7 Common Fertility Issues Explained

There are many reasons why couples struggle to conceive. Everything from diet to stress can play a part. There may even be a medical condition that is preventing you from having a child. Fortunately, some of these conditions may be possible to treat or work around. The following post lists some of the most common fertility issues and what you should know about them. 

Ovulation problems

Many women do not experience a regular ovulation cycle. This can be due to various different reasons from thyroid problems to premature ovarian failure. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common conditions that affects the ovulation cycle. PCOS can be treatable by adopting a healthy lifestyle, taking medication such as clomiphene or even getting surgery. You can click here for more facts about PCOS.

Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growth that develop around the womb. They are very common – 2 in 3 women develop at least one fibroid throughout their life, usually between the ages of 30 and 50. Fibroids can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching itself to the womb in some rare cases. Removing these fibroids with surgery may be necessary in such cases. 

Endometriosis

Women can also experience a problem known as endometriosis in which lining from the womb starts growing in places it shouldn’t such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This can end up blocking eggs from travelling into the uterus in some cases. Endometriosis can be painful on top of causing infertility. Sadly, it is quite hard to treat, although pain relief and surgery can keep it under control and even temporarily allow fertility in some cases. 

Low sperm count

Low sperm count is a common problem in men – it’s believed that 1 in 3 cases of fertility problems among couples are due to this reason. Low sperm count could be due to lifestyle choices or may be due to testicular problems such as infections or varicocele. In some cases, it can be treated with medication or surgery. However, in other cases, IVF may be the only solution. 

Scarring

Scarring as a result of previous injuries or surgery can also affect the ability to conceive. This could include scarring on the uterus or scarring on the testicles. Such scarring may grow and obstruct reproductive parts. In other cases, scars may have damaged vital parts of the reproductive system. Treatment options such as an operative hysteroscopy may be possible – it depends very much on the extent of the scarring.

Hormone imbalances

Hormone imbalances are the leading cause of fertility issues and can often be the root cause of other issues like PCOS and low sperm count. Blood tests will usually be able to detect if there is a hormone imbalance. If certain reproductive hormones are particularly low, it may be possible to look into treatment options including hormone replacement therapy. This may help to improve fertility, as well as helping to solve other problems that you may be experiencing such as fatigue or mood swings. 

Pregnancy Isn’t Easy But It Doesn’t Need To Be Harder

Pregnancy is a tough time for women. Some women breeze through it without many complications, where others struggle from start to finish. Your pregnancy journey is your own, and it’s best not to compare it to anyone else’s if you can manage. But, it is important that you understand some of the things that you are going to need if you’re going to avoid making it harder than it needs to be. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of these things, so keep reading down below if you would like to find out more.

Pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness. Female patient listening to doctor in medical office. Support people living with tumor illness.

Get The Best Doctor

First, you’re going to need the best doctor. It’s just not something that you should be willing to compromise on because you need someone that you can trust. Ideally, you want someone who understands your wants and wishes, and is willing to respect them. As well as this, you want someone who is good at what they do, and has a proven track record of being one of the best. We know that this sounds harsh to other doctors, but the last thing that you want to do is look into a BIL Group cerebral palsy attorney or something similar because someone messed up, leading to your child paying the price. 

Look At How You Can Look After Yourself

You also need to be aware of what kind of things that you can do to ensure that you are looking after yourself. You are the one who has to carry the baby to term, and you are the one who is responsible for nourishing them, ensuring that they grow and so much more. It’s important that you are taking care of yourself so that you are taking care of the baby, even though this sometimes feels like a huge challenge.

Your body will tell you what it needs, so all you need to do is listen. Start to learn the cues that your body is giving you for certain things and trust it, because it’s not going to steer you wrong.

Speak To Those Who Have Been Through It

The last thing that we want to mention is that in order to prepare yourself and fully understand everything, you can try to speak to some of the other people who have been in your position. Lots of people get pregnant every year, but not everyone experiences the same things. If you want to have a better understanding and look after yourself mentally, it might be worth looking into people who have been where you are, and understand what you’re going through.

Hopefully you have found this article helpful, and now see that while pregnancy isn’t easy, it doesn’t need to be made any harder by others. At the end of the day, you should be the one in control, ensuring that you’re getting the things that you need to keep you and your baby safe. We wish you the very best of luck with this, and hope that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

6 Ways To Look After Yourself When Pregnant

The experience of being pregnant can be wonderful, but it also brings with it a lot of significant life changes. Take a look at some of the things you can do to take care of yourself so that you may, in turn, take care of your unborn child.

A woman’s pregnancy is a time of extraordinary change. When you get pregnant, your body takes over and creates a human being, and you have little to no say in the process.

Having said that, it is of the utmost importance during this priceless time to take care of yourself, since your body is essentially running a “marathon” each and every day. Your hormones are all over the place, and as a result, you can have an abundance of energy or you might feel absolutely fatigued.

During your pregnancy, it is important to take care of yourself and your growing baby in many different ways.

Rest

Ensure that you receive a sufficient amount of sleep. Rest is especially vital for your body during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, when you are likely to feel more exhausted than normal. Make it a priority to get to bed at a reasonable hour and take naps whenever you can.

Even taking a short break of just ten minutes to sit still and be silent might be beneficial in providing you with some time to replenish your batteries before getting back to work.

Exercise

Exercise is just as vital throughout pregnancy as it is at other times of your life and throughout your life in general. One of the benefits of regular exercise is the strengthening of your muscles, which might make it easier for you to deal with the aches and pains associated with pregnancy.

Something as simple as stretching can help relieve discomfort in the back and legs. Swimming will assist build abdominal muscles while walking and most other low impact workouts will help improve circulation. Walking and most other low impact exercises will also aid. The phrase “if it is good for me, it is good for my baby” should serve as your guiding principle throughout your pregnancy.

Women who are pregnant should stay away from high-impact activities and any and all contact sports. During this period, your body will be undergoing some very big changes, and as a result, it is imperative that you take care of yourself by performing activities that are designed with your growing belly in mind.

Self-care

The concept of “self care” can be particularly challenging for many mothers, but it is imperative that mothers put their own needs first in order to be able to meet the needs of their children and their families. It is essential to get off to a good start, to put it in a metaphorical sense. The healthy routines of self-care that you get into throughout your pregnancy can continue even after the baby is born.

Before the arrival of your new child, it is a good idea to get into the habit of devoting some of your time to engaging in activities that bring you pleasure and taking time off for yourself.

Nourishment

It is a lot of effort to grow a baby, so it is crucial to make sure your body is getting the fuel it needs with a diet that is nutritious and balanced. It is OK to satisfy most desires, so long as you limit that satisfaction to a small portion of what you consume overall. Do not get caught in the trap of “eating for two,” as one of you is just going to be very small and will not require much food. Focus on the quality of the nutrients rather than the quantity.

If you need a little bit of extra fuel, it is preferable to consume more servings of healthy grains or proteins.

Stress management 

It is vital for everyone to learn how to manage their stress, but it is especially crucial for pregnant women to do so since stress can have physiological effects in addition to psychological ones.

Stress may have an effect on a person’s blood pressure and may even bring on false labor. Because stress can also alter blood sugar levels, it is crucial to learn how to relax and accept the typical things that happen throughout pregnancy. Many women end up having to face pregnancy alone – in which case, https://embracegrace.com/  can provide additional support and can be a huge stress relief.

Ask questions

Even if our bodies are predisposed to allow us to have children, this does not imply that we are inherently armed with all of the information we require to make informed decisions. Having an understanding of the procedure, the purpose of each test, and what to anticipate will help reduce some of the concerns that you may be having.

Why You Should Invest In A Dating Ultrasound

A dating ultrasound is a scan that allows you to learn the age of your pregnancy and find out your due date. It is the most accurate way to determine when you got pregnant and when you’ll give birth. A search for a dating ultrasound scan near me will direct you to the nearest facilities with a dating ultrasound. 

You should invest in a dating ultrasound because it will help determine the baby’s gestational age, the due date, and if you are expecting one or more babies. The scan will also help identify abnormalities and risks, check for conditions like down syndrome, and schedule prenatal care.

Technological advancement has made it possible for you to know what is going on with your pregnancy. Instead of working blindly, doctors schedule a dating ultrasound to help them identify risks, such as placenta previa, early and work on ways to save mother and baby. 

Why Is It Important To Date A Pregnancy Accurately?

Although the last menstrual period (LMP) is still used to estimate gestational age, it is not always accurate. This method assumes that the expectant mother knows the exact dates, yet it is not always the case. Some women do not have a regular cycle, so they may not immediately know they are pregnant. 

It is important to date a pregnancy accurately because it helps doctors plan tests at the right stage of the pregnancy. Elective delivery is only possible if the pregnancy is dated accurately. Errors may result in early birth before fetal lung maturity, increasing risks of respiratory illness. 

The dating ultrasound is important to doctors and expectant mothers. Most women are concerned about the health of their unborn babies. Besides letting them know when to expect to give birth, the dating ultrasound assures them that the fetus is developing correctly. 

How Accurately Can You Date A Pregnancy?

Although the dating ultrasound is pretty accurate, you should go for an ultrasound at the right time. Going too early in your pregnancy may not give you accurate dates, nor will going too late in your pregnancy. Some women start their prenatal in the second trimester. So, there is no set period when a dating ultrasound scan is performed. 

Pregnancy can be dated accurately closer to the 13th week in the first trimester and the 18th-20th week in the second trimester. The third trimester is the least accurate due to limited space. Accuracy in the first and second trimester is +/- 5 days, while the third trimester is +/- 21 to 30 days. 

In the second semester, accurate dating is possible between the 18th and 20th week. Planning for your coming baby will be easier when you get accurate dating from the ultrasound. There is no harm in doing many ultrasounds, but if you cannot afford it or live far from a facility with a dating ultrasound, you can time your scan using the gestational age based on the last menstrual period.

The dating ultrasound scan has become an important part of prenatal care, with doctors recommending one or more, depending on your pregnancy. Without it, you would be ignorant of many things, including your due date.

 

Boppy Side Sleeper Maternity Pillow Review

A few months ago I wrote a review for Boppy.  Their infant nursing pillow and positioner is a MUST HAVE for any new mom!  I can’t say enough about how much I loved that product!  And today I am talking a little bit about their maternity pillows, specifically their side sleeper pillow, because I received one for review. BUT they have a variety of pillows available, and I encourage you to check out the Boppy brand and see what they have to fit your unique needs.

Now let me back up for a bit…

When I was pregnant, I started researching all the pregnancy must-haves.  I wondered if I even needed a maternity pillow (especially since some of them are a little expensive).   My mattress, Purple, was doing an excellent job for sure. There was no better option. I did my research and comparisons on SleepDelivered.com and a few other review websites. Anyway, back to the pillow talks. So finally I decided to order a maternity pillow around the fifth month (I think it was). Around the fifth month (I think it was) I decided to order a maternity pillow.  In my case, I did not get a Boppy.  I found a “no-name” brand with an inexpensive U-shaped pillow, and it worked very well for me! (The downside to that pillow was that it did take up a lot of room, and my husband wasn’t a big fan of that!) [Read more…]

12 Tips and Must-Haves for Postpartum Care

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TryTENAOvernight #CollectiveBias

 

Six months ago I was blessed beyond words with a beautiful baby boy.  I was completely clueless about pregnancy, and I spent each day reading articles about “This Week in Your Pregnancy” and looking up this symptom and that symptom, and what’s normal and not normal. But as much as I felt unprepared for pregnancy, I think I was even less prepared for the postpartum symptoms.  On one hand, I had a very easy pregnancy, so maybe the easiness of it left me unprepared for the aftermath.  But on the other hand, I think I was clueless because postpartum care is simply not something that gets talked about a lot.  In movies and television we always see the dizzy, nauseated pregnant woman with the cravings and swollen feet, and then we see a happy woman with a baby.  My doctors also never really said anything about postpartum symptoms to me, so today I decided to share some of my own tips and must-haves for postpartum care and recovery.  I hope it will help some of you who may be expecting and don’t really know what to expect after that little bundle of joy arrives.

TENA Overnight Pads and Underwear

 Before having Thaxton, I purchased some of the TENA underwear, as well as the overnight pads, and they really were very useful and a great convenience in the days and weeks after having him.

With TENA you have protection for the Unexpected Leak™ so that you can live your life without compromise.  (Right after having a baby, you certainly don’t want to compromise!)

TENA intimates® includes a soft top layer, that quickly wicks fluid away from the skin keeping you feeling intimately fresh and clean.

TENA Overnight pads and underwear are available at your local Walmart.  You can find them in the adult incontinence section of the health and beauty department.  You can find the pads in quantities of 28 and 48, and you can find the under in sizes S/M, L, and XL.

On May 20 there will be an FSI in the paper where you can get $4.00 off any one (1) TENA Overnight Pad or TENA Overnight Underwear (2 week duration). This offer can only be redeemed in-store and it ends 6/3.

And there is also a $3 off coupon for the underwear available through IBOTTA starting on May 9.

Squirt Bottle

Immediately after having a baby, going to the bathroom becomes quite the ritual.  The squirt bottle is used after every trip, and may also be used periodically throughout the day for extra relief.

Pain Relieving Spray

This product is a MUST.  I used it after every trip to the bathroom following the birth of our son.  It helps to relieve pain and itch. They provided this to me in the hospital, but I had to buy a second can.

Witch Hazel Wipes or Pads

These are also used after each trip to the bathroom.  Your hospital will likely give you this item too, but if you are like me, you will require an additional package.

Medicine and Vitamins

As with any medical procedure or physical ailment, it is important to take your prescribed medications.  Your doctor will likely recommend a stool softener and will prescribe you the appropriate medicine for pain, depending on your individual needs.  After the first few days, I was able to get by with just the basic anti-inflammatory medicine, and I definitely advise you to take your meds if you think you need them; do not wait until you are in extraordinary pain. And don’t be afraid to ask questions about your medicine or ask for an alternative prescription if you have a problem.

Vitamins are also essential. Even though the baby has been born, women still have to take prenatal vitamins each day. (I actually find that they generally make me feel better throughout the day, so I still take one.)

Water

Hydration continues to be important after the baby is born.  Drinking plenty of water will also help with bloating and constipation, and is good for energy and general health and well being.

Warm Baths

Speaking of water, taking a warm bath each day is great aid in your recovery.  It will help you to heal, and it is also great wait to sit back and relax.  I’m more of a shower person myself, but for about 2 months after my baby was born, I did warm baths each night.

Sports Bra / Nursing Bra

Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, your breasts will likely get very swollen and sore beyond belief.  If you are not breastfeeding a good sports bra will help with this.

Nursing Pads

I had always heard of nursing pads for nursing moms, but I had no idea, until I had Thaxton, that mothers who are not breastfeeding also need this product.  I found they were an absolute MUST in the first few weeks after the baby was born, and I believe I used them for a total of 2 months after the birth.

Maternity Belt or Postpartum Belt

One of my only real pregnancy complaints was pelvic girdle pain. It set in when I got to be 6 months pregnant. I had gained about 20 pounds at that point, and this pain continued even after the baby was born, until I got to about 15 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight.  Although I bought a postpartum belt, I never used it.  I just continued to use the maternity belt after the baby was born.  It was very helpful with support and relief.

Maternity Pillow

I got a U shaped pillow when I was pregnant, and I loved it.  After the baby was born, I continued to sleep with my pillow until I lost most of the pregnancy weight.  It also came in great handy for sitting on my couch.  Basically I would sit with the pillow behind me at the back of the couch, and then I would turn one of the sides of the pillow over onto my lap, so the baby could lay on my lap during feedings (similar to how you use a boppy pillow, only you get back support too).

Comfortable Clothing

Comfortable clothing is crucial while you’re in the hospital and upon returning home.  This is another thing I was clueless about until I had Thaxton.  First off, you should know that it will take a few weeks to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

I recommend some nursing gowns or maternity gowns.  I found these to be very comfortable and cool at night.  Yoga pants are also good, particularly loose fitting yoga pants. (While I was in the hospital I had a lot of swelling from the IV fluids, and wide leg pants were a necessity.) And don’t be afraid to just break out the pajama pants when you get home. (I think you’ve earned it after having a baby.)

I also continued to wear my maternity jeans and just a basic cami and sweater combo for the few times I had to leave the house in the first month after my baby was born, as well as the day we brought him home from the hospital.

Stop by Walmart to pick up all your postpartum care supplies, including Tena Underwear and Pads.

If you have any thoughts on postpartum recovery or if you can think of something I should have included in this list, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment on this post or join the conversation on social media.

8 Must-Haves and Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadePrenatalDHA #CollectiveBias

This year I’ve been working on a very special project; I’ve been creating and growing my own little human!

Baby Thaxton was born on November 14.  Isn’t he a doll?  We tried for a long time to get pregnant, and I was so thrilled when I found out that I was having him. Even now, a month after his birth, I can hardly believe he’s real!

I think until you get pregnant and have a baby, you don’t actually realize just how much actually goes in to the whole process.  When a baby is born we talk about the big delivery day and the pains of labor, and we don’t talk as much about what happens during those 9 months of pregnancy. Over the course of 9 months, I gained about 30 pounds, and I saw and felt my body going through so many changes as a result of this weight gain, hormone changes, and more!   Today I’m going to discuss some tips and must-haves to help you stay healthy and feeling good during pregnancy. [Read more…]

Our Forest Friends Nursery Reveal

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

In the past few years, we have done several home makeover and DIY projects.  We’ve done a little painting outside, put up new light fixtures, painted furniture, gotten new appliances, and bought all new furniture in our living room, but I don’t think anything has been quite as exciting or as fun as putting together our new baby nursery!  After deliberating over a few themes and color schemes, I finally decided on the Forest Friends theme from Sweet Jojo Designs.

I LOVE this brand.  I first attracted to the overall look and colors of this set, and when I saw all the different types of accessories that were available, I was SOLD!  I’ve seen plenty of bedding sets with just your basic sheet, comforter, mobile, and diaper stacker.  If I wanted any other pieces, I’d just have to look around for something that sort of matches, but all of the Sweet Jojo Designs collections have EVERYTHING you could possibly need to decorate your nursery, including matching wall art and wall decals.

Apart from the great designs, the collection is also very high quality, and each nursery collection has a matching toddler and child bedding set, so when baby Thaxon gets big enough for his toddler bed, I’ll just have to get a new bedding set, and we can continue using the rest of his decor! [Read more…]

Our Nursery Furniture – Preview and Products

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

As many of you know, I’m getting ready to welcome a new little one into the world.  HE is scheduled to arrive on November 17, and I’m currently in the process of getting the nursery decorated.  Today I’m sharing the nursery furniture that has been purchased.

Chest and Changing Table

First we have the South Shore Fundy Tide Changing Table and 4-Drawer Chest.  I purchased these on Amazon.  The set is available on other websites, but Amazon had the best pricing.

This is a great looking set. The color is espresso, but I think there are other colors available. It was very important to me to find a changing table with drawers, because I like to have things stored so that they are hidden.  The South Shore Fundy Tide Changing table has two drawers, plus a shelf for storing items.  And another great thing about this item is that we can still use it in the baby’s room long after a changing table is no longer needed.  I figure I could use for toys, extra clothes, art supplies, or anything else in his room, and then I just have to remove the changing pad, and there is a place to display items.   [Read more…]

5 Pregnancy Must-Haves

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseTENA #CollectiveBias
5 Pregnancy Must-Haves

I’m about 11 weeks pregnant.  It’s a relatively new thing for me, but over the past several weeks and months I’ve done plenty of research on that first trimester, the symptoms it brings about, and solutions to combat those symptoms.  Although I’m told the morning sickness and fatigue will soon wear off for a while (and luckily a lot of the common first trimester symptoms haven’t hit me hard), I know I still have a lot of changes and adjustments to look forward to over the next few months!

A few things I’m not looking forward to are the weight gain, the loss of sleep, and those frequent trips to the bathroom.  But I’m sure I will survive!  Today I’m sharing 5 pregnancy must-haves for self-care. [Read more…]