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How Birth Control May Impact the Outcome of Your IVF Cycle

fertility medications

In many traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols, the fertility patient is instructed to take oral contraceptive birth control pills to suppress natural hormones. This creates a “blank slate” for ovarian stimulation to take place and allows fertility doctors to have the most control over the course of an IVF cycle. However, new findings suggest that taking birth control as part of an IVF cycle may actually reduce the quantity and quality of eggs retrieved.

What You Need to Know about Fertility Clinic Success Rates

April 29, 2013

Fertility clinics are mandated by the CDC to report the success of their in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles each year. The CDC Assisted Reproductive Technology report containing these success rates takes approximately three years to compile. In addition, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) and other resources like aim to present accurate data which represents clinic success rates on the same plane. Although success rates are not intended to be a basis for comparison between fertility clinics, some would suggest that success rates provide a window into the operation of the clinic’s IVF lab. Many times these success rates are difficult for the layperson to interpret, however, so fertility patients should understand what each report says and the data most helpful for choosing their fertility clinic.

Could Your Unexplained Infertility Actually Be Endometriosis?

March 14, 2013

A diagnosis of unexplained infertility can be frustrating to say the least. You’ve tried to conceive on your own for several months and just when you think your fertility doctor is going to find the cause of your inability to get pregnant, test results come back with no known cause, or unexplained infertility.

A recent study out of Turkey suggests that women diagnosed with unexplained infertility might actually have an underlying case of endometriosis that was initially missed. The cases of six hundred women diagnosed with unexplained infertility between 1995 and 2008 were examined. Laparoscopy was performed on all 600 women during the follicular phase, in which eggs begin to grow and endometrial tissue builds up. Results indicated that 15% of participants actually had endometriosis, while another 20% suffered from pelvic adhesions, or scar tissue that can result from endometriosis. A French study, published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology discovered that by using laparoscopy, 72 of 114 patients initially diagnosed with unexplained infertility were identified as having endometriosis.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in New York City

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is considered one of the most advanced technologies for helping a couple with infertility to build their family. IVF can be performed with the intended mother’s own eggs, donor eggs, the intended father’s sperm, donor sperm, or even donor embryo. For fertility patients using their own eggs, there are a few different types of IVF protocols and your fertility doctor will design a treatment plan that best addresses your fertility diagnosis.

Is In Vitro Maturation (IVM) a Better Alternative to IVF?

Image of In Vitro Maturation IVM

March 7, 2013

Updated guidelines by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) say in vitro maturation (IVM) is a fertility treatment option for women who otherwise have a contraindication to in vitro fertilization (IVF), though the benefits and risks must be thoroughly considered. Because few babies have been born to date as a result of IVM and there is little data on the health outcomes of these children, ASRM considers IVM an experimental procedure that does not surpass the safety or efficacy of IVF.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

Image of Endometriosis

March 1, 2013

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, a time when women should be informed that painful periods may be a sign of a significant, fertility disrupting disease.

Endometriosis is characterized by growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. It can attach to the ovaries, bowels, or bladder and can cause severe pain and irregular bleeding which impact a woman’s quality of life on a daily basis.

Guidelines on Mental Illness and Egg Donation in the US

February 28, 2013

Fertility clinics in the United Kingdom routinely turn down egg donors with a history of bipolar disorder, according to a recent news investigation. Guidelines from the Human Embryology and Fertilization Authority in the UK state that prospective donors should not be accepted into the egg donor program if “they are known to have a particular gene, chromosome or mitochondrial abnormality that, if inherited by any child born as a result of the donation, may result in that child having or developing a serious physical or mental disability”. However, there is not currently a government ban on accepting eggs from women with the disorder and the guidelines are enforced on a clinic by clinic basis.

Fertility patients in the United States who are considering a donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle might have similar concerns about the physical health and psychosocial history of their prospective donor.


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