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!

 

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.