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

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.

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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.

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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.

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04/10

2017

#ListenUp for National Infertility Awareness Week

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

#ListenUp! In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), April 23-29, our infertility specialists are trying to make infertility treatment more accessible to new patients. Often, taking the first step to schedule an appointment with a physician is a difficult one. Patients don’t know what to anticipate during the initial meeting. They may be intimidated and confused.

Drs. Jane Frederick, Daniel Potter, Sanaz Ghazal and Mickey Coffler hope to break down some of those barriers by providing the following specials during NIAW. New patients can respond on the doctors’ individual Facebook pages.

* Dr. Jane Frederick and Dr. Daniel Potter: Raffles for a $500 gift certificate toward fertility treatment with the first 10 people responding getting a free “new patient” consultation voucher
* Dr. Sanaz Ghazal is offering a $500 gift certificate and five free “new patient” consult vouchers
* Dr. Mickey Coffler will be providing a $250 raffle

#ListenUp: So what happens during the initial consultation? Here’s what you should know about an initial consultation:

Your first impression
The initial consultation usually is the first meeting between you and the doctor (unless you met at one of our seminars) who will be your primary infertility specialist at HRC Fertility Orange County. Expect the appointment to last between 60-90 minutes. We encourage both partners to attend this meeting. You are in this together to make a baby!

Initial paperwork
Please try to complete the financial, administrative and medical history paperwork we send in the initial consultation packet. This includes other important documents to help us more effectively plan your care.

Become informed about your health insurance
It’s always a good idea to know what your insurance plan will pay for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. We have experienced financial counselors who will work with you to figure out what will be covered as well as other options you can take to afford treatment.

Bring your medical records
If you have had previous diagnostic tests or treatment performed by an obstetrician/gynecologist or a reproductive endocrinologist, please arrange for the release of those records. You can either bring these records to the initial consultation or, better yet, have them sent before your appointment. You can save previous time and money with the receipt of these important documents. We do not want to repeat any unnecessary tests or procedures.

Reviewing your medical history

Your past records and the completed medical history forms will alert us to any health concerns or issues you and your partner might have. During the consultation, we will ask both partners about past medical problems, surgeries, and prescription medications they are using. With the female partner, we will discuss her OB history, previous infertility workups and treatments, and if her mother or sisters have had trouble conceiving.

We also want to know if the father-to-be has already fathered a child/gotten a woman pregnant and lifestyle factors that may affect his sperm. If he has already completed his semen analysis, the doctor will also go over those results as well.

Explaining and scheduling diagnostic testing
We will explain what each test entails and what the results will mean. For women, we will schedule blood work on day three of your menstrual cycle to evaluate your hormone levels and other key indicators of fertility, as well as an ultrasound to visualize your ovaries and pelvic cavity, and a hysterosalpingogram, a specialized x-ray to assess the anatomy of your fallopian tubes and uterus.

The male partner has it relatively simple. He must produce a semen sample to be evaluated.

Developing a roadmap to success
Our goal is to get you pregnant! The initial consultation is the first step in outlining your treatment options. Unless otherwise medically indicated, we proceed from low-tech (medication and/or intrauterine insemination) options to more complex, such as assisted reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilization. We also discuss success rates based on age and diagnosis. We want you to feel comfortable with your treatment course.

We hope you leave the consultation with a positive viewpoint and a feeling that you are on the way to making your dreams come true.

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03/15

2017

HRC Fertility Free Seminar a Game-Changer

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

Margot had a gut instinct that she might have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. Though she is thin, Margot experienced irregular periods and suffered from bouts of acne. However, every doctor insisted Margot was fine, even though she and her husband had been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for just over one year. Luckily, Margot persisted in discovering the truth behind her inability to conceive and is now the mother of a 20-month-old toddler, Asher.

A registered nurse, Margot and her husband both wanted to start a family soon after they were married in 2013. Unfortunately, Margot’s search for a gynecologist who could confirm her diagnosis proved fruitless until she attended one of HRC Fertility’s free seminars in Fullerton. As part of the event, Margot was offered a free consultation with an infertility specialist. She and her husband scheduled an appointment with Dr. John Norian at HRC’s Rancho Cucamonga office.

“Within the first five minutes of meeting him, Dr. Norian was convinced I had PCOS,” recalls Margot. “An ultrasound confirmed my ovaries were polycystic. Dr. Norian reviewed all of our treatment options, including intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, my husband was unsure about IVF. Fortunately, Dr. Norian was very accommodating and didn’t want us to feel any pressure about how to proceed.”

The couple decided to undergo several rounds of treatment with the medication Letrozole. Though the first cycle didn’t work, Dr. Norian carefully monitored Margot with ultrasounds and the couple achieved success on their second cycle. Margot learned she was pregnant on her 33rd birthday!

She says, “We were fortunate that HRC had an incredibly encouraging and supportive staff. Infertility presents you with such a roller coaster of emotions and it was wonderful to have a great group of nurses and an outstanding doctor who understood our journey.”

Margot recommends that others follow their intuition and find a specialist who has expertise in infertility, adding, “It will save you a lot of pain and heartache if you do. Even if you have to go without your partner, it will give you peace of mind.”

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