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PRC is pleased to offer Saturday appointments

Call 866.423.2645


Assisted Reproductive Technology

Egg Donation – Should You Donate Your Eggs Or Not?

A few years ago, egg donation was often viewed as a cringe-worthy topic that few would dare speak out about in public. The stigma is not because it is a taboo topic but more of a by-product of inadequate information regarding it. Things are changing nowadays.

Human Egg Donation for infertilityWhat is Human Egg Donation?

Human egg donation is a medical process that usually begins by stimulating a young, healthy woman’s ovaries to produce extra eggs. The eggs are then retrieved and then made available to women who are struggling with infertility.

A huge percentage of egg donors are women who donate their eggs to close friend and family, however, some women are recruited by egg donation agencies or fertility clinics to join a registry for anonymous egg donors. Couples who are seeking healthy eggs are able to select from the registry whose eggs they will be used to produce a healthy child.

Who Will Benefit From an Egg Donation

It is not just women who have primary infertility that will benefit from a donor’s gracious egg donation. Many women these days are delaying childbearing and may become ready to be mothers when the quality of their eggs no longer match the ability of their uterus to bring a child to term. This further increases the demand for egg donors, a fact supported by a statement from Michelle Purcell, a nurse at Shady Grove Fertility who shared that about 15,000 women apply to be egg donors in their facility every year.

Are You Ready to be An Egg Donor?

If you are thinking of being an egg donor, you need to understand that there is the possibility of rejection and that your future child may not even know who you are. Below are some things to check to determine if you are indeed ready to donate your eggs.

Research on Your Eligibility

Most fertility clinics in the US have an egg donor approval rate of about 3%. This is because egg donors have a rigid screening method wherein the women’s age, physical location, health status, smoking history, sexual history, and familial history of diseases and disorders are taken into consideration.

Find Out What to Expect

Becoming an egg donor is not easy. There are lengthy applications to fill up, detailed physical and psychological exams to undergo, genetic testing to be done, and other tests to be completed.

Know that the entire process will take months because once you are selected as a donor, your menstrual cycle will have to be adjusted to match your egg’s recipient and that you will be given medications that will spur your egg production (this is partly why donors have to undergo psychological evaluation).

Understand the Risks

Because the process of egg donations means that the donor will be given fertility drugs and will have to undergo an invasive procedure to extract the eggs, it comes with certain health risks (this is why the first step was to screen for health issues, to begin with) that the doctor will talk to you about. It is just easier to know them beforehand.

Are You Doing It with the Right People for the Right Reasons

The right facility to donate eggs to won’t jump at any donor available. They will be careful with regards to every aspect of the egg donation process. They will make sure that you have a full understanding of what the process entails and will have specialists to support you medically, legally, and psychologically. They know that being selected as an egg donor is worth a lot more than the compensation of several thousand dollars. They want you to appreciate that egg donation is about choosing to share the gift of life.

Conceiving 3-Parent Babies Is Now a Possibility

How would you react when a neighbor says that their baby has been conceived with 3 parents? You’d surely want more details! The medical community reacted the same way when American scientists shared that they’ve been able to conceive a 3-parent baby, definitely the world’s first!

Shock or Amazement?

Conceiving 3-Parent BabiesThe technique is controversial for sure, but the experts responsible for the medical advancement are now sharing the reasons behind this new technique and what made them decide to go forth with it. Just to be clear, a 3-parent-baby means that the baby was conceived using biological material from 3 individuals.

Although global health officials are viewing the scientific milestone with skeptical eyes, the scientists responsible for the technique shared that they’re keeping an optimistic outlook. In a press release, the technique’s lead author Dr. John Zhang shared that their brilliant use of technology is exciting for mankind.

Dr. Zhang’s paper was published in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine. His team shared how they helped Jordanian parents to get pregnant with a healthy baby boy earlier this year even though he has a high risk of inheriting DNA for Leigh syndrome. Leigh syndrome is a severe disorder of the neurological system that usually kills those affected within a few hours of birth.

The development is abuzz with controversy as the boy’s parents are refusing to allow a DNA test on the child unless it is a medical necessity. It should be noted that Dr. Zhang and his team have no idea about how the baby will fare later on in life or if there are any long-term negative effects from their innovation.

Answering How and Why

Dr. Zhang’s team decided to break their silence as to why they did what they did and how they pulled it off. They shared that the boy’s mother already lost two babies to Leigh syndrome because she’s a carrier of the genetic disorder. The study also revealed that about 25% of her mitochondria pass on the genes responsible for the disorder.

In light of the above, the team used a new technique called MRT or Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy. This meant that the team took out the nucleus of a healthy donor egg and inserted it to the mother’s egg cell to negate or cancel out the risk of genetic issues manifesting in the child. The resulting egg was fertilized with the father’s sperm and then implanted into the mother’s womb. The baby implanted well and was born at 37 weeks after a normal pregnancy.

The procedure performed on the egg and its fertilization was conducted in a private clinic in New York. The embryo was then frozen and brought to Mexico for the implantation procedure.

Future Implications

This development means that eggs with abnormal mitochondria can now be tweaked with healthy mitochondria from a donor. The added benefit is that this can mean the eradication of some genetic diseases that are passed from mother to offspring.

It should be noted that some critics are calling the procedure a form of playing God and a technology towards creating designer children. On a positive note, other developments could come out of this breakthrough.

 

Success with Assisted Reproductive Technology

In the United States, 6.7 million women ages 15-44 years have problems with fertility. Approximately 6% of married women in this age group are infertile. According to human studies published between 1950 and 2013, 15-30% of infertility couples have unexplained infertility, where doctors cannot identify a cause. But there is good news for couples who are struggling to become pregnant. Assisted reproductive technology can help!Fertility Center Corona CA

According to an analysis of 20,000 Danish couples who used some form of assisted reproductive technology, 65% will have a baby within 3 years, and within 5 years, 71% will become pregnant. Researchers have analyzed many long-term studies and found that assisted reproductive technology works! However, the odds are heavily influenced by the woman’s age. For women under the age of 35 years, there is strong evidence that 1 in 3 cycles of IVF will be successful.

Copenhagen University Hospital researchers used registry records in Denmark to evaluate 19,884 women from the start of fertility treatment until the time treatment ended. They presented their results at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. More than half of these women had given birth within 2 years, and almost 3/4th of the women delivered a healthy baby within 5 years.

Factors that Affect Success

There are some factors that affect pregnancy outcomes with use of assisted reproductive technology. These are:

  • Age – According to current research reports, age matters when considering use of assisted reproductive technology. For women under the age of 35 years, 80% will become pregnant within 5 years. However, the numbers drop as the woman ages. For women between ages 35-40 years, only 61% have success with assisted reproductive technology. For women age 41 years and older, only 25% will become pregnant.
  • Body weight – Many causes of infertility can be corrected, such as body weight. Women who have a body mass index (BMI) under 30 have a better chance of becoming pregnant. In addition, men who are overweight tend to have lower sperm counts.
  • Smoking – Women who do not smoke have better outcomes with assisted reproductive technology than women who do smoke.

Common Causes of Infertilitycanstockphoto19385138

There are some situations and factors that contribute to infertility. These include:

  • For women – Damage to fallopian tubes, age, smoking, being overweight, ovulatory problems, endometriosis, diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • For men – Being overweight, low sperm count, anatomy problems affecting sperm transportation, erectile dysfunction, problems ejaculating, and diabetes.

In Vitro Fertilization with Fresh Eggs and Embryos

According to researchers, chances of pregnancy with in vitro fertilization (IVF) is related to the use of fresh eggs. When eggs are not frozen, they are combined with sperm in a petri dish, and embryos form. The embryos are then placed inside the female partner’s uterus. According to 2010 research data pregnancy success outcomes include:

  • Women under 35 years of age – 32%
  • Women between ages 35-37 years – 28%
  • Women between ages 38-39 years – 21%
  • Women between ages 40-42 years – 13.6%
  • Women between ages 43-44 – 5%
  • Women age 45 years and older – 2%

Using Donor Eggs

For older women, use of donor eggs increases chance of pregnancy with IVF. In addition, women age 34 years and younger who have low quality eggs have better IVF success rates when donor eggs are used. Currently, around 10% of all assisted reproductive technology cycles use donor eggs. Using donor eggs with IVF will increase live birth rate by 55%, especially when donor eggs are fresh. When frozen embryos are used, the live birth rate drops to only 36%.

The top fertility clinics in Los Angeles metro are Pacific Reproductive Center. There are four locations in Torrance, Glendale, Corona and Irvine. Call us today!

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Infertility. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm

Gelbaya TA, Potdar N, Jeve YB, & Nardo LG (2015). Definition and epidemiology of unexplained infertility. Obstet Gyne Surv, 69(2), 109-115.

Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (2016). IVF chance of success. Retrieved from: http://www.hfea.gov.uk/ivf-success-rate.html

The Basics of DHEA Supplementation in ART

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation is being used to augment ovarian responsiveness in women with premature ovarian aging (POA) and poor ovarian reserve. Dehydroepiandrosterone, also known as androstenolone, is an endogenous steroid hormone, and the pharmaceutical form is called prasterone (INN). This hormone is produced in the adrenal glands, the brain, and the gonads (ovaries and testes). DHEA functions as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of estrogen and androgen.

What is Ovarian Failure?

Ovarian failure is a natural consequence of the normal aging process. Around 10% of women suffer from premature ovarian aging, which is also called primary ovarian insufficiency. Diminished ovarian reserve is defined by an elevation in age-specific follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels and decreased antimullerian hormone (AMH) levels. While these levels vary from woman to woman, fertility potential decreases when levels are 12-15 mIU/ml.Artificial Insemination Los Angeles

How does DHEA work?

DHEA is effective for treating diminished ovarian reserve through increased follicular insulin-like growth factor-I or by inducing polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). With in vitro fertilization cycles, DHEA reduces aneuploidy and improves egg and embryo numbers and quality. Many studies show that DHEA helps women by stimulating ovarian responsiveness.

The Research

A recent study was conducted to evaluate the effect of DHEA as a supplement to gonadotropins on ovulation and pregnancy rate in intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles for women with POA. In a prospective randomized controlled study, 50 infertile women with POA were separated into two groups of 25 each. For 6 months, the first group received supplemental DHEA tablets (25 mg), and the second group received a placebo.

Of these patients, ovulation increased from 48% to 86% in the DHEA group compared to 44-66% in the placebo group. After taking DHEA, 25% (6 women) conceived compared to none in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that DHEA supplementation has a beneficial role in the treatment of infertility with POA, and it serves as an adjunct to gonadotropins.

canstockphoto4905320DHEA supplementation has a role as an adjunct to gonadotropins for treating infertility for women with POA. This means it has positive effects on the hormone profile through lowering the serum FSH level and increase AMH and estradiol levels. DHEA increases ovulation rate, reduces the dose and duration requirement of gonadotropins, and improves conception rate.

In another study by Mamas and Mamas, researchers found that DHEA supplementation of 50-75mg for around 4 months before IVF was useful for women with premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserve, and premature ovarian aging. This was found to improve egg production, improve embryo quality, reduce risk of miscarriage, and improve rates of IVF and IUI success.

Using DHEA Safely

It is important to know that DHEA is not a miracle cure for infertility. Researchers still do not know enough about how DHEA influences conception. Scientists are continuing to research the role of DHEA in ovarian stimulation and conception. However, it is not safe to use DHEA for a long time, as it can lead to hormonal imbalance. As a woman ages, her body is not equipped to have high levels of DHEA.

Pacific Reproductive Center treats women frequently with diminished ovarian reserve, and uses the latest cutting-edge advancements to generate success. There are 4 fertility clinic locations in Irvine, Torrance, Glendale and Corona. Call us today to find out your options!

 

What are the Chances of getting Pregnant with Twins on Clomid?

In the United States and Europe, Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is a commonly prescribed fertility drug. This medication is often ordered as to help stimulate the ovaries and to assess for ovulation. Clomid forces the body to produce more hormones and egg follicles than usual, so the woman will develop more than one mature egg. Because of extra eggs, the chances of getting pregnant with twins is increased.clomid1

Clomid Success Rates

Clomiphene citrate has been used for fertility treatment for over 50 years. The goal of treatment is to induce ovulation and normalize menstrual cycles. Of women prescribed Clomid, 80% successfully ovulate, but only 50% of these women will go on to get pregnant.

One thing that limits the success of Clomid is side effects, such as cervical mucus changes and endometrial effects. In addition, another factor that affects success rates of Clomid is that many women have secondary infertility factors. In a recent study, researchers found that 87% of women who ovulate on Clomid have an additional cause of infertility, such as tubal disease, pelvic lesions, and endometriosis.

The Numbers

For women who get pregnant naturally, the chance of having twins is around 2%. However, taking Clomid increases a woman’s chances of delivering twins, but not drastically. According to statistics, Clomid causes twin pregnancies around 10% of the time, and less than 1% of women taking Clomid have triplets or quadruplets.

According to one clinical trial, 0.5% of women on Clomid had triplets, and 0.3% had quadruplets. Of women who conceive twins, most children are not identical. According to clinical studies, only 1 of 5 twin pregnancies resulting from Clomid therapy are identical twins. This means 80% of twin pregnancies result in fraternal twins.

Factors that Increases Twin Rates on Clomid

Certain factors increase the likelihood of a woman delivering twins while taking Clomid. These include:

  • Age – Women younger than 25 years of age are more likely to have twins while on tubal-reversalClomid.
  • Ovulation – Only women who have trouble ovulating should take Clomid. Anyone who ovulates regular, and takes this drug, has an increased chance of having twins.
  • Dose – Taking more than the recommended dose of Clomid increases chances of delivering twins.

How Clomid Works

Clomiphene citrate works by blocking the effects of estrogen in your body. By blocking estrogen action, this effect tricks your body to produce FSH and LH, which are hormones necessary for ovulation. FSH causes the eggs to mature in the ovaries, and LH triggers the eggs release from the follicles. You take Clomid in pill form for five days of your menstrual cycle, and as long as six months.

Most women are advised to start Clomid within five days of the period. Progesterone is also given to keep your reproductive cycle regular and to re-establish periods if you have irregular menses. Ovulation is expected between 5-9 days after you have taken the last Clomid pill. It is possible that you ovulate and conceive in the first month, or it may take several months before you ovulate regularly. For some women, treatment is continued for a full year. Unfortunately, not all women respond to Clomid.

Side Effects

Clomiphene citrate, like all medications, has some side effects. Make sure to talk to your local Los Angeles fertility doctors if you have any concerns. These include:

  • Mood swingsxpreimplantation-genetic-testing
  • Hot flashes
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain
  • Heavy periods
  • Breast tenderness

With clinics throughout Southern California, call Pacific Reproductive Center today!