Are items in your home keeping you and your partner from filling it with children? You will be surprised to find out which standard products might affect your fertility. In a soon-to-be released book, titled The Healthy Home: Simple Truths to Protect Your Family from Hidden Household Dangers, Dr. Myron Wentz and his son Dave Wentz talk about common household items that may pose problems. Test your knowledge!Take the Quiz
I can't wait for 2011, so we can stop celebrating the pill's 50th birthday. She's like that friend who parties all month long, except in this case it's a year. The world's largest manufacturer of off-brand pills threw it a party, we learned some history, and Fit tested our knowledge, so now it's time to for the backlash. So let's talk about the one side effect you can't feel: infertility.
To be fair, this is true for any working form of birth control, but if the pill wants to be women's savior with the I-changed-women's-lives angle, then it will inevitably be our foe. Of course, it doesn't cause infertility per se, but it does allow women to delay pregnancy as long as they'd like, only to find they're old enough to have fertility problems once off it. Pregnancy scares have become infertility anxiety, and for the first time in decades, the average birth-giving age is declining instead of rising.
But there's another burgeoning industry riding infertility medicine's coattails, and it's the business of freezing eggs. The technology has improved drastically in the last five years and its cost is becoming less prohibitive, so it's expected to be a viable option soon. If money weren't an issue, would you freeze yours?
British women may soon be taking their fertility into their own hands. A small handheld device that measures tiny changes in body temperature has been found to have the same pregnancy success rate as the much more costly IVF for couples with common infertility issues. The Cambridge scientists behind DuoFertility ($777), claim that the device has a 99.7 percent accuracy rate for detecting fertile days leading to a pregnancy success rate of 19.5 percent after six months, the same as the more traditional IVF.
DuoFertility is a two-part fertility monitor. A small button-sized sensor is worn under the arm to collect 20,000 temperature measurements throughout the day. A handheld reader collects data from the sensor to instantly alert the user to her most fertile days. When connected to a computer, the reader transfers more fertility information to provide users with a more detailed report. The system also allows women trying to conceive to enter additional physiological parameters, such as cervical mucus conditions and length of cycle. With the cost of IVF often exceeding $100,000, would you be willing to try the monitor?
Hegu (Large Intestine 4) is an acupoint in the webbing between the thumb and index fingers. It is considered one of the most commonly used acupoints and with good reason. LI-4 has a wide range of uses, particularly pain relief all over the body. Here are some conditions this acupoint is known to treat: abdominal pain, headaches, hay fever, allergies, itchy eyes, constipation, stiffness of the arm and shoulder, addictions, and panic attacks.
It is also a point used for gynecological conditions such as PMS, delayed or irregular periods or no periods. This point is a FORBIDDEN point, meaning it should NOT be used during pregnancy. It is known to trigger uterine contractions. If you are trying to get pregnant, do not use this point after ovulation. However, before ovulation it calms the uterus, moving stuck energy and calming the mind which is helpful in balancing the reproductive system in cases of infertility. I don't personally recommend using this point for the pain of dysmenorrhea (pain during period) — it can trigger uterine contractions that may worsen the pain.
To use this point, simply massage between the webbing for a minute, gently pulling your thumb from the webbing to the end of the crease (see photo). You may find this point is a little tender. Remember, since acupressure is an energy system, you don't need to use much pressure to access these points.
Would you lay your hands on a fertility god in the hope of having a baby? Many women do. According to Ripley Entertainment, more than 2,000 women (including its own employees) claim that rubbing the company's two statues that were carved by an African tribe on the Ivory Coast has aided them in pregnancy. The latest person to come forward is Rachel Taylor of New Jersey. She and her husband were told they had no chance of naturally conceiving a child before she paid a visit to the statues and became pregnant. Her son is due in August.
The works of art are currently on tour, so other aspiring moms can touch them. While it's an interesting phenomenon, sex obviously plays the primary role in becoming biological parents. Do you think stories like these give challenged couples false hopes of having a family?
From the standpoint of a young woman — one still paying off college debt, especially — selling eggs to an infertile couple for $5,000 to $10,000 sounds like a win-win situation. But recent controversy around the business of buying and selling eggs might make you think twice.
Besides the ethical issues of "desirable donors," with ads targeting women with high SAT scores and who attend prestigious universities, a new study questions whether all those zeros are blinding women to the mental and physical risks of egg donation. The American Society For Reproductive Medicine recommends compensation not exceed $5,000, except in special cases, but some ads promise $35,000, even as much as $50,000 to "extraordinary" donors.
While the money is tempting, the time-consuming process and unpleasantries, such as hormone injections, surgery, local anesthesia, and life-threatening side effects, leaves me wondering if it's worth it. How much would it take for you to donate your eggs?
DrSugar is in the house! And she's answering your health-related questions.
I just read your post about getting off of the pill and having irregular periods afterward. I am thankful for your article as I had experienced two to three months of no period! I am looking to conceive possibly in the next three to four years and wondering if you were able to do so after being on the pill for an extended period of time . . . I understand that irregular ovulation will certainly make conceiving more challenging but I'm interested to know your experience with this. Thanks!
— Baby on the Brain
I received this question from a reader after my recent post on what to expect when stopping oral birth control pills. I thought it was a great topic to discuss, and I will also share my personal, ongoing struggle with trying to conceive, so read more
When the US's first test-tube baby was born in 1981, baby-making was forever changed. Women who suffered from years of unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy were finally given an ounce of hope. Today, the procedure is so common that 38 percent of LilSugar readers assume IVF was involved when they hear about a multiple pregnancy.
Twenty-eight years after the first successful IVF transfer, success rates remain startlingly close to where they stood in the 1980s – around the 30 percent mark. The doctor who performed that first procedure, Dr. Howard Jones who is now 99-years-old, is calling on the professionals in his field to determine which embryos are most viable and thus reduce the number that are transferred into patients. Doing so will not only increase success rates, but will help bring down the costs of the procedure making it more affordable for more couples suffering from infertility.
Would you like to see the number of embryo transfers decrease?
While women may fret over recent findings that only 12 percent of a woman's eggs are left at the age of 30 and three percent at 40, a new test may help them decide when to start trying to conceive.
Australian researchers have developed a simple hormone test, called the "egg timer," to detect the number of eggs in the ovaries. The test, which will only cost $58, will let women know if their egg supply is dwindling at unusually fast rates and if they are at risk for premature menopause. According to the developers behind the test, it will be particularly helpful for those women who have gone through cancer treatments or ovarian surgeries, helping them plan fertility treatments.
The groundbreaking test could help younger women make different decisions about when they want to start a family. If you knew your egg supply was healthy, would you delay having babies until you were older?
A Southern California sperm bank has taken to matching its donors to the celebrities they most resemble as a way to distinguish their sperm library, if you will. So if you want your child to resemble a movie star, sports hero, or world leader, the California Cryobank just might have the genes you're looking for.
“It’s not that our donors look like celebrities," said California Cryobank’s communication manager Scott Brown, "it’s that celebrities look like our donors.” Mmm kay . . .
Bioethicists think that it's bad enough that "rigid types of beauty" already reign in culture, but now, as University of Albany professor Bonnie Steinbock says, "They're trying to create children through who the actor of the moment is." Yes, yes they are.
Whether or not you agree with Cryobank or with Professor Steinbock, just for fun, tell me which famous dude you'd want your brood to look like?