Stress and its effects on male fertility

By: Dr. Spence Pentland

stress and fertility

Management of stress plays a significant role in optimizing fertility.

In my clinical practice, it is abundantly clear that the management of stress plays a significant role in optimizing fertility.

There is a growing body of evidence that correlates psychological stress such as anxiety and depression to reproductive hormonal imbalance, production of subfertile sperm and poor IVF outcomes.

On a daily basis, I see this type of research confirmed but after an acupuncture session, men leave the clinic with a sense of calm. They tell me that it provides an overall sense of well-being, which is reflected in all aspects of their life from relationships to increased productivity and better sleep.

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Join the Fertility Friends Walk/Run Club!

Fertility Friends Walk-Run Vancouver

Our medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, has recently begun running with Dr. Spence Pentland of Yinstill Reproductive Wellness. On their run, the two doctors were both inspired by the supportive nature of their outings and saw it as an opportunity to talk about their work in the fertility field. From this inspiration stemmed the idea for Fertility Friends Walk/Run Club Vancouver.

Genesis and Yinstill have decided to partner in a walk and run group (running is typically discouraged for women who are undergoing stimulation for IVF treatments, which is why we would like to invite you to also walk). Employees of both clinics, patients undergoing treatment, those who are struggling to conceive and members of their support group are welcome to come out and enjoy some physical activity, Vancouver’s gorgeous scenery and the company of others who understand the pain of infertility. During Wednesday mornings at 6am beginning August 20, 2014, we will depart from the Jericho parking lot (East) towards the Spanish Banks for a 3 km run round trip. We invite all of you to join in this opportunity to improve your health in a supportive environment.

Wellness Wednesday: Trying to Conceive? Here’s What Not To Do

By: Dr. Spence Pentland

Trying to Conceive? Here’s What Not To Do

To increase fertility, try to limit your diet to organic foods.

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.

June 11, 2014 - Trying to Conceive Here’s What Not To Do

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)

Wellness Wednesdays: How and Why Optimizing BMI Improves IVF Success Rates

By: Dr. Sonya Kashyap & Dr. Spence Pentland

how BMI affects your fertility and IVF

BMI Index Comparison (Women) [Image Credit: Weightlossmex.com]

 A recent article by Postmedia News’ Sharon Kirkey highlighted Canada’s fertility specialists’ on-going discussion about whether guidelines should be established for helping (or not helping) severely obese women get pregnant.

So why is weight playing a role in the fertility treatment debate?

Most people are already familiar with the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight: being overweight increases your risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes while being underweight can have negative effects on your heart, immune system and bone density. But your body mass index (BMI) can also play an important role in the success or failure of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

BMI-based body size guides for women and men [Image Credit: International Journal of Obesity]

BMI-based body size guides for women and men [Image Credit: International Journal of Obesity]

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