Tens of Millions Lack Local Assisted Reproductive Services | Medpage Today

The lack of quality treatment has been something that we have taken on aggressively this year through our tele-medicine campaign. Since the new law was enacted in Colorado-making telemedicine fully reimburseable–we have been actively building our internet based services. If you’re one of the millions lacking care in your area, consider setting up a consultation. We’d love to meet you.


PCOS and AGE; how the foods you eat effect your chances for a successful pregnancy

Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are faced with a dual challenge. First, their inherent hormone imbalance makes it more difficult for an immature egg to become a mature fertile one. But less often appreciated is that they also tend to produce eggs that are less likely to fertilize or can be more likely to miscarry if they do conceive. This second problem is believed to be linked to poor egg quality. New research suggests that the impact of this second problem may be reduced by decreasing exposure to dietary toxins.

Advanced Glycation End products or AGE’s are formed when proteins or fats are exposed to sugars—especially when prepared by high heat cooking methods. These glycotoxins have been linked to aging, heart disease, cancer and infertility because they promote inflammation, reduce blood flow and promote the production of free radical formation. In fact, there are specific receptors (RAGE or “receptors for advanced glycation end products”) for these unhealthy chemicals that are concentrated on the surface of the ovary and have been linked to ovarian aging and reduced egg quality. Women with PCOS seem to have at least two times the levels of AGE’s and more concentrated RAGE on their ovarian surface; linking the reduced egg quality in PCOS to diet.

Importantly, there are steps you can take to reduce the impact that AGE’s are having upon your ability to become pregnant. It has been demonstrated that some simple dietary changes can profoundly reduce your AGE levels and start improving the quality of the eggs that you’re producing. Here’s list of helpful suggestions:

  • Dietary Recommendations:
    • Reduce consumption of meat, poultry, fish and dairy—all rich sources of AGE
    • Increase consumption of brown rice and mushrooms—which have been shown to help sequester these damaging chemicals after they already entered your body
  • Lifestyle Recommendations:
    • Adjust your cooking methods to reduce the production of AGE in your food before you eat
      • High heat and drier cooking methods like broiling, searing, grilling and deep frying all dramatically increase the formation of AGE
      • Lower heat and moist cooking methods like stewing, boiling and steaming minimize AGE production
    • Stay away from tobacco smoke—a potent source of AGE
  • Supplements to consider:
    • Resveratrol—a chemical found in red wine and now available in supplement form, has been shown to reduce the effects of AGE
    • Curcumin—a key product in the ginger-like spice turmeric—has also been shown to dramatically reduce the effects of AGE.
  • Medications that might help:
    • Metformin—a drug commonly given to women with PCOS and associated with higher pregnancy rates—has been shown to inhibit the activity of AGE
    • Aspirin—has been shown to help reduce AGE attachment

Daylight Savings Time May Lower Chances of IVF Success for Some: Study

At our center, we have long held that your circadian rhythm–how your biology responds to the day-night cycle–impacts your fertility. This is one of the many reasons we focus on optimizing vitamin D levels, melatonin (when necessary) and paying careful attention to our embryo transfer schedules. In case your fertility center hasn’t figured out how important that this is, check out the following recent study on miscarriage risk associated with time shifts.  https://consumer.healthday.com/infertility-information-22/infertility-news-412/daylight-savings-time-may-lower-chances-of-ivf-success-for-some-study-719514.html

Infertility Stinks! But perfumed products and air fresheners may be making it worse

As those of you who have already been through IVF may know, we advise you not to wear strong scented perfumes or lotions on the day of your egg retrieval. Evidence shows that strongly scented perfumes release chemicals that may be toxic to eggs and sperm.  Now studies show that you should consider avoiding fragrances all together, even if you aren’t at the IVF stage of treatment. Remember, if you can smell something it’s not only getting into your body but its actually getting directly into your bloodstream as if it were injected!

Don’t contribute to secondhand scent problems! One thing we all share intimately is the air that we breathe. There is growing evidence that your cologne, perfume or air freshener may not only harm your health and fertility; but those are around you as well.  A recent study found that one-third of Americans report health problems linked to commonly fragranced consumer products. So your as air fresheners, cleaning supplies, laundry products, scented candles, cologne, and personal care products may be worsening some else’s  asthma attack, migraine headache, or even poor performance in school or at work. Fragranced products are pervasive in our society, and over 99% of Americans are regularly exposed to fragranced products due to their own use  or to someone else’s use.  Some of the most bothersome chemicals include: Limonene, pinenes, acetone, ethanol, camphor, benzyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, limonene, benzene, formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, methylene chloride, acetaldehyde, synthetic musks, phthalates, etc . But rather than becoming an expert chemist, consider looking at a database like the one set up the be Environmental Working Group. This resource can help you better understand your own brands as well as provide guidance to some safer alternatives.


Take home points:

  • Look for “fragrance-free” not “unscented” products.
  • Do not use air fresheners. All air fresheners, even those advertised as “natural” or “organic” or with “essential oils” emit chemicals classified as toxic or hazardous. Don’t use them.

A prospective study using Hatha Yoga for stress reduction among women waiting for IVF treatment

Fertility treatment is stressful. Worse still, there is evidence that stress can reduce your chances of achieving a successful pregnancy. For both of these reasons we’re aggressively seeking ways to help our patients reduce their stress. Here is another excellent study demonstrating the incorporating a yoga practice into the lead-in time to fertility treatment is one effective strategy. Smile, breathe and read on: https://www.mdlinx.com/obstetrics-gynecology/medical-news-article/2015/02/18/infertility-in-vitro-fertilization-stress-yoga/5919631/

Ovarian cyst? You may not need to delay your IVF cycle after all

One of the most frustrating experiences for some women preparing to go through IVF is to find an ovarian cyst at their baseline ultrasound. An ovarian cyst can produce hormones that inhibit the ability of other follicles to develop and even reduce their potential by their size alone. Worse still, in rare instances they can grow and become a surgical emergency. For these reasons, most fertility specialists prescribe a birth control pill (to inhibit further growth) and cycle delay in order to let the ovaries return to a resting state before starting the ovarian stimulation process. However, this is not the only option.

Ovarian cyst aspiration is a procedure that I have been performing for over a decade. And yet, I’ve long been amazed that my colleagues don’t offer this simple procedure to their patients. Many cite the “lack of data” as the reason that they never started draining cysts. I had to go to a prominent cardiology journal to find a well designed study on ovarian cyst drainage back in 2006—the results were very encouraging. Since that time several studies were performed and their data was collectively summarized in a Cochrane review published in 2014. Ironically, their conclusion is that cyst drainage did not improve the pregnancy rate over cycle cancellation. But it is also noteworthy, that draining the cyst prior to proceeding did not reduce the chance of pregnancy, did not reduce the number of eggs collected in the IVF cycle, nor did the procedure create an increase in complications or cycle cancellations.

Here at Conceptions, I’ve done a small study on the last 60 cyst drainage cases—all performed within the last year and a half. The patients rated the discomfort of the procedure as about a two out of ten (range 0 to 4). We have not experienced any complications of bleeding, infection or cycle cancellation. Most notably, all of the patients felt that the option of having their cyst drained instead of simply delaying their cycle was a very positive experience.

Conclusion: cyst drainage prior to IVF is a safe and reasonable alternative to delay-and-pray approach.

Test-tube babies grow better if they feel the techno beat | News | The Times & The Sunday Times

We often talk about how important it is to create the ideal environment in the lab to foster healthy embryo growth. Ironically, music is part of our system and there are the occasional discussions about who should choose the station and what sort of music we should listen to. Now a new study suggests that maybe it should be the…embryos! If it works, we’re all for it!