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Wellness Wednesday

Webinar Series

Topic: Melatonin: An Introduction

March 7, 2018

Join Labrix clinical staff and special guests on the first Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM PST. This free, live webinar series will cover a variety of neuroendocrine topics that will enhance your knowledge, with clinically applicable testing and treatment considerations.

IFM AFMCP

San Diego, CA: March 19-23, 2018

Come visit the Labrix booth at the IFM AFMCP conference in San Diego, next month.

Implications of Delaying Fertility

 

Published on 2/22/18

Implications of delaying fertility: Why salivary hormone testing should be what the doctor is ordering.

A trend is emerging in family planning where the age of the first-time parent is shifting from the twenties into the thirties and even forties. What does that mean for the 30 and 40 somethings trying to get pregnant? Quite a lot, actually.

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, women in their mid to late 30s are less likely to become pregnant and even more likely to have miscarriages due to the quality and quantity of their eggs. By the time she reaches her 40s, the odds of a woman becoming pregnant is less than 5 percent, dipping to as low as 1 percent for women 45-49. There are many factors affecting fertility in this age range. Starting at age 35 progesterone begins to decline. This hormone roughly translates to “pro” “gestation” and is responsible for preparing the uterus for implantation by helping to thicken the endometrium. Progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum of the ovary post ovulation and continues to increase until the placenta is ready to take over around 8-10 weeks. At that time the level of progesterone dramatically increases and remains elevated for the duration of the pregnancy. Additionally, progesterone is responsible for the suppression of the maternal immunologic response to fetal antigens preventing maternal rejection of the trophoblast and even encourages the growth of milk-producing glands in the breast during pregnancy. Therefore, decreased levels of progesterone can impact implantation and may even result in the inability to maintain a pregnancy.

Further, the aging process can affect egg quantity and quality. Women are born with the exact number of eggs they will be able to mature over their lifetime. Generally, it takes about 3 months for a single ovum to reach maturity and be selected for ovulation. During this time, the egg is under the influence of sex hormones as well as stress hormones. A practitioner should consider the three months preceding ovulation as the “golden weeks” - for both enhancing the viability of eggs, and for optimizing the health of the mother.

Men also face challenges with fertility as they age. Testosterone levels, which are important for spermatogenesis, slowly decline starting at age 30. Additionally, researchers have discovered sperm counts are at an all-time low in developed countries, steadily declining over the past decade. While researchers admit they know little about the cause of this trend, understanding the maturation of sperm may shed some light on how to improve both quality and quantity. Just as women have “golden weeks” for the optimization of their eggs and overall health, men also have a similar time frame for sperm maturation. New sperm take an average of 74 days to mature. While sperm are produced and nourished in the testes via leydig cells and sertoli cells, sperm actually start the maturation process in the seminiferous tubules where they are stored for about 3 months before reaching the epididymis to complete the process.

Generally, a semen analysis will provide information regarding quality, quantity, and motility of sperm. Where the semen analysis falls short is the inability to predict if “normal” sperm can actually make it to, or even more importantly through, an egg to complete fertilization. While testosterone is pivotal in the process of spermatogenesis, it isn’t the only player in the game. Zinc is an element involved in ribonuclease activity, DNA and RNA synthesis. In fact, zinc helps to stabilize chromatin and membranes within sperm while also enhancing mechanical properties such as normal flagella, midpiece formation, and sperm motility. It is also worth noting that a deficiency of Zn can also lower testosterone levels. Additionally, adequate levels of selenium, folate, B12, B9, Vitamins A, E, and C, as well as calcium play critical roles in the development and function of sperm.

Labrix can assist providers in optimizing fertility for women and men by offering a snapshot of hormone levels through salivary testing. In addition to measuring levels of individual hormones, the comprehensive hormone panel looks at the relationship between estradiol and progesterone which is helpful to a provider to determine treatment steps. It also offers a look at the diurnal rhythm of the stress hormone cortisol, which plays an important role in fertility. The three months leading up to hormone testing provide a window of opportunity for the provider to offer treatment plans to reduce stress, balance hormones, decrease inflammation and ultimately produce the best egg and sperm possible.

 

References

Levine, H., Jørgensen, N., Martino-Andrade, A., Mendiola, J., Weksler-Derri, D., Mindlis, I., . . . Swan, S. H. (2017). Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Human Reproduction Update,23(6), 646-659. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmx022.

Stone, B. A., Alex, A., Werlin, L. B., & Marrs, R. P. (2013). Age thresholds for changes in semen parameters in men. Fertility and Sterility,100(4), 952-958. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.05.046.

Reproductive Aging in Women. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2018, from http://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/reproductive-aging-in-women/.

Normal Ovarian Function. Retrieved February 20, 2018, from https://www.mcancer.org/fertility-preservation/for-female-patients/normal-ovarian-function

 

Choose from two LIVE Online Training Webinars with world-class hormone and neurotransmitter expert Gregory Zengo, MD. These full-day courses include up to 9 hours of CME credit and up to 6 months of private consultations with Dr. Zengo. 

Live Online Simulcast: Saliva/BHRT

February 24, 2018


Dr. Zengo will teach you how to optimize your patients' sex hormones and adrenals in this Bio-identical Hormone Training Course. 


In this comprehensive course, you'll learn how to:


  • Use salivary hormone testing and BHRT to support patients with adrenal fatigue, menopause, PMS, and andropause.
  • Prescribe and use bio-identical hormones to achieve successful patient outcomes.
  • Implement BHRT service into your practice. The course includes customizable office forms and advertising materials.
  • Includes 1 Comprehensive Plus Hormone Profile from Labrix, plus two panels at 50% off. Course approved for up to 8 CME Credit Hours.


Live Online Simulcast: Neurotransmitter/GI

February 25, 2018


Learn from the best. Dr. Zengo's PracticalCME has the world’s only CME-accredited Neurotransmitter and GI Training Course.


In this comprehensive course, you'll be empowered with the skills to:


  • Use urinary neurotransmitter testing to enhance your patients' neurotransmitter balance. Support patients with anxiety, depression, insomnia, cravings, and addiction.
  • Use GI stool testing to support patients' gut health. Learn how to address issues like leaky gut, dysbiosis, yeast, maldigestion, and weight loss. 
  • Provide your BHRT patients with additional tools to manage symptoms and improve overall health. 
  • Includes 1 NeuroBasic Profile from Labrix, plus two panels at 50% off. Course approved for up to 9 CME Credit Hours.