Posts

30
Sep

Dr. Kiltz Talks About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

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Dr. Kiltz talks about how it is still not really known why women get PCOS: it may be related to the environment, a genetic disposition, or a dietary issue. What we do know is that women who are challenged with weight issues can suffer even greater from PCOS and will benefit from dietary changes – reducing carbohydrate intake appears to be very valuable. Learn more by watching Dr. Kiltz in his video with Lisa Stack, our Support Coordinator.
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19
Sep

PCOS Awareness Month: September 2014

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heartbellyIn observance of September being PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) Awareness Month, we’ve gathered some great resources for our clients adapting a PCOS lifestyle.  With PCOS affecting an estimated 5-10% of the female population, it becoming more readily diagnosed and treated at younger ages.  This hormone disorder, often requiring treatment for those trying to conceive, also necessitates general lifestyle changes to improve health and symptoms.
Dr. Kiltz talks about PCOS in this video.
In regards to fertility treatment, women with PCOS tend to have two main challenges.  First, women with PCOS tend to not ovulate on their own.  Second, women with PCOS are more prone to having a Luteal Phase Defect, meaning they do not produce enough Progesterone on their own.  Luckily, we have many different medication protocols to help compensate for these two fertility challenges, and other challenges that might present themselves along the way.
To best support your fertility and overall health with PCOS, a diet low in carbohydrates and sugars has shown to be beneficial in counteracting the side effects of insulin resistance in many women with PCOS.  This means that by limiting your carbohydrate and sugar intake, while maintaining a balanced diet, you will likely find relief from many of the challenging symptoms of PCOS such as; difficulty losing weight, fatigue, acne, and high blood sugar.
A diagnosis of PCOS can be overwhelming, especially when considering that this is a condition that will require awareness and care after your days of trying to conceive.  However, once you have educated yourself on the condition, and surrounded yourself with a supportive community of healthcare providers and peers, we’re confident that you will find the lifestyle changes will help you feel healthier, more energized, and more confident.
For your fertility treatment needs, we recommend that you stay in close contact with our clinical staff.  They will guide you on this journey by making medication and treatment recommendations to optimize your fertility and minimize PCOS symptoms.
Diet and Nutrition
We recommend that you speak with our acupuncturists for diet and nutrition recommendations.  They will be able to work with you and suggest specific foods to avoid or incorporate to optimize your fertility.  They can also make supplement recommendations. You can reach our acupuncturists at CNY Healing Arts.  We also posted a great article a few years ago with great dietary recommendations for those coping with PCOS.
Fitness
Exercise and gentle movement have numerous benefits for both PCOS and health in general.  We are happy to offer Free Yoga for Fertility at all of our locations to encourage you to explore this fantastic way to get blood flowing and your muscles moving and stretching.  Be sure to check our CNY Healing Arts Calendars for our full yoga schedule.
Peer Support
Our Private Facebook Support Group has many members who are coping with PCOS.  Many of our Circle of Hope Support Group participants have PCOS, and we also have a PCOS specific support group at our Albany location.  For our monthly support group schedules, please visit our CNY Fertility Calendars.  If you are interested in joining our Facebook Support Group, please message Lisa Stack within the Patient Portal.
 

3
May

Holiday Support Guide: Mother’s Day

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Sometimes, the holidays can be challenging, especially when you are trying to conceive.  Families often gather together to catch up, and children are typically the focus of attention (either the ones physically present, or in the form of the typical ‘So when are you going to start trying?’ question).  It does not matter if you welcome the holiday as a celebration, or you experience more solemn emotions.  They are your emotions; they are perfect, and normal.  (Grief is a common emotion and process around the holidays.  For more information regarding grief see this article.)
Mother’s Day is often one of the more challenging holidays to encounter while trying to conceive.  However, there are some great opportunities to focus this day not on what you are lacking, but what you have.  As always, the best way to cope with this potentially challenging day is to anticipate and plan.  Make sure you have considered potential challenging situations, and assessed what would make you feel most relaxed and at peace.
Here are some brief suggestions to help prepare and cope with Mother’s Day:

  1. Be your best friend:  You are not required to be anywhere or do anything you are not comfortable with.  You have to listen to yourself, and protect yourself.  If you feel that going out to eat, or a family member’s house will be too anxiety provoking, then graciously thank them for the offer but let them know you have other plans.  You (and your partner, if you have one) must have a discussion before, outlining the most enjoyable and least stressful holiday scenario:  will you celebrate?  Where will you celebrate?  How long will you stay?
  2. Prepare your script:  This does not mean you will have each conversation planned out, but come to a consensus beforehand.  How will you respond to the inevitable question, ‘so when will you have children of your own?’  If you have a couple of planned responses that you feel comfortable with, it will make the conversation a lot smoother, and quicker.  When we become anxious about answering a question, it can often lead to us revealing more than we would like.  However, if we are able to calmly deliver our planned responses, we can guide the direction of the conversation to another topic rather smoothly.  If you have told your family you are trying and seeking treatment, this tool also works.  They may ask ‘how are your cycles going?  What is new at the doctor’s office?’ and instead of giving them a play-by-play of your last blood draws, you could have similar, planned responses.
  3. Celebrate not what you are lacking, but what you have: If your mother is an active presence in your life or you have a maternal figure, take the day to celebrate them.  Transfer the focus off of yourself as a mother, onto the person of your choice.  This enforces the passion/empathy tool we have discussed, and planning a nice meal for someone else allows a nice break for the mind and heart.
  4. Spend the day fostering your own motherhood:  Make it a ‘healthy day’, to promote your fertility.  Spend the day outdoors, exercising, or eating really delicious and nutritious foods.  Take some time and try an artistic project, utilizing your imagination and nurturing any emotions you may be experiencing.
  5. Recognize and honor the emotions, but celebrate with family: This may be an opportunity to use as motivation for your cycles.  Try to take it all in.  Take a mental image of the smiles and laughter, and when you are experiencing a challenging moment later on, remember those smiles and what it is that you are working towards.  You are doing all of this so that you can have those moments, those smiles, for yourself.
  6. Honor your losses: If you have experienced a miscarriage or chemical pregnancy, this may be a nice day to honor those losses.  You could write a letter to the child, or plant a tree in their honor.

Please remember it is incredibly important to protect your emotions, and if that means removing yourself from a situation that could be too challenging, then do it! We just need to get a bit creative, and open ourselves to new traditions and opportunities!
Please contact me if you would like support as you work though the emotions surrounding this holiday.
Lisa
Lstack@cnyfertility.com
315-744-8073

19
Feb

Not an Impossible Dream Afterall…

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I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 14. At the time, I did not have any of the traditional symptoms, apart from some extra hair growing on my jaw line. That small amount of hair prompted my ever vigilant mother to take me straight to the dermatologist. He then referred me back to my pediatrician who referred me on to an endocrinologist. A few blood tests later, the diagnosis was confirmed.

As a child of 14, the diagnosis did not really mean much to me, until one doctor said that I might never be able to conceive. Even at 14, I knew I wanted to have a family some day. I was devastated and so confused. In time, I thought less and less about the diagnosis as I became busy with high school and then college. However, the possibility of not being able to have my own children was always at the back of my mind so that, eventually, the idea of having children felt like a completely elusive dream, a dream meant for someone else.

When I met my husband, I knew within a week that I wanted to marry him. Once married, we talked about having children, but the talks were always tinged with both excitement and sadness (what if I couldn’t do it?). Three years after getting married, we began trying on our own. By that time, I only ovulated a few times a year. After trying “our way” for a year, we went to see Dr. Kiltz. I actually remember being upset on the way to that first consultation. I guess I had to mourn not conceiving a child the “normal” way. However, as soon as I entered CNY Fertility, I knew we made the right choice in coming.

For months, I had felt isolated and alone in our quest for a baby. It seemed like everyone else was starting families and moving on and, subsequently, leaving us behind. When I stepped into the office, I no longer felt alone or in it by myself. I felt like I belonged and that there wasn’t something “wrong” with me as a person. In my time at CNY, we tried Clomid and injectables with IUI’s. I did miscarry once and as sad as I was, I took heart in the fact that I *could* get pregnant.

I felt as though the whole staff cheered us on and supported us, which made it easier for my husband and I to keep going and to hang on to that dream. And strangely enough, it didn’t feel so elusive anymore. Eventually, we tried ovarian drilling. The cycle after that, we continued with injections and we became pregnant! We were over the moon and terrified at the same time. I was so afraid of miscarrying again, but eventually came to terms with the fact that my husband and I were going to celebrate this little life, no matter how long we had it. We had hope, even if we could not control the outcome!

The love of our lives, Alexandra Eva was born on January 17, 2010 at 5:55pm. She was 6lbs, 8oz and was 20 inches long. She entered the world with a head of dark hair and was screaming her head off. It was the most beautiful sound in the world.
My husband and I are eternally grateful to Dr. Kiltz and the staff at CNY Fertility. The empathy of everyone helped us to push on even on the days we felt defeated. The only advice I can give to others is to keep going. At one point in my life, I was scared to imagine being a mother for fear that it would hurt too much if it never happened. Now I’m looking across the room at my baby girl sound asleep in her swing. Keep going!

Thank you so very much,
Amanda & Dan

25
Nov

Holiday Support Guide: Thanksgiving

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autumn-colorsAs we move further into the winter months, we are faced with more frequent holiday get-togethers, and potentially challenging situations.  The key to not just making it through each passing holiday but actually enjoying them, is being prepared!  We most likely secure our plans ahead of time, giving us plenty of room to be selective, and prepared.

Unlike Halloween and the December holidays, Thanksgiving tends to be focused more around conversation, than on children.  If you are eating with family, children will most likely be present.  There is some relief however, if it is anything like my family, the children are too busy running around causing trouble to occupy the center of attention.

I have compiled a quick list of things to remember as you are preparing for the holiday (note: prepare!  You will feel most relaxed and ready if you give yourself a pep-talk, and review your options before the actual holiday!):

  1. Be your best friend:  You are not required to be anywhere or do anything you are not comfortable with.  You have to listen to yourself, and protect yourself.  If you feel that going to your cousin’s house with 15 children running around will be too anxiety provoking, then graciously thank them for the offer but let them know you have other plans.  You (and your partner, if you have one) must have a discussion before, outlining the most enjoyable and least stressful holiday scenario:  where will you eat?  How long will you stay?
  2. Prepare your script:  This does not mean you will have each conversation planned out, but come to a Read more
10
Nov

Soothing List Exercise from Circle of Hope meeting, November 9, 2009

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denra_rhumba_mum_waltThis exercise is adapted from Healing from Trauma by Jasmin Cori, MS, LPC
By completing this exercise you will identify various thoughts, things, and people that can help you relax in stressful or challenging situations.
Soothing List

“Infants who are distressed need soothing.  They can’t regulate themselves and need help calming down.  As adults recovering from trauma, when our nervous system is activated, we become flooded in a chemical wash of stress hormones and feel just as irritated as a baby.  We need soothing, too.
What each of us finds soothing is, of course, a matter of personal preference – which textures, sounds, kinds of touch, foods, kinesthetic experiences, and so on.  It’s important to know what is soothing for you.  We can refine our understanding of this by really listening to our body.  When does the body relax?  When does it go Ahhh?” (Cori, 160)
The following exercise will help you identify ways to self-soothe.

  1. Name a texture you find comforting.
  2. What is something you like to wear that feels comforting? Read more
21
Jul

Why join a support group?

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handsI remember being nervous the first time I attended a support group.  I wasn’t so sure I wanted to share my story, and I didn’t feel comfortable speaking about such a personal topic in front of total strangers.  I finally attended and was completely surprised.  I found that the benefit of a support group is not necessarily the counseling aspect, but the community.  It was amazing to see a group of people with the same problems that I had.  For so long I felt alone, and that no one could possibly understand what I was experiencing.  I was wrong, here was a group of people that knew exactly what I was feeling, and enduring.  It is also great to bring your spouse, if you feel they don’t completely understand how difficult this time may be for you.  It could help them to hear others speak and use the same language as you do, to describe their worry.
Even if you never speak during a support group session, just come to listen.  You may be pleasantly surprised by the similarities in your stories.
Here is a link to The Benefits of Support Groups from Resolve.org : http://www.resolve.org/site/PageServer?pagename=cop_arsg_bene
Check the calendar section of www.cnyhealingarts.com for updated meeting times and locations.
Hope to see you soon,
Lisa
Lisa Stack
Lstack@cnyfertility.com
315-744-8073

8
Jun

Creating Your Eastern Medical Team

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art_lotus_A few months ago I felt a lot of pain on my right side.  It felt like every movement made it worse.  I had an ultrasound done at CNY Fertility and they found a large cyst on my right ovary.  Due to the size of the cyst I had the option to have it aspirated, but I was unsure that an aspiration was exactly what I wanted.  Instead I decided to walk over to CNY Healing Arts (www.cnyhealingarts.com) to try and take care of it a bit more naturally.
I gathered my Eastern Medical team as I call them, and went to work on the cyst.  It started with a TON of fluids, took all of my herbs and vitamins from Heather in Rochester, and a bit of a change in my diet, as my Qi (chi) was off.  I also had a couple acupuncture sessions with Donald (he is wonderful!) and yoga with Kim (she is wonderful too!) both from Syracuse.  While this journey was a bit longer and more intensive than having the cyst drained, it was completely fulfilling and satisfying the moment we did another ultrasound and discovered that the cyst was almost completely gone within two weeks.
I’m happy to say my little experiment worked, and the pain was gone.  It took a bit of work, meditation, and some good attention from my favorite practitioners, but it worked.  This is just one of the many stories out there about the benefits of Eastern Medicine and wisdom. Read more