Ep 209: The Nitty Gritty on Failed IVF Cycles: Protocols, Additional Testing and More!

VF cycles offer enough challenges without the added drama of a cycle that fails to create a pregnancy.  Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center as they dissect real-world IVF cycles and potential changes to protocols that may help patients. The fabulous listeners submitted a ton of questions that illustrate potential points of change within a given IVF cycle. The doctors touch on the subtleties of protocols using different types and doses of gonadotropins. They review pretreatment techniques and nuances of different medications to alternately suppress or slingshot hormone levels to greatness. And of course, not everything in a failed IVF cycle is due to the IVF itself – questions of uterine abnormalities, aberrant hormone levels like prolactin, potential causes of recurrent implantation failure and the influence of embryo grading all receive in-depth commentary on different approaches to management. Listen in as we evaluate and offer suggestions on how to improve your next cycle!

Ep 208: Why Ectopic Pregnancies Don’t Play by the Rules

A critical part of pregnancy is location, location, location, and when a pregnancy presents outside the uterus, it is an ectopic pregnancy that is serious and, in some cases, life-threatening, so experienced care matters. Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center as share their expertise about where ectopic pregnancies can appear, associated risk factors that leave women more susceptible to ectopic pregnancy and clues they look for when suspecting an ectopic pregnancy. The docs also share medication options and recent research to treat ectopic pregnancies as well as surgical procedures that safeguard a woman’s health.

Ep 207: The Listener Lowdown – Answering your Fertility Questions

This week, we let our informed listeners lead the way as we field varied questions ranging from IVF testing considerations for men and women, to education about endometriosis and some specifics about PCOS in a bit of a fertility-free-for-all. Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center for an informative and thoughtful conversation giving listeners the unique opportunity to receive multiple informed opinions on their most pressing personal questions. This includes addressing the misnomer of empty follicle syndrome, what to do if insurance just says no and why the definition of a “successful” fertility treatment means different things to do different people. In addition, you’ll learn about an exciting collaborative project our terrific trio is taking on. Come learn with us!

Ep 206: Pack Your Patience – The IVF Timeline

While potential parents facing fertility challenges are anxious to get pregnant, rushing through a complex process such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can often result in speed bumps that can actually slow the process. Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center as they try to set patient expectations by explaining from start to finish, that individual timelines are truly unique for each step of IVF. They emphasize first laying groundwork which includes navigating financial considerations and insurance is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Treatment timelines involve the careful choreography of priming and preparing your hormone levels which vary, the different lengths of time it can take to stimulate ovaries to develop eggs and the all-important timing of your trigger shot to induce ovulation leading to eventual fertilization, genetic testing and embryo transfer. We’ll unpack the process and give you tips to deal with unexpected life circumstances that often pop up along the way!

Ep 205: A Deep Dive into Diabetes and Thinking Ahead to Pregnancy

Patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes often have specialized health considerations that ideally are addressed before a baby is on the way. Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center as they break down the basics of diabetes and prediabetes and how they relate to pregnancy as well as the distinctions between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and how they are managed differently. The doctors also detail the importance of A1C levels and the story behind those numbers in support of a healthy pregnancy. The doctors further explain how diabetes links to fertility including how insulin influences egg production, when it is safest for a diabetic patient to get pregnant and why optimizing pre-pregnancy health is vital to minimize diabetic risk factors to ensure the best outcome for mother and baby.

Ep 204: A Healthy Perspective on Weight and Fertility — Lauren Lemieux MD Form Health

As some fertility patients also face challenges with weight, recent research has allowed for a better understanding of obesity as a health issue and the importance of providing medically based, compassionate care. Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center for an enlightening Q-and-A session with Dr. Lauren Lemieux from Form Health who explains the psychological impact of obesity and fertility and how important it is to understand the biological causes of obesity to counter societal stigmas. Dr. Lemieux, an internist and obesity medicine specialist who is board certified in internal medicine, obesity medicine and as a physician nutrition specialist, details important data points, such as a patient’s dietary history and how understanding current food cravings can provide insight to future success. Dr. Lemieux also provides useful tools and innovative strategies to empower patients including the use of food photos to give a clear picture of how to achieve a healthy, sustainable weight for you and your future family.

Ep 203: Anti-Obesity Medication and Fertility Treatments — Facts from Dr. Florencia Halperin With Form Health

Recent research has changed the narrative about obesity, debunking the myth that it is a lifestyle choice and recognizing it as a medical condition. With a better understanding of the role of the brain in weight regulation, more effective medications are available, some of which are taken by women facing fertility issues. Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center for an informative discussion with Dr. Florencia Halperin, a board certified endocrinologist specializing in weight loss as chief medical officer at Form Health. Dr. Halperin explains the latest advances in anti-obesity medication, cost considerations in new vs. older drugs and the multi-faceted approach to weight loss including diet and exercise. For those taking anti-obesity medication who are considering fertility treatment, Dr. Halperin explains the importance of developing a transition plan to safely support the pathway to pregnancy.

Ep 202: Food, Fertility and Nutritional Needs — Julia Axelbaum, Form Health

Balanced nutrition plays an important role in preparing the body for pregnancy and supporting a baby on the way! Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center for a wide-ranging discussion with Julia Axelbaum, director of clinical nutrition at Form Health. As a registered dietician who is board certified in obesity and weight management, Julia discusses pre-pregnancy nutrition including what you might miss if you cut carbs or dairy, the fallacy that all fats are created equal and why being underweight or overweight matters when trying to conceive. By promoting a wholistic approach to health, including all-important vitamins such as folate, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, the patient perspective can shift from looking at food through the lens of a “diet” and instead focus on this unique time to support the body for pregnancy preparation and beyond.

Ep 201: Decoding the Alphabet Soup of Medical Abbreviations – OBGYNs and REIs

The amazing breadth of knowledge offered in your OBGYN office (obstetrics and gynecology), and the subspecialty expertise provided by an REI (reproductive endocrinologist) play a key role in your first fertility appointment. Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center for the nitty-gritty about what these medical abbreviations are all about and how these docs work cooperatively. In cases where fertility is more complex, understand why your reproductive endocrinologist might request similar testing to your OBGYN, and why a second look is beneficial. The doctors also detail what to consider in transferring your medical records from your OBGYN, why all ultrasounds are not created equally and how REIs are attuned to the tricky timing of hormonal testing.

Ep 200: Spotlighting Sperm Donors – Information from Alyse Mencias with Seattle Sperm Bank

Using donated sperm is an effective option for some individuals and couples wanting to start a family, but there are plenty of questions about sperm banks, and this week we provide answers! Join Dr. Carrie Bedient from The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Dr. Abby Eblen from Nashville Fertility Center and Dr. Susan Hudson from Texas Fertility Center for a lively and informative question-and-answer session with Alyse Mencias, clinic relations manager at Seattle Sperm Bank. Alyse, who has a master’s in reproductive and clinical science, explains who donates sperm, why they donate and the vital health, genetic and psychological screenings that Seattle Sperm Bank requires. Alyse also details what types of traits prospective parents might consider, the age requirements for donors, and why the transparency of open identity (open ID) for sperm donors and offspring born from sperm donation is important to understand.