BPA and Your Fertility: What You Need to Know Now

BPA (2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) propane) or bisphenol A is a carbon-based synthetic compound that has been used in many household products since the 1950s. In recent years, serious concerns about BPA’s effects on reproduction has called into question it’s widespread use. BPA has been linked to infertility, miscarriage, and more, and legislation can be slow to catch up with scientific evidence when it comes to protecting consumers. In the case of BPA and your reproductive health, you should be your own advocate. 

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How Doctors Are Contributing to the Stigma Around Miscarriage

Miscarriage is very common but most people suffer in silence, without their family and friends knowing about it. Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, before women are ‘showing’ and before most people have announced the pregnancy. Once it’s happened, it can be too painful for people to share their stories, especially with people who didn’t know about the pregnancy in the first place. Yet this is the time they need support the most. Doctors can unknowingly be contributing to the isolation many women feel with miscarriage by telling their patients to wait until the end of the first trimester to share their pregnancy with others.

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Reproduction Is NOT Small Talk: Think Before You Ask

Why are people’s reproductive choices or family situations considered open game for small talk? As a fertility doctor, patients talk to me about this all the time: While they are struggling to complete their family with fertility treatments, they are bombarded with questions from family, friends, and even strangers about their reproductive plans and choices. As a woman, I have been asked inappropriate questions from well-meaning strangers (assume best intentions!) ― but enough!

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Do Not Let Your Ovarian Reserve Test Results Define You!

Ovarian reserve testing is currently the best way women can learn about their egg quality and fertility potential, but it is not perfect. The testing involves blood work for hormone levels that fertility specialists have used for years to counsel women about fertility but a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association from the University of North Carolina shows these tests do not predict fertility as well as we previously thought.

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Can Soy Intake Protect Against the Harmful Effects of BPA in IVF Patients?

In the first study of its kind, researchers from Harvard University found that soy food intake may decrease the deleterious effects of BPA on success rates of patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical found in many common consumer products such as plastic bottles and the lining of canned food that acts like endocrine disruptor in the body. Over 7 million tons of BPA was produced last year alone and women with higher levels of BPA in their system have been found to have more difficulty conceiving and higher rates of miscarriage.

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Janet Jackson Delivered a Baby at Age 51 - Wait, What?

When Janet Jackson canceled her world tour because she was pregnant at age 50 and delivered her first child at age 51, many celebrated with her but also ask, How? Many women asked themselves 'If she can do it at that age, why not me?' Janet Jackson has a right to her own privacy, but the speculations lead to uncertainty and her silence can be a missed opportunity to educate women on the limitations of fertility treatment. 

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5 Ways To Support A Woman Who Is Not A Mother Yet On Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is not a joyful celebration for everyone. This day can be a painful reminder to many women that they are not mothers yet. If you know someone who is trying to conceive, undergoing fertility treatments, or had a miscarriage, you may want to reach out to her this Mother’s Day but don’t know how. She is grieving a loss for something she does not have yet. Here are ways to support her.

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Lessons Learned from Option B Book for Those Dealing with Infertility and Miscarriage

As a fertility and miscarriage specialist, I help people dealing with grief every day. Struggling to complete your family is loss, and loss is grief. Lost ideals of how you would conceive, lost joy with a positive pregnancy test when all the others have led to miscarriage, lost years spent in fertility clinics and going through tests and procedures when all you want to do is start the life you’ve dreamed of, a life with a family. Infertility and miscarriage are a unique type of adversity many couples face every day. Grief is one form of adversity discussed in Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg  and Adam Grant, and I learned lessons from their work than can help my patients dealing with their family building journey.

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Fast Facts on Weight and Fertility

Weight is a sensitive subject for everyone, but for those trying to conceive, it is important to review and understand its impact on fertility and pregnancy. Being either underweight or overweight can make it more difficult to get pregnant, decrease success rates with fertility treatments, and lead to complications in pregnancy. However, you can optimize your chances for a healthy baby by learning more about the impact weight can have on fertility and taking steps to reach a healthier weight.

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Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Finding the Right Doctor for You

Finding the right doctor for evaluation and care for recurrent miscarriage can be quite the process. I am often not the first doctor patients have seen for a consult about miscarriages, and they often tell me stories of frustration, feeling ignored, and leaving visits with providers with more questions than answers. Providers go into medicine to care for people, and they want the best for their patients. But the fact remains that miscarriages make many providers uncomfortable. I'll tell you why and what you can do to find the right care for you.

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Not Broken: The Emotional Impact of Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Dealing with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss have been compared to dealing with chronic disease and even cancer. Similar feelings of frustration, isolation, and questions like ‘Why me?’ surround these conditions, but the reactions from friends and the support provided can be different. As a society, we know what to do when someone gets cancer – we have meals to organize and flowers to send – but people suffering with recurrent pregnancy loss often suffer in silence. Most miscarriages are in the first trimester, before people are physically showing pregnancy and before they announce it publicly.

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Consult For Miscarriage: Tips On Making The Most Of Your Visit

Preparing for your first visit with a provider to discuss recurrent miscarriage can be stressful. You are meeting someone new who may or may not be compassionate, you’re going to have to talk about the miscarriages, you’re nervous they are going to tell you something scary, and so on. Being prepared for what to expect and taking a list of questions with you can decrease your anxiety and make the visit more productive. Here's how to prepare for your visit.

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7 Questions You Should Ask Your Fertility Doctor

If you’re planning to see a fertility doctor, you’ll get the most out of your visit if you come prepared. Discussing issues like egg quality, sperm count, timing sex, and treatment options can leave anyone feeling a little dazed and confused. And getting started on the right foot will make what can be a stressful, confusing process go much more smoothly. This list of questions is a great thing to take along with you to your next visit—and don’t forget to bring something to take notes with!

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Closer to Designer Babies Than Ever Before: Update on Genetics

In September 2016 NPR broke a story about gene editing of embryos that caused quite a stir in academic, ethic, and multiple media circles. NPR was the first to tell us all about Fredrik Lanner, a Swedish biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm who is editing the genes of healthy human embryos. This is not the first or the last time we will hear about science experiments on human embryos, but this story really hit a nerve in the scientific community. Here’s what happened.

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