Path To Fertility Blogger Lisa Rosenthal  

Lisa Rosenthal has over twenty-five years of experience in the fertility field, including her current roles as Coordinator of Professional and Patient Communications for RMACT and teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a class designed to support, comfort and enhance men and women's sense of self. Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association, where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director

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CT Fertility Specialist Mark Leondires Gives 3 Month Plan - Habits for Optimal Fertility and Healthy Pregnancy


Preparing for A Healthy Pregnancy

It seems like the Monday after Thanksgiving might be a good time for a reminder about what to think about BEFORE you try to become pregnant. It's never too late to start new habits for a healthy pregnancy and make more conscious decisions about your lifestyle. 

CT fertility specialist Dr. Mark Leondires, Medical Director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), talks about the choices that we can make when we are considering having a baby. As he advises below in the blog that he wrote for the Norwalk Patch, 90 Days Preconception: Habits for Optimal Fertility and a Healthy Pregnancy, better to think ahead. Of course you want to make healthy choices when you are trying to conceive; even better though if you know ahead of time. Ninety days ahead of time, according to Dr. Leondires, can make a real difference.

~ Lisa Rosenthal

CT Fertility Specialist Dr. Mark Leondires On Optimizing Fertility

CT fertility doctor Mark LeondiresThe most common questions I hear when a new couple comes to my office are “Will I get pregnant?” and “When?”  Typically by the time patients make an appointment with me or my colleagues they have been trying for months, sometimes even years, and are burdened with the anxiety and stress of infertility and their resolve is to get into the doctor’s office and to get pregnant.


However, instead of jumping immediately into a treatment plan, I believe in treating the whole patient.  My partners and I find that patients are most likely to successfully get pregnant when their physical and mental health is at its best.


Patients should consider their health and lifestyle habits 90 days before conception.  This is about more than fertility health.  This includes nutrition, mental health, stress management, physical activity… all of it affects a person’s fertility and, upon conception, it affects the health of mother and baby.


Some of our patients are able to get pregnant simply by changing their lifestyle habits – without assisted reproductive technology.  As little as a 5 percent reduction in weight can lead to more regular ovulatory cycles, improved insulin sensitivity and an improved chance of pregnancy.  Sometimes patients are too lean and their hormonal balance can be restored with weight gain.


Preconception Health Tips - A Checklist


Here are examples of how to improve lifestyle habits (and therefore improve fertility while decreasing the risk of birth defects) from the preconception health checklist that we use with our patients at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMA of CT). 



  • Eat a balanced diet that exemplifies the USDA’s balanced plate full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean protein, heart healthy fats
  • Test for risk factors: hemoglobin A1c, vitamin D, blood pressure, cholesterol – these are simple tests that can be performed by your family doctor
  • Start to take prenatal vitamins (800 mcg of folic acid)
  • Drink water (not soda and minimize caffeine).
  • Boost important vitamins and minerals: calcium (dairy, leafy greens), folic acid (citric fruit, fortified breads, lentils), iron (spinach, beans), omega-3 (low-mercury fish such as salmon)


Lifestyle Habits

  • Limit alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid exposure to environmental risk factors (e.g., gardening chemicals, cleaning products)
  • Lower caffeine intake to less than 150 mg per day, which is equivalent to two 8 oz cups of coffee
  • Try to get to a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI)
  • Be physically active with low impact activities such as swimming, walking and restorative yoga


Mental Health & Partner Relationship

  • Identify stress management method (e.g., yoga, meditation)
  • Communicate with your partner about your dreams of a family
  • Identify your network of friends and family – and consider talking to them when you are stressed
  • Talk to a professional when going through extreme challenges or making life-changing decisions
  • Consider support groups with other fertility patients. RMACT has monthly free support groups for fertility patients
  • Check your health insurance. Is family planning covered?  Are there restrictions (e.g., age)?


Reproductive Health

  • Schedule a preconception visit with your OB/GYN and be up to date on PAP smear and mammogram
  • For women: FSH and/or AMH, which are simple blood tests that help guage ovarian reserve; hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is a non-invasive test to check the fallopian tubes and uterus
  • For men: schedule a semen analysis, limit alcohol, quit smoking, work towards a healthy weight


Simple lifestyle changes have the power to improve fertility and the health of the baby.  Sometimes assisted reproductive technologies are still needed for a couple to get pregnant.  But improving a couples’ health (yes, the woman and the man) doesn’t have a downside.  Best of all, many of my patients like being proactive – this is something within their control.


Top CT Fertility Center Events This Week


CT Fertility Center Event Updates

CT Fertility Center EventsThere is a lot happening at RMACT (Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut) this week. Yes, even in a short week.

See about joining us for one or more of our events. We'd love to have you. 


A Pre-Conception Wellness Seminar Tools for Fertility Success


Have you ever wondered if you or your partner were eating, sleeping, managing stress, or exercising differently would it improve fertility success? How about the affects of alcohol consumption, smoking, pesticides, plastics, and body composition on sperm and egg quality?


Please join RMA of CT for an interactive discussion on the benefits of preconception with a fertile lifestyle. We will share how to create a fertile lifestyle and The Fertility DietTM tips that will improve conception success and also help to support a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Partners are Welcome.


This one session class is conducted by RMA Nutritionist Carolyn Gundell, MS and RMA Nurse Eloise Downs, RN.


Class Options: SATURDAYS

May 4th or June 1st 11:30am-1:00pm

Free Admission and Open to the Public


Location: RMA Norwalk at 10 Glover Avenue, Norwalk CT RSVP required. Space is limited. Please call Justine to reserve a seat at 203-750-7484. Please visit our website or call to confirm date, time and/or location as they are subject to change.


Pre-natal Yoga Every Thursday


This class was created especially for women who have been through fertility treatment. Class is designed around the special physical and emotional needs former fertility patients may have. Any woman, at any stage of pregnancy, is welcome to attend class (with doctor’s approval).

We will explore how the body changes through the different stages of pregnancy and learn how to continue to feel healthy and strong until labor and birth. Class will be a combination of relaxation, movement and meditation.

Come join us on the next step of your fertility journey.

Thursdays at 20 Glover Avenue (right next door to our main office in Norwalk)

7:15 PM- 8:15 PM

$40 for four classes (do not need to be consecutive sessions)

Please check website for any changes: www.rmact.com

Fertile Yoga Classes Ongoing


Classes will be on-going; come every week or once in a while, whichever suits you. Come alone or bring your spouse, partner, friend or family member. Yoga, meditation and deep relaxation can help men and women experiencing the challenges of infertility. Fertile Yoga helps couples relax and relaxation can help one make more satisfying decisions, communicate more clearly with their doctor, and sustain treatment with a more positive perspective.

What you need:
* comfortable, loose fitting clothing
* a yoga mat
* bottle of water
* two pillows (optional)
* avoid eating one hour before class.

In Norwalk, (classes from 5:45-7:00) we have a peer support group for the first 15-25 minutes where there will be a chance to share experiences, lend support and find comfort from those experiencing similar feelings. You are always welcome to join us at 6:15 if you would prefer only Fertile Yoga. In Brookfield, (Yogaspace- classes from 6-7:15), we wrap up talking by about 6:20.  

Fertile Yoga was created and is taught by Lisa Rosenthal RYT -200 (Registered Yoga Teacher). Lisa is a former fertility patient, who has been working for over 2o years as a national patient advocate for couples going through infertility. Lisa is uniquely qualified to understand the specific stresses and challenges that couples trying to conceive encounter. Fertile Yoga is designed with different diagnoses and treatment plans in mind. It is a gentle, restorative class that includes meditation.


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Snow Closings and Delays for Top Fertility Program - RMACT


RMACT's Fertility Program Updates Due to Snow

Snow delays and rescheduling for Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) are as follows:


All of RMACT's locations - Norwalk, Danbury, Stamford and Trumbull will be closing at noon tomorrow, Friday February 8th due to the forecasted snow storm. Be safe and warm everyone!



Fertility Program Updates Due to Snow

No Fertile Yoga at Yogaspace tonight.



Snow Delay for Preconception Seminar

The Preconception Wellness Seminar is rescheduled for next week on February 16.



Have you ever wondered if you or your partner were eating, sleeping, managing stress, or exercising differently would it improve fertility success? How about the affects of alcohol consumption, smoking, pesticides, plastics, and body composition on sperm and egg quality?


Please join RMA of CT for an interactive discussion on the benefits of preconception with a fertile lifestyle. We will share how to create a fertile lifestyle and The Fertility DietTM tips that will improve conception success and also help to support a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Partners are welcome.



This one session class is conducted by:
RMA Nutritionist Carolyn Gundell, MS
RMA Nurse Eloise Downs, RN

RSVP required. Space is limited. Please call Justine to reserve a seat at 203-750-7484.






Cosmetics and Pre-Conception Safety | Fertility Basics


Pre-Conception Wellness & Cosmetics

Pre-Conception HealthIf you're trying to be as healthy as possible when trying to conceive, consider your make-up and skin care products as a piece of the puzzle.  The 'foundation' of fertility wellness not only starts from the "inside out" (as our Nutristionist Carolyn Gundell, MS, covers in Pre-Conception Wellness), but from the "outside in" as well.  Pre-conception health takes research related to environmental and chemical toxins into account, to optimize health before pregnancy. 


Knowing more about skin-deep fertility basics can help minimize exposure to chemicals in cosmetics that may cause endocrine disruption, allergies/immunotoxicity and biochemical or cellular level changes.

Environmental Working Group Skin Deep is a nationwide coalition of public health, educational, environmental and consumer groups working to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of dangerous chemicals and replace them with safer alternatives. More than 1,000 companies joined the effort by signing the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to produce safer products and publish safety data.

Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database provides information and online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products.  They are one of the founding members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  Their webiste compares ingredients on personal care product labels and Web sites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Use the site to review safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market - including cosmetics.  

Lead in Lipstick - FDA December 2011 Report

Another great site for determining how sound your make-up and skin care products choices are: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) - Cosmetics section.  Lead in lipstick was a concern that was raised several years ago and studied in 2009 by FDA scientists who had developed an analytical method for measuring the amount of lead in lipstick. 


Their initial findings, as well as their expanded findings on 400 different lipstics, was posted recently in December 2011, and confirms that the amount of lead found in lipstick is very low and does not pose safety concerns.  The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics maintains that any amount of lead in cosmetics is too much.  Too much lead can affect nearly every system in the body, according to the CDC.  Lead poisoning can damage the nervous, muscular and reproductive systems, and has been tied to kidney damage and reduced IQ in kids.


Infertility and fertility basics are sometimes skin deep.  Start from there to get healthy before pregnancy . . .  it's always good to get back to basics. 






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