Category Archives: Contraception

A Few Ways To Keep Yourself Safe From Infertility

Modern technology is developing fast, but even the most sophisticated device cannot be compared to the human body. There is no doubt that our body is a fascinating “device”. However, in order to have full control of your body and use it to the maximum, you must take proper care of it. If you have a healthy body you can overcome many problems and achieve many goals. Pregnancy is one of the most important and beautiful experiences that every woman can have. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who find conception and pregnancy difficult no matter how hard they are trying. It looks like that modern lifestyle has made conception more difficult than ever. The improper diet, lack of physical activity and few other practices have significantly affected fertility in both men and women. In case you want to stay safe from infertility and enjoy one of the greatest gifts of life, you should keep reading this article because we will share a few recommendations.

Quit smoking – In case you didn’t know, there is more than one scientific study that has shown that smoking is bad for the human body and that it can reduce the ability to conceive a baby in both women and men. According to the same studies, in case a woman smokes about 20 cigarettes on a daily basis, she can lower her natural fertility for up to 25%. In addition, smoking tobacco also boosts the chances of miscarriage at any phase of pregnancy. When it comes to men, smoking slows down the movement of sperm and reduces sperm count.

Regular physical activity – While it is true that lack of physical activity is bad for fertility, it is also true that getting involved in extreme physical activity can also have negative impact. There are many women who are dealing with menstrual disorders as a result of over-exercising. On the other hand, men can notice problems too because too much physical activity can increase the temperature in the testicles and ruin the sperm count and properties.

Reduce alcohol intake – Excessive drinking of any type of alcohol is bad for fertility both in men and women. Sperm can’t stand alcohol and if this practice continues for a long time, sperm count will be reduced. In women, alcohol affects hormonal balance and boosts the chances of experiencing miscarriage.

Take care of your weight – In case you are overweight, you will significantly reduce the chances of conceiving a baby. That’s why it is crucial to lose weight right away. Remember that the main objective is to follow a healthy, balanced diet.

Stay away from polluted areas – Any area where you may get exposed to heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals should be avoided. In addition, check whether some of the pills you are taking affect your fertility.

Use folic acid – Even a relatively small amount of folic acid can improve your chances of getting pregnant. Additionally, folic acid supports the proper development of fetuses.

Menstruation

The endometrium is under the influence of sex steroids that circulate in females of reproductive age. Sequential exposure to oestrogen and progesterone will result in cellular proliferation and differentiation, in preparation for the implantation of an embryo in the event of pregnancy, followed by regular bleeding in response to progesterone withdrawal if the corpus luteum regresses. During the ovarian follicular phase, the endometrium undergoes proliferation (the ‘proliferative phase’); during the ovarian luteal phase, it has its ‘secretory phase’. Decidualization, the formation of a specialized glandular endometrium, is an irreversible process and apoptosis occurs if there is no embryo implantation. Menstruation (day 1) is the shedding of the ‘dead’ endometrium and ceases as the endometrium regenerates (which normally happens by day 5–6 of the cycle).

The endometrium is composed of two layers, the uppermost of which is shed during menstruation. A fall in circulating levels of oestrogen and progesterone approximately 14 days after ovulation leads to loss of tissue fluid, vasoconstriction of spiral arterioles and distal ischaemia. This results in tissue breakdown, and loss of the upper layer along with bleeding from fragments of the remaining arterioles is seen as menstrual bleeding. Enhanced fibrinolysis reduces clotting.

The effects of oestrogen and progesterone on the endometrium can be reproduced artificially, for example in patients taking the combined oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy who experience a withdrawal bleed during their pill free week each month.

Vaginal bleeding will cease after 5–10 days as arterioles vasoconstrict and the endometrium begins to regenerate. Haemostasis in the uterine endometrium is different from haemostasis elsewhere in the body as it does not involve the processes of clot formation and fibrosis.

In rare cases, the tissue breakdown and vasoconstriction does not occur correctly and the endometrium may develop scarring which goes on to inhibit its function. This is known as ‘Asherman’s syndrome’. The endocrine influences in menstruation are clear. However, the paracrine mediators less so. Prostaglandin F2a, endothelin-1 and platelet activating factor (PAF) are vasoconstrictors which are produced within the endometrium and are thought likely to be involved in vessel constriction, both initiating and controlling menstruation. They may be balanced by the effect of vasodilator agents, such as prostaglandin E2, prostacyclin (PGI) and nitric oxide (NO), which are also produced by the endometrium. Recent research has shown that progesterone withdrawal increases endometrial prostaglandin (PG) synthesis and decreases PG metabolism. The COX-2 enzyme and chemokines are involved in PG synthesis and this is likely to be the target of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents used for the treatment of heavy and painful periods.

Endometrial repair involves both glandular and stromal regeneration and angiogenesis to reconstitute the endometrial vasculature. VEGF and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) are found within the endometrium and both are powerful angiogenic agents. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) appears to be responsible for mediation of oestrogen-induced glandular and stromal regeneration. Other growth factors, such as transforming growth factors (TGFs) and IGFs, and the interleukins may also be important.

Greater understanding of mediators of menstruation is important in the search for medications to control heavy and painful periods. Mefenamic acid is a PG synthetase inhibitor which is widely used as a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding. It is believed to act by increasing the ratio of the vasoconstrictor PGF2a to the vasodilator PGE2. Mefenamic acid reduces menstrual loss by a mean value of 20–25 per cent in women with very heavy bleeding, and further more effective agents are still being sought.

Treatment for soft erection

Intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs)

The intrauterine device have been used throughout the world. During the last couple of decades, however, there has been a significant improvement in its design and content. The idea is to obtain maximum efficacy without increasing the adverse effects. The device is classified as open, when it has got no circumscribed aperture of more than 5 mm so that a loop of intestine or omentum cannot enter and become strangulated if, accidentally, the device perforates through the uterus into the peritoneal cavity. Lippes loop, Cu T, Cu 7, Multiload and Progestasert are examples of open devices. If closed devices, like Grafenberg ring and Birnberg bow, accidentally enter the abdominal cavity, they have the potential of causing strangulation of the gut; and hence are obsolete. The device may be nonmedicated as Lippes loop or medicated (bioactive) by incorporating a metal copper, in devices like Cu T-200, Cu T-380A, Multiload-250, Multiload-375. Hormone containing IUD either releasing progesterone (progestasert) or levonorgestrel (LNGIUS) has also been introduced.

Copper T 200 — The widely used medicated device is Copper T 200 B. It carries 215 sq mm surface area of fine copper wire wounded round the vertical stem of the device. Stem of the T-shaped device is made of a polyethylene frame. It has a polyethylene monofilament tied at the end of the vertical stem. These two threads are used for detection and removal. In spite of the copper being radiopaque, additional barium sulfate is incorporated in the device. The device contains 124 mg of copper. The copper is lost at the rate of about 50 μg per 24 hours during a period of one year. It is supplied inside a sterilized sealed packet. The device is to be removed after 4 years. Cu T 200 carries 200 sq mm surface area of wire containing 120 mg of copper and is removed after 3 years.

Cu T 380A — Cu T 380A carries total 380 mm2 surface area of copper wire wound around the stem (314 mm2) and each copper sleeve on the horizontal arms (33 mm2). The frame contains barium sulfate and is radiopaque. Replacement is every 10 years.

Multiload Cu 250 — The device emits 60–100 μg of copper per day during a period of one year. The device is to be replaced every 3 years.

Multiload–375 — The device is available in a sterilized sealed packet with an applicator. There is no introducer and no plunger. It has 375 mm2 surface area of copper wire wound around its vertical stem. Replacement is every 5 years.

Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) — This is a T-shaped device, with polydimethylsiloxane membrane around the stem which acts as a steroid reservoir. Total amount of levonorgestrel is 52 mg and is released at the rate 20 μg/day. This device is to be replaced every 7 years. Its efficacy is comparable to sterilization. It has many non-contraceptive benefits also.

Contraindication for IUCD

(1) Presence o\f pelvic infection current or within 3 months;

(2) Undiagnosed genital tract bleeding;

(3) Suspected pregnancy;

 (4) Distortion of the shape of the uterine cavity as in fibroid or congenital uterine-malformation;

(5) Severe dysmenorrhea;

(6) Past history of ectopic pregnancy;

(7) Within 6 weeks following cesarean section;

(8) STIs — Current or within 3 months;

(9) Trophoblastic disease;

(10) Significant immunosuppression. Additionally for CuT are:

(11) Wilson disease

(12) Copper allergy. For LNG-IUS:

(13) Hepatic tumor or hepatocellular disease (active); 

(14) Current breast cancer and

(15) Severe arterial disease.

7 Essential Foods to Improve Sperm

Having strong and healthy sperm is essential to ensure pregnancy. To do this, have a healthy diet, have an adequate levels of calcium and often ejaculate are the main aspects that you should not overlook. The foods you eat directly affect the quality of your sperm and, if not appropriate, can reduce the number of sperm or damage them. If you intend to be a father and cares about the fertility, this article will show you what foods to eat in order to improve your sperm.

The first thing you should know is that a balanced diet is not the only factor to be considered to improve the quality of semen. Here in this article you can find out all aspects that influence the improvement of sperm.

1. Foods rich in vitamin C

The foods rich in vitamin C are essential for improving sperm quality, as its antioxidant properties stimulate the movement of sperm. The orange is one of the fruit with more vitamin C, so it is recommended to drink at least a glass of orange juice a day to improve sperm. The cranberry or blueberry is also an important source of vitamin C, very effective for improving sperm.

2. Foods rich in vitamin E

Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant essential for the improvement of sperm and can be found mainly in vegetable oils and dried fruits. However, more effective sources of vitamin E for improving sperm quality are the nuts, almonds, wheat germ and olive oil.

3. Foods rich in vitamin A

Vitamin A influences the formation of steroid androgens, which are essential to the creation of sex cells and thus favors the quality and fertility of semen. The foods rich in vitamin A that benefit most for the improvement of sperm are dairy products, carrots, pumpkin and spinach.

4. Folic acid and zinc

Folic acid and zinc are essential to maintain the quality of sperm. Without folic acid, the number of sperm decreases and its formation becomes weak. And without zinc, growth and development of sex organs are affected negatively. Folic acid is found in foods rich in vitamin B6. The chicken is one of the foods with folic acid and zinc, which help to improve sperm quality. The pumpkin seeds and oysters are other important sources of zinc, very beneficial for sperm.

5. Omega-3

Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential for improving sperm, since the fatty acid and linolenic acid are essential for proper maturation of sperm process. The main foods rich in these substances that improve sperm quality are walnuts, flax seeds and fish.

6. Garlic

Garlic is a food that favors considerably the production of sperm and also improves heart function, reduces blood sugar and cholesterol, among many other benefits. Surprisingly, another food which improves the quality of sperm is the popcorn, since it has a high level of plant arginine, which is a major component of the sperm.

7. Healthy and balanced diet

Studies of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine show that following a healthy and balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and cereals, improves sperm quality. The excess intake of alcohol and tobacco however, decrease the number of sperms and affect its quality.

Increase your Fertility in a Natural Way

Unfortunately there are many couples that have trouble conceiving a child. Couples who for some period of time fail to conceive a baby are very often depressive and frustrated because no matter how hard they try and whatever advice they try that doesn’t seem to help them.

However, there are plenty of natural things that can help the process of conception. It is good to mention, that some of these advice are not medically proven, but since they don’t bring any side effects they are definitely worth trying.

First and foremost, you and your partner should stop smoking immediately. Many studies have confirmed that male smokers have 20% lower sperm levels compared to non-smokers. In addition, smoking doesn’t only reduce the amount of sperms, but it also affects their quality. Smoking is bad for women too because it prolongs the time of conception and increases the chances of complete infertility. It has also been proven that smokers need to take higher doses of drugs compared to non-smokers in the process of treating infertility. Even passive smoking is harmful for women trying to get pregnant. The good news is that it is never too late to stop smoking. Even if you have been smoking for years, your health will be significantly improved if you stop smoking.

Another important factor that has negative impact on fertility is stress. Many researchers have shown that methods used for stress relief can increase fertility. Many women conceived babies more easily just because they have found a way to relax properly. Although infertility is very stressful, try to look at this time spend on conceiving a baby as a joyful experience which takes some time. Learn how to cope with everyday stress and practice some relaxation techniques for better sexual performance (yoga or pilates for example).

Proper nutrition is equally important. Many couples have trouble conceiving because they are not following healthy diets. It is good to know that although you are feeling healthy you are actually not that healthy. According to the latest studies around 80% of infertile couples don’t have enough antioxidants in their body. Consume more fresh vegetables and fruits because this can lead to the moment you were waiting for. Men should pay special attention to food that contains large amounts of vitamin E and C because these vitamins can help increase the number of sperms and their mobility. On the other hand, it has been proven that mercury has a very negative effect of sperm quality and that’s why you should lower the intake of seafood. Obesity is a great obstacle when it comes to conception. This is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. By losing only few pounds you will increase your fertility.

Finally, there are few more tips that can help your chances of conception. Having sex at least three times a week, avoiding caffeine, changing medications, improvement of quality of sexual relationship are some of the things that you can do in order to achieve that.

Smoking and sexual health

Most anyone knows that smoking is bad for you. It can damage the lungs, the heart, the brain, the kidneys and most any organ of the human body. A whole lot of diseases have extremely higher potential to appear in a person that’s actively smoking. But even though people know this, some of them go on with the bad habit. Trying to convince these people to quit smoking is like trying to convince an elephant to play basketball. But either way, we must push on with the battle to eradicate this horrible habit that’s endangering the lives of millions upon millions of hapless people.

And the nail in coffin might just prove to be… the effect of smoking on sexual health. We all know by now that smoking steadily destroys the heart and its capacity to pump out blood effectively. This translates into many bad symptoms that a body experiences, but not to say the least it is harmful for the sex life. There have been dozens of credible scientific studies that confirm this notion. One of these studies measured the sexual potential of men that were smoking while the research was conducted, and the potential of non-smokers.  What they found out was that the smoker group had 73% higher chances of suffering erectile dysfunction – a bad condition that may very well destroy a man’s self-esteem.

Moreover, once achieved, the quality of the erection faltered as well. This meant that the erection was of lower strength and size, and lasted for a shorter time period. This can spell death to your sex life. However, if you’re a smoker, don’t get so disappointed and think that it’s impossible to improve your sex life from now on. Namely, there was a third group in the aforementioned study, and it consisted of men who were smokers when the research begun, but had given their best to quit smoking at the end of the study. The results were again fascinating – this new group of men have improved their chances of achieving and maintaining a firm, hard erection by a whopping 65%!

So quit smoking while you still can, because it will serve you in the long run. Your sex life will thank you for it, among many other aspects of your life that will be improved as well.

However, some people find smoking actually stimulating in a sexual way. While smoking can do nothing but harm for the body, it sure can make the mind horny. Some people actually have a cigarette fetish and get turned on when they see a member of their opposite sex smoking. There’s nothing wrong in this per se, it just is.  But if you’re one of these people that get turned on by cigarettes, try to think about the tenfold increase in mortality risks and many diseases risks for a smoker, when you’re up about it. It will definitely shake you up out of that mentality.

In the end, we’ll agree that smoking is bad. If you just decide to lose the habit, then you’ll find out your life improving in many ways. And finally, you’d be able to have better sex!