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Archive for the ‘donor egg’ tag

Long Island IVF’s “New Beginnings Through Donor Egg” Fall Seminar

By Tracey Minella

October 18th, 2016 at 10:12 am

Do you think you might need an egg donor to build your family?

Have you ever met a woman who became a mom through egg donation? Wouldn’t it be helpful to hear about her experience and ask her questions in person knowing she once shared the same concerns you may have about the process?

Well, you won’t want to miss this seminar!

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event “New Beginnings Through Donor Egg” that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Our caring doctors and staff…and one of our donor recipient moms… will go over everything you could ever need to know about egg donation.

Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, premature ovarian failure, failed IVF treatment, cancer, or poor egg quality should consider donor egg therapy. Long Island IVF offers many ways to build a family through the donor egg program. Gay men wanting biological children also need the help of an egg donor.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs 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.

Maybe you’re not yet ready to act on the information you’ll receive. No problem. We’re just here to offer information and emotional support. So, why not attend the seminar and learn about Egg Donation as an opportunity to create your family? It’s the last seminar of the year and a perfect time to get educated and empowered about this powerful family-building option.

Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Long Island IVF partner and reproductive endocrinologist Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions. You can even speak to them privately if you’re more comfortable.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including:

  • Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation,
  • Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, and
  • Frozen Egg Donation.

Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened, anonymous egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help build your family. Or you can use a known donor if you prefer.

Register here for “New Beginnings Through Donor Egg”. Walk-ins are always welcome, too. Bring a friend or partner. 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.

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

Date: Tuesday November 1, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm- 9:00 pm

 

LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015 and 2016″ contests. We are humbled and excited by the honor and thrilled to be nominated again for 2017 (voting is now through December 15, 2016)! 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 and ask for Vicky Loveland, so we can make other arrangements to help you.

 

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Building Families in the LGBT Community Seminar at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

October 4th, 2016 at 10:03 am

Long Island IVF has been helping the LGBT community become parents for decades. So, if you’re thinking about having a baby and want to know all of your family building options, you won’t want to miss this event!

We’ve partnered up with the LGBT Network to bring you a quality LGBT family building seminar on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Long Island IVF Melville office located at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York.

In about two hours, the speakers at our seminar will answer everything you ever wanted to know about today’s many LGBT Family-Building options. Two of our reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Steven Brenner, and Dr. Satu Kuokkanen, along with other key Long Island IVF team members will introduce you to the fascinating world of assisted reproductive technology and specifically how it’s used to help the LGBT community become parents. In addition, our Donor Egg Coordinator, Vicky Loveland, MS, RN, and Melissa Brisman, owner and founder of Reproductive Possibilities http://www.reproductivepossibilities.com/ will be there.

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 parenthood quest unique to you, whether you are gay, lesbian, transsexual, or bi-sexual. Believing that everyone has the right to become a parent, LIIVF is committed to using the best available medical technologies to help you overcome or circumvent biological obstacles to parenthood.

Whether we met at LI Pridefest 2016 in June 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 and the LGBT Network at our Melville office to learn about the many ways we can help you achieve your dream of parenthood.

For more information and to register for this free event, please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/building-families-in-the-lgbt-community-tickets-25604913987

Need to reach someone? You can email lmontello@liivf.com.

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Will you be attending the “Building Families in the LGBT Community” 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 AND 2016

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.

 

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Fertility Awareness Opportunities Angelina Jolie Missed

By Tracey Minella

September 20th, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Public Domain Image: courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net/vera kratochvil-wax figures

 

[This post was originally posted in March, 2015. It's being reprinted as a reminder of what we can learn from the health care decisions Angelina Jolie bravely made and shared publicly.]

Actress, director, humanitarian, ambassador, mom of twins, adoptive mom, wife of Brad Pitt. And she’s gorgeous.

What’s not to hate?

Oh, I’m just sort of  kidding. No, really. But despite all the good she does, there will always be haters. People who want her money, her talent, her babies, or her man. Jealousy can do that.

I don’t admire many celebrities… and that’s fine, because their only job is to entertain me, not impress me. But I am impressed with Angelina Jolie. She’s charitable with her time and money and seems pretty grounded for a megastar. And she uses her celebrity for good.

It’s been only two years since Jolie made headlines for undergoing a preventative double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA gene mutation… a mutation that significantly increases the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. At that time, she was open about her decision and used her celebrity to increase breast cancer awareness.

This week, Angelina revealed that she took those preventative measures to the next level. This time, she had both of her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in the hope of avoiding ovarian cancer…another deadly cancer linked to the same gene mutation. Jolie lost her mom to ovarian cancer and said in a recent New York Times Op Ed piece that she doesn’t want her children to experience the same loss. Her openness is raising awareness of ovarian cancer.

But there is another untold story here, too…a fertility awareness story…and it needs to be heard.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know Jolie has six children. She adopted three children internationally and gave birth to a singleton and a pair of twins. Practically eliminating her risk of getting ovarian cancer is not the only result of her surgery.

The media is reporting that she can no longer have biological children. And Jolie acknowledged how hard her decision would be for a woman who has not completed her family-building. Perhaps because of the size of her family, this point seemed lost on the general public. But it’s not lost on you, is it? This surgery is a big deal. And before others who may not be done with their family-building journeys emulate Jolie and follow her path, some crucial missing information needs to be shared.

In fact, there are three opportunities here to increase fertility awareness and educate the public about advances in the field of reproductive technologies, namely PGD, Egg donation, and Egg-freezing.

First, there’s pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (“PGD”). PGD enables couples who are concerned about passing a life-threatening genetic disease on to their children to have their embryos pre-screened for gene mutations. This screening can only be done in conjunction with an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, where eggs are retrieved and fertilized in a lab and the resulting embryos can be tested. Then, only those embryos that did not test positive for the mutated gene would be transferred into the uterus…virtually eliminating the chance of passing on that hereditary disease. BRCA is one of the many genes that can be screened through PGD. Long Island IVF offers PGD.

Second, there’s egg donation. If a woman has her ovaries and tubes removed, she cannot thereafter have a biological child…one created using her own eggs… however she may still experience childbirth. If she still has a healthy uterus, it may be possible for her, through IVF, to use eggs from an egg donor and the sperm of her partner or a donor, and have the resulting embryos transferred into her uterus where a pregnancy can implant and grow to term. Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program brought Long Island its First donor egg baby decades ago.

Finally, there’s the latest breakthrough in women’s fertility preservation technology: egg freezing. Egg-freezing offers an exception to the egg donor statement above. If… prior to removing her ovaries… a woman undergoes IVF for the purpose of either freezing her retrieved eggs (or freezing the embryos resulting from the fertilization of her retrieved eggs), then instead of needing donor eggs, she would be able to later have her own frozen eggs or embryos thawed and transferred into her uterus in the hope of becoming pregnant with her biological child. Or if her uterus was unsuitable or absent, she could still have a biological child by having someone else carry a pregnancy for her. (Note: Surrogacy and gestational carrier laws vary from state to state.) Long Island IVF has an Egg Freezing Program.

These three fertility awareness opportunities, when coupled with Jolie’s breast cancer and ovarian cancer awareness, will further empower women everywhere to make better medical choices and take charge of their fertility and general health.

Shame on the haters. It’s wonderful that Jolie is open about her health in a way that raises awareness for others. She is a just a mom. A selfless mom who just wants to be there to see her children and future grandchildren grow up.

Is there something wrong with being proactive after tests show you carry a gene that could one day take your life, like it took your mother’s? Are the haters just jealous of her? Is she a hero?

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What do you think? What would you do?

 

 

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Diva Run Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

September 13th, 2016 at 7:54 am

 

photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net-stockimages


The team at Long Island IVF loves building ties in the community as much as we love building Long Island families. And we’re so excited to be part of the Long Island Diva Run Health & Fitness Boutique this year!

The Diva Run is taking place on Sunday, October 2, 2016 but it’s a WHOLE WEEKEND OF FREE FUN FOR THE PUBLIC starting on Friday afternoon!!! It’s “the most fun and glam women’s half-marathon and 5k series in the nation”.

Non-runners (and runners who are picking up their pre-race packets) can join us for the kick-off of the Health & Fitness Boutique at Mitchel Athletic Complex Butler Building 1 Charles Lindberg Blvd., Uniondale, NY on Friday night, Sept 30 from 4-7  pm. Or spend the whole day Saturday October 1st from 9am-5pm at the Health & Fitness Boutique.

Check out all the great offerings from many local service providers and vendors including the latest women’s trends, designs, and advances in running shoes and apparel. Be sure to stop by the Long Island IVF table to say hello, meet some staff, get some cool free stuff, and check out all of our great events coming up this fall.

Ever consider becoming an egg donor? If you’re a young, healthy woman with a generous heart, you can help another woman fulfill her dream of motherhood while being compensated $8,000 for your time. For details, please stop by our table or call our office at 631-752-0606 to speak with our Donor Egg Program Coordinator, Vicky Loveland, MS, RN.

Interested in the race? Participants in the Diva Run choose either a half-marathon or a 5K challenge. Channel your young girl self by stopping by the boa and tiara stand before the finish line. Let your standard issue pink tutu blow in the wind as you complete the course, where a glass of bubbly awaits. It’s not your grandma’s race.

Whether you shop til you drop– or run til you drop– we hope to see you at the Diva Run weekend!

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When Should I Freeze My Eggs?

By Dr. Michael Zinger

August 4th, 2016 at 3:43 pm

 

image credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net


Every woman is born with a limited supply of eggs.  As this supply ages, the likelihood of each remaining egg to have the capability to become a baby diminishes.  However, this loss of potential is not spread evenly over the years, rather it is a shallow decline that usually continues into the mid-30’s, followed by a steeper loss that typically happens from the late 30’s into the early 40’s.  Over a matter of 5 years, the odds of one egg having the potential to make a baby decreases by about 80%.  Of course, not every woman is typical and the age at which this transition starts can vary quite a bit.

 

The only way to effectively protect the potential of eggs over time is cryopreservation, also known as egg freezing.  Once frozen, the capacity of the eggs to create a successful pregnancy is maintained through the years.

 

Gynecologists often ask me at which age to refer their single patients to me to discuss egg freezing.  The answer is not simple.  Certainly we do not want to put a patient through this process if it is likely that she will meet the right partner and form a family without ever using those eggs.  It would have been an unnecessary medical procedure with associated expense and lost time and effort.

 

On the other hand, we have to weigh the risk that the steeper decline in the eggs’ potential will happen before the woman has met her future partner and completed her family.  If we could predict when that decline will happen in each woman then this question would be much easier.  Unfortunately, our testing is only accurate in identifying this steeper decline when it is already occurring, at which point we have already missed the opportunity to freeze high-potential eggs.

 

Most of my egg-freeze patients are in their mid-30’s.  On average, at this point, only subtle changes in the potential of eggs have occurred, whereas within a few years, more drastic changes usually start.   Therefore, this timing does make sense for most women, but not everyone.

 

A concern about waiting until the mid 30’s is the possibility of an earlier decrease in egg potential.  While that is unusual, it tends to also be unpredictable.  Factors that contribute may include a history of smoking, a history of ovarian surgery or conditions that may lead to such surgery (e.g. endometriosis), or having a mother or older sister that experienced either an earlier menopause or infertility due to loss in egg potential.  Women with these factors should consider freezing eggs in their early 30’s or even late 20’s.    But, most often, if an early decrease occurs, it is without any predisposing factors and with no known cause.  Therefore, even without predisposing factors, cautious women, who want to minimize the risk of missing the opportunity, should also consider freezing their eggs in their early 30’s.

 

Of course, just as some women unpredictably have an earlier loss, some also have good potential that persists even past 40.  This can be determined at an initial visit with a fertility specialist through sonogram and blood tests.  So, for women who have not yet frozen eggs, even at 41 or 42 it makes sense to come in for evaluation and determine if this could still be worthwhile.

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Long Island IVF Donor Egg Recipient Summer Seminar

By Tracey Minella

July 7th, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Have you ever met a woman who became a mother through egg donation? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to hear about her experience and ask her some questions face-to-face?

Well, if you’re considering using an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process…you won’t want to miss this seminar!

On Tuesday, July 26, 2016, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event “New Beginnings Through Donor Egg” that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Our caring doctors and staff…and one of our donor recipient moms… will go over everything you could ever need to know about egg donation.

Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, failed IVF treatment, cancer, or poor egg quality should consider donor egg therapy. Long Island IVF offers many ways to build a family through the donor egg program. Gay men wanting biological children also need the help of an egg donor.

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.

Maybe you’re not yet ready to act on the information you’ll receive. No problem. We’re just here to offer information and emotional support. So, why not attend the seminar and learn about Egg Donation as an opportunity to create your family?

Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Long Island IVF partner and reproductive endocrinologist Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions. You can even speak to them privately if you’re more comfortable.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including:

  • Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation,
  • Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, and
  • Frozen Egg Donation.

Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened, anonymous egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help build your family. Or you can use a known donor if you prefer.

Register here for “New Beginnings Through Donor Egg”. Walk-ins are always welcome, too. Bring a friend or partner. 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.

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

Date: Tuesday July 26, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm

 

LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015 and 2016″ contests. 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 to help you.

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Long Island IVF’s New Donor Egg Website

By Tracey Minella

June 1st, 2016 at 10:09 am


The practice that brought Long Island its first donor egg baby decades ago just completely revamped its Donor Egg Program website! Now, the most pressing info you want is even easier to access on a site that exudes the warmth of the people behind this established program’s success.

 

Potential egg donors as well as donor recipients will not only find comfort in the history of Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program, but in the steps we take to fully screen potential egg donor candidates and our donor recipient patients. This process… simply explained on the new nydonoregg.com website… has been fine-tuned over the program’s long history to assure safe and thorough screening and patient care and a positive, completely anonymous experience for both donors and recipients.

 

Have you ever thought of becoming an egg donor? Do you know someone who is young and healthy and generous of spirit that might consider the wonderful gift of egg donation to help another woman enjoy the dream of motherhood? A visit to our new website is the perfect place to start this journey. (Or just pick up the phone and call the Program Coordinator, Vicky Loveland, MS, RN at 877-838-BABY…we’re flexible that way!)

 

The financial compensation is generous, with our egg donors currently receiving $8,000 per donated cycle. Many of our donors enjoy the experience so much that they come back to donate again. Repeat donors can even choose to freeze some of their eggs for their own future use and still receive compensation for the eggs that were donated. So you can help others and preserve your own future fertility at the same time.

 

Please check out our new Donor Egg Program website and consider becoming an egg donor. Or share this post on social media in case a friend would like to consider egg donation. You never know who might need donor eggs to start their family or who might benefit from the $8,000 compensation that comes from being an egg donor. By sharing, you might be helping a friend or loved one who is silently suffering from infertility.

 

We have healthy and prescreened egg donors ready and willing to help infertile couples become parents and are always looking to welcome more generous women to our egg donor family. Will you be next?

 

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Would you consider becoming an egg donor?

 

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.

 

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Egg Donation at Easter

By Tracey Minella

March 24th, 2016 at 4:40 pm

 

image credit: tiramisustudio and freedigitalphotos.net


What better time of year than Easter to talk about eggs?

No, not the colored ones that young children in starched knickers and tulle dresses egg-citedly gather up in egg hunts. We’re talking about the millions of eggs each woman is born with–the ones that some infertile women need donated from fertile women in order to have a baby.

Whether you are a young mother who has finished your own family-building, or you are a young woman putting off family-building while you pursue your education or career aspirations… or you’re just a young healthy woman with a warm heart!…egg donation is a priceless gift you can give to someone longing for a baby.

In addition to how good it may make your heart feel to help another woman to become a mother, your giving spirit is rewarded with generous financial compensation. And repeat donors may qualify to have some of the eggs from their donor cycle frozen for their own future use.

If you’d like an egg donor application or more information on how you can become an egg donor and receive $8,000 for each cycle you donate, please call Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program Coordinator, Victoria Loveland, MS, RN at (877)838-BABY. Many of our egg donors enjoy the experience so much that they return to donate again and again.

In this season of rebirth and renewal, won’t you consider egg donation?

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Would you consider becoming an egg donor? Why or why not?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.

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Donor Egg Recipient Seminar at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

October 6th, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Do you think you might need an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process? Then you won’t want to miss this exciting event!

On Tuesday, October 13, 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, Steven Brenner, MD, and other key members of our Donor Egg team 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 October 13, 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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The Fertility Awareness Opportunities Angelina Jolie Missed

By Tracey Minella

March 27th, 2015 at 11:57 am

 

 

credit: Paul Sherman/ wpclipart


Actress, director, humanitarian, ambassador, mom of twins, adoptive mom, wife of Brad Pitt. And she’s gorgeous.

What’s not to hate?

Oh, I’m just sort of  kidding. No, really. But despite all the good she does, there will always be haters. People who want her money, her talent, her babies, or her man. Jealousy can do that.

I don’t necessarily admire many celebrities… and that’s fine, because their only job is to entertain me, not impress me. But I am impressed with Angelina Jolie. She’s charitable with her time and money and seems pretty grounded for a megastar. And she uses her celebrity for good.

It’s been only two years since Jolie made headlines for undergoing a preventative double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA gene mutation… a mutation that significantly increases the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. At that time, she was open about her decision and used her celebrity to increase breast cancer awareness.

Now Angelina revealed that she took those preventative measures to the next level. This time, she had both of her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in the hope of avoiding ovarian cancer…another deadly cancer linked to the same gene mutation. Jolie lost her mom to ovarian cancer and said in a recent New York Times Op Ed piece that she doesn’t want her children to experience the same loss. Her openness is raising awareness of ovarian cancer.

But there is another untold story here, too…a fertility awareness story…and it needs to be heard.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know Jolie has six children. She adopted three children internationally and gave birth to a singleton and a pair of twins. Practically eliminating her risk of getting ovarian cancer is not the only result of her surgery.

The media is reporting that she can no longer have biological children. And Jolie acknowledged how hard her decision would be for a woman who has not completed her family-building. Perhaps because of the size of her family, this point seemed lost on the general public. But it’s not lost on you, is it? This surgery is a big deal. And before others who may not be done with their family-building journeys emulate Jolie and follow her path, some crucial missing information needs to be shared.

In fact, there are three opportunities here to increase fertility awareness and educate the public about advances in the field of reproductive technologies, namely PGD, Egg donation, and Egg-freezing.

First, there’s pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (“PGD”). PGD enables couples who are concerned about passing a life-threatening genetic disease on to their children to have their embryos pre-screened for gene mutations. This screening can only be done in conjunction with an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, where eggs are retrieved and fertilized in a lab and the resulting embryos can be tested. Then, only those embryos that did not test positive for the mutated gene would be transferred into the uterus…virtually eliminating the chance of passing on that hereditary disease. BRCA is one of the many genes that can be screened through PGD. Long Island IVF offers PGD.

Second, there’s egg donation. If a woman has her ovaries and tubes removed, she cannot thereafter have a biological child…one created using her own eggs… however she may still experience childbirth. If she still has a healthy uterus, it may be possible for her, through IVF, to use eggs from an egg donor and the sperm of her partner or a donor, and have the resulting embryos transferred into her uterus where a pregnancy can implant and grow to term. Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program brought Long Island its First donor egg baby decades ago.

Finally, there’s the latest breakthrough in women’s fertility preservation technology: egg freezing. Egg-freezing offers an exception to the egg donor statement above. If… prior to removing her ovaries… a woman undergoes IVF for the purpose of either freezing her retrieved eggs (or freezing the embryos resulting from the fertilization of her retrieved eggs), then instead of needing donor eggs, she would be able to later have her own frozen eggs (or embryos) thawed and transferred into her uterus in the hope of becoming pregnant with her own biological child. Or if her uterus was unsuitable or absent, she could still have a biological child by having someone else carry a pregnancy for her. (Note: Surrogacy and gestational carrier laws vary from state to state.) Long Island IVF has an Egg Freezing Program.

These three fertility awareness opportunities, when coupled with Jolie’s breast cancer and ovarian cancer awareness, will further empower women everywhere to make better medical choices and take charge of their fertility and general health.

Shame on the haters. It’s wonderful that Jolie is open about her health in a way that raises awareness for others. She is a just a mom. A selfless mom who just wants to be there to see her children and future grandchildren grow up.

Is there something wrong with being proactive after tests show you carry a gene that could one day take your life, like it took your mother’s? Are the haters just jealous of her? Is she a hero?

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What do you think? What would you do?

 

 

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