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

08/11

2017

Two Women, One Dream to Create a Family

Posted by admin | Filed under IVF, Uncategorized

In the last several decades, lesbian would-be parents have increasingly sought reproductive assistance to have babies. It’s estimated that approximately one-third of lesbian households have children, having achieved motherhood either through non-assisted insemination, fertility treatment, adoption or through prior heterosexual relationships.

While two women trying to make a family together equals double the set of reproductive organs, they still may encounter obstacles on their way to getting pregnant and having a baby.

If you are part of a same sex female couple, here are some important issues you should consider as you embark on your family building journey.

Testing may necessitate a change in plans
Often couples come to us with a well-conceived idea of who will carry the child and who will provide the egg. However, testing may reveal that one or both women have reproductive challenges.

If that happens, we urge flexibility in moving forward. Many lesbian couples realize they need assistance with insemination, but may not anticipate infertility issues that could arise after we perform diagnostic testing on the woman who will be the genetic mother and/or carry the pregnancy.

Many assisted reproductive options are available
Most couples, especially those with no known infertility conditions, start with intrauterine insemination (IUI), where donor sperm is specially washed, processed and concentrated. Once the sperm has been prepared, it is placed in the uterus using a procedure similar to what you experience in a pap smear.

After three unsuccessful IUIs, or the identification of an infertility diagnosis through testing, our doctors will recommend in vitro fertilization. One woman can be the genetic mother and also carry the child, or each woman can play a role through reciprocal IVF. Occasionally, neither female partner has viable eggs, and then we will recommend donor eggs or donor embryos. If both women have problems with their uterus, they may need to consider surrogacy.

Both partners can be involved in creating their baby
Reciprocal IVF, also know as co-maternity, is a way for two women to be involved in the creation and gestation of their baby. One woman participates in the egg retrieval to use her eggs. The eggs are combined with donor sperm to form embryos. The resulting embryos are transferred to her partner’s uterus.

If both women want to experience childbirth, they each can undergo IVF simultaneously, or at another time when they want to expand their family.

Outside legal counsel might be needed
Since there are LGBT legal and contractual issues regarding same sex parenting, HRC offers legal resources for its patients. This is especially important when you are using a known sperm donor to ensure that donor has no legal parental claim or obligations.

HRC Fertility is dedicated to helping lesbian women achieve their dreams of parenthood. Having a baby is the beginning of an exciting journey that starts with finding a knowledgeable, committed fertility team to guide you and your partner.

Share

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.

Share

06/23

2017

Everything You Were Afraid to Ask About Sperm

Posted by admin | Filed under IVF, Male Infertility, Uncategorized

June is Men’s Health Month–and a great opportunity to learn some interesting and unusual facts about sperm, a man’s small but mighty reproductive material.

Sperm and semen are not the same
Sperm are too tiny to see with the naked eye, while semen is the white fluid that is ejaculated after a man achieves orgasm. Even though sperm are microscopically small, they show up in abundant numbers. The 10 to 500 million sperm found in a single semen contribution would stretch for six miles if they were lined up end to end.

Each ejaculate of semen is about a half teaspoon of fluid. In addition to sperm, semen contains proteins, fructose and other organic fluids that allow sperm to survive and fertilize the egg. With the help of clear secretions produced by the bulbourethral glands, sperm move into the vagina and cervix with the goal of meeting and penetrating an egg.

Men are sperm-production machines
In contrast to women and their eggs, men are constantly producing sperm. In fact, in less than the time it takes to read this sentence, a man will produce more than 1500 sperm in a second. Because sperm live fast but die young, they must be constantly replenished.

It takes approximately two to three months for sperm germ cells to fully mature into healthy sperm ready to fertilize an egg. This regeneration process is good news for men trying to give up bad lifestyle habits that are affecting their sperm count and quality.

There are male and female sperm
It’s the father who is responsible for determining the gender of his child. Sperm that carry the X chromosome typically live longer than sperm with a Y chromosome. Sperm with an X chromosome give rise to a female and Y-bearing sperm will result in a male, which may account for the slightly higher percentage of females in the population.

If only King Henry VIII had known he was determining the gender of his children, a few more of his wives might have survived when they did not give birth to sons!

Lots of sperm are abnormally shaped
A significant percentage – 50 percent or more – of sperm have really strange shapes, such as two heads, two tails, deformed tails or other oddities. These deformities may have an impact on the ability of the sperm to penetrate an egg.

A man only needs one testicle to become a parent
If a man loses one testicle to cancer, for example, his other testicle will make up for this loss by producing additional sperm. This is a handy way for nature to adapt to challenging circumstances.

Male infertility
Male infertility has been shown, by well-controlled scientific studies, to be present in up to 47 percent of infertile couples. Sperm abnormalities are one of the major causes of this problem.

At HRC Fertility, we consider the semen analysis as the first step in evaluating the male factor for couples undergoing an infertility evaluation. Most men with an abnormal semen analysis can father children with appropriate treatment. This can include intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In addition, we might refer a man to a urologist for further specialized evaluation and treatment.

Though only one sperm is needed to make a baby, Mother Nature has created a fascinating production and transport process for male genetic material. Scientists are always learning new facts about sperm that hopefully will contribute to the resolution of man forms of male infertility.

Share

05/05

2017

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.

Share

04/26

2017

HRC Fertility’s Encino Staff Was an Emotional Lifeline

Posted by admin | Filed under Infertility, IVF


Justine and Konrad were in their 20s when they first started trying to have a baby. Justine had previously been diagnosed with PCOS, so she knew it might take her longer to get pregnant. But after two years without results, she decided to ask her OBGYN for help. Justine was prescribed Clomid to stimulate ovulation. It worked, but unfortunately, she suffered an early miscarriage.

“This was the turning point for us,” she remembers. “We decided to seek the help of a specialist. Our doctor gave us the names of three or four infertility specialists, so I decided to do some online research. All of Dr. Robert Boostanfar’s reviews were very positive. We took that as a good sign!”

The couple found Dr. Boostanfar easy to talk to and down to earth. At their first meeting, he had already read their history and they felt confident in his ability to help them get pregnant.

Konrad adds, “Our first impression of the Encino office was so positive. Everyone was super friendly. We could sense the staff liked working there; it seemed like a warm and supportive environment. Dr. Boostanfar met with us right on time, which we really appreciated because it was right on the middle of the workday.”

Dr. Boostanfar developed a game plan. First, he wanted to make sure Justine’s tubes were normal and ordered a hysterosalpingogram. He suggested pursuing intrauterine inseminations (IUI) before attempting anything more advanced.

Justine and Konrad underwent two unsuccessful rounds of IUI and were obviously heartbroken. After their second cycle, Dr. Boostanfar suggested they take a mental health break — so they took his advice and went on vacation.

Both said, “We could tell that Dr. B was just as bummed as we were that our cycles had not worked. Even the nurse who called about the negative pregnancy was so sincere. I could tell she was hurting for us.

“After we returned from vacation, we started acupuncture as a way to prepare for our third IUI. The doctor was open to anythng that would help. The cycle was successful and we are now parents to Kennedy, who was born on March 16, 2017!”

They advise other couples to stick with the plan and to keep going through the whole process, suggesting, “You have to cope with the losses emotionally while simultaneously not forgetting you have a life. Taking care of ourselves, like going on vacation or using acupuncture, really helped us. Having the encouraging HRC Fertility staff to support us was also reassuring. We didn’t have a lot of people to talk to about our emotional roller coaster ride, so it was a blessing to confide in them.”

At just 29, this LA-based couple is hoping to return to HRC Fertility in Encino for another round of treatment and, hopefully, to add to their family.

Share