The Tushy Method

Aug 11, 2018 | Fertility Care

No two fertility patients are alike, which means that all fertility care should be personalized to your individual needs. This idea can sound expensive and daunting for both the patient and the doctor, but it isn’t. In fact, Dr. Aimee has seen firsthand that when she uses “The TUSHY Method,” a straightforward strategy for getting your fertility checked in 5 easy steps, her patients’ satisfaction with their care increases — and the time it takes for them to get pregnant decreases. It’s a new standard of fertility care that makes personalized fertility medicine easy and more affordable.

Decrease Your Time to Pregnancy

The TUSHY Check-up should be the first step every fertility patient takes. It will ensure that you are taking the right path to a healthy pregnancy and baby.

What is The TUSHY Method?

“T” in TUSHY stands for tubes (the fallopian tubes). In a tubal evaluation, a small amount of nontoxic dye is pushed through the uterus and tubes in order to determine if the tubes are open.

What are fallopian tubes?

These are the thin tubes where fertilization occurs. There is one on either side of the uterus. They enable the passage of the embryo into the uterus and serve as the embryo transport system.

Why should you get them checked?

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, your fallopian tubes could be obstructed, which means the egg can’t travel down the tube. This is known as “tubal factor infertility” and can occur in one or both tubes. It’s the cause of infertility in 40% of women because it doesn’t usually present with symptoms. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is the most common cause of blocked fallopian tubes. PID is usually the result of a sexually transmitted disease, but not always.

Other reasons your fallopian tubes are blocked:

  • Endometriosis
  • A history of a ruptured appendix
  • A history of abdominal surgery
  • A previous ectopic pregnancy
  • A prior surgery involving the fallopian tubes

What you can do if they are blocked?

If you have one tube open, you may still be able get pregnant. In this case, fertility drugs can help increase your chances of ovulating on the open side. If both tubes are blocked, this isn’t an option. In this case, laparoscopic surgery may help to open the tubes. Another possibility is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

“U” in TUSHY stands for ultrasound of uterus. A pelvic ultrasound is an important first test for any woman having trouble conceiving.

Why you should get one:

The ultrasound will verify if there are any anatomic issues affecting your fertility. It will help Dr. Aimee determine the size, shape, and position of the uterus, as well as determine the number of follicles present (Antral Follicle Count), which is a good indicator of a patient’s ovarian reserve. The ultrasound can also detect whether a patient has fibroids or ovarian cysts, which most often are evidence of a growing egg or recent ovulation. On occasion, however, a cyst may represent an abnormality such as endometriosis.

How to get one done:

A pelvic exam by your doctor could miss many common reasons for uterine causes of fertility issues such as a fibroid in the middle of your uterus. A pelvic ultrasound is pretty simple, non-invasive and it’s also more detailed, giving you a better assessment. At your appointment, Dr. Aimee will take you on an ultrasound tour of your pelvic organs and will describe your uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This happens by using a transvaginal ultrasound probe: it’s like a magnifying glass looking at possible issues affecting your fertility.

“S” in TUSHY stands for semen analysis. Every pregnancy is 50% egg and 50% sperm. In other words, it takes two to tango! Learning about sperm health (your partner’s or your sperm donor’s) is essential to a complete fertility screening.

Why and how should you get sperm checked:

As Dr. Paul Turek, a leading expert in male fertility and sexual health, says about sperm: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” We now know that advanced paternal age has been linked to disease and declining health of sperm. As men age, their sperm incur more problems. These problems could make it more difficult to conceive a healthy pregnancy.

What if something is wrong?

The good news is we may be able to improve the health of sperm. Dr. Aimee’s recommendations include: supplements, hormones, exercise, stress reduction and a visit to a fertility-minded urologist.

“H” in TUSHY stands for hormone testing. One of the questions Dr. Aimee asks all her patients is: how many kids do you want? Based on your age, fertility levels and overall fertility screening data points, she can then guide you. Dr. Aimee’s Egg Whisperer panel measures three critical hormones connected to your fertility. Lab testing for fertility patients also includes a preconception panel that includes other hormones like TSH and prolactin to name just two on her list.

What are hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers in your body that are created in your endocrine glands. They control a lot of bodily functions, everything from hunger to your reproductive system. They also influence your emotions and mood — think about how you feel during PMS! Checking your reproductive hormones will help us understand your fertility in a personalized way.

Why you should get them checked:

Technology has empowered us to take action through apps that can track our sleep cycles, know how many calories we burn each day, remind us to stand up from our desks, and take walks

Now, it’s also possible to chart your fertility over time in order to understand our own personal reproductive potential and obstacles — this is the first step of preventive fertility care and personalized fertility medicine.

While age is really the best indicator of your egg quality and ability to get pregnant naturally, these hormone tests can provide you with a snapshot of the current state of your fertility. Then, if you continue to take these tests over time, you can learn how your fertility is tracking relative to your age. You can also learn if you have any flags for early menopause, a high chance of having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and where you are on the fertility meter — high, medium or low fertility.

How do you get them checked?

The Egg Whisperer Fertility Awareness Panel measures three critical hormones connected to your fertility. Antimüllerian hormone (AMH) is an indicator of how many eggs you may have left. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is produced by your pituitary gland and signals your ovaries to release an egg every month. Estradiol (E2) is another female sex hormone produced in the ovaries that rises around ovulation. Together, these three hormones regulate your menstrual cycle and help your body conceive when you’re ready.

Y” in TUSHY stands for your reproductive genetic profile. These tests are like a crystal ball into your future fertility.

What are your genetics?

The genes we inherit from our parents and pass on to our children determine the majority of our traits, including the color of eyes, the diseases we pass on, and the way our reproductive system behaves.

Why you should you get them checked:

Knowing if you have genetic variants linked to very common fertility conditions like: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Endometriosis, and even Cancers will guide Dr. Aimee. This also includes an extended carrier screening panel which is required to make sure the egg and sperm source don’t share common mutations.

How do you get them checked?

A simple blood test will give Dr. Aimee the information that she needs.

Dr. Aimee can do all of this for you. Life is complex: Getting a fertility screen should be simple