Why Am I Not Pregnant Yet?

If you are trying to conceive, your best chances of doing so occur in what is known as your “fertile window.”  This is the 24-36 hour period of time after your ovaries release an egg in which the egg can be fertilized by a sperm.  With technology such as Lady-Comp making determining your fertile window relatively simple, you may be frustrated if you are having sex on all the right days but still not conceiving.  If this is the case, please be assured that only about 50% of healthy couples conceive within their first four to five months of trying.  After a full year, that number goes up to 85%.   However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances along the way:

1)      Make sure to have sex once per day starting five days before you anticipate ovulation until two days after you ovulate.  Sperm can stay alive inside a woman’s body for up to five days, so sex at this frequency will provide your best chances of conception.

2)      After sex, remain laying down for at least 20 minutes to give the sperm time to swim towards your egg.

3)      Avoid using lubricants, scented tampons, douches, and glycerin soap while trying to conceive, as all of these items can kill sperm.

4)      If you are a smoker, quit now.  Smoking 10 cigarettes a day can lower your chances of conceiving by 50%!

5)      Start cutting back on your caffeine consumption.  Caffeine restricts your blood vessels and increases your heart rate, which mimics the body under stress.  It is optimal for conception if you are in a calm and relaxed state.

If you have been adhering to these recommendations and are still frustrated with the length of time it is taking you to become pregnant, most definitely visit your doctor to discuss your concerns, as it is possible there could be a medical reason for the delay.

What is a “Normal” Menstrual Cycle and Can Vitamins Help Support One?

The menstrual cycle is essentially a sequence of changes a woman’s body goes through in order to prepare for pregnancy.  During this process, the uterus grows a new lining in preparation to receive a fertilized egg.  If there is no fertilized egg to begin pregnancy, the uterus sheds its lining, causing menstrual bleeding.  Women usually begin experiencing menstrual periods between the ages of 11 and 14, and will notice them begin to slow down between the ages of 39 and 51.  The length of the menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of bleeding until the last day before the next bleeding occurs.  On average, this is 28 days, but can vary by up to 7 days each time.  It is not uncommon to have greater variance as a teenager or after you reach your 40’s.  However, if you experience a variance of 8 days or more while you are in your 20’s and 30’s, your period is considered irregular by medical standards.

There is evidence that vitamins can assist in regulating your cycle under some limited circumstances:

  • Irregular periods can be caused by malnourishment.  In this case, supplying the body with proper nutritional needs can make a difference.
  • Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine found that women who were struggling with infertility due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome had extremely low levels of Vitamin D and therefore could be assisted by adding Vitamin D supplements.
  • Folic acid, a major component of prenatal vitamins, is considered to be a fertility enhancer.
  • It can be helpful to increase your intake of Vitamin B6, as a lack of it is known to cause hormonal imbalance.
  • Vitamin E is also used to helped regulate the menstrual cycle.
  • Monk’s pepper, also known as chaste berry or Vitex, is an herbal supplement known to help regulate ovulation and menstruation by restoring the natural balance of estrogen and progesterone in the body.

If you are trying to conceive and are frustrated by your irregular cycle, Lady-Comp can help.  Lady-Comp is an easy-to use fertility computer that can predict when you will ovulate with 99.3% accuracy, based on the information you provide it and its daily reading of your basal body temperature.  If you would like to learn more about Lady-Comp’s proven track record with helping couples conceive, please call us at 1-877-925-LADY.

 

The Impact of an Irregular Menstrual Cycle for Women Trying to Conceive

A normal menstrual cycle can vary.  For the average woman, it is 28 days in length.  Medically speaking, a variance of 7 days or less each month is considered to be normal.  A variance of 8 to 20 days is moderately irregular, and 21 days or more is very irregular.

If you are trying to conceive a baby, any variance in cycle can be frustrating, as it makes it much more difficult to predict when you will be ovulating.  In a given month, the average couple trying to conceive has a 15-25% chance of becoming pregnant.  However, if you have an irregular cycle, your chances are decreased.  Strictly mathematically speaking, if you tend to have longer cycles, you have fewer opportunities over time to conceive than someone with a perfect 28 day cycle.

If you have an irregular cycle and are trying to conceive, there are two methods that can assist you in predicting when you will ovulate.  One is tracking your basal body temperature on a daily basis over a period of months.  A woman’s body temperature rises after ovulation, so charting yours can help you predict when you will ovulate next.  The other is by charting your cervical mucus.  You will find the amount and consistency of your mucus changes throughout the month.  When you are nearing ovulation, it will become clear and slippery, similar to raw egg white, and you will have more of it.

Of course, you may be reticent to try either of these methods on your own. After all, if you are not a medical professional yourself, how can you really know for sure?  Luckily, you can remove the guesswork with Lady-Comp, an easy-to use fertility computer that can predict when you will ovulate with 99.3% accuracy, based on the information you provide it and its daily reading of your basal body temperature.  If you would like to learn more about how Lady-Comp can help you conceive, please call us at 1-877-925-LADY.

IUD Birth Control: Is it safe?

Nearly 10 percent of American women who use prescription birth control choose an intrauterine device (IUD), which is implanted in the uterus and functions by releasing hormones over several years. It’s an easy alternative to taking a pill every day.

Mirena is one of two IUD products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It hit the market in 2000 and is manufactured by Bayer.

Unfortunately, Mirena can put women at serious risk of side effects such as migration in the body, device expulsion, pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Bayer is dealing with lawsuits over Mirena, as well as lawsuits over its birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, which have been linked to risks like blood clots.

The Risk of Device Migration

Women using Mirena have reported a frightening malfunction: device migration. Device migration occurs after the device has been implanted, when it spontaneously moves out of its original placement in the uterus.

The device can puncture the wall of the uterus and damage surrounding organs. The bladder, blood vessels, pelvis, fallopian tubes and abdominal cavity are all vulnerable to damage from the device.

Once Mirena has migrated, a physician must locate and surgically remove the device to prevent organ damage, increased pain and infections. For women who have recently experienced childbirth, the risk of perforation of the uterus is increased. It is recommended that mothers wait at least six months after delivery to use Mirena.

The Risk of Device Expulsion

Device expulsion is the most commonly reported side effect of Mirena. With device expulsion, the device spontaneously leaves the body through the vagina, negatively affecting the user’s health and allowing pregnancy. If the device is expelled, users may experience cramping, bleeding and pain during sex.

Once the device is no longer in place, Mirena is no longer effective at preventing pregnancy. That means women need to use alternative forms of birth control until a new IUD is inserted.

The Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Ectopic Pregnancy

As soon as three weeks after women begin using the device, they may experience pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a painful condition that can cause harm to the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Another possible negative side effect of PID is infertility. The FDA has warned health professionals that women with a history of PID should refrain from using Mirena.

Mirena has also been associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, which happens when an egg is fertilized outside the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes. A pregnancy cannot survive outside the uterus, and it will endanger the mother. Surgery is required to remove the fertilized egg, and this surgery could prevent future fertility.

 

While Mirena is a convenient birth control opinion, women should thoroughly examine the risks and benefits before deciding to use an IUD.

 

Alanna Ritchie is a content writer for Drugwatch.com, specializing in news about prescription drugs, medical devices and consumer safety.

Anovulation

Anovulation is the term used for a menstrual cycle in which there is no ovulation.  In other words, you still experience bleeding even though you did not release an egg or ovulate.  It is normal for these cycles to occur occasionally throughout your childbearing years.  However, when experienced on a frequent basis, the result is difficulty conceiving.

The number one cause of anovulation is hormonal imbalance.  This can be brought on by a prolonged and strenuous exercise program, emotional stress, and/or eating disorders.  There are also several medical issues that result in hormonal imbalance, including polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothalamic dysfunction, and tumors of the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, or ovaries.

Additionally, it has been found that certain medications cause anovulation.  For example, because they work by intentionally disrupting the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries, hormonal birth control is often the culprit.  It appears that the longer a woman is on hormonal contraceptives, the more likely she will experience anovulation when she stops taking them.

Because many women will continue to have what appears to be normal periods even if they do not ovulate, anovulation can be difficult to detect without extensive testing.  This could include blood tests, CT or MRI scans of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, and endometrial or ovarian biopsies.  However, there is one way you can potentially detect this issue yourself at home, and that is with Lady-Comp.  Lady-Comp is a personal fertility monitor which learns and adjusts to your individual cycle regardless of irregularities or cycle length.  It is programmed with a database of more than 900,000 cycles and uses bio-mathematical forecasting calculations and computer techniques to predict your fertile days, primarily based on your morning body temperature.   Research shows that Lady-Comp is 99.3% accurate.  If you are experiencing bleeding without the indication of any fertile days, you will know something is amiss and can follow up with your doctor for further testing.

Once anovulation is detected, there are treatments available, including medication, nutritional adjustments, stress reduction, and surgery.  What is recommended for you will vary depending on the cause of your condition, your age, and your medical history.

If you are interested to learn more about how Lady-Comp can help you, please feel free to call us at 1-877-925-LADY.  We are looking forward to speaking with you.

Egg Quality

Doctors have noted over time that the probability of embryo implantation is strongly correlated to both the age of the women who produced the egg and to the reserve of eggs in her ovaries.  This observation has resulted in the abstract concept of “egg quality,” which cannot be quantified by viewing a woman’s eggs, measuring how receptive they are to fertilization, or measuring initial embryo division.  Currently egg quality is only measured by actual embryo implantation.

There are three conditions that physicians feel result in low egg quality:

  1. Diminished Ovarian Reserve– A woman’s “ovarian reserve” is the amount of eggs she is born with.  The number of eggs decreases throughout a woman’s life based on ovulation and follicle depletion.  To test ovarian reserve, there is a blood test that can be conducted on day 3 of a woman’s cycle to check the quantity of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).  If elevated levels of FSH are found, it indicates the patient has diminished ovarian reserve.  Higher levels of FSH mean the ovary is communicating less with the pituitary gland, and the body is creating more FSH in an attempt to stimulate the ovary.  Women with this condition almost never have successful embryo implantation through natural means.  Unfortunately, research has not yet uncovered why this is true.
  2. Advanced Maternal Age– As mentioned, women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have.  As a woman ages, her eggs age with her.  Physicians have found that even when FSH levels are normal, the chances of embryo implantation decrease as a women ages.  After age 45, implantation is extremely rare.
  3. Diminished Egg Quality– Each egg a woman produces contains energy stores called mitochondria.  Prior to ovulation and after implantation, an egg can utilize the energy stores of the body’s circulation system.  However, during the seven days between ovulation and implantation, an egg must survive off its own mitochondria.  It has been found that eggs of diminished quality become depleted of energy prior to the implantation stage.

The medical conditions discussed above are complex and cannot be self-diagnosed.  If you are having difficulty conceiving and suspect it could be related to a medical problem, please consult your physician as soon as possible for testing and to discuss your options.

Decrease Your Risk of Ovarian Cancer

While women are very commonly educated about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, they are not often provided with information about ovarian cancer.  Ovarian cancer actually grows faster than breast cancer, and kills nearly three out of four late-stage patients within five years.  Approximately one in eight ovarian cancer patients is under the age of 45.

Unfortunately, medical screening for ovarian cancer is difficult.  Symptoms are often vague (low back pain, lack of energy, abdominal bloating, heartburn, feeling full quickly, pelvic pain, and frequent need to urinate) and can easily be attributed to more minor conditions, leaving early detection rates low.  The only current test for ovarian cancer is a transvaginal ultrasound paired with a CA 125 blood test that measures a cancer-indicating protein.  This test is not sensitive enough to catch most cases early, and actually has been shown to yield false positives.

Currently, your best defense against ovarian cancer is to educate yourself on the disease and take good care of your health.  To decrease your risk, consider the following:

  • Giving birth to and breastfeeding at least one baby are known risk reducers.  Scientists are not sure why, but speculate it is because these actions suppress ovarian activity for a period of time.
  • The phytochemical sulforaphane, found in Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, reduces cancer risk.
  • The National Institutes of Health states that you can decrease your risk of ovarian cancer by limiting your intake of fat, especially animal fat.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.  Studies have shown women with a higher body mass index (BMI) are at increased risk for ovarian cancer.
  • Seek alternative birth control options, such as Lady-Comp.  Research shows that the longer you use oral contraceptives, the higher your risk of developing cancer.  The most common hormones in oral contraceptives, estrogen and progesterone, increase cell production.  This not only applies to healthy cells, but to pre-cancerous and cancerous cells as well.

Finally, you should visit your gynecologist for an exam at least once per year.  If you have any new symptoms or concerns, do not hesitate to bring them up.  Any issue that is persisting warrants investigation.

Birth Control While Breast Feeding

You have just given birth, and while you are thrilled with your new bundle of joy, you are not ready for another just yet.  If you are in this situation, it is important for you to know that contrary to popular perception, it is possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding.

After your baby is born, your body produces lactation hormones which suppress reproductive hormones.  However, this does not render you completely infertile.  Your hormonal levels will vary depending on how often you feed your baby.  Mothers who feed less have a greater fluctuation and thus will become fertile more quickly.  Additionally, you should keep in mind that your first post-childbirth ovulation occurs a full two weeks before the start of your period, and since this could happen at any time, you need to be prepared.

While you are breastfeeding your child, you may wish to eliminate hormonal forms of birth control, such as the pill, the patch, and the ring.  According to renowned pediatrician Dr. William Sears, there are two major concerns about using hormonal birth control while breastfeeding.  The first is that estrogen, a common hormone in birth control pills, is known to suppress milk production.  Second, doctors feel that by exposing your infant to synthetic hormones through your breast milk, you could impact their long-term sexual or reproductive development.

Presented with this conundrum, you may determine it safer to pursue a non-hormonal form of birth control.  Before you head to the store to purchase disposable contraception products, consider Lady Comp.  It is a personal fertility monitor which learns and adjusts to your individual cycle regardless of irregularities or cycle length.  Lady Comp is programmed with a database of more than 900,000 cycles and uses bio-mathematical forecasting calculations, as well as the very latest computer techniques, to predict your cycle with 99.3% accuracy, primarily based on your morning body temperature.   To learn more about Lady Comp, please feel free to call us at 1-877-925-LADY.  We are looking forward to speaking with you.

How Does My Life Affect My Lady-Comp?

ovulation-monitorLife happens – often unexpectedly. But, an interruption in your normal life does not necessarily mean your Lady-Comp is interrupted. That’s one of the many great things about Lady-Comp. It adjusts to you personally and easily fits into your lifestyle. Check out the info below for answers to questions many women have about the reliability of Lady-Comp under unexpected circumstances. Continue reading

7 Baby-Making Facts All Women Should Know

We’ve provided several tips on how to increase your fertility if you are having trouble conceiving. Now, here are some tips for all women, whether you just started trying to get pregnant, or you’ve been trying for a while. No matter what your situation, these are important facts to know! Continue reading