Entries Tagged as 'trying to conceive'

The obesity-infertility connection

The reasons that a woman may struggle to get pregnant are many. Somewhere between 33% to 50% of infertile women have problems with ovulation. Other women may face anatomical problems that interfere with fertility, like blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis.

A woman’s weight can also impact her fertility. As explained here, a woman who is overweight or obese can have elevated levels of estrogen due to an overabundance of estrogen-producing fat cells. And this estrogen imbalance can disrupt ovulation and menstruation.

Now, some new research sheds some light on the link between obesity and infertility.

via Science Daily: The findings challenge the widely held belief that infertility is a result of insulin resistance — a body’s insensitivity to chronically elevated insulin levels and a hallmark of obesity — and suggest a new culprit: heightened sensitivity to insulin’s effects on the pituitary gland.

The research was done at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, using mice, not humans, with either intact or missing insulin receptors in their pituitary glands. The hope is to be able to improve fertility by reducing the pituitary gland’s sensitivity to insulin. One caveat is that in the study, the obese mice with missing insulin receptors still weren’t as fertile as lean mice with normal insulin levels. This might mean that the ovaries, in addition to the pituitary gland, could also be affected by high insulin levels.

Being overweight or underweight can cause fertility issues, because either state can cause irregular menstrual cycles. And when your menstrual cycle is unpredictable, it’s trickier to track your ovulation and pinpoint the days when you will be at your most fertile.

Related: Understand & track your ovulation, Heavier women have higher risk of miscarriage after IVF,The impact of your weight on your fertility, Struggling to conceive? Get guidance based on where you are in your fertility journey

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Myth Monday: Menstrual cycle starts at spotting

Women often pay attention to their menstrual cycles, whether they’re trying to conceive or trying to avoid getting pregnant. And for a woman who definitely wants to get pregnant, it’s crucial to pinpoint the first day of her period so she can figure out when she’ll next ovulate.

Those few days before, during, and right after ovulation are her most fertile days, her time to get that seed planted, cross her fingers, and begin that dreaded 2-week wait (until her next expected period hopefully passes without any sign of the dreaded Aunt Flo.)

But it can get really confusing to nail down that period start date. Should you mark your calendar on the day you first see spotting? [Read more →]

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Can stress sap your fertility?

Categories: fertility

A couple struggling to get pregnant will undoubtedly experience stress.

What seems such a natural act - conception - becomes unnatural. Sex is scheduled around the woman’s peak fertility days at ovulation. Appointments with fertility specialists hold out uncertain hope. Worries loom about the financial aspects of infertility treatments. Anxiety builds as treatment dates approach. And disappointment accompanies the coming of a woman’s period, as the realization sets in that another round of treatment hasn’t resulted in pregnancy.

The desire to be a parent can keep some couples going through all the trials and tribulations, but stress can take its toll on more than just a couple’s mental health… [Read more →]

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Myth Monday: Have sex daily to boost chances of conceiving

Categories: Fact or Fiction?

A couple who strive to get pregnant may pencil in daily sex sessions in hopes of catching that just-right moment when sperm will meet egg and the baby countdown will begin.

Now, sex can definitely be good for you, and some couples would love to keep up that kind of rhythm - but does doing it everyday really boost the chances of conceiving? [Read more →]

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The emotional challenges of infertility

Categories: Pregnancy, fertility

We recently busted the myth that getting pregnant is always easy. For something so seemingly natural, conceiving can become enormously stressful.

In fact, for 10% of Canadian couples, the path to fertility and a successful pregnancy can be a long, winding, and difficult road. And even celebs - like Courteney Cox and Celine Dion - with all the money and resources at their disposal, struggle to get pregnant. So, if you’re having difficulty conceiving, you’re definitely not alone.

On this upcoming Sunday, May 16, at 7:00 PM EDT/HAE, tune in here to listen as fertility experts Dr. Janet Takefman and Beverly Hanck lead a webcast on coping with the many challenging aspects of infertility, including:

- Common fertility myths

- Coping with infertility stress

- Dealing with the struggles you may face in your relationships with your partners, friends, and acquaintances

- Getting through the hard parts of your fertility treatments

- How to find the services and support groups to help you through your struggle with infertility

If you tune in to the live webcast and listen in till the end, you’ll have a chance to interact and ask questions.

Dr. Takefman is Director of Psychological Services at the McGill Reproductive Centre, and Hanck is Executive Director of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC).

Your fertility journey is unique. Click here to find the right information for where you are on the road to baby.

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