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Is there anything a man can do to enhance his fertility? This is such a great, important question that not enough couples ask. So often we get caught up focusing on female fertility that we completely forget to acknowledge the profound role men have in the baby-making game. The good news is, “Yes!” — there are plenty of things men can do to increase the odds of successful conception.

In years past, the perception has been that an inability to conceive was attributable to problems with the woman’s reproductive functionality. But researchers like Dr. Liberty Barnes at Cambridge University who recently published the book “Conceiving Masculinity: Male infertility, medicine, and identity,” contradict the idea that this is a women’s issue. Barnes says that of those millions of people trying without success to conceive a child, 30 percent are due female factors, 30 percent are male factors, 20 percent are a combination of male and female factors, and 20 percent of cases of infertility are simply unknown.

We all get stressed, yet not all of us battle to conceive. Interestingly, during times of war, and in poverty-stricken communities, the pregnancy rate is often inordinately high. Surely people battling to meet their basic needs on a daily basis are stressed? We keep hearing that if we are stressed, we won’t fall pregnant – can this be true? We also hear that many couples fall pregnant after adopting a baby, or once they’ve completely given up on their fertility treatment. So is there a link between fertility and stress, and if so what is it?

 

Female infertility is a growing health concern in today’s society and often, the journey from diagnosis to treatment (or failure thereof) is fraught with uncertainty and emotional distress for a woman and her partner.

There are many causes of female infertility, which are usually investigated for and diagnosed by a gynaecologist or fertility expert. Problems with egg development, ovulation or even anatomical problems with a woman’s reproductive system may be the culprits. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis are well-known examples of female medical conditions that can lead to reduced fertilit

Optimise fertility by addressing body stress:

Are you feeling stressed, having trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, battling with an irregular cycle or struggling to fall pregnant, or suffering from back pain, anxiety, headaches or constipation?  All of these symptoms may signal the progression of stress overload which may be disrupting the body’s optimal functioning.

  The value of Integration: Benefits of a holistic approach to fertility using complimentary therapies alongside conventional medicine

 A clinical diagnosis of sub- or infertility often sets off a whole chain of events and previously unforeseen tests and treatments for couples who may have already been starting to stress at their failure to fall pregnant as the months pass by.

By Nancy Freeman-Carroll, Psy.D.
Most parents get a little nervous the first time their young child asks the question, “Where do babies come from?” This question, and the answer, are both more complicated when the child asking was conceived with assisted conception—IVF, donor egg, or donor sperm. Although it often makes parents squirm, this inquiry is an important step in a child’s awareness of himself and the people around him.

Cal Volks completed her BA Hons and Masters degrees at Rhodes University in 1994 majoring in Psychology. In 2010, she completed the British Infertility Counselling Association Course in Infertility Counselling, and then completed an internship focusing solely on infertility counselling in Cape Town. She is currently the assisted reproduction counsellor at the Holistic Assisted Reproduction Clinic in Cape Town. Cal has researched, presented internationally and published in the field of infertility counselling.

Dr. Sascha Edelstein is the medical director of the Holistic Assisted Reproduction Treatment (HART) clinic in Cape Town. He is a private OB-GYN with sub-specialist training in Reproductive Medicine. Having been through assisted reproduction himself, he has a deep understanding of the physical, emotional & financial hurdles that need to be overcome when going through artificial insemination or IVF.

Where to start? Well, the thing with me is that I’ve always known that I wanted to adopt, and living in South Africa, I always assumed that my adoptions would be transracial.

Being one of five daughters, and the only unmarried one, in my 20s, I used to tell my dad that his brown grandchildren would continue his name.  And that is how it has transpired. Although, my dad died before he met his grandson who bears his name.

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