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A-Z Glossary of Fertility & Pregnancy Terms

Welcome to our little corner of common fertility and pregnancy terms! We know that jargon can be overwhelming, so consider this your very own baby-making dictionary. Here, confusing medical terms transform into easy-to-understand facts that help you confidently navigate your family planning journey. 

A

Afterpains: After giving birth, postpartum contractions can happen. Don't worry though! These contractions actually help the uterus shrink back to its normal size and help reduce bleeding. While they can definitely be uncomfortable, they're a natural part of the recovery process. Look at them as a sign that the body is doing its thing to heal!

Amenorrhea: Missing menstrual periods, also known as amenorrhea, can happen to women for all sorts of reasons, including hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, breastfeeding, stress, or even certain medical conditions.

AMH: Thinking of starting fertility testing? Then you need to know about Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH). This is secreted by the ovarian follicles and higher levels equal a higher egg count. This is especially helpful if you’re looking into egg freezing, so you know how many are available. Studies show that you can increase levels through your daily nutrition and supplementation. Hint: Look for a women’s prenatal vitamin that includes selenium, and vitamins E and D. 

Amino Acids: These are the building blocks of protein, and they play a big role in our bodies, from tissue repair and digestive support to skin elasticity and your baby’s growth—all of which are key during the preconception and pregnancy journey. This is why it’s important to have a balanced diet that includes sources of protein to get essential amino acids. One great source? Prenatal collagen!

Amniocentesis: This is a prenatal diagnostic procedure where a small amount of amniotic fluid is taken for testing. It’s typically performed to detect genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities in your baby. While it comes with a slight risk, it provides really important information to doctors and parents, who can then make better decisions surrounding the pregnancy.

Amniotic Fluid: During pregnancy, the fetus is surrounded by a protective liquid called amniotic fluid. It's like a cozy, cushioned environment for your baby, helping with temperature regulation, movement, and even lung development. Plus, the amniotic fluid keeps getting replenished throughout pregnancy!

Antioxidants: Did you know that there are compounds that can actually help protect our cells from damage? Antioxidants are what keep us safe from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can lead to oxidative stress and various diseases. You can get antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Plus, you can even find them in your daily men's or women's prenatal!

Apgar Score: Immediately after birth, a newborn baby undergoes a quick assessment to check on their heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflexes, and skin color. This quick test helps to determine the baby's health status, and a normal Apgar score ranges between 7 and 10.

Azoospermia: This is a condition where there is no sperm present in the semen and contributes to male fertility issues. It can occur due to hormonal imbalances, genetic abnormalities, reproductive tract blockages, or certain medical conditions. 

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Baby Blues: New moms often experience mood changes and emotional ups and downs after giving birth. This is known as the baby blues, and it’s totally normal! This might lead to feeling sad, irritable, fatigued, and anxious. The good news is that these feelings usually resolve on their own within a few weeks. Remember, seeking support from loved ones and healthcare professionals is important during this time.

Basal Body Temperature: This is the body's lowest temperature at rest, and tracking it can help you figure out the best time to try for a little one! Usually, body temperature rises slightly after ovulation, which is a good indicator of fertility. By tracking basal body temperature over time, it can increase your chances of conception.

Biological Clock: For both men and women, there’s an internal clock that’s quietly ticking, marking the end of peak reproductive years. Over time, hormones like testosterone and estrogen steadily decline. On the other hand, LH and FSH rise. For couples looking to conceive later in life, the way to boost the odds and improve fertility is as easy as trading out your multivitamin.

Birth Control: For couples, birth control helps you take charge of your fertility journey and decide when you're ready for those cute little baby shoes. With birth control, there are tons of options: pills, patches, injections, and intrauterine devices (IUDs). All of them work by preventing ovulation or fertilization, which prevents pregnancy. Just make sure that once you come off birth control, you replenish key nutrients, so that you can better your chances of pregnancy health. 

Blastocyst: The blastocyst is a tiny cluster of cells that holds so much potential! It forms around 5 or 6 days after fertilization of the egg, and implants itself in the uterus, setting the course for the fetus’ development.

Braxton Hicks Contractions: Braxton Hicks contractions are these little, intermittent contractions of the uterus that can happen during pregnancy. You might have heard them referred to as "practice contractions." They're basically helping mom’s body get ready for labor and delivery, but they're usually not as intense or regular as the real deal.

Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is a way to give your baby all the important nutrients and antibodies they need for their development. And guess what? It's not just great for your baby. It has benefits for moms too! It helps create a special bond, aids in postpartum recovery, and even lowers the risk of certain health conditions. Moms, remember that you need your nutrients too, postnatal depletion is a real issue!

Breastfeeding Latch: When it comes to breastfeeding, a latch refers to how your baby attaches to the breast during nursing. Getting a good latch is super important for successful breastfeeding. It helps your little one get milk easily while keeping mom comfortable and preventing any nipple soreness.

Breast Pump: A breast pump is a handy device used to extract breast milk. It offers a super convenient way to collect and store breast milk, allowing parents to feed their babies when mom can't nurse directly or needs to boost her milk supply. Overall, it's a helpful tool to make feeding time easier and more flexible!

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Caffeine: While we all love our cup of joe, it's important to be mindful of our intake of this popular stimulant when trying to conceive or during pregnancy. High levels of caffeine consumption have been associated with fertility issues (especially in men) and may affect the developing fetus, so it's wise to limit or avoid caffeine during these stages and find ways to boost your energy naturally.

Cervical Dilation: Cervical dilation is when the cervix opens up to let the baby through the birth canal during labor. It's a big step in the birthing process and dilation is measured in centimeters. When it reaches 10 centimeters, the cervix is fully dilated and ready for delivery.

Cervical Mucus: This is a natural fluid produced by the cervix, and it actually changes in consistency during a woman's menstrual cycle. It plays a key role when it comes to fertility by helping sperm reach the egg. Essentially, it’s a helpful guide for those little swimmers on their journey to fertilization!

Cesarean Section (C-section): Also known as a C-section, this surgical procedure involves the baby being delivered through an incision in the abdomen and uterus. It's usually done when a vaginal birth isn't possible or is super risky for the mom or baby. It’s essentially a backup plan to make sure everything goes smoothly during delivery.

Choline: It's an essential nutrient that’s essential for brain function, metabolism, and liver health. It's especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women as it plays a key role in fetal spine and brain development. However, it’s often completely missing from women’s prenatal vitamins! In other words, moms, make sure to check the label on your prenatal vitamin to make sure it’s included!

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS): During early pregnancy, this prenatal test helps identify genetic abnormalities in the developing fetus. In the procedure, a small piece of the placenta is taken for analysis. Rest assured, it provides valuable information for better understanding your baby's health.

Cluster Feeding: It turns out that newborns or infants can have a pattern of frequent feeding, which means they nurse more often for shorter periods of time. This actually helps increase milk production and makes sure that the baby's nutritional needs are met.

Collagen: As the main structural protein for your body, collagen is kind of a big deal. It plays a role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Most people don’t realize it, but collagen plays an important role in pregnancy and postpartum recovery by helping alleviate nausea, reducing the appearance of stretch marks, and supporting tissue repair. As an expecting mom, it’s important to specifically take prenatal collagen that’s hydrolyzed, flavorless, and grass-fed.

Colostrum: Also known as the "first milk" produced during pregnancy and in the early days after childbirth, colostrum is pretty important! It's packed with antibodies and nutrients that give your newborn baby all the nourishment and immune protection they need.

Conception: When an egg is fertilized by sperm, it's the start of the pregnancy journey. It's a special moment when genetic material from both parents comes together to create a new life. Fun fact: The egg is the one that picks the sperm (the healthiest one with the most compatible DNA), so it is important to have the healthiest sperm possible to make the best match!

CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10): CoQ10 is an antioxidant that naturally occurs in our bodies, and helps produce energy within our cells. However, for men it plays an important role in fertility since it impacts sperm motility, meaning it helps sperm better reach the egg. Plus, since CoQ10 is an antioxidant, it helps protect sperm cells from oxidative damage. Guys, if you’re looking to start a family make sure you’re meeting your daily requirements before you try to conceive.

Cryopreservation: Freezing and storing embryos, sperm, or eggs, at super low temperatures - that's cryopreservation! Think of it as a fertility insurance policy that lets you pick when to start growing your family, on your terms. If you’re looking into egg freezing specifically, you want to make this costly procedure count, so think about bumping up your egg quality first! The same goes for sperm!

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D-MER (Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex): This condition involves sudden and intense feelings of sadness, usually right before or during milk letdown. It's important to know that D-MER is different from postpartum depression. Instead, it's believed to happen because of a temporary hormonal imbalance that affects dopamine levels in your brain. 

DNA: DNA, which is short for Deoxyribonucleic Acid, is the genetic material that holds the instructions for how we develop, function, and reproduce. It's made up of nucleotides arranged in a double helix structure. Variations in DNA sequences are what make you (and your future little ones) so special and unique, so it’s important to protect it. For men especially, sperm DNA fragmentation is a leading cause of infertility. Luckily, there are ways to prevent fragmentation from happening!

Doula: A doula is a trained professional who offers emotional, physical, and informational support to parents throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

E

Ectopic Pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition where a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. As the pregnancy develops, it can lead to intense pain, bleeding, and complications, which require urgent medical attention to avoid rupture.

Egg: When it comes to reproduction, an egg refers to a female gamete or reproductive cell. It's produced by the ovaries and, when fertilized by a sperm, can develop into an embryo and eventually a fetus.

Egg Collection: During in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, egg collection takes place. It's done to gather mature eggs from the ovaries using ultrasound guidance. These eggs are then fertilized in the laboratory. It's a key step in the IVF process.

Egg Donation: Egg donation is a process where a woman (a.k.a. the egg donor) gives up her eggs to assist individuals or couples who are unable to conceive. These eggs are then used in fertility treatments like IVF.

Egg Quality: Egg quality is all about the health and viability of an egg. It plays a crucial role in its ability to get fertilized and develop into a healthy embryo. Several factors like age, genetics, and even certain lifestyle factors can have an impact on egg quality. It turns out you can improve egg quality by getting the right nutrients like B6, B12, folate, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K2. Psst…this is where a women’s prenatal comes into play!

Embryo: An embryo is the early stage of development after fertilization, usually from conception until around eight weeks of pregnancy. During this time, it goes through rapid cell division and differentiation, gradually transforming into a fetus.

Embryo Transfer: Embryo transfer is a crucial step in assisted reproductive technology. During this process, embryos are carefully placed into the uterus to increase the chances of pregnancy.

Endometriosis: This is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of it. Unfortunately, this can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The good news is that with proper treatment, it is possible to lessen some of the symptoms and improve your quality of life. One important tip is to think about your nutritional health and make sure you’re getting specific nutrients like vitamins B6, C, D, and E which have been shown to help.

Endometrium: The endometrium, also known as the inner lining of the uterus, goes through various changes during the menstrual cycle. It's super important for fertility because it creates a nourishing environment for the embryo to implant and grow.

Epididymis: The epididymis is a coiled tube located right behind each testicle. It's actually pretty important in the whole process of storing and maturing sperm. You can think of it as a little highway that lets the sperm travel from the testes to the vas deferens. That's what eventually leads to ejaculation.

Estradiol: Estradiol is actually the main form of estrogen that is produced in a woman's body. It plays a really important role in the development and regulation of the female reproductive system, as well as in maintaining strong bones and a healthy cardiovascular system.

Estrogen: Estrogen is a group of steroid hormones that are produced in the ovaries, and can also be found in smaller quantities in men. It helps in the development of secondary sexual characteristics, regulating the menstrual cycle, and ensuring strong and healthy bones.

Exclusive Pumping: Exclusive pumping is when you feed your baby breast milk through a bottle while using a breast pump to stimulate milk production. It's a great option if direct breastfeeding isn't possible, and it still gives your baby all the amazing benefits of breast milk. It's all about finding what works best for you and your little one!

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Fertility: Fertility is the incredible ability to conceive and bring new life into the world. It's influenced by factors like hormonal balance, reproductive health, and the lifestyle choices we make, whether it’s our diet, supplements, or daily activity. For couples who are planning to start or grow their families, it’s important to prioritize a “fertility-friendly” lifestyle, since your health and nutrition before conception can impact your pregnancy and the future health of your little ones.

Fertility Supplement: A fertility supplement is designed to support reproductive health and optimize fertility health. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these supplements help optimize fertility and promote overall well-being. That’s why it’s important for every future mom and dad to take their daily prenatal!

Fertilization: Fertilization is the process where an egg and sperm come together, kickstarting the creation of a new life and a baby's future development during pregnancy.

Fetal Movement: Feeling your baby's movements in the womb is such a surreal experience for expectant moms. From gentle flutters to little kicks and rolls, these small movements signal the growth of your precious little one. It's an exciting milestone in the journey to motherhood!

Folate: Also known as vitamin B9, folate is a super important nutrient. It plays a crucial role in fertility, pregnancy, and the development of the baby. This amazing nutrient helps cells grow properly and prevents neural tube defects. That's why it's a must-have for women who are planning to have a baby or are already pregnant. Also, make sure to take it in its more bioavailable form (folate), not folic acid. Your body will thank you later!

Formula Feeding: Formula feeding involves giving babies specially formulated baby milk instead of breastfeeding. It's a convenient option that ensures little ones get the nutrition they need to grow and develop healthily when breastfeeding isn't possible or preferred.

Follicles: These are tiny, fluid-filled sacs nestled in the ovaries. They house immature eggs and have a big role in the menstrual cycle and fertility. Every month, several follicles develop, but typically, only one follicle releases a mature egg during ovulation.

FSA (Flexible Spending Account): FSA is a financial benefit that lets you save pre-tax dollars for eligible medical expenses. It's especially helpful for people considering fertility treatments, as it can cover costs like fertility testing, medications, procedures, and even your daily prenatal. It's definitely worth looking into if you're planning for your family's future!

FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone): FSH is kind of a big deal. This hormone stimulates the growth and development of eggs in the ovaries and sperm in the testicles. Monitoring FSH levels is a key factor in assessing fertility, determining the onset of menopause, and diagnosing certain reproductive disorders. There are a number of ways you can measure your FSH levels.

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Gametes: These specialized cells that play a vital role in sexual reproduction. As humans, we've got sperm cells for guys and egg cells for gals. When these gametes come together during fertilization, they create a whole new individual with a unique set of traits.

Genetics: This is the scientific field that delves into genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms. It's all about how traits are passed on from parents to offspring and how genetic information is carried through generations. Understanding genetics is also what helps us better understand fertility. For example, 10 to 15% of infertility cases in men are due to genetics.

Gestational Age: Gestational age, also known as the age of a developing fetus or baby, is measured in weeks from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period. It's a crucial indicator that healthcare professionals use to monitor fetal development and track pregnancy milestones. So, it helps them keep tabs on how things are progressing for mom and baby.

Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. It's when pregnant women who didn't have diabetes before experience higher blood sugar levels. It's important to manage and treat it as early as possible.

Gonadotropins: Primarily produced in the pituitary gland, these peptide hormones have a major role in the reproductive system, where they help regulate the ovaries and testicles. They include the hormones FSH and LH, which play a role in fertility for both men and women. The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is another gonadotropin that’s made in the placenta. Additionally, GnRH, or Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, is the specific hormone that (surprise) tells the pituitary gland to release these gonadotropins.

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hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin): hCG is a hormone that is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. It plays a crucial role in supporting the production of progesterone, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy. And, here's a fun fact: pregnancy tests actually detect the presence of hCG to confirm pregnancy!

HSA (Health Savings Account): This is a savings account that offers tax advantages and lets you save money for medical expenses. With an HSA, you can set aside pre-tax dollars to cover qualified medical costs like doctor visits, prescriptions, and even your daily prenatal vitamins! It's an easy and convenient way to save for healthcare expenses while potentially enjoying some tax benefits along the way.

Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus acts as a command center, linking your nervous system to your endocrine system (hello hormones). This intricate connection allows for the coordination of various bodily functions, from growth and reproduction to your body's metabolism and stress response.

I

Implantation: It's like a welcoming party for a fertilized egg! Occurring almost a week after fertilization, the implantation process is when the embryo attaches itself to the uterine wall, forming a connection that will support its development in the months to come.

Infant Jaundice: This condition can give your baby a slightly yellowish tint. Infant jaundice is a common condition in newborns where the baby's eyes and skin turn yellow due to high bilirubin levels in the blood. Studies show that zinc may support the elimination of bilirubin.

Infertility: When baby-making takes a bit longer than expected… Infertility is the inability to conceive after a year or more of regular unprotected sex if you’re under 35, and six months if you are over 35.. It turns out, it’s a lot more common than you think, and even your favorite movie stars deal with fertility issues! When it comes to starting your pregnancy journey, there are lots of ways to change up your lifestyle that can support your fertility health. There are many couples going through the exact same thing, so don’t be afraid to talk about it and consult with your doctor (his and hers) at the start of your journey.

Intrauterine Device (IUD): IUDs (Intrauterine devices) are a possible option for birth control. They're inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy and provide long-term protection without the hassle of daily maintenance.

Iodine: It’s not just for your kitchen! As an essential mineral, iodine is critical for proper thyroid function and energy metabolism, which both mom and baby need during pregnancy. Iodine also supports your baby’s brain, nervous system, and skeletal system. A prenatal vitamin is the best way to get the right amount of iodine, without overdoing it!

Iron: Think of it as your blood's best friend. Iron is a mineral that's vital for making hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout your body. It’s also essential during pregnancy, where women need 27 grams daily to support a higher volume of blood. That’s a lot of iron, and you want to take the chelated version in your prenatal to avoid getting an upset stomach! 

IUI (Intrauterine Insemination): Maybe you've heard of a fertility treatment called intrauterine insemination (IUI)? It's a procedure where sperm is directly placed into the uterus to improve the chances of fertilization. Unlike in vitro fertilization (IVF), IUI is a little less invasive.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization): This fertility treatment involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a laboratory. Afterward, the resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus. It's a process that helps couples in their journey to conceive and start a family.

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Kick Count: During pregnancy, this method helps you keep track of your baby's movements. By counting the number of kicks or movements, you can get a positive signal of your baby's well-being and early indicators of certain issues. It's a way to stay connected with your little one and make sure development is going smoothly.

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Laparoscopy: This is a procedure where a telescope-like device is inserted into a small incision to view the pelvis, ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. It’s also referred to as a “keyhole surgery” and is used to help look for and treat pelvic pain, endometriosis, fibroid tumors, or ovarian cysts.

L-Arginine: This amino acid has been shown to play a crucial role in reproductive health by enhancing blood flow to the reproductive organs, and supporting fertility in both men and women. For men specifically, supplementation with l-arginine has been shown to help support sperm motility, quality, and overall sperm count.

L-Carnitine: Here's the scoop: this compound naturally helps with energy production and metabolism by moving fatty acids into your mitochondrial cells. When included as part of a men's prenatal, it can help support sperm quality, motility, and a higher sperm count. Our Beli Vitality for Men packs in 100 grams in a single serving, so you’re getting what you need to support your pregnancy odds.

Libido: Sexual desire or libido, is influenced by so many factors. These include hormonal balance, stress levels, and even the dynamics of your relationship. It's worth noting that hormonal fluctuations, like those during different phases of the menstrual cycle, can have an impact on libido. Plus, for men, it can potentially be linked to their fertility! Health and libido are connected and definitely something to keep in mind when trying to conceive.

L-Taurine: This is an amino sulfonic acid that occurs naturally in the body, and packs a punch. It has antioxidant properties that can help safeguard testicular tissue cells from oxidative damage. Plus, it plays a role in promoting better sperm health and motility.

Luteinizing Hormone: This hormone is released by the pituitary gland and plays a vital role in the menstrual cycle and ovulation. It actually stimulates the release of an egg from the ovary, making it a key fertility hormone.

M

Magnesium: This key mineral helps with muscle and nerve function, energy production, and even bone health. During pregnancy, the need for this key mineral spikes, and it helps minimize cramps, support bone development, and support hydration. And, as you might have guessed, it helps with sleep too! While you can find this amazing mineral in foods like nuts, seeds, and leafy greens, 79% of pregnant women are still deficient and need a women’s prenatal to cover the bases.

Male Factor Infertility: While women often get a lot of media time for fertility care, men also need support, given the fact that 40% of fertility issues are traced back to the male side of the equation. 

Midwife: A midwife is a healthcare professional who offers personalized care and support throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. They take a holistic approach to maternity care, looking after the physical and emotional well-being of both the mom and baby.

Miscarriage: This is the loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week, and it can be a tough and emotionally challenging experience, to say the absolute least! If you or someone you know is going through it, it's important to reach out for support from your family, friends, and healthcare providers. They can provide the guidance needed during this time. Remember, you're not alone in this experience.

Morning Sickness: Pregnancy often brings along the not-so-fun companions of nausea and vomiting, commonly known as morning sickness. But let's be real, it can strike at any time of the day! Don't worry though, managing morning sickness usually involves making some adjustments to your diet, getting plenty of rest, and sometimes changing the way you take your vitamins, including your daily prenatal. Hang in there, you've got this!

Motility: When it comes to sperm, motility refers to its ability to move or swim. This is critical during the race to the egg, where the fastest and healthiest sperm will be the one to fuse and fertilize the egg. There are a number of ways to boost motility, and one factor you can change is your diet and lifestyle!

Multivitamin: This dietary supplement is a handy mix of essential vitamins and minerals that can help fill any nutritional gaps in your diet and support your overall health. However, they don't cut it during pregnancy when your nutrient needs are much higher. So, make sure you’re adding a prenatal to your routine for that extra boost for your baby’s health!

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N-Acetyl-Cysteine: This amino acid compound is a supplement form of cysteine, and it’s packed with powerful antioxidant properties. It not only does wonders for supporting liver health but also male fertility by supporting sperm motility and quality. It also shows promise for supporting women experiencing infertility and PCOS.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): The NICU is a specialized department in the hospital that offers intensive medical care for newborn babies who are premature, have health complications, or require close monitoring. 

Neural Tube: During the early stages of pregnancy, there's a structure that forms and eventually becomes the baby's brain and spinal cord. This is the neural tube! To make sure its development goes smoothly, it's important to get enough key nutrients like folate and choline. This is also really important to reduce the risk of defects and health issues down the road.

Nipple Shield: Need a helping hand during breastfeeding? This accessory is designed to gently support and assist with latching. It provides relief for moms facing challenges or discomfort while breastfeeding.

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Ovarian Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in or on the ovaries. They're quite common and most of the time, harmless. However, in some cases, they might cause discomfort or complications, which is when you definitely want to seek medical attention.

Ovary: The ovary is a super important reproductive organ in females. It's responsible for producing eggs and releasing hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones do some pretty amazing things in the body, like regulating the menstrual cycle and fertility. So, the ovary plays a crucial role in all that baby-making magic!

Ovulation: The process in the menstrual cycle occurs when an egg is released from the ovary. By this time, it's all set for fertilization! Ovulation usually happens around the middle of the menstrual cycle and plays a crucial role in conception and pregnancy.

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PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects 1 out of every 10 women of childbearing age, so it's more common than most people realize! It's characterized by hormonal imbalances, ovarian cysts, and irregular periods. PCOS can lead to difficulties with fertility, weight gain, and other health issues. Taking a supplement that includes zinc, magnesium, folate, Vitamin D, B12, and B6 is one way to support your health.

Penis: This is the male sex organ that contains a small tube known as the urethra. Mature sperm cells are carried through it via semen, which is ejaculated from the body.

Perineal Care: Perineal care refers to the cleaning and care of the perineal area, which is the region between the vagina and anus. It is important during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum to keep things clean and prevent any infections.

Placenta: The placenta is actually an organ that develops during pregnancy. Its main job is to provide all the necessary nutrients and oxygen to the growing fetus, while also getting rid of waste products from the baby's blood. After childbirth, the placenta is delivered. What you might not know is that the blueprint for the placenta is actually formed based on the DNA from dad’s sperm!

Placental Abruption: Placental abruption is a serious condition that occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus before childbirth. This can lead to significant bleeding and complications for both mom and baby.

Postpartum: Postpartum is the period that comes after giving birth, typically lasting around six weeks. It's a time when mom and dad need to recover physically and emotionally, while also adjusting to their new routine with a newborn.

Postpartum Hemorrhage: Postpartum hemorrhage is when there is excessive bleeding after giving birth. It's a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention to control bleeding and prevent complications. Don't worry, doctors are well-prepared to handle this!

Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression is a disorder that can affect some women after giving birth. It's important to know that feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion are common during this time. They can have a significant impact on a new mom's well-being and ability to care for her baby. Talking to a healthcare professional is crucial for getting the right mental health support.

Postpartum Recovery: After giving birth, the postpartum recovery phase begins, where a mother's body experiences a lot of changes as it returns to its pre-pregnancy state. This includes healing the uterus, perineum, and breasts, as well as adjusting to hormonal shifts and the demands of caring for a newborn. It's a time of transformation for both body and mind, and moms need all the protein and nutrients they can get!

Preconception: Preconception is all about the time before getting pregnant or planning for it. It's about taking proactive steps to boost your health and make lifestyle choices that increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy baby. Everything from the sleep you get to your caffeine and nutrient intake is crucial at this stage! Ideally, preconception care starts 3 to 6 months before you and your partner try for a baby.

Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that involves high blood pressure and potential damage to organs, like the liver and kidneys. It usually occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy and can lead to serious complications if it's left untreated.

Prenatal: Prenatal refers to the time before birth, specifically during pregnancy. It covers all the stages of pregnancy, from conception to delivery, and focuses on keeping both the mother and the developing fetus as healthy as possible. Sometimes the start of the pregnancy journey can feel overwhelming, so we have a parent-approved checklist here of things to consider as early as possible!

Prenatal Care: Prenatal care is all about giving expectant mothers the medical and emotional support they need throughout their pregnancy journey. It includes regular check-ups, screenings, and interventions to keep an eye on the health of both the mother and the baby. Plus, it helps promote a safe and healthy pregnancy by encouraging the right lifestyle habits. So, if you and your partner are expecting, remember that your habits matter early on!

Prenatal Vitamin: Prenatal vitamins are meant to support the nutritional needs of both men and women, throughout all stages of conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. They pack a punch with higher levels of essential micronutrients like folate, choline, and B vitamins, which are crucial for conception and the healthy development of your baby. So, make sure to include them in your daily routine!

Progesterone: Progesterone is a hormone that the ovaries produce during the menstrual cycle and later by the placenta during pregnancy. It has a really important role in getting the uterus ready for implantation and keeping the pregnancy going strong. It does this by helping the uterine lining grow and preventing contractions.

Prolactin: This is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland and as you might have guessed from the name, it plays a crucial role in lactation! When a baby is born, prolactin stimulates the mammary glands in the breasts to produce milk. This is what allows for breastfeeding.

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Rh Factor: This protein is actually found on the surface of the red blood cells. It's called an Rh antigen, and it plays a vital role in our blood type. Some people have it (Rh positive), while others don't (Rh negative). Understanding someone's Rh factor is super important for things like blood transfusions and even during pregnancy to avoid any complications.

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Secondary Infertility: This applies to a couple’s inability to conceive and carry a pregnancy to full term, even if there was a successful pregnancy or conception in the past. This can result from a lot of different factors, including age, weight, and certain fertility conditions. For men, low testosterone and issues related to their prostate can also play a role. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this issue, including swapping your daily multivitamin with a prenatal.

Selenium: Selenium is an amazing antioxidant that's like a superhero for sperm cells, defending them against oxidative damage and boosting their motility, even for men experiencing infertility. It’s also a key nutrient in the development and maturation of sperm cells.

Seminiferous Tubules: The seminiferous tubules, which are small coiled tubes found within the testes, play a crucial role in sperm production. They create the perfect environment for the growth and maturation of sperm cells.

Shilajit: This natural Ayurvedic compound is found in the Himalayas, and it’s packed with antioxidants like fulvic acid. Not only has it been shown to increase testosterone and promote sperm health, but it also increases endurance and energy for men. There are a lot of benefits, which is why we include it in our Beli Vitality for Men prenatal.

Sperm: Sperm are the male reproductive cells that play 50% of the role in the fertilization and baby-making process. They are produced in the testes and carry genetic material that can join forces with an egg to create a new little life. 

Spermatogenesis: In this process, sperm cells are produced in the testes. It's an intricate journey of complex cellular changes and divisions that eventually lead to the creation of fully mature sperm cells.

Spermatozoa: Spermatozoa, also known as sperm cells, are the mature male reproductive cells responsible for a fertilized egg. They have a complex structure and are specifically designed for swimming and delivering genetic material to the egg.

Sperm Count: Sperm count is the concentration of sperm cells in a sample of semen. It's a crucial factor in male fertility because a higher sperm count boosts the chances of successful fertilization. A normal sperm count is around 40 and 300 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Guys, if you have a lower sperm count, it could be due to medical issues, age, or lifestyle habits, and diet and nutrition are one way you can support your sperm count.

Sperm Donation: Sperm donation is when men provide their sperm to assist with reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization. It's a way to help couples and individuals who are unable to conceive naturally. When thinking about donating, you want to make sure to optimize your sperm quality and there are several micronutrients that can help.

Sperm Motility: Sperm motility is all about how sperm cells move and swim. It's a big deal when it comes to male fertility because the more agile the sperm, the better chance they have of reaching and fertilizing an egg. Studies show that supplementing with the right nutrients can help support sperm motility and overall sperm health.

Stillbirth: This is a term used to describe the heartbreaking loss of a baby before or during childbirth. It's a deeply devastating event for parents and can happen due to a range of factors, such as complications during pregnancy or labor.

Stretch Marks: Stretch marks are these long, narrow streaks or lines that show up on the skin when it stretches or shrinks quickly. They usually happen during pregnancy. Fun fact: By planning ahead to get the right nutrients, expecting moms can better prevent stretch marks before they happen!

Surrogacy: Surrogacy occurs when a woman carries and gives birth to a baby on behalf of another person or couple. It's an option for individuals or couples who may face challenges in conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term on their own.

T

Testes: The testes, also known as testicles, are the male reproductive organs responsible for producing sperm and testosterone, which is the main male sex hormone. These small, oval-shaped glands play a crucial role in fertility and sexual development.

Testosterone: Testosterone, a hormone mainly produced in the testes (with smaller amounts produced by the adrenal glands), plays a crucial role in developing male reproductive tissues, promoting muscle and bone growth, and influencing male fertility too. Low levels can result in reduced sperm counts, while levels that are too high can decrease sperm production. Luckily, there are several easy ways you can boost testosterone.

Trimester: During pregnancy, a trimester refers to one of the three equal periods, each lasting around three months. The first trimester lasts from conception to 12 weeks. The second trimester is 13 to 27 weeks, and the third trimester is 28 to 40 weeks. It's a big journey with completely different stages of fetal development, all of which require getting the right nutritional support at each step of the way.

TTC (Trying to Conceive): TTC is a term used when couples are actively trying to get pregnant. It involves tracking fertility signs, timing intercourse, and using different strategies to increase the chances of conception

U

Ultrasound: This medical imaging technique uses high-frequency sound waves to create real-time images of the body's internal structures. It allows doctors to peek inside to get important diagnostic info. During pregnancy, it monitors the baby's growth and checks on the mom's health.

Umbilical Cord: The umbilical cord is like a flexible lifeline that connects a developing fetus to the placenta in the womb, transporting oxygen, nutrients, and waste between the mother and the baby, ensuring their well-being during pregnancy. It's like a little communication highway!

Umbilical Cord Blood Banking: After childbirth, there's a process called cord blood banking. It involves collecting and storing the blood from the umbilical cord. This blood is packed with stem cells that can be used to treat different diseases and conditions.

V

Vagina: The vagina is a powerful muscular canal in the female reproductive system. It serves as a connection between the uterus and the external genitalia, and it plays a vital role in sexual intercourse, childbirth, and the menstrual cycle.

Vas Deferens: The vas deferens is a narrow tube that carries sperm from the testes to the urethra. It's a crucial part of the male reproductive system, allowing sperm to travel for ejaculation.

Vasectomy: A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting or blocking the vas deferens, preventing sperm from reaching the semen. It's a permanent form of contraception for men who no longer want to have children.

Vernix: Did you know that newborn babies have a special waxy substance called vernix that covers their skin? It acts as a natural protective shield, keeping their skin moisturized and safe from the amniotic fluid while they're growing.

Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine, this water-soluble vitamin helps support conception and egg quality for women, while also being shown to help alleviate nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. For men, it helps support healthy sperm production.

Vitamin B12: Another water-soluble vitamin (also known as cobalamin), B12 is essential for nerve function and red blood cell production, so you want to get your daily dose to support your baby’s development. When it comes to reproductive health, B12 can help promote optimal sperm counts and egg quality.  

Vitamin C: This vitamin acts as an antioxidant, supporting the immune system, collagen production, and iron absorption. During the pregnancy journey, it helps support tissue repair while also developing your baby’s bones and teeth. Supplementation with vitamin C has also been shown to help reduce the risk of certain complications like preeclampsia and maternal anemia. For men, this vitamin also supports optimal sperm health.

Vitamin D: It’s good for strong teeth and bones, but did you know that it impacts fertility? Absolutely! It’s helpful for supporting hormone production for women, especially with PCOS. Making sure you get the right levels also helps avoid big issues during pregnancy, such as miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and even postpartum depression, to name a few. When you do look at boosting your intake, make sure to take it in the D3 form.

Vitamin E: This vitamin is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects sperm cells. As a result, it supports a higher sperm count and better odds of conception. It performs a similar role for women in helping support egg quality, alongside helping to balance hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

Vitamin K2: As a fat-soluble vitamin, K2 assists with blood clotting, bone health, and heart health. If you’re thinking of starting a family, you should know this vitamin helps support your baby’s growth and is also key for mom during labor and delivery.

W

Water Birth: This is considered a natural birthing method where a mom brings her baby into the world in a specially designed tub or pool of warm water. Many believe it offers a soothing and comfy environment for both mom and baby during the delivery process.

Water Breaking: When the water breaks, it means the amniotic sac surrounding the baby in the womb releases the amniotic fluid. This can happen naturally during labor or be intentionally induced by a healthcare provider. It's the major event that often indicates the start of active labor.

Weaning: This is the gradual process of introducing solid foods to your little one while reducing their reliance on breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. This milestone in your child's development introduces them to new tastes and textures of food.

World Infertility Awareness Month: In June, this global campaign is all about spreading awareness about reproductive health and fertility. It's a chance to learn more about the importance of fertility care, family planning, and seeking proper medical support. At Beli, our goal is to make March Men’s Fertility Awareness Month to make male fertility a bigger conversation, since we know that sperm counts!

X

X Chromosome: This is a sex-determining chromosome that’s found in both males and females. For females, two X chromosomes need to be present. 

Y

Y Chromosome: This is one of the sex chromosomes. The Y chromosome is considered the sex-determining chromosome, and when it’s present (XY), it signifies that the baby will be male. When it’s not present (XX), the baby will be female instead.

Yeast infection: Also known as thrush, this is a fungal infection that's often common during pregnancy. It can cause discomfort, itching, and irritation in areas like the mouth, genital area, or skin folds. During breastfeeding, it can also impact your nipples and your baby's mouth. There are lots of treatment options, so make sure to reach out to your doctor right away!

Z

Zinc: While you might be familiar with this essential mineral’s supporting role during cold and flu season for immune support, it also has another starring role in the cell growth and brain development of your little one. By getting your daily dose of zinc, you also support the function of your baby’s DNA. 

Zygote: The first cell that forms when an egg is fertilized by a sperm is pretty incredible! This tiny cell carries the genetic information of both parents and quickly divides to become an embryo. It's the starting point of a whole new, little life.

Additional Resources

While it’s lumped into the “bodily fluid” category, semen is a complex cocktail of compounds designed to support fertility. Like sperm quality, semen health can be influenced by lifestyle factors—an important realization for couples trying to conceive. From color to consistency, here’s what healthy semen looks like.

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There’s a lot of chatter when it comes to male masturbation and what it says about a man’s fertility or whether it’s an issue when a couple is actively trying to conceive. And in the interest of clearing up the confusion, we’re taking a facts-based approach to the topic of men, masturbation and fertility.

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For many of us, our twenties and even thirties are a time when the focus is on pregnancy prevention. And that’s okay! But even when the idea of motherhood is miles away there is tremendous value in understanding your fertility health and what you can do to support it during these young, carefree days.

Read More

Raise your hand if you already know that you have a biological clock. From age 35 and beyond, there is a natural decline in testosterone and sperm quality. Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, sperm also tend to lose their "fitness" over the life cycle. But what does that mean—and does it really matter?

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It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

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Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

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Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

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Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

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Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

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Diet has been suggested to have an influence on the quality and function of human sperm. More specifically, the results of a randomised trial have shown that including nuts as a component of a regular diet improved the quality and function of human sperm.

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A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

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With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

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When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

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Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

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There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

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Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

You’re clear on the mechanics of making a baby, but how much do you really know about conception and fertility? There are a lot of wild stories, downright falsehoods and notions that are actually rooted in a kernel of truth out there. In the interest of sticking to the facts, we’re debunking 15 of the most common myths about conception and fertility.

Read More

When you’re knocking boots in an effort to get knocked up, timing is everything. Your best chance of conceiving is during the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle—when you ovulate. The key is figuring out exactly when that happens. Fortunately, you have a few ways of detecting ovulation. Here’s what to know about understanding ovulation and timing sex for pregnancy.

Read More

You have big plans for parenthood in 2024, which means this is the time to start laying the groundwork for everything to come. While so much of conception is beyond our control, there are actionable steps you and your partner can take right now to support and nourish your fertility.

Read More

Is there anything worse than the two-week wait? All the listicles out there sensibly advise keeping busy and journaling and talking it out, but we’re sharing more specific recommendations collected from the Beli community. Read on for seven tips for surviving the two-week wait without losing your mind.

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Heard the one about ice baths and testosterone? Spoiler: there's little to no research behind that idea. Here’s what to know about cold plunges and male fertility, according to the research, plus where you should really focus your efforts if you’re trying to improve sperm health.

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As a society, we’re an impatient bunch, and that applies to pregnancy, too. The second you decide it’s time to try for a baby, you’re ready to see those two pink lines. If you’ve recently tossed the birth control and you’re wondering how long it should take to get pregnant, here's what to know.

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Jimmy Fallon. Hugh Jackman. Mark Zuckerberg. Keith Urban. Gordon Ramsey. Kyle Busch. Besides immediate name recognition, what else do these men have in common? They’ve all struggled with infertility issues—and it’s something they’re all talking about publicly. Here's why that matters.

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While PCOS can be a challenging condition to manage, natural supplements like inositol that are included in Beli Preconception Boost offer a beacon of hope. Inositol's ability to improve insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, and ovulatory function makes it a valuable tool in the PCOS management toolkit. 

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The concern that hormonal contraception affects future fertility is making the rounds on social media again. But research continues to show that all that worry is for naught. While birth control doesn’t cause long-term fertility issues, it can mask them by creating an artificial cycle—something that’s important to understand.

Read More

For many of us, our twenties and even thirties are a time when the focus is on pregnancy prevention. And that’s okay! But even when the idea of motherhood is miles away there is tremendous value in understanding your fertility health and what you can do to support it during these young, carefree days.

Read More

We’re thrilled to introduce Beli Women Preconception, a complementary fertility supplement designed to support fertility health by promoting egg quality, supporting ovulation, balancing hormones, regulating your cycle and helping to manage symptoms of both PCOS and PMS.

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Once a month, PMS symptoms make their unpleasant presence known. And while knowing what’s happening won’t make PMS magically disappear, it can help you manage symptoms by balancing hormones and supporting your reproductive health. Let’s review.

Read More

It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

Read More

If you have endometriosis, you can already recite its lengthy list of pretty terrible symptoms. And the standard options for managing those symptoms — medications, hormone therapy, hormonal birth control, estrogen blockers, surgery —  aren’t always great. But there is evidence that a so-called “endometriosis diet” can help.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

Preparing for a baby means doing everything in your power to nourish your fertility health. If you’re totally on board but wondering what that actually means, we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts for planning a pregnancy.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

You’re clear on the mechanics of making a baby, but how much do you really know about conception and fertility? There are a lot of wild stories, downright falsehoods and notions that are actually rooted in a kernel of truth out there. In the interest of sticking to the facts, we’re debunking 15 of the most common myths about conception and fertility.

Read More

When you’re knocking boots in an effort to get knocked up, timing is everything. Your best chance of conceiving is during the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle—when you ovulate. The key is figuring out exactly when that happens. Fortunately, you have a few ways of detecting ovulation. Here’s what to know about understanding ovulation and timing sex for pregnancy.

Read More

You have big plans for parenthood in 2024, which means this is the time to start laying the groundwork for everything to come. While so much of conception is beyond our control, there are actionable steps you and your partner can take right now to support and nourish your fertility.

Read More

Is there anything worse than the two-week wait? All the listicles out there sensibly advise keeping busy and journaling and talking it out, but we’re sharing more specific recommendations collected from the Beli community. Read on for seven tips for surviving the two-week wait without losing your mind.

Read More

As a society, we’re an impatient bunch, and that applies to pregnancy, too. The second you decide it’s time to try for a baby, you’re ready to see those two pink lines. If you’ve recently tossed the birth control and you’re wondering how long it should take to get pregnant, here's what to know.

Read More