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PFC Infertility Doctor Blog

The Infertility Blog

November 21, 2015

In the embryology lab we track “implantation rates” closely for all the patients we treat.  It’s the number of embryos that implant in the uterus after transfer, divided by the total number of embryos transferred.  When we perform genetic testing on embryos, we can get implantation rates of 50-70% or more regardless of the age of the patient, but only if the patient has a chromosomally normal embryo.  With increasing maternal age, the likelihood of having a normal embryo decreases because older mothers have fewer eggs, and in older age groups such as age 42 and above, as few as 10% of the embryos will have the correct number of chromosomes.

November 20, 2015

Most women want to do everything in their power to have a healthy baby. And if you’ve been challenged by infertility, chances are you’re even more motivated. But with so much information out there—on the Internet and circulating among family and friends—it can be tough to know what is critical to do—or not to do—during pregnancy.

Three of the most important things? Eat a well-balanced diet, take prenatal vitamins, and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. Here are a few more specific guidelines to help safeguard your baby and you.

Fish. Fish is a great source of protein. It’s also low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids. That makes it good for your cardiovascular health and for your baby’s fetal growth and development. But there’s just one problem: Some fish are also high in methylmercury, which has been thought to affect fetal and newborn motor and cognitive skills.1,2

November 19, 2015

A divorced couple, who have been battling over the five embryos they froze in 2010, have been ordered by a San Francisco judge to destroy the embryos. PFC's Dr. Carl Herbert weighs in on the decision.

Watch the live interview, including remarks from Dr. Herbert, here.

November 18, 2015

Funded in part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, a multicenter, randomized clinical trial has found that a breast cancer drug called letrozole (Femara) has similar but no better effectiveness than standard fertility drugs in treating women between the ages of 18 and 40 with unexplained infertility.1

Although letrozole is not approved for ovulation induction or infertility, fertility physicians have started using it off-label because it appeared to help women conceive with less risk of multiple births than gonadotropins (e.g. Menopur). Then, a study last year found that letrozole produced better birth rates than clomiphene citrate (Clomid) in infertile women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels, periods, and ovulation.2

November 17, 2015

The 71st Annual American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) meeting was held in Baltimore, Maryland last month. This meeting is one of the two largest meetings of reproductive specialists, embryologists, nurses, scientists, geneticists, genetics counselors, students and practice administrators in the world. The 2015 meeting did not disappoint!

One of the keynote speakers of the conference was David C. Page, MD, genetics pioneer and director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA, has devoted his career to scrutinizing the biology and evolution of the sex chromosomes. He shared some of his studies’ unanticipated insights at this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.