Fast facts about infertility

National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23-29, is a time to help increase public understanding about infertility. One way to do that is to know the facts.

Infertility is a disease that results in the abnormal functioning of the male or female reproductive system. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (six months if the woman is over age 35) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth.

  • 7.4 million women, or 11.9% of women, have ever received any infertility services in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 8 couples (or 12% of married women) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.
  • Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained.
  • A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month. After six months of trying, 60% of couples will conceive without medical assistance.
  • Approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance. Of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% give birth.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association has posted even more facts on its NIAW web page. Please use them to help spread the word this week and throughout the year.

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Use your social media to promote National Infertility Awareness Week

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is asking everyone to help spread the word about National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23-29. One way you can do that is through your social media platforms.

The organization has created sharable and downloadable social graphics to save and use any way you choose. Whether you are a professional, patient or simply want to support someone you know with infertility, this is an easy way to let people know that you support the infertility community during NIAW and help educate the public on this disease.

  • Change your Facebook banner to one of these images.
  • Add one or a few of these images to your social feed.
  • Consider sharing how infertility has impacted you personally.
  • Use these images to educate the public by posting an infertility fact a day during the week of NIAW.

Get started by going to the NIAW social media web page.

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Help us spread the word during National Infertility Awareness Week

National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23-29, is a time to help increase public understanding about infertility.

How can you get involved? RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association has several ideas.

  • Spread infertility awareness to your local community. Find inspiration and ideas on how you can make a big impact in a small way in your local area.
  • Host a Walk of Hope to bring awareness to your community and help raise money for RESOLVE’s mission.
  • Use social media to inspires other by sharing your story, talking about this disease and advocating for the infertility community.
  • Find or host an Awareness Event.
  • Giving. Provide resources that will support the goal of ensuring that anyone struggling to build a family finds a resolution through being empowered by knowledge, supported by community, united by advocacy, and inspired to act.

Learn more about these and other ideas at the NIAW web site.

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Most women don’t eat nutritious diet before pregnancy, study finds

Black, Hispanic and less-educated women consume a less nutritious diet than their well-educated, white counterparts in the weeks leading up to their first pregnancy, according to the only large-scale analysis of preconception adherence to national dietary guidelines. And while inequalities exist, none of the women in any racial and socioeconomic group evaluated achieved recommendations set forth by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Healthy maternal diets have been linked to reduced risks of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia and maternal obesity. “Unlike many other pregnancy and birth risk factors, diet is something we can improve,” said lead author Lisa Bodnar, associate professor and vice chair of research in The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology. “

Bodnar and her colleagues analyzed the results of questionnaires completed by 7,511 women who were between six and 14 weeks pregnant. Nearly a quarter of the white women surveyed had scores that fell into the highest scoring fifth of those surveyed, compared with 14 percent of the Hispanic women and 4.6 percent of the black women. Almost half—44 percent—of black mothers had a score in the lowest scoring fifth.

The scores increased with greater education levels for all three racial/ethnic groups, but the increase was strongest among white women. At all levels of education—high school or less through graduate degree—black mothers had the lowest average scores.

“Our findings mirror national nutrition and dietary trends. The diet quality gap among non-pregnant people is thought to be a consequence of many factors, including access to and price of healthy foods, knowledge of a healthy diet, and pressing needs that may take priority over a healthy diet,” said Bodnar. The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Treating PCOS early may help prevent lower fertility later in life

Adolescent girls with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who are treated to reduce the amount of abdominal visceral fat and liver fat to normal levels restores ovulation, normalizes the symptoms of hormonal imbalances and may help prevent future fertility problems.

That’s the conclusion of new research from Spain that was presented at ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Florida.

PCOS is very common among adolescent girls and women. It is a primary cause of female infertility. Researchers studied 36 young women with PCOS who averaged 16 years of age, were non-obese and not sexually active. They had had their first menstruation at least two years before. The women with PCOS had more abdominal and liver fat, higher levels of the hormones androgen and insulin, and markers of poor cardiovascular health.

Participants received either the medication SPIOMET or an oral contraceptive. Those treated with the SPIOMET saw reduced levels of fat, insulin and markers of cardiovascular health. After treatment, these remained more normal in the girls who took SPIOMET than in those on oral contraceptives. And those on SPIOMET had a 2.5-times higher ovulation rate and a 6-times higher prevalence of normal ovulation. The risk of having abnormally few ovulations was reduced 65 percent. The girls who lost the most liver fat ovulated more after treatment.

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Listen up! Support National Infertility Awareness Week

This year during National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23-29, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association wants you to “Listen Up!” to issues around infertility and family building.

During this public awareness campaign, anyone who cares about the infertility community can do something that makes a difference, either in your own family-building journey or to help someone else. Infertility impacts millions of Americans and does not discriminate based on race, religion, socioeconomic status or sexuality. “Listen Up!” and become part of the movement.

How can you help spread the message? Learn more by clicking here.

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Whooping cough vaccine highly effective for pregnant women, study finds

A study involving nearly 149,000 infants has found that babies are far less likely to develop whooping cough if their mother was vaccinated while pregnant.

When pregnant women got the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine—the Tdap vaccine—their babies had a 91 percent lower risk of whooping cough during the first two months of life. That’s important because newborns don’t get their first whooping cough vaccine until that age. Those babies also had a 69 percent lower risk of whooping cough in their first year of life, according to the study, published in Pediatrics.

In 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the Tdap shot for pregnant women regardless of prior Tdap vaccination. The vaccine can be given at any time during pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks’ gestation.

“The results of this study demonstrate that maternal Tdap administered during pregnancy provides the best protection against pertussis, which strongly supports ACIP’s current recommendation to administer Tdap during each pregnancy,” said senior author Dr. Nicola Klein, director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center.

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Podcast discusses ovulation disorders, Clomid and Superovulation

Ovulation disorders are one of the most common causes of female infertility. Drug therapies are often used to treat infertility caused by ovulatory disorders.

In our latest podcast, Hina Ahmed, PA, discusses Clomid and Superovulation to help increase a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. Listen to the podcast here.

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Study: Most women stop drinking when pregnant

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women who are pregnant or could become pregnant avoid alcohol use. Do women follow that advice? A study out of Vanderbilt University say yes—the vast majority stopped or reduced their drinking after their positive pregnancy test.

Researchers looked at data from more than 5,000 newly pregnant women in eight U.S. cities. Most quit completely, and about 6 percent of women continued to consume some alcohol, but almost all of them at very low levels.

“Our study was not focused on whether or not alcohol is safe in the early conception window,” said study senior author Dr. Katherine Hartmann, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. “We wanted to see what actual women were currently doing. And we were pleasantly surprised about how promptly people changed their alcohol use.”

She added that changing drinking habits is most effective the earlier women know they’re pregnant. “Women were already self-regulating their alcohol use. Our findings suggested that promoting early pregnancy awareness could prove to be more effective than promoting abstinence from alcohol among all who could conceive,” she said.

The study is in the April 2017 issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Patient review calls us “completely helpful, honest and available”

A happy patient posted these kind words:

“Dr. Ziegler, Hina and the rest of the staff were so completely helpful, honest and available. They helped us through a very difficult time. We are so grateful that we were successful and will recommend Dr. Z to everyone!”

Thanks to her, and to everyone who takes the time to recommend our care. You can read more testimonials like this on our web site.

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