Chemicals and Egg Health

My goal is to help support you becoming a happy healthy family. As we offer everything that today’s technology has available, it is also important that we also encourage you to take whatever steps possible to optimize the quality of the eggs that we are trying to fertilize.

We are all exposed to thousands of chemicals a day. Some of us are more sensitive to the dangerous impact of these chemicals on our health than others. Many of these chemicals can interfere with how our bodies, particularly our hormones work. This is important to consider when you are undergoing fertility treatments. Here is what you can do to reduce your exposure to dangerous chemicals that can impact your fertility.

 

-Avoid use of plastics, particularly with your food.

-Be an informed consumer about potential toxins in and around your home.

-Avoid heavily scented products

-Use glass/ceramic water bottles and cups with your beverages to reduce your exposure to chemicals.

-Wash your produce before eating to minimize exposure to pesticides

-Don’t use tobacco.

-Take your shoes off when you enter your home.

-Wash your hands before you eat

 

Egg health: diet & lifestyle tips

fullsizeoutput_6a59Today, I’m reviewing what things you can do with your diet and nutrition to optimize egg health.

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have at birth. Every month, you lose a certain number of eggs regardless of whether you are TTC, pregnant, or going through fertility treatments. Women are always losing eggs until they run out, unlike men, who can re-generate sperm every few months. Honestly, the first time I heard this, I found it pretty depressing.

But ladies, there ARE things that we can do to optimize our egg health, particularly if you are doing fertility treatments. I personally found it empowering to make these diet changes when I was TTC because it felt like I had some control over how well we were able to do. There are many factors that play into success in a fertility treatment cycle, but why not consider doing these cheap/easy diet changes to optimize your chances of success?!

-Avoid fad diets like keto. Instead, stick to whole simple ingredients, like those found in a Mediterranean diet.

Caffeine is ok. Just keep it in moderation (<2 cups of coffee/day)

-Consider eating organic produce

Eat whole grains. You do not need to be gluten-free to optimize your fertility.

-Add tofu to your diet

-Avoid drinking sweetened beverages during a treatment cycle, particularly sodas.

 

Picture is of me giving a presentation last week to OBGYN providers about the importance of reviewing nutrition with our patients. Can you tell I LOVE talking about this issue?! It was my first time giving a talk term pregnant!

 

Male fertility and lifestyle

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Nearly 40-50% of couples who are having trouble getting pregnant have a male factor impacting their ability to conceive. Today, I’m reviewing what men can do to optimize their fertility naturally. Chemicals in our environment can impact male fertility. So guys, listen up!

The chemicals we are all exposed to everyday can impact our fertility. Lifestyle changes are one of the best tools you have to optimize your fertility naturally.

-Avoid marijuana use

-Avoid tobacco smoke. Smokers take longer to conceive than non-smokers.

-Do NOT use supplements that contain testosterone or any form of steroids without talking to your REI.

-Avoid sunscreen containing oxybenzone

-Avoid exposure to the dangerous chemical BPA

-Switch to shaving creams and soaps that are paraben-free

 

Men’s Fertility and Nutrition

Nearly 40-50% of couples who are having trouble getting pregnant have a male factor impacting their ability to conceive. Today, I’m reviewing what men can do to optimize their fertility naturally. So guys, listen up!

Your diet and nutrition are some of the best tools you have to optimize your fertility naturally.

Eat lots of vegetables and fruit. The more plant-based you are, the higher your natural fertility

-Get plenty of sleep (6-9 hours/night)

–Consider adding almonds and walnuts to your diet everyday

-Minimize meat intake. Even reducing one meat meal a week has been associated with increased fertility

These posts are for educational purposes only and are not medical advice. Go see your REIMTvC%kmpTrePvYHU9mwV+Q

 

More info from Instagram page!

Our society is changing and as physicians, we have to be adaptable to this changing world and what our patients need. As such, our blog has also increased its presence on Instagram @nataliagrindler_MD and @smilingloudly We will continue to post on this blog with evidence-based recommendations. But we will also be using our blog to provide the links that are not available on Instagram. So if you are interested in checking out the studies referenced in today’s post, see below!

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Why YOU (and your OBGYN) should care about #endocrinedisruptors 🤷‍♀️🤢🧪

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✅We are exposed to 84,000 chemicals each day.

✅The majority of these have not had testing to see if they can cause harm.

✅Our global health is changing: more cancers, decreased fertility, increased #asthma, increased #autism and #ADHD among many others.

✅Medical societies (ACOG, FIGO, ASRM) all agree this is an important issue

✅Pregnancy and #TTC is a great time to minimize harmful exposures.

✅By minimizing these exposures in pregnancy, we have the potential to prevent lifelong adverse health outcomes.

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I published a research study that showed that <20% of OBGYNs ever talk to their patients about dangerous chemical exposures. ❗️❗️❗️

We can do better. As women’s health providers, we SHOULD do better. I encourage all OBGYNs to read their societies committee opinion about endocrine disruptors; those that do are more likely to feel comfortable talking to their patients about these important issues.

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Picture of me from a conference earlier in the year where I shared my research and passion for advocacy with endocrine disrupting chemicals.

To Those Hoping to Celebrate Mother’s Day (Next Year)

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As we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day, I am reflecting upon the journey that my wife and I undertook to become parents. It may seem to an outsider that it was easy given that I’m a fertility specialist and I work in a top performing fertility center; but it wasn’t. In fact, my wife and I felt quite isolated. We didn’t openly talk about our efforts at the time because we didn’t want to invite the scrutiny of family and staff. So I understand how sequestered the process can feel. That’s why I so fully appreciate efforts like those of women like Lisa W. (in the photo above) that are not only willing to share their experience but also work to help others. I encourage you to check out her website and see if she can help support you in your efforts. It’s great to have someone you can talk to that’s been on the same path.

Identical Twins and IVF; here’s the latest information on “womb-mates”

As fertility treatment continues to help more women/couples achieve their family building goals, we have continued to see the risk of twins decline. IVF has helped drive up fertility treatment while also helping reduce the risk of twins. That’s occurred mainly through efforts to encourage Elective Single Embryo Transfer (ESET). At our center, nearly 90% of our patients agree to ESET and we feel that this strategy has actually helped us achieve among the highest live birth rates attainable.

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Even with ESET however, twin pregnancies do occur. That is primarily due to a single embryo splitting. In fact, sometimes an embryo can split and become a triplet pregnancy. Whenever an embryo splits; the resulting babies are genetically the same and therefore referred to as “identical twins.” Identical twins are naturally conceived in about 0.45% of pregnancies. Recently a large analysis of 7 years worth of data helped clarify the incidence of identical twin from embryo splitting in IVF.

Japan performs the highest number of IVF cycles per capita than any other nation. In Japan, they have shifted to single embryo transfer in about 80% of their treatment cycles. This recently made it possible for a group of researchers to review 937,848 single embryo transfer cycles to determine how frequently embryos appear to split following IVF. Their conclusions were as follows:

  • The risk of multiple pregnancy after single embryo transfer is 1.60%
    • This results in a risk of twins that is 1.56% following single embryo transfer
    • The risk of triplets when one embryo is used is about 0.04%
  • About 1.36% of embryos appear to split while the remaining number of multiples are believed to be a combination of natural conception along with single embryo transfer—this is the reason that we discourage intercourse following an embryo transfer.
  • Embryos are more likely to split if they were created by eggs from younger women and those with unexplained infertility.
  • Pregnancies resulting from embryo splitting are at higher risk of miscarriage

In summary, with today’s improved technology for freezing embryos, it is safest to transfer one embryo at a time to optimize live birth rate and reduce the risk of multiple pregnancy.

Fertile thoughts,

~Robert