Infertility Treatment in Los Angeles and Glendale
The menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your period until your next period starts. Many women's cycles last 28 days but what's normal for you may be different.
Cycle days 1-13
Each month, hormones get one of the eggs in your ovaries ready to be fertilized. Hormones also thicken the lining of your uterus to prepare your body for pregnancy.
Cycle days 14-15
About halfway through your cycle, the egg is released from your ovary and travels down your fallopian tube toward your uterus.Thios is called ovulation.
Cycle days 16-21
If semen gets into your vagina, sperm can swim through your cervix and uterus and enter your fallopian tubes in search of an egg to fertilize. Sperm can live inside your body for up to siz days. One sperm cell may get through the lining of the egg to fertilize it.
Millions of sperm leave a man’s body in semen during ejaculation.
Cycle days 25-26
The fertilized egg then continues down the fallopian tube toward your uterus. The egg grows into a ball of cells called blastocyst.
Cycle days 27-28
If the blastocyst attaches, or implants, itself to the lining of your uterus, congratulations: you’re pregnant!
If ferttilization doesn’t happen, hormone levels go down and the egg is shed through your vagina along with the lining of your uterus. This your period, or menstruation.
There are four main ways to figure out where youare in your cycle:
1. Track your periods.
You can do this on a paper calendar or planner, on your smartphone calendar, or in an app. If you have regular periods(periods that usually happen after the same number of days each cycle) , you’ll get an idea how long your cycle lasts after several months.
2. Use the temperature method.
Take your temperature with large-scale basal thermometer first thing in the morning-even before you get out of bed, check your phone, talk, take a drink of water or do anything else. Your temperature increases by just fractions of a degree around the time of ovulation.
After a few months of tracking your temperatures on a chart, you may be able to see a pattern of temperature spikes that will let you know you’re ovulating. This method can be tricky, so it works best when combined with one or more of the other methods. Rectal thermometers are usually more accurate that mouth thermometers.
3. Use the cervical mucus method.
The hormones that control your menstrual cycle also control your body’s production of cervical mucus, also known as vaginal discharge. The color, tecture ans amount of cervical mucus changes during your cycle. Charting these changes can give you an idea of when you’re fertile.
Using this method, you’ll touch and look at your cervical mucus, and record its texture and color, everyday that you’re not on your period. You can describe it using words like “dry”. “sticky”, “cloudy”, “wet”, or “slippery”. You’ll usually notice the most mucus right before ovulation. It’s clear and slippery, like raw egg whites, and can stretch between your fingers. These “slippery” days are the times when you’re most likely to get pregnant.
TIP: You’ll have the best chance of getting pregnant if you have sex often between about five days before and one to two days after you ovulate . Your ovulation day = cycle length ÷ 2.
4. Take an ovulation test.
Ovulation test look and act a bit like pregnancy tests: You cn buy them in drugstores or online, and they work by measuring hormones in your urine. But unlike pregnancy tests, ovulation tests sense an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), a chemical that signals one of your ovaries to release an egg.
You may have to test several days in a row to “catch” a rise in LH. A positive result means you’ll ovulate within the next 24 to 36 hours.
If you have any any trouble understanding understanding how long your cycle lasts or when you ovulate, ask your doctor for help.
Fertility Myths & Facts
Beacause sex is often a taboo subject, confusion about fertility and getting pregnant is common. These are a few frequent misunderstandings with the facts to clear things up:
MYTH: After I stop taking birth control, I won’t be fertile for a while.
FACT: With almost all types of birth control, you can get pregnant soon after you stop using it. Only two birth control methods could affect your fertility later. One is sterilization, also known as “getting your tubes tied”. This is an operation that permanently blocks the fallopian tubes so you can no longer get pregnant. The other method is the shot, an injection of the hormone progestin that prevents you from ovulating. It’s effective for 3 months, but it could make it harder to get pregnant for up to 10 months.
MYTH: You are more likely to get pregnant if you hang upside down or keep your legs in the air after sex.
FACT: Sperm is motile, meaning it can move on it’s own. It has no trouble getting up to the fallopian tube all by itself.
MYTH: You can’t get pregnant after age 35.
FACT: Your fertility levels do go down after age 35, but they decrease slowly-they don’t drop off like a cliff. And what’s true for other people may not be true for you.
While there are cons to having a baby after 35, there are pros, too. You are more likely to be financially stable than you were in your early 20s.
MYTH: Stress causes infertility.
FACT: Although infertility can certainly cause stress, there’s no evidence the opposite is true. You may feel less like having sex when you’re stressed out, though, so there’s no harm in doing what you can to lower your stress levels.Exercise, meditation and talking about your concerns with your partner are good ways to destress.
MYTH: Men stay fertile no matter how old they get.
FACT: Although men are able to produce sperm throughout their lives, the quality of that sperm does go down with age.
Planning a Healthy Pregnancy
In a way, parenting can begin before you even get pregnant. The planning and care you invest before you conceive can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Follow these steps to give your pregnancy the best chance at success.
Talk to Your Doctor
Before you start trying to conceive, make an appointment to see your doctor for a pre-pregnancy checkup. Bring this checklist and write down her answers.
What medical tests should i have before getting pregnant?
Could my family’s medical history affect my baby’s health?
(if you have an ongoing medical condition) How could my condition affect my pregnancy?
Do I need to change any medicicnes I take?
How should I take care of my menstrual health during and after pregnancy?
Do I need any vaccines before I get pregnant?
Parenthood for Same-Sex Couples
Becoming a parent is a trasightforward, two-person process for most heterosexual couples. But if you’re same-sex relationship, your path to parenthood will look a bit different. The good news is youhave a lot of options, including:
- Egg and/ or sperm donation
- In vitro fertilization
When you use a third party to help make your family, it’s important to get support from counselors, agenciesand/or specialists like lawyers. Ask your doctor tor recommendations.
It’s usually easier to make healthy lifestyle changes before you get pregnant. And because you can’t know exactly when you’ll concieve, it’s also the safest choice.
When you’re pregnant, what you eat is what you feed your baby. So eating a healthy a healthy, balanced diet will help you give your baby the nutrients she needs to grow and develop properly.
Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products-along with foods that will give you the special nutrients you need most for a healthy baby. Limit your intake of artificial sweeteners and junk foods that are high in sugar and fat. These will add extra calories while giving you and yourbaby few nutrients.
You may find it easier to get pregnant when you’re at your healthiest. Part of that is eating healthy.
Pre-Pregnancy Power Foods
These foods will help youeat a balanced diet and get the nutrients you need before and during your pregnancy.
For Foloc acid/ folate
- beans, peas and lentils
- citrus fruits
- romaine lettuce
- cereal with added folic acid
For Vitamin D
- salmon and other fatty fish
- milk, yogurt or cereal with added vitamin D
- iodized salt
- lean meat and poultry
- leafy green veggies
- cereal, bread and pasta with added iron
- raisins and other dried fruit
- low-fat milk
- low-fat cheese slices or cubes
- low-fat cottage cheese
For DHA (omega-3 fatty acid)
- herring, salmon, trout, achovies and/ or halibut (just not high-mercury fish)
- orange juice, milk or eggs with added DHA
Prenatal Vitamins: Nutrients You Need
Your regular multivitamin and a healthy diet alone usually won’t give you the nutrients you need to help your baby develop. Start taking prenatal vitamins before you try to conceive. Here’s what you need in your prenatal vitamin each day:
400-600 mcg (micrograms)
Your body uses this to make new cells. It can help prevent birth defects in your baby’s brain, spine , heart and mouth. It also lowers your risk of of having your baby too early.
27 mg (milligrams)
Your body needs this to make extra blood to help carry oxygen to your baby. Your baby also needs iron to create her own blood supply.
This helps your baby develop strong bones and teeth, and a healthy heart, muscles and nerves.
600 IU (international units)
This also helps your baby build strong bones and teeth because it helps her body use the calcium she takes in. Plus it helps her nerves, muscles and immune system work.
This is an omega-3 fatty acid ( a good type of fat). It helps you baby’s brain and eyes develop.
This helps your baby develope a healthy brain and nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) and to make thyroid hormones, which help her body use and store energy from food.
Staying active before and during pregnancy has many benefits. It can :
- make labor easier on your body
- help reduce backaches and constipation
- decrease swelling
- increase your energy, boost your mood and help you sleep
- help prevent gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- make it easier to recover once you have your baby
It will be easier to stick to an exercise routine if you’re active beforeb you get pregnant. Pick an activity like walking and aim to get 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic activity a week (30minutes, five days a week). Check with your doctor first to make sure exercise is safe for you.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t always hit your exercise goal – some activity is better than none.
Get to a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or having obesity increases your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and other problems. You’re also more likely to be uncomfortable while you’re pregnant, and your labor may be longer. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you. If you need to lose weight, make an eating plan you can stick to-and don’t forget to include exercise.
Being underweight can make it harder to get pregnant and increase your risk of miscarriage, having a baby with a low birth weight , and having a baby born too early. If you need to gain weight, eat three meals plus snacks every day, add more healthy food to each meal, and drink juice and milk for extra calories.
TIP: Avoid extreme diets-like ones that dramatically reduce calories or eliminate a kind of food completely-if you’re trying to conceive. You and your baby need the nutrients.
Stress can affect pregnancy by causing physical symptoms such as headaches and increased heart rate. And once you’re pregnant , ongoing stress or anxiety can affect your baby’s development. Being stressed our won’t keep you from getting pregnant -but it’s better to get your anxiety under control before you get pregnant.
Daily relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga and massage can help you feel less anxious. Also make sure you get enough slepp. Being overly tired can increase your stress. If you’re having trouble reducing stress, ask your doctor for help.
TIP: To give your baby the best chance at a healthy life, make changes to be your best self. Smoking, drinking and using drugscan cause ongoing or even fatal health issues for your baby. It’s easier to make changes like these before you’re pregnant, so ask your doctor for help.
Struggling to conceive
If you have been trying to get pregnant for one year (or six months if you’re 35 or older), it’s a good idea for you and your partner to talk to your doctors make sure there isn’t a medical reason. Remember: infertility isn’t just “a woman’s problem.” Your doctor can help you figure out why you aren’t getting pregnant. Depending on the reason, she may recommend one of the following:
Medications that help with hormones and ovulation
Surgery to treat blocked fallopian tubes or to check for other problems
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) a medical procedure where your own eggs are removed from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Once they’ve developed into embryo(s), your doctor puts the embryo(s) into the uterus.
Surrogacy: when another woman carries your baby in her uterus, either with or without your egg or pertners sperm.
Cryopreservation freezing your eggs, sperm or embryo
Donor egg or donor sperm: having someone else’s healthy egg or sperm medically inserted into your body
In women, the most common cause of infertility is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance that can stop you from ovulating normally. The mosyt common cause of infertility in men is swelling of testicle veins(varicocele), which overheats and damages sperm.
When "Trying" Isn't Enough
If you haven’t been able to get pregnant yet, you may feel depressed, anxious or even ashamed. It’s important to know there’s no evidence that stress causes infertility. These tips may help you deal with your feelings.
1. Talking to other people who have had trouble conceiving can be a relief for many people. Go to resolve.org/support to fing a support group.
2.Let your family know what you’re going through. Ask them for what what you need – a symphathetic ear, a fun distraction or a research helper, for example.
3. Give yourself permission to cry and be angry -and give your partner permission to cope differently than you do.
4.Talk to your partner about what you need and encouragehim or her to do the same: to skip a baby shower? To be hugged? Just to be listened to?
5.If feelings of loneliness, sadness or worthlessness don’t go away, ask your doctor to refer you to a mental health provider, or text TALK to 741741
The following sources were used: