The benefits of PreSeed

Elize Kruger

Having to have intercourse during the woman’s fertile time can lead to stress and increased vaginal dryness.

Women trying to fall pregnant are also aware of the quality of their fertile fluids also known as cervical mucus. Commonly, the cervical mucus is created by your body to support sperm on their journey through the cervix to meet the egg during ovulation. It becomes more slippery (like egg whites), this is to protect and nourish the sperm.

With age or hormonal imbalances, the fertile cervical fluid becomes less making it difficult for the sperm to swim through the cervix.

Safe for use by couples trying to conceive—PreSeed is the first lubricant ever allowed to make this statement. The safety of PreSeed for sperm is supported by independent, published studies.

PreSeed comes with applicators to deposit the unique lubricant inside, where it can coat the vagina and external cervix, and best mimics your own natural fluids in an optimal environment for sperm.

  • 82% of users felt that PreSeed provided just the “right amount of lubrication.”
  • 52% of women used PreSeed to supplement inadequate fertile secretions.
  • When you are trying to conceive, know the facts about vaginal lubricants.
  •  Some medical studies report that leading “non-spermicidal” lubricants damage sperm and should be avoided if you want to optimize your chances for a baby.

PreSeed was explicitly developed to match a woman’s fertile fluids and to provide safe lubrication for use when trying to conceive a baby!

  • Balanced to match fertile cervical mucus.
  • Applying PreSeed inside mimics and supplements natural body fluids.
  • PreSeed’s isotonic formula does not irritate the sensitive tissues.
  • PreSeed is safe enough to make a baby, but it also provides natural feeling mild lubrication for anyone at any time. 

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How to effectively use Ovulation tests

Elize Kruger

Most people fall pregnant without giving it a second thought. But what do you do when it’s just not happening for you quick enough? That’s where Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK’s) come in.

OPK’s are a very popular method for predicting ovulation. It can help you determine your most fertile window. It’s a quick, easy and accurate way to predict ovulation in advance.

How does OPK’s work?
Lets look at how ovulation happens: Firstly the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) starts the follicles growing, as the follicles grow oestrogen is produced to thicken your endometrium which is where the possible embryo may implant, then when everything is right another hormone, Luteinizing hormone, surges to trigger the release of the egg which happens within around 36 hours.

Luteinizing hormone is what the OPK picks up. As soon as your OPK shows a strong positive (bear in mind that a weak 2nd line is considered a negative), you will ovulate within 36 hours. This is your most fertile time. Sperm can survive for up to 5 days with an average of 48 hours, so intercourse before this time can yield conception as well.

Sometimes it happens that you use your OPK’s as prescribed and you still get a negative, then you can look at making a few changes, for example:

• Never use first-morning urine (FMU). Although this will give you a definite positive, it is possible that the LH concentrates in your urine overnight.
• Always use your second-morning urine.
• Test 4 hours after you last emptied your bladder. So avoid using the bathroom for 4 hours before your test. But if you are bursting then test as soon as you empty your bladder.
• Limit your water intake: We don’t want you to become dehydrated, but if you’re consuming large amounts of liquid in the hours before testing, your urine may become diluted, and you will have a negative and miss your LH surge.
• Test more than once a day. Generally, your LH spike lasts briefly, and you might miss the surge altogether and maybe miss out on conception that month.

The test line as has to be the same shade or darker than the control line: The reason for this is because as women we always have a small amount of LH in our systems, and we will ovulate only when the LH surge happens, and this is what the OPK’s pick up.

You may want to chart your basal temperatures while using your OPK’s. By looking at previous charts, you can quickly determine when to start using your ovulation tests.

It is best to test at the same time each day.

If you do not see a surge within the five days recommended by the manufacturers, test until you see a surge or until your temperatures have risen and stayed elevated for three days on your BBT Chart.

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Infertility

Elize Kruger
Infertility is something none of us want to consider, but sadly it is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. If you have been trying for longer than a year to fall pregnant, you might want to ask your OB/GYN for a basic check-up.

Infertility or Primary Infertility is defined as an inability to fall pregnant within two years of having intercourse without contraception.
Secondary Infertility is not being able to fall pregnant after you’ve conceived a child.

What causes infertility?

Both Male and Female:

• Genetic factors.
• Diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, adrenal disease.
• Hypothalamic-pituitary factors.
• Hyperprolactinemia.
• Hypopituitarism.
• The presence of anti-thyroid antibodies.
• Environmental factors.
• Toxins: Glues, some organic solvents, silicones, chemical dust, pesticides, and tobacco.

Female Infertility Causes:
• Hypothalamic-pituitary factors.
• Hypothalamic dysfunction.
• Hyperprolactinemia.
• Ovarian factors.
• Polycystic ovary syndrome.
• Anovulation (not ovulating).
• Diminished ovarian reserve, or Poor Ovarian Reserve.
• Premature menopause.
• Menopause.
• Luteal dysfunction.
• Gonadal dysgenesis (Turner syndrome).
• Ovarian cancer.
• Endometriosis.
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID, usually due to chlamydia).
• Tubal occlusion.
• Tubal dysfunction.
• Uterine malformations.
• Uterine fibroids (leiomyoma).
• Asherman’s Syndrome.
• Cervical stenosis.
• Antisperm antibodies.
• Non-receptive cervical mucus.
• Vaginismus.
• Vaginal obstruction.

Male Infertility Causes:
• Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism due to various causes.
• Obesity.
• Drugs and alcohol.
• Strenuous riding (bicycle riding, horseback riding).
• Certain medications: Chemotherapy, anabolic steroids, cimetidine,  spironolactone, phenytoin, sulfasalazine and nitrofurantoin.
• Tobacco smoking.
• Genetic defects on the Y chromosome.
• Y chromosome microdeletions.
• Abnormal set of chromosomes.
• Klinefelter syndrome.
• Neoplasm, e.g., seminoma.
• Idiopathic failure.
• Cryptorchidism.
• Varicocele.
• Trauma.
• Hydrocele.
• Mumps.
• Malaria.
• Testicular cancer.
• Defects in USP26 in some cases.
• Acrosomal defects affecting egg penetration.
• Idiopathic oligospermia.
• Radiation therapy to a testis decreases its function.
• Vas deferens obstruction.
• Lack of Vas deferens often related to genetic markers for Cystic Fibrosis.
• Infection, e.g., prostatitis.
• Retrograde ejaculation.
• Ejaculatory duct obstruction.
• Hypospadias.
• Impotence.

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My Fallopian tubes are blocked, is there something that can help me?

Elize Kruger

Reader Question:

I have been trying to get pregnant for the past four to 6 years now... two years ago the gynecologist told me I had blocked Fallopian tubes when I did HSG examination, they told me they could unblock my tubes through surgery, or I can conceive through IVF. I DON’T HAVE SO MUCH money for those procedures, question: Can I use Clomid in the meantime I’m saving money? My gynecologist said I have healthy eggs.

Answer:

Unfortunately, the only way for your eggs to reach your uterus is through the Fallopian Tubes, the egg is also fertilized while in the Fallopian tubes, from where the fertilized egg moves down into your uterus to embed into the lining. Using Clomid would not make a difference at all. Having your tubes unblocked through surgery isn’t always successful. Fallopian tubes are very sensitive, and damage to them is often irreversible. Your best option would be IVF, if your eggs are healthy, that will give you an excellent chance at success with IVF. ** Please note the medical disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

Additional information:

What are the Fallopian Tubes? It is a pair of tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus.
What causes my Fallopian tubes to be blocked? There are a few causes, one of them is an infection, if at any stage in your life you had a pelvic infection of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID, you could be at risk for blocked Fallopian tubes. Other causes are: – Current or historical STD (Sexually transmitted disease) especially Chlamydia or Gonorrhea – Previous ectopic pregnancy – Ruptured appendix – History of abdominal surgery – Infection caused by abortion or previous miscarriages
Why can’t I fall pregnant when both my tubes are blocked? An egg is released from your ovaries directly into one of your Fallopian tubes, while there it awaits the arrival of sperm to fertilize it. If the egg is not fertilized, it moves down to your uterus and gets expelled when you menstruate. If it is successfully fertilized, the fertilized egg will move down your Fallopian tube into your uterus where it embeds into your endometrial lining, and the baby grows. When the Fallopian tubes are blocked, the egg cannot be fertilized by sperm, and it cannot move down into your uterus. Sometimes your tubes can be partially blocked, and this can be a very big risk for an ectopic pregnancy, which is life-threatening and can cause massive internal bleeding. If at any stage during the early stages of pregnancy you feel extreme abdominal pain, with or without shoulder pain you need to seek medical care immediately.
How are blocked Fallopian tubes diagnosed? Your doctor will send you for an HSG X-ray or Hysterosalpingogram is a radiologic procedure. It entails the injection of a dye into your uterus through your cervix. X-rays are then taken to see the shape of your uterus and the state of your Fallopian tubes. The procedure can be very painful, but it will be over in seconds. You may want to take a couple of pain tablets an hour before the procedure if you’re nervous about the pain and you will need a sanitary towel afterward as there will probably be some bleeding afterward. Your doctor will most probably also prescribe an antibiotic to take afterward to prevent any risk of infection.
What are my options? It is difficult answering emails relating to blocked Fallopian tubes is breaking the news as gently as I possibly can that your options are limited. You have some choices, but depending on your financial situation it might not be ideal.
1. Surgical repair. This should ideally be done by a Fertility Specialist or an excellent Gynecologist. Unfortunately, the repair is not covered by Medical Aid, and you will have to foot the whole bill, including hospital stay, theater fees, and anesthetist among other things. The other drawback is that depending on the damage to your Fallopian tubes; the operation might not be successful. The cost for repair is roughly the same as one IVF attempt. If there are no other fertility issues, your eggs are healthy, and there are no male infertility factors then you could be successful with one IVF attempt. But as with anything and everything conception related there are no guarantees. Most clinics will state that it can take up to 3 IVF attempts to conceive. I’ve known a few women who’ve done 10 or more. But those are the exception.
2. IVF. Or In Vitro Fertilisation, is a good option. Unfortunately, it is extremely expensive and cost prohibitive for the majority of couples in South Africa. I have written an article on cost-effective treatments here, but not all of them will help with blocked tubes. You might be able to go through one of the State hospitals on the list, and even then, there will be costs involved, but not as much as private clinics.
3. Adoption. If all else fails, you might consider adopting a baby. Adoption has brought many families together, but it’s also not for everyone. You may want to research this option thoroughly and read books written by adoptees and birth mothers. Being armed with all the necessary information regarding adoption will go a long way in helping you understand and assisting your adopted child as he or she navigates through life.
4. Living Child Free. I will be honest; when I first struggled to conceive and especially after my 1st miscarriage I would have died thinking I was going to go through life child-free, it simply wasn’t an option. The only reason I’m putting this as an option is to let you know, you are not alone, you will not die, and there might be light at the end of the tunnel. I struggled with this choice, I really did, but I’d made a promise to myself that if I’m not pregnant by 39, that I will completely stop trying. My husband and I spoke about adoption at length, and we have seen many of our friends adopt, and all of them had happy outcomes, but we just felt it wasn’t the way for us. So set out coming to terms with living childfree.

It’s been nine years now, and I still struggle with our decision. It wasn’t an easy road. I just kept repeating to myself and anyone within earshot or who asked whether we have children or not, that we are OK, I repeatedly said we had accepted it, that we are enjoying life, we are enjoying the silence and the freedom, that I am over my infertility trauma, we have moved on. Not because I was lying but that I was affirming what I knew would eventually be true. It didn’t necessarily feel true, but in the logical sense, it was true. Slowly but surely we established ourselves as a childless couple; we enjoyed the freedom and the quietness. We enjoyed each other, and our relationship has blossomed. For the most part we are REALLY enjoying ourselves, sleeping in, going out to dinner at the drop of a hat, saving money and going on holiday without the need for a trailer but there are moments, and there will always be moments of extreme sadness, loss and missing out on the fun things, the achievements, the milestones.

So, if you’re reading this and you’re grappling with the decision of staying childless, or opting for adoption or even for saving up for your 1st IVF, I hope this has in some small way helped you to come to terms with your decision.

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The Ultimate BBT Charting Starter Kit

Elize Kruger

Celebrate your period, rather than resenting it. Let me save you thousands of Rands, hundreds of hours of frustration, and your relationship with your partner. It’s time to view your period in a very different light. Let your period be your guide to becoming pregnant. Stop, look, listen your way to becoming pregnant.

It’s time baby, for a baby! The Ultimate BBT Charting Starter Kit will reveal all about the health of your menstrual cycle. Learn about:
• What is a healthy menstrual cycle?
• What is your luteal phase and how long it should be for conception to take place?
• Learn about ovulation and how it moves – that right it isn’t always on day 14.
• Learn to listen to your body, be in control of it.
You see becoming pregnant actually is a little bit of a science.

It’s time I educate you about your body. To become pregnant, you need to have sex when you are fertile. A woman is only fertile when she produces cervical mucus. Cervical mucus reveals so much about your body. It tells us how much estrogen you have; it tells us if you are ovulating, it tells us how long your fertile phase is. Too much cervical mucus is also a problem as pregnancy will not occur when you are estrogen dominant. So how much is optimal? That is what you will learn in The Ultimate BBT Charting Starter Kit.

Pregnancy will only occur if you have two HEALTHY individuals
The Ultimate BBT Charting Starter Kit is going to put you in control of this process. It’s going to give you what you need to know and more. It’s even going to illustrate why you are not becoming pregnant. You should do this before any specialist, before any appointment because this kit will teach you everything you need to know about you, your body, and your health.

So what is this kit?
In The Ultimate BBT Charting Starter Kit, you will learn how to chart your menstrual cycle. Put in the simplest way possible charting is like blogging about your body or keeping a diary about your body or writing a journal about the signs your body gives you every single day. You see every single day is different. Some days you will see cervical mucus, others you won’t. Some days your morning temperature will be low, for other days it will be high. Some days you will have energy that will make you indispensable and others you will feel like curling up in bed. Believe it, or not all these signs follow a cyclical nature, and when you stop to look, listen and feel your body, you will be in awe of this incredible piece of machinery.

So The Ultimate BBT Charting Starter Kit contains all the materials to teach yourself how to chart (stop, look and listen) your cycle (so that you can conceive) should you want a baby or for (contraception) should you not want one just yet – Your choice.

Effective, natural options are at your fingertips all you need to do is:
Read the guidebook: through education, all the questions you ever had about your body will be answered. Complete your picture in the charting book: (your diary) in which you can create this beautiful picture of your incredible functioning body. Using different colored stamps to represent the different phases of your cycle you will always know if you are fertile (become pregnant) or not fertile (cannot become pregnant): you know every single day. To complete this picture, you will need to take your morning temperature every single day and feel and observe mucus every time you go to the toilet. Yep, that’s it. It takes seconds – ok maybe minutes, but now you are in control of your body.

If you are more techno-savvy, then there’s access to the Justisse charting app that you can use on your computer and your phone.

On top of this when you purchase The Ultimate BBT Charting Starter Kit should you run into problems. Maybe you get a little confused, feel a little lonely on this journey of learning about your body. Don’t fret – Claudia Slattery the only Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner in South Africa and accredited to the Association of Fertility Awareness Professionals (AFAP) has completed a rigorous training process so you can contact her for some training should you want the guided consults.

TO SUM IT UP WHY NATURAL:
• Costs less than any IVF or fertility specialist
• Know your body so that you know if you are healthy
• Know exactly when you ovulate (You won’t have to rely on ovulation predictor kits which are not accurate)
• You can bring accurate information to your doctor
• You know exactly when to do the deed if you want to get pregnant
• The control is in your hands
• Know early if conception occurred – no need for pregnancy tests
• There is no such thing as unexplained fertility: Your cycle reveals everything.
• Much more fun than injecting yourself.
• No chemicals, no hormones
• Your period is awesome! It’s telling you something.

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