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Archive for the ‘Infertility’ Category

Surviving Mother’s Day When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

May 12th, 2018 at 9:44 pm

image courtesy of witthaya phonsawat at freedigitalphotos.net

Surviving Mother’s Day when struggling with infertility is the pits. No way to sugarcoat it. Mother’s Day is the hardest day of the year for those longing to be mothers.

So, what are you going to do this year?

If you have a close relationship with your own mother and she is still living, she might be able to cheer you up a bit. But even she won’t be able to make it “all better” like she used to. It’s just not that simple. And if she’s gone, that’s a really black hole—it’s so hard to be both motherless and childless on Mother’s Day and living with the unsettled feeling of having no connection to a parent or a child.

Of course, being in the company of a mother or mother-in-law who pushes your “baby buttons” isn’t a picnic either.

And being a mother who has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or other infant or child loss is an unspeakable pain only those strong women will ever understand. If you know one of them, resist the urge to avoid what feels awkward and mention her lost angel by name–it will help her in some small way to know her baby hasn’t been forgotten.

On the hardest day of the year, it’s important to do whatever you want and not to be guilted, shamed, or coerced to be in the company of people who will make the day even a drop harder on your hurting heart.

Whether you’re a mother through resolving your infertility journey, a bereaved mother, a mother-to-be, or a mother-in-waiting, you ARE a mother. The day is yours; mark the day as you see fit.

One nice idea might be to plant a tree or a garden dedicated to your child or future child. Something you could watch grow over the years. Something you could explain the significance of to any future children and use as a backdrop for those milestone pictures they grow.

Here’s a mind trick for the day, or for any day: If you are currently on an infertility journey, believe you will ultimately have a happy resolution – – not because it’s guaranteed, but because it’s very possible and positivity can only help.

This is tough advice and it isn’t meant for Mother’s Day but try not to let your sadness and frustration keep you from enjoying some moments of the present. Because the future is coming and regardless of how your journey ends, you can’t get this time back. And you may look back and have regrets on how your life was “on hold” for so long, wishing you only knew back then that it was eventually going to work out somehow. So, trust that the future will be bright and make the best of these times. Hopefully, you will be right. And hopefully, next Mother’s Day will be different.

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Happy National Nurses Week to Our Long Island IVF Nurses

By Tracey Minella

May 7th, 2018 at 7:39 am

image courtesy of imagerymajestic at freedigitalphotos.net

Oh, the nurses. As National Nurses Week begins, we should stop for a moment and ask ourselves: Where would we will be without our Long Island IVF nurses?

Our nurses do it all – – and then some. They are the liaison between you and your doctor and they are charged with keeping all the details of your treatment cycle on track. But then they go the extra mile because they know the importance of what you’re going through and want to help you get to the goal.

Our nurses understand you are more than a chart, more than a patient–you’re a person who wants to be a parent and you need their help to get there. Or you have a child, but need help to give them a sibling. Because some of our nurses were once Long Island IVF patients themselves, they really do understand the highs and lows of the infertility treatment experience. So, they have your back, they’re on your team. They’ll lend their shoulders, dry your tears, and celebrate your successes.

Long Island IVF nurses have a special calling for this mission. Playing a part big part in helping their patients’ dreams of becoming mothers and fathers come true is amazingly fulfilling work. They love what they do and it shows. Nothing makes them happier than seeing newly-pregnant patients return to their ObGyns with an ultrasound photo in hand…except when they come back to the office to show off their little miracles.

Is there a particular Long Island IVF nurse or nurse practitioner that comes to mind as you’re reading this? Are you smiling as you think of her? If so, consider a shout out to let her know she’s made a difference in your life. It would make her day.

Long Island IVF wishes all of our caring and compassionate nurses a wonderful National Nurses Week. We couldn’t do it without you—nor would we want to try.

 

 

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Flip the Script and Banish the Closets Beyond NIAW 2018

By Tracey Minella

May 4th, 2018 at 10:44 am

image: shutterstock

How do heterosexuals and LGBT members experience infertility? There are two different “scripts” for those suffering from infertility. One for heterosexual couples and the other for the LGBT community. Both can play out like horror movies for those unfortunate enough to be cast.

National Infertility Awareness Week (“NIAW”) was the brainchild of Resolve, The National Infertility Association. Each year the week– generally celebrated during the last week of April–has a different theme. The theme for 2018 was #FlipTheScript. As its name suggests, NIAW was created to recognize and support people suffering from infertility and to raise awareness of a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples.

In addition to raising awareness of infertility and supporting those suffering, NIAW is designed to mobilize forces to advocate for change and to get people talking—beyond just one week each year– so that the stigma associated with infertility can disappear and those suffering don’t need to add shame to the list of other emotions and fears that infertility already brings.

The International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) defines infertility as “a disease characterized by the failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse or due to an impairment of a person’s capacity to reproduce either as an individual or with his/her partner,” (emphasis added), according to the Resolve website*. The latter part of the definition was added only after years of advocacy by the LGBT community and its allies to expand the definition so it would be relevant, beneficial, and inclusive of the LGBT community which sought medical coverage for infertility treatment.

So, if infertility is defined differently for LGBTs and heterosexuals, how is the NIAW experience similar or different for both groups?

When infertility statistics are cited, the phrase “1 in 8” is a likely reference to heterosexual couples. For the vast majority of the LGBT community—including all lesbians and all gay men– it would be “8 in 8”. That’s because they (and many transsexuals) cannot get pregnant or get someone pregnant without the use of assisted reproductive technologies like intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), donor sperm, donor eggs, and/or gestational carriers.

For heterosexuals, the painful infertility stigma they experience is often born from feelings of failure and inadequacy upon learning that one partner or the other (or both) has a medical condition, problem, or disease that makes them unable to achieve or maintain a pregnancy as a couple. Society expects a heterosexual couple to be able to produce a baby the “old-fashioned way” so when they can’t, they often feel shame.

Looking at it that way, LGBT couples should be free of the stigma. Society doesn’t yet place the same expectation on LGBT couples to reproduce. For most, their infertility is simply due to a need to obtain the missing biological piece – – eggs or sperm – – to create a baby within the LGBT union. Not the same shame here. Society recognizes that LGBT couples are infertile by biological necessity. So, for those LGBT couples not further burdened with a specific infertility-causing disease or condition (like male factor infertility or poor egg quality or uterine fibroids) or an unexplained infertility diagnosis, society doesn’t place the same expectation of procreation on the union or the same stigma of shame and failure.

In fact, sometimes the opposite is true. Some haters oppose the LGBT’s pursuit of biological parenthood. Instead of fighting a social stigma of shame like heterosexuals, the LGBT community fights ignorance, intolerance, and prejudice of those who fail to recognize that all people regardless of sexual orientation have the right to become parents.

Social stigmas drive guilt, shame, fear, anger, and frustration. If we truly want to “flip the script” as National Infertility Awareness Week’s theme encourages us to do in 2018, we need to acknowledge the words, emotions, and actions that have been written into our “scripts” to date and change them.

To the heterosexuals, society’s harsh script (including certain religious influences) reads that you have what it takes as a couple to make a baby. We expect you to procreate. You should be able to do this without help. What kind of a man can’t get his wife pregnant? What is your worth as a woman if you can’t be a mother? So, when you can’t get pregnant, the message is “What’s wrong with you? We don’t understand you or support you or sympathize with you.” Couples who can’t procreate often feel like failures and feel shame or guilt. So, they don’t speak. They keep their struggles secret and suffer in silence due to this stigma.

To the LGBT community, the horrible script is a different version of the cold shoulder. It sometimes reads, (including certain religious influences) that even though you have the legal right to marry, we don’t recognize your union as one meant for procreation or parenthood. Your union isn’t “natural” so you can’t and shouldn’t become biological parents. Kids need a mommy and a daddy. “What’s wrong with you? We don’t understand you, support you or sympathize with you.”  LGBT couples, accustomed to haters and frankly tired from fighting for the right to everything, just want what most people want–the same rights to have a biological child if they so choose.

To this, we say #FlipTheScript.

To this we say, banish the closets. The LGBT community didn’t come out of the closet to go back inside…and they’re not going to leave their suffering heterosexual friends in there alone.  They haven’t fought so many battles for so long just to stop now. They have the right to marry. They’ve changed the definition of infertility to include the LGBT community. And armed with a definition that includes all people, the LGBT community and its heterosexual friends will continue the fight for compassionate, quality, accessible, affordable healthcare and insurance coverage for the assisted reproductive technologies necessary to overcome this barrier to parenthood.

In order to banish closets in which infertile LGBT and heterosexuals hide, we all need to step up the advocacy efforts and show society we’re loud, we’re proud, we all have a right to be parents and we all have a right to affordably access the medical technology to get us there. That’s when acceptance may eventually happen and stigmas may end. That’s when the only thing hiding in closets will be those clothes you swear you’re going to fit in again someday.

If you are interested in LGBT family-building, Long Island IVF has decades of experience helping the community become parents.  Please contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial consultation.

We are proud to partner with the LGBT Network to provide information, education, support, and access to the most advanced traditional and holistic assisted reproductive technologies. All while understanding, respecting, and being sensitive to the unique needs of the LGBT community.

And we are excited to again be a major sponsor of Pridefest this June!

In addition to Pridefest festivities, Long Island IVF and the LGBT Network will be offering our popular Building Families in the LGBT Community seminar on Thursday June 21, 2018 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Long Island IVF Melville office. It’s a free, casual, and informative session that addresses everything you would ever need to know about how you can become a parent through assisted reproductive technologies. All are welcome. No need to be a patient. Just click the link above to preregister now.

This year, Long Island IVF is celebrating a milestone–our 30th anniversary. If you are ready for parenthood, we would love the opportunity to assist you with your own milestone. Please follow us on Facebook or Twitter for info on our upcoming free events.

 

* https://resolve.org/infertility-101/what-is-infertility/

 

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Goodbye Shame: Losing the Stigma of Infertility Workshop

By Tracey Minella

May 3rd, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Let’s talk about the stress, shame, and stigma of infertility. No, really, let’s talk about it.

When a couple cannot conceive without assisted reproductive technology, they often feel guilt and shame. Society sends a message that procreation should happen without assisted reproductive technology. And those who can’t get pregnant the old-fashioned way often feel like failures. Their shame often forces them to suffer in silence, hoping this month will be the month. Hoping no one will ever have to know they had a problem conceiving.

Overwhelmed, many infertile couples throw themselves into their treatment. They go through the hectic schedule of sonograms, lab work, and injections. They deal with the financial burdens, the insurance headaches, and the job stress. But they don’t realize that keeping the secret and the toll it places on their mind and body may be detrimental. And nobody needs another obstacle to conceiving.

The stigma of infertility is real. It is completely unwarranted, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that it exists in society and it impacts countless infertile couples who are struggling on so many levels: physically, mentally, financially, emotionally, and socially.

Unburden yourself tonight. Long Island IVF is offering a free workshop hosted by our infertility specialist counselor Bina Benisch, MS, RN in our Melville office on “Losing the Stigma of Infertility”. All are welcome, no need to be a patient to attend. Preregister here.

Past attendees often say they were a bit hesitant to come in but were so happy they took the chance. There’s never any pressure to join the discussion.

Imagine being in a room with a small group of people who are struggling and feeling so much of what you are going through right now. The in-law pressures, juggling work and treatment, the endless baby showers, the jealousy and fear and frustration. Imagine being with others who also only have each other to confide in, but now having the chance to unload—the chance to process those emotions and unburden yourself with the help of a caring specialist. What an amazing opportunity for healing. In fact, many past attendees were so comfortable by the end of the session that they stayed connected and lasting friendships were formed.

Nobody understands. Nobody other than those who are walking in your stirrups and the skilled professionals who help you along the way.

Let’s heal tonight. Please join us for a transformative experience.

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Long Island IVF Nutrition for Fertility Workshop

By Tracey Minella

April 19th, 2018 at 8:11 am

 

Drive right past those golden arches and get yourself over to Long Island IVF for a fun, free event on “Nutrition for Fertility” on Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 PM. Learn how nutrition impacts fertility and find out how your diet may be sabotaging your ability to conceive.

Register here for this nutrition event and several other National Infertility Awareness Week events on yoga, acupuncture, and losing the stigma of infertility. All #NIAW events are free and all are welcome–no need to be a patient to attend. But preregistration is required to claim your spot.

Infertility is hard and the stress understandably sends many toward comfort food. Unfortunately, many comfort foods aren’t healthy and a poor diet can negatively impact your fertility. In fact, some common diets may increase your likelihood of infertility by as much as 85%! So, put down that milkshake and greasy fries and learn about great-tasting, healthy-eating options that may work for– instead of against– your fertility.

Break the vicious cycle and get some control over your fertility back by learning how important good nutrition is in the infertility battle. There isn’t a lot we can control when getting pregnant requires assisted reproductive technologies like IVF or IUI, but we are in control of what and how we eat. So, let’s take advantage of it.

Why not come down to this fun and free nutrition workshop led by certified holistic health coach, Renée Barbis, and learn what to eat when you’re trying to conceive and how proper nutrition can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy and nourish your growing baby.

This event is the first in a series of four events celebrating National Infertility Awareness Week 2018 at Long Island IVF.

Register now to claim your spot for what will surely be a fun and informative evening. Bring your partner or a friend or come alone. All are welcome. Adults only. You will leave feeling inspired and empowered to enhance your own fertility through proper nutrition.

We hope to see you there!

 

 

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Safeguarding Frozen Embryos, Eggs, and Sperm at Long Island IVF

By admin

April 9th, 2018 at 3:27 pm

 

Liquid nitrogen cryogenic tank

At Long Island IVF, we understand from a clinical standpoint what you went through to create your frozen embryos. Several of us here are also IVF patients–some with our own embryos in the same freezers as yours. So, on a personal level, we really understand how worried you may have been after hearing about two recent and unprecedented storage tank incidents at fertility clinics in Ohio and California.

To point out that over the past 30 years nationwide, such tank malfunctions have been extremely rare does little to comfort those patients who were unfortunate enough to have suffered such heartbreaking losses. So, let me tell you about the measures that we employ at Long Island IVF to safeguard your frozen embryos.

Your frozen embryos (and frozen eggs and sperm) are guarded 24/7 by multi-level security systems designed to safeguard them from dangerous temperature fluctuations. Our cryopreservation tanks have double alarm systems which monitor both the temperature within the tanks as well as the level of liquid nitrogen (used as the coolant).

The alarm system is active 24/7 and if there is an issue not only sounds in the lab, but also sends alerts to our lab director or designated on-call lab personnel, so someone is always informed about the status of the cryogenic tanks. The alarm systems have both battery as well as generator back-up systems.

In addition to this high-tech, double alarm security system, each tank in our IVF Lab is also visually monitored by lab personnel (an embryologist or an andrologist) every day, including weekends. Finally, the cryopreservation tanks and their backup and monitoring systems, as well as the IVF Laboratory itself, undergo routine and rigorous inspections for third party accreditation organizations in accordance with industry standards.

If you are a patient and have any further questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact the office directly for more information.

 

 

 

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Long Island IVF Celebrates National Infertility Awareness Week 2018 with Several Exciting Events!

By Tracey Minella

April 4th, 2018 at 11:29 pm

image: Resolve @ www.infertilityawareness. org

 

Each year, Long Island IVF celebrates National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) with a series of fun and educational events. This year, NIAW runs from April 22-28. The theme for this year is “Flip the Script”!

NIAW is devoted to raising awareness of infertility and advocating for change and better accessibility to and affordability of infertility treatment. This year through the theme “#FlipTheScript—RESOLVE wants to change the conversation around infertility so the public, media, insurers, healthcare professionals and lawmakers” understand the scope of the problem of infertility, the barriers to treatment, and its far-reaching impact. Learn more here.

So be sure to mark your calendars with these upcoming events—all of which are free and open to the public. No need to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend.

You’ll find a nice mix of offerings—some traditional favorites and some new things in the mix! Register now by clicking each link below. Here is the thrilling line up:

Tuesday April 24thNutrition for Fertility Workshop with Renee Barbis, Holistic Health Coach

Wednesday April 25thYoga for Fertility Session with Lisa Pineda of Lisa Pineda Yoga

Thursday April 26thAcupuncture for Fertility Seminar with Dr. David Kreiner and guests

Thursday May 3rd (NOT NIAW)—Losing the Stigma Workshop with Bina Benisch, MS, RN

 

If you’ve been trying to conceive without success and could use a fun night out with other women in the same boat, this invitation is for you.

All events will take place after business hours at the Long Island IVF office in Melville. Don’t delay, register today!

Will we see YOU at any or all of these great events???

 

image courtesy of Resolve, the National Infertility Association at www.infertilityawareness.org

 

 

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Long Island IVF Doctors Again Make Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors Guide

By Tracey Minella

April 4th, 2018 at 4:08 pm

(L-R) Dr. Brenner, Dr. Pena, and Dr. Kenigsberg

Long Island IVF is proud to announce that several of its doctors have again been included in the Top Doctors on Long Island Guide selected from the 2018 Castle Connolly Guide by Newsday.

Daniel Kenigsberg, MD and Steven Brenner, MD, and Joseph Pena, MD consistently appear on the list of Reproductive Endocrinologists that are honored as Top Doctors in their field and this year was no different.

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 Doctors list is an honor that never gets old for our physicians. The same is true for the satisfaction we get when our patients and their families and friends consistently nominate and vote for us in the Long Island Press’ contest for “Best In vitro Fertility Practice”.

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.

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Who Will Carry the Baby in LGBT Family-Building? (Part Three): For Transgenders

By Tracey Minella

April 4th, 2018 at 9:37 am

 

Eggs with symbol of transgender, female and male gender symbols

At Long Island IVF, we take pride in our history of building families for the LGBT community. While gays and lesbians have historically made up the majority of LGBT cases, recent years have brought transgender people and their family-building options into the spotlight.

For the third and final part in this series on “Who Will Carry the Baby in LGBT Family-building?”, we’re going to examine the options that transgender couples and individuals have for starting their families.

In many ways, building a transgender family is very similar to building other families in that many of the same assisted reproductive technologies are utilized, such as in vitro fertilization, egg-freezing, donor sperm and more, depending on the needs of the transgender individual or couple. Yet, in some ways, the transitioning factor of the transgender lifestyle can bring some unique challenges to transgender family-building.

Before diving in to the several different scenarios that transgender individuals and couples who want to build families may face, a basic understanding of some of the methodologies that may be used is necessary.

As we all know, biology requires an egg, a sperm, and a uterus to make a baby. When gay men want a family, they generally have the sperm requirement covered between the two of them, but they need to find an egg donor to donate the egg and a gestational carrier to carry the pregnancy in her uterus for the intended parent(s). When lesbians want a baby, they often have the egg and uterus requirements covered between the two of them but need donor sperm (which is relatively inexpensive to procure).

But when a transgender person wants a child that is genetically-connected to them, things can become a bit more complicated—especially depending on where they are in the transitioning process.

So, it’s imperative that anyone even remotely considering have a baby that’s genetically-tied to them at some point in the future see a reproductive endocrinologist as soon as possible and prior to proceeding with any transitional hormonal treatments. Failure to do so may negatively impact your ability to have a biological child.

When assisted reproductive technology is needed to help people conceive, it often involves either intrauterine insemination (“IUI”) or in vitro fertilization (“IVF”). So, let’s summarize what IUI, IVF, Egg-freezing, and egg donation entail.

For an IUI, at the time of ovulation, sperm is deposited via catheter into the uterus of a woman (who generally took oral or injectable hormonal medications to encourage ovulation of a couple of mature eggs) in the hope that fertilization will occur naturally and a pregnancy will result.

IVF is more involved and expensive than IUI but has a higher statistical success rate per cycle. It involves a woman taking hormonal injections for a couple of weeks to encourage the production of multiple eggs (rather than the one that would normally be produced each month) and being monitored closely through blood work and ultrasounds. Then when the time is right and just prior to them being ovulated, the eggs are retrieved from the ovaries through a fine needle aspiration under light sedation. The eggs are then mixed with sperm in a petri dish and incubate in the lab in the hope fertilization will take place, or in cases where sperm quality is an issue, sperm may be injected into the eggs in a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (“ICSI”) to assist in fertilization. A few days later, 1-2 resulting embryos are generally transferred vaginally via catheter into the uterus in the hope of implantation and a resulting healthy pregnancy. The unused embryos are often frozen, or cryopreserved, for future use. Sometimes, no embryos are transferred back in the fresh cycle and all are frozen for use in a future cycle.

When women undergo egg-freezing, the procedure is identical to IVF described above except that after the retrieval, mature eggs are frozen prior to being fertilized and no transfer takes place in that cycle. At some future date, the eggs can be thawed as needed and fertilized in the lab, then resulting embryos can be transferred to the woman’s uterus (or another woman’s uterus, if need be) in the hope a pregnancy will occur.

When a woman is an egg donor, she, too undergoes the procedure identical to IVF described above except that after the retrieval, her participation is over and all of the eggs are turned over to the parties who are the intended recipients for freezing and/or fertilization in accordance with their agreement.

Now that the procedures have been explained, let’s examine how transgender individuals and couples can take advantage of the available technologies. Again, we stress the need to see a reproductive endocrinologist before transitioning and beginning hormonal treatment.

We’ve broken the options down by the gender the person was biologically born into and the gender they are attracted to, so readers can skip ahead to which of the four sections best applies to them.

  1. Born female but identifies as male–Attracted to females:

If you were born female but identify as male and are attracted to females and you want to have a genetically-linked baby someday, you will need to use the eggs you were born with to make that connection. You may or may not want to also use the uterus you were born with, but the genetic connection comes from the eggs, not the uterus. Usually, those females who identify as male are not interested in carrying a pregnancy before transitioning.

Here are your options:

  • Have an IUI using donor sperm (provided you have no egg, uterine, or tubal issues) and carry the baby yourself before transitioning;
  • Have IVF using donor sperm (provided you have no egg or uterine issues) and carry the baby yourself before transitioning;
  • Have IVF using donor sperm before transitioning (provided you have no egg issues) and freeze all the embryos for future use. They can be transferred to your uterus or a partner’s uterus before transitioning or to a partner’s uterus after transitioning.
  • Have your eggs frozen for future use (provided you have no egg issues). They can be thawed and fertilized with donor sperm as needed and transferred to your uterus or a partner’s uterus before transitioning or to a partner’s uterus after transitioning.

Many of these transgender couples find that using the eggs of the partner born female who identifies as male and having them transferred to the uterus of the partner who was born female and identifies as such allows both partners to be invested in the pregnancy—one provides the egg and the other carries the pregnancy and is the birth mother. In fact, many lesbians elect to do something similar and have one partner carry the pregnancy using the eggs of the other partner for the same reason.

 

  1. Born female but identifies as male–Attracted to males:

If you were born female but identify as male and are attracted to males and you want to have a biological child someday, you will also need to use the eggs you were born with to make that connection. You may or may not want to also use the uterus you were born with, but the genetic connection comes from the eggs, not the uterus. Again, many females who identify as males are not often interested in carrying a pregnancy prior to transitioning.

If your goal is transitioning to male and partnering with a male, your family-building options would be very similar to those of a gay couple. However, you have a potentially-huge advantage in being able to use your own eggs and possibly your own uterus if desired.

Here are your options:

  • Have an IUI using donor or a partner’s sperm (provided you have no egg, uterine, or tubal issues) and carry the baby yourself before transitioning;
  • Have IVF using donor or a partner’s sperm (provided you have no egg or uterine issues) and carry the baby yourself before transitioning;
  • Have IVF using donor or partner’s sperm before transitioning (provided you have no egg issues) and freeze all the embryos for future use. They can be transferred to your uterus or a gestational carrier’s uterus before transitioning or to a gestational carrier’s uterus before or after transitioning;
  • Have your eggs frozen for future use (provided you have no egg issues). They can be thawed and fertilized with donor or a partner’s sperm as needed and transferred to your uterus or a gestational carrier’s uterus before transitioning or to a gestational carrier’s uterus after transitioning.

Many of these transgender couples find that using the eggs of the partner born female who identifies as male and having them fertilized with the sperm of the partner who was born male and identifies as such and then transferring them to the uterus of a gestational carrier not only saves them the expense of an egg donor but allows them both to have a biological connection to the baby. Before hormonal treatment/transitioning occurs, it is possible the partner with the uterus may even be able to carry the pregnancy, though most don’t pursue that option. One of the biggest obstacles to gay family-building is the cost of an egg donor and a gestational carrier. These transgender couples may be able to build their families without incurring one or both of those costs.

  1. Born male but identifies as female–Attracted to females:

If you were born male but identify as female and are attracted to females and you want to have a biological child someday, you will need to use your sperm to make that connection. As much as transition surgery can do for one who identifies as a female, it unfortunately cannot create a functional uterus in which a baby can be carried (at this time, anyway). But the genetic connection to your baby comes from the use of your sperm.

If your goal is transitioning to female and partnering with a female, your family-building options would be very similar to those of a lesbian couple. However, you have the wonderful possible advantage of being able to use your own sperm to create a baby.

Here are your options:

  • Have your sperm frozen for future use in IUI and/or IVF procedures before transitioning or beginning hormonal treatment! Multiple times. Samples can be thawed and used to fertilize your partner’s eggs via IUI or IVF as indicated (or an egg donor’s eggs via IVF, if needed) and transferred to your partner’s uterus (or a gestational carrier’s uterus if needed). You may need to undergo IVF with your partner if you have a sperm issue which ICSI (described above) may overcome.
  • Have your partner do an IUI using your sperm (provided she has no egg, uterine, or tubal issues and your sperm is of acceptable quality);
  • Have your partner do IVF using your sperm (provided she has no egg or uterine issues and use ICSI if sperm quality is an issue);
  • Have your partner do IVF using your sperm (provided she has no egg issues) and freeze all the embryos for future use. They can be transferred to a gestational carrier’s uterus if your partner has uterine issues;
  • Have IVF with donor egg using your sperm if your partner has egg issues and freeze the embryos for future use. They can be transferred into your partner’s uterus (if no uterine issues) or a gestational carrier’s uterus.

Many of these transgender couples find that using the sperm of the partner born male who identifies as female to fertilize the eggs of the partner who was born female and identifies as such either through IUI or IVF allows them both to have a biological connection to the baby. As long as the one partner’s eggs and uterus are fine, and the other partner’s sperm is fine, IUI or IVF could be the pathway to parenthood without the need for sperm or egg donors or a gestational carrier.

 

  1. Born male but identifies as female–Attracted to males:

If you were born male but identify as female and are attracted to males and you want to have a biological child someday, you only have your sperm to use to make that genetic connection. At least until science makes a uterine transplant possible in a transgender individual. But the genetic connection to your baby comes from the use of your sperm.

If your goal is transitioning to female and partnering with a male, your family-building options would be very similar to those of a gay couple. You have presumably got the sperm issue covered between the two of you but need both an egg donor and a gestational carrier in order to have a baby.

Here are your options:

  • Freeze your sperm before beginning hormonal treatment or transitioning! Multiple times. Multiple vials. It’s relatively inexpensive, especially in comparison to egg-freezing. There is virtually no reason not to do this for security– you can’t change your mind later. If an analysis determines your sperm has some issues (i.e. factors like its volume, shape, speed), ask your doctor if you should freeze even more. As discussed earlier, if you have a sperm issue ICSI (see above) during IVF may overcome it.
  • Have IVF using your sperm from before transitioning and using an egg donor and a gestational carrier. Your egg donor can be anonymous or known to you. She will undergo IVF (as previously explained above) but at the point of the egg retrieval, she turns the eggs over to you and she’s done. The eggs are then mixed with your sperm and/or your partner’s sperm for fertilization. After fertilization, the resulting embryos are frozen, to be implanted in the uterus of a gestational carrier. A gestational carrier is a woman (one different than the egg donor) who agrees to carry the baby for you, the intended parent(s). At the birth, the baby is turned over to you pursuant to your contract.

Many of these transgender couples find that using the sperm of both the partner that was born male who identifies as female and also the sperm of the partner born male who identifies as such to fertilize the eggs of the egg donor allows them both to potentially have a biological connection to their babies, though not currently both being connected to a single baby at the same time. For example, embryos fertilized by one partner’s sperm might be transferred into a gestational carrier first and then in a later pregnancy attempt, embryos fertilized with the other partner’s sperm are transferred. If successful, this gives each dad a biological connection to the child fathered with their sperm.

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Fortunately, there are donor programs at Long Island IVF to help transgender, homosexual and heterosexual folks with any donor egg, donor sperm, or egg donor needs.

Whether you are a gay man, lesbian, or transgender—single or married—if you are interested in family-building, Long Island IVF has decades of experience helping the community become parents.  Please contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial consultation. In addition, follow us on social media for info on our many free upcoming events.

We are proud to partner with the LGBT Network to provide the community with information, education, support, and access to the most advanced traditional and holistic assisted reproductive technologies. We also understand, respect, and are sensitive to the unique needs of the LGBT community when it comes to building its families.

This year, Long Island IVF is celebrating a milestone–our 30th anniversary. If you are ready for parenthood, we would love the opportunity to assist you with your own milestone.

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Long Island IVF Doctors Again Make Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors Guide

By Tracey Minella

April 3rd, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Long Island IVF is proud to announce that several of its doctors have again been included in the Top Doctors on Long Island Guide selected from the 2018 Castle Connolly Guide by Newsday.

Daniel Kenigsberg, MD and Steven Brenner, MD, and Joseph Pena, MD consistently appear on the list of Reproductive Endocrinologists that are honored as Top Doctors in their field and this year was no different.

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 Doctors list is an honor that never gets old for our physicians. The same is true for the satisfaction we get when our patients and their families and friends consistently nominate and vote for us in the Long Island Press’ contest for “Best In vitro Fertility Practice”.

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.

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