Carlos R

When unanticipated business growth happens, how do you handle it?

Growing a business can be one of your biggest challenges, but what happens when you are faced with the unique situation of having your business grow at a faster rate than you initially anticipated? I recently had to answer this question when my company quickly outgrew the flagship location I purchased in 2010 when our focus shifted from being predominately retail and local pharmacy services to a specialty pharmacy company mailing medications to patients across the state of Florida. The needs of the two business models are quite different, which led me to purchase a second location in 2015 that now houses two of our four specialty pharmacy areas.


Both my team and I had to go through a major shift as we changed our business model from growing via brick-and-mortar locations to becoming the top mail-order  specialty pharmacy in the state. We have had to be flexible, ensure that the right resources are in place to continue to be the best in our business, and have the right people in place to help move us towards this new vision.

It is easy to anticipate growth, but the speed and volume of this growth is only determined once you have been in business for some time.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if your company grows in a way that you did not originally anticipate:

Click HERE to read tips from Armando.

Carlos RAmazing Article by SMP President in the Miami Herald
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Specialty Pharmacy in Miami, FL

Carlos RSMP is a Specialty Pharmacy. Helping to Keep Patients Healthy, One Prescription at a Time.
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pcab_accredited_logoPharmacy becomes PCAB Accredited for its compounding services

Miami, Fla. – June 2, 2016 – SMP Pharmacy Solutions proudly announces its achievement of PCAB accreditation, a service of Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), for the services of patient-specific prescriptions of sterile and non-sterile compounds.SMP, a leading national specialty pharmacy, is recognized for its commitment to meeting and/or exceeding national quality standards.


Achieving accreditation is a process where healthcare organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. PCAB accreditation reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care.

“Everyone at SMP has worked hard to de
liver the highest quality compounded medications to the South Florida community, and we are honored to have that recognized by ACHC,” said Armando Bardisa, President & Founder of SMP Pharmacy Solutions. “By achieving PCAB Accreditation, our customers can be assured that we are offer the best in personalized patient care staying true to the industry’s best practices and standards.”

Compounding medications are an integral part of the practice of pharmacy and the demand for these customized medications increases every year. SMP’s Compounding Department was created in 2007 in an effort to offer patients a larger variety of specialty services.

Click HERE to read the full press release.

Carlos RSMP Pharmacy Solutions Achieves ACHC Accreditation Pharmacy becomes PCAB Accredited for its compounding services
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Hormones are chemicals that are created by your glands and regulate most of the functions of your body, from your emotional state to your reproductive cycle, to regulating your metabolism.

There are over 50 hormones that circulate through your body, acting as chemical messengers, and they are essential for optimal health. However, when they are not in balance, hormones can wreak havoc.

Read on to learn more about your hormones, how hormone imbalances can negatively impact your health and what steps to take if you suspect you are suffering from a hormone imbalance.

What do hormones do?

Hormones are produced by your endocrine glands, which are located throughout your body. The major endocrine glands include: pituitary gland, thyroid, thymus, adrenal glands and the pancreas. They secrete hormones directly into your blood. Hormones play a vital role in the body and understanding the key hormones and how they effect your health is essential to living a long and healthy life.

Hormones play a vital role in the body and understanding the key hormones and how they effect your health is essential to living a long and healthy life.



Estrogen is the main sex hormone that regulates women’s reproductive cycles. Estrogen is responsible for puberty, preparing the body for pregnancy and regulates menstruation. It plays a role in the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as breast development and the growth of pubic and armpit hair; it controls lactation during pregnancy and puberty.Estrogen is also crucial for bone formation. During menopause estrogen levels dip dramatically often causing a slew of unpleasant side effects. Men also produce estrogen but a much lower levels than women. Secreted by the testes it helps with sperm maturation and effects the sex drive.

Estrogen is also crucial for bone formation. During menopause estrogen levels dip dramatically often causing a slew of unpleasant side effects. Men also produce estrogen but a much lower levels than women. Secreted by the testes it helps with sperm maturation and effects the sex drive.

Estrogen is also crucial for bone formation. During menopause estrogen levels dip dramatically often causing a slew of unpleasant side effects. Men also produce estrogen but a much lower levels than women. Secreted by the testes it helps with sperm maturation and effects the sex drive.


Progesterone, estrogen’s little sister, is also a female sex hormone that impacts the menstrual cycle and plays a role in pregnancy. It helps prepare the uterus to receive and nourish a fertilized egg and to sustain a pregnancy. It also prevents ovulation from occuring during pregnancy. Progesterone is to blame for many PMS symptoms, including breast tenderness, bloating and mood swings. If levels of progesterone are low women may skip their period and fail to ovulate. It also impacts sexual desire.


The main sex hormone for men it causes puberty and many of the secondary sexual characteristics in men, including hair growth, muscle strength and growth, and bone density. Although both men and women produce testosterone, it exists at much greater levels in men. It’s vital for sperm production, effects fat storage, aids in red blood cell production and it helps to govern the libido.


DHEA is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland and in the brain. DHEA helps to make the other sex hormones, the androgens (the male hormones) and the estrogens (the female hormones). DHEA is a critical hormone for both men and women. Levels tend to decrease after age 30 and drop more rapidly in women. Low DHEA levels have been found in people with HIV/AIDS, immune disorders, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, osteoporosis.


Also know as the stress hormone, it aids your body during times of stress by controlling many of the centers involved with your body’s reaction in times of stress. It helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, your immune system, anti-inflammatory actions within your body, your blood pressure, heart and blood vessel contractions and the activation of your central nervous system.

Cortisol is very important because it helps to keep us safe. Generally our levels of cortisol peek around 8 am and are lowest around 4 am. However, due to the frenetic pace and often stressful nature of modern life, many of us suffer from too much cortisol. This can cause feelings of anxiety and interfere with our sleep, etc. When the adrenal glands are constantly having to pump out cortisol they eventually start to wear out, leading to a condition called “adrenal fatigue” and too little cortisol in our bodies.


Produced by the pineal gland melatonin is commonly known as the sleep hormone. It is not necessary for us to sleep but it seems to impact our circadian rhythms. Levels of this hormone increase as it get darks, and we sleep best when levels are at their highest. When in balance your hormones help you thrive, however, when your hormones are out of balance you may suffer from a variety of symptoms and ailments. Keep reading to find out some of the most common causes of hormone imbalance.

What causes hormone imbalance?

There are a variety factors that can cause hormone imbalance, some of which you can control and others that are unavoidable. Some people are genetically predisposed to having a hormone imbalance and the correct balance of hormones differs for every individual. Understanding the symptoms of hormone imbalance and your hormone restoration options is imperative to living a long healthy life.

Understanding the symptoms of hormone imbalance and your hormone restoration options is imperative to living a long healthy life.

what causes hormone imbalance


As we age, our parts age, including our brains and the glands that produce and regulate our hormones. This is natural, but not necessarily beneficial to our overall health.


Menopause is a natural occurrence in women as they age. As they cross the threshold from menstruating, to egg production ceasing, a variety of physical changes occur. Levels of estrogen production rapidly decrease during menopause.

This sharp decrease can result in a variety of undesirable effects including senility, osteoporosis, less muscle mass, heart disease and even


Most of us have heard of menopause, but did you know men also go through a similar stage as they age? Andropause, or male menopause, affects men as they age and cause their testosterone levels to drop. It tends to have a much more gradual and later onset than menopause.

About 30% of men over 50 suffer from andropause. After a man reaches 30, testosterone levels drop about 10% every decade. Low testosterone levels in men can lead to a variety of issues including excess abdominal fat, depression, anxiety, cardiac issues, fatigue, low libido, etc.


One of the most common causes of hormonal imbalance is stress. Stress comes in many forms, including physical and mental or emotional stress. You may feel emotional stress due to a conflict in a personal relationship or from pressure at work.

Physical stress occurs when your body is hurt or injured in some way. Coping with physical pain causes stress. Your body can also suffer from stress due to your diet. Ingesting processed foods or foods that cause inflammation puts stress on your body.

When we are stressed our bodies produce more cortisol and too much cortisol is a ticking time bomb for your health. Cortisol impacts how messages from your hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are transmitted, two areas that play a main role in controlling hormone levels. It can cause hormone fluctuations that and leave us more susceptible to illness and digestive issues.

Too much cortisol also leads to muscle loss and excess fat storage, especially around the middle. Keeping stress in check is vital to keeping your hormones in balance.

Lifestyle issues:

Unhealthy diet

A poor diet can trigger a hormonal imbalance and digestive issues are often a symptom of an unhealthy diet.

Bloating, gas, diarrhea and reflux may indicate an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut which can cause inflammation. Inflammation in the gut can suppress the pituitary gland and hypothalamus and reduce production of your sex hormones, leading to a host of issues.

Also, drinking too much alcohol or eating too many processed foods can overwork the liver which is responsible for cleaning the impurities from your body and helps regulate the sex hormones.

unhealthy diets and hormones

Lack of sleep or inconsistent sleep patterns

Sleep is very important to your health as it provides time for your body to rebuild and replenish itself. Certain hormones are produced in greater quantities while you sleep, like leptin, for instance, which suppresses your appetite.

When you don’t get enough sleep, less leptin is produced and more of the hormone ghrelin is produced, which increases your appetite. That’s why the less you sleep the hungrier you feel all day. Chronic sleep issues can also mess up your production of cortisol. People who sleep less than four hours a night see their cortisol levels going up at night. Although it’s a necessary hormone that helps keeps us safe, you don’t.

People who sleep less than four hours a night see their cortisol levels going up at night. Although it’s a necessary hormone that helps keeps us safe, you don’t want increased cortisol at night as it will affect the quality of your shut-eye.

Lack of sleeps and hormones

Exercise, too much or too little

Frequent high intensity and long workouts put our bodies under stress. Your body doesn’t know the difference between good and bad stress and therefore produces more cortisol in reaction to stress. Also, excessive exercise can affect the glands that secrete the hormones which control egg production, and even shut down egg production altogether.

This is known as amenorrhea, (or lack of a period), and is experienced by up to 44% of women who exercise. Studies have shown that long-term over-exercising or training can lead to reduced testosterone levels in men and lower estrogen and progesterone levels in women. The reduced levels of these hormones can lead to bone density issues down the road.Too little exercise can also have a negative impact on your hormones. Fat cells make estrogen,so the more fat in the body, the more estrogen. Too much estrogen is not a good thing. It results in a host of problems and leads to a greater risk of developing certain cancers. Fat has an inverse relationship with testosterone. The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.


The reduced levels of these hormones can lead to bone density issues down the road.Too little exercise can also have a negative impact on your hormones. Fat cells make estrogen,so the more fat in the body, the more estrogen. Too much estrogen is not a good thing. It results in a host of problems and leads to a greater risk of developing certain cancers. Fat has an inverse relationship with testosterone. The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

Too little exercise can also have a negative impact on your hormones. Fat cells make estrogen,so the more fat in the body, the more estrogen. Too much estrogen is not a good thing. It results in a host of problems and leads to a greater risk of developing certain cancers. Fat has an inverse relationship with testosterone. The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

The more fat, especially around the belly, the less testosterone produced by the body. So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

So if you don’t exercise and are overweight or obese as a result, your testosterone production will suffer, leaving you even more likely to gain weight, lose muscle mass and pack on fat.

Thyroid Functioning:

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland that is located in your neck that produces the hormones that control your metabolism. The thyroid may become overactive at times, (known as hypothyroidism), resulting in nervousness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping, an elevated heart rate and weight loss. An underactive thyroid conversely causes sluggishness, weight gain, dry skin, slow growth, etc.

About 26% of women close to, or experiencing menopause are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. When there is an abundance of estrogen and not enough progesterone the estrogen can inhibit the thyroid hormones from functioning properly. Women who have an overabundance of estrogen often experience menopausal symptoms. What are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

What are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

With the numerous of roles hormones play in our bodies it come as no surprise that there are a slew of symptoms that occur when your hormones are not correctly balanced. Here are some of the most common symptoms of hormone imbalance:

1. Weight gain

Yup, most of us hate to gain a few pounds, but if your hormones are out of whack that number on the scale may steadily creep up. Our hormones impact our metabolism and are directly linked to how much muscle we build and fat our bodies store. Men with Low T, or low testosterone will most likely notice a paunch developing or increasing in size. Women with an overabundance of estrogen, may gain weight due to fats’ role in creating estrogen.

2. Fatigue & sleep disturbances

Feeling wiped out all the time? Your hormones could be to blame. Men with Low-T often suffer from low levels of energy. Women, especially when experiencing low levels of estrogen due to menopause, often have frequent night sweats and insomnia. Low levels of progesterone also may contribute to women feeling exhausted. Chronic stress can also lead to fatigue. Known as “adrenal fatigue” occurs because cortisol is overproduced by the adrenal glands when undergoing chronic stress.

3. Anxiety & Depression

Just as there are hormones throughout our bodies hormones also exist in our brains and affect brain activity. A hormone imbalance can affect our brain chemistry and cause us to feel anxious or depressed. Unbalanced brain chemistry and overworked adrenal glands can result in a low functioning thyroid or to hypothyroidism. The sex hormones are important for your mood. Estrogen is a natural emotion stabilizer and has anti-depressant effects. Progesterone is a relaxing hormone. Low testosterone levels often lead to depression. Having the proper balance of hormones can help you feel peaceful and calm.

4. Loss of muscle mass

Key to your body’s metabolism, when a hormonal imbalance occurs the body may break down muscle to use for energy instead of stored fat as it should. This leads to loss of muscle mass and an increase in fat.

5. Low sex drive

The “sex hormones” obviously impact your sexuality. Low levels of either estrogen or testosterone can negatively effect your sex drive. Estrogen decline can also cause vaginal dryness, poor blood flow to the vulva, clitoris and vagina and painful intercourse for women. Testosterone, present in men and women, directly determines sex drive. Low levels of testosterone in both men and women causes a decrease in your sex drive. 6. Hot flashes and night sweats

6. Hot flashes and night sweats

In a healthy person sweating is a useful mechanism of the body, cooling it when it gets too hot. But excess sweating is often a symptom of a normal imbalance, or medical conditions caused by or related to an imbalance, including diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders and menopause.

7. Skin changes

Our skin changes throughout our lives and many of those changes are governed by our hormone levels. Both estrogen and testosterone play a role in the condition of our skin. Estrogen tightens pores, creating a smooth surface. It also builds vital proteins like collagen and elastin that contribute to making skin more elastic and helps skin heal and retain moisture.

Testosterone on the hand causes an increase in pore size and sebum, an oily substance that coats the skin. In our teen years both levels of estrogen and testosterone are elevated sometimes leading to acne. As women head into menopause those hormone levels drop causing an accelerated aging of the skin.

Studies have shown that each year following menopause our skin decreases collagen production by about 2%, that’s a 30% drop in fifteen years! In fact, the loss of estrogen contributes to signs of skin aging much faster than sun damage.

Elasticity is lost and our skin becomes drier and more wrinkled. Studies have shown that each year following menopause our skin decreases collagen production by about 2%, that’s a 30% drop in fifteen years! In fact, the loss of estrogen contributes to signs of skin aging much faster than sun damage.

8. Memory issues

Mental fog and memory issues are a common sign of hormone imbalance. Woman may experience this first around menstruation. Hormone levels are going up and down which can cause the brain to swell and can reduce blood sugar and oxygen levels in the brain. During menopause when progesterone and estrogen plummet some women may experience days where they can’t concentrate, experience mood swings and crying fits. During perimenopause hormone levels can rapidly shoot up and down making some feel like they are going crazy.

During andropause testosterone levels drop leaving many men feeling tired, foggy, forgetful and apathetic. Thus the phrase “grumpy old men”.

9. Food cravings

The adrenal gland can effect appetite and cravings in several ways. When cortisol levels are high due to stress, blood sugar levels spike, leading to hunger pains and cravings. When the adrenal gland is overworked, due to chronic stress and adrenal fatigue sets in, cortisol levels drop. Low levels of cortisol result in low blood sugar levels, and to feeling fatigued. Hunger ramps up and cravings kick in as your body seeks high caloried food sources to supply energy.

10. Digestive issues

Often overlooked digestive issues often indicate a hormonal imbalance. There are three primary hormones found in the gatsrointestinal tract that aid in digestion by helping to break down food so it can be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. When these hormones are not in balance food isn’t broken down effectively-leading to gas, bloating, belching, nausea, etc.

Clearly none of these symptoms are pleasant to experience. If you are suffering from any of them, or if for any other reason you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance keep reading for the steps you should take next.

Testing for a Hormonal Imbalance

A hormone imbalance can compromise your health and well-being overall. Being tested for a hormonal imbalance is recommended if you suffer from any of the symptoms previously listed.

Hormone levels vary widely among different people, however levels are usually quite consistent within a single person. Therefore careful and testing and tracking over time is required to identify shifts in hormone levels. A thorough physical examination is also recommended prior to starting any treatments or therapies for hormonal imbalance. Hormone replacement therapies are readily available and in many cases can greatly reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.

testing for hormone imbalance

Methods of Hormone testing

There are three main types of tests used to measure hormone levels: saliva testing, serum or blood testing, and Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH) testing.

Saliva hormone testing

Saliva testing has been used by the National Institutes of Health for over thirty years and has been relied on by doctors for over a decade. Saliva testing is considered the most accurate way to determine levels of hormones available in the body.

Blood or serum hormone testing

Blood or serum testing determines the amount of hormones circulating through the bloodstream. Unlike saliva testing, blood or serum testing has its drawbacks as it does not determine the actual amount of hormone available in the body on a cellular level.

Follicle Stimulating hormone testing

This test is generally reserved for premenopausal women who are suffering from symptoms of menopause. It requires blood to be drawn three times at sixty-minute intervals starting at 8:00 am.

The averages of the hormones found at those three intervals are used to determine hormone levels. A one-size fit all approach is not suitable for hormone replacement therapy. Each person needs to be analyzed individually, with his or her hormone levels being tracked and monitored over time. Careful attention should be paid to signs and symptoms and how they correspond with the individual’s hormone levels.

Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy Treatments

There are three main types of hormones available for hormone replacement therapy, Bioidentical hormones, Non-Bioidentical Hormones and Synthetic Hormones. Bioidentical hormones are plant or animal-based substances that are bio-chemically the same as the hormones your body naturally produces. Bioidentical hormone therapy or BHRT is customized to meet the unique needs of each patient. Bioidentical hormones are often tolerated better by the body because of their identical structure and because they are made of natural ingredients.

Frequently used Bioidentical Hormones


Bi-estrogen or Bi-Est is a combination of estriol and estradiol. It has proven effective for relieving many of the symptoms associated with estrogen deficiency including vaginal dryness, vaginal thinning, painful intercourse, urinary tract issues, hot flashes and night sweats. It has also been shown to improve mood, memory and brain function, raise energy levels, promote better sleep, and reduce bone loss.


Often prescribed for women who have too much estrogen relative to progesterone, it minimizes the effects of the excess estrogen. It has been credited with improving sleep, increasing the sex drive, lowering blood pressure and balancing insulin levels.


Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is prescribed as hormone therapy for patients whose hormone levels tests indicate a low level of DHEA. DHEA can help build bone mass, increase libido, improve mood and alertness.


Testosterone helps to bring low testosterone levels back to normal levels. This yields an improvement in mood, weight loss and increased muscle mass, greater sex drive, better liver function, more energy, alertness and an improved cognitive functioning.

Bioidentical hormones are often favored due to their identical structure and natural components. In addition, bioidentical hormones are custom made for patients. A compound pharmacy, a pharmacy that specializes in creating individualized treatments, produces the prescription. Compound pharmacies can create formulations in lower doses, special combinations and offer unique delivery methods. This approach is overall more individualized and as a result the hormones are frequently better tolerated than other hormone replacement therapies.

Non-Bioidentical Hormones

Non-bioidentical hormones are made from natural sources, animal or plant, however, they are not bio-chemically identical to your hormones. Unfortunately, many patients experience negative side effects due to the chemical structure of the non-bioidentical hormone not matching their hormone receptors.

Synthetic Hormones

Synthetic are, as the name applies, created and developed by pharmaceutical companies and are not derived from natural sources. Chemical combinations that mimic the effects of natural hormones are synthetic. Synthetic hormones also reportedly can cause a variety of negative side effects.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Factors to Consider

Moving forward with hormone replacement therapy can be a big decision which if intelligently pursued may dramatically increase your health and enjoyment of life.

Given the individualistic nature of hormone levels, careful testing should be conducted before starting any hormone therapy treatment. A “test and treat” approach is much preferable and will yield a better outcome than a “guess and treat” approach. Hormones are not a guessing game and the effects of hormonal imbalance can profoundly impact your health. If you are considering hormone replacement therapy be certain to see a physician experienced in the field, with the knowledge and know how to develop a treatment program to your individual needs.

Natural is usually better. Consider hormones manufactured from natural ingredients. They are less likely to harm the body. Individualized treatment is the way to go. After careful testing and tracking of your hormone levels, your treatment should be customized to your individual needs. One size does not fit all.

The Role of Your Compounding Pharmacy

Make sure your physician has a trusted relationship with a top notch compounding pharmacy or specialty pharmacy.  Working closely with your healthcare provider, your compounding pharmacist can develop custom medications with the exact amount of hormones your body needs to be brought back into balance.


Using your healthcare providers prescription your compounding pharmacist can prepare your medication at different levels of strength and a variety of dosage forms including; capsules, topical treatments including creams, gels, and foams, suppositories or sublingual drops (drops that are placed under the tongue).

The compounding pharmacist will work with you throughout your treatment to insure you are getting the results you want from your treatment while minimizing side effects. Finding and using an experienced compound pharmacy with an excellent reputation is essential to your safe and successful treatment.

Carlos RHormones and Your Health: Recognizing and Treating Hormonal Imbalances
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fertility-treatment-naturallyGo figure that after many of us spend a decade or more doing everything we can to avoid getting pregnant, when we want to get pregnant – we can’t! Beyond frustrating.If that and the idea of timing every romantic encounter with scientific precision makes you cringe, then I’ve got some good news. Though there are factors that affect our fertility that we can’t control, many we can.If you are hoping to get pregnant here are fifteen things you can do, or not do, to naturally increase your fertility treatment and chances of success.

1-Maintain a healthy weight to keep your body baby-friendly

Maintaining a healthy bodyweight is essential to overall health and a prerequisite if you hope to get pregnant. Although it may be trendy to be fashionably thin, it is not good for your health, let alone your fertility. Super skinny women have very little body fat.

The combo of too little fat and low calorie intake push the body into starvation mode.

It uses the little fuel it has to keep the systems most necessary for life running. The reproductive system is greatly slowed and in some cases you may become infertile.

It’s not good to be too thin, or too fat. Women who are obese often have trouble conceiving. As your weight goes up so do your insulin levels. Higher insulin levels create more testosterone in your blood and your ovaries.

Also, the additional hormones secreted by excess fat can block a fertilized egg from successfully implanting in the uterine wall. Not what you want when you’re trying to get pregnant.

So what is a healthy weight to maximize your fertility? The best way to figure this out is by calculating your BMI, or Body Mass Index.

BMI is a mathematical equation that is relatively easy to compute. Follow the steps below:


  • weight in lbs x 703
  • height in inches, squared
  • divide weight by height

To maximize your fertility you should aim for a BMI in the “healthy range”, between 18.5 and 24.9.


2-Stress less to keep your hormones in check

It comes as no surprise that our stress levels can affect our fertility. As you probably know stress has a way of affecting us in a lot of negative ways.

Unfortunately as our lives become increasingly complicated our levels of stress increase.

Learning to manage your stress is a crucial part to living a healthy, balanced and happy life.


How exactly does stress affect your fertility? Each person has their own individual reaction to stress. Hormonal fluctuations, which are very common with increased stress, can cause a decrease in the blood flow to the uterus and make it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant.

Studies have proven time and again that couples who report feeling happy and relaxed have much greater success at conceiving than those who are under stress.

Of course just the process of trying to get pregnant can stress us out! Getting pregnant and starting a family is one of the most important (and permanent) life choices you will ever make, so it’s no wonder it’s stressful!

There are many different things you can do to try to control your stress and reduce it’s impact on your health and fertility.

“Starting a yoga practice can be very helpful.”

Yoga with it’s deep breathing and precisely aligned movements will focus your attention and calm your central nervous system. Try finding a basic yoga practice, or even a “yin yoga” class. Yin yoga is a slower form of yoga that entails holding deep stretches for several minutes. It is incredibly relaxing and great at reducing stress. In fact, you might find a little yin yoga before bed is the ultimate prescription for a good night’s sleep. If you can’t find a yin yoga class, there are several available for free on YouTube.

Practicing deep breathing exercises is great for relieving stress.

Try this:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  • Close your eyes and inhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
  • Count as you inhale.
  • Once your lungs feel full hold the breath for just a second or two.
  • Then exhale through your nostrils slowly and evenly, trying to reach the same count as you did on your inhale.
  • As you do this try to allow the muscles in your face to soften and the body to relax.
  • Try to devote at least five to ten minutes a day to deep breathing.


3-Prepare for pregnancy by eating a nutritious diet

You are what you eat, and so is your baby. To maximize your fertility follow a diet that is similar to those designed to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Pile your plate high with fruit and veggies in a variety of colors.

Seek out protein in vegetarian sources, like avocados, beans and nuts. Minimize your intake of meat and chicken. Although they are good sources of protein, most are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, contain trans fats, and are exactly what you don’t need.


Processed foods are also chock full of artificial ingredients which are not good for your health at any time and should be avoided. Same goes for sugary sodas. Ditch them!

Think of food as fuel for your body and put only the best in your tank.


4-Exercise, but not too much, to keep weight and stress in check

Regular exercise is very important for keeping your weight in a healthy range and can help reduce stress levels. It boosts fertility by increasing circulation which helps to spur egg production.

The type and intensity of exercise you do is equally important. Vigorous exercise can actually decrease your fertility by impacting your hormone levels. Plus, too much intense exercise causes the body to use up excess fat, which can inhibit ovulation.


To get the maximum benefit from your exercise program choose activities that are low impact, such as walking, cycling, swimming or yoga.

Exercise at a moderate intensity, so you are not gasping for breath, but your heart rate is increased above your resting level. Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. Remember, being thin and being fertile do not go hand in hand.


5-Quit smoking, to save your fertility treatment, your baby and yourself!

Smoking or spending time around people who do will negatively effect your fertility. It’s estimated that a smoker’s “fertility age” is ten years older than that of a non-smoker. So if you’re 35 and smoke your fertility will be closer to that of a 45 year old!

That’s a great reason to stop smoking.


Smoking is harmful to our bodies and can cause physical damage to the most important parts of our reproductive systems, including our eggs.

It can makes our ovaries age prematurely, a common cause of infertility.

Plus, it can cause blockages in our fallopian tubes, leading to a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. Yikes! Higher rates of cervical changes and cancer are correlated with smoking. The risk of miscarriage is higher in smokers, due to weaker eggs and the uterine lining not being as healthy as it should be.

Smoking causes too many problems to take a chance. If there’s one piece of advice you take to heart from this list then let this be it: if you smoke and you want to get pregnant, STOP!

Some good news… The damage done to your fertility by smoking is not permanent. Most people resume normal fertility within a year of quitting.


6-Reduce caffeine consumption for better eggs

Addicted to your daily grande caramel machiatto? Well you might want to switch to decaf. Studies show that even moderate caffeine consumption in animals effects the ability of eggs to mature. If eggs don’t mature correctly they cannot become viable babies. Human studies conclude that a woman who drinks just one cup of coffee a day is half as likely to get pregnant!

Remember, caffeine isn’t just in the coffee you drink, it can also be found in tea, chocolate, light and dark, brownies, and other baked goods that contain chocolate, chocolate ice cream etc. Try substituting your morning coffee with a decaf variety, (they generally still contain a trace of caffeine), or with decaf tea.

Avoid sweets that contain chocolate.

Reach for vanilla or strawberry ice cream instead of chocolate. How about vanilla ice cream with crushed peanuts and caramel sauce…yum. Or let a delicious greek yogurt with honey or fruit satisfy your sweet tooth. Get creative!


If you do get pregnant, don’t jump back on the cup of Joe wagon! Studies have discovered higher miscarriage rates among coffee drinking women. Pregnant women metabolize caffeine more slowly and are more sensitive to it’s effects.

This is worrisome since anything a pregnant woman consumes can pass through to her baby via the placenta. Caffeine, which causes excitability and an increased heart rate, can spark unpredictable sleep patterns in your unborn fetus.

No amount of caffeine has been deemed safe at this point so it’s best to stop your intake of caffeine altogether when trying to get pregnant and during your pregnancy. When quitting caffeine be careful to wean yourself off slowly. Stopping cold turkey can cause headaches, nausea, etc.


7-Avoid alcohol for greater fertility

If you love your evening glass of wine this is definitely some unwelcome news. Studies have repeatedly reported a relationship between drinking alcohol and reduced fertility.

It appears the more you drink, the worse your fertility will be.

How alcohol reduces fertility is not fully understood but drinking even small amounts of alcohol can have a negative effect. Also, women who are undergoing IVF have a reduced likelihood of success if they drink.


So now you are supposed to reduce your stress and give up the one thing that relaxes you at night? Try replacing that glass of wine with some other activity that you find relaxing. Go for a walk, or a swim, do some gentle stretches or yoga moves, curl up with a book, or ask your partner for a massage, you deserve it! Finding natural healthy ways to combat stress is essential for your fertility, your pregnancy and your life.


8-Accupuncture, an ancient therapy that improves fertility

This ancient therapy has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and is currently widely and successfully used to increase fertility. During treatment tiny needles are inserted into the skin on key points on the body.

Accupuncture is thought to help improve the movement of energy through the body, called “Qi”, pronounced “Chee”, this energy is described as your vital life source or energy.

Stress is thought to inhibit the flow of Qi and accupuncture works to restore it.

Accupuncture has many of the same benefits to fertility as other stress reduction techniques. It boosts the production of endorphins, chemicals produced in the brain that create a sense of balance, calm and overall well-being. Plus, it’s thought to increase the production of egg and ovulation friendly hormones and increase circulation to the ovaries giving them more hormonal stimulation.

Doctors have found accupuncture useful for preventing miscarriages, perhaps by improving the quality of the uterine lining, making it a better home for a fertilized egg.

It’s clear accupuncture has a host of benefits whether you’re hoping to conceive or are already pregnant.

Some insurance covers accupuncture, but many policies don’t.

Check yours and make sure it covers accupuncture for fertility specifically. Also, look for a practitioner who specializes in and has experience using accupuncture for fertility. Ask your friends, family and trusted doctors for a recommendation. Preferably find a practitioner who is associated with a major medical center.

9-Avoid pesticides and eat organic for maximum fertility

You’ve probably heard by now all the terrible things that consuming pesticides and herbicides can do to the human body. These chemicals, often used to keep weeds and insects at bay, are destructive to many of the body’s primary systems, and they are also bad for reproduction.

Men who consume or are exposed to pesticides often have a reduced sperm count, and women may find that their ovulation and menstrual cycles are disrupted.

It’s best for everyone to avoid pesticides but especially important if you are hoping to conceive. You can avoid pesticides by choosing organic produce at the market. If you find organic to be too expensive, then carefully rinse your non-organic fruit and veggies prior to eating.

There are several rinses available in stores but you can easily make your own using white distilled vinegar.

Just combine 10% vinegar and 90% water respectively.

Rinsing with plain water should remove 70-80% of pesticides.

10-It’s His Responsibility Too…

No guys, you are not off the hook here. The same things that can compromise a woman’s fertility can harm yours as well.

Bad eating habits, alcohol consumption and smoking are some of the worst culprits, causing reduced sperm count and slow swimmers.

Chromosomal damage to sperm can occur in cases of heavy drinking and smoking. Scary!


Men need to carefully consider their own habits when looking to reproduce. It takes three months for men to create new sperm so some pre-planning is required. Men should eat a healthy diet, lay off of cigarettes and alcohol, avoid exposure to radiation (cell phones and laptops) and sport loose briefs.


If all this seems overwhelming keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Most parents agree that having a child is one of life’s greatest joys and accomplishments. It’s no wonder a little bit of sacrifice may be required to reap this ultimate reward.

Carlos R10 Things You Can do to Increase Your Fertility Treatment Naturally
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iStock_000006766550XSmall-300x199Many people rely on prescription medications to cure health issues, speed-up recovery, or manage chronic illnesses. However, the benefits of medicine often come with a high price tag that can take a serious toll on your household budget.

Fortunately, there are a number of different ways you can save money on prescriptions regardless of the type of insurance coverage you may have. By following this list of five tips from South Miami Pharmacy, you’ll be able to minimize your prescription costs and keep your finances under control.


1. Opt for generic medications.

Compared to brand name drugs, generic medications are extremely cost effective. When you choose generics, you can save around 80% on your prescriptions. By simply asking your doctor or pharmacist if there is a generic version of your drug, you can enjoy massive savings.

2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

To avoid the need for a prescription every time you get sick, it’s imperative to maintain your weight and overall health. Those who are overweight often suffer from a variety of chronic diseases, high blood pressure, muscle and joint strain, and other health issues that require expensive prescriptions for treatment. You can prevent unnecessary prescription costs by simply watching your diet and exercising regularly.

3. Ask for free samples.

Most doctor’s offices stock thousands of dollars worth of medication samples that they receive from pharmaceutical companies. Before you spend money on a prescription that won’t work for your body, ask your doctor for some free samples. Free samples allow you to “try before you buy” so that you know you’re spending money on a product that works for you.

4. Be sure to use medications as directed.

Believe it or not, it’s estimated that about 50% of American adults do not follow a doctor’s instructions and take their medications incorrectly. By making sure that you’re taking your prescriptions as directed, you can avoid additional health problems and medication costs down the road.

5. Don’t solely rely on chain retail pharmacies.

The idea that chain retail pharmacies offer the most affordable prescription medications is not always true. When you trust an independent pharmacy such as South Miami Pharmacy with your prescription needs, you can expect excellent prices and personalized attention that you may not find at larger, retail pharmacies.

Save Money on Your Prescriptions at South Miami Pharmacy in Miami, Florida

To reap the benefits of top-notch, custom service and excellent prescription prices, visit South Miami Pharmacy in Miami today. You can also contact us at 305-740-9696 or fill out our online contact form for more information.

Carlos R5 Tips for Saving Money on Prescriptions
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Depositphotos_13867468_original-300x200-300x200In-vitro fertilization (IVF) allows couples to overcome infertility and pursue their dreams of pregnancy. During the IVF treatment, sperm and eggs are manually combined into a laboratory dish to create an embryo that is transferred into a woman’s uterus to initiate the growth of a baby.

Couples who are considering IVF often have many questions about the process. Here at SMP Fertility in Miami, we’ve composed this list of commonly asked questions that will add some clarity to the IVF treatment.

Is there pain associated with the egg retrieval process?

There is usually no pain during the egg retrieval process which only lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. IV sedation is generally administered during the procedure to ensure that patients are not awake. Patients may experience mild cramping following the procedure and are prescribed pain medications as needed.

What can be expected during embryo transfer?

The embryo transfer is performed using a speculum that gives the doctor a broad view of the cervix. Women usually only feel the speculum and do not undergo anesthesia during the transfer.

What happens to the embryos that are not used in the transfer?

Embryos that are not used in the transfer are usually stored in the lab and evaluated for continuous growth. They can be cryopreserved for later use if they meet certain criteria.

Is egg retrieval from every follicle normal?

It is not always normal to retrieve an egg from every follicle. Although the egg usually comes from the most mature follicles, most women will have some follicles that have immature or post mature eggs as well as some that are unable to yield an identifiable egg.

What is the cost of IVF?

The costs of IVF are dependent on a patient’s specific needs and include the price of fertility drugs, blood tests, and ultrasounds. Insurance coverage varies.

What side effects can be expected from IVF medications?

While side effects differ from patient to patient, breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, headaches, nausea, and skin irritation may occur.

Am I allowed to smoke and drink during IVF?

Smoking is prohibited during IVF treatment because it reduces the quality of eggs. In addition, men should try to limit alcohol use for about 3 months before the treatment to allow for sperm production that can take up to 100 days.

Can a woman travel during an IVF treatment?

Travel is not recommended to any patient going through the IVF process. It is crucial that patients are available for ongoing appointments to access follicle growth.

Can I dye my hair or get my nails done if I am going through IVF?

Patients can color their hair during the first two weeks of each IVF cycle. From mid-cycle on, it’s a smart idea to wait until after 12 weeks to dye hair. While manicures will not cause any harm during IVF or pregnancy, patients are encouraged to make sure nail treatments are performed in an area with good ventilation.

When will a patient be able to tell if they are pregnant?

A pregnancy test is typically scheduled two weeks and two days following the transfer of the embryo.

Contact SMP Fertility in South Miami for More Information on the IVF process

If you’re interested in IVF and would like to learn more about the process, contact an IVF specialist at SMP Fertility in Miami today. You can call us at 855-255-5005 or email us at

Carlos RAnswering Questions About the IVF Process
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iStock_000016566059Small-300x200-300x200Why we protect our skin during the summer (and you should too!)

The summer season is an exciting time because it provides you with the chance to enjoy the warm weather and spend quality time outside soaking in the sun. However, the sun and hot Miami temperatures can take a toll on your skin during the summer months.

Sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, dry skin, sun spots, and even skin cancer. To help you protect your skin from the harsh UV rays and keep it beautiful all summer long, the pharmacists at South Miami Pharmacy gathered this list of 5 summer skin tips that we swear by.

1. Try to stay out of the sun between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.

The hottest hours of the day are typically between 10 am and 3 pm. If you can, try to refrain from staying in the sun for long periods of time during these hours. It’s a good idea to perform your outdoor activities in the earlier or later cooler hours of the day.

2. Apply sunscreen as often as possible.

Do not underestimate the power or importance of sun block. Be sure to apply sunscreen about 20 minutes prior to the time you go outside to ensure that the product fully absorbs into the skin. Re-applying on a regular basis and using a sunscreen that protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays is essential as well.

3. Exfoliate on a regular basis.

When you exfoliate about 2 to 3 times a week, you’ll remove dead skin cells and surface debris from your skin. In addition, regular exfoliation helps prevent cellular build-up and dry skin that is common in the summer. It’s best to choose an exfoliator with natural, calming ingredients and stay away from exfoliators with alpha hydroxy acids or harsh chemicals that can increase sun sensitivity.

4. Store skin care products in the fridge.

Skin care items such as moisturizers, toners, and serums should be kept in the fridge during the summer. Keeping these products refrigerated helps sooth redness and refresh the skin every time they are applied. Products stored in the fridge will also last longer.

5. Stay hydrated.

Ensuring that your body is hydrated after spending time in the hot sun is key to healthy summer skin. You can do this by drinking about eight glasses of water per day and applying a moisturizer to your skin. In the summer, it’s best to use a lighter moisturizing lotion that contains aloe vera or other soothing ingredients.

Visit South Miami Pharmacy in Miami, Florida for Your Summer Skin Care Needs

If you’re in need of a prescription skin care product, visit South Miami Pharmacy in South Miami today. You can call us at 305-740-9696 or fill out our online contact form.

We look forward to providing you with the products you need to maintain gorgeous skin this summer.

Carlos RWhy SMP Pharmacists Protect Our Skin During the Summer
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The term “one size fits all” does not always apply to prescription medications. Therefore, a compounding pharmacy is an excellent option for individuals seeking customized medications that meet their specific needs.Medication compounding allows pharmacists to prepare personalized medications. Compounding may involve preparing a medication without dyes or preservatives, changing a pill into a skin cream, or adding flavors to change the taste of a medication.

What are the Benefits of Medication Compounding?

Medication compounding is primarily done to assist patients who are either unable or unwilling to take a medication as directed. There are many individuals who require a dosage that is different from the standard drug strength and need a custom prescription.

Others are allergic to dyes or preservatives and require a prescription that does not contain them. Additionally, children may refuse to take a medicine because of its unpleasant flavor. A pharmacist can change the flavor so that it will appeal to a child’s taste buds.

How Can a Compounding Pharmacist Alter a Medication?

When a compounding pharmacist receives consent from a physician, he or she can:

  • Avoid unwanted ingredients including preservatives, dyes, sugar, gluten, or lactose.
  • Modify the strength of a medication.
  • Add a flavor to the medication.

Prepare medications in different delivery systems such as flavored liquid suspensions, topical gels or creams, lollipops, or suppositories.

Does Insurance Cover Compounding Medications?

You may be able to send in a claim form to get reimbursed for a compounded prescription. Insurance coverage for compounding medications varies by insurance company.

Learn More about Compounding Prescriptions at South Miami Pharmacy

If you’re interested in finding out more about medication compounding and how it can benefit you or your family, call South Miami Pharmacy at 305-740-9696 or fill out an online contact form. Our pharmacists will be happy to discuss how a tailored medication can work for you.

Carlos RChoosing the Right Compounding Pharmacy
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fertilityYou and your better half are finally ready to add a little one to the mix. From tiny toes to little giggles, you’re excited for every moment that comes with having a baby. While your heart might be ready to welcome a new family member, your body may not be so willing.

To increase your chances of getting pregnant, follow these fertility tips from the experts at South Miami Pharmacy.

Choose Healthy Eating

Healthy eating matters all the time, but especially when you’re trying to conceive. Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can cause lengthened menstrual cycles and higher risk of miscarriage. Healthy, well-balanced meals can help ensure that you receive the right kind of nutrients that your body needs.

Keep a Regular Exercise Routine

Exercise is extremely important for getting your body prepped for a baby. Being overweight or obese can cause your body to overproduce hormones, making it more difficult to get pregnant.

With everything in life, however, balance is key. Exercising too much and lowering your body fat below a healthy limit can cause your body to underproduce essential hormones. It’s best to keep to a regular exercise regimen of 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 times a week.

Nix Unhealthy Habits

Consider the time before pregnancy as an opportunity to become as healthy as possible. If you smoke, quitting can literally make you (and your ovaries) younger, as smoking causes your ovaries to age and damages your eggs.

Alcohol can also hamper your chances of getting pregnant, so cut down drinking to a glass of wine a week or fewer.

Addicted to caffeine? You might want to cut down to your coffee consumption to one cup a day. Studies show that women who drink two or more cups of coffee a day, or the equivalent caffeine, double their chances of miscarriage.

Avoid Stress

Stressed about getting pregnant? Try to relax. What most women don’t realize is that stress can actually make it harder to get pregnant, as the body is less likely to conceive under psychological distress. So do some yoga, or take a few things off of your busy plate and de-stress.

Keep Track of Your Cycle

Understanding your menstrual cycle is an important element to of increasing your chances of getting pregnant. The normal menstrual cycle is anywhere from 25-35 days and ovulation generally occurs midway through your cycle, but can be different for every woman. It is best to check your ovulation time with an ovulation test kit which tests for certain hormones.

Talk to a Fertility Expert at South Miami Pharmacy

If you’re ready to add to your family, but need help with fertility, turn to the personalized and caring fertility services at South Miami Pharmacy. We carry most specialty fertility medications, and will order any medications that we don’t normally stock for our customers.

Visit South Miami Pharmacy today or call us at 855-255-5005 and speak to one of our knowledgeable and helpful staff members.

Carlos RFertility Tips for Women
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