Excess Body Fat Can Cause Gynaecological Conditions, Lead to Menstrual Irregularities and Also Lead to Infertility

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When women come to see me for help with gynaecological conditions, or couples come to see me for help with having a baby, one of the first things I ask all of them to address is excess body fats and look at diet and lifestyle modifications. Women, men, and couples who are underweight, need to look at this also, because being underweight can be just as bad as being overweight, but for the purposes of this post, we are going to look at how excess fats can not only interfere with fertility, but they can be a major driving factor in gynaecological and men’s health conditions that many face on a daily basis. Worse still, excess body fat can also lead to many cancers that both men and women get also.

One of my biggest challenges with men, women and couples is getting them to look at how excess body fat is playing a big part in their current health, the gynaecological condition they have, or how it is affecting their fertility. I always get all sorts of excuses from “My friend was overweight and he/she does not have my condition”, or “The next door neighbour is overweight and she has had 3 children” and all many of excuses that seem to be a big block in actually taking responsibility for one’s health. I get that it can be hard to get started and hard to make the steps for a better life, but at the end of the day, all these things I hear are just excuses really. Yes, the next door neighbour may not have your health issue, but they may also have some other health issue, or be at risk of another health issue. Yes, your friend might be overweight and has had a couple of children easily, but they may also be younger than you and many of the health issues they face because of their weight may not have caught up with them yet, but it will. I always have to get people to stop focusing on others and get back to looking at themselves, because other people are different. Other people are not you. We are all different individuals with different weaknesses in the body and what may affect one person, may not affect another, but this does not mean we can sit back and just do nothing about our health, or keep comparing our life to another.

Looking at a person’s overall weight is paramount for any health condition that the body faces and we need to look at the individual, not at the masses. Research shows us that excess body fat can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular events, cancers, gynaecological issues, infertility, men’s health issues and many other complaints in the body. It can also lead to an early death too. This is a fact and no matter how many excuses people want to make, nothing is going to change the fact that excess body fat is not good for us and it causes problems with our health and now costing the health systems dearly too.

Excess body fat produces excess estrogens in the body and we are now calling these “Obestrogens”. These excess estrogens can not only have an effect on testicular and ovarian function, but they also interfere with other hormones, increase inflammation in the body and then add as drivers for other health issues in the body. These “Obestrogens’ can also interfere with your DNA and can also be passed on to your future offspring through the DNA of the sperm and eggs and also pass genetic conditions onto them as well.

Eating too many grains, sugars, alcohol and refined foods are a big cause of excess fats in the body. These foods lead to increased blood sugar levels, which in turn lead to excess insulin in the body. This then leads to the body storing fat and also stopping the burning of fat. This then leads to high levels of inflammation in the body and a big driver behind many of the major health complaints in the body and even our leading causes of death, in both men and women. When people ask me how refined foods and grains lead to excess fats I also ask them “How do we fatten up cattle and livestock?” The answer is we give them high amounts of grains which increase hormone levels, which then lead to excess growth and also lead to higher amounts of fats in their bodies.

Excess body fats are a big contributing factor in PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Cysts, Polyps, Sperm quality issues, Prostate issues, Diabetes, Infertility, Cardiovascular disease, Heart disease and Cancers in both men and women

For women excess body fat can lead to menstrual irregularities and heavy periods too, without necessarily having a known gynaecological condition. These excess fats produce estrogens, which is needed to thicken the uterine lining. But when there are too much circulating estrogens, the lining becomes too thick and unstable, eventually leading to bleeding. This can be unpredictable, and often very heavy, lasting a long period of time. These excess estrogens can then lead to gynaecological conditions such as PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids etc, but they can also be a big contributing driver of cancers in women.

These excess fats can also lead to men growing breasts, feminisation, having prostate cancers, prostate issues, sperm issues, diabetes, heart disease, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and many cancers that men face.

With many of the developed western countries have a population with over 70% of its people being overweight, or obese, now more than ever we need to look at ways of educating people about eating better, exercising more and looking after their health. While we need governments to intervene, we also need people to take personal responsibility too. With so much health information about the dangers of refined foods, processed foods, sugars, grains and alcohol, we really do have lots of resources that we never used to have available to us. There really is no excuse any longer. If you really do not know what a good diet is supposed to be, there are qualified health professionals, such as nutritionists etc, who can help you. If you truly are eating a proper healthy diet and exercising, then you shouldn’t be overweight. If you are doing all the right things, then there could be other underlying issues that need to be addressed by an appropriate healthcare professional. But many times I find that what people think is a healthy diet, or appropriate exercise, is very far from what a healthy diet and appropriate exercise is. It is all about what people have been taught by their family and what their perception of a healthy lifestyle is.

If you do have a gynaecological condition, have a men’s health issue, are having problem with fertility, or just need to get healthier, now is the time to act. We can no longer deny that excess fats are a major concern for the population and are causing so many health issues across the board.

Just so people know, it isn’t necessarily about weight and measuring yourself with scales. Scales do not show the amount of body fat we have and muscles weighs more than fat. We need people to get out the tape measure to truly see how much fat they have and start to look at waist measurement, rather than weight measurement.

A health male needs to have a waist measurement of 94cms or below and a woman needs to have a healthy waist measurement of 80cms or below. If a male has a waist measurement about 94cm or more, or a woman has a waist measurement of 80cms or more, both he and she are at increased risk of health issues. A measurement of above 102 cm (for men) or 88 cm (for women) is one of the components of Metabolic Syndrome, which puts you at increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital protection against many of the health issues we face. Regular exercise, limiting alcohol, non-smoking, a nutritious diet, reducing grains and refined foods and stress reduction are all important. The lower GI diets (Primal, Zone etc) have been shown to be much better than others for people who are overweight, obese and have excess body fats. At Shen Therapies we believe that we can give you the best dietary advice available. A healthy diet, nutritional and herbal supplementation has been researched and shown to benefit many people and is a big part of our overall treatment for everybody that comes to see us for help. Please know that we are here to help you, not judge you. Helping you, help yourself have a better life and have better health, is our priority.

Why Early Puberty Is More Common Than Ever

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Why Early Puberty Is More Common Than Ever

In today’s modern world we are seeing more and more young girls going through puberty much younger than they used to. We do know that girls as young as 7 years old are getting their menstrual cycle and going through all the changes of puberty, yet these poor children aren’t able to fully comprehend the emotional changes that go with it, or what this means for them on a reproductive level. Researchers Blame Childhood Obesity, Endocrine Disruptors and I will discuss this at length for you all.

It wasn’t that long ago the average girl would begin menstruating around the age of 16 or 17. On average, the general consensus would have been that girls could be starting to begin menstruation around the age of 14 years old. By early 2000’s, that age had fallen to less than 13 years old and now it has fallen again to being as young as 7 years old.

What we forget is that even before a girl gets her first period, there are signs of maturation that signal impending changes, and these come even earlier. So actually, some of these girls are beginning their puberty phase when they are 5 years, or 6 years old. A generation ago, less than 5 percent of girls would see these changes in their bodies— being breast growth, body hair, acne, pubic hair and all the other things that go with puberty. But now many of these young girls are seeing this around 7 years old, with an average age being 8 years old, for all of these changes to start to happen. This is definitely becoming the increasing norm and some experts think this age is still falling. Some doctors see fit to begin assessing girls for puberty-related changes at age 6.

Classically, precocious puberty has defined puberty that begins before age 8 in girls and 9 in boys, but this is no longer universally accepted. In general experts are now saying that 7 years old is now probably a normal age to have some signs of puberty. While they are some that may not agree, we do need to start asking the big questions as to why this is happening?

So far, researchers haven’t proven any physical risks that come with early maturity. Although this could pose a significant risk to their ongoing fertility, bone health and also be putting women into menopause earlier too.

Many researchers have suggested that the main risks that come along with precocious puberty are not biological. Recent studies have found that girls who began the process early had an increased risk of depression during their adolescent years. There are also social risks that can disrupt a girl’s healthy development.

Puberty can be very confusing and emotionally damaging for girls, as they may face “sexual innuendo or teasing” long before they’re ready for it, according to researchers and experts. Early puberty may change the way a girl behaves, along with the way others behave towards her. This could pose other significant risk factors such as early pregnancy, but also exposure to STI’s and many other things these young girls are too young and too naive to know. This could even lead to earlier use of alcohol and drugs as well.

Why Is It Happening?

One of the biggest issues for young girls, and women in general, is changes in diet and higher use of highly processed foods and high intake of grains. This leads to higher levels of insulin and then the body storing more fats and stops the burning of fats and this then also creates inflammatory disease in the body. High insulin levels also lead to higher levels of estrogen in the body too. This is leading to more children being overweight and problem with changes to hormones, their cycles and gynaecological conditions. Childhood obesity rates have increase exponentially in the past 30 years, with more than one-third of children and adolescents weighing in as overweight, or obese. What people fail to realize is these Fat cells produce estrogen ( now known as Obestrogens), which plays a central role in stimulating breast growth in girls, causing problems with hormones, causing gynaecological conditions and playing a major factor in them getting their cycles much younger.

Researchers and experts are saying that obesity is leading to earlier puberty and this theory is well supported by the fact that these girls’ breasts are developing at a much younger age, and the age at which they start to menstruate has declined. The ovaries control menstruation, signaling that earlier breast development may be occurring because of different variables such as diet and environmental factors

There may be are other factors at play, other than diet, lifestyle and obesity though. Girls at a normal weight have been starting puberty earlier as well, though at a lower rate than these girls whom are overweight, or obese. Chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, such as the phthalates used in the production of plastics, as another potential contributor to early puberty have been cited as the most likely cause. They mimic estrogen and also cause disruption to the reproductive function and could therefore cause precocious breast growth and issues with the menstrual cycle. We know that there are over 87,000 chemical found in our foods, plastics, and preservatives and even in our water ways from detergents and even small traces of the contraceptive pill making its way into our water we drink as well. Others have said stress during childhood can play a role in prompting puberty as well.

Many children now face far more stresses that did in generations gone by, with many children growing up in families with a lot of domestic violence, arguing at home, or violence in their neighborhood are more likely to develop earlier. There have been studies and research that has suggested that girls who grew up without their biological father were twice as likely to get their period before age 12.

Scientists are even researching prenatal variables. Researchers now know that the parental mode of inheritance, through genes, is one way parents health, diet and lifestyle is being passed onto children. One study found that overweight mothers who developed gestational diabetes while pregnant gave birth to daughters who would start puberty earlier in life, regardless of what the girls themselves weighed. But, we also now know that the sins of the fathers can play a part in a child’s development. If the father isn’t healthy at the time of conceptions, or has genetic abnormalities, or genetic issues, these can be passed through the sperm and then onto a child, who then is affected with this issues that get expressed later, or now early, in life.

Regardless of whether its cause is environmental, genetic, biological, or some combination, precocious puberty may be reaching a biological breaking point.

This is why we need to be more of our children’s health early on, but we also need to be aware of our own health, before conceiving too, as we can pass our genetic disposition onto our children.

Early intervention and prevention is the centre of managing any issue such as this and this is why we need to teach our children better eating habit, having a healthy active body and also being in touch with their bodily functions and emotions at a young age

Period pain and menstrual irregularities are not normal and we need to teach young girls this. Please see our article of what a proper menstrual cycle should be like to familiarize you and your daughter with this. The earlier you get onto menstrual issues and gynaecological issues, the better long term prognosis they have for their health and future fertility overall. Young girls can have gynaecological issues such as Endometriosis and PCOS. We know this beyond a doubt.

If you or your daughter need help with menstrual issues and know more about better menstrual health, please book in and see me sooner than later. As I have said before, the earlier we start educating young women on what is right, then better is for them later on in life and for their future health and fertility

Take care

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

“The Brisbane Baby Maker” & “Women’s and Men’s Health Crusader”

-Leaving No Stone Left Unturned

44143084 - spa stones treatment scene, zen like concepts.

Do You Have PCO or PCOS?

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

The most common gynaecological complaint that I see in my clinic these days is Polycystic Ovaries/Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Some women only have the cysts (PCO), while others have no cysts but have the syndrome (PCOS). Some have both. The one thing that they all have in common is that they all have insulin resistance. For the sake of this article I am going to call this complaint PCOS so people don’t get confused. If you or someone in your family suffers from Irregular cycles, gets hormonal acne, gets extra hair etc, then there is a good chance they have it. They also need to get it looked at and treated early before it affects future fertility. You only need 1-2 of the symptoms to have the syndrome too.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a reproductive disorder characterised by multiple cystic growths on the ovaries. PCOS develops when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens), particularly testosterone, either through the release of excessive luteinising hormone (LH) by the pituitary gland or through high levels of insulin in the

blood (hyperinsulinaemia) in women whose ovaries are sensitive to this stimulus. It can also be caused by oestrogen dominance too.

PCOS is characterised by a complex set of symptoms with research to date suggesting that insulin resistance is a leading cause. A majority of patients with PCOS (some investigators say all) have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a common finding among both normal weight and overweight PCOS patients. Many years ago it was thought that you had to be overweight to have PCOS, but now we know that many normal and underweight women have too. Their elevated insulin levels contribute to or cause the abnormalities seen in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that lead to PCOS. Specifically, hyperinsulinaemia causes a number of endocrinological changes associated with PCOS too. Anyone with polycystic ovaries does have a more than 50% chance of developing diabetes later on as well

Despite the link between insulin resistance and diseases states like PCO/PCOS, there is also a genetic link and this is mostly through the parental mode of inheritance. Someone in your family blood line will have had this disease. Some may know about it, others may not. Many of our parents and grandparents generation thought that menstrual irregularities were just a normal part of life and many were told it was normal and that they just had to suck it up. This is why we have so many issues with common gynaecological conditions today not being diagnosed properly, because some of this ignorance is still filtering through the medical system, or being passed down as what women class as normal. Menstrual irregularities are not normal and women need to know this. The other thing that we need to teach women, is that once a disease like PCOS, endometriosis is expressed out into the body, it is there. It is then up to the woman to get help in treating and managing the disease. The good thing with PCOS, is that it is now known to be reversible through diet and lifestyle changes, but in order to do so, one must be very strict in what one eats and how one keeps the body healthy, both physically and emotionally too.

PCOS is the most common cause of oligomenorrhoea and amenorrhoea, although 20-25% of normally menstruating women have PCOS. These women may have reduced fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage.

Risk Factors

Major causative factors and risk factors that can contribute to the incidence of PCOS include: Insulin resistance
Obesity

Please note that women of normal weight, or those underweight, or lean can still have PCOS. PCOS is not limited to those that are overweight.
Family history of PCOS

Family history of diabetes Stress
Nutritional deficiencies High glycaemic load diet Sedentary lifestyle

Symptoms & Signs

Common signs and symptoms of PCOS include:
Irregular menstrual cycles – i.e., oligomenorrhoea or amenorrhoea
Infertility, generally resulting from chronic anovulation (lack of ovulation)
Elevated serum (blood) levels of androgens (male hormones), specifically testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) Central obesity – “apple-shaped” obesity centred around the lower half of the torso Androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness)
Acne, oily skin, seborrhoea

Hirsutism ( Excess hair growth), Hair Loss,  Acanthosis nigricans
Prolonged periods of PMS-like symptoms Sleep apnoea

Multiple cysts on the ovaries
Enlarged ovaries, generally 2-3 times larger than normal, resulting from multiple cysts Chronic pelvic pain
BGL dysregulation – e.g., hypoglycaemic episodes, diabetes, etc
Hypothyroidism

*Please be aware that sometimes only 1-2 symptoms are needed for diagnosis. Some women are actually asymptomatic and would not even know that they have PCO, or PCOS. While PCO and PCOS can affect fertility, not all women with this disease will struggle to have a child either. Like other gynaecological issues like endometriosis, the symptoms do not always correlate to the severity of the disease

Diet and Lifestyle

Dietary and lifestyle changes are a must in the management of PCOS. The world health organisation recommends that dietary and lifestyle changes are the number one treatment for PCOS along with other therapies

By consuming reduced amounts of low glycaemic index carbohydrates, keeping protein levels up to maintain muscle mass and eating ‘good’ fats, insulin levels are reduced and fat stores can be accessed as fuel for energy production (thermogenesis).

The Wellness/Zone/Paleo/Primal style diets that I promote in my clinic help women with PCOS to maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels and will assist in weight loss and also maintain body mass for those underweight. A diet composed of mainly low-GI foods combined with regular exercise will also help to combat the effects of insulin resistance. This is why the Paleo/Primal style diets are the best diets to follow. To be honest people with PCOS should get rid of grains altogether. Years go, we would have just called these style of diets clean health eating, but now we have names attached to them
Refined carbohydrates including sugar, sweets, fruit juices, white breads, pasta and should be avoided. These foods have a high glycaemic index and are damaging in any amount for PCOS sufferers. What PCOS sufferers need to know is that they do not metabolises sugars like other people and that even the smallest amount of it can play havoc with their bodies and their hormones. Basically it is like being highly sensitive, allergic, or intolerant to sugar. Women with this disease really need to keep this is their minds. Sugar and refined foods should not be consumed at all.

A diet high in vegetables (non-starchy), small amounts of Low-GI fruits, essential fatty acids and lean protein sources provides essential phytonutrients, antioxidants, magnesium and helps to control inflammation and hormonal dysregulation.
Smoking cessation is the highest priority in currently smoking patients.

Regular resistance training, or high interval exercise, is a must too (starting slowly and increasing as patient’s fitness improves)

Treatments

Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal medicines, Nutritional supplements etc, are also a big part of the treatment on a complementary medicine level and can help dramatically.  There is lots of research to support use of supplements and complementary medicines that can help PCO/PCOS. At my clinic I also have our own herbal medicine formulas to treat PCOS too. Some women may need a combination of complementary medicine treatments alongside medical treatments too and this is something I assess in my consultations with women.

Medically, insulin-regulating medications (metformin), hormone treatments (Pill, HRT) are used to regulate the cycle, control insulin resistance and prevent further cysts developing. There are natural supplements you can use that are far better for you and without the side effects of Metformin.

You can also now get a procedure called “Ovarian drilling” to laser the cysts and help with the healing of the ovaries in severe cases. Some women may need surgery to help this disease and some women also have other gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis at the same time as having PCO/PCOS and this again warrants surgical intervention. Disease states like PCOS and Endometriosis often go hand in hand and are often triggered by the same causal factors.

While many women are put on the oral contraceptive pill (OCP), please remember going on the pill does not fix this problem, it just masks it. You don’t want to just mask a condition, with out treating it at the same time and this often what leads to long term issues with fertility later on.

This is why anyone with irregular cycles should see a women’s health specialist like myself, or a gynaecologist, not just your GP. You need to see someone who specialises in this area and knows what to look for and how to treat it properly.
If you need any help or advice with PCOS, or irregular periods then message, email, or phone my clinic and let me help you get the help you need to get on top of this disease that affects women all around the world.

Take care

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr (Reproductive Medicine & Women’s Health Specialist)

“The Brisbane Baby Maker” & “Women’s & Men’s Health Crusader”

“Leaving No Stone Left Unturned”

What Affects a Menstrual Cycle – Part 2 (Common Gynaecological Conditions)

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There are many things that can cause disturbances to a woman’s menstrual cycle and on my previous post I discussed how Non-Gynaecological factors, such as diet, lifestyle etc, can be contributing. In this post I will discuss some of the common gynaecological conditions that can cause problems with women’s menstrual cycles. The sad thing is that many of these are often overlooked and often masked by putting women on the contraception pill. The other issue is that many are led to believe that the pill is the answer to their issues, when sadly it isn’t. Many of these common gynaecological conditions continue to become worse while having their symptoms masked and exacerbated by these hormones. Even more disturbing is that many women are not heard when speaking about menstrual issues, menstrual pain and other factors that do in fact interfere with their daily life on both a physical and emotional level.

Lets look at the common gynaecological factors that can affect a woman’s cycle.

  1. Endometriosis – is one of the most common causes of period pain and it caused by abnormal growth of endometrial cells both inside the uterus and outside the uterine lining. The exact cause is not known. While period pain, clotting, ovulation pain, pain with sex, pain on bowel movement, IBS like symptoms etc are commonly talked about, many women with endometriosis are asymptomatic and would not even know they had it. It is commonly missed, misdiagnosed and overlooked by healthcare practitioners and is why it often takes up to 10 years for the definitive diagnosis to be made. There is no cure and now it is thought that genetic factors and parental mode of inheritance is a predominant part of this disease. We do know that estrogens make it worse also. Endometriosis can only be diagnosed by surgical intervention. For more information please read my posts on endometriosis and also visit the Endometriosis Australia website.
  2. PCO/PCOS – Polycystic Ovaries/Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is one of the most common caused of menstrual cycle irregularities, or ceasing of the menstrual cycle. It is mainly caused by insulin resistance and it also runs in families. There are two types of presentation with this condition. One is just having the cysts on the ovaries and the other is just the syndrome without the cysts. These days it is common lobbed under the one condition called PCOS. Along with menstrual cycle disturbances, it can also cause mood swings, hair growth/hair loss, acne, ovulation pain, infertility, anovulation, weight gain/weight loss, pot belly, fluid retention and much more. Diet and lifestyle changes are the number one treatment for this condition. Scans can pick this condition up, but can also miss it too. It can be diagnosed via surgical intervention and sometimes-extreme forms of this do need surgical intervention known as “Ovarian Drilling”
  3. Fibroids – Also known as myomas are benign growths that can occur inside and outside the uterus. Up to 40% of women over 40 years old have fibroids. They can cause problems with irregular uterine bleeding, heavy long bleeding, bleeding in between cycles, anaemia, pain with sex, problems with urinating and back pain. They can also cause infertility and miscarriage. There are 3 types of fibroids (intramural, submucosal & subserosal). They are thought to be caused by excess estrogens and problems in hormone metabolism. They can be removed surgically and some small ones embolised.
  4. Polyps – Are benign overgrowths, or bulges, of the normal tissue lining the uterus into the uterine cavity. They can cause irregular bleeding, heavy bleeding, bleeding after intercourse and infertility. Some women have not symptoms at all. Polyps may also be found in the uterine cervix. Polyps are usually attached to the underlying tissue by a base or stalk, and they vary in size. They can basically act like an IUD and stop implantation and therefore need to be removed in order for a woman to fall pregnant. Polyps only rarely contain cancerous cells
  5. Adenomyosis – Is very similar to endometriosis by the fact that it causes pain, irregular bleeding, heavy bleeding, bloating, lower abdomen pain and can affect the day to day functioning of woman all over this world. Adenomyosis growth penetrates deeply into the uterine lining and also inflames the nerves inside the lining. It cannot be seen visually and some special high contrast scans and MRI can pick it up, but not always. Usually a biopsy is needed to diagnose it. Medically the only way to properly get rid of Adenomyosis is via a hysterectomy. In the meantime, mostly anti-inflammatories, some hormones and other forms of pain management are given to provide symptomatic relief.
  6. Thrush – Vaginal thrush is a common infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast. This yeast lives naturally in the bowel and in small numbers in the vagina. It is mostly harmless, but symptoms can develop if yeast numbers increase. Symptoms you may experience if you develop vaginal thrush include vaginal discomfort – itching or burning, a thick, white discharge with a ‘cottage cheese’ appearance and yeasty smell, redness or swelling of the vagina or vulva, stinging or burning while urinating or during sex, splits in the genital skin that can cause bleeding and irritation. The condition is mainly treated with antifungal creams, pessaries and probiotics.
  7. Cancers – In 2008, a total of 4,534 new gynaecological cancers were diagnosed in Australia; this equates to an average of 12 females being diagnosed with this disease every day. On average 4 females in Australia die each day from a gynaecological cancer each day. The most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancers are uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, vulval cancer, cancers of other female organ and placenta and vaginal cancer. All can cause irregular bleeding, but some may not present with any symptoms at all. Proper diagnosis and early intervention is the key to any gynaecological cancers. For more information on diagnosis, symptoms and treatment please refer to the cancer council website.

There are other conditions that I haven’t discussed because of focusing on the main gynaecological conditions that can affect a woman’s cycle. I haven’t gone into the treatments of these disease states and will go into this at a later date. What I will say it that early intervention is the key to any disease state in the body and seeing the right people is paramount too. Please know that many of these disease states will require a multimodality approach and please remember that there is always help out there. Never put up with period pain, or menstrual irregularities, or be told the symptoms many women face daily are normal. The value of a second, or third, or tenth opinion is crucial for some people to get help and to find the right person to help.

Please remember that period pain is not normal and neither are many of the menstrual irregularities that many of you face daily. There are always treatments and help out there too. I help so many women daily, with most of these sorts of conditions, and with the right treatments, diagnosis and investigations, you can be helped too.

Take care

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

-Leaving No Stone Left Unturned

“The Brisbane Baby Maker” and “Women’s and Men’s Health Crusader”

 

 

 

What Affects a Menstrual Cycle- Part 1 (Non Gynaecological Factors)

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What Affects a Menstrual Cycle- Part 1 (Non Gynaecological Factors)

After my post I have had lots of people asking what the cause of their menstrual irregularities are. Most of the causes can be broken into two causes being:

  1. Non Gynaecological Factors- Meaning things you do, or may have done to exacerbate current conditions, or throw your cycles out of balance
  2. Gynaecological Factors- Disease states such as Endometriosis, PCOS, Fibroids, Polyps, Adenomyosis, Cancers and other causes.

I’ll talk about the factors (Non-Gynaecological Factors) in people control so that they may be able to identify some of those things they may be doing on a daily basis to exacerbate current underlying issues, or just interfere with their hormones and lead to problems with their cycle. These ones you can work on and be aware of in case your cycle isn’t regular, or your pain is worse in a mont. This way you can look back and go “Oh….. Now I know why my cycles wasn’t so good this month”

I’ll talk about the Gynaecological Causes of irregular, or painful cycles in my next post. For now here are the Non-Gynaecological causes.

  1. Poor diet – Foods such as high sugars and junk foods all cause inflammation in the body and lead to hormonal irregularities and can exacerbate, or cause pain with the menses
  1. Alcohol – Most alcohols contain high sugars and they also cause inflammation in the body. It also interferes with your hormones and affects the liver too. In Traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed the Liver governs the menstrual cycle and the Live also controls the emotions. Excess alcohol leads to SOL ( Shit on Liver) and thus the moods and cycle get affected.
  1. Poor Sleep– Sleep deprivation leads to reduction in hormones such as melatonin, which is a precursor to serotonin and then effect the moods etc. Lack of sleep also interferes with the other hormones in our body too. Lack of sleep also stops the body from repairing and can lead to other health issues. We know that shift works do have a lot more disturbances with their cycles and also have lower fertility rates.
  1. Trauma – Things such as surgery, a virus, cold/flu etc, or where the body has to repair, can lead to menstrual irregularities. The body shuts down the menses so that it can repair itself first. Emotional trauma can also cause the menses to shut down, or become irregular too.
  1. Weight gain, or weight loss– It is a well known fact that many athletes do not get a menstrual cycle because of lack of body fat. The same goes for people who are over-weight too. Eating disorders can also cause irregularities and infertility. Too much or too little body fat interferes with your fertility. All your hormones are made from fats and protein.
  1. Emotional Issues– Bottled up emotions such as anger & frustration cause blockages in the system & then cause pain. Emotional issues also cause problems with hormones. Emotions and stress are a major cause of menstrual irregularities. Bottled up emotions can cause SOL too ☺
  1. Drugs/Hormones- Both pharmaceutical and recreational drugs can also cause menstrual irregularities and can stop the menses completely. Recreational drugs can also lead to permanent infertility.
  1. Travel- Travelling over time lines and even just interstate can cause issues with your cycle too. The body has to cope with adjusting to different times zones, different foods and water etc and the pressures from flying can also throw the cycle out.

Hope this help explain a little bit more about how our diets and lifestyle can affect your cycles each month too. Next I will talk about the gynaecological conditions which can causes issues with your cycle.

Take care

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

“The Brisbane Baby Maker & Women’s and Men’s Health Crusader”

 

What A Proper Menstrual Cycle Should Be Like (Revisited)

proper menses

 

 

 

 

 

What a proper Menstrual Cycle should be like -By Dr Andrew Orr

I have been traveling around this country presenting to both healthcare practitioners and as part of women’s health work shops and I am still amazed that many healthcare practitioners and the general public alike still do not know what a proper menstrual cycle should be like. So many women, both healthcare providers and the general public, still believe that many of the abnormal symptoms they put up with daily are actually normal and believe that they just have to put up with them. OMG, if the healthcare providers have no idea, then how to we expect everyone else to know. Tis is why we are seeing so many women put up with gynaecological conditions such as Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, PCOS and many other symptoms they face on daily basis.

Every day I also get emails from women, or see them in clinic, asking me if PMS, menstrual irregularities and period pain is normal and I have to tell them it is not. To put it bluntly, PMS, severe PMS (known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)), irregular cycles and period pain are not normal, and women should not experience any pain at all during your menstrual flow, and you shouldn’t have to put up with all the horrible symptoms leading up to your cycle as well.

The fact is that only 20-25% of women actually get menstrual pain and severe symptoms of PMS. Once there are a greater number of people with a condition, medically the condition is then classed as normal, meaning that wider portion of the population get it. But the problem is menstrual pain and irregularities are not normal and these are signs of problems in the body that need to be checked out by a gynaecologist, reproductive medicine, or women’s health specialist such as myself. The sad thing is even then, some women are being missed, or offered the supposed quick fix, or patch, that will not fix their issues. The worse things is, my line of work is that when these things are missed and masked and left for too long, women wake up one day and want babies, and cant have them, or struggle to have them.

 

Once again menstrual pain and irregularities are not normal and no matter what mum, your best friend, or you GP says, women should not have to put up with it. It is not normal. Going on the oral contraceptive pill will not fix the cause of the issue either and this is why women need to see a gynaecologist or a women’s health specialist for any gynaecology issue.

So I am going to tell you what a proper a menstrual cycle and I’m going list what it should be like below. So that way if you are wondering why your menstrual cycle has gone crazy and you cant get enough Ibuprofen, or naprogesics, into your body when you get your cycle, then please remember the list below. It is so important that I tell everyone what a proper menstrual cycle should be like. If it isn’t like the one I describe you better book in to see me soon.

But, for those who may be trying to have babies, or think that all is OK, don’t be fooled into think that you don’t have a gynaecological issue because you don’t have pain, or irregularities either. Up to 80% of women with endometriosis are asymptomatic (Meaning no symptoms). Many women with PCOS also have regular cycle and all body types can have this disease, not just overweight women. It is so important for all women to get regular gynaecological check ups by a gynaecologist, or women’s health specialist such as myself, especially if you are trying to have babies and nothing is happening.

What a proper menstrual cycle should be like

  • A proper menstrual cycle should be 26 –32 days in it’s length.
  • It should be 4 days flow, 5 at the most. Any shorter than 4 days is too short and any longer than 5 days is too long. This isn’t good.
  • You “Should Not” get any pain at all.
  • You shouldn’t get clotting, spotting,
  • You shouldn’t get severe breast tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, or changes to the moods, such as teariness or irritability.

These are all signs of irregularities and need to be addressed and many of the causes are above. Just remember that if you do get bad period pain, or your periods are irregular there is a good chance you may have endometriosis, or PCOS, and these need to be investigated.

Take care

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

(The Brisbane Baby Maker & Women’s Health Crusader)

“Leaving No Stone Unturned”

At Shen Therapies Dr Andrew Orr specialises in the treatment and of menstrual irregularities and menstrual and gynaecological conditions that cause irregular periods. He uses a combined approach of western medicine diagnostics and complementary medicine treatments to offer a truly multi modality approach to give the best help possible. He also works in with a team of the best health care professionals there are, if other services are required. Please see his profile on our page.

If you need help with menstrual issues, or gynaecological issues, please give our clinic a call on 07 32795697, or email info@shentherapies.com.au

 

Weeding Out Endometriosis

Weeding Out Endometriosis

Endometriosis

 

 

Weeding Out Endometriosis – By Dr Andrew Orr

Explaining endometriosis to people is not always easy and sometimes you have to use analogies that seem strange at first, but once you get the gist of where I am going with it, it will all make sense. But before I start, I always like to say that please take the personal out of things and just know that what ever analogy I use, it is with good intention and always about helping others.

I just know that when I used the “Endo is like Rust” analogy, which is what it is like, a few people took it to heart as though they had a rusty uterus and this is what I was saying. Not so. Please know that I have loved ones with this horrible disease, so I am here to help, and my main aim now is to help as many people as possible with what I know, and how to treat people properly. I am also about getting the message out there so that women to not have to remain silent about this disease any longer. My motto is, and always will be, “Period Pain is Not Normal”

So, sit back, take out the personal and know that I am writing from a place of caring and sharing and a place of getting the message out there to help you all. Sometimes you just have to tell it how it is, in order for people to sit up and listen, so here we go  😉

Many of you have read my article of “Rust Never Sleeps and Neither Does Endometriosis” and the reason I wrote this is because endometriosis and how it attacks the body, is very much like how rust attacks metal. If you haven’t read the article, please do so that you can see what I am trying to convey.

Recently I have been doing lots of speaking events and seminars on Women’s Health and also presenting for workshops on Endometriosis. It is so great to get the message out to the world, so that both the public and healthcare professionals can be educated on this subject. We need to stop having this disease “Missed” and women being “Dismissed” as I am always saying now. This disease should not be taking 8 years from onset to definitive diagnosis. It used to be 12 years. This is disgusting, to say the least, and there is no excuse for this to be happening, except poor education, sloppy diagnosis, lack of training, negligence and dismissive egos that need an attitude adjustment.

But, in saying that, we also need to teach women to be empowered and not just put up with being told “This is normal”, or “Just go on the pill and it will fix it”. That is bullshit (sorry). But it is true. There needs to be a better way and we need to stand up and say “Enough”. But we also need to not let the disease define you and get caught up in the blame game either. We also need to get people to stop “Dr Googling” too, as this is also spreading the misinformation. It is great to be educated, but good old “Dr Google” is full of false information and research shows that up to 75% of the health information that the public can access on google, is either wrong, or only partially true.

Now that I have had my little rant about the injustices of many, I would like to share what I have been sharing to others about what endometriosis is really like and how hopefully we can prevent it from returning, hopefully for good. I do know this is possible with the right care, right follow up treatments and right team of people helping. I see it daily and know what I share to be true. But, again it requires the person to follow the advice given and then to get the information out there. It also requires people to not be defined by their disease and break free from these chains to open their minds to the possibilities of new thought, new treatments and new ways of doing things. We need to not be caught up in what may cause the disease, but what we can do to help those with it now.

Of course prevention is crucial and so important, but once the disease is expressed in the body, what caused it is irrelevant. We can argue about the hypothesis of what may be the initial causal factor until the end of time, but that isn’t helping those with the disease now. The most important factor is how we can help those with it live a normal life and hopefully be free of the disease completely. At least we can look at hopefully giving people a better quality of life than the one they are living each day. From my experience, I do know that this is possible with the right team of people working the help the individual.

To be honest, the most likely cause of this disease is now known to be genetic links, or chromosomal, most likely through the parental mode of inheritance. Gene therapy is probably going to provide the biggest breakthrough in this disease in the years to come. But like any breakthrough, we just have to wait and see what happens there. You heard it here first. I do believe genetics does play a big part, but like any disease, it is not the only contributing factor. But, all this aside, we need to focus on the here and now to help those who need help now. In order to make change, you need to make those changes required. If you change nothing, nothing will change. I also get how hard it is for those whom have suffered so long to pick themselves up, to make those changes. Believe me, as someone who has been through a major life threatening illness and pain and crawled their way back to good health and do what I do now, I get it. I’ve been to that point of wanting it all to just stop and I get what many women put up with on a daily basis. Pain is pain, no matter where it has stemmed from.

Getting back to the subject at hand, I have now been explaining that Endometriosis is like a weed. Why would I explain it like this?

Like a weed, endometriosis grows and spreads. You can physically remove the weed (surgical), but unless you control the regrowth, seeds have been dropped (endometriosis regrowth) and then the weeds pop up again and start to grow once more. Sound like endometriosis too you?

Like any weed, it needs certain things for its regrowth. We have just talked about the dropping of the seeds ( regrowth) but it needs a food and fuel source to make it grow (estrogens, insulin, inflammatory response from external factors, stress etc). Then once the seeds are fed, the regrowth continues and then the garden is infested with the weed plague once more. Then you need to try and physically removed the weeds again once more and so the cycle begins again. Are you seeing what I am getting at yet?

Just like these weeds, endometriosis is often removed and many people then either believe they are fixed, or they do not do anything post surgery to prevent that regrowth. Before they know it, they again have to go back for more surgery. Often when people to control the regrowth (Progestins, Mirena etc), they are only employing one method, for which is either not effective enough, or the weed (Endo) is now resistant too.

This is why we need to employ a multimodality approach post surgery to hopefully complete eradicate the weed regrowth and halt the life cycle of these seeds being spread and to start growing again, thus starting the horrible cycle all over again

Now that we can see how endometriosis is really like a weed that can spread throughout our garden, we need to look at what we can do to hopefully stop it coming back, or spreading into other parts of the body.

Like I said, treatment must be individualised, using a multimodality approach, taking the clinical problem in its entirety into account, including the impact of the disease and the effect of its treatment on quality of life. Pain symptoms may persist despite seemingly adequate medical and/or surgical treatment of the disease.

The real focus needs to be on prevention and treatment strategies post surgery. Even better still, lets prevent it before it starts

There is an ancient Chinese saying – “To try and treat a disease once it is fully expressed into the body is like trying to forge arms once a war has already started, or like trying to dig a well once you are already thirsty – Yellow Emperors Classics of Internal Medicine”

The same goes for endometriosis. Once the disease is there and expressed into the body, it is hard to treat, especially is known methods of treatment are failing and this individualised, multimodality approach is used.

A Multimodality Approach Needs To Include:

  • Surgery
  • Pain Management
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Exercise
  • Pilates/Yoga
  • Changes to Diet
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Holistic Medicine
  • Anything people have tried and has worked for them

The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologist guidelines for the “Investigations and Management of Endometriosis” have the following quote:

“Many women with endometriosis report that nutritional and complementary therapies such as homeopathy, reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine or herbal treatments, do improve pain symptoms. They should not be ruled out if the woman feels they could be beneficial for her overall pain management and/or quality of life, or work in conjunction with more modern medical therapies.”

This is why it is vital to take careful note of the woman’s complaints and to give her time to express her concerns and anxieties, as with other chronic diseases, just as I do for all of my patients. Healthcare providers actually need to listen to the woman and her concerns. Women need to be listened to and be heard and be nurtured

It is also important to involve the woman in all decisions, to be flexible in diagnostic and therapeutic thinking, to maintain a good relationship with the woman and for healthcare providers to seek advice where appropriate from more experienced colleagues. This is something that I try to educate all my patients with and something I also try to educate healthcare providers with when I do my seminars and speaking events about Women’s Health issues and diseases like endometriosis.

But while there are thing that healthcare providers need to do, there also things you must do also. These include

  • Reducing Stress
  • Look at Emotions and How They Affect You
  • Exercise
  • Get “You Time”
  • Eat more protein and less High GI Carbs
  • Eat less process and package foods that we now call “Carbage”
  • Loss some weight if you have excess fats (which spike estrogens)
  • Gain some weight if you are underweight.
  • Do Something You Love (At least once per week)
  • Laugh Often (Even if some days you feel like crying)
  • Spend Time With Friends and Loved Ones
  • Make Love J ( Climax and Oxytocin are your friends)
  • Do Not Let The Disease Define You
  • Don’t Buy Into The Label
  • You are more than this disease
  • If something is helping, then continue with it, no matter what anyone tells you
  • Just remember that “You” are uniquely “You”

Please remember these words :

  • Do Not Let The Disease Define You
  • Don’t Buy Into The Label
  • You are more than this disease
  • If something is helping, then continue with it, no matter what anyone tells you
  • Don’t buy into everything you read on the internet, social media, or “Dr Google. To be honest, I ban “Dr Google” with my patient (haha)
  • Make sure you have a good laugh each day, but remember it is also OK to have a good cry too
  • It is OK to unplug every so often
  • It is OK to take the “Superwoman” cape off every so often too.
  • Remember “You” are uniquely “You”
  • Do not give up hope, because there is always help out there

This is why it is so important to not get caught up in what others have done, or tried and may not now be working for you either. We need to look at you as an individual and treat you as such. What works for one person, may not work for another. This is why an individualised multimodality approach is needed to help prevent and treat this horrible disease and we often need a team of people, on the same page, to help treat this properly.

Don’t forget to “Get A Second Opinion”, or a Third, or Fourth, or Tenth one if needed

In many other areas in life we will get multiple quotes, and opinions. Yet, when it comes to our health, we often only get one quote, or maybe two.

Just because someone has your history, or is nice to you, or maybe recommended by a friend etc, does not make them a good practitioner. It does not mean that you cannot get another opinion. If someone isn’t helping you, then you need to look at changing, no matter who they are, or how well they know your history. Not every specialist you see is a good surgeon either, so please remember this. You need to have someone who specialises in endometriosis and who has done advanced surgical training, not just minimal training. There is good and bad in every profession and the medical profession is not exempt from this either. Neither is the complementary medicine profession, or allied health care profession exempt from this either. Your health is important and so is the value of another opinion. Not every practitioner has all the answers. If someone isn’t helping you, then don’t be scared to change.

Lastly please remember to know that there is always help out there. I am always here to help and I am a specialist in this area, alongside many other Women’s Health issues and Gynaecological issues. You can always come and see me in person, or make an appointment via skype, for those who live at a distance. I have a great team of people I work with to give you the best help possible. I have a team of some of the best health care professionals there is and I make sure all of them are at the top of their game in their chosen profession.

Let me be the conductor of your health issues and help you get the treatment and advice you so desperately deserve. I am here to listen to you and hear you. I make sure you don’t have things “Missed” and aren’t “Dismissed “ and why my treatment motto is “Leaving No Stone Unturned”. I am out there as a voice for women and being a crusader for women’s health everywhere. I don’t mind stepping on a few toes, and ego’s to get you the best help possible J

Take care and remember that “Period Pain Is Not Normal” and neither are and other “Menstrual Irregularities” that women face on a daily basis. I know what you go through daily and I am out there making sure you all get heard. Let’s end the silence on this horrible disease for you, and the ones close to me whom I love, adore and care about also J

Regards

Dr Andrew Orr

“The Brisbane Baby Maker” & “Women’s Health and Endometriosis Crusader”

Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health Specialist (MRMed, MWHMed)

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Helping you with Women’s Health & Reproductive Issues

 

Shen Therapies Highly Successful Fertility Program

Shen Therapies Fertility Program

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  • Are you struggling to fall pregnant?
  • Have you had multiple failed cycles of IVF, or Assisted Reproductive Therapies?
  • Do you want to know ways to increase your chances of pregnancy?
  • Are you struggling to fall pregnant a second time around?
  • Do you feel like a number at your fertility clinic?
  • Do you feel like your fertility specialist, GP, or gynaecologist isn’t listening to you?
  • Could you have had things missed in your fertility investigations?
  • Are you getting to a point where your fertility journey is getting you down?
  • Do you just want proper answers to why you aren’t conceiving?
  • Have both you and your partner been evaluated properly?
  • Are you considering IVF, or Assisted Reproductive Therapies and want to know more?
  • Do you just think that there could be more to your issues that haven’t been looked at

Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine highly successful Fertility Program has helped over 12,000 babies into the world and can help increase your fertility success rates by 96.1% * (based on independent research)

For years Dr Andrew Orr has seen couples, single women, same sex couples and anyone requiring fertility help, walk through his door, emotionally exhausted, desperate and at breaking point. The problem for many of these people is that they have not been investigated properly by everyone they have seen, both medically and holistically. Worse still some of the people are already at a point of giving up, believing they have done everything possible, when in fact they haven’t. The sad fact is that some people may have already given up thinking they did everything, when actual fact they may not have. It is so sad when Dr Andrew Orr hears stories like this is why he is so passionate about helping  couples, single women and same sex couples, get the right information and help them to be properly diagnosed or investigated.

About Dr Andrew Orr

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Dr Andrew Orr is one of Australia’s leading integrative medicine specialists who has a medical degrees with a Masters in Reproductive Medicine and a Masters in Women’s Health (Medical). He is well known in both the medical and complementary medicine fields for all of his success and work with couples for Fertility and pregnancy and also for people with gynaecological conditions such as Endometriosis and PCOS.

Dr Andrew Orr is also a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a qualified Naturopath, a Nutritionist, and is an owner/Director of his own Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Supplement Company-ConceptShen Nutritional Medicine PTY LTD.

Dr Orr is also a Lecturer, Public Speaker, Researcher, Mentor, Writer, Author and more.

Dr Andrew Orr has helped nearly 12,000 babies into the world with his unique fertility program combining Eastern, Western and Nutritional Medicine. It is truly an integrative medicine program that sets itself apart and he has gained much media attention about it. He has been on national television on programs like “A Current Affair” and many local and state television shows for his successes with fertility. In the media he has been named “The Brisbane Baby Maker”.

He has also had independent research done on his program and the results have showed that it can help couple increase their fertility success rates by 96.1%*

Dr Andrew Orr has written and reviewed for the Australian Medical Journal, written for leading Magazines and has appeared on Channel 9’s A Current Affair, Channel 9’s Brisbane Extra and been in national papers and health magazines.

Dr Andrew Orr also lecturers to Health Care Professionals, Specialists, Midwives, students and the general public on a regular basis.

Dr Andrew Orr has a passion for Health Care and helping people to get the best out of their lives on both a physical and emotional level. He also has a passion for helping fellow practitioners gain knowledge and to also help anyone who needs help with changing their lives for the better.

Dr Andrew Orr also specialises in gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS and travels the country lecturing to healthcare professionals about the importance of early intervention and treatment for women. He is very passionate about informing women of the medical facts about gynaecological conditions and to not wait and put up with things such as period pain. His motto is always that “Period Pain Is Not Normal” and that he has a “No Stone Left Unturned Approach” to anyone he helps.

stones on a plate

About Dr Andrew Orr’s Highly Successful Fertility Program

The Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine Fertility Program is run by Dr Andrew Orr, who has over 20 years experience in the treating Fertility and Gynaecological issues and hold dual qualifications in both western medicine and complementary medicine to bring people a true integrative approach to fertility issues. He has helped over 12,000 babies into the world via his highly successful Fertility Programme. There really aren’t many people that can say that and his qualification are also a one of a kind. There is really nobody else with his qualifications to date. His success has been documented nationwide in the media and he is known as “The Brisbane Baby Maker”

The Fertility Programme is very through. Many people don’t realise what goes on in the background before you even step through our door. Comprehensive questionnaires are sent out to people and medical reports, blood tests, medical investigations, surgical intervention (if needed) and everything that is needed for your reproductive and health history is chased up and checked so that people are diagnosed correctly.

Both men and women are assessed as fertility issues are not just related to females. Over 50% of fertility issues are related to make factors and many miscarriage issues are related to chromosomal factors relating to the male also. Dr Andrew Orr is always seeing many male issues are missed due to non compliance and assumptions. Biology 101 tells us it takes a sperm and an egg to make a baby, not just an egg. Everything for the couple, or anyone needing fertility treatment, is assessed properly and thoroughly before you even walk in the door.

Fertility treatments aren’t just about having Acupuncture or holistic medicine either. Couples are then assessed and treated on both a medical and complementary medicine level and a comprehensive report is written up with all the changes and investigations that you will need to get do. These recommendations are then constantly checked and followed up to ensure couples get all the investigations done and that all the requested changes are made. There is no stone left unturned.

The program encompasses dietary changes, addressing nutritional deficiencies, reducing stress, managing emotions, enhancing immunity and improving sperm and egg quality. We also address known causes of infertility including Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and any other pelvic pathology that may be causing fertility issues. Every test or investigation that needs to be done is done and thoroughly looked over.

The program begins with the Fertility Education Session, lasting 3 hours and conducted once per month, or as needed, depending on numbers. These Fertility Education Sessions are conducted to small groups of clients and delivered by myself so that every couple is educated on the changes and investigation that will need to increase their chances of having a baby.

Attendance at a Fertility Education Session is compulsory for singles/couples on the program. At the sessions, clients receive a full report based on previously completed questionnaires and test results, as well as crucial herbs and supplements to begin the journey to conception. Soon after the education session, clients attend a 1 on 1 consult with me to receive additional information and recommendations as well as a treatment plan moving forward.

Treatments on the Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine fertility Program also involves fortnightly acupuncture appointments for both men and women and the use of individual tailored herbs, herbs from the ConceptShen fertility range and vitamins according to the individual’s holistic diagnosis and their medical diagnosis as well. We have specially trained registered acupuncturists that are also part of the Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine team.

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We See People from All Over Australia & All Over the World

Couples from all over Australia and even internationally have travelled to Brisbane to participate in the Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine Fertility Program. It is compulsory that all remote, interstate and international patients attend the initial seminar and then consult with me, however following this we also offer Skype consults for the follow-up consultations

We have a postal ordering system which enables our remote patients to order and receive their herbal medicines, ConceptShen fertility formulas, supplements and vitamins at their convenience.

The program is designed to support both natural conception and those couples using Assisted Reproduction Technologies such as IVF and IUI. We follow specific protocols when supporting IVF an IUI cycles, which our staff will explain upon enquiry.

At Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine we want every couple, or person seeking fertility treatment, to be able to have a baby and we make sure you have everything done possible to ensure you have the best chance of conceiving a baby.

For further information please call Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine on 61+07 32795697, or email us at info@shentherapies.com.au

We also can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ShenTherapies/

 

Fertility Information Night – “Your Questions Answered”

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Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine

Fertility Information Night

“Your Questions Answered”

Tuesday 10th May at 5:30pm until 6:30pm

Tuesday 21st June at 5:30pm until 6:30pm

Life Fertility Clinic. Level 1. Suite 298. St Andrews Place Springhill.

*We will also be doing these Information nights nationally*

*(Interstate dates: Please enquire)*

All enquires please call 07 32795697 or email info@shentherapies.com.au

  • Are you struggling to fall pregnant?
  • Have you had multiple failed cycles of IVF, or Assisted Reproductive Therapies?
  • Do you want to know ways to increase your chances of pregnancy?
  • Are you struggling to fall pregnant a second time around?
  • Do you feel like a number at your fertility clinic?
  • Do you feel like your fertility specialist, GP, or gynaecologist isn’t listening to you?
  • Could you have had things missed in your fertility investigations?
  • Are you getting to a point where your fertility journey is getting you down?
  • Do you just want proper answers to why you aren’t conceiving?
  • Have both you and your partner been evaluated properly?
  • Are you considering IVF, or Assisted Reproductive Therapies and want to know more?
  • Do you just think that there could be more to your issues that haven’t been looked at?

These questions and more will be answer at Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine’s Fertility Information night being held on Tuesday 12th April at 5:30pm until 6:30pm in Brisbane, at Life Fertility Clinic (Address above). We are asking people to bring the questions they want answered to this special event. This is an opportunity to get some of your fertility questions answered, by one of our leading Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health Specialists, Dr Andrew Orr.

We will also be doing these information nights in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in the near future (please enquire for dates and venues)

This is also an opportunity for those who want to know more about Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine highly successful Fertility Program, which has helped over 12,000 babies into the world and can help increase your fertility success rates by 96.1% *.

(The event isn’t part of our fertility program though and isn’t the patient fertility education session, that is the start of being on our Fertility Program. This is just an information event, for those they may be interested in our program and to also provide some information to the public. )

For years Dr Andrew Orr has seen couples, single women, same sex couples and anyone requiring fertility help, walk through his door, emotionally exhausted, desperate and at breaking point. The problem for many of these people is that they have not been investigated properly by everyone they have seen, both medically and holistically. Worse still some of the people are already at a point of giving up, believing they have done everything possible, when in fact they haven’t. The sad fact is that some people may have already given up thinking they did everything, when actual fact they may not have. It is so sad when Dr Andrew Orr hears stories like this is why we are holding this night to help couples, single women and same sex couples, get the right information and help them to be properly diagnosed or investigated.

About Dr Andrew Orr

 

_DSC6198

 

Dr Andrew Orr is one of Australia’s leading integrative medicine specialists who has a medical degrees with a Masters in Reproductive Medicine and a Masters in Women’s Health (Medical). He is well known in both the medical and complementary medicine fields for all of his success and work with couples for Fertility and pregnancy and also for people with gynaecological conditions such as Endometriosis and PCOS.

Dr Andrew Orr is also a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a qualified Naturopath, a Nutritionist, and is an owner/Director of his own Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Supplement Company-ConceptShen Nutritional Medicine PTY LTD.

Dr Orr is also a Lecturer, Public Speaker, Researcher, Mentor, Writer, Author and more.

Dr Andrew Orr has helped nearly 12,000 babies into the world with his unique fertility program combining Eastern, Western and Nutritional Medicine. It is truly an integrative medicine program that sets itself apart and he has gained much media attention about it. He has been on national television on programs like “A Current Affair” and many local and state television shows for his successes with fertility. In the media he has been named “The Brisbane Baby Maker”.

He has also had independent research done on his program and the results have showed that it can help couple increase their fertility success rates by 96.1%*

Dr Andrew Orr has written and reviewed for the Australian Medical Journal, written for leading Magazines and has appeared on Channel 9’s A Current Affair, Channel 9’s Brisbane Extra and been in national papers and health magazines.

Dr Andrew Orr also lecturers to Health Care Professionals, Specialists, Midwives, students and the general public on a regular basis.

Dr Andrew Orr has a passion for Health Care and helping people to get the best out of their lives on both a physical and emotional level. He also has a passion for helping fellow practitioners gain knowledge and to also help anyone who needs help with changing their lives for the better.

Dr Andrew Orr also specialises in gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS and travels the country lecturing to healthcare professionals about the importance of early intervention and treatment for women. He is very passionate about informing women of the medical facts about gynaecological conditions and to not wait and put up with things such as period pain. His motto is always that “Period Pain Is Not Normal” and that he has a “No Stone Left Unturned Approach” to anyone he helps.

stones on a plate

About Dr Andrew Orr’s Highly Successful Fertility Program

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The Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine Fertility Program is run by Dr Andrew Orr, who has over 20 years experience in the treating Fertility and Gynaecological issues and hold dual qualifications in both western medicine and complementary medicine to bring people a true integrative approach to fertility issues. He has helped over 12,000 babies into the world via his highly successful Fertility Programme. There really aren’t many people that can say that and his qualification are also a one of a kind. There is really nobody else with his qualifications to date. His success has been documented nationwide in the media and he is known as “The Brisbane Baby Maker”

The Fertility Programme is very through. Many people don’t realise what goes on in the background before you even step through our door. Comprehensive questionnaires are sent out to people and medical reports, blood tests, medical investigations, surgical intervention (if needed) and everything that is needed for your reproductive and health history is chased up and checked so that people are diagnosed correctly.

Both men and women are assessed as fertility issues are not just related to females. Over 50% of fertility issues are related to make factors and many miscarriage issues are related to chromosomal factors relating to the male also. Dr Andrew Orr is always seeing many male issues are missed due to non compliance and assumptions. Biology 101 tells us it takes a sperm and an egg to make a baby, not just an egg. Everything for the couple, or anyone needing fertility treatment, is assessed properly and thoroughly before you even walk in the door.

Fertility treatments aren’t just about having Acupuncture or holistic medicine either. Couples are then assessed and treated on both a medical and complementary medicine level and a comprehensive report is written up with all the changes and investigations that you will need to get do. These recommendations are then constantly checked and followed up to ensure couples get all the investigations done and that all the requested changes are made. There is no stone left unturned.

The program encompasses dietary changes, addressing nutritional deficiencies, reducing stress, managing emotions, enhancing immunity and improving sperm and egg quality. We also address known causes of infertility including Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and any other pelvic pathology that may be causing fertility issues. Every test or investigation that needs to be done is done and thoroughly looked over.

The program begins with the Fertility Education Session, lasting 3 hours and conducted once per month, or as needed, depending on numbers. These Fertility Education Sessions are conducted to small groups of clients and delivered by myself so that every couple is educated on the changes and investigation that will need to increase their chances of having a baby.

Attendance at a Fertility Education Session is compulsory for singles/couples on the program. At the sessions, clients receive a full report based on previously completed questionnaires and test results, as well as crucial herbs and supplements to begin the journey to conception. Soon after the education session, clients attend a 1 on 1 consult with me to receive additional information and recommendations as well as a treatment plan moving forward.

Treatments on the Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine fertility Program also involves fortnightly acupuncture appointments for both men and women and the use of individual tailored herbs, herbs from the ConceptShen fertility range and vitamins according to the individual’s holistic diagnosis and their medical diagnosis as well. We have specially trained registered acupuncturists that are also part of the Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine team

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We See People from All Over Australia & All Over the World

Couples from all over Australia and even internationally have travelled to Brisbane to participate in the Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine Fertility Program. It is compulsory that all remote, interstate and international patients attend the initial seminar and then consult with me, however following this we also offer Skype consults for the follow-up consultations

We have a postal ordering system which enables our remote patients to order and receive their herbal medicines, ConceptShen fertility formulas, supplements and vitamins at their convenience.

The program is designed to support both natural conception and those couples using Assisted Reproduction Technologies such as IVF and IUI. We follow specific protocols when supporting IVF an IUI cycles, which our staff will explain upon enquiry.

At Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine we want every couple, or person seeking fertility treatment, to be able to have a baby and we make sure you have everything done possible to ensure you have the best chance of conceiving a baby.

For further information please call Shen Therapies Reproductive Medicine on 61+07 32795697, or email us at info@shentherapies.com.au

We also can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ShenTherapies/

 

If You Read Just One Article On Natural Killer Cells, Read This One

NK cells killing embryos

If You Read Just One Article On Natural Killer Cells, Read This One

By Dr Andrew Orr (Reproductive Medicine & Women’s Health Specialist)

On a daily basis we get people, who are having failed IVF cycles, calling our clinic looking for some miracle pill, to supposedly eradicate the body of natural killers cell and wipe them off the face of the planet in some war like rage, all because they have been told this will bring an end to their fertility woes.

I wish it was that easy and when my staff go on to explain that treating natural killers cells, and especially looking at the cause of natural killer cells, is complex, there is no one miracle cure, nor some magic pill, people get annoyed and hang up the phone in a huff ,without listening to the reasons why.

While Natural killer (NK) cells have an important role in the early responses to viral infections, they have also been linked with failure of pregnancy.Increasingly, clinics are offering blood tests, at an increased cost to the patient, to measure the number and activity of circulating NK cells. As a result of these investigations, many women are offered treatments such as steroids, intravenous immunoglobulins, and tumour necrosis factor blocking agents. The scientific rationale for these tests and treatments, however, is not always supported by our current knowledge of the function of uterine NK cells.

So, I thought it was about time I set the records straight on the BS information, that seems to being handed around as gospel, by money hungry fertility clinics run by big health conglomerates, and by the rotten Dr Google, about natural killer cells and these supposed miracle pills, that will miraculously fix someone’s fertility issues.

Let’s Look at the Facts about Natural Killer Cells Relating to Miscarriage

  1. There is no miracle pill, or one supposed miracle treatment, or a one pill solution to treat, or get rid of natural killer cells. You do not want to get rid of NK Cells.
  2. Natural Killer Cells are a natural part of the immune system designed to target inflammation, kill of cancer cells, kill off bacteria and protect the body from harmful invasion of foreign organism
  3. There is huge difference between natural killer cells that are circulating in the blood stream, compared to uterine killer cells
  4. Uterine Killer Cells are in large numbers during a pregnancy to protect the embryo
  5. Natural Killer Cells are only in large number and are only being sent out by the immune system because there is some inflammatory process going on in the pelvis, or the rest of the body
  6. You cannot regulate Natural Killer Cells numbers unless you first address the inflammatory process that is causing them to be in high numbers in the first place (Eg- Inflammatory gynaecological conditions such as PID, Endometriosis, PCOS, Adenomyosis, Adhesions, STI’s, CIN, HPV, Herpes etc)
  7. Many people have not had the proper initial fertility investigations and testing needed to actually fall pregnant in the first place and looking at Natural Killer Cells, before all that proper testing etc is done, is actually not assessing the patient properly.
  8. If you do not treat the cause of the Natural Killer Cells being in high numbers, you will not be able to reduce the numbers of Natural Killer Cells that are actually doing the job they are meant to do, which is …. Protect the Body.
  9. Many of the so called treatments for Natural Killer Cells, regarding fertility, have never been approved for such treatment and research on it is still inconclusive.
  10. Some of the treatments being proclaimed as miracle cures (Intralipids etc) are purely money making exercises that are preying on the vulnerability of people who have been told wrong information and have this perception of some killer being inside their body attacking their embryos.
  11. Intralipids have never been proven to treat Natural Killer Cells and are derived from highly inflammatory soy based compounds, which then in turn can cause more inflammation.
  12. The drugs used in the treatment of Natural Killer Cells are steroidal based and carry many side effects and are for more harmful to the body that any natural killer cell will ever be. The steroids are also a category C drug that has been shown to have an effect on the neonate
  13. Steroids, such as Prednisone, do work on regulating NK cells, but they do so by suppressing the immune system, thus compromising a person’s immunity. There are also risk to peoples minerals by using these long term and there are also other side effects to the body.
  14. Natural Killer Cells are there to protect the body, not hurt it.
  15. Natural Killer Cells are only attacking embryos because they are seen as foreign body as well and when they are there trying to kill of the diseases and issues causing inflammation in the body, they just happen to kill of any other foreign organism and inflammatory processes at the same time
  16. Again, to address natural Killer Cells, you need to address the inflammatory process as to why they are in high numbers in the first place
  17. The perception around Natural Killer Cells being this “thing” killing off embryos in the body is misguided and is actually not a true representation of what Natural Killer Cells actually do. It is purely often used to tug on the heartstring of unsuspecting patients, who are highly emotive and clinics use these emotions to get them to pay for treatments that have never been fully proven to work.
  18. The name “Killer Cell” is too often exploited in the wrong context by many in the fertility world
  19. Blood tests cannot measure the number of Natural Killer Cells in the Uterus, Only a biopsy can do this.A Natural Killer Cell Biopsy has to be done between the 24th and 28th day of your menstrual cycle to give the best results.
  20. Blood tests can only measure the circulating NK cells in the body and not the uterine killer cell activity, which can be the cause of recurrent miscarriage. So, if you have had a blood test, it is not measuring what is needed. Everyone will have circulating NK cells in their blood stream.
  21. The percentage of CD56+ NK cells in peripheral blood in normal healthy individuals varies from 5% to 29% .Despite this, more than 12% NK cells in women with infertility or miscarriage has been arbitrarily defined as abnormally raised and used as an indication for treatment
  22. The percentage of NK cells in blood can be affected by many factors including sex, ethnicity, stress, and age too.

Natural Killer cells (Uterine killer cells and other NK cells) are the main immune cell-type found in the uterus. Their numbers increase through the menstrual cycle to peak at the time of implantation. If an embryo does implant, NK cell numbers increase further to 70% of all cells. Uterine NK numbers start to decrease at around the 20 week mark of pregnancy and are all but absent at the end of pregnancy. Natural killer cells acquired their name as a result of the initial test used to identify them in vitro. Unlike T lymphocytes, NK cells are able to spontaneously kill cells in a non-MHC restricted manner.

Regrettably, this is a misleading name in reproduction, and the powerful image of maternal cells attacking the fetus is emotive and easily exploited. None the less, these NK cells can kill off the embryo at early stages of pregnancy, but there is nearly always a reason why. That reason is inflammation in the pelvic cavity and uterus. This needs to be addressed to regulate the number of NK cells, not some notion of killing off the “Killer Cells”.

Types of Inflammation causing high NK Cells

  • Endometriosis & Adenomyosis
  • PCOS/PCO
  • Fibroids, Myomas
  • Vaginal Infections & Bacteria
  • STI’s
  • Cancer, Trauma, Localised Lesions & Others
  • Stress

Yes stress can lead to a compromised immune system, which then leads to high TNF (Tumor Necrosing Factor) and increase Natural Killer Cells, which then leads to prolonged increase activated T Cells, and this then causes reduced implantation of embryos.

This is also a reason why any inflammation in the uterus or pelvic cavity needs to be addressed to help fix this issue and one of the reasons why any woman having fertility issues needs to be investigated and treated properly. This needs to involve proper differential diagnosis, proper pathology testing, genetic testing and surgical investigations such as laparoscopy prior to any further fertility treatment. A laparoscopy is the gold standard for addressing and treatment of issues in the uterine and pelvic cavity.

Natural Killer Cells (Uterine Killer Cells) can be a part of recurrent miscarriage, but we need to stop the misinformation and perception of them being some killer organism that isn’t meant to be in the body. They are meant to be in the body and the name is all too often exploited by many to offer unproven treatments and medications by clinics trying to increase profits.

If you want to regulate and treat natural killer cells (relating to recurrent miscarriage) properly, you need to find out what is causing them to be there in the first place. There is no magic pill to get rid of Natural Killer Cells. You cannot rid the body of Natural Killer Cells anyway. They are meant to be there

At Shen Therapies, we have a proper NK cell protocol (designed by Dr Andrew Orr) and treatment plan that is individually tailored and looks at the “cause” of high number of Natural Killer Cells and makes sure that proper investigations, testing and treatment are administered to treat the person properly.

References

  1. Moffett-King A. Natural killer cells and pregnancy. Nat Rev Immuol 2002;2: 656-63.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
  2. Pijnenborg R, Vercruysse L, Hanssens M, Van Assche A. Incomplete trophoblast invasion: the evidence. In: Critchley H, MacLean A, Poston L, Walker J, eds. Pre-eclampsia. London: RCOG Press, 2003: 15-2615. Parham P. NK cells and trophoblasts: partners in pregnancy. J Exp Med 2004;200: 951-5.[Abstract/Free Full Text]
  3. Hiby SE, Walker JJ, O’Shaughnessy KM, Redman CWG, Carrington M, Trowsdale J, et al. Combinations of maternal and paternal innate immune genes influence the risk of pre-eclampsia. J Exp Med 2004;200: 957-65.[Abstract/Free Full Text]
  4. Aoki K, Kajiura S, Matsumoto Y, Ogasawara M, Okada S, Yagami Y, et al. Preconceptional natural-killer-cell activity as a predictor of miscarriage. Lancet 1995;345: 1340-2.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
  5. Ntrivalas EI, Kwak-Kim JY, Gilman-Sacchs A, Chung-Bang H, Ng SC, Beaman KD, et al. Status of peripheral blood natural killer cells in women with recurrent spontaneous abortions and infertility of unknown aetiology. Hum Reprod 2001;16: 855-61.[Abstract/Free Full Text]
  6. Bisset LR, Lung TL, Kaelin M, Ludwig E, Dubs RW. Reference values for peripheral blood lymphocyte phenotypes applicable to the healthy adult population in Switzerland. Eur J Haematol 2004;72: 203-12.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
  7. Kwak JY, Kwak FM, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman KD, Cho DD, Beer AE, et al. Immunoglobulin G infusion treatment for women with recurrent spontaneous abortions and elevated CD56+ natural killer cells. Early Preg 2000;4: 154-64.
  8. RCOG Scientific Advisory Committee. Immunological testing and interventions for reproductive failure. London: RCOG, 2003. (Opinion paper 5.)
  9. Scott JR. Immunotherapy for recurrent miscarriage. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2003;(1): CD000112.
  10. Daya S, Gunby J, Clark DA. Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy for recurrent spontaneous abortion: a meta-analysis. Am J Reprod Immunol 1998;39: 69-76.