Our fertility specialists earn rave reviews  

Thank you to the patient who wrote this kind review:

“LOVE the doctors and all the staff! I really Can’t say enough good things! I’ve been to both Toms River and Eatontown, beautiful offices. Dr. Ziegler is awesome! Dr. Martinez is great too! So professional, down to earth, funny and great at explaining things in a way those of us not in the medicinal field can understand easily.

“Everyone makes you feel right at home there and they are so empathetic, always encouraging you with a smile. I had a positive experience every time I went with all the girls and doctors. Vicki is my favorite, she drew my blood and was with me through the whole journey (I’m a hard stick). If I could have stayed on with them after getting pregnant, I would have in a heartbeat! I would recommend them to ANYONE having a hard time. You will be in the best hands!”

You can read other reviews on our web site.

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New podcast: “Zika Virus and Fertility Planning”

If you have been ignoring the news about Zika virus, maybe this will gain your attention. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five of nine pregnancies among U.S. women who were infected with the Zika virus have resulted in tragic outcomes.

If you are traveling to an area where the Zika virus has been reported, precautions must be taken. Insect repellents containing DEET won’t harm a pregnant woman or her fetus when used as instructed to prevent infection with the Zika virus, a new research analysis suggests. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) supports the guidelines and is urging pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy to follow them.

In our latest podcast, Dr. Alan Martinez discusses the Zika virus and the risks of travel for women that are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Listen to it by clicking here.

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A breakthrough in fertility treatment?

Families struggling with infertility or a genetic predisposition for debilitating mitochondrial diseases may someday benefit from a breakthrough led by scientists at Oregon Health and Science University and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

In a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, researchers discovered it’s possible to regenerate human eggs or oocytes – the cellular beginning of an embryo – by making use of genetic material that normally goes to waste.

This DNA comes from small cells called polar bodies that form off of eggs and contain the same genetic material as in a woman’s egg nucleus. Until now, polar bodies had never been shown to be potentially useful for generating functional human eggs for fertility treatments. In the study, scientists successfully transplanted a polar body from a woman’s developing oocyte into the cytoplasm of a donor oocyte stripped of its nucleus.

Though the technique could be years away from progressing to clinical trials, the advancement eventually could be significant for women of advanced maternal age. “We know that fertility declines as women get older,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., co- senior author and director of the OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy. “This is potentially a way to double the number of eggs we’re able to get from one session of in vitro fertilization.”

In addition to potentially benefitting women of advanced maternal age, the technique may present another opportunity to help women known to have mutations in their mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside nearly every cell of the body. Mutations in mitochondria can result in debilitating forms of disease in children. “This new technique maximizes the chances of families having a child through in vitro fertilization free of genetic mutations,” Mitalipov said.

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Such a pretty baby!

Have you checked out our Baby Photo Album lately?

As fertility specialists, our ultimate goal is to help you reach yours: having a baby. And we are proud and happy to post pictures of some of the pretty faces brought into the world via infertility treatments at RSC New Jersey!

Prepare to say awwwww!

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Staying healthy over the holidays

The weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year are a time of family celebration, fun and sometimes a bit of overindulgence. And that’s fine, as long as you balance the partying with healthy habits. This is especially true if you are pregnant.

A healthy lifestyle is critical for both baby and mother to flourish during pregnancy. The basics to a healthy pregnancy include eating a balanced diet; gaining the right amount of weight; enjoying regular physical activity; taking a vitamin and mineral supplement if recommended by a physician; and avoiding alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances.

The American Dietetic Association has more tips for at its web page, Top Tips for Eating Right During Pregnancy. Take a look, and share any tips you have with others in the space below.

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“Hands down the greatest medical practice I have ever dealt with”

“This is the only doctor in my area who without any hesitation took me in as a patient and treated me for endometriosis knowing that my goal was simply get healthy and not continuing with fertility options. He took time and answered all of my questions without any rush and ended up operating on me to fix the problem. He uses modern technology so after the surgery I was able to actually see the pictures that he took during the procedure to actually better understand about my condition.”

“Amazing first experience. Came for a second opinion and Dr. Martinez was beyond compassionate, thorough and helpful on describing our options and next steps!”

“Hands down the greatest medical practice I have ever dealt with. Dr. Ziegler and his entire staff in both Toms River and Eatontown locations were all so wonderful, knowledgeable and caring. I always received a call back if I had to leave a message and even had direct email contact to his PA. They walked us through every step of the process and made our entire IVF experience a delight. I actually cried when he released me to my regular OBGYN for the duration of my pregnancy. I will miss them all.”

Thank you to these patients for saying such kind things about RSCNJ. You can see more at our web site’s reviews page.

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New test helps assess fetal growth

Abnormal fetal growth and birth weight are risk factors for chronic diseases later in life, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. A new study shows metabolic substances in a mother’s urine appear to indicate how large a baby will be at birth, which may help doctors individualize recommendations, such as lifestyle changes, to help maintain healthy fetal size, the researchers said.

The researchers identified, for the first time, a panel of 10 urinary metabolites, including steroid hormones and important biological building blocks called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), in the third trimester of pregnancy that were associated with greater fetal growth and increased birth weight.

These amino acids are nutrients that provide energy for the growing fetus. Changes in these amino acids and other metabolites detected in a mother’s urine explained 12 percent of the variation in birth weight. The finding was independent of other known factors such as a mother’s weight and smoking or drinking, the researchers said.

For the study, published in BMC Medicine, urine samples and lifestyle information were collected from more than 800 pregnant women, ages 28 to 33, in Spain. “We found that a 50 percent increase in the mother’s level of individual BCAAs equated to a 1 to 2.4 percent increase in birth weight,” said study co-lead author Muireann Coen, of Imperial College London. This was the equivalent of 5 to 11 grams (less than an ounce), she said.

“When we made comparisons with the lifestyle and environmental exposures of the women in our study we found that the variability between BCAA profiles of individual mothers could be partially explained by levels of physical activity, vitamin D, coffee consumption and smoking exposure, suggesting them to be potential areas of intervention to promote a healthy birth weight,” Coen said.

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Study: Tdap vaccine safe during pregnancy

The Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine is safe for pregnant women who hope to pass their immunity on to their newborns, a new study shows. The vaccine does not appear to cause birth defects or any other major health problems for a developing fetus, according to a review of more than 324,000 live births between 2007 and 2013.

“We basically showed there is no association between receiving the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy and these congenital [birth] defects, including microcephaly,” said lead researcher Dr. Malini DeSilva, a clinical investigator for HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis.

The Tdap vaccine has been recommended for unvaccinated pregnant women since 2011 across the United States. Babies can’t receive the vaccine that protects against these diseases until they are 2 months old, DeSilva said. Until they do, they have a high risk of contracting whooping cough (pertussis).

“In between the time they’re born and their 2 months’ visit, they don’t really have any protective antibodies other than what has passed through the placenta,” DeSilva said. “There have been some studies that show there is an increased chance of passing these antibodies when the mother gets this vaccine.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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2 new podcasts cover diabetes, nutrition

We have posted two new podcasts for you to listen to at your convenience.

In “Management of Diabetes and Infertility,” Dr. Alan Martinez discusses the correlation between fertility and diabetes. As the rates of Type II diabetes are rising every year in the U.S., many infertility specialists are beginning to look toward this health issue as a main cause of some otherwise unexplained infertility cases. Management of diabetes and the symptoms associated with it are crucial to fertility treatment success and a healthy pregnancy.

In “Healthy Eating for Fertility,” Hina Ahmed, physician assistant at The Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey, explains how maintaining a healthy diet can increase your fertility and help you have a healthier pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure later in life. However, a healthy diet may significantly reduce that risk, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

In addition, researchers found that women who continually adhered to a healthy diet were 20 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure in the first place than were those who did not maintain a healthy diet. U.S. News and World Report recently evaluated popular diets to determine the best eating plan to support overall health, including fertility. The winner, and still champion, is the heart-healthy DASH diet.

You can find these and our other podcasts on our web site.

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Hair today, gone tomorrow? Don’t worry–it will grow back

For new mothers concerned about hair loss, dermatologists say they needn’t worry. Many women experience noticeable hair loss after having a baby, and experts say it is normal, temporary and caused by changes in hormones.

Excessive hair shedding after pregnancy is very common and caused by falling estrogen levels, the American Academy of Dermatology says. It typically starts about three to four months after giving birth and peaks several weeks later. But most women have all their hair back within a year.

To help prevent hair loss, the ADA recommends the following tips:

• Use a thickening shampoo. These shampoos often contain ingredients like protein that coat the hair, making the hair appear fuller.

• Avoid “2-in-1” conditioner-shampoo. These contain heavy conditioners that can weigh down your hair and make it look limp.

• Use a conditioner formulated for fine hair. These contain lighter formulas that will not weigh down your hair. Avoid conditioners labeled “intensive,” as these are too heavy.

• Use conditioner primarily on the ends of your hair. Avoid your scalp and the top half of your hair to prevent your hair from being weighed down.

• Try a new hairstyle. Some haircuts can make hair appear fuller. An experienced hair stylist can help you find a cut, style or color that works well for you. Avoid treatments that may worsen hair loss, such as chemical treatments or excessive styling.

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