Many women around the world are daily thankful for pain relievers like Aleve, Motrin and Advil to live a less painful life. But many of these same women might not be so thankful if they knew that consuming these drugs can lead to a negative impact on their fertility.
Dr. Shahryar Kavoussi, a reproductive endocrinologist at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, says the issue with these pain relievers and others is the use of the chemicals Ibuprofen and Naproxen, which a recent study showed can adversely affect a woman’s fertility as soon as 10 days after consuming the medication.
The study examined two groups of women: those who had taken pain relievers and those who had not. The group who had not taken any pain relievers had normal ovulation. Those who had taken pain relievers saw a decrease in their ovulation rates of anywhere from 25 to 75 percent, depending on which drug they took. Kavoussi says the “anti-inflammatory medications delay or rupture a key ingredient in the follicle – the fluid collection that contains a woman’s eggs.” An alternative Kavoussi suggests is Tylenol. No, its ability to relieve pain may not be as strong as some of the other medications, but at least there is the reassurance of it not causing any decrease in fertility.
Consult with your doctor about the medication you are taking or any other habits you think may be preventing you from getting pregnant.
The American sex education curriculum for middle school students is taught all across the country. In high school and college anatomy and biology classes, students have the opportunity to learn even more about the human body. But medical professionals today think this isn’t enough. Students should be taught about their fertility as well, things such as when in a woman’s cycle conception has the best chance of happening and what to do if you are unable to get pregnant.
Dr. Geeta Nargund, medical director of CREATE Fertility in London, thinks that while it’s good that children are taught about sex, the information is very basic. For example, many people, both boys and girls, are unaware of what ovulation is and when to tell that it is occurring. If even this simple fact is unknown, how much other information is also unknown for students!
She says, “We have been successful in reducing teenage pregnancies through education on contraception. Sex and relationship education is for now and fertility education is for the future. Conception and contraception are two sides of the same coin. We need to empower our young people with education on fertility, so that they can stand a better chance of falling pregnant when they choose to. Education empowers.” Dr. Nargund constantly sees devastated women coming to her saddened that they are unable to have children because they waited too long to start trying, unaware that they had a time limit. Her goal is to avoid this from happening.
If you have questions about your fertility or you have been unable to conceive, talk to your doctor today. You could soon be on the path to parenthood.
For a man who has low sperm count and therefore not enough sperm in his ejaculate, it can be almost impossible to conceive naturally. Luckily, this issue is one that is becoming increasingly easy to overcome.
Previously, if this was the issue a man struggled with, his doctor would try to extract sperm from his testicles directly. This proved difficult: the man doesn’t have a high number of sperm to begin with, sperm doesn’t spread evenly throughout the testes, and doctors had no way of knowing what matter they were gathering. Even when they did finally get a sample, doctors found that it was a viable sample for in vitro fertilization (IVF) only half the time.
A University of Munich research team is hoping that their research will change this. They reckon that a “probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy could do the trick. The technique is a relation to conventional optical confocal microscopy, which uses two light detectors rather than one to sharpen images and even render them in 3D.” The laser would allow doctors to see within areas they’ve never been able to, “tagging” sperm to make them more identifiable and easier to gather and extract.
If this procedure does become widely-used by doctors, it would make assisted reproductive procedures such as IVF and intrauterine insemination (IUI) much easier to accomplish. The important thing is that if you believe you are having an overly difficult time conceiving, you see a doctor as soon as possible. With help, you could achieve your dream of having a child.
This past week, the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest was held and the grand prize winner, for the third year in a row, was a life sciences entry. Created by Katie Brenner, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Doug Weibel, a UW-Madison biochemistry professor, this test would greatly improve the accuracy of a woman knowing when her prime fertile time is.
Most tests require urine as the fluid to test. This device, however, requires saliva; you put the device in your mouth as you would a thermometer, and the disposable paper strips attached to the end of it test the user’s saliva. Brenner says the device would “measure the levels of estradiol and progesterone in the saliva samples, two hormones tied to fertility.” It would also “predict ovulation, diagnose pregnancy, and identify hormonal issues that might be preventing a woman from getting pregnant.”
Another downfall of most home ovulation tests is that they inform you of your two- to six-day optimal fertile window after that window has already passed. Brenner’s device, which is synced with a mobile app, gives you current updates about your fertility.
The FDA is currently testing this device for approval; it could ideally be on shelves within the next two years. If you are currently experiencing an inability to get pregnant, talk to your doctor today. Find out how you can overcome this roadblock so you can achieve your dream of having a child.
Those of you who are now consulting advanced reproductive technologies (ART) to help you get pregnant are no stranger to the advice of people hoping to help by giving you conception tips, be it about food, exercise or positions to try.
One food that has been researched and has been found to positively impact a woman’s ability to get pregnant is soy. Because soy contains the chemical phytoestrogen, it has the ability to actually change the hormone balance of a woman’s body and make her body more receptive to conception.
In the most recent study on this food, “researchers looked at the dietary choices in a group of 315 women that ultimately completed 520 ART cycles in 2013. They found that the eggs from women that were eating foods that contained soy had a higher fertilization rate. More specifically, they found that the clinical pregnancy rate was 11% higher and live birth rate was 13% higher for the soy group after they were age-matched with women who did not eat soy. In fact, women who were consuming the most amount of soy had a nearly 80% higher chance of success.”
Every case is unique. Talk to your doctor today about if increasing the amount of soy in your diet would be beneficial for you. Soon, you could achieve your dream of having a child.