Reproductive Health Issues

Reproductive Medicine has evolved in two very divergent streams in the last several decades. Most people are aware of the standard version, which limits many diagnostic testing procedures as they don’t change the treatment approach, which is frequently not diagnosis specific. The treatments do not aim to correct or restore underlying function but use medications or surgical approaches that suppress, circumvent (bypass) or destroy normal reproductive function.

Restorative Reproductive Medicine (RRM) uses approaches that only restore or optimize reproductive function. It is a standard medical model, meaning you have to diagnose and understand the problem (pathophysiology) before you can treat it. The tests, medications and surgeries used in RRM are similar to standard reproductive medicine except they are used in such a way as to normalize and restore function, or optimize if restoration is not possible. To know what is normal and what is not, most women with cycles are taught scientific based charting systems that empower them with knowledge and the ability to see if the treatment is helping based on changes they can measure.   They become a true partner with their provider who relies on the patient to accurately relay and record information on their experience and what their body is doing.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissue, normally found in the uterus, is found elsewhere in the pelvic region. Endometriosis is an underdiagnosed and undertreated problem. It is estimated that 1 in every 10 women have endometriosis during their reproductive years, and about 1 in 5 teenagers have the disease. The problem is that endometriosis not only causes pelvic pain but also negatively affects fertility, can progress over time, and often pain is the only herald of the disease.

Infertility

The difference between RRM and standard reproductive medicine is very clear in patients who struggle with infertility. RRM uses the fertility chart as a window into the function of the reproductive system. Bleeding patterns and mucus production produce signs that are associated with various reproductive phases and abnormalities. These can be confirmed through blood tests, ultrasounds and other timed investigations. Screening for conditions such as thyroid dysfunction, PCOS and endometriosis are also common place. Correction with individualized doses of ovulation induction medication or luteal phase hormones and other supportive therapies aim to produce a normal looking chart and hormonal and ultrasound parameters that are optimal. Conception can occur through a natural act of intercourse. For the couple, the investigation phase...

Irregular Cycles and Bleeding

In standard reproductive health care, a woman with cycle irregularity or painful bleeding is often trialed on different oral contraceptive pills to ‘regulate’ her period and lessen the pain, despite limited evidence to support this approach. This approach is suppressive, in that it turns off the normal hormonal cycle and with that provides a ‘regular’ bleed that is chemically induced. It doesn’t address or correct the underlying issues such as abnormal ovulation or endometriosis. Those problems often return when the patient stops the pill or wants to try and become pregnant. In RRM, patients are taught how to chart their cycle, using one of several methods that are based on published science. The IIRRM believes that every women is entitled to know her body and to have normal cycle, including ovulation, irrespective of her desire for pregnancy.

Miscarriage Prevention/ Early Pregnancy Loss

The IIRRM believes that every woman who suffers through a miscarriage or early pregnancy loss deserves medical assessment and intervention to minimize her risks of experiencing another. We disagree with the common medical advice to wait until the 3rd loss before any evaluation. Often parents affected are told that the loss is ‘genetic’, though research suggests that abnormal chromosomes in the embryo may explain only 50 – 60% of miscarriages; tests on the miscarried embryo are rarely performed.

Tubal and Pelvic Reconstruction

There are many different causes of infertility, and often more than one cause exists. Issues involving the fallopian tube or distortion of the anatomy of the pelvis are often one of the causes. Tubal blockage, endometriosis, pelvic adhesions are a few issues that can lead to infertility and sometimes pelvic pain.

Are you looking for a RRM Physician or a NFP teacher in your area?

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