vancouver

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.  

 

don't wait after a miscarriage

I'll make this brief because it is 10pm on Friday night and Netflix is calling, but: please do not wait to try and get pregnant again after a miscarriage.  We've known for years that you are more fertile and less likely to have an adverse pregnancy outcome if you get pregnant soon (within 6 months ideally) of a miscarriage.  It's "old school" to tell women to wait a few months to get pregnant after a miscarriage, but this message is still being conveyed by some health care providers.

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:

good genes

We all have genes in the DNA of our cells. Genes determine our hair colour, eye colour, height, and about 20,000 other things about us including which diseases we will develop.  Over the past decade scientists have figured out the "spelling," or sequence of nucleotides, of every gene in humans.  This project was called the Human Genome Project.  Since this project of sequencing of all human genes was completed, the focus shifted to figuring out which gene mistakes, or mutations (or misspellings), cause which diseases.  

 

ICSI

Lets' talk about intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), pronounced ick-see.  During IVF treatment a woman takes medication to grow multiple eggs at once.  We then extract the eggs and fertilize them.  You can fertilize an egg in one of two ways:

  • Insemination - several thousand sperm are placed in a dish around the egg 
  • Intracytoplastic sperm injection (ICSI) - one sperm is injected into the egg

 

Vacation

I just got back from a family vacation in Nova Scotia. There I gained about 10 lbs, never exercised, and listened to countless funny stories about relatives I've never met. I do the same thing every summer and while it objectively sounds boring, it's actually quite fun. Food is love and the more sugary and buttery the food they serve, the more a maritimer loves you. So visiting old friends and family on vacation meant eating plenty of butter-soaked lobster, ice cream, and potato chips. Again, a lot of fun. Now I have a rich-food hangover and jet lag.