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The Infertility Blog

March 25, 2015
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The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) recently reported an increase in the numbers of babies born with the help of in vitro fertilization (IVF). In 2013, nearly 175,000 cycles resulted in the birth of 63,000 babies. This was an increase of nearly 2,000 over 2012. Complete data are not yet available for 2014.

Perhaps most promising of all is this trend: More women also chose to transfer a single embryo, which did not negatively affect pregnancy rates. The age group with the greatest increase in elective single embryo transfer (eSET) was women younger than 35.  In this age group, eSET increased from 15 percent in 2012 to 22.5 percent in 2013.

March 19, 2015
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San Francisco, CA – March 19, 2015 - Pacific Fertility Center embryologists have, for the first time, described the effect of active embryo expansion and contraction on embryo hatching and pregnancy rates after in vitro fertilization.

Using time-lapse video imaging and high resolution microscopy, the expansion and contraction of embryos prior to implantation was observed. Frozen embryos that fail to re-expand in volume by 20-50 percent in the first 2 hours after thawing result in significantly lower rates of ongoing pregnancy, according to study results published in the February issue of Fertility and Sterility. The paper was co-authored by Sergio Vaccari, PhD, senior embryologist at Pacific Fertility Center (PFC), and Joe Conaghan, PhD, PFC lab director.

February 20, 2015
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San Francisco, CA – February 20, 2015 – On February 2, 2015, the Pacific Fertility Egg Bank celebrated its 100th embryo transfer, reaching a significant juncture in the history of the bank, which opened in August of 2012, making it the first freestanding egg bank in Northern California. “This has been a labor of love,” said Daragh Castenada, program director of PFC’s Egg Donor Agency and the Pacific Fertility Egg Bank. “We’re all incredibly excited about this milestone.”

In 2007, PFC was among the first to begin using new egg-freezing technology (vitrification), which paved the way for the launch of its frozen donor egg bank. However, it first spent several years refining laboratory techniques to ensure the best of outcomes for patients.

February 12, 2015
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At the ASRM meeting in October in Honolulu, HI, PFC Embryologists sat down for updated vitrification training using a new technology from Cryotech, Japan.  Although we have been vitrifying eggs and embryos since 2006, and are therefore one of the most experienced labs in the world, there are always opportunities for improvement.  Here we are exploring a new method for egg vitrification that claims to give better survival than current methods.  

Pictured from left to right:  Amy Kittleson (PFC Embryologist), Maria Guadalupe (Cryotech trainer), Joe Conaghan, PhD (PFC Lab Director) and Sergio Vaccari, PhD (PFC Embryologist).

February 09, 2015
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In the recent past, more than one research team has reached similar conclusions: A higher body mass index (BMI) leads to lower fertility treatment success rates. Reporting at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the researchers presented findings from three different studies.1

One donor, several recipients. Investigators from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked at records of fresh, shared donor cycles performed between 2004 and 2012. These included cases where one donor’s eggs went to women with different BMIs. Among all 4,000 recipients:

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