National Infertility Awareness Week: Why Awareness Is Important

national infertility awareness week
Did you know that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility? Even though it’s a common issue affecting many people throughout the world, infertility doesn’t get the awareness it deserves. An astounding 15 percent of all couples in the country struggle with creating a family. Some consider infertility unimportant, but infertility needs to be considered a subject of compassion and education. With National Infertility Awareness Week fast approaching, those struggling with infertility and those who support them have created a movement aimed at removing all barriers that stand in the way of building families.

What is infertility?

Infertility is defined as the inability to naturally conceive a child. It does not discriminate on sexuality, economic status, religion, or race. If after 12 months of unprotected sex one cannot conceive, you are considered infertile. On average, a third of all cases can be traced back to the woman, a third of all cases can be traced back to the man, and the other third of all cases are because of both partners or a cause cannot be found.

Medical technology has come a long way, especially in recent decades. Those who specialize in infertility can now help determine the root of the cause and help those who suffer with infertility in tremendous ways. Treatments for infertility are available to both men and women, including various surgeries, drugs, and assisted reproductive technology.

What is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)?

National Infertility Awareness Week was founded by Resolve, The National Infertility Association. Resolve is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help improve the lives of the many men and women affected by infertility. They provide free support programs in areas all over the country, assist in raising awareness on the issue, and works hard to protect the rights and legal access of every family they work with.

NIAW is April 23-29, 2017. This year, Resolve’s theme is “Listen Up!”. Their campaign was created for anyone who cares about the infertility community can feel endowed to make a difference. NIAW wants people to understand how infertility affects people and their families. By joining the movement, people can help create a community in which infertility is supported with compassion and help.

Resolve urges people to join their movement during NIAW to help in any way they can; getting involved in their communities, supporting friends and families who suffer with infertility, and supporting policies and legislations that stop anti-family laws.

What can you do to help?

This National Infertility Awareness Week, there are many ways to get involved. Resolve hosts many events at local and national levels in which they urge people to get involved with. They ask that you show compassion and support to anyone you know or don’t know who suffers with infertility. Addressing an issue is the first step in finding acceptance and help among others. Start the conversation and donate your time to help even one person deal with their infertility.

National Infertility Awareness Week is a necessary step in finding more tolerance and help among the infertility community and beyond. While infertility has come a long way in recent decades, it’s still a subject most people are uncomfortable with. But with so many people around the world suffering with this issue, what are we so afraid to talk about? It’s time to broach the subject and offer help to the many people trying to build a family.

Posted in Awareness, Blog, Infertility

Get Healthier, Improve Fertility

improve fertility

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 23 to April 29. It is estimated that 10 percent of couples struggle with infertility. Not being able to conceive can be frustrating for the couple. Fortunately, many couples have been able to improve fertility after making a few changes in their lifestyle.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Your weight can have a positive or negative affect on your ability to conceive. Studies have shown that underweight women take four times as long to conceive. Women who are underweight can take twice as long to conceive. Weight problems can lead to irregular ovulation, which makes it harder to conceive. If you are underweight, then you can increase your chances of conceiving by gaining five pounds. Likewise, you can improve fertility if you lose five to 10 pounds if you are overweight.

Stop Smoking

Women who smoke are less likely to get pregnant. Women are also less likely to conceive if they have a partner who smokes. Tobacco use can damage sperm and egg. It can also increase the risk of miscarriage.

Supplement Use

There are a number of vitamins that can boost your fertility. The B vitamins can help stimulate ovulation. Folic acid, which is a type of B vitamin, is not only important for conceiving, but it also helps prevent defects in women who are already pregnant. Vitamin D is another supplement that can boost your chances of conceiving. Studies have shown that women who are infertile have lower vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D helps promote regular ovulation. It also helps the body produce sex hormones. Additionally, you can take vitamin C. This nutrient helps prevent progesterone production. Progesterone helps regulate the menstrual cycle.

Stay Calm

Stress can make it more difficult to conceive by increasing cortisol production. Cortisol can cause hormonal imbalances. Stress can also make it harder for you to be intimate with your partner.

Posted in Blog, Improve your Fertility, Lifestyle, Quit smoking, Smoking, Women's Health

Can Your Weight Affect Your Fertility?

weight fertility infertility
Recent research shows that being overweight can have a negative impact on your fertility. This has been proven scientifically for women and there are some indications that it is also true for men.
Overweight and obese women are respectively 1.3 and 2.7 times more likely to have anovulatory infertility. 75 percent of women who have anovulatory infertility suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The main cause of this disease is insulin resistance, a metabolic disturbance in which the body does not react to insulin. Insulin resistance is present in 50 to 80 percent of all women who have PCOS. Half of these women are obese.Insulin normally stimulates the secretion of LH, luteinizing hormone, which induces ovulation. However, if there is insulin resistance, ovulation is less likely to occur. Also, women with PCOS often have androgen and leptin levels that are too high and sex hormone-binding globulin levels that are too low.

Obesity in women also reduces the effectiveness of hormone treatments for anovulatory infertility. When insulin resistance is present, higher gonadotropin levels are needed to induce ovulation. Compared to healthy women, obese women who undergo low-dose gonadotropin therapy have lower pregnancy rates and higher miscarriage rates.

This process can be reversed in as little as six months. Weight loss of only 5 to 10 percent total body mass can be enough to restore fertility in 55 to 100 percent of obese women. A healthier weight causes the body to become reactive to insulin again. Normalized LH levels improve ovarian functions and regular ovulations recommence.

Overweight men have 11 percent more chance of having a lower sperm count than normal-weight men and 39 percent more chance of having no sperm at all. For obese men, these percentages are respectively 42 and 81 percent. Although this is not definite proof that excess weight reduces men’s fertility, it does make it more likely that overweight and obese men could have more difficulties with conception.

Since there is a clear connection between excess weight and PCOS in women, losing weight should be the first step in treating fertility problems. It is proven effective and promotes overall health. Also, since hormone treatments are significantly less effective in obese women, it makes sense to first focus on losing weight before considering these treatments. For men, carrying extra pounds is potentially related to lower sperm counts and difficulties with conception. However, more scientific studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

Posted in Improve your Fertility, Infertility, Infertility Contributing Factors, Women's Health

What to Expect for Your First Visit to the Fertility Doctor

fertility infertility
Infertility is more common than most people realize, but not talked about often enough. Many people have difficulties conceiving and don’t know where to turn. If you have been unable to conceive after 6-12 months of trying, depending on age, there is hope for you. Many doctors and clinics around the world specialize in helping people with infertility problems, but you need to take the first step. Your first appointment with a fertility specialist can seem intimidating, so here’s what you can expect.

What happens at your first visit to the fertility doctor?

Fertility doctors and specialists may require you to undergo some testing to determine if a pre-existing condition is the reason behind infertility. In order to better serve your needs, a doctor must first have a better understanding of your health and conditions. Also remember that the doctor is there for you and you should feel free to ask any questions regarding your health and infertility. Your doctor can help answer questions like why you are infertile, how you can conceive, and what all of that means for your health.

There are a variety of reasons why infertility is an issue for you. A woman’s ovulation process may not be occurring on a regular basis due to several possible conditions, for instance. Blockage in the Fallopian tubes or low sperm count could also be reasons behind infertility. By understanding the root of the issue, infertility doctors can find a better path to assisting you.

Evaluating certain areas like the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and sperm count could determine the best course of action for treatment. For example:

  • Checking the ovaries to see if they are responding to hormones within the body as they should be and releasing eggs at the proper time can be tested by determining the amount of estrogen in the blood and determining the FSH hormone on day 3 of the menstrual cycle. These tests can allow a doctor to determine how your ovaries are functioning.
  • A simple x-ray of the uterine cavity and the Fallopian tubes can help doctors determine if your tubes are open properly. If the tubes are indeed blocked, the most successful option for fertilizing an egg would be in vitro fertilization.
  • Doctors can analyze a man’s semen to determine whether low sperm count is behind the infertility or not. Sometimes, this can be treated. Techniques have also been developed to help sperm abnormalities become usable sperm for fertilization as well.

Infertility can be a very trying ordeal, but you’re not alone. There are many reasons behind infertility and many options out there to help you through. Fertility doctors can help set you on a path to conception, but you have to take the first step and make your first appointment.

Posted in Uncategorized

Decreasing Fertility Rates in the US

fertility rates

Reproductive rates and fertility rates among US women fell from 1990 to 2014, in spite of a spike between the mid-90s and mid-2000s, according to data from the CDC. The report shows that both the total fertility rate and the total gross reproduction rate declined by around 10 percent during that time. The decline in both rates was noticed among women of all races except Cuban American women.

Posted in Infertility, Study Tagged with: ,

Infertility and Your Emotions

infertility emotionalExperiencing infertility can be like riding a roller coaster that you can’t get off. The ups and downs keep coming on a regular (or not-so-regular) basis as couples plan for ovulation, endure the two-week wait, experience the sadness and frustration of a negative pregnancy test result, then pick themselves back up to try again. For couples in fertility treatment, there is the added stress of new procedures, hormone treatments, doctor visits, endless scans, and significant financial speculation. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Depression, Infertility, Lifestyle Tagged with: ,

Types of Fertility Apps

types of fertility appsIn the age of smart phones, the adage “there’s an app for that” is an understatement. If you can think it, chances are, there’s an app for it. And health, fitness, and even fertility is no exception. In fact, when it comes to fertility apps and fertility related apps, the question is not whether or not it exists, but what kind of app and features are you looking for. In other words, what do you want to know and track. Read more ›

Posted in Lifestyle, Pregnancy Tagged with: , ,

New Study: Walnuts & Male Fertility

walnuts fertility studyWhen it comes to nutritional guidelines and navigating the good and the bad, there is no shortage of opinion on what to eat and/or what not to eat. It seems there’s an expert around every corner proclaiming a food based remedy for what ales you. When it comes to improving fertility, there are a multitude of studies focused on what foods may (or may not) boost fertility. Read more ›

Posted in Improve your Fertility, Study Tagged with: , ,

Common Infertility Myths

We live in the age of information. For any given subject, there is a plethora of data at our fingertips. Unfortunately, not all of it is factual. This is especially true when examining fertility, and more specifically- infertility. Infertility is a very complex thing and while there are some truths about this subject, some are only old wives’ tales. Because of its complex nature there is a lot of confusion. Let’s examine a few myths about fertility. Read more ›

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What is Secondary Infertility?

secondary infertilityIn a perfect world, you have a baby and then, when and if you decide to grow your family further, you have another baby. For some, the road to pregnancy and fertility happens just as they imagined. For others, there are bumps and detours along the way.

Read more ›

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