“A Message from the Heart”
By Dr. Monica Best
It is only fitting that February, the month of Valentine’s day, is the month set aside to turn our attention towards heart health. For those that struggle with infertility, we are keenly aware of how large of a role our emotional “heart” plays in this difficult journey. With all the emotional matters of the heart that infertility brings to the surface, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that infertility is closely tied to our actual cardiac health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It might be surprising to know that both men and women who have infertility have a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is diagnosed in approximately 8% of reproductive age women, is associated with elevated blood sugars, increased insulin levels, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, all of which serve as risk factors for heart disease.
Many of these risk factors for heart disease, that may not have been known otherwise, are often uncovered during the workup for infertility in both men and women. Thus, the infertility evaluation can provide insight into the existence of risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Early insight allows for patients obtain treatment for these conditions in order to optimize pre-pregnancy health and reduce the long-term risk of developing heart disease.
You can mitigate your risk of heart disease by smoking cessation, staying active through regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, and reducing stress. Our goal here at RBA is to help you create your desired family and to empower you and your family to be better and healthier for many years to come!