SHWI: You've gained a large following for your knowledge and expertise on fertility. Please share more about your background and why you're known as the Egg Whisperer.
I gained this nickname and reputation due to my expertise and success in helping women conceive using assisted reproductive technologies, particularly in cases where egg-related fertility issues are involved.
A special patient of mine gave me the website EggWhisperer.com as a gift after I helped her have her twins with her last two golden embryos! I am known for having a unique ability to understand and work with eggs, making the process of egg freezing, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and other fertility treatments more successful for my patients when other treatments haven’t worked. I enjoy navigating the complexities of fertility treatments involving eggs and helping women achieve their dream of having a child.
My dedication to increasing awareness about fertility issues and options has also contributed to my recognition as "The Egg Whisperer."
SHWI: What approach do you take with patients who have been struggling with infertility and come to you to improve their chances of conception?
- Comprehensive Evaluation: I start by conducting a thorough evaluation of the patient's medical history, including any previous fertility treatments and investigations. I also order additional tests to identify any underlying causes of infertility.
- Personalized Treatment Plans: Each patient's infertility case is unique, and I create personalized treatment plans tailored to individual needs. These plans could involve a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
- Patient Education: Infertility can be a complex and emotional journey. I prioritize patient education, ensuring that they understand their fertility options, the procedures involved, and the expected outcomes. This empowers patients to make informed decisions about their care.
- Emotional Support: Infertility can take a toll on a patient's emotional well-being. I offer emotional support and resources to help them cope with the stress and uncertainty that often accompanies infertility treatments.
- Fertility Preservation: For patients who may be facing conditions that could affect their future fertility, such as cancer or other medical treatments, I offer fertility preservation options like egg or embryo freezing.
- Holistic Approach: I also advocate for a holistic approach to fertility care. This might involve considering lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction, which can impact fertility.
- Collaborative Care: I work closely with a team of healthcare professionals, including psychologists, nutritionists, and acupuncturists, to provide comprehensive care to her patients.
SHWI: In a recent podcast you did with Juno Bio, it was mentioned that 91% of women who have disrupted vaginal microbiomes might not succeed in their IVF attempts. How does vaginal dysbiosis affect fertility?
- Increased Risk of Infections: Vaginal dysbiosis can lead to an increased risk of vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections. These infections can create an inhospitable environment for sperm, making it more challenging for them to survive and reach the cervix.
- Altered Cervical Mucus: The composition of cervical mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle, becoming more receptive to sperm during the fertile window. Vaginal dysbiosis can affect the consistency and pH of cervical mucus, potentially hindering sperm transport through the cervix.
- Reduced Sperm Viability: An imbalanced vaginal microbiota can produce substances or compounds that are harmful to sperm, reducing their viability and motility.
- Implantation Issues: The health of the vaginal microbiota has been linked to successful embryo implantation in the uterus. An altered microbiota may interfere with the ability of a fertilized egg to implant and establish a pregnancy.
- Increased Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): In severe cases, vaginal dysbiosis can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection that can cause inflammation and scarring of the reproductive organs. PID can result in blocked fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of infertility.
- Disrupted Hormonal Balance: The vaginal microbiota can influence local hormonal levels. An imbalance in vaginal bacteria may lead to altered hormonal patterns, potentially impacting ovulation and the menstrual cycle.
SHWI: Our work at SHWI and Good Clean Love focuses on vaginal microbiome health and education. What can women who are trying to conceive do to make sure they have a healthy vaginal microbiome?
Maintaining a healthy vaginal microbiome can positively influence fertility and reproductive health. Here are some steps women who are trying to conceive can take to promote a healthy vaginal microbiome:
- Regular Check-ups: Regular gynecological check-ups can help identify and address any potential vaginal health issues early on.
- Avoid Douching: Douching can disturb the natural balance of the vaginal environment, leading to an increased risk of vaginal infections and imbalances.
- Choose Contraception Wisely: Some forms of contraception, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and diaphragms, may slightly increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis (BV). If you notice recurrent vaginal issues, consult your healthcare provider to discuss alternative options.
- Limit Antibiotic Use: Frequent or unnecessary use of antibiotics can disrupt the balance of vaginal bacteria. If you need antibiotics for any reason, talk to your doctor about potential probiotic supplementation to support vaginal health during and after the treatment.
- Maintain Good Hygiene Practices: Avoid using harsh soaps, scented products, and feminine hygiene sprays in the genital area, as they can disrupt the natural pH and bacterial balance. Instead, use mild, unscented soaps for external cleaning.
- Wear Breathable Underwear: Choose underwear made of natural, breathable fabrics like cotton to promote good air circulation and reduce moisture, which can help prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore and maintain a healthy vaginal microbiome. Some studies suggest that certain strains of lactobacilli probiotics, when taken orally or as suppositories, may be beneficial for vaginal health. Talk to your healthcare provider about specific probiotic options that may be suitable for you.
- Healthy Diet: A well-balanced diet rich in nutrients can support overall health, including vaginal health. Eating foods with prebiotic properties (e.g., whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) may also help nourish beneficial bacteria.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can influence hormone levels and immune function, potentially impacting the vaginal microbiome. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or regular exercise can be beneficial.
SHWI: BioGenesis Friendly-Fertility LubricantTM is one of the few lubricants you suggest for your patients to use as part of their path to conception. Can you share more about why you recommend this lubricant?
BioGenesis Friendly-Fertility Lubricant is undoubtedly my top recommendation when it comes to lubricants for patients on their conception journey. After extensive testing and evaluation of over 15 different lubricants, I can confidently say that BioGenesis stands out as the best choice. One of the primary reasons I advocate for this lubricant is its sperm-friendly formulation, which sets it apart from many other products in the market.
Unlike some lubricants that can negatively impact sperm health and motility, BioGenesis is specially formulated to be gentle and non-toxic to sperm cells. This means that it doesn't hinder the natural movement or viability of sperm, increasing the chances of successful conception. For couples trying to conceive, maintaining a sperm-friendly environment is paramount, and BioGenesis helps ensure just that.
Moreover, safety is of utmost importance when recommending any product to my patients. I trust the manufacturing process of BioGenesis, which is carried out by Good Clean Love, a reputable and reliable company known for producing high-quality fertility products. This trust in the manufacturing process gives me confidence in recommending this lubricant to my patients, knowing that it meets stringent quality and safety standards.
The last thing anyone wants is to introduce potentially harmful substances during a sensitive and critical time like conception. With BioGenesis, patients can rest assured that they are using a lubricant specifically designed to support their fertility journey without compromising the delicate balance required for successful fertilization.
SHWI: What are some action steps women can do to take charge of their fertility?
My TUSHY method is an empowering approach to take charge of your fertility journey. TUSHY stands for:
- *Tubes (Fallopian Tubes):* Ensure the health and patency of your fallopian tubes. These tubes are crucial for transporting eggs from the ovaries to the uterus and providing a pathway for sperm to fertilize the egg.
- *Uterus (Check Your Uterus with an Ultrasound):* Assess the condition of your uterus through an ultrasound. This allows your healthcare provider to examine the uterus's structure and identify any potential issues that might affect fertility or pregnancy.
- *Sperm (Get Sperm Checked):* It's essential to evaluate the male partner's/donor’s sperm health through a semen analysis. This helps determine sperm count, motility, and morphology, which are vital factors in successful conception.
- *Hormones (Check Your Fertility Levels):* Hormonal balance is critical for ovulation and overall reproductive health. Monitoring hormone levels through blood tests can provide insights into your fertility status and identify any hormonal imbalances that might impact conception.
- *Your Genetic Profile:* Consider genetic testing to assess for any hereditary conditions that could affect fertility or pregnancy. Understanding your genetic information can help you make informed decisions about your reproductive journey.
By following my TUSHY method, you can gain valuable information about your reproductive health and address any potential obstacles that may be affecting your fertility.