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How Fat Can Affect Fertility

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Healthy lifestyle changes can make a difference

by Jennifer A. Redmond, Editor in Chief

According to a recent study of 323 women, being obese or overweight doubles a woman’s risk of miscarriage following IVF.

Car Fumes Risk to IVF Success

by Fiona Macrae,  Daily Mail U.K.,  May 12, 2010
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Could cut chances of conceiving by 25%

Living near a busy road cuts the chances of fertility treatment being successful by almost a quarter, researchers have warned.

A study of thousands of IVF patients found those who regularly breathed in traffic fumes were up to 24 per cent less likely to conceive than those who lived in less polluted areas.
Nitrogen dioxide - a toxin pumped out by car and lorry exhaust pipes, power stations and gas cookers - has as big an impact on a woman's chances of having a baby as ageing, the experts said.

Features: 

Change in Lifestyle, Change in Fertility?

Jill attributes her pregnancy following fertility treatment to dietary changes and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her FSH levels dropped, she needed less fertility drugs, she produced more eggs, more eggs fertilized, and she had a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Video Transcript

Will Being the "Perfect Infertility Patient" Get You Pregnant?

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A fertility couselor weighs in on following all the TTC rules

a blog by Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW, Mar. 18, 2010

The “perfect infertility patient” has transformed her life. She dines on wheatgrass and flaxseed and avoids dairy and meat. She does yoga and meditates and avoids exercise that elevates her heartbeat. She sleeps eight hours a night and listens to guided imagery tapes in her car. She reads about infertility on the Web but knows when to shut the computer off. She is doing all that she possibly can and she is working hard not to drive herself crazy in the process. It’s a difficult balance.

I meet “perfect infertility patient” fairly often these days. It's not surprising. We live in a society in which hard work pays off and most of us believe that if we work hard at something, put our minds to it, do all we can, our efforts will pay off. That is, until we face infertility.

Why Giuliana Rancic's Not Getting Pregnant

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Everyone has an opinion. Here's one woman's case for backing off the weight issue

a blog by Deborah Moore, March 15, 2010

I saw a clip of the ladies from The View interviewing Giuliana Rancic, an entertainment reporter for E! News who married one of the Apprentices I think (I don’t watch reality TV!). She’s 35, and she and her husband have been trying for at least a year to get pregnant. They realized they need help and are preparing for the IVF process.

[Watch Giuliana and Bill on The View.]

While the majority of the interview was a civil and friendly discussion of the couples’ struggles, host Whoopi Goldberg ranted later that Guiliana just needed to “put on a few pounds,” with the implication that this would solve all their problems.

Infertility and Overweight Women

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Why high BMI women deserve treatment before they lose weight.

a blog by David Kreiner, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Feb. 10, 2010

The most shocking thing I’ve experienced in my 30 year career in Reproductive Endocrinology has been the consistent “resistance” among specialists to treat women with obesity. This “resistance” has felt at times to both me and many patients to be more like a prejudice. I have heard other REI specialists say that it is harder for women to conceive until they shed their excess weight. “Come back to my office when you have lost 20, 30 or more pounds,” is a typical remark heard by many at their REI’s office. “It’s not healthy to be pregnant at your weight and you risk your health and the health of the baby.” Closing the door to fertility treatment is what most women in this condition experience.

A new article appearing in Medical News Today, “Obese Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment Advised Not To Attempt Rapid Weight Loss”, suggests that weight loss just prior to conception may have adverse effects on the pregnancy, either by disrupting normal physiology or by releasing environmental pollutants stored in the fat. The article points out what is obvious to many who share the lifelong struggle to maintain a reasonable Body Mass Index (BMI): Weight loss is difficult to achieve. Few people adhere to lifestyle intervention and diets which may have no benefit in improving pregnancy in subfertile obese women.

The New Ethics on Smoking, Obesity and Alcohol Consumption

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Is pregnancy a right?

by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, Feb. 1, 2009

The European Society of Human Reproductive and Embryology’s Task Force on Ethics has come out with a bold statement on the impact of obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption on natural and medically assisted reproduction. Published in January 2010 in the journal Human Reproduction, the group made five recommendations:

    1) Fertility doctors should refuse treatment to women used to more than moderate drinking who are not willing or able to minimize their alcohol consumption due to potential risk for the future child.

    2) Treating women with severe or morbid obesity requires special justification because the available data suggests that weight loss would have a positive reproductive effect (although more data is needed to establish whether assisted reproduction should be made conditional upon prior lifestyle changes for obese and smoking females).

    3) Fertility doctors should insist that a serious effort to lose weight and stop smoking be made before treatment can be considered. Because of the implied time delay, this should, however, not be asked from women approaching the end of their fertile period.

Boosting Your Fertility, Naturally

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Diet, lifestyle changes and herbal treatments may help optimize your fertility.

by Dr. Chris Meletis, Jan. 22, 2010

Infertility is a growing problem in the United States. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) reports that one in six U.S. couples have difficulty conceiving a child. Infertility has numerous causes, involving both male and female health problems. In fact, 30 percent of cases are attributed solely to male causes and another 30 percent are attributed to solely female causes. There are some steps you can take -- naturally -- that may boost your ability to get pregnant.

Greening Your Wash

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Tips for making your clothes chemical free and fertility friendly.

a blog by marie lee, Jan. 21, 2010

You need to wash your clothes. You should wash your clothes. In fact, you HAVE TO wash your clothes. Especially, when they are new. My friend who writes the enormously popular Green Babies organic blog warned me about all the crap they put on clothes to make them look brighter and more attractive in the store. Ready? Some special shiny “sizing” stuff which makes them fold better; pesticides if they are going to sit in the warehouse a long time; formaldehyde. She said this even happens with organic stuff, as once it leaves the factory, there’s not a lot of control. So wash up!

Are All Your TTC Systems Go?

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Try this 5-step (easy) detox!

a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon

When we are trying to conceive, it is important to maximize our body’s ability to get rid of environment we live in is filled with substances that can negatively impact fertility. Pesticides used on factory farms mimic our reproductive hormones and modern building materials and cleaning compounds can trigger allergic responses and promote inflammation in the body.

Add to that the stress hormones and the hormone medications that are part of fertility treatment and it’s easy to imagine that our body’s detoxification capacity can be overwhelmed!

So what do we mean when we talk about “detoxification capacity”?

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