IVF

vitamin D

Nearly all of us are deficient in vitamin D. Ninety percent of our body’s vitamin D comes from the sun, meaning cholesterol in our skin is converted into vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) by the action of UV rays from the sun. Vitamin D3 is then converted by the liver and kidneys into the active form of vitamin D. The other 10% of out body’s vitamin D3 comes from our diet. If you live in Canada you are probably vitamin D deficient. The rates are so high the BC government health plan no longer pays for testing - they want us to just assume we are deficient.

adenomyosis

I remember writing my Royal College of Physicians exam to get certified as an obstetrician/gynecologist and thinking “please, please don’t ask me much about adenomyosis.”  Adenomyosis is a fairly uncommon disease of the uterus that is hard to diagnosis, hard to treat and causes a slew of terrible symptoms like pelvic pain, heavy periods and infertility.  In the past decade or so sinc

stale

My blog went stale the past few weeks. I really didn't want that to happen. I haven't posted in a really long time... I think I got a bit busy, was feeling like I didn't have much interesting to say (research published in the last couple of months has been rather boring - either too esoteric or too silly), I started watching Game of Thrones and just kind of felt like I was in a funk.

 

To tell or not to tell

We can all agree friends don't use the phone much any more. So, much so that if someone does phone me I assume something horrible has happened.  In my mind, if my phone rings it is either (1) the hospital calling about a patient (2) someone I don't know managed to get my number and wants to sell me something (3) someone I love has died,.

 

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.