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Archive for July, 2014

Long Island IVF Doctors Dominate Long Island Top Doctors Guide

By Tracey Minella

July 31st, 2014 at 9:32 am

 

L-R Drs. Brenner, Pena, Kenigsberg & Kreiner


Long Island IVF is proud to announce that several of its doctors have been included in the Top Doctors on Long Island Guide selected from the 2014 Castle Connolly Guide by Newsday.

Daniel Kenigsberg, MD and Steven Brenner, MD, who both consistently appear on the prestigious listing as Reproductive Endocrinologists were honored again. In addition, their partner Joseph Pena, MD joined them on the Top Docs list this year.  Since doctors do not and cannot pay to appear on this list, but rather are nominated and selected through a peer recognition process, being named to the Top Docs list is an honor that never gets old for our physicians.

In addition, Long Island IVF partner and reproductive endocrinologist David Kreiner, MD and Long Island IVF’s on-staff expert infertility urologist, Yefim Sheynkin, MD (who is also director of the Male Infertility and Microsurgery Program at Stony Brook Medicine) were interviewed for and featured in the article “Treating Infertility: Millions of couples are being helped” by Greg Burt, on page 60 of the Newsday Top Docs Guide which came out this week.

Long Island IVF is proud of all of its physicians, embryologists, nurses and staff for their commitment to its patients and is grateful for the recognition given by Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors Guide honors. But the best reward for a job well done is the satisfaction we get from building families every day and seeing the very real impact our work has on the lives and happiness of our patients.

In an effort to give back to the Long Island community, Long Island IVF has donated a free IVF cycle as a door prize for its very special infertility fundraiser on August 23, 2014 from 6:00-9:00 pm. Long Island IVF and The Tininia Q. Cade Foundation host “Dancing for the Family” at the beautiful Dance With Me Long Island® studio that is home to Dancing with the Stars® champion dancers, in Glen Head, NY. Attendees will enjoy a professional dance lesson, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a silent auction for only $65 (or $100 VIP). One lucky attendee will win a Free IVF cycle, valued at approximately $10,000. The cycle is transferable once (subject to certain restrictions), so bring all your friends and family to increase your odds of winning. Tickets are limited so buy yours today. For details and to purchase your tickets to the evening’s dance event, click here: http://bit.ly/1p8hDZ9

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If you could say one thing to your LIIVF doctor OR to someone who was looking for an infertility specialist, what would you say?

 

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National Twins Days

By Tracey Minella

July 30th, 2014 at 10:22 pm

 

image courtesy of david castillo dominici/freedigitlaphotos.net


Twins. Gotta love ‘em.

For the majority of couples struggling with infertility, the idea of having two babies at once…especially in cases of a long, expensive treatment history… is a dream come true. Times two! For some, twins are a “two-fer” that helps “justify” the expense of IVF and IUIs. Twins are also a great way to quickly “catch up” in the total number of children department. After years of having none, suddenly you are the parents of two… instant “standard American family”. In fact, many call it quits after twins.

On the other hand, twins (or triplets) make others nervous. The fact is that a multiple pregnancy can be more complicated than a singleton. Many infertile couples have stressed enough over just getting pregnant and may prefer to avoid the additional worries a high risk multiple pregnancy sometimes presents. This fear, coupled with financial incentives, has driven the popularity of quality Single Embryo Transfer (SET) programs which may offer comparable success rates. For information on Long Island IVF’s SET Program success rates and incentives, click: http://www.longislandivf.com/single_embryo_transfer.cfm

But those lucky enough to have twins will agree that once they arrived safely, it’s mostly two times the pleasure and two times the fun.

This year, August 1-3 is the National Twins Days Festival. http://www.twinsdays.org/, which is billed as the largest annual gathering of twins in the world.

We are inviting all our parents of twins (or more) who are so inclined, to SHOW US YOUR TWINS! Upload your favorite photo to our Facebook page any time between August 1-3. We want to see all those cuties…the ones born this week, the ones who are leaving for college, and the ones in between!

Your success will give others hope. (But those who find viewing baby photos difficult will have advance notice to avoid viewing those posts on the page on those days.)

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If you could control it, would you prefer having twins or one baby at a time?

 

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An Infertile’s Review of “The Lottery”

By Tracey Minella

July 25th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

 

image courtesy of nuchylee/freedigitalphotos.net


“Maybe infertility isn’t caused by the disease. Maybe infertility is the disease.”

You think?

That line comes from a character in a new pilot, The Lottery, which aired Sunday night on Lifetime.

The show is about a “global fertility crisis”, set in the year 2025. The entire world is infertile. Government-sponsored fertility labs all over the globe are desperately trying to determine what disease caused the infertility pandemic in time to save the human race. Is it biological, or maybe environmental? It is unexplained infertility… to the extreme. No babies have been born since 2019…the year the final six kids were born. As you’d expect, those 6 year olds are closely watched by the futuristic government.

We meet Allison, the young, idealistic, female scientist, who somehow manages to create 100 embryos and James, her devoted male assistant. When word gets out, we root for her as the government fires her, takes over her lab, and… through the unilateral decree of a president trailing in the polls… decides to hold a lottery to determine the 100 lucky surrogates for these embryos. With James’ stolen access ID and the feds on her heels, she is only able to access the name and address of one of the egg donors and she goes to meet her because she believes that woman has the right to be a surrogate to that embryo (which she has also stolen). Did I mention she trolls the bars around ovulation time, picking up the unsuspecting men who don’t know it, but were the sperm donors for those 100 embryos (having improperly accessed those medical records too?)

We also meet Kyle, the single dad of one of the final six children born. We root for him while he battles the government who questions his parenting ways and takes custody of his boy. Oh, and Kyle’s a handsome young dad that every woman in the country (especially those in the PTA) wants to be with so they can be a mother his son (and hope for a miracle of their own.)

I have to admit I found myself completely drawn in to this show, as it taps the raw emotion and desperation many infertile people feel. Even though it was easy to embrace the over-reaching and corrupt government as the enemy, I was surprised to forgive and cheer the criminal and often crass actions of Allison and Kyle…all taken in the name of fertility and parenthood. Good cliffhangers will no doubt have infertile fans coining a new phrase…the “one week wait”…when complaining about having to wait until the next episode for answers.

“The Lottery” was an infertility action episode as much as it was a drama. Kudos for being something fresh and original in an era of mostly revamped remakes. But I wonder if the general population saw it as merely far-reaching science fiction? For me, having faced infertility, it was anything but Sci-Fi. In fact, a global fertility crisis could conceivably (no pun intended) be in progress right now. And what is a dystopian, futuristic fictional story today could be tomorrow’s reality TV.

Unlike that movie character, we infertiles already know… too painfully well… that infertility IS the disease.

Here is a link to the pilot on hulu.com (charges may apply): http://www.hulu.com/watch/663416#i0,p0,d0

***Long Island IVF Dancing for the Family Event with a Free IVF Cycle DOOR PRIZE**

If you please, for your own benefit as well as that of the infertile community on Long Island, join us at our come to our “Dance for the Family” benefit on August 23, 2014 at Dance With Me Long Island in Glen Head, New York, home of Dancing with the Stars™ champions. For further details on this night of professional dance lessons, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a silent auction and a chance to win a door prize of a free IVF cycle donated by Long Island IVF and/or to purchase tickets ($65 or $100 VIP) click:  http://bit.ly/1p8hDZ9 .

 

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Did you see the pilot? What did you like or not like? Would you watch it or would you rather watch anything else but an infertility-themed show?

 

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Dancing for the Family is on My Prescription List

By David Kreiner MD

July 22nd, 2014 at 8:27 am

 

Dr. Kreiner and dance partner


 

For two years I have been taking ballroom dancing lessons, learning such dances as the cha cha, rumba, swing, and more.  As a typical male who grew up playing baseball, football, and basketball, the idea of coordinated movement synchronized to music was as much an anathema to me as voluntarily going for more schooling decades after I had already completed my studies to establish my career.  Yet, I have enjoyed both ventures.

 

As a physician trained to observe others, I am amazed at the life-changing impact dance has had on so many of my fellow students.  On one level I see them making meaningful friendships with people they may never have otherwise met.  In addition, through dance they perform aerobic exercise that helps to burn calories, train their cardiovascular system, and prevent the arthritic effects of stagnation of joints and muscles.  Furthermore, they are releasing endorphins that are mood-elevating and their performances, competitions, and shows help boost their self-confidence and egos.

Dr. and Mrs. Kreiner at dance show

 

From my Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective they are generating and improving the flow of Qi in their bodies benefitting not only the skeletal muscular system but their constitutional health.  In a word, dance brings joy to both the dancer and those fortunate to observe the dance.

 

As a reproductive endocrinologist involved with infertile patients on a daily basis, I see the stresses and frustrations that infertility brings to its sufferers.  I see dance as a panacea to diminish the stress which both Western and TCM blame as a protagonist in the battle to conceive.

 

Yes, dance is on my prescription list of therapies for my infertile patients. 

 

If you please, for your own benefit as well as that of the infertile community on Long Island, join us at our come to our “Dance for the Family” benefit on August 23, 2014 at Dance With Me Long Island in Glen Head, New York, home of Dancing with the Stars™ champions.  Perhaps, it is your own family you will be dancing for. For further details on this night of professional dance lessons, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a silent auction and a chance to win a door prize of a free IVF cycle donated by Long Island IVF and/or to purchase tickets ($65 or $100 VIP) click:  http://bit.ly/1p8hDZ9 .

 

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Long Island IVF Designated an Aetna Institute of Excellence™ Infertility Clinic

By Tracey Minella

July 17th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Long Island IVF is proud to announce it has been recognized as an Aetna Institute of Excellence™ Infertility Clinic for Assisted Reproductive Technology services.

Aetna makes information about the quality and cost of health care services available to its members to help them make informed decisions about their health care needs. In line with this goal, Aetna recognizes hospitals and facilities in its network that offer specialized clinical services for certain health conditions. Facilities are selected for their unique expertise in consistently delivering evidence-based, safe care.

Long Island IVF has been selected as one such specialized, unique, and safe facility.

“From the day LIIVF first opened its doors 26 years ago, we’ve been committed to providing the safest, most advanced medical care to the infertility community on Long Island”, said Dr. Daniel Kenigsberg, Reproductive Endocrinologist and co-founding partner of Long Island IVF. “So to be recognized by Aetna as an ‘Institute of Excellence’ is not only an honor, but a validation of that commitment.”

Dr. David Kreiner, Reproductive Endocrinologist and co-founding partner of Long Island IVF, agrees. “Infertility is very stressful and the pressure on infertile couples to choose the right fertility practice can be overwhelming,” adds Dr. Kreiner. “The ‘Institute of Excellence’ distinction helps direct infertile patients to the doctors who have been recognized as leaders in the field of infertility and assisted reproductive technology.”

While recommendations from successful patients have always been a great source of new patient referrals, many couples who are trying to conceive may not know someone who has used assisted reproductive technology to get pregnant, or they may not be ready to openly admit that they’re suffering from infertility. So, the Aetna Institute of Excellence™ Infertility Clinic designation is a great resource to direct patients to quality care.

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What factors do/did you consider important when choosing a reproductive endocrinologist?

 

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Confessions of an IVF Mom: I’m Jealous of Your Infertility

By Tracey Minella

July 16th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

 

image courtesy of arztsamui/freedigitalphotos.net


I am an IVF mom. When I was a younger infertile woman, I was jealous of pregnant women and mothers. They were in my face, everywhere I turned (or at least it felt that way). I didn’t begrudge them what they had. I just wanted a baby, too. More than air. Just like you do now.

Today, it’s worse. You still encounter the usual public displays of parenthood like people breastfeeding, playing in the park, or crowds at the school bus stop. But now there is the assault from social media, too. You can’t even hide in your own home. Newsfeeds stream with pregnancy sonogram photos, gender-revealing parties, birth announcements, and daily kiddie updates on Facebook ad nauseam.

Infertile people are sick of waiting for their turn. Sick of having to endure treatments. Sick of having their happiness and their lives put on hold. Infertile people are tired of being poked and prodded, of getting their hopes up and getting let down, of setbacks outnumbering wins, of months turning into years.

How could I be jealous of your infertility, you wonder? Surely I couldn’t possibly remember how it felt to have to hope every month that this would finally be the month I’d find out I was pregnant?

Ah, yes. That’s exactly what I remember. And that is where the twinge of jealousy lies… in the hope each month of conceiving. A hope that is long gone from my life, but that still exists in yours.

I spent many years in your agony, hoping. Hoping each month to become pregnant, to have a baby, to be a class mom. Hoping for a sonogram photo that measured a baby instead of an empty uterine lining. Hoping for a chance to scan a baby registry and set up the nursery I dared to dream of.

I imagined taxiing kids to activities all afternoon, running the PTA, hosting sleepovers, being a scout leader, a team coach, sending out those cute photo holiday cards. I dreamed that Disney would actually become the happiest place on Earth.

Years of that hope and sacrifice eventually turned into two dreams come true. And I am thankful for every single minute of what has surprisingly gone by far too fast. I wouldn’t change a thing except slow it down if I could.

An incident yesterday ignited this jealousy I now have of you.  I dropped my firstborn IVF miracle off at a two-week college residential program in NYC and a part of my heart broke on the spot. She will be home in two weeks and I vow to savor every minute of the next two years before she graduates high school and moves on. But where did the time go? I remember the day she was transferred. I remember all the details of getting my IVF pregnancy test results like it was yesterday.

I started to think back on what I went through to have her…on what you are possibly going through now. The injections and ultrasounds. The auto-pilot nature of the experience. The significance of a pregnancy test. The feeling of hope about creating a baby and all the promise of raising that new life. All the awesome, indescribable moments and years of joy, love, and absolute wonder ahead of those still on the journey.

And I kind of miss it. Part of me wants to go back to the beginning and live it all again. To go back to when all I had was that hope. Right before the dream came true. I don’t expect you to understand this now, but you may someday.

So, be thankful for the hope that burns in your heart that this… yes, this… could be the month you conceive your baby and the life you’ve dreamed of begins. Believe it or not, that’s an enviable place to be.

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For those on their journey: Did you ever think someone would envy your position? What is the most frustrating part of the waiting?

For those who are parents after infertility: Do you ever feel like this or think you may in the future?

 

Photo credit: freedigital photos.net

 

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Infertility and TCM: Part 10: The Examination

By David Kreiner MD

July 11th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

 

image courtesy of stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net


An acupuncturist selects particular points along the various Qi meridians on the body depending on the patients’ complaints and their diagnoses as determined by the following four key aspects of the acupuncturist’s examination; inquiry, inspection, palpation and listening/smelling.

The acupuncturist takes a history which is not just limited to the chief complaint but focuses on diet, bowel habits, lifestyle, etc.  He/she will observe the patient during the visit paying particular attention to body habitus (physique), gait, complexion, hair, and much more.  The acupuncturist inspects the tongue for size, color, moisture, coating as well as any additional features such as spots, tooth marks and cracks.  Using varying degrees of pressure, he/she will palpate a patient’s radial pulse with three fingers pressuring superficially, deep to the bone and in between.  He/she will palpate the abdomen as well as the Qi meridians searching for tenderness. Finally, he/she will gather information by listening and smelling as diagnostic patterns vary depending on the characteristics of all of the above.

Treatment will depend on a particular pattern or patterns of disharmony that are identified. In addition to acupuncture, treatment could include moxibustion, cupping, tui na manipulation or massage and/or herbal therapies.  An acupuncturist assesses the root cause of the patient’s problem and will usually treat both the cause and the symptom complaints as it is believed that without correcting the root cause of a problem, symptoms will recur even if initially relieved.

I will review the significance of the findings from the examination and the different disharmony patterns that can be identified by virtue of this examination in future posts.

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Does the TCM examination seem more thorough than a typical Western medicine examination?

 

 

 

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Long Island IVF’s Fertility Grants Guide

By Tracey Minella

July 9th, 2014 at 9:00 am

credit: StuartMiles/freedigital photos.net

 

Financing…or lack thereof…is the number one obstacle to family-building for the majority of those suffering from infertility. Most insurance companies cover little (if any) of the costs of infertility treatment, especially advanced assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Even the medications for such treatment can be expensive.

Long Island IVF makes infertility treatments more affordable for patients through maximizing insurance benefit coverage as well as by offering specialized programs, such as our IVF Grant Program, Single Embryo Transfer Program, IVF Financial Share Program or Fertility Preservation Programs. For more information on these programs, see: http://www.longislandivf.com/payment_options.cfm  We also provide each patient with a personal financial counselor to help navigate the available options.

In addition to all the internal financial grant and related assistance offerings, we’d like to share other external grant funding sources which may be available to patients to assist with their infertility treatments. These organizations include:

The Cade Foundation & Long Island IVF

Long Island IVF actively supports the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation as our practice’s philanthropy. Next month, Long Island IVF will host a unique fund-raising event for the Cade Foundation on August 23rd at the Dance With Me Studio in Glen Head, Long Island, home of the Chmerkowsky Brothers and Tony Dovolani from Dancing With the Stars.

The Dancing for the Family event costs only $65 per ticket for a night of dance lessons, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, desserts, a silent auction and a chance to win a fabulous door prize: A Free IVF cycle donated by Long Island IVF!

Tickets are limited and can be purchased here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/long-island-dancing-for-the-family-hosted-by-long-island-ivf-tickets-10690187639 The Free IVF cycle is transferrable once (subject to certain restrictions) so here’s a real chance for your fertile friends and family…who wish they could help you… to come out for a fun night and maybe they’ll win the prize for you!

The Cade Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote awareness of infertility and serve the needs of couples struggling with infertility by providing educational resources and financial assistance for helping them grow their families. Each year, the Cade Foundation provides grants of up to $10,000 to infertile families to assist them with the cost of infertility treatment or domestic adoption.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible, applicants must have documented infertility, be legal, permanent residents of the United States, and submit the grant application (processing fees apply).

Application Process: The application must also include a detailed plan on how the applicants will contribute financially to their fertility treatments. Grant awards are made once per year.

For more information and to obtain an application, go to: www.cadefoundation.org

 

The NY State Infertility Demonstration Grant & Long Island IVF

Based on meeting high standards of IVF success rates, Long Island IVF is among the select programs chosen to participate in the infertility grant funded by New York State. The amount of treatment funding is based on the patient’s or couple’s combined household income; coverage can range from 2.5% up to 97.5% of IVF treatment costs.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible, applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 44 years, have documented infertility and meet clinical criteria, be residents of New York State, have medical insurance coverage but either be uninsured for fertility or IVF treatments or have exhausted their benefits and have a combined household income of less than $195k annually.

Application Process: Qualified, interested patients may apply through their Long Island IVF Financial Counselor.  Although there is no required application form, applicants must submit proof of NY State residency and income. Grant awards are made during the award period based on availability of grant funding from the State.

For more information on the NY State Infertility Demonstration Program at Long Island IVF and to review the participation criteria, go to: www.longislandivf.com/doh_ivf_grant.cfm

 

Pay It Forward Fertility Foundation

The Pay It Forward Fertility Foundation selects applicants who are uninsured for fertility treatment. Candidates may use their awarded partial or full grant for: IVF, donor eggs or embryo adoption.  Applicants must be under the age of 40 to qualify, unless using donor eggs or embryo adoption.  Although surrogate expenses are not available for funding, the IVF treatment for the preparation of a surrogate pregnancy may be funded.  Funds are paid directly to the clinical program.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible, applicants must have documented infertility, be legal, permanent residents of the United States, have medical insurance coverage but be uninsured for fertility or IVF treatments, demonstrate financial need and submit a grant application (processing fees apply).

Application Process: The grant application requires in depth financial information and physician diagnosed infertility.  Grants are awarded several times each year coinciding with Board meetings.

For more information and to obtain an application, go to: www.payitforwardfertility.org

 

BabyQuest Foundation – IVF Grant

Baby Quest Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to grant financial assistance to those who cannot afford infertility treatments. Funding can be used for a range of procedures including egg and sperm donation, egg freezing, artificial insemination, IVF, embryo adoption and surrogacy.  

Eligibility:  Applicants must reside in the United States. They must demonstrate financial need, submit required medical documentation and a description of their infertility history as well as the grant application (processing fees apply).

Application Process: Grants are given out two times yearly.

For more information and to obtain an application, go to: www.babyquestfoundation.org

 

Long Island IVF is committed to helping couples build their families and is providing this list for informational purposes only, as a courtesy to help those who may qualify for these programs. Long Island IVF makes no representations regarding the eligibility requirements or continued availability of any of these programs. This list is not exhaustive of all the potential grant and financial servicing options available and patients are encouraged to do their own research into these and other programs.

Wishing you a fast and successful journey to the crib.

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Was this information helpful? Are there any other resources you can add to this list?

 

Photo credit: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

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