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Is penis related to pregnancy?

Drake writes, "What is the effect of size while making love?  Will I be able to make my wife pregnant even if the size is very small?"

Size and pleasure

Despite all the myth and misinformation, it is not the size that matters but what you do with its and all other body parts when it comes to satisfying a woman.  I know women who have told me that men with very tiny organs gave them great orgasms and men with huge ones did not know what to do with it.  Generally speaking even the smallest size can please a woman.  So go out there and do what you can with it and your hands, mouth and tongue and stop fretting about the size, the myth for which has been created by quacks, crooks, and spammers to sell you snake oil.

Size and pregnancy

The same is true for making babies.  If the woman is fertile and healthy and you can engage in normal lovemaking, she should get pregnant.  Having said that, if you have been trying to make your wife pregnant for 12 months and have not succeeded, then it is time to meet with a fertility specialist.  It may have nothing to do with your organ size but there are so many other things inside a woman's body that could not be working normally.  For men, it is not the size that is important for pregnancy, but sperm count, sperm quality and motility that are important and these can be checked with a simple test.

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Should I have a child with my married boyfriend?

Cindy writes, "I have read all the the advice you have given to everyone about dating married men.  I am 24 years old and I have an affair with a married man.  We have been together almost 6 years.  Since his wife has not been able to get pregnant, he really wants to father a child and I am happy to do so.  I love him so much, and I am willing to give him a child but the problem is his wife does not want to divorce him nor would she agree to me carrying a child.  We both have fought with everyone to carry on this beautiful relationship and even my parents do not want him to be with me.  I have essentially fought with my whole family just to be with him.  What can I do?  Please help me."

Love child is generally not appreciated

If he loves you as much as you do, he should divorce his wife and then marry you, without support of his and your family, if that is what it comes to.  I am expecting, though, that once you two get married your family will support you.  Right now your parents are correct in not wanting him because he is a married man and you have no future with him that way.

While it may disappoint you, I also support his wife's reluctance to let him have a child with you.  It is one thing to use an egg from a donor or employ a surrogate mother but you are his extramarital lover.  There is no guarantee that a woman will be able to give a child to every man and while she may try IUI, IVF and other fertility treatments, it is unfair to leave a woman just because she did not get pregnant.

So as far as you are concerned, it is time for you to ask your boyfriend to immediately divorce his wife and marry you.  If he does not do that right away, it simply means that he has no interest in marrying you and is merely taking advantage of you.

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How to avoid becoming pregnant?

Cindy writes, "My boyfriend seems to not be able to stop touching me. We have sex all the time and he seems to want more and more. He always seduces me and gets me into bed. Please help me. I try talking to him but we always end up making love. I have become pregnant six times but aborted each time because he does not have time or money to support a child."

I think there is nothing wrong with having sexual desire for your partner with whom you are in love, but if you do not want to get pregnant, you have to use birth control. You can go on the birth control pill and that way you will not become pregnant. If that is not possible, condoms are an alternative. In case you are completely caught by surprise, then, you can try plan B, a pill that stops an embryo from implanting itself in the womb in case fertilization does happen.

I typically do not like to raise ethical and moral questions related to abortion (I leave that to you and your partner), but do want to raise health issues. Making the body go through pregnancy and then aborting it causes health complications due to hormonal imbalance. The body also goes through enormous stress each time you get pregnant or have an abortion.

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Celine Dion desperate for second child

Previously I reported that Celin Dion was pregnant from her frozen embryo but I am now learning from her husband Rene Angelil that it was a false pregnancy. In other words, there were hormonal changes in the body but the frozen embryo did not really implant.

It is important to understand that implanting a frozen embryo involves an IVF procedure and that involves preparing the woman's body through a combination of fertility drugs. That can completely confuse the body and that is why the false pregnancy tests. Celine has already tried once more since then and will try again but at some point you start to wonder if this couple is not just pushing the limits of parenthood because they already are parents of a healthy child. At this late age in life, it is nothing but greed, and yes they are rich and can do anything, and I would have supported their decision if they were childless, but right now it seems that they are simply greedy people who have no respect for their own child, who maybe born to an old woman whose body refuses to cooperate. It is one thing to exploit technology for becoming a parent, it is its abuse to raise a baby farm.

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Michelle Stafford parent through surrogate mother

As I have written before, by the time a woman is 40, her fertility has dropped to a point that it is highly unlikely that she can deliver a living, healthy, normal baby. Yes, some women do that but the number is in very low single digits. Others can try techniques like IUI or IVF but they are not much help. A smarter thing to do is to what Celine Dion did who froze her embryos a long time ago and then became pregnant with it.

If you have failed with these attempts (and burned thousands of dollars in case your insurance does not cover these procedures) then your next option is to use donor eggs, in which case, the real mother is someone else but a woman can still feel connected to the baby since she will be carrying it. These procedures are prohibitively expensive in most of the Western world but in countries like Czech Republic or Ukraine, poor and desperate women will sell their eggs for a very low price. The probability improves but if this does not work, another option is to use a surrogate mother, a procedure used by Ricky Martin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Clay Aiken. In other words, hire a woman to carry a man's child using the surrogate's or donor's eggs. This procedure can cost tens of thousands of dollars and surrogate moms are not lining up for the job.

We can now add another name to the list of women who are becoming "moms" with the help of surrogates: Michelle Stafford, who at 43, tried all of the above, but failed. Interestingly, in her case, since she is single mom by choice, both the sperm and egg are from donors and she will simply be raising the child. This option is akin to paying someone for adopting their baby.

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DNA damage in sperm

Photo of hubby and wife in bedWhen a couple is unable to become parents, it is a good idea to do some tests to detect fertility problems. While women over 40 have a difficult time getting pregnant due to advanced age, men may often be the ones to be responsible for infertility because of low sperm count or poor sperm quality.

Now, for any couple trying to make a baby, it is common sense to be very active in the bedroom (the more you do it the more the chances of a good sperm hitting an egg), now there is scientific research done by Dr David Greening of Sydney IVF that daily ejaculation for a week cut the amount of DNA damage seen in sperm samples.

I am sure it will make a lot of men very happy, but on a more serious note, fresher semen also showed higher motility even with a drop in sperm count. So ladies, get ready for a bed workout every night.

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Do I have pregnancy symptoms?

Britney writes, "I was not on the pill and made love to man, even though, he said that he did not go all the way in. I did that about 17 days ago and my period was more than 30 days ago. I have been feeling quite tired recently, more hungry, some smells irritate me now, a bit nauseous. etc. I am not sure if I am pregnant or not. I used two pregnancy test strips (HCG strips) over the weekend and they gave an INVALID result. I bought another one and it gave a negative result too. though I am still scared. I had to contact HIM so he'll know and we'll find a solution to it. Please, do you know if I can be getting the above pregnancy symptoms so early?"

Since you can still get your period (looks like you have been stressed and that can delay your period), it is best to do another test later this week. If it is still negative, that means that you simply missed your period and are not pregnant. The symptoms that you are having are not definite signs of being pregnant. It could be due to lack of sleep/rest, stress, and worry.

To get complete peace of mind, you can meet with a doctor who can do a more thorough test to determine what is going on.

Calm down and relax a bit. You are getting too worked up and may take a wrong decision. Merely missing a period does not mean much, particularly, if you have a history of irregular menstruation.

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How to find out if I am a virgin?

India writes, "Due to a great error in judgment on my part, I made love to a man, and even though, he did not go all the way in, I think he ejaculated inside me. He told me to stand up straight after the intercourse so that the semen will kind of flow out due to gravity. I want to be sure I am not carrying his baby (we didn't use protection when he went in. I was fertile that day (checking my fertility again); I think it was the day after my ovulation and I am not on the pill since I have never had the use for it (I am not sexually active). Could I still be a virgin?"

Regarding your pregnancy, a pregnancy test kit at home or a blood test in any clinic can confirm if you are pregnant. If so, obviously, you are not a virgin.

Now if you did not become pregnant, then, it is hard to say. Generally speaking, it is understood that a girl is not virgin after the hymen (a membrane inside the vagina) breaks. However, girls who play sports or ride horses/bikes or even those who might fall down in the bathroom, might have a ruptured membrane. Only a medical test can determine if the hymen is still intact.

Now based on this, I cannot tell you for sure. A doctor has to examine you to confirm it.

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Can I have kids if I marry a 40 year old woman?

Larry is a 23-year old man madly in love with a 40-year old woman. "I have two brothers and they they are saying that I shouldn't marry her because she is too old and I can't have kids. Is it too late for this woman to have kids or we still have some hope?"

Larry, it is not impossible to have kids; it is just less likely. Getting naturally pregnant after 40 is somewhat difficult, but not impossible. Plus with techniques like IVF and donor eggs she can improve her chances. And also remember that even if you were to marry a 20 year old there is no guarantee that you can have kids. Not all couples can have kids; there are occasional problems. So this really shouldn't be an issue.

With your family, you have to explain to them how much you love this woman and how you want to be happy with her. You really hope that they will share in your happiness; if not you will have no choice to do what is right for yourself and leave them behind. It is going to be a difficult conversation but right now your family members are hoping that due to pressure from them you will give up.

Larry, if this is what you want, be a man and do it.

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Weight loss surgery before pregnancy

Pregnant woman belly snapAs I have written previously, pregnancy for obese women is risky if they do get pregnant in the first place. It is widely believed that obesity can result in infertility.

Now a new study by Dr. Melinda Maggard says that women should undergo weight loss surgery before they try to become pregnant. Not only are they more likely to become pregnant, the pregnancy and childbirth will be less complicated, and the baby will be healthy.

Women who get pregnant after gastric bypass surgery tend to be healthier and less likely to deliver a baby with complications compared to obese women.

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How did Salma Hayek lose weight after childbirth?

Photo of mom Samla HayakSalma Hayek has some honest tips for mothers hoping to lose weight childbirth.

It has traditionally been believed that a mom can lose weight much more easily if she starts breastfeeding after childbirth. According to Salma Hayek, however, "...the myth that says you lose all this weight when you breast-feed? That is sooo not true."

I know it sure does help your body work harder if you nurse, but if you continue to overeat, the weight will not go away. Even worse, you might even gain some.

In the end losing weight is all about maintaining a balance between calories consumed and used. So I am back to repeating that workout and low calorie diets are keys to losing weight.

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How much wait should I gain during pregnancy?

Photo of a pregnent waman with her belly showingIt is important that a pregnant woman gain weight during pregnancy but pregnancy for obese women is different. They need to work very closely with their doctor to make sure that they don't gain too much weight.

Teresa Hillier, MD, senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research has found that if a woman gains 40 lbs or more, it doubles the risk of having a baby that is more than 9 pounds. That generally means risks to health of both mother and child.

The rule of thumb is that just because you are pregnant it does not mean that you can binge or eat without counting your calories. Plus, while your exercise routine should change, you must still engage in proper exercise. This will also allow you to lose weight easily after childbirth.

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Pregnant without sex

Photo of a girl and her boy friend kissing deeplyI try to answer every question I get and while I had heard that there is all kinds of wrong information out there, for instance, that a girl can pregnant by just kissing, I did not expect that I will get a question like that.

Nanda from India writes, "I am in a relationship for the past two years. My partner and I get physical with each other but not regularly, but there is no intercourse. My menstrual periods have always been irregular. The last one was three months ago. I was expecting my period this month but I still do not have any signs. During this time my boyfriend and I did get physical but we were fully dressed and there was no ejaculation. Is there any chance of me getting pregnant? Please help; I am very stressed out over this."

There is no way you could be pregnant.

Just for your information, pregnancy is not easy as you think. In order for a woman to get pregnant, a man has to ejaculate inside her vagina during that perfect moment in her ovulation cycle (which can sometimes be as short as 1-2 days in a month). Still then, depending on the age of the woman, the probability is just about 10%.

I am not encouraging you to have sex without protection but just sharing information that a lot of things have to go right before a woman can get pregnant. In your case, since there was no sperm released inside, there is nothing to worry.

Regarding your infrequent periods, you must immediately see a doctor. It is not a good health sign and your doctor can look into it and prescribe medication.

And in the meantime, as far as your partner is concerned, it is OK to please each other the way you have been doing. In case you want him inside you, then I strongly recommend that you use a condom or some other birth control option.

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Asian Caucasian parents

Photo of an Asian girl and Cocasian boyWe have all become very accepting of interracial relationships. It is a reflection of the diversity in our society and also allows everyone to enjoy different cultures.

Now the bad news. Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology says that the rates of cesarean deliveries, gestational diabetes, and other pregnancy-related outcomes are higher among Asian-Caucasian couples.

Not much is known about the causes and if interracial marriages are a bad idea, but it is something good to know if you are in an Asian-Caucasian relationship and trying to become parents.

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How did Nicole Kidman get pregnant?

photo of Nicle Kidmen pregnentIt is widely speculated that one reason for the divorce of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise was her inability to give birth to a child - she had a miscarriage. The couple had adopted children. Once she got married to Keith Urban, and without any fertility treatment, she got pregnant and gave birth to a healthy child (daughter Sunday Rose). So even though Nicole was at an advanced age for motherhood, she got pregnant naturally.

How did it happen?

According to her, while shooting the movie "Australia," she went swimming in an Australian Outback waterfall near Kununurra, a small town in far northern part of Western Australia state.

"Seven babies were conceived out of this film and only one was a boy. There is something up there in the Kununurra water because we all went swimming in the waterfalls, so we can call it the fertility waters now," she says.

Now before you start planning a trip to Australia, remember that there is no such thing as a fertility waterfall. It is just superstition and a result of coincidence. Yes, fertility diet and lifestyle changes can alter a woman's fertility and improve the sperm quality of a man.

And to improve the chances of pregnancy further, one of the things that experts now recommend is a procreation vacation. The idea is to be in a beautiful place where you are both relaxed and as you track your ovulation, you can make love at that perfect moment because both of you are available and ready. If that is the only reason you want to travel to Australia, go right ahead, but do not expect anything more.

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Single moms by choice

Photo of a mother with her little daughterWhen Ricky Martin fathered twins with the help of a surrogate, we were all surprised by his decision. It turns out that very few men try to take on the role of a single dad. On the other hand, it is a growing trend among women who are rapidly adopting what is know as "single motherhood by choice."

Why single moms?

As women have become more economically independent, they have realized that they do not need men to either support themselves or to become moms. In any case, with 50% divorce rate, the faith in the institution of marriage is already at an all time low among the educated women. With so many single parents out there, women are already seeing that not only it is more likely, it is also possible.

Another major reason for the trend is that many career-minded women put dating and marriage on hold while they build their careers. As they reach their late 30s, they realize that it is increasingly harder to find a man. Since compromising who they want to marry is not on their priority list, they simply do not want to miss their biological clocks and go ahead with pregnancy while still pursuing their dream man.

Another major change is the availability of IUI and IVF to lesbians and single women. While it was somewhat difficult to do so in the past, many single women can now easily find a sperm donor and fertility clinic to help them in the process.

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Mobile phone dangers for sperm

Photo of a a guy talking on a cellphoneI had reported earlier that men who use cell phones may experience lower sperm quality. It appears that more evidence is coming that cell phone radiation may do a lot of harm to the reproductive organs.

In another study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, they have found that simply keeping a mobile phone turned on and kept in your pants pocket may lead to excessive damage to sperm production.

Obviously, the cell phone companies are not even discussing this because it will hurt their business, but till the debate is settled, here is a word of advice for all those couples trying to get pregnant: keep your cell phone away from your body. You can always put it in your handbag or on your desk while you are working but definitely several feet away from your body to the extent possible. It is also possible to use one of those bluetooth headsets that minimize radiation.

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Naomi Campbell pregnancy

Photo of Nomi CambellOne of the biggest challenges that college-educated, ambitious women face is that they have to balance work and life and have to make choices that can come to haunt them later. While the best time to get married (the right age to get married, according to several studies, is late 20s) and have children is in your late twenties to early thirties, career-minded women do not have that freedom.

And with all the commitment phobia among men, long-term relationships and marriages ending up in divorce 50% of the time, is not rare to see a woman end up close to 40 with no child.

And we all know that pregnancy after 40 is nearly impossible without IUI or IVF or some other kind of fertility treatment, and even if that happens, there are higher possibilities of genetic disorders.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell is one such woman who is now 38 and realizes that she does not have children. It turns out that while she was not actively trying to get pregnant, though, the Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin will definitely prove to be a rich father the way Salma Hayek landed a rich father Francois-Henri Pinault for her daughter. What she learned recently that she was technically infertile until a surgery corrected it. Now she is saying that she is ready to start a family.

The message here is that if you are not getting pregnant after trying for 12 months, it is time to seek fertility treatment.

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How did Sarah Palin get pregnant?

Photo of Sara, Todd and Trig PallinWhile it is great news that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin got pregnant at the age of 44 (when it is nearly impossible for a woman to get pregnant) and had a child (Trig) but the bad news is that the child suffers from Down's Syndrome (it is widely known that children of parents of advanced age suffer from a variety of diseases if there is no miscarriage).

So how did she become pregnant?

It was a mistake. Many women stop their birth control around this age (Palin has some pretty extremist beliefs and it is not clear if she believes in birth control) and are often surprised that they become pregnant. Most women will lose the baby in a miscarriage.

Planned pregnancy. Many couples do not realize the risks that they are taking when they try to become pregnant in their 40s. Considering how clueless this woman is (her own daughter is a teenage mom and her speeches and statements make it obvious that she is simple an airhead; there was a widespread rumor that Trig was actually her grandchild that she adopted by faking a pregnancy so that she could shield her daughter but after her daughter was visibly pregnant that rumor died), it would not be a surprise that she genuinely believes that she could have yet another child at the ripe age of 44 (like Michelle Duggar).

Possible use of artificial reproductive therapy (ART). Palin already had four children, and though she had expressed a desire for a lot of children, there is no information available if that was the case.

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Older fathers responsible for bipolar disorder in children

Photo of a old man with a childIf you recall, previously I wrote about poor sperm quality and infertility in men, in many cases due to advanced age. Many couples wrongly assume that it is difficult for a woman to get pregnant after 40 but men can continue to procreate well into their 60s and 70s without any consequences.

New research from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm says that "Children whose father was 55 years old or more (at the time of conception) run about a 37-percent greater risk of suffering from (bipolar disorder) than children whose fathers were in their 20s," according to lead researcher Emma Frans. In case you do not know what bipolar disorder is, it is enough to understand that these individuals go through severe mood changes that can make them severely depressed to the point of becoming maniacs and committing suicide. They are also more likely to suffer from schizophrenia and autism.

The reason is the same as it is for women: degradation of DNA in sperms.

So what does it mean?

A couple with any partner being of advanced age really has to think if they want to bring a child into the world. Of course, genetic testing is helpful, but if one partner is really old, it is best to consider adoption.

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Ricky Martin father through surrogate mother

Photo of Rickie martine with his babies twinsOn the heels of the development that lesbians are entitled to have IUI and IVF, comes yet another development: single men can become fathers through surrogate mothers.

One of the high profile example of surrogacy is that of Marissa Jaret Winokur who could not have her own children due to a medical condition.

Now Ricky Martin has become a father of twin boys by using a surrogate mom. He is not married and is not even dating a girl and there has been speculation for years that he is gay and would eventually come out. However, due to high rate of homophobia among Hispanics, he has chosen to remain in the closet.

It is great news for anyone who now wants to be a parent.

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IUI, IVF for lesbians

The sad reality is that despite all the small advances made by gays and lesbians, they are openly discriminated in all walks of life. Homophobia is actually on the rise, largely driven by Republican politics and hatred created by many Christian groups.

The case of Guadalupe "Lupita" Benítez highlights how the name of Jesus Christ can be used by so-called Christians to find an excuse to discriminate. That is exactly what these so-called doctors Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton were doing. They belong to the same category of Christians who supposedly value life but strongly support death penalty. Similarly, they want to protect the institution of marriage but are fighting strongly against gay marriage laws.

The decision by California Supreme Court means that hopefully doctors will stop telling you why you cannot be a mom and do what their job is, that is, to dispense medicine. I wouldn't be surprised if something did not go right because the pharmacists already have the right to deny you your legally prescribed medication because their so-called God tells them not to.

While the last thing on a couple's mind when they are trying to become parents (particularly after 40 when each day matters) is a lawsuit but if you have to do it, it is worth it. Lupita's fight paid off. She is now a happy mom.

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Do fertility treatments work?

Photo of a pregnant girl holding her wombWhen a woman is unable to get pregnant particularly after she is 40, it is natural for the couple to get desperate. That is when the greedy fertility treatment industry starts to exploit them. While many such couples may be able to pay for the outrageously expensive assisted reproductive therapy (ART) with the help of their insurance company (it is mandated by law in those cases), others will have to come up with tens of thousands of dollars on their own, often through financing with high interest rates.

Most people borrow this money and can get stuck in a cycle of debt for decades or even declare bankruptcy, often without becoming parents.

The so-called fertility doctors (and a whole industry that now includes acupuncturists, yoga teachers, natural medicine doctors, personal consultants, etc.) are in great position to exploit the desperate people. If the couple gets even technically pregnant, they take all the credit, and keep pushing them to try again (often more money, though, to trap them they will give some discounts not available to first-time patients).

And if you do not get pregnant, then they put all the blame on you. "You are too old, your eggs are no good, your husband has low sperm count, your husband has low sperm motility, etc.," they say.

Well, if you are one of those people that are desperate to have your own child but are unable to get pregnant, here is a piece of news that may save you tens of thousands of dollars.

According to research published in the British Medical Journal, use of drugs like Clomid and artificial insemination is no more useful than trying to get pregnant naturally. These fertility drugs also have serious side effects, chances of multiple babies is high (it may appear like great news to have more than one baby when you struggled to have just one, but these pregnancies are complicated with risk of death for both the babies and mother and higher possibility of development complications in children) and long-term effects on a woman's body, particularly menopause, are not yet known.

I can understand why it is tempting to undergo treatment. You feel that you are doing something and trying really hard, but trust me, the best way to try really hard is to hole up with your spouse in your bedroom.

So are IUI and IVF worthwhile?

No. They only make sense when natural pregnancy is impossible, for example, when using donor eggs or sperms or using a surrogate mother or when the fallopian tubes are blocked.

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Poor sperm quality

Photo of a fat guy on a bathroom scaleRight now if you do not know that being fat is bad, you are either a moron or living under a stone. This is not the place to discuss all the complications associated with being overweight, but I want to highlight one major problem for men who want to make a baby but are fat. It is widely documented that pregnancy for obese women is a huge risk and fertility of overweight women is much lower than that of physically fit ladies.

New research from University of Aberdeen by Ghiyath Shayeb says that obese men have lower sperm count than normal-weight men, their sperms are also of poor quality and could have damaged DNA raising the risk of birth abnormalities. In other words their sperms do not move fast and far enough, and are therefore, incapable of fertilization, and are thus a major cause of infertility in men.

The net result is that unless the woman is very healthy and could compensate for a man's sperm problems, it is best that obese people first get on a weight loss program before considering to become parents.

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Men infertility

Photo depicting the process of fertilization of egg and spermUntil now it was believed that if a woman over 40 was trying to pregnant and she was not having success it was because her eggs were just too old. Unless a man had a low sperm count, the thinking was that the man had nothing to do with infertility.

Not any more. A new study suggests that if a couple is unable to conceive it is because the man is over 35. The probability of a pregnancy drops further if he is past 40.

Such advanced age couples (the medical term for couples who are too old for having healthy babies), even if they get pregnant, are more likely to suffer from miscarriages or have babies born with genetic disorders. (Related: How to get pregnant after 40)

So what are the options for these mature couples?

In the past, it was recommended that a woman choose donor eggs and a whole fertility treatment industry evolved in countries like the Czech Republic. Now it seems that unless you are a mature woman married to a younger man, donor eggs may not be the best idea for an IVF.

The best alternative would be to adopt a child or get a surrogate mother using both donated sperm and egg, if necessary. The world is already populated and unless you are an Albert Einstein or Virgin Mary or Mozart or Picasso there really is no need for you to reproduce.

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Cell phones lower sperm count

For a woman trying to get pregnant and having difficulty conceiving, there are several reasons that can hurt her: age, obesity, and other complications with the reproductive system.

But the male in her life may also be contributing to not conceiving.

Latest research conducted by Cleveland Clinic has found that men who have cell phones glued to their years may have lower quality sperm -- lower sperm count and higher percentage of abnormal sperms. BTW, you can raise sperm count by avoiding soy foods.

By the way, it has long been suspected that mobile phones cause cancer but no firm evidence has been presented by either side.

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Raise sperm count by avoiding soy foods

MYNIPPON photo of tofu in a soup bowlWhen a woman tries to get pregnant, especially in her 40s, and it is difficult to conceive, the couple might not approach a reproductive specialist. Technically, after 12 months of trying, a couple may be able to seek infertility treatment. In that case, a series of tests will be done and the doctors will tell you what to do.

While couples can choose to do an in-home fertility test called Fertell, it may not give you all the answers. For instance, the sperm count can have a big role to play. Alcohol or drug abuse, obesity, unhealthy diet, stress, and depression are some of the reasons that lower sperm count, a latest study suggests that eating soy products may also drastically lower sperm count.

For obvious reasons, it is a controversial study. Asians consume a lot of soyabeans but to the best of my knowledge there is no fertility crisis in Asia. On the contrary, that is still the region with the fastest growing population.

So should you stop eating soy?

Unless you have strong reasons to eat it, I would suggest that it is a minor dietary change that you can easily make. If you eat animal products, you can get your protein that way. If you are a vegetarian, you can get your protein from beans.

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How to improve chances of pregnancy?

Photo of a woman's tummy during pregnancyBelieve it or not but even a woman at the prime or her reproductive years (late teens and early 20s) does not have a 100% possibility of getting pregnant. The probability keeps dropping and it is nearly impossible to get pregnant in your 40s. Women like Michelle Duggar are rare and it is also believed that Nancy Grace did not get pregnant naturally.

While the egg quality drops with age, many women of advanced maternal age also find that they cannot accurately measure their ovulation - a key to getting pregnant. Measuring basal temperature or doing an ovulation test helps but they are not 100% reliable.

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Dangers of Paxil

Scientists have now been able to confirm that women subconsciously notice they are ovulating and change their behavior as well. For example, women will dress more provocatively during this period. So as a man you will notice that change in your spouse right away but as a woman if you feel yourself reaching out to a pair of thongs or lace boy shorts or going braless, you know it is time to invite your man to the bedroom.

Other changes that anyone can notice during ovulation are changes in facial feature, sense of smell, and waist to hip ratio.

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How to get pregnant after 40?

Photo of Halley Berry with OprahGetting pregnant after 40 is not easy, if impossible. A woman's fertility drops significantly chances of miscarriage and birth defects explode. While there are some cures for infertility, and doctors can try assisted reproductive therapy (ART) procedures like IUI and IVF, the probability of a live birth is low.

One woman who has beaten the odds is Halle Berry (It seems that Nancy Grace did not get pregnant naturally). A negative pregnancy test is a very emotional moment for any woman trying to get pregnant but she saved all of them for some strange reason. After 35 tests, she got a positive test.

So what is the takeaway from the story of Halle Berry?

"While I was trying to get pregnant, we tried really hard, so it was a lot of staying home and just doing what you do," she told Oprah. In other words, since the probability is low, the best way to increase it to have sex more often and monitor your ovulation closely.

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Lynne Cheney excited about lesbian daugther pregnancy

Now that the Cheney family has become so important that it is featured in a Nativity scene, the day is not far off when we will declare them as saints. But that will come as a surprise to homophobic evangelical Christians who supported the family for so long but now they are shocked to find that the family not only has homosexuals, there is a big support for her.

It all started with President Bush showing support for lesbian mother Mary Cheney. Of course, he was given the great news to him by Vice President Dick Cheney. So the only person who had not spoken on the issue was grandma Lynne Cheney.

Well, in yet another blow to Bible-thumpers and Jesus freaks, she says that "Dick and I both very much looking forward to this new baby." She told Fox, "Well, I think that it's just very lucky for me that I enjoy being a grandmother and I get to do it for the sixth time."

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Geri Halliwell lost weight after pregnancy, how?

I talked earlier about breastfeeding in a slightly different context but there may be another good reason to do it: weight loss after pregnancy.

Geri Halliwell, the former Spice Girl, who gave birth to Bluebell, tells OK! that breastfeeding helped her get back in shape (from 133 lbs during pregnancy to 105 after losing all the extra pounds).

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Paxil dangerous for pregnant women

Paxil is in trouble again though it is unlikely that the company will do anything to recall it since the greatest dangers are for pregnant women or those hoping to become pregnant.

Paxil and other drugs in the class like Prozac (fluoxetine), Remeron (mirtazapine), Serzone (nefazodone), Wellbutrin (bupropion), and Zoloft (sertraline) are all being investigated and even a class action lawsuit has been filed. Paxil has also been linked to suicides.

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Pamela Anderson loses baby

Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock have some sad news to report: she had a miscarriage. While many people try to get pregnant after 40, the reality is that even in your late 30s (Pam is 39), pregnancy has its risks. In other words, have your baby as soon as you possibly can - if not, think adoption.

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