Charred summer BBQ food could lead to fertility problems, new research reveals

The UK finally welcomed some much needed sunshine today. We basked in its glory and welcomed it with cold drinks, ice creams, music, sun hats and shades.

This weekend will see dinners in the gardens and parks as the BBQ makes its appearance .

If you are TTC (trying to conceive), a new research finds that charred Summer BBQ may not be the best options .

There is no arm in knowing, so please read and decide for yourself.

Read more at http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/wellbeing/blackened-charred-foods-bad-for-fertility-360707#3lG0ek4yIRm7Ztyo.99

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Exploring Other Options: ICSI

I have previously written on exploring other options when it comes to seeking fertility treatment. This POST will examine one of those options the ICSI.

According to the HFEA.

the cause of infertility in around half of couples having problems conceiving is sperm-related. ICSI offers hope to these couples most common and successful treatment for male infertility.

ICSE means – (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection )ICSI is a specialised form of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) it is used for the treatment of severe cases of male-factor infertility.

It is intended for couples with the following problems.

very low sperm count

abnormally shaped sperm (poor morphology) or where the sperm move abnormally (poor motility)

previous IVF TREATMENT.

A situation Where the sperm needs to be collected surgically from the testicles or epididymis (a narrow tube inside the scrotum where sperm are stored and matured); possibly because of vasectomy,

The process involves the injection of a single sperm directly into a mature egg.

Just like IVF the process involves stimulating the ovaries to produce a mature egg. Once the eggs are matured they are retrieved and fertilised with the sperm.

When the egg is fertilised it is left in the lab for a few days.

The embryo is transfer

embryo transfer can be two in some cases the number of embryo transferred depends on the woman’s age, once transferred it is recommended that the woman reduce their movement for the next 24 hours. the remaining good-quality embryos will be frozen and stored to be used in future cycle if necessary.

After the transfer, then begin the wait, before the all-important pregnancy test.

Availability:

according to the NHS website couples undergoing IVF treatment can use ICSI as a method of insemination if required.

The University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust was one of the first in the country to be licensed to offer the treatment.

How is ICSI different from IVF?

The steps are similar at the early stages however with IVF the eggs are placed together with the sperm fertilization occurs when the sperm swims to the egg.

In ICSI there is a bit more interference by the embryologist. Here the sperm is selected and injected directly into the egg.This maximises the chance of fertilisation taking place as it bypasses any potential problems the sperm will have in actually getting to the egg.

the success rate?

generally the success rate for both IVF and ICSI are similar. According to the HFEA fertilisation happens in around 90% of cases.

Fertilisation doesn’t necessarily means a successful pregnancy.

One of the deterring factor for success is a woman’s age and any previous difficulty.in conceiving. After transfer there is a 2 weeks wait at before pregnancy can be confirmed by a blood test.

I hope you found this useful. For more in depth information please visit the Following website

NHS UK

HFEA

And your family Doctor

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

A woman’s Dilemma? is 40 too old?

I had my first child at 38 and even then, I was considered an older mum. I remembered vividly the results of my first IVF treatment.
I was shocked to learn that my eggs were so unhealthy, they started fragmenting before fertilisation.
Out of 7 eggs, 5 where so unhealthy and did not develop further. The remaining 2 fragmented before fertilisation. This left me wondering why women were built with finite number of eggs.

In this postI want to highlight women who fell pregnant after 40 as well as give my thoughts on whether there is a best time for a baby.
There is so much to read about a woman’s abilities to fall pregnant after 40. News outlets are filled with apocalyptic stories of women leaving it too late to have a baby.

The question is should you or shouldn’t you have a baby after 40?

img_3570.jpgHeadlines like “female clock is ticking”, “decline in birth rate”, certainly struck fear in me, as I tried for 7 years without success.

With the associated increase in miscarriages and other risk involved, statistics has shown that more women in their 40s are becoming mothers for the first time.

Perhaps Women who had given up, now have confidence to try again after reading stories of celebrities’ mum over 40 and improvement in Fertility treatment.
Although medically the chances of a woman getting pregnant after 45 reduces drastically. It is still possible, either with your own eggs or that a donor or a surrogate.
Women do lose 90 percent of their eggs by 30, that still leaves them with 10,000. Only one is needed to make a baby. Which means there is still a chance it can happen.

Here are some famous women who had children over 40.

  • Cherie Blair, The British Prime minister’s wife was surprised to be pregnant at 45. She was 45 when she had Leo, her fourth child. She revealed in her autobiography her surprise baby was conceived during a trip to Balmoral.
  • Halle Berry had her 2nd child at the age of 46. she thought it was impossible, but there we go. She said” this has been the biggest surprise of my life. To tell you the truth I was kind of past the point where this could be the reality. She went on to have her second child at 47.
  • Susan Sarandon was 42 and 45 respectively when she gave birth to her two boys.
  • Celine Dion was 42 when she welcomed her twin boys.
  • Kelly Preston Gave birth to a son at the age of 48, in 2010 after losing her son Jet. She’s married to John Travolta.
  • Mariah Carey Mariah welcomed twins with her then husband at the age of 42.
  • D’Angelo In 2001, she had twins with her then boyfriend Al Pacino at 49.
  • Nicole Kidman Welcome her first biological child at 40 and her second was born via a surrogate at 43.
  • Marcia cross At 45 the desperate housewife star gave birth to twin girls.
  • Janet Jackson More recently we saw Janet Jackson gave birth to her first child at the age of 50.
  • Geena Davis In 2002 gave birth to daughter Alizeh at 46 and had twin boys at 48. She has said of being an older parent: “If I’d had kids earlier, I could easily have become one of those mothers who over-involve themselves and try to live life through their kids … In my case, I became a parent with exactly the right person, at exactly the right time.”
  • Nancy grace, A former CNN ANCHOR WOMAN had twins with her husband. She told people mag in 2007, she didn’t think it would happen for her. And as part of God’s mysterious plan I am given this wonderful blessing later in life and I couldn’t be happier.

According to the HFEA, forty-something mothers are more likely to be first-timers, and their numbers are rising.

Office for National Statistics figures show that pregnancy rates for over-40s have more than doubled in the past 24 years, with 14 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 40-plus compared with six per 1,000 in 1990.

Is there a best time?
Yes. Our biology has fashioned us to produce more eggs and healthier ones at that, earlier in our lives. So according to biology this is the best time.
However, there are other factors that determine when to have a baby.
For instance, meeting the right person. For many women, not meeting their partners in their 20s and 30s have a huge part in determining when they start a family early. See this post The “age” thing
I personally have not met any older mum who put her fertility on hold to have a career. Even when they met someone earlier on in their lives, the struggle to conceive was evident earlier on.

I think the determining factor should be a woman. Everyone must look at themselves and their circumstances and ask the questions. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

Will I be happier without kids?
How will my life look like 20 years from now?
Would it matter to me a great deal if I do not have kids to leave behind?
The way you answer these questions will determine whether you will continue to try late into your 50s. These questions are personal to everyone.

One should note that having babies over 40 has its risk:
only 4 percent of IVF cycles ends in a live birth in women aged 42 and older. Miscarriage rates soar in the over-40s, from an average 7 per cent to 18 per cent, and the risk of stillbirth doubles.
On the plus side, research indicates that “older” mothers usually have more solid marriages, command higher salaries and live longer than women who have their children in their twenties. When interviewed, these women almost invariably report that choosing to delay motherhood was the best choice they’ve made.

Your body may have made the choice for you, but really the choice is yours. If you desire a baby and have answered the quesitons above, I wish you all the best in your quest as you move on to the next step in the journey.

Your Partner In Hope

D’Ebi

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It Only Takes One Egg

I had to share this story with you, because I can identify with it. After several failed IUI they decided to try IVF and now have a baby.

Parents celebrate getting through a three year infertility struggle with a photo of their baby boy surrounded by IVF needles

The process though was not without uncertainty.

The most difficult part of trying for a baby for me was not knowing when. The uncertainties and the endless questions of when and how were often unbearable.

I remembered the 3rd IVF treatment that gave me my little girl. We were excited to learn that 12 eggs were retrieved, but on a follow up call the next day only 5 were viable and fertilised. Out of those, only one developed enough to be transferred back.

I recall our disappointments at this news, we had little hope of any outcome from this egg.

The thought that this egg might not develop was enough to cause me to fret..

My previous treatments were similar to this but each time the eggs fragment before

Fertilisation. So I was not particularly hopeful or expecting anything to come out of this. My only consolation was that this time around at least they got a decent egg that fertilised and implanted

My husband reminded me that we only needed one egg and that kept me going.

I was so stressed during the two weeks Wait I was convinced the procedure had failed.

To say I was elated was an understatement I was shocked and not excited, nervous at was was to come..

it really does take one. It is only normal human emotion for our past experiences to influence our way of thinking..

Being hopeful requires conscious effort on my part. So today if you are in that place where your Hope reservoir is pretty low and almost ran out.. just remember it only takes one egg and as long as you are here and trying who knows you too may welcome your own little miracle..

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Infertility: A Male and Female Issue.

The first sign that something is wrong soon after a couple decides to have a baby, is when the woman fails to fall pregnant after a few months of trying. Some couples remain hopeful and think nothing about infertility.

I had never thought of the word infertility before I was faced with it. Our inability to become pregnant led to the first of many consultations and test.

The test were performed on both of us and we felt confident about our reproductive abilities. I guess no one wants to think their body is in capable of performing the role it was intended to.

We were relieved to know that neither of us had any reason to stop us from getting pregnant. The results of our test was no comfort when we to fall pregnant.

The thought that I am the reason for our demise never left me and as I spoke to other women facing similar trials I came to learn that women view themselves as the main Cause.

Many ethnicities view infertility as a woman’s sole responsibility and so many marriages have broken down from interference by the man’s family. “They just can’t understand why their son remains married to a infertile woman”.

I witness first hand as a friend struggled to convince her husband to undergo some test to determine the cause of their problems.

In the end, their marriage broke up because he strongly refused to undergo any form of test, claiming he had fathered a child before, so he can’t possibly be impotent.

There lies the perception, that infertility is a female issue and this stems from age old misconceptions that it is a woman’s duty to produce an heir for her husband/Partner. Therefore she’s ultimately to blame for failing to be pregnant.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in its 2014-2016 report finds that amongst other issues, male infertility is the most common reason why British couples seek IVF treatment.

No man wants to believe they are “shooting blank”. And it is a common male locker room banter to hear men claiming they might have secretly fathered a child unknown to him.

On the country, most women I know blame themselves even before any test results. Often excusing their partners as innocent party to this unfortunate event thrust upon them.

Women are their most fierce critics, blaming themselves for putting their career first, being too choosy, as a result their biologists clocked has timed out.

New research such as those conducted by

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston shows that sperm quality markedly decline with age. This make it harder for men to sire children well into old age as well as the possibilities of birth defect if they father kids later in life.

The solution:

I personally feel the solution or part of the way forward is for men to acknowledge that there is a possibility they might have the problem and be willing to undergo some test.

Men should not assume that because they fathered a child before, that rules them out from having any infertility problems in the future.

Women should also not automatically assume the blame without a clear diagnoses, even then the man should also get tested. They should stop denigrating and being self critical.

Given the heartbreak, invasion of one’s life and mental upheaval one faces, it is important for couples to be supportive of each other regardless of who has the issue. Infertility should not be seen as an arena dedicated solely to women, but rather a shared burden.

Society has a duty to educate everyone that It can be both a male and female issue. And dispel this wrong thinking when it comes to infertility.

Related Post:

A woman’s Dilemma? is 40 too old?Infertility: A lonely JourneyOthers View Point

How To Handle the Pressures of Mother’s Day

The hardest day in the calendar for any woman trying to conceive is Mother’s Day.

Shortly after Valentine’s Day shops are dressed up with Mother’s Day gifts and cards.

Everywhere you go there it is “Happy Mother’s Day card or some form of advertisement”.

My heart use to sink and do a double dive when I started TTC.

There were those who felt I should be positive and remain hopeful. Join the celebration and not shut myself out. It’s easy to say and a bad advice from well meaning people.

They don’t get it. I was positive and hopeful but I was not in a celebratory mood for a child I don’t have. How can I be?

I was not a mother.. instead I was faced with the reminder even more so on and around the period leading to Mother’s Day

If you are dreading this season here a some suggestions on how to deal with this day.

Speak with friends: Tell close friends and family how you feel and implore them to be sensitive. If you don’t want to receive a happy Mother’s Day card tell them so. You are entitled to how you feel. Don’t suffer or go angry in silence, speak up against unpleasant comments.

Celebrate others: do you have a mum, sister. Or a great friend you admire? Celebrate them in your own way.

Celebrate something about your life: yes you may not be a mother, but you are a good friend, wife, sister, employee etc Celebrate this..

Go on a pampering break. Take yourself out or arrange to go with your partner or friend. Buy yourself that dress, get your hair, nails and foot done. Appreciate yourself, you are beautiful in every single way. Yes you may not have a child yet, but you have a heart, a smile and a life worth living. Celebrate this

Avoid anything likely to upset you, yes I really do. Shopping mall, churches, friends with kids. It may seem strange, I know. if being around celebratory places during the period leading up to Mother’s Day will upset you, avoid those places.

Allow others to celebrate you: I know it is a painful reminder of what you don’t have. If your nieces, nephews, God or friends kids wants to celebrate you, allow them. Think of it as a good gesture, they mean you well.

Avoid Social Media: Many will be wishing their mums and posting pictures of their children wishing them a happy Mother’s Day on social media. Guard your heart or it will upset you. If seeing all the greetings makes you anxious and upset. Why bring yourself more misery? Avoid them.

Immense yourself in your work, business or any interest of your choice. Do whatever will make you feel happy on the day. Plan your activities well ahead of time to avoid feeling lost for what to do on the day.

Celebrate it if it makes you feel better, gives you hope and encourages you. What I do not encourage you to do is celebrate with a feeling of sadness, constantly be eating yourself for not being a mum. So if you must, do it with hopes and with a feeling that you are taking part in the celebration before you actually Wellcome your baby.

Do not feel sorry for yourself: yes you may not have a child yet, but that doesn’t make you any less of a woman. have you achieved so many great and wonderful things in your life? Celebrate this.

Do not let the expectations of others overwhelm you. You alone know the burden you carry. Be you and do whatever you feel comfortable with. If that means not being amongst others, please yourself.

Avoid any situations where you feel vulnerable to prying questions and never feel you have to justify yourself to anyone.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Do You Call It Quits?

pexels-photo-541333I remember the day I came home with a book on accepting one’s fate as childless.

It was a book about accepting the inevitable and learning to let go of the desires to be a parent and live happily without kids.

My husband’s reaction was one of disbelief, the day he saw me with that book. why would you even think about that? Have you given up?

This made me reassess my desires. I knew I wanted a child, so reading this book was creating a conflict within me, which was to accept another outcome, one different from what I wanted. Needless to say I did not finish reading it.

Looking back now I can understand why I was reading the book.

Although I was not ready to stop trying I was intrigue by those who have and how they reached that decision. The difficulty, stress and pain that comes with trying was what led me to that book.

I wanted to know how to cope should I come to the point of making the decision to call it quit.

A month ago I celebrated the arrival of a miracle child as he is called, to a lady who is 56, this question has been asked by various groups. Should she have carried on trying? Is she selfish to have wanted a baby even after 50?

There are varied opinion on the subject.

But as a woman who tried and waited for a Child I cannot question ones desires to continue to want a baby well into their mid 50s or agree that she should have stopped trying and call it quit.

She was Unwilling to accept she will not be a parent hence she continued  on her quest to have a child and she was rewarded with one. I look back now and realise that I too may have carried on trying although not into 50s.

My encouragement to you today is not to give up that desire, while you are still of reproductive age. Do be mindful of the risk of conception past certain age. If that desire persists don’t quash it. Seek medical Counsel on all the possible ways of conception.

Do all that is medically and naturally possible to conceive. You will come to a point where you alone will make the decision on whether to continue or to stop.

My wish and hope for you is that you will not have to stop trying, but will welcome your own little bundle of joy this year.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Endometriosis: A Cause of infertility

I have previously written about causes of infertility see post here.

In this post I want to explore endometriosis in more detail.i was moved to write about this after reading the story of Lene Dunham, the American actress who spoke about her decision to have a hysterectomy due to endometriosis.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) is outside of the uterus instead of inside and in other parts of the body.

It can be in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.

According to the endometriosis foundation of American

It is a disease of the female reproductive system.

It affects women of childbearing age.

1 in 10 women have the disease.

It is Not easily diagnosed.

It is one of the leading causes of infertility.

Symptoms includes

Pain in the lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period.

Period pain that prevents carrying out day to day activities.

Pain during or after sex.

Pain when peeing or pooping during your period

feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in pee during the period

Difficulty getting pregnant

It can also led to depression as it becomes a big part of a woman’s life.

Diagnosis

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see your Doctor. It might help to keep a diary of your symptoms (see link to a PDF diary below) as at when you get them, this helps to give the doctor a good description of the issue. This is because it is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to other illness.

Your doctor should carry out some test or refer you to specialist (gynaecologist) who may carry out a laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy is where a surgeon passes a thin tube through a small cut in your skin so they can see any patches of endometriosis tissue. This is the only way to determine if the endometrial tissue is present.

Treatment and ways to alleviate pains.

The NHS and journal of endometriosis do recommend the following as treatment options:

Dietary changes: to include food with inflammatory properties can also help.

Cutting out caffeine and alcohol.

Take painkillers – such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Hormone medicines and contraceptives – including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, an intrauterine system (IUS), and medicines called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues. According to the journal many women reports relief after taking the birth control pills.

Surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue.

An operation to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis – such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy)

Having an hysterectomy is seen as an option but medical experts suggests that this should be the last option and only after seeking the advice of medical advice.

Some women take out their womb as well as the ovaries as the ovaries increases the severity of the pains due to the release of estrogen as egg is being released.

However some women do take out their womb and leave their ovaries in the hope of using their own eggs to have their own biological children.

Endometriosis is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Surgery to remove endometriosis tissue can help improve your chances of getting pregnant, although there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get pregnant after treatment.

Surgery for endometriosis can also sometimes cause further problems, such as infections, bleeding, or damage to affected organs. If surgery is recommended for you, talk to your surgeon about the possible risks.

Lena Dunham recently had an hysterectomy but left her ovaries. She has decided to openly talk about her experiences with the disease

Fertility expert recommends freezing one’s eggs to ensure that they remain healthy and not destroyed by endometriosis.

CAUSE OF ENDOMETRIOSIS

According to Endometriosis UK. Cause is still unknown and possible causes range from

Genetics – if the conditions runs in the families, and in certain ethnic group. You may be more likely affected by it.

Retrograde menstruation – when some of the womb lining flows up through the fallopian tubes and embeds itself on the organs of the pelvis, rather than leaving the body as a period.

Problem with the immune system (the body’s natural defence against illness and infection).

Endometrium cells spreading through the body in the bloodstream or lymphatic system (a series of tubes and glands that form part of the immune system).

But none of these theories fully explain why endometriosis occurs. It’s likely the condition is caused by a combination of different factors.-

(NHS UK).

Coping with Endometriosis:

Many women become aware of the disease after unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant.

So talk to your gynaecologist about your symptoms, and join support groups like, endometriosis UK which has a directory of local support groups.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Nadia Sawalha feared miscarriages were a ‘punishment’ – Female First

https://apple.news/A5zQGMNeUR0KCiBqPTDLtGA

I have previously written about the grief accompanying an abortion. The feeling never leaves you.

The loss of a child due miss-carriages or abortion never goes away. It hunts you even after going on to have other children. I was taken in by the story of Nadia which highlights the heartache caused by a abortion.

My hope for anyone who is waiting is that you will find peace in the present.

Be rid of guilt and embrace the possibilities of what is ahead.

Your Partner In Hope

D’ebi

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