If you have irregular periods, you might have a difficult time determining when you are ovulating. I ran into this problem myself when I was trying to conceive. My cycles were all over the map. One month, my cycle might run only 27 days, while the next month, it might run 36 days. This made it very hard to determine when I was ovulating.
When I first decided to go off birth control pills and tried to conceive, my OB-GYN told me to make sure we had intercourse two weeks after my period started. If my cycles had been exactly 28 days each month, that might have been correct, but my cycles were rarely, if ever, exactly 28 days long.
Some women struggle with much… [more]
If you are struggling with infertility, be sure to have your thyroid checked. This was one of the first tests that my fertility specialist administered when he started trying to figure out why I was unable to conceive. Your doctor can determine if your thyroid is to blame through a simple blood test, so it is one of the least invasive fertility screenings you can undergo.
What is a Thyroid?
Your thyroid is the gland responsible for most of your metabolism. It is located in your neck. If your thyroid produces either too much or too little of the thyroid hormones, then you have a problem. See Understanding Thyroid Problems -- the Basics for more basic information about your thyroid… [more]
Endometriosis is a common cause of infertility in women. According to Fertilitycommunity.com's article Endometriosis, 30-40% of women with endometriosis will likely have problems conceiving. I am one of those women.
So, what exactly is endometriosis? Endometrial tissue is the tissue in your uterus that provides a soft cushion for a fertilized egg to attach. Women with endometriosis have endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. I had this tissue located on the outside of my uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. My doctor took pictures during the laparoscopy, which I have posted here. As you can see, the endometriosis looks like small patches of dark tissue on the outside of my organs.
Here is what the doctor's notes say about each picture:
Isn't the word barren such an awful term? I am so glad we have moved on to the word infertile because at least that sounds clinical. Barren sounds like a wasteland - as if my womb, which is supposed to be fertile, is instead a shriveled up raisin.
As much as I dislike the word, barren captures the pain that a woman feels when she is unable to conceive a child. Many women question whether they are even women when they cannot bear a child. If your uterus is unable to knit life together and your breasts are unable to nourish a child, then it can feel like none of your female body parts is doing its job. Does this make… [more]
In my last post, Laparoscopy, I talked about having a laparoscopy so Dr. F could determine the cause of my infertility. The results shocked me. I had never experienced particularly painful periods, so my fertility doctors from my hometown had ruled out endometriosis as a possible cause. They were wrong.
Dr. F found a significant amount of endometriosis, which is uterine tissue that is located outside of the uterus, and scar tissue all over my reproductive organs. As part of the procedure, he had removed all of the endometriosis and scar tissue, so my organs were as good as new. I jokingly called this my "spring cleaning."
Dr. F said that I had a large amount of endometriosis on my fallopian… [more]
I am not familiar with PCOS. I only know a couple of people who have it, both of whom have fertility problems as well. I had been wondering how to find out more info when, lo and behold, my February issue of Natural Health had an article titled, "Weighty Matters" by Lisa Drayer, MA, RD on the cover. Perfect timing. The article was hefty with facts and info, especially for a newcomer like me. I wish that the article had focused more on the emotional impact of PCOS. This is another area that I am interested in and looking forward to learning more about. Here is what I learned in a nutshell. General
While I was dealing with infertility, I felt frustrated at how elusive pregnancy was for me. I was angry thinking back to health class and the terror that was instilled in us about unplanned pregnancies. I wish that infertility statistics would also have been included, to round out everything else we had learned. But then again, I wonder if this is a recent trend with prolonging parenthood into later life with my generation? In my state, largely in part to education, our teen pregnancy rates are down. Would this also mean that our infertility rates are up? Hmmm. Googling "infertility prevention" I found the following link. The program is called Region III Infertility Prevention Project. Region III includes Philadelphia, Delaware, Baltimore, Maryland… [more]
Once again, upon signing online this morning, my opening page had a link to the following website and article, which lead to the next article as the cycle goes. And now, I pass them along to you. Here is the introduction from www.thatsfit.com: Menopausal changes due to a woman's relationships, not hormones Posted: Oct 26th 2006 1:23PM by Brian White Filed under: Women's Health As many women approach menopause, it's long been thought that hormonal changes start affecting sex lives at roughly the same time. But, according to a new set of studies by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, a woman's actual relationships near menopause may affect her sex life just as much as physical, hormonal changes. In the studies, it was found that greater sexual desire was "very strongly associated" when correlated with… [more]
Are your hands cold all the time? Do you have a low body temperature (just take it right now, is it is lower than 98?) Hair falling out? Dry skin? I used to show up for my yearly physical, and the nurse would always look at the thermometer and go, "Hm....96...did you just drink something cold?" When I'd say no, they'd shrug and say, "Well, maybe because it's cold outside." Of course, when I started having my miscarriages, I started doing some research which suggested that it was possible, given my below-normal body temps--that my thyroid was involved. What a surprise (not!) to badger them into testing me and for the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)) results to come back and a whopping 9-point something… [more]
The reason I am using pearls to illustrate this, is that ovarian cysts (including the developing eggs, mind you) can look like pearls. And like pearls, there's a certain amount of inflammation involved. I was doing research for a novel, totally unrelated, but I was reading a medical journal about PCOS where a bunch of obstetricians were debating whether to treat PCOS at all, since it is the ovary's job, basically, to produce cysts. They were pondering that perhaps the medical profession is a bit too excited about another chance to do surgery. Again, it is thought that up to ten percent of women might have PCOS, and that it is THE leading cause of female infertility. That said, one of… [more]