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Author Archives: Laura Underwood

  • The guilt of secondary infertility

    In our PCOS Facebook Support group we have a lovely mixture of group members, some who are trying to conceive for the first time and many who may already have children. I recently asked the women in the group suffering from secondary infertility (the difficulty in conceiving after having previously conceived and carrying the pregnancy to term or suffering a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy), how not being able to conceive again made them feel.

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  • Miffy's story

    Secondary infertility, now pregnant with baby number 3

    Hi, I'm Miffy and here is my fertility story and journey.

    I've be trying for baby no three recently. My first baby was a stillborn (conceived her naturally after 6 months of trying). We then tried for 18 months after that with no success and it was at this point that I found out I had PCOS.

    The doctors said that I needed to lose weight and be put on medication. We tried again to conceive and we were successful. My daughter is now 5 years old, after trying for her for 4.5 years. It's not nice being on fertility medication. We wanted to have a third baby, so I underwent ovarian drilling and then lost weight (as my doctor suggested) only to be told that IVF was our only option. We were so upset. Continue reading

  • Must know fertility facts - Part Two

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    Welcome to Part 2 of must-know fertility facts. I hope you found Part 1 useful and you are ready to find out a little more. If so, get comfortable, sit down with a cuppa, and read on. In this blog we look at the reasons for infertility and what steps you can make to help improve your fertility.
     
     

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  • Is your occupation affecting your fertility?

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    Is your work environment making it more difficult for you to conceive?

     

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    Recent studies have looked into the impact various occupations have on the ability for both men and women to conceive. It appears that your fertility can be affected by many differing occupations.
     
    Researchers at Southampton University studied data from 119,000 women who work night shifts on a regular basis. Not only did they find that these women had an increased risk of miscarriage, they also identified that women working nights found it more difficult to conceive.
    The obvious logistics of not sharing a bed at the same time as your partner may have some influence on the time it may take for a shift worker to conceive, however the study found that lack of sleep and disturbed sleep impacted the most.
     
    The physiological cycles of our bodies are regulated by the cycle of wakefulness and sleep, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm. If this cycle is out of balance our hormones can be disrupted leading to menstrual cycle disturbances and difficulties in conceiving.
     
     

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  • Key fertility tips for trying to conceive

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility NurseHere are a few more fertility tips you might want to consider. You may have already started to monitor and record your temperature every day and if so, this is an excellent step in the right direction to maximizing your chances...
  • What is PCOS and what can you do about it?

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be divided into two distinct groups: Polycystic Ovaries (PCO) and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
     

    What is PCO?

     
    Women diagnosed with PCO will have many cysts on their ovaries. However, they will not have the severity of cysts or the hormonal imbalance and symptoms seen in women with PCOS. Therefore women with PCO are less likely to have problems conceiving than women diagnosed with PCOS.
     

    What is PCOS?

     
    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is unfortunately the cause of fertility problems in many women. This debilitating condition is often not diagnosed until a woman is unsuccessful in conceiving.PCOS is accompanied by a hormonal imbalance which makes it more difficult for eggs to mature adequately and be released at the time of ovulation. In many women with PCOS their condition is complicated further with insulin resistance.
     
    It is believed to effect 5-10% of women in both the UK and US. PCOS is a chronic condition where the ovaries develop many tiny cysts caused by egg follicles that have not been able to develop as they should. 
     
     

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  • Four reasons why I NEVER recommend ovulation predictor kits (OPKs)!

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    Have you ever used ovulation predictor kits (OPK’s) to predict when you ovulate? Have you had a good or bad experience of using OPK’s? I am very sceptical of the reliability of this ovulation prediction method and as a result, I don’t recommend them to any of my patients. Here’s why……….

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  • Learning to love Mother's Day

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    For those of you living in the UK, you’ll be aware that Mothering Sunday occurs in late March. Additionally, Mother's Day in the USA is May, as it is in Canada and some parts of Europe. I suspect, when this time of year comes around, you feel a sense of dread. For many it will be yet another year when your arms feel empty and your longing for a baby to fill this empty space is intensified.
     
    However, this year, I challenge you to think differently about Mother’s Day; I want you to learn to love it for totally different reasons and I want you to turn the idea of Mother’s Day on its head. I want you to flip it, and here's how: think of this day as not just for mothers, there are many different ways you can learn to accept Mother’s Day without being a mother yet yourself.
     
     

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  • PCOS - ten great ways to beat the symptoms and feel better

     By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    PCOS is your worst enemy, we get that. Fight back with ten great ways to beat the symptoms and feel better:
     
     

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  • PCOS and you - the fertility diet challenge

    By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

    Weight gain is one of the most common side effects of PCOS. It’s also one that affects your self esteem and compounds your difficulties in conceiving. However, the good news is that by paying attention to your diet, it is possible to lose the weight you’ve gained and feel better.
     
    Losing weight will also help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease as well as boosting your overall health and well-being.
     
    However, diet alone can’t cure PCOS but it can help to alleviate the symptoms, and with ovulation monitoring or further support from your specialist, losing weight can significantly increase your chances of conceiving.
     
     

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