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Archive for the ‘Pre-Conception Health’ Category

Goodbye Shame: Losing the Stigma of Infertility Workshop

By Tracey Minella

May 3rd, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Let’s talk about the stress, shame, and stigma of infertility. No, really, let’s talk about it.

When a couple cannot conceive without assisted reproductive technology, they often feel guilt and shame. Society sends a message that procreation should happen without assisted reproductive technology. And those who can’t get pregnant the old-fashioned way often feel like failures. Their shame often forces them to suffer in silence, hoping this month will be the month. Hoping no one will ever have to know they had a problem conceiving.

Overwhelmed, many infertile couples throw themselves into their treatment. They go through the hectic schedule of sonograms, lab work, and injections. They deal with the financial burdens, the insurance headaches, and the job stress. But they don’t realize that keeping the secret and the toll it places on their mind and body may be detrimental. And nobody needs another obstacle to conceiving.

The stigma of infertility is real. It is completely unwarranted, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that it exists in society and it impacts countless infertile couples who are struggling on so many levels: physically, mentally, financially, emotionally, and socially.

Unburden yourself tonight. Long Island IVF is offering a free workshop hosted by our infertility specialist counselor Bina Benisch, MS, RN in our Melville office on “Losing the Stigma of Infertility”. All are welcome, no need to be a patient to attend. Preregister here.

Past attendees often say they were a bit hesitant to come in but were so happy they took the chance. There’s never any pressure to join the discussion.

Imagine being in a room with a small group of people who are struggling and feeling so much of what you are going through right now. The in-law pressures, juggling work and treatment, the endless baby showers, the jealousy and fear and frustration. Imagine being with others who also only have each other to confide in, but now having the chance to unload—the chance to process those emotions and unburden yourself with the help of a caring specialist. What an amazing opportunity for healing. In fact, many past attendees were so comfortable by the end of the session that they stayed connected and lasting friendships were formed.

Nobody understands. Nobody other than those who are walking in your stirrups and the skilled professionals who help you along the way.

Let’s heal tonight. Please join us for a transformative experience.

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Long Island IVF Nutrition for Fertility Workshop

By Tracey Minella

April 19th, 2018 at 8:11 am

 

Drive right past those golden arches and get yourself over to Long Island IVF for a fun, free event on “Nutrition for Fertility” on Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 PM. Learn how nutrition impacts fertility and find out how your diet may be sabotaging your ability to conceive.

Register here for this nutrition event and several other National Infertility Awareness Week events on yoga, acupuncture, and losing the stigma of infertility. All #NIAW events are free and all are welcome–no need to be a patient to attend. But preregistration is required to claim your spot.

Infertility is hard and the stress understandably sends many toward comfort food. Unfortunately, many comfort foods aren’t healthy and a poor diet can negatively impact your fertility. In fact, some common diets may increase your likelihood of infertility by as much as 85%! So, put down that milkshake and greasy fries and learn about great-tasting, healthy-eating options that may work for– instead of against– your fertility.

Break the vicious cycle and get some control over your fertility back by learning how important good nutrition is in the infertility battle. There isn’t a lot we can control when getting pregnant requires assisted reproductive technologies like IVF or IUI, but we are in control of what and how we eat. So, let’s take advantage of it.

Why not come down to this fun and free nutrition workshop led by certified holistic health coach, Renée Barbis, and learn what to eat when you’re trying to conceive and how proper nutrition can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy and nourish your growing baby.

This event is the first in a series of four events celebrating National Infertility Awareness Week 2018 at Long Island IVF.

Register now to claim your spot for what will surely be a fun and informative evening. Bring your partner or a friend or come alone. All are welcome. Adults only. You will leave feeling inspired and empowered to enhance your own fertility through proper nutrition.

We hope to see you there!

 

 

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Long Island IVF Celebrates National Infertility Awareness Week 2018 with Several Exciting Events!

By Tracey Minella

April 4th, 2018 at 11:29 pm

image: Resolve @ www.infertilityawareness. org

 

Each year, Long Island IVF celebrates National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) with a series of fun and educational events. This year, NIAW runs from April 22-28. The theme for this year is “Flip the Script”!

NIAW is devoted to raising awareness of infertility and advocating for change and better accessibility to and affordability of infertility treatment. This year through the theme “#FlipTheScript—RESOLVE wants to change the conversation around infertility so the public, media, insurers, healthcare professionals and lawmakers” understand the scope of the problem of infertility, the barriers to treatment, and its far-reaching impact. Learn more here.

So be sure to mark your calendars with these upcoming events—all of which are free and open to the public. No need to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend.

You’ll find a nice mix of offerings—some traditional favorites and some new things in the mix! Register now by clicking each link below. Here is the thrilling line up:

Tuesday April 24thNutrition for Fertility Workshop with Renee Barbis, Holistic Health Coach

Wednesday April 25thYoga for Fertility Session with Lisa Pineda of Lisa Pineda Yoga

Thursday April 26thAcupuncture for Fertility Seminar with Dr. David Kreiner and guests

Thursday May 3rd (NOT NIAW)—Losing the Stigma Workshop with Bina Benisch, MS, RN

 

If you’ve been trying to conceive without success and could use a fun night out with other women in the same boat, this invitation is for you.

All events will take place after business hours at the Long Island IVF office in Melville. Don’t delay, register today!

Will we see YOU at any or all of these great events???

 

image courtesy of Resolve, the National Infertility Association at www.infertilityawareness.org

 

 

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A New Year’s Plan Beats a Resolution When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

January 2nd, 2018 at 8:41 am

breaking resolutions

image credit: Ryan McGuire-Gratisography

We’ve barely cracked into the New Year and I’m already tired of hearing about people’s resolutions. Including yours, I bet. And here’s why…

We all make them. We all break them. The thing that frustrates me about other people’s resolutions is that they are generally related to things that are within the maker’s control to make happen. Something the person can do themselves… or can stop doing. Something that doesn’t require the assistance of somebody else. Something that could be guaranteed to be successful if the person merely put in the required effort.

That’s what’s so hard about infertility and the fertility-based resolutions that come from its sufferers.

How many of you struggling to have a child made the same New Year’s resolution yet again…To have a baby this year?

It’s a wish. It’s a dream. And, yes, it’s everything… but it’s not a resolution. At least not to infertile people. Because it is not something within your power to control. At the very least it requires a third-party – – a reproductive endocrinologist– to make it happen. Plus, it requires money which could be an obstacle for some people.

So, the outcome of your so-called “baby resolution” is not in your sole control. And as important a role as your doctor plays, and as great as IVF success rates have become at a quality practice, success is not guaranteed on the first try– or even at all in some cases. The sad reality is that only the fertile folks can make baby resolutions.

Making a resolution to have a baby is setting yourself up to fail, like the dieters who have already cheated and the smokers already back outside puffing away in the bitter cold. And don’t we already heap enough feelings of failure on ourselves?

So, make a New Year’s plan not a resolution.

It may sound like semantics, but the mere word “resolution” in general is tied so often to failure that you need to leave it behind when it comes to your fertility. Choose to plan.

When you plan, you take action. When you plan, you take control. Rather than weakly resolving that you’re going to have a baby this year, get proactive and plan for it. Take control of what is within your control.

So many factors that could positively impact your fertility (as well as your general health) are within your control, so:

 

  • get adequate sleep,
  • drink lots of water to stay hydrated,
  • eat healthy and/or organic foods,
  • take vitamins and exercise with your doctor’s approval,
  • lose excess weight with your doctor’s approval,
  • stop bad habits like smoking or drinking excessively,
  • consider complementary holistic mind-body therapies and fertility acupuncture,
  • research financial options for infertility treatment.

 

Long Island IVF’s payment options, including grants, may help finance your infertility treatment. While it’s never easy to change jobs (or add an extra job) especially in economically-challenging times, more companies are offering insurance coverage for infertility treatment these days, including positions that don’t require special skills or advanced education, such as at Starbucks.

Listen to the voice in your head if it’s telling you something may be wrong and stop delaying having a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist about the state of your fertility.

In fact, even if you are not currently trying to get pregnant, you may benefit from a fertility screening to see if there are any noticeable “red flags” about your reproductive health that might impact your future fertility plans. While it might be scary, knowing is always better than not knowing because it can let you take proactive steps before it’s too late, such as freezing your eggs while you are younger as “insurance” for use later if needed. Or just bumping up your baby plans if there are signs that that would be advisable, like a diminished ovarian reserve.

If you would like a fertility screening, or if you have been unable to become (or remain) pregnant and would like an initial consultation for fertility treatment, please contact us at any of our Long Island or Brooklyn offices.

2018 is a milestone year for Long Island IVF as we are celebrating our 30-year anniversary this summer. We are proud to have pioneered IVF here and to have brought Long Island its first IVF baby… and we treasure every baby we’ve helped bring into this world ever since.

Let us help you make 2018 a milestone year as well. Contact us today.

 

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September is PCOS Awareness Month

By David Kreiner MD

September 1st, 2017 at 9:05 am

, via Wikimedia Commons”]Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or “PCOS”,  is the most common hormonal disorder of reproductive age women, occurring in over 7% of women at some point in their lifetime.  It usually develops during the teen years.  Treatment can assist women attempting to conceive, help control the symptoms and prevent long term health problems.

The most common cause of PCOS is glucose intolerance resulting in abnormally high insulin levels.  If a woman does not respond normally to insulin her blood sugar levels rise, triggering the body to produce more insulin.  The insulin stimulates your ovaries to produce male sex hormones called androgens.  Testosterone is a common androgen and is often elevated in women with PCOS.  These androgens block the development and maturation of a woman’s ovarian follicles, preventing ovulation resulting in irregular menses and infertility.  Androgens may also trigger development of acne and extra facial and body hair.  It will increase lipids in the blood.  The elevated blood sugar from insulin resistance can develop into diabetes.

Symptoms may vary but the most common are acne, weight gain, extra hair on the face and body, thinning of hair on the scalp, irregular periods and infertility.

Ovaries develop numerous small follicles that look like cysts hence the name polycystic ovary syndrome.  These cysts themselves are not harmful but in response to fertility treatment can result in a condition known as Ovarian Hyperstimulation syndrome, or OHSS.

Hyperstimulation syndrome involves ovarian swelling, fluid accumulating in the belly and occasionally around the lungs.  A woman with Hyperstimulation syndrome may become dehydrated increasing her risk of developing blood clots.  Becoming pregnant adds to the stimulation and exacerbates the condition leading many specialists to cancel cycles in which a woman is at high risk of developing Hyperstimulation.  They may also prescribe aspirin to prevent clot formation.

These cysts may lead to many eggs maturing in response to fertility treatment also placing patients at a high risk of developing a high order multiple pregnancy.  Due to this unique risk, it may be advantageous to avoid aggressive stimulation of the ovaries unless the eggs are removed as part of an in vitro fertilization procedure.

A diagnosis of PCOS may be made by history and physical examination including an ultrasound of the ovaries.  A glucose tolerance test is most useful to determine the presence of glucose intolerance and diabetes.  Hormone assays will also be helpful in making a differential diagnosis.

Treatment starts with regular exercise and a diet including healthy foods with a controlled carbohydrate intake.  This can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes.  It can also help you lose weight if you need to.

Quitting smoking will help reduce androgen levels and reduce the risk for heart disease.  Birth control pills help regulate periods and reduce excess facial hair and acne.  Laser hair removal has also been used successfully to reduce excess hair.

A diabetes medicine called metformin can help control insulin and blood sugar levels.  This can help lower androgen levels, regulate menstrual cycles and improve fertility.  Fertility medications, in particular clomiphene are often needed in addition to metformin to get a woman to ovulate and will assist many women to conceive.

The use of gonadotropin hormone injections without egg removal as performed as part of an IVF procedure may result in Hyperstimulation syndrome and/or multiple pregnancies and therefore one must be extremely cautious in its use.  In vitro fertilization has been very successful and offers a means for a woman with PCOS to conceive without a significant risk for developing a multiple pregnancy especially when associated with a single embryo transfer.   Since IVF is much more successful than insemination or intercourse with gonadotropin stimulation, IVF will reduce the number of potential exposures a patient must have to Hyperstimulation syndrome before conceiving.

It can be hard to deal with having PCOS.  If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to others who have the condition.  Ask your doctor about support groups and for treatment that can help you with your symptoms.  Remember, PCOS can be annoying, aggravating even depressing but it is fortunately a very treatable disorder.

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Do you suffer from PCOS? Do you have any advice to share for other “cysters”?

 

Photo credit:

By Anne Mousse (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEchographie_pelvienne%2C_aplio_toshiba_ssa_700_5_2004_03_detail.jpg

 

 

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Long Island IVF Fertility Acupuncture Seminar: What’s the Point?

By Tracey Minella

June 20th, 2017 at 7:35 am

So much about infertility is out of your control. In fact, next to the paralyzing fear and constant worry that you might never become parents, the lack of control over your body’s ability to reproduce when– and as often as– you want is probably the most maddening part of infertility.

So, when it comes to treatment options, it’s common to think a bit too aggressively and want things that deep down you know aren’t considered safe—like transferring back 8 embryos at once—just because you hope it’ll increase the odds of getting pregnant. Desperation can do that to you, especially if your journey is taking a long time.

Fortunately, there is a better and safer option. It’s fertility acupuncture. And it is available at Long Island IVF. Acupuncture is holistic—an ancient, trusted treatment—that might improve your chances of success with IVF. So, shouldn’t you learn more about it?

It gets better: This exclusive, yet very affordable, natural therapy might even help if you’ve had prior unsuccessful IVF cycles. And fertility acupuncture costs less than $200 per IVF cycle. Are you ready to learn more from the doctor who performs it and other local experts?

With so much riding on the outcome of an IVF cycle—emotionally and financially—many patients are looking closely at ways to “customize” their traditional IVF cycle. Depending on a patient’s particular case, customized “add-on” treatments might include such things as ICSI, PGS/PGD, and other cutting-edge Western medicine offerings.

Now, there is something from the East that shows promise, too… Acupuncture for fertility.

Long Island IVF is the first infertility practice with a Reproductive Endocrinologist who is also a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and a NYS certified medical acupuncturist.

Motivated by a desire to find complementary holistic approaches to enhance today’s best Western medical technologies, Long Island IVF co-founder and REI, Dr. David Kreiner, went back to school to study TCM after over 30 years of making babies.

Dr. Kreiner is now applying that acupuncture training in the IVF procedure room, both pre- and post-IVF transfer–exclusively to ALL interested Long Island IVF patients. IVF patients… especially those for whom Western medicine alone has not yet produced a baby…may benefit from adding this ancient therapy. Could this be the missing piece?

Long Island IVF’s Acupuncture Program is hosting a free seminar with Dr. Kreiner and a special guest–local acupuncturist James Vitale, M.S., LAc. — to discuss topics related to improving IVF success with acupuncture. You may also see a live demonstration of fertility acupuncture.

Don’t miss this special FREE program on Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm at our Melville office at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required. Register here now: http://bit.ly/2pt8c0K

We look forward to seeing you there. Please contact Lindsay Montello, Patient Services, at 631-752-0606 or LMontello@liivf.com with any questions.

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Are you coming to the Acupuncture Seminar?

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Reiki for Fertility Free Sessions at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

June 1st, 2017 at 9:50 am

 

Are you ready for four weeks of free Reiki therapy to reduce the stress of infertility and possibly increase your chances of conceiving?

 

As anyone who has melted down monthly over negative pregnancy tests knows all too well, infertility is beyond stressful—as in constant, unrelentingly awful levels of stressful. But there are holistic ways to reduce stress and potentially increase the odds of conceiving that longed-for pregnancy.

 

The Mind-Body Medicine Program at Long Island IVF has long-offered specialized group and individual therapy sessions for infertiles, led by our infertility specialist and psychologist Bina Benisch, MS, RN. In addition to these wildly popular sessions, Bina also conducts occasional workshops on keeping the romance in lovemaking while trying to conceive, and on how to “come out” of the infertility closet to family and friends.

 

Bina is also an experienced Reiki Master and now, she’s offering something else that’s really exciting. Or should we say really relaxing?

 

It’s Reiki. Only at Long Island IVF. Open to all—you don’t have to be a patient of the practice. Get in on this 4-week free program while spots are available. Pre-registration is required so click here to sign up now.

 

Reiki is a “simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement.” It’s a stress reduction and relaxation technique from Japan founded on the belief that a “life force energy” flows through the body and that our health is connected to its strength. If the energy is low, we may be stressed or sickly and raising it may make us feel happier or healthier. Meditative in nature, Reiki “feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you” and “treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.”*

 

Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or are using assisted reproductive technology like IVF to conceive, the holistic Reiki therapy may enhance your efforts by helping you to relax.

 

In an effort to bring attention to Reiki therapy through Long Island IVF’s Mind-Body Medicine program, we are offering this limited-time, free four-week Reiki series. With such positive feedback from our innovative Acupuncture for Fertility program and our recent free Yoga for Fertility Night, patients seeking holistic alternatives to complement their Western medicine fertility treatment protocols have found all of these options under one roof.

 

Do something relaxing for yourself this summer and come down for Reiki with Bina.

 

The four (4) Reiki sessions will be held at Long Island IVF’s Melville office 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York on the following Monday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm:

 

  • Monday June 12
  • Monday June 19
  • Monday June 26
  • Monday July 10

 

Remember, the sessions are free but spots are limited, so pre-register now here.

 

Can’t wait to see you there. Please contact Lindsay Montello, Patient Services, at 631-752-0606 or LMontello@liivf.com with any questions.

 

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Are you coming to Reiki?

 

 

 

* http://www.reiki.org/faq/WhatIsReiki.html

 

 


 

 

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March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

By David Kreiner MD

March 1st, 2017 at 12:20 pm

 

photo: Ryan McGuire/gratisography.com


I don’t have to tell you that endometriosis can be a very painful illness and that it can cause infertility. It is often a reproductive lifelong struggle in which tissue that normally lines the uterus migrates or implants into other parts of the body, most often in the pelvic lining and ovaries. This leads to pain and swelling and often times difficulty conceiving.

If you have endometriosis, you are not alone. Five to ten percent of all women have it. Though many of these women are not infertile, among patients who have infertility, about 30 percent have endometriosis.

Endometriosis can grow like a weed in a garden, irritating the local lining of the pelvic cavity and attaching itself to the ovaries and bowels. Scar tissue often forms where it grows, which can exacerbate the pain and increase the likelihood of infertility. The only way to be sure a woman has endometriosis is to perform a surgical procedure called laparoscopy which allows your physician to look inside the abdominal cavity with a narrow tubular scope. He may be suspicious that you have endometriosis based on your history of very painful menstrual cycles, painful intercourse, etc., or based on your physical examination or ultrasound findings. On an ultrasound, a cyst of endometriosis has a characteristic homogenous appearance showing echoes in the cyst that distinguish it from a normal ovarian follicle. Unlike the corpus luteum (ovulated follicle), its edges are round as opposed to collapsed and irregular in the corpus luteum and the cyst persists after a menses where corpora lutea will resolve each month.

Women with any stage of endometriosis (mild, moderate, or severe) can have severe lower abdominal and pelvic pain – or they might have no pain or symptoms whatsoever. Patients with mild endometriosis will not have a cyst and will have no physical findings on exam or ultrasound. It is thought that infertility caused by mild disease may be chemical in nature perhaps affecting sperm motility, fertilization, embryo development or even implantation perhaps mediated through an autoimmune response.

Moderate and severe endometriosis are, on the other hand, associated with ovarian cysts of endometriosis which contain old blood which turns brown and has the appearance of chocolate. These endometriomata (so called “chocolate cysts”) cause pelvic scarring and distortion of pelvic anatomy. The tubes can become damaged or blocked and the ovaries may become adherent to the uterus, bowel or pelvic side wall. Any of these anatomic distortions can result in infertility. In some cases the tissue including the eggs in the ovaries can be damaged, resulting in diminished ovarian reserve and reduced egg quantity and quality.

The treatment for endometriosis associated with infertility needs to be individualized for each woman. Surgery often provides temporary relief and can improve fertility but rarely is successful in permanently eliminating the endometriosis which typically returns one to two years after resection.

There are no easy answers, and treatment decisions depend on factors such as the severity of the disease and its location in the pelvis, the woman’s age, length of infertility, and the presence of pain or other symptoms.

Treatment for Mild Endometriosis

Medical (drug) treatment can suppress endometriosis and relieve the associated pain in many women. Surgical removal of lesions by laparoscopy might also reduce the pain temporarily.
However, several well-controlled studies have shown that neither medical nor surgical treatment for mild endometriosis will improve pregnancy rates for infertile women as compared to expectant management (no treatment). For treatment of infertility associated with mild to moderate endometriosis, ovulation induction with intrauterine insemination (IUI) has a reasonable chance to result in pregnancy if no other infertility factors are present. If this is not effective after about three – six cycles (maximum), then I would recommend proceeding with in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Treatment for Severe Endometriosis

Several studies have shown that medical treatment for severe endometriosis does not improve pregnancy rates for infertile women. Some studies have shown that surgical treatment of severe endometriosis does improve the chances for pregnancy as compared to no treatment. However, the pregnancy rates remain low after surgery, perhaps no better than two percent per month.

Some physicians advocate medical suppression with a GnRH-agonist such as Lupron for up to six months after surgery for severe endometriosis before attempting conception. Although at least one published study found this to improve pregnancy rates as compared to surgery alone, other studies have shown it to be of no benefit. The older a patient is, the more problematic post surgical treatment with Lupron will be as it delays a woman’s attempt to conceive until she is even older and less fertile due to aging.

Unfortunately, the infertility in women with severe endometriosis is often resistant to treatment with ovarian stimulation plus IUI as the pelvic anatomy is very distorted. These women will often require IVF in order to conceive.

Recommendations

As endometriosis is a progressive destructive disorder that will lead to diminished ovarian reserve if left unchecked, it is vital to undergo a regular fertility screen annually and to consider moving up your plans to start a family before your ovaries become too egg depleted. When ready to conceive, I recommend that you proceed aggressively to the most effective and efficient therapy possible.

Women with endometriosis and infertility are unfortunately in a race to get pregnant before the endometriosis destroys too much ovarian tissue and achieving a pregnancy with their own eggs becomes impossible. However, if you are proactive and do not significantly delay in aggressively proceeding with your family building, then I have every expectation that you will be successful in your efforts to become a mom.

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Do you suffer from endometriosis? How has it impacted your fertility journey? Do you have any advice for others who are suffering?

 

 

Photo credit: Ryan McGuire at http://www.gratisography.com/

 

 

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Cupping for Competition—and Conception

By David Kreiner MD

August 11th, 2016 at 1:41 am

 

image credit: GraphicsMouse/freedigital photos.net


What treatment might Olympic athletes and fertility-challenged women have in common?

Evidence of Cupping on many competing in the Olympics, especially the swimmers, has made quite a splash…but what is cupping and why the purplish circular marks on the skin?


Cupping is a form of traditional medicine found in many cultures throughout the world. This treatment involves placing cups containing a negative pressure which exerts suction onto the skin that if left on long enough breaks small blood vessels or capillaries resulting in a bruise in the affected area. This sounds painful, but it isn’t.

Cupping is a popular form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that works to unblock “Qi”, a form of life energy. Once unblocked, the energy can flow smoothly throughout the meridians or pathways in the body.

With cupping, TCM practitioners, commonly called acupuncturists, help to remove congestion and stagnation (stagnant blood and lymph) from the body and to improve the flow of “Qi” throughout the body.  It also will increase the blood flow to the area upon which the cup is applied.

Musculoskeletal disorders are aided by increasing the flow of blood and “Qi” to the muscles underlying the applied cups.  Hence, Michael Phelps and other Olympians have been going for cupping treatment to alleviate their sore muscles.  Some TCM practitioners will also use cupping to treat breathing problems or respiratory conditions such as a cold, bronchitis or pneumonia.

Cupping may also be utilized to improve fertility in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion (heat applied to acupuncture point through burning herbs) and/or herbal therapy.  From a TCM perspective, improving the flow of “Qi” at specific points or meridians may correct an imbalance that is preventing conception.  From a Western scientific view, cupping and acupuncture cause the body to release endorphins.  The endorphin system consists of chemicals that regulate the activity of a group of nerve cells in the brain that relax muscles, dull pain, and reduce panic and anxiety.

It is believed that these therapies may also trigger the release of more hormones, including serotoninSerotonin is a brain chemical that has a calming effect resulting in a serenity that aids the fertility process.  Cupping, like acupuncture, reduces inflammation which could also benefit fertility.  Whether it be the challenge of an Olympic trial or a battle against infertility cupping may be a valuable addition to one’s program.

 

 

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When Should I Freeze My Eggs?

By Dr. Michael Zinger

August 4th, 2016 at 3:43 pm

 

image credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net


Every woman is born with a limited supply of eggs.  As this supply ages, the likelihood of each remaining egg to have the capability to become a baby diminishes.  However, this loss of potential is not spread evenly over the years, rather it is a shallow decline that usually continues into the mid-30’s, followed by a steeper loss that typically happens from the late 30’s into the early 40’s.  Over a matter of 5 years, the odds of one egg having the potential to make a baby decreases by about 80%.  Of course, not every woman is typical and the age at which this transition starts can vary quite a bit.

 

The only way to effectively protect the potential of eggs over time is cryopreservation, also known as egg freezing.  Once frozen, the capacity of the eggs to create a successful pregnancy is maintained through the years.

 

Gynecologists often ask me at which age to refer their single patients to me to discuss egg freezing.  The answer is not simple.  Certainly we do not want to put a patient through this process if it is likely that she will meet the right partner and form a family without ever using those eggs.  It would have been an unnecessary medical procedure with associated expense and lost time and effort.

 

On the other hand, we have to weigh the risk that the steeper decline in the eggs’ potential will happen before the woman has met her future partner and completed her family.  If we could predict when that decline will happen in each woman then this question would be much easier.  Unfortunately, our testing is only accurate in identifying this steeper decline when it is already occurring, at which point we have already missed the opportunity to freeze high-potential eggs.

 

Most of my egg-freeze patients are in their mid-30’s.  On average, at this point, only subtle changes in the potential of eggs have occurred, whereas within a few years, more drastic changes usually start.   Therefore, this timing does make sense for most women, but not everyone.

 

A concern about waiting until the mid 30’s is the possibility of an earlier decrease in egg potential.  While that is unusual, it tends to also be unpredictable.  Factors that contribute may include a history of smoking, a history of ovarian surgery or conditions that may lead to such surgery (e.g. endometriosis), or having a mother or older sister that experienced either an earlier menopause or infertility due to loss in egg potential.  Women with these factors should consider freezing eggs in their early 30’s or even late 20’s.    But, most often, if an early decrease occurs, it is without any predisposing factors and with no known cause.  Therefore, even without predisposing factors, cautious women, who want to minimize the risk of missing the opportunity, should also consider freezing their eggs in their early 30’s.

 

Of course, just as some women unpredictably have an earlier loss, some also have good potential that persists even past 40.  This can be determined at an initial visit with a fertility specialist through sonogram and blood tests.  So, for women who have not yet frozen eggs, even at 41 or 42 it makes sense to come in for evaluation and determine if this could still be worthwhile.

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