10 Fertility Myths

1. Men who have had children should have no fertility issues. Male fertility decreases with age, especially after 40 years of age.
2. Women with a family history of family members having babies in their 40’s should have no problems getting pregnant. Family fertility history does not determine your fertility potential.
3. You don’t have to give up smoking until you become pregnant. Smoking as few as 5 cigarettes a day has been associated with lower rates of fertility.
4. Sex within 24 hours of ovulation is ideal. After ovulation has ended, becoming pregnant is slim. Instead, have sex before and during ovulation.
5. You don’t have to worry about your eggs until you are 40. A woman’s egg supply takes a rapid decline in the late 20’s, again in the 30s, and most notably after 35.
6. Losing weight will not make a difference. Losing as little as 5-10% of of body weight can boost fertility in both women and men.
7. Only women need to take supplements before pregnancy. Folic acid is now known to be an important supplement for male fertility.
8. STDs do not affect trying to have a baby. STDs can cause scarring and blockage of reproductive structures in women and men.
9. It doesn’t matter how much coffee you drink. One study found that women who consumed more than 1 cup of coffee a day were half as likely to become pregnant as women who drank less.
10. You can get pregnant faster having sex every single day. Having sex every day only slightly increases pregnancy when compared with having sex every other day.

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Pesticides in Fruits & Vegetables Affect Sperm

A recent study discovered that fruits and vegetables containing pesticide residues are linked to lower sperm counts and normally-formed sperm. Men who ate more strawberries, spinach, and peppers (produce with higher pesticides), had 49% lower sperm counts and 32% lower normally-formed sperm, then men who consumed the least amount, according to researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This study does not suggest eating less fruits & vegetables, but consuming organically-grown produce that contain less pesticides, and produce with lower pesticide residues such as peas, beans, grapefruit, and onions. The study analyzed 338 semen samples from 155 men attending a fertility center from 2007-2012, in correlation with a food frequency questionnaire.

Click here to read the full article.

What To Give Up To Be Happy

I know this article is not specifically around fertility, but I find that many of the principles are important as many times a long and arduous fertility journey can be very unhappy for a couple:
1. Give up your need to always be right
2. Give up your need for control
3. Give up on blame
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk
5. Give up your limiting beliefs
6. Give up complaining
7. Give up the luxury of criticism
8. Give up your need to impress others
9. Give up your resistance to change
10. Give up labels
11. Give up on your fears
12. Give up your excuses
13. Give up the past
14. Give up attachment
15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Wow- that is a lot to swallow- read full article here.

Nine Things You Probably Shouldn’t Say

You are overwhelmed and discouraged. Here are things to openly talk to your family and friends on what not to say as you are on your unique fertility journey: click here for full list.

Best Time to Have Sex

If we are talking about optimizing sperm, sperm count is higher in the morning than at any other time of the day.  So if you and your partner are not morning people, you may want to look at modifying your morning routines!

Aluminum and Male Fertility

Scientists in the UK and France through research have discovered that exposure to aluminum may be a significant factor towards reducing sperm counts.  Using fluorescence microscopy, they were able to confirm the presence of aluminum inside individual semen of 62 donors from a French clinic, and correlating that higher levels of aluminum resulted in lower sperm count.  They discovered that the average aluminum content was 339 ppb semen / aluminum ratio, with several going past the 500 ppb mark.

Source: The Science Daily

Vaginal Dryness

We all know that cervical mucus is an essential part of the baby-making process so that the sperm has a friendly environment to travel to where it needs to go to meet up with the egg.  It is always a good idea to double-check whether any of the medications you are taking could affect your cervical mucus:Vaginal Dryness Handout

Acupuncture Sooner Than Later

A recent article states that seeing an acupuncturist sooner rather than later allows for your health to be assessed over a couple of menstrual cycles. It is encouraged that couples come in at least a few months before they hope to conceive.

Full article here.

What Not to Say to People With Infertility- and What to Say Instead

This is a good article to send to your family and friends who want to support you as you go through your own unique fertility journey.  People can be unintentionally insensitive when it comes to talking about infertility, making hurtful comments because they do not fully understand.  Here are helpful tips to share of what they can do instead:

1. Lend a caring, patient ear.  Don’t ask questions or offer advice.  Just by listening you can show your support.

2. Talk about things not centered around children or babies, such as hobbies, work, current events, etc.  It is ok if they bring up the topic, just avoid starting it.

3. Be understanding if they opt out of social obligations.  Being at events with children or where they could be asked upsetting questions can be very painful.

4. Think about what it is like in their shoes.  Choose your words wisely, as infertility can cause shame, inadequacy, depression, and isolation.

To read more, click here

Reflexology and Fertility

Reflexology is the application of pressure to certain areas of the hands and feet, which reflect other areas of the body, to bring about physical change.  It can be used to promote conception.

“You are doubling the chance of getting pregnant and also you don’t have the horrible downside of the side effects of IVF,” David Wayte, reflexologist from Jubilee College.

To read more, click here.