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Covid-19

Things to Know Before You Get Pregnant During the Pandemic

Planning to conceive but scared of the growing risk of the coronavirus pandemic? Here's what you need to know before getting pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic.

The year 2020 has dramatically changed the world and the way we perceive life. With the growing risk of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, it is quite obvious to wonder your chances and safety of conceiving during this period. Well, here are some things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic. While you may have a hundred questions on whether you should try to get pregnant at all, it can be pretty unsettling to not have all the facts you need, given the novel nature of the virus. The following article should put your mind to ease with everything there is to know to make an informed decision. 

 

Does coronavirus affect my chances of being pregnant?

Having a baby is a personal choice between you and your partner and coronavirus does not change that. Yes, you read it right. Although the virus is quite new, there is no evidence yet to suggest that it should have any dire consequence on your shot at motherhood. However, there are some things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic as with the evolving nature of the virus, much more is yet to be known. Studies suggest that there are neither any chances of miscarriage at any stage due to the virus nor any effect on the baby’s development. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can go ahead and try to conceive. In case you are opting for Assisted Reproductive Technology or ART, you can very well continue with your plans, provided that you choose a clinic in a region with less number of COVID-19 cases or a hospital which is particular about the rules and regulations. In case you do have the virus yourself, it is recommended that you wait for the symptoms to subside before you take any step to welcome your little one into the world. Pregnancy alters the hormones and the functioning of the immune system in your body resulting in a difference of response to viral infections such as COVID-19. While many opt for the procedure of ‘egg freezing’ as a preventive measure, there is no medical indication to prove that such a procedure is indeed helpful. 

 

Does my being pregnant affect my risk of being infected?

Well, this is where it gets tricky as yes, being pregnant does increase your chances to be infected with the virus. This can be traced to the effects of progesterone and relaxants in the first trimester which makes the maternal respiratory system vulnerable. Moreover, women are more susceptible to hyperventilation and anxiety during this period which causes them to inhale more air and thus, increase the risk of the virus. History highlights the fact that the risk of morbidity through a viral infection for a pregnant woman is significantly higher than to a non-pregnant woman. (Zhao et al., 2020)

In such a case, it is vital that you follow strict social distancing norms and limit your interactions outside. Be sure to have your medical supplies at all times. It is quite possible to be stressed and anxious but don’t worry, keep your partner and family close. Consult with your doctor on how you can cope up in such a situation.

 

How safe would the prenatal visits be?

One of the things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic is that you are going to need constant medical support and one can never say how safe these visits will be. As a parent, balancing the risk of the virus and getting a routine check-up done can be no cakewalk. However, it is important to let your obstetrician and midwife let in on the decision and seek guidance. If you are unsure of the situation in your region, it is preferred to go for live sessions and schedule an appointment in a hospital subject to your environment and your doctor’s advice. The Indian Council of Medical Research suggests that routine antenatal care should be tailored to a minimum at 12th, 20th, 28th and 36th week of pregnancy. In case of any symptoms, you ought to defer your appointment by either 7 or 14 days.

You may consult with your doctor on your decision to buy a blood pressure cuff to monitor your baby’s movement at home.

 

Availability of medical facilities during COVID-19

It is not unknown that the public health facilities in the country are overburdened with patients. Although the birth of a child is considered an essential service as per the government regulations, the latest situation of complete lockdown in most places across the country combined with over-crowded hospitals has made it quite impossible to get a last-minute reservation. About 25% of deliveries take place in private health facilities which are shut down, resulting in further deterioration of the availability of such facilities. It is important to understand this is quite an unusual situation borne out of a pandemic that makes no promises to end but there should be no reason to lose any hope. It’s just one of the things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic and no reason why you should panic. You can always make lemonade out of the lemon. Make sure that you have a trusted obstetrician who is familiar with your needs to be able to guide you while maintaining social distancing norms and have access to a few online maternal health care facilities in case of imposition of a lockdown. It is always helpful to be near your family, or people you trust to avoid the absence of any face-to-face interaction. This helps you to be happy and healthy while receiving guidance during those months.

 

January 21, 2021 |  read

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Pregnancy

Am I pregnant? Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

Unsure if you are pregnant? Missing your period, implantation bleeding, food aversion, frequent urination, fatigue and morning sickness are some classic pregnancy signs and symptoms.

Missed your period but not sure if you should be expecting the big news? For women who have got an irregular period cycle, this is an additional source of agitation. And of course, you cannot always rely on a pregnancy test, right? It is always better to double check. So worry not, for here you will have a list of everything that points you towards the fact that very soon, you would be having another human in your world.

 

Classic signs of Pregnancy

Apart from the obvious signs of missing your menstrual cycle, you should be looking out for the following:

                                                       

  • Implantation bleeding

The common synonym for this would be ‘spotting’ which is light period or losing a little blood. This occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus about 10 to 14 days after conception. Then again, not all women go through implantation bleeding. The colour of your bleeding may vary as well, to pink, red or brown accompanied by mild, moderate or severe cramps. It usually lasts for less than three days.

 

Therefore, make sure to eat healthy and avoid any kind of food that leads to heavy bleeding.

 

  • Morning sickness and fatigue

Well, if you are nauseous and running to the washroom every once in a while, you definitely need to check with your gynecologist. Although morning sickness is more common after a month of pregnancy, you never know what your constant state of fatigue and nausea is pointing at. This is because during pregnancy, the levels of progesterone in the body soar which makes you feel sleepy. Normally, you should be looking out for these signs within four to six weeks of your last cycle.

                                                      

  • Tender, swollen breasts

As the estrogen level starts to rise in the body, with conception, breasts start to feel sore, full, sensitive, tingly or even painful. This is one of the first messages of pregnancy, although it may not feel very different from PMS breast. A slight silver lining: this discomfort in fact decreases gradually into your months of pregnancy. Remember that your areolas darken and increase in diameter gradually following the conception, along with the probability of tiny bumps around them. These are minute changes that many women fail to notice.

 

  • Frequency of Urination

A heads up - you might find yourself going to the toilet frequently. This is because the amount of blood increases during pregnancy which leads your kidneys to gear up and filter out the extra waste in your blood from the baby on board. Moreover, your growing uterus will start pushing on your bladder as your progesterone levels increase and thus the constant need to pee.

  • Mood Swings

If you feel moody during your PMS, you might change that opinion during your pregnancy. The rush of hormones in your body can make you exceptionally emotional right during the four weeks into your pregnancy. That’s okay and completely normal. All you need to do is pamper yourself during these times. It is also the responsibility of your partner to be there for you. Do things which make you happy and keep enough time to get rest on your schedule.

 

  • Food aversions

Of the many crazy things that indicate your pregnancy, food aversion might be the most annoying and confusing. These too, can be adhered to hormonal changes, especially in the first trimester. You may find yourself scrunching your nose to your favourite dish or beverage, like fried food or coffee. That is completely fine but always remember to eat healthy because you have one more life to take care of.

  • Bloating and constipation

Very much like your menstrual symptoms, bloating is also a sign of increased progesterone which makes your digestive tract slow and traps gas inside your intestine. As a result, feeling constipated is normal, which again increases the feeling of abdominal bloating.

 

  • High blood pressure and dizziness

If you often track your pressure, you might notice sudden high or normal blood pressure drop in the early stages of pregnancy which will cause dizziness due to dilated blood vessels. But this, as a sign of pregnancy is quite difficult to determine because high blood pressure might be present beforehand. Be sure to switch to pregnancy friendly exercises and drink enough water.

  • Nasal congestion and raised BBT

A blocked or stuffy nose is often a sign of pregnancy, this is due to increasing hormone level and blood production which causes mucous membranes in your nose to swell, dry out and bleed easily. In addition, you may notice raised basal body temperature. The temperature increase occurs slightly soon after ovulation and remains so until your next period. Its continued elevation for more than two weeks indicates pregnancy.

 

  • Dreams and nightmares

As odd as it sounds, our hormones can be responsible for very vivid dreams and nightmares. However, a more scientific explanation is since your sleep cycle is broken frequently during pregnancy due to midnight bathroom adventures, you tend to remember the dreams more vividly.

 

 

But the most interesting sign you should pay heed to is your sixth sense. It is said that a mother’s intuition is never wrong. The reason you are checking this article right now must be just because you are simply ‘feeling pregnant’. So well, without further ado, end your apprehension by taking a test - be it with a test kit or an ultrasound. The good news is just on the way!

December 17, 2020 |  read

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Getting Pregnant

Ready to be Pregnant: Pre Pregnancy Diet and Exercise Plan

Here are some tips on management of weight and nutrition to conceive.

If you are trying to conceive, you must have come across every other person you meet  suggesting the food to eat or things to do to ensure pregnancy. But too many suggestions are difficult to keep track of. There must be a thousand questions running through your mind: What should I eat? What should my ideal weight be? What is healthy for the baby? Worry not! We have mapped out everything you need to know about your pre pregnancy diet and exercise plan to assist a healthy conception.

 

Antioxidants

Women trying to conceive are recommended to eat food rich in antioxidants like folic acid and zinc. Such food is known to deactivate the free radicals in the body which damages the gametes. Folic acid has vitamins which reduce the baby’s risk of neural tube birth defects thus, reducing the incidence of heart attacks, cancer, strokes, and diabetes.

Food to eat: Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale, nuts, citrus fruits, whole grains, legumes, cereals etc. One can also take prenatal vitamins or a supplement to increase folic acid intake.

(What to Eat to Get Pregnant: Conception Diet, 2020)

 

Omega 3S

Omega 3S is beneficial for the baby’s eye development while reducing your risk of preterm birth, preeclampsia and depression. Moreover, your body does not make Omega 3S which is why it is more important to consume food rich in the same.

Food to eat: Coldwater fatty fish like salmon, low mercury fish such as tuna, shrimp or catfish.

(Trying to Conceive - North County Health Services, 2020)

 

Dairy

Consumption of low-fat dairy products enhances the chances of getting pregnant as it reduces the risk of ovulatory infertility. If you are trying to conceive, it is recommended to have at least one or two servings of whole milk in a day to ensure your calcium and protein intake.

 

Fruits and Vegetables

Studies have found that watermelon and asparagus are essential for the supply of glutathione in the body which has a direct impact on the egg quality. Pineapple, on the other hand, is rich in beta-carotene, which keeps your hormones at a steady level and helps to prevent miscarriage. Moreover, it has bromelain which supports implantation because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Other fruits and vegetables you can include in your diet are cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables etc. which provide the essential nutrients and antioxidants to decrease inflammation in the body. Kale contains elements necessary for estrogen metabolism.

You may prepare fresh fruit or vegetable juices like that of goji berries which contain phytochemicals beneficial for fertility. It is a good idea to roast vegetables in high heat for some time without water to avoid any nutrient loss. (17 Natural Ways to Boost Fertility, 2020)

 

Fibre

While trying to conceive, it is important to ensure that you include fibre in your diet.  This is because fibre reduces excess hormones and keeps your blood sugar level balanced. On average, a woman is recommended to have 25 gms of fibre per day. This would help in the reduction of ovulatory infertility among women older than 32 years.

Food to eat: Avocados, sweet potatoes, fruits, oats, whole grains, beans etc.

 

Water

It goes without saying that the intake of the due amount of water can be quite helpful to avoid any hassle during conception. Water helps to thin out cervical mucus making it easier for the sperm to reach the egg cells. Moreover, it carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells, tissues and organs.

 

What else should I look for?

While a nutritious and balanced diet is vital to maintain healthy fertility, you would also need to keep a track of your weight. A pre pregnancy diet and exercise plan is essential for this. What may not be of common knowledge is the fact that obesity or being overweight significantly reduces the chances of being pregnant and having a healthy baby. Here, your BMI has an important role to play. Ideally, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy to start trying for pregnancy.

(Weight and Fertility, 2020)

 

How can overweight affect fertility?

Being overweight, that is having BMI more than 25, can have a considerable number of implications if you are trying to be pregnant. More often than not, it causes hormonal imbalances and menstrual disorders. Problems with ovulation are not uncommon either. With more fat cells in the body, more estrogen is released which can cause the body to react as if already pregnant. This prevents ovulation and thus a monthly period cycle.

If you are planning to opt for an assisted reproductive technique, being overweight can cause a few hitches and reduce your chances of getting pregnant through any fertility treatments.

Besides, obesity is one of the common causes of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which may result in infertility.

(Weight, fertility, and pregnancy, 2020)

Thus, it helps significantly to know what you should and should not be including in your diet to have a healthy start and have a pre pregnancy diet and exercise plan in place. A nutritious and balanced diet is quite vital for maintaining the appropriate BMI. Additionally, you can keep tracking your menstrual cycle to time your conception. Talk to your doctor and keep checking up regularly on your ovulation cycle.


 

March 05, 2021 |  read

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Getting Pregnant

PCOS and its Complexities

PCOS is faced by one in five women today. Here is what you need to know about PCOS and how homeopathy can help.

Hormonal disturbance is one of the basic causes of PCOS and its complexities. It is also known as ovarian cysts. Unlike other medical treatments, homeopathy helps to bring back this balance with minimal risks and side-effects. 

 

(Click here to book an appointment)

 

A woman is an all-rounder. She is a mother, wife, daughter, homemaker and also a professional. She jumps from one role to the other and makes it look so easy. Catering to everybody else’s needs, she is inclined to put everybody ahead of her own needs, health and well-being.

 

Women’s health and well-being issues have seen high spikes in recent times. Disorders in women vary from menstrual disturbances to serious cases of malignancies. Polycystic ovary syndrome is one among the common cases seen in women.

 

Not many cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have shown successful results with the help of conventional medicine.   

 

Confronting PCOS Complexities

PCOS is quite a challenge for young women. It is a very common problem among those in their reproductive age, which also leads to cases of infertility. Although the statistics of women affected with PCOS is 10 percent, women with difficulties in conceiving feel like they are alone in this journey.

 

PCOS and its complexities occur due to hormonal changes in the body. These changes also affect other bodily functions.

 

Irregular ovulation or menstruation, hair growth in different parts of the body, excessive effects of male hormones and weight issues are some of the issues that arise due to hormonal changes in the body.

 

PCOS can occur due to  conditions like insulin - resistant diabetes. It causes imbalance and changes in the menstruation cycles. PCOS can also lead to the production of more testosterone by the adrenal glands. It leads to changes in ovulation pattern. There are many other complications that arise due to PCOS in women. Some of them are type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer to name a few. Therefore, it is always wise to monitor and make necessary changes to treat PCOS as early as possible.

 

The treatment route for this disorder is to restore the changes that may occur in the body. Medicine will aim to bring back the normal menstrual cycle and fertility. It helps to lower the insulin level and control hair growth. Doctors aim to prevent endometrial cancer with drugs, dietary therapy and/or use of contraceptive pills. Since PCOS has not narrowed its root cause, these medications and treatments are temporary fixes and cannot really eradicate the problem altogether.

 

Research has brought new methods that seem to have an effective impact against this disorder. One such method of treatment comes from homoeopathy (Click here). It has proven to show better results than other conventional ways of treatment.

 

Signs of PCOS

Some of the most common symptoms of PCOS (Click here) are seen through irregular period cycles, excessive hair, acne and infertility. In normal maturation of a woman's ovum, the egg grows within a cyst in the ovary. PCOS prevents the growth of the egg and hence it is hard for women with this disorder to conceive.

 

A doctor will look into all your medical history, periods, reproduction and weight gain to treat your PCOS and its complexities.

 

A pelvic examination is used to determine the size of your ovary. The doctor will also examine other causes such as acne and hair growth.

 

There will be a series of blood tests to check your insulin, hormonal and glucose levels in your system.

 

Most often an ultrasound (USG) will help to determine the size of the ovaries which will help to diagnose and treat the patients in the right way.

 

It’s always good to consult a doctor if you think you might be showing any symptoms of the disorder. This is the best way to diagnose and treat PCOS rather than going for other personal methods.

 

Treatment Through Homeopathy

A woman’s body functions in a unique manner. Hence, even their health issues are distinct and challenging to find the right method of treatment. The treatment journey through homeopathy has very little side-effect to the body and hence it is considered as one of the best forms of medicine. 

 

Women wear their hair with pride. Hair loss is a devastating thought for any woman. It can also be symptoms of underlying health issues like diabetes and thyroid problems. But at the same time, women feel anxious and unattractive with the presence of hair in areas that are ought not to have any, such as their face and hands.

 

Since most medical research shows the underlying problem related to PCOS is the presence of hormonal imbalance, homoeopathy also leans towards correcting this imbalance in the system. This medical journey on the other hand also has fewer side-effects. Homoeopathy uses very less surgical and other invasive methods to do the treatment. A lot of positive effects are seen through this method like regular periods, increased chances of pregnancy and preventing PCOS recurrence.

 

A study shows that 83 per cent of women have seen great improvement in their condition using homoeopathy as a method of treatment for PCOS and its complexities.

 

Staying Healthy and Preventing PCOS

  • Follow a fun and easy workout pattern that you can do regularly.
  • Stay away from processed foods. This may lead to PCOS as well as hair loss.
  • Reduce the tension on your insulin levels by cutting down the element of sugar from your diet.
  • Stick to healthy, hot food instead of cold meals as this could affect your metabolism.
  • Social habits like smoking and consumption of alcohol can lead to hormone imbalance and infertility.
  • Use flax seed and soya in your diet. While flax seed helps to promote hair growth, soya helps to bring good hormone balance.

December 22, 2020 |  read

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Getting Pregnant

Ayurveda and Conception

Ayurvedia provides holistic healing and effective solutions to problems relationg conception. Simple Ayurvedic methods like a proper diet, envirnomental changes, therapeutic body practices can help so

With increasing stress levels, people are facing more problems in conception now than they did in the past. Ayurveda, one of the oldest schools of healing with its roots in India, has got some remedies for men and women of today when it comes to pregnancy. There are a few methods to improve chances of conceiving, promoting the health of a mother and her baby throughout pregnancy, and even after the child’s delivery. Let us take a look at some of these Ayurvedic measures.

 

A Nutrition Filled Diet

For someone who practices Ayurveda, diet is of prime importance when it comes to treating medical conditions as well as maintaining a good health. According to Ayurveda, a good dietary practice is beneficial for both the body and the mind. It is necessary that Ojas (the essence of all bodily tissues which has direct effects on a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual life) building food items like organic vegetables and fruits, protein rich plant products like whole grains, etc. are included in daily diets. Further, canned products, processed carbohydrates etc. should be avoided. While the former are beneficial in boosting ovulation in women and increasing their fertility, the latter are believed to destroy the same. Excessive intake of dry, bitter, acidic, and hot food is thought to cause Shukra dosha (diseases of sperms) or sperm morbidity. 

 

The Environment Matters

While we tend to take care of our bodies, we often forget to cater to our mind’s needs. Ayurveda has solutions for this as well. According to this school, to prepare for pregnancy, it is important to develop sattva or a calm, safe, and peaceful environment. A specific branch of Ayurveda called rasayana is used traditionally for this. There are four types of this that cover almost all aspects of a person’s health. Ahara rasayana pertains to the food intake and digestive process, Vihara rasayana deals with the lifestyle, Achar rasayana is about the behaviour, and Aushadha rasayana, pertaining to herbs.

 

At least a few months before the planned conception, the parents are expected to introspect their lifestyles keeping these four aspects in mind and detox their bodies to prepare for the event in all respects. Herbs like Kapikacchu, Gokshura, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, and Yashtimadhu are especially prescribed for men to increase sperm count and mobility, quality of the semen, levels of testosterone, and the overall fertility. Ashwagandha and Shatavari are also beneficial for the woman to maintain hormonal balance . 

 

Therapeutic Body Practices

Only a healthy body can conceive a healthy child. Body therapies, as prescribed by Ayurveda, are said to release tensions, body impurities, and energy trapped within the body. Doing so will help the body nourish itself, revitalize the minds, and strengthen the immunity system . Shirodhara, abhyanga, marma therapy, nasya, and basti are some of the therapeutic practices that can be followed.

 

Body massages and yoga have also been found effective. While the former helps in rejuvenating the body and helps in tackling issues like blocked tubes and inflammation in reproductive organs, the latter can help in reducing infertility. Panchkarma i.e. Vaman (therapeutic emesis), Virechan (therapeutic purgation), Basti (medicated enema) and Uttar Basti, Nasya (Nasal Drops or Nasal Medication) and Raktamokshan (Therapeutic Blood Letting) have benefits for conception and in recurrent IVF failure. 

 

Balancing the Energies

According to the philosophy of Ayurveda, during pregnancy, there is a downward-moving energy to support the foetus called apana vata (adrenal energy) and an upward-moving energy called prana vata (mental energy) that supports the mother’s sattva and emotional stability. During the period before conception, both these energies must be balanced in both parents to create sattva. Taking care of one’s lifestyle can bring in this balance which can improve the mother’s chances of conceptions and the father’s quality and number of sperms.

 

Ayurveda After Conception

After a child’s conception, Ayurveda prescribes a few measures to ensure a healthy gestation period. They are based on three important aspects: ahara (or nutrition), vihara (or lifestyle), and vichara (or thoughts). Diet remains one of the most important measures to keep the body and mind healthy. A pregnant woman’s diet should not include items which are Atiguru or difficult for the body to digest, Atiushna or too hot, Atitikshna that is sharp food like too spicy, Viruddha or unwholesome food. Milk should be an important constituent according to them as it is rich in calcium, lactose, protein, and fat. In case of complications, it is advised that the woman be administered drugs (by her doctor) that are Mridu (soft), Madhura (sweet), and Sheeta (cold)

 

Ayurveda After Delivery

Diet must still be closely monitored for the mother, even after her delivery. The food should be less in oil and spices. It should include light foods like khichadi, soup, mildly cooked vegetables, etc. Date powder or Shatavari Kalpa and Dhatri Rasayan are recommended to boost the healthy production of breastmilk for the child 

 

A lot of women, across the world, hope to be mothers but are often unable to do so due to the varying lifestyle patterns that increase stress and other hormonal problems. However, Ayurveda, a holistic healing science, offers effective solutions to tackle a lot of these problems and offers prescriptive measures not just for the woman but also the man to increase fertility and advance the chances of conception. Even after the child’s conception or his/her birth, there are easy measures that can be followed to keep the mother and child healthy and fit.

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Getting Pregnant

Fertility Basics - What are They, How to Start Planning and Checking

Planning to have a baby anytime soon? Don't worry we have got you covered with everything you need to know: fertility basics, conditions for getting pregnant and required fertility tests.

A countless number of decisions including which car to drive, where to live – to name a few, are shaped when a couple or a parent decides that they want children. While getting your lives aligned and ready to start a family, you should also find out whether your bodies are ready for this huge step.  A large number of people have a tough time dealing with infertility. While most people might expect and hope that they can plan a family any time they would like, they often forget that it may get slightly more tricky than they had imagined. Here’s a guide for you on fertility basics, if you plan to have a baby anytime soon.

 

A good kick start into the road would mean taking care of the body by exercising, consuming nutritious food, and maintaining healthy body weight. 

 

Fertility Basics

If a couple needs to conceive naturally, here is an outline of what needs to go around in the bodies of a man and a woman :

 

  • The reproductive system of a woman produces hormones that result in ovulation. It is when from one of the ovaries, an egg is released. During the childbearing years of a woman, it happens once every month.

  • The reproductive system of a man produces sperm cells. Post puberty, daily, generation of new sperm cells takes place.

  • During about five or six days prior to ovulation, a man and a woman must engage in sexual intercourse.

  • When the man ejaculates, due to a series of muscular contractions, sperm cells or the semen are/is forced out of the man’s penis.

  • In the cervical area of the woman, semen gets collected after intercourse, and into the cervical mucus of the woman, sperm cells swim.

  • The sperm swims through the opening of the cervix, into the uterus. It further swims into the fallopian tubes from the uterus. 

  • The healthiest of sperms manage to linger inside the fallopian tubes, till the time an egg comes along. 

  • From the ovaries, once an egg is released, it is guided into the fallopian tubes very gently.

  • In a moment of fertilization, one of the sperms eventually meets the egg in the fallopian tubes.

  • Post ovulation, the reproductive system of the woman releases new hormones that make ‘endometrium.’

  • The embryo or the fertilized egg goes through cell divisions. Further, into the uterus, it travels down the fallopian tube. 

  • As the Uterus is reached by the embryo, it implants itself into the lining, eventually. It happens after about 4 to 10 days of fertilization.

  • Post implantation, the embryo starts to create placental cells and fetal cells. The pregnancy hormone, or the hCG begins to get produced. 

  • There is enough hCG circulating after about one week or 14 days of ovulation, to give a positive result when a pregnancy test is done. 

 

Conditions for Getting Pregnant

No Stress 

Fertility basics include no stressing! While expressing your concern to someone in the family or your friend circle, words like “do not worry,” “stay relaxed” might be said to you. And it is understandable that it is easier said than done, but stress does take a toll on one’s mental and physical health, whether good or bad. Instead of altering your day to day routine to fix the situation, try and indulge in things or activities that soothe your mind and body.

 

Watching the Weight 

You may have some difficulty conceiving a baby if you are under or overweight. A body that is undernourished may not be fertile enough. Excess weight, on the other hand, too can have quite some effect on your fertility. What you could then try doing is follow an exercise routine, and maintain a healthy diet.

 

The Age Factor 

You must have been told by many that your biological clock is supposed to be ticking. It is used to refer to your fertility window. Sometime in the age of 40s or 50s, once the menstrual cycle stops, women are unable to conceive. Women are supposed to be born with only a set number of eggs that decrease as they age, while men can produce sperm throughout their lives. The rate at which a woman loses eggs accelerates by the age of 35. The quality of the egg, too, declines over time.

 

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal health of a man is often also linked with his fertility. Issues with fertility could be indicated if there are any changes in virility, that often have to do with hormones.

 

Fertility Tests 

Fertility tests are an important part of fertility treatment and evaluation. Through this, the doctor can test and find out what might be the reason that’s preventing your partner and you from conceiving. 

 

For Females, a fertility evaluation may include:   

  • STD testing, as some can potentially cause infertility
  • Gynaecological evaluation

  • Progesterone check

  • An Ultrasound test to see if there are enlarged polycystic ovaries

  • To evaluate the shape of the uterus, an Ultrasound can be done 

  • To check if the fallopian tubes are open or blocked, and to again evaluate the shape of the uterus, HSG (hysterosalpingogram) can be done

 

 For Males, a fertility evaluation may include :

  • A basic physical examination by the urologist
  • Testing for STD 

  • An Ultrasound to evaluate the scrotum

  • To examine retrograde ejaculation, urine testing or post-ejaculatory urinalysis is done.

 

We hope these fertility basics have helped you understand the process a little bit better.

 

December 22, 2020 |  read

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IVF

How Do You Know if IVF is for You?

IVF can bring you one step closer to parenthood. If you are planning to consider IVF, here is everything you need to know.

If your understanding of an IVF comes only from Bollywood, well, it’s limited. A few movies like Good Newwz, Vicky Donor, etc have introduced the audience to IVF as a birthing option, focusing on women, couples, and families that rely on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) to be able to become parents. While they bank on just the emotional aspect of IVF, there is a lot of knowledge that you might want to have if you are planning to consider an IVF, medically. Let us start with the very basic :

 

The Concern

Infertility is one major concern whenever a couple is unable to get pregnant or is trying to conceive, despite the unprotected sex, having tried for at least one year, and additionally so when the woman is aged less than 35. But with the continued advances made in reproductive medicine, treatments for infertility have become highly successful, including the IVF.

 

What is IVF?

IVF stands for in-vitro fertilization. It is a treatment for infertility, whereby in a laboratory dish, a woman’s eggs are fertilized by a man’s sperm. The fertilized eggs (or embryos) are further transferred into a woman’s uterus, in the hope that they will implant, and mature into a pregnancy. Essentially, it is a reproductive technique that is assisted medically.  

 

When Should You Consider an IVF? 

Given that you have already considered other forms of infertility treatment and somehow they have not worked out for you, in-vitro fertilization is usually taken up in the following cases : 

 

  • An Advanced Reproductive Age

Age impacts fertility, and a woman’s maternal health so what we are talking about here is much like an IVF age cutoff. For a successful in-vitro fertilization, how old is too old, you ask? It is an important question for individuals and couples delaying parenthood. 

 

An advanced reproductive age for a woman would be 35 and beyond. Fewer eggs in a woman’s body become available for recruitment and maturation, as the woman ages. Let aside the quantity, the quality of the eggs too become a concern. As an older woman, while you may have an ovarian reserve that is bountiful, those eggs are very likely to have chromosomal abnormalities. In such a case, IVF is considered. 

 

  • Prevention of a Genetic Disease's Pass-down

Physicians and patients are empowered with IVF, providing an ability for them to prevent the transmission of genetic diseases to future generations.

 

  • Male Factor Infertility

Oftimes, IVF for male infertility is supposed to be the best treatment option. In case the semen analysis seems to be abnormal, and additionally identifies a male factor, it is important to look for the cause. Related to a male anatomic abnormality or caused by an infection, when the low sperm count appears to be hormone-related, basic treatments may be used. However, if these do not work, or if it is a more severe case of male infertility, IVF is usually the treatment of choice.

 

  • Ovarian Issues (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Women with PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome do not ovulate regularly. As a result, when a woman with PCOS visits her doctor or specialist for a fertility treatment, rather than immediately resorting to IVF, the physician will begin by prescribing some front- line medications. The idea would then be to perform timed intercourse with the partner to achieve pregnancy, while on the medication prescribed. The physician will most likely suggest other methods of fertility if medication does not work either. An advanced fertility method such as IVF will be presented when the woman does not get pregnant by any of the previous means.

 

  • Blocked Fallopian Tubes

It refers to cases whereby either one or both fallopian tubes are obstructed in a certain manner. When that happens, the sperm is unable to reach a viable egg which is waiting to be fertilized. If the sperm somehow does manage to reach the egg, it may not be able to leave the fallopian tube, and implant in the uterus, as it naturally would. If it so happens, the egg can potentially implant in the fallopian tube itself, which is risky. Hence, if a woman suffers from such fallopian blockage, what IVF does is that it allows fertility specialists to circumvent them, meaning she can still become pregnant, despite the issues she may be facing.

 

 

Things to Consider Before you Decide on an IVF

For many people, right from the start, IVF is a preferred treatment. However, others choose to try other available infertility treatments that are also less expensive like fertility medication, artificial insemination, or surgery first. An IVF sure brings you a step closer to getting pregnant when you are trying to conceive, but the process can feel intimidating, especially if you are unsure about what is going to be involved. 

 

 

It is like a miracle medical treatment that will allow you to have children at your own pace. As an endpoint to many fertility journeys, it is posed as a last recourse when nothing seems to be working out. Because it bears a reputation for solving fertility issues, many think of IVF as a sure shot, but it is not a ‘cure-all’ formula. It comes with its own risks and costs. Yet, there is a good reason for some optimism! So many babies are brought into this world only because of IVF, and that is something to look to for hope. Talk to your doctor and find out what is best for you.

 

December 23, 2020 |  read

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IVF

How to Move on from Failed IVF

Wondering why IVF isn't working for you? This article discusses the reasons why IVF may not work and what to do next.

The treatment of in-vitro fertilisation begins with the hopes of building a family one step at a time. Couples come to this procedure when they face infertility issues over the past few years and dream of giving birth to a baby. These soon-to-be parents are exhausted and struggling and turn to the option of IVF. With this little hope in life, this technique has proved successful in the majority. However, things don’t always go according to the plan and it’s possible you may have a failed IVF. Let’s take a closer look at what may have happened and how to move on from failed IVF.

 

The medical procedure of IVF allows the sperm and the egg to be combined in a dish by an infertility specialist or endocrinologist. This is then inserted into the womb through the pelvic cavity. The technique should guide the embryo to be inseminated in the walls of the uterus that will develop into a baby. Celebrity cook and model, Chrissy Teigen hit the headlines sometime around 2016 because she claimed to choose the sex of the baby during the procedure of IVF. In many parts of the world, IVF can help choose the sex of the baby you want. The procedure of IVF itself is quite expensive and such medical treatment can also top up the hospital charges.

 

With all said and done, some things often go out of the plan we have in our heads. Here are a few pointers that will give a picture of these unfortunate scenarios.

 

Why did it not work?

Every doctor in the country will initially state out the various ways in which this technique could lead to failure. This is honesty not to discourage you, but they simply want to give you the reality of the big picture. Success stories of IVF pregnancies depend on probability. Other unfortunate couples go through a lot of pain and grief due to their failed IVF procedure.

 

Research has many factors that are seen to understand the failure of IVF. One such problem is the embryo’s inability to stay within the uterus linings. Doctors also choose the best quality of the embryos that have to be inserted into the uterus. The age of the partners is also very important when considering IVF as an option. Case studies show that women above the age of 35 have very slim chances of a successful IVF transmission

 

IVF also calls out on the type of lifestyle that has been followed until the process of combining the sperm and egg. Social drugs, alcohol and cigarettes can be a hindrance to this procedure.  

 

Trying again, just one more time...

Doctors always push their patients to try the method of IVF to get pregnant three times in a row. After these three attempts, they are discouraged to go on further. Well, how to move on from failed IVF in this instance? Start by looking out for other problems in the system.

 

There are many other alternative methods to get pregnant that are suggested by doctors. The treatment of IVF is considered to be very expensive and hence, cannot be affordable to try many times. Yet, some parents keep on trying. Treatments like surrogacy, IUI and adoption are some of the other ways that you can try to start a family.  

 

Before you go into another round of injections, shots and other procedures, you should get yourself and your partner scanned and tested for any genetic or chromosomal issues that refuse the treatment. Just like the age of the couple, these things are also to be considered. A quick assessment of the previous cycle can also give you a clear picture of what could be changed before another round of medical procedures.  

  

In these stages, most couples have a very difficult time making the right decision. It is a very personal family matter between hopeful parents. Before you decide on this matter, pause for a while to look back at the journey to this very point. Both you and your partner should be comfortable to go through this all over again. Fear not to ask your doctor any kind of questions regarding this technique.

 

The support system

After this long and exhausting journey of numerous medications, a failed IVF treatment result could bring down a whole family.

 

Stay strong and don’t give up. Keep looking into other methods of getting pregnant. Get tested, have a good conversation with your doctors and caregivers about the root cause of the problem. To keep a stable mind, seek out help from counsellors. Things like this can be too hard on the family but talking it out at support groups can help you to listen and connect with stories with similar experiences. This way you will not feel lonely during this period of grief.

 

 

Be determined to not let go of the idea of building your own family. On this note, if this treatment doesn’t support your system, be open to other options. There isn’t one single way as to how to move on from failed IVF. There are a lot of resources out there that can help you find the right path.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read