by Avner Hershlag, MD, Chief of the Center for Human Reproduction.
It is truly astonishing that a fashion house, which is supposed to be forward thinking of the trends in what men and women wear, is trying to set us back in time to the dark ages, when infertile men and women had no option of having children.
1978 saw the first #IVF baby, born in England. Fast forward in time and there are now more than six million human beings who have been born through this process. IVF entails fertilization outside the body in cases where the body is unable to achieve a pregnancy. Both egg and sperm are real. There is nothing synthetic about them (unlike many of the clothes made by Dolce and Gabbana).
Contrary to the premise that seeps through the commentaries from D&G, IVF does not represent a break in the loving relationship in couples. Infertility poses a significant threat to maintaining a bond between two partners – with no children to cement the relationship, and with the escalating anxiety and frustration in the face of failed attempts at procreation. IVF is the most powerful instrument to help infertile couples convert their loving relationship into a successful pursuit of a happy family.
As fertility becomes an ever more talked about topic, it was only a matter of time before it became a topic in entertainment.
In “The Mindy Project,” Mindy is trying to start her own fertility clinic, but is finding out that starting her own business is harder than expected. Besides the fact that the show displays a humorous take on fertility, it is encouraging to see fertility so talked about.
In the last 10 or so years especially, fertility has gone from being a topic only discussed with your spouse and doctor behind closed doors to a topic discussed during dinner parties and at bars and with employers. As technology continues to advance and astound us, more couples are finding success with getting help for their fertility woes, be it with in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), donor eggs or sperm, reproductive surgery, or other types of assistance.
Fertility should never be something you struggle with alone. There are thousands of people who are going through the same thing as you. Talk to friend, join a support group, or make an appointment with your doctor to get the help you need in dealing with your fertility and finding out if there is a way you can become a parent after all.
March is #Endometriosis Month. Save the date for the 2nd Annual Worldwide #EndoMarch for endometriosis awareness, taking place in dozens of cities around the world on Saturday, March 28, 2015. http://www.endomarch.org/
Registration for Washington, DC, and Palo Alto, California is now closed, as maximum capacity has been reached (ie, ‘sold out’). However, registration for the other independently-hosted USA & International events is still open — including New York, NY. To register for the events that are still open, please visit the following registration link: http://tinyurl.com/o74k33p.
There are countless negative effects of obesity on a person’s body. For women in particular, being obese can be a serious hindrance to getting pregnant.
To make the situation even worse, scientists have discovered that the negative effects of obesity don’t just harm the mother, but can actually be passed down to her children as well. Rebecca Robker, Associate Professor from the Robinson Research Institute at the University of Adelaide, says obesity can “result in altered growth of babies during pregnancy, and it permanently programs the metabolism of offspring, passing the damage caused by obesity from one generation to the next.”
Obesity leads to a specific stress response that damages the mitochondria in the body. Since all of your mitochondria come from your mother, whatever state hers is in is the state yours will be in as well. When researchers learned this, they were set on finding out how to stop this from happening. The researchers “identified the type of stress involved [and then] used compounds known to alleviate that stress in the cells. These compounds were highly successful in preventing the stress response, thereby stopping the damage from obesity being passed onto the offspring. It restored egg quality, embryo development and mitochondrial DNA to levels equivalent to those of a healthy mother.”
The best thing you can do to increase your chances of becoming pregnant are to exercise regularly and eat healthily. Talk to your doctor about any other concerns you might have about getting pregnant and find out how you could soon be on the path to parenthood.
Over the years, archaeologists have been able to learn vast amounts about an ancient culture by uncovering artifacts, whether they are art, writing or objects in the ground. Recently they’ve found that cultures 8000 years ago were just as concerned about fertility as we are today.
In several different locations, archaeologists have uncovered stone formations that are akin to worship sites, suggesting that these were places where people would pray to fertility gods. Rocks in the shape of both a vulva and a penis have been found at several locations. Although archaeologists aren’t sure what went on during these ceremonies, the formations are strongly reminiscent of other cults whose artifacts have been discovered nearby.
Today, we have brilliant minds and state-of-the-art technology to help us figure out why some people are unable to conceive. If you have been experiencing difficulty getting pregnant, don’t leave your success up to fate; talk to a doctor to find out what can be done to help you achieve your dream of having a child.
While Valentine’s Day is a day meant to celebrate the love between you and your significant other, it often can turn into a day of heavy expectations and comparison with those around you. It can be an especially emotional day if you are currently struggling with infertility. This Valentine’s, here are a few ways to keep your day happy:
—Don’t Expect Perfection
No one is perfect—including you! If you or your honey aren’t super romantic, that probably won’t change overnight. Even small ways of showing your love, even if it’s just saying “thank you for going through life with me,” can be special.
—Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
People only post their highlights on social media, not the normalcy of day-to-day life. Put down your smartphone and focus your time and energy on the person you are with.
—Take a Day Off From Fertility Talk
If you are trying to become pregnant, that thought is no doubt consuming your mind. Set aside this one day to be about just the two of you. Agree to not talk about fertility at all; reminisce about when you first started dating or what made you fall in love with that person in the first place.
Let Valentine’s be a day you look forward to because of the love you already have in your life. But do not struggle alone with infertility; talk to your doctor about what the issue might be, and begin your journey to parenthood.
Doctors are now suggesting that if you have unexplained infertility, get tested for celiac disease.
Celiac affects about one in 100 people. If you are celiac, you cannot consume wheat, barley or rye; doing so results in intestinal damage, malnutrition, and other issues.
A research team recently pooled results from previously published research studies to explore the link between celiac disease and infertility. “Women with infertility were 3.5 times more likely to have celiac disease than women who didn’t have difficulty conceiving, the analysis found, based on a review of three studies including 449 women with infertility. For women with no known cause for their infertility, the connection was even stronger. These women were six times more likely to have celiac disease, based on data from five studies including 422 women with unexplained infertility.”
Typically doctors first send women experiencing difficulty conceiving to an endocrinologist to investigate hormonal issues or imbalances. Women are told to record their basal body temperature (BBT) for about three months to see if they are ovulating regularly; if there are still issues after that time, women may also be asked to undergo a blood or urine test. But because doctors and researchers are discovering that celiac is quite often the issue with being unable to conceive, they are recommending doing a test for celiac the first time a woman comes in to see a doctor.
If you are concerned about your inability to conceive or are wondering if you have celiac, talk to a doctor today.
This controversial procedure replaces damaged mitochondrial DNA from the biological mother with that of a donor, who has healthy DNA. Read more here.
The Center for Human Reproduction is happy to assist same sex couples build families with the help of fertility treatments. The course of treatment is different for every couple and can include insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation and sperm donation. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Having trouble getting pregnant or experiencing several miscarriages? Doctors are recommending that you have your thyroid checked out.
The thyroid has long been a factor that affects fertility. Usually testing for thyroid issues isn’t done, but a new report suggests it should be. “The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the front of the neck. It secretes hormones involved in regulating metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, growth, development, and body temperature. Thyroid hormone is also important for embryonic development. An underactive or overactive thyroid can affect the menstrual cycle. A sluggish thyroid can mean you don’t always ovulate. Another thyroid problem may increase the risk of miscarriage, research finds.”
Professor of medicine and physiology at UCLA’s School of Medicine, Dr. Gregory Brent, says that general symptoms of a thyroid issue can be fatigue, feeling cold, dry and brittle hair, and weight gain. Though those are broad symptoms, it’s best to get tested if you are experiencing any of them. The test is very simple and widely available and involves having blood drawn. Thyroid issues can often be successfully treated by taking medication.
There is no way to know if your thyroid is playing a part in your inability to conceive unless you talk to your doctor. Schedule an appointment today to find out how you can achieve your dream of having a child.