Fertility Care is an uncommon problem
Many couples that are struggling with infertility feel as though they are in this battle alone. Yet 10-15% of couples have difficulty getting pregnant each year. This astounding number is often way underestimated because fertility care unfortunately is treated as a “secret.” With increased awareness and education we hope to change this mindset.
It never affects men
One of the biggest misconceptions is that infertility is only the result of female factors. However this is untrue, male factor infertility prevents couples from achieving pregnancy 50% of the time.
IVF is the only method to achieve pregnancy when experiencing trouble getting pregnant
Frequently patients assume that IVF is the only method of fertility care that will result in a successful pregnancy. However there are a variety of fertility treatment options that can help couples achieve their dreams of a healthy pregnancy with a conservative treatment regimen. At RAD we explore all options to make your treatment plan the most cost effective and efficient for your individual health needs. Problems occurring within the uterus, such as fibroids, polyps, or endometriosis can hinder a woman’s ability to achieve a pregnancy, however once removed, women can often get pregnant without the use of more aggressive treatments.
It’s very expensive to treat, insurance never covers any parts of the care
Although many patients believe that a majority of fertility treatments must be paid out of pocket, many times this is not the case. Couples would be surprised to learn how many fertility related health expenses are covered by insurance companies.
What is IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization is a fertility treatment process to bring an egg and sperm together when it’s believed to be that it isn’t happening naturally. The IVF process involves taking a series of medications, which allow us to remove a sample of eggs from the ovaries. Once retrieved from the ovaries, the eggs are then fertilized in our IVF lab. From that point early embryos develop and the healthiest embryos are selected for transfer to the uterus. This method of fertility treatment is a way to detour the fallopian tubes if they are damaged or missing. IVF can also can be used in instances where the male partner has low sperm count, or if the female partner has severe adhesions or if other treatments have not been successful up to this point. IVF also provides an opportunity to performing testing on the embryos to ensure that they have the right number of chromosomes or are free of genetic diseases.
What is ICsi?
ICsi, “Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection” is a technique utilized during In Vitro Fertilization that helps to proactively achieve fertilization through a microscopic manipulation of egg, sperm and embryos. In traditional IVF sperm is mixed with the egg and fertilization occurs naturally. Typically other clinics do not perform ICsi unless there is poor semen analysis for the male partner. At RAD we perform ICsi on a majority of our patients because we believe it develops a cleaner culture system, and results in better fertilization outcomes. ICsi microscopically manipulates the sperm so that fertilization can be achieved when it is not occurring naturally.
What is PGD and PGS?
Traditionally, the embryo selection process for an IVF cycle is based solely on an embryo’s phenotype (the physical appearance). However a physically normal embryo is not necessarily an indication of the genotype (the genetic composition). Because an embryo that appears healthy can contain genetic mutations or chromosomal abnormalities, pre-implantation genetic screening and testing can provide insight into the genetic and chromosomal health of the embryo. At RAD we offer both Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), and Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS). These tests can greatly enhance the outcomes of embryo selection for an IVF cycle and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. Determining whether or not to pursue testing depends on a variety of factors, and is both a personal and medical decision.
Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is performed on cell(s) that are atraumatically removed from an embryo 5 or 6 days after fertilization to test for a particular inherited genetic disease. These tests provide our IVF experts with the unique and specific genetic make-up of each embryo, allowing our team to choose the embryo with the lowest risk of genetic mutations and greatest chance for a healthy pregnancy.
What is the benefit of eSET?
eSET ,stands for “elective single embryo transfer.” This practice involves transferring a single embryo into the uterus during IVF as opposed to multiple embryos. The greater the number of embryos transferred, the greater the chance for risk of multiples. Multiples can cause health risks for both the mother and baby. Pregnancies that carry more than one child have an increased risk for:
- Hospitalization prior to full term of pregnancy
- Pre-mature birth, low birth weight
We believe that single embryo transfers result in the safest and most successful pregnancies for our patients.
What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination is a traditional method of taking a sperm sample and washing it, and applying a density gradient to separate out the very vibrant motile sperm from the ones who are not in good health. IUI is typically performed in a case where there is mild male factor infertility. After the healthy sperm are chosen, the women takes a series of medicines to enhance the chances for pregnancy, when the motile sperm is transferred into the uterus.
Although each patient is unique in their fertility challenges, there are common diagnoses that often prevent couples from getting pregnant through natural means. The following are common diagnoses for both men and women that can prevent a pregnancy from occurring naturally.
What is Endometriosis?
This is one of the leading causes of pelvic pain symptoms and infertility in women. It is small implants of tissue that lye in a women’s pelvis that is not believed to normally be there. This tissue has the propensity to grow over a period of time, in response to a woman’s hormones. Often times, this development of tissues can prevent an embryo from attaching properly to the uterine wall, resulting in infertility.
What is Tubal Disease?
Another common underlying cause of infertility is tubal disease. Several pelvic issues can cause tubal disease, such as endometriosis, prior sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, and ectopic pregnancies.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known as PCOS is a lack of normal ovulation caused by and overproduction of insulin circulating in the blood stream, sending bad signals to the ovaries. PCOS is most common in women who are overweight or obese.