Posts Tagged ‘ CDC ’

Time to Get Pregnant? When You’re Most Likely to Conceive

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Apparently, November is one big love fest. At least that’s what research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seems to point to, because more women conceive in November than in any other month. (Confession: I feed into that statistic. My son was conceived in early November, due in early August, but came a week early and ended up a July 28 baby).

While there’s no clear data on why everyone’s knocking boots in November, I have some theories of my own. First off, it’s cold out, and who wants to go outside in the cold and snow, when you can stay inside with your honey and keep yourselves warm (and busy!)? And if you do make your way out of the house to build that cute snowman or make snow angels, when you get back in, you’re going to want to dive right into bed and find some way to warm each other up.

And while November is the kick-off of the holiday season, it’s before the full-on December rush and stress hits you (don’t forget, people, stress hormones reduce your chances of getting pregnant!), so you’re still in good, happy spirits and open to both long, passionate romps or just a quickie. You’re also traveling a lot and so the many chances of forgetting to pack your birth control could be another reason for all of those babies.

Thanksgiving makes you feel all lovey-dovey and grateful for each and every amazing person in your life—and that of course includes the person you’re sleeping with! So to show your appreciation for each other, you—what else?—have sex. A lot.

In November, you also have your high school and college homecomings to attend, and nothing gets you more in the mood than reminiscing about the good ol’ wild days, right? Oh, and the tailgate parties! Let’s put it this way: for many women, booze = loss of inhibitions, which means all of those sexual fantasies you’ve had are about to come true (making tons of boyfriends and husbands very happy campers).

So now that you know November is the best time to conceive, you have exactly 29 days to plan every last sexscapade for the month. Here’s to getting lucky, ladies!

TELL US: Will you be trying to get pregnant in November? 

Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Is Wearing Lipstick Bad for Your Pregnancy?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Cosmetics Lead to Lead PoisoningWho doesn’t love a strong, red lip? It’s old-Hollywood glam at its finest. Just a swipe of rosy lipstick, and you’re ready for your close up (and a big kiss with your super-hot leading man). But what price are you willing to pay for a pretty pout—would you risk your health or the health of your unborn baby?

A disturbing new study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal says that not only do most lipsticks contain at least a trace of lead, but many brands of both lipstick and lip gloss contain up to eight other metals: cadmium, aluminum, cobalt, titanium, manganese, chromium, copper and nickel. (Aluminum keeps your lipstick’s color from bleeding into the fine lines around your mouth. Titanium oxide is a whitening agent that turns reds into pinks. The rest are likely unwanted contaminants.)

The worst culprits when it comes to hidden metals are vibrant pinks, and deep reds, browns and berries, as well as shimmery, glittery glosses or stains. Lighter, matte hues or lip balms are relatively safer.

What makes this finding more upsetting is that research shows that many women (and we all know pregnant women are no exception!) touch up their lip color more than 20 times a day. During that time these metals are being absorbed into your skin and tissue, and are likely being ingested, while you’re eating and drinking. That is what they call in the medical world long-term exposure. Eek!

While there is no need for a full-out panic, according to experts, there is some cause for concern, especially if you’re pregnant. The amount of lead and other metals in lipstick is rather small, but lead tends to accumulate in the body, and the CDC acknowledges that no level of lead is safe, especially when it comes to pregnant women because moms can pass on lead poisoning to their unborn children who have even less tolerance for it.

Plus, too much lead in your system can increase your risk for miscarriage or cause you to go into labor early. It can also harm the development of your baby’s brain, kidney and nervous system, or create learning or behavior problems in your little one.

So the best thing to do is read makeup labels, just like you do food labels. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ widely recognized study, here is a list of 11 lipsticks that will still add a beautiful pop of color to your lips without any detectable levels of lead. And if you have an absolute favorite that’s not on the list, try wearing it in small doses, rotating it out with one that you know is absolutely safe for baby. You’ll still look drop-dead gorgeous and you’ll sleep better at night!

TELL US: What “green” beauty products do you recommend? Will this new study affect what lipstick you wear?

Image of lipstick courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Secondary Infertility: Having Trouble Getting Pregnant Again?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Fertility Issues: Having Trouble Getting Pregnant AgainWomen and men don’t like to talk about infertility because they feel ashamed as if they’re somehow lesser women and men because they’re having problems conceiving—which obviously isn’t the case. We know that rationally, but self-doubt creeps in and we ladies are really good at beating ourselves up over things.

While infertility is still a topic most people only share with close friends or family, people are at least talking about it finally. Most of us know someone who has had fertility issues, and has had to go through IVF to get pregnant (I personally know many stories with happy endings!). But fewer people talk about secondary infertility, which is infertility after you’ve already had a child. Partly because they can’t wrap their heads around the problem since they were able to have a baby in the past; partly because they fear it seems just plain whiney, when they already have a child or children and other people are struggling to have just one.

Dealing with it quietly can be difficult as people make comments like, “When is little Bobby going to be a big brother?,” or “I thought you wanted a big family!” But if you are experiencing secondary infertility, know you’re not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, even though people may not be talking about it, 11 percent of American couples, which is about 4 million families, experienced secondary infertility in 2010 (up from 3.3 million couples in 2006). So it is a common problem, and you probably know someone who’s struggling with it right now.

About 35 percent of those with secondary infertility experience fertility problems because of the woman, 35 percent because of the man, 20 percent because of both, and 10 percent is unexplained infertility. For women, irregular menstrual periods or ovulation and weight changes can complicate conception. Conditions such as endometriosis can worsen over time and interfere with fertility, while cesarean sections and other pelvic surgeries can also lead to scar tissue or blocked fallopian tubes, both of which can hurt fertility. For men, low sperm count or sperm mutations are usually the culprit.

But it’s not all bad news—there are ways to help improve your chances of getting pregnant again before turning to fertility treatments. Timing is everything! The most fertile window is during the six days before you ovulate. Over-the-counter ovulation kits are available at most drug stores to help you figure out the right time for you. During that period, have sex every day or at least every other day (and remember to have fun—it’s not just a homework assignment!). If you’re using a lubricant, read the packaging. Choose cellulose-based lubricants over water-based ones that tend to decrease sperm mobility and survival. Also limit coffee and other caffeine consumption to a cup or two a day and avoid recreational drugs, alcohol and tobacco, while trying to conceive.

If you’re under 35, after a year of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant see a specialist. If you’re over 35, give it six months, and then get checked out because often times the things that cause infertility can get worse with age if untreated. If you do have a medical problem, don’t feel defeated. Then you can address it and formulate a plan, and you’ll feel much more empowered.

For more on secondary infertility, read this.

TELL US: Have you overcome any infertility issues? Do you have any tips for women going through the same?

Image of mom with toddler courtesy of Shutterstock.

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