The Language of Infertility…Don’t Get Scared Now

Here’s another great blog post from Josh. We’re loving having an infertility point-of-view from the other side of the aisle!

There was a recent article released in the Huffington Post outlining 3 reasons why infertility is a hushed topic. It is a great article and I highly recommend that anyone struggling with infertility, and those that are not, give it a quick read.  As I read the article I couldn’t help but shake my head with approval and internally scream “YES!!!” and “Thank You!!”  This has been a topic that we have been speaking on for years now, and the information is starting to spread.

However, as I thought more on the article, I realized it only scratched the surface; 3 reasons why is it hushed? Only 3?  I think I can find 10 times that just scrolling through our twitter feed each night.  Just off hand, the words, stress, embarrassment, sperm capitation and fallopian tube come to mind.  How many men just cringed reading ‘sperm capitation’?  How many actually made it past fallopian tube?  I am sure less than you would think.  And therein lies the significant problem.

The Huffington Post article alludes to this topic, but doesn’t dive deeply into it; that’s what I am here for.Man Scratching Head

The language that is used in the fertility world is not for the faint of heart. We commonly speak of vaginal fluid, sperm, lubrication, and oh so many more.  A lot of men, including myself, for a long time, are not good at conversations that include this (I picture I lot of red faces and abrupt trips to Lowes to avoid the conversation).  This language is not in our everyday lexicon. Maybe it is because we think that it is not masculine to talk about this stuff, but I believe the opposite.  Speaking as a man, I would hope my wife would find it rather refreshing to hear me speak on this topic not fearful of embarrassment or shame.  This is life, guys, nothing is embarrassing about it.  Heck, maybe the ladies will find our new appreciation for technical terms sexy.

Here are some of the terms that we should not be afraid of and why:

Sperm – it’s life, without sperm you wouldn’t be here, nor would your partner.

Eggs – see sperm. Pretty important stuff.

Sperm Capacitation – sperm capacitation is a natural and essential process when a woman’s natural conception lubrication dissolves the immobilizing cholesterol from the sperm and creates an enzyme to allow the sperm to fertilize the ovum. That’s a lot of technical speak for a natural process required for a sperm to fertilize an egg.

Lubrication/ Vaginal fluid – important aspect to creating the a fertile environment for sperm travel. Visit http://www.keytoconceive.com/    for more information.

Sex – well, if I have to explain this one, we have a bigger issue to deal with.

Now, I know this conversation won’t be as easy as talking about football with your buddies, but just like in that conversation you know the ins and outs of a 3-4 defense, you need to know about reproduction and the factors that apply.

Hard Habit to Break

No Smoking SignWhile they don’t seem that detrimental, many of our daily bad habits can have far-reaching negative affects, especially on fertility. If you’re struggling to conceive or thinking about trying to conceive in the future, it’s worth the work to try and break your bad habits as soon as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of conception. An article in the Huffington Post outlined some of the most common bad habits that can have a negative effect on fertility:

Stress–A recent study by the Ohio State University provided the scientific data to back what we already knew–stress can cause infertility.

Being Overweight or Underweight–even a little extra weight can cause hormone shifts that affect ovulation and semen production and being underweight can mean irregular periods.

Smoking–this bad habit is not only bad for your overall health, it can cause major fertility issues and pregnancy issues if you continue to smoke once you do conceive.

Caffeine–too much caffeine, whether through coffee, pop or tea, can inhibit your chances of conception, so cut back if you can.

Using the Wrong Lubricant–most lubricants are actually spermicidal and kill any chances of conception. This is where ToConceive can help! Our ToConceive product is a gel that certainly has lubricant properties to it and feels like other lubricants, but it is much more.  Our product stimulates a woman’s body to increase the production of transudate, a natural lubrication that dissolves the immobilizing cholesterol from the sperm and creates an enzyme to allow the sperm to fertilize the ovum. This process can only be achieved with transudate and is called Sperm Capacitation. This essential capacitation step is inadequate or missing in many couples due to the women’s limited production of transudate.

 

Don’t Forget….March Madness is now Maternity Madness!

Basketball ToConceive Retail PackageWe want to turn March Madness into Maternity Madness!

ToConceive wants to help those couples TTC to get a slam dunk and achieve their dream of pregnancy. We’re offering $15 off any 1-bottle order or $25 off any 3-bottle order till April 7.

Visit our website http://www.keytoconceive.com and enter promo code save15off1 or save25off3 at checkout to receive your $15 or $25 off and win one for your home team!

New advancements in IVF and sperm capacitation

Here at Key to Conceive, we talk a lot of about sperm capacitation because it’s such an important part in the conception process. I thought it would be a good idea to review sperm capacitation because it is so important. Also, recently, researchers have made more discoveries on the importance of sperm capacitation. (You can read all about the new discoveries here.)

sperm-capacitationMany people understand that a woman needs to ovulate to release an egg and that a man’s sperm must fertilize that egg, but in between those steps, sperm capacitation must occur for the sperm to have the capacity to penetrate and fertilize the mature egg. Key to Conceive wants to educate people on the importance of the sperm capacitation step.

Sperm capacitation is essential for several reasons. First, a woman’s natural conception lubrication dissolves the immobilizing cholesterol from the sperm and creates an enzyme that allows the sperm to fertilize the ovum. A woman produces that natural conception lubrication when she becomes sexually aroused. When used regularly, ToConceive also helps a woman produce her own natural lubrication to aid in the capacitation process. Secondly, sperm capacitation selects out immature and abnormal sperm that lack capacitation. The process also selects out sperm coated with anti-sperm antibodies or strips off those antibodies to allow for proper capacitation. Sperm capacitation works to allow only the fittest sperm to fertilize.

Exercising while pregnant

images-1I am a group fitness instructor and I am frequently asked by pregnant women in my class how they should change their exercise routine during the pregnancy. You too may be wondering what changes you will need to make to your exercise routine when you find out you are pregnant. During my first pregnancy I had read about not doing any abdominal work and not lifting my hands over my head among other things. These restrictions have since been proven as myths and now most in the health and fitness world would encourage pregnant women to keep up their pre-pregnancy routines with only a few modifications. However, it is always important to first see your healthcare provider before beginning or continuing any excercise program when you become pregnant.

Generally, the only suggestions I have for my participants concerning changes to their routine are the following:

1. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard.

If you are like me, pushing through the pain is part of nearly every workout. No pain, no gain, right? Well not when you are pregnant. The goal of exercise during pregnancy is not to chisel your body or loose weight, but to benefit yourself and your baby. If you are in pain or are feeling unwell while exercising during pregnancy, stop! Give yourself a few days rest and check in with the doctor. If he/she gives you the green light and you are feeling up to it, then give it another shot. Maybe your routine is too vigorous for your pregnant body and you may want to try something new like swimming or yoga.

2. Don’t do anything that is uncomfortable for you, even if it is considered safe

I planned to keep running through my entire second pregnancy but by 6 months I was already  big enough that it was uncomfortable due to the bouncing. I also noticed jumping jacks and jump rope motions were almost unbearable. Generally bouncing is not unsafe for healthy, pregnant women, but it wasn’t worth it for me. If you find anything uncomfortable, find another routine that works for you. For example, from 6 months on I stopped running, but continued to do high impact aerobics with several modifications and a lot less intensity.

3. Drink more water than you think you need

Drinking water during exercise is always important, but staying hydrated while pregnant is vital! Drink more than you think you need and make sure to stop if you feel dehydrated- lightheaded, dry mouth, unusual weakness.

4.  Expect to be worn out after exercise

Although overall exercise gave me more energy during pregnancy, the mornings after I worked out my energy was gone. If I had anything planned for the rest of the day, I would have to skip the exercise in order to save my energy for that event. Not everyone may feel this way, but with your body working overtime, don’t expect to be able to keep up the same non-stop working days that you had before baby. Try and get extra rest, and if at all possible, plan a time to sit and relax on the days you work out.

Exercise during pregnancy has many benefits for both mom and baby. The key is finding the right routine for your body and making sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. For more in depth medical information concerning exercise during pregnancy, there is a great article on Webmd. Take a look and prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy!

http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/exercise-during-pregnancy

More Than Just a Lubricant

natural-conception-lubrication-bottlesThe ToConceive product is a gel that certainly has lubricant properties to it and feels like other lubricants, but it is much more.  Our product stimulates a woman’s body to increase the production of transudate, a natural lubrication that dissolves the immobilizing cholesterol from the sperm and creates an enzyme to allow the sperm to fertilize the ovum. This process can only be achieved with transudate and is called Sperm Capacitation. This essential capacitation step is inadequate or missing in many couples due to the women’s limited production of transudate. In 2010 the Nobel Prize in Medicine for In Vitro Fertilization emphasized the importance of Sperm Capacitation for successful conception.

Learn more about ToConceive and sperm capacitation at http://www.keytoconceive.com.

Is a Lack of Education Causing Infertility?

Many women don’t understand how their body works and how to maximize fertility naturally

Whether she celebrated it or tried to ignore it, a woman’s first menstrual period signaled a transition from girl to woman. While most women understand the basics of how the menstrual cycle works, many don’t realize how important knowing those basics are for fertility and a healthy lifestyle overall.

In a study published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Mary Lee Barron discusses why education is so crucial and why a woman should know how her body works. “Fertility literacy, as a part of health literacy, is important for improving reproductive health, pregnancy outcomes, and chronic disease prevention,” Barron states.

menstrationA woman can start her education by talking with her general practitioner, who can give her the basics of how the reproductive system operates. Because nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, it’s important for women to get this information before they even think of wanting to start a family.

By educating themselves, women can start to make lifestyle choices that will not only help them get pregnant, but also help them live a healthy lifestyle overall and avoid chronic diseases in the future. A good starting point is the menstrual cycle. As Barron points out, a woman’s menstrual cycle is a noninvasive marker of reproductive and overall health.

Women should know that a menstrual cycle starts on the first day of bleeding and ends on the first day she starts bleeding again. A normal cycle ranges from 21 to 35 days with seven or fewer days of bleeding. Many lifestyle factors can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle including nutrition, stress, body mass index, exercise, smoking, caffeine and alcohol consumption and age.

Barron also suggests that along with knowing what’s normal on average, a woman should have a reliable way of tracking her periods to determine a baseline of what’s normal for her. If a cycle is abnormal for longer than three months, she should take a look at some of the lifestyle factors that can change a cycle and make changes such as quitting smoking or losing weight. If those changes don’t regulate her menstrual cycle, she should see her doctor to rule out any fertility issues.

Women used to have to rely on a good, old-fashioned calendar to track her periods. Thanks to modern technology, woman have access to online period trackers, as well as a number of cell phone apps like Kindara. Kindara aims to give users “the knowledge, support, and proper tools to understand your fertility and be in the driver’s seat of your own body.” Kindara allows users to track periods, basal body temperatures, sexual activity and cervical mucus and helps them use that data to determine their most fertile times.

Ignorance may be bliss in some instances, but when it comes to understanding how a woman’s body works, education is power. By knowing her body, a woman can help improve her chances of conception and possibly prevent future health issues.

 

 

 

 

Can Past Birth Control Methods Impact Fertility

imagesMy husband and I are in the midst of choosing the right permanent birth control method as we feel our family is complete with the three beautiful, healthy children God has blessed us with. Even with that complete feeling we are finding it very difficult to make such a final decision about our ability to produce children. Especially with working so close with woman experiencing the struggles of infertility it feels wrong to voluntarily make the decision to end my own fertility. I have nothing against most permanent forms of birth control, I am just struggling to take that step for my family. While this has been at the forefront of my mind for the past few weeks, I also have wondered how past methods of birth control could impact fertility in general. So began researching and this is what I found.

1- Birth Control methods generally do not cause infertility issues.

According to FertilityAuthority.com, Fernando Gomez, M.D. of the Reproductive Medicine Institute in Orlando, Florida, says there is no scientific evidence that birth control pills cause infertility. “This idea is a common misconception of patients using birth control pills for prolonged periods of time. Birth control pills are the most effective reversible therapy to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.”

2- Some Birth Control methods can actually increase fertility.

In the same article, Dr. Gomez continues, “In fact, since birth control pills inhibit ovulation, some studies have suggested that the use of birth control pills may have a positive effect on preserving women’s ovarian reserve, the number of eggs available for ovulation.”

3- Birth Control Pills can mask signs of infertility.

Because of the way birth control pills regulate monthly cycles, some women may not see signs and symptoms of infertility until after they discontinue use. (infertility.about.com )

4- Obviously the decision to use permanent birth control methods should be made carefully as the chances for conception after most procedures is less than 1%. (contraception.about.com)

Resolve to get pregnant this year!

Happy New Year from all of us in the Key to Conceive family! Resolve that this year will be the year your baby dreams come true! ToConceive wants to help you achieve your resolution of getting pregnant this year and is offering you 15% off your next order.

Visit www.keytoconceive.com and use promo code 15off1 to save 15% off your next 1-bottle order.

ToConceive Retail Package

Considering the Cost of Infertility

The Huffington Post printed an article recently that talked about Trying to Conceive with Budget Awareness. As I read through it, I keep thinking, “yes, yes, yes!” Most people have a vague idea how expensive infertility treatment can be, but unless your right in OBthe middle of it, you probably don’t realize how expensive it can all be. If you are TTC, I encourage you to read the full article (find it here) because it does offer some great tips on saving money while fighting infertility.

I would also like to encourage you to check out ToConceive before you embark into expensive infertility treatments.  ToConceive helps increase your own natural conception lubrication, which increases your chances of conception each month. And at just $39.95, it’s a fraction of the cost of infertility treatments like IVF. Find out more at www.keytoconceive.com!