Conceiving with Supplements: Interview with FertilAid Formulator, Dr Amos Grunebaum

A Natural Alternative: Conceiving with Fertility Supplements
An Interview with FertilAid Formulator, Amos Grunebaum, MD

As the founder of WebMD’s Fertility Center and BabyMed.com, Dr. Amos Grunebaum is the Internet’s most ‘wired’ fertility doctor. Not surprisingly, my interview with Dr. Grunebaum was accordingly high-tech. Ours was a friendly chat on MSN messenger, a hypertextual whirlwind tour in which Dr. Grunebaum guided me to fertility websites, linked me to the online fertility research, and pointed me to clinical studies supporting his best selling FertilAid supplement formulations.

If you don’t know Dr. Grunebaum, just log onto the Web. Dr Amos (as he has come to be known on the Net) founded the WebMD Fertility Center, leads regular ‘fertility chats’ on various websites, and has his own Internet community where he answers questions and provides online fertility charting tools for trying-to-conceive couples. Off the Net, Dr. Amos has personally delivered more than 3,000 babies, is director of clinical maternal-fetal medicine at the Cornell-Weill Medical College, and is co-author of the popular Dr. Ruth's Pregnancy Guide for Couples with Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

An Internet pioneer, Dr. Amos has helped tens of thousands of couples increase their chances of conceiving with his educational websites and e-communities. Now, as a supplement formulator, Dr. Grunebaum is helping couples conceive once again with his popular FertilAid for Women and Men. Based on clinical research, the FertilAid supplement line blends traditional allopathic medicine with herbal ingredients that have been shown to increase fertility and support reproductive health. According to Dr. Amos, “FertilAid is a natural alternative... intended for couples seeking increased reproductive health and balance [and]… combining a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and key fertility-enhancing herbal components.”

Q: Before we discuss fertility and fertility supplementation, I have to ask, what was it like working with Dr. Ruth on your book, Pregnancy Guide for Couples?

Dr. Amos: Working with Dr. Ruth was a lot of fun. When we first met we found out we had so much in common. As you know, Dr. Ruth is the world authority in sex. And I am an expert in fertility and getting pregnant. Up to that time, or really since, nobody had combined these two, sexuality - or more precisely eros - and getting pregnant, and had written about it. So we were walking on relatively new ground to write our book. It’s a great read and encourages a renewed excitement about sex while couples are trying to conceive or when they area already pregnant. If you’ve been actively TTC for a while, then something as joyful as sex can seem like work. This book attempts to address this issue as well and remind couples to relax and have fun.

Q: What was your original inspiration behind the idea for creating the FertilAid for Women and FertilAid for Men supplements?

Dr. Amos: Trying to get pregnant is not as easy as people think. And preparing to have a healthy baby is often even more difficult. “Just Do It” may be a motto for sneakers - and couples are often told to do the same thing trying to get pregnant. But for many couples who have been postponing pregnancy the “just do it” motto is becoming increasingly difficult. More and more couples are now starting to TTC at age 30, age 35, and even in their 40s. So helping them with herbal-nutritional formulas that combines healthy vitamins and natural herbal ingredients to improve their fertility was an obvious step – along with encouraging other healthy habits as well: Don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, be at your best weight and eat healthy. Of course, a big part of the inspiration comes from the fact that many women do not get the nutrients they need while they are TTC and the Women’s formula includes complete preconception vitamin support with folic acid.

Q: Dr. Grunebaum, you have quite an illustrious and variegated career. As a fertility expert, practicing Ob/Gyn, and founder of Babymed.com and the WebMD fertility center, how did your patients - as well as the members of your online communities - motivate you to create FertilAid?

Dr. Amos: When I first started to work on the Internet about 10 years ago, I already had a long and illustrious career. I thought I knew everything. But the Internet community - and specifically women asking questions about their fertility and pregnancy - has opened my mind tremendously. I have received and answered many, many more questions then I could ever have received just in my practice. In other words, the online community has increased the size of ‘my practice’ exponentially, as well as the breadth of my experience.

Over the years, I have been able to develop many online tools and calendars which now answer most fertility and pregnancy questions. As part of this, my chats and forums are an excellent public space where the trying to conceive community can come together to learn, exchange ideas, look at each other’s charts, and share successes.

Q: In recent years there has been an increased focus on natural alternatives to infertility therapy and in supporting overall reproductive health more generally – from acupuncture to changes in diet and lifestyle. Do you see FertilAid as part of this shift toward holistic alternatives? Or would you consider FertilAid part of a more allopathic tradition?

Dr. Amos: Our environment has changed tremendously over the last decades. You just need to read the ingredients in the food we buy every day. Most include artificial ingredients and additives whose safety has often not been clearly established. Another example is smoking. We have known for some time that smoking is not healthy. But it’s only in the last decade that we are realizing that secondary smoke can harm the fetus and women exposed to secondary smoke can have an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes. More or more we recognize that eating healthy food with no preservatives improves our daily lives. The ingredients in FertilAid are balanced to support and participate in this healthy lifestyle. For one, FertilAid has the optimal balance of vitamins including folic acid. Taking these regularly while trying to conceive will decrease the risk of a miscarriage and fetal malformations. Also, the FertilAid formulas are based on science – a hallmark of allopathic medicine.

Q: How do the FertilAid products affect human fertility? What benefits can couples expect to receive?

Dr. Amos: The FertilAid formulas stem from established scientific literature to help optimize fertility safely and naturally as part of a healthy lifestyle and diet. The formulas combine fertility-enhancing nutrients, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. FertilAid for Women integrates complete preconceptional vitamin and mineral support with herbal ingredients like chasteberry (vitex) and red clover blossom - designed to help restore female hormonal balance, promote regular ovulation, and support overall reproductive wellness. Vitex is a particularly interesting ingredient.

FertilAid for Men is designed to help optimize male reproductive health and increase both sperm count and sperm motility. Here, the formula includes the amino acid l-carnitine and powerful antioxidants. Both have been shown in numerous studies to enhance male fertility. l-carnitine has been demonstrated to support sperm metabolism and key sperm parameters like motility, which is the ability of the sperm to swim efficiently.

Q: Who should be taking FertilAid? Is FertilAid designed specifically for couples with subfertility issues? What about for women using fertility drugs or undergoing IVF treatments?

Dr. Amos: FertilAid can be taken by anyone trying to conceive, anyone interested in improving their fertility while decreasing the risk of miscarriage and fetal malformations. The optimal time to start FertilAid is as soon as you start trying to conceive. If you have specific fertility issues and are taking fertility drugs, you should talk with your doctor first. Doctors often prescribe strong medications which have significant side effects. Many couples, however, want to first see if leading a healthier lifestyle will help their fertility. And those couples may benefit from FertilAid. Ingredients like vitex agnus castus in the Women’s formula have been shown to assist in regulating the monthly cycle and in promoting hormonal balance.

Q: What kind of feedback have you received from your customers or study participants?

Dr. Amos: FertilAid has been on the market for over 2 years now and we have received tremendous feedback from couples who became pregnant after previously trying to get pregnant without help. Some couples have told us they have tried getting pregnant unsuccessfully for over a year, but got pregnant soon after starting FertilAid. I remember one woman who told us she could not get pregnant on fertility drugs, but got pregnant 3 months after starting FertilAid.

Q: The amino acid l-carnitine plays an important role in your FertilAid for Men formula. How does l-carnitine impact or improve specific sperm parameters?

Dr. Amos: Fertile, healthy sperm are defined not just by number (or count), but also by sperm motility, by sperm vitality and speed, and by healthy morphology (sperm shape and size). Sperm motility is determined by the percentage of sperm that are moving and further qualified by the sperm’s capacity to "swim" in a sustained, forward direction. Healthy sperm motility is the critical attribute that allows sperm to propel themselves through the uterus to the fallopian tube, penetrate the surface of the ovum, and fertilize the egg. Again, l-carnitine is an amino acid that is critical to the formation of healthy sperm and male reproductive wellness, and FertilAid for Men contains more l-carnitine than other brands of male fertility supplements. Antioxidants and minerals like zinc also play a role in male fertility and we have attended to these ingredients as well in the FertilAid formula.

Q: What role does the herb chasteberry (or vitex agnust castus) play in regulating reproductive hormonal balance or in promoting regular ovulation?

Dr. Amos: Chasteberry or vitex (vitex agnus-castus) has been shown in many studies to stimulate the hormones involved in ovulation and restore female hormonal balance. The German name for Vitex is "Moenchpfeffer", or "Monk's Pepper", and it has been used for centuries in Europe by women trying to improve their fertility. Only recently have American women discovered its potency. Vitex is useful in normalizing pituitary function and the balance of progesterone and estrogen levels. Vitex is often used as herbal treatment for infertility issues and is especially helpful for women with irregular menstrual cycles or a shortened luteal phase (a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle). The effectiveness of vitex increases over time with continued use, and the full benefits of FertilAid are typically achieved after two to three months.

Q: Can FertilAid benefit women with PCOS, LPD or other fertility issues?

Dr. Amos: PCOS or polycycstic ovarian syndrome is the #1 reason for ovulation problems and a major reason for infertility. As part of a healthy lifestyle, of losing weight if necessary and eating healthy food, the ingredients in FertilAid are designed to improve fertility in those women, too.

Q: What other suggestions do you typically provide to your patients – and to all TTC couples - regarding increasing their odds of conceiving?

Dr. Amos: Eat healthy, be at your optimal weight, take your supplements regularly, and stay away from smoking and alcohol. But more importantly, make love regularly. It’s amazing how many couples don’t make love as often as they should or time making love regularly. Finally, you should make sure you ovulate regularly. Fertility chart and take your basal temperature. If you wish, I invite you to keep a fertility chart at BabyMed.com to find out whether and when you ovulate and if you timed making love correctly.

Q: Where can people go for more information regarding your FertilAid products?

Dr. Amos: We have a great website at www.FertilAid.com which gives you all the information you need.

Q: Thanks Dr. Amos

It’s been my pleasure.

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Comments

I started taking FertilAid and FertileCM for a month now.
My question is can these drugs help somesone with one
fallopian tube to get pregnant?

I have been trying to conceive for the past 7 months and we have not been luck. I been on clomid for about 4 months and I have had no luck. My only big problem is that I do not ovulate. I am wondering will this help me it will get a positive.

Will Fertilaid help me ovulate?

I am a 41 yr old woman, and my husband also had a vasectomy reversal last June. I have 4 previous children, and he has 1. We performed the at home spermcheck fertility test and it was positive. I have started taking Fertilaid for women. Do you have any success stories with someone in my situation? We seem to have several things in our way - the Vas reversal, and the age factor for me. I'd feel much more confident if I knew anyone was once in the same boat as us, and had success. His vasectomy was 18 years old, however, we did have the microsurgery and it seems to have worked, though we don't know about motility.(he won;t get a test performed at a clinic).
Thank you for your time.

pls i will like to know if i can take fertileaid for women,fertile cm and clomid at the same time? the first day of my cycle started today 12/30/2011.

i have used two bottles of fertilaid and i still didn't got my period and i'm not pregnant either. i don't know if this medication really work.

Hi,
so, I just recently ordered fertilaid for my boyfriend and I 3days ago and i'm hoping to be recieving it soon. I wanted to know if I can take the pill after my cycle/whenever or do i have to take it during the beginning, middle, or end of my cycle bc my I just had my cycle on aug.24 ? So I was wondering when I can take it.

can i be taking fertilaid for women,fertile cm and clomid at the same time.

So is this a pill or vitamin i can get? What is fertilaid exactly?

Hi, again my name is Jesseca. I just have a quick question. Hopefully it won't take up too much time. Can I combine FertilAid for women and the Vitex - Chasteberry?
I do greatly appreciate your time and support.
Have a wonderful day!!

Jesseca P

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