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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Avoid These Foods if You Are Trying to Conceive

The top three foods for couples to avoid if they are trying to conceive.

By: Sheryl Lyon

The path to conception should be a great deal of fun but that is often not the case for many couples who have failed to conceive and are not sure why.

Whether you are just starting your journey to conception or have received the incredibly frustrating diagnosis of unexplained infertility, it is a wise step to evaluate your diet for the impact it can have on your fertility.

Generally speaking, eating for nutrition is a much smarter way to eat than following the latest fad diet. When you are trying to conceive however, you need to examine another piece of the puzzle.

Certain foods, even nutritious ones, can have such a negative impact on your delicate reproductive system that if you are serious about conceiving, you might consider leaving them off your plate for the time being, if not for good.

MEAT, DAIRY, & EGGS

Modern commercial meat and dairy farmers give their animals a phenomenal amount of hormones in order to produce more milk, eggs, or simply to grow faster and larger.  These hormones and chemicals remain in the flesh and products of the animals that you consume.

Virtually any animal product that you buy in a grocery store today is loaded with hormones. Some of these hormones are estrogen mimics and wreak havoc on both men's and women's reproductive systems by posing as estrogen so your own estrogen is not used properly.

In addition to infertilty causing hormones, most commercial animal products contain damaging pesticides that were used in making their feed.

Avoiding unnatural hormones and chemicals is vital if you want to conceive so you have a couple of solutions if you eat animal products.

First, you can give up animal products entirely if you want to begin to eat hormone and pesticide free. It is a logical and perfectly healthy step if you do not have much time to waste in your path to conception.

The second, and probably easier alternative, is to go organic. Buy organic grass fed beef, free range organic chicken and eggs, and organic milk and cheese. These products are all available online if you have trouble finding them in your local grocery store. You will be eating the food you are used to while giving up the dangerous, fertility robbing extras.

SOY

In the great media campaign over the last few years, we have all been led to believe that soy is a miracle health food. Unfortunately while soy does have some nutritional benefits when eaten in its natural state or as a small amount of tofu, most processed soy products sold today are very dangerous on many levels, including extensive damage to your reproductive system.

Thousands of studies have linked soy to infertility, decreased sex drive, and extensive damage to both male and female reproductive systems. Like the estrogen mimics in meat, the phytoestrogens in soy are to blame for this damage.

In addition to disrupting both the male and female reproductive system, soy has been implicated in a great deal of endocrine related problems for young boys and girls exposed to soy while in utero or as infants.

Due to the dangers to your child, you should never eat soy while pregnant or breastfeeding anyway so unless you munch a few edamame occasionally, soy should be the first food item to go for a couple trying to conceive.

PRODUCE

Fresh produce is one of the best things that anyone, of any age, or any lifestyle can eat. Unfortunately, commercial farms have doused our produce in chemicals and pesticides that while dangerous for anyone, are particularly dangerous to a delicate sperm and egg or a developing fetus.

Certain pesticides and herbicides can impair reproductive organ function, reduce implantation in the uterus, contribute to or cause endometriosis, or cause poor semen quality.

If you are trying to conceive and wish to avoiding these chemicals you should only buy organic produce, both so you are able to conceive in the first place and for the health of your unborn child.

If you do not have access to organic produce then at the very least scrub all your produce before eating. If you want to play it extra safe then you should thoroughly peel all produce prior to eating.

Make a special point to choose organic or avoid items from the following list created by the Environmental Working Group which lists the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables in order of toxicity.

Strawberries
Bell peppers
Spinach
Cherries
Peaches
Cantaloupe(Mexican)
Celery
Apples
Apricots
Green beans
Grapes(Chile)
Cucumbers.

It is not difficult to eliminate some detrimental items in your diet to increase your odds of conception. Simply go organic, skip the soy, and then focus on bringing the fun back to conception.

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  • posted by Fertility Goddess @ 12:53 AM 0 comments links to this post

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Factors Necessary for Successful Conception



    Author: Michael Russell


    Infertility causes and treatment can be quite complicated, due to the numerous factors that add up to the achievement of a successful pregnancy. More than 10% of couples do not achieve this much wanted pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sex and trying very hard to conceive. This, in most cases is because one or more of the factors necessary for conception is
    absent or malfunctioning.

    The factors vital for conception include:

    - Adequate and viral sperm from the male partner

    - Appropriate frequency of sexual intercourse around the woman's ovulation time

    - Optimally free passageway for the eggs to travel down the fallopian tube, meet with sperm coming up the tube and then fertilization

    - Appropriate and timely transportation of the product of fertilization down to the uterus for implantation and development

    - Adequately free passageway for the sperm to get through the cervix into the uterus, so they can swim up into the fallopian tube to meet and fertilize the female egg

    - Healthy and sound uterine cavity with adequate uterine lining conducive to implantation and development of the pregnancy

    In evaluating infertility, therefore, or in assessing a couple's chances at conception, we can sub divide the factors vital for achieving conception as thus: * Male Factor (Sperm count and
    quality) * Ovarian factor (ovulation frequency and regularity) *Tubal factor (free and clear passage to egg and sperm) *Cervical factor (clear passage to sperm from the vagina) *Uterine factor (adequate space and tissue for the fertilized egg to implant and grow)

    Male Factor.
    The male factor accounts for 40-50% of infertility problems. Out of this amount only about 10-20% of men have no mature, motile sperm at all (azoospermia). The others only
    happen to have low counts or a fewer number of normal shaped, mature and motile sperm cells compared to other fertile men. In normal conditions, an absolute sperm count of 16 million is
    perfect, while a count of less than 5 million almost always result in sterility. Counts between 5 and 16 can in most cases be overcome with infertility treatments.

    Ovarian Factor
    Women who do not produce eggs each month or those who only produce eggs every 2-3 months will have problems getting pregnant. The most common causes of annovulation (menses without ovulation) or irregular menses are; Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition where follices mature, but the eggs are arrested and not released and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, which is like a stress or medication induced lack of ovulation. There are other medical conditions that can cause lack of ovulation, but these occur only in rare occasions. Ovarian factor problems
    are usually treated with fertility pills (e.g. clomiphene citrate) or medications like gonadotropins.

    Intercourse around Ovulation Time
    Women with a regular menstrual cycle can always predict their ovulation time. Ovulation occurs
    midway between the onset of the last menses and the beginning of the next one. Even for women with an irregular menstrual cycle, there are several ovulation predictions kits out there that can provide clues as to when your ovulation occurs. Intercourse should be more frequent around this period, with a frequency of at least, every other day. Therefore, for a 28 day cycle,
    ovulation will probably occur on day 14, days 11, 13, 15 and 17 should not be missed.

    Tubal Factor
    The fallopian tubes also constitute a vital actor in conception. The tubes must be free and clear to sweep up eggs that have been ovulated, free and no obstruction to the passage of egg and sperm. Fertilization takes place in the tubes and it is also important that the tubes transport the product of fertilization to the uterine cavity on time for implantation and growth. Pelvic surgery, past ruptured ovarian cyst, past pelvic infections and endometriosis are all conditions that can affect the ability of the tube to sweep up ovulated egg. PID can also produce scarring inside the tube that prevents passageway for ovum.

    Uterine Factor
    The uterus is the final home of the fertilized ovum and where implantation and growth to full term occurs. Any condition that affects or alters the amount of space or shape of the surface area inside the uterus or disturbs the hormonal sequence that prepares the lining of the uterus for conception may impair fertility. Conditions like fibroids, polyps, congenital anomalies of the uterus or past scarring due to surgery or infection will alter the shape and surface area of
    the endometrium and in turn fertility. Also, malfunctioning of the corpus luteum may hormonally retard the lining of the uterus and its readiness for implantation.

    Cervical Factor
    Under most conditions, the cervix does not constitute a factor in infertility, except when the cervical mucous glands have been destroyed during some procedures like Cervical Cryosurgery, conization LEEP etc. The cervical mucous glands act as a storage for sperm cells, so they can 'shower' the uterus and the uterine tube with sperms in order not to miss ovulation. The frequency of intercourse may need to be increased to achieve conception if these glands have been destroyed.

    About the author:
    Michael Russell

    Your Independent guide to Infertility

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  • posted by Fertility Goddess @ 1:09 AM 0 comments links to this post