Olive's Blog

Dr Beth Taylor MD, FRCSC






Be kind, be calm, be safe

September 06, 2020

I had my eyebrows waxed this morning.  They were overdue but people really can’t see that sort of facial detail on a Zoom call, so I had let it slide.  On the drive to the brow studio my daughter asked me if I know any “Karens” and, after sorting out how a 10 year old knows this reference, explained that I did not know any “Karens.” I also said that I didn’t like much of this whole “Karen” insult to women.  Anyway, I left the car and went to have my brows done.

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COVID-19, pregnancy and fertility

July 11, 2020

I remember a funny Ellen Degeneres story in which the gynecologist talks about his golf game while doing a pap smear on Ellen.  I remember thinking that gynecologist must have done thousands of paps and they became so routine he forgot about how the patient was feeling during the experience.


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Race and fertility

May 31, 2020

Yesterday I watched Falcon 9 launch from the Kennedy Space Centre.  It was emotional.  It was emotional as I remembered watching the Challenger explode in 1986.  It was emotional as I am so impressed at what science can achieve. It was emotional thinking about the bravery of those in the Dragon capsule.  Then when the rocket landed back on the pad in the ocean I was blown away.


With money, brilliant minds and a common will, humans can do anything.


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COVID part 2

March 28, 2020

I survived COVID-19.  Googling how I can get that on a bumper sticker now.

I feel great again. It was a terrible flu but it passed and I have been released from isolation by the Medical Officer of Health.  Now, I move around the world with some confidence as I am immune.  While there are two strains of the COVID virus, reinfection or infection with the other strain is not common. I will still take the same precautions everyone is taking to avoid getting sick again, though.

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March 21, 2020

COVID-19 has caused massive distress, disease and confusion. I have to admit I was confused.  After all hearing that 8 or 9 elderly people died didn’t sound that different from a usual flu season.  Things have changed, and keep changing, though and it has become apparent that COVID is much worse than the typical flu.


It spreads faster, it lasts longer, and it causes a very severe pneumonia that is far more likely to kill people than the flu.


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blocked tubes

February 29, 2020

About 15% of our patients have tubal factor infertility, meaning we think blocked or diseased Fallopian tubes are the reason they are infertile. We assess the tubes with a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). The HSG is also called the “dye test” because dye is passed up through the uterus and out the tubes. An x-ray is then taken and the radiologist can sort out whether the tubes are open or not.


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Reproductive Health for All

February 17, 2020

I like to think most of us are feminists.  That word is a bit loaded, but if we define a feminist as someone who believes in equality of genders and works to promote the health and well being of women, I hope most of us are feminists.  I consider reproductive health a feminist issue.


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January 27, 2020

It was kind of odd and I had never been asked this before, but a patient asked me “why do you do what you do?”  It was like she was Barbara Walters and it was 1994.  I squirmed in my seat.  I know why I do what I do in my heart but it’s pretty hard to articulate.  It’s like when someone asks you why you love your partner.  You can come up with a laundry list of the attributes you like about them but it’s hard to put “love” into words.


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pubic hair

January 02, 2020

When I was thinking about applying to medical school I met with a family friend who was a physician and asked her for advice.  She only had one piece to give me: read everything.  She went on to encourage me to read constantly and read from a variety of sources.  Great advice.


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plans for 2020

December 24, 2019

We survived 2019.  For that we get to celebrate all that was gained this year.  For hundreds of our patients that means a pregnancy.  For others at different stages in their fertility journey, they gained a realization that they need help getting pregnant, or they gained an understanding of why they are not getting pregnant, or they gained knowledge as to what steps they are going to take in 2020 to get pregnant.


Whatever happened in 2019 I hope there was growth, knowledge or some new understanding that empowers you for 2020.


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October 21, 2019

As I approach “the change of life” as my mom would call it, I thought I’d start tracking my periods.  I started a few months ago and I have to say its creepy and disappointing when your phone tells you “today it day one.” I’m also pretty sure my phone will start to use this data to send me ads for tampons or anger management classes the week before my period is expected.


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preparing for ivf

August 11, 2019

Over the years IVF success rates have gotten better and better.  We can stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs fairly well (if there are eggs to stimulate), we usually can extract 80-90% of the eggs that grow, and our lab is very good at fertilizing eggs and creating embryos.  We can even test embryos now (PGT-A) to get a sense of an embryo’s chromosomal health.  Even with all these advancements, IVF pregnancy rates are still not 100%.


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sex ed

August 02, 2019

Glee - the TV show about high school kids from about 10 years ago. I remember liking the show and thinking it was about music and high school angst. I started watching it this week with my 12 year old daughter.  Turns out, Glee, when seen through a mother’s eyes, is about sex and how to get pregnant and drink alcohol in high school.  We’ve had to stop watching it because I was fast-forwarding 80% of the show to get past the inappropriate parts.  I guess we’ll go back to Peppa Pig reruns.

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Fertility doctor's malpractice

June 27, 2019

At the end of medical school we promise to abide by the Hippocratic Oath.  In the oath we declare, among other things to "...abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm."  Then we complete a residency and eventually get a license to practice medicine from the College of Physicians in our province.  The College of Physicians asks us to keep the highest ethical standards possible in patient care. The College is then meant to police physicians, ensure patient's are not being harmed by the actions of physicians.


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obesity and your child's future health

June 24, 2019

One of the more awkward conversations to have with patients is about weight.  There aren’t many overweight or obese woman who haven’t tried to lose weight, wish they could lose weight or feel terrible about their weight.  In my experience, most women do not want to talk about their weight - it hurts.


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