Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Post Natal Depression more common in IVF moms

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Mothers who conceive through in vitro fertilization, or other so-called assisted reproductive technologies, are at increased risk for post-natal mood disorder and early parenting difficulties, Australian researchers report.

"These data would suggest that obstetricians, pediatricians, and other clinicians caring for pregnant women and mothers and infants after childbirth should be conscious that a previous history of fertility difficulties, advanced maternal age, assisted conception, operative delivery, and multiple birth may heighten the risk for postpartum mood disturbance and early parenting difficulties," the authors write.

The findings, which appear in the journal Fertility and Sterility, stem from a study of all mother-infant pairs admitted over a 3-year period to a hospital unit that specializes in the care of mothers with mood disorders or exhaustion, and infants with sleeping or feeding problems.

Stacey's comment:

The possible culprit for the higher incidence of PND in women who have undergone IVF may be due to several factors.
Two definitely come to mind;
One: The use of IVF medication can disturb the gut health of the mother and therefore decrease her ability to absorb nutrients appropriately from her food. If the mother is not educated about this it could be dangerous to both hers and babies health.

Also because it has already been shown the women with elevated thyroid antibodies are 3 times more likely to experience PND, and depression is often a symptom of thyroid involvement, then this could be the mechanism as well. Unfortunately most physicians do not test for thyroid antibodies in women especially if they have normal TSH values. But it is well documented that women can have a problem with elevated antibodies even if their TSH is normal.

What is the solution? Be persistent with your physician and request these tests and prevent the occurence of PND by increasing omega 3 essential fatty acids in your diet.

This article brings up the importance of supplementing with enough omega 3 essential fatty acids before, during and after pregnancy. SInce omega 3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil can help prevent PND and help regulate moods, its important that all perspective mother's know about the importance of this. Fish is high in omega 3 EFA but unfortunately fish should be limited because of mercury exposure. I personally do not recommend eating any fish during pregnancy to not take any chances, but some say small fish up to one time per week is okay. If you can't or don't eat fish, then what? Avocadoes are a great source of good fat. Nuts and seeds also have good amounts of essential fats.

If you choose to take a fish oil supplement make sure the company guarantees that all impurities are removed. No fish oil sold over the counter, that I know of, can guarantee this so if you don't know where you can get fish oil that has all the impurities removed email us at and we will point you in the right direction.

Friday, August 19, 2005

New Vitamin for Infertility

Japanese scientists have discovered a new vitamin that plays an important role in fertility in mice and may have a similar function in humans.
The Tokyo-based Institute of Physical and Chemical Research confirmed that pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a substance discovered in 1979, can be categorized as a vitamin.
Mice deprived of PQQ suffer reduced fertility and roughened fur. Vitamins that have an important effect on mice usually act in the same way in humans, the researchers said.
PQQ is the first new vitamin to be discovered since 1948. It is thought to belong the to B-vitamin group. Vitamins are defined as organic substances needed in small quantities for health and growth. They must be obtained from food because they cannot be produced by the body.
PQQ is not usually found in multi-vitamin tablets. The best source of PQQ discovered so far is "natto," a pungent Japanese dish of fermented soybeans. Other foods rich in PQQ are parsley, green tea, green peppers, kiwi fruit and papaya.
Source: Reuters Health News, March 24, 2003

Stacey's comment,

There is so much that we have not discovered in regards to fertility and there is new information that comes up all the time. But the one constant through it all is that nutrition can enhance your fertility. As long as you are absorbing nutrients appropriately a good diet of balanced low glycemic carbs, proteins and healthy fats is so important.

Instead of buying the supplements above make it your goal to increase the natural sources of PQQ in your diet. Natto is definitely an "acquired taste" but this wonderful vitamin can also be found in parsley, green tea, green peppers, kiwi fruit and papaya. So make sure you have these in your diet over the course of the week and as long as your digestion is good, you will be absorbing some powerful nutrients to improve your fertility.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Natural Treatments for Men

Ayurvedic treatment for men
R. Sittamparam

More men suffering from erectile dysfunction and infertility are opting for Ayurvedic treatment.
The treatment for those aged between 35 and 70 involves detoxification, oil massage and herbal medicines.

Dr C. Vinod, an Ayurvedic physician from the Ayur Centre here, said clients included those from Singapore.

"Men are generally shy when its comes to seeking treatment for problems like erectile dysfunction and infertility.

"However, of late, many have been coming to us with such problems and we have managed to help them."

Stacey's Comment

More and more people are turning to natural health treatments to improve their fertility. It is less expensive, little to no side effects, and creates results. At Sharkeys Healing Centre we specialise in the natural treatment for men and women with fertility issues. We utilise Western herbals, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbs to assist couples in improving reproduction. Come visit us at where we have online consultations and receive a free Report entitled Fertility Secrets Revealed. Based on Ruth Sharkey's successful system for over 20 years our natural fertility treatment has helped men and women improve their fertility by addressing unexplained infertility, endometriosis, Polycystic ovaries, fibroids, male infertility, and more.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

High tech society creates high tech ovulation reminder

August 8, 2005 -- A new text messaging service, called EggAlert, allows men to get notified on their cell phone of their wives or girlfriends ovulation, fertility, and menstrual periods each month. The menstrual period notifications are received five days prior to the onset of menstruation, typically before premenstrual symptoms start.

EggAlert is an innovative program that will notify men when their wives or girlfriends are ovulating, fertile, and likely to start their menstrual period. Men just need to do a little math. They need to remember when their partners started their last menstrual period, and how long it took between menstrual periods. On average 28 days is the normal. It can be adjusted each month if it's a few days longer or shorter.
Contact: Amarish Dave 815-276-7050

Stacey's comment:

Well, it may not be that high tech, but it is innovative and shows a growing awareness of what used to be "secret women's business". It will be interesting to see how many men actually take part in this service OR how many women sign up their partners for the service!!

Important prepregnancy diet information

Key Nutrients Reduce Birth-Defect Risk

Eating a diet rich in choline and betaine before pregnancy can lower a woman̢۪s risk of delivering a baby with a neural tube defect (NTD), reports the American Journal of Epidemiology (2004;160:102)

NTDs are serious birth defects that occur early in pregnancy. They include malformation of the brain (anencephaly), malformation of the lower spinal cord (spina bifida), and several others. Between 30 and 50% of NTDs are caused by maternal folic acid deficiency during the first few weeks of pregnancy, the time when the neural tube develops.

Other factors that have been shown to increase the risk of NTDs include high intake of sugar before and during the first trimester of pregnancy, maternal obesity, and maternal diabetes. NTDs occur in about 1 to 5 births per 1,000 worldwide; approximately 3,000 pregnancies in the US are affected by NTDs each year. Over the past decade, increased awareness, folic acid fortified cereals and grain products, and routine folic acid supplement recommendations have led to a decline in the number of cases of NTDs in the US.

In addition to folic acid, high intake of methionine (an amino acid), zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and dairy foods have all been associated with a lower risk of NTDs.Choline, a nutrient used by the body in some of the same biochemical pathways as folic acid, is also used to produce acetylcholine, a major chemical messenger (neurotransmitter). Eggs, whole grains, wheat germ, and lecithin supplements are rich in choline.

In the body, betaine is made from choline; it is also found in high amounts in certain foods such as whole grains, spinach, and beets. Some animal studies have found that a choline deficiency can increase the risk of NTDs, but others have not. The effect of choline and betaine intake on NTD risk in humans has not previously been studied.In the current study, the pre-pregnancy diets of 424 mothers of babies with NTDs were compared with the diets of 460 mothers of babies without NTDs. Choline and betaine intake were estimated based on answers to questionnaires that the women completed about their habits and diet during the three months before their pregnancies. Babies of women with the highest choline intake had a 49% lower risk of NTDs than babies of women who had the lowest choline intake. Furthermore, babies of women with high intake of both choline and betaine were 72% less likely to have NTDs than were babies of women with the lowest intakes of both of these nutrients. Betaine intake alone did not significantly influence the risk of NTDs.

The results of this study are the first to show that eating foods rich in choline and betaine before pregnancy might reduce the risk of NTDs. More studies are needed to confirm these observations, and the effect of taking choline, betaine, or lecithin supplements on NTD risk should also be a focus of future research.

Stacey's comment

This is another study showing the importance of nutrition for the baby BEFORE conception to help ensure the health of the baby. Many women think they can just stop their "bad habits" when they find out they are pregnant and this will be okay. The truth is, what a women consumes before becoming pregnant can influence the health of the baby. Give your baby the best start in life by preparing your body for pregnancy with a diet high in vegetables, some fruit, low glycemic carbohydrates, balanced hormone free protein, and good essential fats. The Rosedale Diet by Dr. Ron Rosedale and the Total Health Cookbook and Program by Dr. Joseph Mercola are both excellent books for your reference. These books will help you obtain optimal health before pregnancy.

Supplement with the highest grade of supplements along with your diet to hopegfully create the healthiest eggs possible.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

new home test for male fertility

World's first male fertility test for the home

Given a choice, many men would prefer to bury their heads in sand than see their doctor to determine their fertility. Thankfully, help is on the way with the release of the Element, the first medical test kit for determining male fertility which can be administered in the privacy of the home.
For couples who are trying to conceive, the issue of infertility is one that men can get rather sensitive about. Even though the rate of infertility actually affects men and women equally, women generally do not have a problem seeing their GPs, as opposed to men who have a general reluctance to seek a physical diagnosis.
In order to address the social stigmas associated with male infertility, American company Pria Diagnostics has developed Element, an easily administered, over-the-counter fertility test kit specifically for men.
Element is capable of quickly and easily evaluating sperm count, motility and forward progression, which make up the primary criteria set by the World Health Organization for determining male fertility.
For men, the convenience and privacy of using this device is an attractive alternative to an appointment with a doctor or at a clinic. Furthermore, as many insurance companies do not reimburse fertility diagnosis, the Element is also an affordable option.
This male fertility package takes away any discomfort by permitting men to check their fertility with a single use device. The test is quick to administer and the results are easily understood taking about thirty minutes.
Element can accurately verify as little as one million sperm cells per milliliter and yield results with over 90% sensitivity in regards to test conditions making it equivalent to a clinical test.
The company expects the Element to be as appealing to women as it is to men, as many women may end up buying it for their partners.

STacey's comment:

From the reports this fertility test for men may not be out on the market for another 12-18 months, but it is cost effective at just $40. The issue to remember here is that it test for count and motility including forward progression but I didn't see any measurement of abnormals versus normals. And remember these parameters don't really tell you the health of the sperm only how many, if they are good swimmers, and if they are the right shape. A relatively new test, Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay can reveal the health of the sperm by looking at the DNA. So its important to discuss this with your doctor if you have unexplained infertility and the normal semen and sperm parameters appear to be normal.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

US CLinic Elminates Ovarian Hyperstimulation

Thu Aug 4, 8:00 AM ET
(PRWEB) - Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) Aug. 4, 2005 -- The most well-known risk from fertility treatment undertaken by over one million American females annually is a multiple pregnancy, but a more sinister risk is ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS), states a

According to the
World Health Organization OHSS manifests with a broad spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild illness to severe disease and affects 1 percent to 5 percent of women. OHSS results from an overproduction of eggs in the ovary that can result in ovarian cyst rupture, internal bleeding, respiratory difficulties, blood clots, and can be fatal if untreated. While OHSS can happen in a natural pregnancy, it most often happens with fertility treatments because of the hormone medications used to prompt multiple egg production (AKA super ovulation). Fortunately, researchers at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas have found a way to prevent OHSS altogether. The doctors' findings were published in July's issue of "Fertility and Sterility" and have worldwide implications in how the fertility industry is able to increase patient safety.
"Even after meticulous monitoring a patient can hyper stimulate which occasionally requires hospitalization for more intensive monitoring of kidney and liver function along with IV fluid support," says Dr. Said Daneshmand, a UCLA trained reproductive endocrinologist and researcher at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas. "Women with OHSS or ruptured ovarian cysts can hemorrhage which may require surgical intervention." The doctor further indicates that OHSS risk increases with rising blood estrogen levels, the number of developing eggs, and when supplemental doses of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are administered in the fertility treatment cycle.

Women at highest risk include those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common but difficult to diagnose endocrine condition that affects women as young as 18 and usually results in excessive hair, obesity, and impaired fertility.
"We've now developed a protocol so that the highest risk patients are placed on a different medication regimen that altogether eliminating OHSS," says Dr. Daneshmand.
Included in the study was Beverly T., now a new mother and also a registered nurse who appreciated the research more than the average patient given her medical background and the fact she suffers from PCOS. She has indicated that the fertility issue was heart-wrenching enough but she also didn't want to risk complications either. Other women in the study are currently in various stages of pregnancy.

The newly elucidated medication regimen treats surging estrogen levels that are thought to contribute to the condition and the research has worldwide implications in how fertility patients are treated. The research was conducted in partnership with the University of Nevada School of Medicine for which Drs. Daneshmand and Shapiro are also faculty.
The work of Dr. Daneshmand and his partner, The Fertility Center's founder and Yale educated reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Bruce Shapiro, were also presented at the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society in May. Their practice was the first fertility practice in southern Nevada, and is responsible for over 2,300 births. The doctors are ardent community supporters — who with their patients have donated over $30,000 to charity — and have earned consistent ratings by their peers internationally as top docs. They have also elucidated fertility treatments including blastocyst transfer, a proprietary cell medium used in IVF, and pre-implantation genetic screening.

Stacey's Comment

It is so important that your fertility specialist stay up on the latest techniques used throughout the world to decrease your chance of hyperstimulation and increase your chance for a positive outcome with your fertility treatment. The study below illustrates some excellent finds, even though its a small scale study. I encourage you to discuss with your doctor about finding out more about this protocol if you are involved in the IVF process. As you can see by the high percentage of pregnancies in the conclusion (again remember it is a low number of participants so far) that its worth a mention to see if it would benefit you for your physician to look in to this method of treatment. Though some physicians may be a bit surprised that you have brought this up or wanted to discuss this study, remember it is your right. You are paying a significant amount of money and therefore you must be educated and be assertive when it comes to being an active participant in this process. If a patient brings in reliable information for me, I will investigate it and discuss my thoughts with my patient. No medical professional or naturopath can know everyone as hard as they may try to stay on top of the info, so beginning a discussion about different options for you is an important step in you taking charge of your fertility.

Abstract - "Fertility & Sterility," July 2005
Eliminating Severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome By Using Gnrh Agonist Instead Of Hcg
BS Shapiro,a,b ST Daneshmand, a,b FC Garner,a,b M Aguirre,a R Rossa Fertility Center of Las Vegas and University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada. a Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada b Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada
Background: Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a significant risk of controlled ovarian stimulation for IVF. Exogenous human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a factor in the development of OHSS. One measure to reduce OHSS incidence includes using GnRH agonist (GnRHa) for ovulation.
Objective: This retrospective study evaluates the efficacy of GnRHa for oocyte maturation.
Materials and Methods: Patients underwent routine controlled ovarian stimulation with gonadotropins, while pituitary suppression was achieved with GnRH antagonist. Patients at significant risk for OHSS received 4 or 8 mg of leuprolide acetate when an optimal cohort of follicles was observed via ultrasound. Oocytes were retrieved 34-36h later and fertilized conventionally or by ICSI. Blastocysts were transferred after 5 or 6 days.
Results: Thirty non-donor IVF patients with at least 20 mature follicles received ovulatory GnRHa between January 1 and October 31, 2004. From these, 889 oocytes were recovered (29.6 oocytes per stimulation), and 615 (69.2 percent) were successfully fertilized. One cycle was canceled because no viable blastocysts developed. The remaining 29 patients received 64 transferred blastocysts (mean 2.2 per transfer), and 12 intrauterine gestational sacs were subsequently observed in 9 patients, for an implantation rate of 18.8 percent and a clinical pregnancy rate of 30.0 percent.

Nineteen of these patients had supernumerary embryos frozen, seven underwent frozen embryo transfer (FET) by November 3, 2004, and six (86 percent) of these achieved clinical pregnancy.

Despite young age (mean 31.4 years, minimum 24.5 years), ample mature follicles (mean 31.2, maximum 49), and high serum estradiol (mean 4,947 pg/mL, maximum 9,977 pg/mL) on the day of ovulatory GnRHa, no patients experienced OHSS requiring aspiration of ascites.
During this period, there were seven egg-donor cycles in which the donor received ovulatory GnRHa. The donors averaged 28.3 years of age and produced a mean of 29.6 oocytes, of which 76.4 percent successfully fertilized and 35.3 percent blastulated. The donor recipients averaged 42.4 years of age. Five (71.4 percent) of these seven cycles achieved clinical pregnancy. All seven cycles had frozen supernumerary embryos. Both non-pregnant donor recipients elected FET within the study period, and one of these achieved clinical pregnancy, for a cumulative pregnancy rate of 86 percent in these donor cycles. No donors experienced OHSS requiring aspiration of ascites.
Conclusion: The use of GnRHa is a viable means of inducing oocyte maturation while avoiding OHSS in high-risk patients.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

THe Importance of Evaluating the Thyroid with regards to Fertility

Importance of Tests for Reproductive Health and Thyroid Disorders During Peak Reproductive Years01 Aug 2005
Medical News

Detecting, treating and monitoring the health of women during their peak reproductive years will take center stage at the "Trends in Women's Health Workshop" sponsored by Abbott at the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) annual meeting in Orlando. For some women who experience difficulty becoming pregnant, an endocrine disorder may be to blame. Common endocrine disorders necessitate testing for diagnosis and treatment monitoring related to a wide variety of hormonal conditions in women.

Thyroid disorders, for example, can affect a woman's ability to become pregnant as well as the health of the mother and developing child both during and after pregnancy. "Women with a family history of thyroid disease or other certain autoimmune disorders should have their thyroid health evaluated before planning pregnancy and again shortly after becoming pregnant," said Paul W. Ladenson, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Johns Hopkins. "Undetected thyroid disorders can present a number of problems for a mother and child, including an increased risk for premature delivery as well as the risk of impairment in the child's intellectual function." Exhaustion, fatigue and weight gain are a rite of passage to motherhood for many pregnant women. These symptoms, while common, can be signals of thyroid disorders and are often overlooked or misdiagnosed among pregnant women. Additionally, in the weeks and months after pregnancy, symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, anxiety, depression or difficulty losing weight can also indicate a thyroid disorder.

Stacey's comment:
The thyroid is so important with regards to fertility issues. THere are so many couples that come through our clinic and haven't even had their thyroid investigated yet. So if you have not had your thyroid tested these are the blood tests you can speak to your physician about to rule out thyroid issues. These tests are
free T3
Free T4
thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (Anti-TPO)
thyroglobulin autoantibodies (Anti-Tg)
(a woman with elevated antibodies in pregnancy is 3 times more likely to develop postnatal depression)

Some physicians may refuse to do these tests and in this case if you are experiencing weight gain, depression, miscarriage, low basal body temperatures (on your temperature chart), insomnia, irritability, anxiety, depression, difficulty getting pregnant, or difficulty losing weight, its likely that your thyroid is involved so I would suggest seeing a different doctor who is more willing to help you investigate this issue and/or find a naturopath that works with thyroid issues frequently and start a natural approach to balancing your thyroid.

This can all be a bit confusing especially since people can have a thyroid issue and the normal tests of TSH or FT3 and FT4 show up within the normal range. Our guideline is that if TSH is not between 1.5 and 2.0 we support that thyroid. Normal levels of TSH in the States have been changed to .3-3.0 which seems to vary depending on where you have the blood test results reported. Another excellent source for thyroid information is and search for Mary Solomon or thyroid.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Acupuncture improves health of sperm

Acupuncture may improve sperm quality
Wed Jul 27, 2:37 PM ET
Acupuncture may have a role as a treatment for certain types of male infertility, researchers suggest.
They report, in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, an improvement in sperm quality following acupuncture, especially the structural integrity of sperm.
Dr. Jian Pei, from Christian-Lauritzen-Institut in Ulm, Germany, and colleagues assessed the benefits of acupuncture therapy in 28 men with unexplained sperm abnormalities, including malformed and motionless sperm, and low numbers of sperm. A variety of standard acupuncture points throughout the body were used.
Acupuncture led to a significant increase in the percentage and number of sperm without structural defects, the investigators report.
Still, certain specific sperm abnormalities, such as immaturity, did not resolve or change with acupuncture, the report indicates.
The results suggest that acupuncture could be a useful treatment for infertility in men, but further research is needed to confirm the findings and to shed light on the mechanisms involved, the authors conclude.
SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, July 2005.

Stacey's comment:

Here is another source that supports how natural methods can improve male fertility. This study suggests that acupuncture may be able to produce sperm with less defects therefore creating healthier sperm. But remember, its important to note that making lifestyle changes is extremely important, such as stop smoking, mimimise or eliminate drinking alcohol, eliminate coffee, ask your natural therapist for a natural alternative to over the counter medication, eat low glycemic foods, decrease acidic foods in your diet, improve the nutrients in your system through diet and supplementation, and many other tips. Please stay tuned for our teleconference on improving male fertility in September.

And my suggestion for finding an acupuncturist is talking to others who have had acupuncture. Asking the acupuncturist if you can speak to his/her former patients who have improved their sperm count or does he or she have any testimonials from these patients. Make sure the acupuncturist is trained appropriately by asking for their credentials and how long they have been treating patients and how much experience do they have treating male fertility issues. All of this will help you make the decision as to whether they are the right person for you.

more evidence to suggest women may be able to regenerate their eggs!

Bone marrow stem cells may produce eggs
Finding supports new theory of mammalian reproduction and suggests new treatments for female infertility

07.28.2005 @09:25 AM Contributed by Simon Edited by Simon
Bone marrow stem cells may be the source of egg-cell generation in mammals, according to research that supports a new theory of mammalian reproduction and suggests new treatments for female infertility.
Last year, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers announced surprising findings that female mice—contrary to longstanding theories of mammalian reproductive physiology—retained the ability to make new egg cells or oocytes into adulthood.
The same investigators now report data identifying a potential source for the production of these cells: stem cells in bone marrow.
"We may be ushering in a new era in the clinical management of female infertility and menopause," says research leader Jonathan Tilly. "This could lead to new treatment approaches based not on drugs but on regenerative medicine through adult stem cells."
A news release describes the research as follows:
The group's 2004 report in Nature contradicted what had been regarded as a dogma of mammalian biology: that females are born with a limited, non-renewable supply of oocytes that are depleted throughout life. Instead the MGH team found evidence that adult female mice are constantly turning over their oocyte supply and producing new oocytes and follicles, the tiny sacs in which eggs grow. The current study was designed to reinforce the earlier findings and also to identify the source of the new oocytes.

Stacey's comment:
I have been saying this since last year and those of you who have registered with our website at have known it too from the report Fertility Secrets REvealed which is free when you register with our website. Science is getting closer to proving the old theory of having only a certain amount of eggs as wrong and this opens up all sorts of possibility for you!! This means you are not running out of eggs necessarily, but instead may still have time to prepare you body to become pregnant and produce the healthiest eggs possible. Knowing this can significantly reduce your stress levels when trying to have a baby. And it has been shown the stress and depression can effect fertility.