Natural Fertility Care

photo courtesy of naturalfertilityhomeopath.com

photo courtesy of naturalfertilityhomeopath.com

By being a Lady-Comp user, you have demonstrated that you are committed to natural family planning without the use of hormonal birth control.  Therefore, if you are having trouble conceiving, it only makes sense that you would prefer to seek out natural treatments, rather than subject your body to fertility drugs.

Luckily, more and more physicians are embracing this way of thinking and pursuing natural approaches, the most common of which is known as the Creighton Model Fertility Care System.  With this system, you will chart your cycle, as well as a number of other physical changes to your body throughout, in an effort to naturally determine the cause of your infertility.  Physicians will use these results, along with an evaluation of your body’s hormones, to look for specific markers that can be telltale signs of infertility causes.  These can include premenstrual spotting, three or more days of brown menstrual bleeding, quality and quantity of cervical mucus flow, and abnormal lengths of time between ovulation.  Once the irregularities have been identified, natural methods of correcting them can be discussed. Continue reading

Infertility in Men

photo courtesy of imgkid.com

photo courtesy of imgkid.com

When a couple is struggling to conceive, it is often assumed that it is due to a medical issue on the part of the female.  However, the issue could very well lie with the male.  If you have been trying to conceive for either 6 months if the female is 35 or older, or one year if the female is under 35, without success, it is important for both partners to pursue a medical evaluation.

There are several factors that can play into male infertility.  The first is age.  While men can stay fertile well into their 70s, the quality of their sperm can change over time, making it less likely to fertilize an egg.  These changes include a decrease in the number of sperm, differences in the shape and movement of the sperm, or a total cease in sperm production. Continue reading

Stop Hormonal Birth Control and Improve Your Sex Life

photo courtesy of popsugar.com

photo courtesy of popsugar.com

There are two types of hormonal birth control pills.  One type contains a combination of estrogen and progestin, and one contains progestin only.  Both introduce synthetic hormones into your body in order to stop you from releasing an egg, make your uterus an inhospitable environment for a fertilized egg, and thicken your cervical mucus in an attempt to prevent sperm from reaching your uterus. Continue reading

Obesity and Fertility

photo courtesy of shreehospital.com

photo courtesy of shreehospital.com

According to a March 2014 article in the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, in 2010, 31.9 percent of women ages 20 to 39 years old in the United States met the definition of obesity.  Obesity is defined as an adult with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher, which translates roughly to a woman of 5’9 who weighs 203 pounds or more.  However, ill effects to your health can be felt long before you reach the stage of obesity; they can be found in the overweight stage as well.  A 5’9 woman is considered overweight with a BMI of 25 to 29.9, which is approximately 169 to 202 pounds. Continue reading

Date Night At Home

photo courtesy of  seattletravelmom.wordpress.com

photo courtesy of seattletravelmom.wordpress.com

We all know how important quality alone time with your partner is for keeping the spark alive.  However, putting it into practice can be difficult.  Your careers, children, and other responsibilities and obligations can often get in the way of your ability to just go out to dinner and spend some time together.  However, you shouldn’t despair when you can’t get away.  Instead, try these ideas for date night at home after your children have gone to bed. Continue reading

Three Things You Didn’t Realize Could Be Impacting Your Health

photo courtesy of popsugar.com

photo courtesy of popsugar.com

There are some things, such as smoking, drinking to excess, and having unprotected sex, which we know are outright hazardous to our long-term health.  There are others, such as skipping going to the gym for a week or grabbing fast food occasionally rather than a nutritious snack, which are bad in the short term, but can be turned around relatively easily to get you back on a healthy track.  However, scarily enough, there could be some daily habits of yours that, while they seem innocent enough right now, are slowly building towards harming your health in your retirement years.  Below are three major life issues you should examine now for a healthier future.

1)      Your Cholesterol- High cholesterol is not just something that happens to older people. In fact, even teenagers can be diagnosed with it.  The longer you allow high cholesterol in your body, the greater the impact on your heart health.  For every decade you suffer from high cholesterol, your risk of heart disease increases by 39%.  If your blood vessels have been ravaged by cholesterol when you are in your 30’s and 40’s, you may not be able to reverse the damage when you are in your 50’s and 60’s.  It is highly recommended you have your cholesterol checked yearly.

2)      Your Sleep- Scientists recommend that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night for optimal physical and cognitive health.  Studies have shown that individuals who obtain the right amount of sleep, particularly between the ages of 18 and 60, benefit from improved memory and learning ability that will last throughout their lives.

3)      Your Stress- Stress greatly aggravates the risk of many diseases, such as asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal issues, heart disease, and obesity.  If you sense stress is having even a minor impact on your life, it is recommended you see a mental health professional to discuss solutions.

 

Simple Ways to Keep Your Relationship Strong

photo courtesy of makeyourlifemagical.com

photo courtesy of makeyourlifemagical.com

A strong and long-lasting relationship is a goal for many.  However, keeping your relationship on solid ground does not simply just happen.  Relationships need care and maintenance to sustain themselves.  Below are some items you should keep in mind on a daily basis to nurture your relationship with your partner.

  • You’ve heard people say that the best romantic relationships have a foundation in friendship, and it is absolutely true.  A good friendship contains all of the ingredients that form the basis for true intimacy- trust, vulnerability, and confidence that you will see each other through difficult times.  Speaking of difficult times, remember that it is normal for any relationship to have ups and downs, and an ongoing commitment to work through them is what will keep you together.
  • When you do fight, fight fair.  A commonly asked question in the couples counseling world is, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” When you argue, it should be about resolving the issue, and not about who “wins.”  Be sure to always speak to your partner with love and respect.  Do not approach an issue in an accusatory manner or dredge up old arguments.  Really listen to your partner and try to see things from their point of view.
  • While it is important to do your own thing, understand togetherness is crucial as well.  Maintain a balance that will provide you with a base of shared experiences while keeping the individuality that made you attractive to each other in the first place.
  • Maintain your physical intimacy.  Another phrase often heard in couples counseling is, “Sex is 10% of a good relationship, but 90% of a bad one.”  Sex is something special that only the two of you can share, and it is critical to maintaining your emotional connection.

Ditch Hormonal Birth Control and Have Better Orgasms

photo courtesy of health.com

photo courtesy of health.com

Hormonal birth control comes in two varieties: 1) the minipill, which is progestin only, and 2) combination pills, which contain estrogen and progestin.  These synthetic hormones mix with your body’s natural hormones and act to fool your body into thinking it is pregnant.  If your body believes it is pregnant, it will not release an egg each month, and thus there is no egg to be fertilized to create an actual pregnancy.  The issue here is that the result of chemically altering your body’s natural hormones is a decrease in sexual urges and responses, putting a damper on your ability to orgasm.

In a 2011 study conducted at Indiana University, research scientists at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion examined the sex lives of 1,101 women, half of which were using hormonal forms of birth control (patch, shot, ring, or pill) and half of which used condoms, the rhythm method, or other natural forms of birth control.  They discovered that while both groups had the same level of intimacy, women using hormonal birth control reported lower levels of arousal, lubrication, frequency of sex, and number of orgasms.

Hormonal forms of birth control increase the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in a woman’s body to four times its normal levels.  When SHGB increases, free testosterone, which helps power your sex drive, decreases.  Unfortunately, stopping the use of hormonal birth control does not fix this issue immediately.  In fact, studies have shown that even six months after stopping, SHBG levels remain at twice the normal levels.  For some women, the levels remain twice as high as normal for one year or more.  If you are concerned that your sex life is being impacted by your use of hormonal birth control, it is important to speak to your doctor immediately.

Your Thyroid and Your Fertility

photo courtesy of parenting.com

photo courtesy of parenting.com

According to the American Thyroid Association, approximately 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, and women are 5-8 times more likely than men to be affected.  In fact, it is estimated that one in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder at some point in their lives.

Your thyroid is a small gland in your body which manufactures thyroid hormones.  When you have a thyroid disorder, your thyroid gland is either producing too much (overactive or hyperthyroid) or too little (underactive of hypothyroid) of these hormones, causing a change in your body’s metabolic processes.  Symptoms of a thyroid disorder include weight loss or gain, memory impairment, fatigue, mood changes, and irregular menstrual flow.

A study published in British journal The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in early 2015 further validates what has long been suspected in the medical community, which is that abnormalities in thyroid function can lead to reduced conception rates, increased risk of miscarriage, and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, premature birth, and stillbirth.  The study found that 2.3 percent of women with fertility issues have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, compared to 1.5 percent of women in the general population.  Furthermore, while only about 0.5 percent of women of reproductive age are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, those women are likely to experience delayed sexual maturity and lack of ovulation.

It is recommended that any woman who is trying to become pregnant be screened regularly for thyroid dysfunction.  Additionally, since pregnancy itself can bring on thyroid issues, screening should continue throughout pregnancy and for some time after the baby is born.  Medical professionals state that treatments for thyroid disorders are safe to use when pregnant, and may decrease the risk of miscarriage and improve the overall health of the baby in utero.

 

Feel Extra Connected this Valentine’s Day

photo courtesy via mariashriver.com

photo courtesy via mariashriver.com

Valentine’s Day is a holiday loaded with emotional expectation, and chances are not all of your Valentine’s Days have turned out exactly like the fairy-tale that you wanted.  However, you can strengthen your emotional and physical relationship with your partner on a daily basis with some simple actions guaranteed to keep the spark in your relationship ignited every day of the year.  Read on for suggestions.

  • Always ask your partner about their day.  Couples who share their daily events with each other, both good and bad, are rewarded with increased feelings of intimacy and connection.
  • Embrace inside jokes just between the two of you.  Psychologists have found that when couples share a laugh over the same thing, each feels validated by the other.
  • Make time for your partner’s friends and family members.  Research has shown that the more a couple’s friends and family intermingle, the happier their relationship.
  • Keep sex a priority.  Both physical and emotional intimacy are critical to a successful relationship.
  • Make sure you are really listening to your partner, and not just waiting for your turn to talk.  A study conducted by Harvard University researchers has discovered that the more empathy and affection a couple expresses to each other, the more likely they are to stay together.
  • Don’t let fights define you.  Understand that when you are as close to an individual as you are to your partner, it is natural to become irritated with them at times.  That being said, if you are going to argue, it is important to fight fairly.  Never resort to yelling or name-calling.  More importantly, try to frame your statements in a non-accusatory manner, and focus on moving forward as a couple, rather than just expressing how you feel individually.  Try using statements that start with the words we, us, or our.