If you are experiencing difficulty getting pregnant and have decided to see a doctor, you may now be at a crossroads of which doctor to see: a fertility specialist or an OB/GYN. What are the differences, and when should you go to each one?
An obstetrician-gynecologist, commonly called an OB/GYN, has gone through four years of undergraduate schooling, four years of medical school, and usually four years of residency before she can see her own patients. She is trained in understanding the body both in day-to-day life as well as in pregnancy. See your OB/GYN first for a preliminary fertility evaluation. If your evaluation results show that you may have a fertility issue, you should then consider seeing a fertility specialist.
A fertility specialist has gone through all the schooling an OB/GYN goes through, but also has completed an additional three years of schooling specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. If your periods are irregular or extremely painful, you have a difficult time tracking your ovulation, you’ve had more than one miscarriage, you or your partner has an STD, or you have other health concerns that could be affecting your fertility, see a fertility specialist.
Talk to your doctor today about any fertility concerns you have and who you should be talking to. Do not wait any longer to start your journey to becoming a parent!
To learn more about this sleep study and it’s correlation to your fertility, click through to the article on Live Science.
Finally — what doctors have suspected for a long time, and what may seem obvious — a study
from Human Reproduction
supports the connection between stress and a woman’s fertility — specifically, a reduction in fertility.
Severe stress can cause a woman to experience irregular ovulation and in the most extreme cases it can temporarily cease ovulation.
There could be many possibilities or multiple reasons for a woman to experience infertility, and it’s always best to make an appointment with a fertility specialist to understand what is going on in your unique situation. But when it comes to stress, we need to take the lead. Although we may not be able to control the circumstances that create it, we can learn better techniques on how to manage that stress. Here are 10 simple things you can do to reduce stress in your life.
Meditate: one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to reduce stress.
Exercise: a consistent exercise program is a healthy habit to adopt.
Socialize: connect with other people to put your issues in perspective.
Keep a Journal: writing about your issues de-escalates their negative impact.
Eat a Healthy Diet: a healthy body is simply better equipped to deal with stress.
Get Good Sleep: a good restful nights sleep is often under-rated.
Yoga: promoting relaxation, practicing yoga is the opposite of stress.
Aromatherapy: the right aromas can invoke soothing and relaxing memories.
Listen to Music: slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
Get a Massage: a 15-minute chair massage can do wonders
If you are having trouble getting pregnant, a common cause could be that you have blockage in your fallopian tubes. The most common way doctors determine if you have this blockage is by using a dye inserted into your fallopian tubes and then doing an x-ray, but this procedure is often quite painful for patients. Now, a new technique is in place that involves much less discomfort: bubbles, saline water, and ultrasounds.
“Using the FemVue Sono HSG, the physician delivers the mixture of saline and air bubbles into the uterus through a small catheter, which then flows into the fallopian tubes. Under ultrasound, the air bubbles are highly visible as they travel through the tubes, allowing the physician to determine if a blockage exists.” This is physically a much more pleasant procedure, and has the added benefit of the patient not needing to undergo an x-ray.
This new technique solves other problems that the first technique also had. Many women feared the pain of the procedure and would not attempt it at all, even though undergoing it may give them answers as to their infertility. Some women were allergic to the dye and therefore physically could not undergo it.
The FemVue Sono technique is performed at a clinic. Ideal candidates are women who have already had at least one child and do not have a high risk for tubal disease. The test should be performed after the period has ended but before ovulation begins. The results are usually delivered immediately following the procedure before you leave the clinic.
There are many reasons your tubes might be blocked, as well as other reasons in general that you are experiencing infertility. Schedule an appointment today with your fertility doctor to get the answers you’ve been searching for.
Obesity comes with a list of health issues, a fact that is well-known. Impaired fertility is definitely an effect of being overweight. It might be surprising to find out that obesity’s effect on fertility is applicable to both women and men alike. For men, it is important to boost your fertility not only by eating healthily, but also by working out.
“At Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center, 137 men seeking fertility treatments between 2006 and 2012 were evaluated on the relationship between their sperm concentrations and their exercise habits. The study found men who engaged in moderate to high intensity exercise for seven hours a week showed 48% higher sperm concentrations than those who exercised less than one hour per week.”
Is there a certain type of working out that is better? Turns out there is: weight lifting and outdoor activities. Studies show weight lifting increases testosterone and improves insulin management. To get the biggest testosterone boost from your weight lifting, do three to four sets of 8-12 reps and select exercises that work different muscles at the same time, such as squats, pull-ups, and push-ups. Outdoor activities increase vitamin D, which has been shown to positively impact fertility.
If biking is your chosen activity for staying fit, it might be worthwhile to take a break from it. In the same study as mentioned earlier, men who biked for over an hour a week had a 34% lower sperm count than those who didn’t. The pressure from the seat on a man’s scrotum as well as the high heat in that specific area has shown to negatively impact fertility.
Your fertility doctor will have the best answers as to what to do to improve your fertility. Schedule an appointment today to find out how you could soon be on the path to parenthood.
“This article is a very large study out of Europe which looks at a large population of men donating sperm and they basically controlled for men’s age and saw that the age of the men who were donating sperm would not affect the pregnancy rate.”
Christine Mullin, MD
Read more about this at the North Shore News Room.
Dr. Tomer Singer
In 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) said egg freezing through vitrification should no longer be considered experimental.
Since that announcement, fertility specialists say they’ve seen much more interest in egg freezing. Dr. Tomer Singer, director of the Egg Freezing Program at North Shore LIJ Center for Human Reproduction, estimates that before 2012, his clinic saw about five to 10 patients interested in egg freezing per year. Now, he gets the same number of inquiries on a weekly basis.
Dr. Singer says the new process could increase interest as it is perfected and the cost comes down. Currently, the cost of egg collection can range from about $5,000 to more than $15,000, depending on where women have the procedure done and how many eggs they freeze.
Read the full article, by Rachael Rettner at Live Science.
To most of us untrained people, the body is a mystery as to why it does the things it does. By the time we’re adults, we’ve learned to just accept its quirks without trying to figure them out. However, a new at-home test on the market hopefully in early 2015 is increasing the amount of information any non-doctor, regular guy can learn about his body.
The creators—Ayub Khattak with a background in math and biochemistry and Clint Sever with a background in product design and engineering—created the company Cue. Khattak was interested in seeing if the same basic principle behind a home glucose tester could be applied to other body fluids to test for other things. This led the two men to create a small base-unit tester that has disposable cartridges for testing different body fluids.
According to information released about the Cue, “Users put a fluid into a cartridge, plug it in, and the Cue base unit delivers test results wirelessly over Bluetooth to an app on their phone. The flu is one of five things Cue plans to assess in its initial model, alongside fertility, testosterone, inflammation, and vitamin D levels.”
This is good news for those trying to get pregnant. For women, the Cue could tell if it’s a good time to try to conceive. For men, it could measure testosterone levels which can also be an indicator of if it is currently a good time to try to conceive.
While the Cue could be a great first step for figuring out your body, nothing is more effective when trying to get pregnant than visiting a fertility doctor. If you have questions or are having trouble conceiving, make an appointment today so you can soon start your path to parenthood.
Time-lapse photography which is a technology that has been around since the early 20th century is providing new hope in the field of fertility. Continuous pictures of the embryos taken while in the lab, allow the doctor to select the embryo that is most likely to achieve a pregnancy. This technology allows doctors to better select the best embryo, and is dramatically increasing pregnancy rates. More importantly, doctors are able to confidently decrease the number of embryos transferred; therefore, avoiding risks of multiple births to both mother and baby.
Read more about the Eeva System time-lapse photography devise.
We are always looking for new ways to assist fertility patients that are just as good as our older techniques but less uncomfortable. However, we want to be careful that these newer techniques are just as accurate as the old ones before we start using them routinely. This is the reason we switched from the painful injections of progesterone that all our IVF patients used to take to the more comfortable vaginal suppositories, once we were reassured by studies that they worked just as well. We will certainly be looking out to see if this newer bubble technique of looking at the fallopian tubes truly does give us the information we need — and if it does, maybe one day we will use it too.
Read more about the Bubble Ultrasound technique.