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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.

Egg Freezing: Dr. Diana Chavkin Answers the Crucial Questions

egg freeze blog

By Dr. Diana Chavkin

Why is egg freezing so popular now? Why didn't my mom or older sister freeze their eggs?

Egg freezing has become more accepted over the past few years as a method of fertility preservation for a number of reasons. Before 2013, anyone who froze their eggs had to do so under an experimental protocol. But after studying egg freezing in depth, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine issued a statement that there is enough scientific evidence showing that egg freezing works and that it should longer be considered experimental.

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Dr. Alison Peck: The Benefits of a Healthy PCOS Lifestyle

PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women. Approximately five to 10 percent of childbearing age females have this condition, which can impact their fertility. At HRC Fertility, patients with PCOS comprise a significant part of our practice.

We confirm a PCOS diagnosis if a female patient has two of the following three symptoms: absence of ovulation, symptoms of blood levels of high androgens (male sex hormones, such as testosterone) and/or multiple ovarian cysts on pelvic ultrasound.

Insulin resistance is a major culprit in creating PCOS symptoms, and it affects 50-70 percent of women with PCOS. Insulin resistance results in a build up of insulin that cannot be used to break down glucose (sugars). Insulin resistance not only makes it harder to lose weight but also increases the risk for diabetes. Additionally, high insulin levels cause the ovaries to produce male hormones that can cause acne and hair growth.

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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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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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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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Love Letter to My Future Surrogate

well family surrogate sm

Dr. Robert Boostanfar patient Kelli Auerbach recently wrote a moving essay entitled “Love Letter to My Future Surrogate” which was published in The New York Times.

The article can be seen here on the New York Times website.  

Thank you, Kelli, for sharing this incredible story with HRC!

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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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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

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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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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A Millennial Woman's Guide to Egg Freezing

To freeze or not to freeze?

That is a question many millennial women are asking themselves. Should they freeze time and their biological clock by undergoing oocyte cryopreservation, the medical term for egg freezing, or will Mr. Right come along before their fertility is reduced?

At HRC Fertility, we are seeing an increased interest in "social" egg freezing as the technique becomes more popular and improves in effectiveness. Some employers, such as Google and Facebook, have even begun offering this benefit, realizing their female employees want more reproductive choices.

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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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Five Facts You Need to Know About Endometriosis

In addition to wanting to have a baby, a large percentage of the female patients we treat at HRC Fertility have something else in common: endometriosis. This reproductive disease is one of the most frequent causes of infertility, affecting approximately 40 percent of patients. Many are not aware that the menstrual cramps and generalized pelvic pain they have experienced for years are symptoms of a medical condition preventing them from becoming pregnant.

In observance of Endometriosis Awareness Month in March, we want to educate our readers with some important facts about this very common reason for female infertility.

Endometriosis affects millions of women

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OB/GYN or Infertility Specialist: Who is Best for You?

doctor blog

If you’re frustrated that you’re not getting pregnant, you may be wondering about your next step. Should you make an appointment with a gynecologist, or is it appropriate to seek the advice of an infertility specialist, especially a board-certified in reproductive endocrinologist?

At HRC Fertility, we work with obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) who refer patients to us. Many are experienced in providing first-step infertility treatment such as ovulation induction with oral or injectable medications that may be combined with intrauterine inseminations. They have the staff and expertise to successful guide patients who have been diagnosed with mild endometriosis, problems with ovulation, mild male factor infertility and cervical factor infertility.

If you are confused about the best choice, here are some guidelines to help you make your decision.

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Tubal Factor Infertility: Go With the Flow

hsg test results

The fallopian tubes play an important role in reproduction. Sperm and egg must meet and fertilize in one of the tubes; the fertilized egg then moves to the uterus for implantation. Fallopian tubes must be patent (open) and flowing to allow for normal functioning.

Here are some important facts about the tubal disease infertility.

An HSG can determine the health of your fallopian tubes

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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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Can Elective Single Embryo Transfer Help Decrease Preterm Births?

One of the most important questions in the infertility field is how to reduce the number of premature births. The March of DImes has identified multiple gestation pregnancies--twins and triplets--as one of the three risk factors for preterm labor and early birth. Additionally, a history of premature births and uterine and cervical problems, which can be applicable to infertility patients, are also significant reasons for this serious and costly health problem.

Every November, the March of Dimes conducts a public education campaign to promote prematurity awareness. In 2016, for the first time in eight years, the U.S. saw an increase in the preterm birth rate. According to the Premature Birth Report Card, the U.S. earned a "C" grade--primarily because of the growing disparity in prematurity rates across different rates and ethnicities.

A Healthy Singleton Pregnancy

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Sperm: Can They Take the Heat?

Can sperm take the heat?

The testicles are located in an ideal spot in a man's body, external to the rest of the male reproductive system. Sperm, created inside these organs, need a cool environment for reproduction, and the temperature of the testes should be lower than a man's core body temperature to function effectively.

Often our patients have questions about the effects of various heat sources on the male reproductive organs. For many, it can be confusing to separate the myths from the reality. But one thing is certain: don't overheat your testicles!

Boxers or Briefs: Does it Make a Difference?

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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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