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Integrative Health Articles

A Health Coach’s Guide to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

If your clients (or you) experience impostor syndrome, you are not alone. Coined in 1978, the term “impostor phenomenon” is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phoniness that appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women.1 What kinds of people have imposter syndrome? Despite objective evidence

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Ectopic Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & Recovery

All women’s health and wellness professionals who are working with women with pelvic pain must be knowledgeable about the risk of this common pregnancy complication. What is ectopic pregnancy?An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, 1.Ectopic pregnancy is common, accounting for 1-2% of all pregnancies. What are the associated risk factors?Women

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Functional Medicine: Women’s Health Coach Certification

What is functional medicine?Functional medicine is a systems biology based approach that looks for the root causes of diseases and symptoms. Functional medicine aims to optimize functioning of the body’s cells, systems, and the environmental systems where the person lives.The goal of a functional medicine perspective is not simply to quiet the symptoms, but to relieve

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How To Build a Healthy Breast Milk Supply

For moms and parents in your practice who decide to breastfeed, there is so much that you can do to encourage them to build a healthy breast milk supply. Supporting your clients to build a healthy breast milk supply is beneficial to the newborn babies as well as the mom or breastfeeding parent. There are

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Why Integrative Pelvic Healthcare?

The foundation of our mission at The Integrative Women’s Health Institute is to help provide higher-quality, integrative pelvic healthcare for ALL people. My name is Dr. Jessica Drummond, and I am the founder and CEO of The Integrative Women’s Health Institute, where our mission is to educate and empower practitioners in order to help improve

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Best Probiotics for Endometriosis and Chronic Pelvic Pain

It can be hard to determine the best probiotics for endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain. The “best probiotic” can be challenging to choose from among the many options.  It’s even more difficult to determine which probiotics are best for endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain. As health and wellness professionals who support clients with endometriosis and

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7 Strategies for Perimenopause Weight Loss

When it comes to my perimenopausal clients, I don’t like to focus on weight loss. However, for my clients it’s often a welcomed side effect of addressing hormone imbalances, calming the nervous system, and regulating the body’s processes.   I believe there are far more important things to worry about than weight loss when it

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How to Heal and Treat Vulvodynia

How to Heal and Treat Vulvodynia Vulvodynia affects over 14 million people in the US alone. This complex pain syndrome is a frustrating condition to treat. Vulvodynia is a condition that causes pain in the vulva (or specifically in the vulvar vestibule). The root cause of vulvodynia is not fully understood. Vulvodynia is most bothersome

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Gluten and Endometriosis

Gluten and Endometriosis Is there a link between gluten and endometriosis?  Should women avoid gluten to lower their risk of endometriosis or to help to resolve the symptoms of endometriosis? Let’s look at the research… First, it’s important to consider that endometriosis has many characteristics of an autoimmune disease (Eisenberg, et al., 2012).  It is

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Sleep, Melatonin, and Endometriosis

Sleep issues and endometriosis often go hand in hand. Patients with endometriosis frequently struggle with a variety of sleep issues, including insomnia, pain-insomnia, poor sleep, chronic fatigue, restless leg syndrome, and more. But…why is it so common for people with endometriosis to struggle with poor sleep and sleep issues? When cortisol goes up, melatonin goes

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CBD Oil and Cannabis for Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Relief

Why are we talking about cannabis and CBD in relation to endometriosis? Because a whopping 76% percent of people with endometriosis use self-care strategies to manage their pain and other symptoms. (Armour, et al., 2019). If you know someone with endometriosis, you know that pelvic pain relief is always a priority. Recent studies indicate that

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How to Relieve “Endo Belly”

One of the most frustrating challenges that our clients with endometriosis face is how to relieve the chronic bloating known as “Endo Belly.” Over the years, my practice has seen thousands of women struggling with this, and we have developed an integrative protocol for relieving the bloat for good. What is “Endo Belly”? Before we

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The Role of Rehabilitation Medicine in Chronic Pelvic Pain

It was my honor to interview Dr. Allyson Shrikhande, MD, founder of Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine about the role of rehabilitation medicine in chronic pelvic pain. Rehabilitation medicine includes the tools of pain and nervous system modulation medications, specific injections to improve local pain in the pelvis, including pelvic nerve pain, and management and referrals for

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Histamine Intolerance, Autoimmunity, and Endometriosis

Histamine is essential to a variety of physiologic functions, and it is a versatile biologic amine involved in fine-tuning the balance between immunity and tolerance. Immunity is the ability to fight infection or clear abnormal cells Tolerance is the ability of the immune system to tolerate “outsider molecules” like foods, dust, environmental chemicals, etc. Histamines

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It’s Anti-Cancer Soup Time!

People with pelvic pain conditions, including endometriosis, are at an increased risk of some types of cancer. Other common cancer risk factors: Inflammation Having a history of some viral infections, including HPV History of smoking Family history of cancer Chronic stress Drinking alcohol While cancer risk factors are common, let’s focus on the good news. 

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Xenoestrogens and Breast Cancer

Xenoestrogen Exposure is a Clear Risk Factor for Breast Cancer and Others For our clients and patients with exposure to xenoestrogens, the first step is to reduce the exposures, lowering their overall toxic load, and in turn reducing the risk for breast cancer. Everyone is exposed to some level of xenoestrogens; it’s impossible to completely

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Hormone Balancing Spring Salads

Hormone imbalance is a frustrating issue to deal with for many people, which is why I love to recommend hormone-balancing recipes, like this one! For women with endometriosis, interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, bloating, and other hormone issues, salad can be tricky. On the one hand… “Salad is healthy, right?” On the other hand…”Salad

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My Long Covid Recovery: Perspectives from a Nutritionist and Physical Therapist

My Long Covid Recovery: Perspectives from a Nutritionist and Physical Therapist As an introduction to this article, I would like to share a few details about how I decided to write this post about long-covid recovery: Normally when sharing something like this with my colleagues of clinical relevance, I would cite as much literature as

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Life With Endometriosis: Interview with Margaret Kalms

Enjoy this interview with Margaret Kalms, author of Life With Endometriosis   Margaret Kalms created her art and a book of her art to raise awareness of the daily impact of endometriosis through her imagery and conversations with women with endometriosis. Tune in to hear the story of the creation of her Margaret’s new book,

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Alumni Spotlight: Michelle Weber Brings Women’s Health Coaching and Fitness to Women with Prolapse and More

How Can I Market My Services as a Health Coach AND a (fitness professional, massage therapist, physical therapist, nutritionist, physician, and more…)? We’re often asked by our Women’s Health Coach students and potential students… “I love health coaching, but how can I combine it with (fitness, yoga, nutrition, physical therapy, medicine, and more…)?” Michelle Weber

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Healthy Travel Guide for Healthcare Practice Owners

When you’re building a successful niche coaching practice, you’ll often have to travel to learn, network, and share your wisdom on stages. This kind of travel is different from vacation. You need to be on, brain focused, and energized. How do I stay sharp while traveling for business? One of our most popular IWHI Live

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Celery Juice – Does It Live Up to The Hype?

Celery juice, the hottest new instagram trend for solving all of your health problems, is probably ridiculous, right? That’s what I thought, until I looked at the published literature on the specific health benefits of celery. Let’s consider why some people are actually experiencing symptom reduction when starting their day with celery juice… Benefits of

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Dark Chocolate Benefits

The beautiful thing about dark chocolate is that it is delicious, and let me share some of the best dark chocolate benefits with you… Dark Chocolate Benefits Certainly some women are highly sensitive to caffeine.  For those women, dark chocolate is not a good choice.  Some women don’t like dark chocolate.  But, often if they

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Virus Blaster Smoothie Recipe

Enjoy this nourishing smoothie anytime you feel like you have a cold or flu coming on, or you’re recovering from a viral infection like Epstein Barr (EBV.) It’s full of anti-viral and immune boosting foods like garlic, ginger, and cruciferous vegetables. Plus, it’s nutrient dense, hydrating, and delicious! (And, kids like the purple color!) Learn

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What to Do When You Have The Flu?

According to the CDC between 5% and 20% of the U.S. population comes down with the flu each year. If you’re one of them, let me share with you the strategies that I recommend to my family and friends to strengthen your immune function and minimize the effects of the flu virus. Home remedies for

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TODAY is #WearRed for Heart Health Day!

1 in 3 women will DIE of cardiovascular disease. That’s a third of our mothers, sisters and friends. Get the book for someone you love: Heart Solution for Women: A Proven Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: http://www.HeartSolutionsForWomen.com   What if you could of customize whole-body medicine and deliver it with precision accuracy to

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Solutions for Vulvovaginal Atrophy

Vulvovaginal Atrophy is Common   Vaginal dryness and vulvovaginal atrophy is a common problem for women. In the United States alone, 32 million women suffer from vulvovaginal atrophy in perimenopause and post-menopause. The symptoms associated with vulvovaginal atrophy include dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, burning, and painful urination. In perimenopause and

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5 Powerful Strategies to Lift The Brain Fog

One of the most frustrating symptoms, second only to intense pain, that my patients struggle with is brain fog. I don’t have time in my life for brain fog (and neither do you!) Let me share 3 of my most powerful tools for clearing the (brain) fog! I do a lot of writing, researching, teaching

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What Causes Acne? Get Glowing and Clean Skin From The Root

Conventional creams and pills don’t address what causes acne. Acne is a common problem for teens. Eighty-five percent of 12-24 year olds experience acne. It’s a growing problem for adult women as well. Fifteen percent of us also struggle with acne. For most women with acne, whether it’s in their teens or beyond, the conventional

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5 Steps to Improving Your Patient Compliance

Patient compliance is one of the most difficult areas of your practice to improve. “My patients seem to want to get better, so why aren’t they doing their home exercises, taking their supplements, eating gluten-free, giving up sugar, or going to bed by 10 pm?” I was working as a women’s health specialist physical therapist,

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Unraveling Values Conflicts is Essential to Hitting Health Goals

As soon as someone decides that they want to lose weight, get stronger, sleep better, recover from a painful injury, or hit any of their health goals, all they have to do is decide and then it’s as good as done, right? Wrong. Wait… I know. They need the correct knowledge and strategies for how

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Top 3 Signs of Professional Burnout

Since 2017, healer burnout has been flagged as a public health crisis. If you work in health or wellness, you know that burnout is common. But, you may not think that it’s happening to you. What are some of the signs of burnout? Blaming yourself when your patients or clients don’t fully recover. Did you

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2019 is The Year of The Women’s Health Coach

This year my goal for us as a community here at The Integrative Women’s Health Institute is to see you GRADUATE from The Women’s Health Coach Certification Program. This year I’m not just focused on our enrollment numbers. I am focused on our graduation and employment rates. I am so committed to your success that

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Should Health Coaches Specialize?

If you’ve recently graduated as a health coach, you’ve got to focus on a clear niche market. I found my niche sometime around the year 2000 when I was practicing as an orthopedic physical therapist in an outpatient clinic in Atlanta.  One of my patients was struggling with shoulder pain due to her recent breast

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[10 Minute Training] The Blood Sugar Spectrum & Women’s Health!

I am thrilled to invite you to the best ten minutes of my most recent clinical training on “The Blood Sugar Spectrum & Women’s Health”, taught for the IWHI Clinical Vault with my friend and colleague, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo.   I know you will find this tremendously valuable. In just this ten-minute excerpt you will

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Is Blood Sugar Instability Related To Chronic Pelvic Pain?

Is blood sugar instability related to chronic pelvic pain? The short answer is, yes! Usually, until a person is diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, they don’t know that they have blood sugar instability. But, there are some simple ways to determine if your patient’s blood sugar instability and/or insulin resistance is related to their chronic

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  Environmental Toxins and Women’s Health!

The world is waking up to the fact that everyday toxic exposures are not only real, but a big part of the rise in chronic health issues. In fact, it’s crystal clear that the connection between environmental toxin exposures and women’s health issues is incredibly strong. Health practitioners (and especially those who work with female

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The Best 10 Minutes on How Nutrition Contributes to Cancer and Cancer Recovery with Dr. Jessica Drummond and Dr. Nalini Chilkov!

New clinical training on “Nutrition and How it Contributes to Cancer and Cancer Recovery” with Dr. Nalini Chilkov, one of the leaders in functional nutrition and integrative cancer care. During this interview, you will have several valuable takeaways: [1:15] What are the stages and core needs and questions along the cancer journey? [3:45] The tumor

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Endometriosis and Fatigue: Relieving pain and fatigue, and improving fertility with an integrative approach

  Up to 80% of pelvic pain is related to endometriosis, and 176 million girls and women worldwide suffer from endometriosis. Helping women to overcome endometriosis requires a multidisciplinary, integrative approach.  There is no silver bullet solution to endometriosis, but when we take a collaborative approach and dig until we find each patient’s individual healing

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How to Heal PCOS with Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine

What is PCOS? Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder affecting between 5%  and 13% of women, depending on ethnicity and criteria used for diagnosis (Ding et al., 2017). African-American and Afro-Brazilian women experience the highest rates of PCOS; Chinese and Caucasian women experience the lowest rates. PCOS Diagnostic Criteria The most updated

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Alumni Spotlight: Brianne Grogan and Casie Danenhauer Create Healing Global Retreats

Have you considered the possibilities for your career as a Women’s Health Coach?  In our alumni spotlight series, I want to introduce you to some of the amazing things that our Women’s Health Coaches are doing all over the world to spread an integrative approach to healing for chronic women’s health concerns. Have you ever

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Alumni Spotlight: Heba Shaheed Nurturing New Mothers Globally

Our Women’s Health Coach graduate and physical therapist Heba Shaheed is a Sydney, Australia based powerhouse.  Known as The Pelvic Expert, Heba is now reaching new mothers all over the globe with her unique Mother Nurture program. I had the honor of witnessing her amazing growth as she took our Women’s Health Coach Certification and

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Reduce Male Infertility Risk with The Healthy Sperm Diet

The Healthy Sperm Diet Male infertility is rarely discussed.  But, it’s as common as female infertility.  Generally, the cause of infertility for a couple is 30% a male infertility factor, 30% female, and 30% both or undetermined.  Good nutrition can reduce male infertility risk, improve sperm health, and support more stable genetic material in the

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Using an Elimination Diet to Relieve Vulvodynia and IBS

Functional Nutrition Treatment Options for Vulvodynia and IBS When the pain of vulvodynia hits – the painful sex, the pain with wearing tight pants, the pain with just sitting through a movie! – you just want it gone. Fortunately, by taking an integrative approach and getting to the root cause of your vulvodynia, it’s possible

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Pelvic Pain and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Terry Wahls

Chronic Pelvic Pain and Autoimmunity… Is there a connection? In my practice, many of my patients who struggle with chronic pelvic pain also have autoimmune conditions.  Even those who don’t have clear autoimmune diagnoses, often have autoimmune issues – such as intestinal barrier inflammation, food sensitivities, immune hyper-responsiveness, and chronic inflammation. In this interview with

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The Connection Between SIBO and Bladder Pain (and how to relieve both)

One of the reasons that relieving pelvic pain is so challenging is that pain in different systems within the pelvis can overlap.  For example, in rats where experimental colitis (colon irritation) was induced, many of the rats also experienced bladder and urethral pain (Yoshikawa et al., 2015).  Thus, there is clear overlap between bladder pain

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Can Women Healthfully Drink Alcohol?

It’s the morning after. Your client (or you!) woke up after a night of celebration tired, with a headache, dry skin, dry mouth, just Ugh! Is alcohol ever healthy?  And, are there ways to enjoy alcohol and protect your liver, preventing the next day hangover?  In this video, I explain the evidence… How does alcohol

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Postpartum Care is Undervalued and Underserved, How You Can Help

A Rare and Needed Service: Providing Postpartum Care by Providing Skilled Health Coaching Services to New Mothers Just under 4 million babies are born in the United States each year (1), approximately 700,000 in the UK (2), and over 300,000 in Australia (3).  In total, 130 million babies are born in the world every year!

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Skin Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate and Collagen

The skin is a window to a woman’s general health.  While there are many health benefits of dark chocolate, skin health tops the priority list for many women. Dark chocolate with collagen, plus an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan, hydration, and sleep are a winning combination for optimizing skin health. Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate In my

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Women, Safety, and Pain

In a study, recently published in BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, the researchers asked 21 women who had never had children, through face-to-face interviews and written questionnaires, about their experiences.(1)  They were interviewed and questioned before and after their first birth experience. “The overall theme to emerge from the data was that the pain a woman may

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Alcohol and Hormones

What effect does alcohol have on female hormones? Do alcohol and hormones mix? Alcohol and Hormones Have Significant Effects on Women’s Health As with many things, when it comes to women’s health… It depends. Beginning in perimenopause (around age 35-50), the ovaries begin to secrete less estrogen.  However, estrogen is more than just a reproductive

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Managing Sleep Issues in Midlife Women

Nearly 50% of midlife women ages 35-55 years have struggled with poor sleep and sleep issues. (1) For the clients in my practice, there are many common complaints associated with poor sleep, including: Difficulty falling asleep Getting a second wind late at night Difficulty staying asleep Not feeling rested in the morning Waking up many

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Maca Powder Benefits… Is Recommending Maca Good for Hormone Health or All Hype?

What’s the evidence on Maca? Is there any evidence that adding that scoop of Maca powder to your smoothie is a good idea?  Are maca powder benefits all that they’re hyped up to be? As with nearly everything… the answer is, “It depends.” In my practice, I recommend Maca for specific situations and it works

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Exercise and Hormones for Women over 40

80% of adults don’t even get the minimum recommended amount of exercise recommended by the CDC and similar public health organizations – 2 days per week of strength training and 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise.(1)  Exercise for women over 40 is essential.  But, it’s important to consider a number of factors before

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Healthy Estrogen Detox Smoothie

Enjoy my recipe for this Healthy Estrogen Detox Smoothie, which is perfect for anyone struggling with estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is a common issue for women with endometriosis, ovarian cysts, PCOS, PMS, painful periods, fibroids, and breast tenderness. Also, for women who struggle with weight loss resistance or insomnia, elevated estrogen compared with progesterone (otherwise

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Healthy Fats for Female Athletes

Over the last few decades, there has been a lot of confusion about how much fat female athletes should eat and what types of fat are healthy.  When it comes to dietary fat recommendations for female athletes, there is a lot of good data that demonstrates the cardiovascular and performance benefits of eating the “right

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How Adrenal Health and Hormone Balance Support Pelvic Pain Relief

Cortisol and Pelvic Pain Imbalanced cortisol levels throughout the day have been directly related to chronic pain, in general and in patients with chronic pelvic pain.  High cortisol and pelvic pain is more often found in men with pelvic pain, and in women with pelvic pain, flattened cortisol curves are more common (Goodin et al.,

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Is There an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Diet to Improve Pregnancy Success?

While there is no one-size-fits-all IVF Diet, focusing on your nutrition can certainly improve your IVF success.  Let’s discuss a few important strategies for supporting your health to improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy with IVF. The IVF Diet is a Mediterranean Style, Low Carbohydrate, Anti-inflammatory, Nutrient Dense Diet When 160 couples undergoing

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Fertility Strategies to Improve Egg Quality

For the woman over 35 who has been told she has “old eggs,” can egg quality be improved for IVF or natural conception? In my practice, women over 40 (or even younger!) who are struggling to conceive are often told by their physicians that they have “old eggs.” What does that mean?  And, are there

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We Stand for Planned Parenthood

When my friend, Alex Jamieson sent me an email a couple of weeks ago asking if I would join her and 100 of my colleagues in taking a stand to support Planned Parenthood as a woman and women’s health leader who cares about the health of ALL women… I hesitated. You see, at my core…

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