Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients

 

Cancer is a shocking diagnosis for anybody.  For many women with Cancer, their dreams change drastically and their first thoughts are how can I survive this.  Most can’t see beyond the diagnosis to think about what the future holds for them.   For women who were planning to have a family or have just started their family, they aren’t thinking about how devastating their cancer is to their chances to conceive a baby in the future. Unfortunately once diagnosed, Oncologists main priority is to treat the cancer and often times neglect to speak with the patient about fertility preservation.  As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, women and men need to know that a delay in treatment for a few weeks can give a couple, young female or male a chance at a family that might have otherwise been lost.  Too often patients are devastated by the cancer diagnosis and they cannot think clearly about their fertility.  They pursue treatment without researching options. Fertility Preservation is the answer.

Fertility Preservation is a way for men and women to freeze their sperm, eggs or embryos for future use. Patients facing chemotherapy and radiation for cancer or those with ovarian cysts, lupus or a family history of early menopause may also benefit from fertility preservation. Eggs, sperm, embryos may all be frozen and stored for prolonged periods until future use in IVF cycles. They are frozen using liquid nitrogen and stored in special facilities. Once the patient is ready to start a family of their own, they are thawed and prepared for use in IVF cycles.

To collect eggs, ovaries are stimulated to produce eggs using fertility drugs like Clomid or other hormones, just as in conventional IVF treatment. The eggs are gathered, but instead of being fertilized, they are frozen and stored. This would be considered “Egg Freezing,” and with new technologies like Vitrification, Egg freezing has recently been approved to be a mainstream procedure.  Embryo freezing is the cryopreservation of an embryo for future use. In this case, Conventional IVF techniques are then used to collect the woman’s eggs and fertilize them in the lab with the male partner’s or donor’s sperm. The embryos are cultured for a few days, then frozen and stored until patients are ready to thaw and implant.  It is important to remember that you cannot truly “freeze time,” so it is better to freeze your eggs as early in your adulthood as possible.

Neway Fertility is committed to providing the most innovative and personal care possible to help patients achieve their goals of starting a family. Their mission is to provide top-quality medicine that is centered on compassion and individualized attention. For more information please visit their website: www.ch.newayfertility.com.

 

In Vitro Fertilization: Conventional versus Natural

In vitro fertilization is a technique used to achieve pregnancy when less invasive methods have not been successful. When thinking about IVF, conventional techniques are usually the first to come to mind. However, many patients can also choose natural cycle IVF, which has several notable advantages over the conventional method.

What is natural cycle IVF?

Natural cycle IVF is similar to conventional IVF, but it involves fewer medications. Instead, it relies on a woman’s natural cycle. The woman is monitored throughout her cycle, eggs are harvested when they become mature and standard IVF techniques are used to fertilize the egg and implant the embryo. Natural cycle IVF works best for women who are able to ovulate on their own and would rather not have hormone injections in order to stimulate the production of eggs.

What are the advantages?

Because natural cycle IVF does not involve as many medications as the conventional method, each cycle tends to be less expensive. This technique is also easier on the woman’s body because she will not be exposed to as many chemicals, medications and extra hormones as she would be with conventional IVF. Furthermore, natural cycle IVF is less stressful, produces fewer harmful side effects and can be performed in consecutive cycles.

What are the disadvantages?

Natural cycle IVF is a viable alternative to conventional IVF for women who prefer to live a more natural lifestyle. However, this method is not without drawbacks. For example, because natural IVF doesn’t utilize ovulation-stimulating drugs to increase the number of eggs produced, multiple cycles may be required before pregnancy is achieved. In addition, because natural cycle IVF relies on a woman’s ability to ovulate on her own, it may be ineffective in women who ovulate infrequently or fail to ovulate at all.

Here at Neway Fertility, we understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle free from unnecessary medications, chemicals and toxins. However, as a leading New York Fertility Clinic, we also understand that conventional IVF is sometimes the only option. If you are considering natural or conventional IVF, contact Neway Fertility to learn more about these techniques, and we will help you choose the option that’s best for you.

Skincare and Fertility

Can your skincare routine be affecting your fertility? Women often stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle when trying to conceive, but often do not realize that their beauty products and lotions can affect their fertility. Creams and lotions are designed to be absorbed into the skin for effectiveness.  However, this also passes along those potentially dangerous toxins straight to your cells and bloodstream where they travel throughout the body’s systems.

According to research published in several medical journals and conducted at institutions like Harvard and UCLA, many of the ingredients found in common everyday skin and personal hygiene products contain high levels of perfluorinated chemicals, better known as PFC’s. Those who are familiar with the term PFC know that these toxins can be dangerous to our health and well-being and can even cause cancer.

Experts claim that when women come in contact with PFC it has been shown to cause a variety of infertility issues. One study conducted by UCLA researcher Chunyuan Fei, and published online in Human Reproduction, states that women with higher-than-normal levels of PFC’s have shown a 60-154% higher risk of infertility than those who do not.

For women who are trying to conceive or who are of child-bearing age and are thinking of starting a family in the next few years going natural may be best. Be careful about the products you buy and read all the labels to check for dangerous ingredients and chemicals. It is helpful to remember that if you cannot pronounce a word it is likely not natural and could be a chemical or synthetic.

Make sure to remember that some products listed as all-natural or organic on the label may still contain preservatives and toxic chemicals. Natural products are made from things found in nature not manmade products. Always speak with your doctor before trying any new supplements or products that are listed to enhance fertility.

Neway Fertility is committed to providing the most innovative and personal care possible to help patients achieve their goals of starting a family. Their mission is to provide top-quality medicine that is centered on compassion and individualized attention. For more information please visit their website: www.ch.newayfertility.com.

Emotions and Infertility

Infertility comes with many emotions.  Hidden emotions of infertility are a common struggle and many couples often find themselves dealing with and feeling like they have no one to talk to.  Should you keep those emotions hidden or should you openly share your struggle?  Self-esteem, depression and stress are the three most common emotions and addressing them during this emotional rollercoaster is proven to help you work through infertility and the struggle with this disease.

Self-esteem is the first thing each partner should address.  Before you are diagnosed with an infertility disease or a problem is addressed, you may feel disappointed in yourself and your body. It is important for each person involved to realize that there are treatable solutions through the help of your doctor. With medical technology improving every day, doctors have several treatments available to help, men or women, start the family of their dreams.

Depression is commonly experienced after failed attempts at pregnancy or failed treatments. Sharing your feelings with your spouse and doctor is encouraged to avoid extreme emotions that can only hurt you or your relationships. One helpful source is support groups. Be sure to look for support groups in your area or in online communities. Many find that sharing your emotions with others who are going through infertility as well is most helpful to realize that they are not alone.

Finally, stress is extremely common for men and women. Not only are they busy dealing with a career, friends and family, they now find themselves stressed with the aspect of family building, and a fear of not having the child(ren) they dreamed of.  Although, there has not been a scientific link between stress and infertility many doctors recommend lower stress related activities and encourage healthy lifestyle choices like walking, yoga and eating healthy. Studies have found that couples who reported feeling happy and relaxed compared to a stressful month actually improved their chances of conceiving and having a successful pregnancy.

Make sure you speak with your doctor if you are having trouble starting a family and if you are also experiencing these emotions. Physicians have great experience with couples from all over the country who have dealt with similar situations and are willing to do all they can to help you start a family.

Neway Fertility is committed to providing the most innovative and personal care possible to help patients achieve their goals of starting a family. Their mission is to provide top-quality medicine that is centered on compassion and individualized attention. For more information please visit their website: www.ch.newayfertility.com.

How to Choose the Best Fertility Doctor

Infertility is a problem that affects as many as fifteen percent of couples in the US. Not being able to conceive can be heartbreaking. All the beautiful plans you and your partner had for the future — plans for dance lessons and football games and graduations and weddings — seem to have disappeared, or at the very least, been put on hold.

Making the decision to seek counseling for an infertility problem can be difficult. Not only are you coming to terms with your own very personal loss, but you also know you might be facing an array of medical tests and treatments, as well. In addition, you will need to answer some very personal questions about your health and your intimate relationship. This can feel daunting.

Choosing a fertility doctor

Once you have made the decision to consult a fertility specialist, you may be wondering how to make that choice. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Is the doctor board certified? You want to choose a fertility doctor who is board certified in reproductive endocrinology, infertility, obstetrics or gynecology, or perhaps a combination of these fields. Board certification means, according to the American Board of Medical Specialists, that your doctor has gone beyond the minimum requirements for licensure in his or her field and has demonstrated an “exceptional expertise” in one or more areas of specialization.
  • Is the facility clean, bright and comfortable? First impressions matter when you’re choosing doctor. A clean, comfortable waiting area shows that the staff is professional and conscientious and wants you to feel comfortable and well cared for.
  • Does the doctor listen to my questions and answer them thoughtfully? Going through infertility is both mentally and physically challenging. You want a doctor who will listen to your questions and concerns at all times, and answer them in a way that makes sense to you.
  • What is the clinic’s success rate? Ask the clinic staff about its success rate for both embryo implantation and live births. It is important to choose a clinic whose success rates are at least as high, and hopefully even higher, than the national average.
  • Are there low-cost options? Fertility treatments can cost tens of thousands of dollars, a price not everyone can afford. Ask if the doctor you’re considering offers lower-cost fertility treatments such as natural cycle IVF.
  • Will I be able to get help when I need it? Your concerns and possible complications with both the fertility treatments and their results — a healthy pregnancy — cannot be confined to the calendar. It’s important that your fertility doctor be available when you have questions or concerns. Choose a doctor who has a service in place so that you can make contact whenever you need to, even if it’s in the middle of the night.

FOX interviews Neway: Dr. Hade and Neway Director Dr. Janelle Luk discuss In Vitro Maturation

For millions of women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), trying to conceive can be a heart-breaking experience. But a new procedure is making it easier for patients to get pregnant without hormone injections, meaning a decreased risk for certain complications.

“PCOS is an endocrine disorder where women don’t ovulate on a regular basis,” Dr. Jesse Hade, medical director at Neway Fertility in New York City told FoxNews.com. “It’s usually characterized by having multiple little follicles in the ovaries that appear on ultrasound, or having irregular periods, coupled with elevated male hormone levels, or elevated androgen levels.”

Manpreet Sangari, 32, was diagnosed with PCOS after months of trying to get pregnant proved unsuccessful.

“Basically it will be very hard for me to ovulate on my own and have kids … It would be, not a miracle, but it would just, it would take a long time, and that’s when [my obstetrician] told me I should go to a fertility doctor,” Sangari told FoxNews.com. “And hearing all that was just crazy because now you’re adding more people into the process of baby making, which should have been so simple.”

Sangari went to see Hade, who suggested she try a less-invasive procedure like intrauterine insemination (IUI) before jumping into in vitro fertilization (IVF). But the IUI procedure did not produce a pregnancy, so Sangari tried a round of IVF.

The procedure was a success and Sangari and her husband, 36-year-old Sarbdeep Mokha, were overjoyed to learn she was pregnant with twins. But their excitement was short lived when, not long after, the unthinkable happened.

“I ended up [having a] preterm delivery on the 23rd week and the babies didn’t survive,” said Sangari. “The procedure itself was successful, the IVF was successful — the carrying of the babies was not successful.”

Three months later, when Sangari was ready to try again, Hade suggested a different kind of fertility treatment called in vitro maturation (IVM).

“Usually women with … PCOS are the primary candidates for this procedure because they have lots of little immature follicles which lead to lots of little immature eggs. We then go ahead and harvest all these immature eggs, remove them, and then mature them in the petri dish,” Hade said.

With traditional IVF, patients typically inject themselves with hormone medications for eight to 10 days to stimulate the ovaries into producing multiple eggs for fertilization. This increases the chances of creating healthy embryos for transfer into the uterus.

But hormone injections can be dangerous for PCOS patients because they have an increased risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) – a condition that causes the ovaries to become swollen and painful. Sangari developed OHSS during her IVF trial, making her the perfect candidate for IVM.

“In in-vitro maturation, little to none of these [hormone] drugs are given initially, so what we’re doing is preparing the endometrium for implantation with hormones to … prime the lining,” Hade said. “And in this process, we wait until the endometrial receptivity gets to its best point, and that’s when we trigger the ovulation and remove the immature eggs out.”

The treatment is still considered experimental, so it’s not covered by insurance. But Hade hopes to change that with an ongoing IVM study he is conducting that has shown success rates of 80 percent so far.

Sangari had the procedure, and in October 2013 she and her husband welcomed a daughter, Zoya. They plan on trying for another child.

“We’re hoping Dr. Hade helps us get the second baby,” said Sangari. “We had thought of having two kids, and after the first time we got one back, and we need one more.”

For more information or to enroll in the study, visit Dr. Hade’s websitech.newayfertility.com.

CBS interviews Dr. Luk about Egg Freezing!

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Putting off marriage and family to build a career first is getting easier for some women.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, they’re using a backup plan to delay motherhood, and are learning all about it in a unique New York setting.

The champagne was flowing, and so was the conversation, as 100 people gathered recently in a SoHo hotel.

So what was missing at this party? Men!

The event was for women bonding over beating the biological clock.

“I have a boyfriend, but no plan to set out a family yet,” attendee Reema Salvia said.

“I have a career right now, and I want to have freedom to have options,” Taba Kashanian said.

“I’m 29 years old, and I’m not thinking of having kids in the future, so I guess this is something to ensure that I’ll be able to have one when I do decide to have one,” Mari Santocildez said.

The event is where Gusoff found 28-year-old Nadine Carrasco, a medical coordinator with no current boyfriend and not even close to thinking about starting a family.

“I’m very young. But I’m single right now, there are no prospective candidates, so I’m trying to think for my future. I figure it’s a good backup plan,” she said.

Carrasco is part of a new generation of women who are younger than ever and considering egg freezing to take the rush out of finding Mr. Right. They’re gathering at events like the one in SoHo called, “Let’s Chill,” by EggBanxx, a fertility company trying to attract younger women by throwing egg freezing “parties.”

“You’re not sitting in a clinic with sterile white walls, listening to a physician say ‘Hey, you better freeze your eggs, you’re getting on up there.’ You have options,. Let’s make this fun,” EggBanxx Sales and Marketing Manager Leahjane Lavin said. “It’s like a rain check, an insurance plan. I literally would hear that biological clock in my head — click, click — click, every month.”

But how does it work?

As Gusoff reported, several eggs are removed in a 20-minute outpatient procedure, then flash frozen with liquid nitrogen at 196 degrees below zero. New fast-freezing technology increases the odds of the eggs living longer so young women can put off motherhood for more than a decade and choose when to thaw and fertilize.

Doctors at Neway Fertility, a clinic where eggs are retrieved and stored, say the younger the eggs, the healthier they are.

“If you have eggs frozen at a younger age, it gives you that dream of having a child with the man you have chosen later on in life,” Clinic Director Dr. Janelle Luk said.

It’s information that’s served up with cocktails and popcorn that makes the egg freezing decision seem more like joining a sorority than taking a leap into a new fertility frontier.

“You see women your age in here and feel like you belong,” one woman said.

“It’s totally like clubbing. The music is missing,” another added.

Most women at the event told CBS 2 they haven’t decided if they’ll freeze their eggs, but they made new friends and no longer think time is the enemy.

The national average cost of egg freezing is $13,000, but EggBanxx negotiates discounts with fertility clinics.

Women who decide not to sure their eggs can have them discarded or donated.