Processed meats might affect male fertility

Recent study discovered that men who ate processed meats like bacon, sausage, canned meat products had poorer chances to achieve successful pregnancy. Those men who ate more chicken had better outcomes during fertility treatment.

“Many studies have shown that diet can affect human fertility, but our diets are so complex that it is difficult to tease out how particular food types may affect reproductive outcomes,” says Dr. Rebecca Sokol, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

The total meat intake was not associated with embryo implantation, clinical pregnancy or live birth rates. The important message from this study is to avoid processed meats, like other processed foods and foods that were in contact with plastics. Even if you can’t eat the bacon, but you can enjoy the fresh cut steak.

It is important to note that study was done on men who were undergoing fertility treatment. It means that their sperm quality was already compromised. Men sperm quality is very closely related to their general health. It even can be one of the early warning sings for the heart disease, high blood pressure. It’s not surprising that reducing processed foods men can improve general health and sperm quality. However, researchers have not yet been able to pinpoint why there is such a connection.


Voltaren stops your back pain and ovulation?

If you suffer from back, neck pain while trying to conceive, you should look into natural pain relief options, like acupuncture.

The results of a new study are alarming. It found that Voltaren (diclofenac), Naxen (naproxen) and Arcoxia (etoricoxib) significantly inhibit ovulation in women with mild musculoskeletal pain. Of the women receiving NSAIDs, only 6.3 percent (Voltaren), 25 percent (Naxen) and 27.3 percent (Arcoxia) ovulated, compared with 100 percent of the control group.

The inhibited ovulation is thought to be temporary — stopping use of medicine will reverse the problem.

Earlier research demonstrated that ibuprofen like all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has an effect on ovulation.

Acupuncture is effective not only in reducing musculoskeletal pains, but it can optimise your chances of conception. Read more how acupuncture can improve your fertility here:

Selenium linked to female fertility

We know that selenium is important for male fertility. Selenium role for female fertility was unknown. The research team, led by Associate Professor Hugh Harris and Professor Ray Rodgers from University of Adelaide, was able to pinpoint exactly where selenium is located in the ovary for the first time.

The findings are important, because they show that selenium and selenoproteins are at elevated levels in large, healthy ovarian follicles. Selenium plays a critical role as an antioxidant during the late stages of follicle development, helping to lead to a healthy environment for the egg.

Researchers found that selenoprotein was significantly higher – in some cases double – in egg cells that yielded a pregnancy.

For women trying to conceive researches don’t advice to take selenium supplements. Selenium in high doses can be toxic. The advice is to eat  good variety diet rich in protein (meats, seafood) and nuts. Apparently one Brasil nut holds a daily dose of selenium.

Sunscreen may reduce male fertility by 30%. Are there safe sunscreens?

Summer is just around the corner. Kiwi guys should watch out what kind of sunscreen you are going to use.

The researchers studied 501 couples that were trying to conceive. They followed the couples until pregnancy or up to one year of trying. The aim was to record the time it took for the women to become pregnant. Researches tested participants’ urine samples and measured concentrations of UV filters associated with endocrine-disrupting activity. There are 29 chemicals commonly used as UV filters in sunscreens and beauty products. Researches were testing only for 5.

The findings of this study suggest that some UV filters used in creams may be associated with reduced fertility in men. The researchers observed delayed fertility among couples with male’s the highest exposure to UV filters called BP-2 (Benzophenone-2 or 2,2′,4,4′-tetrahydroxybenzophenone) or 4OH-BP (4-hydroxybenzophenone). Male fertility was reduced by 30%.

Thou the same effect was not observed with the females. Interestingly in 2012 it was discovered that high concentrations of another UV filter – 2,4 OH-BP (2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone) in women were associated with endometriosis.

Dr Luis, the leading researcher, recommends to use sunscreen without benzophenone UV filters or to wash cream as soon as you return indoors.

For consumers it will be a tricky task to find safe sunscreen. The list of the ingredients on packing is almost to impossible to read without PhD in chemistry. If you are trying to conceive, we recommend to avoid sunscreens that has any variation of  “benzophenone” on it. Or even better use large hats, wear long sleeved T-shirts, long light trousers or stay in a shade.

Enviromental Working Group been doing research for number of years to find out which sunscreens are safe(r)or has less negative effects. On there website you can search for sunscreens by brand. Find out more about it here.


How the seasons influence your ovulation

Timing of your ovulation is a big issue when you are trying to conceive. Fertility awareness method, that we teach, can help you to find the exact day when you are ovulating.

If you want to be even more specific with the timing, there is interesting data from the studies. Aprently ovulation occurs primarily in the morning during Spring, and primarily in the evening during Autumn and Winter. From July to February in the Northern Hemisphere (I guess that would be from March to July in Southern Hemisphere) about 90% of women ovulate between 4 and 7PM; during Spring, 50% of women ovulate between midnight and 11AM.

We like it or not our bodies respond to seasonal changes. And not only women, guys reproductive systems are affected by it as well. Human sperm swim best and is healthiest  in Winter and Spring.


Testart J, Frydman R, Roger M, Seasonal infl uence of diurnal rhythms in the onset of the plasma luteinizing hormone surge in
women, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 55:374, 1982.