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Women Need Education About Aging and Fertility

by on Oct.31, 2009, under Age and Fertility, Ovarian Reserve Tests

Our society has undergone significant change since the 1960s. Women’s liberation is definitely a good thing. Women can now do pretty much anything that a man can do. However, the one thing that they cannot do is delay childbearing as long as a man can.

Our society has evolved and many women are pursuing advanced educations and career advancement – and delaying childbearing as a result. However, in general women should be more knowledgeable about the impact of delaying childbearing on fertility potential.

Fertility specialists know this is a problem. We commonly see women in their late 30s and early 40s that are very bright and well-educated who are surprised and very disappointed when told that it may be very difficult (or impossible) to get pregnant and have a baby using their own eggs.

I like to use a “garden” analogy when discussing infertility with patients. The uterine lining is the “garden”  and the embryos are the “plants”. As women age, the garden is rarely the problem – the plant is often the problem. This is why using donor eggs is so successful regardless of the age of the recipient woman. (continue reading…)

Richard Sherbahn

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a fertility doctor practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area. Connect with me on Google+

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Research Could Explain Chromosomal Problems in Eggs

by on Sep.26, 2009, under Age and Fertility, Chromosomal Abnormalities in Eggs

We know that chromosomal abnormalities in eggs are responsible for fertility problems – particularly when the woman is in her late 30s or 40s.

In recent years research has shown the importance of a structure in the egg called the meiotic spindle. This spindle is involved with aligning chromosome pairs so proper division of pairs can occur during egg maturation.

  • As women age they are more likely to have an abnormal spindle apparatus that does not efficiently line up chromosomes prior to division
  • This causes a higher likelihood for an unbalanced chromosomal situation in the mature egg – and then in the embryo

A recently published study (referenced below) might help us to understand why some women have more chromosomally abnormal eggs at a given age. This study was performed in mice, but may well have relevance for human reproduction as well (in many ways we aren’t as different from mice as we might like). (continue reading…)

Richard Sherbahn

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a fertility doctor practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area. Connect with me on Google+

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Women Waiting Longer to Have Kids – Fertility Issues

by on Aug.22, 2009, under Age and Fertility

Age and female fertility and waiting to have babies

  • A recent report on the average age at first childbirth from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that as of 2006, women in the US waited an average of 3.6 years longer to have their first baby, as compared to 1970.
  • There is not enough discussion in our society about the effect of age on fertility.
  • Women’s liberation is a good thing and women have made very significant advances over the past 40 years. Many women are pursuing advanced education and careers.
  • However, there is a potential “disconnect” involved. Women are waiting longer to have children – but many are not educated about what that delay can do to their fertility.

These days, many couples try to have their first child when the woman is in her mid-to-late 30s. Some will get pregnant easily, and others end up needing fertility treatments. (continue reading…)

Richard Sherbahn

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a fertility doctor practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area. Connect with me on Google+

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Number of Embryos and IVF, Multiple Births, Octomom

by on Aug.09, 2009, under Number of IVF Embryos to Transfer

Octomom and IVF – before June of 2008

  • In June of 2008, Nadya Suleman was a single, unemployed mother of 6 children
  • According to reports, she was receiving some “public assistance”
  • All six of her children were reportedly conceived through in vitro fertilization
  • All 6 kids were under 7 years old, including 2 year old twins

Then, she does IVF again

  • In June of 2008, her IVF doctor transferred 6 frozen-thawed embryos to her uterus.
  • Apparently, all six embryos survived – and 2 split into identical twins – so she ended up with eight fetuses growing in her uterus.
  • Nadya declined having a fetal reduction procedure. Reduction can be done to selectively reduce the number of fetuses.
  • The vast majority octuplet pregnancies would be expected to result in death of all fetuses after a severely premature birth.
  • In her case the pregnancy progressed to viability. All 8 babies were born (prematurely) in January of 2009.
  • This is apparently only the second living set of octuplets ever born in the United States.

Public debate rages

  • Is she a fit mother?
  • Should the fertility specialist have been willing to treat her at all?
  • How many embryos should the doctor have transferred to her uterus?
  • Should a physician that transfers that many embryos to a 33-year-old be sanctioned – or even lose his medical license?
  • Why doesn’t the government pass laws to control fertility doctors?

(continue reading…)

Richard Sherbahn

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a fertility doctor practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area. Connect with me on Google+

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CDC Releases 2007 IVF Success Rate Report

by on Jul.26, 2009, under CDC Report on Fertility Clinic IVF Success Rates, IVF Clinic Success Rates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a US government agency, has just released a preliminary version of its 2007 Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Report. It expects to release the final version in December.

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) released its version of the report on 2007 IVF cycles several months ago. However, clinics are not required by law to report to SART. They are required to report to the CDC. Therefore, the CDC report shows success rates for more clinics than the SART report does.

The CDC report covers data from 430 fertility clinics. Over 142,000 assisted reproductive technology (or IVF) cycles were done at these “reporting clinics”.

There were (as always) some fertility clinics that broke federal law and refused to report their data. These IVF clinics are referred to as “non-reporting clinics”. If fertility doctors will go so far as to break federal law to keep their IVF outcome statistics from the public – those “non-reporting clinics” most likely have very low success rates.

Before you choose a fertility clinic for IVF – check success rates.

Links to both the CDC and the SART IVF success rate reports

See our IVF success rates

Richard Sherbahn

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a fertility doctor practicing in the Chicago, Illinois area. Connect with me on Google+

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Welcome to the
Advanced Fertility

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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