Some fertility clinics are manipulating their reported IVF success rates, according to a study recently published in the journal Fertility & Sterility. Dr. Vitaly Kushnir, a reproductive endocrinologist with the Center for Human Reproduction in New York City, analyzed fertility clinic data from 2005 to 2010 which was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as mandated by law, and reported to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) voluntarily.
A gestational carrier bears a pregnancy that is not biologically related to her. One or more embryos, created from the intended mother’s eggs or donor eggs and sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor, is transferred into the uterus of the gestational carrier similar to a traditional embryo transfer in IVF. The gestational carrier will relinquish all rights to the child at birth as is detailed in a gestational carrier agreement. However, gestational carrier agreements are not legal in all states making custody and parental rights a bit murky.
Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are two minimally invasive surgical procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of certain female factor infertility conditions. For fertility patients with a suspected diagnosis of endometriosis, fibroids, or polyps, or for those with a history of pelvic infection, laparoscopy and hysteroscopy can be used simultaneously to ascertain the state of the uterine cavity.
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.
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 IVFreports.org 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.
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) 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.