The Best Sex for Conception
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If you're trying to get pregnant, learning about the best sex for conception may help the process along. Watch this video to learn about conception sex timing and optimal sex positions.
Transcript: If you want to get pregnant, try the missionary, or man-on-top, position, which is optimal for baby-making!...
If you want to get pregnant, try the missionary, or man-on-top, position, which is optimal for baby-making! You can really enhance sperm's ability to swim by placing a pillow under your hips and keeping your legs raised after his orgasm! Try remaining in this position-or at least horizontal-for 15 minutes after intercourse to trap semen. Meanwhile, certain gravity-defying positions such as sitting, standing, or woman-on-top may actually discourage sperm from swimming upward. And although it may seem counterintuitive, having sex every other day around ovulation gives a man a chance to recharge his sperm count. Finally, remember that while the female orgasm isn't a necessary component of conception, orgasmic uterine contractions may help sperm move toward the fallopian tubes! Remember, practice makes baby, so keep up the good work!More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-09 | Tags »
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As a woman ages, her chance of getting pregnant decreases. Watch this video to learn more about the correllation between age and fertility.
Transcript: Having a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby, becomes increasingly difficult with age. Why? A woman...
Having a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby, becomes increasingly difficult with age. Why? A woman is born with all of the eggs shell ever have. After puberty, she begins to ovulate and releases one of these eggs every month. As she ages, therefore, her supply of eggs dwindles. This reduces her chances of being able to conceive. As a result, the likelihood of a woman getting pregnant in any particular month, under optimal circumstances, is about 25 percent for a woman in her 20s, 15 percent for women in their early 30s, 10 percent in the mid-30s and just five percent for women over 40. Another difficulty with pregnancy later in life is that the number of genetically normal eggs that a woman has decreases with time. This leads to a higher rate of miscarriage and a greater chance for genetic abnormalities in babies of older women. In fact, the odds of a woman in her 20s having a child with Down syndrome are about one in 1,200. In contrast, among children born to women over 40, one child in 38 has a genetic abnormality. While this can be difficult for women trying to conceive after the age of 30, other fertility options, like using donor eggs, are quite successful in later life.More »
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Think getting pregnant is just a matter of having sex? Well, it's a lot more complicated than that. Check out this video to learn more about boosting fertility.
Transcript: Before you try to get pregnant, it will help to be familiar with your personal menstrual cycle. Believe...
Before you try to get pregnant, it will help to be familiar with your personal menstrual cycle. Believe it or not, you can ONLY conceive during your small fertile window, which occurs during each cycle, on the five days before, and the actual day of, ovulation. During ovulation, the ovary sends a mature egg through the fallopian tube and into the uterus, where it can be fertilized by your partners sperm. Egg release typically occurs in the middle of your cycle. You can determine your cycle length by noting the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. Keeping a menstrual calendar will allow you to know at a glance when your fertile window opens. In addition to watching your period, it can help to watch what you eat! A nourishing diet complemented with a multi-vitamin supplement increases your chances of conceiving by correcting any hormone imbalances you may have. Diet is important for other reasons, as well. Extra weight can cause the release of excess female hormones, resulting in a disrupted menstrual cycle and infrequent ovulation. For this reason, it can help to supplement your diet with a smart exercise regimen. Aim for thirty minutes a day, five times a week. Keep in mind, however, that weighing too little can lessen hormone production, with the same fertility-interfering result. So talk to your doctor regarding an ideal weight for you. Watching what you drink is almost as important as watching what you eat. Women who drink more than 300 milligrams (about three cups) of caffeine daily tend to have a harder time conceiving than those who dont. Youll also want to keep alcohol-intake to a minimum. More than two alcoholic drinks a day can impair fertility, because alcohol alters the levels of estrogen in your body, in turn, interfering with egg implantation in the uterus. Now is also a great time to cut out cigarettes. Toxins from the smoke can damage your eggs, alter the release of hormones, and decrease the ability of the embryo to implant. But there ARE fun parts about preparing to conceive. Get ready to relaxguilt free! Studies have shown that women experiencing psychological stress are less likely to conceive, because these feelings can alter your bodys hormone production. While youre relaxing, why not try some yoga? Its thought that certain yoga positions can increase your fertility by specifically targeting the reproductive organs and increasing the flow of blood to your pelvis, while other poses can stimulate your ovaries. Finally, make love! Of course, youre doing this already when youre trying to make a baby. But women who engage in regular intercourse have steadier ovulation patterns and increased estrogen production. Missionary is the best position to use if youre trying to conceive. Your partners penetration will be deeper and gravity will work in your favor, enhancing sperm movement towards the egg. Fertility experts also agree that lying down and elevating your hips for a few minutes after intercourse increases the chances of sperm reaching your egg. While many women have trouble conceiving, these tips can help. But remember to discuss any diet or exercise changes with your doctor before proceeding!More »
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You can increase yourchances of conception by knowing your ovulation cycle. Check out this video to learn the best time to conceive.
Transcript: A woman's chances of getting pregnant change dramatically throughout her menstrual cycle - in fact, you...
A woman's chances of getting pregnant change dramatically throughout her menstrual cycle - in fact, you are over thirty times more likely to conceive if you have sex at the right time! Whether you're trying to get pregnant - or trying not to get pregnant - it's critical to understand how your ovulation cycle affects your fertility. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from a woman's ovary, and is pushed down the fallopian tube, making it available to be fertilized. Ovulation and menstruation are both part of a woman's monthly cycle - in fact, menstruation is the process that the female body uses to shed the egg released during ovulation if it isn't fertilized. Women are most fertile when they are ovulating, so the probability of unprotected sex leading to pregnancy changes throughout the course of a woman's monthly cycle. When a woman is at her most fertile, just before she ovulates, unprotected sex with a healthy partner will result in pregnancy 30% of the time! But on average, the likelihood of unprotected sex leading to pregnancy is much smaller - between 3% and 5%. Women ovulate at different times in their monthly cycle, so if you don't know exactly when you're ovulating, this chart can still tell you what the average risk of pregnancy is on each day of your cycle. Day one is the day when a woman starts bleeding. For most women, the chances of getting pregnant from having unprotected sex once during the first five to seven days of the cycle is under 1%. From the seventh day to the twenty first day of a woman's cycle her chances of getting pregnant rise dramatically. Most women ovulate during this two week period. As a result, the average woman's chance of getting pregnant from having unprotected sex just one time is more than 4% from day 9 to day 19 of her cycle, and is over 8% from day 12 to day 14 of her cycle. After the 21st day of the cycle, most women have less than a 2% chance of getting pregnant each time they have unprotected sex. Remember - a woman's actual chance of getting pregnant on any given day of her cycle depends on when she actually ovulates. But even if you don't know when you're ovulating, these statistics can provide you with some good guidelines. If you're trying to conceive, these guidelines may help - but you'll improve your chances by determining when you're actually ovulating. And, if you don't want to get pregnant, this information might be interesting, but it's definitely no substitute for birth control!More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-12 | Tags »
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Male infertility can be caused by a number of things--from low sperm count to exposure to toxins. Learn more about male infertility by watching this video.
Transcript: Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. Although...
Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. Although both females and males can have problems that lead to difficulty conceiving, ninety percent of MALE infertility derives from a deficient sperm count. Because most sperm are destroyed before they even reach the egg, a count below 500 sperm per milligram can make conception very difficult. Let's look at some medical difficulties that can lead to infertility. A varicocele is an abnormally enlarged vein in the scrotum which occurs in 40 percent of infertile men. Varioceles can cause blood to pool in the scrotum, raising temperatures and killing sperm there. Testicular overheating, and consequential sperm death, can also be caused by high fevers and excessive hot tub or sauna use. In up to 70 percent of men who struggle with infertility, infection of the reproductive organs is a problem. This can stem from any number of issues, but is commonly a result of the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia. Another medical problem that can lead to male infertility is hormone release. Low levels of the male hormone testosterone, or particularly high levels of the female hormone estrogen, can both lead to conception difficulties. Sometimes, infertility can be related to a man's environment. For example, emotional and physical stress can impair the production of sperm, lowering levels until they become almost non-existent. Exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals can further lower a man's sperm count. Because sperm are so vulnerable to the damage of free radicals like these, doctors have found sperm counts to be falling dramatically in the past few decades of increased pollution and industry. Another reason for decreasing sperm count relates to consumption. A diet deficient in the vital Vitamins E and C, and in the nutrients zinc and folate, can lead to low sperm count and infertility. Consumption of illegal drugs can play a role, too. Abuse of drugs like cocaine and marijuana temporarily reduce the quantity and quality of sperm by up to 50 percent. Cigarette smoking also impairs sperm movement and lowers fertility in men. A final factor that can adversely affect male fertility is...not surprisingly...aging. As a man grows older, he will experience a decrease in sperm movement, as well as an overall decline in the genetic quality of the sperm he releases. Because there are so many reasons that a man may be infertile, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are part of a couple that is having trouble conceiving. A variety of treatment options may be able to help!More »
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Becoming preganant is not so easy for some women. Learn more about female infertility by watching this video.
Transcript: Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. When...
Infertility is medically defined as the inability to become pregnant after one full year of trying. When a female is infertile, it is usually because there is something wrong with her reproduction system. Let's take a closer look at the female reproductive system, which begins with the vagina, a muscular organ that connects to the cervix, the opening of the uterus, or womb. The uterus, or can expand to accommodate a growing fetus. The ovaries produce, store, and release eggs into two fallopian tubes in the upper corners of the uterus during ovulation. The egg can then fertilized by a man's sperm. Based on this complex reproductive system, the causes of female infertility can be separated into distinct categories: ovulatory, cervical, uterine, and pelvic, which refers to problems in the fallopian tubes. Ovulation difficulties can occur if a woman releases excessive male hormones, called androgens, or if she makes too much prolactin, the hormone that encourages breast milk production. Severe physical or psychological stress can also disrupt ovulation, or even stop it completely, making conception difficult. A damaged cervix is another difficulty that makes it hard for sperm to enter. Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea can both infect the cervix and cause infertility. Cervical mucous, which is produced before ovulation to assist with sperm movement, can also be a source of infertility. If a woman makes too little mucous, or if her mucous reacts negatively with her partner's sperm, it will be unable to reach her egg. The pelvic, or tubule, area is another region that can suffer from abnormalities that lead to infertility. Normal scar tissue, distorted fallopian tubes and benign tumors are examples of disruptions to this area. Another common pelvic condition is endometriosis, whereby the tissue lining in the uterus grows outside of it. This can lead to a build-up of tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes or ovaries, making pregnancy difficult. The primary cause of pelvic infertility, however, is pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. Like cervical damage, PID follows from sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Conditions relating to the uterine lining make up the final grouping of fertility problems. Uterine polyps and uterine fibroids are typically benign, fleshy growths that grow on the inside, or around the opening of, the uterus. They can cause distortion in the lining of the uterus, in turn interfering with egg implantation. Although female infertility is often due to a problem like these, age plays a role, too, because a woman's finite supply of eggs begins to decline after the age of 30. The female reproductive system is incredibly intricate, and doesn't always work the way it should. If you are having difficulty conceiving, talk to your doctor about possible causes and treatment options.More »
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In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is where eggs and sperm from a couple are collected and joined together outside the body. For more information watch this video.
Transcript: Only five percent of couples with infertility problems have in vitro fertilization-but many of them are...
Only five percent of couples with infertility problems have in vitro fertilization-but many of them are rewarded with a baby. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, involves collecting eggs and sperm from a couple and joining them together outside the body. The embryos are then injected into the woman's uterus. IVF is expensive and invasive, and is not a first resort for infertile couples. However, if other treatment methods have not resulted in pregnancy, and your doctor decides that IVF is right for you, here's what you can expect. Your doctor will start by injecting you daily with fertility hormones. This will bolster your egg production. You will then be tested, either by an ultrasound or blood-work, to determine if your eggs are ready for retrieval. The eggs must be retrieved just before they emerge from the follicles in the ovaries. If the eggs are not taken out at the right time, they will not develop properly. When it's time for your egg removal, you will be at least mildly sedated. Your doctor will then use an ultrasound to locate and remove the eggs with a hollow needle. Immediately following the retrieval, your eggs will be mixed in a laboratory with your partner's sperm, which he will have donated shortly before. You will then go home to wait a few days for the fertilized eggs, or embryos, to reach a more advanced developmental stage. When the embryos are ready, you will return to your doctor to be injected with one or more of them. Luckily, injecting the fertilized embryos is less complex than harvesting your eggs. Your doctor will simply insert a catheter into your vagina and inject the fertilized eggs up into your uterus. Several hours later, you will be discharged to wait and see if the pregnancy has taken. To increase the chances of pregnancy, your doctor may recommend injecting up to four embryos at once. This can, however, result in multiple pregnancies, which may increase the health risks to both you and your babies. While age is a major factor in the success of IVF, about 35 percent of women under 40 who have the procedure will deliver a baby.More »
Last Modified: 2012-09-29 | Tags »
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Treating endometriosis with surgery has become very common among women. Learn more about the procedure, its affects, and the side effects by viewing this video.
Transcript: Endometriosis gets its name from the endometrium, which is the tissue lining a woman's uterus. For reasons...
Endometriosis gets its name from the endometrium, which is the tissue lining a woman's uterus. For reasons doctors don't fully understand, the endometrium can grow OUTSIDE the uterine walls. When this tissue shows up on body parts like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and intestines, it is called endometriosis. Many women with endometriosis experience at least some level of pelvic and abdominal pain. And as many as one-half of them suffer from impaired fertility! While medication can ease mild to moderate discomfort, it may NOT improve fertility and may not be enough relief for women with severe growths and a great deal of pain. For women who fit this description, surgery may be the best treatment option. The most minimally invasive surgery for endometriosis is a laparoscopy. During this procedure, a small viewing instrument, or laparoscope, is inserted through a tiny incision in a woman's belly button. A doctor then uses a laser or surgical knife to remove endometrial growths and scar tissue. This outpatient procedure is also how doctors diagnose endometriosis in the first place. A laparotomy is similar to laparoscopy, but it involves a much larger incision on the abdomen and is occasionally necessary to allow thorough removal of deeply invasive or extensive disease and scar tissue caused by endometriosis. Laparotomy is an inpatient procedure and requires a longer recovery time. In very serious cases of endometriosis, a doctor may remove a woman's uterus and ovaries. Known as hysterectomy and oophorectomy, these procedures ensure that endometriosis does not return, but they ALSO ensure that a woman can never get pregnant, and when the ovaries are removed, that she will be thrown into surgical menopause. It's important to note that if medication can control a woman's pain, surgery may NOT be advised, even to correct fertility problems. Alternatives like in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, may help women in this situation conceive. IVF involves inserting a fertilized egg into the uterus. It can be effective in women with endometriosis whose ovaries still produce eggs, but whose fallopian tubes and ovarian scarring from endometriosis make it impossible for those eggs to make their way into the tube and from there, into the uterus. If you're not convinced that surgery or IVF are the answer to YOUR endometriosis, discuss medication options with your doctor.More »
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Endometriosis is a condition that affects many women and its symptoms can be tricky to spot. Watch this video to gain a better understanding of endometriosis.
Transcript: Endometriosis occurs when tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus actually grows in...
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus actually grows in other areas of the pelvic region. Because this condition is one of the leading causes of infertility, it helps to be familiar with endometriosis. The tissue that lines the uterus, or womb, is called the endometrium. Every month, female hormones cause the endometrium of a woman's uterus to build up with tissue and blood in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn't occur, the uterus sheds this built-up lining via the vagina as a menstrual period. Although this process occurs in women with endometriosis as well, it's a bit more complicated. That's because women with endometriosis have patches of endometrium that grow OUTSIDE the uterus, in places like the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bowels, or the bladder. This misplaced tissue responds to the monthly cycle just as the endometrium does. Each month, the patches, or plaques, grow thicker. As the tissues affected don't have a natural "exit route," there is no place for the build-up to leave the body at the cycle's end. These endometriotic plaques can grow larger over time, and the symptoms can worsen. A symptom suggestive of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain that tends to be worse during menstruation or ovulation. Other symptoms include very painful or heavy menstrual periods, pain during or after sex, and uncomfortable urination or bowel movements during menstruation. Contrarily, some women have no symptoms at all. Infertility is another sign that can suggest that endometriosis is present. Indeed, some women do not realize they have endometriosis until they attempt to conceive and cannot do so. Endometriosis can lead to infertility because it may cause scarring or blockage of the body's fallopian tubes, which are necessary to transport eggs from the ovaries to be fertilized. Because infertility-causing endometriosis tends to show up most frequently in women who are of childbearing age, the condition can become a concern. Unfortunately, no one has identified endometriosis's exact cause, although a genetic link is often theorized. In fact, women with a first degree relative, like a mother or sister with the disease are six times more likely to have endometriosis. Some doctors theorize that endometriosis is caused when normal menstrual debris flows into the pelvis, a fairly common condition called retrograde menstruation. In women with endometriosis, however, the debris takes root and grows into misplaced patches, or plaques, of endometrial tissue. Regardless of the cause, there is currently no cure for endometriosis. However, medication can help to ease the pain and menstrual symptoms that can accompany the condition. In addition, surgery aimed at removing the build-up may assist women with infertility-causing endometriosis, as well as patients with very severe cases. Endometriosis is very common, and the symptoms of the condition ARE treatable. If you have concerns about endometriosis, please make an appointment to discuss them with your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-09 | Tags »
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Got pelvic pain or excessive bleeding during your period? You could have endometriosis. Find out what this condition is by watching this video.
Transcript: Endometriosis is a disorder that gets its name from the endometrium, which is the tissue that lines the...
Endometriosis is a disorder that gets its name from the endometrium, which is the tissue that lines the uterus. In endometriosis, this tissue ALSO grows outside of the uterus on various organs like: the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, and tissue lining the pelvis. In mild cases of endometriosis, this abnormal growth may not cause any problems for a woman. But many women DO have symptoms like pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis. Such discomfort may be chronic, or come and go in waves. Women with the condition may also notice discomfort during sex, while ovulating, or during a bowel movement or urination. In addition, endometriosis may cause excessive bleeding during periods, or bleeding and spotting in BETWEEN periods. Fertility problems are another symptom of endometriosis, with approximately one-third to one-half of women with this condition experiencing difficulty getting pregnant. To see why endometriosis causes these problems, it's necessary to look at the menstrual cycle. Once per cycle, a woman's hormones instruct the lining of her uterus to bulk up with tissue and blood in preparation for pregnancy. If she does not get pregnant, this tissue and blood is shed through the cervix and vagina as her period. Endometriosis causes problems because the implants outside of the uterus also respond to the menstrual cycle,thickening, breaking down, and bleeding. But this process occurs outside of the uterus which means there's nowhere for this blood to go. As such, it becomes trapped in the body. Over time, this can lead to scarring and fluid filled cysts. Doctors aren't sure why endometriosis occurs, but they do know that the condition runs in families. In fact, if a woman's sister or mother is diagnosed with endometriosis, she is six times more likely to develop the condition. Additionally, the reproductive hormone estrogen can make symptoms of endometriosis worse. For this reason, the condition is most prevalent in women in their late teens to early 40's. Other factors that increase endometriosis risk, include: periods that last more than 7 days, never having children, and previous infection in the pelvic region. While endometriosis is disheartening, there are treatment options that can help. To learn more about them, watch other videos in this series.More »
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While common endometriosis medications can't cure the condition, they CAN help ease the symptoms that come with it. Learn more about treating endometriosis with medications.
Transcript: Endometriosis is one of the most common health problems in women, so there are various medicines to treat...
Endometriosis is one of the most common health problems in women, so there are various medicines to treat it. Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines a woman's uterus, the endometrium, grows OUTSIDE of her womb on pelvic parts like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and intestines. Endometriosis often causes pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis. Unfortunately, there is no CURE for the condition, but medication or surgery can help ease symptoms. Because medication is a more conservative treatment option, many doctors start there. Sometimes, simple over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and naproxene are enough to control mild endometriosis pain. If not, a doctor may prescribe hormonal medications. Hormonal contraceptives - like the Pill, the patch and the ring - are options that may both decrease menstrual flow AND prevent overgrowth of endometrium tissue outside the uterus. Additional medications to try include gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. These drugs treat endometriosis by significantly reducing the amount of estrogen in a woman's body. This stops the menstrual cycle, and often causes additional menopausal-like side effects, including: hot flashes, bone loss, and vaginal dryness. For this reason, a woman treated with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone medication may ALSO take a low dose of estrogen. A third hormonal treatment for endometriosis is medroxy-progesterone, which is branded as Depo-Provera. This injectable drug contains progestin, a hormone that works AGAINST the effects of estrogen on endometrial tissue. Depo-Provera also stops the menstrual cycle and may cause other symptoms like weight gain, depression, and decreased bone density. Finally, a weak male hormone called Danazol may be used to treat painful endometriosis. Danazol lowers the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman's body. Unfortunately, it may also cause unwanted and unavoidable side effects, including: facial hair growth, diminished breast size, oily skin, and weight gain. Although all of these medications may effectively ease the pain caused by endometriosis, other common symptoms like infertility problems may remain. For this reason, women with endometriosis trying get pregnant should consider surgical treatment, which is discussed in another video on this site.More »
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