Posts in Fertility
Macho Mark and the missing sperm…

I was 43 years old and genuinely thought the opportunity for me to have kids was gone. I was also concerned that my hectic lifestyle and questionable diet in the last 20 years might have affected my ability to have children. Eventually the question of children came to a head as we discussed whether to have nice wedding or try for a child. Myself and my fiancé were both desperate not to hurt each other’s feeling but fortunately we both wanted to give it a go. All that said it was an awkward conversation.

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Staying positive after many years of fertility struggles

Deciding to start trying to conceive was an exciting time – I remember having ‘the chat’ with Aaron six years ago and thinking that in a year or two’s time we’d have turned into a family of three! Sadly, despite our best efforts we are still just two, thousands of pounds poorer but not too mentally scarred from four cycles of IVF, three miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy. I think the key to this has been the strength of our relationship, the support of our family and friends and the acceptance and calm that eventually comes from years of fertility struggles.

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Understanding the Emotional Impact of Trying to Conceive

‘I just want to be pregnant!’, a common thought for anyone trying to conceive, whether a couple experiencing infertility or a single person or same sex couple who, because of their relationship status, had planned to conceive with assistance.  Friends, family members and sometimes our partners too, will suggest that we relax, try not to think about it and ‘it’ will happen.

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FertilityOrla O'Connor
Three ways to emotional self-care when you’re trying to get pregnant

When you’ve been trying for a while, as you probably know, it consumes your thoughts. It also takes sex off the nice-to-do list and onto your actual to-do list. Which is possibly the least sexy thing ever. It wasn’t until I’d let go of trying to get pregnant that I could look back and see how much I’d been obsessing about trying to get pregnant. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, right? 

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Fertility, IVFOrla O'Connor
To Coffee or not when trying for a baby?

Caffeine consumption is a much debated subject when it comes to conception and fertility issues.  Coffee can be described as a double edged sword.  Coffee beans come from a plant so they are essentially a healthy food choice.  They are packed full of health promoting plant chemicals.  When the beans are picked, they are roasted and this process increases their health promoting anti-oxidant levels.

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Low AMH - don't panic!

I am seeing more and more women attending me concerned about their AMH reserve.  AMH, is the short name for  Anti-Mullerian Hormone.  It is a substance produced by the granulosa cells in the ovarian follicles.  It is a routine test carried out in fertility clinics.  It may be interpreted as an indicator of low ovarian reserve, in other words a reduced supply of eggs in the ovaries.  

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Vegan Diets and Conception

Plant foods
There is a growing trend in the western world towards eating a vegan diet.  A vegan diet is a diet that excludes all animal foods and foods produced by animals. These foods include meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, gelatine and honey.
A vegan diet is also called a plant based diet.  It relies solely on plant foods.  Plant foods are super healthy for us.  Most people do not consume sufficient plant based foods in their diets. 

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The Egg Story

Women are born with around 1-2 million follicles (immature eggs). This is their complete supply and they don’t make any more. At puberty the number of eggs has dropped by over half down to 400,000-500,000.  With each menstrual cycle up to 1000 follicles begin getting ready for ovulation. Only 1 becomes mature enough to do so. The other 999 or so are lost, so once you start your regular menstrual cycles, you begin to lose eggs on a monthly basis.

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Fertility and the fry up

Men trying to conceive need to significantly reduce their consumption of all processed meat. Guys, it may be time to say goodbye to your rashers, sausages and pudding breakfast if you would like to improve your sperm quality and achieve a pregnancy. 

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Protein for Conception

Protein is a macro nutrient and is vital for conception and pregnancy.  It is comprised of many amino acids.  These amino acids are the building blocks of the body.  It is responsible for building and repairing cells, manufacturing hormones and a healthy reproductive function.  The body needs a constant supply of protein which should be consumed at each meal.  Different foods have different levels of protein.

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Fertility, NutritionOrla O'Connor
Research shows that we do take preparing our bodies for conception seriously

The good news is that losing weight, taking supplements, changing diet and cutting down on alcohol are seen as important and amongst those trying for a baby:

•    53% losing weight to boost their chances of conception
•    38%  taking fertility enhancing prenatal vitamins
•    37%  exercising more
•    36%  changing their diet, with most adopting a low-sugar way of eating
 

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Beans and Amino Acids

A good fertility supplement should contain the correct amount of L'arginine and L'citrulline.  L'arginine and L'citrulline are amino acids which are the precursors for the production of nitric oxide in the body.  Nitric oxide has many functions in the human body.  It is a molecule that the body produces to help its 50 trillion cells communicate with each other by transmitting signals throughout the entire body.

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Vitamin D - Sunshine on the road to conception

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with several reproductive disorders, including miscarriage, preterm birth and reduced production of the sex hormones.  In fact, research has discovered that vitamin D may play a regulatory role in female reproductive physiology, since vitamin D receptors and enzymes are expressed in the ovaries and the placenta.  According to a study carried out in the National Maternity hospital in Dublin, pregnant women in Ireland have vitamin D intakes far below those recommended for the normal development of a child’s bones,.  

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