Center for Women’s Reproductive Care at Columbia University Medical Center http://columbiafertility.org Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:54:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Male Fertility Experience http://columbiafertility.org/male-fertility-experience/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=male-fertility-experience http://columbiafertility.org/male-fertility-experience/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:00:21 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4924 Many people assume that most fertility problems come from the female and that women are more likely than men to be the cause of not conceiving. Not so. Male factors cause or contribute to subfertility in 50% of cases, and men can be just as upset and frustrated by the process as women. In addition, because many assisted reproductive techniques, such as intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization, involve far more interventions for the woman, many men can feel helpless throughout the process. They may feel like their only job is to provide sperm and support their partner through her fertility treatments. Even worse, when a male factor such as low sperm count or low sperm motility is present, men often feel like they have failed at their only job. It is critical that a specialist who focuses on male fertility evaluate men who are having fertility problems. This evaluation can be reassuring and may result in changes that can improve not only fertility but also overall male health. Meeting with a male reproductive specialist can replace feelings of helplessness with feelings of empowerment—knowing that you are doing all you can do to improve your chances of conceiving a child with your partner.

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Many people assume that most fertility problems come from the female and that women are more likely than men to be the cause of not conceiving. Not so. Male factors cause or contribute to subfertility in 50% of cases, and men can be just as upset and frustrated by the process as women.

In addition, because many assisted reproductive techniques, such as intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization, involve far more interventions for the woman, many men can feel helpless throughout the process. They may feel like their only job is to provide sperm and support their partner through her fertility treatments. Even worse, when a male factor such as low sperm count or low sperm motility is present, men often feel like they have failed at their only job.

It is critical that a specialist who focuses on male fertility evaluate men who are having fertility problems. This evaluation can be reassuring and may result in changes that can improve not only fertility but also overall male health.

Meeting with a male reproductive specialist can replace feelings of helplessness with feelings of empowerment—knowing that you are doing all you can do to improve your chances of conceiving a child with your partner.

Peter J. Stahl, MD

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Author: Peter J. Stahl, MD

Peter J. Stahl, MD is the Director of Male Reproductive & Sexual Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Urology at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.

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Unexplained Infertility Explained http://columbiafertility.org/unexplained-infertility/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unexplained-infertility http://columbiafertility.org/unexplained-infertility/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:00:44 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4929 As the term implies, unexplained infertility is a type of infertility whose cause is unknown. The diagnosis is given to couples who have tried to conceive for 1 year (when the female’s age is under 35 years) or 6 months (when the female’s age is over 35 years) after all other causes have been ruled out, i.e. ovulatory function, uterine cavity, fallopian tubes, and semen analysis are normal. When deciding on a treatment, we take into consideration the female’s age, her ovarian reserve (how many eggs she has), the duration of the couple’s infertility, and how many children the couple would like to have. Effective treatments include superovulation and intrauterine insemination (IUI), and when those don’t work our high success rate with in vitro fertilization (IVF) should reassure couples that their chances of “taking a baby home” are excellent.

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As the term implies, unexplained infertility is a type of infertility whose cause is unknown. The diagnosis is given to couples who have tried to conceive for 1 year (when the female’s age is under 35 years) or 6 months (when the female’s age is over 35 years) after all other causes have been ruled out, i.e. ovulatory function, uterine cavity, fallopian tubes, and semen analysis are normal.

When deciding on a treatment, we take into consideration the female’s age, her ovarian reserve (how many eggs she has), the duration of the couple’s infertility, and how many children the couple would like to have. Effective treatments include superovulation and intrauterine insemination (IUI), and when those don’t work our high success rate with in vitro fertilization (IVF) should reassure couples that their chances of “taking a baby home” are excellent.

Ralf C. Zimmermann, MD
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Author: Ralf C. Zimmermann, MD

Ralf C. Zimmermann, MD is an Associate Professor for the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center.

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The Food and Fertility Connection http://columbiafertility.org/food-and-fertility/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=food-and-fertility http://columbiafertility.org/food-and-fertility/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:00:17 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4941 Angela Le, a licensed acupuncturist, says she has seen firsthand how better eating habits help women going through fertility treatment, and in her regularly scheduled Fertility and Nutrition workshop, she can show how you can benefit from a healthier diet too. “Many people feel that food doesn’t matter, but unhealthy foods increase stress on your body,” says Le. “Reducing stress makes a really big difference in helping women get pregnant.” Her seminar covers the foods that add stress—alcohol, sugars, caffeine, hormone-laden meats and the like—and teaches you how to both identify and avoid those toxins. Then she teaches you how to incorporate more natural, healthier foods into your diet to help your body prepare for pregnancy. Making these changes also gives women a sense of empowerment. “Women can feel like they have no control over the process, but changing the way you eat and improving your lifestyle can help you feel stronger,” she says. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below or contact us directly at 646-756-8294.

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Angela Le, a licensed acupuncturist, says she has seen firsthand how better eating habits help women going through fertility treatment, and in her regularly scheduled Fertility and Nutrition workshop, she can show how you can benefit from a healthier diet too.

“Many people feel that food doesn’t matter, but unhealthy foods increase stress on your body,” says Le. “Reducing stress makes a really big difference in helping women get pregnant.”

Her seminar covers the foods that add stress—alcohol, sugars, caffeine, hormone-laden meats and the like—and teaches you how to both identify and avoid those toxins. Then she teaches you how to incorporate more natural, healthier foods into your diet to help your body prepare for pregnancy.

Making these changes also gives women a sense of empowerment. “Women can feel like they have no control over the process, but changing the way you eat and improving your lifestyle can help you feel stronger,” she says.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below or contact us directly at 646-756-8294.

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Dr. Mark V. Sauer & Dr. Janet M. Choi Named in the New York Magazine Best Doctors List 2014 http://columbiafertility.org/new-york-magazine-best-doctors-list-2014/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-york-magazine-best-doctors-list-2014 http://columbiafertility.org/new-york-magazine-best-doctors-list-2014/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:48:24 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4936 Dr. Mark V. Sauer and Dr. Janet M. Choi were both named in the New York Magazine Best Doctors List 2014. The new issue also lists 3 additional physicians who are faculty members from other divisions of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at CUMC. CWRC wishes to congratulate them all on this wonderful achievement. About the New York Magazine Best Doctors List Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, a New York City research and information firm, determines the rankings for the New York Magazine Best Doctors List 2014 and is based on a regional peer-review survey that asks thousands of licensed physicians to nominate the physicians who, in their judgment, are the best in their field and related fields. About Our 2014 Winners Dr. Sauer, Program Director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care, has specialized in reproductive medicine since 1986. He is known internationally for his innovative research in assisted reproduction and is recognized as one of the pioneers responsible for the development of egg and embryo donation. Dr. Sauer also established one of the most competitive training programs for fellows in reproductive endocrinology and is responsible for advancing clinical, basic and stem cell research while training the future leaders in the specialty. Dr. Choi, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at CUMC and completed a fellowship at the Cornell’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility. She returned to CUMC as an attending in 2003 and currently directs an oncofertility program helping women with cancer preserve their fertility options. Dr. Choi has a reputation for innovation and excellence and continues to make use of the most advanced […]

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Dr. Mark V. Sauer and Dr. Janet M. Choi were both named in the New York Magazine Best Doctors List 2014. The new issue also lists 3 additional physicians who are faculty members from other divisions of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at CUMC. CWRC wishes to congratulate them all on this wonderful achievement.

About the New York Magazine Best Doctors List

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, a New York City research and information firm, determines the rankings for the New York Magazine Best Doctors List 2014 and is based on a regional peer-review survey that asks thousands of licensed physicians to nominate the physicians who, in their judgment, are the best in their field and related fields.

About Our 2014 Winners

Dr. Sauer, Program Director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care, has specialized in reproductive medicine since 1986. He is known internationally for his innovative research in assisted reproduction and is recognized as one of the pioneers responsible for the development of egg and embryo donation. Dr. Sauer also established one of the most competitive training programs for fellows in reproductive endocrinology and is responsible for advancing clinical, basic and stem cell research while training the future leaders in the specialty.

Dr. Choi, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at CUMC and completed a fellowship at the Cornell’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility. She returned to CUMC as an attending in 2003 and currently directs an oncofertility program helping women with cancer preserve their fertility options. Dr. Choi has a reputation for innovation and excellence and continues to make use of the most advanced assisted reproductive technology.

Feel free to share your congrats with our doctors who made the list below in the comments.

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Surrogacy or gestational carrier? http://columbiafertility.org/surrogacy-gestational-carrier/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=surrogacy-gestational-carrier http://columbiafertility.org/surrogacy-gestational-carrier/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:22:03 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4915 Some couples facing infertility may need to consider using a surrogate or a gestational carrier. What is the difference? Surrogacy: a woman is inseminated with the sperm of the prospective father in order to conceive and carry a child to be reared by the biologic (genetic) father and his partner. The surrogate is genetically related to the child but does not raise the child. The biologic father and his partner usually must adopt the child after its birth. Gestational carrier: a woman agrees to have a couple’s fertilized egg (embryo) implanted in her uterus. The gestational carrier carries the pregnancy for the couple, who usually has to adopt the child. The carrier does not provide the egg and is therefore not biologically (genetically) related to the child. Questions? Comments? Please post them below.

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Some couples facing infertility may need to consider using a surrogate or a gestational carrier. What is the difference?

Surrogacy:
a woman is inseminated with the sperm of the prospective father in order to conceive and carry a child to be reared by the biologic (genetic) father and his partner. The surrogate is genetically related to the child but does not raise the child. The biologic father and his partner usually must adopt the child after its birth.

Gestational carrier:
a woman agrees to have a couple’s fertilized egg (embryo) implanted in her uterus. The gestational carrier carries the pregnancy for the couple, who usually has to adopt the child. The carrier does not provide the egg and is therefore not biologically (genetically) related to the child.

Questions? Comments? Please post them below.

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Dr. Sauer’s research could help fight disease http://columbiafertility.org/dr-sauers-research-help-fight-disease/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dr-sauers-research-help-fight-disease http://columbiafertility.org/dr-sauers-research-help-fight-disease/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 14:00:27 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4896 A team of scientists, including Dr. Mark Sauer and researchers at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute, has created the first disease-specific embryonic stem cell line with two sets of chromosomes. This discovery may allow scientists to make personalized stem cells that can be used to develop cell therapies to combat disease. “This project is a great example of how enormous strides can be achieved when investigators in basic science and clinical medicine collaborate. I feel fortunate to have been able to participate in this important project,” - Dr. Sauer. As reported in the journal Nature, the researchers created embryonic stem cells from one adult donor with type 1 diabetes and a healthy control donor. Previous research had created such stem cells with three sets of chromosomes, which could not be used for new therapies. This new study shows how the investigators overcame the final hurdle in making a patient-specific embryonic stem cell line that has two sets of chromosomes, the normal number in human cells.   Read the full study online in the prestigious journal Nature.

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A team of scientists, including Dr. Mark Sauer and researchers at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute, has created the first disease-specific embryonic stem cell line with two sets of chromosomes. This discovery may allow scientists to make personalized stem cells that can be used to develop cell therapies to combat disease.

“This project is a great example of how enormous strides can be achieved when investigators in basic science and clinical medicine collaborate. I feel fortunate to have been able to participate in this important project,” - Dr. Sauer.

As reported in the journal Nature, the researchers created embryonic stem cells from one adult donor with type 1 diabetes and a healthy control donor. Previous research had created such stem cells with three sets of chromosomes, which could not be used for new therapies. This new study shows how the investigators overcame the final hurdle in making a patient-specific embryonic stem cell line that has two sets of chromosomes, the normal number in human cells.

 

ature, the, weekly journal of science cover, May 2014

Read the full study online in the prestigious journal Nature.

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Dr. Sauer Talks to the Washington Post http://columbiafertility.org/dr-sauer-talks-washington-post/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dr-sauer-talks-washington-post http://columbiafertility.org/dr-sauer-talks-washington-post/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 14:00:07 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4892 HIV-positive adults who want to have children often turn to assisted reproductive techniques. But a recent story in the Washington Post suggests that natural, unprotected sex may be a viable option for some HIV-positive individuals. The Post interviewed our own Dr. Mark Sauer for his thoughts on the matter. You can read what he has to say in the article, titled “As mixed-status HIV couples weigh risks, more choose to conceive the old-fashioned way”. Join our discussion below, and let us know your thoughts.

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HIV-positive adults who want to have children often turn to assisted reproductive techniques. But a recent story in the Washington Post suggests that natural, unprotected sex may be a viable option for some HIV-positive individuals.

The Post interviewed our own Dr. Mark Sauer for his thoughts on the matter. You can read what he has to say in the article, titled “As mixed-status HIV couples weigh risks, more choose to conceive the old-fashioned way”.

Join our discussion below, and let us know your thoughts.

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Dr. Sauer Talks to Time Magazine http://columbiafertility.org/dr-sauer-talks-time-magazine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dr-sauer-talks-time-magazine http://columbiafertility.org/dr-sauer-talks-time-magazine/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 15:42:54 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4886 Donating eggs for scientific research is a controversial issue and that controversy has been heating up recently. On Monday, Time magazine reported that two research studies have demonstrated the ability to insert healthy DNA into human egg cells that have had faulty DNA removed. A problem with this research is the lack of human eggs donated for science. Would compensating women who donate their eggs for research purposes, in the same way they are compensated for fertility treatments, help? Time asked our own Dr. Sauer for his thoughts on the matter. What does he think? Read the article on Time.com to find out. Then let us know your opinions in the comment section below.

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Donating eggs for scientific research is a controversial issue and that controversy has been heating up recently. On Monday, Time magazine reported that two research studies have demonstrated the ability to insert healthy DNA into human egg cells that have had faulty DNA removed.

A problem with this research is the lack of human eggs donated for science. Would compensating women who donate their eggs for research purposes, in the same way they are compensated for fertility treatments, help? Time asked our own Dr. Sauer for his thoughts on the matter.

What does he think? Read the article on Time.com to find out. Then let us know your opinions in the comment section below.

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Endometriosis & Infertility http://columbiafertility.org/endometriosis-infertility/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=endometriosis-infertility http://columbiafertility.org/endometriosis-infertility/#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:00:26 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4866 Endometriosis, a cause of female infertility, is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. Many women with endometriosis have severe cramping during their menstrual period and experience pain during or after sexual intercourse. Research shows that endometriosis is more common in women with fertility problems and that pregnancy rates among women with endometriosis tend to be lower than that of the general population. A common question we hear at CWRC is: “Can women with endometriosis be treated successfully?” Currently, there is not a cure for endometriosis and very few well-designed studies exist on the treatment of infertility associated with endometriosis; however, there is some evidence to suggest that surgical elimination of severe endometriosis decreases pelvic pain and increases chances of pregnancy Ovarian stimulation has also been shown to improve pregnancy rates in women with endometriosis. It is unclear whether in vitro fertilization (IVF) has any effect, but women with extensive endometriosis tend to have higher IVF success rates if they receive long-term medical treatment prior to their first IVF cycle. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Patient Services Manager

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Endometriosis, a cause of female infertility, is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. Many women with endometriosis have severe cramping during their menstrual period and experience pain during or after sexual intercourse. Research shows that endometriosis is more common in women with fertility problems and that pregnancy rates among women with endometriosis tend to be lower than that of the general population. A common question we hear at CWRC is: “Can women with endometriosis be treated successfully?”

Currently, there is not a cure for endometriosis and very few well-designed studies exist on the treatment of infertility associated with endometriosis; however, there is some evidence to suggest that surgical elimination of severe endometriosis decreases pelvic pain and increases chances of pregnancy

Ovarian stimulation has also been shown to improve pregnancy rates in women with endometriosis. It is unclear whether in vitro fertilization (IVF) has any effect, but women with extensive endometriosis tend to have higher IVF success rates if they receive long-term medical treatment prior to their first IVF cycle.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Patient Services Manager

Rachel A. McConnell, MD
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Author: Rachel A. McConnell, MD

Rachel A. McConnell, MD is an Assistant Professor for the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center.

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Dr. Mark Sauer’s Response to Marcy Darnovsky’s New York Times Op-Ed, “Genetically Modified Babies” http://columbiafertility.org/dr-mark-sauers-response-new-york-times/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dr-mark-sauers-response-new-york-times http://columbiafertility.org/dr-mark-sauers-response-new-york-times/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 18:06:57 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=4801 Research to Save Lives: A Response to “Genetically Modified Babies” by Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director at the Center for Genetics and Society (Op-Ed, Feb. 25) Every year, thousands of women give birth to children who will die as infants or young adults because of severe mitochondrial diseases. The procedure of mitochondrial transfer holds much promise of enabling these women to have healthy babies and removes the risk of disease in these children’s future offspring. “Designing babies” for purely elective reasons is deeply problematic, but permitting research to proceed to see whether women can avoid these horrific deaths has many advantages that shouldn’t be ignored. Regulations can restrict use of this technology to carefully agreed upon devastating diseases, to avoid potential wider use. The possibility of misuse should not deprive thousands of families from the potential benefits. We applaud the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to steward this journey forward, and we endorse efforts to continue research in this field responsibly. Robert Klitzman Mark V. Sauer New York, Feb. 26, 2014

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Research to Save Lives: A Response to “Genetically Modified Babies” by Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director at the Center for Genetics and Society (Op-Ed, Feb. 25)

Every year, thousands of women give birth to children who will die as infants or young adults because of severe mitochondrial diseases. The procedure of mitochondrial transfer holds much promise of enabling these women to have healthy babies and removes the risk of disease in these children’s future offspring.

“Designing babies” for purely elective reasons is deeply problematic, but permitting research to proceed to see whether women can avoid these horrific deaths has many advantages that shouldn’t be ignored. Regulations can restrict use of this technology to carefully agreed upon devastating diseases, to avoid potential wider use.

The possibility of misuse should not deprive thousands of families from the potential benefits. We applaud the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to steward this journey forward, and we endorse efforts to continue research in this field responsibly.

Robert Klitzman
Mark V. Sauer
New York, Feb. 26, 2014

Robert Klitzman, MD

Robert Klitzman, MD

A professor of psychiatry, is director of the masters bioethics program at Columbia University.

Mark Sauer, MD

Mark Sauer, MD

A professor of obstetrics and gynecology, is director of the assisted reproduction program at Columbia University.

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