Wellness Wednesday: Goal Setting

By: Dr. Spence Pentland

Goal Setting for fertility

“Change is never a matter of ability, it is always a matter of motivation born from a compelling ‘why’. Once you are clear on your ‘why’ setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” ~ Tony Robbins


The goal of anyone experiencing infertility is to have a child. When times are trying, and you are adapting your life style in what might be challenging ways, that is the goal that needs to be kept in mind. Sometimes when you’ve been trying for a while, this ultimate goal can seem frustratingly unreachable so breaking it down into more manageable steps is key.

It is my belief that the most important step in achieving anything is the process of goal setting. Without a target, how can one hit it? With clear goals and vision, each choice you make throughout each day can be evaluated by asking yourself, is this choice bringing me closer to my dream?

As a doctor I determine my goals for treatment from the initial intake and the first appointment. By diagnosing the prominent signs and symptoms I feel are important to work on combined with our joint decisions about larger aspects of life and your family vision, we provide the framework for setting goals. These goals become a guide to ensure we are staying on the path that we have created together.

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Huffington Post: Egg Freezing Deserves Serious Consideration

Fertility health has been a popular topic recently as Apple and Facebook recently announced that they would be funding egg freezing for their female employees. This announcement was met with mixed reviews – some saw this as the tech companies’ way of giving women more choice around career and starting a family; others saw this as a misguided attempt to recruit and retain female employees.

In order to further understand the contentious fertility preservation method, our medical director Dr. Sonya Kashyap has penned an article on Huffington Post with facts and figures on egg freezing and how the medical procedure applies to Canadians.

Huffington Post: Egg Freezing Deserves Serious Consideration

Wellness Wednesday: Breast Self-Exam

how to conduct a breast exam


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Fertility treatment does not increase the risk of breast cancer; however, scientific literature suggests that women who are experiencing infertility are at increased risk of breast cancer.

What can you do?

The best way for early detection of breast cancer is by conducting breast self-exams. In fact, up to 40 per cent of breast cancers are initially detected by women who have felt a lump in their own breasts. Mammograms can help detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation states:

There is no right way or proper technique to being breast aware. You find a way or ways that are comfortable for you.

There is also no time schedule for being breast aware. You do it at a time and in a place that works for you.

Breast awareness is an important part of proactive and preventive health care but it does not claim to save lives or reduce deaths from breast cancer.

For more information on breast self-exams click here.

I can personally attest to the importance of breast self-exam. I found a breast lump during a self-exam that led to early diagnosis and treatment. And now, 18 years later, I can very gratefully call myself a breast cancer survivor. Please take the time to learn and do your own breast self-exam!

Susan Lockhart, PhD, MBA, BScN

Director of Clinical Operations

Genesis Fertility Centre

Meet Us Monday: Genesis Office Administration Team

Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver Admin Staff

Meet Genesis’s office administration team, Nicole Gilchrist, Maria Leonora “Knot” Martinez  and Gail Mawhinney (left to right in photo)!  Missing from the photo is Amy Bruchet.  These ladies are often the first voice you hear on the telephone and the first face you see when you arrive at our centre. Nicole and Knot come to us from across the world; Nicole from Australia and Knot from the Philippines.  Amy is “home grown” as is Gail.  Together they bring a wealth of experience that has greatly benefited Genesis patients.

And of course all have interests outside of work. Nicole is often busy exploring B.C.’s great outdoors. Knot is currently hitting the books in preparation for a major exam. Amy is actively involved in community work, most notably Ruben’s Shoes, a charity for overseas children. Gail is busy with her family including a new puppy who Gail has given a loving home.

And so, we salute you, the Genesis Office Administration Team for your warm smiles greeting patients, your kind voices on the telephone and your work in the community.

Babies Born Using Donated Wombs

(Photo Credit: gabi_menashe via photopin cc)

It’s been a busy week for fertility science. This past weekend, the world welcomed the first baby born from a transplanted womb and on Monday, it was announced that another two women are set to give birth using their mothers’ wombs.

Why are these developments so important to the fertility field?

There are many causes for infertility, but one of the most challenging causes is Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) Syndrome, a congenital defect which occurs in 1 in 4,500 women where they are born without a uterus. This condition, and other conditions such as Asherman’s syndrome (an acquired uterine condition characterized by scar tissue formation inside the uterus and/or the cervix), can benefit from uterus transplants as a potential treatment for infertility. Previously, these conditions have had few to no options for treatment without the involvement of gestational carriers or resorting to adoption.

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Wellness Wednesday: Easy Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Schedule

By: Jennifer Deane

exercising for fertility health

From stress management to activating your feel-good endorphins, there are numerous benefits to adding exercise to your daily routine. For those trying to conceive, exercise is a great way to keep healthy and happy during a stressful time, though it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen.  As for those who have recently given birth, you will be stronger when your baby arrives and you’ll have a smoother postpartum recovery when you incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

I think of the 2,500-year-old legend of Milo when I see parents carrying babies and sleeping toddlers back to their car after a long day in the park.  “The Tale of Milo and the Bull” encapsulates the core principles of strength training.

It is said that Milo built his incredible strength through a simple, but profound strategy.  One day, a newborn calf was born near Milo’s home. Milo decided to lift the small animal up and carry it on his shoulders. The next day, he returned and did the same. Milo continued this strategy for the next four years, hoisting the calf onto his shoulders each day as it grew, until he was no longer lifting a calf, but a four-year-old bull.

As a new parent, you will be re-living Milo’s tale.  Why not start your strength journey today in preparation!

8 simple tips to help you add fitness to your daily routine:

1. Make it fun!  

Think of your exercise sessions as treat time for yourself. Your inner thoughts about activity makes all the difference for staying on track.  If you approach your fitness as a chore, it will be a chore. If you approach it with the attitude that you are going to have fun, it will be fun!

2. Keep a Fitness Journal

Studies show that people who keep a fitness journal are more likely to reach their health and wellness goals.  Pick up a journal and start recording your daily activities. Write down everything you do, include walking, cycling and even staircases at work.  If you ever feel discouraged on your progress, you can look back and see what you have done and how much you have improved!

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Huffington Post Canada: Would You Donate Your Eggs to a Couple Who Couldn’t Conceive?

Our medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, had a chance to respond to Randi D’s “I Donated My Eggs So I Could Travel the World” blog post as published on Huffington Post. In her article, she delves into the following:

  • Why egg donation?
  • Could you expect your experience with egg donation to be the same as Randi’s?
  • The difference between egg donations in Canada and the U.S. and which system is better

To read her blog in full, please click here or on the image below.


 (Photo Credit: Panayiotis Filippou via photopin cc)

Fertility Food Friday: Autumn Vegetable Roast with Quinoa & Feta

Fertility boosting recipe by Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver


Recipe by Krista A. Parr

The smell of roasting root vegetables and squashes with herbs and garlic is a hallmark of autumn in my kitchen. There’s something so cozy and grounding about this type of cooking as it heralds the season of spending more time indoors baking, making soups & stews and preserving the harvest through fermenting, canning and dehydrating. I also find that this season invites quiet introspection: a time to go inside, both literally and figuratively. To all those who are travelling on a fertility journey, regardless of what stage you’re at, may this Autumn bring you closer to yourselves through nourishing foods, thoughts and actions. As a side dish or main event, this simple, wholesome casserole-type dish feeds body and soul, and you can feel it as you savour every flavourful bite.

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