Your Pregnancy

A Blog where people can share information and resources about conception, pregnancy, early years and ultimately, about the menopause

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Are You Pregnant?

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

This is a favorite question of everyone who is trying to get pregnant and a good question.

There are many signs and symptoms of pregnancy. I'll try to cover a lot of them here.

Missed Period

This is probably one of the more reliable signs of pregnancy. Although some women will experience implantation bleeding about the time of their period, it is usually lighter and/or shorter than their normal period. This is why you are asked for the first day of your last normal period. There are even a few women who will have period throughout their pregnancy, although this is rare, it does happen.

If you've been planning for pregnancy, the day that you expect your period is probably well marked in your mind. It is the official day that you can take a home pregnancy test.

These tests measure the levels of hCG (hormone secreted during pregnancy) in your urine. The amount of urine each test can detect varies widely. The amount of hormone each woman secret may also vary, but not as widely. The better tests on the market will measure 25-50 mIUs of hCG, which is usually the amount found in urine between the 4th and 5th weeks of pregnancy. The levels of hCG in your urine and blood will be different.

First morning urine will always contain the highest concentration of hCG. However, most tests do not require that you use first morning urine. You can help better your chances of having enough hCG in your urine by waiting four hours after you last urinated to take the test. This will allow hCG to build up in your urine.

These tests rarely give false results. A negative answer that is later revealed to be a pregnancy is usually the result of the test being performed too early. A positive that later turns out the woman is not pregnant is usually a very early miscarriage. Talk to your practitioner if you have questions about your pregnancy tests and consider calling the toll-free number provided by the test manufacturer.

Blood tests are the most accurate and can be performed 7-10 days post-ovulation.

For more comprehensive information go to:

http://pregnancy.universal-inter.net/menu.htm

Monday, May 29, 2006

What You Should Know About Infertility

Article by Michael Russell

From generation to generation infertility has been a condition that plagues couples worldwide. It is a condition that transcends race and color. Medically speaking, infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. A couple can be diagnosed with infertility if conception is not achieved after one year of unprotected and well timed sexual intercourse. Infertility could also be diagnosed if a woman had suffered several miscarriages (recurrent pregnancy loss).

Who is at Risk? What you should know about infertility is that, it is a major heartache and life crisis. It involves losses for both the individual and society at large. Being a medical situation, both male and female, husband and wife are at risk of infertility. The problems leading to infertility could predominantly be from one of the partners, in which case it is called either the male factor (if the problem is with the male) or the female factor (if the female reproductive system is diseased), or it could be a combination of problems with both partners. In some other cases, the cause could be rightly described as unexplained.

Infertility is therefore not a 'woman's problem' as is believed in some cultures. In fact, approximately 40% of cases of infertility are due to the male factor, 40% due to the female factor, while in the other cases it is either a combined factor or unexplained The cause of infertility is said to be unexplained, if after medical examination, nothing medically serious could be found to be wrong with either of the couple and they still cannot achieve conception after several efforts.

Generally, most physicians advise couples not to worry yet about infertility unless they fall into any of these categories:

- They are under 35 years old and have tried to conceive without success for over 12months.

- They are over 35 and have tried to conceive without success for over 6months

- They are over 30 and have a previous history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), painful menstrual periods, recurrent pregnancy loss, irregular menstrual cycles or a partner suffers from low sperm count.

If you fall in any of these categories, it would be wise to consult your ob/gyn or an infertility specialist.

Can Infertility be Prevented? In every medical situation, prevention is tied to the knowledge of the underlying cause of the particular condition. In some cases, steps may be taken to prevent some types of infertility, especially with respect to some established risk factors i.e. factors that induce some types of infertility. Except in cases like this, infertility is in most cases, unpreventable. You will understand this better, if you remember that there are still several "unexplained" infertility problems. There isn't so much you can do to prevent what you do not know. Some of the known risk factors that may contribute to infertility include:

Weight problems Age Tubal diseases Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Endometriosis Smoking Alcohol

It is known that smoking and alcohol are very bad for fertility. Cutting down on caffeine would also do you a lot of good. Fertility and healthy pregnancy (when it does occur) requires you to maintain a healthy body and the best physical shape possible.

Treatment Options - A variety of medication and options exist for tackling infertility. As with other medical conditions, it is always better to research your options, understand the medication involved and its purpose. With more knowledge, you can better discuss with your physician the setting up of aspecific treatment plan that addresses your particular problem.

Treatment options available for infertility include, ovulation inducers, artificial insemination, invitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy and surgery (in some cases).

Always remember that infertility has no major signs or symptoms associated with it. Paying attention to your body and getting regular checkups will be vital for your fertility.

For more information, see:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Infertility

Infertility is a condition of the reproductive system that impairs the conception of children, and it affects approximately 6.1 million individuals throughout the United States. The diagnosis of infertility is usually given to couples who have been attempting to conceive for 1 year without success.

Conception and pregnancy are complicated processes that depend upon many factors: 1) the production of healthy sperm by the man, 2) healthy eggs produced by the woman; 3) unblocked fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to reach the egg; 4) the sperm's ability to fertilize the egg when they meet; 5) the ability of the fertilized egg (embryo) to become implanted in the woman's uterus; and 6) sufficient embryo quality.

Finally, for the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy and the woman's hormonal environment adequate for its development. When just one of these factors is impaired, infertility can result.

What causes infertility in women?
The most common female infertility factor is an ovulation disorder. Other causes of female infertility include blocked fallopian tubes, which can occur when a woman has had pelvic inflammatory disease or congenital anomalies (birth defects) involving the structure of the uterus and uterine fibroids are associated with repeated miscarriages. Aging is also an important factor in female infertility. The ability for ovaries to produce eggs declines with age, especially after age 35.

How is infertility diagnosed?
Couples are generally advised to seek medical help if they are unable to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse. The doctor will conduct a physical examination of both partners to determine their general state of health and to evaluate physical disorders that may be causing infertility. Usually both partners are interviewed about their sexual habits in order to determine whether intercourse is taking place properly for conception.

If no cause can be determined at this point, more specific tests may be recommended. For women, these include an analysis of body temperature and ovulation, x-ray of the fallopian tubes and uterus, and laparoscopy. For men, initial tests focus on semen analysis.

How is infertility treated?
Approximately 85 to 90 percent of infertility cases are treated with conventional therapies, such as drug treatment or surgical repair of reproductive organs. Assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, account for the remaining infertility treatments.

What is in vitro fertilization?
For infertile couples where women have blocked or absent fallopian tubes, or where men have low sperm counts, in vitro fertilization (IVF) offers the chance of biological parenthood to couples.

In IVF, eggs are surgically removed from the ovary and mixed with sperm outside the body in a Petri dish ("in vitro" is Latin for "in glass"). After about 40 hours, the eggs are examined to see if they have become fertilized by the sperm and are dividing into cells. These fertilized eggs (embryos) are then placed in the women's uterus, by-passing the fallopian tubes.
IVF has received a great deal of media attention since it was first introduced in 1978, but it actually accounts for less than five percent of all infertility treatment in the United States.

Is in vitro fertilization expensive?
The average cost of an IVF cycle in the United States is $12,400. Like other extremely delicate medical procedures, IVF involves highly trained professionals with sophisticated laboratories and equipment, and the cycle may need to be repeated to be successful. While IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies are costly, they account for only three hundredths of one percent (0.03%) of U.S. health care costs.

Does in vitro fertilization work?
Yes. IVF was introduced in the United States in 1981; from 1985 through 1998 ASRM and its affiliate, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), have counted more than 91,000 births conceived through IVF. IVF currently accounts for about 98% of ART procedures, with combination procedures making up the remainder. The average live birth rate for IVF in 1998 was 29.1% per retrieval; a little better than the 20% chance in any one month that a reproductively healthy couple has of achieving a pregnancy and carrying it to term.

Do insurance plans cover infertility treatment?
The degree of services covered depends on where you live and the type of insurance plan you have. Fourteen states currently have laws that require insurers to either cover or offer to cover some form of infertility diagnosis and treatment. Those states are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia. HOWEVER, the laws vary greatly in their scope of what is and is not required to be covered. For more information about the specific laws for each of those states, please call your state's Insurance Commissioner's office. To learn about pending insurance legislation in your state, please contact your State Representatives.

Whether or not you live in a state with an infertility insurance law, you may want to consult with your employer's director of human resources to determine the exact coverage your plan provides. If that isn't an option, an excellent resource for determining coverage is, "Infertility Insurance Advisor: An Insurance Counseling Program for Infertile Couples." This booklet is available for a small fee from RESOLVE, an infertility patient advocacy and information organization.

The desire to have children and be parents is one of the most fundamental aspects of being human. People should not be denied insurance coverage for medically appropriate treatment to fulfill this goal.

Acknowledgements to the American Pregnancy Association

Monday, May 22, 2006

Linda's New Your Pregnancy Website Launched

As a busy Mum, I know how difficult it is to understand everything that you need to do to make sure your pregnancy is as safe, secure and easy as possible.

So what I've done is to bring together one 'Your Pregnancy' Website a wide range of information and resources to help you ensure that you have the healthiest and most enjoyable pregnancy ever.

If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant or even approaching the menopause here are some of the most useful and informative resources available on the internet today - all in one place.

Whatever your interest - conception, fertility, infertility, pregnancy or baby's early months, click on the link now to access up-to-date information ...

There's even a section for people approaching or entering the Menopause!

If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant this website contains some of the most useful and informative resources available on the internet today - all in one place!

The website is organized progressively to take you through the various stages of pregnancy from conception to early months. There are 9 sections:
  • Conception
  • Female Orgasm
  • Fertility
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy Calendar
  • Pregnancy Issues
  • Prenatal
  • Baby's Early Months
  • The Menopause
Just cherry-pick whatever is of interest to you, then browse the rest of this comprehensive and fascinating site.

http://pregnancy.universal-inter.net/menu.htm

If you have any comments or questions, please either post to this Blog or email me