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Dr. Varsha Anand

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About Dr. Varsha Anand

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    Abu Dhabi Guide
  1. Women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are more likely to be overweight or obese because the hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS can cause unexplained weight gain. With PCOS, the body has difficulty using the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy so body gets into the condition called insulin resistance which causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream. High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgen and increased androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically around the abdomen. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain which can be detrimental to their health. problems like, Insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure ,sleep apnoea and all of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack. So, the best solution for all these problems are to lose some weight :) Losing weight will make you look better and feel better. If you have PCOS, shedding just 5-10% of your body weight can restore ovulation, regulates menstrual cycle, improve fertility, improves health during pregnancy and a child health during pregnancy and reduce risk factors for diabetes and heart disease . Weight loss can restore the normal function of the ovaries and result in normal hormone production which may in turn lead to improvements in symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair growth, acne or scalp hair loss. The best way to lose weight with PCOS is to- Eat right which means small frequent healthy diet with high fiber and protein and low sugar . Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day ,in any form ,like yoga, cardio, strength or weight training . Take proper sleep of 7-8 hrs a day . Try and keep yourself stress free, take supplements like vitamins, minerals ,antioxidants . Metformin is a medication that helps lower insulin resistance. Supplements like inositol, which is similar to a B vitamin can help lower testosterone levels as well as insulin resistance, resulting in weight loss. Stop smoking, and regular intake of alcohol. If you have BMI over 40 then take help of the surgery like gastric bypass or banding to lose weight. Whether PCOS is a direct cause of weight gain or not, losing weight and keeping a healthy lifestyle is definitely helpful in PCOS. By Dr. Varsha Anand Specialist OB/GYN Fakih IVF
  2. Dear Dads-to-be...

    you do not have to eat less; you just have to eat right! We often talk about women’s fertility diet, but what we should know is that 35% of infertility cases are attributed to male infertility. A man’s diet is equally as important as a woman’s diet during the pre-conception stage, especially if the couple is facing any kind of fertility issues. Important Nutrients for healthy Male fertility: Folic Acid: A recent study recommends that folic acid can benefit sperm health. Men with low levels of folate were at a high risk for sperm that contains too little or excessively numerous chromosomes. If an egg is fertilized with one of these abnormal sperm it could result in a birth defect such as Down Syndrome, or an increase risk of miscarriage. The following foods can help you obtain your recommended amount of folic acid intake and one serving a day of any of these foods provides approximately 50-90% of your daily needs. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach Citrus fruits, such as orange juice Beans Breads Cereals Rice Pastas Vitamin C: Vitamin C (2,000 to 6,000 milligrams daily) helps prevent sperm from clumping or sticking together, improving the chances of fertility and helps sperm from Oxidative Damage. Some of the foods that are rich in Vitamin C, should be eaten raw examples include papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, oranges, kiwifruit, cauliflower, kale. Remember, drinking store-bought orange juice will not help increase your Vitamin C levels as it’s been pasteurized at high levels and lost its entire DNA protecting abilities; orange juice should be consumed fresh pressed only. Zinc: Zinc was shown to increase testosterone levels, sperm count and sperm motility. Zinc deficiencies are commonly found in both men and women. The reason behind this is that when food is cooked or processed, the zinc content in it can be damaged so we should eat at least 50% raw foods like sesame seeds, raw pumpkin seeds and green peas as we cannot have meat, beef, lamb ,oysters, shrimp raw. B12: B12 is one such vitamin that can influence male reproductive health. B12 is an important nutrient that needs to be supplemented to make sure you are getting enough regardless of the state of your digestive system. Some of the best natural sources of B12 include fish, shellfish, beef, fortified cereals and soy products, low-fat dairy, cheese, poultry, and eggs. There are plenty of multivitamins including the B-group vitamin complex that can help ensure that the body has sufficient access to these important compounds. L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine is an important nutrient for men to support their energy, stamina and sperm health. L-Carnitine has been reported to increase sperm health by providing the protection the body needs to counteract free radical damage. Foods rich in L-Carnitine include nuts, seeds, and many vegetables, including artichokes, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, garlic, mustard greens, okra, and parsley. Here are some fertility diet tips for healthy male fertility: Snack nuts and seeds daily Eat at least one large green salad per day Add more green vegetables to your meal Get enough zinc Stick to fresh juices rather than packed one Cut down on Alcohol Eat plenty of foods higher in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants
  3. Stress and Male Fertility

    We always hear that stress shows up in every part of your body. That's true for a male too, even if they are masters at masking their mental tension, a man's swimmers will likely take a hit when he is stressed! But then, nowadays, how can someone not be stressed? If they are not then they are not modern and not going with the flow!! Sounds funny but, sadly, realistic and true! Let’s look at some facts related to male fertility and stress: Stressed-out men tend to have a lower concentration of sperm, more abnormally shaped swimmers, and a smaller percentage of sperm that are motile (ie, active). Stress might influence the hormones needed to produce healthy sperm and it may also damage the cells that produce them. Another theory says that excessive anxiety may increase the levels of reactive oxygen species in semen, leading to oxidative stress, which has been shown to affect semen quality and fertility. Stress can also put a dampener on his sex life. If a male partner is feeling under pressure, he's less likely to have the mental and physical energy to perform in bed when his partner is planning and ready to make a baby. A man's mood may play a role in the production of sperm. The theory is that in response to stress, the body reserves its resources for vital functions. A man's body won't waste energy in making sperm at a time of stress, as it is a non-essential bodily function. To sum up, unfortunately, if a man is suffering from stress, it can reduce the quality of his semen in total. Let’s have a look for some simple solutions: One of the best things you can do for your relationship, and for your stress, is to keep in mind what can be so good about sex. It's fun, pleasurable, and can bring the two of you closer together. Don’t just have sex to have kids; have it with mental love and connection and most of the time (if you don’t have any medical issues) it works! Take a holiday, if both of you are mentally disconnected and lost, to prove yourselves in this high-tech, multi-tasking modern era. Talk to your partner about the reasons for your stress. Then look for ways to ease it. Try to fit in activities that you enjoy and that help you to relax. Stress management through yoga, meditation or counseling can help. Try to think positively and understand that challenges in life are normal and expected. Let go of the need for control. We can't control everything. Slow down!! Try and focus on one thing at a time, this you need to specially focus on when you feel your stress levels is rising. Stay active, maintain healthy friendships, and don’t forget to make time for fun activities. Don't keep your problems bottled up inside. It can be really helpful to talk about your feelings with a friend, partner, or mental health professional. It may be impossible to eliminate stress entirely from your life, but you can learn to manage your stressors as they arise. Eating healthily, exercising, reducing alcohol and smoking and meditation-type relaxations can all help to reduce stress. Consider yoga, acupuncture, massage, and other mind-body therapies to help you relax. And again to sum up -try to be mentally happy and positive and spread that positive energy around :) Swimmers will be happy and relaxed and will perform better! By Dr. Varsha Anand Specialist OB/GYN Fakih IVF
  4. Stress and Fertility

    In today’s modern, educated, liberated and fast-paced society, the most “in” thing is “Stress!” And if you aren’t stressed, it must mean that there is something wrong with you! Sounds funny, but true! Realistically, we all should know that stress is not a good thing for our bodies in general, it can have a significant impact on your fertility. For some women, chronic stress can affect ovulation by altering signals to the hypothalamus, the center in the brain that regulates some of the hormones that control ovulation. Recent research tells us that stress boosts levels of some hormones, such as adrenaline, catecholamines and cortisol, which can inhibit the release of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone). This is responsible for the release of sex hormones. Subsequently this may suppress ovulation in women, reduce sperm count in men and lower libido in both women and men as well as a decrease in general fertility. It also causes the pituitary gland to release higher levels of prolactin, which also causes infertility to occur. This has become such a common issue that they we have a name for it, "Stress Induced Reproductive Dysfunction”. (Again, looks fancy and "in") So, if you have been trying to conceive with no results, some facts are very important to consider: pregnancy is much more likely to occur during months when couples reported feeling "happy and relaxed". It was less likely to occur during the months they reported feeling tense or anxious. Even you are pregnant, trying to carry a pregnancy to term during stressful times places the fetus at risk. The body knows this, which is why it creates an environment that is basically inhospitable to conception. Generally, a stressed person is an unhealthy person. People living with a high stress level are typically overly tired and filled with nervous tension which may cause them to choose poor dietary and lifestyle habits. So basically, the "in" factor should be “out!” Reducing Stress for Fertility If you have had fertility tests performed and have found that there is no medical reason for your infertility, it is time to evaluate your life and determine how much stress you have. Of course, you may not even have need for an evaluation. You may know you are stressed. In that case, it is time to start defeating that stress to help your fertility. Stress relief should be a part of every couple’s conception plan, even if they are going through IVF. How to Reduce the Effect of Stress on Your Fertility (I know it’s easier said than done, but no harm in trying :) Reduce the stress in your life. This is so important on many different levels. It will not only help your fertility and health but also your quality of life. If your job is really stressful, (the most common reason these days) maybe begin to look for a different job or occupation. If that is not possible, some of the tips below might help you to deal with your stress differently than how you currently are. Change how you react to stressful situations. When faced with an ongoing stressful situation there is only one thing you have control over - how you react. Pay attention to that. Getting control of how you react will have a big impact on what happens inside of your body when a stressful situation presents itself. This takes some attention and practice. Try and relax. Feeling stress about it is not going to change anything. We can’t have everything in life .So look at the positives; surrender and let go the negatives. Make sure you are getting enough sleep Get an adequate amount of exercise daily Meditate Start practicing Yoga Consume natural, calming herbs and supplements Acupuncture Remember, how to be good to yourself and love yourself. Few smaller, easy tips: Try journaling. Setting down on paper how you feel can take some of the pressure off. It’s a way to off-load concerns you feel uncomfortable sharing. And you can shred the pages or throw them out, a physical act that contributes to the effect. Couples should act as if they were dating again. Set aside time during the week to go to a movie. Take a dance class together. And put a time limit of 20 minutes or so on pregnancy discussions. Fertility talk that goes on and on can make matters worse! Get individual counseling or group support. A woman struggling to get pregnant needs someone who can empathize. Counseling can be an outlet for feelings of confusion, sadness, and frustration. Group support is particularly helpful for women who feel isolated as a result of infertility. Rethink your attitude. Thinking "everybody else gets pregnant so easily" only causes distress. Change it to "If getting pregnant was so easy, there wouldn't be fertility clinics." Recognize pessimistic thinking. Don't just try to relax because you think that it's going to help you get pregnant. But do relax just because it feels good, because it's comfortable, and because when you do feel good, you're healthier overall, and that can never be a bad thing for conception." So, take a deep breath, relax and be happy; think positively, surround yourself with positive and happy people, spread happiness and then start the beautiful journey of motherhood and life :) By Dr. Varsha Anand Specialist OB/GYN Fakih IVF Fertility Center
  5. A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone but it's especially important if you’re trying to get pregnant. So if you want to start that beautiful journey of hoping to get pregnant, you should be taking care of small things which will improve your fertility. Certain lifestyle choices can have some effect on your fertility. You need to look out for the following: Maintain a healthy weight Being overweight, or significantly underweight, can affect hormone production and inhibit normal ovulation. Maintaining a healthy weight can increase the frequency of ovulation and likelihood of pregnancy. The more weight a woman gains over her healthy weight, the more she tends to experience decreased ovarian function. Maintaining a healthy weight alleviates many of the strains on the body that can interfere with getting pregnant, such as elevated blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. Both body weight extremes can be detrimental: Becoming extremely underweight can mess with a woman’s hormonal balance and keep her from having a normal menstrual cycle, which can in turn prevent ovulation. Just as excess body fat can impact fertility, so can not having enough of it. On the other hand, being overweight can impair a woman’s insulin function, and insulin has also been shown to interfere with normal ovulation. For men, being overweight can literally compress the testicles between thick thighs and that excessive heat surrounding the testicles can cause the sperm to form poorly. Also, excessive fat on a man’s body tends to convert into high estrogen levels and low testosterone levels, both of which are counterproductive for sperm growth. It is recommended that you visit your physician to assess your individual health situation to determine the appropriateness of your weight. Regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet can also help control your weight and manage stress often associated with trying to conceive. Working out stimulates the endocrine glands to secrete hormones that produce egg growth. Getting your heart rate up for thirty minutes a day will not only enhance your fertility, but release any daily frustrations before they have a chance to build up. A Balanced Diet A balanced diet will ensure that the body receives appropriate nutrition to maximize performance, which includes ideal ovulation for women and sperm production for men. Small changes to your diet can make a huge difference. Begin by eating more fruits and vegetables, and aim for at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Be creative and try drinking a few in a smoothie or adding some puree into a dinner dish. In terms of what you should try to avoid, white flour, white bread and white rice food products make the top of the list. It is best to replace these items with foods that are rich in folic acid, such as brown rice, oats, beans, peas, spinach, cereals and oranges, then continue to add other fruits, vegetables, and whole grains Effects of Caffeine Caffeine may also impact one’s ability to become pregnant. Caffeine increases stress and is known to have addictive qualities .it increases the length of time it takes to conceive. It could also damage sperm and increase the risk in females of developing endometriosis. Experts have recommended consumption of less than 100 mg per day of caffeine. We see caffeine is all around us in several sources such as coffee, tea, soda and chocolate. Replace it with a glass of healthy juices, smoothies or decaffeinated tea Smoking and Alcohol Whether you're a man or a woman smoking and drinking alcohol can harm the chances of conception. For men, it decreases the quality, quantity, and the movement of swimming sperm. For women, cigarette smoking can directly affect the egg quality. Cigarette smoke disrupts hormones and damages DNA in both men and women. Excessive alcohol can affect the function of the liver, which controls many hormonal functions, for both men and women. These hormonal functions are crucial for both normal ovulation and sperm growth. So try and quit smoking and minimize alcohol intake as soon as possible, if you are trying to conceive. Prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other health issues Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are a leading cause of infertility for women. To protect yourself from STIs, practice safe intercourse. Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom each time you have intercourse or stay in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who isn't infected. Health issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids can affect a woman's chances of getting pregnant or successfully carrying a pregnancy to term. Women with autoimmune disorders (such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) may also have trouble conceiving, since their bodies may reject a fertilized egg or attack her partner's sperm. So it’s advisable to have a regular health checkup and keep an eye on these factors. Understand the fertility cycle It's helpful for couples to time intercourse to the appropriate stages of the month which means understanding the female fertility cycle is very important. The first day of full flow (not just spotting) is always counted as the first day of the menstrual cycle. For many people who have a normal 28- to 30-day cycle, ovulation tends to occur around day 13 or 14. The use of an over-the-counter ovulatory predictor kit which involves checking a urine sample generally indicates that ovulation will occur within 12 to 24 hours, make use of it. Managing Stress Perceived stress can certainly alter hormone levels and ovulation. When it is in excess and when we react to it in a negative way it can have all kinds of impact on our health and our bodies." Stress can interfere with conception. ... That's because stress can affect the functioning of the hypothalamus the gland in the brain that regulates your appetite and emotions, as well as the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs. If you're stressed out, you may ovulate later in your cycle or not at all. It's important for women to relax when they are trying to have a baby. OVERALL VIEW Eat healthy Exercise stop smoking and alcohol keep an eye on your medical condition by doing regular checkups And the most important thing "stay positive and be happy” :) By Dr. Varsha Anand Specialist OB/GYN Fakih IVF Fertility Center
  6. Age is no barrier to achieving many things

    Age is no barrier to achieving many things - but it can reduce the chance of a woman getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. A woman’s age is the single most important factor affecting her fertility. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. As a woman ages, her eggs age with her, diminishing in quantity and quality; also, it takes longer to conceive and the risk of not being able to get pregnant increases. The risk of miscarriage, and complications in pregnancy and childbirth like gestational diabetes, placenta praevia, placenta abruption and caesarean section, increases with age. Older women are more likely to have a baby with birth defects or genetic abnormalities. A woman over 35 is nearly 2.5 times more likely than a younger woman to have a stillbirth. By age 40, she is more than five times more likely to have a stillbirth than a woman under 35. Also for a woman aged 40 the risk of miscarriage is greater than the chance of a live birth. The figures about women, age and fertility state that the chances of getting pregnant without IVF is as follows: · Starting at about age 32, a woman’s chances of conceiving decreases gradually but significantly. · From age 35, the fertility decline speeds up. · By age 40, fertility has fallen by half. · At 30, the chance of conceiving each month is about 20%. At 40 it’s around 5%. A woman is born with 1 to 2 million eggs at birth, and those are all eggs she is going to have in a lifetime. By the time of her first period, the supply dwindles to 300,000. "If a woman ovulates 500 times between the ages of 12 and 52, and not all those eggs are healthy, they are left with few eggs that are truly viable for pregnancy. Women who decide to delay pregnancy until after age 35 should obtain information on appropriate testing and treatment while remaining realistic about the chances of success with infertility therapy. The remaining egg supply can be assessed by checking the level of anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and by doing an ultrasound scan of the ovaries at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, to check the antral follicle count (AFC). These two tests will give some idea as to how many eggs remain in the ovaries, but they do not measure the egg quality: that is determined purely by the woman’s age. By learning about all of the options and being aware of their own needs and goals, a woman and her partner will be prepared to make the best decisions and get away with the fear of "biological clock is ticking!!” By Dr. Varsha Anand Specialist OB/GYN