Amazon.com lists over 11,000 items under the search term "fertility"
Image: 5 Pack Menopause FSH Midstream Urine Kit Pregnant Hot Flash PMS | Fast Results (3-5 minutes)
Economical alternative: Menopause FSH Midstream Urine Kit
Measure, Track and Plan Your Mid-Life Transition says the advertising on the feminine pink and white box. If only it were so easy! The newly marketed Menopause Home Test by Physicians Laboratories claims to provide a means for midlife women to monitor their hormonal status in much the same way as a home pregnancy kit: with a urine sample and a plastic indicator.

If the pretty packaging doesn't lure you in, as the company hopes it will, the box also comes complete with dire warnings for the skeptical consumer: Undiagnosed menopause can devastate your health, family, and social/sex life. Their website further trumpets the alarm: It's your health -- it is an 'emergency!' And in a parody of self-empowerment, the manufacturers claim that their test will provide women control and power over their midlife transition.

Consumers are advised to use the test every six months from age 35 at an incredibly hefty $59.95 US per pack (each pack holds 2 tests). Considering the average woman does not reach menopause until her early-fifties, the company is banking that the baby boom generation is very naïve indeed, with each woman willing to dish out around $1200 to affirm her menopausal status.

That's assuming that FSH tests make a contribution to the health of mid-life women. They don't.

The traditional blood test to diagnose menopause is a measurement of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in the blood. FSH is a hormone that is consistently elevated many years after a woman's last menstrual period.

However, during the years before the last menstrual period and during the early years after the last menstrual period, FSH levels regularly bounce up and down. An elevation of FSH may mean that a woman will never have another menstrual period, and therefore is menopausal, but it may also mean that this hormone is in its normal bouncing-around phase, perhaps years before a woman's periods will have finished.

Like the blood test, the new urine test sold in the Menopause Home Test measures FSH. And like the blood test, the urine FSH test would not be expected to diagnose menopause with certainty until many years after a woman has had her last menstrual period - in other words, when a diagnosis of menopause would not require any testing at all.

FSH tests, however, may be useful for women who are having trouble becoming pregnant. An FSH result on day 3 of a spontaneous menstrual cycle can predict whether a woman's eggs have aged beyond the likeliness of successful pregnancy and birth. FSH levels should be at their lowest in the early part of a woman's cycle. Women with elevated FSH values on day 3 are unlikely to become pregnant (or, if they do become pregnant, they are unlikely to carry the pregnancy very long). An elevated FSH reading can be disappointing, but it can also save a woman from spending large sums of money on assisted reproductive technologies that will not likely be successful. However, this urine kit is not designed to pick up the subtle increase in day 3 FSH that will help with fertility prediction, so don't waste your money on it.

The woman who is having an increase in the variability of her menstrual cycles in her 40s or early 50s is almost certainly a normal healthy woman with age-appropriate changes in ovarian function. The presence of other symptoms, such as hot flashes, breast tenderness, or mood changes, may be due to these natural hormone fluctuations or may be fortuitous, due to aging or to life circumstances. No FSH test, either blood or urine, will add information of any use to the health or well-being of women in this age group.

The implication by the makers of Menopause Home Test that the elevation of FSH in a woman's body represents a disease requiring immediate medical attention and therapy is misleading and insulting. The makers of the Menopause Home Test are preying on our society's fear of aging and hoping to turn a quick profit from the medicalization of menopause, a natural and perfectly normal transition for the midlife woman.

Source: Canadian Women's Health Network






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More "Pregnancy Over 40" blogs to visit:
Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
Pregnancy Stories by Age - Daily blog of hope and inspiration!
You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!
Image: Photo credit: Hand-n-Hand, by Ed Hill, on freeimages.comWith a growing number of women seeking pregnancy at older ages, especially after age 40, timely evaluation and diagnosis of in-fertility are becoming ever more important. However, timely in-fertility diagnosis remains elusive for many patients, according to Norbert Gleicher, MD, a prominent fertility specialist and expert on ovarian aging.

It's not that every woman needs fertility treatment to get pregnant once she hits age 40, says Dr. Gleicher, Medical Director of the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a New York-based fertility center. However, as the fertility center of last resort for older women, explains Dr. Gleicher, CHR sees a large number of women over 40; Many, unfortunately, have wasted precious time pursuing endless tests and treatments that make little sense.

As women get older, their ovarian reserve (a measure of ovaries' ability to produce good-quality eggs) declines. Because this process of ovarian aging speeds up significantly after age 40, timely diagnosis of in-fertility becomes crucial. Every fertility treatment loses efficacy rapidly with declining ovarian reserve.

Dr. Gleicher continues: There isn't a day when we don't hear our patients say 'doctor, I wish I'd known about your center years ago, when I was doing such and such...' The earlier we can start treatment, the better, of course, our chances of helping our patients!

According to Dr. Gleicher, there are a number of tips women who are trying to get pregnant after 40 can follow in order to receive timely in-fertility diagnosis and effective treatment:

• Recognize the urgency of aggressive fertility treatment when you are above 40.
• Insist on rapid diagnosis and a structured treatment plan.
• Insist on specific treatment goals that meet your expectations: for example, do not agree to treatment with clomiphene citrate and intrauterine insemination (IUI) if the expected pregnancy chance sounds ridiculously low.
• Do not agree to endless testing to wait for the right results; Time is not on your side, and results will only get worse!
• It never hurts to get a second opinion.

About Center for Human Reproduction
Center for Human Reproduction, or CHR, is a leading fertility center in the United States with a worldwide reputation as a fertility center of last resort, specializing in treatment of in-fertility in women with diminished ovarian reserve, including younger women with premature ovarian aging (POA) and older women with physiological ovarian aging. Dr. Gleicher is available for additional comments.

Photo credit: Hand-n-Hand, by Ed Hill, on freeimages.com
All rights reserved







TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Overcoming Male Infertility, by Leslie R. Schover and Anthony J. Thomas Jr. Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 28, 1999)Overcoming Male Infertility
by Leslie R. Schover and Anthony J. Thomas Jr.

-- Hope and strategies for couples dealing with male infertility If you or your partner is suffering from male infertility, you're not alone.

Millions of couples are struggling with this problem. About 40% of these couples have exclusively male infertility problems, while another 20% have both male and female infertility problems.

Now, two leading experts, a urologist specializing in male infertility and a psychologist, team up to write the most complete guide available on male infertility.

From the latest, state-of-the-art treatments to advice on how to handle the emotional aspects of male infertility, you'll find out where to get the help you need.

Overcoming Male Infertility also covers the psychological issues that are unique to men, and gives advice to women on helping their man through the trauma of infertility treatment--including how to get him to see a doctor in the first place.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 304 pages
Click to order/for more info: Overcoming Male Infertility
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK

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Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
Pregnancy Stories by Age - Daily blog of hope and inspiration!
You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!

In the science fiction movie Gattaca, the hero, Vincent, is an In-Valid - someone whose only crime is to be conceived in a moment of passion rather than in a Petri dish.

His brother, by contrast, is a Valid, created by a process designed to ensure the optimum recombination of his parents' genes. In-Valids are condemned to a life of menial jobs and discrimination. To realize his dream of becoming an astronaut, Vincent has to buy a Valid's identity.

It's a scenario that is difficult to imagine from today's viewpoint. Yet could we be moving towards an age in which entering nature's genetic lottery is no longer seen as a desirable way to bring a child into the world? Might natural conception even come to be thought of as irresponsible, as bad as smoking while pregnant?

Reproducing the traditional way is undoubtedly flawed. Worldwide around 1 child in 16 is born with a mental or physical disability due to a genetic defect, and most of us probably carry gene variants that predispose us to serious illnesses later in life. How much safer it would be to go along to the fertility clinic, have some embryos created and pick the one or two that will produce the healthiest baby.

IVF has become commonplace, and top clinics boast pregnancy rates of more than 30 per cent for each cycle - better than the 1 in 4 chance of conceiving the natural way and likely to improve further. Until recently, though, IVF was only for those with fertility problems. The rapid development of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is starting to change this.

Increasing numbers of fertile couples with a family history of a serious disease such as cystic fibrosis are opting for IVF with PGD so they can be sure any child will not inherit it. Others are resorting to IVF-PGD so they can choose their child's most basic characteristic: sex.

Women who freeze their eggs to ensure they can have children later in life (see Methuselah moms) may soon swell the ranks even further. Could IVF-PGD one day become the preferred method of conception?

Full article: NewScientist.com





TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility, by Sami S. David and Jill Blakeway. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (August 12, 2009)Making Babies:
A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility

by Sami S. David and Jill Blakeway

-- MAKING BABIES offers a proven 3-month program designed to help any woman get pregnant. Fertility medicine today is all about aggressive surgical, chemical, and technological intervention, but Dr. David and Blakeway know a better way.

Starting by identifying "fertility types," they cover everything from recognizing the causes of fertility problems to making lifestyle choices that enhance fertility to trying surprising strategies such as taking cough medicine, decreasing doses of fertility drugs, or getting acupuncture along with IVF.

MAKING BABIES is a must-have for every woman trying to conceive, whether naturally or through medical intervention. Dr. David and Blakeway are revolutionizing the fertility field, one baby at a time.


Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 384 pages
Click to order/for more info: Making Babies
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK


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Image: A bowl of salad - a small bowl of salad with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes. Photo Credit: Naomi Kuwashima, on Freeimages.com
Vitamin supplements help fertility in women:
Taking multivitamins, particularly folic acid, can improve chances of pregnancy in couples having difficulty conceiving. Women who took multivitamin supplements 6 times a week were 40% less likely to fail to ovulate than women who took none.

In the UK, women are advised to take 400 micro-grams of folic acid (one of several different B vitamins) every day while trying to conceive, and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. 1000 micro-grams of folic acid daily is the safe upper limit. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has proposed adding folic acid to the nutrients currently used to fortify white flour, as has happened in the US since 1988.

Researchers said the beneficial benefits seem to derive from folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects, 'The beneficial effect on fertility continued to increase as women consumed higher amounts of folic acid'. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables and liver.

Photo Credit: A bowl of salad - a small bowl of salad with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes, by Naomi Kuwashima, on Freeimages.com
All Rights Reserved


Full article: Vitamin supplements help fertility in women

Supplements
There is now a great deal of scientific knowledge about the use of nutritional supplements and their beneficial effects on both male and female fertility. As you will see, these supplements can be very effective in re-balancing your hormones, as well as improving you and your partner's overall health, which are so vital for successful conception.

Supplements are necessary because even the best diet in the world will not contain all the nutrients you need to give you the best chance of conceiving.

Folic Acid
It is now known that folic acid can prevent spina bifida in your baby, and it is essential that you get plenty both before and during pregnancy. And that's not all: folic acid is undoubtedly important, but it is just part of the very important B-complex family of vitamins that are necessary to produce the genetic materials DNA and RNA. Together with vitamin B12, folic acid works to ensure that your baby's genetic codes are intact.

Remember: it's not enough to take folic acid alone when you are trying to become pregnant. All of the B vitamins are essential during the pre-conceptual period. Research has shown that giving B6 to women who have trouble conceiving increases fertility and vitamin B12 has been found to improve low sperm counts

Zinc
Zinc is the most widely studied nutrient in terms of fertility for both men and women. It is an essential component of genetic material and a zinc deficiency can cause chromosome changes in either you or our partner, leading to reduced fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage. Zinc is necessary for your body to 'attract and hold' (utilise efficiently) the reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.

And it's equally important for your partner: Zinc is found in high concentrations in the sperm. Zinc is needed to make the outer layer and tail of the sperm and is, therefore, essential for the health of your partner's sperm and, subsequently, your baby. Interestingly, several studies have also shown that reducing zinc in a man's diet will also reduce his sperm count.

Selenium
Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect your body from highly reactive chemical fragments called free radicals. For this reason, selenium can prevent chromosome breakage, which is known to be a cause of birth defects and miscarriages. Good levels of selenium are also essential to maximize sperm formation. Blood selenium levels have been found to be lower in men with low sperm counts.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
These essential fats have a profound effect on every system of the body, including the reproductive system and they are crucial for healthy hormone functioning. For men essential fatty acid supplementation is crucial because the semen is rich in prostaglandins which are produced from these fats. Men with poor sperm quality, abnormal sperm, poor motility or low count, have inadequate levels of these beneficial prostaglandins.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant and has been shown to increase fertility when given to both men and women. Men going for IVF treatment with their partners have been given vitamin E, and fertilization rates have, as a result, increased from 19 to 29 percent. It has been suggested that the antioxidant activity of vitamin E might make the sperm more fertile.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, and studies show that vitamin C enhances sperm quality, protecting sperm and the DNA within it from damage. Some research has indicated that certain types of DNA damage in the sperm can make it difficult to conceive in the first place, or it can cause an increased risk of miscarriage if conception does take place. If DNA is damaged, there may be a chromosomal problem in the baby, should the pregnancy proceed. Whether or not DNA damage does have these effects has not been conclusively proven, but it's worth taking vitamin C and the other antioxidants as a precautionary measure.

Vitamin C also appears to keep the sperm from clumping together, making them more motile.
One study has shown that women taking the drug clomiphene to stimulate ovulation will have a better chance of ovulating if vitamin C is taken alongside the drug. Clomiphene does not always work in every woman, but the chances are often increased when vitamin C is supplemented.

L-Arginine
This is an amino acid found in many foods and the head of the sperm contains an exceptional amount of this nutrient, which is essential for sperm production. Supplementing with L-arginine can help to increase both the sperm count and quality.

Note: People who have herpes attacks (either cold sores or genital herpes) should not supplement with arginine because it stimulates the virus.

L-Carnitine
This amino acid is essential for normal functioning of sperm cells. According to research, it appears that the higher the levels of L-Carnitine in the sperm cells, the better the sperm count and motility.

Vitamin A
This vitamin needs to be mentioned because there is a lot of confusion about its use before and after pregnancy. Many health practitioners now advise that no vitamin A is taken during pregnancy. This advice is incorrect, and it can be dangerous to assume that any vitamin or other nutrient should be avoided during the gestational period. Vitamin A has important antioxidant properties, and the consequences of Vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy can be devastating. For one thing, vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes. Animals studies show that vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy has produced new-born animals with no eyes, eye defects, undescended testes and diaphragmatic hernias.

It is only when the vitamin A is in the form of retinol (in other words, the animal form of vitamin A) that there is a problem. It has been found that retinol can cause birth defects if taken in excess of 10,000iu a day. Beta-carotene, which is one of the vegetable forms of vitamin A, does not carry any risks.

Full article: How to increase your chances of conceiving and preventing miscarriages





TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Pregnancy MiraclePregnancy Miracle
by Lisa Olsen

-- A 279-page, instantly downloadable e-book presenting a 5-step, sure-fire, 100% guaranteed, clinically proven holistic and ancient Chinese system for permanently reversing your infertility and your partner's infertility disorders and getting pregnant quickly, naturally and safely within 2-4 months without drugs, dangerous surgeries, side effects, or expensive infertility treatments.

It's probably the most powerful infertility reversal system ever developed, and currently the best-selling e-book of its kind on the entire Web!

Here's what the author Lisa Olson had to say about her incredible program:
After 14 years of trial, error and experimentation, I finally discovered the answer to infertility and developed a fool-proof system to getting pregnant the natural way - no drugs, or surgery necessary.

It took a lot of research to get to where I am today, to know exactly what works and what doesn't. Yes, after desperate trial and error, countless of useless treatments, disappointments and agony, a simple holistic system opened the door to my new and much brighter life of motherhood.

I was also excited to see that my other infertility related symptoms had diminished. After years of waiting I was finally free from Infertility! I have become a proud mother of two.

And now I'm finally revealing my secrets in this new 'encyclopedia' of pregnancy called, Pregnancy Miracle.

I will be your own personal coach, take you by the hand, and lead you through the lousy advice, hype and gimmicks... and directly to the sort of inner balance perfection that will end your battle with infertility forever and help you become a proud mother of your healthy children.

Image: Buy Now
Click to order/for more info on this helpful program:
Pregnancy Miracle


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Image: Wall Jerusalem, by Karen Desuyo, on Flickr
Copenhagen, Denmark: Women who have a special genetic profile can conceive spontaneously after the age of 45 years, a scientist said at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 21 June 2005).

Dr. Neri Laufer, from the Haddassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel, told the conference that his team's work to identify a specific gene expression profile linked to later fertility would help understanding of the aging process, as well as enabling the development of better treatments for infertility in older patients.

Dr. Laufer and colleagues studied a large group of 250 women over 45 who conceived spontaneously. Women are generally not fertile after this age due to ageing of the ovaries, so the scientists thought that there might be some special factor that was allowing these women to conceive.

Mostly they had had a large number of children and also a low miscarriage rate, he said and these two factors indicated to us that they had a natural ability to escape the aging process of the ovaries. We decided to see if we could find any differences in gene expression between 8 such women and another 6 women of the same age group who had finished their families at the age of 30.

Using gene chip technology, the scientists found that blood samples from the 8 women had a unique pattern of gene expression that did not exist in the control group. The two main groups of genes expressed in these women were involved in apoptosis (cell death) and in DNA repair mechanisms.

These women appear to differ from the normal population due to a unique genetic predisposition that protects them from the DNA damage and cellular ageing that helps age the ovary, said Dr. Laufer. What we do not yet know is whether this reproductive success is linked with potential longevity.

The women were all Ashkenazi Jews but Dr. Laufer's team does not believe that the gene profile is unique to this group. We already have preliminary results demonstrating similar results from another group, he said. The team intends to study women from different ethnic, and hence genetic, groups and study their genetic fingerprints against those of the first group.

Identifying women with these genetic fingerprints will enable doctors to know which women are still fertile at an advanced age and may determine the counseling they require, said Dr.Laufer.

However, the question of motherhood over the age of 45 is a delicate and complex one. It is very dependent on the religious and cultural background of the women in question. Our first study group came from an ultra-religious sector which encourages natural conception and discourages contraceptive use. These women would in any event continue to challenge their reproductive system until menopause. But for other groups the ethical implications may be different and counseling on all the aspects of late motherhood will play an important part in determining what is best for the individual woman.

Source: EurekAlert.org

Stock Photo credit: Wall Jerusalem, by Karen Desuyo, on Flickr
Some rights reserved





TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility, by Sami S. David and Jill Blakeway. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (August 12, 2009)Making Babies:
A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility

by Sami S. David and Jill Blakeway

-- MAKING BABIES offers a proven 3-month program designed to help any woman get pregnant. Fertility medicine today is all about aggressive surgical, chemical, and technological intervention, but Dr. David and Blakeway know a better way.

Starting by identifying "fertility types," they cover everything from recognizing the causes of fertility problems to making lifestyle choices that enhance fertility to trying surprising strategies such as taking cough medicine, decreasing doses of fertility drugs, or getting acupuncture along with IVF.

MAKING BABIES is a must-have for every woman trying to conceive, whether naturally or through medical intervention. Dr. David and Blakeway are revolutionizing the fertility field, one baby at a time.


Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 384 pages
Click to order/for more info: Making Babies
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK


Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comStart reading Making Babies on your Kindle in under a minute!
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK

Don't have a Kindle?
Get your Kindle here: US | Canada | UK , or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.



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Image: The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies, by Randine Lewis. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (March 21, 2005)Found this on Women Over 40 With High FSH:

thefertilitycure.com

-- I am sure many people here are very familiar with Randine Lewis's theory.

It's good to have myself to remember that from time to time that I need to do my deeds.

Like the very helpful meditation to warm up my whole body.

The egg factor: using Chinese herbal medicine to improve fertility in a 45-year old woman - by Inga Heese.
 •  Egg Quality and a Woman's Age
 •  The ‘egg factor’: PDF file

-- I don't quite understand this. may be I should ask Dr. Check?

 •  Anyone know how to improve egg quality?

 •  Coming Late to Motherhood: Trying to Conceive After 35

-- this one said egg quality is genetic, can't be improved, only can be decreased due to environmental issues. Hum, bad news?






TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies, by Randine Lewis. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (March 21, 2005)The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies
by Randine Lewis

-- Infertility affects one out of six couples today.

Dr. Lewis presents a groundbreaking alternative approach to infertility, explaining how she used traditional Chinese medicine to treat her own infertility, successfully conceiving and giving birth to two children.

In Lewis's experience, women who have undergone three to six months of the dietary changes, herbs and acupuncture treatments become pregnant with no further effort.

Lewis intersperses her somewhat technical examination of the program with anecdotes about her patients, weaving in discussions on diet, herbal supplements, acupuncture, older women and problems related to infertility.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 320 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Infertility Cure
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comHardcover: 240 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Infertility Cure
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK


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More "Pregnancy Over 40" blogs to visit:
Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
Pregnancy Stories by Age - Daily blog of hope and inspiration!
You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!
Image: sperm_count_recipe_ayurvedic  by kamikaze gecko, on FlickrThis plan can help many over 40 women:

If you don't have fertile-quality cervical mucus, the sperm may only last 2 hours.
Older men sometimes can't perform as often.
Older men sometimes have lower sperm counts.
The sperm needs to be there, waiting, before your egg is released. So you need to start trying before your OPK turns positive.
Regular sex increases his testosterone, his sperm count, and your cervical mucus and helps ramp up your hormones, especially estrogen - getting everything working well.

The Plan - Short Version:
"Try" every other night starting Day 8
Buy 10 ovulation predictor kit sticks
Begin ovulation testing on Day 10
When test is positive, try that night, plus two additional nights in a row
Skip one night, then do one last try
Take a home pregnancy test 15 days after your ovulation test was positive, if your period has not begun
If your ovulation test never goes positive, continue trying every other night until Day 35, then do a pregnancy test if your period has not begun.

For the Detailed Version, read the full article: The Sperm Meets Egg Plan

How Sexual Frequency Affects a Woman's Sexual Responsiveness, Fertility, and Health

The less often a woman has sex, the less she will want sex, the less she will enjoy sex, and the more difficult it will be for her to become aroused and climax.

Women who had sex two or more times a week had the most regular cycles, women who had sex once a week were slightly less regular, celibate women were still less regular, and women who had sporadic sex, or sex less than once a week, had the most irregular cycles. A variety of hormonal differences were seen, including higher estrogen levels in the women who had regular sex.

The benefits of the hormonal changes in those having intercourse at least twice a week include: better fertility, stronger bones, better cardiovascular health, less depression, lower incidence of fibrocystic breast disease and uterine cancer, and a decrease in menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and depression.

Full article: How Sexual Frequency Affects a Woman's Sexual Responsiveness, Fertility, and Health

Photo credit: sperm_count_recipe_ayurvedic, by kamikaze gecko, on Flickr
Some rights reserved





TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: The Sperm Meets Egg Plan: Getting Pregnant Faster, by Deanna Roy. Publisher: Casey Shay Press (October 9, 2012)The Sperm Meets Egg Plan: Getting Pregnant Faster
by Deanna Roy

-- The Sperm Meets Egg Plan is a step-by-step guide to achieving pregnancy without taking invasive tests, charting temperatures, or making mistakes in predicting your ovulation that result in mistimed attempts at fertilization.

Designed by Deanna Roy after months of trying made her believe she had a fertility problem, the plan will help you time intercourse whether you have a typical or atypical cycle.

It includes adjustments for common fertility problems, what to do if you are over forty, and considerations for trying again after a pregnancy loss.

This booklet includes 40 pages of instruction plus a 10-page sneak peek of Deanna's book Baby Dust.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comStart reading The Sperm Meets Egg Plan: Getting Pregnant Faster on your Kindle in under a minute!
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here: US | Canada | UK , or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.


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More "Pregnancy Over 40" blogs to visit:
Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
Pregnancy Stories by Age - Daily blog of hope and inspiration!
You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!
Image: gisele + kike + (mateo), by Lutty Moreira, on Flickr
Vitex/Chasteberry has been billed as 'the natural Clomid' for quite a few years.

It can be found at health food stores and other places that sell supplements. You can also order it along with B6 through Amazon.

*** Recipe #1 ***

Take Whole Cycle:
1 Prenatal Vitamin Daily
1 Baby Aspirin Daily
1 50 mg B6 Vitamin in the morning.
1 B-50 Complex in the evening

From Cycle Day 1 until Ovulation:
Two Vitex, 500mg Capsules in the morning
Two Vitex, 500mg Capsules in the evening

From End of Period until Ovulation:
Robitussin: full strength as if you have a bad cough.

Label Directions: adults and children 12 years and over, 2-4 teaspoonfuls every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in any 24 hour period. Consult label for accuracy, warnings, and ingredients.

Active ingredient: Guaifenesin ONLY, do NOT get any type with other active ingredients or letters such as Robitussin DM or Robitussin CF.

*** Recipe #2 ***

Take Whole cycle:
1 Prenatal Vitamin Daily
1 B6 100mg Vitamin 2-3 times a day. Start with twice a day and can take up to 300mg. Only take as much as YOUR body needs to produce good quality mucus.
1 B-50 Complex, Timed Release Tablet, once a day.
1 Baby Aspirin, once a day.

Cycle Day 5 until Period Shows or Confirmed Pregnant:
1 Vitex 500mg Capsule 2-3 times a day with meals or a glass of water. Suggest starting at twice a day and going up if needed.

Around Ovulation
Robitussin: Use label directions on your bottle if possible.

Label Directions: adults and children 12 years and over, 2-4 teaspoons full every 4 hours. Do not take more than 6 doses in any 24 hour period. Consult label for accuracy, warnings and ingredients.

Active ingredient: Guaifenesin ONLY, do NOT get any type with other active ingredients or letters such as Robitussin DM or Robitussin CF.

CD1-5 - Stop Vitex and let body rest and use the herbs already taken.

Notes: Recipe #1 and Recipe #2 have both resulted in happy healthy babies. Recipe #2 is a little more controversial than #1 in that it includes Vitex until pregnant and it includes a higher dose of B6. Be informed regardless of which one you use.

Full article: Womens-Place.com

Photo credit: Gisele + Kike + (Mateo), by Lutty Moreira, on Flickr
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The information on this page in no way constitutes medical advice nor is it guaranteed to work. Baby After 40 is not liable for any use of this information. We offer this information for information purposes only. Please check with your doctor before taking anything. Do not let this delay anyone seeking treatment for infertility. Taking Vitex in no way helps certain disorders such as PCOS or clotting disorders. Please follow your doctor's advice.





TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future, by David Wolfe. Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future
by David Wolfe

-- Superfoods are vibrant, nutritionally dense foods that have recently become widely available and which offer tremendous dietary and healing potential.

In this lively, illustrated overview, well-known raw-foods guru David Wolfe profiles delicious and incredibly nutritious plant products such as goji berries, hempseed, cacao beans (raw chocolate), maca, spirulina, bee products, and a host of others.

As powerful sources of clean protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats and oils, essential fatty and amino acids, and other nutrients, they represent a uniquely promising piece of the nutritional puzzle.

Each superfood is described in detail, accompanied by easy and delicious recipes.

This accessible guide presents persuasive arguments, based on sound science, for the pivotal role of superfoods in promoting nutritional excellence, health and well-being, beauty enhancement, sustainable agriculture, and the transformation of diet, lifestyle, and planet.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 352 pages
Click to order/for more info: What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir
Find on Amazon: US | Canada | UK


Image: Buy Now on Amazon.com-- Start reading Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future on your Kindle in under a minute!
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More "Pregnancy Over 40" blogs to visit:
Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
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You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!
Image: Twins Darby, left, and Reagan Christian play with drawing toys in their Belleville home Monday Dec. 26, 2011. The girls were conceived by parents Fred and Linda Christian through mini in vitro fertilization, a procedure advocated by St. Louis doctor Sherman Silber which, he says, is safer, cheaper and easier on women while maintaining comparable pregnancy rates.This article brings up lots of interesting questions!

I wonder if lengthening your dosage of Clomid alone would help some? The only thing is, how long would you lengthen it, if you weren't being monitored? Perhaps to day 10-12? And then I wondered, some are using Soy Isoflavones as if it were Clomid - would it work the same, taking it for an extended time?

Mini-IVF
When patients contemplate IVF, their first reaction is often the fear of daily injections of hormones for months, the incredibly high cost of the drugs, the risk of multiple pregnancy and consequent prematurity, side effects related to high levels of estrogen resulting from large numbers of eggs, hyperstimulation syndrome, and the prospect of painful daily progesterone injections for a full ten weeks even after the IVF procedure. Mini-IVF is a very unique approach developed by our colleagues in Japan to circumvent these problems and to simplify IVF for patients, reducing the cost while maintaining comparable success rates.

Mini-IVF is designed to recruit only a few (but high quality) eggs, thus avoiding the risks of hyperstimulation, reducing the cost of drugs from an average of $4,000 to closer to $400, reducing the number of injections, and completely avoiding the painful progesterone injections. This approach is not just a simple-minded reduction in hormonal stimulation. It is an ingeniously conceived and completely different approach to IVF, that saves the patient much of the complexity and cost associated with more conventional IVF protocols. Here is how it works.

On Day 3 of the menstrual cycle, you start on a low dose of Clomid (50mg), but you don’t stop the Clomid in five days as is usually the custom. You just keep taking the Clomid until ultrasound monitoring shows the follicles to be ready for ovulation. A very low “booster” dose of gonadotropin (just 150 iu of FSH), is added on Days 8, 10, and 12. Clomid not only stimulates your own pituitary to release FSH naturally (by blocking estrogen’s suppressing effect), but also staying on the Clomid (a unique new approach) blocks estrogen’s stimulation of LH release, and so also usually prevents premature ovulation. Thus, with this simple change in protocol, the old-fashioned, cheap Clomid is able to stimulate the development of great quality eggs for IVF.

Another advantage of this protocol is that you did not have to go on Lupron first to suppress the pituitary. Staying on Clomid blocks estrogen from stimulating your pituitary to release LH, and this prevents premature ovulation without your having to be suppressed. This means that you can be induced to ovulate with just a simple injection or nasal sniff of Lupron. This causes a more natural LH surge, and avoids the luteal phase defect caused by HCG that would otherwise require months of progesterone injections.

The next step is to recognize that Clomid has a negative effect on the uterine lining (because it prevents estrogen from stimulating the endometrium). That is one reason why results in the past have been so poor with the use of Clomid for ovarian stimulation. The embryos are less likely to implant in such endometrium. But that problem is solved by using the Japanese protocol for embryo freezing, “vitrification,” which I discuss elsewhere. We can now freeze the embryos almost with impunity using this approach, with only a 1% risk of loss. Then these embryos are transferred the next month in a “natural cycle” with no need for taking any hormones at all.

The frozen embryo transfers can then all be performed in a later natural cycle (without hormones). Even if you don’t normally ovulate predictably, you can be given one injection of Lupron in the follicular phase (once your follicle reaches 1.5cm) to induce natural luteinization, and still have a natural cycle embryo transfer with no hormones. The Day 3 frozen embryo would then be transferred five days later, and there is no need for your taking any hormones at all.

Even for poor prognosis cases of older women with low remaining ovarian reserve, there is an advantage to mini-IVF over high dose stimulation. Such patients normally yield very few eggs anyway even with huge megadoses of gonadotropin. If they have any quality eggs remaining, mini-IVF is just as likely to yield as many eggs (very few, of course) as giving huge megadoses of gonadotropin. Even in the worst case scenario, if there are no good eggs left at all, at least they can discover this with only $400 spent on drugs instead of $7,100 (cost of maximum dosage).

Think of this simple parable: If you are sitting under an apple tree, and wish to eat the most ripe and ready apples, you have a choice. You can chop down the tree, and look at every apple on the fallen tree to see which ones were ready. Or you can simply try to shake the lower branches and eat the one or two that have fallen. That is the idea of mini-IVF. It may not work for everyone, but for many patients, it will remove much of the aggravation and complexity associated with IVF, and also dramatically reduce the cost.

Source: Infertile.com
Photo credit: Infertile.com
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A few women said that this was Dr. Zhang's protocol, as well as Dr. Silber

"Dr. Zhang and Dr. Silber are affiliated with each other, and also with the Kato Clinic in Japan, where these techniques were developed. The Kato Clinic is the largest IVF center in the world."

Dr Zhang works out of NYC - newhopefertility.com

Here is what my doctor told me. Most doctor's prescribe it 5-9 because that's what comes with the literature for the drug. Most doctors who have a lot of experience prescribing it choose days 3-7 because it has less effect on the lining. Clomid reduces cervical mucus and reduces the thickness of your lining. Taken earlier it gives a chance for estrogen to build up again before ovulation. My doctor said to take it 3-7 because he's seen too many chemical pregnancies taking it 5-9.
From the Clomid board on FertilityFriend.com





TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: 3 Steps to Fertility, by Marina Nicholas. Publisher: Carroll + Brown Publishers (February 1, 2006)3 Steps to Fertility
by Marina Nicholas

-- The world of infertility can be complex and daunting.

This book helps couples navigate the world of infertility treatment and tells them how they can maximize their chances of conceiving by following the three essential steps—gaining a full understanding of what conception entails, completing the necessary fertility tests at the appropriate time, and choosing the treatment that will improve their chances of having a baby.

Each infertile couple is unique, and what suits one couple may not suit another.

Some may be more comfortable first looking into complementary therapies while others will opt for immediate in-vitro fertilization.

With detailed information on assisted conception techniques, all possible tests, and how diet, ovulation tracking, hypnotherapy, reflexology, acupuncture, and herbal medicine can improve one's chances of having a baby, this book will help all couples find the right approach for them.

It also will ensure they are both better informed and more open to all forms of treatment as they embark on their journeys to parenthood.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 160 pages
Click to order/for more info: 3 Steps to Fertility
Find it on Amazon: 3 Steps to Fertility
- US | Canada | UK


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More "Pregnancy Over 40" blogs to visit:
Life Begins... - Pregnancy stories of loss, hope and help
Pregnancy Stories by Age - Daily blog of hope and inspiration!
You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!

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