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



A Millennial Woman’s Guide to Egg Freezing

Posted by admin | Filed under Age Factors, All About Eggs, IVF

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 effective. Some employers, such as Google and Facebook, have even begun offering this benefit, realizing their female employees want more reproductive choices.

Though there is no “one size” fits all answer, the women who come to our clinic to inquire about their options generally look at these factors to make a decision: current age; finances; professional and education goals; relationship status; desire to become a mom and have children.

What do women really need to know about egg freezing?
Before they embark on their egg freezing journey, the typical twenty or thirtysomething woman should know the answers to these questions about preserving their fertility.

What is the best age to freeze my eggs?
Ideally, women should freeze their eggs in their late 20s or early 30s when their fertility potential is highest. The older a woman is, the more eggs she will need to have retrieved to maximize her chances of a pregnancy when she uses them. This might mean several egg retrieval cycles.

How are eggs frozen?
The largest cell in the human body, the egg, is mainly comprised of water that can form ice crystals when frozen, which damages the cell. At our laboratory, we freeze eggs using a flash freeze process known as vitrification. First, however, we add an “anti-freeze” to prevent crystallization. Vitrification was a major advancement over the slow freeze method previously used.

What is the egg retrieval process like?
Similar to IVF, egg freezing requires a series of hormone injections and monitoring of your hormone levels and ovaries. When th eggs have matured, they are retrieved using transvaginal guided ultrasound while the patient is under anesthesia.

What happens when I want to use my eggs?
We will thaw your eggs and combine them with the sperm of your choosing. Current estimates indicate that up to 75 percent of eggs survive thawing with 75 percent of those fertilizing and growing into embryos.

About 2,000 babies have been born from egg freezing, and there have been no reports of higher birth defects or abnormalities with these babies. Experts currently believe eggs can remain frozen indefinitely, although there have been no studies of eggs frozen more than 10 years.

What if I don’t use my eggs?
Many women have found that frozen eggs gave them peace of mind to pursue their professional goals and/or to move with their lives without worrying about losing their chance to have a baby. Many find partners and get pregnant the “old fashioned” way but are glad they took out this fertility insurance plan.

Who else should freeze their eggs?
For women facing a cancer diagnosis, freezing their eggs can be a game changer for life after their cancer is cured or in remission. We highly recommend they undergo an egg retrieval before starting life-saving, but fertility-damaging treatment.

Two other types of patients might also want to consider egg freezing: those who have moral or religious objections to excess embryos and women with a family history of premature menopause.

At HRC Fertility, we firmly believe that young women who think they someday want kids should take charge of their fertility. Knowledge is power, and we encourage them to educate themselves about fertility in general and egg freezing in particular.




Frozen Embryo Twins, Thanks to Dr. David Tourgeman

Posted by admin | Filed under All About Eggs, Getting Pregnant, IVF

Traci’s children Connor and Cassie are two years apart, yet their origins began at the same time in the HRC Fertility laboratory. Like many IVF babies, they are frozen embryo twins.

Traci and her husband began trying to get pregnant about a year after their 2011 wedding. When nothing happened, Traci sought the advice of her gynecologist, who found that her progesterone levels were too low to sustain a pregnancy. After several months of taking Clomid without getting pregnant, her doctor referred her to Dr. David Tourgeman at HRC.

Dr. Tourgeman initially recommended three rounds of IUI. When those didn’t work, the couple decided to undergo IVF, which produced four embryos. Dr. Tourgeman transferred the two healthiest embryos, one of which became Connor.

“After Connor’s first birthday, we decided to transfer the other two stored embryos even though the prognosis for their development wasn’t all that optimistic,” Traci recalls. “There was only a 30 percent chance of pregnancy, but luckily one developed into our new baby daughter Cassie.”

Traci is very appreciative of the support she received from HRC, adding, “The staff can make or break a patient’s experience because we’re visiting the clinic so often. Most of the nurses were experienced working in the infertility field, plus they had children of their own and understood how important this was to me. Dr. Tourgeman and the entire staff were excellent at explaining what I needed to know about my cycle to make it a success.”

Traci is enjoying her new role as the busy mother of two young, active and healthy children. She is also thankful for the many wonderful infertility resources that were available to her and her husband. Going forward, she is happy to be part of the conversation to help people talk more about infertility. Even though the process was emotionally challenging, Traci knows she was in the best of hands with HRC.




Using an Egg Donor to Help with Secondary Infertility

Posted by admin | Filed under All About Eggs, Egg Donation, Infertility

Amy, a 48-year-old medical marketing executive from San Clemente, easily conceived her three older children: an 18-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter from her first marriage and a three-and-a-half year-old from her second.

However, Amy and her husband Diego wanted a sibling for their youngest. After trying unsuccessfully to conceive, the couple realized they were facing secondary infertility and would need the help of an infertility specialist. Amy’s OBGYN recommended Dr. Jane Frederick. Dr. Frederick suggested Amy go through one round of IVF to see if she could produce any of her own eggs, but none were found.

“Of course it was disappointing because we’d been so hopeful,” recalls Amy. “In the same discussion, Dr. Frederick recommended egg sharing as a solution.”

The couple quickly found a donor who looked like Amy and had been matched with one other person. Within a week, they were matched with her. Four out of the five fertilized eggs proved viable, and Amy and Diego chose a male embryo. The best news: Amy became pregnant with her first donor cycle, had a model pregnancy and gave birth to Sam earlier this year.

Though Diego never had second thoughts about using an egg donor, Amy tried to reconcile their objective to expand their family with new technology.

She says, “I kept reflecting on the bigger picture of what we were trying to accomplish while being in awe of the new advances that could be executed so easily. In the back of my mind, I feared I might feel differently about a child not genetically related to me. But those concerns immediately evaporated when Sam was born.”

Overall, Amy says she had an amazing experience with Dr. Frederick and her staff. Though the process was complex, she applauds the HRC Fertility team members for being great communicators, educators and problem solvers who were available whenever they were needed.

“We felt cared for from the first appointment until we delivered our baby — and even after that,” she says. “Dr. Frederick and all the employees seemed genuinely happy for us, like we were partners working together to achieve our goal. She and her staff held our hands through a nerve-wracking experience and gave us the best possible outcome. We will always consider Dr. Frederick Sam’s first doctor.”




Our IVF Journey: Three Tries, One Beautiful Baby

Posted by admin | Filed under All About Eggs, Getting Pregnant

Natalie and her husband Josiah started trying for a baby a couple of years ago, and while the couple wasn’t getting pregnant, they weren’t quite ready to jump to IVF. Instead, they want to Natalie’s regular doctor for blood work and testing.

“Aside from the fact that I wasn’t ovulating, they couldn’t find anything else wrong,” said Natalie, who was put on Clomid to help induce ovulation. When Clomid didn’t seem to be working, Natalie decided to try acupuncture, too. Though she eventually became pregnant, she miscarried.
By this time it had been two years, so Natalie and her husband contacted Dr. Robert Boostanfar. Dr. Boostanfar recommended Natalie undergo a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test to determine whether there was a blockage in her fallopian tubes or growth in her uterus preventing pregnancy.

After the HSG test, Natalie got pregnant right away but miscarried again. After more tests, Dr. Boostanfar determined that the quality of her eggs was causing her to miscarry, and the couple decided to move forward with IVF.

Despite adjusting medications that produced more eggs, the first and second IVF founds work. Still, Natalie and Josiah didn’t give up.

Though they had more eggs and more embryos the third time, Dr. Boostanfar decided to wait a month to implant the one healthy embryo.

“We had done back-to-back cycles, my body just needed a little chance to recuperate before implantation,” she explained. “And when we implanted that time around, it worked. So the third time was the charm!”

The couple are now the proud parents of two-month-old Haylie. They couldn’t be happier with the care they received from Dr. Boostanfar.

“We had a fantastic experience with HRC!”




The Highs–and Lows–of Fertility Treatment

Posted by admin | Filed under Age Factors, All About Eggs, Getting Pregnant, Infertility, IVF

Fertility treatment is a challenging time for couples–physically, financially and emotionally. There are many ups and downs for those struggling to get pregnant.

L. and A. had their ups and downs as well, beginning with a clinic that made them suspicious that they were being taken advantage of by their endless testing and lack of communication about what was happening.

After doing their research on other clinics, the couple moved to Dr. Robert Boostanfar at HRC. While they were happy with HRC and the way that Dr. Boostanfar guided them through the process, they still had to deal with a disappointing egg retrieval with their first IVF cycle and anxiety about embryo transfer with the second cycle.

“I’m an optimist and try to look at things in a good light, but going through all of this is difficult and draining,” L. explained. “You can’t let yourself get too sucked into it.” Because of her age (38) and medical history (her mother went through early menopause), L. was happy and relieved when she produced seven eggs during the second cycle. But not all of them developed into viable embryos.

“That was pretty disappointing because we knew we didn’t have any back-ups if those embryos didn’t take,” she said.

The two-week wait after embryo transfer was equally nerve-wracking, and L. remembers she and her husband trying to hide their anxiety while visiting with friends and family. They were out to dinner when they got their POSITIVE news!

“We hadn’t told anyone about the implantation because we didn’t want their sympathy if it didn’t work out,” she said. “We didn’t want their feelings of disappointment to rub off on us because we knew we if it didn’t work, we would do it again.”

Finding out they were pregnant was one of the best moments of their lives.  In fact, after finding out they were pregnant with twin girls, L. said, “We couldn’t even eat. Such a shame, too! It was a huge, good-looking buffet.”

If the couple could offer any advice, L. said it would be this: “You know that saying ‘the world has a way of making sure you really want what you say you want’–or something like that–I kept thinking of that throughout everything. The process isn’t easy and has its ups and downs. You need support, a sense of humor, a firm grasp of yourself and why you’re doing this because it truly does make sure you really want what you say you want!”