Thyroid and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

thyroid pregnancyBefore a woman is even able to conceive a child, any thyroid issues she may have that are untreated can cause problems with her conceiving or could lead to a miscarriage in the even that she is able to become pregnant. The good news is though that the many of the issues that a thyroid problem can cause with a pregnancy can be treated very easily. The problem is though that many complaints that go along with a possible thyroid issue such as fatigue, heat intolerance and constipation can also be pregnancy symptoms or an indication that there is a problem with the thyroid. Read more ›

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Coping with Pregnancy Loss

Dr. Tomer Singer

Dr. Tomer Singer

Laura Benanti, Tony-winner and TV star, recently published an Op-Ed opening up to the public about her pregnancy loss. This brings to awareness a very important and fairly common unfortunate experience that women in the reproductive age go through. A miscarriage is an early pregnancy loss that occurs prior to 20 weeks (5 months) gestation. Studies have shown that up to 20% of all pregnancies may result in a miscarriage. The incidence of pregnancy loss is believed to be even higher, given that most miscarriages happen early on (within weeks) and are therefore unnoticed and not reported.

Patients who struggle with infertility are much more likely to experience pregnancy loss, whether conceived via artificial insemination or IVF. The reason for this is that the same challenges that cause infertility are responsible for miscarriages. Some examples are uterine abnormalities (fibroids, polyps, uterine septum, etc.), endometriosis, ovarian cysts and endocrine abnormalities (diabetes, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome and obesity). The main cause of miscarriages is egg quality, which diminishes with advanced maternal age. Thus, most miscarriages will occur in women who are older than 35, with a significant increase beyond age 40. The good news is that most patients who experience one or more miscarriages are likely to end up with a viable pregnancy, and in turn, a healthy baby.

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Posted in Infertility, Tomer Singer

The Misconception of Multiples

Dr. Christine Mullin

Dr. Christine Mullin

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding ART treatment is that couples who pursue it are guaranteed a multiple pregnancy. Fertility treatment has become associated with twins, when in fact the statistics tell a different story. In actuality, the rate of twins for patients under 35 years of age is very low. The national average of fertility patients having twins is about 30%, and at our fertility center, the average is about 10%.

Over the years as the field has progressed with technology, it has become common practice to transfer only one embryo at a time, known as a Single Embryo Transfer (SET). SETs really started to take off in 2008 and since then, have been trending upward at a steady pace.  When we perform SET procedures we decrease the chance of multiples to less than 1%, which is even lower than the chance of conceiving twins naturally (1-3%). Additionally, we decrease the possible complications associated with (high risk) twin pregnancies, without compromising the pregnancy rate. SET is typically performed in women who are less than 35 years old and have extra embryos available for freezing the day of transfer.

The advent of another innovative procedure, Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PSG), has helped make  SET even more safe by allowing us to screen embryos, determine which are healthy, and transfer only one that is chromosomally normal. Chromosomal abnormalities are responsible for a substantial proportion of early pregnancy losses, and PGS helps to eliminate this risk.

As fertility specialists our goal is to have one healthy baby at a time, which we are seeing more of as technology advances our field. The use of SETs and PGS are continually on the rise, and we are excited about seeing what innovative procedures are to come to help provide the best possible care for our patients.

This post is in response to a recent article on,”Oh Baby! The Science of Identical Triplets and Quadruplets.

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Posted in Christine Mullin, Infertility

Ritalin – The Answer to Male Infertility?

ritalin and fertilityA recent study has found that the medication Ritalin speeds sperm up and also keeps them swimming faster for over four hours after intercourse. Ritalin is the medication that is typically given to children suffering from attention deficit disorder. However, it may also help men who are suffering from some infertility issues. Read more ›

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Posted in Infertility, Research, Study

Can Menopause Cause Depression, Anxiety or Mood Swings?

menopause depressionWomen who are going through menopause notice that it is terrible for the psyche. There may be trouble sleeping, having a hard time concentrating, being really tired and even being moody or irritable. Some women may even experience lapses in their memory.

Estrogen may have an effect on a woman’s mental well-being. Some research has found that estrogen can offer mood-enhancing benefits but a lack of the estrogen hormone may be part of a menopausal woman’s mental health issues. Read more ›

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Posted in Women's Health

The Unique Issues Young Women with Breast Cancer Face

breast cancer womanIt is very rare for young women to have breast cancer. In fact, breast cancer that is diagnosed falls under five percent in women under the age of 40.

Naturally, a breast cancer diagnosis can be very shocking for someone no matter what their age is. However, the good news is that the survival rate and chances for those who are diagnosed early with breast cancer earlier are very good and the majority of those women can go on to live for many years.

Read more ›

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer awarenessBreast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of women every single year. In fact, an estimated 231,830 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year.

Just as with other types of cancer, early detection is key. This is why mammograms are so important, just as it is important to know and understand your family history and risk factors.

Here are a few breast cancer facts to keep in mind and promote awareness.  Read more ›

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Posted in BRCA, breast cancer, Women's Health

5 Foods with Pregnancy Benefits

healthy pregnancyNutrition is always important- whether you are hoping to become pregnant or already pregnant. You want to make sure you’re getting the calories and vitamins and minerals you need to be the best possible you. Nutrition helps keep your body at its peak performance, mentally and physically.

When it comes to being pregnant, there are certain nutrients  that are imperative for a pregnant women to consume. The next five foods are full of these nutrients in addition to folic acid, calcium and vitamin C. Read more ›

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BRCA Policies Need to be Revisited

Dr. Avner Hershlag

Dr. Avner Hershlag

It is time for screening policies for the BRCA gene to be revisited. Screening based on family history alone is insufficient in identifying women and men who carry the BRCA gene.  A U.K. study from January of this year indicates that screening of Ashkenazi Jewish women 30 years and older without a family history of breast or ovarian cancer saves lives and improves quality of life. Specifically for the U.K., it was calculated that such screening would lead to 276 fewer cases of ovarian cancer and 508 less cases of breast cancer annually. This is accompanied with cost savings of $5.6 million.

If this data is extrapolated to the U.S. population, roughly five times larger, there would be 1,380 less cases of ovarian cancer and 2,540 less cases of breast cancer annually. In addition, the healthcare cost saving would be tremendous, in excess of $25 million.

Hereditary breast cancer is preventable. Through IVF and embryo biopsy, we can eliminate the gene for the next generation. Ms. Wurtzel’s Op-Ed is an urgent call for legislative authorities and insurance companies to mandate and cover BRCA screening for Ashkenazi Jews, thus preventing breast and ovarian cancer and freeing the next generation from the burden of this treacherous gene.

This post is in response to a recent New York Times article “The Breast Cancer Gene and Me.” 
Posted in Avner Hershlag, BRCA

Is Endometriosis Plaguing You?

endometriosisIt’s true that a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle is not pleasant. The majority of women suffer from mood swings, headaches and abdominal cramps. However, women that suffer from endometriosis, a condition where uterine lining cells or endometrial tissue is outside of the uterus have an especially difficult time during their periods. What happens is that the tissue in the uterus breaks down and then becomes trapped in a woman’s body. Because of this lesions are formed and it causes pain that is severe.

The below symptoms could indicate that you are suffering from endometriosis.

Read more ›

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