10 Surprising Factors Affecting Your Fertility: Part 2

10 Surprising Factors Affecting Your Fertility: Part 2

A number of studies have shown some surprising correlations between fertility rates and other factors. Read on for five things that may be affecting your fertility. Looking for more? Check out yesterday’s article for part 1.
Excessive Drinking- Most women know not to drink while pregnant, but did you know that excessive drinking can also affect your ability to conceive? Numerous studies have shown increased rates of infertility in both men and women who consume even one serving of alcohol per day.
Heavy Lifting- Crossfit may be a great workout, but you may want to have some help on the heavy lifting if you are trying to conceive. Studies have found that excessive stress on the body from heavy lifting like that done on difficult manual jobs or with repetitive physical exertion decreases a women’s egg production and quality.
Having your Tonsil or Appendix Removed – A 15-year study found that women who had either their tonsils or appendix removed increased their chance of having a pregnancy by nearly 50%. Doctors believe both surgeries have a positive effect on a woman’s immune system, which increases their chance of pregnancy.
Too Many Free Kisses- A specific herpes virus only transferable through saliva may be causing unexplained infertility. A study by the University of Ferrara in Italy found that 43% of the women in a study for unexplained fertility all had herpes HHV-6A.
Sleepy Men-Men who sleep too little or too much can have a negative impact on their sperm. Men should follow the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to maximize the number and quality of their sperm.
10 Surprising Factors Effecting Your Fertility: Part 1

10 Surprising Factors Effecting Your Fertility: Part 1

A number of studies have shown some surprising correlations between fertility rates and other factors. Read on for five things that may be affecting your fertility.

1. Housing Prices – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development found that rising home prices in England are causing fewer births. For every 10% rise in housing prices, the birth rate drops 1.3%. As fewer people can afford their home, the thought of bringing a child into the world becomes a more distant financial dream.

2. Working at Night – A Harvard study from earlier this year showed that working the night shift can affect the fertility rates for both men and women. Working at night against the body’s natural circadian rhythm seems to reduce the body’s ability to produce the highest quality eggs and sperm.

3. Drinking Soda – Your afternoon soda habit may be reducing your chances of pregnancy. In addition to soda’s ties to both obesity and diabetes, the artificial sweeteners in diet soda are often associated with higher rates of infertility. Even real sugar in regular soda is linked to lower quality eggs.

4. Poor Diet – Numerous studies have shown a variety of correlations between an imbalanced diet and issues with fertility. Maintain a healthy weight and diet to increase your chances of conception.

5. Stressful JobWomen working in high stress environments are less likely to conceive through IVF than their peers. A study comparing the women working in finances vs teachers found that despite having better employee health plans women working in volatile, often male-centered work environments like banking are more likely to cancel appointments and forget to take medications.

Check back tomorrow for five more things that are shown to have a surprising effect on your fertility!

Turning Off Your Ovaries During Cancer Treatment

Turning Off Your Ovaries During Cancer Treatment

Cancer can have debilitating effects on those who would like to start a family in the future. For those diagnosed with hormonal breast cancer, a new option improves a patient’s chances of conceiving naturally in the future.

New research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago shows that temporary blocking the ovaries from releasing eggs during chemotherapy treatment could improve the odds of having a baby in the future. The treatment involves injections of an existing drug called Goserelin, which lowers estrogen levels thus suppressing a woman’s menstrual cycle. Doctors found that the women who received the shot cut their chances of ovary failure in half. In addition, the women who received the shot were twice as likely to become pregnant and to deliver a healthy baby. Halle Moore, the lead author of the study and oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, believes that women beginning chemotherapy for early breast cancer should consider including Goserelin as part of their treatment in an effort to protect their ovaries from any adversely damaging effects. This treatment is a much less invasive and less expensive than harvesting eggs for in vitro fertilization.


Pregnant Women are Increasingly Using Marijuana Despite Negative Affects

Pregnant Women are Increasingly Using Marijuana Despite Negative Affects

The increasing acceptance of marijuana use is having one negative effect, usage by pregnant mothers suffering from morning sickness. According to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association the rate of marijuana use by pregnant women has nearly doubled since 2002. Several published and ongoing studies describe the negative effects of marijuana use on children who’s mother used marijuana while pregnant. These issues include low birth weight, anemia, and issues with impaired functions such as impulse control and visual memory.

Read more about the effects of marijuana use on pregnant mothers and their unborn children from the Washington Post here.

Three-Parent Babies Could Eliminate Some Genetic Diseases

Three-Parent Babies Could Eliminate Some Genetic Diseases

Doctors at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have developed a controversial IVF treatment which uses the DNA of three people in an effort to prevent debilitating or life-threatening genetic diseases in the child. With the help of a third female donor, doctors are hopefully they can replace defective DNA in a mother’s egg with healthy DNA. Newcastle University is the first facility in the U.K to be licensed to test this new treatment, with the first babies to likely be born at the end of 2017.

To learn more about this new IVF technique, you can ready more at The Telegraph.

Breakthrough in Sperm Selection

Breakthrough in Sperm Selection

Doctors at the University of Sheffield made a significant discovery this week that will improve the process that tests for the best sperm. Their new process allows for the sperm to be tested without destroying the sample. This means that the sperm can be used immediately for in vitro fertilization. The new method uses low energy pulses often used to test cancer cells. This significant discovery will help doctors know they are selecting the best sperm by looking for molecular differences before impregnating the egg.

Learn more about this discovery from The Telegraph. 

Manhattan Fertility Clinic Holds Lottery For $30k Round Of In Vitro Fertilization

Manhattan Fertility Clinic Holds Lottery For $30k Round Of In Vitro Fertilization

Article Provided by CBS New York.

Millions of couples understand the painful struggle to get pregnant, and the price of fertility treatments often makes the process impossible.

But one local doctor is offering the gift of life in the form of a highly unique lottery, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reports.

“It’s our dream to build our family,” Andrea D’Amato says.

Since they married two years ago, Jessica Berkey and D’Amato have worked hard to achieve that dream.

“But there have been times when we’re both trying at the same time, because we’re just really desperate to have a baby,” D’Amato tells Moore.

Seven rounds of fertility treatments and one miscarriage later, they got one step closer to that dream Friday.

Berkey and D’Amato were one of 30 couples out of 500 who entered New Hope Fertility Center’s lottery, hoping to win a $30,000 round of in vitro fertilization.

CBS2 was there as they watched the winners announced on Facebook Live.

“I’m shaking, I’m so excited. We’re just really excited, it means so much to us,” D’Amato.

“It’s better than winning the lottery. We just won the best lottery ever,” Berkey added.

It’s all thanks to Dr. John Zhang.

He says one in eight couples struggle with infertility. The lottery was his way of giving back to those who can’t afford the exorbitant costs of IVF.

“It shows from our heart that this is our passion to help the couples to have babies,” Zhang said.

But not every couple who entered the lottery had something to celebrate.

“I don’t know if it will ever go away — the desire to have my own child,” Eleanor Trillana, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said.

“Hopefully if we can get a baby through adoption or something happens and we get the funds together to try another IVF,” David Guzzone, also from Bay Ridge, added.

Zhang said he’s committed to helping every couple work through the financial and emotional process of having a baby.

“Never too late and never give up,” he said.

There is some good news for the couples who didn’t win Friday. Zhang is offering a free consultation for everyone who entered the lottery.

People from 28 states and five continents entered the clinic’s IVF lottery.



By Elena Trukhacheva MD, MSCI, President and Medical Director for Reproductive Medicine Institute 


2016 was an interesting year in almost every sphere, from politics to medicine, and everything in between.

Always leading the charge of technology and thought, the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) has once again been in the forefront of much news and National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), April 23 – 29, is a good time to look at this more closely.

Ever advancing methods in embryo selection to assist in single embryo transfer (SET) as well as continual progress in the area of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and the freedom and relief it provides for families looking to assure the good health of a future child.  More information on conception for those of advanced maternal age as well as ways of optimizing third party reproduction, noting the role of epigenetics that link mother and baby regardless of the genetic connection.

These advances move forward on a daily basis, making REI one of the most exciting fields of science and medicine.  This week, National Infertility Awareness Week, we invite you to Listen Up! and celebrate with us as well as plan for the future.

ART and Technology

ART and Technology

by Reproductive Medicine Institute (www.teamrmi.com

A new smartphone app has shown early promise in its ability to detect healthy sperm at home

Assisted Reproductive Technology, also known as ART, continues to share ‘pillow space’ with cutting edge Technology when it comes to medical and surgical treatment for Infertility. But, when it comes to some of the newest computer applications, ART and Technology may be unlikely bedfellows.

Recent reports tout a new smartphone attachment that can evaluate a man’s semen and determine his level of fertility with up to 98% accuracy, a new study has shown.  The technology, which developers hope will be available in the next few years, consists of an external accessory in which sperm samples are inserted and an app that analyzes them. While the aim is to make testing as straightforward as a home pregnancy test, many Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility (REI) specialists are cautiously optimistic when it comes to a ‘do it yourself’ approach.

“For some couples, this exciting new technology may be a welcome alternative to testing in the clinic, which for some, can be an undesirable or awkward experience,” says Shweta Nayak MD, an REI with Reproductive Medicine Institute (www.teamrmi.com) with offices throughout the Chicagoland area. “It’s important to remember that while an abnormal test result should definitely lead to a consultation with a fertility specialist, a normal result still does not assure a couple the absence of infertility or subfertility.” Supporting this is that the new technology appears to be qualitative rather than quantitative. “Those who test normal, may still be on the low end of normal,” says Nayak, “a distinction which may still require medical intervention in order to conceive.”

Regardless, and in the presence, of at home testing, experts still recommend that couples still consider a formal, complete reproductive evaluation if they have been unable to conceive after 1 year and are under the age of 35, or after 6 months if over the age of 35. Another limitation may be the cost of at home testing, which unlike diagnostic testing in a physician’s office, will not likely be covered by insurance. “We do have systems already in place that provide a home collection kit for those who are unable or unwilling to produce a specimen at the clinic,” says Nayak. This alternate form of collection does depend on reasonably close proximity to the clinic, however, in order to assure an accurate analysis. “In the case where time and/or distance are limiting, this new technology may be quite beneficial,” says Nayak.

Overall, the new app may be a promising alternative for those considering at home testing, especially for those early in their journey towards building a family. “Couples should consider all factors contributing to their decision to test at home,” says Dr. Nayak. “We need to be certain that our testing is not just easier but also every bit as effective and comprehensive. Technology is a wonderful tool, but the best medicine also utilizes the physician’s touch.”

Under NY Law, Insurance Companies Now Required To Cover Fertility Treatments For All Women

Under NY Law, Insurance Companies Now Required To Cover Fertility Treatments For All Women

Article Provided By CBS New York.

Under New York law, insurance companies are now responsible to provide coverage for fertility treatment to all women regardless of sexual orientation or marital status, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Prior to the announcement, coverage only included women trying to conceive naturally.

“In New York, we firmly believe that everyone, no matter who they are, deserves the right to control their own bodies and make their own reproductive health decisions,” Cuomo said. “All women who wish to have a child are entitled to insurance coverage for fertility treatment regardless of their sexual orientation or marital status, just as all women have the right to reproductive choice and to decide if and when to start a family, and New York will always stand up to protect and preserve those rights.”

These initiatives are part of a series of actions by Cuomo to champion women’s rights, known as “New York’s Promise to Women: Ever Upward.”

New York is currently one of just 15 states to mandate that insurers cover infertility costs.