• What are Anti-Sperm Antibodies?

    Are you and your partner struggling to become pregnant following vasectomy reversal surgery? Many factors affect the success rate of this procedure, including the potential development of anti-sperm antibodies. While this is a less common cause of male infertility, it’s still a factor worth exploring.

    What are Anti-Sperm Antibodies?

    Under normal conditions, sperm only exists within a man’s closed reproductive system. The tubules through which sperm travel don’t mix with other parts of the body. However, if sperm enters the bloodstream for any reason, the body’s immune system perceives the sperm as a foreign protein and produces anti-sperm antibodies in response.

    Anti-sperm antibodies may cause sperm to clump together, reducing their ability to swim and subsequently reach the female egg. In rare cases, the antibodies can also cover the head of the sperm, rendering them unable to penetrate and fertilize the egg.

    What Causes Anti-Sperm Antibodies?

    In short, any time semen mixes with blood inside the body, anti-sperm antibodies are liable to form. Men may develop these antibodies for any of the following reasons:

    • Vasectomy or other testicle surgery
    • Tramatic testicle injury
    • Prostate infection

    Women’s reproductive systems can also produce anti-sperm antibodies if they have an allergic reaction to their partner’s semen. If present in the cervical mucus, these antibodies could damage or kill sperm as they enter the vagina. This condition is rare and not fully understood by the medical community.

    Testing for Anti-Sperm Antibodies

    An immunobead test (IBT) detects the presence of sperm-destroying antibodies in the blood, seminal fluid, or cervical mucus. Testing also indicates what part of the sperm is specifically affected. When performed on blood, an IBT can reveal whether the anti-sperm antibodies originate from the patient’s blood or reproductive system.

    Because anti-sperm antibodies are relatively rare, and their presence doesn’t always cause infertility, your physician will likely review your medical history and conduct other tests before suggesting an IBT. Anti-sperm antibody testing should only be necessary if another cause of infertility can’t be found or the results of routine testing are inconclusive.

    Treating Anti-Sperm Antibodies

    While high levels of anti-sperm antibodies can make it difficult for some couples to get pregnant, their presence does not guarantee fertility issues. In fact, some findings suggest a low correlation between anti-sperm antibodies and the ability to conceive.

    Still, if you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you may choose to pursue treatment for anti-sperm antibodies. Your options include immune response-lowering medication and assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as intrauterine insemination.

    Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men overcome infertility problems. All infertility procedures we offer, including vasectomy reversal, are performed by a qualified surgeon using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients can expect concierge-level care and friendly staff interactions all along the way. To discuss your fertility concerns with Dr. Green, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.

  • What is Postpartum Depression, and How Can You be There for Your Partner?

    Carrying and delivering a baby causes a slew of hormonal changes in a woman’s body. At the very least, many new moms experience “baby blues” after giving birth, which may cause mood swings, anxiety, crying, and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues typically last no longer than two weeks.

    Postpartum depression (PPD) is far more severe. This lingering mental condition is not a sign of weakness—it’s simply a complication of childbirth. If your partner experiences PPD, learn how you can be there for her during this difficult and emotional time.

    Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

    PPD may be mistaken for baby blues at first, but the symptoms are more debilitating and may last months if left untreated. The signs of postpartum depression include:

    • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
    • Excessive crying
    • Difficulty bonding with the baby
    • Withdrawing from social outings
    • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
    • Low energy levels
    • Unwarranted irritability or anger
    • Fear of being a bad mother
    • Feelings of guilt, shame, or worthlessness
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Anxiety or panic attacks
    • Thoughts of self-harm or hurting the baby
    • Suicidal ideation

    PPD in New Fathers

    Between 2 and 20 percent of new dads experience postpartum depression as well, a condition known as paternal postpartum depression. Men with relationship issues, financial instability, a history of depression, or a partner with PPD are most at risk. If you’re a new father experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, talk to a healthcare professional.

    How You Can be There for Your Partner

    While postpartum depression is a mental illness that often requires medical treatment, you can do many practical things to help your partner recover. Here’s what we recommend:

    • Help around the house.
    • Prepare healthy meals.
    • Reassure your partner that she’s a good mother.
    • Tell her you’re proud of how hard she’s working, even though she feels terrible.
    • Make yourself available by taking paternity leave or reducing your hours at work.
    • Limit your time with extended family and friends.
    • Answer her phone and take a message.
    • Go with her to doctor’s appointments.
    • Play the role of “listener” when she wants to talk about her feelings and struggles.
    • Help her get more rest by dividing up nighttime parenting and letting her sleep in.
    • Watch the baby so she can pursue a hobby or go out with a friend.
    • Seek help from trusted adult friends and medical professionals so you don’t have to go it alone.

    Even though you know postpartum depression and other complications are always possible, you may have made up your mind about becoming a parent. If you previously had a vasectomy, the first step is to have a vasectomy reversal. Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men become fathers. To learn more about having your vasectomy reversed, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.

  • IVF vs. Vasectomy Reversal

    Did you previously have a vasectomy to avoid unwanted pregnancies? What should you do if you and your female partner have decided you want to have kids together? There are two primary options for starting on the path to parenthood: in vitro fertilization (IVF) and vasectomy reversal. Consider what each process entails to help you make an informed decision.

    How Does IVF Work?

    In vitro fertilization aims to bypass all infertility problems by combining the woman’s egg and the man’s sperm outside the body. The resulting embryo is implanted into the woman’s uterus, where it will hopefully grow and develop into a baby.

    When performing IVF after a vasectomy, a urologist must extract sperm surgically. This comes at a greater cost and higher risk than retrieving sperm naturally. Eggs must also be removed from the woman’s ovaries after delivering a cycle of hormones designed to stimulate the release of multiple eggs.

    The risks associated with IVF are quite high. The mother and baby face the chance of serious complications, some of which may be life-long. The cost is also three to five times higher than vasectomy reversal surgery. Plus, IVF must be repeated with each failed attempt, often at a considerable emotional and financial cost.

    How Does Vasectomy Reversal Work?

    A vasectomy reversal is a restorative procedure design to reconnect the severed ends of the vas deferens, the tubes through which sperm travel from the testicles to the urethra. The procedure takes two to three hours to complete and should be performed by an experienced microsurgeon to reduce the risks and improve the chances of success.

    If the procedure is successful, male fertility is restored, giving the couple a chance to conceive naturally without treating the female partner. A vasectomy reversal also makes it possible to have multiple children over the years without undergoing any further medical intervention.

    Be aware that it can take several months after a vasectomy reversal for the female partner to become pregnant. Of course, even if sperm starts presenting in the ejaculate like normal, pregnancy depends on the female partner’s fertility as well. If she has contributing issues, IVF may be the only option after all.

    Deciding Between IVF and Vasectomy Reversal

    Every couple should consider what’s best for them when pursuing parenthood after a vasectomy. However, because of the costs and risks associated with IVF, a reversal with natural conception makes the most sense for a majority of couples.

    We recommend starting your journey with a consultation at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. Our highly skilled and experienced microsurgeon, Dr. Joshua Green, is a leader in vasectomy reversal surgery. All infertility procedures we offer are performed using a state-of-the-art, high-powered operating microscope. Our patients benefit from Dr. Green’s remarkable success rates and enjoy concierge-level care and friendly staff interactions every step of the way.

    To discuss your infertility treatment options, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.

  • How to Prepare For your Vasectomy Reversal

    If you’re having a vasectomy reversal, it’s normal to feel some anxiety before the procedure. Any type of surgery can be intimidating, and vasectomy is certainly a serious undertaking. The procedure itself, however, is quite safe. It’s performed in an outpatient setting and has a high success rate. There are some things you can do to prepare for your vasectomy reversal that will help the entire process go more smoothly.

    • Shake off the nerves. Trust your medical team and trust yourself. You’ve made an educated decision, choosing a reliable and experienced surgeon, and you can be confident in the choice you’ve made. Learn as much as you can about the procedure ahead of time, prepare yourself and your home for your recovery, and then rest in the knowledge that you’re in good hands.
    • Watch what you put into your body. Stop smoking at least six weeks before your surgery, and don’t smoke for at least a month after the procedure. Better yet, don’t smoke at all! Avoid alcohol for a week before surgery, and steer clear of medications like aspirin for 48 hours before your procedure. Your doctor will advise you of any other medications to avoid, but the general rule is to stop taking blood thinners and anti-inflammatory medication. You will need to abstain from food and drink from midnight the night before your surgery. Don’t even chew gum, because this can stimulate gastric acids.
    • Prepare your body for surgery. Take a shower the night before your surgery. You should also shave the area where you’ll have surgery, either the night before or the morning of your surgery. This includes the full area of the scrotal sac, extending to the groin areas on either side, but not the pubic area above the penis.
    • Make preparations for your recovery. Enlist someone’s help getting to and from the clinic, because you won’t be able to drive for 48 hours after the surgery. Arrange time off work, because you’ll need at least a week to rest and recuperate. Make sure your home is in order, and that you have everything you’ll need in easy reach of the place where you plan to rest after surgery. Have a compassionate support system in place, so that you’ll know someone will be there to help care for you during the time that you need to take it easy and heal.

    If you’re interested in reversing your vasectomy and you’re looking for an experienced professional surgical team, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here for you. 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 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.

  • Nursery Decor Ideas and Tips

    Of all the things you must do to prepare for the arrival of a new baby, decorating the nursery may be the most fun. You get to daydream about your new little one as you design a space that’s fun and functional as well as beautiful. Here, we offer some tips for making the most of your nursery’s décor.

    • Start with the crib. You may think of a crib as a temporary piece of furniture, but some kids stay in their cribs until they’re two or three years old. With cribs that convert to toddler beds and even full-size beds, you may get even more years out of it than that. Look for a crib that meets all safety standards and suits your aesthetic sensibilities, and if you plan to have more than one child, keep it gender-neutral. To go with the crib, you’ll need at least 5-6 fitted sheets, but skip the crib sets.
    • Do you need a changing table? This is actually a hotly debated topic. Sure, it’s convenient to have all the storage a changing table provides, but a piece of furniture solely devoted to babyhood is likely to have an expiration date. Many parents opt for a dresser with a changing top, because when you’re out of the diaper phase, you’ll still need a dresser.
    • One thing you do need is tons of storage. Arrange your nursery so that everything you need for a change of diapers or clothes is within easy reach of the changing table. This means diapers, wipes, changing table covers, burp cloths, pacifiers, toys to distract- anything you can think of needing, and extras of everything. You don’t want to have to step away from the changing table to reach something when you’re mid-change. Beyond that, you’ll need storage for all the baby stuff, so that it doesn’t end up tripping you in the middle of the night.
    • Choosing a theme will help guide your décor. Find one thing that speaks to you, whether it’s a book, a painting, or some other piece of the nursery, and build your décor around it. It’s smart to keep the paint color and furniture neutral and accessorize within your theme. Don’t forget to include personal items like family photos and other elements that represent your loved ones.
    • Remember that babies grow. However you decide to decorate the nursery, make sure that your décor is easy to change as your baby grows into a child. From furniture to storage to artwork, everything should grow with your little one.

    If you need help with fertility in order to fill your dream nursery, 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.

  • The Science of Multiple Births

    Does it seem like more people than ever are giving birth to multiples? How likely are you to have twins, triplets, or even quadruplets? What raises your chance of giving birth to more than one child at once? How much do you know about the science behind multiples?

    If you’ve noticed more families with multiples recently, you’re not imagining things. In the United States, about 1 in every 250 births is a multiple, a more than 75 percent increase since 1980. About 90 percent of those multiples are twins, which may be best because the risks associated with pregnancy grow with every additional child involved.

    Why the steep increase in multiple births? There are many factors at play. First, the average maternal age is increasing. In 1980, the birth rate for women between ages 40 and 44 was only 3.9 births per 1000 women, but by 2003 that rate had climbed to 8.7 births per 1000 women. Women over 30 are more likely to release more than one egg during their reproductive cycles, so an older average maternal age means more multiple births.

    Fertility treatments are another factor. Infertility is common in the U.S., with about 13 percent of couples pursuing treatment to help. A recent study indicated a 10-fold rise in the conception of twins following fertility treatments. The rate varies based on the type of treatment: in vitro fertilization (IVF) increases the likelihood, as does medication that stimulates a woman’s follicles, causing her to produce more eggs.

    Family history plays a role, as well. If the woman has a family history of twins, she’s slightly more likely to conceive twins naturally. Women who are non-identical twins have twins in about 1 birth out of every 60. If the father is a non-identical twin, the rate is about 1 in 125 births.

    Is having multiples desirable? There are many complications with births that involve multiple babies. Prematurity, low birth weight, and stillbirth are all risks of a twin pregnancy, as are disabilities at birth and congenital health conditions like autism and cerebral palsy. For the mother, the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and cesarean section are increased when she’s carrying more than one baby, and she’s more likely to have to go on bed rest during the pregnancy. Still, having more than one child at once is very exciting, and can be a fun experience for a family.

    If you’re struggling with infertility or considering a vasectomy reversal, 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 have other concerns about their fertility. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

     

  • How to Introduce your Children to Different Cultures

    With technology making the world ever smaller, in some ways we’re more connected with other cultures than ever before in history. At the same time, divisive sentiments abound, filling headlines and causing many parents to wonder how to protect their children from hateful attitudes while making them culturally empathetic. In an ideal world, we’d all be able to travel globally with our kids, but for most of us, that’s not actually our reality. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips for exposing your children to other cultures and fostering a sense of empathy and understanding.

    • Use books and other media to explore the world. Books can help kids develop a sense of their own identity, and they’re also great for teaching about other countries, cultures, and religions. Read books and watch movies, television shows, and videos together, learning about people around the world, and diverse cultures here in our own nation.
    • Encourage curiosity. It’s embarrassing when a child asks you something loudly about another person’s appearance or clothing in public, but it’s important to answer their questions, normalizing the fact that there are many different types of people in the world. Research other countries and cultures, and visit restaurants, cultural events, and festivals representing different ethnicities and cultural heritages. Talk about religious holidays around the world, and learn about how other cultures celebrate them.
    • Find ways to spend time with different types of people. There’s a good chance that you know someone with a different heritage or religious background than yours. Talking to your kids about these differences, while giving them opportunities to become comfortable with a wide range of people, will help them become comfortable with diversity.
    • Introduce your child to other languages. Sing songs that feature words in other languages, find opportunities to point out foreign words on signs and in reading materials, and let your kids watch educational programming that incorporates other languages.
    • Celebrate differences and recognize commonality. As adults, we often try not to “see” differences. Little children, however, are very interested in what makes people different and what they have in common. Teach your kids to celebrate the differences while encouraging empathy by finding common ground.
    • Set a good example. Your child’s best role model is you, so if you don’t feel like you know enough about different cultures, find ways to educate yourself. Making sure your reactions to people from other cultures are positive and compassionate will go along way toward fostering empathy in your children.

    If you’re you want to have children but struggle with infertility, 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 have other concerns about their fertility. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • How to Make the Most of Family Dinner

    As parents, most of us want to instill in our children the character attributes and soft skills they need to become successful adults. What does that mean to you and how can you put it into practice? Kids need perseverance, resilience, the understanding that failures and setbacks are part of the learning process, and a can-do attitude are all necessary attributes if you want your child to succeed. Of course, there are many factors that influence a child’s development, from personality and their environment, but parents have a large impact on how their kids react to the situations they face in their lives. Would it surprise you to learn that you can instill some of these positive character traits during ordinary activities like family dinner?

    • Give kids more responsibilities. At dinnertime, involve them in meal prep, let them take on increasingly challenging tasks, and don’t be afraid to let them make mistakes. Making mistakes is part of learning and growing; by the time your children leave your house they need to know how to cook an entire meal, and the way they’ll learn is by trying and sometimes failing when they’re young.
      • Little kids can set the table.
      • As they grow, involve them in meal planning.
      • Let your older kids be responsible for one dish, then graduate them into cooking one meal, then one meal each week.
      • Don’t forget to involve children in the clean-up, as well.
    • At dinner, discuss your day. Don’t hesitate to share stories of your own failures, setbacks, and disappointments, because it will help your kids gain perspective about how to use difficult experiences as opportunities to learn and grow. You don’t have to share your deepest regrets, but acknowledging your small mistakes and modeling a positive attitude as you overcome them will set a good example for your children.
    • Play games with your kids. During dinner, try silly challenges, like eating while balancing paper plates on your heads. Play guessing games, twenty questions, or concentration ABCs. After dinner, if you have time, you can linger at the table (after you’ve all cleared it together) with a favorite board game. By playing games with your children, you give them opportunities to “fail safely” and learn from the experience.

    If you’re ready to start a family and are considering a vasectomy reversal, 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 have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • Best Books for New Dads

    Becoming a dad is often equal parts exciting and terrifying. What’s in store for you? What do you need to do during the pregnancy and birth? What will your role be in your new little one’s babyhood? Why did you think this was a good idea?! Relax, it’s all going to be fine, and it was a very good idea. We’ve even got a list of helpful books to help you navigate the unfamiliar parts.

    • Pregnancy for Dads-To-Be: This book by Adam Carpenter focuses solely on dads, helping men learn everything they need to know about pregnancy and how to be a supportive partner. It takes you through the nine-month process, teaching things like the development of the baby, what to do before the baby arrives, and how to be there for your partner during pregnancy, labor, and after the birth. It also provides helpful tips on adjusting your lifestyle before the baby gets here, to avoid the shock of doing it all at once after the birth.
    • Commando Dad: This book by Neil Sinclair, a real-life commando, is a basic training manual for fatherhood. It’s got clear and logical advice on things like preparing your “base camp” and dealing with “minor combat injuries.” It’s a great reference book, packed with easily accessible knowledge.
    • Fatherhood- The Truth: Marcus Berkmann wrote this book in 2005, when there weren’t very many new dad books out there. It doesn’t shy away from topics like the misery of night feeding and the likelihood of projectile vomiting as it takes you through that crucial time between conception and the first birthday.
    • The Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide: Covering pregnancy and the early weeks of babyhood, this survival guide by Rob Kemp includes expert advice and firsthand accounts. It covers all the bases and offers a range of expert views.
    • Babies and Toddlers for Men: Mark Woods has an original and witty way of providing practical advice, and this book covers birth to three years in a way that’s funny yet useful. It offers tips on looking after your child while supporting the child’s mother as well, and there is a companion book, Babies and Toddlers for Men- 101 Tips, which breaks it all down into manageable chunks.

    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 have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.