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Archive for June, 2011

Bad Plastics, Bad Sperm?

By Tracey Minella

June 8th, 2011 at 12:44 am

Please tell me you’re not heating up dinner in a BPA plastic container. Or freezing your drink in a BPA plastic bottle. If you are messing with BPA, you could be messing with your sperm count and testosterone level, guys.

BPA stands for Bisphenol A and is a form of “bad plastic” in that it has been linked recently to health problems to those exposed to it. And those health problems could include infertility. At least that’s the case in exposed lab mice. Sure, having a smaller litter might not actually worry you, but structurally defective testicles don’t sound like a picnic. See

Even very short term exposure to BPA may affect a man’s fertility, so you need to be super careful of the plastics you come in contact with on a daily basis. Watch not just for water bottles, but the cling wraps and the Tupperware containers you nuke, and the epoxy linings of cans of food you consume. This stuff’s everywhere!

So how do you protect yourself, your fertility, and the baby you’re trying to have?

One quick lesson. The bottom of plastic containers is often marked with a triangle with a number inside. If the number is 1,2,4, or 5, it’s probably safe. But the most dangerous, potentially toxic plastics are those marked with a 3, 6, or 7. Get those out of your life immediately. For more information on plastics, please go to

Drinking lots of water…in the right container…is a great thing. In the wrong container, it could be deadly. Summer’s here. Drink responsibly.

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Octomom’s Fertility Doctor Loses License

By Tracey Minella and David Kreiner MD

June 7th, 2011 at 1:16 am

Eight small steps for mankind; one giant leap backwards for reproductive technology.

According to ABC News*, Dr. Michael Kamrava has had his license to practice medicine revoked. His name may not be familiar. But he’s notoriously well known as the fertility doctor responsible for transferring 12 embryos at one time into the uterus of Nadia Suleman, thereby creating the American phenomenon known as the Octomom. That’s 6 times more than the current national average.

Her delivery of eight IVF babies in January 2009 shocked the world on its own, but when the whole story came out, including her being a single, unemployed mother of six other young IVF children, it sent up red flags to anyone with half a mind. And its negative press set back the IVF movement by showcasing the sensational event.

Thankfully, he can no longer put the lives of mothers and babies at risk with his poor judgment and wanton disregard of the standards and procedures followed by responsible and ethical reproductive endocrinologists.

Only time will tell if those 14 kids grow up to kick his butt.

Read on for a flashback to Dr. Kreiner’s original post on the horror of the Octomom experience and why you’ll never be an Octomom at ECF:

The American public has been stunned by the news of a mother of six giving birth to octuplets. This shocking news is compounded by the stories broadcast by the mass media regarding the woman’s family situation and that she used IVF for these pregnancies.

Physicians have known for many years the dangers of multiple pregnancies and have worked steadily to formulate evidence‐based guidelines for the number of embryos to transfer in IVF cycles. The current rate of triplets in IVF cycles nationally has dropped in 2005 to only 2% of cycles. At East Coast Fertility our triplet rate has been below 1% since 2002 and not one of these occurred from transfer of more than 2 embryos. In fact a financial incentive is offered to patients to transfer a single embryo. Cryopreservation of embryos is offered for free as well as storage for up to 1 year. In addition, up to 3 frozen embryo transfers are offered for free until a baby is born. Patients are encouraged by this program not to put all their eggs in one basket. Unfortunately, this was not the case for this woman. Success rates with IVF, especially, in the good prognosis patients exceed 50% even when 1 or 2 embryos are transferred. It is hard to imagine a situation where it would make sense to take such an extraordinary risk like was done in this case in California.

We should keep this case in mind when considering how many embryos to transfer. It is rarely worth the risk to put more embryos back when one can alternatively keep the embryos in frozen storage until a patient is ready to conceive again.


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Free IVF Winning Spot Opens…Ya Snooze, Ya Lose

By Tracey Minella

June 3rd, 2011 at 12:45 am

Did you ever think that any of the five winners of East Coast Fertility’s April essay contest would NOT claim their prize?

Do you remember what happens in such an event?

That’s right…a new winner is chosen to take her place. To take her copy of Jodi Picoult’s book Sing You Home. To take her spa finder gift card. To take her spot of being eligible to win the free micro-IVF cycle we are awarding on Labor Day!

Why there hasn’t been such commotion since the fifth golden ticket turned out to be a fraud and Charlie Bucket got to go to the chocolate factory!

Of course, we have no idea why the prize wasn’t timely claimed, but certainly hope it’s because she conceived and is happily sucking an everlasting gobstopper somewhere in America.

In any event, it is our pleasure to announce that the essay chosen as a replacement winner was from Robin Nichols. Congratulations, Robin! You have ten (10) days to contact Lindsay Montello in the ECF Plainview office to claim your prize.

Be sure to tune in here and on ECF’s Facebook (have you liked us yet?!) on Monday when we announce the rules of the second of our three contests! More prizes. More winners. More people who will be eligible to win that free Micro-IVF grand prize.

You won’t want to miss it!

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IVF Keepsakes, Funky Pee Sticks, and Other Weird Stuff

By Tracey Minella

June 2nd, 2011 at 12:00 am

I’ve got a treasure trove of IVF trinkets that puts Ariel’s cavern of thing-a-ma-bobs to shame.

Face it. There’s not much that’s good about IVF. It’s inconvenient, uncomfortable at times, expensive and stressful. Everyone else is out there making babies the good old fashioned, fun, free, and spontaneous way.

No need to be a poor unfortunate soul. As long as you’re stuck in this IVF boat, why not look at the bright side.

There’s a bright side?

Sure there is.

It’s all in the stuff you collect along the way. It’s not just the journal of your journey…which I highly recommended you keep so you can look back on all this one day. Or more importantly, so your children can stumble upon it in 40 years and see what you went through to have them, as they’re shipping you off to a home. Don’t miss the chance to save memories of this journey.

Take pictures. Stop and take a moment to remember the camera and ask a nurse to take a photo of you and your partner before your retrieval and transfer. Or take a photo of all your meds laid out on the table. Or of the syringe for your first injection. Hint: Be sure to copy and sonogram photos onto a permanent paper since sono paper fades over a long period of time…and if you don’t, you’re baby will disappear like those Back to the Future photos.

Take videos, too. Maybe you can catch the good news call on tape. Or set up your partner so you get his reaction on tape. Bring the camcorder for the retrieval and transfer, too, as it may be appropriate at certain points if the doc allows.

You would not believe how many hospital id bracelets I accumulated along my journey.  I have them starting from my first diagnostic laparoscopy, two D&Cs, through my 7 IVFs, one ovarian torsion/removal, two pre-term labor admissions, and …finally…two deliveries. I think of them as my war medals.

I also have enough of those hospital slipper socks to warm the feeties of the entire population of Haiti.

And those natural conceivers will never have anything as cool as the Petri dish IVF patients get to keep as a remembrance of their baby’s “first crib”.

Another thing I kept was my calendar where I noted every small daily detail of every IVF cycle. When I started, what my levels were, how many follicles, retrieval and transfer days, pregnancy test days, etc. I sure never thought I’d have 4 two year calendars in the end!

I even saved the clothes I wore to my successful retrievals and transfers. I saved empty prescription bottles and a single unused syringe and needle as a keepsake. Of course, I saved the outrageous pharmacy receipts. Positive pee stick? Got one in a baggie. (Eww, I know.)

So be on the look out for opportunities to save even the weird stuff along the way. Because some day, they will make great conversation starters.

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What ha

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It’s ECF’s Seventh Annual Reunion Bash, Baby!

By Tracey Minella

June 1st, 2011 at 12:00 am

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!

Admit it. When you were going through IVF, one of the things you fantasized about was the day you could attend the big shin-dig and show off your hard earned “prize”. Well, now’s your chance. And the doctors and staff are dying to see their handiwork, too…oh, and to see you again, of course! Bring your cameras and camcorders!  You will smile so much your face will hurt.

Was your ECF baby born in 2009, 2010 or 2011? If so – we would love to celebrate your family with you – and see all of our precious alumni!

So grab that diaper bag and join us at The Mid-Island Y JCC from 12pm to 2pm on Wednesday June 8th for a lovely lunch (there will be lots of kid friendly food) and lots of hugs!

Please RSVP to Lindsay at lmontello(at) or 516 939 – 2229 x5509 on or before June 6th if possible.

The Mid- Island Y JCC

45 Manetto Hill Road

Plainview, NY 11803

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