!More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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Becoming preganant is not so easy for some women. Learn more about female infertility by watching this video.
Transcript: Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. When...
Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. When a female is infertile, it is usually because there is something wrong with her reproduction system. Let's take a closer look at the female reproductive system, which begins with the vagina, a muscular organ that connects to the cervix, the opening of the uterus, or womb. The uterus, or can expand to accommodate a growing fetus. The ovaries produce, store, and release eggs into two fallopian tubes in the upper corners of the uterus during ovulation. The egg can then fertilized by a man's sperm. Based on this complex reproductive system, the causes of female infertility can be separated into distinct categories: ovulatory, cervical, uterine, and pelvic, which refers to problems in the fallopian tubes. Ovulation difficulties can occur if a woman releases excessive male hormones, called androgens, or if she makes too much prolactin, the hormone that encourages breast milk production. Severe physical or psychological stress can also disrupt ovulation, or even stop it completely, making conception difficult. A damaged cervix is another difficulty that makes it hard for sperm to enter. Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea can both infect the cervix and cause infertility. Cervical mucous, which is produced before ovulation to assist with sperm movement, can also be a source of infertility. If a woman makes too little mucous, or if her mucous reacts negatively with her partner's sperm, it will be unable to reach her egg. The pelvic, or tubule, area is another region that can suffer from abnormalities that lead to infertility. Normal scar tissue, distorted fallopian tubes and benign tumors are examples of disruptions to this area. Another common pelvic condition is endometriosis, whereby the tissue lining in the uterus grows outside of it. This can lead to a build-up of tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes or ovaries, making pregnancy difficult. The primary cause of pelvic infertility, however, is pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. Like cervical damage, PID follows from sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Conditions relating to the uterine lining make up the final grouping of fertility problems. Uterine polyps and uterine fibroids are typically benign, fleshy growths that grow on the inside, or around the opening of, the uterus. They can cause distortion in the lining of the uterus, in turn interfering with egg implantation. Although female infertility is often due to a problem like these, age plays a role, too, because a woman's finite supply of eggs begins to decline after the age of 30. The female reproductive system is incredibly intricate, and doesn't always work the way it should. If you are having difficulty conceiving, talk to your doctor about possible causes and treatment options.More »
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Endometriosis is a condition that affects many women and its symptoms can be tricky to spot. Watch this video to gain a better understanding of endometriosis.
Transcript: Endometriosis occurs when tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus actually grows in...
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus actually grows in other areas of the pelvic region. Because this condition is one of the leading causes of infertility, it helps to be familiar with endometriosis. The tissue that lines the uterus, or womb, is called the endometrium. Every month, female hormones cause the endometrium of a woman's uterus to build up with tissue and blood in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn't occur, the uterus sheds this built-up lining via the vagina as a menstrual period. Although this process occurs in women with endometriosis as well, it's a bit more complicated. That's because women with endometriosis have patches of endometrium that grow OUTSIDE the uterus, in places like the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bowels, or the bladder. This misplaced tissue responds to the monthly cycle just as the endometrium does. Each month, the patches, or plaques, grow thicker. As the tissues affected don't have a natural "exit route," there is no place for the build-up to leave the body at the cycle's end. These endometriotic plaques can grow larger over time, and the symptoms can worsen. A symptom suggestive of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain that tends to be worse during menstruation or ovulation. Other symptoms include very painful or heavy menstrual periods, pain during or after sex, and uncomfortable urination or bowel movements during menstruation. Contrarily, some women have no symptoms at all. Infertility is another sign that can suggest that endometriosis is present. Indeed, some women do not realize they have endometriosis until they attempt to conceive and cannot do so. Endometriosis can lead to infertility because it may cause scarring or blockage of the body's fallopian tubes, which are necessary to transport eggs from the ovaries to be fertilized. Because infertility-causing endometriosis tends to show up most frequently in women who are of childbearing age, the condition can become a concern. Unfortunately, no one has identified endometriosis's exact cause, although a genetic link is often theorized. In fact, women with a first degree relative, like a mother or sister with the disease are six times more likely to have endometriosis. Some doctors theorize that endometriosis is caused when normal menstrual debris flows into the pelvis, a fairly common condition called retrograde menstruation. In women with endometriosis, however, the debris takes root and grows into misplaced patches, or plaques, of endometrial tissue. Regardless of the cause, there is currently no cure for endometriosis. However, medication can help to ease the pain and menstrual symptoms that can accompany the condition. In addition, surgery aimed at removing the build-up may assist women with infertility-causing endometriosis, as well as patients with very severe cases. Endometriosis is very common, and the symptoms of the condition ARE treatable. If you have concerns about endometriosis, please make an appointment to discuss them with your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-09 | Tags »
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If you're trying to get pregnant, learning about the best sex for conception may help the process along. Watch this video to learn about conception sex timing and optimal sex positions.
Transcript: If you want to get pregnant, try the missionary, or man-on-top, position, which is optimal for baby-making!...
If you want to get pregnant, try the missionary, or man-on-top, position, which is optimal for baby-making! You can really enhance sperm's ability to swim by placing a pillow under your hips and keeping your legs raised after his orgasm! Try remaining in this position-or at least horizontal-for 15 minutes after intercourse to trap semen. Meanwhile, certain gravity-defying positions such as sitting, standing, or woman-on-top may actually discourage sperm from swimming upward. And although it may seem counterintuitive, having sex every other day around ovulation gives a man a chance to recharge his sperm count. Finally, remember that while the female orgasm isn't a necessary component of conception, orgasmic uterine contractions may help sperm move toward the fallopian tubes! Remember, practice makes baby, so keep up the good work!More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-09 | Tags »
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If you and your partner are under a considerable amount of stress, it may be more difficult to conceive. You may just need to relax to get pregnant. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Under pressure? Couples with extremely high stress levels may have more difficulty conceiving than their...
Under pressure? Couples with extremely high stress levels may have more difficulty conceiving than their calmer counterparts. In women, stress causes extra uterine contractions which can delay ovulation and even prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Men may experience reduction in both sperm count and sperm mobility.While no alternative therapies have been proven to increase fertility, there are certainly many that reduce stressand that can help lead to conception. Finally, an excuse to get a couples massage. Yoga is another excellent way to de-stress and get your doctor-recommended exercise at the same time. Look for a fitness center offering classes in prenatal yoga. Preparing for pregnancy with diet and stress relieving exercises can help ensure that it occurs.More »
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Want to boost fertility naturally? Cut down on your alcohol consumption since it reduces fertility in both men and women. Get more tips in this video.
Transcript: There is no one magic food that will lure sperm to egg. Practicing all around good nutrition however,...
There is no one magic food that will lure sperm to egg. Practicing all around good nutrition however, can help. The more natural your diet the better of you'll be. Think bright reds, yellows and greens for fertility-boosting foods. While trying to conceive, be sure to consume lots of calcium, a mineral vital for mom and her baby-to-be. To fill dietary gaps both mom and dad need to take a daily multivitamin. Never take more than the recommended dose.There are also some foods and drinks you should avoid. Alcohol decreases fertility in women and studies have shown that it increases the amount of abnormal sperm produced by men. Also, cut back on the caffeine. More than 300 milligrams, or three cups of coffee, daily can decrease fertility and even trigger a miscarriage.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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