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Archive for the ‘Donor Sperm’ tag

The Importance of a Soul Mate in IVF

By Tracey Minella

August 3rd, 2012 at 8:13 am

courtesy of Rosen Georgeiev/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I should begin by applauding the single ladies doing IVF. I didn’t do IVF without a partner by my side, but had the circumstances required it, my desire to have a baby would have put me on the IVF road myself as well. I imagine you all having amazing strength simply for undertaking the challenge of single parenting, never mind the lengths you’re going to to make it happen.

But IVF with a partner is obviously very different. It must be… simply by nature of there being a relationship involved.

There’s the issue of blame. There shouldn’t be. But there often is. If one of the pair has the diagnosis, there’s often guilt to deal with. That’s never good for a relationship.

Sometimes, there are the issues of donation and third parties. Donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos. Or the need for a gestational carrier or surrogate. More complicated stuff.

There are almost always financial issues unless you are lucky enough to have generous insurance coverage. If your jobs don’t offer infertility insurance, or your employers aren’t supportive of your situation, there can be stress at work…which spills over into the home.

Then there’s the stress of watching other couples have it all. The baby you can’t have without the treatment. The house or vacation you can’t afford because of the treatment. Why you?

Infertility is isolating. It’s just the two of you. It’s like living long-term in that moment of your vows where you said “for better or for worse; in sickness and in health” but never thought the bad stuff would really happen to you.

For me, the lows were so low at times that I didn’t always appreciate my husband’s support while we were going through it. I was too consumed by the details, too worried about failing, too focused on the goal. Not focused enough on the guy at the end of that long needle each night. The one who quietly absorbed the brunt of my hormonal outbursts. The one who held me when the bottom fell out of the world. The one who never questioned my need to try again. And again.

There’s no doubt that infertility is one of the toughest tests of a marriage. Most couples that make it through successfully are surely stronger for it. I feel that most couples who come to the end of their journey together…whether it ends with a biological baby, an adopted baby, or a decision to remain child-free…proudly wear an invisible badge of marital courage.

But I feel for those whose marriages crumble from the strain of infertility. Would they have survived if not for those stresses? Would they have been one of those happy couples who skate through life escaping all real adversity? Or were they doomed anyway, and infertility just happened to be the blow to expose their already weak foundations? It’s hard to say.

Looking back, I wish I’d been better at stopping the world from spinning and re-connecting with my partner along the way. Try to do that. You are the only two who understand what you are going through and what is on the line. What you have to lose…what you have to gain. Don’t lose sight of each other when simply going through the motions of your treatment. Show your gratitude.

All journeys end. Most end happily, though not always the way we imagine happiness will be when we started. Then you get to look back on it years later and laugh at things you never thought you would. And realize you’d never have gotten though it all without your soul mate.

Happy 27th Anniversary to mine.

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What’s the one moment on your journey that you realized you were/were not with your soul mate? What would you tell your soul mate to thank him/her?

 

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Dr. Kreiner’s Letter to the Editor of Newsday

By David Kreiner, MD

July 12th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

credit: wpclipart.com

 

Long Island IVF’s co-founder, Dr. David Kreiner responds to the assertion that in-vitro fertilization, or IVF as it’s known, is a treatment of “last resort”. Here is his letter to the Editor of Newsday published on July 8, 2012:

“ Adrian Peracchio wrote an interesting account of in vitro fertilization, a technology that is now 34 years old ["The future is now," Opinion, July 1]. As stated in the article, IVF is a procedure that was born in a hailstorm of controversy and remains today accountable for 3 percent of all births in the developed nations.

A reason for IVF’s rise in popularity is a tremendous improvement in success rates. As reported in the June 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, live birthrates with IVF approximate natural conception in fertile couples. Also, IVF reaches success rates as high as 80.7 percent for couples using donor eggs after three cycles.

Peracchio points out that the cost of IVF, as much as $15,000 in many centers, is often not covered by health insurance, and that IVF was intended as a “last resort” treatment.

This is a misunderstanding of IVF as an alternative only after the failure of less aggressive treatments — such as inseminations with fertility drugs. Insurance providers cover the drug treatment, which is ironically more expensive. Fertility drug treatments can lead to multiple pregnancies and premature deliveries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we could save $1.1 billion a year if single embryo transfers with IVF were performed instead.

It is a shame that the technology developed by Robert G. Edwards for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine remains available only to a minority of couples and is still not recognized by insurance companies.”

Dr. David Kreiner, Plainview

Editor’s note: The writer is the co-founder of Long Island IVF, an infertility care center.

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We’d love your thoughts here on the blog.

But if you’d like to respond to this article on Newsday.com and reply to the thread of unsympathetic comments, the link to the letter is here: http://bit.ly/NcuEwn (I’m guessing a stress-busting vent session will result for anyone willling to take up the cause!)

 

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Figuring out YOUR Odds of a Live Birth With IVF

By David Kreiner MD, and Tracey Minella

July 2nd, 2012 at 8:35 am

 

 

Statistics can be confusing. And when you’re on fertility meds and your hormones are raging, it can be hard to think clearly. So grab a cup of coffee and your thinking cap because you’re going to be interested in this post from Dr. Kreiner.

It’s about a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that finally sheds light on a woman’s odds of having a live birth from IVF. The study examined data from SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology), the primary organization that collects data, sets the guidelines, and helps maintain the standards for the practice of assisted reproductive technologies.

Dr. Kreiner reports:

NEJM Study Uses SART Data to Determine Cumulative Birth Rates for Individual Patients with In Vitro Fertilization

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine links data from the SART Clinic Outcome Reporting System to individual women who underwent cycles from 2004 to 2009.  In this way a cumulative live birth rate over the course of all their cycles could be determined.

The researchers reviewed data from 246,740 women, with 471,208 cycles and 140,859 live births, found that live-birth rates declined with increasing maternal age and increasing cycle number when patients’ own oocytes were used, but live-birth rates remained high in donor egg cycles. See Luke et al, Cumulative Birth Rates with Linked Assisted Reproductive Technology Cycles, N Engl J Med 2012; 366:2483-2491 June 28, 2012. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1110238

By the third cycle, the conservative (patients who underwent fewer than three cycles were assumed not to get pregnant) and optimal estimates of live-birth rates (patients with fewer than three cycles were assumed to have a live birth) with autologous oocytes had declined from 63.3% and 74.6%, respectively, for women younger than 31 years of age to 18.6% and 27.8% for those 41 or 42 years of age and to 6.6% and 11.3% for those 43 years of age or older. When donor oocytes were used, the rates were higher than 60% and 80%, respectively, for all ages. Rates were higher with blastocyst embryos (day of transfer, 5 or 6) than with cleavage embryos (day of transfer, 2 or 3).

At the third cycle, the conservative and optimal estimates of cumulative live-birth rates were, respectively, 42.7% and 65.3% for transfer of cleavage embryos and 52.4% and 80.7% for transfer of blastocyst embryos when fresh autologous oocytes were used.

The study looks for the first time at a “cumulative live birth rate” for each patient going through three embryo transfers. They provide a range based on those patients who did not proceed with subsequent cycles assuming no pregnancy for lower end and live birth in upper end. They do not go into number of embryos transferred or multiple pregnancies.  This provides the best data we have available to answer the question of what the odds are that a patient will experience a successful live birth with IVF.  Understanding that the data is now a little dated and represents a national average, my expectation is that on the average we should see even somewhat better success.

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What did you think of the study? Any questions? Ask Dr. Kreiner right here.

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Your Wildest Dreams Can Come True

By Tracey Minella

June 28th, 2012 at 9:00 am

Some ladies have crushes on their RE. Do you ever dream about your IVF doctor?

Ever fantasize that he comes to you in the wee hours of the morning, a hulking presence walking through the misty fog just past dawn? You feel the excitement in the thick air as he moves toward you with hurried anticipation. He meets your gaze and whispers “Let’s make a baby…”

Phew, is it getting hot in here or is it just me?

Well, for one lucky woman, this dream will come true on September 4, 2012! That woman would be the winner of Long Island IVF’s “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest. She will receive a Free basic Micro-IVF cycle, valued at 3,900.00! And if she happens to come from the Long Island or Brooklyn area, she may get the good news by a personal visit from one of our doctors on the day after Labor Day!

The annual contest launched during National Infertility Awareness Week in April and runs through August 26, 2012. You can enter by essay or video. Please see full rules here:

http://blog.longislandivf.com/2012/win-a-free-basic-micro-ivf-cycle-in-long-island-ivfs-extreme-family-building-makeover-contest/

You can also get to the rules via Long Island IVF’s Facebook Page at: http://www.facebook.com/longislandivf and clicking on the “Contest” tab.

 In addition to the awesome Grand Prize of a Free basic Micro-IVF cycle, there are early incentive prizes awarded each month of the contest, so get those entries in, ladies.

A prior Micro-IVF winner tucks her baby boy in each night in Georgia. Will you be next?

 

 

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Infertile Men are Fathers, Too

By Tracey Minella

June 17th, 2012 at 8:56 am

If you are a man who wants to be a father, but infertility is standing in the way, I don’t have to tell you how tough it is getting through today. If male factor infertility is all or part of the problem, there’s often an added level of misplaced guilt as well. And if you’ve lost your own dad along the way, the day is even worse.

I could tell you to take care of yourself today, but you’re probably more concerned about your wife or partner. How she wants the baby, the card and the homemade clay presents that Father’s Day is supposed to be about.

If you’re seeing your own dad… and siblings with children will be there… there can be guilt about not making grandchildren yet and the sense of urgency to do so while he’s still alive. But you will manage, despite the ache in your heart, to smile for your dad today and to play a little catch with those nephews.

And you may have to endure the insensitive and hurtful comments…sometimes directly targeted at your manhood… by ignorant brothers or in-laws. You know the ones. I won’t repeat them. But you’ll laugh it off to keep the peace and pretend it’s the barbeque smoke stinging your eyes.

Today I want you to know that you are a dad. You’re a father “in-the-making”.

Good dads are selfless. They put everyone else’s needs before their own. They take care of their wives and their parents. They often hide their pain. Without realizing it, some practice their “dad skills” on nieces and nephews. They get stronger by facing and overcoming adversity. Their commitment to their wife deepens by battling this challenge together.

All this crap you are going through… this journey… has either given you or fine-tuned all the traits you need to be a great dad someday.

So, Happy Father’s Day to a great dad-to-be. And I hope that next year will be the year of the baby to complete the deal.

To our patients who have already become fathers, Happy Father’s Day. Enjoy those miracles… and their homemade clay presents!

Happy Father’s Day to the wonderful doctor dads of Long Island IVF…great men and loving fathers/grandfathers who use their gifts every day to help build our families.

And finally, Happy Father’s Day to my husband Adam, not just for being the wonderful father I knew he’d be, but for hanging in there during the many years of our own 7 fresh IVF cycles journey to parenthood.

If winning a free Micro-IVF cycle (valued at $3,900.00) would assist you on your infertility journey, please enter Long Island IVF’s “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest. Details are on the April 23, 2012 blog post or click here: http://blog.longislandivf.com/2012/win-a-free-basic-micro-ivf-cycle-in-long-island-ivfs-extreme-family-building-makeover-contest/

 

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Tell us how you get through days like this. Did anyone say something hurtful? How did you respond?

Photo credit: http://www.wpclipart.com/holiday/fathers_day/index.html

 

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Ethical, Moral and Legal IVF Factors

By David Kreiner MD, Tracey Minella

May 29th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

 

If you think that all fertility patients look like your average young urban professional neighbors with the SUV, think again. They are as diverse as the general population.

Actually, anyone can be infertile. There could be a reality show called “The Real Infertile Housewives of Long Island”. When the door swings open and a potential new patient walks in, infertility doctors never know what they’re gonna get. Often, it’s a so-called “traditional” married couple using their own eggs and sperm or those of a donor. It could also be an equally welcome gay couple or single woman using donor eggs and or sperm. But often enough… it’s not. And sometimes, it’s downright ugly and complicated.

Must he treat them? Should he treat them? Often, the legal system muddies the waters.

Dr. Kreiner of Long Island IVF gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to be on his side of the desk at a new patient appointment. Here’s a post he wrote prior to New York’s  legalization of same sex marriages:

Those of us who work in the infertility field are often presented with situations that make us ponder whether we should assist in endeavors that make us feel a bit, well, uncomfortable. I suppose it’s common to have these experiences in our field as family building is a cornerstone of our society. But manipulating a family affects not just the people directly involved, but all of us.

There are the straightforward illegal and unethical cases: The married woman who presents with a proposal to conceive with a man other than her husband (without the husband’s consent) or the married man “donating” his sperm to a “friend” other than his wife (without his wife’s knowledge). These are the easy ones that don’t even make me pause.

I come across more difficult questions, however, that require much more intense contemplation and research. On a daily basis, the way most of us professionals try to deal with ethical and legal dilemmas is to resort to an evaluation of the “yuk factor.” It’s an internal cliff notes version of societal morality and law that many of us professionals rely on to make daily decisions when we can’t read the whole book on an issue. Sure, there’s a potential downside of going down the slippery “yuk” slope, but when was the last time the approach “if you’d be ashamed to see it on the front page of the New York Times, then don’t do it” led you down the wrong path?

Yet, I still have difficulty understanding what’s ethically and/or legally right in some situations. The go-ahead is clear to me if an unmarried man and woman present as a couple, each using their own gametes, and both sign consent acknowledging their rights and responsibilities to the future child. Less obvious is the case of the unmarried lesbian couple who present with only one partner participating biologically. They live as a couple, but the law doesn’t necessarily recognize the partner who isn’t participating biologically as having parental rights. Should they be signing as a couple for use of donor sperm to create a baby and, if so, what –if any– are the ramifications? Is this situation different if the unmarried-yet-cohabiting partner who is not participating is a male? Does the unmarried lesbian partner have the right to adopt the baby? Does this change if the partner is a transsexual?

It would seem to me that if the couple decides that they will have a baby together, despite the fact that only one is contributing biologically, that there should be parity recognized legally based on the emotional and financial contributions the other partner makes, especially if she were willing to adopt the child and legally take on parental rights. For me the “yuk” factor becomes the legal system if that unmarried partner who is unable to contribute biologically is unable to retain parental rights in a split.

So now I’m off to the clinic to see what murky issues the day will present.

Every day is different.

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Do you think there are situations where a doctor can, should, or must refuse treatment? If so, when?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=10714&picture=halloween-wedding

 

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Long Island IVF’s “Every Baby’s Beautiful Pageant Parade”-MOVED TO RAINDATE!!

By Tracey Minella

May 21st, 2012 at 1:58 pm

 

At Long Island IVF, we love reunions. We love seeing the most recent batch of our beautiful babies every year at this time. But we’re not fond of the rain…

IN LIGHT OF THE FORECAST, WE’VE ALREADY DECIDED TO MOVE THE REUNION AND PAGEANT PARADE TO THIS WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012.  PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD BY SHARING THIS ON YOUR FACEBOOK.

We wish we could have a reunion with ALL of our babies at once. But when you think of the sheer volume of children …many young adults now… conceived since we brought Long Island its first IVF baby shortly after our founding in 1988, well we’d need a super big place! And the Nassau Coliseum is probably taken!

So, since every baby’s beautiful at Long Island IVF, we decided it’d be fun to hold our first “Every Baby’s Beautiful Pageant Parade” for the boys and girls born through IVF in 2011. That is, of course, as long as it doesn’t rain on our parade! None of the Toddlers and Tiaras competitive nonsense here! Just a fun little stroll…or roll…down the red carpet! Every baby’s a winner!

Please come down with your little miracles and show off! This is what it’s all about…celebrating the life of your little miracle and your dream come true.

And be sure to check in on the Long Island Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/longislandivf before you head on over on Wednesday if the weather looks bad. Updated information will be there if it gets postponed again. And while you’re at it, why not just “LIKE” our Facebook page if you haven’t already?!

Here’s the scoop:

What: LIIVF’s “Every Baby’s Beautiful” Luncheon and Pageant
Where: Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, Area “B,” Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY 11797 (Across from the Fox Hollow Inn)
When: Tuesday, May 22,  Wednesday, May 23, noon to 2 p.m.

All family members of LIIVF babies born in 2011 are welcome at the reunion and pageant parade.

For more information or to RSVP, contact: Lindsay Montello at lmontello(at)liivf(dot)com or 516-939-BABY (2229).

Hope to see you all there!

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=18939&picture=driving-away

 

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Spending a Beautiful Weekend at the Fertility Clinic

By Tracey Minella

May 20th, 2012 at 12:13 am

 

Finally, the warm weather has arrived. The bulky sweaters have been shed (we won’t mention winter’s added pounds that need to go with them!)

And where are you on this sunny Sunday morning?

Stuck in the R.E.’s office being, well…stuck.

Stuck with a sono wand. Stuck with a needle. Stuck listening to the cries of another woman’s child as she sits in the waiting room trying to complete her family.

Well, how can we put a positive spin on this?

First, tell yourself that there is nothing… nothing… more important to be doing than what you are doing right now. Seriously, creating a baby trumps a barbeque any day. Tap into the hope that is around you. The promise of potential success. Embrace it.

Then, remind yourself that while it’s unfair that you have to go through all of this to have a child (when others can flirt and get pregnant), that you are luckier than those who need the same treatment but either have no insurance coverage or cannot afford it. Yes, it’s a small consolation, and it’s still a huge financial sacrifice, but it’s an opportunity that some don’t have. If you try to look at it that way, it may take some of the sting off.

Now, plan to make the most of the remainder of the day. Get out and do something in the sun. Vitamin D from the sun can even give your fertility a boost! Maybe do some planting or gardening. Some people love growing things and getting in touch with nature. (Plus digging is a great stress release!)

Maybe something more relaxing is more your speed? Read a book outside, walk on the beach. Get those toes in the sand. Consider a pampering pedicure. Go wild with a toe ring. Even something as small as that can give you a boost.

The point is to take some time for yourself. Do some positive visualization. Maybe even enter our Extreme Family-Building Makeover Contest and try to win the Grand Prize of a free micro-IVF cycle valued at $3,900.00! See entry details on the April 23, 2012 blog post! 

And remember…there are worse places to be spending a few hours on a Sunday afternoon…you could be stuck at a baby shower.

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What do you do on the weekends during treatment? Any rewards? Any tips on how to get through weekends at the doctor’s office?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=2071&picture=toes-in-the-sand

 

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Another Way to Get a Child Into Your Home

By Tracey Minella

May 14th, 2012 at 2:49 pm


Of course, I’m not talking about anything underhanded…
Well, Mother’s Day is finally past. Another day filled with thoughts of “Why me?” and “Why do those awful neglectful parents in the news get pregnant when I can’t?”
There’s another option for those still TTC who are frustrated and heartbroken over how long it’s taking to begin your life as parents…
Foster parenting. Even if temporarily.
Many people want to exhaust all efforts to have their own biological child before considering options like donor egg/sperm/embryos, surrogacy, or adoption. And that’s totally understandable. Everyone is entitled to build their families their own way and in their own time. But you rarely hear people mention foster parenting as a permanent or temporary answer.
May is National Foster Care Month.
Does the thought of the criminal parents in the news make you angry and ill? Does your heart break for the babies born sick? Or the children nearly murdered by abusive parents? Do you long to make a difference in the life of a suffering child?
If you answered yes, maybe becoming a temporary or permanent foster parent may be for you. Of course, it isn’t easy. There are qualification processes and red tape to go through. But for some people, having a child to start loving, even while you continue your infertility journey, can take off some of the stress. A win-win in some cases.
Sometimes you can foster a newborn; other times an older child. Sometimes the child becomes available for adoption; other times not. Sometimes it’s a short-term situation; other times it’s longer term. Maybe your needs will match those of a child awaiting a foster family.
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Did you ever consider foster parenting?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=19826&picture=sad-child-portrait

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Win a FREE Basic Micro-IVF Cycle in Long Island IVF’s “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest!

By Tracey Minella

April 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 am

 

Long Island IVF kicked off National Infertility Awareness Week with another “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest, where the Grand Prize is a free Micro-IVF cycle*, valued at $3,900.00!

 That’s right…one lucky woman will win the ultimate chance at starting or building her family. All from the practice that brought Long Island its very first IVF baby, first cryo baby, and first donor egg baby! Imagine it.

A prior free Micro-IVF contest winner tucks her baby boy into bed in Georgia! So winners can come from anywhere!

Will YOU be next?

Contest Rules are in this post!!! Enter essays right here or follow the instructions for video entries below!

At Long Island IVF, we’ve been building families every day since 1988. How many other fertility practices can boast that several of their medical and support staff were also previously infertility patients of their practice?! I’m just one of them! We totally “get it” when it comes to the emotional roller coaster you’re on. And we encourage you to check out our success rates.

You can enter the contest in two ways: (1) by an essay on our The Fertility Daily blog; and/or (2) by a video entry to our YouTube channel. All entries must be submitted in accordance with the rules herein in order to be eligible to win. So be sure to read to the very end of this post for all of the rules and details!

We are seeking out the most emotional or entertaining essays and home-made amateur videos, showing us why you need an Extreme Family-Building Makeover from Long Island IVF. Make us laugh with you or cry with you. Tell your story straight from the heart. No need to be Shakespeare or Spielberg. Just be you. And follow the rules, of course.

The contest will run from April 23, 2012 through August 26, 2012. Winner of the Grand Prize will be announced on September 4th… the day after Labor Day. If it’s geographically possible, you may even find out in person! Check out the video of Dr. Kreiner announcing last year’s winner at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZT0bLI53B8I

Monthly Early Entry Incentives:

In addition to the Grand Prize, we will award a series of smaller prizes and/or gift cards, each valued at $20.00 or more, each month (in May, June , July and August) to the essay entry AND the video entry that gets the most comments. Being a monthly winner (or not) does not affect your ability to win the Grand Prize in any way as the Grand Prize will be chosen by a panel of Long Island IVF doctors and staff from among all essay and video entries submitted.

Monthly winners will be announced in the beginning of the following month. (So, look for the May winners in early June, the June winners in early July, etc.)  The Grand Prize winner of the free basic Micro-IVF cycle, valued at $3,900.00, will be announced right after “Labor Day”. All winners will be announced right here on TheFertilityDaily blog. And… depending on where the Grand Prize Winner lives… possibly in person!

It’s easy to enter:

For Essay Entries:

You must enter online (no mail-in or handwritten entries) by commenting/replying to this April 23, 2012 Contest post on TheFertilityDaily blog at http://blog.longislandivf.com/

  1. You can enter with your real name or a user name.
  2. There is no minimum or maximum words requirement as long as it fits as an online comment on the blog.
  3. The essay MUST include the words “Long Island IVF” at least once in the first 25 words, and must address what winning a free Micro-IVF cycle from LIIVF would mean to you.
  4. Do not include any video or photos or images with your essay entry.
  5. You may enter more than one essay or video.
  6. If you choose to do so, you may share your entry on your own social media platforms, but such sharing is NOT required for entry or participation or to win any early entry or Grand Prize.
  7. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook.  All entrants or participants completely release Facebook for any claims. Participants are disclosing their entry information to LIIVF, not Facebook. You may not enter on LIIVF’s Facebook (since this is not a Facebook Contest). You must enter essay entries on the blog TheFertilityDaily (or for video entries, on YouTube as outlined herein).
  8. SEE ADDITIONAL RULES BELOW!

 

For Video Entries:

    1. Create a 3 min (MAX) video about why you deserve or what it would mean to win a free Micro –IVF cycle “Extreme Family Building Makeover” from Long Island IVF (video must be smaller than 2GB, and in accordance with You Tube accepted formats: WebM files, .MPEG4, 3GPP,  MOV files, .AVI, .MPEGPS, .WMV, .FLV – Please see YouTube.com for additional info).
    2. Your video must mention the words “Long Island IVF” at least twice if there are any words spoken, or alternatively, must legibly display the words “Long Island IVF” at least twice.
    3. Upload the video to your You Tube account. It’s easy and free! And be sure to name your video (Ex. “HopefulBaby”) prior to sending us the link. In the “Video Information” section, insert the name of the video in the “title” section; and then in the “description” section insert http://www.longislandivf.com; and finally in the “tags” section insert the following tags: “Micro-IVF”, “Long Island IVF”, “free Micro-IVF contest”. YOU MAY NOT CHANGE THE NAME OF YOUR VIDEO AFTER YOU SEND US THE LINK TO IT SO CHOOSE WISELY. (Note: if you already have gmail, you can use a gmail login, but your user name on youtube will be the same as your gmail account name so be warned that you may lose your anonymity if you do.) Really, just open the free account, click the “upload” button and browse for your file!
    4.  Send us the link for your video by email to: dankreiner@liivf.com, along with your name, address, and contact information, including phone number(s).
    5. After we pre-screen entries, we will then post the videos under “Favorites” on Long Island IVF’s You Tube channel at http://www.youtube.com/ecfertility, where you can share the video on your social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and encourage your friends and family to view your submission–only if you want to. Sharing is NOT a requirement and doing so or not doing so will not affect your ability to win any early entry or Grand Prize herein. Note: You cannot enter by posting a video entry (or essay entry) on LIIVF’s Facebook since this is NOT a Facebook contest; BUT you are permitted to share your entry on your own social media platforms if you choose to do so.
    6. SEE ADDITIONAL RULES BELOW!

 

  IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, HERE ARE THE REST OF THE CONTEST RULES:

      1. You must be 18 or over to enter.
      2. You do NOT have to be a current Long Island IVF patient to enter.
      3. If you have already won a free Micro-IVF cycle from Long Island IVF or East Coast Fertility in the past, you are ineligible to enter.
      4. You must enter by uploading your video or submitting your essay entry in accordance with the above rules for submission.
      5. You can name the video with your real name or some other video name, but once you send us the link, you can not change the video name. All entrants MUST email their names, addresses and contact phone numbers the time you submit an essay entry or at the time you email the link to your video entry or so we can contact you if we have questions or problems viewing your entry and so we can contact you if you ultimately win the Grand Prize. FAILURE TO PROVIDE US THIS INFORMATION UPON ENTERING THE CONTEST (AND UPDATING IT IF THE INFORMATION CHANGES DURING THE CONTEST) MAY RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF YOUR ENTRY OR THE AWARDING OF YOUR PRIZE TO ANOTHER ENTRANT.
      6. Do not enter essays or videos on Facebook; if you do that, it will not be considered a valid entry. You may share them there only if you choose to do so, but may not enter them there. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Facebook.
      7. All entries meeting the criteria herein will be considered for the Grand Prize and the monthly early incentive prizes. Monthly early incentive prizes for the months of May, June, July and August, will be awarded to the essay on the blog and the video on YouTube that gets the most feedback. Those winners will get a special prize or gift card valued at $20 or greater to be determined by LIIVF. In the event of a tie, or a lack of comments and/or activity, early incentive prize winners will be chosen by a LIIVF panel.
      8. Winner of the Grand Prize Free basic Micro-IVF cycle ($3,900.00 value) will be decided by a panel of LIIVF physicians and staff and the judges’ decisions are final. LIIVF reserves the right at any time to remove and/or disqualify any video(s) or essays with content that LIIVF, in its sole discretion, determines is inappropriate or offensive.
      9. The monthly early incentive prize winners, once announced, can either pick up their prizes or LIIVF will mail them. Failure to provide LIIVF with an address for mailing and an email address at the time of entry as outlined above may result in forfeiture of the prize.
      10. Winner of the Grand Prize Micro-IVF cycle must undergo the Micro-IVF procedure on or before December 31, 2012, unless LIIVF, in its sole discretion grants an extension of time to the winner in writing.   If the winner is or subsequently becomes pregnant at or after the announcement of the winning entry and prior to undergoing the Micro-IVF prize, she will forfeit the prize and LIIVF may award it to another eligible entrant.
      11. The Grand Prize is NOT transferable and may not be redeemed for cash value or for a credit against any other services rendered, past or future.
      12. *The Free Micro-IVF cycle is valued at $3,900.00 and is the basic Micro-IVF cycle offered by LIIVF. It covers the monitoring services of the LIIVF physicians and nurses for the duration of the cycle. It does NOT include the anesthesiologist, if needed, donor gametes, if needed, medications, cryopreservation, if applicable, required lab and screening tests, or other procedures, including but not limited to discretionary embryology services such as ICSI, assisted hatching, embryo glue, co-culture or other surgical or diagnostic procedures beyond the scope of the basic Micro-IVF program, if needed. The winner expressly understands and that these uncovered fees are payable prior to the commencement of treatment. It does not include any travel, lodging, food, or other such expenses.
      13. The LIIVF physician retains the right, based on a review of the winner’s particular medical condition and other related factors, to determine at any time from the initial visit through retrieval and/or transfer, that Micro-IVF is either not medically advisable to commence or, if already commenced, then not medically advisable to continue, in the winner’s case. The denial or cancellation of the Micro-IVF is in the sole discretion of the LIIVF physician, as the patient’s safety and compliance with screening guidelines are of utmost concern. In such a case, the winner understands that LIIVF is under no obligation to provide winner with any substitute prize, or monetary or any other compensation for time, out-of-pocket costs or disbursements or damages of any kind whatsoever.
      14. The grand prize winner must undergo all pre-requisite testing and screening, including physical and psychological testing, which is standard procedure for IVF patients in the ordinary course of LIIVF’s practice, prior to commencing the Micro-IVF cycle. It is possible that some (if not all) of this screening may be done through the winner’s hometown OBGYN, but as noted previously, it is the financial responsibility of the winner to undergo said testing.
      15. The grand prize winner must represent in writing at the time of the initial office visit to discuss commencing the free Micro-IVF cycle, that she does not currently have medical insurance coverage for IVF on any medical plan whether through herself, her partner or spouse, or her parent, or that if she does, the IVF allowance has been exhausted.
      16. By submitting an essay entry or by uploading your video and submitting a video link to LIIVF you represent that you have the full release and express written permission of all persons appearing therein (or their legal representatives or parents/guardians) to upload their video images and names to YouTube, the blog, the website, and/or social media platforms, and have their express written permission for the further distribution, publication, publicity, and use thereof by Long Island IVF , East Coast Fertility, and their agents in LIIVF’s and East Coast Fertility’s blogs, websites, forums, social media platforms, and marketing materials, without limitation and that you indemnify Long Island IVF, East Coast Fertility, and their agents from any violation of privacy or other claims by or on behalf of anyone depicted or appearing in or in any way connected to the video. You further release Facebook from all claims as well.
      17. By submitting an essay entry to the blog or a video entry to You Tube and its link to LIIVF, even by doing so with an unidentifiable name or anonymously, you expressly consent to its further distribution, publication, publicity, and use by Long Island IVF and East Coast Fertility and their agents in their blogs, websites, forums, social media platforms, and marketing materials, including use of your name and images, without limitation and that you indemnify Long Island IVF, East Coast Fertility and their agents from any violation of privacy or other claims by or on behalf of anyone depicted or appearing in or in any way connected to the video or essay. Your submission constitutes your full release. Further, you release Facebook from all claims as well.
      18. Long Island IVF is not responsible for any technical difficulties or malfunctions with respect to You Tube or any of the online sites on which video contest or essay contest entries can be submitted or are publicized on, whether or not same are in the ultimate control of LIIVF or East Coast Fertility.
      19. Further, LIIVF and ECF are not responsible if the identity of an entrant who attempts to enter anonymously is somehow revealed.
      20. It is the responsibility of the entrant to properly and successfully post an entry on You Tube and forward LIIVF the link thereto in a timely manner. Entries will be accepted beginning 12:01 am EST on Monday April 23, 2012 and end at 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, August 26, 2012. In addition, LIIVF reserves the right to modify the rules of the contest up until the Grand Prize is awarded.
      21.  All entrants understand and agree that their actual name (and possibly their likeness) will be revealed if they win the Grand Prize. (For the smaller monthly early incentive prizes, winners will be announced online by the names they chose to enter under, either user names or actual names.)
      22. In the event the Grand Prize winner is from the Long Island/Metropolitan area, the winner understands and accepts that a Long Island IVF physician may personally surprise the Grand Prize Winner at their home on the morning of September 4, 2012, and that said moment may be videotaped and distributed without limitation by LIIVF, its agents, or news media.

 Phew!! Glad all that stuff is over!

 So, now that you know what the contest is about, start sending in those essays and videos!

 Remember, be creative! For videos, you can use your regular selves, or consider make-up or costumes. Create a skit. Use family and friends as actors or to give testimonials on your behalf. Maybe use the kids in your life. Camera shy? Consider using nice footage and speaking from off-camera. The straight-forward tear-jerker works too. The possibilities are endless. Make us feel something.

 So lights, camera, action! Or start tapping that keyboard!

 The next family Long Island IVF builds may be yours!

 Good luck everyone! And if you have any issues entering your video or essay, let us know right here and we’ll try to help.

 We can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with!

HELPFUL HINT FOR ESSAY ENTRIES: Please take the time to gather and organize your thoughts and emotions. You may find it helpful to write your essay entry as a word doc, put it aside for a day or so, go back and review it (grammar and spell-check it) and make any changes or additions, then…when you’re happy with it…cut and paste it as a comment to this post. That way you put forth your very best and give yourself the best chance to win the substantial Grand Prize that we’re offering. You will also wind up with a beautiful keepsake to reflect upon (or hopefully show future children) what you felt and went through while trying to conceive.

 UPDATE SEPT.4, 2012: THE CONTEST IS CLOSED AND A WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED AND PLEASE FOLLOW THE BLOG FOR FUTURE CONTESTS.

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