Failure after IVF is devastating for many patients. A cycle of IVF requires work, effort, money, and most of all it engenders hope - hope for success that results in the delivery of a healthy, child. So, when IVF fails, it raises the question of why? Sometimes, there will be clear-cut reason but often there is no answer.
January 2014 JoRene Bigler-Vollman, RN, MSN, Fertility Centers of Illinois, River North IVF
The fact that she commutes four hours each day with no complaints, even in the terrible conditions this winter has brought to Chicagoland, is evidence that JoRene Bigler-Vollman really loves her job. The Director of Third Party Reproduction at Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI) River North IVF says, “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.” FertilityAuthority is pleased to recognize Bigler-Vollman as Fertility Nurse of the Month.
A recent article by Stranger JD & Yovich JL raises a very important issue that might assist patients in deciding if in vitro fertilization (IVF) is for them. The issue raised by the article is how to report pregnancy rates for an IVF cycle. Should the rate be calculated based upon just the fresh transfer of embryos or should it be the pregnancy rate based upon the total number of eggs retrieved from a cycle of IVF? (Reprod Biomed Online (2013) 27:286).
A recently married young couple came to see us last year for an Infertility consult with concerns regarding Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease, a rare autosomal dominant genetic disorder. Her husband was diagnosed since early childhood with VHL (inherited from his father who was affected with the same genetic mutations as him). The couple was concerned and trying to find out if In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) combined with Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), could give them solace and surety of a child without VHL syndrome. Our combined objective was to obtain and select a healthy embryo for transfer into her uterus without the VHL mutation which her husband was carrying.
PCOS is not just an infertility problem, according to Laurence Jacobs, M.D. Symptoms may include irregular or absent periods, infrequent ovulation or lack of ovulation, excessive hair growth, acne, obesity or weight gain.
This past summer brought the news that Angelina Jolie had undergone prophylactic double mastectomy after discovering that she carried the BRCA 1 gene, associated with significantly higher risks for Breast and Ovarian Cancer, responsible for the early death of her Mother and Grandmother. This action goes a long way in protecting Jolie from succumbing to Breast and Ovarian Cancer, but does not address the possibility that she has may have unknowingly passed on the defective genes to her young daughters and son.
Many men spend their lives unaware that they might be doing things that can harm their fertility. When they end up in my office, they are often surprised to find out that approximately 50 percent of the time, they might be the cause of a couple’s infertility.
Male infertility is typically caused by problems with the sperm, such as sperm count, sperm morphology (size, shape and appearance) and sperm motility (movement). One of the most common causes of problems with the sperm is a varicocele, which is a group of dilated veins in the scrotum that can increase the temperature in the scrotum, resulting in testicular damage and impaired sperm production. Varicoceles are found in 40 percent of infertile men, and it is a condition can often be corrected or overcome.
We are taught in our teens how not to get pregnant, and as we should be are concerned with practicing safe sex and using birth control. As a result, many of us don’t realize we might ever have a problem getting pregnant. We get an annual physical, an annual ob/gyn exam, we get our teeth examined annually and cleaned twice a year, but there’s no routine examination of our fertility health.