Category: Fertility Education

Our Everyday Environment & Fertility

By: Dr. Amber Cooper

environment & fertilityI realize as I begin to replay my day that I had countless concerning environmental exposures. My lunch had more trans fats than I would like to admit and I am sure that I am still under the recommended 10,000 steps or 30 minutes of recommended cardiac exercise per day. Those are in my control and I should do better. I take comfort in the fact that I am a non-smoker and my morning coffee and evening glass of red wine may have had some antioxidant benefits. My multivitamin does offer several fertility and pregnancy advantages and now there are studies suggesting men desiring pregnancy may also benefit from a multivitamin. (more…)

Testing the Genetic Code in Carrier Screening

By: Dr. Angie Beltsos, Medical Director & CEO

carrier screeningPreconception counseling is developing into something larger than life. We, as doctors talking to patients before they are pregnant, continue to strive for simplicity and comprehensiveness.

One egg and one sperm create a new person with genetic codes about who we are and who we will become. Human features are in genetic recipes that come half from the egg and half from the sperm. There can be mistakes in the code that get passed on to the child and in recessive traits, as long one normal part gets passed on, the abnormal one may be overshadowed. In order for the abnormality to show itself, both the egg and sperm would have to contribute the abnormal gene. Many conditions or diseases are passed on to children through generations and a simple but important blood test can detect these genetic diseases. All women who want to have a baby should consider the testing of their genetic code called “carrier screening.” Up to half of pregnancies are unplanned! Therefore testing, when going in for pap smears or birth control pills, is also a consideration. At our clinics, we offer carrier screening to couples trying to conceive which may help to identify abnormalities and optimize the chance of having a healthy baby.

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The Menstrual Cycle

In order for a woman to have the potential to become pregnant the following must be true of her menstrual cycle so that fertilization and implantation is possible. The woman’s ovarian and anterior pituitary hormones behave normally during her cycle to develop a mature egg and prepare the uterus for implantation.

The below chart illustrates the changes in a woman’s body during the menstrual cycle. Each term is explained in the following glossary.
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