Archive for IVF Treatment



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Gonadotropins in IVF: How Do They Work and What Are the Risks/Side Effects?

Gonadotropins are hormones produced by the pituitary gland which stimulate sex hormone production as well as gamete (sperm and egg) production in the man /woman. Through causing follicle/egg and sperm development and eliciting sex hormone production they are ultimately responsible for reproductive aptitude and performance as well as the expression of secondary sexual characteristics. There […]

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Is Being Overweight Detrimental to IVF Outcome?

There is little doubt that the prevalence of obesity in Western society is increasing and that this is having a significant influence on the reproductive performance of women who are trying to have a baby. Recent evidence indicates that excessive weight in women of reproductive age is associated with decreased birth rates, increased miscarriage rates, […]

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IVF With a Thin Uterine Lining: Vaginal Viagra is Often The Answer

It has been more than a decade since we reported the first IVF baby born following vaginal Viagra treatment for an “insufficient” endometrial lining. Since that time, worldwide, thousands of women with “unexplained IVF failures”, recurrent miscarriages and late pregnancy loss as a result of poor intrauterine growth and development due to thin uterine linings […]

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Fertility Preservation (FP) Through Egg Freezing

Female fertility preservation (FP) refers to the process whereby a woman’s eggs are frozen (cryopreserved) and banked for future use. Until very recently, FP by egg freezing was by and large confined to cases where young women faced chemotherapy or were suffering from illnesses that might make them infertile. More recently, indications have expanded to […]

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IVF: An Urgent Choice for Women Over 39 Years

Consider the fact that at age 39-43 years, the birth rate per cycle of treatment with injectible fertility drugs alone, or in combination with intrauterine insemination (IUI) is about 2%. With IVF, the birth rate is 10-15 times higher when performed in an IVF program of excellence. It follows that for women in whom the […]

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Marketing and Promotion of Fertility Services: Do They Have a Place in Medicine?

In the past, medical practices largely relied on traditional channels such as doctor-to-doctor referrals and patient word-of-mouth to brand their practices and attract new patients. Physicians didn’t spend time or money on media marketing. Traditionally, many people have viewed physicians as answering to a “higher calling.” Physicians were somewhat scared of being labeled as being […]

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IVF: A Fresh Look at the Indications

The idea behind in vitro fertilization (IVF) is that, by eliminating many of the barriers associated with conventional reproduction, the chance of having a baby is significantly improved. When performed in centers of excellence, IVF is now so successful that birth rates are more than double that achieved with “old-fashioned” procreation. In fact when performed […]

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IVF at SIRM: My Personal Journey

For me it all started at my home in Reno, Nevada on one snowy, late October evening in 1982. My close friend (to this very day) Dr. Victor Lewis (who was visiting from England) and I were enjoying a hot tub at my home. After quite a few beers he began to describe how the […]

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Same Sex Couples Deserve an Equal Opportunity to Have a Family!

I have been treating infertile couples for more than 30 years and have had the great privilege of participating in the genesis of in vitro fertilization in the US, virtually from its inception. During that time, I and my associates have helped hundreds of committed same sex couples go from infertility to family. With very […]

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Introducing "I Believe": The New SIRM Theme Song!

I am constantly in awe of the manner in which my patients endure the impositions, demands for compliance and the many indignities they are confronted with in the course of undergoing infertility evaluation and treatment. Frankly I don’t think I could do it….But then again I have children (and grandchildren) of my own and I […]

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Embryo & Blastocyst Grading: Which to Transfer, Which to Discard

Currently, when it comes to embryo/blastocyst grading, there is no standard method practiced universally across all IVF centers. There are a variety of systems used in different embryology laboratories; some are orthodox and proven, while others are not. This often leads to confusion when it comes to patients trying to interpret a recommendation to freeze, […]

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Congratulations On Receiving the Nobel Prize Robert Edwards: You Deserve It and It’s Long Overdue!

Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe introduced human in vitro fertilization with the birth of the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown in 1978. In the ensuing 3+ decades an estimated 4 million IVF births have brought tremendous joy to their blessed parent and hope to millions of other infertile individuals and couples.The granting of a […]

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IVF: Planning The Trip Before Embarking on the Journey

While it is true that it will often take more than one IVF attempt to achieve a successful outcome, it is not good enough to simply offer this argument as a reason to just “keep on trying.” Ninety percent of my personal IVF practice involves treating patients who have experienced two or more prior IVF […]

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The Ultimate Standard of Infertility Care

It is impossible for those of us who have been able to have children at the drop of a hat to put ourselves in the position of couples who so yearn to become parents that they are willing to risk depleting themselves emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially in the process.I’ve often asked myself what drives […]

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Hindsight CGH: A Valuable, New Diagnostic/Therapeutic Tool in IVF

Whenever a patient fails to achieve a successful outcome following IVF, the question arises as to why. Clearly, if the embryos had appeared to be of poor quality microscopically, arrested in their development or failed to achieve appropriate developmental milestones over time, the answer would be clear. Similarly, if the uterine lining was thin, having […]

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Testosterone’s Role in Infertility Treatment: The “Root of Both Good and Evil!”

The hormone testosterone is undoubtedly a major driving force when it comes to human function and endeavor. On the one hand it has led to bold initiatives that have resulted in human prosperity and achievement. On the other hand however, it has also prompted many ill-conceived and even foolish urges and actions that have ended […]

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Is IVF Safe?

Hardly a month goes by without reading or hearing a media report of some or other catastrophe that a woman undergoing IVF has experienced. It was not long ago following the tragic death of the Saturday Night Live star Gilda Radner from ovarian cancer and the concern that it was her use of fertility drugs […]

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IVF – 32 Years Since the Birth of Louise Brown: What a Journey!

I can hardly believe that it has been 32 years since the 1st successful IVF conception, (initiated by Patrick Steptoe, the father of human IVF) resulted in the birth of Louise Brown. Time has certainly flown.I first met Patrick Steptoe in the very early 70’s when he was a visiting professor at the University of […]

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IVF for the Fertile Population: Fast Becoming a Justifiable Option

Ask virtually anyone about the indications for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and you will receive the answer hear that it is a procedure performed for the treatment of resistant infertility. While this is true for the vast majority of cases, it is not true for all. In fact, an ever growing number of women/couples are […]

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IVF and Age: Assessing the Options

An ever increasing number of women are deferring having babies until they have fulfilled career aspirations. Advancing age is associated with a progressive increase in the number of chromosomally abnormal (aneuploid) eggs and consequently a decline in egg “competence” (i.e., the ability to propagate embryos that can produce babies). Since it is predominantly the egg […]

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IVF Affordability: An Urgent Need for Insurance Reimbursement

Fewer than 150,000 IVF procedures (out of a pool of more than 1.5 million women/couples that are believed to be in need of IVF) are currently performed yearly in the United States. In other words, fewer than 10% of patients who need IVF gain access to this treatment. The number of procedures performed barely scratches […]

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Embryo Banking in IVF: An Approach That Arrests the Adverse Effects of the Biological Clock

An ever increasing number of American women first seek IVF treatment in their late 30’s or early 40’s.This trend is in large part due to the fact that more and more women are choosing to defer childbearing until they have fulfilled their career aspirations. While such deliberate deferment is understandable, it nevertheless poses significant problems, […]

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Preserving Fertility in Cancer Patients

It is only through propagation of our biological offspring that we as humans can leave a lasting legacy of our existence. Perhaps this explains why the desire to have children is a basic human instinct and why an inability to achieve this goal (infertility) often leads to considerable psychological and social strain. Infertility evokes a […]

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Men’s Health Month: A Time for Men to Step up to the Fertility Plate

Sadly, in spite of major advances in the treatment of infertility, one the biggest challenges that remains is the reluctance on the part of many men to confront their role in the infertility equation. It is still somewhat common to have a woman arrive for an infertility consultation without her partner. Thus, at this time […]

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Men’s Health Week: A Time for Men to Step up to the Fertility Plate

Sadly, in spite of major advances in the treatment of infertility, one the biggest challenges that remains is the reluctance on the part of many men to confront their role in the infertility equation. It is still somewhat common to have a woman arrive for an infertility consultation without her partner. Thus, at this time […]

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