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Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

Fertility, IVF and Egg Donation

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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

by on Oct.17, 2019, under Miscarriage, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as a month to recognize those who have suffered the loss of a child. “When a child loses his parents, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”

If you, or someone you care about has lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, or any other cause at any point during pregnancy, we hope you’ll join the team of Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago in raising awareness around Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Whether you’ve conceived naturally or through fertility treatment, it’s estimated that 10 to 25 percent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. If you’ve endured more than two miscarriages, we recommend you seek the assistance of one of our reproductive endocrinologists.

Some common causes of miscarriages are the following:

  1. Chromosomal causes (example: trisomy)
  2. Autoimmune causes (example: endocrine disorders or Antiphospholipid Syndrome that creates antibodies that can affect the production of blood clots)
  3. Anatomical causes ( uterine defects)
  4. Hormonal causes  (Thyroid and/or Adrenal Gland problems)
  5. Infectious causes (can be rare but an infection workup is possible)

The testing we would do around recurrent pregnancy loss would include chromosomal testing of both parents. In addition, one of several techniques we would employ is to evaluate the shape of the uterine cavity, blood testing for autoimmune causes to see if it would provide any insight for the pregnancy losses, and perform a possible biopsy of the endometrial cavity for chronic infection and perhaps to evaluate the “readiness “ of the uterus for embryo implantation.

If a patient is diagnosed with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, the treatment would depend on what these tests found. It could involve injections of anticoagulants if, for example, autoimmune testing is positive. It may also involve surgical correction of uterine abnormalities, hormonal supplementation or antibiotics.

In general, patients with chromosomal abnormalities are at an higher risk for miscarriage. Age is also a factor when it comes to women and fertility. The higher percentage of chromosomally abnormal eggs in older women also explains the progressive increase in miscarriage rates with age. For example, Women who are 35-45 yrs old have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage and women over the age of 45 can have up to a 50% chance of miscarriage. It’s suggested they explore the option of IVF with genetic testing like preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A) of their embryos.

What’s important to remember is that there are family building options and many patients can benefit from both emotional and psychological support. Several studies have reported improved live birth rates with this kind of support. We recommend Resolve: The National Infertility Association and contacting us so we can learn more about your fertility history and goals to help walk you through your best course of action.

Gary Jones MD

Dr. Jones has been board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility for over twenty years.

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SART Success Rates – 2017 Preliminary Reports

by on Aug.15, 2019, under IVF Clinic Success Rates, SART IVF Success Rate Report

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) has recently released its Preliminary  2017 IVF success rate reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not yet released data for 2017. SART and CDC release their reports annually and they are available online for the public to view.

Link to SART Site  for preliminary 2017 data and CDC Site for 2016 data

These reports provide critical information about fertility clinics throughout the United States in terms of their IVF and Egg Donation success rates, including multiple pregnancy rates, treatment volumes within different age groups and within different treatment options such as using own eggs, using fresh donor eggs or using frozen donor eggs. IVF treatment requires a huge emotional and financial investment, so it is important for patients to be educated and informed about the differences between clinics’ success rates before choosing a fertility clinic.

Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago (AFCC) is proud that our success rates for 2017 are well above national averages. Our success rates have been higher than average every year for 21 years in a row.

Federal law requires that all in vitro fertilization centers in the United States submit their data annually to the CDC. There is a small percentage of IVF clinics that refuse to report their data most likely because they do not want the public to see their success rate data. If you are considering a fertility clinic that does not report its data, it’s wise to look at other clinics that do report.

There is no legal requirement to report success rate data to SART. Membership in the organization is voluntary, however, members must report their data to SART pursuant to stringent guidelines and rules.

Both the SART site and the CDC site allow visitors to download spreadsheets with data from clinics for purposes of comparing results. However, the SART spreadsheet format is a bit more user friendly and intuitive for those not accustomed to dealing with spreadsheets.

Obviously, some people might only have one fertility clinic within traveling distance of their home so it may not be as important to compare success rates among clinics across the country. However, some patients will travel to another state to have the IVF or egg donation services performed based upon the success rates of a clinic. Every year many couples travel to AFCC from distant states and other countries to have fertility treatments at our clinic.

Superior quality control throughout the entire process results in success rates that are substantially above average. Clinics that have poor quality control will generally report lower than average success rates. Common quality control issues involve problems with ovarian stimulation regimens, IVF procedures (egg retrieval and embryo transfer) and the laboratory embryo culture systems.

Another way to evaluate all aspects of an IVF program’s quality is to view their success rate with egg donation, both fresh and frozen. Since all programs should have equal access to young healthy egg donors, programs having the best success rate reflect the quality of the program, including the ability to grow healthy embryos.

AFCC is proud to once again have one of the most successful egg donation programs in the country.

Gary Jones MD

Dr. Jones has been board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility for over twenty years.

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Welcome to the
Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist.

Dr. Sherbahn founded the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago in 1997.

He will post regularly about fertility issues.

Dr. Richard Sherbahn
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