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How to deal with hemorrhoids and varicose veins during pregnancy
Hemorrhoids and varicose veins might seem to be two different, unrelated problems, but they are actually quite similar. And, many women, especially those in the third trimester of pregnancy, have them. Both hemorrhoids and varicose veins can be defined as swollen, twisted veins. These veins can often be spotted in the legs, but they also can form in other parts of your body. When they form in the rectum, they are called hemorrhoids. What causes hemorrhoids and varicose veins in pregnancy? Normally, veins have one-way valves to help keep blood flowing toward the heart. Pressure or weakening of these valves allows blood to back up and pool in the veins. This causes them to enlarge and swell. Hemorrhoids result when rectal veins enlarge. Varicose veins occur when veins of the legs swell. Many changes in pregnancy can increase the risk of hemorrhoids and varicose veins, such as: Increased blood volume, which enlarges the veins The heavy weight of the growing baby, which presses on the large blood vessels in the pelvis, altering blood flow Hormone changes affecting blood vessels, which can slow the return of blood to the heart and cause the smaller veins in the pelvis and legs to swell Hemorrhoids can get worse with pushing or straining, especially with constipation. Being overweight and having hemorrhoids before pregnancy can also make them worse. Pushing during delivery tends to worsen hemorrhoids, too. Varicose veins tend to run in families. Sitting or standing in one position for a long time may force the veins to work harder to pump blood to the heart. This can result in swollen, varicose veins and can also worsen existing hemorrhoids. How are hemorrhoids and varicose veins in pregnancy treated? Hemorrhoids in pregnancy are a short-term problem, and they get better after your baby is born. Still, there are some things you can do to relieve the discomfort: To relieve pain, sit in a tub or take bath several times a day in plain, warm water for about 10 minutes each time. Use ice packs or cold compresses to reduce swelling. Ask your healthcare provider about creams or other medicines, such as stool softeners, that are safe to use during pregnancy. It’s important to prevent constipation by including lots of fiber and fluids in your diet. Also, try not to strain with bowel movements, and avoid sitting for a long time. Regular exercises, which involve squeezing and relaxing the muscles in your vaginal and rectal area, can help improve muscle tone. Most varicose veins that develop during pregnancy get better within the first year after birth. But for now, limit your standing or sitting for a long time without a break, and try not to cross your legs. Also try to raise your legs and feet whenever you’re sitting or lying down. Avoid tight clothing around your waist, thighs, and legs, as it can worsen varicose veins. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider if your symptoms worsen or you have excessive bleeding from hemorrhoids. And, remember that these problems are usually short-term and get better after delivery with time and treatment. Content source Featured image source
Hello everyone.. Mere urine m andar k side bht jalan hoti h vaise to ye 5 months se ho rahi h par maine kisiko btaya nhi ..uss waqt to hadd se jyada hoti thi ...par abhi thodi km h par fir b me bht pareshan ho rahi h..maine doctor ko bola to unhone ZYDIP cream di mujhe lgane k liye...par ye sirf bahar k side lgani h or jalan mujhe andar se ho rahi h...kbhi kbhi toilet bhi ruk ruk k aata h..pls tell me main kya karu..
Helo friends....PCOD me pregnancy ho skti h kya plz btao the but tension h..2 seal ho bye h marriage ko..
I m in early pregnancy dnt confirmed abt week may be 6 week pregnant but i am having too much of back leg ans spine pain my doctor is giving me pubergen hp 5000 injection what is reason for pain does its injection side effect or anything else because i am having slip disc problem also so pain is too chronic that i cant sit for a long please tell me
Mujhe 4 months complete ho jaege pregnancy k august me..to kya me aug ki end me amritsar bhar ghumne jaa skti hu 2 din k liye out of station please suggest me..trip is good for me in this situation..
I have been advised by my doctor to go for steroid cover so as to help my baby's lung mature. Please advise of it is safe?
Mera c section ka 1 month hua 2 din pehle itna potty tight hua k potty me pressure lagane se fat kya aur blood aa gya ye kaise thik.hoga aur jalta h
I have 6 month child who depends on breastfeeding but today a dog bite to me ..can I give breast milk to my child
Financial Preparation for a Baby
Preparing for a baby isn’t just tiny clothes and heartwarming ultrasound photos; it involves a lot of financial preparation. This guide will lay out the most important financial tasks on your plate from pregnancy to baby’s first years, including: Estimating your medical costs Planning leave from your job Budgeting for the new arrival Some parenting preparations are best learned on the fly — how to effortlessly and painlessly change the messiest diapers, for instance. But the list of things to do before baby arrives and within his or her first several weeks is lengthy, so tackling certain tasks now is a smart idea. Pre-delivery planning 1. Understand your health insurance and anticipate costs. Having a baby is expensive, even when you have health insurance. You should forecast your expected costs fairly early in the pregnancy. NerdWallet’s guide to making sense of your medical bills can help as you navigate prenatal care, labor and delivery, and the bills that will ultimately follow. 2. Plan for maternity/paternity leave. How much time you and your partner (if you have one) get off work and whether you’re paid during that period can significantly impact your household finances in the coming year. Understand your company’s policies and your state’s laws to get an accurate picture of how your maternity leave will affect your bottom line. 3. Draft your pre-baby budget. Once you know what you’ll be spending on out-of-pocket medical costs, understand how your income will be impacted in the coming months and have prepared a shopping list for your new addition, adjust your budget accordingly. Babies come with plenty of expenses, so set a limit on both necessary and optional buys (like that designer diaper bag or high-end stroller with the LCD control panel), and consider buying used to keep spending under control. 4. Plan your post-delivery budget. Recurring costs such as diapers, childcare, and extra food will change your household expenses for years to come. Plan for them now so you aren’t caught off guard. 5. Choose a pediatrician within your insurance network. Your baby’s first doctor appointment will come within her first week of life, so you’ll want to have a physician picked out. Talk to friends and family to get recommendations, call around to local clinics and ask to interview a pediatrician before you make your choice. In searching for the right doctor, don’t forget to double-check that he or she is within your insurance network. Ask the clinic, but verify by calling your insurance company so you’re not hit with unexpected out-of-network charges. 6. Start or check your emergency fund. If you don’t already have a “rainy day fund,” now’s the time to anticipate some emergencies. Kids are accident-prone, and with the cost of raising a child, there’s no telling if you’ll have the disposable income to pay for any unexpected expenses. Having at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses covered is a great place to start. While in the hospital The main focus while you’re in the hospital is having a healthy baby. But there are a few loose ends that will need to be taken care of. 7. Order a birth certificate. Hospital staffers should provide you with the necessary paperwork to get your new child’s birth certificate. Within baby’s first 30 days 8. Add your child to your health insurance. In most cases, you have 30 days from your child’s birth date to add him to an existing health insurance policy. In some employer-based plans, you have 60 days. Regardless, do it sooner rather than later, as you don’t want to be caught with a sick baby and no coverage. 9. Consider a life insurance policy on your child. No one expects the tragedy of losing a child, so many parents don’t plan for it. The rates are generally low because a child’s life insurance policy is used to cover funeral costs and little else. When it comes to covering children, a “term” policy that lasts until they are self-sufficient is the most popular choice. 10. Begin planning for childcare. Finding the right daycare or nanny can take weeks. Get started long before your maternity leave is over. You’ll need time to visit day care centers or interview nannies, as well as complete an application and approval process if required. Beyond the first month You’ll be in this parenting role for years to come, so planning for the future is crucial. Estate planning is a big part of providing for your children, but it isn’t the only important forward-focused task to check off your list. 11. Adjust your beneficiaries. Assuming you already have life insurance for yourself or the main breadwinner in your household — and if you don’t, you should — you may want to add your child as a beneficiary. The same goes for your 401(k) and IRAs. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to make adjustments elsewhere to ensure when and how your child will have access to the money. A will and/or trust can accomplish this. 12. Disability insurance. You’re far more likely to need disability insurance than life insurance. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage — enough to meet your expenses if you’re out of work for several months. Remember, your monthly living expenses have gone up since the new addition. 13. Write or adjust your will. Tragic things happen and you want to ensure your child is taken care of in the event that one or both parents die. Designate a guardian so the courts don’t have to. Your will is only one part of estate planning, but it’s a good place to begin. 14. Keep funding your retirement. When a child arrives, it’s easy to forget your personal goals and long-term plans in light of this huge responsibility. Stay on top of your retirement plans so your child doesn’t have to support you in old age. 15. Save for his or her education. College is costly, but you can make it more manageable by starting to save early. Adding a new member to your family comes with a lengthy list of responsibilities, so don’t try to do them all at once. Prioritize and tackle the most important items on your financial to-do list first. Because medical bills and insurance claims will be some of the first financial obligations you’ll encounter while expecting, start there. Move on to budgeting for pregnancy and the first several months of your baby’s life. With 18 or more years until your little one leaves home, time would seem to be on your side. But — as the saying goes — blink and he’s grown. Now is the time to start taking the steps that will set your family up for financial success. content source Featured Image Source
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
The most definitive first sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period, and by then you are technically around 4 weeks pregnant. That’s because the doctors deem that your pregnancy starts from the first day of your last period. However, there are some symptoms that can come before you miss your period and give you a heads-up. When you’re 2 weeks pregnant This is when your body is preparing for ovulation so right about now there is no way you can experience any symptoms as you won’t technically be pregnant. When you’re 3 weeks pregnant Around this time the fertilized egg travels up the fallopian tube and gets implanted on the uterus. Although there may be no symptoms at this time, some women experience “implantation bleeding” which may seem like a light period but is actually a sign of the egg being implanted on the uterus. In some cases, there could be early symptoms like fatigue, nausea, tender breasts, and more frequent urination. When you’re 4 weeks pregnant By this time, since your period should be due by now, a missed period will be the most definitive symptom of your pregnancy. This would be the perfect time to get a pregnancy test done to confirm that you are in fact pregnant. More women will find other symptoms like sore breasts, fatigue, frequent urination, and nausea creep in at this juncture. Yet many others will continue to feel nothing at all. That’s why a missed period is the most definitive symptom of pregnancy. Common early symptoms Here’s a list of most common early symptoms of pregnancy; which can appear just before or together with a missed period. While they are not enough to indicate pregnancy by themselves when they appear together or in conjunction with a missed period, it’s probably time to take a pregnancy test. Sore breasts- These happen due to an increase in progesterone and estrogen and can seem similar to the soreness that some women feel just before their period. Nausea and food aversions- This typically happens first thing in the morning though it can also last through the day. While it takes up to 6-8 weeks to appear for most women, in some cases it can appear as early as Week 3. Frequent urination- Increased pressure on the bladder and the frequent urge to pee, especially at night, is one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. Food cravings- Your body can start craving all kinds of rich and greasy foods, or even sour foods like tamarind and pickle, even before you miss your period. Cramps and backache- This may be confused for PMS by most women but it actually occurs when the egg is getting implanted on the uterus. Headaches- Many women get mild tension headaches during the first few weeks of pregnancy so if you have this symptom in conjunction with others, you might want to get a test. Nipple darkening- Pregnancy hormones actually affect the colour of the nipples and this may be one of the earliest indications that you’re pregnant. The easiest way to know either way is to take an at home pregnancy test. These home pregnancy tests use your urine to determine whether you’re pregnant in a matter of minutes. Although blood tests provide more accurate pregnancy results, they are generally avoided unless recommended by a doctor. However, the timing of taking a pregnancy test can be tricky to navigate. If taken too soon, there is a chance of getting a false negative. A positive result early on could also prove to be false as it may be a chemical pregnancy. Here’s what you should know about taking a pregnancy test in order to get the most accurate results. How can you avoid a false negative? Here are the common reasons why women test negative when they are actually pregnant. You test too early and your body has not started releasing HCG yet You test early and your levels of HCG are too low for your pregnancy test to detect. Pregnancy tests range in sensitivity from 10mIU/ml to 40 mlU/ml. If you are testing early make sure you use a more sensitive test. Drinking too much water or other fluids right before taking the test may dilute the HCG in the urine and result in a false negative. If you let the urine lie too long(more than 30 minutes) without taking the test, the results will not be accurate. How do you avoid a false positive? You may also get a positive result when you are not actually pregnant in some rare cases. Women who are getting fertility treatment may get a false positive result if they do a test within ten days of their last injection. Women who are perimenopausal, that is women who will soon reach menopause, can also get a false positive result as they have higher levels of circulating HCG. HCG may get released from your pituitary during your LH peak. This may result in a false positive. Sometimes, a miscarriage happens even before the date of the period. This is because pregnancy is not actually viable. Such a pregnancy is known as a chemical pregnancy. In such circumstances, taking an early test may show a positive result whereas the pregnancy was actually unviable. The fact is that most early pregnancy symptoms are often similar to PMS symptoms. Of course, you do know your body best and if you experience some of these symptoms in conjunction with a missed period then it’s best to get a pregnancy test as soon as you can. Featured Image Source
Spider veins during pregnancy
Are your legs filled with abnormal looking blue and red lines? If yes, then, you probably have spider veins that are very common during pregnancy. Spider veins are tiny blood vessels that seem to be branching out, visible right under the surface of your skin. This is not a permanent condition and should disappear shortly after you have delivered your baby. Why Do Spider Veins Occur? When you are pregnant, the volume of blood in your body also increases. While they are pumping a lot more blood than usual, your blood vessels are under tremendous pressure. This makes them swell up and appear to bulge under the surface of the skin. In some cases they may occur along with varicose veins but the two conditions are quite different from each other. The latter looks much larger and is caused by swollen veins. Spider veins are also a genetic condition. So if you other women have had this condition in your family during their pregnancy, chances are that you may develop them too. If you are worried about these lines appearing on your legs or sometimes even on your face, there are some things that you can do to get rid of them. Finding Relief From Spider Veins As unpleasant as they may look, the good news is that this condition can be treated in simple ways. Here are some things that you can do during your pregnancy to get rid of spider veins faster: #1. Increase your fiber consumption Another common issue during pregnancy is constipation. This can also lead to swollen veins as you have to strain during your bowel movement. This can constrict the veins in the legs, making them bulge. As a result, the extra volume of blood that your body is producing is forced to find another route and will be pushed through superficial veins that cause the blue lines on your legs. Fresh fruits and veggies along with whole grains can help reduce spider veins considerably. #2. Make sure you consume enough Vitamin C Vitamin C is extremely essential in producing collagen and elastin. These connective tissues are necessary to maintain your veins and to also repair them. Increasing vitamin C intake leads to healthier veins, which allows the blood to flow through the body easily. #3. Have a good exercise routine Get as much movement as you can when you are pregnant. Choose a workout routine that is suitable to you to improve the circulation of blood and the strength of your veins. Exercises like walking, where your legs are moving are most effective when it comes to spider veins. #4. Use compression socks You can ask your doctor to help you find special compression socks that help reduce the appearance of spider veins. But make sure that you do not use other tight garments such as skinny jeans or leggings that are tight around your waist, legs and groin as the blood flow can get affected. #5. Do not stand for too long Try to alternate between sitting and standing down as much as you can. If you do have to stand on your feet for a long period, keep shifting your weight. You can also walk around instead of standing in one place to help improve blood flow in your legs and prevent spider veins. There are other options like laser surgery or injections that can make these spider veins collapse and disappear quickly. These are options that you must reserve for after your delivery in case the condition seems to persist. Wearing compression socks and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for some time even after delivery can really help with spider veins.
Nose bleeding during pregnancy
Is there an increased risk of nosebleeds during pregnancy? When you become pregnant your circulatory system must expand in order to accommodate your baby. With this expansion, your body creates more blood and the circulation of blood increases. These changes may lead to some problematic side effects such as more frequent nosebleeds while you are pregnant. How Can You Prevent Nosebleeds During Pregnancy? Your nose contains many small blood vessels. Due to the increase in blood circulation during your pregnancy, these blood vessels are more prone to burst, causing a nosebleed. If you must blow your nose or wipe it for any reason, make sure you do so gently. This will help reduce your possibility of having a nosebleed during pregnancy. Also, you are much more likely to get a nosebleed when the air is dry, so during the winter months, it is important to use a humidifier in your home. The moistened air will help decrease your chances of a nosebleed while pregnant. Care For Nosebleeds While Pregnant You can slowly end your nosebleed by following these steps: Make sure to sit or stand with your head upright. Lightly squeeze your two nostrils towards the center of your nose. Do this for a couple of minutes, and then let go. Repeat this step if the bleeding has not subsided. If the flow of blood is heavy, you may also lean forward slightly so you do not ingest any blood. You should call your doctor immediately if your nosebleed follows a head injury. Other reasons to consult your physician include the following: You have high blood pressure. The nosebleed continues after completing the steps listed above. The blood flow is substantial. The good news is that even though these nosebleeds may be inconvenient, under most circumstances they pose no threat to you or your baby. content source
What is male infertility?
Male infertility is any health issue in a man that lowers the chances of his female partner getting pregnant. About 13 out of 100 couples can't get pregnant with unprotected sex. There are many causes for infertility in men and women. In over a third of infertility cases, the problem is with the man. This is most often due to problems with his sperm production or with sperm delivery. What Happens Under Normal Conditions? The man's body makes tiny cells called sperm. During sex, ejaculation normally delivers the sperm into the woman's body. The male reproductive system makes, stores, and transports sperm. Chemicals in your body called hormones control this. Sperm and male sex hormone (testosterone) are made in the 2 testicles. The testicles are in the scrotum, a sac of skin below the penis. When the sperm leave the testicles, they go into a tube behind each testicle. This tube is called the epididymis. Just before ejaculation, the sperm go from the epididymis into another set of tubes. These tubes are called the vas deferens. Each vas deferens leads from the epididymis to behind your bladder in the pelvis. There each vas deferens joins the ejaculatory duct from the seminal vesicle. When you ejaculate, the sperm mix with fluid from the prostate and seminal vesicles. This forms semen. Semen then travels through the urethra and out of the penis. Male fertility depends on your body making normal sperm and delivering them. The sperm go into the female partner's vagina. The sperm travel through her cervix into her uterus to her fallopian tubes. There, if a sperm and egg meet, fertilization happens. The system only works when genes, hormone levels and environmental conditions are right. Causes Making mature, healthy sperm that can travel depends on many things. Problems can stop cells from growing into sperm. Problems can keep the sperm from reaching the egg. Even the temperature of the scrotum may affect fertility. These are the main causes of male infertility: Sperm Disorders The most common problems are with making and growing sperm. Sperm may: not grow fully be oddly shaped not move the right way be made in very low numbers (oligospermia) not be made at all (azoospermia) Sperm problems can be from traits you're born with. Lifestyle choices can lower sperm numbers. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking certain medications can lower sperm numbers. Other causes of low sperm numbers include long-term sickness (such as kidney failure), childhood infections (such as mumps), and chromosome or hormone problems (such as low testosterone). Damage to the reproductive system can cause low or no sperm. About 4 out of every 10 men with total lack of sperm (azoospermia) have an obstruction (blockage). A birth defect or a problem such as an infection can cause a blockage. Varicoceles Varicoceles are swollen veins in the scrotum. They're found in 16 out of 100 of all men. They are more common in infertile men (40 out of 100). They harm sperm growth by blocking proper blood drainage. It may be that varicoceles cause blood to flow back into your scrotum from your belly. The testicles are then too warm for making sperm. This can cause low sperm numbers. For more information please refer to the Varicoceles information page. Retrograde Ejaculation Retrograde ejaculation is when semen goes backwards in the body. They go into your bladder instead of out the penis. This happens when nerves and muscles in your bladder don't close during orgasm (climax). Semen may have normal sperm, but the semen cannot reach the vagina. Retrograde ejaculation can be caused by surgery, medications or health problems of the nervous system. Signs are cloudy urine after ejaculation and less fluid or "dry" ejaculation. Immunologic Infertility Sometimes a man's body makes antibodies that attack his own sperm. Antibodies are most often made because of injury, surgery or infection. They keep sperm from moving and working normally. We don't know yet exactly how antibodies lower fertility. We do know they can make it hard for sperm to swim to the fallopian tube and enter an egg. This is not a common cause of male infertility. Obstruction Sometimes sperm can be blocked. Repeated infections, surgery (such as vasectomy), swelling or developmental defects can cause blockage. Any part of the male reproductive tract can be blocked. With a blockage, sperm from the testicles can't leave the body during ejaculation. Hormones Hormones made by the pituitary gland tell the testicles to make sperm. Very low hormone levels cause poor sperm growth. Chromosomes Sperm carry half of the DNA to the egg. Changes in the number and structure of chromosomes can affect fertility. For example, the male Y chromosome may be missing parts. Medication Certain medications can change sperm production, function and delivery. These medications are most often given to treat health problems like: arthritis depression digestive problems infections high blood pressure cancer Diagnosis Causes of male fertility can be hard to diagnose. The problems are most often with sperm production or delivery. Diagnosis starts with a full history and physical exam. Your health care provider may also want to do blood work and semen tests. History and Physical Exam Your health care provider will take your health and surgical histories. Your provider will want to know about anything that might lower your fertility. These might include defects in your reproductive system, low hormone levels, sickness or accidents. Your provider will ask about childhood illnesses, current health problems, or medications that might harm sperm production. Such things as mumps, diabetes and steroids may affect fertility. Your provider will also ask about your use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other recreational drugs. He or she will ask if you've been exposed to ionizing radiation, heavy metals or pesticides. Heavy metals are an exposure issue (e.g. mercury, lead arsenic). All of these can affect fertility. Your health care provider will learn how your body works during sex. He or she will want to know about you and your partner's efforts to get pregnant. For example, your healthcare provider may ask if you've had trouble with erections. The physical exam will look for problems in your penis, epididymis, vas deferens, and testicles. Your doctor will look for varicoceles. They can be found easily with a physical exam. Semen Analysis Semen analysis is a routine lab test. It helps show the cause of male infertility. The test is most often done twice. Semen is collected by having you masturbate into a sterile cup. The semen sample is studied. It can be checked for things that help or hurt conception (fertilization). Your health care provider will study your sperm volume, count, concentration, movement ("motility"), and structure. The quality of your sperm tells much about your ability to conceive (start a pregnancy). For instance, semen is normal if it turns from a pearly gel into a liquid within 20 minutes. If not, there may be a problem with the seminal vesicles, your male sex glands. Lack of fructose (sugar) in a sperm-free sample may mean there are no seminal vesicles. Or it may mean there is a blocked ejaculatory duct. Even if the semen test shows low sperm numbers or no sperm, it may not mean you are permanently infertile. It may just show there's a problem with the growth or delivery of sperm. More test may be needed. Transrectal Ultrasound Your health care provider may order a transrectal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves bouncing off an organ to get a picture of the organ. A probe is placed in the rectum. It beams sound waves to the nearby ejaculatory ducts. The health care provider can see if structures such as the ejaculatory duct or seminal vesicles are poorly formed or blocked. Testicular Biopsy If a semen test shows a very low number of sperm or no sperm you may need a testicular biopsy. This test can be done in an operating room with general or local anesthesia. A small cut is made in the scrotum. It can also be done in a clinic using, a needle through the numbed scrotal skin. In either case, a small piece of tissue from each testicle is removed and studied under a microscope. The biopsy serves 2 purposes. It helps find the cause of infertility. And it can collect sperm for use in assisted reproduction. Hormonal Profile The health care provider may check your hormones. This is to learn how well your testicles make sperm. It can also rule out major health problems. For example, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is the pituitary hormone that tells the testicles to make sperm. High levels may mean your pituitary gland is trying to get the testicles to make sperm, but they won't. Treatment Treatment depends on what's causing infertility. Many problems can be fixed with drugs or surgery. This would allow conception through normal sex. The treatments below are broken into 3 categories: Non-surgical therapy for Male Infertility Surgical Therapy for Male Infertility Treatment for Unknown Causes of Male Infertility Non-Surgical Treatment for Specific Male Infertility Conditions Many male infertility problems can be treated without surgery. Anejaculation Anejaculation is when there's no semen. It's not common, but can be caused by: spinal cord injury prior surgery diabetes multiple sclerosis abnormalities present at birth other mental, emotional or unknown problems Drugs are often tried first to treat this condition. If they fail, there are 2 next steps. Rectal probe electroejaculation (RPE, better known as electroejaculation or EEJ) is one. Penile vibratory stimulation (PVS) is the other. Rectal probe electroejaculation is most often done under anesthesia. This is true except in men with a damaged spinal cord. RPE retrieves sperm in 90 out of 100 men who have it done. Many sperm are collected with this method. But sperm movement and shape may still lower fertility. Penile vibratory stimulation vibrates the tip and shaft of the penis to help get a natural climax. While non-invasive, it doesn't work as well as RPE. This is especially true in severe cases. Assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are of great value to men with anejaculation. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) CAH is a rare cause of male infertility. It involves flaws from birth in certain enzymes. This causes abnormal hormone production. CAH is most often diagnosed by looking for too much steroid in the blood and urine. CAH can be treated with hormone replacement. Genital Tract Infection Genital tract infection is rarely linked to infertility. It's only found in about 2 out of 100 men with fertility problems. In those cases, the problem is often diagnosed from a semen test. In the test, white blood cells are found. White blood cells make too much "reactive oxygen species" (ROS). This lowers the chances of sperm being able to fertilize an egg. For example, a severe infection of the epididymis and testes may cause testicular shrinking and epididymal duct blockage. The infection doesn't have to be sudden to cause problems. Antibiotics are often given for full-blown infections. But they're not used for lesser inflammations. They can sometimes harm sperm production. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen) are often used instead. Inflammation from causes other than infection can also affect fertility. For example, chronic prostatitis, in rare cases, can also block the ejaculatory ducts. Hyperprolactinemia Hyperprolactinemia is when the pituitary gland makes too much of the hormone prolactin. It's a factor in infertility and erectile dysfunction. Treatment depends on what's causing the increase. If medications are the cause, your health care provider may stop them. Drugs may be given to bring prolactin levels to normal. If a growth in the pituitary gland is found, you may be referred to a neurosurgeon. Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism is when the testicles don't make sperm due to poor stimulation by the pituitary hormones. This is due to a problem in the pituitary or hypothalamus. It's the cause of a small percentage of infertility in men. It can exist at birth ("congenital"). Or it can show up later ("acquired"). The congenital form, known also as Kallmann's syndrome, is caused by lower amounts of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is a hormone made by the hypothalamus. The acquired form can be triggered by other health issues such as: pituitary tumors head trauma anabolic steroid use. If hypogonadotropic hypogonadism is suspected, your health care provider may want you to have an MRI. This will show a picture of your pituitary gland. You will also have a blood test to check prolactin levels. Together, an MRI and blood test can rule out pituitary tumors. If there are high levels of prolactin but no tumor on the pituitary gland, your provider may try to lower your prolactin first. Gonadotropin replacement therapy would be the next step. During treatment, blood testosterone levels and semen will be checked. Chances for pregnancy are very good. The sperm resulting from this treatment are normal. Immunologic Infertility Scientists first showed that some infertility cases were linked to immune system problems in the early 1950s. There has been much research since then. Though steroids (by mouth) are sometimes used to lower antisperm antibodies, this rarely works. In vitro fertilization with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is now preferred for fertility problems caused by the immune system. This abnormality is very rare. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) ROS are small molecules found in many bodily fluids. They are in white blood cells. They are also in the sperm cells in semen. ROS can help prepare the sperm for fertilization. But too much ROS can hurt other cells. Sperm are easily harmed by ROS. Recent studies have shown more ROS molecules in the semen of infertile men. Many compounds have been used to detoxify or "scavenge" (fix) ROS levels. The most studied of these, Vitamin E (400 IU twice daily), can work well as an antioxidant. Pentoxifylline, coenzymeQ, and Vitamin C have also been shown to lower sperm ROS. They're used much less often than Vitamin E. Retrograde Ejaculation Retrograde ejaculation, semen flowing back instead of going out the penis, has many causes. It can be caused by: prostate or bladder surgeries diabetes spinal cord injury anti-depressants certain anti-hypertensives medications used to treat prostate enlargement (BPH) Retrograde ejaculation is found by checking your urine for sperm. This is done under a microscope right after ejaculation. Drugs can be used to correct retrograde ejaculation. It is often treated first with over-the-counter medications like Sudafed®. If medications don't work and you need assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs), your health care provider may try to collect sperm from your bladder after ejaculation. Surgical Therapy for Male Infertility Varicocele Treatments Varicoceles can be fixed with minor outpatient surgery called varicocelectomy. Fixing these swollen veins helps sperm movement, numbers, and structure. For more information on varicocele treatments please refer to our Varicoceles page. Azoospermia Treatments If your semen lacks sperm (azoospermia) because of a blockage, there are many surgical choices. Microsurgical Vasovasostomy Vasovasostomy is used to undo a vasectomy. It uses microsurgery to join the 2 cut parts of the vas deferens in each testicle. For more information on this treatment please refer to our Vasectomy Reversal page. Vasoepididymostomy Vasoepididymostomy joins the upper end of the vas deferens to the epididymis. It's the most common microsurgical method to treat epididymal blocks. For more information on this treatment please refer to our Vasectomy Reversal Page. Transurethral Resection of the Ejaculatory Duct (TURED) Ejaculatory duct blockage can be treated surgically. A cystoscope is passed into the urethra (the tube inside the penis) and a small incision is made in the ejaculatory duct. This gets sperm into the semen in about 65 out of 100 men. But there can be problems. Blockages could come back. Incontinence and retrograde ejaculation from bladder damage are other possible but rare problems. Also, only 1 in 4 couples get pregnant naturally after this treatment. Treatment for Unknown Causes of Male Infertility Sometimes it's hard to tell the cause of male infertility. This is called "non-specific" or "idiopathic" male infertility. Your health care provider may uses experience to help figure out what works. This is called "empiric therapy." Because infertility problems are often due to hormones, empiric therapy might balance hormone levels. It's not easy to tell how well empiric treatments will work. Each case is different. Assisted Reproductive Techniques If infertility treatment fails or isn't available, there are ways to get pregnant without sex. These methods are called assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs). Based on the specific type of infertility and the cause, your health care provider may suggest: Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) For IUI, your health care provider places the sperm into the female partner's uterus through a tube. IUI is often good for low sperm count and movement problems, retrograde ejaculation, and other causes of infertility. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) IVF is when the egg of a female partner or donor is joined with sperm in a lab Petri dish. For IVF, the ovaries must be overly stimulated. This is often done with drugs. It allows many mature eggs to be retrieved. After 3 to 5 days of growth, the fertilized egg (embryo) is put back into the uterus. IVF is used mostly for women with blocked fallopian tubes. But it's being used more and more in cases where the man has very severe and untreatable oligospermia (low sperm count). Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) ICSI is a variation of IVF. It has revolutionized treatment of severe male infertility. It lets couples thought infertile get pregnant. A single sperm is injected into the egg with a tiny needle. Once the egg is fertilized, it's put in the female partner's uterus. Your health care provider may use ICSI if you have very poor semen quality. It is also used if you have no sperm in the semen caused by a block or testicular failure that can't be fixed. Sperm may also be taken from the testicles or epididymis by surgery for this method. Sperm Retrieval for ART Many microsurgical methods can remove sperm blocked by obstructive azoospermia (no sperm). The goal is to get the best quality and number of cells. This is done while trying not to harm the reproductive tract. These methods include: Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) This is a common technique used to diagnose the cause of azoospermia. It also gets enough tissue for sperm extraction. The sperm taken from the testicle can be used fresh or frozen ("cryopreserved"). One or many small biopsies are done, often in the office. Testicular Fine Needle Aspiration (TFNA) TFNA was first used to diagnose azoospermia. It is now sometimes used to collect sperm from the testicles. A needle and syringe puncture the scrotal skin to pull sperm from the testicle. Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) PESA, like TFNA, can be done many times at low cost. There is no surgical cut. More urologists can do it because it doesn't call for a high-powered microscope. PESA is done under local or general anesthesia. The urologist sticks a needle attached to a syringe into the epididymis. Then he or she gently withdraws fluid. Sperm may not always be gotten this way. You may still need open surgery. Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) With MESA, sperm are also retrieved from the epididymal tubes. This method uses a surgical microscope. MESA yields high amounts of motile sperm. They can be frozen and thawed later for IVF treatments. This method limits harm to the epididymis. It keeps blood out of the fluid. Even though MESA calls for general anesthesia and microsurgical skill, it has a lower problem rate. It's also able to collect larger numbers of sperm with better motility for banking. After Treatment Male infertility can often be fixed with an outpatient procedure. These are done under general anesthesia or IV sedation. While pain after surgery is usually mild, recovery and follow-up vary. After varicocele repair, your health care provider should do a physical exam. This is to see if the vein is completely gone. Often the veins stay enlarged, since they are not removed during surgery but only closed off to prevent abnormal blood flow. Semen should be tested about every 3 months for at least a year, or until pregnancy. If your varicocele returns, or you stay infertile, ask your health care provider about ARTs. Vasectomy reversals cause only mild pain after surgery. But expect an out-of-work recovery of 4 to 7 days. The chance for pregnancy depends on many things. It mostly depends on the age and fertility of your female partner. The number of years between your vasectomy and reversal also affects success. The longer you wait, the less likely the reversal will be a success. content source
Infertility and In Vitro Fertilization
Today, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is practically a household word. But not so long ago, it was a mysterious procedure for infertility that produced what were then known as "test-tube babies." Louise Brown, born in England in 1978, was the first such baby to be conceived outside her mother's womb. Unlike the simpler process of artificial insemination -- in which sperm is placed in the uterus and conception happens otherwise normally -- IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus. IVF is a complex and expensive procedure; only about 5% of couples with infertility seek it out. However, since its introduction in the U.S. in 1981, IVF and other similar techniques have resulted in more than 200,000 babies. What Causes of Infertility Can IVF Treat? When it comes to infertility, IVF may be an option if you or your partner have been diagnosed with: Endometriosis Low sprem counts Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes Problems with ovulation Antibody problems that harm sperm or eggs The inability of sperm to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus An unexplained fertility problem IVF is never the first step in the treatment of infertility except in cases of complete tubal blockage. Instead, it's reserved for cases in which other methods such as fertility drugs, surgery, and artificial insemination haven't worked. If you think that IVF might make sense for you, carefully assess any treatment center before undergoing the procedure. Here are some questions to ask the staff at the fertility clinic: What is your pregnancy ratio per embryo transfer? What is your pregnancy rate for couples in our age group and with our fertility problem? What is the live birth rate for all couples who undergo this procedure each year at your facility? How many of those deliveries are twins or other multiple births? How much will the procedure cost, including the cost of the hormone treatments? How much does it cost to store embryos and how long can we store them? Do you participate in an egg donation program? content source
6 Tips to overcome fear of pregnancy
Fear is common when you are growing another life inside you. Most women who are pregnant for the first time tend to fear about labour, childbirth and parenting. Even during pregnancy, women are constantly feared about caring for the baby inside the womb. Most of your fears are quite common based on pregnancy misconceptions and you are not alone as most soon-to-be mothers have fears about pregnancy. How to handle these fears? Some of the common fears include accidently rolling over the tummy while sleeping, lose the baby, premature birth, careless food habits affecting the baby’s development, failed to lose the excess body weight, painful labour, childbirth complications or even the fear of having a baby. Remember, these are normal and you are not the only one having these fears, so relax and do not feel guilty about it. Learn more about pregnancy, labour and childbirth from physicians, childbirth educators, pregnancy books, antenatal classes and authentic pregnancy website. Having complete knowledge about pregnancy itself, will give you all the confidence you need to go through your delivery without fear and stress. Try a mind relaxing activity like meditation, yoga, workouts or reading. This will help you prepare your body as well as mind to face pregnancy and labour. It will also keep your stress and anxiety at bay. Do not feel guilty and suppress the pregnancy fear within yourself. Talk to your spouse, parents and gynecologist. This will help you get the support you require to get through hard times and relieve you from stress and anxiety. Tokophobia is the morbid fear of pregnancy and childbirth, experienced by 1 in 6 women. The fear grows from nervousness to panic and full blown anxiety that leads pregnant women to do extreme measures. It is important to consult a therapist or a counselor to get relieved from the fear and get over it. Imagine your baby and the good times you’re going to have with your little bundle of joy. Plan for a babymoon with your spouse or a relaxing vacation with your family or friends. Do not stress about labour and delivery as there are many medical interventions that will help you have a better childbirth experience. content source
Tips to overcome anxiety during pregnancy
Well-meaning friends may have told you that you need to stop worrying because it isn’t good for the baby. While their sentiment comes from a good place, you may feel like stopping the cycle is easier said than done. Still, research shows that there is good reason to get your anxiety under control. High levels of anxiety during pregnancy are associated with a risk of developing conditions like preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight. Tips for coping anxiety in pregnancy 1. Talk about it If you’re feeling very anxious during your pregnancy, it’s important to tell someone. Your partner, a close friend, or family member may be able to offer support. Simply sharing your thoughts and feelings may be enough to keep them from taking over your everyday life. You may also ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist who is trained to help with anxiety. Some therapists specialize in helping pregnant women. 2. Find a release Engaging in activities that help to lower stress and anxiety may be a good option for you. Physical activity helps your body release endorphins. These act like natural painkillers in your brain. Moving your body is one of the most recommended ways to manage stress. Effective activities include: walking running yoga Don’t like to stroll, jog, or strike a pose? Do what you love! Anything that gets your body moving can help. Aerobic activity for as short as five minutes has been shown to have positive benefits. Always speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine during pregnancy. 3. Move your mind You can try activities that help your body release endorphins without working up a sweat, including: meditation acupuncture massage therapy deep breathing exercises The American Institute of Stress recommends deep abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutesper day to help with anxiety. Doing so will help provide more oxygen to your brain and stimulate your nervous system. To try it, get in a comfortable seated position and close your eyes. Imagine yourself smiling inwardly and release tension in your muscles. Then visualize that there are holes in your feet. Breathe in and imagine the air circulating through your body. Exhale and repeat. 4. Rest up It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Though sleep may seem elusive during pregnancy, making it a priority may help significantly with your anxiety symptoms. Do you wake up often at night? Try sneaking in a nap whenever you feel the urge. 5. Write about it Sometimes you may not feel like talking. All those thoughts need someplace to go. Try starting a journal where you can let out your feelings without fear of judgment. You may find that writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you organize or prioritize your worries. You can track different triggers to share with your doctor, too. 6. Empower yourself Tokophobia is the fear of childbirth. If your anxiety is tied to childbirth itself, consider signing up for a birth class. Learning about the different stages of labor, what your body does, and what to expect at each turn may help demystify the process. These classes often offer suggestions for dealing with pain. They’ll also give you an opportunity to chat with other mothers who may be worried about similar things. 7. Ask your doctor If your anxiety is affecting your daily life or you’re having frequent panic attacks, call your doctor. The sooner you get help, the better. Beyond referral to a therapist, there may be medications you can take to ease your most severe symptoms. You should never feel embarrassed about sharing your thoughts and feelings, especially if they concern you. content source