Dr Sonya Kashyap speaks with Pulse 107.7 FM to speak about IVF and Infertility Awareness Week. To listen to the full interview click below.
“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.
By: Carla Bondoc
It’s no secret that the body absorbs chemicals through the skin, so whether you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, choosing healthier skin care products is key. Mineral make-up, with its “cleaner”, non-toxic ingredients, is one option.
The history of mineral make-up dates back in time where many ancient cultures used ground up natural minerals as means of applying color to the skin, camouflaging and using it as war paints. Today, the talk about mineral make-up is everywhere. Many more people are switching to using mineral make-up as the interest in safe, natural and organic products is increasing.
Everyone talks a lot about what to do to increase your chances of pregnancy but if you’re doing everything right and conception is still stalled, you might want to look at what not to do.
Toxins in our environment disrupt hormonal balance and may be contributing factors in infertility, preterm birth, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCO/PCOS), endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, recurrent pregnancy loss, anxiety and of course cancer of all kinds.
Nowadays the food and drug industry is big business and you really have to look out for yourself. Be sure to read labels and go organic when possible. Some women have had success by going vegan but if that seems too extreme try your best to eat only free-range, organic fed animal products. When you can buy locally, by all means do. Not only are you getting fresher, less processed food, you are supporting the local economy and sending a message to the large corporations that care more about their bottom line than your health.
Obviously cigarettes, alcohol and drugs are a no-no. When we look to the not too distant past, smoking in places like maternity wards and airplanes was perfectly acceptable. We may shake our heads in disbelief but I imagine future generations will feel the same way about some of the things we put in our bodies. From microwaving our food to drinking water from plastic containers and spraying perfume directly on our skin, I’m willing to bet that there will be a level of disbelief at our ignorance from future generations. The best advice really is to do your homework. If your doctor prescribes medication, ask about the side effects and take the initiative to read about them independently. If you see something on a food label and you’re not sure what it is, Google it. Knowledge is power!
By creating a clean environment in your own body you are making it more hospitable for a baby and increasing the health and well-being of your future child. That’s worth making some adjustments for, right? It may seem daunting at first, but start small and work your way up. When you have adjusted to changes, choose more to implement. Dedication to your healthier-living path will ensure you are doing your part in protecting your fertility.
Things to Avoid
Exposure to many toxins in our environment is inevitable, so whenever you can, minimizing exposure to the following is best:
- Water that has been stored in a plastic container
- Cleaning agents that contain artificial scent (laundry, body, hair, dish, household)
- Dryer sheets and fabric softeners
- Cosmetic lines that are not completely transparent about their ingredients
- Food that has been microwaved– especially in plastic containers
- Domestic home and garden pesticides
- Canned foods (unless specified non-BPA lining)
- Phthalates (used in cosmetics and to soften plastic)
If you’re in the process of trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant, one thing is for sure. Maternal health and fetal health go hand in hand. One of the most important things that a woman can do for her unborn child is to make sure she takes her folic acid. Folic acid can help to prevent serious birth defects in our children.
Folic acid, also known as folate, comes from many different foods including leafy green vegetables like the popular kale and spinach. It can also be found in orange juice and grains.
A healthy dose of folic acid can help prevent and reduce the risk of babies being born with neural tube defects – serious birth defects involving incomplete development of the brain, spine or spinal cord.
Varying doses of folic acid are prescribed for different people and their health statuses.
Healthy patients with no medical issues require a well-balanced diet full of folate-rich foods and daily supplementation with a multivitamin with folic acid (0.4–1.0 mg) for at least two to three months before conception, throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period (4–6 weeks and as long as breastfeeding continues).
Patients who need a higher dose of folic acid (5mg) are:
- Patients with health risks, including epilepsy, insulin-dependent diabetes and obesity (Body Mass Index [BMI] greater than 35);
- Those who have a family history of neural tube defects;
- People belonging to a high-risk ethnic group, e.g. Sikhs require an increased dietary intake of folate-rich foods and daily supplementation with multivitamins with 5 mg of folic acid.
Patients who require a higher dose of folate should consume the vitamin at least three months before conception and continue its intake throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period.
In a nutshell, folic acid is a mandatory ingredient in the recipe of pregnancy.
Did you miss Monday’s broadcast of Heather Pelz’s story on New Tang Dynasty (NTD TV)?
Heather has had a very special experience with infertility. At age 44, she wanted to conceive a child using her own eggs, an event that has less than one per cent chance of success (chances of conceiving at age 44 is deemed to be less than one to five per cent; the possibility of conceiving a baby with the mother’s own eggs at that age is even lower).
Heather gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Hunter just prior to her 45th birthday.
Chinese couple Mei Ling and Felix have also beaten the infertility odds. Mei Ling’s biological condition made her chances of conception to be around 10 per cent. With fertility treatment, she is now happily carrying her first child.
Click on the video below to find out more about their success stories in addition to how infertility is affecting first-generation immigrants. The Mandarin video clip starts at the 25:51 mark.
Canadian Infertility Awareness Week is upon us and Dr. Sonya Kashyap was on CTV Morning Live this morning to talk about infertility, a medical condition that plagues one in six couples in Canada. Deana Burtnick and her daughter, McKinley, were also on air to talk about how the clinic made Deana and her husband’s dream come true.
Click here or the image below to find out what infertility means to Canadians and how advances in technology can help people conceive.
The staff at our fertility clinic are avid supporters of individuals and couples having children when they think they are ready. As Canadian Infertility Awareness Week approaches at the end of May (24-31), there’s no better time than now to consult with your family doctor about options for maintaining and extending your fertility.
One option of extending your fertility is to have your eggs frozen.
Our medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, wrote an opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun explaining why people should consider egg freezing as an option should they choose to have children later in life.
My mother invested her life in ensuring my three sisters and I achieved our dreams and goals. She always said, “You can achieve anything! The world is your oyster as long as you work hard and treat people with respect.”
Her wisdom always stuck with me growing up. I started medical school when I was 19, my residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology when I was 23 and then a master’s in epidemiology followed by a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at ages 28 and 29.
I knew I wanted to make a big contribution with my life. When it was time to do my fellowship, the clinic which was considered to be at the forefront of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in North America, Cornell University Medical College in Manhattan, was where I had to be. I wanted to contribute to the ever growing body of knowledge and make a huge impact by helping women and couples build their families. I would have gone to Timbuktu if it was the best place to train, but lucky for me, the clinic was in Manhattan.
I chose my career path because I love the fact that science and technology evolved at a mind bending pace and that kept me challenged intellectually. I also loved that it involved intellect and procedural skill. My patients were extremely motivated and depended on me to make a difference in the destiny of their family. With the advancements in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), we could wipe a lethal gene from their family line and it was those aspects which kept me motivated and inspired to keep doing more.
We’ve been featured in “Canada’s Premiere South Asian Lifestyle Magazine”! Drishti Magazine had a chance to interview our medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, about the use of Early Embryo Viability Assessment (Eeva), the first use of the assisted reproductive technology in Canada.
To view the article, please click here or the image below!