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Huntington Reproductive Center - Blogs

The HRC Fertility Blog is a resource for patients and those seeking infertility related issues and articles. Check back often or subscribe to this blog as it is changed weekly by the HRC staff.

Dr. Jeffrey Nelson Explains the Male Reproductive System

Dr. Jeffrey Nelson Explains the Male Reproductive System

Infertility patients starting treatment often feel they are getting a crash course in their reproductive anatomies. It's important for them to have a good understanding of how their reproductive systems work and what might be the causes of their fertility challenges when problems arise.

Men (and women) will be familiar with their scrotum, testes and penis, but may not know the functions of the other organs that help them create, transport and release sperm. The organs also move sperm into the female reproductive tract and secrete male sex hormones.

An overview of male reproductive organs

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Dr. David Tourgeman Discusses Reasons for Gender Selection

Dr. David Tourgeman Discusses Reasons for Gender Selection

Expectant parents are often asked, "Do you want a boy or a girl?"

Many couples want to learn their baby's gender during an ultrasound or after an amniocentesis, while others prefer the element of surprise at delivery.

Some parents, however, are anxious to plan their baby's gender before they get pregnant. Thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF) combined with preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), they can select their future baby's sex before conception.

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Dr. Diana Chavkin Talks about Secondary Infertility

Dr. Diana Chavkin Talks about Secondary Infertility
secondary infertility blog

By Dr. Diana Chavkin

A few months ago, Claire*, a woman in her late 30s, walked into my office. Tall and confident, with a strong handshake and a wry smile, she was the owner of a small textile firm, married for five years, mother to a beautiful three-year-old child.

She was also sitting in the office of an infertility specialist facing something she had spent more than a year pretending was not happening. As she told me her story, her composure began to fray at the edges.

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Dr. Diana Chavkin Discusses Yoga and Fertility

Dr. Diana Chavkin Discusses Yoga and Fertility
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By Dr. Diana Chavkin

Unfortunately, stress and infertility seem to go hand in hand. Both the inability to conceive and infertility treatments can be stressful.

Though the scientific research is not conclusive about the exact nature of the stress and infertility connection, infertility providers realize that reducing stress is essential for the holistic patient care and a more satisfying patient experience. Giving patients tools to reduce stress can have tangible physical effects while also being emotionally empowering. We often recommend yoga prior to beginning fertility treatment as an excellent stress buster.

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IVF Has Come a Long Way, Baby

IVF Has Come a Long Way, Baby
First Test Tube Baby - Louise turns 39.

Happy Birthday, Louise Brown!

July 25 marks the 39th anniversary of the premier success of one of the modern era's greatest medical advances, in vitro fertilization. It's also the birthday of Louise J. Brown, the world's first IVF baby. Since her birth, it's estimated that nearly six million IVF babies worldwide have been born, with at least a million from the United States.

IVF is an evolving technology

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Want to Look into Your Fertility Crystal Ball?

Want to Look into Your Fertility Crystal Ball?
Fertility Crystal Ball

Have you ever wanted to look into a crystal ball to get a sneak peek at your fertility future? Your local infertility doctor may not be clairvoyant, but he or she can assess your fertility potential, especially if having children is important to you.

The following tests can help fertility providers determine the current status of your baby-making potential. All are relatively inexpensive as well as easy to administer, and the results can serve as a barometer of your ovarian reserve or egg supply.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test

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Celebrities and Surrogacy

Celebrities and Surrogacy

You've probably seen their stories reported in popular magazines and websites. When celebrities choose to publicize their surrogacy journeys, people listen. This spreads awareness and gives the public a greater understanding of the challenges of family building for both same sex and heterosexual celebrities who want to have babies--just like the rest of us!

Turning to Surrogacy

Regardless of their fame, prospective parents may need to use the services of a surrogate mother, also known as a gestational carrier, for a variety of medical and social reasons.

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Getting the Most out of a Fertility Seminar

Getting the Most out of a Fertility Seminar

Are you excited? You've finally decided to attend an infertility seminar!

You're not alone in wanting to learn more about infertility and how you can be helped by an infertility clinic like HRC Fertility. But you also might be nervous to attend a public venue where you will be "outed" about your infertility or think you'll be pressured into making a decision to seek treatment.

Like many couples, you may be wondering why you cannot get pregnant on your own or are feeling frustrated because you're not making progress at your OB/GYN or another fertility specialist. So it's good to be looking at other options.

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Can Surgery Help Me Get Pregnant?

Can Surgery Help Me Get Pregnant?
Infertility Surgery

Surgery can sound scary. Thinking about anesthesia, recovery time and potential pain can send anyone into a full-fledged panic attack. For some infertility patients, however, we recommend surgical intervention as the best option for both the diagnosis and treatment of your condition. The good news is that side effects and recovery times have significantly improved and benefits vastly outweigh the risks.

Here are several reasons why surgery may be the best approach before proceeding with intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF):

Both women and men can benefit from surgeries that will allow natural conception now and in the futureSurgery is an effective way to diagnose and treat endometriosis, polyps, fibroids, pelvic infections and/or uterine or tubal abnormalitiesSurgery can help alleviate some of the symptoms of these conditions, such as heavy menstrual bleeding and painSurgeries can provide a more comprehensive diagnosis before proceeding to IVFModern advances in surgical techniques are significantly reducing its invasiveness, the side effects of anesthesia and recovery time

For patients trying to get pregnant, some of the more common gynecological surgeries performed by reproductive endocrinologists are:

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Couple's Four Year Infertility Journey Ends with Dr. Jane Frederick

Couple's Four Year Infertility Journey Ends with Dr. Jane Frederick
Worth The Wait sm

Lori and Sean's path to parenthood included treatment from her OBGYN and two local fertility clinics, an ectopic pregnancy, one failed IVF cycle and three heartbreaking miscarriages.

Others might have given up, but Sean's online research took the couple from Phoenix to Orange County California and Dr. Jane Frederick.

Right away, Lori and Sean knew they had found the right doctor. Said Lori, "We were so impressed by Dr. Frederick's confidence and compassion. She reassured us we could make our efforts work. It was the first time we felt we'd met a doctor who understood our pain."

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This Couple Used an Egg Donor (and Dr. Jane Frederick) to Expand Their Family

This Couple Used an Egg Donor (and Dr. Jane Frederick) to Expand Their Family

Amy, a 48-year old marketing executive, and her second husband Diego were eager to give their young daughter a sibling, but were unable to conceive naturally.

Recommended to Dr. Jane Frederick, the couple underwent one round of IVF to see if Amy could produce any of her own eggs. When she couldn't, Amy recalls, "We were disappointed because we'd been so hopeful, but Dr. Frederick was also hopeful that egg donation might be a solution."

Within a week, the couple was matched with a donor. Out of the four viable fertilized eggs, they chose a male embryo and became pregnant on their first donor cycle. Amy gave birth to little brother Sam last March.

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Eat Your Way to Improved Fertility

Eat Your Way to Improved Fertility
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Patients often ask whether their eating habits are affecting their fertility. There is evidence to suggest that modifying your diet may be a natural, low-cost option to improve your chances of conceiving, especially if you have certain infertility diagnoses, such as irregular ovulation and PCOS, or are undergoing IVF.

The Nurse's Health Study (NHS), one of the largest investigations conducted on female health habits, has provided clinicians with important information about the effect of diet on a women's reproductive system.

Why diet can have a positive or negative impact on fertility

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Finding Dr. Right with Dr. Jane Frederick

Finding Dr. Right with Dr. Jane Frederick

As a same-sex couple, Anna Marie and Michelle Carreno-Bolong knew they would need assisted reproduction to fulfill their dream of becoming parents. Married for two years, the thirtysomething women love kids and are surrounded by them as owners of a children's gym in Redondo Beach.

In 2014, they excitedly decided to start their journey to parenthood and made several appointments with an Orange County fertility specialist. They were disappointed, however, when they did not feel the compassion they were seeking from a fertility practice. They decided to switch doctors after hearing about HRC Fertility and finding Dr. Jane Frederick after researching doctors.

"Right from the start, I knew we'd made the right choice," Anna Marie recalls. "Dr. Frederick exuded warmth and kindness."

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Fourth Round of IUI = Beautiful Baby Girl

Fourth Round of IUI = Beautiful Baby Girl

It was a rollercoaster ride, but Carrie can finally call herself a mother.

After trying to conceive for 18 months, Carrie and her husband consulted a local fertility doctor who conducted preliminary testing and made treatment recommendations. Not long after, Carried and her husband moved to California after a job promotion.

Carrie learned about Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, who was highly recommended, and immediately made an appointment so the couple could move forward with treatment.

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Dr. Michael Feinman Discusses Common Infertility Issues

Dr. Michael Feinman Discusses Common Infertility Issues
Dr. Michael Feinman Blog

Fertility Authority recently interviewed Dr. Michael Feinman about two important topics of interest for women facing infertility: implantation failure and advanced family planning.

Dr. Feinman says that implantation failure is no longer a mysterious “black box,” and that, in fact, there has been enough progress to justify some testing in women who have repeated IVF failures. To read more about these tests, please follow this link.

Advanced family planning, according to Dr. Feinman, is basically fertility preservation for couples who want to have several children. They aren’t infertile, but by the time they try again they could be too old to get pregnant. So they—often Modern Orthodox women—store  PGD-tested embryos that they created with their partner. To learn more about advanced family planning, please follow this link to the Fertility Authority website. 

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Options for Surrogates and Intended Parents

Options for Surrogates and Intended Parents

When Robyn decided to become a surrogate, she looked into options that included going through an agency or doing it privately. She compared the earnings for a surrogate and the agencies, and researched how much intended parents were going to have to pay an agency. She gathered the same data going the private route.

Robyn discovered that intended parents can pay as much as $100K, which includes all treatment and medications. Surrogates, meanwhile, only make a certain amount.

By going privately, surrogates and intended parents negotiate the contract and agree on the surrogate's payment. Typically, this amount is less than the agency price, but it means hiring lawyers and negotiating directly with the surrogate. 

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HRC Fertility Welcomes Dr. Sanaz Ghazal

HRC Fertility Welcomes Dr. Sanaz Ghazal
Dr Sanaz Ghazal - HRC Fertility, Los Angeles

HRC is pleased to announce that Dr. Sanaz Ghazal has joined its team. Dr. Ghazal, who will work alongside Dr. Daniel Potter in HRC’s Fullerton office, attended Harvard University and received her medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Dr. Ghazal then returned to the Yale School of Medicine where she completed a three-year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

During her training, Dr. Ghazal authored numerous publications and book chapters and was selected to present her research at national meetings. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Ghazal commented, “I am thrilled and honored to join HRC Fertility Orange County, which has an amazing track record of some of the highest IVF success rates in the country and a strong commitment to providing the most cutting edge reproductive technologies. I look forward to helping patients achieve their dreams of building a family by offering them compassionate, high quality care and personalized fertility treatment.”

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Dr. Daniel Potter Sees More Than 20 Australian Couples a Month for Gender Selection

Dr. Daniel Potter Sees More Than 20 Australian Couples a Month for Gender Selection
Dr. Daniel Potter of Huntington Reproductive Center

 

More than 20 Australian couples a month visit Dr. Daniel Potter to select their baby's gender, with most couples wanting a girl after multiple sons.

The number of Australians traveling to the U.S. has doubled since 2011, prompting Dr. Potter to advocate gender selection in Australia, calling it a "reproductive freedom issue."

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Two Things I Learned Undergoing IVF: Start Treatment Earlier and Take Bed Rest Literally

Two Things I Learned Undergoing IVF: Start Treatment Earlier and Take Bed Rest Literally

Couples undergoing IVF treatment learn a lot on their journey: how to administer medication dosages; self-administer injections; manage multiple moving parts of a process; and, how to keep it together emotionally during the whole process—at a time when it might be easier to just fall apart. For those who have been through it, infertility treatment makes you wiser and teaches one or two things you might have done differently--as was the case with Rosemary and Andre.

Rosemary and Andre have a beautiful six-month-old baby girl Elise conceived with the help of Dr. Bradford Kolb. Rosemary became pregnant on their third round of IVF when she was 41 years old. While she wouldn’t change a single thing about her beautiful family, there are two things she might do differently if she had the chance.

1. Bed rest means just that: resting in bed.

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Dr. Jane Frederick Discusses One of the Major Causes of Infertility During PCOS Awareness Month

Dr. Jane Frederick Discusses One of the Major Causes of Infertility During PCOS Awareness Month

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a health problem that affects more than 5 million women worldwide. PCOS affects a woman's menstrual cycle, hormones and ability to have children. Listen to Dr. Jane Frederick discuss PCOS and its treatment here:

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