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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.

Breast Cancer & Fertility Preservation Advocacy

breast cancer blog
Could California Senate Bill 1972 signal hope is on the horizon?

 

At the beginning of this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society announced some very encouraging news. It reported there were 322,800 fewer deaths from breast cancer between1989 and 2015, representing an almost 40% decrease in mortality. Experts attribute this dramatic drop to both early detections via mammography and better treatments.

According to the Young Survival Organization, 12,150 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women under age 40. These women have unique challenges not only in terms of how the disease affects them but also about the impact the cancer treatment will have on their ability to get pregnant after treatment.

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Two Women, One Dream to Create A Family

create a family blog

In the last several decades, lesbian would-be parents have increasingly sought reproductive assistance to have babies. It is estimated that approximately one-third of lesbian households have children, having achieved motherhood either through non-assisted insemination, fertility treatment, adoption or through prior heterosexual relationships.

While two women trying to make a family together equals double the set of reproductive organs, they still may encounter obstacles on their way to getting pregnant and having a baby.

If you are part of a same sex female couple, here are some important issues you should consider as you embark on your family building journey.

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The Quest for Eggs and the Risk of OHSS

OHSS

During IVF, infertility doctors prescribe injectable medications called gonadotropins to help women produce as many robust looking eggs as possible for their upcoming IVF cycle. This is called controlled ovulation induction.

We are on a quest for the optimal number of eggs to combine with sperm to create as many viable embryos as possible. All of these efforts increase our patients’ chances to have a successful IVF cycle now and in the future with frozen cycles.

But there can be side effects from taking these medications. One of the most serious is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). At HRC Fertility, we are committed to educating our patients to recognize the symptoms of OHSS as well as knowing what to do if they start experiencing any of them. Our first duty to you is to ‘do no harm.’

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Declare Your Fertility Independence!

Declare your fertility independence

Barbecues, fireworks, parades, and parties are all ways we celebrate our nation's independence on July 4. This year, however, let's think of Independence Day in a slightly different way. Let's focus on how men and women of reproductive age can declare their "independence" from future fertility worries!

Here are five suggestions for gaining more control over your path to parenthood. Though there are no assurances with baby making, some current planning could pay off in the long term.

Know your risk factors

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Preparing For Mother's Day 2018

Dr. Frederick prepares you for Mother's Day
Getting your body ready for a baby

Are you hoping to become pregnant by Mother's Day 2018? If you and your partner have made the life-changing decision to try to have a baby, here are some steps you should take in 2017 to ensure you will be receiving a Mother's Day card and flowers in the future.

Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician

It is important to know if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, which might affect your pregnancy or those influencing fertility, including sexually transmitted diseases or a thyroid condition. Also, this appointment will be an opportunity to discuss with your doctor the prescription medications you are taking and whether to continue them when you conceive, as well as to update your immunizations and get a flu shot.

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#ListenUp for National Infertility Awareness Week

NIAW Listen Up

#ListenUp! In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), April 23-29, our infertility specialists are trying to make infertility treatment more accessible for new patients. Often, taking the first step to schedule an appointment with a physician is a difficult one. Patients don't know what to anticipate during the initial meeting. They may be intimidated and confused.

Drs. Jane Frederick, Daniel Potter, Sanaz Ghazal and Mickey Coffler hope to break down some of these barriers by providing the following specials during NIAW. New patients can respond on the doctors' individual Facebook pages.

Dr. Jane Frederick and Dr. Daniel Potter: Raffles for a $500 gift certificate toward fertility treatment with the first 10 people responding getting a free "new patient" consultation voucher.Dr. Sanaz Ghazal: offering a $500 gift certificate and five free "new patient" consult vouchersDr. Mickey Coffler: providing a $250 raffle

#ListenUp: So what happens during the initial consultation? Here''s what you should know:

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Cervical Health and Your Fertility

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, above the vagina, where sperm travels through to the uterus. It widens during childbirth and also is where menstrual flow passes.

Every year, 13,000 women are diagnozed with cervical cancer and, tragically 4,000 will die from it. However, against the backdrop of these sobering stastistics is encouraging news about early detection. Women who have contracted cervical cancer who have received regular pap smear screenings have a 92% suruvival rate over a five-year period. In addition, the HPV vaccine given to young women before they are sexually active can help prevent the transmission of many HPV strains, the leading cause of cervical cancer.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and an opportunity to shed light on preventing, diagnosing and treating cervical conditions, many of which can compromise fertility.

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New Year: New Fertile You

New Year - New You Yoga

After (perhaps) overindulging during the holidays, many of us resolve to do better in the coming year: losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking (important) or spending less. If you are struggling to get pregnant, however, your New Year’s resolution probably involves becoming a parent in 2017.

But combining a personal resolution with your desire to get pregnant could potentially help you achieve two goals.

Quit smoking

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Breast Cancer Awareness and Infertility

breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer is a diagnosis that strikes fear in the hearts of most women. But there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future for the one in eight females (12%) affected by it.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Advocates wear pink ribbons to symbolize support and education. Women are encouraged to undergo mammograms and breast self-exams. Early detection, prompt care, and advances in treatment have contributed to significant increases in remission and cure.

Despite these inroads, many women of reproductive age are not aware of the options for fertility preservation if the unthinkable happens and they are diagnosed with this disease. Doctors, too, need more education abuot how to counsel patients so they can get timely and accurate and accurate information.

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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

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

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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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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The Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

zika

You’ve probably seen the frightening news reports of hundreds of Brazilian babies with microcephaly, a serious birth defect characterized by abnormal smallness of the head and incomplete brain development.

Infectious disease experts have attributed their condition to the Zika virus, carried by two species of mosquitoes as well as through sexual intercourse with an infected person. The Zika virus can affect pregnant women and their babies at any point in the pregnancy, and currently testing for Zika is complicated and not readily available. Still, the risk of catching Zika, particularly in the U.S. and southern California, is very low and research is rapidly ongoing—especially for a vaccine.

In April, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued a document developed from CDC and FDA reports to help infertility physicians counsel patients about Zika’s impact on reproduction. Key takeaways include:

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HRC Fertility/OC Releases Live Birth Stats

HRC Doctors Newport Beach - Coffler, Frederick, Ghazal, Potter

HRC Fertility/Orange County recently announced it achieved a live birth rate per patient of 83.3 % for women under 35 in a fresh IVF cycle. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), national statistics were a 57% live birth rate per female patient with the same characteristics of being under 35 using their own eggs in a fresh IVF cycle. The infertility specialists in Orange County are Drs. Mickey Coffler, Jane Frederick, Sanaz Ghazal and Daniel Potter.

 For more information, please click here.

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Dr. Frederick Featured on "Little Women: LA"

LittleWomenLA sm

Tune in to Little Women: LA, on February 24th at 9pm PST and watch Dr. Frederick's the meeting with Briana Renée on her infertility struggles and what to do next. The episode will air on Lifetime Network.

 

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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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Dr. Jane Frederick speaks on "Weight and Obesity When Trying to Get Pregnant"

Dr. Jane Frederick

Weight can seriously affect a couple's chance of getting pregnant. Twelve percent of all infertility issues are weight related and being overweight and/or underweight has unique consequences for men and women. The goal of fertility specialists is to understand the relationship between weight and infertility with each fertility patient and then working to eliminate non-disease factors. Obesity impacts conceiving naturally and your IVF treatments. 

Obesity has also and has been associated with the following early pregnancy loss after IVF, a decreased pregnancy rate, decreased fertilization, higher gonadotropin requirements and an impaired response to gonadotropins.

When reviewing fertility issues, couples must factor in the length of time they have been trying to conceive, their age, weight and lifestyle. Many factors contribute uniquely to each patient and couple. There are a significant number of obese women who suffer from fertility issues. This could be because of irregular periods and frequently anovular (non-ovulatory) menstrual cycles. A large percentage of obese patients suffer from PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) a disorder commonly associated with obesity.

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Dr. Frederick speaks on "What could be Causing your Fertility Issue?"

Dr. Jane Frederick

There are many different causes that could prevent a couple from achieving pregnancy so it is always best to check in with a specialist if you have been trying for six months to one year. Basic infertility work-ups can include a semen analysis for the male and initial blood work for the female. Below are some common infertility issues and treatments available - the majority of issues can be treated either with the assistance of a specialist and/or Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

Anovulation means there is no egg that is ovulating and it can be the cause of infertility in up to 40 percent of infertile women. Ovulation induction medications like Clomid can successfully treat this condition.

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Fertility Issues to Know About: PCOS and Endometriosis

Dr. Jane Frederick

Trying to get pregnant month after month is not fun for anyone. And after a few months of getting busy yet failing to see that positive pregnancy test, it’s only human to start wondering what could be preventing that egg from meeting up with that sperm. Today, Dr. Jane Frederick, a reproductive endocrinologist at HRC Fertility, shares two common fertility issues that women may be facing. The good news? They won’t necessarily prevent you from getting pregnant. —Erin

Common Fertility Issues

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, known commonly as PCOS, refers to a hormone disorder affecting 3 to 10 percent of reproductive-aged women. Considered a leading cause of female infertility, PCOS reduces the ability of the ovaries to mature and release eggs into the uterus. Other reproductive symptoms of PCOS include the creation of polycystic ovaries, characterized by multiple cysts and small follicles; chronic anovulation, or an inability to ovulate; and hormonal imbalance, including high levels of the male hormone androgen.

Click Here to read the entire article.

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