Today, the Center was featured on WTNH’s Connecticut Families with Sarah Cody. She spoke with Helen BetGivargis, the Center’s acupuncturist, about acupuncture and how it can be helpful in fertility treatments, as well as with a couple who spoke about their experience. We hope you enjoy the piece as much as we do! And don’t forget…if you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture, come to our Community Fertility Acupuncture event on October 27th. Navigate to our News and Events page for more information and to register.
by Ami Chokshi
Fertility & IVF Health Coach
September is PCOS month, and PCOS-related infertility affects so many women these days. PCOS symptoms often include:
- Irregular periods,
- Weight gain or weight loss resistance,
- Hair growth on your face or body,
- Acne, and
- Dark patches of skin
…. but you already know this if you have PCOS.
So, let’s talk about how you can manage your symptoms to support your fertility journey.
Insulin resistance is often a major factor associated with PCOS, and this means that your body cannot respond properly to the insulin it makes. Keeping your blood sugar steady throughout the day will help you sustain healthy hormone levels, keep your mood even, and support a more regular menstrual cycle.
I work with women who want to maximize their chances of getting pregnant by optimizing their health. These are women who are asking their doctors, “what else can I do outside of treatment.” These are some tips I share with them to get them started…
Step 1: The Winning Food Formula
Food is where I start, and the first step to managing your PCOS is to eat in a way that keeps your blood sugar steady. The winning formula is: Fiber + Protein.
I recommend eating both fiber – in the form of veggies – and protein in every meal. This dynamic duo will keep your blood sugar from spiking in either direction. And, it works regardless of what diet you subscribe to…from vegan to keto. It will keep you from feeling hangry, irritable, or sleepy. And it will help you keep your weight in check. If you are trying to lose weight, remember this catchy phrase…
“Fiber and protein in every meal makes losing weight no big deal.”
You can apply this to your daily meals by:
- Adding spinach to your scrambled eggs,
- Including kale with a low sugar smoothie and a plant-based protein,
- Eating a big salad with chicken for lunch, and
- Covering half of your plate in veggies plus a protein for dinner.
Step 2: Move Your Mass
Next, incorporating high intensity interval workouts decreases insulin resistance and is the best exercise to mobilize excess body fat.
This can look like a 20 minute HIIT workout from Fitness Blender (check out some the HIIT workouts here:)
…or 3 sets of the Scientific 7-Minute Workout (here is the app).
If you have had a heavy meals and need a quick blood sugar stabilizer, lace up your sneakers and go for a walk. Even 10 minutes around the block will help lower your blood sugar.
Step 3: Flush it out
Finally, drink your H20.
I know you know this, and you have heard this a dozen times… But, how often are you doing this? Staying hydrated helps remove excess sugar from your blood through your urine. Half of your body weight in ounces is often the guideline, so if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces of water. Another way to know is to check the color of your urine. Aim for pale yellow.
Hydration isn’t only about drinking water.It also means making sure you have an adequate electrolyte balance. Electrolytes – like potassium, magnesium, and sodium – can be added to your water and are critical for replenishing needed minerals and feeling hydrated. They support chemical reactions that take place in your body for optimal hormone health.
A basic rule of thumb is this: if you have go to the bathroom within 5-10 minutes of drinking water, consider adding electrolytes (or even a pinch of pink sea salt) to your to your next glass.
Stick with these basics and be sure you are sleeping 7-9 hours, and you will notice results…from better energy and weight loss to calmer hormones.
Want help getting started? Check out my free PCOS 7 Day Meal Plan. Simply share your email here, and I will send it (plus additional fertility tips) to you right away!
Congratulations to the Center’s Dr. Nulsen, Dr. Benadiva and Dr. Grow for making the 2019 Best Doctors in in America® List which includes the nation’s most respected specialists and outstanding primary care physicians in the nation. Check out the full list in the June issue of Connecticut magazine.
“Infertility treatment, which typically involves a multi-faceted physical, emotional and financial investment, can be psychologically debilitating for some. For many patients, infertility is perceived as the most distressing experience they’ve ever gone through.” Read “The Mental Health Provider and Infertility: An Option for Support” by Kim Crone, PhD.
In honor of Gay Pride Month this June, the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services is partnering with the New Haven Pride Center on an LGBTQ Family Building Symposia.
The symposium will be held on Monday, June 24th, 6 PM at the New Haven Pride Center. Talk with our experts in all aspects of LGBTQ Family Building. Learn about clinical options and costs and hear from real patients who have gone through the process. Light food and beverages will be offered.
We certainly let our presence be known this past weekend! 15 staff members attended 3 different conferences in 3 different states.
Jen Christensen and Allie Revoir attended the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s [ASRM] Association of Reproductive Mangers [ARM] annual conference in Austin, Texas. ARM is a professional society of ASRM and meets 2x annually. The next meeting will be the Post Graduate Course at ASRM in Philadelphia in October.
Kathy [Varkal] Paniati, RN headed south to South Carolina for the Annual Egg Donor Conference in Charleston. This is the preeminent conference for nurses and doctors who work primarily with Third Party reproduction. Kathy will no doubt have lots to share with us about what is state of the art in this area of our practice.
Finally, 11 of us headed north to New Hampshire for the New England Fertility Society Meeting [NEFS] annual meeting. We were definitely the most represented Center there both in term of attendees and meeting presenters. In attendance were: Dan Grow, MD, Lawrence Engmann, MD, Chantel Bartels, MD/REI Fellow, Evelyn Neuber, Phd, Paul Verrastro, CEO, Alison Bartolucci, Lab Director, Darlene Davies, Senior Embryologist, Lia Shuhaibar, Embryologist/Visiting Scientist, Peg Demers, RN, Haley Krivensky, RN and Scott Yohe, Research Manager. Highlights included:
Evelyn Neuber, Phd and Chantel Bartels, MD each had posters:
•What does age have to do with it? Did the lifting of CT Mandate on age restrictions affect access to IVF care within context of larger eIVF data base.
•Contrary to previous reports the large eIVF database shows day of trigger Progesterone elevation reduces live birth rates among the young and good responders.
Darlene Davies, Senior embryologist was the winner of the eIVF grants and invited to give an oral presentations
•eIVF Research Winner: Retrospective Analysis of the effect of laser assisted hatching at the blastocyst stage on Implantation Rate
~ Darlene Davies
Evelyn Neuber, PhD and Scott Yohe, Research Manager led a lively Round Table discussion:
•Barriers to Recruiting Patients to clinical studies and barriers to overcoming them
This was the 30th Anniversary meeting of NEFS and Dr. Grow and Dr. Neuber were both honored for having served as past presidents of the organization.
As always, it was fun to spend time together outside of the office and get reacquainted with old friends!
It’s Baby Week on WFSB Better Connecticut, and we’ll be talking about gestational carriers. Tuesday afternoon’s show features (BetterCT starts at 3 PM) an interview with Victoria Ferrara, founder and legal director of Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists as well as one of our patients. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the information on our website under Specialized Services/Gestational Carriers or go to Worldwide Surrogacy at www.worldwidesurrogacy.org.
We have a great line-up of events planned during National Infertility Awareness Week. This week unites millions of Americans who want to remove the stigmas and barriers that stand in the way of building families. All events will be held at the Center’s offices at 2 Batterson Park Road in Farmington. Sign ups and more information can be found here.
This flyer can also be downloaded by clicking here.
We are so proud of Dr. Engmann and Kathy Varkal, and we also know firsthand what caring and compassionate individuals they are. Congratulations to them both for this wonderful award.