Downtown Spokane: 508 W. 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Spokane, WA 99204

To schedule an appointment, call us at (509)-462-7070 or click here.

To schedule an appointment, call us or click here.

An estimated one in every eight American couples struggles to conceive. If you are one of these couples, you know that it can be an emotional and sometimes isolated journey. At Center for Reproductive Health, we encourage patients to find people (friends, family, other couples, counselors) to talk to and share their feelings with. Our team wants to help you start the conversation about infertility with your selected community. We’ve seen celebrities and bloggers speak out their TTC struggles, but there is still a stigma surrounding the topic of infertility, making it difficult to have a productive, two-way conversation.

Ideally, you will feel loved and supported before, during and after any conversation about struggling with infertility. Unfortunately, many people – even your closest friends and family – may not know what to say or may worry about saying the wrong thing. We want to encourage you to keep the conversation going. So much positive growth can come from sharing your story! We’re sharing some known strategies to start the conversation about infertility on your terms:

Respect your boundaries. Have an idea of what you’re willing to share and what will remain between you and your partner. You may feel comfortable expressing your worries and thoughts, but not as willing to reveal the results of your partner’s semen analysis. Agree on what to keep close and when to reach out.

Educate those who may not know what fertility treatment entails. Your friend’s lack of knowledge is not intended to come across as disinterest or insensitivity. Be patient and willing to teach the people that walk alongside you in this journey. We often find that the more people learn about infertility and fertility treatments, the more open the conversation can become.

Know your audience. Different people in your community are likely to respond with different levels of comfort and support. You can tailor your approach and the amount of detail you share with each person.

Ask for support. Your community may not know how to help you. They love you and it can be difficult for them to see you suffering. You may need to teach them how to deal with the emotional side of fertility treatment. Explain that you’re going through a lot and need someone to listen and help you process. A counselor with experience with fertility issues can be an additional, invaluable resource. Dr. Robins, Center for Reproductive Health’s Medical Director, can refer you to someone in the Inland Northwest.

None of the above strategies are easy to implement, but they are important steps toward conquering the anxieties that can come along with talking about infertility. Many of our Center for Reproductive Health patients and partners have said that the willingness to talk provides the freedom and strength to thrive throughout fertility treatment.

If you’re looking for an appointment or consultation to address your fertility concerns, callCenter for Reproductive Health in Spokane, Washington. Dr. Robins also sees new patients in Missoula, Montana and Richland, Washington on a regular basis.

The team at Center for Reproductive Health is excited to announce that Dr. Edwin Robins is now seeing new patients in the Tri-Cities! Men and women from around the country have started their families at Center for Reproductive Health in Spokane, but we understand that traveling for an appointment can be difficult. We are partnering with local physicians in Richland, Washington to bring the fertility experts to you.

The next date available for Richland appointments is September 10, 2018. That day, Dr. Robins will be seeing new patients inside the Columbia Shores OBGYN building: 138 Keene Rd, Richland, WA 99352

New patient consultations are free of charge. To schedule an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.

Edwin Robins, MD is Center for Reproductive Health’s Medical Director and a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist. He has helped thousands of Inland Northwest families find their path to parenthood over the past 20 years. Prior to moving to Spokane, Dr. Robins was an Associate Director at the Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Science of St. Barnabas.

Dr. Robins served as head of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at the National Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Robins received his M.D. degree and completed his residency at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. He did a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and Federal Fellowship Program, where he later started the assisted reproductive technology program.

The author of numerous research papers, Dr. Robins also served as assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Robins is committed to treating every patient with dignity and respect and takes time to understand each case of infertility, ensuring you get the most appropriate and effective approach to your care.

You can learn more about new patient consultations and other appointments offered outside of Spokane by calling (509) 462-7070. We look forward to seeing you!

Depending on a couple’s response to traditional fertility treatments and other health factors, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) may be the best option for a successful pregnancy. IVF treatments are highly technological and complex. Each person’s experience and treatment will vary, but there are some common things for all couples to consider before starting IVF treatment.

The Center for Reproductive Health team provides couples with several strategies that help couples prepare for IVF treatment:

Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health has helped thousands of Inland Northwest families conceive through fertility treatments like IVF. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Robins and his team of experts are prepared to help you find your path to parenthood.

To make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.

Undergoing an infertility journey can take a toll on you physically and emotionally.

In times of stress, it can be easy to forget about your mental health, but paying attention to your emotional well-being is crucial to helping you thrive throughout fertility treatment. Many aspects of infertility are outside of your control and the doctor’s control. This can lead to self-blame, feelings of ineffectiveness, and comparing yourself to everybody else. Negative thinking can lead to more stress and magnify unfavorable circumstances.

Anxiety is another common mental health issue experienced by those facing fertility challenges. Center for Reproductive Health patients have shared their anxieties about whether or not treatment will work, a lot of worry after procedures, and endless thoughts about being pregnant while waiting for the next appointment or pregnancy test.

The team at Center for Reproductive Health suggests three things people can do to improve their mental well-being during times of stress.

1. Communicate with your partner

Stress and anxiety can create distance between you and your partner. By sharing the emotional burden and setting time aside to reflect and talk together, you can close that gap. It is important to accept that both males and females are emotionally affected by infertility, so both partners need to share, support and listen to each other.

2. Practice mindfulness techniques

With all the complex thoughts racing through your mind, daily mindfulness activities can help keep you in the present moment, even if you only do it for 5 minutes a day. Many Center for Reproductive Health patients have said that yoga and meditation have helped them manage stress during fertility treatment. There are several smartphone apps, such as headspace, available to download that include guided mediation.

3. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help at any stage of your journey

Mental health professionals provide many patients with support, tools and strategies to help them cope with stress and anxiety related to fertility treatment. Whether you’ve just had an initial consultation or recently completed a procedure, there’s no shame in seeking professional help. Center for Reproductive Health can refer you to local mental health counselors with experience helping people going through fertility treatment.

Center for Reproductive Health offers personalized fertility treatments and support for couples and individuals. Founded in 1998, Center for Reproductive Health has helped more than 4,000 Inland Northwest families conceive babies and has grown to be Spokane’s largest reproductive health clinic. To learn more or to make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.

The team at Center for Reproductive Health answers your frequently asked questions about Intrauterine insemination (IUI).

What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an infertility treatment in which sperm are placed into your uterine cavity through a catheter. IUI is a type of artificial insemination in which sperm are injected directly into your uterine cavity near the time you ovulate. Your doctor may recommend IUI to treat many causes of infertility, especially when there is a problem with the sperm such as low sperm count or low motility. IUI bypasses the cervix, so it is a useful treatment if there is an incompatibility between sperm and the cervical mucus. This procedure can be performed with either your partners sperm or with sperm from a donor.

How is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) performed?

The insemination takes a few minutes. The Endocrinologist will insert a small catheter through your cervix into your uterine cavity, and inject the sperm through the catheter into your uterus. You most likely will not feel discomfort during the procedure.

How can IUI help to improve my chances for pregnancy?

The sperm are placed very close to the site of fertilization. IUI also improves delivery of the sperm to the egg, especially when the sperm count is low or the sperm do not move well.

I heard that we may need to go through this procedure more than once. Is that true?

If you do not become pregnant, you may have to repeat the procedure during your next cycle. Further evaluation may be needed if you do not become pregnant. At Center for Reproductive Health, each patient has an individualized treatment plan to help achieve a healthy pregnancy. You will be provided with reliable information and support to make the best decision for your family.

How soon will we know if this treatment was successful?

You will most likely know in about 2 weeks – if you become pregnant, you may miss your next period. A blood test will confirm whether or not you are pregnant.

IUI is one of the many treatments offered to Center for Reproductive Health patients. You can make an appointment with Dr. Robins at Center for Reproductive Health by calling (509) 462-7070. Free nurse consultations are also available for new patients.

Still left with questions? Our Patient Liaisons are experts in the leading fertility treatments. You can submit questions to them online, here: https://fertilitydoctor.net/contact-us/.

Dr. Robins at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health (CRH) has been helping Inland Northwest families grow for over 20 years. With the most advanced technology and distinguished medical experts, the CRH team works tirelessly to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy quickly and safely. Before and during fertility treatment, there are steps you, the patient, can take to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Keep Your Eye On The Scale

There is a strong correlation between a woman’s BMI (body mass index) and her fertility potential. For a woman’s reproductive system to function properly, she has to have a healthy amount of fat. Women who are underweight often lack the fat needed for reproduction, causing their bodies to ovulate infrequently or not at all. Even the smallest weight gain can help restart the reproductive system. Being overweight can make conception challenging, as well. Overweight women can experience insulin resistance, which may cause the ovaries to produce an excess amount of hormones and stop releasing eggs. And don’t forget about your partner! Overweight men have shown to have abnormal semen, which may attribute to low sperm count and motility.

Skip Happy Hour

Studies have shown that consuming 4-5 alcoholic drinks per week can decrease fertility. Women who consume 10 alcoholic drinks per week show an even greater decrease in their chances of conceiving. Since there is no confirmed data of a safe threshold for consumption, Dr. Robins typically recommends limiting or refraining from alcohol when trying to conceive and during pregnancy.

Put Out That Cigarette

Smoking presents serious risks to your overall health. However, you may not realize the impact smoking has on your fertility. Studies have shown that women who smoke have a 54 percent chance of taking a year or longer to conceive, compared with non-smokers. The delay in conception is directly impacted with the quantity of cigarettes smoked. The more cigarettes smoked, the more estrogen-reducing chemicals enter the body. Male smokers often have lower sperm counts. The good news is that the damage from smoking is somewhat reversible. Sperm regenerates about every 74 days, and may be better quality after quitting.

Identify Your Stress-Busters

Trying to conceive can be stressful, even before treatment. Once you begin fertility treatment, it’s important to manage your stress and anxiety appropriately Some patients have reported that participating in support groups, getting massages or journaling to be helpful. We suggest scheduling time for stress-busting activities, just like your treatment appointments. Your health should be a top priority during treatment.

What will you do to improve your fertility? Even modest lifestyle adjustments can make a big difference in improving your fertility and help you get pregnant faster. You can make an appointment at Center for Reproductive Health today by calling (509) 462-7070.

Related Posts: 6 Signs You Should See a Fertility SpecialistWhy Am I Not Getting Pregnant?

An estimated 1 in every 8 couples struggle to conceive. While infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after having regular, unprotected intercourse for 1 year, it is considered “normal” for an average fertile couple under 35 years of age to try for 1 year before conception occurs. But for those individuals who are older than 35, that time frame for conception becomes smaller. If you have not conceived during this time frame, you may be asking, “Why?” Our fertility experts at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health explain six reasons why you might not be getting pregnant.

1. Maternal Age

Age is one of the initial indicators used to assess a woman’s fertility health. From ages 30 to 35, there is a gradual decline in a woman’s ability to become pregnant; after age 40, there is a sharp decline in conception. Women are less likely to ovulate regularly as they age, which could be a reason for a decline in one’s fertility. Women also produce fewer healthy eggs as they age, creating resistance to fertilization and lower pregnancy rates.

2. Excess Body Weight

While not every woman who is overweight will struggle to conceive, there are many that do struggle. Weight can be concerning for women when it contributes to reproductive health concerns, such as irregular menstrual cycles and ovulatory dysfunction. Excess weight can cause an increase in insulin levels, which may lead to the ovaries producing male hormones and limited egg release.

3. Not Enough Body Weight

While being overweight has implications on fertility, an appropriate amount of fat is necessary for a healthy reproductive system. The appropriate amount may vary based on the person. Too little body fat can cause absence of periods and ovulation, making conception very difficult.

4. Smoking Habit

Smoking can have negative effects on your reproductive health. Compared to non-smokers, smokers commonly experience a higher chance that conception will take 1 year or longer. Smoking can also reduce the levels of estrogen in the body.

5. Existing Medical Conditions

Nearly one-third of all infertility diagnoses in women are related to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, commonly referred to as PCOS. PCOS is the most common ovulatory disorder in women of reproductive age and is caused by hormonal imbalances that hinder ovulation. Endometriosis is also a common cause of infertility, in which tissue lining the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. These conditions can often go undiagnosed, as many people don’t have noticeable symptoms.

6. Your Partner

While infertility is generally perceived as a female issue, the reality is 40 percent of infertility is connected to male reproductive health issues. Erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory issues, spinal cord injuries, tumors, and undescended testes are all fairly common culprits of male infertility. Because basic testing for these problems is relatively simple and inexpensive, a semen analysis is performed as part of every couple’s routine testing at Center for Reproductive Health.

Month after month of negative pregnancy tests can be disappointing and frustrating for men and women alike. If this list didn’t provide you with any clear indications of potential fertility concerns, please note that these six reasons are not the only possibilities. Even after testing, some couples find that their infertility is ‘unexplained.’ This can be a baffling or discouraging diagnosis when there is not a real “reason” for the infertility. Individualized tests, analysis and consultations with Dr. Robins will help determine your best way forward.

If you have been trying to conceive and are not getting pregnant, it might be time to see a fertility specialist at Center for Reproductive Health. When it comes to fertility, time is of the essence. Advanced technologies and treatments are available to help you find your path to parenthood.

If you would like to learn more, please call (509) 462-7070 to schedule an appointment.

End-of-the-year Holidays can be daunting, even in the best of circumstances. For those trying to conceive, holidays often add additional emotional stress to an already complicated situation. By planning in advance and acknowledging that holidays may be uncomfortable or emotional, you can better prepare yourself and improve your chances of thriving through the celebrations.

Our friends at  Resolve have provided helpful tips for thriving this holiday season:

While Visiting Family and Friends

DO: Plan to spend time with couples or friends who don’t have children if family festivities are too much to bear this year. Consider arriving just in time for the holiday dinner, rather than the night before if you find it painful to be around your young nieces, nephews and cousins.

DON’T: Rely completely on family traditions to fulfill your present needs.

Celebrating the Season

DO: Spend time doing things you like best. Prepare a spectacular meal, take long walks, go horse-back riding or jogging, or curl up by a fire with a good novel. Plan a special trip just for you and your partner: a ski weekend, or a few nights at a cozy country inn.

DON’T: Pretend that there’s nothing wrong and carry on with “business as usual.”

When Sharing Your Feelings

DO: Decide in advance how you will handle difficult and insensitive questions. You may even want to rehearse your answers. You may decide to be upfront with friends and relatives as to why you can’t join certain celebrations and traditions which are just too painful right now. Express your appreciation to friends and relatives who have given you their love and support.

DON’T: Be caught off guard by unexpected or embarrassing questions about your plans for having a family. Plan your responses, but don’t feel that you have to disclose all the details of your situation either!

Finding your holiday “Cheer”

DO: Remember to capture the “spirit” in each holiday. Participate in activities that bring meaning to you at this time. Consider volunteering at a local charitable organization. Cheering up others has a rejuvenating effect.

DON’T: Close yourself off to positive feelings and new experiences. You may find that you have a special ability to make others feel good, even if you’re not feeling upbeat yourself.

In the Quieter Moments

DO: Set aside time to share your feelings with your partner. Allow yourself to feel sad, discouraged or frustrated. Trying to conceive is a complicated and emotional process, and you are entitled to those feelings. Talk with each other about your feelings. Your partner may be able to help you through the rough times. Give yourself, and each other, frequent pats on the back for making it through the holiday events.

DON’T: Get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and forget about each other. You need each other’s comfort more than ever.

When you’re struggling to conceive and surrounded by family, the holidays can be overwhelming. Your gratitude and holiday cheer might look or feel different this year, but know that you are not alone and the Center for Reproductive Health is fighting beside you every step of the way.

Center for Reproductive Health offers personalized fertility treatments and support for couples and individuals. Founded in 1998, Center for Reproductive Health has helped more than 4,000 Inland Northwest families conceive babies and has grown to be Spokane’s largest reproductive health clinic. To learn more or to make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.

Thinking about your future family? These 6 Signs may indicate it’s time to see a fertility specialist.

    1. You have a history of inconsistent periods. Irregular periods typically mean irregular ovulation or no ovulation, making conception an uphill battle. If you have tried consistently for six months to a year with no luck – and you have a history of irregular periods – it’s worth getting an appointment with a fertility specialist in case PCOS, endometriosis or other issues are interfering with your fertility. No matter your age, if ovulation is random or never occurring, seeking the help of a specialist can help get everything back on track. Medications such as Clomid and treatment options such as Intrauterine Insemination can induce ovulation and help couples conceive faster.
 
    1. You are 35 years or older. Before age 30, allow yourself one year of trying to conceive before you begin looking at your fertility options. From age 30 to 35, wait at least 6 months, but don’t wait much longer than that. Age is a major factor when it comes to conceiving naturally – no matter how healthy you are. Most women reach their fertility peak in their 20’s. Fertility declines slightly in their 30’s and by age 35 to 40, there is a steep drop off. If you are having trouble getting pregnant despite already having a child or children without the assistance of fertility treatment or medication, you may have secondary infertility.
 
    1. You have battled with PCOSPolycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is another leading cause of infertility. It affects many women and often presents with few or no symptoms. However, PCOS often involves insulin-resistance and/or hormone imbalance – both of which can lead to infertility.
 
    1. You’ve had more than two miscarriages. It’s true that miscarriages are common. They happen in about 10-25 percent of all recognized pregnancies, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and that doesn’t count all the fertilized eggs that are miscarried before a woman ever tests positive for pregnancy. If you have two or more, a fertility specialist will likely conduct a few extra tests to rule out potential infertility issues that may be causing the miscarriages.
 
    1. A sperm workup came up “abnormal.” If your partner a had a routine sperm workup and it came back abnormal, a fertility specialist can determine exactly what is going on and the best course of action. Dr. Edwin Robins at Center for Reproductive Health has worked with thousands of Inland Northwest families to determine the severity of infertility and offer simple to advanced solutions to help you conceive.
 
  1. Your partner is over the age of 40. Age impacts how well men produce sperm with healthy morphology, motility and a high sperm count. Nearly 40 percent of infertility cases are due to male factors. If your partner is older than 40 years, and you haven’t gotten pregnant, have his semen analyzed to rule out any issues.

If any of these signs sound familiar, it is time to consider the next step and see a fertility specialist. New patient consultations are available for free at Spokane’s Center for Reproductive Health. At this one-on-one appointment, you can share your specific experience and get expert, individualized advice on the best ways to continue walking forward.

To schedule a new patient consultation or to ask questions, call (509) 462-7070.

Among women of reproductive age, more than 40 percent are insufficient in vitamin D. Recent research claims that Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to infertility. According to the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, women with sufficient vitamin D intake are more likely to become pregnant and/or produce high quality embryos if undergoing in vitro fertilization.

This is not a big surprise to us here at Center for Reproductive Health, as we tell many of our patients to make sure they are getting sufficient vitamin D and many other nutrients. We obtain vitamin D when we consume milk products or fortified orange juice, but even daily consumption does not add up to much. The best sources of vitamin D are the sun, beef liver and wild-caught salmon. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have access to these nutritious foods, but typically need additional vitamin D to make up for the cloudy winter months.

Whether you’re in the midst of IVF treatment or trying to conceive, you should consider taking a supplement. You can get your vitamin D levels tested and then Dr. Robins or your primary care provider can suggest a regimen for you. Take action soon – Vitamin D is slow to be absorbed and sometimes it can take 6-12 months to normalize levels.

Men are at risk as well. Semen analyses in men with low vitamin D have shown lower motility (movement) of sperm. This can lead to struggling to conceive without assistance. In men with low vitamin D and normal semen analyses, pregnancy rates are lower than in men with normal vitamin D levels.

Ultimately, our goal is to help you get pregnant and have a healthy baby. While vitamin D is clearly important, you don’t want to lose sense of the big picture. Be aware of what you eat and how you live, so you can be as healthy as possible, not just for your baby, but for yourself and your growing future family. Center for Reproductive Health in Spokane, Washington has helped thousands of local families reach their goals of building a family. Free consultations are available for new patients. To make an appointment, call (509) 462-7070.