Genetic Screening of Embryos as Part of IVF Treatment

Modern IVF—when practiced with the most current technology—is not only more effective than ever before but can also be diagnostic. One of the tools that really provides some of the greatest insight is the use of genetic testing. Not all centers use these tools and there are several different ways to perform genetic testing. There are many opinions on what is best. Here is a recent conversation that I had with Fertility Coach and previous patient, Lisa White:  https://youtu.be/xs97X9_4gdM

In case you don’t have 30 minutes to spare—here are some key points in the conversation:

  • 00:47—Clarification of Acronyms
  • 02:00—What do I recommend and why
  • 05:00—Description of the process
  • 07:50—Who should consider genetic testing?
  • 11:40—Alternatives to transferring abnormal embryos
  • 13:50—How often do patients choose not to have testing (at our center)?
  • 14:30—False-Positive and False-Negative vs. “embryos repairing themselves”
  • 16:00—What are costs or potential savings:
  • 18:00—Lisa’s personal experience (an example)
  • 19:00—Some of the additional diagnostic information that can possibly be attained
  • 21:00—What about people using an egg donor?
  • 26:00—How is this different than “embryo grading”?

We hope that this conversation answers some of your questions so that you can guide your treatment choices.

Stay informed,

~Robert

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado

Common Questions Regarding Male Fertility—a conversation

Most fertility treatment targets the female partner. In fact, many of the male partners feel helpless during treatment. Often viewing themselves as “problem solvers,” it is common for men to as if they are bystanders during fertility treatment. As a result, many questions aren’t asked and potentially useful advice is often withheld.

In order to overcome this information gap, we’ve recorded a video conversation where we try to address the most common questions that have come up regarding male fertility testing and treatment. Topics that we cover in this video include:

  • Testing including explanation of semen analysis
  • Diet/lifestyle tips as well as supplements
  • Potential role of sperm freezing (you may not have considered)
  • Dispelling popular myths
    • Boxers vs briefs
    • Caffeine
  • Role of ICSI (sperm injection into the egg) in modern IVF
  • Emotional support for men

Here’s a link: https://youtu.be/PvzqQorMB1g (about 40 minutes)

Stay informed,

~Robert

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado

Basic Fertility Treatment (Ovulation Induction with Insemination): latest information and recommendations reviewed

One aspect of fertility treatment that exacerbates the frustration of many couples is the uncertainty. They often don’t have a specific reason for their problem—even after their testing is completed. They also don’t understand the typical challenges that everyone faces on a monthly basis. Without this information, it can be difficult to create realistic expectations. I believe it also makes the most logical and simple recommendations seem very appealing.

Basic Fertility care is often introduced as ovulation induction (OI)—using medication to regulate the menstrual cycle and optimize the timing of the “fertile window.” This procedure is often combined with “sperm wash” where the partner’s specimen is processed to optimize its potential and then placing that into the woman’s uterus—known as intrauterine insemination (IUI). This treatment has been available for decades. There have been few changes in how this is done over the last 10 years.

I reviewed the subject of OI/IUI back in 2015 and those studies are still very relevant. So please check that out as well. More recently, we have had a couple of publications that provide even more data for us to guide patients through these important decisions. Please consider the watching the following video blog for a quick (less than 10 minute) summary ( https://youtu.be/GwmbkIpw3ek ) .  In case you can’t access the link, here is a brief summary of findings;

  • Ovulation Induction with intercourse wasn’t much better than trying to conceive naturally
  • Insemination without ovulation induction had success rates comparable to natural conception
  • In considering OI/IUI
    • Success rates drop dramatically after three or four attempts
    • Having more than two follicles is not recommended due to increased risk of multiple pregnancy
    • The timing of the insemination is more flexible than most anticipate
    • There is no greater benefit in having more than one insemination per cycle
    • For women over 40, success rates were modest and associated with a lower risk of multiple pregnancy—even when three or more follicles were available            

I hope that you find this information helpful and empowering as you consider your treatment options and plan your family.

With kindness and optimism

~Robert

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado

References:

Fertility Treatment and Social Distancing are Codependent During the COVID19 Outbreak

As we continue to adjust to life during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak it is important that we adjust our activities. Fertility treatment is ESSENTIAL care for those that need it. Our goal is to continue continue to provide this care for all of those seeking treatment–but it will require their assistance as well. Here in Colorado our use of social distancing has clearly reduced the severity of the outbreak. I’ve summarized in a videoblog the recommendations to keep our patients, our staff  and our community safe: https://youtu.be/7sBN7WgC35I .

Safer at home videoblog

So please continue to stay safer-at-home when possible and follow established social distancing when out in public place.

With kindness and support,

~Robert

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado

 

Fertility and Clean Air: some encouraging news for those pursuing pregnancy

As fertility treatment resumes following the pause created by the COVID19 Outbreak, we have experienced marked improvement in air quality. Many are unaware the of the unfortunate effects that pollution has upon fertility. Here on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day is a great time to update you on how our improved environment can boost your chances of achieving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy: https://youtu.be/Iq93CXlrp4Q .

Happy Earth Day

I hope that you found that information to be encouraging. Let’s see if we can take it a step further and make some better choices as we move forward in to the future.

REFERENCES from this video: 

COVID19 and Fertility Treatment: an update for patients in Colorado

Treatment for fertility patients has been challenging during the COVID19 Outbreak. There is agreement that fertility treatment is essential and not elective. But whether or not it was urgent created some confusion as whether or not treatment should be continued or halted during the early days of the outbreak in the United States.

CORONA VIRUS

At this point, it is becoming more apparent that various regions are experiencing this pandemic very differently. Here’s the latest update for patients seeking care at our center in Colorado: https://youtu.be/Ky5lcP-Rzus.

Stay safe, stay well and if you can please stay home.

With kindness,

~Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

COVID19 and other infectious disease concerns—here’s what fertility patients should consider

There is increasing concern over Corona Virus or COVID19 as this infection spreads. In perspective there are other infectious diseases that people seeking pregnancy should also consider. Here is a link to a videoblog we recently created to try to answer some of these questions and provide some practical advice: https://youtu.be/a6p4uUC8hgk  COVID19

 

 

 

Starting a new video blog: Clinical Conversation

In our effort to remain relevant and provide you with current and relevant content–we’re starting a new YouTube Channel called Clinical Conversations. My partner in this project–Lisa White–is a licensed counselor that has actually gone through fertility treatment herself.

Introducing Fertility Chat

Our goal is to help support you by providing you with some short dialogues about topics that you find to be most relevant. Consider signing up or emailing us some suggestions for topics.

If you can’t find us at the link above just search “clinical conversations–fertility chats” on YouTube.

We hope to see you there!

Tea and Plastics: the most recent example of healthy food packaged/prepared badly

As fertility specialists we try to point out how diet/lifestyle can optimize your fertility efforts. Recently, I shared the latest information that coffee and tea can actually have some benefits—despite popular, but misguided beliefs. But it is always important to realize that it’s not just what we consume—but also how we prepare it that matters!

Fancy tea bags

Tea can easily become an example of a healthy drink gone bad if not prepared properly. A recent study from McGill University demonstrated that just one of the new fancy plastic tea bags can release 11 billion microplastic and 3 billion nanoplastic particles into your drink in as little as five minutes when prepared at standard temperatures. These tiny particles cannot be seen without a microscope. But because of their size they can enter your body much easier than they can ever leave. In fact, a study from the World Wild Life Fund found that it is not unusual for people to consume about 5 grams of plastic per week by eating sea food or drinking beer from cans lined with plastic. That’s equivalent to eating the amount of plastic in a credit card each week!

Although we don’t (yet) know of all of the potential health effects of micro-particles—we do know that plastics can have a negative impact upon fertility due to the chemicals that they contain. In fact, a direct link has been found between the ingredients used in plastics upon egg quality and maturation (their ability to be fertilized). More importantly, these plastic tea bags are not needed and have only recently been introduced.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Say “NO” to unnecessary plastics—as consumers you speak volumes with your purchases. Let companies know if you’re choosing to not use their products due to their packaging choices
  • Get a re-usable device to steep your tea
  • Support organizations like the Environmental Working Group that offer tips to minimize your exposure to plastics

 

As I said in my previous blog post, “these low calorie, plant based beverages may have some health and fertility boosting benefits.” But now I’ll modify my statement with a reminder that this is only true if packaged and prepared in a health way.

Stay informed and motivated,

~Robert

Robert Greene, MD, FACOG

Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado