Vancouver Sun: Chromosomal screening boosts chances that IVF will succeed

Did you know that Genesis Fertility Centre offers genetic screening services (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis [PGD] and comprehensive chromosomal screening [CCS])?

Vancouver Sun‘s Erin Ellis had a chance to speak with one of our patients, Christa LeFlufy, about her experiences with genetic screening. We are very happy to be part of Christa’s fertility journey.

Learn more about Christa’s story and chromosomal screening in the story below.

Dr. Sonya Kashyap speaks with Christa LeFlufy about chromosomal screening at Vancouver's Genesis Fertility Centre

Dr. Sonya Kashyap speaks with Christa LeFlufy about chromosomal screening at Vancouver’s Genesis Fertility Centre

Wellness Wednesday: Female Sexuality and Infertility

By: Susan Lockhart, PhD, MBA, BScN and Director of Clinical Operations at Genesis Fertility Centre

Infertility can have an impact on female sexuality.

Infertility can have an impact on female sexuality.

Female sexuality is influenced by multiple factors: culture, religion, ethics, and individual personality traits all contribute. There are numerous scientific reports regarding how female sexuality is affected by the impact of cancer, surgeries such as hysterectomies, and menopause. But what about infertility? Research findings report the impact of infertility on sexuality for women can result  in decrease of sexual arousal, loss of desire for sexual activity, and negative feelings experienced during sex. In clinical practice, women experiencing infertility report that sex has become an activity with a purpose rather than a pleasure. A woman’s sexuality is particularly affected during investigation, diagnosis and treatment of infertility. For women and their partners fertility treatments can create feelings of intense invasion of sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as loss of control.

So, if you are experiencing issues related to your sexuality, what can you do? There are many benefits of sexual activity related to your well being:  heightened emotional awareness, increased immunity, and analgesic effects have all been reported in the literature. Increased self esteem and self  worth have also been noted as benefits of positive sexual relationships. Sexual healing can begin with you and your sexual partner. Renewed intimacy can happen by something as simple as pretending you are dating again. This can help by reintroducing romance to your relationship. Exploring tantric sex or other similar sexual techniques  can recreate sexual activity as a pleasure rather than a function.

There is also professional help available. Medical intervention may be helpful for vaginal dryness or painful intercourse. Whereas, psychological intervention can help with loss of sexual desire or negative thoughts during sexual activity. Organizations such as IAAC (Infertility Awareness Association of Canada) and Resolve provide support for those experiencing infertility.  Don’t be afraid to seek help and support.  If infertility has negatively impacted your  sexuality, you are not alone!

 

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: Folic Acid

 

Folic acid and fertility

If you’re in the process of trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant, be sure to consume a healthy dose of folic acid.

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.

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