• The Science of Having a Boy or a Girl

    Most parents-to-be want a healthy baby, but many also wish for a particular gender. You have probably heard rumors for tipping the odds in favor of one sex or the other, but are any of them true? Explore the science of having a boy or a girl.

    The Father’s Sperm Determines a Child’s Gender

    No matter what other factors may be at play, one thing is certain—the sex chromosome of the sperm that fertilizes the egg determines the baby’s gender at birth. If an X chromosome combines with the mother’s X chromosome, you get a girl (XX). And if a Y chromosome reaches the egg first, you get a boy (XY).

    Factors that May Influence the Sex of a Child

    Just about everyone has a nearly 50/50 chance of conceiving a boy or a girl. Having a family of all boys or all girls is almost always due to pure chance. Still, specific factors may slightly influence the odds that an X or Y chromosome sperm will fertilize the egg.

    • The ovulation cycle: In the 1960s, the best-selling book, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby, argued that timing sex close to ovulation allows fast-swimming Y sperm to reach the egg sooner, resulting in a male baby. And since Y sperm die quicker, intercourse far away from ovulation maximizes the chance of X sperm achieving fertilization, resulting in a female baby. However, this argument has been disputed over the years.
    • Wartime: Some research has found a small correlation between higher male birth rates and times of war and conflict. This is an interesting find, given that male mortality rates are high during war.
    • Stress: Other studies show that extreme stress can lead to female conceptions, which may be related to the fragility of Y sperm or the hormonal changes that tend to favor X sperm when the going gets tough.
    • Wealth: A study of billionaires suggests that men who inherit their money are more likely to have sons than self-made billionaires (and the general population), suggesting that wealth without stress leads to sons.
    • Mother’s diet: Some argue that eating cereal preconception induces male births, while others say low-salt, high-calcium diets favor females.
    • The father’s family: A study of family trees found that fathers inherit a tendency to have more sons or daughters from their parents. Therefore, a man with many brothers is more likely to have sons, and a man with many sisters is more likely to have daughters.

    With so many factors at play, most of which aren’t within your control, the odds end up being about the same as flipping a coin. And chances are, the moment you hold your newborn, it won’t matter to you whether it’s a boy or a girl.

    Are you interested in having a vasectomy reversal so you can welcome a new son or daughter into the world? If so, please contact the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota, FL at 941-894-6428 for more information.

  • Things That Affect Male Fertility

    The journey to parenthood is straightforward for many, but up to 15 percent of couples fail to conceive after a year of trying to get pregnant. Male infertility plays a role in over one-third of these cases. Consider the factors that affect male fertility and what you can do to improve your chances of conceiving a child with your partner.

    Causes of Male Infertility

    You could have trouble getting your partner pregnant if you have any of the following:

    • Low sperm count
    • Abnormal sperm function
    • Blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm
    • Low testosterone levels

    What Affects Male Fertility?

    The following factors play a role in your sperm count, function, delivery, and testosterone levels:

    • Varicocele: Having enlarged veins within the scrotum is the most common reversible cause of male infertility.
    • Infection: Some infections interfere with sperm health or production, including several STDs, such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and HIV.
    • Substance use: Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can lower testosterone levels and sperm count.
    • Overall health: Being overweight or having high blood pressure may reduce fertility. Other medical causes include undescended testicles, tumors, hormone imbalances, chromosome defects, and untreated celiac disease.
    • Ejaculation issues: Various conditions may prevent proper ejaculation, including diabetes, spinal cord injuries, medications, and surgery of the bladder, urethra, or prostate.
    • Environmental factors: Overexposure to heat, radiation, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals may reduce sperm count or function. Even prolonged biking, horseback riding, or physically demanding work can affect fertility.
    • Emotional factors: High stress may interfere with hormones needed to produce sperm. Depression can also cause sexual dysfunction that can cause male fertility issues.

    How to Improve Male Fertility

    Being unable to conceive a child can be frustrating and stressful. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve your fertility:

    • Receive treatment for underlying medical conditions.
    • Talk to your doctor about switching medications if infertility is a side effect of anything you’re currently taking.
    • Consider the changes you can make to reduce physical strain at work and in your daily life.
    • Wear boxers, not briefs, to avoid elevated temperatures and tightness that could affect sperm count.
    • Adopt stress management techniques, such as meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, and breathing exercises.
    • Examine your lifestyle. If you use substances or are overweight, improving your health may increase your fertility.
    • Schedule a doctor visit to check your fertility, especially if you experience sexual dysfunction, pain or swelling in the testicle area, abnormal breast growth, or hormonal irregularities along with fertility issues.

    Did you previously have a vasectomy, but now you’re ready to start or grow your family? Dr. Joshua Green at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal can make your dream of fatherhood a reality. We provide state-of-the-art treatment for men looking to reverse a vasectomy or address other fertility concerns. To learn more, please call our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation through our website.

  • Why you Should Let your Children have Pets

    There’s something appealing about seeing kids and pets together. Especially if you’re an animal lover, the very idea of bringing a pet into your child’s life can conjure up idealistic images of kids playing, snuggling, and bonding with a new animal friend. But is it a good idea? There are many factors to consider, but there are plenty of great reasons to let your children have pets.

    Before looking at the positives of pet ownership, let’s address the negatives. Pets are a big responsibility, and much of that responsibility falls on the parents. Having a pet requires a significant investment of time and money. Cats and dogs live for many years, so they require a commitment to an essentially permanent family member. Smaller pets, like goldfish and hamsters, don’t live as long, but their shorter lifespans present an emotional challenge. Pets require food, exercise, grooming, and veterinary care. Additionally, if a family member turns out to be allergic, you’re likely to have to experience the pain of rehoming a pet just as you’ve gotten attached.

    Now that the negative aspects of pet ownership are out of the way, let’s look at all the wonderful things about getting a pet for your child.

    • Pets can be good for a person’s health. In fact, research indicates that children who grow up with pets are at a lower risk of developing allergies and asthma. Pet owners require fewer trips to the doctor, and playing with dogs can lower blood pressure.
    • Having a pet encourages exercise. Running, walking, playing, throwing a ball: pets give kids great reasons to head outside and get moving.
    • Pets provide emotional benefits. Pets reduce stress, loneliness, and anxiety, and children with pets tend to have better impulse control, social skills, and self-esteem. Living with animals gives kids a healthy respect for nature, and children derive comfort from having an animal pal.
    • Children learn while playing with pets. Caring for pets fosters responsibility, and nurturing a pet helps kids practice caregiving, developing empathy and compassion. Additionally, kids who are learning to read benefit from reading aloud to pets. Some studies even indicate that having pets helps kids become comfortable in leadership roles.
    • Pets help a family to bond. Pets give families a common interest and can help slow the hectic pace of modern life. There’s even evidence to show caring for a pet together increases the sibling bond.

    Pets are a great idea for a family with kids, as long as you make sure the pet you’re getting is a good fit for your family. When you’re ready to start a family, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or help with their fertility. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • How to Discipline your Children

    Being a parent is a hard job, especially because it’s your responsibility to teach your children how to be good people. Teaching your kids how to behave properly can be a challenge when there is so much conflicting information about discipline. Remember: discipline should be about guiding and teaching your children, not getting angry and punishing them. Here, we offer some tips for disciplining your children successfully.

    • Set clear limits and firm consequences. Your rules should be clear and consistent, and the consequences should be established ahead of time. When a rule is broken, be prepared to follow through right away.
    • Be positive whenever possible. Catch your children doing the right thing so that you can give positive attention and praise their successes. Even when you’re setting limits, try to phrase things in a positive way, telling them what they can do instead of just saying no.
    • Take the time to listen. Especially with older kids, it’s important to hear your child’s point of view. When a child feels heard, he or she will be more likely to listen.
    • Model the behavior you want to see. Stay calm when you’re correcting your child, both in your words and actions, and you’ll set a better tone for your household.
    • Let some things go. If you’re always saying no, your child will begin to tune you out. On the other hand, sometimes ignored misbehavior delivers its own natural consequences. Prioritize, to avoid nagging.
    • Avoid physical punishment. Spanking is a hotly debated topic, but most experts agree that it’s not a good idea. Research indicates that physical punishment is ineffective and causes long-lasting negative effects.
    • Watch your words. Verbal abuse can be as painful as physical punishment, causing the same kind of long-term damage. Make sure the words you say to your children focus on building them up, rather than tearing them down.
    • Set your child up for success. Pay attention to patterns in a child’s misbehavior and try to avoid situations that will stretch a child’s limits. Children who are hungry, tired, or overexcited are more likely to misbehave.
    • Keep discipline age appropriate. Begin setting limits when your child is still an infant, and once he or she is a toddler, start using short time-outs and redirection to correct misbehavior. Preschool children are old enough for simple chores, and to begin learning about good choices and logical consequences. Older children need a balance of privilege and responsibility, and teens need clear boundaries and the opportunity to build decision-making skills.

    Being a parent requires commitment and hard work, but it’s also extremely rewarding. If you’re ready to start a family, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or help with their fertility. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • Common Questions Kids Ask and How to Answer Them

    If there’s one thing kids know how to do, it’s ask questions. Unfortunately, sometimes the questions they ask come at inopportune times, and we as parents may not have ready answers. Heard any hard questions lately? We’ve compiled some tips on how to answer your child’s questions, as well as a list of questions you might hear.

    When a child asks as questions, mirror the question back at the child; sometimes children are seeking validation for their feelings rather than concrete answers. Once you’ve mirrored what you believe is being asked, let the child ask a second time, to clarify the question. When answer, keep your answer age-appropriate and don’t the child more information than he or she can handle. Now, let’s look at some common questions.

    • Why is the sky blue? Science questions are fun! The sky looks blue because that’s the color of the light in the air. When it’s time for sunrise or sunset, the molecules in the air spread out, and then the sky looks red or orange.
    • What happened to the dinosaurs? Talking about dinosaurs can open up much bigger scientific conversations. The simple answer: an asteroid crashed into the earth when dinosaurs were alive, and it changed the planet. Dinosaurs died because they couldn’t adapt to the changes, and new animals that could live in the changed climate took their place.
    • Where do babies come from? Before answering this question, take a breath. Make sure you know exactly what your child is asking, so you don’t give too much information when it’s inappropriate. Keep your answer simple and age-appropriate, but avoid confusion by using the correct terminology.
    • Why do people speak different languages? This provides an opportunity to discuss other cultures and how we can learn from them. The short answer: a long time ago, people in different parts of the world invented different words for things, and languages grew from there.
    • Why do we cover our private parts? Be matter of fact about this, explaining that it’s because we use those parts for things we don’t do in public. Talk about which body parts are off-limits to outsiders, while modeling a calm attitude about the body.
    • Why do people get sick? Give a simple explanation, being careful to differentiate between common and more serious illnesses. Use the opportunity to discuss habits that help keep people healthy.
    • What happens when people die? This answer will vary based on your beliefs, but remember, it’s ok to say you don’t know.

    Having kids is sometimes a challenge, but it’s always a gift. If you’re ready to start your family, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or help with their fertility. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • How to Teach your Children About Safety

    Once you have kids, the world can seem like a frightening place. It’s easy to think of all the bad things that could happen to your vulnerable children, you want to protect them. At the same time, you don’t want your children to be fearful people, but rather friendly and openhearted. How do you teach your children to protect themselves from dangerous people without robbing them of innocent, joyous interactions with people in the world around them?

    • Be aware that “stranger danger” is an oversimplified concept. Most child abduction and sexual abuse cases are committed by people who are not strangers to the children. Try teaching your children about suspicious behaviors, and consider using the term “tricky people” instead of “strangers”. Explain that while most people are good, some people try to trick children into breaking safety rules.
    • Talk about safe strangers. Teachers, firefighters, and librarians are all examples of strangers that kids can go to for help. Teach your kids to seek help in a public place if something happens, and point out safe places to ask for help, like local stores and restaurants, or friends’ houses.
    • Institute clear rules instead of overreaching guidelines. “Never talk to strangers” is not great advice, because you want your child to reply to the well-meaning grandmother in the grocery store or the librarian trying to help find a book. Try coming up with specific rules instead, like these examples:
      • Don’t get in a car with anyone you don’t know.
      • Don’t accept candy or food from strangers.
      • Don’t go into anyone’s house without permission from a parent.
      • Don’t listen to someone who wants you to disobey your parents.
      • Don’t keep secrets from your mom and dad.
      • Don’t do anything that makes you feel bad or uncomfortable.
      • Get a trusted adult if someone you don’t know asks you for help.
    • Teach your kids to trust their instincts. If something makes a child feel uncomfortable, he or she needs to know that it’s ok to say no. Teach the concept of consent, and role-play scenarios in which your children have to stand up for themselves.
    • Encourage your kids to be assertive. Teaching kids “No, Go, Yell, Tell” is a good way to help them remember what to do in a dangerous situation. They should say no, run away, yell loudly, and tell a trusted adult. Practice this at home, so your child is ready in the event of an emergency.

    Keeping kids safe is a big responsibility, but you’re up to the challenge. If you’re ready to start a family, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or help with their fertility. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • Pool Safety

    The weather is getting ever warmer, and soon it will be peak pool season! If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard pool, you probably can’t wait for the first pool party of the summer, or to watch your kids having fun out in the pool. It’s important to make pool safety a priority, though, because a fun day in the water can quickly turn tragic when parents aren’t paying attention.

    Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of injury death in children between the ages of 1 and 4? The risk doesn’t end when kids leave preschool, either, and for kids aged 5-9, it’s the second leading cause of death, second only to motor vehicle accidents. Toddlers can drown in just an inch or two of water, but more than half of young children who die from drowning do so in home swimming pools.

    What can you do to protect kids around water? Layer the safety measures.

    • Fence the pool. Research indicates that over half of all swimming pool drownings of young children could be prevented with adequate fencing. All swimming pools, even temporary, above-ground pools, should be completely surrounded by a safety fence.
    • Prevent kids from slipping outside without being seen. Safety gates, door locks, and doorknob covers should be your first line of defense, and all family members must be careful to shut doors after going outside.
    • Be ready to perform a rescue. Have a shepherd’s hook and life preserver beside the pool, and learn how to swim and perform CPR.
    • Teach kids to swim. Start getting your child used to the water early, around six months, and consider swim lessons by about age one.
    • Never leave children alone around water. Supervision must be constant, your child needs your undivided attention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends constant “touch supervision”, keeping kids within arm’s length.
    • Designate a water watcher. An adult should be “on duty” at all times, to keep kids safe. If you’re the watcher, put down your cellphone, avoid distractions, and switch off with another adult when you need a break.
    • Use life jackets and floaties. However, be careful not to let your guard down and trust those safety items to keep your kids safe without supervision.
    • Don’t forget about additional hazards. Birdbaths, fountains, ponds, wells, and ditches are all hazardous to kids. Buckets, wading pools, and other water containers should be emptied as soon as you’re finished using them, as should trash cans or recycling bins that have collected rainwater. Inside, empty bathtubs after use, lock toilets, and don’t allow small children unsupervised access to bathrooms.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.

  • Car Safety

    The first U.S. patent for an automobile seatbelt was issued in 1885, but the first modern, 3-point seatbelt wasn’t installed in vehicles until 1959, and the first seat belt law didn’t come into play until 1968. Car seats were first created in the 1930s, but they were just for containing kids and letting them look out the window; it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the idea of car seats as safety devices came on the scene. In the nearly 50 years since then, car safety guidelines have changed quite a bit, and car seats are safer than ever. Are you doing everything you can to promote car safety for your kids?

    • We all know that infant car seats are important, since the hospital won’t let you take the baby home without one. Little babies should be in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat, because that’s the best way to protect their heads and spines. A baby in the front seat is at risk from the airbags, and if he or she is forward facing or at the wrong recline angle, there’s a risk of restricting the airway.
    • Use infant car seats the right way. Never hang toys from the carrier handle, because they could become flying projectiles in the event of an accident. Don’t put your baby in the infant seat in a puffy winter coat, because during a crash the coat can compress and make the baby less secure. Out of the car, don’t put the infant seat anywhere unsafe, like the top of a grocery cart or on a soft surface, and never let your baby nap in the car seat, because that raises the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
    • As your baby grows, car seat safety is still just as important. Always know where your child is before you start your car, and use automatic door and window locks to keep your child safe. Follow the appropriate guidelines for when to move to a forward-facing seat or a booster, and use extreme caution if you’re considering a used car seat. Don’t let your kids transition to an adult seatbelt until they’re 4 feet 9 inches tall.
    • Be aware that 46 percent of parents make a mistake when installing the car seat and putting the child into it. The seat should be tightly secured, with no more than an inch of movement from side to side or front to back. The harness must be secure, the chest clip even with the child’s armpits. Be careful to install car seats according to the manufacturer’s instructions, either using seatbelts or the LATCH system.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.

  • How to Teach your Children about Respect

    From the moment our children are born, we begin teaching them necessary life skills. We teach them to eat, train them to sleep, and teach them to walk, but sometimes we forget that we must also teach them how to be people of character. Children are not born respecting others, so how can you teach your children about respect?

    • Give your kids the right tools. When babies cry, they’re not being disrespectful, but as children grow older, they must be taught that crying and tantrums are not the right methods for getting what they need. Establish clear limits and consequences for breaking rules, and teach kids how to politely ask you for what they need. When you set boundaries, you teach kids that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and when you teach manners, you’re causing them to think about how they speak to other people.
    • Make sure your expectations are appropriate. Set your child up to succeed, by making sure his or her needs are met. A child who is hungry, tired, or stressed may react in a way that seems disrespectful without even realizing that’s what’s happening. Make sure kids have a clear understanding of what’s expected, and if they behave inappropriately, follow through on consequences but then discuss things later to clarify the limits. Talk to your child about what happened and why it happened, and listen to the child’s point of view.
    • Recognize that compliance and respect are two different things. Some children are compliant without ever respecting their parents, just because they fear consequences. Discipline in a way that’s not demeaning or harsh, to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and respect.
    • Monitor what’s going into their minds. Turn on sitcoms, movies, or YouTube, and you’ll immediately see that much of the programming directed at kids contains blatant examples of disrespect. Set limits on what your children see and hear, and talk to them about messages they’re getting from the world around them. Take the time to discuss the right and wrong ways to treat other people, so that your child understands the behavior you expect.
    • Create a culture of respect in your home. Don’t lose your temper or allow inappropriate behavior to cause you to behave badly. Instead, model what you want to see reflected, holding yourself accountable for your mistakes as well as correcting your child in a respectful manner. Make sure your co-parent is on the same page, and that you treat each other with respect. When the rules of the house include treating other people respectfully, children will carry that behavior with them.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.

  • Why it’s Important for Your Children to Get Enough Sleep

    When it comes to kids and sleep, there are so many different schools of thought that it can be confusing. Some parents run a tight ship, with stringent sleep-training, bedtimes strictly scheduled, naps mandated, and nighttime rituals protected as though they’re sacred. Others have a more relaxed attitude, letting kids decide when they’re tired and get to bed whenever they feel like it. More and more, though, research is favoring the sleep-mandators, and doctors are urging parents to make sure their kids are getting enough sleep. Why is good sleep suddenly an urgent public-health mission?

    • Growing kids need sleep. Growth hormone is principally secreted during deep sleep, which is why babies spend to much time sleeping. When children don’t get enough sleep, they don’t grow the way they should.
    • Sleep is important to a child’s health. Sleep can help protect children from vascular damage. Additionally, excessive brain arousal during the night elevates blood glucose and cortisol, which are both risk factors in diabetes and heart disease. Kids who don’t get enough sleep are also at risk of becoming overweight, and too little sleep results in lowered resistance to infection, illness, and stress.
    • Kids who don’t sleep enough are at a higher risk of injury. When children don’t get enough sleep, they’re clumsier and more impulsive. In fact, in one study of Chinese children, 91 percent of kids with two or more injuries in a year got fewer than nine hours of sleep each night.
    • Good sleep enhances a child’s ability to learn. The impulsivity and distractibility seen in kids with ADHD are also seen in children who get too little sleep. Studies of school-aged kids have shown that adding as few as 27 minutes of sleep per night can make it easier for them to manage moods and impulses and focus on schoolwork. From infancy, kids process information while sleeping, and napping can boost recall in older kids.

    So how much sleep does your child need? For children under a year old, the recommendation is 12 to 16 hours. For ages 1-2, it’s 11 to 14, and between 3 and 5, it’s 10-13 hours. Elementary kids need 9-12 hours of sleep each night, and teenagers require 8-10. To facilitate this, help your children establish good sleep habits, with a consistent bedtime ritual, a comfortable sleeping environment, and no screens for two hours before bedtime. If your child seems to be anxious about sleeping, snores loudly, wakes frequently during the night, wets the bed after age 7, or is excessively sleepy during the day, talk to your pediatrician.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.