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

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

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.

Self Fertility Massage

photo courtesy of omroom.net

photo courtesy of omroom.net

If you are considering conceiving a child in the near future, chances are you are already preparing your body in the recommended ways, such as eating more healthily, taking folic acid supplements, and cutting back on caffeine.  However, there is something else you can be doing to prepare your body that you may not have heard of, which is Self Fertility Massage.  Self Fertility Massage is a trademarked series of massage techniques designed to balance your body, increase circulation, boost your immune system, and decrease stress.

Below are some of the benefits for your reproductive system if you regularly receive fertility massage:

  • Increased ability of your liver to remove excess hormones
  • The breaking up of scar tissues in your reproductive organs
  • Hormonal balance
  • An improved endocrine system
  • Your body’s improved ability to remove old blood and tissue, and bring fresh blood to the uterus
  • Increased circulation to the cervix and uterus
  • Reduction of stress and the hormones which cause it
  • Repositioning of a tilted uterus

Self Fertility Massage can help with a variety of issues which impact fertility, such as:

  • It is a non-invasive option for assisting women who have blocked fallopian tubes.  The massage will gently break up any adhesions and encourage the body to rid itself of unneeded tissues.
  • Self Fertility Massage can help in a number of ways for people suffering from endometriosis.  As above, it can help to break up adhesions and shed the body of the excess endometrial tissue.  It can also help to decrease inflammation, and increase endorphins that will help reduce the associated pain.
  • Self Fertility Massage increases circulation in the ovaries, which in turn provides your eggs with the oxygen and antioxidants needed to be healthy and strong.
  • Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome occurs when a lack of ovulation causes cysts to grow in the ovaries and creates a hormonal imbalance.  Massage helps to restore your hormonal feedback loop which should help your body to return to a more regular ovulation schedule.

Stress and Your Fertility

photo courtesy of drshawnadarou.com

photo courtesy of drshawnadarou.com

As a society, Americans are used to spreading themselves too thin.  In June 2012, The New York Daily News reported on a study showing that stress levels in America had risen 30% over the previous 30 years!  Stress has unfortunately become ingrained into our daily lives.  However, if you are trying to become pregnant, it is definitely time to step back and examine your stress levels.

Stress can prevent you from conceiving in a variety of ways: Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Natural Family Planning (Part 3- Final)

photo courtesy of acoupleofcatholics.com

photo courtesy of acoupleofcatholics.com

“Natural family planning” is any method of fertility management that uses natural methods to determine the time of the month when a woman is most fertile.  These methods help a woman to learn and recognize the changes to her body around her fertile time, and make decisions about having sex in accordance with if she is trying to postpone or achieve pregnancy.  As with any birth control method, there are things about it that you may feel are advantages or disadvantages to you personally.  Below are some things about natural family planning methods to keep in mind. Continue reading

Myths about Natural Family Planning (Part 2)

myths about natural family planning“Natural Family Planning” is an umbrella term which encompasses natural forms of fertility management based on scientific research about women’s fertility cycles.  This includes the Basal Body Temperature, Ovulation, and Sympto-Thermal Methods, as well as the more technologically advanced Lady-Comp personal fertility computer.  Unfortunately, there are many pervasive myths about natural family planning that prevent some couples from trying it.  We will dispel some of those myths below. Continue reading

How Men Can Support Their Partner with Natural Family Planning (Part 1)

natural family planning

photo courtesy of la-archdiocese.org

“Natural family planning” is a form of fertility management where a woman uses the signs her body naturally gives her to determine the point in her menstrual cycle when she is most fertile.  For many women, this system is preferable to the uncomfortable and unhealthy side effects that can accompany the use of hormonal birth control methods.  If you are a man with a partner who has chosen a natural family planning method of birth control, it is important for you to know that you have a part to play in supporting her with her choice.  Below are some ways in which you can work with your partner to achieve your fertility goals. Continue reading