We interviewed Dr. Gina Oller, an embryologist and psychologist who is an expert in fertility and reproduction to find out about her work and why she recommends the use of haramaki to her patients in embryo transfer processes.
Shall we start with a short presentation? To find out who you are and how you became an Embryologist and Psychologist specializing in fertility and reproduction.
I was born in Barcelona in a family in which all the members are doctors. I, on the other hand, trained in Molecular Biology. The truth is that I thought I was going to be a geneticist, but I did training in an assisted reproduction laboratory and I fell in love with fertility. That is why I trained as an embryologist and, for years, I have been accompanying women and couples in their reproductive processes, promoting everything that can naturally help them. That is also why I studied a second career, psychology, specializing in couples, sexology and emotions.
I currently visit Barcelona and online.
There is a great boom in fertility clinics. Lots of publicity = big business? What is the current panorama in our country of assisted reproduction?
It's not that it's a big business because they advertise a lot, it's a big business because there are more and more fertility problems. In our country two circumstances coincide, on the one hand, the legislation on assisted reproduction laws allows many foreigners to come here to carry out their assisted reproduction processes. This means that we have many clinics and very good ones.
On the other hand, as far as the Spanish population is concerned, the main problem is that we wait a long time to be mothers. We are from the countries of the European Union that take the longest and have the fewest children. This affects both female and male fertility. Let's not think this is just female, it's even 50-50.
Likewise, the fertility or subfertility problems that have always existed in the human population can now mostly be answered thanks to advances in this field.
What are the big myths about infertility, both male and female?
There are many! I name you a few. The great myth is that fertility problems are only female, not at all, they are female and male or even mixed, of the two members of the couple. Another great myth is to relate male virility to fertility, nothing to do...
Another is to think that we have time, 40 is not the new 30 in terms of fertility and clinics help a lot, but we should not think that if we go for treatment, we will surely get pregnant.
The last myth that I would like to comment on is thinking that if we go for treatment, we can no longer do anything and everything is in the hands of the clinic. Not at all. We can do many things to improve our fertility , as well as our emotional state, and prepare for the stage we are about to go through.
What profile of person or couple requests your help?
It is very diverse. From women who want to improve their menstrual cycles or hormonal health due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, endometriosis, to men who want to improve their sperm quality.
Above all, I assist couples who are seeking a natural pregnancy and want to boost their fertility, resolve doubts, understand the cycle, take tests... But also couples who are preparing for or undergoing assisted reproduction processes.
Another group are women who undertake a single-parent project and prepare for treatment. This group is becoming more common every day.
Can reproduction and fertility be facilitated naturally?
Of course! In addition to understanding the steps and moments, which empowers decisions and brings calm, a lot can be done for our state of fertility in general. Let's say it's like training for pregnancy or IVF. Each person and each couple will need a different preparation that must be studied, but Of course we can boost our fertility, whether or not we go for treatment.
How does our current lifestyle affect us? Latest studies or discoveries?
Unfortunately, it affects much more than we might think, and more studies on lifestyle, environmental pollutants, and fertility will be coming out in the coming years.
I no longer go into the usual toxic issues such as tobacco, alcohol, sedentary habits, etc. which are very well known. The latest discoveries about lifestyle are mainly directed at endocrine disruptors, environmental pollutants that act like false hormones. Another great line is the whole world of the microbiota and its relationship with health, with reproduction and with a healthy implantation and pregnancy. The results that are being found are very interesting.
Contraceptives, pros and cons. Opinion on the new male contraceptive?
Contraceptives, yes of course! And there is also a wide range to choose from. The important thing is to know both fertility and contraceptives. I always say it; we are the first generation that knows more about contraception than about fertility, and this had not happened in all human history. His thing is that when we seek pregnancy, we have as many tools as when we want a contraceptive.
The male contraceptive… oh! It has been talked about for decades, but since it seems that it may have some adverse effects, it has not yet been launched on the market. As if women had no side effects! What happens is that in biomedicine some effects on the body are accepted if they are less than a cause or consequence and, therefore, they have to continue studying.
Anyway, more and more men want to be able to master contraception and become actively involved in birth control beyond the condom and this is essential.
What is the role of body heat in conception.
More than a specific body temperature, what is important is the general and individual well-being of each woman. If the lower back and abdominal area are not at a comfortable temperature, it is much more likely that we will take uncomfortable positions, that we will contract the area more and that we will notice more menstrual pain, versus cycles in which this sensitive area of the body is cared for and in the optimal temperature, which is subjective in each woman.
To enhance fertility, of course, an important point is the overall well-being and health of our gynecological area.
What can haramaki contribute in the process of seeking pregnancy.
Haramaki is special and can be used at any time in the cycle. In painful rules, he is undoubtedly a powerful ally. Regarding assisted reproduction, we We recommend it especially in embryo transfers , for two main reasons. The first reason is the one we mentioned about Keep the area in optimal conditions, temperature and well-being. But, on the other hand, the haramaki has a fundamental role and it is the connection, the feeling of being linked to your womb, to that embryo that has been transferred. We will not know until after a few days if it has been positive or not, but feeling that touch, connection and care is certainly emotionally beneficial in those long days.
Finally, tell us about your personal experience with haramaki.
I loved the haramaki! It wraps loosely and takes care of me. Apart from using it in the cold months, when I have working days at the computer I also wear it to be aware of my body. In fact, in my online visits to patients, it is usual for me to wear it!
Besides, Happy Belly's haramakis have beautiful colors and they are amazing to the touch.