BONUS 178: Pituitary Conditions

October 26, 2018

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Allison Rodgers. She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has been practicing medicine since 2004. Dr. Rodgers currently practices at the Fertility Centers of Illinois. Her personal experiences with both secondary infertility and pregnancy loss have given her a unique insight into reproductive medicine in order to help you beat infertility.

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Dr. Rodgers begins by answering six listener questions. The full questions are read on the air, but here are brief summaries:

  • Miriam asks about issues other than implantation that might be impacting her infertility as she approaches her first IVF cycle, as well as what other treatment options might be available for her.
  • Emma has only gotten one mature egg with each IVF cycle she’s done. She asks if she should keep going, try something more radical to squeeze out more eggs, and at what point there is no chance at all with her eggs.
  • Claire has had three miscarriages and wants to move on to IVF. She asks if her AMH level could be artificially low because it was taken immediately after a D&C.
  • Lyndsay wants to know what could explain her high homocysteine levels, what the implications are, and how to combat the high levels.
  • Katie has mild endometriosis and only one tube, and with her IVF cycle, there was only one viable embryo. With no insurance coverage, she asks if it’s unreasonable to try on their own or try an IUI cycle before committing to another costly IVF cycle.
  • Wendy has had three IUIs and would like to do one more before IVF but has no insurance coverage. She asks about the pros and cons of minimal stimulation IVF and who might benefit from this type of cycle.

Dr. Rodgers and Heather continue the episode by discussing how pituitary conditions impact your fertility:

  • Where is the pituitary gland, and what hormones does it regulate?
    • Anterior (front part)
      • Prolactin
      • Growth hormone
      • Adrenocorticotropin
      • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
      • Luteinizing hormone
      • Follicle-stimulating hormone
    • Posterior (back part)
      • Antidiuretic hormone
      • Oxytocin
  • The most frequent type of pituitary disorder is a pituitary tumor, also called pituitary adenomas. How common are they, and are they typically benign?
  • Give us a broad overview of the two types of pituitary gland tumors.
    • Secretory
    • Non-secretory
  • The problems caused by pituitary tumors fall into three general categories. Please tell us about each one and how it impacts fertility in women and men.
    • Hypersecretion (Acromegaly, Cushing’s disease and prolactinomas)
    • Hyposecretion (hypopituitarism and panhypopituitarism)
    • Tumor mass effects
  • What are other pituitary gland diseases, and how do they impact fertility in women and men?
    • Tumors in the pituitary region other than pituitary adenomas (craniopharingiomas, cysts, and meningiomas)
    • Non-tumoral pituitary diseases
      • Empty sella syndrome
      • Sarcoidosis, histiocytosis and hemochromatosis
    • Infections or autoimmune conditions
  • What are the signs and symptoms of a pituitary condition?
  • How are the different types of pituitary conditions diagnosed?
  • How are the different types of pituitary conditions treated?
  • What fertility treatments are typically recommended for people with pituitary conditions? Should they always address their pituitary condition prior to starting treatment?
  • Is there any new research surrounding pituitary conditions and fertility?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?
  • What words of hope would you offer to someone who’s been diagnosed with a pituitary condition?

Have a question you want Dr. Rodgers to answer next time she’s on? Click here.

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