Saturday, May 23, 2015


I am excited to announce that the new expanded edition of "You Can Get Pregnant Over 40, Naturally" is now available as a paperback (with free shipping in the USA).  It was previously only available as an ebook while the new edition was being printed. This new 2015 edition cites over a hundred research articles not only on ways to help you conceive, but also on overcoming miscarriage. I have had quite a few inquiries so it couldn't come soon enough!  Click on picture for more information on how to order:

Click here for chapter summaries

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I did not take a lot of herbs when I was trying to conceive, however, I do know a number of women who did and succeeded in becoming pregnant. This interesting article talks about how one study found that herbal treatment may have higher success rates than tradition fertility treatments. Read more:


Study methodology
The study examined abstracts in English of studies investigating infertility, menstrual health and TCM. Researchers then did meta-analyses of (non)randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or cohort studies and compared clinical pregnancy rates achieved with Chinese herbal medicine versus Western medicine drug treatment (IVF). In addition, they collected common TCM pattern diagnosis in infertility in relation to the quality of the menstrual cycle and associated symptoms. Eight RCTs, 13 cohort studies, three case series and six case studies involving a total of 1851 women with infertility were included in the systematic review.

The results showed a 3.5 greater likelihood of achieving a pregnancy with Chinese herbal medicine therapy over a four-month period compared with Western medicine drug therapy alone. Average pregnancy rates were 60 ± 12.5% (60%) for Chinese herbal medicine compared with 32 ± 10% (32%) using Western medicine drug therapy. Meta-analysis of selected cohort studies showed a mean clinical pregnancy rate of 50 percent using TCM compared with 30 percent for IVF.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Although I grew up in the Catholic Church, I have not considered myself a Catholic in my adult life.  Actually, I probably lean more to the "spiritual" side rather than the "religious" side, but I am certainly respectful of all beliefs.  I recall when I ran a women's infertility support group, there were those who brought up how fertility treatments may conflict with their religion.  For anyone interested, this site gives the Catholic view of infertility treatments:


Reproductive Technologies in Agreement with Catholic Teachings:

  1. Observation of the naturally occuring sign(s) of fertility (Natural Family Planning). Time intercourse on the days of presumed (potential) fertility for at least six months before proceeding to medical interventions.
  2. General medical evaluation of both spouses for infertility.
  3. Post-coital test to assess sperm count and viability. These tests are undertaken after normal intercourse.
  4. Appropriate evaluation and treatment of male factor deficiency. Seminal fluid samples can be obtained from a non-lubricated, perforated condom after normal intercourse.
  5. Assessment of uterine and tubal structural competence by imaging techniques (e.g., ultrasound, hysterosalpingogram, etc.).
  6. Appropriate medical treatment of ovulatory and hormonal dysfunction.
  7. Appropriate (usually surgical) correction of organic problems underlying male or female infertility

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Having A Baby At 48

Here's an article about a woman who conceived naturally (by surprise) at the age of 48! Of course, pregnancy is always the last thing considered at that age - but shouldn't be. Read more:


From the article:

I finally decided to see my health practitioner. When he asked what my symptoms
were, I again said that I felt pregnant – ha ha ha. I told him about stopping my
medication and he agreed that this was the most likely explanation for my lethargy,
hormonal weirdness, and beautiful breasts. Neither of us considered that I could
actually be pregnant – I was too old!

...One night at about ten o’clock, after succumbing to a two-day craving for a buffalo
burger, it struck me like a lightning bolt: Oh my God, maybe I AM pregnant! Even
though I’d joked about it repeatedly, the thought was so shocking and bizarre that I
couldn't think straight or sit still. I drove straight to the nearest pharmacy to buy a
pregnancy kit. It was positive - yikes! I still couldn't bring myself to believe it. I did a
fairly good job of convincing myself that I could be one of those rare false positives.


Friday, May 15, 2015


Chiropractic and Infertility

Guest Post By Robert C Davis

Many different clinical case studies have emphasized the advantages and wonderful results of chiropractic therapy for patients who were unproductive in their effort to bear children. Although chiropractic care is not a direct treatment for infertility, it can contribute to enhanced homeostasis and physiological adjustment therefore allowing the body to have a better level of health as a result.
In three consecutive issues of the peer-reviewed Journal of Verebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), case studies were published regarding women who were struggling with their infertility, and who opted to utilize chiropractic rehabilitation. It demonstrated a strong connection linking the utilization of chiropractic therapy and the resolution of infertility. In the following cases, chiropractic care was initiated and the outcomes were recorded and published.


In the December 8, 2003 issue of the JVSR, a case study involving a 32-year-old female whose infertility was accounted for. Since August 1999, she attempted to get pregnant. Prior to this, she had tried various conventional medical interventions such as treatment with Clomid, a fertility drug, artificial insemination, detailed fertility testing, and in vitro fertilization. Having no success, she sought chiropractic therapy in November 3, 2001. Over the next six weeks, chiropractic examination and rehabilitation were done. At this time, the patient's other concerns of headaches and pain in the lower back portion dramatically improved. In addition, the patient's estrogen levels, endometrial thickness, and cervical mucus levels also improved compared to the time when the patient's fertility specialists attempted the first in vitro fertilization. On February 17, 2002, the second in vitro fertilization was done and the patient displayed a positive pregnancy test on March 2, 2002.
Another case was about a 34-year-old woman who sought for chiropractic therapy on January 10, 2000. She had various conditions which included a history of infertility. Other than the onset of chiropractic rehabilitation, the patient made no changes in her clinical condition and lifestyle. About 4-5 weeks into the chiropractic care, the patient naturally became pregnant.
The last case was concerned with a 65-year-old female who presented with severe lumbar degeneration and low back pain. It's fascinating because she was not trying to get pregnant. When she was 13 years old, she had an accidental fall which caused in a total cessation of her menstrual cycle at the age of 18. She was then diagnosed as infertile. It was interesting to note that after four weeks of chiropractic care, she began spotting again and diagnosed with having regular menses.
In these clinical studies, chiropractic care was utilized specifically for the improvement of vertebral subluxations that were verified to be meddling with the nervous system's normal functioning. The subluxations resulted in the disruption of the patients' reproductive system. The studies showed that women who were having difficulties with infertility had some evident interference in their nervous system, as perceived by the incidence of subluxations.
The studies also noted the vast expense of treatment options for infertility utilized by many couples. The range of expenses can go from a few hundred to impractical thousands. The studies also observe that there is proof of long term risks associated with in vitro fertilization. A research published online by the American Journal of Human Genetics (November 2002) reported that "babies conceived by in vitro fertilization may be at increased risk for a rare genetic disorder that predisposes them to cancer."
According to the author, Elizabeth Anderson-Peacock, DC, DICCP, "Although chiropractic care is not a treatment for infertility, it is postulated that improvement of spinal neural integrity through specific chiropractic adjustments may have contributed to improved homeostasis and physiological adaptation thus allowing the body to express a greater level of health as an outcome." In summary, these studies state that, "The human structure is naturally healthy and to procreate. Injuries of this capability signifies malfunction on an essential level. Spinal subluxations and dysfunction in the nervous system can hinder the normal functioning of the human systems."
Learn more about Chiropractic Care. Stop by where you can find DCs in your area and get in touch with them.
Article Source:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


 Pregnancy Over 40, Menstrual Cycles and Fertile Windows Have A Lot Of Variability

I've written many times about how ovulation can be quite hard to pinpoint.  That's why having a regular pattern of intercourse is important.
Since ovulation can occur at different times, your fertile window may be very hard to predict. Here is an article that talks about a women's "fertile window"  I found it interesting that only 30% of women were within their fertile window entirely between the days  10-17 of their cycle (this doesn't mean that they weren't fertile during some cycles within in this range, just not all cycles).  Read more:


Results: The fertile window occurred during a broad range of days in the menstrual cycle. On every day between days 6 and 21, women had at minimum a 10% probability of being in their fertile window. Women cannot predict a sporadic late ovulation; 4-6% of women whose cycles had not yet resumed were potentially fertile in the fifth week of their cycle.
Conclusions: In only about 30% of women is the fertile window entirely within the days of the menstrual cycle identified by clinical guidelines—that is, between days 10 and 17. Most women reach their fertile window earlier and others much later. Women should be advised that the timing of their fertile window can be highly unpredictable, even if their cycles are usually regular.

from: bmj 

Monday, May 11, 2015


Job Stress Leads To Short Menstrual Cycles

Stress, infertility, and miscarriage all seem to be related especially for women who are on the "career track".
 Here is an interesting study that looked at how job stress can affect the length of your menstrual cycle, which, of course, could affect fertility:


Women whose work was classified as stressful were
twice as likely to experience short cycles as those
working in other jobs (table 2). This relation was also
seen when cycle length was examined as a continuous
variable; stressful work was associated with a decrease
in mean cycle length of almost 1 day...


See Also "Short Menstrual Cycles and Fertility (


...Exposure to stress has a number of known physiologic
consequences (1-3). There are plausible mechanisms
through which stress could alter hormonal profiles
and, in turn, menstrual outcomes (2, 3). The
hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is activated during
stress and can affect the female reproductive system
(2). Stress can increase the levels of corticotropinreleasing
hormone and glucocorticoids (2). The former
suppresses hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone
secretion, which stimulates the production of
follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone,
which activate the ovary to secrete estradiol and progesterone
(3). Glucocorticoids inhibit pituitary luteinizing
hormone and ovarian estrogen and progesterone
secretion (3). High levels of luteinizing hormone and
high peak levels of luteinizing hormone have been
reported to be associated with long menstrual cycles
(30). One possible explanation of work-related stress
and increased risk for short cycle length is that
luteinizing hormone secretion has been inhibited by an
increase in corticotropin-releasing hormone or glucocorticoids.
Menstrual outcomes are important as they may be
intervening mechanisms or markers for other health
outcomes such as fertility, osteoporosis, and breast
cancer (5).

 excerpted from American Journal of Epidemiology

Friday, May 08, 2015


Trying To Conceive, Surviving Mother's Day

Well, this "holiday" may be the worst one of them all if you're trying to conceive. What could be harder than watching the rest of the country celebrate the joys of motherhood while you sit there stuck in infertility  quicksand.

When I was trying to get pregant, I watched many mothers' days come and go. I remember thinking, wouldn't it be neat if I got pregnant right before mother's day and I could announce it to everyone on mother's day? never happens like that unless you're reading a romance novel or watching made-for-TV movie.
My advice? Don't ever put dates or deadlines on when you're going to get pregnant. You really will be setting yourself up for failure. Every pregnancy I had always came as a total shock (even though I was actively trying). I realize that when you're trying to conceive, every month is an opportunity for success, but it's when you start trying to force things into place that you get into trouble. If you're not pregnant this month, it doesn't mean that you're doomed. It simply means that you're not pregnant this month. When I really want something, I make my intentions known to the universe through visualization and meditation, and then I try to divert my attention elsewhere. That way I don't try too hard which essentially acts as a roadblock to my success.

So what should you do on Mother's Day? Acknowledge your own mother of course, then go do something you enjoy.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


Ayurveda Medicinal Properties of Kapikacchu - Mucuna Pruriens

Guest Post By Dr. Savitha Suri

Mucuna pruriens is a legume, found in Africa, India and the Caribbean. It is an annual, climbing shrub which grows over 13 - 15 m height. The young plant is completely covered by hair where as older plants are free of it. The leaves are tripinnate. Flowers are white, lavender, or purple. The fruits are leguminous. The husk is very hairy and carries up to seven seeds. Its seed pods are about 10 cm long and are covered in loose, orange hairs that cause a severe itch if they come in contact with skin. The chemical compounds responsible for the itch are a protein, mucunain, and serotonin.
This plant is also known as cowhage, cowitch, Velvet Bean, Itchy bean, Buffalo bean etc. In India it is known as Kevancha, kavach or kevach (Hindi).
Ayurveda acharyas have grouped this plant under Balya (body strengthening herbs), Madhura skanda (herbs with sweet taste) and Vatasamshamana (Herbs which normalize vata dosha).
According to ayurveda principles the plant Mucuna pruriens or kapikacchu is heavy to digest and increases moistness of tissues. It has both sweet and bitter taste and the potency is hot.
Ayurveda medicinal properties:
This plant normalizes vata and increases kapha and pitta. Hence it is administered in diseases caused due to vitiation of vata.
The roots and seeds of kapikacchu help to strengthen the nervous system and reduce stress. Therefore it is used as nervine tonic.
The hairs on fruits help to eliminate intestinal parasites. It is usually administered with honey, butter and jaggery.
Seeds of mucuna pruriens act as vrishya (aphrodisiac). The seeds of this plant are eulogized as the best vrishya and vajikara which increase sexual functions in men. They help in conditions like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and low sperm count. Regular use of these seeds increase libido in men. Hence seeds of kapikacchu are used in vajikarana preparations. Kapikacchu seeds increase sperm count and sperm motility.


Seeds of velvet bean or mucuna are also effective in dysmenorrhea (gynecological condition of pain during menstruation) in women. Texts of ayurveda mention the usage of seeds to strengthen the muscles of vagina.
Roots of velvet bean have diuretic properties.
Ayurveda acharyas recommend use of this herb to strengthen the body, increase stamina and muscle bulk.
Studies have shown that Mucuna Pruriens help to increase the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone increases muscle mass, libido and rectifies erectile dysfunction. The seeds improve male fertility by increasing concentration of male hormones. This increases quality and quantity of semen.
Seeds contain protein, lipids, dietary fiber, ash, carbohydrates, minerals and it contains plenty of alkaloids, saponins and sterols. The main ingredients are L-dopa, mucanine and serotonin. L-Dopa acts as anti-Parkinson's and increases testosterone.
The tribal people use plant and its extracts as anti venom for various snake bites.
This article is copy righted. The author Dr.SavithaSuri is an Ayurvedic Physician and web master of Ayurveda help through ayurveda consultations.

Article Source:


Monday, May 04, 2015


Fibroids Can Lead To Fertility Problems

I've heard about the many problems which may be caused by high blood pressure in both men and women.  Hypertension is especially worrisome both when trying to conceive and in pregnancy. Here is another interesting association between high blood pressure and fibroids. It's especially worthy of note to me because when I worked in the corporate pressure cooker, I did frequently have high blood pressure readings and I had fibroids (which I later had removed). Also interesting is that since I quit my high stress job years ago, I've always had normal gynecological exams (even though fibroids can recur). Fibroids, in some cases can lead to fertility problems as well.  And, by the way, my blood pressure is now always normal!


Read more:

Fibroids are common among women of reproductive age. Estimates are that as many as 25 percent of women in the United States have symptoms that suggest they may have fibroids. These non-cancerous tumors grow within the uterine wall, and appear either as a single tumor or in clusters.

Symptoms include heavy bleeding or painful periods, bleeding between periods, a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen, a need to urinate often, painful sex, lower back pain, and reproductive problems like infertility or recurrent miscarriages.2

Though fibroids aren't unusual, Rosalind Wright, MD, an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a team of researchers wrote that little is known about what factors underlie their development. But high blood pressure may be a culprit, they hypothesized. "Elevated diastolic blood pressure may increase fibroid risk though uterine smooth muscle injury, not unlike atherosclerosis," Wright and her colleagues wrote.

How did the researchers make that link? It's well known that people with high blood pressure are at increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the formation of plaque.3 These lesions of plaque are made of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products and calcium, among other things.4 In high blood pressure, studies have suggested that abnormal changes occur in the smooth muscle cells that line the interior of arteries.3 Smooth muscle cells also make up the uterine wall.


Thursday, April 30, 2015


Getting Pregnant At 45 And Older - Good Outcomes

I have cited a study below which concludes that pregnancy in "older" women has generally good outcomes for mother and baby.
 The study states that this is reassuring for women age 45 and older. Read more:


RESULTS: Seventy-seven pregnancies in 76 women aged 45 years and over were registered in the 10-year period. There were 74 liveborn singletons, two sets of liveborn twins and one set of twins stillborn at 20 weeks' gestation. Sixteen women were primiparous. Eighty-four percent of pregnancies were conceived naturally and 53% underwent prenatal chromosomal determination; 53% of women had no pre-existing medical problems, 13% had hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and 8% of women developed gestational diabetes. There were 10 preterm and six post dates deliveries. The Caesarean section rate was 49%, compared to 23% in the 20-29 years age group (P < 0.001). Ten percent of neonates were small for gestational age, and 8% were large for gestational age. Seventeen percent required admission to the special care nursery and 6% had congenital abnormalities.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal and neonatal outcomes in this series were generally good. There was a significantly increased rate of Caesarean section. Overall, this study is reassuring for women aged 45 and over who have good general health and a chromosomally normal fetus.


Monday, April 27, 2015


Conception and implantation can be a very confusing subject....there is an orchestration of events that must occur for a successful pregnancy.  Factors that determines whether or not a pregnancy will progress include not only when the egg is fertilized, but also the day it implants.  Read more:


Fertilized eggs attach themselves to the lining of the womb six to 12 days after ovulation, the research shows. In most successful pregnancies, that implantation -- the real start of pregnancy -- occurs on day eight, nine or 10 following ovulation. Day eight appears to be the most successful.

 "The risk of early loss was strongly related to the time of implantation," the authors wrote. "Early loss was least likely when implantation occurred by the ninth day (13 early losses among 102 pregnancies, or 13 percent) rising to 26 percent (14 of 53 pregnancies) when implantation occurred on the 10th day, 52 percent (12 of 23) on the 11th day and 82 percent (9 of 11) with implantation after day 11.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 and Ovulation

Here is an interesting article in it's entirety about how women can get pregnant at times other than the traditional "ovulation time".  See guest post below.

Did You know Women Can Be Fertile Twice a Month?

Guest Post By Nadia MacLeod

It's true... and it's all because of the moon.
Most women watch their menstrual cycles and are taught that their prime time to fall pregnant is during mid cycle or biological ovulation.
What they might not know is that the moon can trigger ovulation and bring on fertility at any time during the menstrual cycle including before, after or even during your menstrual period. It all depends on what phase the moon was in when you were born.
The moon has been linked to female fertility for thousands of years. In fact, the ebb and flow of the moon is responsible for the spawning, mating and birthing behaviour of many creatures on our earth. So really, why should we humans be any different?
Intuitively, women have always understood that the moon, their menstrual cycles and fertility are intimately connected. In folklore and ancient traditions the connections between the three are taken as fact.
Consider the following:

  • A healthily fertile woman's menstrual cycle runs its course in about twenty-nine days, one lunar cycle.
  • A standard healthy pregnancy runs for 42 weeks or 10 lunar months.
  • The relationship between the moon's cycles and menstruation is so basic that our words, 'menstruation', 'moon' and 'month' all come from the Greek word for 'measure of time.'


Recent scientific research has revealed how the moon plays its part in female fertility. They have discovered that the production of the hormone Melatonin is controlled by the amount of moonlight reaching the eye.
The Body Clock, which is also responsible for our sleep / wake cycle, responds to the levels of moonlight reaching the eye to produce varying amounts of Melatonin. These Melatonin changes tell the ovaries, through other hormones to develop the egg at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and to release the eggs at mid cycle, so ovulation will occur.
When we all lived in huts or caves without artificial light, women generally bled on the new moon and ovulated and gave birth on the Full Moon. That's just the way it was.
But as humankind has embraced artificial light, the female fertility clock has been disturbed. Women now ovulate and give birth at any time during the lunar month. This means that women now have two fertility cycles to work with.
The truth is that the FULL Moon still exerts a powerful influence on women even if they were not born under that phase.
Many women find that they do in fact ovulate with the full moon. But if they were not born under the full moon phase then they will have a SECONDARY LUNAR fertility pattern that can and does trigger spontaneous ovulation.
Remember the moon's trigger effect is increased by two factors - stress and sexual intercourse. That is, if you are having sex during your lunar fertile time, the chances of ovulation being triggered and conception occurring increase.
This can come as quite a surprise to many people and can be very worrying for women who are not looking to get pregnant.
Being aware of lunar fertility and synchronising you biological cycle to your lunar cycle can be beneficial for many women.
For example:

  • if you are trying to avoid pregnancy it is essential to know when your natal lunar fertile time occurs so you are prepared with appropriate contraception.
  • if you are trying to fall pregnant, synchronising your cycle maximises your chance of falling pregnant at your fertile time, and
  • if your menstrual cycle is irregular then using the moon can be a simple, non invasive technique to help you get regular again.
About The Author: Nadia MacLeod is the founder and creator of the ultimate menstrual web resource Quite simply, our aim is to provide you with information, products, and an alternative viewpoint about menstruation so that you can feel great about being a woman every day of the month!
Copyright 2006 - Nadia MacLeod.
Article Source:

Monday, April 20, 2015


I'm so pleased to announce the new edition of my book which is currently available through my website.  This new edition has been years in the making and,the paperback and ebook are both now available.  I have included new research which has been conducted and published since my original book was written and there is more encouraging information to share.

Click here to read the updated Table of Contents and chapter summaries:

Friday, April 17, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Sperm Health with Saw Palmetto

I have frequently seen saw palmetto in health food stores, but didn't really know what it's used for.
According to this article, it may help male fertility in a number of ways. Read more:

I. Definition saw palmetto is a popular form of the fruit of Serenoa repens extract and has been used in traditional medicine in the treatment of kidney and reproductive problems.

II effects such as saw palmetto
1 male infertility. Phytoesterol
Phytoesterol is the group of secondary plant compounds that help reduce cholesterol in the blood, not just heart disease but also help to prevent blood flow to the reproductive effect of increasing the quality and increase sperm motility. 


Fatty acids
Saw Palmetto contains a high content of essential fatty acids, which is important for the liver in the metabolism of lipids and proteins, thus balancing the production of certain hormones, including testosterone production, which is vital in the production of sperm quality and count increase.

3 kidney 

TCM believes in balancing the Yin and Yang Qi in the kidneys and the protection of renal function Jing, he not only helps toxins from the body through the urine extraction, but also renal function normalized in regulating the production of growth hormones, steroids, testosterone, including, in increasing sexual desire and performance in sperm quality.


 5-alpha reductase
5-alpha reductase is an enzyme produced only in certain tissues of the human body of male and presented in abundance, as men age. Researchers found that saw palmetto inhibited to the level of 5-alpha reductase, which helps to increase testosterone production, so the risk of libido and sperm count.



It was shown that saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia, leading to an improvement in symptoms and urinary flow to the kidneys remove toxins and deal with reducing the risk of aids to help kidney-yin-yang imbalance that the production of reduce sperm quality and increases the risk of poor ejaculation. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Carbonated Fertility Tea Is a Good Alternative To Soda Pop

I think there is a concensus of opinion that soda pop isn't good for your general health and diet soda may even be worse.  But, if you're anything like me, you like carbonated beverages.
See My whole series on foods for fertility at
  There's something very refreshing about them.  Years ago, I decided to make a healthy alternative to drinking soda.  Here it is:

Brew your favorite tea I use half decaf and half regular, half green half black tea.  If you're trying to conceive, you might want to consider a "fertility blend" (link below.)

  1. Brew your favorite tea - stronger than usual because  you will be diluting it
  2. Chill overnight
  3. Pour into glass half full
  4. Add Stevia  sweetener to taste (considered one of the safe alternatives to sugar)
  5. Add lemon juice to taste
  6. Add carbonated unsweetend seltzer...this adds the fizz
  7. Enjoy!
Fertility Tea Recipe (



Saturday, April 11, 2015


Omega 3 Fats Are Beneficial To Sperm

I keep hearing about all the benefits of Omega 3 fats in your diet.  There is research showing that saturated fats are bad for sperm.  On the other hand, men should be consuming omega 3 fats like those found in fish.

 According to this study, these beneficial fats may help sperm. Although this study was done in mice, omega 3's have so many other health benefits, it probably would be a good idea for men trying to conceive to add these fats in their diet. Read more:


URBANA – According to a University of Illinois study, omega-3 fatty acids may be good for more than heart health. A little-known omega-3 may have implications for treating male infertility.

"In our experiment, we used 'knockout' mice that lacked the gene responsible for an enzyme important in making docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In the absence of DHA, male mice are basically infertile, producing few if any misshaped sperm that can't get where they need to go," said Manabu Nakamura, a U of I associate professor of food science and human nutrition.

"We looked at sperm count, shape, and motility and tested the breeding success rate, and the mice lacking DHA simply were not able to breed," said Manuel Roqueta-Rivera, a U of I doctoral student who also worked on the study.

In the DHA-deficient knockout mice, sperm counts were extremely low. The sperm that were produced were round instead of elongated and they were unable to move well, he said.

But, when DHA was introduced into the diet, fertility was completely restored. "It was very striking. When we fed the mice DHA, all these abnormalities were prevented," he said.

This is the first time that the importance of DHA to male fertility has been shown this directly, although some studies have suggested that male fertility patients with low sperm counts and less motile sperm tend to have low levels of this fatty acid.

The DHA study is part of the Nakamura team's efforts to understand the function of the omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. As part of that work, they have developed a mouse model to help them understand a particular fat's physiological role. By knocking out genes, they can create deficiencies of the fats they are interested in and learn about their functions.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


When I was trying to conceive, I was worried about the quality of my tap water, although I never had it tested, I bought bottled water and tried to get fluoride free water.  Fluoride is added to community water in most areas, but it has been associated with declining birth rates and hypothyroidism.


This articles explain more:

Findings We found that higher levels of fluoride in drinking water provide a useful contribution for predicting prevalence of hypothyroidism. We found that practices located in the West Midlands (a wholly fluoridated area) are nearly twice as likely to report high hypothyroidism prevalence in comparison to Greater Manchester (non-fluoridated area).

Interpretation In many areas of the world, hypothyroidism is a major health concern and in addition to other factors—such as iodine deficiency—fluoride exposure should be considered as a contributing factor. The findings of the study raise particular concerns about the validity of community fluoridation as a safe public health measure. 

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