Older Women Wanting To Have Healthy Babies, The Trick Is Eat More Ice Cream

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something comes along that makes you realize you haven’t. Actually, there are a lot of things that I haven’t heard of but this is so bizarre it’s worth talking about.

Here’s a question: What do you think might help older women have babies? Fertility treatment? No. Having a relationship with a man who has a high sperm count? Well yes, but in the context of what I am talking about here, Nah. Give up? Ok. The answer is ice cream.

This revelation, has greater relevance at this time of year if you happen to live in the southern hemisphere, as I do, where the daily summer forecast varies between hot and hotter.

The bottom line is, according to researchers, if you eat ice cream regularly, and you’re an older woman, then it’s going to significantly improve your chances of conceiving a healthy child.

Personally, I don’t need a reason to eat ice cream. Summer or winter. It happens to be one of my favorite pastimes and I have a waistline to prove it.

The research comes from the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center in the United States. They asked women, over the age of 35, to keep a record of what they ate during their IVF treatment.

And when researchers began collating the figures, they discovered something unusual. Those who ate the most ice cream, cream, yogurt and milk, were 21 per cent more likely to give birth than those who rarely ate dairy products. And the quantities don’t need to be big or eaten frequently, every day, to make a difference.

Just three portions of dairy each day is enough to have a significant impact – the daily equivalent of one scoop of ice cream, one glass of milk and a slice of cheese.

So, is there a scientific explanation for why this is happening? Well, apparently there is. According to lead researcher, Dr Jorge Chavarro, of Massachusetts General Hospital, cow’s milk contains hormones that will improve the chances of an embryo being successfully implanted inside the womb.

“We found that women who had the highest intake of dairy were more likely to have live births,” Chavarro said. “ For women under 35 there doesn’t seem to be an association but for women over 35 the association is much stronger. That is the exact opposite of what we expected to find.”

But, I am beginning to think there is an element of the pre-ordained about this research. It turns out the situation is the exact opposite for men. According to this same researcher, if a man eats lots of ice cream, milk, cheese and yoghurt, their fertility will in fact decrease and they’ll end up firing blanks. It is even worse news for obese or overweight men, who eat lots of soy products. This type of food has a catastrophic effect on sperm production. And there’s a scientific reason for this as well. Sperm production is affected by something called phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that behave exactly like the hormone, oestrogen, which doesn’t like male sperm.

And because obese men, produce more oestrogen than their slimmer counterparts, the adverse effect on sperm production is compounded if you’ll pardon the pun. So the lesson is if you’re male and want to have children it’s best if you are not a vegetarian and you do it at a young age.

But then again if you are male and eat a lot of bacon and processed meat then your sperm count is likely to be 30 percent less than men who avoid these kinds of food.

In fact, Doctor Chavarro is deeply concerned about how beef is produced in the United States because of its possible, harmful effect on male infertility. He says many beef producers give their cattle, natural or synthetic hormones, to stimulate growth, a few days and weeks before they are slaughtered at the abattoir.

These hormones may well be one of the culprits in lowering the male sperm count. In fact if men want to eat food that is going to boost their fertility rather than reduce it, they are better off eating walnuts. They not only improve the quality of sperm production, they can also turn weak swimmers into sperm strong enough to swim across the English Channel.

But getting back to the story of how ice cream is helping to improve the fertility of older women, dairy products contain the hormone, progesterone and that is very good news.. This hormone, makes the female womb become sticky which can have a glue like effect when an embryo is implanted using IVF.

Progesterone production, is known to decrease in women as they get older so this is giving them a new lease of life..

Personally, I’m not quite sure what to make of this research. On the one hand, it offers a glimmer of hope for women who might have left the decision to have a family very late in life. But on the other, it is basically saying that overweight, middle aged men, who are either vegetarian or eat too much processed meat, are almost good for nothing.

And while I am not a vegetarian, nor do I eat a lot of processed meat, I do pretty much fulfil the other requirements which makes me feel a little besieged by all of this news.

I guess if nothing else it gives true meaning to the phrase, you are what you eat.

The Cougar Phenomenon: Science Is On Your Side Older Ladies (Apparently)

I came across something the other day called The Cougar Phenomenon. It was basically answering the question why older women should choose young lovers? It was written in such an important and breathless fashion it would have to be the question on everyone’s lips. Well it is, isn’t it?

It was quoting research, which is always a good sign if you are looking to go up a notch in the credibility stakes. Women in their 40s, should look for younger partners to boost their chances of becoming pregnant, according to a group of academics at Gill University in Canada. I guess it’s yet another example of Canadian researchers, coming up with creative ways to spend their research grants or have a lot of time on their hands or both.

Anyway, I’ll park the cynicism for the time being and get to the point.

Would be mothers in their 40s, will struggle to have children with male partners the same age. There might be no such thing as male menopause but that doesn’t mean the biological clock isn’t ticking for blokes. Gill University researchers say the fertility clock stops for men at the age of 43. According to their study, a man’s age is maybe just as important as it is for a woman when they both reach their 40s and want to conceive.

It upends previous thinking on this because it was said that men could go on fathering children indefinitely because they are continuously producing new sperm in contrast to women who have the same eggs from birth. But scientists are starting to believe and see evidence of mutations creeping into sperm over time, which affects male fertility. As if men didn’t have enough to worry about.

One of main Gill University researchers told a fertility conference in Hawaii that the findings were “astounding.” There’s no such thing as understatement at Gill University.

He said it was previously thought that young women could always “fix” any defects in genetic material in sperm but once she hit the naughty forties forget it. The lead researcher went on to say that this gives a biological argument to the cougar phenomenon of an older woman selecting a younger male partner. This was the first study of its type to look at this in a scientific way.

The researchers studied women aged between 40 and 46 who undertook 904 IVF cycles between 2010 and 2012. In couples where the male was 43 or older, no children were born. But older women with younger partners went on to conceive babies.

The news just keeps on getting worse for older would be fathers. Previous studies have shown the children fathered by men over 55, are at greater risk of autism, bipolar disorder, low IQ and schizophrenia.

But the new research suggests that even in their early forties, men are already beginning to lose their fertility.

According to the Gill University researchers for a 37 or 36-year-old woman, the man’s age is not such a factor. But once she hits 40, a woman’s reproduction undergoes changes and when those changes occur the age of her male partner becomes a factor.

The reality is that most men are probably with women of a similar age, so as the woman gets older, so does her partner. But when they both reach 40, the scientific evidence suggests the biological clock in the man contributes to his ability, make that inability, to produce children.

Over the past 40 years the average age for bearing children in the UK, and pretty much everywhere else in the world, has been steadily increasing for men and women. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, the average woman gives birth just a week short of her 30th birthday while first time mothers are also older, at just over 28. The average age of a father is now 32 years and six months.

Women are born with all their eggs, but male sperm is constantly replicating. Each time, a single sperm replicates, there is a chance for mutation in the DNA to occur. As men age, they are also exposed to numerous environmental toxins over time which have been shown to cause DNA mutations in sperm. Molecular genetic studies have shown that the sperm of older men have far more mutations than those of younger men.

Professor Dagan Wells, a leading fertility expert at Oxford University backed the Canadian findings saying that older women may find it easier to get pregnant with a younger man.

“We know that the DNA in the sperm of older men suffers a loss of integrity. The DNA should be a nice long uninterrupted molecule but in older men it breaks up into little bits. The egg is rich in enzymes which repairs DNA damage but it could be that (as women age) that the egg is getting more challenged. There might be a tipping point,” he said.

What about older men who manage to have children with much younger partners? Surely that is a sign they still have what it takes? Not according to these scientists. Men who become fathers in their 50s or 60s are not more virile, they are just more likely to have a younger partner whose egg has repaired their mutated sperm.

And just to complete the humiliation for older guys, Professor Charles Kingsland, consultant gynecologist at Liverpool Womens’ NHS Foundation Trust, added: “There are biological reasons why an older woman would benefit from a younger man. Not only are male sperm likely to be healthier but women live a lot longer.”

Ouch.

At The Moment My Cat Likes It A Little Too Much For My Liking

We have a foster cat. She is a seven-month-old tortoiseshell called Sadie. One of the things we do is provide a temporary home for cats and dogs that would otherwise be on death row. It’s a pit stop until they can find their forever home.

But right now, Sadie, our foster cat, is driving me nuts. She is on heat and up for it. Big time. I am living with a nymphomaniac who is not getting any. Believe me, that is a very bad combination. I can’t help thinking she was named after that William Somerset Maugham book about a fallen woman called Sadie Thompson. It is such an appropriate name.

It’s not that I mind the way Sadie crouches down, raises her hind-quarters and thrusts her backside in the air. I don’t even mind it when she seductively wraps herself around my ankles or the coquettish way she stares with great concentration and then rolls around on her back. She reminds me of that Nine Inch Nails song I want to f***k you like an animal although I prefer the version done by the group Lady Does It Better. Check it out on Youtube.

What is getting to me is Sadie’s constant, bloody, chirping. Chirp, chirp, chirp all over the house. It’s either chirping or this loud, throaty yowling roooooowwwww. Talk about grievous bodily harm of the eardrums.There is no mistaking her intentions. It’s come and get it boys, I’m all yours. Therein lies the second problem. If she managed to get outside, then every Tom in the street would be lining up. Sadie would be up the duff in no time at all and the world would be populated with even more unwanted kittens. So she has to stay inside and I have to suffer.

Now if I was a tomcat I would be more than happy to oblige just to keep her happy and quiet. But I’m not. So it’s impossible. I’ve tried telling her but she doesn’t listen. We have three other male cats of our own but they are all duds as far as she is concerned. None of them have any balls at all. They don’t have the slightest interest apart from one, who occasionally likes to sniff her nether regions. Probably remembering a long forgotten time. But he’s just window-shopping with absolutely no intention of buying any of the merchandise. Our two dogs are in the same position as me. Sorry but we can’t help.

I’ve been told that Sadie can’t be neutered until she stops with the promiscuous behavior and goes off heat. It did stop for a brief time but it returned again with a vengeance and worse still, it’s showing no signs of disappearing any time soon.

In one desperate moment, a mad thought did briefly cross my mind. What about inviting one of the neighbor-hood Tom’s over just to shut her up? Of course I dismissed it just as quickly. But it did get me thinking and wondering. Do cats have recreational sex just like humans? I’m talking about sex for pleasure and not simply procreation.  Many animals do such as dolphins, rats, horses and birds of the feathered kind. But Guess what? Cats don’t. They only have sex when the female is on heat. It lasts seven to ten days and can occur every few weeks. Once reproduction is achieved the Yes turns into a giant, fat, no way known.

So I guess I just have to bide my time and get ready to rush her to the vet the minute there is a break in proceedings.

Either that, or get a gun and take her out the back and shoot her. Bang, bang. Of course I am having a big joke. But if you could ask Sadie I’m sure she’d say please take me out the back so we can have a bang, bang as in gang-bang. Yippee.