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

02/19

2018

Dr. John Norian Helps Couple Choose Hope over Fear

Posted by admin | Filed under Getting Pregnant, Infertility, PGD, Uncategorized

In spring 2015, Jenny woke from surgery devastated to learn she had lost her baby as well as her ability to conceive naturally. She had experienced an ectopic pregnancy and required emergency surgery. The affected fallopian tube ruptured, and the other one filled with fluid, a condition called hydrosalpinx. Doctors had to remove both tubes but were, fortunately, able to save Jenny’s life.

Jenny and her husband were living in the Midwest at the time, but then moved to California where they started looking for fertility clinics. Recalled Jenny, “A friend gave us an ‘anti-recommendation’ for a clinic where they’d had a bad experience. But they knew people who’d had a great experience with Dr. John Norian at HRC Fertility and suggested we contact him.”

The couple attended one of HRC Fertility’s monthly seminars and met with Dr. Norian in May 2016. After their initial consultation, events progressed quickly. Jenny completed the paperwork, retrieved her medical records and underwent all the tests and prep work so the couple could start their first stimulation cycle a few months later.

The results weren’t initially encouraging, and Dr. Norian suspected Jenny had diminished ovarian reserve. She and her husband decided to wait and begin a new cycle after the doctor adapted her new medication regimen.

Dr. Norian made the necessary changes, which doubled the number of eggs and embryos Jenny produced. The lab also performed genetic testing (PGD) on the embryos, and Dr. Norian transferred the best embryo in November. Jenny became pregnant but tragically miscarried their little boy.

“Dr Norian was shocked the cycle hadn’t worked, but was also sympathetic, supportive and encouraging. I waited a few months for my body to rest, and our next cycle resulted in our beautiful baby girl. We traveled a long road to get her, but I finished treatment with Dr. Norian almost a year after we started.”

Jenny was grateful for the extra monitoring appointments HRC Fertility provided and she “graduated” at 10 weeks. When she had trouble getting an appointment with her OBGYN, Dr. Norian contacted an OBGYN he knew to get her seen earlier.

She said, “I was so appreciative of him going the extra mile and helping me transition my care.”

Jenny, who is a hospital chaplain with a theological background, is now able to reflect on all that she went through on her infertility journey. Though the treatment process was difficult and the outcome uncertain, she says that she always felt like Dr. Norian and his team were invested in their success.

As a chaplain, she also acknowledges being a patient is very different from counseling someone who has gone through miscarriage and loss. “It’s important not to compare your journey to anyone else’s and to choose hope over fear. Infertility may be a longer road than you think and, at times, it might take over your life. It’s important to take care of yourself and confide in others.”

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02/12

2018

Galentine’s Day: Dr. Jane Frederick Talks Female Friendship and Support

Posted by admin | Filed under Infertility, Uncategorized

In case you haven’t heard, Galentine’s Day takes place on February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. The brainchild of Parks and Recreation fictional character Leslie Knope, Galentine’s Day has since taken on a life of its own.

Galentine’s Day is a celebration of female friendship and gal power. Girlfriends provide companionship, comfort, support and understanding through both our happy moments and darkest hours.

When you’re trying to conceive, female friendships can be more important than ever. But they can be complicated, too, especially if your closest friends are getting pregnant and having babies. But there are many reasons to find strong female lifelines as you navigate the frequently rocky waters of the fertility journey.

You need your friends to lean on
Of course, you should be able to rely on your spouse or partner for support. After all, you are going through treatment to make a baby together. Sometimes, though, another woman is the best person to lend an impartial ear when you need to vent or a shoulder to cry on when crying is the only thing you want to do.

You need a community of TTC sisters
There are many online resources where you can find support and understanding among other women who are trying to get pregnant. But if virtual friendships aren’t for you, there are also ways to find in person female infertility friendships. In Southern California and other metropolitan areas, there are numerous ways women experiencing infertility can meet each other. Some patients have gotten to know each other in their clinic’s reception area, and then formed an informal support network. Others have taken advantage of support groups organized by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association or other nonprofits.

You need your friends for fun, and to remind you to take some “me” time
As you ride the emotional roller coaster ride of infertility, it can be difficult to remember to take time off to relax and “smell the roses.” We hope you have friends who can take you away from your challenges, and you can, in turn, reciprocate for them. During this time, you may feel like less of a woman because of your inability to conceive. So it’s a necessity to set aside time to do something indulgent–whatever that might mean for you.

P.S.: Don’t forget Valentine’s Day
We hope you and your partner take some time to reconnect on Valentine’s Day and use this time to do something special together, know that someday you will become parents and “couple” time won’t be as easy. Focus on what you love about your partner and what you’ve been through together. Try to make this day about romance and your love for each other.

But also don’t forget to thank your girlfriends the day before on Galentine’s Day. Make February 13 a special day for the women who have been with you every step of the way to overcome infertility. Candy, flowers, and a night out on the town with your GFs may be just what the doctor ordered!

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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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