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 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.


 

365 Days in a Fertility Clinic

365 Days in a Fertility Clinic

Honoring National Infertility Awareness Week, RSC andrologist Evelyn Elnar writes about her transition from viewing infertility as a mere diagnosis to becoming acutely aware of it as a complex emotional journey.
Getting Pregnant in the Chinese New Year

Getting Pregnant in the Chinese New Year

With the Chinese New Year upon us, I had to take a break and find out what this year may bring, especially for those born in 2017: The Year of the Fire Rooster. If you're interested in getting pregnant this year, I have some tips to get you started.
Zika Virus and Your Pregnancy

Zika Virus and Your Pregnancy

Many RSCBA patients are in the process of conceiving or have recently become pregnant and vacation season is coming up. Dr. Rosenbluth offers advice about traveling to areas affected by the virus and the potential risks of being infected.
Does Lying Down after IUI Help Increase Success?

Does Lying Down after IUI Help Increase Success?

In a study presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) 2016 convention in Helsinki, Finland, the question of whether lying down after IUI (intrauterine insemination) was addressed.
First the Work of In Vitro Fertilization, then the Wait

First the Work of In Vitro Fertilization, then the Wait

By day 8 of IVF - which is how you mark time through infertility treatment - my abdomen turned puffy, bruised, and sore. As we drove to our "preop" visit at the clinic, the waistband of my jeans, the pressure of the seatbelt, ached against my swollen organs.
IVF Treatment: The Extreme Sport of the Fertility World

IVF Treatment: The Extreme Sport of the Fertility World

Dr. Mary Hinckley has teamed up with author and former patient K.K. Golberg, who has provided the excerpt "Potions from a Voodoo Priest" from her book, to offer perspectives on IVF treatment medications in Part 1 of a five-part Dr. and Stork Blog Series.
Is PGS Worth Your Time & Money?

Is PGS Worth Your Time & Money?

PGS allows physicians to sort out the embryos that have the best chances of developing into a pregnancy, improving pregnancy rates by 15-45 percent.
Let Your Heart Lead the Way

Let Your Heart Lead the Way

RSCBA medical assistant offers inspiring words and shares her journey in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week.
Usted No Está Sola

Usted No Está Sola

Miembro del personal RSCBA ofrece palabras de apoyo para los pacientes hispanos en honor a la Semana Nacional de Concientización sobre la infertilidad .
Have a Heart for Infertility

Have a Heart for Infertility

As a physician's assistant, I want patients to know that I have a heart and I will share it with you on your infertility journey.
Am I Annoying My Nurse?

Am I Annoying My Nurse?

RSC Bay Area's PA and case manager, Suzanne Yahiro-Leibowitz, shares insights into the mind of a fertility nurse and addresses the most common concerns about fertility treatment.
Does ICSI Cause Genetic Abnormalities?

Does ICSI Cause Genetic Abnormalities?

New study suggests that the common worry that ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) increases genetic defects isn’t the case, and that poor sperm quality is the primary culprit. By Dr. Louis Weckstein Patients are often worried about whether the use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) performed with in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles increases the risk of … Continued
World Vasectomy Day Wants Men To Do Birth Control

World Vasectomy Day Wants Men To Do Birth Control

Some men who get vasectomies may want to have more children in the future. There are a few options that men who have had vasectomies can pursue in order to have more children; vasectomy reversal, IUI or IVF.
Egg Freezing in China

Egg Freezing in China

As Chinese governmental regulations do not allow for single women to freeze their eggs, more and more young, Chinese women are coming to America, specifically the Bay Area, to freeze their eggs for later use.
Migraines During Pregnancy

Migraines During Pregnancy

Headaches during pregnancy are common, however, 1 out of every 5 women with headaches actually suffer from migraines. Women suffering from migraines during pregnancy should see a high-risk obstetrician for pre-natal care.
Do I Really Have to Watch My Cholesterol When I’m Pregnant?

Do I Really Have to Watch My Cholesterol When I’m Pregnant?

The answer is yes, as a general principle in a healthy pregnancy. But women with high cholesterol levels should be particularly careful about what they eat during pregnancy. At Reproductive Science Center we check cholesterol panels on all women over 40 years old and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity, as cholesterol levels are usually higher among these groups of women. High cholesterol can run in families and can be elevated even in otherwise healthy women.
Love Triumphed - Now, Let RSC Help Start Your Family

Love Triumphed - Now, Let RSC Help Start Your Family

The marriage equality decision excited many of us at RSCBA. Being a fertility center, we work with many LGBTQ couples to help start their families. We are proud that the Supreme Court took this large step forward for equal rights.

Calling all Hikers: Beware of Lyme Disease

If you get bit by a tick see your doctor. If you see a rash (bull’s eye) that blisters know that this is the most classic rash from Lyme disease. Headache, flu like symptoms, and joint pain are other symptoms.

Memorial Day - Thank You for Your Service

On Memorial Day, I paid respect to the men and women who gave up their lives for my freedom, and upon reflection also realized that wives gave up their husbands, children gave up their dads, and mothers gave up their sons (and daughters) for my ability to be an American.

Seed Of Hope - NIAW Series

"In my journey, as a health care professional I have come across patients struggling with infertility, and I firmly believe that we also experience along with them the fears, the worry, and all of the complexities of assisted reproduction treatment. I was inspired to take you through a patient’s journey and allow you to feel what it may feel to walk in the patient’s shoes."

You Are Not Alone- NIAW Series

I remember the first patient I ever got pregnant. She was a physician’s wife. They were so elated that they were finally going to have the family they had dreamed of. They were so appreciative, not only to me, but the miracle that allowed it to happen.

Alone in my Office - NIAW Series

Alone in my office, I let out a small yelp. Then a loud “Yes!” Immediately, I had two nurses and one front desk staff at my door. They knew I wasn’t in distress; they knew it was good news...

SART Unveils New Tool To Calculate IVF Success

A new calculator allows patients to enter some basic statistics such as age, weight, and infertility diagnosis and it will present them with information about how likely they will be able to have a child in 1, 2, or 3 IVF cycles.

Fertility Counseling For Cancer Patients

You should know if your surgery, chemo, or radiation will alter your fertility or render you infertile. Since survival rate after cancer diagnosis is getting better every day, thinking about the long term goals for your life is critical.

Egg Vitrification

Egg vitrification, or egg freezing, may help women who are not yet ready to conceive but wish to be able to preserve their fertility.

Preparing For Pregnancy 2015: Part 2 – Men

In "Preparing for Pregnancy 2015: Part 2 – Men," Dr. Sgarlata offers ideas to men planning on fathering a child. He stresses the importance of how planning ahead allows both women and men to be proactive vs. reactive.

Preparing for Pregnancy 2015: Part 1 – Women

In "Preparing for Pregnancy 2015: Part 1 – Women," Dr. Sgarlata offers ideas to women preparing for a successful pregnancy. He stresses the importance of how planning ahead allows both women and men to be proactive vs. reactive.

Predicting Ovulation With Urinary LH Surge Testing

By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata – Before an egg is released from the ovary during ovulation, there is a surge in the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland, known as “LH surge.”

Naturopathic Medicine & Infertility

By Dr. Aumatma, a naturopathic doctor (N.D.) with 12 years of experience. Naturopathic medicine can help discover deeper issues contributing to a couple's inability to conceive. Learn how the use of natural substances can help rebalance the body.

Preparing for Egg Freezing

Egg freezing offers women another option toward their family planning. Dr. Sgarlata offers 12 suggestions to help women prepare for an elective egg freezing cycle.

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Thanksgiving is coming and we are "supposed" to be thankful. But what do you do if you aren't feeling that way?

Egg Donation, Pregnancy and Pre-eclampsia

For patients with diminished ovarian reserve or premature menopause, egg donation is a true blessing. However, a recent study out of France has shown that pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure) is 4 times more common in pregnancies conceived through donor eggs.

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.

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 pregnancy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 and cope with their emotions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 and one healthy baby. But unfortunately this is not reality.

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.

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 fertility treatment.

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 an embryo doesn’t result in a healthy baby.

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 suited for you. Here is a mathematical analysis to help you understand your options.

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.

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 comes down to the decision between one and two – embryos, that is.

Ovarian Reserve - How Many Eggs Are in Your Basket?

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 be with infertility treatment and importance of time.

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.

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 (Natural Cycle IVF), or using a combination of oral and low dose injectable medication (Minimal Stimulation IVF).

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.

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 defects in children born from reproductive technologies.

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 full infertility coverage.

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 the difference.

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.

"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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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?

Krispy Kreme Donuts

By Dr. Mary Hinckley - The Krispy Kreme Donut Factory: I often use this analogy when explaining ovarian function to patients.

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.

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.

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.

The Gift of Life

An excerpt from a published article about Third Party Reproduction featuring Mahshid Albrecht, RSC's Egg Donor Manager

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.