The Key Role Fertility Medications Play in Your IVF Cycle

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woman-pill-blogTiming is of the essence when it comes to the administration of fertility medications during every infertility treatment cycle – especially IVF. Why does timing matter so much? Your fertility doctor must have the specialization to know when your fertility medication regimens must be adjusted: increased, decreased, or stopped altogether. Look: IVF pregnancy success rates are increased when your fertility team has the talent for managing medication therapies with unrivaled precision.

Strategic Administration of Fertility Medications

Dr. John Zhang at New Hope Fertility Center has the education, training, and clinical experience to determine precisely how long his patients should remain on a certain medication therapy. As a patient who is committed to investing your time and resources into getting pregnant, you must become well-informed about fertility medications. It can’t be emphasized enough. Every fertility drug is specifically designed for strategic administration during a woman’s IVF cycle. These medications are a very important component of the IVF cycle process and are determinative of pregnancy success.

That’s not all. The Doctor’s standard of care encompasses the detailed explanation of the important role of fertility medications:

  • Prepare the patient’s body for treatment
  • Control the patient’s natural ovulation function

Personalized IVF Care

It is important to work with a fertility care team having the experience to accurately prescribe and regulate the fertility medications prescribed as part of your infertility treatment cycle.

Common IVF Fertility Medications

Fertility medications commonly used during IVF cycles:

  • Lupron® is the trade name for an injectable leuprolide acetate used to prevent premature ovulation. Lupron® gives the patient’s body the opportunity to produce a higher number of quality eggs during the IVF cycle. Lupron® essentially switches off the pituitary gland in terms of its ability to produce follicle stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones. Brand name Ganirelix may be used instead.
  • Gonadotropins are follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) injections. Brand names including Bravelle®, Follistim®, Menopur®, and Gonal-F®, stimulate the follicles that contain the eggs during the stimulation phase of the IVF cycle.
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) are injections used during ovarian stimulation to trigger the maturation of the eggs and prepare them for retrieval. These hCG injections simulate the effects that an increase in luteinizing hormone would have in a woman going through natural ovulation. Lupron can also be used with certain stimulation protocols.
  • Progesterone thickens a woman’s uterine lining to sustain a pregnancy when embryo implantation occurs. During IVF, a woman’s body generally does not produce enough progesterone to create a sufficiently thick uterine lining to support early embryo implantation. In this case, progesterone in various forms can be administered to augment the body’s natural supply until the placenta is able to produce adequate amounts.

Timed Intercourse and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Fertility Medications

When a couple is experiencing unexplained infertility despite normal reproductive health, medically supervised timed intercourse or IUI are usually recommended to increase the chances of pregnancy. IUI is the best and lowest cost approach to becoming pregnant when timed intercourse at home fails.

Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate) vs. Femara (Letrozole)

The fertility drug clomiphene citrate – brand named Clomid – is an oral medication used to stimulate a woman’s monthly egg production and increase her chances of pregnancy. Ovulation of multiple eggs is timed with the insemination of a concentrated amount of sperm into the uterus via a woman’s cervix – similar to a Pap smear.

A 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine tested and compared two common fertility drugs stimulating multiple egg production – Clomid v. Femara. Clomid achieved a birth rate of 23 percent, while Femara (generic Letrozole – an aromatase inhibitor) only 18 percent. The study found that Letrozole offered no advantages over Clomid treatment and increased the chance of multiple pregnancy by up to four times. The researchers concluded that Clomid is the most effective medication for stimulating ovaries and increasing the chances of a healthy pregnancy for couples with unexplained infertility.

IVF Fertility Medication Administration Expertise

It is important to work with a fertility doctor having the experience required to design a customized IVF treatment plan meeting your personal and medical needs. To schedule your initial consultation with Dr. John Zhang at New Hope Fertility NYC – or – call 917.525.5496.

Unique Uterine Lining Thickening Treatment

39657279 - female reproductive systemPatients who have been referred to gestational surrogacy can now renew their hope of becoming pregnant and carrying a baby to full term themselves. At New Hope Fertility Center, we have unique expertise in optimizing the thickness of a woman’s uterine lining for successful embryo implantation and fetal growth.

Uterine Lining Thickening

When a woman’s uterine lining is too thin for an embryo to attach and thrive into a fetus, she is diagnosed as having a thin endometrial lining.

Embryo Implantation Failure

Embryo implantation failure is the inability of an embryo to attach to the lining of the uterus. Most failed implantations are due to poor embryo quality. However, good quality embryo implantation failure can occur due to poor endometrial receptivity when a woman suffers from a constantly thin endometrium.

Constantly Thin Endometrium

Pregnancy and live birth success rates rise substantially with increased endometrial thickness – independent of patient age and embryo quality factors.

  • Embryo implantation rates are highest when the endometrial lining has a thickness of 9 mm or greater
  • An endometrial lining thickness of 8 mm is adequate for embryo implantation
  • A constantly thin endometrial lining – 7 mm or less – is cause for concern of a potential failed cycle
  • Less than 6 mm – there is almost no chance of a pregnancy

Treatment to Increase Thickness to the Endometrial Lining

An unexplained constantly thin endometrial lining can be corrected through estrogen treatments supplemented with Viagra.

  • Estrogen Treatment. During a typical IVF cycle, additional estrogen treatment in the form of progesterone vaginal suppositories and/or injections can be prescribed to thicken the uterine lining in preparation for embryo implantation after transfer. Estrogen supplementation improves the overall endometrial lining thickness and increases the chances of a successful IVF pregnancy outcome.
  • Viagra Treatment. Studies have shown that Viagra (Sildenafil) increases blood flow to the uterus – similar to how it increases penile blood flow in men suffering from erectile dysfunction. The increase in blood flow uterus is hoped to deliver more estrogen to the uterine lining. Viagra vaginal suppositories may be prescribed when the endometrial lining is constantly thin despite estrogen treatment.

Read more: Unique Uterine Lining Thickening Treatment

PGS/NGS Increases Your IVF Pregnancy Success Rate By 30 Percent

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15624758 - two-cell embryo  , 3d illustrationGenetic screening of embryos in vitro has increased yearly IVF pregnancy success rates at New Hope Fertility Center by 30 percent. By checking out this data, you can get an idea of your average chance of pregnancy success through IVF. Look: PGS/NGS is recommended because this technology is proven to increase a patient’s average chances of pregnancy success. Why does this matter? All IVF success rates vary per the context of patient and treatment protocol characteristics. Bonus: PGS/NGS identifies the gender of your embryos so that you can plan and balance the sexes of your children.

IVF Candidates for Genetic Screening

We typically recommend genetic screening in conjunction with IVF for patients meeting one or more of the following categories.

  • Age 35 and older
  • History of previous pregnancies
  • History of miscarriages
  • History of failed IVF cycles – fresh and frozen transfers

When a woman reaches an advanced maternal age – over 35 – her chances for conceiving a baby having chromosomal abnormalities increase.

Why is this important? Low quality embryos:

  • Reduce pregnancy success rates
  • Increase miscarriage rates
  • Increase chances for birth defects

PGS/NGS Technology

There are a number of genetic conditions that can adversely alter the course of life – both for baby and parents. PGS and NGS can be performed on each embryo developing in vitro – in the lab.

PGS/NGS is used to identify the most suitable and healthiest embryo(s) to transfer. This genetic screening technology detects chromosomal deficiencies in embryos – aneuploidy – an extra or missing chromosome.Read more: PGS/NGS Increases Your IVF Pregnancy Success Rate By 30 Percent

Is it Time for You to See a Fertility Doctor?

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shutterstock_192934715If you are under 35 and have not been able to get pregnant after having regular, unprotected sexual intercourse for at one year, you should see a fertility doctor. For women over 35, the time period for trying to get pregnant naturally is shortened to six months. Look: A woman’s fertility is dependent upon her overall health, wellness and lifestyle choices. Many women suffering from infertility use up too much valuable time trying to conceive naturally when there is a simple medical solution to their problem. Bottom Line: Don’t delay treatment.

When to See a Fertility Doctor

Infertility can be difficult to diagnose. The sooner you seek help from a fertility doctor, the less time you will waste trying to get pregnant.

  • A woman’s peak fertility years are in her 20s to mid-30s
  • Women in their peak fertility years have a 20 percent chance of pregnancy every month
  • A woman’s fertility level begins to decline after 30 and there is a precipitous drop after she turns 35
  • Women over 40 only have about a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant during any given month

Symptoms of Infertility

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?

  • Inability to get pregnant
  • Menstrual cycle lasting too long – over 35 days
  • Too short of a menstrual cycle – under 21 days
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Absent menstrual cycle

Common Causes of Female-Factor Infertility

You may be suffering from one of these medical conditions:

  • Failure to ovulate
  • Irregular ovulation
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Blocked Fallopian tubes
  • Abnormally shaped uterus or cervix
  • Hormonal imbalance

Read more: Is it Time for You to See a Fertility Doctor?

How Ovarian Rejuvenation Therapy Gives New Hope for Pregnancy to Older Women

JZThere is new hope for older women wanting to get pregnant with their own eggs. Older women can achieve a pregnancy using their own eggs through the phenomenal new medical technology known as ovarian rejuvenation. There are very few fertility clinics offering ovarian rejuvenation therapy. This is the specialized Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) used to coax a woman’s ovaries into producing viable eggs and achieve a successful pregnancy naturally. At New Hope Fertility Center, our fertility specialist – Dr. Zaher Merhi – provides his expertise for ovarian rejuvenation.

Ovarian Rejuvenation Therapy

The Ovarian Rejuvenation Therapy procedure is performed by puncturing a woman’s ovaries – a technique similar to that used in an egg retrieval procedure. The punctures to the ovaries stimulates the growth of dormant egg follicles.

Ovarian Aging

Many women have made the choice to delay motherhood into their late 30s or into their 40s. As a woman’s ovaries age, they are unable to produce the hormones that stimulate follicles to develop and make them reach a viable stage of development. Ovarian Rejuvenation Therapy helps women overcome infertility due to ovarian aging – even post-menopause.Read more: How Ovarian Rejuvenation Therapy Gives New Hope for Pregnancy to Older Women

Tips for Preparing for Your Initial Fertility Consultation With Dr. Zhang

82118157 - happy couple signing a contract together at officeAre you preparing for your initial fertility consultation with Dr. John Zhang? Good for you! You are bravely taking your first proactive step toward getting pregnant. Look: Dr. Zhang and his fertility care team at New Hope Fertility Center are pleased to be your partner throughout your journey to get pregnant. It can’t be emphasized enough. Before your first office visit takes place, you must realize the importance of the forms and medical documentation new patients are required to submit.

This crucial first step will:

  • Let us best help you feel comfortable during your first office visit
  • Let us make sure you are well-informed during your first office visit
  • Let us accurately diagnose the root cause of your infertility through recommended diagnostic testing
  • Let us treat you effectively and cost-efficiently so you can build your family

First Office Visit Preparation Tips for Infertility Treatment

The more information Dr. Zhang knows about you during our first office visit will be key to his being able to customize your infertility treatment plan. We have compiled some helpful information on how you can prepare for your upcoming first office visit. At New Hope Fertility Center, every patient undergoes a complete fertility assessment and diagnostic testing before a customized infertility treatment plan is designed and implemented.

Understanding the root cause of your infertility is the only way to cost-effectively help you get pregnant. Knowing the cause of your infertility will also help you cope better with the realization that you are going to have to take on the financial, physical, and emotional demands of infertility treatment.Read more: Tips for Preparing for Your Initial Fertility Consultation With Dr. Zhang

How NGS Works to Increase IVF Pregnancy Success Rates

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MicroscopeNew advancements in the fields of embryology and genetics testing have significantly improved In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) pregnancy success rates. The latest technological innovation, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) enhances how embryologists analyze and select quality embryos for transfer. The embryologists at New Hope Fertility Center give steadfast attention nurturing embryos as they develop in vitro.

Benefits of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)

Quality embryos identified in vitro through NGS have the highest chance of implantation. Using NGS in conjunction with IVF, high quality embryos are transferred to the patient’s uterus for the best chance of a healthy, successful pregnancy.

Through NGS technology, you can identify the gender of your embryos in conjunction with your IVF procedure. Gender identification and selection is a natural byproduct of NGS technology.

NGS identifies the most suitable and healthiest embryo to transfer by detecting chromosomal deficiencies – aneuploidy – an extra or missing chromosome. NGS is set to replace Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). NGS allows embryologists to view the genetic makeup of an embryo at levels far exceeding PGS technology.

  • Significant improvement in pregnancy outcomes
  • Enhancement of the knowledge embryologists employ while selecting embryos
  • Substantially more accurate and faster than PGS
  • Comprehensive results
  • Higher resolution
  • Detects more translocations
  • Reduced errors
  • Less costly than PGS

Read more: How NGS Works to Increase IVF Pregnancy Success Rates

National Nutrition Month March 2018

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21512965 - cute african american couple in home kitchenGo Further With Food – is the theme spearheading 2018’s National Nutrition Month in March. Discover resources from eatright.org. Dr. John Zhang encourages healthy nutrition year-round, especially for his patients who are preparing for pregnancy. Establishing nutritious eating habits prior to getting pregnant will help you achieve and maintain a successful pregnancy. And, the birth of a healthy baby!

National Nutrition Month

Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month is movement to increase awareness about the importance of:

·         Making informed food choices

·         Developing sound eating habits

·         Establishing good physical activity routines

Nutrition to Boost Fertility

Your level of fertility is greatly increased with healthy diet and body mass index (BMI). Don’t wait until you are pregnant to get serious about a healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle choices will greatly boost your fertility.

A healthy diet and lifestyle before pregnancy will solidify your habits during pregnancy. It is very important to take advantage of the natural resources and tools available to help enhance the fertility treatment and pregnancy experience.

The DASH Diet

The DASH Diet also earned the Best Diet for Healthy Eating category in the comparison study conducted by US News and World Report. The DASH Diet was developed with the goal of lowering blood pressure. More good news: A 12 week study of women on the DASH Diet by Kashan University of Medical Sciences resulted decreased anti-Mullerian hormone. The women studied were suffering from PCOS and high BMI – obesity. The findings of the study show that the DASH Diet improves metabolic profile, BMI in PCOS.Read more: National Nutrition Month March 2018

Know Your Fertility Preservation Options: Ovarian Tissue Freezing

You can preserve your future fertility through ovarian tissue freezing. A woman only releases one egg per month during her natural cycle. It only takes one good quality egg to have a healthy baby. There are many females who should consider ovarian tissue freezing if they want to preserve their fertility and have a family in the future.

Candidates for Ovarian Tissue Freezing

There are many females who should consider ovarian tissue freezing.

  • Female children who do not have fully developed ovaries
  • Female children or teenage girls who have been diagnosed with cancer
  • Women in their prime reproductive years who have been diagnosed with cancer
  • Women wanting to postpone motherhood past their prime reproductive years
  • Women wanting to donate their ovarian tissue to help women who are unable to produce good eggs

Ovarian Tissue Freezing

Ovarian tissue freezing is accomplished through an outpatient surgical procedure by removing a thin piece of the outer membrane of one of the woman’s ovary – the preserved ovary. The outer membrane of an ovary is where a woman’s eggs are located. This ovarian tissue is cryopreserved for later transplant to the woman’s other ovary – the non-preserved ovary.

According to a 2015 study published in the journal of Human Reproduction, 10 out of 32 women facing chemotherapy were able to conceive naturally after undergoing ovarian tissue freezing before cancer treatment.

The National Institutes of Health reported that [h]uman ovarian tissue transplantation has resulted in the birth of over 70 children worldwide. Look: Preserving female fertility through ovarian tissue freezing is trending today because it is a proven safe and successful procedure.

Celebrated Fertility Preservation Expert

New Hope Fertility Center provides all-encompassing cryopreservation techniques for protecting the fertility of both women and men.

Read more: Know Your Fertility Preservation Options: Ovarian Tissue Freezing

Discover the Frozen Embryo Transfer – FET – Facts

Cryopreservation (3)

Cryopreservation (3)The flash-freezing technique of vitrification makes it possible to prepare fresh embryos rapidly for cryopreservation. Using the vitrification method, embryos freeze quickly and damaging ice crystals do not form between cells. New Hope Fertility Center is a leader in embryo freezing. Dr. John Zhang was one of the first doctors in the United States to implement the vitrification method of embryo freezing.

Frozen Embryo Transfer

Freezing excess, quality embryos after a fresh IVF cycle will increase a couple’s chances of conceiving in the future. Through embryo cryopreservation technology, couples can avoid the financial and physical strain of undergoing multiple fresh IVF cycles. Pregnancy success rate for a Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET) is higher than a fresh transfer because a woman has the opportunity to wait until her uterine lining returns to an ideal state for embryo implantation.

Benefits of the Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Through Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET), couples can try again – sooner than later – if their fresh IVF cycle fails. If the fresh IVF cycle is successful, the couple can undergo a FET at a time when they decide to have more children in the future.

Bonus Benefits of FET

  • Couples can plan their family through gender selection
  • Couples increase their chances for a healthy singleton pregnancy
  • Healthy pregnancies have been achieved after an embryo has been frozen for up to 10 years

World class laboratory technology offered at New Hope Fertility Center has increased pregnancy success rates. Only high quality embryos are cryopreserve to be later transferred in future FET procedures. This success has made FETs an increasingly popular option to consider before considering a subsequent fresh IVF cycle. With FET, couples can increase their chance of pregnancy per fresh egg retrieval and ultimately save money by avoiding the expense of another fresh IVF cycle.Read more: Discover the Frozen Embryo Transfer – FET – Facts