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Donor Egg Recipient Seminar at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

July 10th, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Thinking you might need an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process? Then we’ve got the event for you!

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Everything you could ever need to know about egg donation will be covered. It should last about 2 and a half hours.

There are many reasons women ultimately choose to use donor eggs to build their families. Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, cancer treatment, poor general quality, or other factors, have many ways to build a family through the donor egg and donor embryo programs at Long Island IVF. For many of these women, a healthy egg is their only obstacle to pregnancy. Gay men wanting biological children also need donor eggs.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is an acceptable alternative after weighing many personal physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made. In fact, you can ask one yourself at the seminar as one of our successful recipient moms will be on hand to share her experience!

It’s okay if you may not be ready to act on all the information you’ll receive. You won’t be pressured in any way. We’re just here to offer information… and emotional support. So why not come out and just listen to our team discuss the many different egg and embryo donation options?  Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions, privately if you prefer.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we tell you about how affordable and stream-lined our programs can be, especially our embryo donation program. And how competitive the success rates can be, as well.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Frozen Egg Donation, and Frozen Embryo Donation cycles. Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help you build your family.

Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation. Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend.

Please RSVP to Debra Mathys at dmathys@longislandivf.com and say you’ll be there, but walk-ins are always welcome. There is no cost to attend.

Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY

Date: Tuesday July 14, 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

 

LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. We are humbled and excited by the honor! Can we help you build your family as well?

 

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Will you be there? If you’d like to attend but can’t, please call anyway so we can make other arrangements.

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Gay Rights Taking Baby Steps Towards Family Building

By David Kreiner MD

July 3rd, 2015 at 10:13 am

 

photo credit: Sarah Allison Photography


Today, same sex marriage is a constitutional right.

It was a long time coming with much frustration, discrimination and actual blood, sweat and tears but thanks to the recent Supreme Court landmark ruling, equal rights is now protected by the law of the nation.

Now that SCOTUS has declared same sex marriage legal in every state, what affect will that decision have on alternative family building for the LGBT community? And how quickly will any changes be implemented?

Currently, insurance companies require that lesbian couples go through 6-12 cycles of inseminations without offering their insurance benefit because they “have not been proven to be infertile”…hint-you need sperm to make a baby.  Allowing lesbian partners access to their insurance for fertility treatment without first spending thousands of dollars on inseminations to “prove infertility” would seem to be a right that follows from such legislation.

And don’t get me started on the inaccessibility of insurance for fertility for gay male couples. Currently, depending on where they live, they must obtain surrogates who receive about $25,000 as compensation and pay additional $35-60,000 agency and legal fees plus the cost of obstetrical care on top of IVF fees.  This brings the overall cost to an average of approximately $125,000.  Of interest, Apple, Google and some of the other big high tech companies have offered such coverage.

It seems to me that if we recognize that all citizens are equal regardless of sexual orientation that offering equal rights to family building is merely a logical extension of the Supreme Court decision.

Today, we rejoice for the liberating decision regarding gay marriage…tomorrow we work towards equal access to care for family building. In the meantime shall we say we are taking baby steps…

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What changes, if any, in LGBT family-building access/coverage, do you hope will come from the recognition of same-sex marriage? What roadblocks have you faced and how have they affected your family-building?

 

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest.

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 27 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help.

 

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Video Contest for IVF Baby’s College Education Fund

By Tracey Minella

June 26th, 2015 at 6:38 pm

 

image: vectorolie/ freedigitalphotos.net


Look, it’s no secret that infertility treatment can be expensive, especially since most insurance companies don’t cover the costs. And until legislation is passed that mandates infertility coverage for all, there will continue to be couples that take on great debt to finance their infertility treatments.

And while they do this they may wonder: How will I ever afford college for this kid?

That thought is quickly dismissed with: Well, what good is a college fund if I can’t have the kid to spend it on?

So, the baby arrives and the grateful couple starts to tackle the debt. But sometimes it can be substantial and take longer than planned. Unexpected life expenses also come up. And before you know it, baby is a teen and you realize the college savings plan got derailed. Or maybe it never even left the station.

Well, the good folks at Ferring® are here to get you back on the right track if you used select brands of their pharmaceuticals to conceive. They are sponsoring a video contest* with a Grand prize of $ 10,000.00 and four additional prizes of $ 4,000.00 each for your miracle baby’s (or babies’) college fund! The deadline is August 31, 2015.

Full details and contest rules are available here: https://hearttoheartcontest.com/

Wouldn’t a college fund be excellent right about now? Go on, check it out. Two of our patients have won in prior contests. Maybe you could be next?

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Are you going to enter the contest?

 

*LIIVF is not a sponsor of and is not affiliated with this contest but is merely providing the contest information as a courtesy for interested parties.

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5 Popular Misconceptions Regarding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

By Dr. Joseph Pena

June 22nd, 2015 at 11:23 am

 

via WikipediaCommons pubdomain”]

By Schomynv [CCo


Myth #1 – “If I have irregular periods, I have PCOS”.

Women with irregular menstrual periods are often unaware of the reason for their menstrual irregularity.  Many women are placed on hormonal contraceptives (i.e. birth control pills) by their gynecologist to regulate their menstrual periods and prevent an overgrowth of the lining of the uterus that may lead to cancer if left unchecked.  Some women are told they have PCOS as this is the most common etiology for irregular menstrual periods (4-7% of women of reproductive age, ~60-85% of anovulatory women), while others are not given a specific reason for their irregular menstrual periods.

While there is no universally accepted definition for PCOS, there are a few expert groups which have generated diagnostic criteria.  The Rotterdam Consensus Criteria (2006) requires two of the three signs/symptoms of PCOS (hyperandrogenism, irregular menstrual periods, polycystic-appearing ovaries on pelvic ultrasound) to be present for the diagnosis to be made.  The Androgen Excess Society (2006) requires hyperandrogenism plus one of the other two signs/symptoms (irregular menstrual periods, polycystic-appearing ovaries on pelvic ultrasound).  The hyperandrogenism criteria may be satisfied by either the presence of hirsutism (excessive hair growth) or elevated androgen levels, such as testosterone.  However, both criteria recommend excluding other possible causes of these signs and symptoms.  The differential diagnosis of someone with irregular menstrual periods and/or hirsutism is listed in the table below.

Differential Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
—  Thyroid disease (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism)—  Prolactin/Pituitary disorders

—  Nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (Nonclassical CAH)

—  Androgen-secreting tumor (ovary, adrenal gland)

—  Exogenous androgens

—  Primary hypothalamic amenorrhea (stress-related, exercise-related, eating disorders, low body weight)

—  Central nervous system tumors/disorders

—  Primary ovarian failure

—  Cushing syndrome

—  Insulin-receptor defects

 

The proper evaluation of a woman with irregular menstrual periods and confirmation of PCOS is important because this affects treatment (e.g. combined hormonal contraceptives for PCOS, thyroid hormone replacement for hypothyroidism, corticosteroid replacement for nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia, surgery for androgen-secreting tumor, etc.), as well as determining future fertility treatment (e.g. clomiphene citrate for PCOS, dopamine agonist for hyperprolactinemia, in vitro fertilization using donor oocytes for ovarian failure, etc.).  Thus, it is important for women to ask their physicians for a diagnosis for their irregular menstrual cycles.

 

Myth #2 – “Regular menstrual periods means I’m ovulating”.

The menstrual bleeding that occurs in a woman with inconsistent or absent ovulation is more likely due to breakthrough bleeding rather than post-ovulation withdrawal bleeding.  Thus, vaginal bleeding cannot be assumed to be an indication of ovulation in these women.

In addition, while many women and some clinicians use a history of regular menstrual cycles as a predictor of normal ovulatory function, ~40% of normally-menstruating women who exhibit hirsutism (excessive hair growth) are, actually, not ovulating and may be classified as having PCOS or other diagnosis associated with hyperandrogenism.

 

Myth #3 – PCOS is an ovarian cystic problem.

PCOS is an endocrine disorder of androgen excess with defined diagnostic criteria as noted above in Myth #1.  The determination of “the polycystic ovary (PCO)” (in contrast to the syndrome, PCOS) is defined in the table below.

Determination of polycystic appearing ovary (PCO)
—  In one or both ovaries, either:—  >12 follicles measuring 2-9mm in diameter

—  Increased ovarian volume > 10 cm3

—  If there is a follicle > 10mm in diameter, scan should be repeated at a time of ovarian quiescence in order to calculate volume/area

—  Presence of one PCO is sufficient for diagnosis

 

From the table above, it can be seen that PCO does not refer to and is very different from clinical ovarian cysts, both physiologic (e.g. corpus luteum) and pathologic (e.g. endometrioma, dermoid tumor), which tend to be larger in size.

The characteristic PCO emerges when a state of anovulation (lack of ovulatory cycles) persists for any length of time.  ~75% of anovulatory women will have PCO.  Since there are many causes of anovulation, there are many causes of PCO (e.g. PCOS, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hyperprolactinemia, hyperandrogenism, type 2 diabetes mellitus, eating disorders, etc.).   PCO is the result of a problem with the normal functioning of the ovaries, and not necessarily from a specific individual cause.

Last but not least, PCO is not necessarily a pathologic abnormality.  Up to 25% of women who menstruate and ovulate normally will demonstrate PCO on ultrasound.

 

Myth #4 – “PCOS does not occur in thin or normal-weight women, or in women without excessive hair growth”.

While obesity and hirsutism (excessive hair growth) are relatively common in women with PCOS, with a prevalence of 20-60% and 30-80%, respectively, there are many women with PCOS with neither feature.  Again, referring to the diagnostic criteria for PCOS (see above in Myth #1), the presence of obesity is not necessary.  Hirsutism is just one manifestation of hyperandrogenism.  The other is biochemical, such as elevated androgen levels in the blood.  Certain ethnic backgrounds (e.g. Asians) may genetically not manifest hirsutism despite elevated androgen levels.  Thus, being thin or of normal weight and showing no signs of excessive hair growth does not necessarily eliminate PCOS as a diagnostic possibility.  Other common (but not necessarily required) features of PCOS are listed in the table below.

FEATURES OF POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME

PREVALENCE

CLINICAL
     Hirsutism (excessive hair growth) 30-80% (depends on ethnicity)
     Acne 15-20%
     Androgenic alopecia 5-10%
     Obesity 20-60%
     Anovulation 90-100% (depending on definition)
     Oligo/amenorrhea (irregular/absent menses) 50-70%
OVARIAN
     Polycystic appearing ovaries 70-80%
BIOCHEMICAL
     ­ LH/FSH 35-95%
     ­ free testosterone 60-80%
     ­ total testosterone 30-50%
     ­ DHEAS 25-70%
METABOLIC
     hyperinsulinemia 25-60%

 

 

Myth #5 – “Irregular menstrual periods due to PCOS is only a problem when trying to conceive.”

Obesity, irregular menstrual periods, and elevated insulin levels are common features of PCOS and significant risk factors for the development of an overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia), which may lead to cancer, if left unchecked.  It is not surprising then that women with PCOS are at an increased lifetime risk for developing endometrial hyperplasia and cancer of the lining of the uterus.  Thus, it is essential for a woman with PCOS who is currently not interested in conceiving, to discuss with her gynecologist the best option for her to decrease her risk for developing endometrial hyperplasia/cancer.   Options that might be considered include the use of [low-dose combined] hormonal contraceptives (e.g. the pill, transdermal patch, vaginal ring), progesterone-only pill, progestin IUD, and/or withdrawing with progesterone at regular intervals.

Women with PCOS are also thought to be at increased lifetime risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (abnormal cholesterol and other lipids, high blood pressure).  Regular screening for pre-diabetes or diabetes (with a 2-hour glucose tolerance test or fasting glucose level), body mass index, fasting lipid profile, and metabolic syndrome risk factors is essential to possibly help improve mortality and morbidity in such individuals.  Early intervention with lifestyle modification (diet, exercise, weight loss) and pharmacological treatment if needed (e.g. insulin-sensitizing agents, statins) may help to accomplish this.

Thus, PCOS is more than simply a problem of infertility.  It is a condition which should be discussed with one’s physician (gynecologist, primary physician, endocrinologist) even when one is not actively trying to conceive.

 

By Schomynv (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Mars, Venus, Uranus, and Father’s Day: An Infertility Lesson

By Tracey Minella

June 19th, 2015 at 10:03 am

 

Credit: vectorolie/ freedigitalphotos.net


Forget “Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus”. On days like Mother’s and Father’s Day, it’s more like “Fertile folks are from… Uranus”.

What? I meant they’re cold and distant and full of gas, of course!

Well no matter what planet they’re from, most infertile folks would rather be light years away from them on such difficult days. But since you can’t strap a rocket on their backs and send them into the stratosphere, how can you stop fertile folks from making Father’s Day even harder?

First, recognize that there is some truth to the Men/Mars and Women/Venus thing. We are different. At the risk of being accused of sexism here, what pushes women’s emotional and hormonal buttons may not have the same reaction in most men. Women in groups often talk about kids and babies and family stuff—things that are like daggers in the heart to infertile women. However, men have been known to retreat to their “man caves” to talk about “manly” things like sports or business or landscaping—things far removed from baby talk. Men seemingly let more roll off their backs. That said men may also hold their pain in.

So while your hearts in the right place with that secret plan to isolate him on Father’s Day, consider that he may actually enjoy being with the right group of guys, throwing back a cold one and flipping burgers on the grill. Or having a game of wiffle ball. Or watching a ballgame. Or fishing. So you need to really ask him what he wants to do. He may want to be alone with you, or really alone– without you. Remember how you wanted your wishes respected on Mother’s Day? Well, try to understand his now. And here’s the hard part: You may get stuck in the ladies’ chat room in order to give him what he needs on Sunday.

But either way, you should spend some time alone together on Sunday night to make sure he knows he can let his feelings out to you. And to celebrate having gotten through the day. Maybe even to look up at the night sky and make a wish…on Uranus.

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What are you doing on Father’s Day this year? Share your plans to help others who aren’t decided.

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Long Island IVF Hosts Seminar: “Family-Building the LGBT Way”

By Tracey Minella

June 15th, 2015 at 11:42 am

If you’d like information on family-building from a practice that’s been helping the LGBT community become parents for decades, we’ve got the event for you!

We’ve partnered up with the LGBT Network to bring you a very special seminar on June 25, 2015 from 7-9 pm at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/the-center

Long Island IVF’s “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar will answer everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Two of our reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Steven Brenner, and Dr. Satu Kuokkanen, along with other key LIIVF team members will introduce you to the fascinating world of assisted reproductive technology and how it’s used to help the LGBT community become parents. In addition, Vicky Loveland, our Donor Egg Coordinator and Melissa Brisman, Esq. owner and founder of Reproductive Possibilities http://www.reproductivepossibilities.com/ will be there. Ms. Brisman is a nationally known reproductive attorney.

LGBT family-building is different in many ways from so-called “traditional” family-building. As a practice made up of both LGBT and non-LGBT employees, we truly understand the nuances that make your family-building adventure unique to you.

Whether you met us briefly at LI Pridefest 2015 and you’d like to learn more about our LGBT Family Building program at Long Island IVF, or this is the first time you’ll be meeting us, we hope you’ll join us at the LGBT Network Community Center to learn about the many ways we can help you achieve your dream of parenthood.

Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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Will you be attending the “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar? Do you have any specific questions or particular topics you want to see covered?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest.

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 27 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help.

 

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Long Island IVF Brew for the Family Event Wrap-Up

By Tracey Minella

June 11th, 2015 at 12:20 pm

We’ve hosted some fun gatherings in the past, but the Long Island Brew for the Family 2015 ranks right up there among the all-time best. It was a SOLD-OUT event!

Last Thursday, over a hundred hopeful infertile folks… many joined by their friends and families… kicked back at the Great South Bay Brewery and enjoyed a night full of music, tons of delicious food, multiple samplings of craft beers, a brewery tour, vendor giveaways, souvenir glasses, and a silent auction. Many of the LIIVF doctors  were mingling with the crowd.  There was so much going on in this hip, relaxed setting that it may even have distracted the attendees’ attention—briefly– from the prize most of them came hoping to win… the free IVF cycle door prize donated by Long Island IVF.

The event was co-sponsored by the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, a nationally-recognized charitable organization dedicated to helping people overcome infertility. The Cade Foundation fundraising events raise money for infertility education as well as for grants of up to $10,000 to off-set the costs of infertility treatment or adoption expenses. Many other regional sponsors also contributed, including Kings Pharmacy. Kraupner Pharmacy, EMD Serono, Enzo, South Shore Acupuncture and Fertility Wellness, Morgan Stanley, Acupuncture for Fertility, Counsyl, Damianos Realty Group, Suffolk County Acupuncture and more.

The event venue and theme was appealing to local infertile couples, who live with the stress of infertility. It offered them a chance to relax for a few hours and reconnect with each other or the friends who came to support them and help increase their chances to win the transferable free IVF cycle door prize. In fact, it was a brother-sister team who won the prize this year. The sister needed IVF and her brother attended to give her a second chance at the prize. Their shrieking, hugging and high-fiving celebration upon winning won’t soon be forgotten.

As happy as we are to offer this door prize to a lucky winner, our hearts did break along with those of the other hopefuls who came out that night. If you were one of them, we’d like you to know that there is still hope. We strongly encourage you to apply for one of the Cade Foundation’s Family Building Grants, which are awarded twice per year and allow you to use your choice of fertility practice. Because the grants are for up to $10,000 each and they don’t have to be repaid, it’s like a second chance to win that free IVF cycle. The deadline for the current fall grant program cycle ends on July 1, 2015 so please go check that out and apply today. All you need is to be a legal permanent US resident with a medical diagnosis of infertility. It’s easy. http://bit.ly/1GwCvXk

There are also several grants available at Long Island IVF, including the exclusive, new Jade IVF Grant, so please call the office and speak to a financial services rep for more details.

The doctors and staff of Long Island IVF thank everyone who attended or was in any way involved in the Brew for the Family event for supporting this worthy fundraiser designed to help overcome infertility. See you at the next big event!

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Were you at Brew For the Family? What was your favorite part?

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Long Island IVF Sponsors LI Pridefest 2015

By Tracey Minella

June 10th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

 

Long Island IVF is proud to be a major sponsor of this year’s LI Pridefest on June 13, 2015 in Suffolk County’s beautiful Heckscher Park in Huntington, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/pride

LIIVF has been actively building families for the region’s LGBT community for decades due to its long-standing belief that every person has a right to be a parent. We pride our practice… which includes members of both the non-LGBT and LGBT communities… on acceptance and inclusion. And we address the unique aspects of LGBT family-building from both a personal and medical perspective. In many ways, your needs are the same as the non-LGBT community, but in some ways they are different. We get that.

Just stop by our booth at LI Pridefest and meet some of the team. Our prior successful LGBT parents will stop by for impromptu reunions throughout the event, too, and are often eager to share their experiences as well. The Long Island IVF booth will be in the Health & Wellness area of the Family Services Pavilion the entire event, from 1:00 until 6:00pm.

Not in the mood to chat long with all the festivities to see? Swing past and grab some of our fun giveaways, including bracelets, balloons, and informational brochures to read later. We’ve even got water bottles if it’s a hot one!

You can also get to know us later this month as we host a very special event at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY on June 25, 2015 from 6:00- 9:00 pm. Long Island IVF’s “Family-Building the LGBT Way”. Two of our doctors, Steven Brenner, MD and Satu Kuokkanen, join other key LIIVF team members to bring you a seminar on everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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So who is coming to Pridefest?!

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Is Clomid Right for You?

By David Kreiner MD

June 7th, 2015 at 7:38 am

 

Photo: imagery magestic/ freedigitalphotos.net


It has become commonplace for women who have been frustrated with repeated unsuccessful attempts to conceive naturally on their own to see their gynecologist who often times will try clomid therapy on them.

Clomid, the traditional brand name for clomiphene citrate, is a competitive inhibitor of estrogen. It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which in turn will stimulate the ovaries to mature follicle(s) containing eggs. Estrogen normally has a negative effect on the pituitary: Clomid blocks estrogen and leads to pituitary FSH production and ovarian stimulation.

Infertility patients — those under 35 having one year of unprotected intercourse without a resulting pregnancy and those over 35 having six months without pregnancy — have a two to five percent pregnancy rate each month trying on their own without treatment.

Clomid therapy increases a couple’s fertility by increasing the number of eggs matured in a cycle and by producing a healthier egg and follicle. The pregnancy rate with clomid therapy alone is approximately ten percent per cycle and 12 -15 percent when combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI). Women who are unable to ovulate on their own experience a 20 percent pregnancy rate per cycle with clomid, the equivalent to that of a fertile couple trying on their own.

Clomid and Your Cervical Mucus

Women who are likely to conceive with clomid usually do so in the first three months of therapy, with very few conceiving after six months. As clomid has an anti-estrogen effect, the cervical mucus and endometrial lining may be adversely affected.

Cervical mucus is normally produced just prior to ovulation and may be noticed as a stringy egg white-like discharge unique to the middle of a woman’s cycle just prior to and during ovulation. It provides the perfect environment for the sperm to swim through to gain access to a woman’s reproductive tract and find her egg. Unfortunately, clomid may thin out her cervical mucus, preventing the sperm’s entrance into her womb. IUI overcomes this issue through bypassing the cervical barrier and depositing the sperm directly into the uterus.

However, when the uterine lining or endometrium is affected by the anti-estrogenic properties of clomid, an egg may be fertilized but implantation is unsuccessful due to the lack of secretory gland development in the uterus. The lining does not thicken as it normally would during the cycle. Attempts to overcome this problem with estrogen therapy are rarely successful.

Side Effects

Many women who take clomid experience no side effects. Others have complained of headache, mood changes, spots in front of their eyes, blurry vision, hot flashes and occasional cyst development (which normally resolves on its own). Most of these effects last no longer than the five or seven days that you take the clomid and have no permanent side effect. The incidence of twins is eight to ten percent with a one percent risk of triplet development.

Limit Your Clomid Cycles

Yet another deterrent to clomid use was a study performed years ago that suggested that women who used clomid for more than twelve cycles developed an increased incidence of ovarian tumors. It is therefore recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as well as the manufacturer of clomiphene that clomid be used for no more than six months after which it is recommended by both groups that patients proceed with treatment including gonadotropins (injectable hormones containing FSH and LH) to stimulate the ovaries in combination with intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization.

Success rates

For patients who fail to ovulate, clomid is successful in achieving a pregnancy in nearly 70 percent of cases. All other patients average close to a 50 percent pregnancy rate if they attempt six cycles with clomid, especially when they combine it with IUI. After six months, the success is less than five percent per month.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a successful alternative therapy when other pelvic factors such as tubal disease, tubal ligation, adhesions or scar tissue and endometriosis exist or there is a deficient number, volume or motility of sperm. Success rates with IVF are age, exam and history dependent. However, the average pregnancy rate with a single fresh IVF cycle is often greater than 50 percent and is even higher for women under 35.

Young patients sometimes choose a minimal stimulation IVF or MicroIVF as an alternative to clomid/IUI cycles as a more successful and cost effective option as many of these patients experience a 40 percent pregnancy rate per retrieval at a cost today of about $3,900.

Today, with all these options available to patients, a woman desiring to build her family will usually succeed in becoming a mom.

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Did you start out with Clomid? Did you have success with it or did you move on to IVF?

 

photo credit: imagery majestic http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Couplespartners_g216-Young_Romantic_Couple_p75136.html

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Infertiles Support Caitlin Jenner and LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

June 4th, 2015 at 8:30 am

 

image: Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net


On the heels of Kimye’s pregnancy announcement this week, comes other bombshell news from the same family. In fact, the bombshell is the news.

Caitlin Jenner, the Olympian formerly known as Bruce, debuted her new transgender self in Vanity Fair. Apart from a few trolls who are actually petitioning to strip her of her medals, this news has received a primarily…and deservedly… positive reaction from both the straight and GLBT communities. She’s free at last.

Of course, the many complex psychological issues that surround the transgender decision and process are not something any of us can truly understand unless we’re living it, but there are some common themes that strike a chord with the infertile community. And I think these similarities have generated the overwhelmingly positive response to Jenner’s transformation.

Infertile people can relate to not being able to live the life they dreamed of… and to being denied by some twist of genetic fate of a significant, fundamental right. We know the frustration of having our pain misunderstood or dismissed by society in general. Some of us live with the secret or come out and find no support. We may fear we’ll lose our jobs if our secret is discovered. And we feel like prisoners betrayed by our bodies, too. Not in the same way, but similar enough to generate great empathy for the journey Caitlin and those like her face. We need something from our bodies that we can’t have…something that needs medical intervention to achieve…something that will finally complete us and allow us to be happy.

What a burden for any transgender individual to bear! But how much worse must it have been for Caitlin Jenner, who for millions of people for almost 4 decades represented the embodiment of the ideal man? A chiseled, handsome, athletic, Olympic gold medalist whose celebrity never faded enough to allow him to express his true female self publicly until finally he found the courage to break free. Where others have a more manageable number of people to come out to, Jenner’s journey made world-wide news. What a wonderful role model for transgender awareness. We wish her only the best as she begins this new chapter of her life.

Long Island IVF has been helping the LGBT community on Long Island build its families for decades and is proud to be a sponsor of LI Pridefest 2015. We believe that all people have the fundamental right to a family. Please contact us if you need assistance building your family or come meet us on June 13, 2015 at the LI Pridefest in the Family Services Pavilion. We’re looking forward to reuniting with the families we’ve helped create and to meeting new friends. Or come to our seminar on LGBT family building at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 7-9pm. Email lmontello@liivf.com to reserve your spot.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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How do you feel about Caitlin Jenner’s transition? (Please keep responses respectful.)

 

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