Happy 2019! Looking back at my blogs, it seems the most popular ones are the simplest. The ones where I attempt to explain the every day questions of infertility. Sure, chatting about fancy lab treatments like PGT-A is exciting, but most people are hoping they will never need a "fancy lab treatment" to get pregnant. They have good questions about the basics of getting pregnant, or not.
I'm on vacation. When I walked out of the clinic on Tuesday many people commented "don't think about this place," "relax - we'll take care of your patients," "don't do work while you are away." I never heed that advice. When I am on vacation I find it is the perfect time to relax and flip through research journals, catch up on emails and think about work, a lot. It's this break from the day-to-day concentration each patient sitting in front of you needs to getting to think bigger picture about practice, the future and how we can do better.
In IVF we create embryos by fertilizing eggs with sperm. Once you have an embryo, you can do one of three things with it:
I love getting on the latest bandwagon. I'm a pretty early adopter of trendy stuff like when everyone started counting their steps I had a fitbit strapped on. I whitened my teeth the first time a Crest commercial told me I should, about 15 years ago. I took yoga classes in the 90s before there were even yoga clothes. My latest trend? Low carb, high fat eating.
There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about the security and safety of the embryos, sperm and eggs we have frozen in our cryopreservation or cryo tanks. I am on vacation this week and was out for a run and our tanks were on my mind. Our lab director would say an hour doesn’t go by when he doesn’t think about our tanks.
Nearly every patient I meet wants twins. Of course, they want twins! The idea of having two children at once when they have longed for children for years, makes perfect sense. Many people want a sibling for the children, so instant siblings seems very efficient.
There are 3 main IVF protocols we use regularly: antagonist, agonist, MD Agonist Flare. Sure, there are plenty of variations on these protocols, but essentially all protocols come from these 3, even minimal stimulation IVF, natural cycle IVF and others. Study after study has shown that there is little difference between pregnancy outcomes with the different protocols. What does seem to matter is what dose your physician picks for you, the timing of the different medications used during the protocol and the "extra" medications that are used based on the patients
Live with no regrets, dance like no one is watching, live every day like it is your last. For me that is all nonsense. That kind of fridge-magnet and facebook-friendly advice just makes me feel badly about myself. I have regrets, I waste a lot of time, and why would i dance like no one is watching? Anyway, for people like me who are pretty sure we aren't yet living our "best life" the new year is awesome. It's this awesome time when you get a little reset. You get to imagine being a better version of yourself in the future.
Merry Christmas! Every time one of my patients does a pregnancy test I hold my breath a little bit, but at Christmastime I hold it a long time.
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.