IVF

telomeres

Ever notice when you get something in your head you start seeing that thing everywhere? I remember when I was a teenager I wanted a cordless telephone. I begged my parents for one with the claim that "everyone had one."  It did seem like they did: Carrie, my short, rebellous friend would walk around her house on one for hours, Monica down the street had one she'd hide from her brother, Radio Shack had them prominently on display. It felt like I was the only person without one and I had the 1980s version of FOMO.

 

estrogen: good or bad?

Let's talk about IVF paradigms. In a nutshell, IVF involves stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs all at once.  The egg are then removed, fertilized with sperm and embryos are created.  The embryo(s) are then put into a woman's uterus in hopes a pregnancy will occur.

 

1 in 6, really?

#1in6 You've probably seen that hashtag and you probably don't believe it.  Last week was infertility awareness week in Canada and since 1 in 6 Canadian couples experience infertility we promoted that hashtag to raise awareness of how common infertility is.  

 

short supply

About 11  years ago I heard Jonathan Tilly speak at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) meeting.  His research suggested in mice new eggs could be made. This raised the question "what if our understanding that women are born with all the eggs they'll ever have, is wrong?"  What if we could make new eggs for women?  Huh.  A basic premise of human reproduction is that you can't.  All evidence so far has supported the idea that women are born with about a million eggs and rapidly lose them, running out at menopause.

older dads

What about the guy?  As fertility doctors we focus a lot of our energy on investigating the woman and counselling couples about the success rate, risks and outcomes as they relate to the woman.  Partly this is because testing of the male is more straightforward and partly because the success rate is usually more dependant on female factors, but outcomes are different: the male matters more than we previously thought.

tall women

I didn't want my blog to become stale but lately I haven't been writing much.  I blame myself and Facebook and Instagram and Netflix and a few other life distractions. I am sure in the pre-social media years I got a lot more done. Then again, maybe I didn't and I am just glamourizing the olden days.  Anyway, I am on vacation this week so thought I'd put fingers to my keyboard. 

 

after embryo transfer

At least once a month I have a woman in my office crying because her IVF cycle didn’t work and she believes in her heart that she is to blame. Typically she will say she “did too much after the transfer.” Women are so hard on themselves.

happy 2017

Happy New Year’s Eve 2016!  Now that I have eaten my body weight in chocolate and chips, it’s time to make resolutions.  First, stop eating my body weight in chocolate and chips.  My other resolutions are pretty similar to previous years:

inklings

There are a few main infertlity journals I read: Human Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility (F&S)  and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.  It is in these journals the latest fertility research is published, useful topics are reviewed and in F&S they have a section called "Inkings."  This is the section I enjoy the most, honestly.  Inklings are short musings, generally by well respected fertility doctors and scientists.  They write about their "gut feelings" or their pet theories about disease or treatments.

pregnancy in older women

The word on the internet is that Janet Jackson is pregnant at 50. This is wonderful news - I am always happy to hear about new life, new light, being brought into the world.  There is something that makes me deeply happy when people grow their families.   It is why I do the work I do. It is why I have children. It is why I tear up at every birth announcement and thank you note I receive from patients.