Fertility Blog

Our doctors’ blog represents another step in RSC’s mission to share state-of-the-art expertise in reproductive medicine. In more than 25 years of practice, we have learned that accurate information is the most powerful key to determining the best course of treatment for each individual. Is is in this spirit of empowerment that we welcome you to explore our weekly blog for a deeper explanation of numerous topics of interest for both patients and physicians on the topics of infertility, in vitro fertilization, and other fertility subjects. We welcome your questions and comments.

On this page, RSC doctors blog about topics brought to them by people suffering from infertility. Do you have questions about fertility? Ask us on our Facebook page.

    • Egg Freezing for Future Fertility is Becoming a Reality

      The announcement that Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs has provoked a lively discussion that reproductive endocrinologists have been having with patients for years.
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    • How to Prevent Chemo-Induced Ovarian Failure

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – Studies continue to support use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists to reduce toxic effects of chemotherapy – encouraging news for women with a recent cancer diagnosis, planning chemo.
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    • Fertility For Children Exposed To Chemotherapy

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – With increasing numbers of cancer survivors, there are more and more questions about how the treatment for cancer will affect the person’s ability to have children in the future.
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    • Egg Donation Pregnancies And Pre-Eclampsia

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – For patients with diminished ovarian reserve or premature menopause, egg donation is a true blessing.
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    • Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – While bleeding in early pregnancy is scary, it is not always a bad sign. Often the first sign of a miscarriage, there are also things that will not be a miscarriage that can cause the bleeding.
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    • Got Twins? Get Fat!

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – Recent data reveals that gaining weight in the second trimester is critical for patients with twins. One RSCBA patient reveals her story in the Huffington Post of how she gained 70 pounds for a twin [...]
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    • Preparing For Your Treatment

      Helpful information for patients to review to best prepare for a successful outcome for your upcoming treatment with our clinic provided by Dr. Sgarlata and Dr. Wachs.
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    • Vitamin D & IVF – What’s New 2014

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata – New research has given us more information on the potential role Vitamin D & fertility supplementation takes for women attempting pregnancy, especially those undergoing IVF, prior to embryo transfers.
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    • Concerning Guilt, Grief & Getting An Answer

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – What does the general public think causes a miscarriage? A recent online survey of over 1,000 adults in 48 US states found surprising answers to this question.
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    • 1 Tested Embryo Transfer Shows Better Baby Outcome

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – Recent study confirms baby outcomes are better by transferring one PGS tested embryo over 2 cycles compared to transferring 2 embryos that are untested, especially for woman over 38.
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    • Sad News For Starbucks…

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – A recent meta-analysis from the American Journal of OB/Gyn (Feb 2014) showed that any amount of coffee consumption during pregnancy may increase the risk of childhood leukemia in offspring.
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    • Managing Mother’s Day Mindfully

      Every day is difficult for women who experience infertility, but Mother’s Day may be the most challenging. Physiologist, Madeline Licker Feingold, Ph.D's offers suggestions for infertility sufferers to decrease their pain [...]
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    • Not Having The Luxury Of Time

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein – A new study on fertility treatment success in women between the age of 38-42 revealed immediate IVF as the most successful infertility treatment. Always be sure to consult with your physician.
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    • What To Do About An Ovarian Cyst?

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – At least once or twice a month, I see a patient who comes in for fertility treatment with an ovarian cyst. These cysts must be evaluated because they could be precancerous or cancerous.
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    • IVF Medications And Ovarian Cancer

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – Learn how I answer my patients questions on whether fertility drugs can cause ovarian cancer.
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    • How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help Fertility and Menstrual Problems

      By Judy Tognetti – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one option to treat women who are afflicted with conditions that can affect their reproductive system, and ultimately impact their level of fertility.
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    • What To Expect During Your First Chinese Medicine Treatment

      By Judy Tognetti – Information for patients considering Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to help treat fertility or menstrual issues.
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    • How Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Help Treat Infertility

      By Judy Tognetti – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for over 4,000 years in China to treat many diseases and conditions including infertility problems.
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    • Reiki

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata – Reiki is a natural, hands-on healing art that might help patients with infertility issues. It is part of a field known as energy medicine. Dr. Sgarlata is certified as a First Degree Reiki Practitioner.
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    • Cell Phones And Sperm – An Update 2014

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata – There continues to be new information reported on the potential impact of cell phones and male fertility. Here is a brief update on what we now understand.
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    • New MTV Show: Generation Cryo

      By Macy Minor – MTV's new show, Generation Cryo, is an exploration of, “issues faced by a new generation of kids coming of age who were conceived via sperm donation and are redefining what it means to be a family."
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    • What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

      By Judy Tognetti – Many people seek Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for infertility. TCM explores causes and treats each one with specific protocols to overcome the barriers to conception.
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    • Chinese New Year and Fertility

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – Why are patients desperately trying to get pregnant so that their child is born in the Chinese Year of the Horse? Some are even using fertility medicine, IVF and other treatments.
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    • In Order to Conceive and Have a Baby…

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata – Many times patient’s ask why we as Fertility specialists can’t find a reason for their lack of success. Genetic factors, lifestyle and age are just a few influences for successful pregnancy.
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    • IVF Worked! But, Now I Have Twins

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – Preterm delivery occurs in 12% of all pregnancies. Preterm birth is defined as a delivery before 37 weeks of gestation, so how do we prevent this?
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    • How Much Calcium and Vitamin D Do I Need?

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – A Report from the American College of OB/GYNs gives us a reliable answer to the question of Calcium and Vitamin D, weighing the pros and cons.
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    • What is CCS and Who Should Use It?

      By Dr. Susan Willman – Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) is a process to help doctors and patients select the best embryos for transfer in an IVF cycle.
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    • Vitamin D & IVF – What’s New 2013

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata – We know Vitamin D levels influence fertility and IVF. Dr. Sgarlata provides an update on two recent studies that provide further knowledge on this topic.
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    • The History of IVF

      The story of IVF in the US is one that marks the beginning in a long lineage of babies born through IVF and making their mark on this great nation.
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    • How To Avoid Seeing A Fertility Specialist

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – As a fertility specialist, I really want to see you, but it would be great if you could conceive on your own. Follow these tips to help optimize natural fertility.
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    • How the Flu Shot Ensures A Safe Pregnancy

      By Dr. Evan Rosenbluth – Everyone older than 6 months should get the flu shot, even women who are trying to get pregnant and especially if you are pregnant.
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    • Considering Pregnancy In The Future? There Really Is A Biological Clock!

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - What we do throughout our lives will have an effect on our future fertility and the ability to have a healthy child.
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    • Banking on Your Eggs for the Future, Check Your Fertility Now

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - As the 20’s and 30’s roll on through, many women wonder what would be the best timing, the right number of kids, and how their life may look with the addition of a family. Consider your options now.
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    • Are Outcomes of Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycles Better Than Fresh Embryo Transfer?

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - There is renewed interest in frozen embryo transfer success. RSC currently uses vitrification to freeze embryos, as this technology has been shown to cause little or no harm to the embryo.
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    • Regulations Guiding and Governing Fertility Clinics

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley – Patients fertility care questions can be answered by understanding the federal regulations, non-federal regulations, legal challenges and recommendations that govern and guide fertility clinics.
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    • ESET (Elective Single Embryo Transfer), The Safest Healthy Pregnancy

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein – A single healthy pregnancy is the best outcome from IVF. Our highly successful laboratory has allowed us to recommend single embryo transfer for many patients.
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    • Achieving The Highest Pregnancy Rates With IVF, What It Takes

      Over the past few of years we have seen a dramatic increase in pregnancy rates with IVF at Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area. We recently tabulated our January - June 2013 IVF success rates and they [...]
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    • Oocyte Efficiency

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - One of the hardest things to explain to patients is why human beings are such inefficient reproducers. It just seems logical that one follicle should produce one egg which ultimately makes one embryo [...]
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    • Different Presentations of PCOS

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) represents a variety of clinical presentations. Dr. Sgarlata offers a medical overview of PCOS to better understand the syndrome.
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    • Fertility Treatment Success: Single Healthy Pregnancy

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - Our Mission at RSC is to deliver the highest quality patient care that provides the best opportunities for making people families. We believe that a single healthy pregnancy has the best outcome from [...]
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    • Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening for Abnormal Embryos

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - While the human body is very good at “screening” embryos – abnormal embryos will most often fail to implant and grow – new technology provides reproductive specialists further insight as to why [...]
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    • The Mathematics of Selecting an Infertility Center

      By Sheldon B. Josephs, FACHE - If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where there is more than one infertility specialist or practice, you understand how confusing it can be to choose the physician or clinic best [...]
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    • Fertility Science Has Changed In A Big Way, But The Basic Principles Remain

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - As RSC has remained on the leading edge of scientific advancement for the past thirty years, so too we remain steadfast in our mission to provide the best opportunities for making all people families.
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    • Effects of Electromagnetic Energy on Sperm

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - Dr. Sgarlata explores whether modern lifestyle and conveniences such as cell phones and laptop computers have adverse effects on male fertility.
      [ Read More ]
    • The (Big) Difference Between One & Two

      By Dr. Evan Rosenbluth - Having recently moved to the Bay Area, I am often asked about the differences in protocols for treating infertility at other centers across the United States. Simply put, the most notable variation [...]
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    • Ovarian Reserve

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - Ovarian reserve is a term fertility doctors use to describe a woman’s reproductive potential with respect to egg quantity. This evaluation can be helpful in determining how aggressive a woman should [...]
      [ Read More ]
    • Donor Egg Bank Brings Double Success

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - She walked out of our office smiling, looking at her admiring husband with a bit of “we can handle this together”. She was glowing that glow you get from being pregnant and dreaming of the future.
      [ Read More ]
    • Natural or Minimal Stimulation IVF compared to Standard IVF

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - Recently there has been much hype on the internet about Natural Cycle IVF or Minimal Stimulation IVF. These treatments are similar to standard IVF, but without the use of injectable medications [...]
      [ Read More ]
    • Dad’s Age Linked to Genetic Mutations

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - A new study has found that older fathers are more likely to pass along new genetic mutations to their children.
      [ Read More ]
    • When Sex Is No Longer Fun

      By Dr. Susan Willman - One aspect of infertility that often does not receive much attention is the effect infertility has on the sexual intimacy of the couple.
      [ Read More ]
    • Reproductive Technologies and the Risk of Birth Defects

      By Dr Louis Weckstein - A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine has drawn a lot of media attention. This review of an Australian birth defect registry from 1986 – 1992 reported an increased rate of birth [...]
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    • Health insurance coverage for Infertility in California

      By Leticia Uribe, Business Office Supervisor - Insurance coverage is a growing monster in our world today when it comes to infertility coverage in California. California is still a long way from becoming a mandated state for [...]
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    • Infertility Counselors

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley & Amoreena Berg, MFT - “Keeping it all together” was her challenge. We immediately put her in touch with a counselor, who gave her one-on-one support and even offered group counseling. This made all [...]
      [ Read More ]
    • Donor Egg Bank USA

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - Until very recently the technology for freezing eggs was not well developed. In the past few years, the technique of vitrification, or rapid freezing of eggs, has improved success with frozen eggs.
      [ Read More ]
    • Good to the last drop…so long as it is only 300 mg.

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - The question often arises as to how much caffeine, if any, is safe in pregnancy and whether caffeine has any links to infertility.
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    • Now What? What to Consider With Your Unused Embryos.

      By Sheldon Joseph - One unintended consequence of a successful or unsuccessful IVF cycle may be the difficult decision of what to do with any unused embryos.
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    • Stem Cells to Expand Female Window of Fertility

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - A recent study reported in the Journal Nature Medicine describes the use of stem cells taken from human ovaries to make new eggs.
      [ Read More ]
    • “Just Take Ten”

      By Karen Volpe, R.N., Director of Operations - Try to find ten minutes for yourself each day. Just ten minutes to be quiet. Just ten minutes to close your eyes.
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    • What is metformin and should I be taking it?

      By Dr. Deborah Wachs - Many women have trouble getting pregnant due to irregular periods. It is because of this insulin resistance that many women with PCOS are prescribed metformin.
      [ Read More ]
    • Optimizing The Embryo Transfer

      By Amy Simpson, Ultrasound Tech - You have diligently taken your injections, come to multiple ultrasound appointments, put up with numerous side effects from medications, undergone surgery to retrieve your eggs...
      [ Read More ]
    • High cholesterol?

      The following will help give you an overview of cholesterol disease and the steps we often take prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy.
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    • Third Party Fertility: Committed to Breaking Barriers and Creating Families

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - Every day at RSC we see patients who choose to use donor sperm to conceive, and the reasons are varied.
      [ Read More ]
    • Perseverance

      By Dr. Susan Willman - On a a hectic Saturday morning at the clinic, I had an unexpected surprise: a patient of mine had brought her baby to meet me.
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    • What is a normal TSH?

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - I recently saw a new patient getting ready for IVF. Her TSH was 2.90. I advised further thyroid testing and started her on Thyroid supplementation. Why?
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    • Krispy Kreme Donuts

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - The Krispy Kreme Donut Factory: I often use this analogy when explaining ovarian function to patients.
      [ Read More ]
    • A Reminder About When to see and Infertility Specialist

      By Dr. Deborah Wachs - Sometimes it's not entirely clear if you need to be seeking the advice of a specialist. So how do you know if it's time to see the Reproductive Endocrinologist?
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    • What Did They Do To My Cervix?

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - It is important for you to know what was done to your cervix. Some treatments may cause problems or damage to the cervix that could translate into infertility or premature delivery.
      [ Read More ]
    • Dr. Sgarlata Pursuing a Fellowship in Integrated Medicine

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - The Fellowship is a unique two-year program dedicated to teaching physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants the art and science of integrative medicine.
      [ Read More ]
    • Why Can’t I Eat Before My Surgical Procedure?

      By Susan Hathaway, RN & Surgery Supervisor - One of the hardest things for patients to hear is "Nothing to eat or drink for eight hours before your procedure."
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    • Is AMH the new FSH?

      By Dr. Susan Willman - AMH is a hormone that has been studied for many years but only recently has been commercially available. AMH is useful in assessing how many eggs are in the ovaries.
      [ Read More ]
    • Surfing the ‘Net for Fertility

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - Every day I see patients who have tried in earnest to find helpful information about fertility and pregnancy through the internet. The problem is which internet sites to trust.
      [ Read More ]
    • The Gift of Life

      An excerpt from a published article about Third Party Reproduction featuring Mahshid Albrecht, RSC's Egg Donor Manager
      [ Read More ]
    • It’s About Time!

      It was 1978 and my neighbor told me the story of Louise Brown, the first IVF baby born. Recently, the Nobel Prize was awarded to British biologist Robert Edwards, PhD for his pioneering work developing IVF.
      [ Read More ]
    • Recurrent Pregnancy Loss – Update 2012

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) has been defined as the loss of 2-3 or more consecutive pregnancies in the first or early second trimester of pregnancy.
      [ Read More ]
    • The Benefit Of Transferring Just One Embryo

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - Though many patients going through infertility treatment say they really want twins, twin pregnancies are higher risk than single pregnancies.
      [ Read More ]
    • What’s all the fuss about HCG tests?

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - I had a patient make an impassioned plea for me to write about why we do so many HCG tests and what they mean.
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    • Advantages Of A Team Approach To Providing Infertility Care

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - At RSC we offer a team approach to your care. We have six physicians and it is always helpful to have multiple people's input on complicated infertility situations.
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    • The 10,000 Hour Rule In Infertility

      By Dr. Mary Hinckley - What matters to patients is the ability to diagnose a problem, to correctly stimulate a patient, to retrieve the eggs, handle the embryos, and transfer them back safely into a uterus.
      [ Read More ]
    • How Many Embryos Should I Transfer?

      One of the questions we are asked most frequently by patients is: How many embryos should we transfer?
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    • What is an HSG?

      By Dr. Deborah Wachs - I was performing HSGs last week and noticed a recurring theme: extreme anxiety! I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the HSG test and what it involves.
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    • Will my Insurance Cover my Infertility Treatment?

      By JoAnne Brian, Director of Practice Development - When a potential patient calls RSC one of the first questions they have is, "Will my insurance cover the cost of infertility treatment?"
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    • Google… Baby

      I watched a documentary about IVF and gestational surrogacy in India. There were a few things worthy of commenting on, both from the surrogacy standpoint as well as from the IVF overseas aspect.
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    • What to Look for in an IVF Laboratory

      By Dr. Louis Weckstein - The IVF Laboratory is one of the most important aspects of a successful IVF program and fertility center.
      [ Read More ]
    • Obesity and Infertility

      Obesity complicating pregnancy hit the front page of the NY Times today! Overweight and obesity negatively affect the outcomes of ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization.
      [ Read More ]
    • Cancer and Fertility

      For many diagnosed with cancer, they now know what they have to fight against. But that does not mean we have to give up the dreams we have of having a family.
      [ Read More ]
    • When not to do IVF with your own eggs

      By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata - There are times when your physician recommends that you do not start an IVF cycle using your own eggs.
      [ Read More ]
    • What Do You Think About The Octuplets?

      In the wake of national media coverage of IVF patient Nadya Suleman and her octuplets born in January, we say the issue is a public educataion opportunity on avoiding the risk of multiple births.
      [ Read More ]
    • Ask the Doctor – General Infertility

      Mary Hinckley, MD, answers your questions about infertility.
      [ Read More ]
    • Ask the Doctor – Age and Infertility

      Mary Hinckley, MD, answers your questions about age and infertility.
      [ Read More ]
    • Ask the Doctor – Unused Embryos

      Mary Hinckley, MD, answers your questions about unused embryos.
      [ Read More ]
    • Ask the Doctor – IVF and Egg Donors

      Mary Hinckley, MD, answers your questions about IVF and egg donors.
      [ Read More ]
    • Staying Strong In Marriage During Infertility

      Infertility can affect your marriage in many ways, arguments will brew, and fingers may be pointed, but remember: infertility is a medical condition.
      [ Read More ]