Undergoing an infertility journey can take a toll on you physically and emotionally.
In times of stress, it can be easy to forget about your mental health, but paying attention to your emotional well-being is crucial to helping you thrive throughout fertility treatment. Many aspects of infertility are outside of your control and the doctor’s control. This can lead to self-blame, feelings of ineffectiveness, and comparing yourself to everybody else. Negative thinking can lead to more stress and magnify unfavorable circumstances.
Anxiety is another common mental health issue experienced by those facing fertility challenges. Center for Reproductive Health patients have shared their anxieties about whether or not treatment will work, a lot of worry after procedures, and endless thoughts about being pregnant while waiting for the next appointment or pregnancy test.
The team at Center for Reproductive Health suggests three things people can do to improve their mental well-being during times of stress.
1. Communicate with your partner
Stress and anxiety can create distance between you and your partner. By sharing the emotional burden and setting time aside to reflect and talk together, you can close that gap. It is important to accept that both males and females are emotionally affected by infertility, so both partners need to share, support and listen to each other.
2. Practice mindfulness techniques
With all the complex thoughts racing through your mind, daily mindfulness activities can help keep you in the present moment, even if you only do it for 5 minutes a day. Many Center for Reproductive Health patients have said that yoga and meditation have helped them manage stress during fertility treatment. There are several smartphone apps, such as headspace, available to download that include guided mediation.
3. Don't hesitate to seek professional help at any stage of your journey
Mental health professionals provide many patients with support, tools and strategies to help them cope with stress and anxiety related to fertility treatment. Whether you've just had an initial consultation or recently completed a procedure, there's no shame in seeking professional help. Center for Reproductive Health can refer you to local mental health counselors with experience helping people going through fertility treatment.
Center for Reproductive Health offers personalized fertility treatments and support for couples and individuals. Founded in 1998, Center for Reproductive Health has helped more than 4,000 Inland Northwest families conceive babies and has grown to be Spokane's largest reproductive health clinic. To learn more or to make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.
The team at Center for Reproductive Health answers your frequently asked questions about Intrauterine insemination (IUI).
What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an infertility treatment in which sperm are placed into your uterine cavity through a catheter. IUI is a type of artificial insemination in which sperm are injected directly into your uterine cavity near the time you ovulate. Your doctor may recommend IUI to treat many causes of infertility, especially when there is a problem with the sperm such as low sperm count or low motility. IUI bypasses the cervix, so it is a useful treatment if there is an incompatibility between sperm and the cervical mucus. This procedure can be performed with either your partners sperm or with sperm from a donor.
How is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) performed?
The insemination takes a few minutes. The Endocrinologist will insert a small catheter through your cervix into your uterine cavity, and inject the sperm through the catheter into your uterus. You most likely will not feel discomfort during the procedure.
How can IUI help to improve my chances for pregnancy?
The sperm are placed very close to the site of fertilization. IUI also improves delivery of the sperm to the egg, especially when the sperm count is low or the sperm do not move well.
I heard that we may need to go through this procedure more than once. Is that true?
If you do not become pregnant, you may have to repeat the procedure during your next cycle. Further evaluation may be needed if you do not become pregnant. At Center for Reproductive Health, each patient has an individualized treatment plan to help achieve a healthy pregnancy. You will be provided with reliable information and support to make the best decision for your family.
How soon will we know if this treatment was successful?
You will most likely know in about 2 weeks – if you become pregnant, you may miss your next period. A blood test will confirm whether or not you are pregnant.
IUI is one of the many treatments offered to Center for Reproductive Health patients. You can make an appointment with Dr. Robins at Center for Reproductive Health by calling (509) 462-7070. Free nurse consultations are also available for new patients.
Still left with questions? Our Patient Liaisons are experts in the leading fertility treatments. You can submit questions to them online, here: http://fertilitydoctor.net/contact-us/.
Dr. Robins at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health (CRH) has been helping Inland Northwest families grow for over 20 years. With the most advanced technology and distinguished medical experts, the CRH team works tirelessly to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy quickly and safely. Before and during fertility treatment, there are steps you, the patient, can take to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Keep Your Eye On The Scale
There is a strong correlation between a woman’s BMI (body mass index) and her fertility potential. For a woman’s reproductive system to function properly, she has to have a healthy amount of fat. Women who are underweight often lack the fat needed for reproduction, causing their bodies to ovulate infrequently or not at all. Even the smallest weight gain can help restart the reproductive system. Being overweight can make conception challenging, as well. Overweight women can experience insulin resistance, which may cause the ovaries to produce an excess amount of hormones and stop releasing eggs. And don’t forget about your partner! Overweight men have shown to have abnormal semen, which may attribute to low sperm count and motility.
Skip Happy Hour
Studies have shown that consuming 4-5 alcoholic drinks per week can decrease fertility. Women who consume 10 alcoholic drinks per week show an even greater decrease in their chances of conceiving. Since there is no confirmed data of a safe threshold for consumption, Dr. Robins typically recommends limiting or refraining from alcohol when trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
Put Out That Cigarette
Smoking presents serious risks to your overall health. However, you may not realize the impact smoking has on your fertility. Studies have shown that women who smoke have a 54 percent chance of taking a year or longer to conceive, compared with non-smokers. The delay in conception is directly impacted with the quantity of cigarettes smoked. The more cigarettes smoked, the more estrogen-reducing chemicals enter the body. Male smokers often have lower sperm counts. The good news is that the damage from smoking is somewhat reversible. Sperm regenerates about every 74 days, and may be better quality after quitting.
Identify Your Stress-Busters
Trying to conceive can be stressful, even before treatment. Once you begin fertility treatment, it’s important to manage your stress and anxiety appropriately Some patients have reported that participating in support groups, getting massages or journaling to be helpful. We suggest scheduling time for stress-busting activities, just like your treatment appointments. Your health should be a top priority during treatment..
What will you do to improve your fertility? Even modest lifestyle adjustments can make a big difference in improving your fertility and help you get pregnant faster. You can make an appointment at Center for Reproductive Health today by calling (509) 462-7070.
An estimated 1 in every 8 couples struggle to conceive. While infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after having regular, unprotected intercourse for 1 year, it is considered “normal” for an average fertile couple under 35 years of age to try for 1 year before conception occurs. But for those individuals who are older than 35, that time frame for conception becomes smaller. If you have not conceived during this time frame, you may be asking, “Why?” Our fertility experts at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health explain six reasons why you might not be getting pregnant.
1. Maternal Age
Age is one of the initial indicators used to assess a woman’s fertility health. From ages 30 to 35, there is a gradual decline in a woman’s ability to become pregnant; after age 40, there is a sharp decline in conception. Women are less likely to ovulate regularly as they age, which could be a reason for a decline in one’s fertility. Women also produce fewer healthy eggs as they age, creating resistance to fertilization and lower pregnancy rates.
2. Excess Body Weight
While not every woman who is overweight will struggle to conceive, there are many that do struggle. Weight can be concerning for women when it contributes to reproductive health concerns, such as irregular menstrual cycles and ovulatory dysfunction. Excess weight can cause an increase in insulin levels, which may lead to the ovaries producing male hormones and limited egg release.
3. Not Enough Body Weight
While being overweight has implications on fertility, an appropriate amount of fat is necessary for a healthy reproductive system. The appropriate amount may vary based on the person. Too little body fat can cause absence of periods and ovulation, making conception very difficult.
4. Smoking Habit
Smoking can have negative effects on your reproductive health. Compared to non-smokers, smokers commonly experience a higher chance that conception will take 1 year or longer. Smoking can also reduce the levels of estrogen in the body.
5. Existing Medical Conditions
Nearly one-third of all infertility diagnoses in women are related to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, commonly referred to as PCOS. PCOS is the most common ovulatory disorder in women of reproductive age and is caused by hormonal imbalances that hinder ovulation. Endometriosis is also a common cause of infertility, in which tissue lining the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. These conditions can often go undiagnosed, as many people don’t have noticeable symptoms.
6. Your Partner
While infertility is generally perceived as a female issue, the reality is 40 percent of infertility is connected to male reproductive health issues. Erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory issues, spinal cord injuries, tumors, and undescended testes are all fairly common culprits of male infertility. Because basic testing for these problems is relatively simple and inexpensive, a semen analysis is performed as part of every couple’s routine testing at Center for Reproductive Health.
Month after month of negative pregnancy tests can be disappointing and frustrating for men and women alike. If this list didn’t provide you with any clear indications of potential fertility concerns, please note that these six reasons are not the only possibilities. Even after testing, some couples find that their infertility is ‘unexplained.’ This can be a baffling or discouraging diagnosis when there is not a real “reason” for the infertility. Individualized tests, analysis and consultations with Dr. Robins will help determine your best way forward.
If you have been trying to conceive and are not getting pregnant, it might be time to see a fertility specialist at Center for Reproductive Health. When it comes to fertility, time is of the essence. Advanced technologies and treatments are available to help you find your path to parenthood.
If you would like to learn more, please call (509) 462-7070 to schedule an appointment.
End-of-the-year Holidays can be daunting, even in the best of circumstances. For those trying to conceive, holidays often add additional emotional stress to an already complicated situation. By planning in advance and acknowledging that holidays may be uncomfortable or emotional, you can better prepare yourself and improve your chances of thriving through the celebrations.
Our friends at Resolve have provided helpful tips for thriving this holiday season:
While Visiting Family and Friends
DO: Plan to spend time with couples or friends who don’t have children if family festivities are too much to bear this year. Consider arriving just in time for the holiday dinner, rather than the night before if you find it painful to be around your young nieces, nephews and cousins.
DON’T: Rely completely on family traditions to fulfill your present needs.
Celebrating the Season
DO: Spend time doing things you like best. Prepare a spectacular meal, take long walks, go horse-back riding or jogging, or curl up by a fire with a good novel. Plan a special trip just for you and your partner: a ski weekend, or a few nights at a cozy country inn.
DON’T: Pretend that there’s nothing wrong and carry on with “business as usual.”
When Sharing Your Feelings
DO: Decide in advance how you will handle difficult and insensitive questions. You may even want to rehearse your answers. You may decide to be upfront with friends and relatives as to why you can’t join certain celebrations and traditions which are just too painful right now. Express your appreciation to friends and relatives who have given you their love and support.
DON’T: Be caught off guard by unexpected or embarrassing questions about your plans for having a family. Plan your responses, but don’t feel that you have to disclose all the details of your situation either!
Finding your holiday "Cheer"
DO: Remember to capture the “spirit” in each holiday. Participate in activities that bring meaning to you at this time. Consider volunteering at a local charitable organization. Cheering up others has a rejuvenating effect.
DON’T: Close yourself off to positive feelings and new experiences. You may find that you have a special ability to make others feel good, even if you’re not feeling upbeat yourself.
In the Quieter Moments
DO: Set aside time to share your feelings with your partner. Allow yourself to feel sad, discouraged or frustrated. Trying to conceive is a complicated and emotional process, and you are entitled to those feelings. Talk with each other about your feelings. Your partner may be able to help you through the rough times. Give yourself, and each other, frequent pats on the back for making it through the holiday events.
DON’T: Get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and forget about each other. You need each other’s comfort more than ever.
When you're struggling to conceive and surrounded by family, the holidays can be overwhelming. Your gratitude and holiday cheer might look or feel different this year, but know that you are not alone and the Center for Reproductive Health is fighting beside you every step of the way.
Center for Reproductive Health offers personalized fertility treatments and support for couples and individuals. Founded in 1998, Center for Reproductive Health has helped more than 4,000 Inland Northwest families conceive babies and has grown to be Spokane's largest reproductive health clinic. To learn more or to make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.
Thinking about your future family? These 6 Signs may indicate it’s time to see a fertility specialist.
If any of these signs sound familiar, it is time to consider the next step and see a fertility specialist. New patient consultations are available for free at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health. At this one-on-one appointment, you can share your specific experience and get expert, individualized advice on the best ways to continue walking forward.
To schedule a new patient consultation or to ask questions, call (509) 462-7070.
Among women of reproductive age, more than 40 percent are insufficient in vitamin D. Recent research claims that Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to infertility. According to the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, women with sufficient vitamin D intake are more likely to become pregnant and/or produce high quality embryos if undergoing in vitro fertilization.
This is not a big surprise to us here at Center for Reproductive Health, as we tell many of our patients to make sure they are getting sufficient vitamin D and many other nutrients. We obtain vitamin D when we consume milk products or fortified orange juice, but even daily consumption does not add up to much. The best sources of vitamin D are the sun, beef liver and wild-caught salmon. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have access to these nutritious foods, but typically need additional vitamin D to make up for the cloudy winter months.
Whether you’re in the midst of IVF treatment or trying to conceive, you should consider taking a supplement. You can get your vitamin D levels tested and then Dr. Robins or your primary care provider can suggest a regimen for you. Take action soon - Vitamin D is slow to be absorbed and sometimes it can take 6-12 months to normalize levels.
Men are at risk as well. Semen analyses in men with low vitamin D have shown lower motility (movement) of sperm. This can lead to struggling to conceive without assistance. In men with low vitamin D and normal semen analyses, pregnancy rates are lower than in men with normal vitamin D levels.
Ultimately, our goal is to help you get pregnant and have a healthy baby. While vitamin D is clearly important, you don’t want to lose sense of the big picture. Be aware of what you eat and how you live, so you can be as healthy as possible, not just for your baby, but for yourself and your growing future family. Center for Reproductive Health in Spokane, Washington has helped thousands of local families reach their goals of building a family. Free consultations are available for new patients. To make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.
Couples can struggle with infertility, even after having a biological child without any medical intervention. We call this ‘Secondary Infertility.’ In fact, estimates by the National Center for Health Statistics suggest that more than 3 million women in the U.S. have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying another child to term. While infertility has slowly gained public recognition, secondary infertility has remained in the shadows, leaving many of the women who face it feeling isolated and confused.
Why does this happen?
We cannot point our finger at one specific cause of secondary infertility. We do know that age is a significant factor and a common concern for couples struggling to have another child. Many of the Center for Reproductive Health patients seen for secondary infertility are in their mid-to-late 30’s. Studies show that women tend to experience a decline in the quality and quantity of their eggs after age 35, followed by another steep decline after age 37. Fewer and/or lower quality eggs makes conceiving more difficult and can increase the likelihood of a miscarriage.
A specialist will also look into other common fertility factors, such as sperm quality, underlying medical conditions, medications, and complications related to blocked fallopian tubes or PCOS.
When should you see a fertility specialist?
Women age 35 or older should try for 6 months before calling a specialist. A fertility specialist can help determine what is preventing you from conceiving again and work with you and/or your partner to find the solution.
For couples that got pregnant very easily or unexpectedly the first time around, anxiety surrounding secondary infertility can creep in rather quickly. Don’t panic if the process of getting pregnant is not the exact same as before.
How is secondary fertility treated?
It’s important to consult a trusted reproductive endocrinologist and discuss all the options. Upon your initial visit, the doctor will likely want to conduct tests of both partners of a male-female couple before recommending a course of treatment. Treatment options range from Clomid to increase egg production and intrauterine insemination (IUI), to IVF with your own eggs or donor eggs.
The struggle to have a second or third child can be shocking, frustrating and heartbreaking. Secondary infertility is often misunderstood because the couple already has a child. At Center for Reproductive Health, we recognize that families come in all sizes and we dedicated to supporting you and your goals every step of the way.
Center for Reproductive Health, based in Spokane, Washington has been helping Inland Northwest families for nearly 20 years and can provide access to the most advanced reproductive health technology in the region. You can call (509) 462-7070 to make an appointment today.
Amidst the excitement of a new pregnancy, miscarriage can be a daunting fear — even more so for those who have experienced a miscarriage before. Dr. Edwin Robins from Center for Reproductive Health in Spokane, Washington, shares answers to the two most common fertility questions from those who have experienced a miscarriage.
1. “WILL THIS KEEP HAPPENING?”
Unfortunately, miscarriages are common. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10-20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriages. Fortunately, an early pregnancy loss (within the first 20 weeks) is unlikely to create issues with the uterus. Having a miscarriage, or even two, does not make you less fertile. But having several miscarriages consecutively may be a sign of an existing condition that is affecting your fertility. Women who’ve had two or more miscarriages are considered to have recurrent miscarriages, and should be evaluated by a Fertility Specialist.
2. “WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN?”
For women with recurrent miscarriages, a visit to a fertility specialist is crucial. If a cause can be determined, you may be able to take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of future miscarriages. Miscarriages are often caused by a genetic abnormality in the embryo. Other causes could be anatomical, immunological, or hormonal issues, or unknown causes. There are a number of different tests we can perform to determine the likely cause of recurrent miscarriage. There are also treatment and surgery options available to help correct issues preventing a full-term pregnancy. Women should be sure to discuss all the options with their Fertility Specialist.
Fear of miscarriage may not go away entirely, but with a cause identified and prevention plan in place, women can pursue pregnancy with less fear and improve chances of having a successful pregnancy.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects up to 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age. Polycystic ovaries contain many small cysts just below the surface of the ovaries. PCOS can have several different manifestations, but most women experience irregular, unreliable ovulation and menstrual periods. This condition often leads to trouble getting pregnant.
A PCOS diagnosis doesn't necessarily mean you'll never have a baby of your own. There are ways to manage symptoms, boost ovulation and maximize chances of conception.
Lead a Healthy Lifestyle.
By staying active and eating properly, your body can regulate hormones and insulin levels. A healthy lifestyle typically leads to a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI), which can improve ovarian function. Also consider talking with your doctor about taking vitamins and supplements for managing certain symptoms.
Communicate with your partner.
While this may not directly affect your symptoms, PCOS affects both you and your partner. Tell your loved one that you need their love and support. PCOS can cause mood swings and depression and some medications may cause side effects. If your partner knows this in advance, they can better prepare to support you. If you’re trying to lose weight to manage your PCOS symptoms, ask your partner to join you in pursuing a healthier lifestyle. We suggest hitting the various hiking trails around Spokane and the Inland Northwest together!
Visit a Fertility Specialist.
Once you’re ready to start a family, see a fertility specialist right away. The team at Spokane's Center for Reproductive Health will walk through all the options with you, so you can make the best decisions for your future family. There are several different medications and treatments to encourage ovulation and increase your chances of getting pregnant and staying pregnant.
Struggling to have a baby can be one of the most difficult side effects of PCOS. At Center for Reproductive Health, Dr. Robins utilizes innovative technology and over 20 years of experience to help you reach your goal of a healthy pregnancy. If you have questions about getting pregnant with PCOS, or want to come in for a free nurse consultation, call the Center for Reproductive Health at (509) 462-7070.
Join the top fertility care team in the Inland Northwest!
The Center for Reproductive Health is looking to expand our team. We are currently seeking talented, motivated and compassionate people in Spokane, Washington. The Center for Reproductive Health helps patients from across Washington, Idaho and Montana realize their dreams of becoming parents. Our work is rewarding, challenging and fun.
The following positions are currently available. We look forward to hearing from you!
This full-time position works closely with the Physician, Embryologist, Nurse Coordinators, Medical Assistants, and Front Office to ensure a positive patient experience. Nursing duties include, but are not limited to: educating patients about cycles and medications, coordinating treatment cycles, phone triage, and maintaining a high level of confidentiality. A successful candidate must be organized, possess superior customer service skills, excellent time management, and the ability to be a team player. Skills/Requirements: Graduate of accredited School of Nursing and prefer two years experience in related field. Must have current RN license and applicants must be available to work Monday-Friday with the ability to work early mornings and occasional weekends. CRH offers an excellent compensation and benefit package including a generous retirement plan. Join us in changing people’s lives and building families! To apply, please email a resume and cover letter with “Registered Nurse” as the subject line, to NataleeC@fertilitydoctor.net. Compensation: $24- $32 /hr, depending on experience.
Required license or certification:
The Center for Reproductive Health is offering a great opportunity to work with patients throughout their fertility treatment. CRH specializes in advanced reproductive technologies for both men and women. Our goal is to offer leading edge technology with unsurpassed patient service. The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) position currently available is 24 hrs/week with opportunities for additional hours. We offer competitive pay and opportunities for growth.
CMA duties include rooming patients, assisting and chaperoning in-office procedures, ensuring efficient clinical flow focused on solid communication with physician and nursing staff, assisting in OR with infertility procedures, prepping/stocking/cleaning exam rooms, phlebotomy and injections, chart prep and review, lab data entry, and nursing support.
If interested, please email your letter of interest and resume to NataleeC@fertilitydoctor.net.
The Center for Reproductive Health is looking for an experienced administrative professional to join our Financial Coordinating and Scheduling Department. Successful candidates must have the ability to be able to work closely with co-workers as well as independently. Attention to detail, excellent attendance and strong work ethic are a must in this position. Primary duties include financial consults, scheduling patients, verifying insurances, some billing and answering mult-line phones. A minimum of one year previous experience in a medical practice setting and/or relevant education is preferred. Centricity practice management knowledge would be helpful along with medical terminology. We offer a competitive compensation package dependent upon level of experience. Benefits are provided after a probationary period along with a 401k plan once certain criteria are met. To apply please email your resume and cover letter with "Financial Coordinator/Scheduler" as the subject line to NataleeC@fertilitydoctor.net. This position is full time and salary is negotiable depending on experience.
If you have questions about any of the listed positions, please call us at (509) 462-7070.
You did it. You fought through infertility. You and your partner are finding your groove as new parents. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep or erupting hormones talking, but you find yourself dreaming of another baby.
You’re not alone! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average family has 2-3 children. For those who sought fertility treatment to conceive their first child, the idea of seeking treatment again can be physically, emotionally and financially daunting. The looming question remains: If you had trouble getting pregnant the first time around, does it mean you’ll need treatment to get pregnant again? Each case and individual is unique, but it’s likely.
If you're considering adding another baby to your family, it’s important to stay healthy, think positive, and once you’ve decided to have another child, start trying. You should make an appointment to see a specialist right away. Depending on the issues and treatment you experienced in your first pregnancy, Dr. Robins and the team at Center for Reproductive Health can recommend a plan for conception and discuss every option with you.
Some symptoms or conditions you experienced may no longer be a problem for you, but issues such as growths in your uterine lining, have a likelihood of coming back and affecting your fertility. Age is also a contributing factor in fertility health and the same treatment that helped you get pregnant the first time, may not be as effective the second time around.
Dr. Robins at Center for Reproductive Health has helped thousands of Pacific Northwest families get pregnant – many of them more than once. Once you’re ready to continue growing your family, make the call and the top specialists will work with you to create a plan that is best for your health, your family and your goals to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
To make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.
The team at Center for Reproductive Health is excited to announce that Dr. Robins is now seeing patients in Missoula, Montana! Men and women from around the country have started their families at Center for Reproductive Health in Spokane, but we understand that traveling for an appointment can be difficult. We are partnering with local physicians in Missoula, Yakima, and Tri-Cities to bring the fertility experts to you.
Missoula appointments are available on the following dates:
Monday, June 5, 2017
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Monday, August 14, 2017
Monday, October 2, 2017
Dr. Robins will be seeing new patients in Dr. Tim Burke’s office: 2835 Fort Missoula Rd #305, Missoula, MT 59804
To schedule an appointment, call (509) 462-7070 .
Edwin Robins, MD is Center for Reproductive Health's Medical Director and a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist. He opened the Center for Reproductive Health in Spokane in 1998. Prior to moving to Spokane, Dr. Robins was an Associate Director at the Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Science of St. Barnabas.
Dr. Robins served as head of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at the National Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Robins received his M.D. degree and completed his residency at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. He did a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and Federal Fellowship Program, where he later started the assisted reproductive technology program.
The author of numerous research papers, Dr. Robins also served as assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Robins is committed to treating every patient with dignity and respect and takes time to understand each case of infertility, ensuring you get the most appropriate and effective approach to your care.
You can learn more about new patient consultations and other appointments offered outside of Spokane by calling (509) 462-7070. We look forward to seeing you!
Photo taken by Taylor Robbins for Destination Missoula.
The Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and the Center for Reproductive Health (CRH) in Spokane are announcing a new partnership to provide Veterans injured in combat with the opportunity for fertility treatments, including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system.
Last September, Congress passed legislation allowing the VA to fund medically-appropriate IVF services to Veterans wounded in combat and no longer able to naturally conceive.
Now, contracts are in place between Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center and the Center for Reproductive Health and the University of Washington for eligible Veterans. Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health fertility clinic has served the Inland Northwest for nearly 20 years and helped thousands of families conceive and birth healthy babies.
“The science and technology behind IVF continues to advance and make it possible for more people to start families, even those who have suffered traumatic injuries,” CRH’s Medical Director, Dr. Edwin Robins, explained. “As a Navy Veteran, this opportunity is particularly close to my heart. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Veteran families and help them build a family.”
IVF is complex and can be costly, depending on one’s medical insurance. The VA hopes to relieve some stress and financial burden on local families by covering the treatment costs.
“We are so excited for our Veterans,” said Julie Liss, RN, BSN, (U.S. Navy Ret.) Women Veterans Health Program manager, at the Mann-Grandstaff VA in Northwest Spokane. “This partnership allows us to continue meeting the needs of our Veteran population throughout Eastern and North Central Washington, and Northern Idaho by providing young families with the care they need to start a family.”
The legislation passed by Congress secures funding through September 2018. Reimbursement of adoption expenses may also be available to eligible Veterans.
Veterans seeking access to fertility treatment and have a documented reproductive injury can contact the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane at (509) 434-7009 to make an appointment.
In times of stress or uncertainty, it’s common to find ourselves tossing and turning, instead of sleeping through the night.
There is not enough sufficient evidence to prove that sleep habits directly impact fertility, but we do know that lack of sleep can negatively affect your physical health and overall happiness. Sufficient sleep allows our busy bodies to repair cells and regulate our hormones. Lack of sleep can sometimes disrupt menstrual cycles and compromise the production of leptin, a crucial hormone for weight control and energy.
How much sleep are you getting each night? If your answer is less than 4 hours, you’ll want to consider some lifestyle changes and aim for 7-9 hours each night.
Here are some of our most successful sleep tips from CRH clients:
Start a sleep diary.
Set an alarm to go to bed.
Other ways to improve sleep include exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, setting your bedroom temperature to 68-70 degrees, and talking with your doctor about any medications your taking that could interfere with sleep.
At Center for Reproductive Health, we look at your whole-body health to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy as soon as possible. We hope some of these tips can help you find the rest you need to recharge! If you have questions about fertility health or want to make an appointment for a free nurse consultation, call (509) 462-7070.
The Inland Northwest's top infertility expert, Dr. Edwin Robins, recently went to Facebook Live to answer your commonly asked fertility questions. You can watch the full video here:
If you have additional questions about infertility or your individual fertility health, you can send a message to a Center for Reproductive Health specialist on our Contact Us page. We also offer free, in-person nurse consultations for new patients. You can make an appointment by calling (509) 462-7070.
Commonly known as the “two-week wait,” the time between ovulation and your expected period can be riddled with hopes and anxieties. For many women trying to conceive, the wait plays one question on replay: “Am I pregnant this time?” And for those of us going through fertility treatments, the resounding fears of failure and hopes for success can be even louder.
The team at Center for Reproductive Health compiled some of our favorite tools to help you quiet the noise:
Waiting is hard, but we hope some of these tips can make it a little more bearable. If you’re looking for additional help, Center for Reproductive Health is pleased to recommend professional counselors for patients. You can call (208) 462-7070 if you have any questions.
An entire day devoted to celebrating love. There is no clearer embodiment of love than parenthood. Each day, our team at Center for Reproductive Health works with men and women going to extraordinary lengths to pass down a legacy of love to the next generation. You inspire us!
We understand that between office visits, regimens, and procedures, fertility treatment can take a toll on a relationship. Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder that some days are difficult and tiring, but we can’t lose sight of our love and commitment to those battling beside us.
You may have just begun fertility treatment, or feel exhausted by months of trying. Either way, Center for Reproductive Health wants to encourage you to spend time with your partner, without the pressures of conceiving.
Here are a few local suggestions for escaping fertility talk for the day:
We hope time together can strengthen your relationship for when you face challenges in the future, infertility-related or not. If you’re visiting Spokane, stop by our clinic to say hello to Dr. Robins and the Center for Reproductive Health team. We would love to see you and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!
You can contact the Center for Reproductive Health at (509) 462-0707.
Fertility health is an increasingly popular topic of conversation these days, thanks to celebrities, the media and more people openly sharing their stories and struggles. This trend has led to an increase in support and awareness, but many misconceptions have also arisen in the process. We’re here to set the record straight on a few of common fertility myths.
MYTH #1: Taking ‘the Pill’ for many years reduces your chances of getting pregnant.
Oral contraceptives, better known as the birth control pill, prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation. When a woman stops taking the pill, the hormones leave the body within a couple of days, regardless of how many years she took the pill. Once the hormones are out of the system, the body starts to produce hormones to start your menstrual cycle. For most women, it will take a couple of pill-free weeks to ovulate, others may take a few months.
MYTH #2: Infertility is only a female problem.
About 40% of infertility cases are attributed to male factors. Initial tests conducted at Center for Reproductive Health include a semen analysis where experts assess the volume, concentration, movement and shape of the sperm. Even if the male has had a child in the past, it doesn’t guarantee easy conception in the future. If a male has gained weight or developed a thyroid disorder, it may affect fertility. Learn More: Patient Resources
MYTH #3: All Couples should try for at least a year before seeking fertility help.
Infertility is typically defined as not conceiving after one year of unprotected sex, but some couples should come in sooner to get evaluated if they don’t become pregnant. Dr. Robins at The Center for Reproductive Health recommends that women age 35 and older get evaluated by a specialist after trying for six months. Women younger than 35 should still try for a year, unless they have a condition that could make it difficult to become pregnant, such as an abnormal menstrual cycle, history of miscarriages, endometriosis or other complex medical conditions. Learn more: When Should I See a Fertility Doctor?
MYTH #4: IVF is the only fertility treatment option.
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a term commonly interchanged with fertility treatments, and as a result, many of our new patients think that they need IVF. The reality is that there are several non-invasive or low-tech treatment options available. Center for Reproductive Health offers a full range of fertility treatments including ovulation induction, timed intercourse, or intrauterine insemination (IUI) and many other techniques. Depending on your age, medical history and fertility test results, your care team will help you determine which fertility treatments will work best for you. Learn more: Getting Started
MYTH #5: Medical insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatments.
The cost and insurance coverage for fertility treatment varies based on the type of fertility treatment needed. The Center for Reproductive Health works with all insurance plans and the large majority of patients with insurance will have full coverage for their initial consultation. About 60%-70% of patients have some level of coverage for further treatments. Our financial staff works with you and your insurance provider to make treatment more affordable. Also ask about our Shared Risk X3 Guarantee Program and ReadyGO Egg Donor program to ensure your investment is beneficial. Learn more: Financial Information
If you have further questions about fertility treatment or want to make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.
What you eat can impact your likelihood of getting pregnant. As your body nears ovulation, it needs plenty of B vitamins and other nutrients to support the release of the egg and promote implantation. Some studies have shown that vitamins such as Zinc and Vitamin C may play a role in progesterone production, as well.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are also crucial during the ovulation phase. The best source: omega-3s from fish and fish oil supplements. These EFAs promote blood flow to the uterus and support the opening of the follicle to release the egg. Fish oil can increase blood circulation and boost the natural testosterone in a woman’s body. During ovulation, fill your plate with leafy greens, whole grains, eggs, legumes, meat, fish and lots of water. Water plays a key role in transporting hormones and developing follicles. It also helps thin out cervical mucus, which may make it a little easier for sperm to reach the egg.
You’ll want to avoid acidic foods like coffee, alcohol, meat and processed foods, which may make your cervical mucus hostile to sperm. If you’re ovulating, serve up some salmon and brown rice with a side of sautéed greens for dinner tonight. You can also add a bowl of berries and a little dark chocolate for dessert... romantic and delicious!
For many of us women, holiday parties and events will include conversations with the prying friend or family member asking questions about when we plan to have a baby. Depending on the inquisitor, you may choose to share or keep your choice to pursue fertility treatment private. Either way, the team at Center for Reproductive Health has compiled a few graceful (and perhaps humorous!) responses to get you through the small talk over eggnog.
DANCE AROUND THE ISSUE
GO BLUNT OR GO HOME
GOOD FUN & HUMOR
SHARE THE REALITY
Since your fertility is your business, you can choose what to share. If you’re feeling bombarded with questions, consider sharing your concerns with your partner and perhaps they can help you change the subject during uncomfortable conversations. At Center for Reproductive Health, you can connect with professionals and other local women who understand what you may be going through. We can help you obtain community or counseling services with fertility treatment.
If you have more questions, contact us today.
Whether it's for work, family holidays, or a long-awaited vacation, you may be wondering how to arrange travel while undergoing fertility treatment. It's possible – but not recommended during the active phase of your IVF cycle.
Here are some guidelines to consider before you pack your bags:
- If you're flying, contact the airline to find out what is required for you to carry on treatment medications and/or syringes. If necessary, Dr. Robbins can write a letter stating your need to travel with your fertility medication.
- Don't forget to pack extra accessories like needle tips, alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer.
- Bring a travel sharps container to ensure you properly dispose of any needle tips.
- If your medication needs to be refrigerated, use frozen gel packs (they will need to be frozen solid, not slushy to get through TSA screening).
- Make sure you have received all the proper vaccinations if you're traveling outside the country. Contact us to review your vaccinations, as some may not be recommended for patients in the midst of fertility treatment.
At Center for Reproductive Health, we will work with you to accommodate your plans and sometime busy life. If you know about travel plans in advance, call us at (509) 462-7070 to discuss your medications and where you are in your cycle.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant, you’ve probably been told to “just relax and let it happen.” While the advice is typically well-intended, it can be frustrating for couples trying to get pregnant. Welcomed or not, it turns out there may be some validity to that advice. Studies show that high levels of stress can interfere with fertility in both men and women.
Chilling out is easier said than done, so here are some tips to help you de-stress and promote fertility:
1. Sleep on it – A good night’s rest allows your body to recover from daily stress. Too little sleep can cause hormonal imbalances, wreaking havoc on your ovulation cycle. The exact number of hours needed per night will vary person to person, but if you’re fighting to find energy and feel like you’re running on empty, you may need to catch some more Zzz’s.
2. Write it down – Journaling can help you rid of emotional pressure and process through some feelings you may not be comfortable sharing with your family or friends. Sometimes it’s helpful to express your stress on paper and then rip it to shreds for a physical release of that tension.
3. Schedule time to enjoy your hobbies – Continuing the activities you enjoy is essential to reducing stress and dedicating time for yourself can take your mind off of pregnancy. A walk along the Centennial Trail or taking pictures of the gardens at Manito Park can be the refresher you need to feel at ease.
4. Evaluate your life - Is there a sudden stress, such as a new job, death in the family or upcoming event that is affecting your daily feelings and activities? Identifying and addressing these stress triggers can help you avoid or remove yourself from stressful situations.
5. Connect - At Center for Reproductive Health, you aren’t alone. Our staff is here to help and can refer you to a counselor or local support group.
Reducing stress will not only help your fertility, but can improve your quality of life, overall. By taking a few of these steps, you can better handle anxious moments and defeat stress.
Thinking about starting a family, but not sure if you should consult a fertility specialist? It's difficult to pinpoint an exact age or circumstance when someone should make the call, but there are many good reasons to talk to a fertility specialist.
You're Paving the Way to Pregnancy
Many women don't talk with their doctor about fertility or family planning until their mid-to- late 30's. By bringing it up sooner rather than later, you can familiarize yourself with the options to optimize your fertility and increase your chances for pregnancy. A fertility specialist can help you identify your fertility window and give you tools to monitor your cycle.
Before you're trying to get pregnant, a fertility doctor at Center for Reproductive Health may be able to perform preconception diagnostic testing that could potentially prevent genetic diseases. Couples with a known, existing issue should consult a fertility specialist right away. Some causes for concern include either partner having a chronic medical condition or having had a previous STD.
You're Trying and Waiting
Women under the age of 35 that have not become pregnant after 12 months should consult with a fertility doctor. Women 35 or over should only wait 6 months. Irregular periods or monitoring your ovulation without a positive result or suffering from irregular periods can also be signs that it's time to consider seeing a specialist.
You're Planning for the Future
Maybe you're not ready for parenthood for a variety of good reasons. Talking to a specialist at Center for Reproductive Health can take some pressure off of making baby decisions right now. Age is a leading cause of infertility among couples, so your doctor can discuss options like embryo freezing as a back-up for getting pregnant in the future, on your terms.
If you're interested in a free consultation with our experienced nurses, contact Center for Reproductive Health today at (509) 462-7070. We will work with you to explore all the available options and plan your path to parenthood.
At the Center for Reproductive Health, we understand the importance of becoming a family, because we are one. As a leader in reproductive technologies, we're dedicated to compassionate and individualized treatment to help you find your path to parenthood. Our innovative techniques and advanced medical care provide comprehensive chromosomal profiles, resulting in reduced miscarriage rates and higher implantation rates for healthy embryos. We can make building your family an exciting reality, with support every step of the way.
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