Dr. Pentland

Avoid these things to Optimize fertility...

There are many toxins in our environment that are known to disrupt hormonal balance and are contributing factors in conditions such as infertility, PMS, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, recurrent pregnancy loss, and anxiety.

One Woman's PCOS Journey

The following is a great example of typical PCOS case seen at Yinstill. If you think you may have PCOS or have been diagnosed with excess androgens, insulin resistance, irregular menstrual cycles, or cystic ovaries, I encourage you to read this story below, and to venture to youtube to listen to how other women have managed theri PCOS.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

In Canada - corn (feed and some sweet varieties), soy, sugar beets, and canola are approved GMO's to be farmed and sold to market.

In the US (and many other countries) - the above as well as alfalfa, cotton, papaya, and squash (zuchinni and yellow) are cultivated.

So far these are the only 8 GMO crops approved for growing on planet earth.

The US, Brazil, and Argentina grow over 75% of the worlds GMO foods listed above.

Contrary to common beleif, there is no GMO wheat, tomatoes or potatoes.

Beet Dip

If the thought of dipping carrot sticks into a bowl of bright pink paste seems peculiar, I urge you to give beets a chance and try this dip! It is smooth, creamy, and surprisingly not overly ‘beety’ in the taste department. Of course, it is also ridiculously nutritious, bursting with too many health benefits to name in this blog post. Iron is just one of the many nutrients that this recipe has going for it, with both the beets and sunflower seeds rich in the important mineral. While trying to conceive, it is a good idea to load up on iron-rich foods in order to prevent iron-deficiency anemia, which is very common during pregnancy.

Medical Testing and Self-Monitoring

It is important to understand when it is time to ask your doctor to begin to run basic testing, at the very least to rule out the obvious like ensuring the Fallopian tubes are clear via HSG (hystero - uterus, salpingo - tubes, gram - image), and whether there is any sperm being ejaculated. Once these two tests are done, at least you can take a breath and move forward knowing that sperm is present and that it can get to the egg. A Chinese medicine treatment plan, when committed for enough time, can make many changes in your life, overall health, and fertility potential.

On Site Embryo Transfer Day Acupuncture: the importance of treatment at the IVF clinic

I would like to answer a question I get from time to time about our policy of ON SITE (at the IVF clinic) acupuncture for embryo transfer day. Many studies have been shown to improve pregnancy rates when acupuncture is done on embryo transfer day, a protocol involving a treatment just before the procedure and then again after the procedure. In all of these studies the acupuncture was administered ON SITE at the IVF clinic, except for one.

50 ways to light up your lover

If I asked you to come up with 50 ways to light up your lover, could you? One of my coaches just posted this on Facebook...
-Ginger candies
-Take for walk on beach
-Give message
-Rake to comedy show
-Write a poem
-Buy a new ring
-Restate my marriage vows
-Tell my mom what she means to me in her presence
-Tell kids "
-Challenge her to strip poker
-kiss her every time I see her
-Open the car door, other doors
-Hug her from behind
-Leave love note

Literally, Tiny Engines to Help Sperm Swim!

Ok, yes this is really happening - tiny motors that attach to sperm to help improve how well they swim (motility), and experts are saying that this might soon become a feasible treatment for male factor infertility.

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT's) - the gold standard for modern medical research

Because modern scientific research gives many people confidence and for some the belief that the conclusion is ‘fact’, I need to be clear on my feeling about the pitfalls of modern research and how it is actually often not a good reflection of real life. We do not live in a vacuum and cannot be reduced to one aspect of health, as life is chalked full of variables and each individual is unique in their expression into the world.

Laser vs. Needle Acupuncture for Embryo Transfer

We sometimes get asked whether we use laser acupuncture to support clients on embryo transfer day, and the answer is no. To date, approx 20 quality studies have been done regarding the administration of acupuncture on embryo transfer day during an IVF cycle. From this list there has only been one study that included the use of laser acupuncture.

Babcia’s Beet Greens Soup

Guest Post by Krista A. Parr

My Polish Babcia (Grandma) passed this recipe down to my mom, who passed it down to me. I’ve always loved it in late summer, as days are getting shorter and cooler and beautiful bunches of beets are plentiful at the farmer’s markets and in the garden. It’s a light soup, so it’s also appropriate for warmer summer days.

Are You Cooking Your Balls?

Don't Cook Your Balls, yup, you heard right! This is an amazing website which is a self-proclaimed 'A Light-Hearted Guide to Men's Sexual and Reproductive Health'. Are You Cooking Your Balls? Complete the 10 minute questionnaire NOW, it will provide personalized recommendations for how to optimize your fertility.
Are You Cooking Your Balls?

Advanced Maternal Age and Fertility

A big piece here is to understand how to guide intention. As the body ages it gives less and less resources to the function of reproduction. This happens as a result of the body’s decrease in overall resources and the growing need of other more life sustaining systems. Thus, a decline in the health of the reproductive organs (eggs included) when a woman is over the age of 35.

These simple facts direct our goals for treatment in traditional Chinese medicine;

Measuring Patient Experience

Despite medical literature still claiming there is no definitive link between stress and infertility, it has concluded that it can interfere with hormone balance and ovulation, as well as libido in both sexes (see In my practice I see the massive effects that psychological stress (emotional discomfort) can have on a client, and the various ways it impedes desired outcomes such as achieving pregnancy and carrying to term.

Autumn Vegetable Roast with Quinoa & Feta

Guest post by Krista A. Parr

The smells of roasting root vegetables and squashes with herbs and garlic is a hallmark of Autumn in my kitchen. There’s something so cozy and grounding about this type of cooking as it heralds the season of spending more time indoors baking, making soups & stews, and preserving the harvest through fermenting, canning, and dehydrating.

Sperm and Miscarriage

Many studies show a link between poor sperm quality and miscarriage, therefore this possibility cannot be overlooked when recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is affecting a couple. The good thing is, with natural medicine, there is much that can be done to help.

Does Stress Affect Fertility?

The short answer is ‘Yes’.

However, a more accurate answer is that stress affects some women’s capability to build a happy healthy family, and seems not to affect others.

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup

Guest Post by Krista A. Parr

Any homemade soup makes for an ideal fertility meal because soup is warming and easy to digest. This leaves your body with plenty of energy to carry out other important functions like removal of toxins, repair of damaged tissue, sperm production, and ovulation. Soup is also a classic comfort food, perfect when you need a little self-love in the middle of a cold winter. This rich, sweet, pureed soup features turmeric and ginger, which are superstar antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and liver cleansers, promoting the health and quality of eggs and sperm.

Autumn Lentil Soup

Guest post by Krista A. Parr

During Autumn and Winter I recommend making a big pot of soup once per week so that there’s always some nutritious comfort food readily available. It’s also a great way to use up whatever veggies in your fridge need eating up.

Infertility and Psychology

"Stress evaluation that precedes or is concurrent to fertility treatment is suggested." This is the conclusion from the following paper published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

If you have Heat here's how to eat...

In China, the line between herbs and food is not quite so clear. Herbs are commonly added to soups and dishes for their medicinal qualities, not taste. Simple food cure principles are always used as an adjunct to medical therapy. If you seem to fit the general and gynecological features below (you only need to exhibit a few to be diagnosed with 'Heat') then pay special attention to the ‘avoid’ and ‘emphasize’ sections. Caution should be taken to not create direct correlations between TCM diagnostic terminology and western medical conditions.

Acupuncture for IVF in Vancouver

Women and couples come to me at various stages of their journey to conception. Sometimes they have been trying for years and others they are just starting out. While conceiving naturally is everyone’s first choice, alternatives that garner the same results; a baby, should not be overlooked. It is for this reason that I have written this blog.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a term used to describe the current western medical treatments available for women and couples having difficulty conceiving and desiring or requiring medical aid such as In Vitro Fertilization.

You Are Not Broken

Please take a moment to read these 2 paragraphs written by 2 famous female doctors who have dedcicated their lives to the treatment of women's health and fertility...

Vancouver Infertility Story #1

"We became pregnant, without 'trying' within our first year of marriage (2012). I began light spotting and went to see my doctor. The doctor scheduled an ultrasound and though we thought I was almost 10 weeks pregnant, the baby was only measuring 7.5 weeks. I was prescribed Misoprostol to pass the tissue. My first miscarriage (Sept. 2012) was devastating. I was told that this is normal for a lot of women (though neither of my 2 sisters has ever miscarried; they each have 2 children). My mother miscarried twice, I believe. In Dec. 2012, we began 'trying' for the first time to get pregnant.

Fertile '15: Set Your Goals

“Change is never a matter of ability, it is always a matter of motivation born from a compelling ‘why’. Once you are clear on your ‘why’ setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” ~Tony Robbins

Rising Rates of Infertility Reversible

Infertility rates in Canada have been on a steady upward climb for the last many decades. I just wanted to share some statistics for the last 30 years, and some correlations that should not be overlooked. These correlations quite likely display some of the causes of the infertility trend, and they are either reversible or treatable.

Omega Oils For Your Stud

Just finished reading a study in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics and wanted to share how research keeps pointing out the importance of omega oils and sperm. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to make a daily habit of either eating some wild salmon (better yet, herring, anchovies, or sardines) or popping a daily supplement of high quality fish oil.

Vancouver Infertility Story #2

"I stopped taking the pill after we had been married for about 2 years (2008). We were excited at the thought of becoming pregnant and starting a family. We were starting a family earlier than most of our friends so there was some trepidation. After about 6 months of not getting pregnant, I started looking for suggestions as to how to increase our chances. I started using ovulation strips and was also recommended the book "taking charge of your fertility". I started charting my cycles. This continued with no success.

Huffington Post

I like reading articles from the Huffington Post that pertain to infertility. Their writers are clever insightful real people - I guess this is why it has gained the critical acclaim that it has. Thank you Arianna Huffington.

Fifty-Seven Pregnancies in 2012

2012 blessed Yinstill Reproductive Wellness with 57 women that fell pregnant while in our care. I am proud and deeply honored to have been chosen by these couples to assist in the manifestation of their dream. Of course we are always striving to provide care that surpasses that of any expectation.

Our clients success is our success.

Good luck creating your family.

Self-Monitoring for Fertility

For most women I see there is a short period of awkwardness that arises when I first ask them about the size and color of their menstrual blood clots, or the consistency and characteristics of their bowel movements, but it never seems to take long for women to understand the importance of observing their body in all its capacities. Careful monitoring of ones own health has been a hallmark of traditional Chinese culture for thousands of years.

Vancouver Infertility Story #3

"Been with hubby for 7 years, we got married in 2012 and started trying for a family. I have not taken the pill since 2007, I didn't feel that great on it, worked in tourism so was hard to always make sure I had a supply and I just wanted to let my body be. Hubby was very supportive and we used condoms until we started trying. For the first few months is was a more casual approach. My GP had asked me to take folic acid and ensure that we were having sex every other day around day 14 of my cycle.

Acupuncture affects AMH in PCOS

Results from a recent study on the effects of acupuncture on women with PCOS showed a positive affect on AMH levels and ovarian volume. Electrical acupuncture is administered for 16 weeks consecutively displayed hormonal regulating effects and restoration of ovulation in a significant number of the test subjects.

This is more evidence to suggest acupuncture has real physiological effects on ovarian physiology and hormone regulation, and can be especially effective treatment in women with PCOS.

Fertility drugs need better monitoring

An article posted yesterday in the Vancouver Sun spoke about the drugs fertility doctors are giving their patients. The cause for concern may stem from younger and relatively healthy women moving to these drugs as a means of attaining a pregnancy faster.

Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan (Five ancestors) for Male Factor Infertility

Modified version of Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan (Five Ancestors) is most likely the most used Chinese herbal formulation for male factor infertility. It is modified according to the needs of each individual client so as to optimize effectiveness for promoting the generation of vital essence and reproductive strength.

Vancouver Infertility Story #4

"My husband and I started trying to conceive shortly after we were married in July 2012. We didn't want to wait to long due to our age. We used ovulation urinary tests. Early in 2013 I began to talk to my family doctor about our concerns with fertility. I was referred for an ultrasound which led to a discovery that I had a polyp in my uterus. In the meantime my hubby had a sperm analysis and I had some other blood work done and then we went to Olive Clinic in the spring for our initial visit.

This is the growth of great medicine

Women and couples come to me at various stages of their journey to conception. Sometimes they have been trying for years and others they are just starting out. While conceiving naturally is everyone’s first choice, alternatives that garner the same results, a baby, should not be overlooked.

PCOS Exercise Program

To properly and successfully treat PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome you MUST exercise. OK, this may sound simplistic, everyone needs to exercise to maintain health and wellness. But, when done properly, women with PCOS can expect many benefits from simply committing to a diet and exercise plan. Also, it should be noted, when exercise is done incorrectly, it can actually cause a great deal of stress in the body and contribute to irregular cycles and premature aging.

Sperm Motility & Protein in the Diet

A good place to find out about how to optimize sperm is the dairy and beef industries. Basically, the whole purpose of a bull (stud) is to produce sperm of high quality, and lots of it, so that all the heifers and cows on the farm can make calves, which grow into beautiful heifers, then have calves of their own, become a cow, and then have more calfs. It goes without saying that it is a fundamental requirement to optimize semen quality.

Fertility Case Study: Yang Deficiency Cold

general info - Barb was 40 years old and had been trying to conceive for over 4 years without success. They got married when she was 35 and began the journey of making babies almost immediately after they were married.
history - Medical testing showed that her ovarian reserve was diminished and she was told that her egg quality was most likely poor. Semen analysis also showed low motility, morphology, and borderline low concentration.

Sally's Fertility Story...

“After two years of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby, I knew something was wrong. My periods had always been very irregular and I was frustrated because my family doctor would not refer me to a fertility specialist until we’d been trying for at least two years.

Getting Pregnant...Again

Are you struggling to conceive this time around? Time and time again our Fit 4 Two alumni tell us how although they got pregnant quickly the first time, it just doesn’t seem to happen as easily the second time around.

Tell me about your bowel movements…

Well, as my wife says, when you marry a doctor of TCM, you get used to talking about bowel movements, it even may pop up at the dinner table, as food, digestion, and bowel movements are intimately related ! As with any holistic thinking, your bowels are an expression of health, mainly digestive, but also may be great indicators of other underlying problems that should be investigated.

Vancouver Infertility Story #5

"I remember having a conversation with a work colleague in my thirties about the similarities between having a baby and doing a PhD. His wife was pregnant at the time and i was several years out of a Masters degree wondering what my next steps in life would be. Being mostly single at the time and knowing i didn't want to raise a child on my own, i chose the PhD route. It took me a couple of years to find the right school and get accepted. In the meantime, i met the love of my life, and

Strawberry-Lavender Chia Jam

Guest post by Krista A. Parr, R.H.N.

Hooray for strawberry season! If you’re like me and you bought a large basket at the farmer’s market and now find yourself in a race against time to use up all those beautiful berries before they go overripe and mushy, this is a recipe for you. Spoon this stuff on toast, pancakes, oatmeal, or plain yogurt for a sweet fruity treat without the refined sugar that traditional jam is known for.

PCOS Treatment - Step #1

First of all, I want to express my humble opinion that Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a very treatable condition if commitment to necessary lifestyle changes and recommended treatment is sustained over a reasonable period of time. This should be empowering and aid in cultivating hope that you can restore health and achieve pregnancy.

Vancouver Infertility Story #6

My reproductive health journey has been quite a challenge both physically and emotionally. My husband and I first started to try to get pregnant when I was 36 years old and he was 37. We got pregnant right away (first try) but had a miscarriage at 5-6 weeks. We got pregnant again 2 months later and had our daughter who is now 4 years old. During that pregnancy, I felt physically good but we were told at 18 weeks that she was quite small for her gestational age.

Blueberry-Mint Smoothie

Guest Post by Krista A. Parr, R.H.N.

Fruit smoothies with greens are perfect for light summer snacks; they make use of all the garden-fresh ingredients available, are cooling to the body, and provide extra hydration. Adding lettuce greens to your fruit smoothies is a great way of including more green foods in your diet, and the fruit usually masks the taste of the greens so you won’t feel like you’re drinking a salad.

Being a dad...

I am so blessed to have been given a chance to provide 2 healthy little boys a safe environment where they can grow into whatever they are meant to become, and I get to do it with the love of my life Chantal. There is no other way to put it other than 'being a dad is the best job in the world'. Every day is another opportunity to show my boys a virtuous way to walk through this lifetime. That is my guiding principle for each decision I make. Knowing my 'why' (family) gives me direction and guidance, and ultimately a peace that I never thought would be possible.

Foods to Improve Sperm Motility and Morphology

Recent research published in a peer reviewed medical journal, 'Fertility & Sterility' displayed correlations between the intake of lycopene and sperm morphology, and carotene and sperm motility. I have always pushed for men to add more colorful foods to their diet, as many studies confirm the importance of good nutrition and sperm quality.

Lycopene Rich Foods for Sperm Morphology:
tomatoes (sun dried are best, raw and cooked are also good), guava, watermelon, grapefruit, parsley, basil, asparagus, liver, red cabbage.

Goal Setting for Fertility

“Change is never a matter of ability, it is only a matter of motivation and a compelling why.” ~ Tony Robbins

The goal of anyone experiencing infertility is to have a child. When times are trying, and you are adapting your life style in what might be challenging ways, that is the goal that needs to be kept in mind. Sometimes when you’ve been trying for a while, this ultimate goal can seem frustratingly unreachable so breaking it down into more manageable steps is key. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this chapter.

Meet Dr. Fisher, Yinstill Clinical Manager...

We are so lucky to have such a great doctor at Yinstill. As clinical manager Dr. Harris Fisher ensures that all practice operations run smoothly and that each one of our doctors is doing all they can to maintain our premium service to the women and couples we see. The proof is in the results, and the success that Yinstill has with so many couples is due largely in part to the contributions of Dr. Fisher.

How to optimize for IVF success

I was asked by a woman for a list of tips and things she could do herself to best optimize for IVF success. The following is my ever growing list. Simply choose a few of the items below and commit to being consistent with their implementation. Your plan must be sustainable and in no way shape or form ADD stress to your life, that would be extremely counter productive. Many of the resources below are further explained by clicking on them or visiting here

Ectopic Pregnancy - My Story

Written by Chantal Pentland

It was my third time around, and I couldn't believe how blessed I was to be carrying another beautiful baby. We have been very fortunate in being able to get pregnant easily, I attest this to supplements, Chinese herbs, acupuncture and a healthy lifestyle. However this time we were boggled as there was not much action that month, especially around ovulation. 6 pregnancy tests later confirmed that I indeed was carrying our third, and we couldn't have been happier.

Stress degrades sperm quality - Columbia University Research

Men who feel stressed have fewer, slower sperm -- which may diminish fertility

Psychological stress is harmful to sperm and semen quality, affecting its concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilize an egg, according to a study led by researchers Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Rutgers School of Public Health. Results are published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility.


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Conceiving naturally after IVF

One in three women who have their first baby through infertility treatment, become pregnant again naturally within two years of their first birth, a new study from Australia & New Zealand has found.

A Monash University study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the first to examine the rates of unexpected conception in Australian women who had a first child through assisted reproductive technology (i.e. IVF).

Chocolate Kefir Smoothie

Guest Post by Krista A. Parr

Full-fat dairy products should be favored over low-fat and skim milk for those trying to conceive (and probably everyone else!). Kefir, like traditionally-made yogurt, is a fermented milk product so it provides beneficial bacteria for promoting immune and digestive health. Amazingly, fermented dairy also has higher levels of nutrients than their non-fermented counterparts! This delicious smoothie also features antioxidant-rich raw cacao, and essential fatty acid-rich chia seeds for supporting male and female reproductive health.

Fertility Case Study: Heat

general info - Melanie was a 31 year old lawyer trying to conceive for 1 year. Husband is 43 and travels a lot. Since coming off her IUD one year ago her cycles have been irregular in length.

Going Head To Head with Morning Sickness

Guest post by Nikki Hurst RHN

Being pregnant is an amazing adventure, with an amazing ending. However, for those of you who are or might be experiencing morning sickness during those first three months, here are a few tips to help get your through this uncomfortable time.

Please note, while the term is coined “morning” sickness, it should really be described as “any part of the day or night” sickness. But have no fear! There are things that can alleviate, or at least ease, the symptoms.

Treatment of Male Reproductive Conditions

male fertility, prostate, erectile, ejaculation treatment vancouver

For many years now I have been treating men suffering with conditions such as; male factor infertility (poor sperm parameters), premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low libido (testosterone), and prostate conditions such as prostatitis, BPH, and chronic pelvic pain (CPPS). I have come to some overarching conclusions about the treatment and prognosis of these conditions, and not surprisingly, they are not that dis-similar to one another.

Magic key that opened the doors to their kingdom...

It's the classic story; a brave knight worked tirelessly for one king then another, protecting their kingdom and ensuring its success and security of bounty. He grew wise in the ways of running a kingdom and was appointed the honor of becoming advisor to the king regarding all matters. The brave knight dreamed of one day having his own kingdom, his vision manifest, yet it felt out of his grasp, something else was needed, a piece was missing. Along comes a fair maiden (didn't see that coming right!), they fall in love, have children, and wake each day happy, full of passion and desire.

Dr. Oz - Hormone Balance 101

Both mine and my wife's favorite magazines (Success & Oprah, you guess which is who's!) always feature an article by the famous Dr. Oz. Below are the pearls of one of his recent columns on Hormone balance. He likens the hormones that run a women's body to an orchestra: '...each plays its own part in creating a perfect concert - until the day one is out of tune and throws off the entire melody.'

Omega Oils For Your Stud

Just finished reading a study in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics and wanted to share how research keeps pointing out the importance of omega oils and sperm. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to make a daily habit of either eating some wild salmon (better yet, herring, anchovies, or sardines) or popping a daily supplement of fish oil.

The study showed that sperm from bovine studs thawed much better from its frozen state when it was supplemented with omega oils and vitamin e. Triangulate these findings quite simply into; sperm stronger if take fish oil.

First Days of Life Determine Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Exposure to estrogens in the first days and weeks of a newborns life may be the cause of irreversible Polycystic Ovaries according to neurobiochemistry research from the University of Santiago Chile. This affects follicular/egg development and ovulation causing the characteristic long or absent menstrual cycles of women with polycystic ovaries.

10 Steps to Optimize Your Fertility

10 steps to improve both your natural fertility potential and/or chances of success with modern medical assisted reproductive treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

How to Improve a Thin Uterine Lining to Increase Fertility

thin uterine lining infertility ivf

By: Dr. Spence Pentland. One of the major causes of infertility and IVF failure is a thin uterine lining, inadequate blood flow to the uterus. Treatment to increase blood flow is essential to improving fertility and reducing chances of miscarriage. It should be noted that stress, lack of exercise, not enough rest, lack of joy, and certain foods all can inhibit blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. The following are effective treatments for a thin endometrial lining...

Cervical Fluid Is a Key Fertility Sign - Dr. Spence Pentland

cervical fluid infertility

Are you or a friend having difficulty conceiving? Starting to wonder if something may be wrong? Do not want to go to the doctor 'just yet', or have already taken some of those first medical steps? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, the information in this article will prove to be a useful quick glance into understanding one of the female body's key signs of fertility.

Endocrine-Hormone Disrupting Chemicals and Reproductive Health - Dr. Spence Pentland

endocrine disruptors toxins infertility

A large number of widely used substances (pesticides, common household items and chemicals, industrial chemicals, metals) have been shown to have estrogen-mimicking and other endocrine-hormone disrupting effects, including;

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