Singer-songwriter John Legend and model wife Chrissy Teigen say struggling to conceive and ultimately undergoing in-vitro fertilisation have brought them closer.
“Having a baby is a big challenge for a couple, and going through that together strengthens your bond because if you can make it through [having a child], you know you can make it through anything,” Legend told Cosmopolitan.
The interview follows the birth of their 16-month-old daughter, Luna Stephens, in April last year, who was conceived with IVF.
The couple has now revealed they will use IVF again in the hopes of giving Luna a little brother or sister.
“We’re lucky that we’re living in an age where we can conceive in other ways; [IVF] brought us Luna and hopefully, it will bring us a few more awesome kids too,” Legend said.
The 10-time Grammy winner confirmed they had been challenged enough in their efforts to have a baby that turned to medical science for help.
“I think it’s especially difficult when you can’t conceive naturally,” Legend said.
“You want to feel like everything’s working properly and want everything to be perfect, but sometimes it’s not,” the singer-songwriter and father-of-one said.
The All of Me singer and his cookbook-author spouse were seen on Wednesday (US time) taking time off on a super yacht in Sardinia, Italy
IVF Australia clinical director and University of New South Wales Associate Professor Gavin Sacks told The New Daily it was quite common for IVF to clinch and strengthen relationships.
Professor Sacks said he had assisted many infertile couples, adding that it was relatively rare to see a break-up through the course of an investigational treatment.
“The journey becomes a big part of what the couple share together,” Prof Sacks said.
Legend also shared the couple’s IVF journey on a British morning television program, saying people shouldn’t be afraid to talk openly about the topic.
“A lot of people struggle with fertility and they shouldn’t be ashamed of it,” he said.
“A lot of people want to have kids and maybe can’t do it the natural way … I think people should do it if that’s what will work for them.”
Teigen shared with People the celebrity couple’s decision to have a girl in February last year.
“Not only am I having a girl, but I picked the girl from her little embryo. I picker her and was like, ‘Let’s put in a girl’,” she told the magazine.
At the time she said a boy would follow. “We’ll get there too, so it’s not like we really have to pick”.
The unwavering couple of 10 years have also been recently open about Teigen’s struggles with alcohol.
In another Cosmo interview, the Smirnoff vodka spokeswoman admitted she was “point blank, just drinking too much”.
Teigen said her drinking began to get out of control when alcohol was readily available at events and award shows as a celebrity.
In response to the problem, her soul-crooning husband said the couple discussed everything on their minds and were always honest with each other.
“Whenever she sets her mind to anything, I always tell her, ‘I want to support you and help you do it’.”
If you’re unfamiliar with PCOS, let us school you. PCOS, short for polycystic ovary syndrome, occurs when a woman starts developing many small cysts on her ovaries. These cysts aren’t harmful themselves, but they lead to hormone imbalances and, as a result, create other symptoms (think facial hair, acne, and weight gain). It can also make your period ultra-light, ultra-heavy, or stop altogether.
While the syndrome might feel isolating, it’s certainly not uncommon: Over 200,000 women are diagnosed with it every year. If you just got diagnosed, know someone who has, or just want to know more about the condition, we got the low-down from women who kick PCOS’ ass day in and day out.
The early onset of menopause has been shown to correlate with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. Researchers have investigated the premise that whatever makes some women predisposed to early menopause may also make them more susceptible to diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 29 million adults in the United States have diabetes. According to their 2014 National Diabetes Statistics report, around 11 percent of these people are women.
Recently, a study conducted by Drs. Taulant Muka and Eralda Asllanaj, both from the Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, investigated the links between the natural onset of menopause and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in the journal Diabetologia.
Unclear menopause-diabetes link
The basis for this research hails to a previous study by Dr. Muka and colleagues, which found that women whose menopause naturally sets in early – that is, before the age of 45 – are likelier to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and are at a higher mortality risk.
Reports show that type 2 diabetes is an important risk factor for CVD, yet the links between early menopause and diabetes are still debatable. The new study aims to answer some of the questions surrounding this issue, taking a step forward in tackling diabetes risk in women.
The study analyzed data on 3,969 women sourced from the Rotterdam Study, the aim of which was to conduct research into the risk factors for various diseases and conditions among a large cohort of adults aged 45 and over. The participants underwent medical examinations once every 3 to 5 years.
The study defines as “postmenopausal” someone who has not menstruated in at least a year. To assess the women’s status, questionnaires were distributed that asked them to report the age at which they experienced their last period.
Both newly diagnosed and previously diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes were confirmed at the participants’ baseline assessments, as well as in follow-up examinations. To this end, medical records, hospital discharge letters, and glucose level assessments were used. The study collected follow-up data until January 2012.
Early menopause correlates with diabetes
To identify factors with a potential impact on the overall findings, the researchers gathered additional data on the participants, including their baseline state of health, medical history, medication, age at menopause onset, physical activity levels, and whether they had been diagnosed with CVD.
Other relevant baseline measurements included height, body mass index (BMI), levels of insulinand glucose during fasting periods, and sex hormone levels.
Furthermore, since single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are variations in a person’s DNA sequence, are known factors for the early onset of menopause, genetic risk was also taken into account.
Out of the 3,639 women who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study, 348 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the follow-up period.
The researchers found that women who started menopause early (before age 40) were 3.7 times more likely to develop diabetes than women who started menopause later in life (between the ages of 45 and 55).
Women who had a normal onset of menopause (between ages 40 and 44) were at a slightly lower risk, but they were still more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than their counterparts with late menopause onset.
In a previous study, Dr. Muka and colleagues had identified a link between diabetes risk, estradiol (the main female sex hormone) levels after menopause, and premature estrogen production owing to the start of menstruation at an early age.
In the same study, they also suggested that these factors might moderate the impact of early menopause on the risk of diabetes. However, their new research does not support this premise.
DNA might hold the key
Instead, the study found that the link between sex hormone levels, menopause, and diabetes did not explain the correlation between early menopause and risk of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers suggest that whatever may cause early menopause in some women might also be responsible for their predisposition to diabetes, hinting at hidden genetic factors. They say, “Our findings might suggest that the risk of diabetes related to menopause is already there before menopause begins.”
“This could explain why other risk factors for diabetes do not explain the link between menopause and T2D [type 2 diabetes] – early menopause is an independent marker for T2D, indicating that something else is the driving force behind this observation, possibly defective DNA repair and maintenance.”
However, they explain that further research is needed to test for possibilities and find more accurate answers.
View original article here – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318473.php
This expert advice comes with a meal plan, too.
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a hormonal condition that effects up to 20 per cent of women.
Diagnosed based on the presence of two of the following signs and symptoms – presence of ovarian cysts; irregular or absent menstrual cycle and or unexplained weight gain, unwanted hair, fatigue and low mood, PCOS not only has serious implications for fertilitybut is can negatively impact wellbeing on a daily basis for the many sufferers.
PCOS can be largely genetic and it is also becoming increasing common as lifestyle factors result in many women rapidly gaining weight during their reproductive years. This weight gain is linked to increased insulin levels which in turn can cause the development of cysts on the ovaries.
While PCOS is a medical condition and as such needs to be diagnosed by a medical practitioner and can require medication for optimal management, PCOS too needs a relatively strict lifestyle approach with regular exercise, movement and a high protein diet to help manage insulin levels and support weight loss.
Should I eliminate carbs?
As insulin is the hormone that controls carbohydrate and fat metabolism, a common belief of women with PCOS is that they should eliminate carbohydrate from their diet completely. Now while a diet packed full of carbs will not do your insulin levels any favours, the body does need some carbohydrate to fuel the muscle to burn body fat. So while reducing carbohydrate intake is important, so too is not consuming inadequate amounts that will compromise energy levels and metabolic rate.
While there is no set carbohydrate prescription for PCOS, an intake of 30-40% of total calories, or roughly 100-140g per day depending on age and activity levels will support sustainable fat loss. In food terms this translates into 20-30g serves of carbs at breakfast and lunch, while focusing the evening meal around protein and vegetables as opposed to heavy rice and pasta based meals.
What about protein?
Protein rich foods including lean meat, chicken, fish and dairy are a key component of a PCOS specific diet. Teaming these foods with small amounts of carbohydrate at regular meals throughout the day will help to regulate blood glucose levels and help to keep you full. Good meal and snack examples of this teaming including an egg on wholegrain toast, chicken and sweet potato salad or cheese and wholegrain crackers as a snack.
Get your good fats
When we reduce the amount of carbohydrate we consume, it means that we can increase the amount of fat we are eating, slightly. The key is to get the right type of fats and specifically in the case of PCOS, to get the mix of fats that helps the cell to become more sensitive to insulin. These fats include the omega 3 fats and the long chain plant version of these fats found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds and soy and linseed bread. In food terms it means a PCOS diet should include 3-4 serves of fat each day via some olive oil, nuts and seeds and tuna or salmon at least 3-4 times each week.
Skip the sugars and white flour
If there were specific foods that were best avoided if you have PCOS it would be any sugary foods including juices, dried fruit, lollies and large milk coffees and smoothies as well as any food made with refined carbohydrate including pizza, rice crackers, white bread and snack food. These processed and sugary foods send blood glucose levels soaring, trigger cravings and are best avoided as much as possible.
Stick to your meal times
While eating regularly is important to manage your hunger and glucose levels, eating too regularly disrupts this cycle and can lead to gradual weight gain, or an inability to lose weight. For this reason if you have PCOS make sure you leave at least 2-3 hours in between eating occasions.
Your sample PCOS friendly meal plan
Breakfast: 2 eggs + 1 cup vegetables + 1 slice soy and linseed toast
Snack: 4 Vita Wheats and 2 slices of cheese
Lunch: Tuna wrap and bowl of vegetable soup
Snack: Small mixed nut bar
Dinner: 120g grilled salmon + 2 cups vegetables roasted in olive oil
View Original Article Here – http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition-tips/this-is-the-best-diet-for-pcos-according-to-a-dietitian/news-story/ae29f601c8973acb98ddd082ab0c7030
Written by Mishal Ali Zafar
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid pregnancy through natural methods, it is a good idea to get familiar with your body’s cycle. Tracking your period and menstrual cycles is a start, but there are a few other ways to get in tune with your fertility. If you’re trying to get pregnant (or just want to avoid it), you’ll want to know how to chart your fertility. (It’s not as difficult as it sounds.)
When you chart your fertility, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), you observe certain aspects of your body’s natural functions in order to determine which days you are the most fertile. This can help you achieve pregnancy by finding the most fertile days to have sex if you want to get pregnant, and can help you avoid it by skipping sex on those days. The best place to start, suggested the APA, is by keeping track of your period to get a general idea of your cycle length and timing.
Two major parts of fertility charting are tracking your basal body temperature and checking your cervical mucus, suggested the APA. Your basal body temperature (BBT), according to the Mayo Clinic, is your body’s resting base temperature, which increases with ovulation, and your most fertile days will be right before your temperature rises. Charting the rising temperature can show you when your most fertile days are.
Even though it seems a little weird and gross, checking your cervical mucus can provide a lot of insight into fertility, too. Planned Parenthood explained that throughout your cycle, hormones can change the texture, quantity, and color of your cervical mucus. You can chart your cervical mucus by taking some between your fingers and rubbing it or stretching it to check the consistency. Then, make a chart of period days, dry mucus days, and wet mucus days. When your cervical mucus is clear, slippery, and stretchy, like a raw egg white, noted the APA, this indicates ovulation and is the best time to have sex if you’re trying to get pregnant.
You can also use an ovulation test or fertility monitor to help chart your fertility, suggested the APA, and detect the increase of the luteinizing hormone, which surges right before ovulation. The luteinizing hormone, when increased, triggers the release of an egg from your ovary, which is the ideal time for sex. If your ovulation test indicates this surge, the APA recommended having sex within the first three days of the positive result to increase your chances of pregnancy.
After charting your fertility for a year or more, with no positive results, you might consider talking to a fertility specialist, who can accurately test your fertility and help you with conceiving. The first step in trying to get pregnant, or trying to avoid it, is knowing the mechanics of fertility and ovulation, so that you are better prepared for either outcome.
View original article here – https://www.romper.com/p/how-to-chart-your-fertility-because-its-important-to-know-your-cycle-69836