EPISODE 27 | ADVANCEMENTS IN TREATING RECURRENT PREGNANCY LOSS | Dr. Zev Williams, M.D, PhD

Today’s episode features Zev Williams, M.D., Ph.D. He is the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center and is a nationally-recognized clinician and researcher in the area of recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility. Not only is he one of the most brilliant minds I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, he is incredibly humble, gracious, and passionate about his work. His intentions to help couples overcome recurrent pregnancy loss by building healthy happy families came through so clearly during this chat.

We touched on why miscarriage rates are so high and why the public has false perceptions about it being a rare event. He spoke about how his research has even uncovered a way to find out if the cause of a miscarriage was chromosomal even years after the fact in some cases. He explained the differences in PGD and PGS testing when using IVF and when and for whom it might be highly beneficial. We also spoke about MTHFR gene mutation, and what it really means in regards to treatment strategy and further testing. We even touched on his work with stem cells and the potential they have for one day helping women who experience premature ovarian failure to overcome this devastating diagnosis. He explained new ways to treat endometriosis and preserve fertility and new ways to diagnose PCOS. 

Takeaway:

[1:15] Dr. Williams completed his M.D. and Ph.D. training in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine before continuing to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital for his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. After completing his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Weill Cornell, Dr. Williams then did a post-doctoral fellowship in RNA biology in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Tuschl at Rockefeller University.

[1:45] Dr. Williams has also achieved success in federally-funded research projects in several different areas of study, having received numerous NIH grants to support his work. Currently, as part of an NIH R01 grant, Dr. Williams is engaged with a research project intended to use placental RNA as a screening tool for diseases and complications of pregnancy, to enable early intervention, and to provide insights into disease pathogenesis for things like pre-eclampsia.

[4:35] Dr. Williams works with couples and doctors all over the world, and the research that he and his colleagues find benefits those all over looking for answers on fertility.

[5:16] The PEARL Program that Dr. Williams started stands for Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. It is one of the only centers in the world that is both clinically focused, and a basic/translational research program dedicated trying to understand what causes unexplained miscarriages and trying to find ways methods to prevent them in the future.

[12:22] One of the realities of human reproduction is that is a very inefficient process. Of the eggs that get fertilized, very few result in a live birth.

[19:22] Dr. Williams explains the difference between PGD and PGS testing when using IVF, and who may benefit from these tests.

[26:54] We cover the MTHFR gene mutation and antiphospholipids, and what it really means in regards to treatment, strategy, and further testing.

[32:45] Dr. Williams explains the work on helping the brain to produce its own FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) which is the bodies own version of that hormone compared to traditional injections with his CORAL IVF which is an oral IVF requiring only one shot instead of 30.

[41:23] Dr. Williams shares the new ways to treat endometriosis and preserve fertility and new ways to diagnose PCOS.

[45:27] Diet is, of course, important to overall health, but also very important to pregnancy success. There are some factors that lead to Dr. Williams’ recommending a diet low in carbs and sugar.

[46:12] Egg freezing has become successful, but the challenge is that often women are thinking about freezing their eggs in their 20’s when the eggs have already lowered in quality. And fertilized eggs freeze better than eggs which require a partner.

[49:58] Once you are trying to conceive (and of course through all of the process), make sure to support each other. It’s a tough journey and you want to be going through it together.

Take the Fertile Minds Meditation challenge and see what a fertile mind feels like. Each day you’ll receive access to a 15 minute guided meditation designed to yield more clarity and calm no matter where you are on your path to building a family.

If you are feeling frustrated and wish you could experience feeling more patient this challenge is for you.

If you are finding yourself resentful and want to feel empowered instead this challenge is for you.

If you are feeling lost and overwhelmed with all things fertility and long to be more centered during the process of striving for a family this challenge is for you.

If you’ve wanted to add meditation to your self care routine but had no idea where to start this challenge is for you.

You'll learn how to shift your attention from the future to the present moment helping you to feel more fulfilled and patient with the process, your life, your partner and maybe even God.

You won't know though until you commit to the challenge. I'll be there with you every step of the way, one complete menstrual cycle, until it becomes your new favorite habit. Meditate, Listen, Trust, Repeat

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Dr. Zev Williams 

Dr. Zev Williams Bio 

Columbia University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology  

Efficient Differentiation of Steroidogenic and Germ-Like Cells from Epigenetically Related iPSCs Derived from Ovarian Granulosa Cells

FMR1 targets distinct mRNA sequence elements to regulate protein expression 

Nytimes.com/2015/11/26/health/progesterone-may-not-help-women-with-history-of-miscarriages-study-finds

Huffingtonpost.com/science-of-us/miscarriage_b_8000760.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Wsj.com/articles/solving-the-mystery-of-miscarriages-1434389396

Columbiaobgyn.org/profile/s-zev-williams-md

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26000502

Nyp.org/enewsletters/advances/2018/gynecology/2018-Advances-Gynecology-Issue1.html

Continue Your Journey:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 

Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.


EPISODE 17 | HEART ADVICE WHEN SUFFERING FROM MISCARRIAGE | Permission to Pause with Erin Gray

Permission to Pause

 Advice for what to do when you or someone you love has a miscarriage.

 

Description: Welcome back and happy 2018 to you. I am happy to be back in the new year and to be able to share some insights with you. Today’s episode covers the tough topic of giving yourself permission to pause when you or someone you love is experiencing grief. My lovely co-host Erin Gray and I discuss how we

help ourselves or another through profound loss, specifically a miscarriage. I provide a mini-meditation to open us up to love and warmth, then we share on the topics regarding ritual, things to say and not say to others that are grieving, and how to reach out when you are feeling most alone and isolated. This show is dedicated to all of those who have recently lost someone. You know who you are and we are here for you.

Takeaways

[2:59] I share a little of my experience with loss and grieving during the recent months. We open up discussing the parallels between Alzheimer’s and not really knowing the person, with a miscarriage and others not feeling a connection with a potential life.

[5:42] Understanding and allowing for things to not be okay for a period of time is one of the main key factors to ride through and weather the tough times of loss and grief.

[12:55] We do a quick meditation to help bring in some warmth and light for those suffering a loss, or helping someone else who may be experiencing loss.

[16:24] The stages of grief are: depression, anger, bargaining, denial, and acceptance. It is totally normal to go in and out of these stages very intensely in no particular order, or even block out several of them before feeling them completely.

[24:33] Shame lives in secrets. The more open and authentic one can be with themselves and their loved ones about what they are going through, the easier it is to grieve.

[39:19] Ritual helps us say goodbye, let go, and accommodate a new reality. It is also an opportunity for those grieving to come together and support one another.

[49:12] We discuss the things not to say to someone that is grieving. No spiritual arrogance, minimizing their pain or trying to force another person’s example upon them. It is okay to say nothing, and even admit that you may not know exactly what to say, but you are there to support them.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart, by Ram Dass

EPISODE 2 | ORGANIC CONCEPTIONS | A Fertility Course That Teaches You How To Surrender

“Sometimes the struggle is the gift and the door closing is leading you somewhere else.”

BELIEVING & TRUSTING FOR ORGANIC CONCEPTIONS

Today’s guests are Marc Sherman and Dr. Kate Webster, creators of the revolutionary online course Organic Conceptions. This course began with Erin and Marc Sherman’s personal struggle in trying to conceive for a decade. In partnership with Dr. Webster, they created a roadmap for themselves and others to chart a course that engages and empowers couples on their path to parenthood. in today's interview they share the primary goals of Organic Conceptions, primary expectations that arise during a fertility journey and the importance of surrender. Marc and Dr. Webster are really doing some amazing work with helping others achieve emotional health and insight during their process and I thank them for digging deep in their own experience to provide a ton of hope, guidance, and information for others.

Takeaways:

[2:40] I share the impressive backgrounds and bios of Dr. Kate Webster and Erin and Marc Sherman.

[7:05] Dr. Webster covers the primary goals of Organic Conceptions, stemming out of predictable problems and patterns with infertility. She also shares what the program is not so people have appropriate expectations.

[8:00] Depending on the statistics, between 1-in-6 and 1-in-8 couples struggles with infertility.

[16:09] They combine influences from biological, emotional, psychological, and sociological models.

[22:03] The program provides the opportunity for couples to go through the steps at their own time in their own home rather than rushing to appointments.

[26:29] Every story culminated into three chapters and nine transitions: The conception of doubt, couples losing patience, and surrender into life.

[29:23] Dr. Webster lists the five primary expectations that arise: age, sequencing of life events, gender roles, images of success, and trust in the medical model.

[34:30] The stages in the surrender into life chapter: rawness, reaching forward and uniting together, renewal. 

[36:40] More than one third of women have pre-conceived doubt about their reproductive abilities before they even try get pregnant.

[44:40] It’s difficult for young women today to try and fit in a career, marriage, and family goals all in one decade.

[55:28] We hear the difference of mal-adaptive vs adaptive coping.

[56:49] Surrendering does not mean just relaxing or giving up on a dream for parenthood. Dr. Webster and Marc share stories of couples that accept the things they cannot change, let go of past disappointment and control over the future to end up finding life again and new interests and passions. A lot of times people have success even after they are significantly older than when they first started on their journey.

[69:15] Every listener gets a free PDF and a monetary discount. They are coming out with a workbook shortly as well.

- Self discovery audio program for couples designed to improve your emotional health and well-being through a fertility journey. 

- Purchase includes the CD Box Set  which contains the Audio CD's, Custom CD Case, Writing Journal and Pen.

- You will also have 12 months access to the complete on-line audio of the Journey to Parenthood and Beyond where you can listen anytime, anywhere. 

- It is highly suggested that you do this program together, as a couple.

“We have a tendency to … leap to conclusions rather than trying to reframe it.”

 

Continue Your Journey:

Organic Conceptions

You are the Placebo

“So often we are held hostage by our beliefs, but we can change our minds. What we think may not always be true.”