Monday, June 30, 2008

RHS Nutrition and Wellness Series

Robin Musiak, Executive Director

I wanted to announce an exciting new 6-week series at RHS about nutrition and wellness. The series is part of RHS's "Balance Within" program. The presentor for the series will be Lauri Lang, RD, LDN. Lauri is a registered dietician, licensed dietician nutritionist, and health educator. Lauri Lang specializes in holistic nutrition, chronic disease prevention, and health promotion. Lauri is also recognized publicly for collaborating with Chris Fennimore on healthful cooking demonstrations on WQED-TV and at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.

The following is a schedule of the dates and topics for the series.

July 24th @ 12:00pm: Kick off! catered lunch, food demonstration. Focus on the impact of healthier lifestyle habits: good nutrition, exercise, stress management/positive thoughts...on all of our functions, emphasizing that nutritious, whole foods and healthy body weight play a huge role. Discussion of the 10% concept, and how to achieve....

August 7th @ 3:00pm: Discuss framework of Harvard pyramid, portion sizes, time patterns of eating and the effect on our metabolism. Introduce hunger scale concept, and encourage open discussion of obstacles, roadblocks, and what would help to facilitate change.

August 14th @ 3:00pm: Label reading. Be a nutrition detective. What nutrients do we want and what do we want to reduce or eliminate? This is tied to last week's discussion of portion sizes. General guidelines for protein, carbohydrate and fat intake. Segue to next week's topic. Open discussion of observations, positives and negatives, to be shared.

August 21st @ 3:00pm: Understanding your numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, and the impact of specific foods: positive and negative, on chronic disease prevention, including fiber recommendations. We'll also discuss proper hydration and the effects on our health.

August 28th @ 3:00pm: Heart healthy choices. Understand the alphabet soup of MUFA, PUFA, SFA, TFA, omega-3 fatty acids and the impacts on our health, so you know what you want to look for and what to avoid. Open discussion with question and answer.

September 4th @ 12:00pm: catered lunch and food demonstration. Prizes to be awarded. Open Q&A ....discussion of anti-inflammatory foods, organics (dirty dozen, etc..) immune boosting foods. How to maintain positive changes made....Stages of Change discussion....

This is in addition to multiple scheduled mini-consults on these presentation days. Please call our office at 412-731-8000 for more information and to register for the series.

There will be a chance to register for prizes with attendance to each class. Prizes will be awarded at the last session on September 4th. We look forward to seeing you there!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Blog Post for the Men

Jen Hamilton, Lab Manager

Oftentimes the coordinators at RHS get the infamous question: “Why do I have to collect my semen sample in the office and not at home?”

Since we, at RHS, deal with this issue on a daily basis we sometimes tend to forget the embarrassment or awkwardness that our male patients may feel about coming into the office for such an appointment. But there are several reasons that we ask that our male patients collect in the office and one of those reasons is not to torture you!

The only way to check a male for infertility is to collect semen for evaluation. Your semen sample provides valuable other information rather than just a sperm count. Multiple characteristics are studied such as ejaculate volumes, motility, and the ability of the sperm to swim forward. We also have the ability to do additional testing on the semen sample to further complete the diagnosis.

Since sperm motility is highly sensitive to alterations of time and temperature we ask that this semen sample be collected in our collection rooms near the laboratory. This is the main reason that we ask that you collect your semen sample in the office. As a rule, the semen sample is analyzed within one hour of collection. The interval between sample collection and analysis should be as short as possible since motility declines with time. This is especially crucial if the specimen has a low motility to begin with. Also, if further tests of sperm function are to be performed it is critical that the spermatozoa be separated from the seminal plasma within one hour of ejaculation. We also prefer that you collect in the office for identification purposes. We must photo ID you at the time we check you into the collection rooms. We have a big responsibility to ensure that we have the right semen specimen from the right patient at all times. This is another reason that we ask that you collect your specimen in the office.

So, even though you may have anxiety or embarrassment of collecting your semen sample in the office we can assure you that you are not alone. Many of our male patients feel this way! Please remember that you are always welcome to bring any materials from home which may help you during the collection process.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fertility Awareness Month

Robin Musiak, Executive Director

June has been designated World Fertility Awareness Month by WorldFAM, an international organization that works to raise awareness about infertility. WorldFAM was founded to reduce the stigma that accompanies infertility, providing guidance for men and women who suffer its effects as well as a vehicle for education and information. Approximately one in ten couples have difficulty conceiving, and infertility affects about 6.1 million women and their partners in the U.S. alone. The message of World Fertility Awareness Month is clear: you are not alone. Infertility is a global issue, and it is being addressed on a global scale.
RHS will be wearing flowers this month to honor World Fertility Awareness Month. Our choice was to wear our representative flower, the Gerbera Daisy. The flowers are meant to bring awareness by prompting patients to ask about the flowers, which provide an opportunity for staff to inform and educate patients about the worldwide impact of infertility. RHS is committed to helping every patient to have a baby through treatment and education.