Identifying Quality Embryos is Key to a Successful IVF Pregnancy

15624758 - two-cell embryo  , 3d illustrationQuality embryo identification is key to conceiving a successful pregnancy through IVF. Why does this matter? Only quality embryos are transferred during a fresh cycle or cryopreserved for future Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) procedures. We give careful attention to nurturing and identifying quality embryos as they grow and develop in vitro. Bottom Line: Our embryologists utilize state-of-the-art technology to identify quality embryos.

Quality Embryo Growth and Development Expertise

From a cell – to a newborn baby – embryology is the branch of biology and medicine focused on the study of an embryo from the point of fertilization through development to the fetus stage. The expertise practice of embryology is key to pregnancy success through IVF technology.

  • Assisting in the surgical retrieving of a woman’s eggs
  • Performing post-surgical retrieval tests on eggs
  • Performing in vitro tests on embryos
  • Maintaining patient clinical records

Excess, quality embryos produced during a fresh IVF cycle are cryopreserved for future transfers via FET. Only the highest quality embryos are cryopreserved for the best chances of a future FET pregnancy success.

Quality Embryos and the EmbryoScope

EmbryoScope technology is used to gather time-lapsed data by closely monitoring every embryo’s growth and development without disruption of the in vitro culturing process.

  • Quality embryos have the highest chance of implantation
  • Quality embryos thrive into a fetus
  • Quality embryos have the best chance of achieving a full-term, healthy pregnancy

EmbryoScope is an innovative, cutting edge, time-lapsed photography and software solution. EmbryoScope is technology designed to improve IVF outcomes.

  • Quantitative data on an embryo’s early stage of development in vitro
  • Objective information on an embryo’s early stage of development in vitro
  • Utilizes time-lapsed photography and software
  • No need to manipulate embryos within the incubator in vitro
  • No need to remove the embryos from the incubator in vitro

Read more: Identifying Quality Embryos is Key to a Successful IVF Pregnancy

How to Prepare for Your Upcoming IVF Treatment

Woman ExercisingI encourage my patients to be mentally and physically prepared for their upcoming IVF treatment, regardless of my recommended protocol:

Mental and physical readiness can mean all the difference in IVF pregnancy success.

  1. Eating a well-balanced diet will increase your chances of IVF success. You should begin improving your nutritional habits at least 3 months before your embryo transfer. Good nutrition enhances the health of your reproductive organs and ensures a quality blood supply to the uterus. Why is this important? Good nutritional habits you develop now will be easy to carry over into your pregnancy.
  2. Take a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement containing vitamins A, B, D, and C complex. Your supplement should include zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron, and co-enzyme Q10 which all play a vital role in fertilization and implantation. That’s not all. Ask your fertility specialist to prescribe a folic acid supplement to fend off neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
  3. Reduce your alcohol intake because studies show that women over 30 who drank seven or more alcoholic beverages a week were twice as likely not to conceive. Cutting out alcohol altogether while you try for a baby is the best plan because, once you conceive, your cravings for a drink will be diminished. If you don’t abstain completely from alcohol, opt for only three glasses of red wine per week – sorry, no chardonnay.
  4. Watch your BMI and get good sleep. A healthy adult Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. A 2016 review of studies shows that not getting enough sleep leads women to consume an average of 385 more calories the next day. Too much body weight can make women less fertile. Seek help from a dietician and an exercise coach to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI while you are trying to get pregnant. Remember: Your revamped diet and physical fitness regimen will help you to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  5. Avoid Caffeine in coffee, tea, and soda because it can have an adverse effect on female fertility. It’s best to cut caffeine out altogether to boost your fertility level and prepare for a healthy pregnancy. Drinking more than 300 mg of caffeine per day – 2 to 3 cups of coffee – has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
  6. Exercise increases blood flow to a woman’s reproductive organs and brings in fresh blood to cells. Exercise helps to oxygenate the blood. New studies have shown that both online yoga and in-person yoga help to increase the chances of a successful IVF pregnancy by up to 26 percent. This is because yoga is proven to reduce stress and anxiety in IVF patients. Fertility Yoga regimens include a series of poses and postures designed to improve fertility.
  7. Acupuncture for Fertility has been proven by studies to increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant by up to 50 percent! National Institutes of Health research has shown a direct correlation between acupuncture and pregnancy. New Hope Fertility Center has recently launched an in-house acupuncture service as an integral part of our all-encompassing infertility treatment options.

IVF Treatment Doctor

To schedule your initial consultation with Dr. John Zhang at New Hope Fertility Center, click the icon below – or – call 917.525.5496.

How Sleep Increases Fertility

10899214 - beautiful girl sleeps in the bedroomI recommend women in their prime childbearing years (25 to 35) get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night during a work week. The National Sleep Foundation has found through studies that sleep has a powerful influence on a woman’s reproductive hormonal system.

Sleep Deprivation: BMI – Mood – Stress

Sleep deprivation adversely affects your BMI, your mood, and your stress level. Your Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level is directly affected by lack of sleep. Your FSH level should ideally be at its highest level just before you ovulate.

Women averaging 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night had a 20 percent higher FSH level than those who go 6 or fewer hours – regardless of age, BMI, mood, or stress level.

Sleep and BMI

A healthy adult Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. Look: A 2016 review of studies shows that not getting enough sleep leads women to consume an average of 385 more calories the next day.

Here’s the real story about women who don’t get enough sleep.

  • They gain weight
  • The make less healthy food choices
  • They eat foods higher in fat
  • They eat low protein foods

Over a five year period, women can gain 2.1 BMI points for every hour of sleep they lose. Why is this important? A two pound weight gain can easily throw a woman off of her healthy BMI.

The takeaway. Sleep is an important moderator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism. Sleep loss alters metabolic and endocrine alterations.Read more: How Sleep Increases Fertility

How ICSI Technology Enhances IVF Egg Fertilization

11255204 - human sperm and egg lifeICSI – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – is a specialized egg fertilization technique used during the IVF process. Look: ICSI bypasses a number of common reproductive conditions preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg. A single sperm cell is injected directly into an egg under the guidance of a microscope. ICSI has revolutionized the treatment of male-factor infertility.

Why is ICSI important?

  • ICSI is used to maximize the rate of egg fertilization
  • ICSI lessens the chances of sperm not being able to penetrate the wall of the egg

ICSI is recommended for most couples undergoing IVF – especially these candidates:

  • Unexplained infertility – known as idiopathic infertility – when the cause cannot be pinpointed
  • Male-factor infertility – a man’s sperm is not able to fertilize a woman’s egg
  • Combined female- and male-factor infertility

Today, ICSI is routinely recommended to improve fertilization in all IVF cases – regardless of diagnosis.

Sperm Retrieval for ICSI

When a man has a low sperm count and/or motility, a semen sample is collected through masturbation. The semen sample is processed in a special solution to obtain optimum ICSI results.

When a man is suffering from azoospermia – no sperm in ejaculate – sperm is microsurgically retrieved from the testicle or epididymis. This is commonly known as testicular sperm retrieval. Microsurgery to remove sperm from the testicles or epididymis can be performed under local or general anesthesia and requires short recovery periods.

Obstructive Azoospermia (no sperm in semen) can be corrected by the surgical removal of sperm directly from the testis or epididymis of the testicle.

  • Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA)
  • Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESE)
  • Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESA)

Non-Obstructive Azoospermia (sperm count with impaired sperm) may be caused by hormonal problems, testicular failure, varicocele, or varicose veins in the testicles. Non-Obstructive Azoospermia can be corrected through TESE – testicular sperm extraction. TESE is a surgical technique using fine needle aspiration performed with local anesthesia.Read more: How ICSI Technology Enhances IVF Egg Fertilization

Discover Needle-Free IVF at New Hope Fertility Center

25085067 - portrait of happy mother and babyWe are proud to offer our patients a new, simple and convenient IVF treatment protocol. Look: Needle-Free IVF! This revolutionary IVF protocol eliminates the fear, pain, and anxiety many patients experience with needles. Our Needle-Free IVF protocol stimulates a woman’s ovaries into producing multiple egg follicles through the use of oral fertility medications. The best part? Hormone levels are measured through urine and saliva tests during a Needle-Free IVF cycle.

Needle-Free IVF Benefits

Through Needle-Free IVF, patients are able to administer hormone stimulation in a less-invasive manner.

  • No shots
  • No needles
  • No injections
  • No blood draws

Needle-Free IVF Protocol

Why Needle-Free IVF is patient-friendly.

  • Improves patient safety
  • Improves patient compliance with medication regimen
  • Reduces possibility of error in medication administration
  • Eliminates the risk of accidental needle sticks

Needle-Free IVF Fertility Medications

Depending on the woman’s medical needs, an oral fertility medication – typically Clomid – is prescribed to gently stimulate her ovaries into producing multiple eggs. Synarel is delivered nasally 36 hours prior to surgical egg retrieval.

  • Clomid or Femara to stimulate egg production
  • Synarel to trigger ovulation
  • Oral progesterone tablets
  • Vaginal progesterone suppositories

Read more: Discover Needle-Free IVF at New Hope Fertility Center

How In Vitro Maturation (IVF/M) Helps to Increase IVF Pregnancy Success Rates

timearticle2IVF in conjunction with egg maturation in a laboratory setting (IVF/M) increases a woman’s chances of using at least some of her immature eggs for in vitro fertilization and transfer. Look: Through In Vitro Maturation (IVF/M or IVM) technology, Dr. John Zhang is able to retrieve and bring some of your immature eggs to maturation in vitro. Why does this make a difference? Typically in past conventional IVF procedures, only mature eggs were surgically retrieved to be fertilized in vitro.


A Conventional IVF procedure requires a woman to undergo multiple hormone injections to help produce 10 to 15 egg follicles as they reach maturity while they are still in her ovaries. In addition, the patient must endure multiple, regular ultrasounds and blood tests during a one month fresh IVF cycle.

The IVF/M procedure matures a woman’s eggs in vitro – in the laboratory – after they have been surgically retrieved in an immature stage. Here’s the deal: IVF/M requires fewer fertility medications and only a couple of ultrasound and blood tests during a typical one month cycle.

IVF/M cycle fertility medications are typically available in pill and suppository form. The best part? Because fertility medications are scaled back through the IVF/M process, the patient’s cost is reduced.Read more: How In Vitro Maturation (IVF/M) Helps to Increase IVF Pregnancy Success Rates

How AMH Plays a Key Role in Predicting a Woman’s Fertility

42592719 - happy pregnancy sitting on sofa at home in bedroomMeasuring a woman’s AMH level – Anti-Mullerian Hormone – is crucial to achieving a successful pregnancy through a fresh IVF transfer, as well as for an optimal egg freezing cycle. Why does this matter? AMH testing measure a woman’s ovarian reserve. A woman’s ovarian reserve determines the chances for conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby using her own eggs. That’s not all. A recent study has found that fertile women having a low AMH level became pregnant less frequently than those with a higher AMH level.

A Woman’s AMH Level Decreases With Age

As a woman ages – post-35 – the count of her egg follicle (ovarian) reserve decreases. Did you know? Obese women have low AMH levels and poor ovarian reserves.

Bottom Line: As shown in the chart below, older women have lower AMH levels than their younger counterparts.

Age                             10th Percentile                     50th Percentile

18 – 24                       1.10                                        3.60

25 – 29                       1.10                                        3.20

30 – 34                       .52                                           2.10

35 – 39                       .20                                           1.50

40 – 41                       .10                                             .80

42 +                            .09                                             .50

Because women with lower AMH levels have less of an ovarian reserve than women with high AMH levels, AMH testing is key to predicting how a woman will respond to fertility medications. Here’s the deal: AMH testing helps Dr. Zhang predict your fertility level – that is – your chances of a successful pregnancy.

Women having low AMH levels do not respond well to fertility medications. These women are classified as poor responders because their bodies to not produce a sufficient number of high quality eggs using fertility medications.Read more: How AMH Plays a Key Role in Predicting a Woman’s Fertility

How to Reduce Your IVF Financial Risk: IVF SURE™

Healthy BabyIVF SURE™ is an outcome-based pricing service that helps to reduce our patients’ financial risk. Here’s the deal. Because IVF SURE™ guarantees results, you will get pregnant or we will refund your money. Our outcome-based IVF treatment pricing minimizes your IVF financial risk. Bottom Line: There are no hidden fees or costs to IVF treatment when using the IVF Sure™ guarantee program.

How IVF SURE™ Works For You

You pay a fixed fee – $25,000 – for three (3) fresh IVF cycles to be completed within a nine (9) month period. If you do not get pregnant – this fixed fee will be refunded. Fertility medication costs are not included in our IVF SURE™ program. This is an outcome-based fee schedule. The goal is to help you achieve a successful clinical pregnancy.

  • No Day 3 FSH/Estradiol testing required
  • No Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) testing required
  • No disqualification because of previous failed IVF cycles

What’s the best part?

Most patients get pregnant within one or two cycles – 3 to 6 months – however, you have 9 months to participate in our IVF SURE™ program to receive a full fee refund. Time is not delayed during the 9 month period. Look: After a first failed IVF cycle – you can immediately begin the 2nd cycle.

Candidates for IVF SURE™

  • Women who are 38 years old or younger
  • Women who have regular menstrual cycles
  • Women who do not have regular periods because they are suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Women who have qualifying male partners – IVF SURE™ does not cover TESA procedures (surgically retrieved sperm)

Read more: How to Reduce Your IVF Financial Risk: IVF SURE™

How to Get Pregnant Without Fertility Medications: Natural Cycle IVF™

Ethnic Couple (4)The Natural Cycle IVF™ protocol offered by New Hope Fertility Center in NYC focuses on producing one high quality egg without the use of fertility medications. Why is this important? Healthy, high quality eggs achieve superior IVF success rates for even those difficult patients who have been turned away from treatment at other fertility clinics. Bottom Line: When excessive eggs are produced using high dosages of fertility medications, many are not suitable for fertilization in vitro. Natural Cycle IVF™ is very user-friendly on patients – physically and financially.

Natural Cycle IVF™

Customized IVF care is the best. Remember: It only takes one good egg and one healthy sperm to make a baby. Our focus is to help you produce your one good egg during a fresh IVF cycle – not a high quantity of eggs using large doses of fertility medications.

Difficult Patients Welcome

Women diagnosed as difficult or hopelessly infertile by other fertility clinics are welcomed at New Hope Fertility Center. The best part? Because of our One Good Egg Policy, our fertility specialists happily accept candidates for IVF that other fertility clinics decline to treat because of advanced maternal age or other difficult medical conditions. Our One Good Egg Policy helps a woman produce her natural monthly egg for fertilization in vitro and transfer of a healthy embryo to her uterus for hopeful implantation. We believe a woman’s naturally produced egg can be the best quality and likeliest to result in a successful pregnancy.

If you have been deemed a poor responder to IVF treatment and told you could never conceive, come to New Hope Fertility Center for another opinion. We have successfully treated many women who have been told by other that they can never conceive.

Candidates for Natural Cycle IVF™

You may be a prime candidate for Natural Cycle IVF™ because:

  • You have a high follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level
  • You are at a high risk for developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
  • You are unable to produce 10 to 15 eggs during a single IVF cycle
  • You do respond to or cannot tolerate fertility medications
  • You are at an advanced maternal age for fertility treatment (over 35)
  • You are able to ovulate, but do not want to use fertility medication
  • You do not want to incur the cost of fertility medication
  • You do not want to produce multiple embryos

One Good Egg Policy

We believe that a woman’s naturally produced egg gives her the best chances of a successful pregnancy. Bottom Line: It’s the quality of a woman’s egg – not the quantity of eggs she is able to produce.Read more: How to Get Pregnant Without Fertility Medications: Natural Cycle IVF™

How the Gentle MINI-IVF™ Can Help You Get Pregnant

Ethnic Couple (2)Our Mini-IVF™ is a gentle – yet successful – holistic protocol helping to achieve pregnancy success for those women who have been struggling to have a baby. Because lower dosages of fertility medications are prescribed, only 3 to 5 high quality eggs are produce. The best part? Your cost per Mini-IVF™ cycle is reduced because less fertility medications are prescribed. Bottom Line: Pregnancy success rates for Mini-IVF™ are comparable to Conventional IVF.

The Revolutionary Mini-IVF™

In addition to reducing your cost for fertility medications, a Mini-IVF™ protocol lessens your physical discomfort.

  • Less fertility medication to produce 3 to 5 quality eggs
  • Cycle monitoring through ultrasound imaging and blood tests
  • Surgical egg retrieval
  • Fertilization of egg and sperm in vitro via (ICSI)
  • Culture and monitoring of embryo(s) via EmbryoScope technology
  • Grading and selection of quality embryo(s) for fresh transfer and/or future (FET)
  • Single Embryo Transfer (SET)

Candidates for Mini-IVF™

Mini-IVF™ is the best treatment protocol for:

  • Women diagnosed with blocked or damaged Fallopian tubes
  • Women diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Women diagnosed as having a risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
  • Women diagnosed with a low ovarian reserve
  • Women diagnosed with cancer and are about to undergo treatment

Mini-IVF™ has also become the preferred treatment protocol for those:

  • Having failed multiple Conventional IVF cycles
  • Suffering from male-factor infertility
  • Wanting to reduce their costs of treatment
  • Wanting to reduce their risk of multiple pregnancy
  • Not wanting to create excessive embryos due to religious reasons
  • Wanting to reduce their use of injectable medications because of an aversion to needles
  • Wanting to undergo another fresh IVF cycle immediately after a failed cycle

Read more: How the Gentle MINI-IVF™ Can Help You Get Pregnant