Modern Family Building strategies for the LGBTQ Community

Many of us take for granted that having children will become a natural outcome of our current relationship. For members of the LGBTQ community—this is not the case. A recent survey conducted by the Family Building Council found that 33% of the LGBTQ respondents over age 55 either had children or were planning to have children. This was a sharp contrast to LGBTQ Millennials—age 18 to 35—for whom 77% are either already parents or planning to have children. Even more encouraging among Millennials, is that there are nearly as many members of the LGBTQ community planning to have children as their non-LGBTQ peers—48% vs 55%. However, the LGBTQ Millennials know that they are going to need some assistance to achieve their family.

Booth at Pride Fest

The Family Building Survey also revealed among LGBTQ Baby Boomers—those 55 and older—nearly 75% became parents through intercourse. Many of those were children conceived in former relationships and therefore were “blended families.” This was in sharp contrast to Millennials. Among the 18 to 35 year olds, more than half planned to use Assisted Reproductive Technologies, adoption or fostering to meet their family building goals. That amounts to an estimated 3.8 million LGBTQ Millennials considering expanding their families and 2.9 million that are actively doing so.

 

If you’re among those seeking to become parents, consider the following:

  • Learn what options are available rather than simply thinking about the simplest way to initiate a pregnancy
  • Consider what your ideal completed family would like before finalizing your plan—it can be very difficult to find the same donor years later if you want a sibling
  • Seek out providers in the healthcare community that will serve as your allies and advocates
  • As more insurance companies are covering reproductive technologies as a covered benefit—investigate how those options apply to you

 

Stay informed,

~Robert

 

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado

Social media & infertility

Social media and infertility. The future is here. 🙌

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I’m excited to be included as part of a landmark paper series spearheaded by @drkenanomurtagmd advocating for the use of social media in the field of reproductive endocrinology & infertility. 

 

I committed to embracing IG as part of my social media journey earlier this year in the midst of preparing for my final oral boards, having a busy clinical career in private practice, and during my pregnancy. I’m not posting as much as I had hoped recently because I’m adjusting to my return to work from maternity leave. But I hope to be back in full swing soon, especially once I start getting more sleep!

 

I’ve been humbled by the power of this platform to connect with patients and others in medicine. I’ve also realized that being part of IG has helped me find my voice #asawoman , as a physician, and as a mother. I am so incredibly grateful for this community. ❤️

 

Inspired by @nataliecrawfordmd recent podcast, I am sharing with you my #goals for the future of this account.

✅Advocate for the importance of diet and lifestyle in fertility

✅Educate about my field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility using evidence-based medicine

✅Support other women using social media. 

✅Expand my outreach to patients. Share my personal struggles in life as a working mom and physician. Help patients decide if I am the right fit to manage their care. 

 

Vitamin B3: an emerging tool in reducing the risk of miscarriage

About one in four pregnant women will experience a miscarriage. At least two thirds of miscarriages are believed to be due to a genetic abnormality in the embryo. It can make it even more emotionally devastating if the pregnancy was initiated following an IVF procedure with an embryo that had already been genetically tested prior to transfer. That’s why it is so very important that we investigate other—possibly preventable—causes of early pregnancy loss. One emerging strategy is to optimize vitamin B3 intake.

Vitamin-B3

Vitamin B3—also called niacin—serves as critical component of energy within cells to support growth and development. It also serves as a key signal for a group of chemicals that are necessary to repair DNA as well as regulate your body’s stress response. These are all critical functions to initiating and maintaining a successful pregnancy. Unfortunately not all pregnant women are getting enough vitamin B3.

 

Surprisingly, not all prenatal vitamins contain niacin / B3. One study that was following over 500 pregnant women found that despite following a healthy diet and taking daily supplements—a high percentage of women were vitamin B3 deficient. More recently, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that giving a group of high risk pregnant women a high dose vitamin B3 supplement seemed to reduce the risk of both miscarriage and birth defects. Additional studies are on-going to see how this may translate into women with average risk.

 

While we await the results of future studies in this area, there are some safe and simple steps you can consider to help minimize your risk of miscarriage:

  • Eat fortified cereals and grains
  • Include blueberries and grapes as part of your healthy diet—they contain a chemical pterostilbene which can enhance Vitamin B3 activity
  • Check your prenatal vitamin to confirm that it has at least 20 mg of Vitamin B3
  • Talk to your provider about whether or not you should consider a Vitamin B3 supplement

 

Stay informed,

~Robert

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado

#plasticfreedocs

Today, I’m talking more about why we should avoid plastic water bottles after reading @natgeo  article on this topic.

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Has anyone else had a super ☀️hot summer? ☀️When the temperature outside is rising, many people turn to ᴘʟᴀꜱᴛɪᴄ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ ʙᴏᴛᴛʟᴇꜱ to stay hydrated. But disposable water bottles are made of ᴘʟᴀꜱᴛɪᴄ. And these plastics can get into the water that we ingest, exposing us to dangerous chemicals like ʙᴘᴀ & ᴘʜᴛʜᴀʟᴀᴛᴇs. As these water bottles are exposed to heat, more of the chemicals move into the drinking water, exposing us to even more ᴛᴏxɪᴄ ᴄʜᴇᴍɪᴄᴀʟs. 🧪🧪🧪

The FDA has ʙᴀɴɴᴇᴅ the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. Why isn’t this enough?
✅”BPA free” does not mean safe. These products often contain similar compounds with even less safety data than BPA, like BPA-S
✅BPA is still legal to add to other products like water bottles
✅Although one single exposure is likely safe, the fact that we have countless exposures to multiple chemicals throughout our day with plastics, increases the risk of harm .

So take the advice of the amazing docs who have participated in this campaign so far. Show us your reusable water bottle made out of metal or glass! 🥤🍶And stay cool this summer!☀️

Thank you for all the wonderful support for this campaign! I’m so excited that the media and medicine are paying more attention to this important topic!
#PlasticFreeDocs

#plastic #plasticfree #lifestyle#femalefertility #egghealth#womenshealth #maleinfertility#endocrinedisruptors #environment#fertility #ivfjourney #ttc #pregnant#pregnancy #ttcjourney#infertilityjourney #infertilty#infertilitysucks #ttccommunity#ttctips #ivfwarrior #ivfsupport#ivfcommunity #doctor#doctorsofinstagram#womeninmedicine #physician#doctorlife

#PlasticFreeDocs

#PlasticFreeDocs .

Today, I invited several physicians in many different medical specialties to discuss why they are avoiding using plastics. As a fertility specialist, I believe that the healthier we are before we conceive, the more likely we are going to be successful; this results in healthier pregnancies and ultimately healthier families. An important way for us to stay healthy is by minimizing exposures to dangerous chemicals in our environment. .

𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴? ✅Plastics expose us to dangerous chemicals like BPA and phthalates ✅These chemicals can interfere with how our hormones work
✅These chemicals are called 𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙧𝙪𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙢𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙨 (𝙀𝘿𝘾𝙨)
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𝗔𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗳𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗿𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲..

EDCs impact egg quality by increasing DNA damage and oxidative stress

EDCs decrease sperm count in men

EDCs exposure in pregnancy is associated with obesity and neurodevelopmental problems in children  

In IVF, EDC exposure is associated with fewer eggs and fewer embryos

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Picture of me with my ♥ reusable metal water bottle ♥. Click on the link in bio for references .
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#plastic #plasticfree #lifestyle#femalefertility #egghealth#womenshealth #maleinfertility#endocrinedisruptors #environment#fertility #ivfjourney #ttc #pregnant#pregnancy #ttcjourney#infertilityjourney #infertilty#infertilitysucks #ttccommunity#ttctips #ivfwarrior #ivfsupport#ivfcommunity #doctor#doctorsofinstagram#womeninmedicine #physician#doctorlife

Giving your Embryo a Healthy Place to Grow: preparing the uterus for implantation

It is estimated that between 8 and 12% of women will develop endometrial polyps during their reproductive years. These represent outgrowths of the uterine lining that can vary in shape and size but reflect uneven development of the tissue that is responsible for promoting implantation of embryos to initiate pregnancy. Therefore, it’s not surprising that they seem to be more common in women with infertility. In fact, one study of 1000 women undergoing IVF found about 32% of them had endometrial polyps.

Endometrial polyps

In an attempt to estimate the impact of endometrial polyps on infertility, one study randomized 215 women with endometrial polyps to having surgery prior to starting Ovulation Induction with Insemination treatment vs not having surgical correction prior to starting treatment. They found that those that had surgery were twice as likely to become pregnant.   

 

Other studies have also looked at mechanisms for how polyps could interfere with implantation. Here the evidence is equally compelling. In addition to the mechanical interference; polyps have been linked to various chemical changes in the uterine environment—especially involving certain markers of implantation and inflammation.

 

At our center, we go through great lengths to create and identify the healthiest embryos possible to help our patients achieve the highest attainable live birth rate. Therefore we always take steps to make sure that we’re placing embryos into the best possible uterine environment. Timing is also important in considering when to remove polyps. At least one study found that 27% of polyps will go away on their own. So we don’t plan any such surgery until we know we have healthy embryos to transfer or our patient is ready to become pregnant.

Stay informed,

~Robert

 

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates

Herbal Medicine and Supplement Use during Pregnancy: a cautionary note

Many women underestimate the potential negative impact of over-the-counter products. Herbal medicines are any plant derived product taken as a preventative or curative treatment. Dietary supplements are defined as products taken by mouth including vitamins, minerals and herbal or botanical products. Currently, the supplement industry is valued at over $133 Billion per year with a projected growth of 8.8% annually. Women of reproductive age make up a large portion of these consumers.

Think before you drink

Are you sure that your supplements are safe?

Estimates are that nearly half of women take dietary supplements during pregnancy and about 30% continue their use into the postpartum period while breastfeeding. Studies indicate that it is naïve to assume these products do not have a negative impact upon pregnancy. Yet it is only after concerning data has emerged that warnings for supplements are issued. Take for instance the recent recall of Periwinkle.

 

A supplement ingredient called vinpocetine, but also marked as periwinkle extract or vinca minor, has been advocated for many purposes including weight loss, boosting energy or improving memory—all common concerns of reproductive age women. Yet last week, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that based upon data from the National Institute of Health that this product has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. Some other potential problematic supplements include the following:

  • Almond oil—used topically to treat stretch marks—may increase the risk of preterm labor
  • Chamomile—may increase the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight
  • Raspberry leaf—often used to induce labor—is associated with an increased risk of c/section
  • Licorice root (glycerrhizin)—increased risk of preterm birth and blood pressure problems as well as possible developmental issues

 

In closing, if you’re pregnant or hoping to become pregnant it’s best to discuss any supplements that you choose to use with your OB/GYN provider.

Stay informed,

~Robert

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado