The Whole View, Season 3 Ep 31: Fertility, Endocrine Disruptors, & Women’s Medical Rights w/ Dr. Lora Shahine

Welcome Dr. Lora Shahine to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Dr. Shahine discuss fertility, endocrine disruptors, and women’s medical rights. Dr. Shahine uses her years of expertise and experience to break down why some women have trouble conceiving, what they can do to increase their odds, and how the elimination of Roe v. Wade will impact individuals trying to expand their families, IVF, and more.

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Key Takeaways

Introductions

  • Dr. Lora Shahine is an author, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Clinical Assistant Professor, Forbes Health Advisory Board Member 2022, and  on Beautycounter’s Scientific Advisory Board.
  • She’s a fertility doctor, author, and speaker who shatters stigmas about miscarriages and fertility. She works to correct many misconceptions about fertility through her content and work. She’s on a mission to be a trustworthy resource and voice.
  • Dr. Shahine loves that we have access to all this information through the internet, why is why it’s important for doctors to be on social media because that’s where people are going to get a lot of their medical questions answered in modern times.

Fertility & Endocrine Disruptors

  • Dr. Shahine talks to people about being careful with perfectionism because there’s a shame cycle that comes with it. We think if we adhere to the “perfect” diet regimen, then maybe next month they’ll get pregnant. And then when they don’t get pregnant because nobody gets pregnant every month, then they think they must not have been good enough. When in fact there is so much more to the story.
  • There is not one way to be ideal in terms of your fertility, and whether you’re in a larger, smaller, or average body, what your body is going through is not your fault. We have to let go of that guilt and shame.
  • We cannot eliminate exposure to toxins, plastic, etc. But the human body does a great job of adapting if you do decrease exposure. It’s the people that have the highest levels of exposure that have the most increased risk of miscarriage or poor outcomes with IVF for poor sperm parameters.
  • We see communities of minorities and other areas where people don’t have the same access to cleaner or safer products or these kinds of things that there is a higher increase of miscarriage and negative health outcomes. If we start to change things at an education and legislative level, that’s where we can have the biggest impact on everybody as a society instead of expecting consumers or patients to be solving these problems themselves. 

Medical Rights

  • The perspective is often around a very small number of people, but legislative change actually has incredibly wide outcomes.Defining personhood with a fertilized egg, is drastically impacting first trimester care.
  • I’m working really hard with a group of reproductive endocrinologists around the country. We’ve formed a nonprofit called Doctors for Fertility, and we’re launching, you know, officially this month working to educate, increase awareness about how the overturn of Roe v. Wade is gonna impact fertility on so many levels.
  • If you define personhood at a fertilized egg and therefore an embryo, what’s the downstream impact of that? Are we going to be able to do genetic testing on embryos? Are you going be able to say that the biopsying of embryos is actually harming that embryo because it’s taking some cells away?
  • Patients that know they carry a genetic disease like cystic fibrosis, will they be required to have a child with incredibly impacted health condition? Are we able to freeze embryos from IVF?
  • Doctors are now deciding to not practice in certain areas because they’re worried about being criminalized for the medical care they have always practice and trained to know what is right, understanding the impacts of health on the patient. Medical schools in states with restrictive laws are already seeing a decreased number of applicants because part of training to be an OBGYN is learning how to terminate a pregnancy in order to save someone’s life. The change now makes performing the job that much more difficult.

Topics Discussed 

  • What are endocrine disruptors? We hear so many things at a surface level about them but how they truly affect us gets lost.
    • BPA, Phalates, Parabens, PFAS: “Hack” our body
    • Brains of young children
    • Obesogens
    • Cancer
    • Infertility 
      • Sperm count, potency, and low-levels of testosterone, for example, increases heart disease which we can attribute 100k people die early from phalates.
      • Miscarriage – 1 in 4 women experience pregnancy loss. Your exposure doesn’t cause your miscarriage, it’s ONE thing that we can impact and control and learn and study more.
    • Major National Medical societies have said YES, endocrine disruptors can impact fertility and the health of a pregnancy. We need to educate our patients about it.
      • American Society of Reproductive Medicine, American College of OBGYNs, and American Pediatric Association, yet it’s not taught in medical school.

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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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