It is estimated that approximately 10% of all women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and that around 80% of them will struggle with infertility (2). While many women with PCOS will achieve pregnancy on their own, others will need medical assistance to become pregnant. In the last couple of years, the research world has dramatically expanded our comprehension of PCOS. It has long been known that PCOS involves elevated levels of female androgens particularly testosterone and DHEA. Newer research has provided deeper knowledge into the interplay between environmental, immunological, inflammatory, hormonal, and genetic factors. This rise of knowledge underscores the reality that PCOS is a more systemic imbalance far beyond the ovaries and presenting a more comprehensive challenge to those it affects.…

Tags: Fertility, PCOS, Menstrual Cycle Mapping

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Fertility Mapping: Navigating Fertility with PCOS and Insulin Resistance: Part I

A healthy and regular menstrual cycle is considered a vital sign of good health for premenopausal women. A normal menstrual cycle should occur every 25-35 days, (give or take a few days on either end), with the average cycle length falling at about 28 days. The length of the period can range from 3-7 days and the flow can be light, moderate, or heavy within a single menstrual cycle. A woman’s experience of her menstrual cycle may be unique to her, and what constitutes normal can have a broad range. Most importantly, each woman should be familiar enough with her own cycle to know if something has changed and when it is appropriate to seek help. One such situation would be the complete loss of a menstrual cycle for 3 months or more. Amenorrhea is defined as a complete absence of menses in a woman of reproductive age.…

Tags: Menstruation, Stress, Athletes, Fertility, Menopause

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Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea: A Tale of Stress, Starvation, and Excessive Exercise

Cadmium is a dangerous heavy metal and a known carcinogen. Even though daily exposure is usually relatively low compared to toxins like arsenic, cadmium bioaccumulates with a half-life in the body of 25-30 years. Essentially, the older you are, the more cadmium you have stored in your body. When cadmium exposure is high, it increases cellular oxidation products that deplete antioxidants like…

Tags: Dried Urine Testing, Heavy Metals, Cadmium, Fertility

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Cadmium’s Connection to Infertility and Reproduction

In 2008 ZRT Laboratory introduced the Fertility Profile to assist women in identifying possible hormonal causes of infertility. More recently ZRT launched the Menstrual Cycle Mapping (MCM) test that allows women to map time points throughout their menstrual cycle, measuring levels of estrogen, progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH). Since the MCM test was introduced there has been some confusion…

Tags: Menstruation, Fertility

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When to Choose Menstrual Cycle Mapping vs Fertility Testing

ZRT has launched a month-long hormone assessment in dried urine called the Menstrual Cycle Mapping test. This is what some call the 28-day hormone test. In our profile, we test estrogen, progesterone, and LH levels throughout a month. This article tackles some frequent questions providers might have regarding the purpose of the testing and who the ideal patient is.…

Tags: Menstruation, Fertility, PMS and PMDD

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Menstrual Cycle Mapping – Your Questions Answered

The practice of placentophagy – a woman consuming her placenta after she gives birth – is a bit of a hot topic these days. For those of you not familiar with the practice, if you're imagining the Dothraki queen devouring the giant, bleeding heart of a horse with her bare hands, you're probably not alone. In reality, there's much less of a "yuck" factor associated with the process when consuming an…

Tags: Elements Testing, Fertility, Estrogen, Progesterone

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Evidence Shows Placentophagy (Placenta Encapsulation) Works

The menstrual cycle is a symphony of hormones coordinated to yield an egg and to prepare the uterus and breast tissue for pregnancy. For most women, pregnancy will only take place in a very small percentage of cycles. However, the monthly surge and fall of hormones starting in menarche and ending in menopause influences the brain, breast and uterus of women and may result in numerous symptoms…

Tags: Menstruation, Fertility, PMS and PMDD

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Hormones, the Menstrual Cycle & Cycle Maps

Practical Takeaway: A recent study found the risk of depression with contraceptive use decreased with increasing age, and was highest in the youngest age group studied, namely teenagers aged 15-19, than in the women aged 20-34. These findings are from a new Danish study suggesting that hormonal contraception might increase risk of depression, and that previous studies may not have highlighted…

Tags: Fertility, Mental Health, Contraceptives, Neurotransmitters, Depression

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Do Hormonal Contraceptives Increase Risk of Depression?

Reliable contraception is a monumental achievement of the last century. Very effective at preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptives, generally referred to as "the Pill," are commonly prescribed to women of reproductive age. Aside from contraceptive purposes, the Pill can also be used to treat gynecological disorders such as irregular or excessive bleeding, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), severe…

Tags: Fertility, Neurotransmitters, HPA Axis, Contraceptives

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How Pill Contraceptives Affect Mood & Behavior

In this engaging and wide-ranging discussion of Fertility, Infertility and the Role of Hormone Testing, Dr. Alison McAllister, lead clinical consultant at ZRT, shares her considerable knowledge about the challenges of infertility and the heartbreak of those struggling to have a baby of their own. Sadly, it is a growing problem that affects 1 in 8 couples and millions of people around the world. As…

Tags: Fertility, Hormone Balance, Toxins, Xenoestrogens, PCOS

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Clinical Pearls on Fertility, Infertility & Hormones

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