Know Your Body
Science-backed articles about women's health, fertility, sex, periods, and more.
EndometriosisEndo Belly: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and MoreEndometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissue starts to grow outside the uterus, usually around the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or inside the abdominal cavity. Endometriosis is quite common, affecting around 1 in 10 women. It often goes undetected for years because there may be no symptoms, or the symptoms are mistaken for another condition. What Is Endo Belly? Endo belly is a term for abdominal distension (bloating) caused by endometriosis. Regular bloating is a feeling of tightness and slight cramping around your abdomen. Endo belly differs from regular bloat by often being very painful and firm to the touch, sometimes excruciatingly enough to interfere with your day-to-day activities. As for how long endo belly lasts, the severe bloating may lessen after a few hours, but can also persist in a less severe form for days or weeks after your period. Symptoms of Endo Belly Bloating Diarrhea Nausea ConstipationGas Pain Endo Belly Causes The endometrial-like tissue located outside the uterus in endometriosis sufferers behaves like the normal endometrial lining by building up, breaking down, and bleeding each month. However, because this tissue doesn’t have a way to leave the body, it gets trapped. This leads to several possible reasons for causing endo belly, such as: Inflammation build-up The build-up of endometrial tissue outside the uterus causes inflammation in the abdomen, resulting in bloating, swelling, and water retention. Cyst and fibroid progression The endometrial-like tissue may cover or grow into the ovaries, resulting in trapped blood and increasing the risk of cysts, fibroids, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which could all lead to bloating Gastrointestinal upset Endometriosis often causes issues with the digestive system, like constipation and gas. Factors That Aggravate Symptoms of Endo Belly Food intolerancesStressAntidepressant useHormonal changesRed meatDiets high in trans-fatsFODMAP foods (fruits, honey, dairy, wheat, onions, garlic, beans, lentils, soybeans, sugar alcohols, and fruits that have pits or seeds) When Does Endo Belly Occur? Endometriosis can either begin in early adolescence or show up later in adulthood. The symptoms of endo belly can occur all the time or can be cyclical, where the symptoms come and go around the same time as your menstrual cycle. How Endo Belly Is Treated If you're wondering what to do for endo belly, it is usually treated by managing endometriosis, the underlying condition. Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis, which means that endo belly is not likely to go away on its own. However, in most cases, the symptoms may improve with some endo belly remedies and other treatments for reducing menstrual pain. Pain Management Treatments Depending on the severity of pain you experience, your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory pain medication. How to Help Endo Belly With Hormonal Treatments Hormonal medications can help slow down the growth of the endometrial-like tissue and could stop adhesions and new scar tissue from forming. Some options include: Birth control pills Progesterone hormones that come in the form of an injection, pill, or IUD may prevent the endometrial-like tissue from growing or stop periods altogether. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist medication can help stop the production of hormones, tissue growth, and menstruation. Androgens include medication that can stop the hormone production related to menstrual cycles and may lessen the frequency of your period. How to Reduce Endo Belly With Surgical Treatments Certain surgeries like laparoscopy and hysterectomy may alleviate or prevent endometriosis and endo belly pain. Laparoscopy, or keyhole surgery, is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your surgeon to remove endometriosis patches. A hysterectomy is a procedure where your surgeon will remove the uterus and possibly the ovaries to get rid of endometriosis. However, there’s a very slight chance that symptoms of endometriosis and endo belly might persist after these operations, and so there isn't really a definitive answer as to whether endo belly does or does not go away after surgery. Home Remedies to Reduce Endo Belly You may experience an inflamed endo belly after eating, so consider foods that are suitable for an endo belly, like an anti-inflammatory and high-fiber diet. Additionally, you can try certain spices and herbs like ginger and mint for nausea and cinnamon, turmeric, and cloves for cramps and bloating. An endo belly may also cause weight gain that could be alleviated by light exercise. Should You See a Doctor for Endo Belly? If you have painful, frequent abdominal bloating that lasts longer than a few days, be sure to see your doctor. They can diagnose if the underlying cause is endometriosis and prescribe the right treatment plan.
Trying to conceiveThe IVF Egg Retrieval Process ExplainedThe process of retrieving eggs from your ovaries may seem daunting but, it is quick and painless. In this article, we take you through the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) egg retrieval process from start to finish. An IVF procedure takes place thirty-four to thirty-six hours after you have received a trigger shot. Trigger shots are given once per cycle before ovulation and your cycle will not be messed up after egg retrieval. What is Egg Retrieval Surgery? In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a procedure to remove the eggs from follicles in your ovaries. What Happens During the Egg Retrieval Process? The doctors performing the procedure on you make use of an ultrasound to visually guide a small needle through the vagina into the ovaries during the egg retrieval procedure. The needle enters the follicles. The follicular fluids, which contain the eggs, are removed using gentle suction. The procedure takes less than thirty minutes. What happens after egg retrieval, you may ask? The eggs are suctioned into a test tube by the IVF physician and the tube is given to an embryologist to complete the process. How Long Is the Egg Retrieval Process? The IVF process from start to finish takes about three weeks. Occasionally, the steps are phased, so the process can take longer. Can You Be Awake During Egg Retrieval? No, you are sedated and closely monitored by an anesthesiologist during the procedure. How Many Eggs Are Normally Retrieved? The number of eggs produced and removed depends on your age, ovarian reserve, response to ovarian stimulation, and, in some cases, the ability to access the ovaries with a needle. The number of eggs retrieved for IVF decreases with age and so does their quality. How Many Eggs Is Too Many? Typically, retrieving more than 15 eggs can increase the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Can IVF Work With 2 Eggs? There is a low success rate amongst all age groups if less than two eggs are retrieved. Is Egg Retrieval for IVF Painful? You should feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure, because you are sedated. It's normal to experience some discomfort and even cramping before egg retrieval, similar to what you'd experience during your period. How Long Does It Take To Recover From Egg Retrieval? You need to keep your activities to a minimum on the day of the retrieval and the day after. Normal activity can resume after two days. Strict bed rest is no longer required or even recommended. After egg retrieval, you may expect and experience some side effects such as a small amount of bloody discharge, mild cramping or bloating, and constipation. What Can You Eat After Egg Retrieval? Ideally, you should eat whole foods, healthy fats, and reduce your sugar intake. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always beneficial. Consider the following foods: bananas, beets, berries, broccoli, dates, greens with leaves, sprouts and sweet potatoes. Eat lean and nutritious protein sources, high in fiber or healthy omega-3 fatty acids like anchovies, beans, eggs, hummus, nuts, salmon, sardines, seeds, and yogurt. Are You More Fertile After Egg Retrieval? Natural conception after IVF is possible, although it is uncommon. What Are the Risks of Egg Retrieval? Can Egg Retrieval Damage Ovaries? Your procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance and the needle can be seen on the ultrasound, the risk of serious complications is extremely low. There could however be some complications associated with IVF. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) OHSS is a condition caused by the use of injectable fertility drugs such as HCG to produce multiple eggs. Bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, and weight gain are some of the symptoms. The mild symptoms disappear within two to three days and more severe symptoms, which typically last one week, may necessitate abdominal drainage of accumulated fluid and occasional hospitalization. Bleeding During Your Egg Retrieval Bleeding is managed with simple pressure and stops without the need for additional intervention. Internal bleeding from the ovaries when they are pierced is uncommon but the risk is always present. Infections Infections can develop anywhere where germs or bacteria have been introduced. To avoid such infections, you might be given prophylactic antibiotics during the egg retrieval process. Ovarian Torsion This is an uncommon yet dangerous side effect. Ovarian torsion occurs when the ovary or fallopian tube bends around its supporting tissue, cutting off the ovary's blood supply. Rapid surgical intervention is necessary to fix it. Ectopic Pregnancy An ectopic pregnancy very rarely occurs when the embryo develops outside of the uterus (usually in the fallopian tubes). Conclusion If you are struggling to fall pregnant naturally, IVF is a relatively safe alternative. IVF has a 55% success rate, especially for women under age 35. Read more about the IVF process, step-by-step, to help alleviate some of your concerns and educate you about this exciting journey of fertility.
Trying to conceiveBest Fertility Vitamins for Men and WomenIt takes both a man and a woman to create a healthy embryo. With that said, it comes as no surprise that there is an abundance of natural fertility supplements to improve egg quality and quantity in women, and sperm motility and morphology in men. Let's take a look at what's readily available today to assist men and women improve their odds of fertility. Should You Take Vitamin Supplements for Fertility? Taking vitamins on a regular basis to boost fertility can help both men and women increase their chances of conception. Women fall pregnant in a shorter period of time by improving egg quality and in men, they can increase sperm motility. Best Vitamins for Female Fertility There are a number of prenatal vitamins to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Here are a few that will benefit you the most: Vitamin B Folic acid, commonly known as vitamin (B9) is used by pregnant women to lower the chance of neural tube abnormalities in their children. Other vitamin B supplements are also vital in playing a role in your fertility. Vitamin B is found in the following foods: broccoli, brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, peas, chickpeas, and kidney beans, and breakfast cereals. Vitamin E Vitamin E is an anti-aging antioxidant and works to mend cells. It is also a vital component for the ovaries and to maintain egg quality for improved fertility in women. Vitamin E is found in the following foods: vegetable oils, nuts, sunflower seeds, and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin D Vitamin D is necessary for the production of healthy hormones. Vitamin D is found in the following foods: oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, and fortified foods. Fish Oil It has the potential to improve egg quality, which is crucial for conception and beneficial for a baby's brain development. Fish oil is found in the following foods: salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, nuts, and seeds. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) The benefits range from improving egg quality to thickening the uterine lining, especially in women over the age of 40. This can be found in the following foods: pork, beef and chicken, fatty fish, vegetables, oranges, strawberries, soybeans, lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds, and pistachios. Selenium This vitamin has antioxidant properties that may aid in the development and release of healthy uterine follicles. The following are good sources: whole grains and dairy products, including milk and yogurt, pork, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, and eggs. Best Vitamins for Male Fertility Folic Acid Folic acid, which will increase the health of the sperm as well as the offspring. The following foods are a good source of folic acid: asparagus, avocado, beef liver, black-eyed peas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Studies demonstrate that CoQ10 improves morphology, motility and boosts sperm count. CoQ10 combats oxidation and protects sperm from damage. The following are good sources: organ meats like liver, heart, and kidney, fatty fish like herring, sardines and mackerel, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, oranges, lentils, and sesame seeds. Vitamin C Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce cellular damage throughout the body and increase iron absorption. It also supports sperm count and mobility. Vitamin C is found in the following foods: citrus fruit, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and potatoes. Selenium Low selenium in men might result in infertility by reducing sperm motility and semen quality. These foods are a good source of selenium: brazil nuts, milk, yoghurt, pork, beef, turkey, chicken, salmon, yellowfin tune, shellfish, eggs, lentils, and bananas. Zinc Men with low zinc levels may have poor sperm numbers and low sperm quality. Oysters contain the most zinc, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the modern diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, crab, lobster, whole grains, and fortified breakfast cereals. Fish Oil Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids, which make it an excellent source of fertility vitamins for males. These foods are rich in omega 3 fatty acids: tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, nuts, seeds, soybean oil, canola oil, eggs, and yogurt, What Food is Bad for Egg Health? High consumption of red and processed meats, such as beef, bacon, hot dogs, and sausage.Some studies found that high ultra-processed carbs are bad for egg health.Baked foods, like pastries, donuts, and cakes, particularly ones that are fried or contain margarine. High-fat dairy products may have sex-specific fertility effects due to their fat content. What Food is Bad for Sperm Health? Processed meats and the intake of trans- and saturated fats can decrease sperm count. Soy products contain phytoestrogens, estrogen-like compounds that come from plants. Excessive soy intake might decrease sperm concentration.Both BPA and chemicals within pesticides act as xenoestrogens. These are chemicals that mimic estrogen just like the phytoestrogens in soy products.High-fat milk, cream, and cheese are associated with decreased sperm motility and abnormal sperm shape. Final Verdict: Vitamin Supplements are Good for Fertility The above are the best vitamins amongst the many for people trying to conceive. These conception fertility prenatal vitamins are all available in our food, but not necessarily in the concentration that we need. Shop around for the best multivitamin that contains the sufficient amount of vitamins discussed in this article.
Trying to conceiveSteps of the IVF Timeline: How Long Do They Take?Starting IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment can be an exhilarating journey, but you also might feel apprehensive about the process ahead. However, the more you know, the more in control you'll feel, and with that in mind, we've put together a step-by-step timeline of what commonly takes place during IVF. How does in vitro fertilization work? What happens during IVF is that eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, inseminated with sperm, and the fertilized embryo is inserted into the woman’s uterus. A transvaginal ultrasound can identify abnormalities and help doctors diagnose conditions that may develop. Step 1: Preparing for IVF The following requirements and steps will help you prepare for the procedure. How to prepare your body for IVF treatment Eat a well-balanced diet.Take prenatal vitamins.Maintain a healthy body weight.Don’t smoke, consume alcohol, or use recreational drugs.Avoid traveling to any countries or regions where you might be exposed to infections, which could cause treatment delays.Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Manage your stress before and during the IVF process Activities like meditation, journaling, and joining an infertility support group are healthy activities to manage your stress associated with your upcoming fertility treatment. Fear and anxiety associated with IVF are often due to a lack of knowledge about the procedure and its possible negative effects. Watch videos that walk you through the procedure step-by-step to help you understand the various phases. How long does preparation last? The preparatory period begins two to four weeks before your IVF cycle begins. Step 2: Medication for Ovary Stimulation and Prevention When does this begin? Ovarian stimulation normally begins 2-4 days before a woman’s menstrual cycle and lasts for 10-12 days. IVF can begin on the fourth day of your cycle. Contact the clinic on the first day of your menstrual cycle to arrange for treatment. How does it work? You will start taking human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) injections to stimulate your ovaries to release more eggs than you usually do. How long does this period last and when does it end? 36 hours after receiving the injection, you will have to go to the clinic to harvest the eggs. When you find out that you are pregnant, the procedure is a success. If your pregnancy test is negative, you can start the IVF process again. Step 3: Egg Retrieval How long does this take? The egg retrieval process takes 20 to 30 minutes with one to two hours recovery at the clinic, and then you may go home. Step 4: IVF Fertilization Process and Progesterone Injections Embryo culturing is the process of combining the eggs extracted from the ovaries with the partner’s or donor’s sperm in an artificial medium to produce a fertilized egg. Once the eggs have been fertilized, the culture procedure will continue to assist the embryo formation until they are ready to be transferred to the uterus, under the supervision of one of the qualified staff members. Fertilization can be done using two types of IVF methods: Conventional insemination. Healthy sperm and mature eggs are combined and incubated overnight.Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves injecting a single healthy sperm straight into each maturing egg and is frequently used when sperm quality or quantity is an issue, or when fertilization efforts during previous IVF cycles have failed. Progesterone helps in supporting implantation. The IVF process reduces your body’s natural capacity to produce progesterone. The hormone signals from the brain are interrupted due to the IVF medication preventing follicles from producing progesterone, which prevents ovulation. As a result, progesterone supplementation is essential in IVF. How long does this take? The hormonal injections required for the IVF treatment are administered almost every day for around 8-14 days. Step 5: Embryo Transfer Process A week after your eggs are harvested, your healthy embryo will be put back into your womb after the blastocyst stage. This is approximately five to six days after fertilization. How long does this process take? An embryo transfer is a 15 minute, non-invasive, pain-free procedure that can be performed in the fertility clinic. Step 6: Taking a Pregnancy Test How long after embryo transfer is this done? After 9 to 12 days, your doctor will perform a scan to see if you are pregnant and do a blood test to check your pregnancy hormone levels. How long can it take to fall pregnant this way? In vitro fertilization success rate decreases with age, so IVF isn’t recommended for women over 42. The percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a pregnancy in 2019 was 32% for women under 35 and 25% for women aged 35 to 37.
PregnancyWill an Ovulation Test Give a Positive Result if Taken When Pregnant?Ovulation tests are commonly used by women who want to get pregnant and do what's most effective, which is to keep track of ovulation. These tests are urine-based and measure LH (luteinizing hormone) levels of the body. LH levels are important and can help determine when a woman is ovulating because they tend to surge shortly before ovulation. The luteinizing hormone is also responsible for the stimulation of the ovary to help it release an egg. What Will LH Levels Be When Pregnant? A woman’s LH levels will increase about 36 hours before it is time for her to ovulate. That means you will get higher readings of this hormone’s level during your body’s ovulation cycle. During pregnancy, the woman will have less than 1.5 IU/L. However, some factors can affect your LH levels and ovulation test, such as hormone imbalances. If that is something you are concerned about, it’s best to visit your doctor. Can You Have an LH Surge When Pregnant? Because of how your body works, it’s not possible to experience an LH surge during pregnancy. This hormone assists the body in ovulation, and when you’re pregnant, there is no need to ovulate. As such, the hormone doesn’t have any work to do. Does Low LH Mean Pregnancy? Once a woman has ovulated, her LH levels will decrease rapidly, and they do not remain the same throughout the time before her next ovulation. Here’s a look at what a woman’s LH levels can look like: The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: 1.37 to 9 IU/LMidcycle peak: 6.17 - 17.2 IU/LLuteal phase: 1.09 - 9.2 IU/LPostmenopausal: 19.3 - 100.6IU/L Low LH levels can typically indicate pregnancy, but it’s always best to consult a doctor before assuming that you are pregnant. Can Two Lines on an Ovulation Test Mean You Are Pregnant? Ovulation tests are often used instead of pregnancy tests, but this might not be the best course of action. A pregnancy test is specifically made to test for pregnancy, and ovulation tests monitor ovulation — that’s what they’re best at. Two lines on an ovulation test are not a positive result because the female body has varying levels of LH during its cycle. If the line is dark (or darker than the control line), you have a positive result. This only means you will be ovulating within about 36 hours. It is important to note that if you have a positive ovulation test five days in a row, you could be pregnant. You should either get a reliable pregnancy test or visit your nearest clinic or doctor for a pregnancy test. Can Pregnancy Affect the Results of an Ovulation Test? It is possible to get a positive result on an ovulation test if you’re pregnant. But, it’s also possible to get a negative test result and be pregnant. Note that the protein in hCG and LH look similar, and no ovulation test can distinguish between the two, so the test can be positive when you’re actually pregnant. How Accurate Are Ovulation Tests? Ovulation tests are suitable for the purpose they were made for - checking ovulation of the female body. They are very precise and can detect an increase in LH levels with an accuracy of more than 97%. However, for the most reliable ovulation monitoring, it’s recommended that you use other methods in addition to ovulation tests. Ovulation tests aren't the best action to take when you want to know if you’re pregnant. Even the best ovulation test, such as Clearblue, won’t be able to detect and provide you with accurate and reliable information on whether or not you’re pregnant. Will an Ovulation Test Be Negative if Pregnant? Even the best ovulation tests can still produce a false negative. That’s why it’s important to use other methods to complement the way you’re monitoring your ovulation and fertility window.
Trying to conceiveIUI vs. IVF: Comparing the Process, Cost, Benefits, and RisksIUI is a low-tech, uncomplicated process that is often less expensive than other reproductive treatments. It boosts your chances of getting pregnant, but because everyone's body is different, IUI isn't guaranteed to work. If we look at IUI vs. IVF for PCOS, IVF has got a better success rate, but it also has a harsher risk list. Let's look at how it is done and what the differences are between IUI and IVF. How Do Doctors Perform IUI Treatment? IUI helps sperm reach closer to your egg by injecting sperm cells directly into your uterus around the time you're ovulating. This reduces the amount of time, and the distance sperm must travel, increasing the chances of fertilization. The process goes as follows: You may be required to take ovulation-stimulating fertility medications before the insemination operation. Your partner or a donor goes through a "sperm washing" procedure to extract a concentrated amount of healthy sperm from the semen.The sperm is then injected into your uterus by the gynecologist. If sperm fertilizes your egg and the fertilized egg implants in the lining of your uterus, you will become pregnant. The Different Types of IUI Treatments: Intracervical Insemination: This is where they place the sperm in the cervix Intrauterine Insemination: The sperm gets placed within the uterus Intrauterine Tuboperitoneal Insemination: A technique that uses 10ml of prepared sperm as opposed to 4ml of sperm Intra-tubal Insemination: This form of insemination allows the sperm to be placed directly into the fallopian tube How Do Doctors Perform IVF Treatment In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a term that refers to the process of fertilizing eggs in a laboratory and is a well-known sort of assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF combines medications and surgical treatments to help the sperm fertilize an egg and the fertilized egg implant in the uterus. The process goes as follows: You will be required to take medication that causes many of your eggs to mature and become fertile. Next, your eggs will be removed. A single donated sperm will then be injected into the center of each ova via a micropipette. This process aids the sperm in fertilizing the eggs. After fertilization has taken place, the doctor then plants the eggs into your uterus, and if successful, one or more will result in pregnancy. The Different Types of IVF Treatments IVF + Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): This frozen embryo gets thawed before being transferred back into the uterus. IVF + Elective Single Embryo Transfer (eSET): A single embryo gets chosen from a selection to be placed within a woman's uterus. IVF + Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): A single sperm gets injected into the cytoplasm of an egg, allowing it to be fertilized before placing it in the woman's uterus. IVF + Egg Donor: An egg donation gets used when a woman's eggs either aren't suitable or cannot produce her own. IVF + Donor Sperm: If the partner's sperm is infertile then a donor's sperm can be used instead. Natural IVF: This process closely monitors the woman's cycle and waits for ovulation rather than using medication to stimulate the follicles. Mini IVF (minimal stimulation): Mini IVF is a more gentle form of stimulation that uses less medication. IVF is a lengthy process with several steps that take several months to finish. It can work on the first try in some cases, but many people require more than one round of IVF to become pregnant. It will almost certainly enhance your chances of getting pregnant if you're suffering fertility issues, but there's no guarantee - everyone's body is different, and IVF won't work for everyone. Comparing the Benefits of IUI vs. IVF The Benefits of IUI It's a lot less invasive.When compared to IVF and ICSI process, it is less expensive.There is less stress on the body.Improves sperm quality. Prostaglandins, pathogenic agents, antigenic proteins, non-motile spermatozoa, immature germ cells, and other contaminants are removed during the washing process, resulting in high-quality sperm.The procedure will only take 15 to 20 minutes, and you will be instructed to wait in the recovery room for 20 minutes before leaving.No anesthetic is required for this surgery. It doesn't hurt. The Benefits of IVF IVF is effective when other infertility therapies have failed.Anyone can make use of it.Donated eggs and/or sperm can be used.You have complete control over the timing.Boost your chances of giving birth to a healthy child.Reduce your risks of having a miscarriage. Comparing the Risks of IUI vs. IVF When we look at IUI vs. IVF, both fertility treatments have their fair share of side effects, and the one you pick is a personal choice. The Risks of IUI If the following requirements are not met, such as clear and intact fallopian tubes, problems may arise. The pregnant partner must be ovulating, and the sperm must have a particular level of motility.When compared to alternative therapies like IVF, IUI has a success rate of roughly 20%.Due to the use of fertility medicines, the possibility of conceiving multiples increases. As a result, internal ultrasonography is strongly advised.Certain people may encounter some negative effects due to the fertility medicines used during the IUI technique rather than the operation itself. The Risk of IVF IVF has certain drawbacks, such as the possibility of side effects from reproductive medicines, the intrusive procedures performed, and the high expenses. Following are the risks of an IVF treatment: Symptoms that occur after an embryo transfer: You may pass a tiny amount of clear or red fluid. Breast soreness, constipation, and stomach cramping or bloating are all possible side effects.Experience ovulation hyperstimulation syndrome.Complications in egg retrieval.Have an ectopic pregnancy.Risk miscarriage.Low birth weight and premature birth.Multiple births.Defects in the womb.Emotional tension. IUI vs. IVF Success Rates: IVF Success Rate Because of the increased success rate per cycle, IVF has a substantially shorter time to pregnancy. The success rate for persons under the age of 35 is usually about 50% per treatment. IUI Success Rate The success rate of IUIs is usually about 5-20% per cycle. It is most common for an IUI to be successful in the first three or four treatment cycles. Comparing the Cost of IUI vs. IVF IUI Costs Going through an IUI cycle, costs around $1,000, including the monitoring and the insemination technique, but not the medication. IVF Costs An IVF cycle costs between $12,000 and $20,000, depending on where it's done, and includes all monitoring, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer but not medication. Is IUI or IVF a Better Fertility Treatment Option? IUI vs. IVF: Which is More Painful? While you may only experience slight discomfort with IUI, IFV, on the other hand, is said to be more painful, thanks to cramps and the side effects of fertility medications. If you're wondering when to use IUI vs. IVF to beat infertility: IVF has a better rate of success than IUI. Artificial insemination is both less expensive and less invasive than IVF. Before moving on to IVF, it is generally suggested that couples go through fertility diagnostic testing and then try the three cycles of IUI.
Trying to conceiveWhen Is the Best Time to Take an Ovulation Test?An ovulation test is a quick and simple method that can be used to capitalize on the narrow window in which it is possible to conceive. While there are factors that can influence the outcome, such as being on fertility medication or birth control or being above forty years old, they are usually the best option available. How Does an Ovulation Test Work? There is a hormone in your body called Luteinizing Hormone (LH), which signals the release of an egg. Thus, when LH levels are high, ovulation is usually soon to follow. An ovulation test detects high levels of LH in the urine, thus indicating that ovulation will occur within 12 to 36 hours. How to Read an Ovulation Test There are two lines on an ovulation test: the control line and the test line. If the test line is the same shade or darker than the control line, it indicates an LH surge, which means that ovulation should occur in the next day and a half. What Factors May Interfere With an Ovulation Test? Many people believe that dehydration can affect the results of an ovulation test when, actually, quite the opposite is true. The more fluid you drink, the more diluted your urine will be, making it much harder to detect the presence of LH. Diluted urine can lead to false-negative results on ovulation tests. For women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), false positives may be expected on an ovulation test. This is because women with PCOS have high levels of LH in their bloodstream, which may result in a test reading positive when it isn't. This means that it is possible for you to have an LH surge but experience no ovulation. When to Take an Ovulation Test With an Irregular Cycle It can be confusing to tell when to take an ovulation test after your period, but it is good to remember that the counting of your cycle begins on the first day you bleed. Ovulation during a regular 28-day menstrual cycle should occur around day 14. If your cycle is irregular, however, it will be harder to tell when the middle of the cycle is. The ovulation test should then be taken more frequently and at the same time every day. Signs That You May Be Ovulating There are natural signs that your body gives to indicate ovulation. While these will vary depending on the individual, they are useful to look out for: When you are nearing ovulation, your cervical mucus will become thicker and egg-like in consistency. Pain in the lower abdomen can be an indicator if it occurs in the middle of your cycle.An increase in libido may indicate ovulation, as the body's natural instinct at this time is to reproduce.In some women, breast tenderness could be a sign of ovulation, while in others it could be an indication that ovulation has already occurred. Best Time of Day to Take an Ovulation Test It may not be clear when to take an ovulation predictor test, either in the morning or at night. What is important, however, is that you take each test at the same time as all the others. The best time of day to take an ovulation predictor test is usually the first time you pass urine in the morning. This is because you want to refrain from drinking too many fluids, thus running the risk of diluting your urine. The lifecycle of an ovum is very short, as they only live for about 12 to 24 hours. This is another reason why it is best to take the test in the morning. If you are trying to fall pregnant, you can capitalize on the lifespan of the ovum. Bear in mind that your ovulation test may read positive one day and negative the next, given how short the window is. Can You Get Pregnant When Not Ovulating? Sperm can survive in a woman's body for up to five days, thus you can get pregnant if you have sex on a day that you aren't ovulating. That being said, if no ovulation occurs, no pregnancy can occur, as there needs to be an egg available to fertilize. An ovulation test is a great method to plan pregnancy, as it can be used as a sure way to find out when your ovulation will occur, but be sure not to use it as a pregnancy test, as it will not necessarily test positive if you are pregnant.
MenstruationHow to Remove a Menstrual Cup Without PainDo you find it difficult to remove a menstrual cup? In the beginning, it may be a little overwhelming but rest assured, once you have read this guide and practiced a little, it will get easier. When Should You Remove Your Menstrual Cup? You can use a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours before emptying and rinsing it. If you have a heavier period, you should empty it more frequently. What Is the Easiest Way to Remove a Menstrual Cup? Follow these steps to easily remove a menstrual cup: Sit on the toilet with your legs spread to allow easy access to your vaginal opening.Break the suction of the cup from your vaginal canal. To do so, insert your index finger into your vagina and hook it over the cup's edge.Pinch the base or the stem of the cup with your thumb and index finger.Gently pull downward toward your vaginal opening, being careful not to spill the contents.If the cup appears to be stuck and hurts when you try to remove it, use your index finger to press the outside edge of the cup to loosen the seal even more.Pour the contents out into the toilet and then rinse the cup under running water. You may be wondering how to remove a menstrual cup with long nails: Use your pelvic floor muscles to push down on the menstrual cup and bring it lower before breaking the suction. Slowly and gently insert your finger, pointing the tip away from the vaginal wall so that you don't scratch yourself. If you follow the steps listed above and take your time, you will be able to remove the menstrual cup without a mess. What Should You Do if Your Menstrual Cup Is Stuck? Don't get anxious. You can get it out without asking for assistance or seeking medical attention if you remain calm and follow the guidelines above. What Causes Pain When Removing a Menstrual Cup? Menstrual cup suction pain or discomfort is caused when the cup creates a "suction" inside your vaginal canal, over your cervix. If you do not break the suction before attempting to remove the cup, it will be painful to remove. Are There Menstrual Cup Removal Tools? The Cup Buddy is a menstrual cup removal tool that is used to break the suction between the cup and your vaginal wall for pain-free removal. Should You Seek Medical Attention? Some women have felt the need to ask a doctor to dislodge a stuck cup, but this should not be necessary unless you are in a lot of pain or discomfort and you really can't get the cup out yourself. Can Menstrual Cup Pain Be Prevented? Try a Different Fold and Use Lubricant If you experience pain during insertion, the most likely cause is a lack of proper lubrication. To make insertion easier, fold the cup suitably. You can also apply a cup-safe water-based lubricant to the rim of your cup to alleviate any discomfort during insertion. Use a Softer Cup If you experience pain while wearing the cup, it could mean that it is exerting outward pressure on your vaginal wall. Not everyone's anatomy agrees with firm cups. Some users find that a softer menstrual cup works better for them. How To Choose the Right Menstrual Cup for You Menstrual cups are considered safe by medical professionals. As long as you use the cup as directed, the risk of adverse side effects is low. The majority of menstrual cups are made of silicone. Some are made of rubber or contain rubber components. The material may irritate you if you have latex allergies. Speak to your doctor before using menstrual cups for the first time. The following factors need to be considered when choosing the right menstrual cup for you: Your ageThe circumference of your cervixWhether your menstrual flow is heavy or lightThe cup's capacityThe menstrual cup's flexibility and firmnessThe strength of your pelvic floor muscles
Women's healthBenefits and Dangers of Menstrual Cups: Are They Safe?A menstrual cup is a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone that you insert into your vagina to capture and collect period fluid. Menstrual cups can store more blood than other methods and are environmentally friendly, thus many women prefer them as an alternative. Once you know how to use a menstrual cup, you'll never turn back. Pros and Cons of Menstrual Cups The Pros of Using a Menstrual Cup Many women prefer to use menstruation cups for the following reasons: They are reusable Many menstruation cups can be used for a long time. You can save money (budget-friendly) by using menstrual cups instead of tampons or sanitary napkins every month. They can be worn for long hours A menstrual cup can also be worn for up to 12 hours before it needs to be emptied. When compared to a tampon's typical time of 4 to 8 hours, that's a significant amount of time saved. There is no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome Because menstrual cups collect blood rather than absorb it, you are not in danger of developing toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare (bacterial) yeast infection linked to tampon use. You are protected from bacterial infections Unlike tampons, they do not dry out the vagina. This protects the beneficial bacteria that keep you safe from vaginal infections. Menstrual cups do not contain toxins Chlorine and dioxin are found in tampons and pads. Some dioxins are known to cause cancer in humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source. They are environmentally-friendly According to the Women's Environmental Network, about 400 million pounds of sanitary pads, tampons, and tampon applicators wind up in landfills each year. They may lessen period cramps Although no scientific studies have been conducted to confirm this, many women claim to experience less acute cramps when using menstrual cups. There's no odor When menstrual fluid is exposed to air, it acquires an odor. Cups solve this problem. The majority of women indicate that they don't even notice the cup when it's in place. The Cons of Using a Menstrual Cup Menstrual cups may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution, but there are a few factors why menstrual cups are bad: Cup removal can be a hassle You may find yourself in a situation or position where removing your cup is difficult or inconvenient. It could be difficult to reach the cup, release the suction, and draw the cup down and out. They can be difficult to insert When inserting your menstrual cup, you may discover that you are not receiving the proper fold. It's possible that you're allergic to the material Most menstruation cups are made of latex-free materials, making them an excellent choice for persons who are allergic to latex. However, there is a potential that the silicone or rubber substance will trigger an allergic reaction in some persons. It has the potential to induce vaginal discomfort and infection If you don't clean and care for your menstrual cup properly, it can irritate your vagina and may cause yeast infections. Therefore, make sure you know how to clean a menstrual cup. How Dangerous Are Menstrual Cups? Are Menstrual Cups Healthier for You? Menstrual cups, like other sanitary products, are safe and healthy. You won't acquire toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare bacterial infection linked to tampon use, because menstrual cups collect rather than absorb blood. Do Menstruation Cups Cause Pain? Many individuals can't feel their cups after they're in and inserting them shouldn't be uncomfortable (though it might take more practice to use than a tampon or pad). The only time an individual may experience pain is if they do not know how to correctly remove the cup. This happens when the suction around the cervix is not released before tugging at the bottom of the cup, and the tug pulls on the cervix, causing pain. How Can You Tell When Your Menstrual Cup Is Full? You will feel as though your cup is about to fall, yet it will not. And you will also feel the pressure. That is when you should change the cup. In general, the cup-using community agrees that you should empty your cup every 10-12 hours at the longest. If your periods are heavy or the first few days are heavy, you will need to empty your menstrual cup more frequently to avoid leaks. What Happens if You Leave It in Too Long? According to Dr. Roskin, the chances of infection or toxic shock are relatively low while using a menstrual cup. However, if you leave it in for too long, though, you risk acquiring other illnesses. The following are symptoms of a menstrual cup kept in too long: Painfeverfoul-smelling vaginal discharge Be sure to check in with your healthcare practitioner if you forget to remove yours on time and start to experience illness. Menstrual Cups vs. Other Sanitary Products Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons Menstrual cups are preferred by some women because they are a tampon substitute that may be safely worn for up to 12 hours. According to one study, women had to change the cup 2.8 times less frequently than when using tampons (or pads), and it leaked 0.5 times less frequently. Cups can also stay in place for longer periods of time, making them ideal for overnight protection. There's no need to wear a backup pad or liner after you've mastered inserting it Menstrual Cups vs. Pads Menstrual cups produce less smell compared to pads. They also leave you feeling comfortable and always feeling fresh, even if it is a sweltering hot day. There is no need to around with a packet of pads in your bag or deal with sticky wings, shifting pads, or spillage. Do Doctors Recommend Menstrual Cups? Menstrual cups are usually viewed as safe by the medical community. As long as you use the cup as instructed, the chance of adverse side effects of menstrual cups is negligible. The cups are classified as class II medical devices, which means they are not FDA approved but rather FDA registered—that is, the FDA must be aware of and register the specific product (the cup), as well as the organization that makes it. According to a gynecologist's opinion of menstruation cups, "it is not suitable for women with severe clinical uterine prolapse, but all women with normal anatomy should be able to use a menstrual cup comfortably. Cups should not be used in any situation where there is a risk of infection, such as immediately following surgery or giving delivery."