Fertility Awareness and Your Sex Drive

Photo from iStockPhoto.com via About.com

Photo from iStockPhoto.com via About.com

While you may not realize it, everyday life stresses can greatly impact your libido. Below are just a few of the ways in which they may do so:

  • Your body’s natural reaction to stress– When you feel stressed, your body will go into what is known as a “fight or flight response,” releasing cortisol and adrenaline into your blood.  If this happens to you on a regular basis, you can develop the condition of chronic stress, which interferes with the hormones in your body particular to your sexual response.
  • Your busy lifestyle– In the world today, everyone finds themselves juggling multiple roles and responsibilities. Trying to balance work and parenting with chores leaves very little time for recreational activities.  As a result, your busily working mind and very tired body will have a difficult time getting in the mood for sex.
  • Relationship stress– This is perhaps the most vicious cycle of all.  Relationship conflict can cause stress, which leads to additional circumstances causing more stress, leaving no room for your body to charge up its libido. Ironically, low libido can, in and of itself, be a major cause of relationship stress, and arguing about it can make a couple want to have sex even less.

Unfortunately, infertility is a major cause of stress in relationships. Working through such issues often involves feelings of grief, loss of control, loss of self-esteem, financial strain, and sexual pressure.  But what if you were able to reach a place where you felt fully in control of your fertility awareness?  With the stress of the unknown behind you, you would be empowered and feel free to be an open and loving sexual partner.  With Lady-Comp, an intelligent fertility monitor that learns, analyzes, and indicates your fertile days with 99.3% accuracy based on your daily body temperature and data you provide, you can start to take control of your sex life today.

 

Sources:

http://stress.about.com/od/sex/a/low_libido.htm

http://www.cchs.net/health/health-info/docs/0800/0810.asp?index=4332

Photo from iStockPhoto.com via About.com

Yoga and Your Menstrual Cycle

Yoga is a spiritual science founded in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.  It is a series of women-doing-yogaphysical postures, varying in difficulty level, which help you become more in tune with your body and at peace with your surroundings.  Yoga has become extremely popular in the United States due to its dual purpose of helping you get fit while also calming your mind.  For women, yoga can play a positive role in various aspects of your menstrual cycle.

  • PMS Relief– Yoga can be used for the wide variety of symptoms that accompany premenstrual syndrome.  First, it boosts circulation, which can relieve the buildup of fluid that causes bloating.  Next, the focus on deep breathing increases oxygen flow to your tissues, which eases uncomfortable cramping.  Finally, yoga requires focus, which, if nothing else, will take your mind off how you are feeling for a blissful period of time.  Poses to try include child’s pose, cat pose, and bridge pose.
  • Fertility– While yoga is not a direct treatment for infertility, it has elements which can be helpful to a woman struggling with fertility issues.  First, it helps to increase blood flow in the pelvic area.  Next, it helps those practicing it achieve tranquility.  This is important because the stress that occurs in most people experiencing infertility can only exacerbate the issue further.
  • Regulating Hormones– Yoga works by pressurizing and depressurizing specific glands in your body, and in doing so, can help regulate your hormonal secretions.  Therefore, the regular practice of yoga has a positive impact on your endocrine system.  As a result, yoga can help you decrease hot flashes brought on by menopause, boost your libido, improve memory, eliminate good cravings, reduce and manage pain, combat fatigue, lower anxiety, decrease mood swings, lower depression, balance your thyroid, and much more.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.active.com/a3_articles/7aac0f15-c7f9-4a14-8d12-c48b96addafb/1?page=1

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/04/26/for-women-trying-to-conceive-fertility-yoga/

http://www.ageology.com/top-25-reasons-to-do-yoga-for-hormonal-health/

Fertility Awareness Methods of Birth Control

Women who do not wish to take hormonal birth control often turn to fertility awareness methods to determine the days each month in which they are likely to become pregnant.  If this is something that interests you, there are three main methods to choose from.

  • Calendar-Based Methods: These methods involve using a calendar to track your cycle, then calculating your fertile days based on your cycle lengths.  They are based on the 1920’s scientific discovery that ovulation starts approximately 14 days prior to your next period.  The most common calendar method is the Standard Days Method.  With this, you simply avoid having unprotected sex from day 8 to day 19 of each cycle.  The method works well if you have regular cycles that are never shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days, and has shown to be 95% effective.
  • Symptoms-Based Methods: With these methods, you will determine your fertile window by tracking one or more of the three primarily signs of fertility.  These are:  1) Basal body temperature- Research has shown that ovulation triggers a raise in basal body temperature between .5 and 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts until the beginning of menstruation.   2) Cervical Mucus- When you ovulate, the estrogen in your body is reduced and the progesterone climbs.  This causes a distinct change in cervical mucus in which it becomes slippery and similar to raw egg white in consistency.  3) Cervical position- Throughout the month, as you become more fertile, your cervix will move higher in the vaginal canal and feel softer to the touch.  Using these methods in combination has proven to be 98% effective.
  • Lady-Comp: Lady-Comp represents the very latest technology available for natural family planning.  It is a personal fertility monitor that records, analyzes, and stores your menstrual cycle data and daily morning basal body temperatures.  With this information, the monitor can predict your fertile days each month with 99.3% accuracy, a rate higher than nearly all birth control methods available.  To learn more about the Lady-Comp difference, call 1-877-925-LADY.

Fertility Treatments and Stress

In a previous article, “The Psychological Impact of Infertility,” we discussed the reasons why undergoing fertility treatment can cause someone stress.  In short, the synthetic estrogen prescribed to help boost ovulation has side effects that include anxiety, sleeplessness, mood swings, and irritability.  Additionally, the expense of infertility treatments, which run $8000 and up, are often not covered by health insurance.  Finally, waiting for the treatment to take hold, and dealing with the knowledge that the treatment did not take hold, are both anxiety producing.

There have been many studies in the medical community linking stress to infertility.  Therefore, doctors would like to mitigate stress in patients undergoing infertility treatment as much as possible.  Doctors on medicinenet.com offer the following tips to help these individuals manage their stress:

1)      Do not try to downplay or deny that you are going through a time of heightened stress.  While you are undergoing infertility treatment, you life may not be business as usual.  Consider cutting out nonessential activities to give yourself some time to decompress.

2)      Do not try to handle the stress on your own.  Find a trusted friend or family member who you can talk to about your feelings.  You can also check with your fertility clinic to see if they offer a support group for their patients.  Understand that your partner is likely going through his/her own stress regarding the situation, and therefore might not be able to provide you with all of the emotional support you need.

3)      Empower yourself with knowledge.  Make sure to read up on and understand the treatment you are experiencing, and do not be afraid to ask questions of the doctor when you need clarification.

4)      Discuss the possibility of treatment breaks with your doctor.  It may be viable for you to undergo treatment every other cycle if you feel breaks in between would be beneficial to your mental health.

Most of all, you should understand that you are not alone.  Feelings of sadness, depression, and frustration are common among women undergoing infertility treatment.  Do not hesitate during this time to make your physical and emotional needs top priority. If you are still thinking about taking fertility treatments and have not made up your mind as to what route to take, Lady-Comp Baby is a great natural alternative before going through the stress and turmoil fertility treatments can take you through.  The Lady-Comp and Lady-Comp Baby can pinpoint a woman’s fertile window to help her plan when to focus on intercourse. And if necessary, the Lady-Comp can give her detailed information about her cycle that her doctor may use if she still has difficulty conceiving and may negate the need for costly and stressful fertility treatments.

The Impact of Dietary Fats on IVF Treatments

In a recent study, Dr. Jorge Chavarro and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health investigated how different types of fats affected success of fertility treatment in 147 women undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center.

Chavarro discovered that intake of various types of dietary fats had significant impact on the treatment results.

  • Women who ate the most saturated fats had fewer mature oocytes (cells that form eggs).  The main sources of saturated fat in the American diet are red meat and whole-milk dairy products.
  • Women who ate the most polyunsaturated fats had more poor-quality embryos than those who ate the least.  They also had a 12% higher proportion of cells in the embryo that were dividing more slowly than expected.  Common sources of polyunsaturated fats are walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds.
  • Higher levels of monounsaturated fats increased the chance of a live birth after embryo transfer.  Those who ate the most were about 3.5 times more likely to have a live birth than those who ate the least.  In this group, the participants with the lowest percentage of monounsaturated fats in their diet ate about 9% of their total calories from these fats, while those in the highest group ate about 25% of their diet in these fats.  High amounts of monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, peanuts, almonds, cashews, and avocado.

Chavarro stated that this is the first time that dietary fats have been linked to treatment outcome in IVF.  However, he clarified that while the results are interesting, additional research is needed due to the small number of study participants.



Mediterranean Diet Foods, such as Avocados and Olive Oil may Boost Success of Fertility Treatments.  Retrieved online July 11, 2012 from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/mediterranean-diet-foods-avocados-olive-oil-boost-success-fertility-treatments-article-1.1110559.

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