Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Causes of Female Infertility and How to Cope with It

Women who want to get pregnant adapt to healthy fertility diet to ensure their bodies are fit for conception. But some women have a hard time conceiving. If you are trying to get pregnant but no matter how hard you and your partner try, you are still not conceiving, then you might have infertility problems. Doctor Serena Chen, a fertility specialist in New Jersey, talks about causes of female infertility in the video below.

Causes of Female Infertility

Female infertility can be caused by different factors just like the ones mentioned in the video. About 10% of women in the US population, whose age range from 15 to 44, have a hard time conceiving or staying pregnant. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But this does not mean that infertility can only happen in women. Infertility in men are also possible and can be caused by different factors too.

There are many causes of infertility on men and women. But facing the cause or problem can put stress in a relationship. Some ways to cope, help manage, and lower the stress of infertility are:

Acknowledge your feelings: Holding everything inside does not help. It actually takes more mental energy to hold your feelings back than to express them. Allow yourself time to feel the sadness, anger, and frustration.

Seek support: Whether through friends, professional counseling, groups, or online forums, finding somewhere to talk with people who understand can help you feel less alone.

Practice relaxation: Learning how to relax and calm yourself can help when feelings get intense and during treatments. Acupuncture, yoga, and relaxation techniques are all possible ways to cope.

Talk to your partner: Talk about your feelings together. Keep in mind, though, that men and women cope with stress in different ways. Women are more likely to express their sadness, while men tend to hold things inside. Neither way is wrong, just different.

Learn as much as you can: The more you know about infertility, including alternatives like adoption or living child-free, the more in control you will feel.

Don't let infertility take over your life: Make sure you fill your life and your relationship with other things. If it seems like infertility is all you talk about together, set a specified time each day for the topic, and use the rest of the day to talk about other things.

Keep sex fun: As mentioned above, sex can quickly become more like a chore, than a fun way to express love for each other. Try to keep things loving and exciting. Light candles, play fun music, or watch romantic movies, whatever makes you both feel good.

Consider professional help: Many couples find that professional individual or couples counseling can help them cope with the emotional stress of infertility, and some fertility clinics insist that their patients seek counseling before and during treatment.


It is best for a couple to face infertility together. What a man feels about the situation may be different from a woman's emotion but generally they are the same because both of them are affected. Keeping the lines of communication between the couple open can help on how they will cope with infertility. This can aid them in supporting one another positively.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Prenatal Depression: Getting Depressed During Pregnancy

Did you know that aside from postpartum depression, there is also a case called prenatal depression? Yes! Psychiatrists at Bristol University assessed 14, 500 pregnant women in the early 1990's whose due dates fall between April 1, 1991 and December 31, 1992. They used a questionnaire called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to detect signs of depression either during or after pregnancy. They concentrated specifically on emotional and psychological effects of depression. Each of them participated in answering the questionnaire at 18 weeks and 32 weeks and were also given the same questionnaire 8 weeks and 8 months after their babies were born. The result of the study is stated below.
The results showed that there were at least as many women who were depressed at the end of their pregnancy as during the months following the birth. Even more surprising was the psychological condition of some of the expectant mothers improved after the birth. Of the 9028 participants who completed all four questionnaires, the percentage of women suffering from symptoms of depression was as follows at different points during the study:
11.8% at 18 weeks
13.5% at 32 weeks
9.1% 8 weeks after the birth
8.1% 8 months after the birth
Only 1.6% of the women (a total of 146) showed signs of depression during all four stages of the study.
With the result above, it disagrees to the common conception that women are at high risk of depression after giving birth. Personally, I would agree to the result of the study. Although each pregnancy is different, more women have prenatal issues to deal with that is similar to having postpartum issues. Behind the scenes of being pregnant, women worry about how they look, how they feel, or how they adapt. A lot of apprehensions certainly happen when one is pregnant. Women are ecstatic on having a baby but not everyone feels 'glowing' when pregnant. Some may feel bloated, undesirable, insecure, confused, anxious, stressed out, or depressed. All these mixed emotions can lead to prenatal depression. If you have been experiencing some of the symptoms found below that last two weeks or longer, you may be suffering from prenatal depression.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

  • Feeling very sad, anxious or cranky
  • Frequent crying
  • Not feeling up to doing daily tasks
  • Not feeling hungry, or eating when not hungry Not wanting to take care of yourself (dress, shower, fix hair)
  • Trouble sleeping when tired, or sleeping too much
  • Things don’t seem fun or interesting anymore
  • Trouble concentrating Feeling hopeless
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Worrying too much about the baby or not caring about the baby
  • Fear of harming or being alone with the baby
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Depression, regardless during or after pregnancy, can happen to any pregnant woman. It does not rely on a woman's age, education, culture or socioeconomic status. If you feel any symptom of prenatal depression, seek help from your healthcare provider. The earlier it is addressed the better it is for you and your baby.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Pregnancy Talks: From Pregnancy Skin Care to Pospartum Depression

Each pregnancy is different. For some women, pregnancy can be hard for them. They are happy with the baby inside them but they may not like the effects of pregnancy on them. Some may feel it can be the most uncomfortable and most awful feeling time. This can be caused by severe morning sickness, weight gain, swelling feet, or skin problems. I found this video which talks about pregnancy skin care and pregnancy issues that are wonderfully addressed.

Pregnancy Skin Care and Pregnancy Talks

When you feel having discomforts in your pregnancy, talking to somebody or expressing what you feel to someone close to you can help you understand and adjust to what you are going through. Even the simplest issue on what to use for your pregnancy skin care to minimize or avoid stretch marks can completely make a difference on how you handle your pregnancy. As your body changes, there are discomforts that can be scary and can be confusing sometimes. Talking to your doctor about these aspects will eventually help you along your journey.

Below are the most common discomforts of pregnancy and some tips to handle them.
Morning sickness. Nausea or vomiting may strike anytime during the day (or night). Try eating frequent, small meals and avoid greasy foods. Keep crackers by your bed to eat before getting up.
Talk to your doctor if morning sickness lasts past the first 3 months of pregnancy or causes you to lose weight.
Tiredness. Sometimes tiredness in pregnancy is caused by anemia, so tell your doctor. Get enough rest. Take a daytime nap if possible.
Leg cramps. Gently stretch the calf of your leg by curling your toes upward, toward your knee.
Constipation. Drink plenty of fluids. Eat foods with lots of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and bran cereal. Don't take laxatives without talking to your doctor first. Stool softeners may be safer than laxatives.
Hemorrhoids. Don't strain during bowel movements. Try to avoid becoming constipated. Clean yourself well after a bowel movement (wet wipes may be less irritating than toilet paper). Take several warm soaks (sitz baths) a day if necessary.
Urinating more often. You may need to urinate more often as your baby grows because he or she will put pressure on your bladder. This can't be helped.
Varicose veins. Avoid clothing that fits tightly around your legs or waist. Rest and put your feet up as much as you can. Move around if you must stand for long periods. Ask your doctor about support or compression hose, which may help ease or prevent varicose veins.
Moodiness. Your hormones are on a roller coaster ride during pregnancy. Plus, your life is undergoing a big change. Don't be too hard on yourself. If you feel very sad or think about suicide, talk to your doctor.
Heartburn. Eat frequent, small meals. Avoid spicy or greasy foods. Don't lie down right after eating. Ask your doctor about taking antacids.
Yeast infections. The amount of discharge from the vagina increases during pregnancy. Yeast infections, which can also cause discharge, are more common during pregnancy. It's a good idea to talk with your doctor about any unusual discharge.
Bleeding gums. Brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist for cleanings. Don't put off dental visits because you're pregnant, but be sure to tell your dentist you're pregnant.
Stuffy nose. This is related to changes in the levels of the female hormone estrogen. You may also have nosebleeds.
Edema (retaining fluid). Rest with your legs up. Lie on your left side while sleeping so blood flows from your legs back to your heart better. Don't use diuretics (water pills). If you're thinking about cutting down on salt to reduce swelling, talk with your doctor first. Your body needs enough salt to maintain the balance of fluid and cutting back on salt may not be the best way to manage your swelling.
Skin changes. Stretch marks appear as red marks on your skin. Lotion with shea butter can help keep your skin moist and may help reduce the itchiness of dry skin. Stretch marks often can't be prevented, but they often fade after pregnancy.
Other skin changes may include darkening of the skin on your face and around your nipples, and a dark line below your belly button. Staying out of the sun or using a sunscreen may help lessen these marks. Most marks will probably fade after pregnancy.
Call your doctor if you have:
  • Blood or fluid coming from your vagina
  • Sudden or extreme swelling of your face or fingers
  • Headaches that are severe or won't go away
  • Nausea and vomiting that won't go away
  • Dizziness
  • Dim or blurry vision
  • Pain or cramps in your lower abdomen
  • Chills or fever
  • A change in your baby's movements
  • Less urine or burning when you urinate
  • Any illness or infection
  • Anything that bothers you
Truthfully, pregnancy is a time where there are lots of aspects to address and mixed emotions are high. Things like pregnancy diet, prenatal fitness, postpartum care, prenatal skin care, mother and baby wellness are just some of the many aspects that require special attention. You may not have all the answers to your questions or the solutions to your problems relating to your pregnancy. But bear in mind that being pregnant is not permanent. It is normal to feel scared, to feel uneasy or to not know what to do.  Always remember, take things one step at a time. If its needed that you vent out what you feel, then do it. Having a clear head while pregnant helps you have an easier pregnancy journey. Lastly, when in doubt, seek your doctor's help. You can never go wrong with your healthcare provider assisting you in your pregnancy journey.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Ways to Ensure Newborn Skin Care

A newborn baby's skin is very fragile that it is not advisable to apply conventional soaps and lotions that may irritate the skin. Newborn skin care is a necessity. If possible, parents need to avoid chemical-based products that can harm the baby's skin. A newborn baby's skin is sensitive and if ever it gets irritated, rashes, crusting, and bumps can appear out of nowhere. Find out how to take care of your baby's skin below.

Newborn Skin Care

Image via Flickr

The basic rules of neonatal skincare, Püttgen says, are “less is more” and “bland and simple.”

•    Less is more. Babies don’t need an elaborate skin care regimen and barely any products. Keep bathing to a minimum to avoid stripping the skin of its protective natural oils. A bath twice or three times a week is sufficient.

•    Bland and simple. Baby skin is highly absorbent so it’s critical to use fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic products. Avoid perfumes and dyes, which can seriously irritate newborn skin.

Extra-fragile preemie skin warrants special attention. Premature skin does not hold moisture well, which makes it thinner, drier and breakage-prone, Püttgen says. She recommends applying petroleum jelly daily to lock in moisture and strengthen the skin’s barrier function.

Sun protection is another topic that causes a lot of confusion, Püttgen says. “Parents know that sun protection is critical, yet many are hesitant to use sunscreens,” she says.

Avoiding sun exposure is the best protection, Püttgen says. Use physical barriers like clothing, hats and stroller covers anytime you take baby outside. Sunscreens, though generally harmless, should be avoided when possible because the Food and Drug Administration has not studied their safety in infants under 6 months of age. If sun exposure cannot be avoided, opt for fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic sunscreens that list zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as active ingredients. Known as physical sunscreens, these two ingredients block UV rays. By contrast, chemical sunscreens with active ingredients like octylcrylene, avobenzone, octinoxate, mexoryl and octisalate, tend to absorb and “disarm” UV rays before they can damage the skin.

More on:

Image via Flickr

With the following simple and easy-to-do tips on taking care of your baby's skin, you can make sure that your little tyke will always have soft and blemish-free skin. Lastly, to ensure newborn skin care is met, make sure the skin products you buy for your newborn is safe and hypo-allergenic.





Saturday, 29 September 2012

Your Health is your Baby’s Wealth

Pregnancy is a very happy time in a woman’s life. But it also is a time of great change. And therefore it cannot be complete unless you keep Pregnancy Fitness in mind! Change, especially physical, is something that your body needs to adapt to… And what better way to do that than exercise. Exercise will not just help to keep you fit, so that your body can in turn give its 100% to nurturing the life that is growing within; it will also ease your troubles when it comes to bringing your child into the world and post-partum 

Getting and Staying Healthy for Baby

Exercise is a great way to stay in shape and feel super. Pregnancy does not change this for most women. Despite the differences in your body, exercise is still important. Some studies have suggested that exercise during pregnancy will help with an easier and shorter labor and birth, fewer cesarean surgeries, a quicker recovery postpartum, a quicker return to your pre-pregnancy weight, not to mention a healthier feeling pregnancy.

One of the things that you need to determine before you get started is where you are fitness wise. If you have previously been a couch potato this is not the time to take up most sports. If you have been very active before and are participating in an activity that is safe for pregnancy or can be modified for pregnancy, generally you can continue to participate. However, most women are not able to maintain the same pace that they did before the pregnancy, so keep that in mind.


10 Things to Know About Pregnancy Fitness

  1. When you exercise during pregnancy, you will feel better about your newly pregnant shape.
  2. Focusing on good health during pregnancy increases your body awareness to prevent preterm labor.
  3. If you exercise while pregnant, you will have fewer aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
  4. By working out during pregnancy, you are less likely to gain unwanted pounds.Studies show that if you exercise during pregnancy you will tend to have a faster labor.
  5. Babies born to women who worked out while pregnant tend to be leaner and calmer than babies born to women who did not exercise.
  6. You are less likely to have a cesarean section to give birth if you stay fit during pregnancy.Staying fit during pregnancy leads to a faster weight loss after your baby is born.If you exercise during pregnancy, you can generally resume fitness activities sooner after birth.
  7. Working out with your baby makes it more likely that you will stick to an exercise program and stay fit after birth.


Don’t ignore pregnancy fitness. If it’s the exercise that seems to put you off, look on the brighter side – exercising for pregnancy fitness greatly reduces the likelihood of complications, and makes labor easier and shorter. And not just that, the results stay with you even after the delivery because you find it easier to get back in shape! So rest your fears and get on with the right exercise regimen for you today!