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. 

 

#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

Mental health matters

0CD2501E-1CB3-4353-BCD4-E0E95E601AF6Your mental health matters. It is estimated that up to 54% of couples with infertility experience a high level of stress, anxiety, and depression before and/or during fertility treatment. It is incredibly common to need additional help when going through fertility treatment, which is why I encourage the use of complementary stress reduction techniques with my patients.

 

But sometimes yoga, acupuncture, and mediation isn’t enough and more help is needed. The most commonly prescribed antidepressant is a group of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

 

A recent study compared women on SSRIs going through IVF to women who were not on antidepressants. They found that the embryo health and IVF outcomes did not differ between the groups. This suggests that, from a fertility standpoint, there is no reason to avoid using an antidepressant if you need it.

 

Fertility treatment is hard enough. There is no reason to suffer through poorly controlled anxiety and/or depression while going through fertility treatment. If you need additional help, please reach out. The best way to have a happy healthy family is to start with a healthy mom before conception. You are not alone.

 

Take home points:

  • The diagnosis and treatment of infertility is stressful
  • It’s common to struggle with stress, anxiety, and depression at any phase of treatment
  • Antidepressant use does not impact IVF success rate.
  • Do not hesitate to get additional help if needed

Is organic worth it?

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How important is eating #organic when you are trying to be healthy and TTC? Is buying organic worth it?

 

Organic food refers to food produced with limited pesticides, fertilizers, and additives. Organic foods tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant content compared to conventionally grown food. Conventionally produced food is associated with higher rates of various cancers compared to organic foods.

 

Organic food is usually more expensive than conventionally produced food. But is the cost worth it?❓

 

A recent study evaluated pesticide exposure in couples going to a fertility clinic. They found that the more pesticides a couple consumed, the less likely they were to get pregnant and bring home a healthy child. This finding was dose dependent: women with the highest pesticide exposure had the lowest pregnancy rates.  This suggests that dietary pesticide exposure can be associated with difficulty conceiving.‼️

 

Switching to organic products can also reduce your exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals and support beneficial practices for our environment.❤

 

What you can do:

✅Buy organic produce whenever possible. Some products are more worth the cost than others. Consider being selectively organic to keep your budget on track.

✅I will post on IG stories which foods our family tries to buy organic

✅Just because something is labeled as “organic” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Organic junk food is still junk food.

✅Organic food has just as many calories as conventional food. And buying organic is healthy, but should not be used as a substitute for going to the gym.

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!