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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.

PCOS Advocacy and Support

Help make PCOS awareness official

September is PCOS Awareness Month, a wonderful opportunity to educate the public about polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common hormonal disorder impacting women. According to the PCOS Awareness Association, PCOS affects seven million women in the United States, more than the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus combined. Though millions of women have this syndrome, public awareness about it is not high and support organizations receive very little funding. As a consequence, it is estimated 50% of women are not diagnosed properly or may not learn they have it until they have problems trying to get pregnant. 

While PCOS Awareness Month has been observed for many years among medical professionals and PCOS advocates, this year one of the leading PCOS advocacy organizations, PCOS Challenge, is taking awareness a step further. PCOS Challenge wants Congress to pass legislation (H. Res. 495) to officially designate September as PCOS Awareness Month. This law recognizes the seriousness of PCOS and the need for further research and treatment options and, potentially, a cure. This is a historic, bipartisan effort.

According to Sasha Ottey, executive director of PCOS Challenge, one of the goals of passing this bill would be to make PCOS a public health priority. Because it affects so many American women during their reproductive years and can have a long-term effect on their overall health, Ottey felt it was time for the discussion of PCOS to be elevated. 

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Dr. Diana Chavkin Explains Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

By Dr. Diana Chavkin

A woman in her 20’s or early 30’s who may have trouble getting pregnant or a woman who is concerned about irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness may present to a physician and learn that she has primary ovarian insufficiency. This can be one of the hardest diagnoses for a woman to face.

 

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Making the Leap to Donor Eggs

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Beginning a new dream

When is the right time to consider using donated eggs? We often are asked this question by patients who are at a crossroads in their treatment. Deciding to use the genetic material of another woman to have a baby is typically made with a lot of thought, deliberation, and soul-searching.

Resolving to use donated eggs is often described as a ‘leap’ or transition. Most couples go through a deliberate process before taking this step. If you are at that turning point, here are some questions to consider as you move forward on your family building journey.

Do you have a pre-existing condition?

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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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Love Letter to My Future Surrogate

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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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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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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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The Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

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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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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

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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The Inland Empire: A Southern California Gem

 

I am what many consider a "newbie" to California. Born and raised on the east coast, my family recently relocated to Southern California.   Despite a full work schedule I do manage to squeeze in time to discover my new "home" and surrounding areas! Recently, I hopped in my car and drove EAST.  This was a bit unusual for me as I typically head south towards Orange County or WEST towards the ocean. But, on this occasion I set my wheels traveling the freeways eastward.

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