Egg freezing is a relatively new procedure where a woman’s eggs are collected, frozen, and stored with the intention of later use. Women who are not yet ready to start a family may choose to freeze their eggs to keep the option on the table for longer. There has been significant promise, but also significant… Read more »
How long do I have to take dexamethasone for, and what is 17-OHP?
“Part of my current fertility treatment includes dexamethasone, due to high levels of 17-OHP. The dexamethasone has lowered this level, but I was still told to keep taking it. Why? And what role does 17-OHP play in fertility?” 17-OHP and cortisol are circulating hormones found in all women. In general, any hormone that is found… Read more »
What’s Betabase.info and is it reliable?
There’s been a lot of discussion about Betabase.info. For those unfamiliar, it’s an online database that has collected close to 90,000 real pregnancies’ beta test results. Beta tests measure the level of hCG in a woman’s bloodstream. This is the first test given to confirm pregnancy. In a common pregnancy, hCG is released after implantation… Read more »
Assisted Hatching: When is it necessary?
Assisted hatching is often offered as part of an IVF process. It’s a procedure and as such has its risks. Let’s explore why you may want to do this. The process of assisted hatching refers to procedures done to the zona pellucida. The zona pellucida is the shell that surrounds the egg. Its clearest purpose… Read more »
How do I improve my chances for embryo implantation?
Embryo implantation is complicated, as you can imagine! But here’s a breakdown of some of the key elements that can help you maximize your chances: 1. Oocyte (egg) quality Implantation is more likely to happen when a healthy embryo is present, and the best predictor for a healthy embryo is a healthy egg. Egg quality… Read more »
Alcohol when you’re trying to conceive.
I pause when counseling around alcohol. How do I address this difficult subject? Toronto Public Health is very clear on its relationship to alcohol and pregnancy. Its May 2014 communique references these very clear key messages: There is no safe level of alcohol exposure at any time in pregnancy, and that when planning a pregnancy… Read more »
Why do you want 12 to 20 eggs for IVF? Isn’t that a lot?
You can run a modified natural cycle IVF. That would mean retrieving one egg and hoping for ongoing pregnancy. Success rates vary, but are likely between 4% and 15% per cycle. This is the best case scenario for women with good-quality eggs. If the same individual were to add in medication, she may have success… Read more »
Will pre-implantation genetic screening improve my IVF chances?
Pre-implantation genetic screening, or PGS, is when we analyze individual cells of embryos prior to embryo transfer. It holds great promise for maximizing pregnancy rates. Most IVF failures can be attributed back to embryo quality. Is PGS right for you? Perhaps, but it’s a highly personal choice. It depends a lot on your circumstances and… Read more »
Should I have one or two intrauterine inseminations?
If your underlying concern is around serious male factor subfertility, or blocked/compromised tubes (as can happen with endometriosis), or serious concerns around egg quality, then IVF is by far the better choice for achieving pregnancy. Not everybody needs IVF. Many patients may benefit from intrauterine inseminations. IUI, where sperm is washed and placed high within… Read more »
Is there a connection between vitamin D levels and IVF success?
This is a guest blog written by Dr. Kim Garbedian There’s been an increase in talk about the role vitamin D plays in our health. Vitamin D has been linked to a variety of autoimmune diseases and cancers (breast and colorectal). Recent studies suggest that vitamin D may play a role in fertility. It… Read more »