COVID19 and other infectious disease concerns—here’s what fertility patients should consider

There is increasing concern over Corona Virus or COVID19 as this infection spreads. In perspective there are other infectious diseases that people seeking pregnancy should also consider. Here is a link to a videoblog we recently created to try to answer some of these questions and provide some practical advice: https://youtu.be/a6p4uUC8hgk  COVID19

 

 

 

Starting a new video blog: Clinical Conversation

In our effort to remain relevant and provide you with current and relevant content–we’re starting a new YouTube Channel called Clinical Conversations. My partner in this project–Lisa White–is a licensed counselor that has actually gone through fertility treatment herself.

Introducing Fertility Chat

Our goal is to help support you by providing you with some short dialogues about topics that you find to be most relevant. Consider signing up or emailing us some suggestions for topics.

If you can’t find us at the link above just search “clinical conversations–fertility chats” on YouTube.

We hope to see you there!

Canary in the coal mine

This is an expression that describes when miners would carry birds (canaries) down into the mine tunnels with them. If dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide collected in the mine, the gases would kill the canary before killing the miners, thus providing a warning to exit the tunnels immediately

 

New research suggests that  infertility can be the canary in the coal mine for men . 

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Men with infertility are at higher risk of prostate cancer. In particular, men who needed IVF technology for male factor were more likely to develop prostate cancer and at an earlier age than men who fathered pregnancies naturally. This finding does not mean that fertility treatments themselves raise men’s prostate cancer risk. 

 

Men with infertility should tell their other doctors that they have infertility. Because infertility may be the canary in the coal mine for other medical conditions, including prostate cancer. 

 

Stress is not a cause of infertility

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 Stress is not a cause of infertility

 

Infertility is caused by things like a male factor (low sperm count) or female factor (blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, low egg number). But stress is not a cause of infertility. 

 

Stress is very common when trying to conceive. As many as 57% of patients have clinical depression or anxiety before they even start fertility treatments. Stress during infertility can also be severe: many couples report higher stress levels with infertility diagnosis than those with a new diagnosis of cancer. 

 

Stress is something we need to consider because it is common in couples with infertility and because it impacts the chances of being successful with treatment. Stress reduction can increase chances of success with treatment and  improve pregnancy rates. This is true regardless of stress reduction technique: yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and/or therapy. 

 

I take a pro-active approach and talk about stress with all of my patients. At the new visit, I review how common stress is with infertility and provide resources. I also will try to check in on my patients during fertility treatments and ask “How are you doing with the emotional aspects of your treatment?” At times, I recommend pausing fertility treatments to optimize mental health. 

 

The best way to have a healthy uncomplicated pregnancy is to start with a happy healthy family before conception. You are not alone. Your mental health is worth taking care of and so are you.  ❤️

Is IVF bad for my health?

Is IVF bad for my health? 

 

No.

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Every month a woman’s body loses the same number of eggs, regardless of whether they are doing IVF or on birth control pills. So you don’t lose any more eggs doing IVF than you do each month on your own. Doing IVF will not make you run out of eggs sooner, or go through menopause earlier. 

 

The hormones used for IVF are similar to the hormones your body naturally makes each month. You are on these hormones for a limited time period. The impact of this is small on your overall health.

 

IVF does not cause cancer.

✔️Women who are doing IVF are often using these technique because of infertility and endometriosis; these conditions in themselves increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
✔️IVF does not  increase the risk of breast cancer, even in women predisposed to cancers due to genetic mutations like BRCA

✔️IVF does not increase the risk of thyroid cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, cervical, or colon cancer

 

As with any medical procedure, there are risks. But the risks of complications in IVF is low.