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When boosting your sperm count there may be a few things you might want to take into account. (more…)

Balance is not created solely from physical habits and actions. Wellness is not simply an act of attending your weekly yoga sessions and eating your greens. Sure, maintaining an active lifestyle and eating a balanced diet are steps that you can take to feel more wholesome and well, but wellness and balance embody something deeper than that. (more…)

I’m frequently asked which prenatal vitamins are right for women who are trying to conceive or who are already pregnant. There are so many prenatals on the market: it’s no wonder that it can feel daunting trying to pick out which one is the best. Prenatal vitamin formulations can and do vary, but there are some key vitamins and minerals that should be present no matter what. (more…)

There are certain key organs and substances that when strengthened, can benefit a runner’s endurance and overall energy. Here are some Chinese Medicine theories to get you started: (more…)

The recent Dutch study revealing a possible link between IVF and borderline ovarian tumors has caused some panic amongst our patients.  I’d like to set everyone’s mind at ease.

This was a large and long term study comparing ovarian cancer rates in nearly 20,000 women who received IVF with about 6,000 infertile women who had not.  Sixty-one women in the IVF group had ovarian tumors. 31 of these were considered “borderline ovarian cancer” and 30 were invasive cancer.  Those who had IVF had about double the likelihood of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer compared to those who did not over the course of the 15-year study, which was published in the Journal of Human Reproduction.

To the casual reader this all sounds very scary but let me break down the facts for you.

  • Firstly, borderline ovarian tumors are NOT cancer and the study of 26,000 women found no increase risk of ovarian cancer in women who undergo IVF.  Borderline ovarian tumors are not fatal and may never become malignant, but they usually require surgery.
  • Secondly, less than one woman in 100 (0.45 percent of women) will get ovarian cancer by the time they reach the age of 55.  If the results of this study are true, this risk increases to 0.71 percent for women who have IVF treatment.  This is a very small risk increase.  To help put this into perspective, the risk of heart disease is 1 in 5, the risk of being injured in a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 100, and the risk of breast cancer is 1 in 9.  The increased risk of a borderline ovarian tumor is 7 in 1,000.
  • There was no additional risk of ovarian cancer for women who had repeated courses of IVF treatment compared with women who had just one treatment.  This might indicate that the hormonal stimulation drugs are not what are causing the increase in borderline tumors.  Some other factor could have accounted for the difference — especially since the risk didn’t continue to rise in those who had higher hormone doses.  Also, women who had been treated with fertility drugs before going on to have IVF treatment did not have a higher risk of a tumor than those who had not.

This study creates a lot of questions that need to be further investigated.  As Jill and Dr. David pointed out, in Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility, all medicine is about weighing up risks and benefits and no one should be taking fertility drugs unless it’s absolutely necessary. However, this study reveals that the increased risk of  ovarian cancer associated with IVF is small and, in my opinion, this should not stop someone from using IVF as an option for having a baby.

Today’s blog was written by Yinova acupuncturist Amanda Silver. Amanda has over a decade of experience as an acupuncturist and herbalist and is a popular practitioner here at the Yinova Center where she is known for her practical, common sense advice on all matters related to OB/GYN.

Spring is a great time to do a cleanse, but some cleanses aren’t particularly safe when you are trying to get pregnant. A lot of popular cleanses today involve fasting or just drinking juices/water, which can be draining to the vital energies needed to get pregnant. Chinese Medicine generally advises against strict fasting and recommends eating a very clean diet of fresh fruit and vegetables and lean organic protein.

Here are some guidelines for a safe cleanse when trying to become pregnant:

  • Avoid sugar, including all “fake sugars”. This can be difficult, but I have noticed that it gets easier after the 3rd day. So hang in there!
  • Eat mostly vegetables, organic when possible.
  • Eat a variety of grains, not just wheat. Try whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, buckwheat, millet and rye. These foods are high in B vitamins, which the liver needs to support its metabolic processes. Whole grains also bind excess hormones and toxins to carry them through the bowel for excretion.
  • Drink water. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 140 lbs drink 70 oz or about 9 x 8oz glasses a day.
  • Cut out caffeine and alcohol.  Always a good rule when trying to get pregnant.
  • Meditate and breathe. These relaxation techniques help to reduce stress hormones. For more information about mediation see this Yinova blog article

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