Sex and Selecting Your Baby's Gender
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Can you choose the gender of your baby? Does when, where, and how you have sex have anything to do with whether you conceive a boy or a girl? Getting pregnant may never be the same after you watch this pregnancy video!
Transcript: Have sex when the moon is full and you'll conceive a girl. Eat lots of red meat and a boy is in your...
Have sex when the moon is full and you'll conceive a girl. Eat lots of red meat and a boy is in your future. Sound ridiculous? That's because determining the gender of your unborn child based on old wive's tales generally IS ridiculous. But if you're like 83% of hopeful moms, you DO have a gender preference, and may wonder if it's possible to tip the odds in favor of a boy or girl. According to a 40 year old theory created by Dr. Landum Shettles, determining the gender of your child is as easy as having sex on a schedule. On the other hand, most modern research suggests that influencing your baby's gender based on the timing or type of sexual intercourse is statistically very unlikely to make any difference. To understand the Shettles Method, remember biology 101, where you learned that a woman's egg contains one X chromosome. Meanwhile, a man's sperm can contain either a Y chromosome, which joins with the egg to make a boy-or an X chromosome which joins with the egg to make a girl. According to Shettles, boy-making Y chromosomes move more quickly in a woman's body, BUT are also less hardy and die faster. On the other hand, girl-guaranteeing X chromosomes don't swim as strongly, HOWEVER, they live longer in a woman's body. Based on that idea, Shettles explains that it's vital for a woman to know when she is likely to release an egg. This can be tracked by taking one's basal body temperature daily, by watching the cervical mucous, or by using an ovulation kit. Once ovulation has been predicted, couples who want a girl should make love two to four days BEFORE the woman releases her egg. For girl results, it is also recommended that the male penetrate shallowly in the missionary position. The idea here is to give the slower, more resilient female sperm a chance to reach the egg when it is released. To make a boy, just reverse the terms-have sex as close to ovulation as possible, and do so using deep thrusting positions, like rear entry. This will put the short living, fast swimming male sperm even closer to the already available egg. Proponents of the Shettles method swear that it's 75% accurate-but remember that nature provides a 50% chance of having one's desired sex anyway! Additionally, it can be very hard to track an ovulation schedule, which can be thrown off by changes as subtle as a new medication or an increase in sexual activity. Because of this, the medical community doesn't put much stock in using sex to INFLUENCE sex. However, many doctors encourage eager couples to give it a go anyway, as it absolutely can't hurt to try!More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-15 | Tags »
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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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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 »
Last Modified: 2012-10-12 | Tags »
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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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Worried that your sperm is not strong or capable enough to conceive? Check out this video for your guide to super sperm.
Transcript: Ready to have a baby, but not sure if your sperm are up to snuff? Get 'em swimming stronger with these...
Ready to have a baby, but not sure if your sperm are up to snuff? Get 'em swimming stronger with these tips. To achieve baby-making goals, sperm need to have friends: 20 million of them in fact! They also need to be shaped appropriately, and be superb swimmers. But how do you get such super sperm? Start by taking a daily multivitamin, which provides selenium, zinc, and folic acid, each of which is important for sperm production. Now get out there and exercise, a great way to improve sperm's motility! But don't overdo it! Too much exercise can lower hormones and decrease your sperm's quality. Similarly, maintain a healthy weight. Too much or too little body fat can reduce your sperm count and increase the percentage of abnormal sperm. Finally, get sperm ready to swim by avoiding heated pools yourself. Spending too long in water over 102 degrees can lower sperm count. These tips are simple, but they'll ensure that your sperm earn their superhero colors!More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-09 | Tags »
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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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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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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 »
Last Modified: 2012-10-12 | Tags »
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Are you ready to begin a family? Keep in mind that preparing to conceive a baby may not be as easy as you think. Watch this video for more information.
Transcript: Congratulations! The decision to have a child is an exciting one. Surprisingly, prepping for the healthiest...
Congratulations! The decision to have a child is an exciting one. Surprisingly, prepping for the healthiest baby starts not in the bedroom, but with some lifestyle changes. It is vital to start by meeting with your ob-gyn for a preconception appointment. This checkup allows your doctor to uncover any health problems you may have that could affect a pregnancy, or your baby's development. At this appointment, your doctor will be looking for anemia, diabetes, kidney disease, genital infection, high blood pressure and immunity to rubella. Your doctor will also advise you of your optimal weight right now, and will discuss the amount you should gain during a pregnancy. If you are underweight, you are more likely to give birth to a low-weight baby, which can cause difficulties after delivery. If you are overweight, you are more likely to have complications, and you will have a higher chance of having a baby too big to pass safely through the birth canal, a condition known as macrosomia. Proper diet and nutrition are essential to your preconception health. You should never diet while trying to conceive, and always avoid eating undercooked meat and raw eggs. So, watch that ceaser salad dressing! Doctors also recommend taking prenatal vitamins prior to conception. This prepares your body for pregnancy and helps to fill in any dietary gaps you may have. Folic acid is arguably the most important prenatal vitamin for women. Folic acid can lower the risk that your baby-to-be will develop neural birth defects. And don't forget to exercise! Engaging in a cardiovascular activity that gets your heart pounding, like running or biking, will keep you fit and healthy, increase blood flow to the uterus, and will help prepare your body for conception. It is also recommended that you cease certain unhealthy habits before you conceive. Smoking, drinking, and recreational drug use are among these no-nos. It is also advisable to limit your caffeine consumption. Finally, be sure to ask your doctor about any prescription medications you take that could be harmful to your baby once you conceive, or which could make it difficult to conceive in the first place. Taking positive steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy (before it even begins) will help ensure a smooth ride for both you AND your baby-to-be. Remember to talk to your doctor before attempting to conceive!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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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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