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Procedure Can Help Find Causes of Unexplained Infertility

by Leigh Ann Woodruff, June 26, 2012

Around 10 to 15 percent of infertile couples will receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. This can be incredibly frustrating, even though in vitro fertilization (IVF) is typically a good treatment for the diagnosis.

"There's probalby more unexplained infertility because we're doing fewer diagnostic tests than we used to," says Brad Hurst, M.D., Director of Assisted Reproduction with the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center's Women's Institute. He explains that during the 1990s, physicians would perform routine laparoscopy — a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through an incision in the belly to look at the female pelvic organs — to diagnose infertility, and they often found endometriosis or adhesions.

"Laparoscopy wasn't a very cost effective approach," Dr. Hurst says, "and when we do laparoxopy and find and treat endometriosis, we find that we only improve the monthly pregnancy rates by 1 percent or 2 percent. So, the current standard is to do semen analysis, ovarian reserve testing, some type of means to confirm ovulation, and a hysterosalpingogram to assess the uterus and tubal patency, and if those things are normal, the couple is assumed to have unexplained infertility."

Now, however, a procedure that has been approved for use in the United States during the last year is available to better find the source of a woman's infertility: Fertiloscopy.

Commercial Egg Banks for Donor Egg IVF

March 18, 2013

An article published in the journal, Fertility and Sterility, estimates that with current techniques for egg freezing, frozen donor eggs are becoming widely available for donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles through commercial egg banks across the United States.

In 2012, ASRM lifted the “experimental” title from the egg freezing procedure when used for medical reasons. This is due to advancements like vitrification and an improved freezing medium. Emerging data shows that pregnancy success rates with frozen donor eggs are comparable to fresh donor eggs. Combined with the added benefit of freedom to cycle at the recipient’s convenience, commercial egg banks are likely to become a popular option for obtaining donor eggs.

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte residents have several options when choosing a fertility clinic in their city.

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Charlotte, NC, Videos

In order to analyze the sperm, a sperm analysis can be done several times to ensure accuracy of the test results. If there is a reproductive issue with the male, time is a dependent factor on prospective treatment for the couple, explains Dr. Seth Levrant who participates in the clinic Partners in Reproductive Health in Munster, IN and Tinley Park, IL.

Dr. Richard Paulson, a fertility doctor with USC Fertility in Los Angeles explains how the hormones estrogen and progesterone can prepare the uterine lining for implantation of an embryo, even in women who have had ovarian failure or in menopause.

UCSF's Dr. Evelyn Mok-Lin discusses the role of egg freezing today.

Charlotte, NC, in The News

The Celeb Impact on Fertility

Charlotte Observer,  April 25, 2012

In your early 20s, doctors say most couples have a 1 in 12 chance of infertility. Between 25 - 35, 1 in 8, and in your late 30s or 40s, 1 in 4. But that reality can be overshadowed by high profile pregnancies: celebrities who may, inadvertently, lead other women to believe it's easy to get pregnant later in life. "I think they have to recognize that they're not seeing the whole story, that people have a right to keep their personal business private and they need to go and ask questions.

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Young Couple Hopes to Create a Family

Charlotte Observer,  April 2, 2012

If someone ever had told Jamie Pursley she could never have children, she would have said, “What’s the point in living?” That’s how the 27-year-old Mooresville, N.C., native feels after losing her first child and learning she could no longer conceive. Now she and her husband have turned their loss into an organization that will help them and other couples who face the same troubles. The Robert William Foundation will help their own and others’ efforts to pay for surrogate pregnancy.

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Charlotte, N.C., Couple Goes the Distance to Have Children

Charlotte Observer,  Jan 11, 2012

One day in November, Lake Park in Pineville was filled with much more than the usual sounds of a playful afternoon. Moms and dads celebrated the gift of life with doctors, nurses, ultrasound technicians and administrative staff at Carolinas Medical Center-Women's Institute's Assisted Reproduction Family Reunion. one of those moms was 33-year old Melissa, who became pregnant with twins after several intrauterine inseminations and two in vitro fertilizations (IIVFs).

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Charlotte, NC, Fertility Guide

Charlotte residents have several options when choosing a fertility clinic in their city. The state of North Carolina has eight fertility clinics, two of which are located in Charlotte. The Charlotte fertility clinics are either stand-alone clinics or are associated with other established hospital systems.

Fertility Nurse of the Month: Joanna E. McCall, RN, BS

CMC Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Carolinas Medical Center Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Charlotte, NC, August 2011

FertilityAuthority is pleased to honor Joanna E. McCall, RN, BS, as Fertility Nurse of the Month. McCall is the IVF/Egg Donor Coordinator at Carolinas Medical Center Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in Charlotte, NC.

The Path to Fertility Nursing

A graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland, McCall holds a BS in Health Science (Magna Cum Laude) and began her career in health care in 2001 as a medical assistant at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital’s Women’s Health Clinic in Cooperstown, NY. In 2003, she entered Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005 and took on the role of Nursing Supervisor at Bassett Hospital.

N.C. Senate Approves Abortion Rules

Charlotte Observer,  June 16, 2011
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A N.C. measure that requires women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound, counseling and then wait 24 hours now moves on to Gov. Beverly Perdue. The N.C. Senate voted 29-20 late Wednesday to approve the measure, which now heads to Perdue, who will decide whether to accept or veto it. Perdue has hinted at a possible veto.

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Honey, I Doubled the Kids: Charlotte Couple Try IVF, Get Two Sets of Identical Twins

Charlotte Observer,  April 10, 2011

After trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, the Miranda and Josh Crawford sought help from Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte. The couple tried in vitro fertilization, and the Crawfords' daughter, Joslyn, was born March 17, 2009. Ten months later, they tried again, using two frozen embryos left from the initial IVF procedure. The embryos implanted, but a miscarriage followed nine weeks later.

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