Earlier this month, Dr. Anina Burns, PhD, RD, Certified Functional Medicine Fertility Nutritionist and Erin Wolff, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist joined forces to discuss the power of Functional Medicine and fertility, and the importance of addressing both early to improve overall health and increasing the likelihood of pregnancy.
Annina is the Founder of Simplina, an online functional medicine fertility practice dedicated to addressing underlying health conditions, unexplained infertility and improving egg quality to increase your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. She is the first PhD/RD certified in Functional Medicine, an expert in functional medicine fertility with 9 years of practice experience.
Part of Anninas purpose at Simplina is to take a closer look into underlying health issues, because your whole body is inter-related and fertility may be impacted. For example, a lack of sleep could cause a cortical imbalance. An irregular cycle can cause a hormone imbalance. Weight loss or gain can cause blood sugar imbalances or irregular metabolic function. These things can all in turn effect fertility.
What is infertility, you ask? Infertility is the inability to become pregnant after one year (or 6 months if >35) of unprotected and timed sex. The aforementioned health issues can affect fertility, as do things like environmental health factors (Eg BPA) male infertility, immunity, mental health, nutrition, and genetics. Simplina takes into account all of these things, in order to create a healthier you, and in turn, a more fertile environment. Lifestyle changes can lead to better egg quality, reduce chromosomal abnormalities, and reduce inflammation/ This not only makes for an ideal situation for conceiving naturally and less risk of miscarriage, but can make conceiving through IVF easier.
That leads us right into the next portion of the presentation from Dr. Erin Wolff. Erin is the Founder of Pelex, an online fertility practice dedicated to giving women the care they need regardless of where they are in their fertility journey. She is an OB/GYN with a 3 years fellowship in reproductive endocrinology, earning her the title of Reproductive Endocrinologist. She has18 years of clinical and research experience on reproductive health.
Dr. Wolff created Pelex to decrease barriers to reproductive care, and uses a patient centered, telehealth approach to make infertility easier. All of the testing that one may receive in a clinic can be done at lab testing sites that accept individuals health insurance. All of these tests are neccesary as infertility can be a canary in a coal mine for other or underlying issues. Similarly to Simplina, Dr. Wolff treats the whole patient, looking at results, providing diagnoses, and supplying prescriptions as needed. Warm transfers are given when indicated, be it to a Psychologist, Registered Dietitian, or IVF Practice.
Both women emphasized the importance of starting early, maintaining or creating a healthy environment for a pregnancy, not simply having the ideal conditions (age, genetics, etc) in order to increase the likelihood of conception and a healthy baby. The importance of not only chronological age but also biological age, or how your body functions for your age or how old you seem. Whether it be personalized, functional medicine programs, supplements and exercise, or labs, testing and a sonogram, Simplina and Pelex are family focused concierge care practices dedicated to the whole health of their patients, in addition creating healthy and happy families.
For gay men looking to become parents, gestational surrogacy has become a popular option. In the past, it was more common for a surrogate to be artificially inseminated and then carry the baby to term. With gestational surrogacy, one woman donates the eggs and a second woman carries the baby. In this case, the success rate can be influenced by selecting both the healthiest eggs and the healthiest gestational carrier. One or both men can contribute the sperm that is used to form the embryo (or embryos).