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Getting Pregnant Tips, Social Media, World News May 26, 2014

5 Creative Ways Countries Tried to Up Their Birth Rates

As we shared in our previous post the birth rate of many countries is decreasing – especially after the hit of the global economic crisis. Some countries have taken up the problem very seriously and launched creative campaigns to encourage their citizens to become parents.

If you don’t believe, check out the Danish campaign ‘Do It for Danemark’ created by a local company but still serving the idea of the public good of making more Danes.


The Singapore authorities decided in collaboration with the company Mentos to create a campaign called the “National Nights”. Aiming to push the people to patriotism in order to increase the birth rate of 0.78 per woman.

The City also took to problem to a higher level by attacking directly the urban development authorities to limit the number of small one-bedrooms flat. Not only that but a big Monterian compensation was unblocked in order to support the initiative and the couples willing to help their country. The package included 15.000$ for each child, tax incentives and extended maternity leave.


Due to the “small families program” that was developed in the 70’s, today the birth rate in South Korea has fallen to one of the lowest in the world. With the increase of the economic difficulties, the birth rate felt to 1.2 children per family.

In order to encourage the South Korean to have more babies the government has promised to have lower university tuition fees and state-run child care.

Other incentives included giving away cash vouchers and other gifts to workers. In 2010 the ‘Family day’ was established which required all offices to close at 7 pm and in that way pushing people to spend more time with their families.


The Russian population is decreasing very rapidly since the 90’s due to the high death rate and the low birth rate. That motivated the government to launch the ‘have a baby and win a Fridge’ campaign. September 12 was declared ‘the Day of Conception’ and all women that would give birth 9 months after would win a fridge, money or even cars for the national day which is on 12 June.


The population of Japan is on the way to “extinction” with less than 1.39 children per woman. A student of the university of Tsukuba invented a baby robot that is acting like a real baby. The aim of the robot is not to replace real babies but to trigger the parental instincts and push people to make their own babies.


In the 60’s the population of Romania was approaching zero population growth, which was a real disaster for the Communist idea.

Sanctions were taken for people over 25 years old that were childless. Abortions and divorce where practically impossible, pregnancy test import was halted and some tax & monetary incentives were given. These Draconian measures did not hold on for long since economic compensation were barely enough to buy a bit of milk. The revolution ended it in 1989.

Whatever the situation your country is facing, if you are willing to help with the patriotic act, Conceive Plus is available all over the world through the amazing invention of internet. No excuses – we also give you a free delivery wherever you are in the world.

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World News May 23, 2014

The financial crisis hit parenthood plans: greying of the European baby boomers

The fertility rate has fallen sharply in the most affected by the crisis countries, the Vienna Institute of Demography sounded the alarm.

 In order for the economy of a country to be supported the minimum fertility rate required is 2.1 children per woman. Underneath this rate, the effect is catastrophic leading to population ageing – and respectively to economic downturn. An example for this is China where there are 4 elderly people for every 1 working person. Another study shows that by 2050 China will have only 2.2 people of working age for every one person over 65.

 The European crisis doesn’t only affect the unemployment or the purchasing power. It also has a direct and dramatic impact on the birth rate in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland.

The lack of future perspective, the uncertainty and the augmentation of the unemployment are pushing people to reduce or delay their parenthood plans.

The financial crisis hit parenthood plans: greying of the European baby boomers

Fertility problems and financial crisis?

The Austrian researchers studied fertility in 22 European countries between 2008 and 2011. Shockingly, in 15 of them fertility rates have been declining and this disturbing trend keeps on continuing.

 “The European data shows a clear correlation between rising unemployment and declining birth rates,” says Tomas Sobotka.

 Spain, being the emblematic case, shows the highest rate of unemployment in Europe with its over 26% unemployment rate. The Spanish suffered a decline in the number of births in 2009, a year after the deterioration of the labor market. Its fertility rate, after rising from 1.23 in 2000 to 1.46 in 2008, fell to 1.36 in 2011.

 Two exceptions exist: Germany that never rose her fertility rate and France the fertility rate of which rose from 1.8 to 2 in ten years, despite the crisis, thanks to their generous family policy.

In Greece, the number of abortions has increased by 50% in 2011 to reach 300,000. In Portugal, the number of births fell from 2012 to 90,000, its lowest point in 60 years.

USA is following the same path.

Still, the future looks brighter as the world starts to wake up from the financial distress.

In our next post we are going to show you a couple of smart examples several countries used to motivate their citizens to become parents. In the meantime, for those of you who have already decided to support their local economy, we are here for you! –

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World News May 22, 2014

Surviving His Pregnant Mood Swings

Yes. Because dads-to-be have them too!

It is well known that when trying to conceive women emotions get heightened. Hormonal changes during pregnancy are even more unique in the life of the moms-to-be. They have up and down moods, one day everything is all pink and shiny, and the minute after they become fill blue.

A new research found that it isn’t just the ladies who become more emotional during pregnancy and in the first months of parenthood. Apparently, men are, too!

Surviving His Pregnant Mood Swings

The university of Notre Dame tracked the hormone levels and behaviors of 433 men in the Philippines. Lee Gettler found that men have their level of prolactin (the hormone that produce milk in women breast) is rising, while the men testosterone level drop. Basically men get involved in the pregnancy of their wives until the point that their all body starts reacting hormonally.

Is is not rare for men to put on weight as the belly of the wife grows. 20% of the future daddy’s are experiencing the same symptoms as their wife such as nausea and headache.

This hormonal process prepares men to have more empathy and care. So if you notice that men whose partners are pregnant to seem kinder and more sensitive, there’s a good chance it’s not just your imagination.

With the study researchers also discovered that like women, dads-to-be have less interest in sex after the baby is born. This is mostly due to the drop of testosterone, but it is very likely that the lack of sleep plays a big role as well. No worries – we can give you some tips on how to spicy up your love life after childbirth.

According to the study everything goes back to normal after a year. If like many couples your sex life is a bit down after your first kid, check out our range of lubes, one of our flavors will surely inspire you.

Curious to learn more about your partner’s empathy during pregnancy? Read our article on Stress Damaging the Fertility of Men, Not Just Women

Conceive Plus is available in more than 60 countries globally, to find the closest retailer to you, visit our where to buy page

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Getting Pregnant Tips, Social Media, World News May 16, 2014

Testing sperm on the go? Tool goes mobile in 2015

One of every five men has low-sperm counts that can impair conception.

The researchers Greg Sommer and Ulrich Schaff decided to shed some light on fertility changes in men.

Their invention “TrakFertility” will allow for men to self-test for sperm quality. In just 5 minutes with a few drops of semen.

“It would be like using a scale to follow weight, only in this case, men would track changes in their fertility,” Sommer said. “We want to help people conceive in a way never done before”.

According to the scientists, the self-kit is all what men would need. To do the test they just need privacy of their homes. Thanks to the ongoing home diagnostic men would be able to take the necessary steps to improve fertility.

The launch of the portable fertility test is foreseen for next year in the USA. Upon receipt of an US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

In parallel to the device the company is developing a mobile app to help men track and analyze the results of their tests and communicate about them with their doctors.

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World News April 18, 2014

Fertility Mystery Solved With Discovery of Protein Key

Infertility can be caused by a number of factors, including (but not limited to) DNA damage, chromosomal aberrations, hormonal conditions, age-related factors, and environmental factors. Some infertility conditions are specific to females, some to males, and some arise because of a combination of conditions in the male and female partners. Approximately 12 steps are involved in thoroughly investigating the cause of infertility in couples. In research published this week in Nature, with Dr. Enrica Bianchi of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK as the lead author, scientists have moved closer to solving the mystery of fertility with the discovery of a protein that is key to the interaction of sperm and egg.

Because fertility is such a monumentally important topic, much research has been done on it. An early key to this mystery was discovered in 2005, when researchers found a protein present on the sperm’s surface that recognizes the egg, thereby enabling fusion to form an embryo. They named it “Izumo,” which is Japanese for “marriage shrine.”  In today’s study, the research team is reporting the discovery of a cognate protein on the egg’s surface that binds Izumo: they named it Juno, after the Roman fertility goddess. The research study also confirmed that the binding of Izumo to Juno is the first step in the process of egg and sperm fusion, without which fertilization cannot take place. This particular interaction was difficult to pin down, because the binding between Izumo and Juno is low-affinity (i.e. their binding is quite weak). After the egg is fertilized, it rids itself of the remaining Juno protein on its surface within 40 minutes, so as to prevent more sperm from binding: if more than one sperm fused with the egg, the resulting zygote would have too many chromosomes, and would thus be inviable.

In order to perform the experiment, the research team took the already-characterized Izumo protein, and developed an artificial version of it, to see what it bound to on a mouse egg. They used an assay called AVEXIS, which is designed to identify weak and transient interactions between receptors and the ligands they bind to. In this way, they found a folate receptor called Folr4, which they renamed Juno.

To prove that Juno was essential to female fertility, the research team created genetically modified mice that lacked the Juno protein on their eggs. The eggs of these mice did not fuse with sperm, and the mice were infertile. To complete their understanding of the interaction of Izumo and Juno, the researchers genetically modified male mice that lacked Izumo; these mice were then shown to be infertile.

This research is significant because it offers a shortcut through the many steps involved in treatment of infertility. Eggs and sperm of couples experiencing difficulty conceiving can be genetically screened to determine if their Izumo and Juno proteins are structured correctly. If it is established that these proteins are defective, couples can go directly to a procedure called “ICSI” for intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which a sperm is directly injected into an egg, using an extremely fine needle. Dr. Gavin Wright, who leads the Institute’s Cell Surface Signalling Laboratory, hopes that the discovery of this key protein interaction will solve at least one fertility mystery, and allow improvements to fertility treatments as well as contraceptives.

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World News April 8, 2014

Celebrity Baby Scoop: Elisabeth Rohm says she can be voice on infertility

Elisabeth Rohm just wrapped up participation in Fertility Planit – a two day event April 4-5 at the University of California at Los Angeles. The first event of its kind, Fertility Planit was an all-fertility focused show featuring leading fertility experts. Topics included Beginners Guild to Infertility, Becoming a Single Parent by Choice, Egg Freezing, Creating a LGBT family, Adoption, Male Infertility, Fertility Over 40, Adoption, and IVF.

The actress talked about motherhood, IVF and her book, “Having the Child I Always Wanted (Just Not As Expected).” Other celebrities who spoke included Emily Blunt, The Guncles’ Scout Masterson and Bill Horn, and Jason Patric.

Celebrity Baby Scoop caught up with Rohm before the event to discuss Fertility Planit, her past struggle with infertility, and being mom to her daughter Easton.

Q: Many couples struggle with infertility, and in your book “Having the Child I Always Wanted (Just Not As Expected)” you openly share your experience. How do you think your story has provided hope for women who haven’t been able to conceive?

A: “I think we all need a friend and a safe place to be able to tell our truth. Secrets are sickness, and suffering in silence is not advised. We all need human connection and compassion. Turning a subject that is taboo into something that is open is also comforting. I hope it is comforting to younger women who have yet to traverse the road to motherhood but may want to. I want to give them the right information so they can have the power of knowledge about what’s happening with their bodies. I think it creates a deeper community with women.”

Q: Fertility Planit is a unique forum to learn more about treatment options. What inspired you to become a part of this outreach?

A: “I don’t necessarily know how to advise anyone on treatment, but I can be a voice of openness and compassion on the subject. I want to encourage women to be proactive on behalf of their bodies. This just happens to be the disease that I have. If I had a different disease, I’d probably care a lot about women in that regard and I’d want to be open about that, sort of like Angelina Jolie being very open about getting a double mastectomy. I think that that is the highest way to live. Women are a community by nature and should be, because they need to connect, they need to talk, and they need to be able to count on each other.”

Q: What kind of support is available to women who struggle with infertility?

A: “If I accomplished one thing from writing my book, it would be to help women in the reproductive generation. They have their destiny in their hands, as they can go to their OB/GYN and check their fertility levels and hormone reserves. If you start doing that at 30, then you are in control of your destiny as a mother. I really want to see women empowered with good information. As far as advising them on doctor’s stuff, I have an incredible doctor who helps me. I would happily recommend him.”

Q: You’re a huge advocate for literacy. What kind of books do you read to Easton?

A: “We’re reading Harry Potter and we love it. She’s getting ready to turn 6 in April, so she’s just learning to read. I think it’s a pretty big accomplishment that she’s letting me read her a 400-page novel!”

Q: What advice would you give to parents to help their kids develop good reading habits?

A: “Love reading yourself and put some life into it. Be excited about it, come home and say, ‘Let’s read what happens next in Harry Potter!’ I can’t wait when I’m shooting and I’m not home and unable to read to her. It breaks my heart and I say to her, ‘I can’t believe we’re not going to be able to find out what happens next.’ I love storytelling because it mirrors our human experiences. You can light that love in your child and make them fall in love with storytelling. Storytelling is all about truth . . . you’re coming to terms with your truth. You identify with characters in movies and books, and if you love that, then your children will love it too. My mother and stepmother love to read, and I love that my daughter now loves to read because I love to read.”

Q: Is Easton looking forward to summer vacation?

A: “You know, she’s one of those really happy kids in her school, which is great! She’s landed where I think she needs to be, but she’s definitely excited. She gets to come to Montreal with me on holiday while I work. Then she’ll roll right into her beachy summer plans.”

Q: What do you have planned to keep her busy this summer?

A: “We’re in a beach community so she’ll go to beach camp and learn to surf and all of that. My husband and stepdaughter are big tennis players, so she’s going to start learning tennis this summer. You know, just the usual stuff.”

Q: Kids can be our best teachers. What kinds of things have you learned from Easton as her mom?

A: “I guess what I’ve learned is, sort of like my own mother taught me, is that it’s not over until it’s over. There’s always the opportunity for renewal and restoration of love. Each day is new and you may fall into your bed haggard and worn out, then in the morning you wake up and you have a second chance at love and you have a second chance at mothering. She’s taught me that. Every morning I wake up and I’m like, ‘WOW, I love you like crazy!’ You always have a new beginning; it ain’t over until it’s over. Oh guess what? You get another day tomorrow.”

Q: What kind of mom would Easton say you are?

A: “She always tells me that I’m the greatest mom in the world. What I think she means by that is I’m fun. I engage with her and I like to keep her curious mind alive. I laugh with her, nurture her, and don’t ignore her. I think I’m present. I’m not sure what she’d say, she’d probably just go ‘You’re a great Mom.’ ”

Q: What is one of your favorite Mommy and Me moments?

A: “There’s so many. Ultimately, I guess it’s the moment I’m about to have that excites me.”

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?

A: “I am filming a pilot right now for TNT called ‘Guilt By Association,’ and I have a movie out. That’s kind of what’s happening.”

Read more here:

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World News March 28, 2014

Study shows promise of preserving fertility in boys with cancer

Study shows promise of preserving fertility in boys with cancer.

Scientists have moved a step closer to being able to preserve fertility in young boys who undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. The new research, published in Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, addresses the safety of an option scientists are developing for boys who aren’t sexually mature and cannot bank sperm.

Scientists aim to freeze a sample of the boys’ testicular tissue so that when they reach adulthood, spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) found in the tissue can be reproduced and transplanted back into the patients. These cells are responsible for sperm production throughout adulthood.

“Our study addressed an important safety issue – whether cancer cells that might be present in testicular tissue samples can survive the process to replicate the sperm-producing stem cells,” said lead author Hooman Sadri-Ardekani, M.D., Ph.D., an instructor in urology and regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“This is an important consideration because of the potential to re-introduce cancer into the patient,” he said. “The research, which involved one of the most common childhood cancers, shows that the cancer cells were eliminated. Based on these findings, we recommend that all boys with cancer be offered the option of storing testicular tissue for possible future clinical use.”

Sadri-Ardekani performed the work with researchers at the University of Amsterdam and Avicenna Research Institute in Tehran, Iran, before joining Wake Forest Baptist.

Cancers that can have a high risk of infertility, depending on the treatment, are certain leukemias, Hodgkin’s disease, brain tumors and bone cancer. Because of the high survival rates of childhood cancer – close to 80 percent – more cancer patients than ever are reaching adulthood and many face fertility problems.

The current research involved acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells, a common type of childhood cancer. Previous research had shown that up to 30 percent of boys with ALL had cancer cells in their testicular tissue.

Several earlier studies have attempted to eliminate cancer cells from biopsy tissue, but they showed contradictory results. The approach of Sadri-Ardekani and colleagues was to investigate whether cancer cells would survive the laboratory protocol they had developed to reproduce SSCs from a small tissue biopsy. This process multiplies the original SSCs by 18,000-fold so there are enough cells to transplant back into the patient when he reaches adulthood.

For the research, ALL cells were taken from three patients’ bone marrow. The team then put the ALL cells alone, and ALL cells combined with testicular cells, through the cell-reproduction process.

Even when ALL cells made up 40 percent of the cell mixture being cultured, they were entirely eliminated in 26 days of culture.

“This pilot study showed that the culture system not only allowed for efficient propagation of sperm stem cells, but also eliminated ALL cells,” said Sadri-Ardekani.

SSC transplantation has not yet been attempted in humans, but has been performed successfully in several species of animals, including monkeys, said Sadri-Ardekani. He noted that before physicians and scientists begin offering SSC transplantation in patients, additional research will be needed, including whether other types of leukemiacells will also be eliminated in the cell-propagation process.

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Getting Pregnant Tips, World News March 26, 2014

Tamworth mum’s advice to any woman trying to conceive

A TAMWORTH woman who feared she would never have children because of a medical condition has come forward to tell her ‘story with a happy ending’, in a bid to give hope to other women.

Amanda and Mark Taylor are proud parents to five-month-old Lucas following IVF treatment.

Amanda (38) spent years suffering the painful and debilitating condition of endometriosis, before the birth of Lucas in October, following IVF treatment at Midland Fertility in Aldridge.

She told the Herald: “I’d like to say to other women suffering with endometriosis, don’t suffer in silence, speak to your GP to ensure you are getting the best advice possible for living with this illness, especially if you want to have a family at some point – it may be essential to act sooner rather than later.

“For those with endometriosis and currently trying to conceive, I would say don’t give up hope and if it’s not happening naturally then speak to your GP about your options before it’s too late.”

Endometriosis affects over 1.5 million women in the UK.

The condition means that cells like the ones that line the uterus grow elsewhere in the body.

These cells respond to a monthly cycle and cause pain, inflammation and scar tissue and make conception very difficult.

Amanda was referred for fertility treatment in March 2012 after trying to conceive for six years and following a history of recurring endometrial cysts, for which she had undergone numerous surgical procedures including a partial removal of her left ovary and the complete removal of one of her fallopian tubes.

After a failed first cycle of treatment Amanda underwent further surgery to remove yet more endometriotic cysts.

Following her recovery Amanda and Mark began a second treatment cycle in November 2012 which resulted in the positive pregnancy test that had eluded them so far.

Amanda said: “It had been such a long journey. I never thought I would ever be lucky enough to have a family. Since Lucas has arrived I feel blessed every day.”

“Endometriosis manifests itself in a variety of ways so diagnosis can be difficult and often delayed,” said Dr Abey Eapen, clinical lead at Midland Fertility.

“Recent research shows that there is now an average of seven and a half years between a woman first seeing a GP about her symptoms and receiving a firm diagnosis.

“Early recognition of the symptoms is vital so women can get a referral for fertility treatment if necessary.

“And there’s good evidence that pregnancy following IVF can ‘cure’ endometriosis so that the woman can conceive naturally again in the future.

“We’re delighted for Amanda and Mark about the birth of Lucas and are sure that her story will bring hope to other women who are living with endometriosis.”

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