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Sperm Motilility and Spermbots

A spermbot, developed in Germany, is an artificially motorized sperm. It involves a micromotor wrapped around the tail of an immotile sperm, which helps propel it towards an egg for fertilization. To date, it’s only been tested in the lab, but researchers say human trials are a future goal.

“It’s a nice idea, but I’m not sure what problems it will solve clinically,” says Dr. Paul Turek. “The question is, ‘Why is that sperm not moving and what does that mean?’ It assumes that the sperm is perfectly healthy and that it just needs help moving to and attaching to the egg.” In those instances there is already a way to obtain and use the sperm -- with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). “In terms of labor and involvement in the fertilization process it’s just as complex as ICSI and its true indications are going to be few and far between.”

Link Between Three Months Before You Conceive and Miscarriage

“No treatment we can do after conception is as powerful as something we may do ahead of pregnancy,” says Dr. Ruth Lathi. “I think that’s one thing we are trying to change is preparation for pregnancy, or what some people call the ‘pre-trimester.’ The three months before you conceive is probably the most important determinant of outcome of pregnancy, or at least that’s our philosophy.”

Egg Freezing: Should It Be on the To-Do List for the New Year?

Contribute more to IRA? Check.
Look for less expensive car insurance? Check.
Get more organized? Check.
Freeze my eggs? Consider it.

In today's society, at least one in five women waits to begin their families until after age 35. In theory, this is a smart choice — women are typically mature at age 35; they are likely to be established in their careers; and they have had time to find the right partner and strengthen their partnership.

The problem is, if you are thinking of waiting until after 35, your eggs will be more mature, too. And older eggs simply don't make it easy to become a parent. Infertility rates are higher, as are the rates of miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage. So if you are putting off childbirth for career reasons, or you haven't found the right partner, or you simply don't feel ready for parenting, egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) may be one investment you should explore.

Fertility Doctor of the Month: Carolyn R. Givens, M.D.

Dr. Carolyn Givens, Pacific Fertility Center

October 2014

“If we try and uphold the highest ethical standards, we never go wrong. That’s been a guiding light for our practice.”

Dr. Carolyn Givens is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist who treats fertility patients at Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco, CA. She co-directs the Bay Area Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Program and directs Pacific Fertility Center’s PGD/PGS Program. FertilityAuthority is pleased to honor Dr. Givens as Fertility Doctor of the Month.

Diet and PCOS


Just like with any diagnosis, women who have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) may experience the disease differently from one another. That being said, there are definitely symptoms and associated issues that tend to be very, very common among the diagnosed. Skin problems. A little (or a lot) of extra weight that wasn't really earned (which is wholly unfair). Facial hair. Completely unreliable or the total absence of ovulation. Basically a slew of things that may make you feel like you're personally bringing sexy back.

Azoospermia and Cancer Link

A recent study identified that men who are azoospermic - having no sperm in their ejaculate - have a greater risk of developing cancer. Dr. Michael Eisenberg, Director of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, CA, is lead author of the study.

ICSI: Who it's For and How it Works


For couples who end up needing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in order to conceive, learning about the process can be overwhelming. There are preparations, medications, costs, injections, tests to learn about - a whole new world of procedural aspects and terminology you probably wouldn't have otherwise known about. For many couples, one component of their IVF plan-of-attack they may need to familiarize themselves with is ICSI.

ICSI (short for intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is a fertilization technique that was developed more than twenty years ago, to best bypass certain issues with sperm and/or fertilization during an IVF cycle.

BPAs Have Adverse Effect on IVF Treatment

BPA and Fertility

BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical used to make some hard plastics and resins like the ones that coat food and drink cans. BPA has been linked to a range of health issues including breast cancer and liver abnormalities, and problems with brain and hormone development in fetuses and children. Twenty-seven bills have been introduced at the state level in 2013 that provide legislation regarding the use of BPA. In April, the California Environmental Protection Agency announced that the state will identify BPA as a reproductive toxicant.

PGD and Frozen Embryo Transfer For Women Over 40

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The latest buzz in the field of fertility treatment is frozen embryo transfer (FET) for safer and more successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Studies have found that by transferring a thawed embryo in a subsequent cycle, the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is minimized and the uterine lining has time to recover from the harsh effects of fertility drugs. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), in particular Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), performed in conjunction with FET maximizes the fertility patient's chance of successful pregnancy. The benefits of safer and more successful cycles are obvious for all patients, but perhaps the greatest benefit is to women over the age of 40.

Fertility Nurse of the Month: Shalini Gunawardena, RN

Kaiser Permanente Center for Reproductive Health

Kaiser Permanente Center for Reproductive Health, Fremont, CA

January 2013

Like many IVF nurses, Shalini Gunawardena’s is an “accidental” profession. Her career in women’s health began as a labor and delivery nurse. But the Monday to Friday hours at an IVF clinic, with an occasional weekend shift, were ideal for a young, newly married woman. That was 21 years ago, when she got her start at Cornell. Fast forward to 2004, when she helped set up the fertility program at Kaiser Permanente Center for Reproductive Health, in Fremont, CA, where today she is an IVF Charge Nurse. (That’s a Kaiser Permanente designation, which means that she runs the day-to-day clinical operations.) For her dedication to education and her forward-thinking mindset, we recognize Shalini Gunawardena as Nurse of the Month.

Fertility Doctor of the Month: Philip E. Chenette, MD

Pacific Fertility Center, San Francisco, CA

Philip E. Chenette, MD, Pacific Fertility Center, San Francisco, CA

July 2011 is pleased to honor Philip Chenette, MD, as Fertility Doctor of the Month. We recognize San Francisco fertility doctor Philip Chenette for his progressive and patient-focused practice at Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco, CA, and his philosophy of individualized care for the fertility patients he treats.

Lawsuit Alleges Price Fixing on Egg Donation

Class action lawsuit filed against ASRM, SART

Lindsay Kamakahi, an egg donor, has filed a class action lawsuit against the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), and Pacific Fertility Center, alleging that the three groups conspired to fix prices for human egg donors and “reap anti-competitive profits for themselves.” Lindsay Kamakahi v. American Society For Reproductive Medicine, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and Pacific Fertility Center, Civil Action Case No. 11-Cv-1781 was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

“According to the Class Action Complaint, the plaintiff egg donor is alleging that certain parties (professional organizations, medical service providers and other businesses that pay for or purchase donor services) did effectively suppress donor compensation,” says Amy Demma, an attorney who specializes in reproductive law. “The premise of the claim appears to be related to ethical guidelines issued by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as they reference appropriate egg donor compensation.”

Successful Fertility Treatment: How Much Will It Cost You?

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New study gives realistic assessment of costs

Before you begin your fertility treatments, hundreds of questions are probably running through your mind. What fertility tests will you go through? What kinds of fertility treatments will work best for you? And lurking at the back of your mind, how much will these fertility treatments cost?

Fertility treatment cost, is an important consideration when beginning your fertility treatment process, especially since only 15 states mandate infertility insurance. While fertility treatment and IVF costs vary depending on fertility clinic, type of treatment, and infertility diagnosis, it can still be helpful to have a ballpark figure on which to base an estimated cost.

A new study has set out to provide infertility patients with just that.

Health Insurance Plans Weigh Covering Fertility Treatment Costs

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Should infertility coverage be mandated?

A panel of experts brought together by the Institute of Medicine is weighing the issue of whether fertility treatment costs should be covered by the new state-based insurance exchanges that will be available in 2014 for individuals and small businesses.

The question at hand? Should fertility treatments be considered essential health benefits, or are they more “life-enhancing,” since they don’t treat life-threatening illnesses?

San Francisco

California has more fertility clinics than any other state in the US. A number of these are in the San Francisco area, which has at least 10 fertility clinics specializing in reproductive medicine according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) report.

Is Surrogacy the Journey Meant for You?

When carrying a child is not an option, what path should you take?

by Nicole and Josh, Intended Parents; and submitted by Christine Rush, Case Manager, Northern California
, The Surrogacy SOURCE, December 4, 2010

Any woman who has dreamed of having a child dreams of what it will be like to be pregnant … the joy of seeing your belly grow, the excitement of feeling your baby kick and the amazement of giving birth to a child.  

For some though, carrying a child is not an option.  So what is next?  Where do you go from here? 

Is surrogacy the journey that is meant for you?

Giuliana Rancic’s 63 IVF Injections a Month! Is This Par for the IVF Course ...

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Or an atypical patient experience?

Recently, reality star Giuliana Rancic, anchor and managing editor of E! News, opened up about her fertility treatments, revealing that she receives more than 60 IVF injections in one month to prepare her body for the IVF procedure. But is this number of IVF injections typical for an average patient?

According to Dr. John G. Wilcox, a board certified reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) at HRC Fertility in Pasadena, Calif., representing that more than 60 IVF shots a month as the normal patient experience can be misleading.

“That’s an exceptional number of injections,” he says. “It would be highly atypical, profoundly atypical.”

San Francisco Attorneys Offer Legal Assistance in Building Families

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An attorney will represent your best interests

With all of the advances made in the field of reproductive technology, a range of new legal issues have emerged. A field of law has developed to take on these concerns. Called Family Building Law or Adoption and Reproductive Technology Law, this new branch of law is constantly evolving.

San Francisco Infertility Support

Infertility therapy in San Francisco

As you begin your infertility treatment process, you may feel that it is an emotionally trying time, for both you and your partner. You may find your moods changing rapidly. You may feel sad or hopeless one day, only to find yourself angry or guilty the next. Additionally, you and your partner may go through different feelings at different times.

Infertility Insurance Coverage in San Francisco

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California requires mandated coverage for infertility treatment

Infertility treatments can become costly, especially when multiple courses of fertility drugs and treatment cycles are necessary. Many couples turn to their insurance companies for help in covering some of the costs.

Only 15 states currently have infertility insurance mandates in place; fortunately, California is one.

Surrogacy in San Francisco

California surrogacy laws and other important information

A surrogate is a woman who carries a child for another woman or a couple. Surrogacy is fertility treatment for women who cannot conceive or cannot carry a pregnancy to term.

San Francisco Egg Donation Success Rates

Live birth rates from San Francisco donor egg cycles

The following data, from the Assisted Reproductive Technology Report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), detail the number of donor egg IVF cycles and the number of live births at San Francisco fertility clinics.

Using an Egg Donor in San Francisco

Information on egg donation in San Francisco

The most recent Assisted Reproductive Technology Report contains information regarding the types of IVF cycles- fresh, frozen, and donor egg. For a complete list of donor egg IVF cycles in San Francisco, please click here.

San Francisco Fertility Clinic Success Rates

Live birth rates from San Francisco IVF cycles

The Assisted Reproductive Technology Report, which is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is an important tool in the search for a fertility clinic. This report includes the success rates for every fertility clinic that operates in the United States.

Choosing a Fertility Clinic in San Francisco

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Information on finding the right fertility clinic for you

There are four fertility clinics located in the San Francisco area, and 59 other fertility clinics located throughout the state of California. These clinics are either independently run, or operating in conjunction with local universities.

California fertility clinics in vary greatly in the number of IVF cycles administered and the types of procedures done.

San Francisco Infertility Clinic Options

Is It Time to See a San Francisco Fertility Doctor?

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Are you ready to have a baby?

At times, you may feel like you and your partner are the only ones who are affected by infertility. However, California is home to the largest number of people struggling with infertility of any state in the United States — more than 775,000 people.