True or False? Myths About Conception

I recently read an article from the Gambit on the Misinformation on Conception and it got me thinking about the myths about misconception so many women believe to be true. Let’s explore the truth behind some of those myths:

It’s impossible to get pregnant in your 40s

While it’s true that the older a woman gets the fewer normal eggs she produces, it is not impossible for a woman to conceive in her 40s, proven true by the thousands of women in their 40s (and older!) that get pregnant every year. Women in their 40s should take some extra precautions, however, when getting pregnant. Many doctors encourage women in their 40s who want to get pregnant to get help right away. Other options include using donor eggs from a younger donor. Just like younger women, women in their 40s should take prenatal vitamins, get daily moderate exercise and maintain a healthy diet. Women in their 40s have a higher chance of miscarriage, as well as higher instances of genetic defects such as down syndrome. To help alleviate these risks, pregnant women in their 40s receive high-risk prenatal care and many undergo genetic testing.

couple pregnancy testGetting pregnant is natural and easy

As the 8 million women dealing with infertility each year know, getting pregnant is not always natural and easy. Women have a very small window to get pregnant each month, based on when they ovulate, when they have intercourse and whether all the pieces of the conception puzzle fall into place. Thankfully, couples TTC have help, including charting BBT, checking cervical mucus and timing intercourse for most fertile times, to make the seemingly easy process work for them. Learning how your body works is a great first step in assuring that you can get pregnant easily and quickly.

Fertility is always the woman’s fault

When a couple deals with infertility, many people wrongly assume something is wrong with the woman. However, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in nearly 40 percent of couples experiencing fertility issues, male infertility is the main or contributing issue. If you’re having trouble, consider having your husband or partner checked for fertility issues.

For more information on fertility, the conception process and getting pregnant, visit the Key to Conceive website!

The Less-Known Pain of Secondary Fertility

Recently my husband and I met a lovely couple from our church and invited their family for dinner. When they arrived we were introducing our children to each other. We have three children and they have two sweet little girls.  Never would I have thought this couple was struggling with infertility. In my narrow mindedness, I assumed only couples who have never been able to conceive would feel the real emotional impact of infertility. I was wrong.

Secondary infertility is defined similarly to primary infertility in that it is diagnosed after one year of trying without success to conceive, the only difference is those diagnosed with secondary infertility have already naturally birthed one or more children.

Mistakingly, somewhere deep inside, I thought secondary infertility would be less emotionally difficult than primarpsi1_1376505cy infertility because the couple has already been able to conceive once and now has a child of their own. However, after speaking with a couple first hand who already has two healthy children, I now know better. A dream is a dream and when that dream is at risk pain is inevitable. Our friends’ dream of a large family is at risk when they have tried without success to conceive a third child. The vision of their complete family has the potential to be incomplete. According to Resolve.org, “The emotional experience of secondary infertility often is a compilation of the distressing feelings of anger, grief, depression, isolation, guilt, jealousy, self-blame, and being out of control. You may feel guilty for experiencing normal grief and worry about how your current emotional state will affect your existing child. The powerlessness to produce a sibling for the existing child often produces feeling of sorrow, as does the inability to perpetuate the parenting role. You may feel distant from friends as those who were a great source of support when parenting the first child are now linking to sensations of pain and jealousy.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think I am the only one who is mistaken.  In the same Resolve article it goes on to say that physicians may downplay the possibility of secondary infertility in their once fertile patients and encourage couples to just “keep on trying”. Couples who experience secondary infertility also seem to experience less social support from others than those who have primary infertility issues, or even criticism from some who think they ought to be grateful enough for the children they already have. (Resolve.org)

Sadly, the emotional toll secondary infertility takes is less recognized or acknowledged but has the same impact on couples as the pain of primary infertility. Like I have, would you consider helping support those who are suffering from secondary infertility by possibly changing your thinking or even taking action to be helpful to their cause?

The good news for those suffering any infertility is that ToConceive is a safe and natural way to help you get pregnant. We can provide hope that the dream of parenthood- whether the first time around or not- is a realistic dream! Please visit http://www.keytoconceive.com for the science behind conception and information about our new product.

Apps to Help with Conception

hero_iphone4-5_wideiPhone, iPad, iPod, iEverything…technology has invaded nearly every part of lives, including our fertility. App developers have seen the potential in the market for useful fertility apps and has answered in a big way. Check out some of the apps on the market to help with conception.

Kindara — a personal favorite of ours here at ToConceive, Kindara concentrates on the Fertility Awareness Method, including charting basalkindara-400px body temps and cervical fluid. Kindara allows you to input your data, your goals and track your most fertile days so you know the best times to attempt intercourse to get pregnant and is backed by a team of experts to answer questions and provide helpful information.

Baby Cloud — developed by Novosibirsk scientists. A sensor attaches to a woman’s body and measures temperature and other variables, sending an alert to the user’s phone when she’s ovulating and most fertile. The device can also send info to the woman’s physician. The device will cost between $130-160.

Fertility Friend — Another way to track your menstrual cycles and determine optimal fertility times that allows you to adjust to pregnancy tracking once you do get pregnant.

My OBGYN — Benefit from the experts to answer all your questions about fertility and conception right on your phone.

Do you have a favorite app for fertility??

Stages of Infertility Treatments

At what point in the TTC journey should a couple consider treatment for infertility? Each circumstance and each individual couple will need to make that decision on their own, but once that decision is made, here are the stages that generally take place on the treatment journey.

Obviously the first step is testing for possible reasons a woman is not achieving pregnancy. There is a very helpful chart on Webmd.com that lays out the different tests that are offered and what their purpose is. Find it here: http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/should-i-have-infertility-testing. Once the testing is complete, depending on the results, specific treatments will follow.

The least expensive and least invasive treatments for infertility are medications and hormone injections for causes such as ovulating problems and unexplained fertility. More complicated and expensive treatments are usually prescribed for blockages in the fallopian tubes and endometriosis. Both of these problems require surgery. Doctors may also recommend insemination for the sperm if male subfertility is pinpointed as the issue (www.webmd.com).

When these treatments do not result in pregnancy, couples must decide if they want to continue their journey with assisted reproductive technology (ART). These technologies include IVF, ICSI, GIFT and ZIFT. These are the most costly, pricing as much as $18,000. They are also invasive and often painful.

The success rate for any of these treatments obviously vary with each individual couple, but each pregnancy that results is surely worth the pain and the cost.

conception-lubrication-logo

With the development of ToConceive, we hope to help couples reduce the number of stages in their infertility journeys by providing a safe and natural way to assist conception. ToConceive can be an effective solution to many cases of infertility, including hormone deficiancies, unexplained infertility, male subfertility and PCOS. ToConceive can also be used in conjunction with other infertility treatments to help speed up the conception process.

Antioxidants Don’t Hurt, But Don’t Necessarily Help

Omega-3-capsulesA woman trying to conceive will try just about anything to increase her chances of conception. For years, woman TTC have been preached about the benefits of taking antioxidants (like melatonin, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids) to help with fertility.

A recent Fox News article explored a study published in the Cochrane Library and done in New Zealand that found that women trying to conceive who took antioxidants received no additional benefits for fertility by taking antioxidants. The antioxidants didn’t hurt their fertility but it didn’t necessarily help either.

Rather than concentrating on antioxidants, women trying to conceive should take a simple prenatal or multi-vitamin with folic acid. Taking 400 mcg of folic acid a day for at least one month before you conceive and during your first trimester, you can cut your chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects such as spina bifida by 50 to 70 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Unexplained Infertility

OBGYNAccording to data from the Centers for Disease Control, for women of all ages attempting to get pregnant, 95 percent will conceive within four years. For the other 6 million women who do not get pregnant within a reasonable timeframe, they may never discover the reasons for their fertility issues.

Resolve, the National Infertility Association, states that nearly one in five couples dealing with fertility issues have unexplained infertility. Experts at Resolve describe unexplained infertility as “having no specific cause for infertility after performing a full infertility work-up.”

In cases of unexplained infertility, nearly 40 percent of OBGYNs and reproductive specialists turn immediately to in-vitro fertilization. Dr. Ron Thompson believes that a large percentage of those turning to IVF for unexplained infertility can actually find a simpler solution. Inefficient sperm capacitation because of inadequate natural conception lubrication may actually be the cause of unexplained infertility. Sperm capacitation is the process that allows the sperm to reach and penetrate the mature egg for conception.

Dr. Thompson’s theory rests on the fact that nearly 17 percent of patients with three or more failed IVFs spontaneously conceive within three to four years. About 17 percent of patients with a successful IVF spontaneously conceive within three to four years as well. These stats show that almost one in five women who attempted IVF, whether they were successful or not, conceived all on their own within three to four years.

What changes in those three or four years that attributes to the sudden ability to conceive? Dr. Thompson believes that in the years following IVF, more than likely these patients unknowingly and naturally solved their lubrication and sperm capacitation issues.

What is infertility?

pregnancy testSo what is infertility?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have fertility issues, which equals about 6.1 million women. Experts typically define infertility as “having one year of regular intercourse, two to three times weekly, with regular periods, without achieving pregnancy.”

The stakes are even higher for women over the age of 30. The Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, the authoratative text for reproduction issues, reports that “One third of women postponing pregnancy until their mid to late thirties will have an infertility problem, while half of those over age 40 will require medical assistance to conceive.”

Resolve, the National Infertility Association, suggests that a woman under the age of 35 should see her health care professional about infertility testing. Women over the age of 35 should only wait six months before seeking professional health.

ToConceive can help many couples overcome infertility by increasing a woman’s own natural conception lubrication and promoting sperm capacitation, essential for conception. Learn more or try ToConceive for yourself by visiting www.keytoconceive.com.

Choosing the Right Lubrication for Conception

natural-conception-lubrication-bottlesLet me first say I cannot believe I am writing a blog about lubrication- if this wasn’t a family company, I probably would pray my dad did not read this entry. But, after learning so much about the science behind conception and the importance of having the right lubrication for the right purpose, I think it is vital enough information to share with you that I am willing to risk my own embarrassment!

What is lubrication?

Seems pretty obvious, but there are really two kinds of lubrication- natural vaginal lubrication made by the woman’s body and intravaginal lubrication (drug store lubricant) from a tube. Natural lubrication is created by the woman’s body in response to sexual arousal. Many women, especially those TTC, complain of vaginal dryness, or a low amount of natural lubrication. Therefore man-made lubrication was created, allowing women with dryness to find relief and comfort during intercourse.

Can intravaginal lubrication be used while TTC?

In a short answer, yes, I am sure there have been plenty of babies conceived while using drug store lubricants, however, several studies have shown that these lubricants can damage the sperm. Most lubricants contain glycerin and propylene glycol, both shown to negatively effect sperm health and mobility, even contributing to a low sperm count. Many of them also do not contain the right pH balance to allow sperm to function well (www.fertilityfactor.com).  Study after study seem to suggest that the most common lubricants are factors in cases of infertility. So, although a pregnancy could result from intercourse using man-made lubrication, if you are already having trouble TTC, you may want to steer clear of them.

Is there a safe intravaginal lubrication to use while TTC?

Glad you asked! ToConceive was developed with the primary purpose of optimizing sperm survival and function (to help you get pregnant)! Not only that, but it also stimulates a natural self-produced arousal vaginal lubrication that is imperative to conception. According to the creator of ToConceive, Dr. Thompson,  “None of the intravaginal lubricants balance the pH of the vagina to support sperm. Most intravaginal lubricants actually kill sperm, except PreSeed. None of the intravaginal lubricants, including PreSeed, capacitate the sperm to stimulate ovum fertilization and conception.”

For more in depth information on how ToConceive can help you get pregnant and why, please visit http://www.keytoconceive.com. All the science will show you how important choosing the right lubricant for the purpose of conception is!