A time to ‘ask tough questions’

“The theme of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24–30) is ‘Start Asking,’ and RESOLVE is honored to bring together the entire infertility community to call attention to this disease,” says Barbara Collura, president and CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. “By asking the tough questions about infertility, we not only have an opportunity to raise awareness about this disease, but also to motivate all who are touched by infertility to commit to the cause.”

“National Infertility Awareness Week is a movement to educate the public and create greater awareness and understanding about infertility in New Jersey,” says William Ziegler, D.O., medical director, Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey. “Our goal is to help women and men find answers and get the support they need to make important medical decisions and address the medical, emotional, social and economic challenges infertility can present.”

RSCNJ is using utilizing social media to raise awareness and understanding about infertility during NIAW. For more information, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.

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Allies in promoting understanding

Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association will recognize National Infertility Awareness Week, April 24 through April 30, joining healthcare and mental health professionals and other thought leaders along with millions of women and men fighting the disease of infertility to promote greater awareness of the problem.

RESOLVE works to improve the lives of women and men living with infertility. One in eight U.S. couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options.

Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey’s experienced staff of doctors, nurses and technicians fully understands the difficult emotional and medical challenges that confront patients struggling with infertility. Our fertility center combines a commitment to sensitive care with a state-of-the-art program, offering comprehensive care and the latest infertility treatments, ranging from in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination to drug therapies and tubal ligation reversal.

During National Infertility Awareness Week, our center is utilizing social media to raise awareness and understanding of infertility. For more information, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.

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Get ready for National Infertility Awareness Week

The week of April 24–30 has been designated National Infertility Awareness Week. The movement behind this observance, which began in 1989, is aimed at raising awareness about the disease of infertility and encouraging the public to understand reproductive health.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association founded this movement and continues to work with the professional family building community, corporate partners and the media to:

• ensure that people trying to conceive know the guidelines for seeing a specialist;

• enhance public understanding that infertility is a disease that needs and deserves attention;

• educate legislators about the disease of infertility and how it impacts people in their state.

In 2010 National Infertility Awareness Week became a federally recognized health observance through action by the Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information, visit Resolve’s website at www.resolve.org.

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Study links marijuana with low birth weight

Pregnant women who use marijuana may be putting their babies at risk for health problems, new research suggests. A review of 24 studies found that pot use during pregnancy is potentially linked to delivering a baby with a low birth weight and one that requires placement in the intensive care unit, the researchers reported.

The review, published in the journal BMJ Open, found that infants exposed to marijuana in the womb had 77 percent higher odds of being underweight at birth and two times greater likelihood of being placed in an intensive care unit, compared with infants whose mothers did not use marijuana. In addition, pregnant women who used marijuana were 36 percent more likely to be anemic than women who didn’t use the drug.

“As states and countries continue to legalize the use of cannabis [marijuana], understanding the relationship between cannabis and fetal health is essential,” said study author Jayleen Gunn, an assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She noted that many of the studies show only an association between marijuana and health problems in newborns, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship. The studies also did not account for the use of other drugs or unhealthy habits the pregnant women may have engaged in that might also cause low birth weight and other health problems.

Nevertheless, a woman trying to get pregnant should avoid any chemical substance that could harm her or her fetus, including marijuana.

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A warning for women with endometriosis

Women who have endometriosis, the abnormal growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus, may face a 60 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than women without the disorder, a new study suggests. The potential risk was especially high for women who were 40 or younger.

The study, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, looked at more than 116,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II. The researchers found nearly 12,000 women who received a diagnosis of endometriosis during the 20-year follow-up, which ended in 2009. They discovered that women with endometriosis were 1.35 times as likely to need surgery or stents to unblock arteries. These patients were also 1.52 times as apt to have a heart attack, and 1.91 times as likely to have chest pain, or angina.

Younger women had an even higher risk of heart disease, the researchers found. Those 40 and younger with endometriosis were three times as likely to have a heart attack, need surgery for a blocked artery or have chest pain (angina) compared with those of the same ages without endometriosis.

That finding could be partly explained by the endometriosis treatments themselves. These treatments, such as removal of the uterus and ovaries, have been linked in other studies to potential heart-disease risk, the study authors said.

“Women with endometriosis should be thinking about lifestyle changes and discussion with their doctor about steps they can take to prevent heart disease,” said Stacey Missmer, the study’s senior author and director of epidemiologic research in reproductive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

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New podcast discusses the role of a physician assistant

Physician assistants (P.A.s) make up a small but rapidly expanding part of the health care workforce. Their training and education produce a flexible medical professional who can function in many specialty areas and within many practice structures, including fertility care.

In our latest podcast, RSCNJ P.A. Hina Ahmed explains how, as a physician assistant, she is involved in all aspects of patient care. You can listen to it here.

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Do you ‘Show Your Love’?

Show Your Love is a national campaign from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is designed to improve the health of women and babies by promoting preconception health and healthcare. Its goal is to increase the number of women who plan their pregnancies and engage in healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant.

For women who don’t want to start a family in the near future or at all, the campaign encourages healthy behaviors so that these women can be their best and achieve their goals.

What are those healthy behaviors? The CDC has created a special web page that answers that question. Check it out—whether you plan to have a baby soon or down the road.

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Planning a pregnancy? You may want to cut down on coffee

A new study in the journal Fertility and Sterility could convince both men and women to minimize Starbucks visits if they are planning a pregnancy. The study found that a couple’s risk of miscarriage may rise when the woman or man consumes more than two caffeinated drinks a day in the weeks leading up to conception.

Risk of miscarriage also may increase if the mother-to-be drinks more than two caffeinated beverages daily during the first seven weeks of pregnancy, the researchers found. The study doesn’t prove that caffeine causes miscarriage, only that there appears to be an association.

Remember: Besides coffee, caffeine is also found in some teas, colas, energy drinks and chocolate.

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Thank YOU to the patients who posted these wonderful reviews on Reputation.com.

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‘What is best for you?’ New podcast has answers on infertility

Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse. In the United States approximately 15–20 percent of married couples experience some degree of infertility. This means that one in six couples will need professional assistance.

A diagnosis of infertility, however, does not mean that becoming pregnant is impossible. To completely evaluate the reproductive potential of a couple, the physician must see the couple together to facilitate treatment.

Infertility can be a multifactor problem. Several conditions that individually may not be important can, when combined, markedly influence a couple’s reproductive potential. Therefore, a systematic evaluation of both spouses should be implemented to determine which fertility options are best for you.

Alan Martinez, M.D., discusses this in more detail in our latest podcast. You can listen to it by clicking here.

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