Take Medical Monday to Consider Whole Health
Monday is time to look at the medical aspects in your life--your whole health.
Chances are, if you are trying to conceive or in fertility treatment, you've got the reproductive organs covered, medically.
Although, many fertility programs don't check on a Pap test. So please check.
Meanwhile, here are a list of medical professionals that you need to consider:
- Dentist! ~ Yes, that's right, it's not enough to have to deal with fertility treatments, you still need to go to the dentist. You need to get your teeth cleaned and examined. You need to be reminded to floss every day and to brush carefully.
- Dermatologist ~ This is a definite maybe. Some of you out there have a reason to go at least once a year. You may have a mole or a birthmark or skin cancer in the family. If you're supposed to go, go. Catching things early can mean the difference between full recovery and not.
- General Practioner ~ For a general overview, see your doctor. You may or may not need a full physical, your doctor will let you know. If you are experiencing any aches and pains, time to speak up.
- Eye doctor ~ Another definite maybe. Certainly if you wear contact lenses or glasses, you need to see your doctor as directed. That might be once a year or once every other year. Check in with them if it's been longer than that and you are not sure.
- Mammogram/Bone density scan ~ Check with your Gynecologist about whether these tests need to be done. Some of them depend on family history, some depend on age.
- Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, etc. ~ You may have personal or family reasons to see these doctors or other specialists.
Don't Ignore Your Overall Health Because of Fertility Treatment
Overall message here is just this simple. Don't ignore other aspects of your physical health because of fertility treatment. We mean it when we say that you are a whole and complete person. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself as a whole and complete person.
And that would include your mental health. Are you getting enough support? Are you shoving feelings way, way, deep inside because you don't know who to share with or to speak with? Do you frequently feel sad, for long periods of time? Or isolated?
There is help out there. Lisa Tuttle, PhD, is a wonderful resource as are peer support groups, like Ladies Night In. This week, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) has a very special event for RMACT patients only:
A Fertility Seminar for Couples ~ Free for RMACT patients, please RSVP. April 11, from 5:45-8:00. For our men out there -- "Optimizing Male Fertility" with Dr. Mark Leondires and Carolyn Gundell, MS. Same time, our women can come do Fertile Yoga with Lisa Rosenthal, RYT-200. Afterwards, come together to find "Support and Encouragement for You and Your Partner" with Lisa Tuttle, PhD. A light dinner will be served. RSVP to Jenn at 203-750-7484. Check out our events calendar for more details on all programs.
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
International Women's Day 2013
Today, as my friend Pamela reminded me, is International Women's Day. She called, as only one of your best friends can, at what I consider a rather unG~dly hour. Still, her timing was perfect.
I had just finished watching a video from Endometriosis.org, an international platform that has comprehensive and informative information about endometriosis, a disease that affects one in ten women. Their video is one of the best quick overviews that I've seen in quite a while, explaining what and how endometriosis can affect women and what one can do about it. So while I was enjoying this video, with the audio in a lovely english (British? Swedish?) accent, I heard about International Women's Day.
Yep, even with a foot of snow on a gorgeous March morning, the planets do align.
Raising Endometriosis Awareness for Women
What better way to acknowledge International Women's Day and March being Endometriosis Awareness Month than with an international organization?
Big Fertility News
Fertility news is big the last few days. I read some of the conversation online. As you need to be a subscriber to Time Magazine to read the full cover story, I have not done so. I do not want to subscribe to the magazine; I prefer the way that the news has been coming into my consciousness, deliberately.
It's unusual for me to be attracted to the news, I'm embarassed to admit. I've been avoiding the television and the newspapers for quite a while.
Still, the news seeps in. Sometimes it's called to my attention, like it was yesterday about egg freezing.
Time Magazine Cover
What else is all over the news? The new Time Magazine cover. A 3-year-old nursing. Standing up, breastfeeding.
Think it's controversial?
You bet it is.
And, as usual, I'm not going to enter it. I'm a huge believer in live and let live these days.
How does it relate to infertility?
It has to do, once again, with judgement and inflicting one's point of view on someone else. Whether it's political, moral, psychological, or religious, when do we stop assuming that we know better for another human being what's best for them? Or even what's best for their families?
Here's the relationship to infertility: fertility treatment. How many times over the last twenty two years have I heard similar comments and conversations about the fertility treatments that men and women experience as a process to create their families?
Too many times to count.
I've heard the same comments. Identical comments, especially after major technological breakthroughs in fertility treatment. Here are a few:
- It's not natural;
- I would never do that;
- There will be something wrong with those children;
- If God intended . . . (a personal favorite, fill in the blank);
- It should be illegal.
The name of the article, the cover, is "Are You Mom Enough?".
For those of us going though infertility, we are already Mom and Dad enough.
That's how dedicated and determined we are to have our families. Despite what someone else might question, we are already enough.
And we don't have to let anyone else decide for us whether fertility treatment is moral or what God intended.
On a political side note, we should keep an eye out about the legal piece of it. There are many in political office that would make the decisions for us. Careful who you vote for.
Fertility Foods for Women's Health: The Avocado
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT)'s very own fertility foods specialist, Nutritionist Carolyn Gundell, has shared her latest and greatest with us: a delicious, LOWER FAT guacamole recipe.
How is it possible to have a lower fat recipe? Are avocado's healthy with the fat content that they have? Read on, because the answer is that this is a great way to celebrate National Women's Health Week in May. Say yes to the avocado!
Keep that Fertile Avocado on your Grocery List
By Carolyn Gundell, MS, RMACT Nutritionist
“Skinny Guacamole!” I asked myself, “Could this be possible?” I love guacamole, avocado, and the fact that the delicious avocado is so very nutritious. But, buyer beware, avocado calories depend on type and serving size. One whole California avocado averages 220-240 calories and a whole Florida avocado could be up to 365 calories--mostly fat, although healthy fat. We can eat too much of a good thing.
Low-Fat Guacamole Recipe Tip
But let’s get back to this skinny guacamole idea. I was sitting reading my latest Eating Well magazine and found a low-fat recipe for guacamole. Fantastic! Could this be true and really taste good too? Yes, replace ½ of the avocado with cooked drained zucchini and save 100 calories in ½ cup serving. Add ¼ cup each of cilantro and onion, 2 minced garlic, 2 TB lime juice, ½ tsp hot sauce, ¼ tsp salt. Herbs and spices are all optional. Adjust to taste. Thank you Eating Well magazine.
The Avocado's Attributes: Nutrition for Fertility
So why is avocado so fabulous and what does it have to do with nutrition for fertility for both men and women? An avocado is high in nutrients important for pre-conception health and pregnancy. Avocados are nutrient dense with folate (folic acid), healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin C, K, additional B vitamins, potassium and other minerals and fiber. Healthy fat (monounsaturated and omega-3 and low omega-6 polyunsaturated fats) plays a role in estrogen production and reproductive hormonal balance. Avocadoes are also rich in phytonutrients which can help protect cells from damage. When using the avocado as an ingredient in balanced menus of healthy, whole grain, low-fat protein, fresh veggies and fruit it adds fiber and healthy fat that can help keep blood sugar (glucose) levels low.
8 Ways to Eat Your Avocado and Stay Calorie-Wise
So, be calorie-wise with your avocado:
- Use as a spread in place of mayonnaise
- Try the above referenced guacamole dip in a ½ cup serving size with low fat crackers, pita, chips
- Add chunks to green salads, chopped salads, chicken salad
- Add to salsa, bean dishes, tabouleh, quinoa
- Add to sauces to saute with chicken, such as mango, avocado, lemon
- Add to slices of tomato, mozzarella for side veggie with dinner or snack
- Add to salad dressing and smoothie recipes
- Consider the avocado as one of your healthy fats along with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, nut butters, brazil nuts, and olive and canola oil and others.
Thanks, Carolyn, for the great recipe.
Don't forget Ladies Night In at the Danbury office from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m., with Carrie Van Steen and me, Lisa Rosenthal.
We eat, we talk, we laugh, we cry, we share. And more. Come join us this evening. For more information, click here.
Why Not Talk About Fertility Medications?
When was the last time that you saw a fertility medication advertised on TV? How about on a billboard? A magazine ad?
Have you ever seen a fertility medication advertised anywhere?
How about for ED? Erectile Dysfunction. The little blue pill. It’s advertised everywhere.
One of the women in my pre-natal yoga class last night, pregnant with the help of fertility medications, pointed this out to the group last night.
How did getting pregnant become something that is hidden and somehow shameful but getting an erection is okay to talk about?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m fine with talking about and treating erectile dysfunction. It should be treated. It should be talked about.
The question is, why aren’t fertility medications advertised and well known? Why aren’t ads treating the subject gently and compassionately everywhere, making men and women comfortable about getting fertility treatment?
Why We Talk About Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
It’s been suggested to me that it’s because with erectile dysfunction (ED), it’s about penises. Ok, I understand that. But it’s a simple answer that relies on sexism and I don’t buy it. Men want their erections, right. So do their partners want them to have erections! We want to be able to function sexually. And if something is getting in the way of that, we should be able to have that addressed, as with ED.
Infertility is not a problem with sexuality. It’s a problem of reproduction and the reproductive system. It’s not a problem with whether you are meant to be a parent or not, or whether you are being judged by God about how good a parent you might be. It’s a disorder of the reproductive system.
So maybe the question (and you know I love questions) is, if we see advertisements about asthma, depression, and migraines, why don’t we see them about fertility medications?
It's Time to Talk About Reproductive Dysfunction
How did infertility and reproductive dysfunction become something we need to be ashamed of? Any more than we would be about asthma, depression or migraines? What is so special or different about having a disorder of our reproductive systems as compared to any other system in our bodies?
Here’s my answer.
It’s not different, unless we continue to see it that way.
And as long as we continue to be ashamed of infertility, differently than of asthma, breast cancer, ED, or any other dysfunction or disease, we allow ourselves to have less health insurance and coverage; we accept that fertility treatment can’t be discussed easily or openly; and often, we struggle alone.
And rest assured. You are not alone. In fact, you surrounded by infertility support.
I struggled with infertility. I am not less of a woman or of a person because of it, nor was I when I was in the midst of it.
Neither are you.
You are not alone.
We are here.
I am here.
Fertility Specialist Dr. Mark Leondires: Speaker for Danbury Hospital
On Saturday, March 3, fertility specialist Dr. Mark Leondires joined a group of top professionals at the third annual "Spirit of Women Day of Dance," organized by Danbury Hospital.
As indicated on the Day of Dance Web site, Day of Dance is a community-based event, hosted by Spirit of Women hospitals across the country, intended to offer fun for the entire family. Friends and family alike can learn to dance, learn simple ways to stay heart healthy, enjoy music, and participate in health screenings.
From 10:00- 2:00 at the Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury, the hospital hosted physician-led interactive sessions focusing on women's health. Topics included family fitness; preventing osteoporosis; sexuality and hormones; genetics and jeans; money and stress; urology and gynecology; sleep fitness; and integrative medicine. Dance demonstrations, exhibits and classes all aimed to help women and their families stay healthy. Fertility specialists, like Dr. Leondires, and other expert doctors were available for questions.
Dr. Leondires discussed the different stages of reproductive health from puberty to menopause, and the expected hormonal changes that can affect each stage of a woman's life. Congratulations Dr. Leondires for joining such a prestigious group of professionals and thank you for donating your time and expertise so that women could learn more about reproduction and women's health.