In the spirit of Breast Cancer awareness month and promoting women’s health, we are excited to have had Dr. Susan Wolf in our Manhattan office today for our Making the Rounds Facebook Live video streaming series.
Dr. Wolf is a Reproductive Endocrinologist specializing in infertility and menopause. Additionally, she is a breast cancer and melanoma survivor - and, “borderline ovarian” which she personally addressed in our discussion.
This series is intended to be an interactive experience, so questions from the public are welcomed.
With respect to her expertise, Dr. Wolf spoke on debunking myths related to infertility, menopause, women’s health and hormone replacement to the new frontier and challenges facing her field. Patients often get unrealistic messages on fertility issues from Hollywood and the press, so she helped clarify them.
Dr. Wolf conveyed the struggles families face with insurance coverage or lack thereof along with elucidating further the new trend of pre-implantation genetic testing and a current goal of reducing multiple birth rates. Screening embryos for genetic testing has become more accessible for everyone. Also, there is a recent shift to avoid preterm labor (thereby reducing infant prematurity levels) often at risk from pregnancy with multiples. So, single embryo transfers are encouraged now.
She maintains “basically, anyone can have a baby, the roadblocks are what is acceptable to the patient along with financial constraints.” Albeit egg or sperm donor, adoption and gestational carrier, the vision changes based on circumstance and individual preference.
As a cancer survivor and patient advocate, Dr. Wolf is particularly interested in the many reconstructive options often not publicly explored. Additionally, she spoke to having a significant family history.
In her own words, Dr. Wolf relates: “When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer she was crying because it was going to mean my sister and I were going to have breast cancer. So, I said to her —since my grandmother had it as well — ‘Would you have rather had a different mother who didn’t have breast cancer?’ She said ‘no.’ I said ‘me neither.’ So, I carry it proudly. We all get what we get. Luckily, the women in my family who took care of their health and had regular mammograms all survived.”
To watch the video from today's Facebook Live discussion, click here on the American Council on Science and Health page.
Take Home Messages from Dr. Wolf:
- Emphasize moderation in your diet and exercise. (e.g. over-exercisers due to diminished body fat and other contributing factors can have issues with fertility)
- Factors that impair fertility: smoking, age (women, in particular), heat to the testicles (avoid Lycra bike shorts, saunas, hot tubs, for example), certain medications (as well as exogenous testosterone), specific commercial lubricants
- Helpful tips if thinking of getting pregnant: Just do it-- meaning don't delay as fertility declines with aging, try and track your menstrual cycle to know when you are ovulating, discuss with your doctor starting prenatal vitamins as well as getting screened for Rubella and Varicella before conception
- Menopause: Decisions about hormone replacement therapy need to be individualized by weighing the risks and benefits
- The current trend in infertility is to reduce the risk of multiple births as they tend to prompt preterm labor and premature infants
- Pre-implantation genetic diagnosing is more prevalent and accessible now
Susan Wolf, MD: Reproductive Endocrinologist specializing in infertility and menopause
Dr. Susan Wolf is a physician concentrating in the care of women suffering from infertility and menopausal related issues. She is committed to finding treatments that are appropriate for each individual. Having recently joined University Reproductive Associates, Dr. Wolf is looking forward to helping patients achieve their goals in this setting.
After finishing training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, she completed fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. She remained there as an Assistant Professor for five years before becoming the Physician-in-Charge of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. After five years as full-time faculty at Beth Israel, Dr. Wolf decided to devote her efforts to private practice in New York and has been taking care of patients there until recently. She is excited to return to New Jersey and have the opportunity to work again with some of the staff and anew with others.
To learn more about Dr. Wolf, click here.