10 Life Lessons About Maintaining Good Health

According to statistics, over the past two decades, life expectancy for humans have significantly risen. It was common for our ancestors to die in their late 30s. One of the main reasons we are living longer is that we take better care of ourselves.

Even more important than quantity of life is quality. When you maintain an active lifestyle and a healthy diet, you have a better chance of living a long, productive life. Here are ten helpful hints for keeping optimal health:

1. You Are What You Eat

Alarming data shows that 67.7% of Americans are obese. Being obese puts you at risk for several major diseases and disorders, says the source. Just like a car, your body needs the right fuel to run efficiently. It needs the right balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, and fat. Cutting out processed junk food and eating a variety of whole foods is the best way to stay fit.

2. Daily Exercise

Being a couch potato does nothing good for your body. It needs to be up and moving to keep your blood flowing and your joints limber. The good news is that you do not have to pay an exorbitant price for a gym membership. There are plenty of exercises that you can do at home that will get you in shape just as easily. Even a brisk walk every
day has its benefits.

3. Get Your Beauty Sleep

Staying active does not mean that you do not need rest. Your body was designed to get anywhere from 6-10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. While you are sleeping, your cells recover from all the work that you did. They gather an energy reserve for the next day. All of your organs, including your brain, need to rest so that they function right.

4. Take Care Of Your Mental Health

Your brain and nervous system need activity and rest just like the other parts of your body. Keep your mind agile by learning new things. Challenge yourself daily with puzzles and other logical exercises. Meditation and visualization are wonderful tools for soothing your mind and bringing your life into focus.

5. Practice Good Personal Hygiene

No one wants to be around someone who is unkempt and smells bad. A daily hygiene regimen includes bathing (or showering), brushing your teeth, and taking care of your hair. You should also pay careful attention to your fingernails and toenails. Keep your skin youthful and radiant by washing it daily and using a good moisturizer. You minimize chances of getting sick by washing your hands when needed.

6. Avoid Direct Sun

Your body needs a certain amount of sunshine each day in order to produce important Vitamin D. For years, people were encouraged to lie out in the sun to get a golden tan. Even when studies warn that too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer, we still see people baking on the beaches and simmering in tanning beds. These sun worshipers end up with leathery skin, premature wrinkles, and age spots. Keep your skin safe by wearing hats, protective clothing, and a strong sunscreen. If you want a little tan, try bronzers and self-tanning lotions.

7. Kick The Smoking Habit

There is too much information about the hazards of smoking to ignore. Smokers are not only putting their own health at risk, but they risk the health of their family with second-hand smoke. If you are still hooked on tobacco, talk to your doctor about a good cessation program and medications to curb the craving.

8. Limit Alcohol

You can still enjoy your favorite adult beverage; however, it should be done in moderation. Even the studies concerning the benefits of red wine say that there should be a daily limit. Excessive alcohol can cause a dangerous addiction. It poisons your liver and may contribute to premature death. Parties are just as much fun if you drink soda or a glass of water.

9. Speaking Of Water…

The majority of our bodies are made up of water. It only makes sense that you keep yourself hydrated for all the systems in your body to work properly. Health experts recommend between 6-8 glasses of water each day. Limit yourself on the sodas and coffee. If you miss a bubbly drink, try a glass of seltzer with a little lemon juice.

10. Enjoy Your Life!

An old proverb says that life is for the living. While you have to work to pay your bills and keep your family, you still need time for fun and relaxation. Take up a hobby that you have always wanted to do. You will also appreciate life more if you do things to give back to others, such as volunteering at a homeless shelter.

When you put these life lessons into practice, you can stay healthier and live longer. Share your healthy lifestyle with your family and friends. Taking care of yourself is what living is all about.

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Infertility Problems That Plague Women Over 40

infertility over 40

When women reach the age of forty, studies show that their ability to conceive drops considerably. For most women in prime childbearing years, the chance of conceiving each month is around 20 percent, but a woman over the age of forty has about a 5 percent chance for conception each month. It has little to do with physical age, and more to do with the age of a woman’s eggs. Both the quantity and quality of eggs, along with a higher risk of miscarriage can cause infertility problems in women over the age of forty.

Quantity
Fertility begins to decline in women after thirty, and by forty has significantly tapered off. Women are born with all the egg follicles they will ever produce. At birth, that number is around two million. Through a process known as atresia, many of these immature follicles die off, and by puberty, young women have around 400,000 egg follicles. Each month, about 1,000 follicles are released and only one will mature and become an actual egg ready to be fertilized. By menopause, which most commonly occurs between the ages of 48 and 55 years old, women have few, if any, egg follicles remaining.

If you are trying to conceive naturally, egg quantity doesn’t affect potential conception as much as it does if you are attempting to conceive via in vitro fertilization (IVF). The quantity of eggs collected can affect the outcome of IVF, and tests are performed to determine your ovarian reserve. The more eggs retrieved during an IVF cycle enhances the potential for a successful pregnancy.

Quality
The quality of eggs is an essential factor for conception and a healthy pregnancy, whether you are trying to conceive naturally or through fertility treatments. As your eggs age, they are more likely to be affected by chromosomal abnormalities. These abnormalities enhance the risk of both miscarriage and birth defects. At the age of 30, about 30 percent of a woman’s eggs are considered abnormal. At 40, the number of abnormal eggs climbs to 60 percent, and by 44, it hits 90 percent.

Miscarriage
Women over forty are at a higher risk for miscarriage. The quality of eggs plays heavily into this factor. The genetic abnormalities that are present at the time of conception cause the majority of miscarriages. As a woman ages, the percentage of abnormal eggs grows, therefore the risk is higher in women over forty.

Though infertility concerns and risk factors may be more prevalent for women over the age of forty, with proper care and treatment, you can certainly have a wonderful, healthy pregnancy. Being monitored by a physician experienced with high risk pregnancies is crucial. They will partner with you to ensure you have the care you need and that any concerns are addressed if they arise.

Posted in Infertility, Infertility Contributing Factors

How To Cope With Mother’s Day

mother's day infertility
Mother’s Day is bittersweet when you are struggling with infertility. On one hand, you want to celebrate all of the mothers in your life. Yet, you also find that this day dredges up some difficult emotions. As this special day draws near, use these coping strategies to shower the women in your life with love while also taking care of yourself.

Start The Day With Self-Care
Waking up on Mother’s Day is difficult when you long for a family of your own. Begin your morning by doing what makes you feel best. Perform a few yoga stretches, treat yourself to breakfast in bed or go for a walk. Investing a few minutes of your morning on taking care of yourself will give you a better perspective before you start celebrating the mothers in your world.

Reach Out For Support
One of the hardest things about dealing with infertility is that your struggles are often invisible to the rest of the world. Consider talking to your mother today about what you are really going through, or you could reach out to someone else who is also struggling with infertility. Finding a listening ear allows you to vent your painful emotions while benefiting from knowing that someone out there understands.

Choose How You Spend The Day
There is no rule that says that you have to be a smiling participant at every Mother’s Day event. If you know that the day will be difficult, consider taking your mom out for lunch the day before or after. Alternatively, you can recruit your partner or support person to attend your family’s Mother’s Day event so that they can soothe your emotions if you become overwhelmed. It is also okay to cut your attendance at these events short or just stay home if you are dealing with raw emotions.

Find Ways To Laugh
Laughter truly is the best medicine, and you can find ways to distract yourself with a little humor. Head to your local comedy club for brunch, or find a hilarious comedy on a movie channel that you know will make you laugh. Alternatively, you could invite a group of your single girlfriends over for a silly makeover session. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is lighthearted and fun so that they day flies by with humor.

Indulge In Some Pampering
Who says that mothers should get all the love on this day? Everyone woman deserves to be celebrated for their caring nature, and spending a little extra time on yourself reminds you that you are also important. Run a luxurious bubble bath, schedule a massage or go for that new hairstyle. You’ll feel better both inside and out.

This year, don’t let Mother’s Day leave you feeling burdened by the pain of infertility. Surround yourself with family and friends who understand what you are going through, and remember that reaching out to others is better than wallowing in self-pity. By being willing to practice a little self-care, you can make it through this day while emerging stronger and with a better support system in place.

Posted in Blog

Questions To Ask Your Fertility Doctor

questions to ask your fertility doctor

National Infertility Awareness Week was just last week. This purpose of this campaign was to encourage people who have been battling infertility to seek help from a doctor. It also encourages them to seek the support of their family members and friends. Additionally, people are encouraged to ask their insurance company if they will cover infertility treatments. It is important to note that infertility is a common problem. It is estimated that 15 percent of couples are battling infertility.

Questions to Ask Your Fertility Doctor

When you’re ready to take the leap, consider these important questions to ask your fertility doctor during a consultation.

  1. What are some of the reasons we have been unable to conceive?
  2. What treatments should we try first?
  3. What is the success rate of these treatments?
  4. How many times do people have to try this treatment before it works?
  5. What medical tests do I need to get before I get this treatment?
  6. What are the short-term side effects of this treatment? Are there any long-term complications?
  7. Will we provided with a psychologist if we choose a sperm or egg donor?
  8. Do we have access to egg donors, sperm donors, or surrogates through this fertility clinic?

If you are in an LGBT relationship, then there are additional questions to ask your fertility doctor.

  1. Can you recommend an attorney to me who has experience in family law in the LGBT community?
  2. Will you work with the donor agency and reproductive attorney that I already have?
  3. How many gay patients do you have?
  4. What options do I have that will allow both partners to be physically-involved in the process? Is there a way to make sure that both parents are biologically-related to the child?

You should not hesitate to ask your doctor any of these questions about infertility and the potential treatments. The more you know about infertility, the easier it will be for you to get it treated.

Posted in Awareness, Blog, Fertility Treatments, Infertility

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: ,