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The Impact of Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening on IVF Embryo Selection

A recent study looked at embryo selection in an IVF cycle based on two different criteria: embryo morphology and chromosomal makeup. Researchers looked at day 5 embryos (blastocysts) that were graded using standard morphology, then tested with comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS). The study concluded that when embryos are selected to transfer based solely on morphology, in 41% of cases the embryos chosen will be aneuploid (abnormal).

Incidence of Chaotic Blastoycsts Increase as Women Age

A recent study revealed a “dramatic shift in the number of chromosomal errors in blastocysts from women 40 and older, as a result of severe chromosome instability.”

“When eggs get older the machinery to split the chromosomes gets more and more unstable and more and more errors occur even in the same embryo,” says Dr. William Schoolcraft, Founder and Medical Director of Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM). CCRM researchers analyzed 9,030 blastocysts (day 5 embryos) that were determined to be aneuploid following comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS). The study showed that as women age fewer chromosomes have one error, and the likelihood increases of having chaotic blastocysts -- those with three or more errors.

Embryo Banking for Patients with Diminished Ovarian Reserve and Previous IVF Failure

A recently published study demonstrated that banking zygotes (one-cell, fertilized embryos) for comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS) helps achieve ongoing clinical pregnancy in women with diminished ovarian reserve who have had previous IVF failure.

Is Embryo Biopsy Safe for IVF Babies?

In a retrospective cohort study, Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine compared perinatal outcomes of singleton infants conceived with and without CCS to understand the impact of trophectoderm biopsy on the developmental future of resultant pregnancies. The study found that, “The majority of deliveries occurred at term and there was no difference in infant gender between groups. Mean gestational age and birth weight were comparable between the groups. In fact, the incidence of very preterm birth and large for gestational age was reduced in the CCS group.” The study concluded, “Babies born after CCS present with excellent perinatal growth and health outcomes.”

Is Embryo Biopsy Safe for IVF Babies?

In a retrospective cohort study, Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine compared perinatal outcomes of singleton infants conceived with and without CCS to understand the impact of trophectoderm biopsy on the developmental future of resultant pregnancies. The study found that, “The majority of deliveries occurred at term and there was no difference in infant gender between groups. Mean gestational age and birth weight were comparable between the groups. In fact, the incidence of very preterm birth and large for gestational age was reduced in the CCS group.” The study concluded, “Babies born after CCS present with excellent perinatal growth and health outcomes.”

Study Shows Single Embryo Transfer Successful in IVF Patients up to 42 Using CCS

A Research Study conducted by the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine evaluated the efficacy of a single embryo transfer in IVF patients up to age 42, utilizing day 5 embryos (blastocysts) that had comprehensive chromosomal screening, to determine that they were chromosomally normal (euploid).

While the women of advanced maternal age (38 to 42) had a blastocyst aneuploidy rate of 62.4%, as compared to 36.7% in women 37 or younger, following a frozen transfer of a single euploid blastocyst embryo, live birth rates were almost identical in both age groups: 60 percent in women of advance maternal age; 64.6 percent in women 37 or younger.

Coping with Infertility by Creating New Holiday Traditions

How New Traditions Can Help You Cope with Infertility During the Holidays

March 27, 2013

Not unlike the winter holidays, Easter and Passover are filled with family-focused events, traditions, memories, and a certain level of expectation to participate in family gatherings. When you’re coping with infertility during the holidays, you may not feel up to visiting with family and friends particularly if there will be children present or you anticipate hearing the dreaded “When are you going to have kids?” question.

Life after Cancer and Preserving Fertility for the Future

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It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as awareness is raised of early detection and treatment, another aspect of cancer treatment is in the forefront for the fertility community: fertility preservation.

“In the past, the only goal of cancer therapy was survival,” says Mitchell Rosen, M.D., Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and Director of the UCSF Fertility Preservation Center. “However, as survival in patients of reproductive age has improved, the medical community increasingly has taken an interest in life after cancer, in particular paying attention to treatment-related infertility and reproductive health.”

Women are often not made aware of the impact cancer treatment may have on their fertility; however advocates such as Alice Crisci, founder of Fertile Action, a non-profit organization that works to ensure fertile women touched by disease have the option of preserving their fertility, are trying to change that.

'The Duke Has Landed' — Giuliana Rancic Is a New Mom!

by Leigh Ann Woodruff, August 30, 2012

Giuliana and Bill Rancic are the proud parents of their new baby boy Edward Duke!

Edward Duke was born in Denver, CO, via a gestational surrogate. According to reports, the Rancics were in the delivery room during the four-hour labor and birth, and he was born at 10:12 p.m. on Wednesday, August 29.

Bill announced Edward Duke's birth on Twitter:

    "The 'Duke' has landed! Edward Duke Rancic was welcomed into the world last night at 7lbs 4oz. G & I feel blessed beyond words...We did it!"

Giuliana Rancic is an E! News anchor and Bill Ranic is the first Apprentice winner. The couple was married in 2007 and began trying to get pregnant in 2010. They underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) and experienced miscarriage. Throughout their struggle, they shared their story in order to educate others about infertility. They also considered adoption and took a much-publicized "break" from IVF.

Fertility Nurse of the Month: Traci Shahan

Albrecht Women’s Care, Englewood, CO

Albrecht Women’s Care Denver IVF, Englewood, CO

July 2012

Smart, compassionate and humble are the first three adjectives that come to mind to describe Traci Shahan, , RN, CNS, WHNP-BC, Doctor of Nursing. She describes herself “first and very staunchly so, an advocate for women.” Years of education behind her (just look at her credentials above), Shahan is a nurse practitioner with Albrecht Women’s Care Denver IVF in Englewood Colorado. FertilityAuthority is pleased to honor Traci Shahan as Nurse of the Month.

As a nurse practitioner, Shahan can make diagnoses, treat conditions and prescribe medications. “Sixty percent of what I have to do is with ultrasound, and my ultrasound skills are what I’m most proud of,” she says. “We do cool, cutting edge procedures with ultrasound.” For example, Shahan performs the FemVueTM hysterosalpingogram, which uses saline and air instead of x-ray dye (as in a traditional hysterosalpingogram or HSG) to image the fallopian tube and uterine cavity. This way, the patient does not have to have an outpatient procedure with a radiologist. “We do FemVue in office, but it takes really nuanced ultrasound skills to do it well. It’s essentially pulsed saline and air, and you can see it travel through the uterus and fallopian tubes. It gives you a very good view to make sure that the tubes are patent or open and that the uterine cavity looks normal,” Shahan explains. “I love it because I worry about having a lot of radiation to the ovaries."

Comprehensive Chromosomal Analysis of IVF Embryos

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Study gives new hope to women in their 40s

Patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine screening technique called comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS) have a clinical pregnancy success rate of 77 percent, according to statistics from a study being conducted at the Colorado fertility clinic. This compares extremely favorably to the worldwide IVF pregnancy success rate, which is approximately 30 percent.

Tick Tock — There's a Male Biological Clock

Study shows it's not just women who should worry about age and fertility

It's good to know women aren't the only ones battling the biological clock. A recent study in mice found that sperm from middle-aged and older male mice are less likely to lead to a successful pregnancy.

Researchers at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) in conjunction with the National Foundation for Fertility Research found that for mice, sperm quality began to decrease in males at mid-life (12 months and older). This is equivalent to 40 and older for humans.

"There is much focus in society on the 'maternal biological clock.' This study shows us that we also need to be concerned about the 'paternal clock,'" says William Schoolcraft, M.D., founder and medical director of CCRM. "Men in their 30s should consider freezing sperm if they plan to wait to have children. Men in their 40s and 50s should consult a reproductive endocrinologist if their partner is unable to conceive after six months of active trying."

Recurrent Miscarriage Factors May Increase Heart Attack Risk

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Known modifiable risk factors should be controlled

Repeated miscarriages may cause more than the grief of losing a pregnancy. A new study published in the journal Heart has found a strong correlation between recurrent miscarriage and subsequent heart attacks, giving doctors another important indicator for monitoring cardiovascular risk factors for female patients.

According to Dr. Bruce Albrecht, a fertility doctor at Albrecht Women’s Care fertility clinic in Colorado, the results from this study can affect the way in which women are screened for heart disease.

“If we consider women who experience repeated pregnancy losses to be at high risk for cardiovascular disease, then the take-home message is that the known modifiable risk factors of cardiovascular disease should be controlled in these women, even when they are young and have no symptoms of heart disease,” he says.

Denver Infertility Clinical Trials

Fertility related research studies in Denver

Clinical trials are carefully regulated and strictly controlled studies that test a certain variable, or seek to answer a certain question, through the course of the study. Clinical trials operate with a set purpose for a pre-determined time under specific conditions. They may operate simultaneously across the country.

Denver Attorneys Offer Infertility-Related Legal Assistance

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Find an attorney specializing in reproductive or family building law

As the field of infertility has advanced, a host of new legal issues have cropped up. Legal questions have been raised in regards to fertility treatments and technologies that utilize third parties, such as sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy.

Denver Infertility Support

Learn more about therapy and counseling for infertility

After your infertility diagnosis, you may feel as if you are alone. You may find yourself going through a wide range of emotions throughout your fertility treatments. One day you may feel sad or depressed, but the next, you may feel angry or guilty. You may sense tension in your relationship, especially if you and your partner disagree about the emotional or financial cost of your infertility treatments.

Infertility Insurance in Denver, CO

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Information on insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility

The cost of building your family through fertility treatment can be steep, especially since more than one course of treatment or cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is necessary. Many couples find themselves struggling financially, especially if their insurance company does not cover infertility treatments.

Surrogacy in Denver

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Considering using a surrogate to have a baby?

Surrogacy is an fertility treatment for women who have had recurrent pregnancy loss/miscarriages, certain abnormalities in the uterus, or no uterus. With surrogacy, a surrogate carries a child for another woman who cannot conceive.

Egg Donation Success Rates in Denver

Live births rates for donor egg cycles in Denver

The following data, from the most recent 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 Denver fertility clinics.

Using an Egg Donor in Denver

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Information and resources on egg donation

Working with egg donors may be an option for women with premature ovarian failure, a diminished ovarian reserve, or those who do not want to pass on any genetic disorders.

Denver Fertility Clinic Success Rates

Live birth rates for IVF cycles at Denver fertility clinics

When you begin researching fertility clinics, one of the first factors you may study is the fertility clinic success rates. You can find success rates for every fertility clinic in the United States in the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Report. This report includes success rate by procedure, as well as an age breakdown for IVF cycles using fresh, non-donor eggs.

Choosing a Fertility Clinic in Denver

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What to consider when choosing a fertility clinic

If you have been diagnosed with infertility, or have had difficulty trying to conceive, visiting a fertility clinic can be a helpful step in building your family. There are many factors that should be taken into account when choosing a fertility clinic.

There are eight fertility clinics in the state of Colorado, including five fertility clinics located in the Denver area.

Denver Fertility Clinic Options

When to See a Denver Fertility Doctor

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Trying to have a baby?

If you are struggling with infertility, you may feel like you are alone. However, there are over 100,000 people with infertility in the state of Colorado. Colorado is home to eight fertility clinics, five of which are located in the Denver area. There are approximately 20 fertility doctors (reproductive endocrinologists) associated with fertility clinics in the area.

Fertility Doctor of the Month: Dr. William Schoolcraft

FertilityAuthority honors him for his forward-thinking mindset

William Schoolcraft, M.D., Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine

October 2010

FertilityAuthority honors Dr. William Schoolcraft as Doctor of the Month for his forward-thinking mindset. In 20-plus years, he and his colleagues have taken infertility research and practice in a number of positive directions.