Fertility Treatment, Zika and Your Summer Trip

Ahhh summer… It’s the perfect time to take a break, relax and enjoy a vacation.  Before you book those plane tickets, this is what you need to know before you travel.  You might be at risk for coming into contact with Zika.

What is Zika? Zika is a virus most likely spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, HOWEVER, Zika can also be transmitted through sexual contact from an infected person to his or her partner. A Zika infection can also pass from a pregnant woman to her unborn child and it can cause severe birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Well, I’m not pregnant yet, so do I need to be concerned?  The CDC recommends people who travel to at risk areas need to abstain from sexual contact or use condoms for a specified amount of time before trying to conceive. If only the female partner travels to an at risk area, CDC recommends sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks upon return. Because the Zika virus survives longer in semen than any other body fluid, if the male partner travels to an at risk area, then the CDC recommends no sex or use condoms for at least 6 months!  The recommendation is the same for male and female partners who travel together to an at risk area.  No sex or use condoms for 6 months!

What does this mean for my fertility treatments? Although there are no reports of Zika transmission through assisted fertility technology, the transmission through gametes or embryos is theoretically possible.  If you want to continue fertility treatments without interruptions, avoid travel to places with Zika.  If you or your partner is going to travel to an area with Zika, freezing sperm or completing an IVF cycle and freezing the embryos before travel could be an option.  Delaying fertility treatment up to 6 months after travel would also be an option.

Where is Zika now? Check out the CDC website for the most up to date information.https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/world-map-areas-with-zika

Please do not hesitate to call our office with any questions or concerns.  We are here to help!

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html accessed 6/8/17

PCOS and Natural Pregnancy

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age caused by hormonal imbalances in your body. Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual periods, weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne, and obesity can all occur in women with PCOS. PCOS has other signs and symptoms, things that you can notice and feel. Every woman with PCOS may be affected a little differently.

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but there are steps you can take do to decrease your risk of getting PCOS. In order to decrease your risks for developing PCOS you need to lower your blood sugar, eat a PCOS diet, and get your share of exercise (this same routine can also help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity).

PCOS Diet Tips

- Lower Your Glycemic Levels Through Decreased Carbs, Increase Your Fiber Intake and Add Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Benefits.

- Glycemic levels refers to how carbohydrates effect blood sugar after being consumed. Foods with high carbohydrates increase blood sugar. Lower carbohydrate foods can make your insulin level lower, creating less risk of negatively impacting ovarian hormonal levels. However we are not suggesting a carb-free diet. Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and high-fiber foods include carbohydrates, but they carry additional benefits while reducing the risk factors of typically carb heavy foods. Fiber assists digestion in myriad ways. It binds excess estrogen, keeps you regular, and helps you feel fuller which reduces your cravings. Because fiber digests slowly in your body, your blood sugar goes through less dramatic highs and lows.

Foods to avoid:

Processed foods and foods that are high in sugar, like juices, cereals, sodas and cookies. Inflammatory foods include anything with processed sugar, refined carbohydrates and omega-6 fats (ex: processed vegetable oils).

The Importance of Exercise

Exercise is a crucial component of fighting PCOS, as it helps a woman lose weight and keep it off, which helps regulate her hormones and minimizes the symptoms that lead to infertility, such as anovulation. Remember that exercise doesn’t necessarily mean gym time, or intense running routines. There are a thousand ways to get a solid workout with ease. You can start with brisk walking or light jogging, join a sports league, light weight lifting, yoga, pilates, dancing, playing vigorously with your kids. Start slow and work out around 45 minutes a day, 2 or three times a week. Work up to an hour a day, 4-5 times per week.

PCOS and Natural Conception

Get the side effects and symptoms under control with exercise and a healthy diet. It will take a little time for the diet and lifestyle changes to make the desire positive impact on your body. If you feel that you may have some PCOS symptoms, Contact ARC, it is very possible that you can still get pregnant naturally.