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

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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07/12

2017

A Fertility Doctor’s Struggle With (Her Own) Infertility

Posted by Diana Chavkin | Filed under Blog, Infertility

I am a 41-year-old woman with a one-year-old child. She is my first child. Her birth was not my first time in a delivery room, though. I’m an Ob-Gyn who had been in hundreds of delivery rooms before I was checked in under my own name. I’m also a fertility specialist who helped hundreds of other women get pregnant before I admitted that I was a specialist who needed a specialist.

Even fertility doctors can have a hard time conceiving. No matter how much help we give other people, like all human beings, sometimes we have to ask for help too.

Consider also that I was doing everything “right.” Sure I was in my late thirties when my partner and I started trying to have a baby. But I also felt young, and I am a healthy woman who exercises, eats well and takes care of myself. It should have been easy, right? Not so much. After many months of trying, we realized that it wasn’t happening.

It became harder to be around happy moms with their beautiful kids. That was something my clients often expressed when they first visited me, and here I was, having similar thoughts.

If they could do it, why not me? So I gave myself the advice I’ve given countless friends in similar situations: go see a specialist.
My doctor told me what I had told so many women: getting pregnant at age 39 can be tricky. And even though I already knew that as a fact, coming from my doctor, it still made me feel better.

Sometimes women who come to see me are shocked to learn how difficult it can sometimes be to get pregnant in their late and sometimes mid-thirties. This is in part because the media too often highlights celebrities who get pregnant in their 40’s and50’s which lets us draw the incorrect conclusion that this is the norm. What is not advertised though is that women conceiving in their late 40’s and 50’s usually conceive with the eggs of younger women rather than their own.

There are many reasons to see a fertility specialist.

Some women want to conceive faster than they are able to do so on their own. Some women have their potential pregnancies can be tested before conception in order to increase the chance that they will give birth to a healthy baby.

Some women want to use donor sperm to conceive either because they are in a same-sex relationship, because their husbands are unable to donate, or because they want to be single moms.

A young and healthy woman who wants kids “one day” may consider visiting a fertility specialist to check on the status of her eggs now. If you have a good and healthy egg supply then you may feel comfortable waiting and seeing.

On the other hand, if you are running out of eggs faster than would be predicted based on your age, you may want to make a decision earlier. A fertility specialist can help figure this out using blood tests and ultrasound.

Technology today also gives you choices your mother and grandmother never had. For instance, you may want to freeze your eggs. This would allow you to use those eggs one day in the future if you happened to have trouble conceiving down the road.

For me, deciding after a very emotionally difficult period of time to take some of my own medicine was the best thing I ever did. I saw a specialist and was treated for infertility. After a few bumps in the road, I gave birth a year ago to a little baby girl who has brought more joy to my life than I could have ever imagined was possible. I often thank her for coming into this world and making me a mommy.

So, should women eat healthily and stay fit and decrease their stress?? Absolutely! That will only increase the chance that a woman’s body will be able to house a happy, healthy and growing baby one day. But sometimes we just need some expert, outside help.

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06/14

2017

How Weight Affects Fertility

Posted by admin | Filed under Infertility

Weight is a sensitive subject, especially for women. Aside from how weight affects physical appearance and self-esteem, an unhealthy weight can impact a woman’s fertility, how she responds to treatment, the course of her pregnancy and the health of her child. An unhealthy weight means being either overweight or underweight.

What is considered a healthy weight?

Clinicians use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine whether someone is underweight, overweight or “normal.” BMI is measured by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of the person’s height in meters. The normal range for a BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9, less than 19 is considered underweight, 25 to 29 is deemed overweight and greater than 30 is categorized as obese.

You can use this handy chart, developed by the National Institute of Health, to calculate your BMI and learn where you fall on the range: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

How Weight Affects Fertility
Many overweight and underweight women get pregnant without experiencing any problems trying to conceive. But getting pregnant is not so easy for approximately 12 percent of women with infertility who may weight too much or too little.

Overweight women tend to produce excessive estrogen, which acts like birth control, while underweight women produce too little. Additionally, an abnormal weight can cause irregular ovulation.

Underweight women may have ovulatory problems because of a poor diet with insufficient nutrients combined with excessive exercise. Frequently their periods completely cease, resulting in amenorrhea.

Being overweight is a common characteristic of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS sufferers are predisposed to insulin resistance, which causes the ovaries to make excessive testosterone. This, in turn, results in irregular or scanty ovulation.

Weight and IVF Treatment

Weight also plays a role in treatment success in several different ways. A recent study found obese women need an increased dosage of gonadotropins to successfully harvest their eggs. Overweight women also produce lower quality eggs; in fact, when they use donor eggs, their IVF success rates are similar to women with a normal BMI using their own eggs.

Weight and Pregnancy
The impact of weight continues into pregnancy. Overweight pregnant women are at a higher risk for developing complications, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, as well as experiencing miscarriages and early term births. The babies of underweight women are more likely to be underweight themselves.

We advise women attempting pregnancy to prepare themselves by establishing healthy eating and exercise patterns so they will fall within the normal BMI range. Additionally, it’s a good idea to visit their primary care physician to see if they have any medical conditions that could affect weight, such as thyroid disease or diabetes.

Reaching the goal of a normal BMI will insure that weight won’t stand in your way of getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby.

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