Leah Hechtman

Leah

How did you get into your area of expertise and why do you stay?

I work in reproductive medicine because I find it fascinating, there is always more to learn and it enables me to contribute meaningfully and help others.

 

When I first graduated, I was always told I would work with kids. It never felt like it was exactly right but at 20 years of age, I listened to those around me. As soon as I started practicing and working with kids, I knew I had to start earlier with their initial cells – their building blocks – to truly make a difference, leading to my speciality and focus on fertility. How can I truly help another? Now with kids of my own and having worked in fertility for more than 20 years, I know supporting couples and helping them to create their families is the ultimate gift.

What has been the main focus or outcomes of your research/work over the past year?

I am concluding my PhD which has been focussing on ovarian biomarkers in the PCOS and POI/POF populations, so I am deep into the research in those areas. Additionally, I have been completing my 2nd textbook and have also been researching in areas of the microbiome (specifically reproductive), POI/POF, ovarian and oocyte biology, endometriosis, and miscarriage/implantation errors.

How has your field changed in the past 5 years? What new areas are emerging?

Research in my field has been rapidly evolving. Genomics/nutrigenomics, immunology (specifically reproductive immunology), microbiome/infection/bugs and endocrinological specificities have kept me engaged and on my toes.

What do you predict will happen in the next 5 to 10 years in your particular field?

My hope is that we gain more understanding in what determines and creates ovulation for a woman, what really happens as she approaches menopause – what changes occur to move her into this stage and what interferes with optimal ovarian function and associated hormonal balance.

 

Additionally, I hope we continue to uncover more knowledge into the interplay between the immune and reproductive systems – how they communicate, what drives certain functions and what turns processes on or off.

What is the number one way we, as natural medicine practitioners, can make a difference for our clients?

Authenticity and knowing the limits of your practice.

What’s the questions you get asked the most often in your field, and how do you answer it?

Can you help me and is there hope?

There is always hope – we just have to understand what your body is trying to say and then we can work out the why and what it needs.

Fun Fact for the Readers: Tell us who inspires you / or who your professional idol is and why?

Dr Joseph Pizzorno inspires me daily. I am grateful to call him a friend and have been able to work with him and learn from him for a number of years. His pursuit of truth, of educating others, of promoting knowledge and access to treatment for over five decades is nothing short of incredible. Apart from this he is probably one of the minds I love speaking to most – fast, expansive, and highly knowledgeable!

Leah Hechtman will present at the upcoming Seminar: Menopause Symposium.