Fertility and Trying to Conceive Community
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Avatar universal

Trying to Conceive

Hi, I just started TTC this month so I am not overly worried if it didn't work this time. . .plus we are quite stressed since we are moving out of the province again.  

Anyway, my questions are:

How much does stress impact fertility?
What are the main differences between pregnancy symptoms and period signs?
What is the earliest one can tell if she is preg.?
What can be recommended to reduce stress and increase fertility?  
33 Responses
Avatar universal
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for several years now and we've faced hurdles every step of the way and with each hurdle I try to do at least some "layman's" research on it. I say this only to make the point that time after time via magazine articles, websites, etc.I have read that stress impacts fertility although no one will give any statistics on this. Or at least I haven't seen any. I do know that when we first consulted with our fertility doctor our nurse gave us a folder with some information in it. One of the articles in the folder was stress and infertility. The gist of it was that studies showed that women being treated for infertility, their stress levels ranked as high as those dealing with life threatening diseases. That scared and astonished me but after only a few months of trying to conceive using IUI I believe it. I would imagine then that for someone who has not been diagnosed with infertility (if you've been ttc for at least a year with no luck) but wishing to get pregnant, then the stress levels must also be high but not nearly as dramatic as those going through fertility treatments. However, I did have seen nor was I given any material regarding the impact of stress on your fertility. So, my guess is, that they a.) either don't know the extent or b.) really don't know how to measure it or a combination of the two. You can do a whole big goggle search and find an enormous amount of information on pregnancy symptoms but here's the catch, once you start ttc then every little thing from your body will be a clue (in your mind) that you are or you aren't. So many of the symptoms are the same, it's hard to tell, especially with your imagination working overtime. I was so nauseated after my first IUI I would have sworn I was pregnant. I had a sinus infection. My bbs were also sore, turned out it was due to AF being on her way. A lot of women on this forum are using home ovulation kits to monitor their cycles and hopefully they can give you some good advice about monitoring your cycle. Also I've seen several women recommend this one book (I think it was "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" or something along those lines, can't remember the author) and I've seen where a lot of women have been using PreSeed. About testing for preg. -My body is so out of whack from PCOS, endo., etc.. that my doctor has to monitor me very closely so I'm much for advice on monitoring one's self. Although different home pregnancy tests will give different stats. I was given the earliest time to test at 14 days post IUI and that was at the doctor's office with a blood test. From reading the fine print I think the best the home pregnancy test can claim (at least the brand I bought) was 99% accuracy the day before the missed period or something to that effect. I think the best way not to stress is just make some friends on this forum. Also if you are monitoring youself then I would definitely check into that book. I can't remember what thread it was on but if you posed a new question regarding books and your fertility I'm sure you would get some responses. I think though that the most important thing that you have to keep in mind is that even if you are perfectly healthy and in your most productive years the average success rate for pregnancy during any given cycle is somewhere in the 20% range. It takes time! Or as my RE says, "human reproduction is not exact". He's telling me. Anyway, hopefully it will take you no time at all! Just keep trying. Sorry for this book I've written!!!! Hope I've been of some help anyway. If you ever want to chat just send me a note!
Avatar universal
sorry for jumping in.  It is a great book.  It's called "Taking Charge of your Fertility" by Toni weschler.  I bought that and "the Fertility Diet" by Jorge Chavarro.  I bought them on Amazon
Avatar universal
That's the book I've seen that everyone has been recommending. Do you think either of these books would help someone in my situation who isn't self monitoring? I have PCOS and endo. so a lot of issues. Do you think it might help me or would it just be a waste of my money?
865566 tn?1356703962
Hi there

My doc recommended reading both Taking Charge of Your Fertility and The Fertility Diet.  

I ordered TCOYF, and found that although it was full of information, after TTC for 2+years I more or less knew all that stuff already.  I think that for people just starting out, it would be very educational and would cover ALL the bases.

I think the only thing the book mentioned that I didnt already do/know was charting cervical position.  I added that to my repertoire this past month and it is kindof neat, if not a little gross.  

I will check to see if it contains alot about PCOS and endo as if there were chapters on those subjects I wouldnt have read them.  

Mamom15 - What did you think of "The Fertility Diet"?  Anything interesting?  

Avatar universal
Ohhh, thanks!!! Yeah, if you don't mind checking I would really appreciate it. I'm just wondering if it's a book mainly about how to monitor yourself, i.e. charts, tell if you're ovulating, etc... Because if it is then I'll skip on the purchase because my cycles are so off the charts out of control that the doctor's office has to very closely monitor me. In the past two weeks I've had about six office visits and they took bloodwork and did an ultrasound each time. I told my husband that I actually have "tracks" on my left arm (only arm they've been able to get blood from) and I look like a drug user. I'm so tired of going there! Oh well....
Avatar universal
What is cervical position? Do I want to know? :)
Avatar universal
Thanks for your comment.  I will check out that book but I am afraid to check out books about fertility or do too much research because I don't want to psych myself out.  I mean I just started ttc this month and I don't want to think about what could go wrong. . .you know what I mean.  ???  But I will check out that book and other books too about healthy fertility etc.  I am 30 years old and I have an identical twin sister who had a baby last year.  She wasnt ttc exactly but she wasn't using protection either.  Anyway, I keep in mind that if she can conceive, so can I. . . She advices me to just have fun during sex with no intentions behind the sex other than to have fun.  It is easier sad then done.  Because I am a person who is naturally anxious and I stress about a lot of things. . .but I am also a person who can comfort others and talk others out of feeling stressed because I am also a positive person. . .I think of the endless possibilities and opportunities and how wonderful even mistakes are so that we can learn from them. . .that is what I mean by positive but I also worry a lot about things. . . .I am now trying to take thinks in stride.  I can't believe what you said about the fertility rate for any given month is only 20% even for healthy pple.  ARe you sure?  Everywhere I go, it seems pple are pregnant.   And there are still more pple who are able to conceive than not right?  
Good luck to you too.  How many years have you been trying and when you went to the doctor, how did he/she test your fertility?  What was the exact problem?  and what does IUI mean?
Avatar universal
Sorry its been a bit crazy at work.  So I have started reading The Fertlity Diet and it is very good, talks in detail  about eating right and what food affects the body in what way.  But, I drove myself crazy reading all the labels and completely cutting out certain foods.  I tend to get a little carried away with everything.  Spoke to afriend who had a successfull IVF, she told me not to worry as I am at the correct weight BMI etc.  But this book does provide details about PCOS and Endometriosis.  It is helpful just don't be too anal like me.  

I just started reading Taking charge of your fertility.  I hope to finish it this weekend and then I iwll submit my book report to you guys

But as they are pretty cheap was about $25 for both books combined, I would say buy it.  Much cheaper than a $15000.00 IVF
Avatar universal
Well, I have to do IUI anyway because of the PCOS and the endo. and the fact that husband has 0 sperm count and we have to use a donor so I'm stuck with IUI for now. Oh well. Wish I could just self monitor. UGHHHH. I think I might just check into the Fertility Diet book and leave the other one alone. What do you think?
Avatar universal
We have been married 8 years (in July). I only took birth control pills for about the first year of married. Along the same time I was diagnosed with PCOS. Fast forward to about two years ago (sometime in early '07)I had an HSG done to see if my tubes were blocked. They weren't. Actively we've been trying for about two and half to three years. We found out my husband has 0 sperm (azoospermia) due to genetic factors. So we started checking into donors, trying to choose. Then last February I had to have surgery due to endometriosis. So we finally picked a donor, paid for 6 specimens and I had starting taking clomid to make me ovulate the end of April. May 4, I had my first IUI which came back negative. An IUI stands for intrauterine insemination, think artificial insemination. Same thing. They place a thin flexible catheter into the cervix and inject washed sperm directly into the uterus. It helps because the sperm don't really have to swim as far. But on average with one cycle of having an IUI done the stats. are about the same as trying to conceive naturally, about 20% per month. Yes, that is correct. I've seen some numbers as low as 13% and some as high as 25% per month but on average 20% per month (or cycle really) would, in fact, be correct. No one really and truly knows why some people get pregnant at the drop of a hat and others don't. There are some people who according to all of the tests should be having no problems and yet they can't and don't concieve. They have what's called unexplained infertility. Overall I think the average percentage of those in the US and the UK suffering from infertility is something like 10%, so one in every ten people or ten people for every hundred, etc., etc... So it is a big problem for a lot of people.
Avatar universal
You certainly don't have anything to worry about just yet. It could take you a while but you wouldn't be diagnosed with being infertile until you had been trying for at least a year and nothing was happening. I always knew I would have problems because of the PCOS. So, for me it wasn't an issue of am I going to have a problem but to what extent will this problem be. You can certainly take the laid back approach of just having fun and waiting. I think that the benefit of educating yourself on how to self monitor so you can tell when you are ovulating (and thus when to have sex) would be that you can take more control (and maybe not worry as much?) and therefore you would have a greater chance of getting pregnant more quickly. I wasn't trying to throw that 20% success rate per month to scare you. I really just meant it as encouragement that just because it hasn't doesn't mean that it won't. A month of trying with no success (ESPECIALLY, since you don't know what times you are fertile) isn't indicative of anything.
Avatar universal
I would say that if you think the best approach for you is to just take things easy for a while and see what happens then that's what you should do. But if you are looking for tips on how to get pregnant then I do think it would be probably beneficial for you to learn how to chart yourself or look into some other gentle helpful tips like a diet geared toward fertility. Like I said I wasn't trying to scare you with that 20% stat. That's just something that helped me feel better after my first IUI failed. That was just one cycle (one month) that doesn't mean anything. Stay positive :) It'll all be OK.
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