Q&A Blog


How do I manage hypertension before, during and after pregnancy?

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Part of overall health is healthy living, including a good diet, good sleep patterns, well maintained weight, a healthy approach to stress and good management of blood pressure. If you have difficult to control blood pressure, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough and medications become necessary. We need to make sure that the medications… Read more »

So what is happening with IVF funding in Ontario?

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We are still in the phase of rumour and hearsay. “Funded IVF” requires a number of institutional structures to work properly. Is this going to be a tax credit, or through OHIP? Will there be age or diagnostic criteria? How does the funding apply if couples wish to transfer more than one embryo? There are… Read more »

My partner and I are just beginning our fertility journey. How do we create the best care plan for us?

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A Care Plan is probably the most important thing you can have in your fertility journey.   Of course, we all hope that we won’t have a “journey”. We hope that we’ll achieve pregnancy quickly, on our own, like so many friends and neighbours and co-workers seem to do. When it isn’t easy – when… Read more »

My tests showed my prolactin levels were over 100 twice now. Why do I need an MRI?

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A high prolactin (PRL) is a common finding in a fertility practice. Prolactin is also called luteotropic hormone. If you google this topic, you will find that high PRL is associated with galactorrhea (discharge from the nipples) and vision changes. But most subfertile women with high PRL won’t have these findings. Some women with high… Read more »

All my fertility tests are normal and my husband has no problems. Will controlling my hyperthyroidism allow me to become pregnant?

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When women of reproductive age are hyperthyroid, it can be difficult to become and stay pregnant. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause irregular cycles or no ovulation. Once you are pregnant – it increases the risk of miscarriage and other complications. How do you know if you are hyperthyroid? The signs can be subtle, so… Read more »

I am 28 and I have just been diagnosed with the lowest AMH possible. I’m starting aggressive IVF. Is age on my side with good quality eggs?

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AMH predicts quantity, not quality. The best predictor for egg quality is being under 35 years of age. Yes! Age is on your side. Anti Mullerian Hormone is released by cells involved with the growth of antral follicles and correlated to the number of active antral follicles you have. Usually with IVF, we hope to… Read more »

Who’s at risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and what do you do?

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OHSS happens when ovaries become inflamed, sometimes because they’re stimulated with medications. To some degree, ovaries are always inflamed a little bit. But in some people, the inflammatory fluid becomes excessive. The fluid collects in the abdomen, making it very uncomfortable to breathe. Worse, that fluid shouldn’t be there. The end result is a real… Read more »

What are the recent developments in implantation? (Part Three: PGS)

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This post is part three of a series where we will discuss how embryos, the uterus and overall health impact implantation.   We judge embryo quality in three ways: the number of embryos present, embryo grading, and PGS. In this post, we’ll talk about PGS. Our current gold standard for judging embryo quality is pre-implantation… Read more »

I’m supposed to have a full bladder for my ultrasound/procedure. But how full is too full? And what if I’m retroverted?

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First, let’s quickly review why we ask for a full bladder. When you’re lying on your back, your uterus either tilts up towards your belly button (anteverted), or back towards your spine (retroverted). Most women are anteverted. Between your uterus and your abdomen is the bladder. So, when you have a full bladder, it tends… Read more »

My husband has thyroid problems and a varicocele. We’ve tried IUI 6 times. What now?

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Unfortunately, IUI cycles tend to have a lower rate of success than we want, usually in the range of 10-20% per cycle, though it’s standard-of-care to suggest 3-6 IUIs before moving on. IVF with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) should provide a success rate that is at least 3-4x better. Recent improvements in lab techniques have… Read more »