Our high pregnancy rates result from applying advanced fertility treatments in a caring and empathetic environment.

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12/14

2017

Couple Grateful for Dr. Jeffrey Nelson’s Calm Reassurance

After traveling all over the world, Jackie and her husband were ready to start a family. She thought having kids would be easy for them and did not anticipate having any problems with fertility.

However, after a year of trying, Jackie couldn’t get pregnant. She feared she might have polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOS) like her older sister, who had conceived twins through in vitro fertilization (IVF). But after seeing Dr. Jeffrey Nelson for a consultation, testing revealed her husband had male factor infertility.

Recalled Jackie, “We decided to proceed with IVF after a round of intrauterine insemination (IUI) failed. My sister did not have a good experience with her IVF clinic, but we felt fortunate to have found a very responsive facility with a compassionate staff. Also, our insurance covered 80 percent of the costs. My sister, unfortunately, had to pay for the full cost of her treatment.”

Jackie responded well to IVF and became pregnant with twins on her first cycle. She had blood clot issues early in her pregnancy, and Dr. Nelson put her on bed rest for six weeks. “There was a strong likelihood I was going to lose the babies, but the issue was fortunately resolved by the 12th or 13th week of my pregnancy. Dr. Nelson was so calm and reassuring, and I wanted to keep him as my obstetrician. My experience with HRC Fertility was so different from my sister’s experience with her clinic.”

Her IVF experience was challenging and an emotional roller coaster, but Jackie was relieved to have only undergone it once to have her twins.

Jackie’s advice to other women: “Find the best clinic and physician you can. There are things in life you can skim, but fertility treatment isn’t one of them. IVF is one of the best steps you can take to get pregnant, though it isn’t a comfortable process. The medication makes you moody, and the shots are complicated. That’s why trusting your fertility doctor is so important.”

Two years ago, Jackie was feeling depressed at Thanksgiving because she couldn’t get pregnant. One year ago, she was on bed rest, awaiting the birth of the twins. This year, she is celebrating the holidays as the mother of twins.

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12/07

2017

Egg Donation a Double Win, Says Dr. Sanaz Ghazal

One of the most challenging issues facing in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients is deciding what to do with their remaining frozen embryos once treatment is over. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 600,000 frozen embryos in storage in U.S. fertility clinics and storage centers.

The majority of patients will use their embryos to try to have more children. But for individuals who have decided their family-building days are over, they have several choices to make. They can:

– Store their embryos indefinitely or until they make a decision and pay storage fees
– Donate them to research
– Undergo a “compassionate” embryo transfer during the time of the month when the woman is unlikely to get pregnant
– Thaw the embryos
– Donate their embryos to another couple or individual

Is embryo donation right for you as a donor?
Donating your embryos to help create other families is not an option for everyone. Many would feel uncomfortable knowing another family is raising their genetic children. However, some infertility patients who have used donated eggs or sperm might feel donating excess frozen embryos is a way to “pay forward” the donation they already received. Of course, they also need to be sure they legally can do this and should review whether there are any prohibitions in their egg donation legal contract.

Is embryo donation right for you as a recipient?
Embryo donation is typically not the first choice for most couples starting infertility treatment. However, they may decide embryo donation is right for them if they:

– Have not been successful with traditional infertility treatment using their eggs and/or sperm
– Are looking for an alternative for egg donation that can be less expensive
– Want to experience pregnancy and nursing
– Want to ensure there won’t be a genetic imbalance if only one partner uses a donor

Issues to consider when donating or receiving embryos
Embryo donation is not just a medical procedure. Donors may have legal and disclosure questions they want to consider before deciding to relinquish their embryos. Recipients may have the same concerns, but from the opposite perspective. We recommend they seek legal counsel or the advice of a licensed mental health professional to discuss these issues.

Finding or donating embryos
Even though there are many frozen embryos in storage, finding an embryo available for donation can be challenging. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association developed this website, http://www.mydestinationfamily.org/, to provide education and support for donors and recipients and to encourage donation. Additionally, there are agencies that match donors and recipients and clinics also may have frozen embryos donated by former fertility patients.

If you are interested in either donating or receiving embryos, please ask one of our staff members.

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11/29

2017

Dr. David Tourgeman Grants Holiday Wish

Shelly and her husband already had an 18-month-old son when they started trying for baby number two.

They wanted their children to be close in age, and weren’t expecting fertility problems because Shelly had become pregnant with Colin after only two months. But her OBGYN discovered that Shelly had low ovarian reserve and would probably need IVF. The couple was concerned about the cost, but started looking for an infertility specialist.

Another mom on the Valley Moms Facebook page recommended HRC Fertility to Shelly. Coincidentally, HRC was holding a free seminar that week, and Shelly and her husband took advantage of the free consultation offered at the event and soon met with with Dr. Tourgeman.

Dr. Tourgeman initially recommended a round of IVF with Shelly’s eggs, but her ultrasound revealed only a few low-quality eggs.

“The ultrasound results were disappointing, but we knew we could only pay for one round of IVF so we decided to use an egg donor,” Shelly recalls. “I was able to do a ‘piggyback’ cycle with an egg donor who had been hired by an overseas couple who paid the majority of her fees and testing costs. Fortunately, the donor and I share similar physical qualities. A month later, her eggs were retrieved on Caleb’s birthday. We took that as a good sign.”

The eggs created two embryos, one of which Dr. Tourgeman transferred to Shelly in December 2016. That embryo became her youngest son Caleb.

“We feel so fortunate the IVF cycle worked on the first try. It’s taken some of our friends much longer, and they had to undergo multiple cycles to achieve success. We were also lucky to connect with HRC Fertility and Dr. Tourgeman. His entire staff was extremely helpful, communicating with us at every step so we were confident about our decisions.”

So this holiday season, the family has a lot to be thankful for!

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11/20

2017

Dr. Michael Feinman Simplifies the IVF Process

A couple in their mid-40s, Marcia and John knew they had no time to waste if they wanted to create their family. After trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant on their own for a couple of months, they decided to talk to a fertility specialist to discuss potential paths to parenthood.

They found Dr. Feinman online but also learned that John’s doctor knew him, which was reassuring. During their initial consultation, Dr. Feinman gave the couple three options: keep trying; try one IVF cycle with Marcia’s eggs, or use an egg donor.

Explained Marcia, “We decided to find an egg donor because we knew time was not on our side. The staff at HRC Fertility gave us a list of agencies that we researched and interviewed. After finally finding an egg donor with a specific combination of traits, we thought we had found a perfect match. Unfortunately, the donor backed out after testing and the legal contracts had been signed. We were devastated, but we had committed to the agency that found her so we had to hope they would find another young woman who would be just as good. Fortunately, they did.”

Once the second donor agreed to work with them, the process proceeded very quickly. She had already donated once, and was familiar with the process. Dr. Feinman transferred the best one out of six viable embryos and Marcia became pregnant on her first attempt.

Marcia and John are grateful to Dr. Feinman and his staff, particularly for the fact that Dr. Feinman made the complicated IVF process seem simple.

“With lots of emotions and money involved, Dr. Feinman gave us the confidence that IVF with egg donation could work for us,” said Marcia. It’s really easy to become overwhelmed by what you read on the Internet, but he was consistently reassuring and available for us when we had questions or concerns. His staff was great! John especially appreciated all the training he received about administering injections and overcame his squeamishness about giving me shots.”

Marcia’s advice to other patients is to try not to stress out too much even if they are emotionally overwhelmed. “We realize how lucky we were because we got pregnant on our first try. Though parenthood is challenging, it’s an amazing time. Plus, we have five additional frozen embryos in the ‘bank’ if we decide we want to give it one more try!”

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11/17

2017

Dr. Sanaz Ghazal Discusses the “Waiting Game”

Whether you’re undergoing intrauterine (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), an infertility treatment cycle consists of many steps. Everyone involved in the process — doctors, nurses, embryologists and patients — does their part to ensure the cycle will be as successful as possible. Then the waiting begins, euphemistically known in the “trying to conceive” world as the tortuous two-week wait.

At HRC Fertility, we try to support our patients and their partners as much as possible during this emotionally turbulent time. The emotional roller coaster doesn’t necessarily end with the announcement of the first test results and often continues throughout the several months before we discharge patients to their obstetricians.

For most infertility patients, a pregnancy test is not as simple as seeing two lines on a home pregnancy test (HPT). They will undergo several blood hormone tests as well as ultrasounds to confirm the health of their pregnancy.

Initial beta hCG blood test
We will administer the initial blood test, known as a beta hCG, 12-14 days after an IUI or embryo transfer. It will assess the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced by placental cells that nourish the fertilized egg after it becomes attached to the uterine wall.

It takes about two weeks for the test to determine if the embryo is creating a sufficient amount of new hCG versus the hCG that can linger in our body after it is administered as the ovulation trigger shot. Because of this, we need to wait an adequate amount of time to ensure patients do not get a false positive.

Even though those weeks may seem like an eternity, blood tests can detect the presence of hCG earlier than commercially sold urine tests, which require you to wait until you have missed a period in order to obtain an accurate outcome. We advise patients to be patient and avoid taking a home pregnancy test.

Congratulations, you are pregnant!
When the day finally arrives to learn your test results, you will likely be on pins and needles. A positive result is considered above 25mIU/ml.

As your pregnancy progresses, hCG levels typically double every 72 hours, confirmed by blood tests over the next several days.

Your hCG levels will reach their peak in the first eight to 11 weeks of pregnancy. Repeat blood tests should be performed by the same laboratory so results are consistent. After several hCG beta blood tests with increasing levels of between 1000-2000 mIU/ml, we will order one or two ultrasounds to look for the presence of an amniotic sac and a heartbeat. Around 8 to 10 weeks, we will feel confident to discharge you to the care of your OBGYN for further prenatal care.

This transition period can be equally stressful, especially for those who have experienced previous IVF failures or miscarriages.

If your results are negative
Though we were hoping to tell you good news, this, unfortunately, is not always the case. Before you start a cycle or at the embryo transfer, we try to be candid about your prognosis. If we find that you’re not pregnant, we will do our best to communicate this news to you in the most sensitive way possible, as well as be available to answer your questions. We will schedule you for a follow-up appointment where we can discuss what we learned from this cycle and how we suggest you move forward. Though delivering bad news is never easy, we are committed to supporting you every step of the way.

Additionally, you could experience a chemical pregnancy, where beta hCG levels at first rise appropriately, but we cannot confirm the pregnancy at the ultrasound. This is devastating news, though hopefully we can glean some information about what caused the implantation failure, whether it’s a chromosomal abnormality or issues with the uterine lining, which can be used to fine-tune your next cycle.

We will also observe your results for indications of an ectopic or molar pregnancy.

Knowing what to expect in the testing process can be very empowering. Though we cannot guarantee a positive outcome for every treatment cycle, we can assure you that we will provide all the information and support you need to survive the two-week wait, the results of your pregnancy tests and your transition to an OBGYN.

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