Treatment with ‘a positive vibe’

A patient of ours writes:

“Dr. Mensah is a wonderful physician. Very thorough, explains each part of your process in understandable detail. You never feel rushed and I always have any questions I may have answered. She creates a positive vibe in an environment that is very sensitive for patients. Infertility is difficult but she radiates positivity. I would highly recommend Dr. Mensah to any couple. The staff at Reproductive Science Center are just a wonderful. Phone calls are always responded to promptly and communication is always clear.”

As always, we thank her and everyone who posts comments about our care, which you can read here.

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Dietary supplement from tomatoes may boost sperm quality

Sperm quality can be improved with a simple diet supplement containing a compound found in cooked tomatoes, according to new research by the University of Sheffield, in England. The discovery could transform the outlook for men with fertility problems and lead to better ways to reduce the damaging impact of modern living on reproductive health, the researchers claim. Of all infertility cases, approximately 40 to 50 percent are due to “male factor” infertility.

The first ever double-blind randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of giving men a dietary compound called LactoLycopene, was led by Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology Reproduction and Head of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism, and Dr. Liz Williams, a specialist in Human Nutrition at the University of Sheffield. The team discovered it is possible to increase the proportion of healthy shaped sperm (sperm morphology) and boost “fast swimming” sperm by around 40 percent.

Lycopene can be found in some fruits and vegetables, but the main source in the diet is from tomatoes. Lycopene is a pigment that gives tomatoes their red color, but dietary Lycopene is poorly absorbed by the human body, so the compound used for the trial was a commercially available formulation, called LactoLycopene, designed to improve bioavailability.

The 12-week trial involved 60 healthy volunteers aged 19 to 30. Half took LactoLycopene supplements and the other half took identical placebo (dummy pills) every day for 12 weeks.

“We didn’t really expect that at the end of the study there would be any difference in the sperm from men who took the tablet versus those who took the placebo. When we decoded the results, I nearly fell off my chair,” said Professor Pacey, an expert in male reproduction. “The improvement in morphology — the size and shape of the sperm, was dramatic.”

The work so far has not investigated the mechanism for Lycopene’s beneficial action but it is a known powerful antioxidant, so is potentially inhibiting the damage caused by oxidation of sperm, which is a known cause of male fertility problems.

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New podcast: Fertility options for single women

In our newest podcast, Dr. Virginia Mensah discusses the fertility options for single women.

Fertility treatment is becoming a common experience for many women who may not have found a partner or who do not want to enter into a parenting partnership.

You can listen to this podcast here.

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How the pineapple became the icon of IVF

According to a recent story in the New York Times, “pineapples have become a powerful symbol for women struggling with infertility. The fruit appears in the profile photos and Facebook feeds of women in online infertility communities, and dominates hashtags related to in vitro fertilization on Instagram. Women arrive for egg retrievals wearing pineapple leggings, T-shirts and dresses. They jot down notes in pineapple-covered notebooks and binders. Some use pineapple cookie jars and boxes to store I.V.F. medications …. Many who are trying to conceive wear pineapple socks and jewelry to work, and fill their homes with pineapple picture frames and other tchotchkes.”

The pineapple has been widely adopted as a symbol for women dealing with infertility. But why? The Times explains.

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Join RSCNJ in the fight against breast cancer

Each year, approximately 252,710 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer and close to 40,500 women will die from the disease. Thankfully, breast cancer mortality rates have declined by 35 percent since 1989, largely due to increased awareness of the disease and earlier screening and detection procedures.

Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey supports the American Cancer Society and research to help decrease breast cancer mortality rates.

Visit Cancer.org/FightBreastCancer to learn more about the disease and what is being done to fight it.

You can also make a difference by signing up for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Point Pleasant Beach on Sunday, October 20. The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation, uniting more than 300 communities to finish the fight.

We hope you will join us!

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A ‘gem’ of a review

A patient writes:

“I love all three doctors, especially Dr. Mensah. What a gem she is. She has both medical knowledge and the humble attitude to converse with patients in an effective, compassionate and yet keep-it-real way. Everyone in the office is great as well.”

Thanks to her for this gem of a review. Read more like them on our website.

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7 ways you can raise breast cancer awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

According to the World Health Organization, there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year worldwide. Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In the U.S., an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2019, as well as 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) suggests the following ways you can help spread awareness:

  1. Download their free Dense Breasts Q&A Guide.
  2. Share the story of how you or a loved one have been affected by breast cancer.
  3. Make a one-time or monthly donation to help provide a mammogram for a woman in need.
  4. Host a fundraiser benefitting NBCF.
  5. Volunteer to join in Helping Women Now.
  6. Proudly wear a pink ribbon during October or year-round.
  7. Share about Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Learn more at the NBCF web site.

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Pregnant or planning to be? Get your flu shot now

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza (flu) is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women of reproductive age who are not pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum) more prone to severe illness from flu, including illness resulting in hospitalization.

Flu also may be harmful for a pregnant woman’s developing baby, the CDC says. A common flu symptom is fever, which may be associated with neural tube defects and other adverse outcomes for a developing baby. Getting vaccinated also can help protect a baby after birth from flu, because mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.

Flu shots have been given to millions of pregnant women over many years with a good safety record, the CDC reports. Many scientific studies supports the safety of flu vaccine in pregnant women and their babies.

To learn more, visit the CDC’s Flu Vaccine Safety and Pregnancy web page.

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PCOS awareness—all year long

September—and PCOS Awareness Month—are coming to an end. But that doesn’t mean we should stop talking about this devastating disease.

According to the PCOS Awareness Association, symptoms of PCOS may begin shortly after puberty, but can also develop during the later teen years and early adulthood. Because symptoms may be attributed to other causes or go unnoticed, PCOS may go undiagnosed for some time.

We have a web page devoted entirely to PCOS. After you read it, please call us if you have any questions.

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‘An honor to be under your care’

A patent recently posted these kind comments about her treatment at RSCNJ:

“After a stressful and upsetting time my life, my husband and I were referred to your office. I heard such wonderful things, but the entire staff at RSC exceeded our expectations. Their professionalism, knowledge, kindness, and continuous support is beyond appreciated. I cannot speak more highly of your team. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! It was an honor to be under your care.”

The honor is ours. Thanks to her, and to everyone who posted comments online. You can read more of them here.

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