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

11/17

2017

Dr. Sanaz Ghazal Discusses the “Waiting Game”

Posted by admin | Filed under Getting Pregnant, Infertility

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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09/26

2017

A Couple’s Journey to the HRC Fertility Baby Reunion

Posted by admin | Filed under Infertility, IVF

It took four years and multiple treatment cycles, but this November Yuli Reisner and her husband Derek will finally get their chance to attend HRC Fertility’s Baby Reunion picnic.

Like many patients, their road to parenthood was longer than they had anticipated, as well as very emotionally challenging. On her last IVF attempt, Yuli and her husband achieved their miracle: a successful pregnancy and birth of their precious son Sasha. They will proudly bring Sasha to the reunion, a fun event and rite of passage for many HRC patients, who long to show their bundle of joy to the doctors and staff who made their dreams possible.

The couple had been trying to create their family for four years, starting when they were in their mid 30s. Yuli’s OBGYN, a former patient of Dr. Robert Boostanfar, referred her to him. Yuli already had experienced an ectopic pregnancy after one of two unsuccessful intrauterine inseminations at another clinic.

After Dr. Boostanfar ran diagnostic tests, he discovered Yuli had immunologic issues and started her on a blood thinning medication and prednisone. The couple underwent several IVF cycles, one of which resulted in a miscarriage of a twin pregnancy.

Those were trying times for the couple. However, on their final try, Yuli became pregnant with Sasha. Dr. Boostanfar prescribed progesterone injections to ensure her pregnancy would work. For the first time, Yuli was able to carry a pregnancy to full-term.

Yuli admitted how hard the experience was to endure emotionally: “I was ready to give up several times. However, my mother-in-law and husband encouraged me to try again. Those pep talks motivated me to persevere and become my own best advocate.”

The new mom was also very impressed by the responsiveness of the nurses and other staff members. She felt they were always available to answer her questions. Recalled Yuli: “I felt very cared for both medically and emotionally. HRC Fertility’s state-of-the-art lab is extremely impressive and Dr. Boostanfar is the master of the embryo transfer. Emotionally, they always supported us through our trials and tribulations.”

Yuli continued: “We are so grateful to our HRC Fertility family and are looking forward to seeing the entire team at the picnic. They are a group of compassionate people who understand and truly care about what you’re experiencing. I highly recommend Dr. Boostanfar and HRC to any couple having trouble conceiving.”

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09/05

2017

Finding the Right Answers with Dr. Michael Feinman

Posted by admin | Filed under Infertility, Uncategorized

Today Amanda is enjoying her life as a busy mother of newborn twin boys. But for more than four years she was frustrated both by her inability to get pregnant as well as by not being able to find a doctor who could provide her with a diagnosis.

Amanda recalled, “I Just wanted to know why I wasn’t conceiving. I’m the type of person who needs to have answers about my problems, but no one could tell me why I couldn’t get pregnant. It was frustrating.”

Amanda and her husband underwent one unsuccessful cycle of IUI with their OBGYN in Florida. After the couple moved to California, they decided to take a short break from fertility treatment. But Amanda was in her mid 30s and soon realized it was “do or die” time for her fertility. After researching clinics, she met with a few doctors and quickly learned how important it is to be compatible with the physician who treats you.

Amanda found her perfect match with Dr. Michael Feinman. “More than with other doctors I met, Dr. Feinman seems to push the envelope of fertility treatment and thinks out of the box,” she said. “Dr. Feinman suggested we have an Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA) before the egg retrieval for our first IVF. This was a game-changer. He wanted to know why I couldn’t get pregnant almost as much as I did. Plus, I liked his dry sense of humor and how he didn’t sugarcoat my situation.”

The ERA assesses the optimal time when the endometrium will be ready for the embryo transfer. Based on the ERA results, Dr. Feinman froze Amanda’s eggs and prescribed progesterone and Estrace for a month. The two embryos Dr. Feinman transferred a month later became Amanda’s twins, Hunter and Cooper.

Amanda advises other couples to be realistic, but hopeful: “With fertility treatment, you may not always get the answers you want. But with a doctor like Dr. Feinman, you can be assured he will go the extra mile to get you answers so you can make the final decision about what is best for you.”

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08/11

2017

All in the Family with Dr. John Wilcox

Posted by admin | Filed under Infertility

Courtney Glickman is the second member of her family to be treated by Dr. John Wilcox. Her aunt, who has pre-teen twins from fertility treatment with Dr. Wilcox, referred her to HRC’s Pasadena office when Courtney was having trouble conceiving.

At the time, Courtney couldn’t have imagined she would have her own set of twins a little over a year later in 2012, and another baby, born in 2017.

Courtney’s fertility journey began several years earlier. After she stopped using birth control pills, her periods became very unpredictable and then stopped altogether. She started treatment with an OBGYN, who kept diagnosing her with different conditions but nothing definitive.

“My aunt told me I needed a one-stop shop for infertility care. So I transitioned to Dr. Wilcox, who diagnosed me with unexplained infertility,” recalled Courtney. “He also told me my periods would probably return after childbirth.”

Initially, Dr. Wilcox took a conservative approach, prescribing medication and intrauterine insemination. When this didn’t work, she underwent her first round of IVF, which resulted in her boy/girl twins.

Courtney was not yet finished building her family, however. After again having trouble conceiving with her new husband, Dr. Wilcox performed surgery to reduce the scar tissue in her uterus and then two rounds of IVF. This go-around, the couple was able to utilize newer genetic testing and gender selection technologies.

Looking back, Courtney added, “Going through infertility treatment is very emotional. Even though you try to be hopeful, it’s still very hard. But Dr. Wilcox and his team made us feel like we weren’t alone. He and his nurses always communicated with me, no matter how many questions or concerns I had, including a scary trip to the emergency room.”

Courtney advises others to find someone like Dr. Wilcox: a physicians they can trust, who communicates well and who provides the full array of fertility services in one location.

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08/01

2017

Dr. David Tourgeman Helps Couple Achieve “Plan A”

Posted by admin | Filed under Getting Pregnant, Infertility, IVF

Jill and her husband had been trying to start a family for several years when she sought help from her gynecologist because of abnormal menstrual bleeding. Her doctor suspected she had PCOS, but also diagnosed her with complex hyperplasia with atypia, which usually is found in childless women undergoing menopause. At 31, Jill learned she needed to be treated for this precancerous condition before she could start fertility treatment.

Once she was given the go ahead, Jill began treatment in 2016. Her doctor referred her to Dr. David Tourgeman along with other fertility specialists. “We really wanted to ‘click’ with our doctor,” recalled Jill. “Once I talked to Dr. Tourgeman, I knew he was the right choice for us.”

Because of her history, Dr. Tourgeman recommended the couple start IVF immediately. Unfortunately, their first two cycles were not successful, including a frozen embryo transfer that ended in miscarriage. But their third time with a fresh transfer was the charm and Jill became pregnant with twins. Zoe and Liam were born healthy and full term at 38 weeks.

Jill and her husband appreciated the support Dr. Tourgeman and his staff gave the couple both before and after they conceived. Said Jill, “I liked how he adjusted the medication protocol after each cycle. He was open to all of my suggestions, and his nurses were always very responsive. After we got pregnant, he was still supportive and interested in how we were doing. I’ve heard that not all fertility doctors are like that.”

Jill also took advantage of a fertility acupuncturist and other HRC services, including a medication administration service, that helped her have an easier, more relaxed experience.

“Infertility is not a fun journey, but it’s worth everything in the end. At first, you feel ashamed and wonder why you can’t get pregnant. Once you start being open about your infertility, however, you are amazed at how many people are having the exact same struggles as you, and you don’t feel so alone. We always felt our path was to try plan A, but if it didn’t work, we would move on to Plan B.”

As the parents of newborn twins, Jill and her husband are basking in the delights of their Plan A.

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