Center for Women’s Reproductive Care at Columbia University Medical Center http://columbiafertility.org Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:47:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Egg Freezing 101: What You Need to Know http://columbiafertility.org/egg-freezing-101/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=egg-freezing-101 http://columbiafertility.org/egg-freezing-101/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:47:25 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=5136 If you’re a woman 30 and older and you haven’t conceived yet – or would like to again in the future – chances are you can metaphorically hear the seconds, minutes, and even hours of your biological clock ticking away. Yet, the idea that a woman has an “expiration date” to have a child is old-fashioned, at best. There are several methods you can try in order to increase your odds of having a baby, one of which is egg freezing. Dr. Briana Rudick, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Fertility Program for Female Same Sex Couples at the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care, explains this process and how it can work in your favor. What is egg freezing? Egg freezing is a process in which a woman undergoes ovarian stimulation to grow multiple eggs. The eggs are then removed in a procedure called egg retrieval and frozen for later use. It essentially allows a woman to act as her own future egg donor. Who would you recommend egg freezing to? Anyone who has not gotten pregnant by the age of 35. What is the best recommended age to get your eggs frozen? The younger the better. You need to balance the chance of meeting someone and where you are in your career with the likelihood of getting pregnant by a certain age. I think young 30s makes the most sense because so much can happen between your 20s and your 30s. Women in their 30s are starting to have an idea of where their life is headed and whether they see themselves in a serious relationship. If not, then they should think about freezing. What […]

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If you’re a woman 30 and older and you haven’t conceived yet – or would like to again in the future – chances are you can metaphorically hear the seconds, minutes, and even hours of your biological clock ticking away.

Yet, the idea that a woman has an “expiration date” to have a child is old-fashioned, at best. There are several methods you can try in order to increase your odds of having a baby, one of which is egg freezing. Dr. Briana Rudick, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Fertility Program for Female Same Sex Couples at the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care, explains this process and how it can work in your favor.

What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing is a process in which a woman undergoes ovarian stimulation to grow multiple eggs. The eggs are then removed in a procedure called egg retrieval and frozen for later use. It essentially allows a woman to act as her own future egg donor.

Who would you recommend egg freezing to?

Anyone who has not gotten pregnant by the age of 35.

What is the best recommended age to get your eggs frozen?

The younger the better. You need to balance the chance of meeting someone and where you are in your career with the likelihood of getting pregnant by a certain age. I think young 30s makes the most sense because so much can happen between your 20s and your 30s. Women in their 30s are starting to have an idea of where their life is headed and whether they see themselves in a serious relationship. If not, then they should think about freezing.

What is the process a woman goes through when deciding to have her eggs frozen?

Possibly being on birth control pills first, she is then stimulated with gonadotropins (injectable medications) for an average of 10 days. After that, she undergoes egg retrieval on the 12th day. The egg retrieval is under anesthesia.

What are the pros and cons to having your eggs frozen?

Pros: possible pregnancy in the future if having difficulty conceiving. A huge source of fertility issues revolve around women waiting too long to start trying. Chance of pregnancy always depends upon the age of the woman because the quality of the eggs is directly related to a woman’s age. It doesn’t matter if you are the healthiest, most organic person in the world, age is age. Another pro is that it’s a two week process, so it’s fast.

Cons: money, including yearly storage fees. The other con is that you don’t really know what you’re ending up with. You could freeze eggs and none of them actually turn into a viable embryo, much less a pregnancy. This is why I state that it’s an investment in a chance of pregnancy, NOT a guarantee.

What are some myths about egg freezing?

Myth 1: that it’s a guarantee. It’s not. It’s an investment in a chance of future pregnancy. Everything has a success rate, and so does this. Typical success rates are a 5-6 percent chance of pregnancy per egg. This is why we aim to freeze as many as possible.

Myth 2: just because you freeze them that means you have to use them. Not true. We usually encourage patients to try on their own first, and then only if unsuccessful use the frozen eggs. Or better yet, save them for a second or third child. Probably less than half of women who freeze eggs for elective (social) reasons will use them.

Myth 3: the hormones will make you crazy and you have to come in everyday for ultrasounds and blood draws. In reality, most women do great on the medications, and they are fully functional and able to do their job. Very rarely do we hear about strong side effects from these medications. You do not come in every day.

Myth 4: my insurance will cover it. Very rarely does an insurance company cover elective egg freezing. Your insurance company may cover IVF if, and only if, you have a diagnosis of infertility. But if you don’t have a diagnosis of infertility, then the egg freezing is “elective” and most insurance companies don’t cover it. So it really is an investment in yourself.

Myth 5, the biggest myth of all: there is a single test that tells us whether you are fertile or not. No such thing. If you try to get pregnant and you succeed, you are fertile. If you try to get pregnant and you don’t succeed, you are not. The number of eggs left in the ovary is not synonymous with fertility. The one thing that is 100 percent true: fertility decreases with increasing age.

What are your personal thoughts on egg freezing?

All women who want to one day have a baby should think about doing it. I don’t care what you do for a living. Your biology is probably not as flexible as your career. I would have frozen my eggs if I hadn’t had a baby by the age of 35. I have emphasized to all my female relatives who are in their young 30s to think about it. It’s not a guarantee. But at least it’s a chance. If you don’t’ use them for the first baby, but you decide you want a second or third baby, they can be used for that too.

CWRC is pleased to offer the most advanced procedures available from our experienced and exemplary faculty at Columbia University Medical Center. Our physicians are happy to discuss your individual needs and the comparative advantages of these treatment options with you. To learn more about egg freezing, call (646) 756-8294 or visit our Fertility Services page.

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An Apple a Day and Other Principles That Increase Fertility http://columbiafertility.org/principles-that-increase-fertility/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=principles-that-increase-fertility http://columbiafertility.org/principles-that-increase-fertility/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:00:45 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=5127 For more than 20 years, Dr. Rachel A. McConnell, assistant professor for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, has been in practice. Time and time again, she has listened as her OB/GYN patients trust untruths about what increases – and decreases – fertility for women trying to conceive. So what are these beliefs? Here are some patient statements: “Age is not a problem because I exercise and eat healthy.” “I am going to stop smoking when I become pregnant; it is not a problem right now.” “I am overweight, but that is not the problem; I just have irregular periods sometimes.” “My partner does not have a problem; he already has children.” Sounds familiar? If you are a couple trying to conceive, it might be tempting to believe some of these reports. But they – and others like it –  are not accurate. In reality, what some consider fact is in actuality fiction. Certain elements, like those mentioned above, can hurt or increase fertility – and you probably don’t even know it. Separating Fact from Fiction So how does Dr. McConnell respond? “I educate each patient about their particular situation, and we discuss how it may contribute to their infertility,” she says. When discussing “particular situations,” Dr. McConnell counsels prospective parents about behaviors that, for an average person, can – and probably will – cause some medical risk. But she warns that for those trying to conceive, what may seem like common daily activities can create an even higher percentage of complications as their fertility decreases. Misconceptions about fertility are so rampant that Women’s Health recently published an article called “17 Weird Things That Can Mess with Your Fertility.” The […]

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For more than 20 years, Dr. Rachel A. McConnell, assistant professor for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, has been in practice. Time and time again, she has listened as her OB/GYN patients trust untruths about what increases – and decreases – fertility for women trying to conceive.

So what are these beliefs? Here are some patient statements:
“Age is not a problem because I exercise and eat healthy.”
“I am going to stop smoking when I become pregnant; it is not a problem right now.”
“I am overweight, but that is not the problem; I just have irregular periods sometimes.”
“My partner does not have a problem; he already has children.”

Sounds familiar? If you are a couple trying to conceive, it might be tempting to believe some of these reports. But they – and others like it –  are not accurate. In reality, what some consider fact is in actuality fiction. Certain elements, like those mentioned above, can hurt or increase fertility – and you probably don’t even know it.

Separating Fact from Fiction

So how does Dr. McConnell respond? “I educate each patient about their particular situation, and we discuss how it may contribute to their infertility,” she says.

When discussing “particular situations,” Dr. McConnell counsels prospective parents about behaviors that, for an average person, can – and probably will – cause some medical risk. But she warns that for those trying to conceive, what may seem like common daily activities can create an even higher percentage of complications as their fertility decreases.

Misconceptions about fertility are so rampant that Women’s Health recently published an article called “17 Weird Things That Can Mess with Your Fertility.” The blog provides information on common fertility fallacies so those “trying to get pregnant can learn what lifestyle changes might be in stock.”

“CWRC will educate you with the causes of infertility and explain how your particular health history may be causing your infertility.”

The article lists common factors that can impair fertility, such as medications, junk food, stress, poor oral health, folic acid deficiencies, and smoking. However, it also sights the more bizarre behaviors that can decrease fertility, such as artificial nighttime light exposure, lubricants, and phthalates – a group of synthetic chemicals used in plastics and some cosmetics.

Are These Findings Substantiated?

Dr. McConnell agrees with the article’s findings, especially one in particular if you want to increase fertility. “Smoking is discouraged for both men and women who are trying to conceive. Smoking has been shown to accelerate the onset of menopause; therefore, it is plausible that it can delay conception. Also, some studies have shown that it takes almost twice as long for smokers to conceive with IVF compared to nonsmokers.” She adds, “As far as the male is concerned, abnormalities are seen in semen and sperm tests of smokers, but conclusive evidence of it causing male infertility has not been noted.”

Another important factor for fertile health is a woman’s weight. “Both underweight and overweight women may have difficulty conceiving due to inadequate or no ovulation,” explains Dr. McConnell. “Women who are overweight have too much estrogen, and women who are underweight have too little estrogen. Hormones must be balanced to have regular periods so ovulation can occur.”

So what can a woman do to increase fertility? Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and do things to decrease stress levels, such as arts and crafts or meditation. And if you are currently looking for ways to boost your fertility, you should stay active, take multivitamins (preferably prenatal vitamins), use an ovulation predictor kit to help determine your most fertile time, and avoid excessive intake of caffeine and alcohol.

If you find this issue confusing – or have trouble understanding the many complicated issues that arise in reproductive health – don’t worry. You’re not alone. The Center for Women’s Reproductive Care (CWRC) is here to help.

“CWRC will educate you with the causes of infertility and explain how your particular health history may be causing your infertility,” says Dr. McConnell. “Also, CWRC offers comprehensive testing for infertility and provides cutting-edge treatments for your infertility needs.”

To learn more, please visit our Success Rates page or contact us directly.

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Study Finds Genetic Anomalies Contribute to Congenital Heart Disease http://columbiafertility.org/study-congenital-heart-disease/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=study-congenital-heart-disease http://columbiafertility.org/study-congenital-heart-disease/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:51:13 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=5107 Author Helen Keller wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart.” It’s a recognizable feeling to many expecting parents: to love their unborn child before he or she enters the world. But what happens when their heart is weakened due to congenital heart disease (CHD)? Will they be able to live a long, healthy, and loving life? Here is a statistic every parent should know: heart defects, which effect blood flow to the heart and its surrounding vessels, are among the most common birth defects – affecting approximately 9 out of every 1,000 newborns according to the American Heart Association – and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. In a recent study, cytogeneticist Dorothy Warburton, PhD, epidemiologist Jennie Kline, PhD, and other contributors from Columbia University Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics analyzed data gathered from 223 families, each with at least one child affected by CHD. The study concluded that genetic anomalies –conditions caused by abnormalities in parental genes – contribute to CHD. The full article is featured in the current issue of Connections (2014 Summer Edition, page 4). …heart defects, which effect blood flow to the heart and its surrounding vessels, are among the most common birth defects – affecting approximately 9 out of every 1,000 newborns according to the American Heart Association – and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. Early detection can assist in the treatment of CHD. Some types of CHD can be diagnosed during pregnancy, through an ultrasound or a fetal echocardiogram, while others may only become apparent after birth. If a baby is born with cyanotic heart disease or a […]

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Author Helen Keller wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart.” It’s a recognizable feeling to many expecting parents: to love their unborn child before he or she enters the world. But what happens when their heart is weakened due to congenital heart disease (CHD)? Will they be able to live a long, healthy, and loving life?

Here is a statistic every parent should know: heart defects, which effect blood flow to the heart and its surrounding vessels, are among the most common birth defects – affecting approximately 9 out of every 1,000 newborns according to the American Heart Association – and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. In a recent study, cytogeneticist Dorothy Warburton, PhD, epidemiologist Jennie Kline, PhD, and other contributors from Columbia University Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics analyzed data gathered from 223 families, each with at least one child affected by CHD. The study concluded that genetic anomalies –conditions caused by abnormalities in parental genes – contribute to CHD. The full article is featured in the current issue of Connections (2014 Summer Edition, page 4).

…heart defects, which effect blood flow to the heart and its surrounding vessels, are among the most common birth defects – affecting approximately 9 out of every 1,000 newborns according to the American Heart Association – and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths.

Early detection can assist in the treatment of CHD. Some types of CHD can be diagnosed during pregnancy, through an ultrasound or a fetal echocardiogram, while others may only become apparent after birth. If a baby is born with cyanotic heart disease or a group of many different heart defects that result in a low blood oxygen level, the diagnosis is usually made shortly after birth due to the bluish color of their skin, a condition called cyanosis. Whereas if a baby is born with a septal defect or an obstruction defect, the symptoms may only be noticeable several months or even years later.

To learn more about CHD, treatment options, and more, visit our Pediatrics Cardiology page.

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Baby Boom: Understanding the CDC’s Birth Rates for Older Women http://columbiafertility.org/cdc-birth-rates-older-women/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cdc-birth-rates-older-women http://columbiafertility.org/cdc-birth-rates-older-women/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:37:45 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=5094 “When are you going to have a baby?” Chances are you will hear that question once – if not numerous times – during what is considered to be your “childbearing years.” And if you’re like many women in their late 30s and 40s who haven’t had a child, or would like to have another one in the future, the answer to this question can be worrisome as the difficulty of conceiving increases with age. But there’s good news. According to preliminary data for birth rates recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women 35 and older are reportedly having more children. As a matter of fact, the number of babies born to women in their 30s and 40s increased by one percent in 2013, with 10.5 births per 1,000 women between 40 and 44 – the group’s highest rate since 1966. For women over 45, the rate grew to 0.8 births per 1,000 women from 0.7 in 2012, a seven percent increase in the total number of births for this faction. A number of news outlets are reporting that these results can be attributed to the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other reproductive technology. But Dr. Mark V. Sauer, Program Director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care (CWRC) and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, cautions women who are in this age group and trying to conceive not to read too much into the CDC’s report. “…the biology of the older egg cannot be manipulated. So I think the ‘bump up’ in rates noted in this SART data reflects a ‘selection bias’ of older women who get embryo transfers only if they produce blastocysts, […]

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“When are you going to have a baby?”

Chances are you will hear that question once – if not numerous times – during what is considered to be your “childbearing years.” And if you’re like many women in their late 30s and 40s who haven’t had a child, or would like to have another one in the future, the answer to this question can be worrisome as the difficulty of conceiving increases with age. But there’s good news.

According to preliminary data for birth rates recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women 35 and older are reportedly having more children. As a matter of fact, the number of babies born to women in their 30s and 40s increased by one percent in 2013, with 10.5 births per 1,000 women between 40 and 44 – the group’s highest rate since 1966. For women over 45, the rate grew to 0.8 births per 1,000 women from 0.7 in 2012, a seven percent increase in the total number of births for this faction.

A number of news outlets are reporting that these results can be attributed to the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other reproductive technology. But Dr. Mark V. Sauer, Program Director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care (CWRC) and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, cautions women who are in this age group and trying to conceive not to read too much into the CDC’s report.

“…the biology of the older egg cannot be manipulated. So I think the ‘bump up’ in rates noted in this SART data reflects a ‘selection bias’ of older women who get embryo transfers only if they produce blastocysts, or an embryo that has advanced to the five- or six-day stage (most older patients do not produce blastocysts, and therefore, do not have an embryo transfer and are not included in the stats).”

“What people should basically understand is that these very small fluctuations are not necessarily statistically significant and are more likely to reflect selection bias than methodological improvements,” says Dr. Sauer. “For instance, in reviewing Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) SART/CDC data over the past 26 years of reporting, very little change in delivery rates per embryo transfer is noted for women over the age of 40, in general. This is in striking contrast to the vast improvements noted in younger women (less than 35-years-old) or recipients of donor eggs (egg donors are typically in their 20s).”

What led to the results?

So what contributed to the increase of births for this demographic? Dr. Sauer says while a percentage of the results can be attributed to “improvements in laboratory cultures, imaging, medications, transfer techniques, and such, the biology of the older egg cannot be manipulated. So I think the ‘bump up’ in rates noted in this SART data reflects a ‘selection bias’ of older women who get embryo transfers only if they produce blastocysts, or an embryo that has advanced to the five- or six-day stage (most older patients do not produce blastocysts, and therefore, do not have an embryo transfer and are not included in the stats),” he says.

If you’re in this age group and are having trouble conceiving, look for proven results. At CWRC, we have achieved success rates among both younger and older women with IVF treatment – for women under 40-years-old, successful deliveries occur for 33 percent of patients ages 35-37 and 25 percent of patients ages 38-40. With no treatment, the chances of these women having a baby would have been between 0.05 percent and 4 percent, at the most.

CWRC can help

We have a history of making treatment accessible to a wider population of patients, including even the most challenging cases. That means the odds for you, if you are not one of those challenging cases, are even higher. Even if you are, we have achieved excellent birth rates in assisted reproductive technology for more than a decade. In fact, more than 8,000 babies have been born as a result of IVF treatment at the Center and patients with diverse and difficult histories of infertility are now proud mothers, thanks to our mission.

There are many different types of treatments, of course. The vast majority of couples receive less aggressive treatments, such as education about timing and ovulation induction with fertility drugs. These are successful in about 80 percent of cases. If that doesn’t work, we can then try more aggressive therapies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or egg/sperm donation, and though most women need more than one attempt, the majority end up with a baby eventually.

For more information about how we can make the odds work in your favor, please visit our Success Rates page or contact us directly.

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A Moment in Time, a Lifetime of Privacy Issues? http://columbiafertility.org/lifetime-privacy-issues/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lifetime-privacy-issues http://columbiafertility.org/lifetime-privacy-issues/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:00:28 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=5023 It is a visual that has been passed down from generation to generation, from the time when you were a child to now as a parent: the classic photomontage hanging in the reception area of any pediatrician’s or obstetrician’s office. On display are the framed faces of children whom the physician has cared for – oftentimes spanning the patient’s entire adolescent life – capturing fragments of time, ranging from the first moment a baby enters the world to a photo of that same child graduating from high school. As harmless and heartwarming as this act may seem, a question has surfaced regarding the use of patient photo collages in a doctor’s practice: Is it an invasion of the HIPAA Privacy Rule section, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information? Fueling this debate are social media outlets such as Instagram and Facebook, where an individual can snap a photo anywhere at any time, inciting parental fear that predators may use these images in a grievous matter. In a recent New York Times article titled “Baby Pictures at the Doctor’s? Cute, Sure, but Illegal”, Dr. Mark V. Sauer, Program Director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, offers his perspective on this topic. “I’ve had patients ask me, ‘Where’s your baby board?’” Dr. Sauer explained. “We just tell them the truth, which is that we no longer post them because of concerns over privacy.” Read the full article in the New York Times. Watch the video of Dr. Mark V. Sauer on YouTube

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It is a visual that has been passed down from generation to generation, from the time when you were a child to now as a parent: the classic photomontage hanging in the reception area of any pediatrician’s or obstetrician’s office. On display are the framed faces of children whom the physician has cared for – oftentimes spanning the patient’s entire adolescent life – capturing fragments of time, ranging from the first moment a baby enters the world to a photo of that same child graduating from high school.

As harmless and heartwarming as this act may seem, a question has surfaced regarding the use of patient photo collages in a doctor’s practice: Is it an invasion of the HIPAA Privacy Rule section, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information? Fueling this debate are social media outlets such as Instagram and Facebook, where an individual can snap a photo anywhere at any time, inciting parental fear that predators may use these images in a grievous matter.

In a recent New York Times article titled “Baby Pictures at the Doctor’s? Cute, Sure, but Illegal”, Dr. Mark V. Sauer, Program Director of the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, offers his perspective on this topic.

“I’ve had patients ask me, ‘Where’s your baby board?’” Dr. Sauer explained. “We just tell them the truth, which is that we no longer post them because of concerns over privacy.”

Read the full article in the New York Times.

Watch the video of Dr. Mark V. Sauer on YouTube

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Are Donor Eggs Right for You? http://columbiafertility.org/egg-donation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=egg-donation http://columbiafertility.org/egg-donation/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:00:02 +0000 http://columbiafertility.org/?p=5002 In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) requires an egg and a sperm, of course. But if a woman is unable to produce a viable egg, she may also need to turn to egg donation. Here at CWRC, we work with such women to find just the right donor. First, the woman who will receive the donor egg in order to become pregnant undergoes preliminary testing to determine if egg donation is the right choice for her. This assessment includes blood tests, hormonal screening, infectious disease and genetic testing, cervical cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and a Pap smear. In addition, imaging studies will assess the physical integrity and structure of her uterus. A mammogram and an echocardiogram may also be required. If the woman is a good candidate, we will then help her select from a pool of anonymous egg donors. These are healthy young women from the New York area who are recruited through various avenues, such as advertisements and word of mouth. They are screened in a comprehensive, multi-step process that includes the examination of medical, genetic, ancestral, social, educational, and reproductive histories. Recruited donors must also have a valid social security number. Are donor eggs right for you? For more information on how donor eggs with IVF works, please visit our Egg Donors page or contact us directly.

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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) requires an egg and a sperm, of course. But if a woman is unable to produce a viable egg, she may also need to turn to egg donation. Here at CWRC, we work with such women to find just the right donor.

First, the woman who will receive the donor egg in order to become pregnant undergoes preliminary testing to determine if egg donation is the right choice for her. This assessment includes blood tests, hormonal screening, infectious disease and genetic testing, cervical cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and a Pap smear. In addition, imaging studies will assess the physical integrity and structure of her uterus. A mammogram and an echocardiogram may also be required.

If the woman is a good candidate, we will then help her select from a pool of anonymous egg donors. These are healthy young women from the New York area who are recruited through various avenues, such as advertisements and word of mouth. They are screened in a comprehensive, multi-step process that includes the examination of medical, genetic, ancestral, social, educational, and reproductive histories. Recruited donors must also have a valid social security number.

Are donor eggs right for you? For more information on how donor eggs with IVF works, please visit our Egg Donors page or contact us directly.

Download the PDF

Still looking for more information?

To learn more about egg recipients and the egg donation process, download our Donor Oocyte (Egg) Recipents Handbook

Download the PDF

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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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