Antibiotic Therapy with IVF Treatment


For those of you who are trying to conceive and are wary of antibiotic therapy, we understand your predicament entirely. Excessive use of antibiotics has been proven to be unhealthy and can make it difficult for your body to fight off infections. Consequently, we must understand when it is appropriate to use antibiotics to fight off sickness and when you need to let your body heal itself.
Antibiotics should only be used to kill or slow the growth of bacteria. They should not be used to treat viruses such as the common cold, flu, chicken pox, mono or bronchitis. If you are using antibiotics to treat a virus, you are only teaching your body to depend on drugs that will not heal you as effectively or consistently as your body’s natural immunity.
So, why should you ever use antibiotics during in vitro fertilization? Did you know that IVF carries a risk of infection for both the man and woman undergoing treatment? For the male partner, infection of the site of sperm retrieval could complicate recovery. During a cycle, the female partner undergoes procedures such as transvaginal egg collection (TVEC) and embryo transfer that could cause pelvic infection.
Although women with a history of previous pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and/or adnexal adhesions are at a greater risk of complications from TVEC, the transfer of an embryo to the uterus is much more likely to cause infection. Embryo replacement requires breaching the cervical mucus barrier, which can infect the uterus with bacteria from the lower genital tract.
During research from January 2002 to April 2004, Attila Toth, MD and fertility specialist, studied 52 couples. He analyzed the results of subsequent IVF cycles following antibiotic therapy with these couples after primary or multiple previously failed IVF cycles. In the conclusion of his research he stated, “a certain number of failures during IVF cycles are due to an intrauterine infection that could affect the course of the pregnancy and/or the mode of delivery.”
At CNY Fertility Center we want to give you the best odds possible for conception and a successful cycle so we do encourage antibiotic therapy with IVF treatment when appropriate. If you have any questions regarding antibiotic therapy please discuss it with your nurse or physician during your next appointment or call our office today.


Stress and Fertility: How it Affects Your Chances to Conceive


As research grows, the apparent links between stress, anxiety, depression and infertility are strengthened. Doctors even suggest that stress may play a role in up to 30% of fertility issues. So, we continue to ask the same question: does stress cause infertility?
In 2009, researchers at University of California, Berkeley, revealed new information that supports the connection between stress and infertility. Scientists already knew that stress can boost levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol. These stress hormones inhibit the body’s main sex hormone, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), thereby suppressing ovulation, sperm count and sex drive. New research shows that stress also increases levels of a reproductive hormone, gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH), which causes reproductive dysfunction by directly suppressing GnRH. This chain of stress reactions within the body hits the reproductive system with a “double whammy” of complications.
The hypothalamus is a highly complex portion of the brain with an immense variety of functions. It regulates many hormones in men and women — some that affect stress levels (like cortisol) and some that are necessary for conception. It also regulates body temperature, appetite, sleep, emotions and more. Any kind of stress can affect the performance of the hypothalamus. In severe cases, stress can cause a woman to ovulate later in her cycle or not at all. This is a recognized condition, which is sometimes called “stress-induced anovulation”. Of course, stress can impede conception in more obvious ways — if you or your partner is stressed out, you may not have sex as often, which clearly lowers your chances of conceiving.
Luckily, CNY Healing Arts Centers offer a myriad of ways to de-stress both short-term and long-term. Hormones aside, stress reduction may enhance proteins within the uterine lining that support implantation and increase blood flow to the uterus, encouraging conception.
Just remember! The effects of stress vary between each woman. While a lost job could leave your cycle unaffected, a bad hair day could delay the next girl’s ovulation. Furthermore, try to be sensitive to what stresses you out and proactively solve your problems. Although it can be both irritating and offensive to hear people tell you, “Just relax and it will happen,” there seems to be at least a grain of truth to this notion.
We offer many ways to de-stress at our CNY Healing Arts Centers at each location. Click here for our contact information at either the Syracuse, Albany or Rochester location. To read more about how de-stressing can help improve your chances to conceive click here.