all you need to know about fertility
Fertility

All you need to know about fertility

Bringing a baby into the world is challenging, but it is also a very special time in your life. If you’re experiencing issues with getting pregnant, this round up of articles containing top expert advice about fertility might help.

Struggling to conceive

If you are struggling to conceive,this article provides expert advice and some top tips that may help you to get pregnant faster and improve your chances of conceiving a baby by learning more about male and female fertility.

About one in six couples can have some problems conceiving a baby. However, over eight in 10 couples having regular sex (every two to three days) will conceive within one year if the woman is aged under 40 years. In addition, of those couples who do not conceive in the first year, about half will do so in the second year.

Fertility expert Senior Clinical Embryologist Declan Keane answers a few common questions about the issue.

Read more about struggling to conceive

all you need to know about fertility

Stress and fertility

The effects of stress can be beneficial and enable the ‘fight or flight response’ to help us escape from a perceived dangerous, or harmful, situation. However, the effects of stress can also be harmful by mediating a series of physical changes and responses in the body. Negative consequences of these stress responses can impair our thinking, metabolism, immune function and, potentially, even reproduction.

Specific relaxation techniques listed in this article could boost a couple’s chance of conceiving.

Stress and fertility

The fertility diet

It’s a sad joke that so many of us spend half our lives making sure we don’t become pregnant, only to run into problems when we finally decide that we do.

Your daily diet has a big effect on your fertility – consultant dietitian Sarah Keogh gives her advice in this article on what to avoid and what to eat to boost your chances of conceiving.

The fertility diet

all you need to know about fertility

Ovulation Guide

If you’re trying to get pregnant, understanding the timing of your ovulation cycle can be critical. You have to find out how to pinpoint when you are most fertile. To help you, here’s our guide to ovulation.

Ovulation guide

Acupuncture and fertility

Acupuncture, a branch of medicine that originated in China, has been used for centuries to treat fertility issues. The W.H.O. (World Health Organisation) recognises its effectiveness in doing so and there have been several studies showing that it is safe and effective in treating fertility and infertility, as well as menstrual/reproductive issues, for both men and women.

In this article, acupuncturist Maria Maher explains how this ancient Chinese therapy could help to boost fertility.

Acupuncture and fertility

all you need to know about fertility

Can hormones cause infertility

Women tend to be very aware of their hormones. We are used to our monthly cycles and the changes they can bring both physically as well as the effects on mood (not to mention the sugar cravings!).

Hormones have control over fertility and our monthly cycles, but they can have a wider effect on the whole of our health – and pregnancy is one area they can really influence.

In this article, consultant dietitian Sarah Keogh explains why hormones are key to a woman’s reproductive health.

Can hormones cause infertility

..and finally..

Top 5 tips to help you conceive

Sex and relationships expert Trina Read gives her top 5 tips to help you conceive.

Top 5 tips to help you conceive

Ask Tracey

Midwife Tracey Donegan answers your questions about pregnancy and birth

Q When should I have my first pregnancy scan? And how many scans should I get throughout my pregnancy?

A
Your first scan is known as your dating scan and is routine in all hospitals. Most mums will have this scan at their booking visit, which can be anywhere between 12-18 weeks. The earlier the scan the more accurate it will be. If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages some hospitals will scan you earlier. Contact your antenatal clinic for more information. In Ireland, most women will have two scans in a healthy pregnancy – a dating scan and an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. However, some units provide a dating scan only. Private scans are also available in most cities and many parents use these services for additional reassurance and to find out the sex of their baby.

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ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….