Invia Fertility

    Specialists Blog

    Why Do We Start Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) on Day 5 of the Cycle?

    Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene) is a common medication used to treat infertility. It has been used in the United States since 1967. In patients that do not ovulate, clomiphene citrate is used ... read more

    Does Vitamin D influence anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) levels?

    Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) is now a well-established marker of ovarian reserve. AMH is released by the (granulosa) cells surrounding small (antral and pre-antral) follicles in the ovary. It ... read more

    Can You Do Genetic Testing on Frozen Embryos?

    Many patients who have been through an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle have blastocysts that have been frozen. These blastocysts are cryopreserved by a process known as vitrification, which is a ... read more

    What if my FSH level is normal but my AMH level is low?

    A cycle day-3 follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) level are commonly used to evaluate ovarian reserve. FSH level generally predicts pregnancy rates with in vitro ... read more

    When Egg Donation Is Recommended: Are You Talking to Us?

    As a couple, you have most probably been on the emotional roller coaster ride that comes with infertility treatment for any length of time. Going through the sequence of treatments from fertility ... read more

    Implantation Failure in IVF - Why Does It Happen?

    “My doctor said that my embryos looked picture-perfect, yet they failed to implant – why did this happen?” This is the question in the minds of women who undergo IVF failure, and this becomes a ... read more

    Why Does a Thin Endometrium Lower Embryo Implantation?

    For successful implantation to occur, an embryo needs a “receptive” uterine lining (endometrium). A thin endometrium can result in lower implantation of the embryo. In previous blogs, Katie Koss and ... read more

    How Does Cannabis Affect Male Fertility?

    Marijuana is a drug derived from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. Its main psychoactive component is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is linked to altered sensual perception, mood ... read more

    What Are the Risks of Being an Egg Donor?

    Egg donation is generally very safe with no long-term risks. Society would not permit a young, healthy woman to donate her eggs if the procedure was always dangerous. However, there are some ... read more

    All About Thawing Frozen Embryos

    In many cases couples decide to cryopreserve their remaining embryos after an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. They could freeze the embryos right after treatment before proceeding to a ... read more

    What is the Best Time to Get Pregnant?

    Many couples who are trying to get pregnant think that the more sex they have, the better. The truth is that there is only a small window each month during which a woman can become pregnant. This ... read more

    How Many Sperm are Needed for Intrauterine Insemination?

    Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a reasonable first step in patients with unexplained infertility, minimal or mild endometriosis and mild male factor. The pregnancy rate with IUI vs. intercourse in ... read more

    How to Increase AMH Levels on Your Own

    If you're having trouble getting pregnant, you've probably heard of anti-mullerian hormone or AMH. The level of the hormone's presence in the body is directly linked to the number of growing ... read more

    How Many Times Can You Donate Eggs?

    I’m often asked by donors how many cycles they are allowed to do and the answer is always six. But where did that number come from? Did we make it up? Can they go somewhere else and do more? read more

    Actually, Oral Contraceptives DO Lower Women's AMH Levels

    An anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) level is a test now routinely used to evaluate ovarian reserve. AMH levels were believed to NOT vary during the menstrual cycle and can be drawn any time. In a recent ... read more

    How Accurate Is a Home Pregnancy Test with IVF?

    10 days!? 12 days!? I have to wait how long to find out if I’m pregnant or not!? While patients engaged in IVF are scheduled as early as possible for their serum (blood) hCG level (pregnancy test), ... read more

    Eggs: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

    The importance of egg quality in women trying to conceive can not be stressed enough. Women are born with a certain, and finite, number of eggs. Even though there may be more eggs present in the ... read more

    Embryo Fragmentation: What Does It Mean?

    Embryo fragmentation is a fairly common occurance. It happens when there is an uneven division of the cells of the embryo. It's as if you were breaking apart a piece of crusty bread. When you try to ... read more

    Abnormal Ultrasound in Early Pregnancy

    In a previous blog we discussed the expected ultrasound findings in a normal intrauterine pregnancy. Variations from the expected pattern of development are worrisome or, if major, definitive for ... read more

    Tips to Help You Stay Sane While Waiting for Pregnancy Test Results

    The time between your insemination or embryo transfer and the pregnancy test result can be stressful. Here are some tips that may help you get through this potentially challenging period. read more

    Top 10 Facts about Cycle Day-3 Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Level

    1) It is generally accepted that as a woman ages, her ability to reproduce will diminish and she will begin having trouble getting pregnant. read more

    10 Facts About Metformin and PCOS

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common hormonal disorder that is one of the leading causes of infertility. Some women who have PCOS develop insulin resistance. This occurs when the ... read more

    Varicocele surgery: does it work?

    Varicocele is the presence of abnormally dilated veins in the scrotum. Its association with infertility, treatment and indications for varicocele surgery has been discussed in previous blogs. This ... read more

    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: What if All the Tests Are Normal?

    In approximately half the couples with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) the tests will all come back normal. These include tests for checking the uterine cavity (hysterosalpingogram, sonohysterogram, ... read more

    Optimizing Implantation: How Can We Treat a Thin Endometrium?

    In a previous blog post, I discussed how a thin uterine lining may reduce IVF success rates. In this post, we will discuss management of a thin uterine lining in the context of artificial cycles ... read more

    Fifth vs Sixth Day Blastocyst Grading

    During in vitro fertilization (IVF) in order for implantation and pregnancy to occur, the embryos must reach a stage of development known as ‘blastocyst’. Reaching the blastocyst stage is an integral ... read more

    Can I Avoid Having Progesterone Injections During IVF?

    Progesterone is an essential hormone needed to support pregnancy. It is produced naturally during both the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. In a normal menstrual cycle, once ovulation occurs, the ... read more

    Smoking and Infertility

    The number of people smoking has decreased significantly over the past 30 years. However, 30% of reproductive age women and 35% of reproductive age men in the United States still smoke cigarettes. ... read more

    I Have PCOS and I Don’t Ovulate. What’s the Best Fertility Treatment for Me?

    It is not uncommon for women with PCOS to have a problem with ovulation. Typically, the over-the-counter ovulation predictor kits do not work for PCOS patients because many PCOS patients will get ... read more

    Letrozole or Clomid - Which Drug is Best for PCOS Patients?

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 6 – 8% of women and is a common cause of infertility. Women with PCOS often have absent or irregular menses. They therefore either do not ovulate or ovulate ... read more

    Top 10 Facts About Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone and Fertility

    I have previously discussed the impact of the thyroid gland on female reproduction. Hypothyroidism (“low” thyroid) is fairly common and according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination ... read more

    Does Obesity Affect Live Birth Rates with IVF?

    Approximately 64% of American women are overweight or obese. The highest rate of obesity is in women 20 – 29 years old. Obesity is associated with an increase in heart disease, high blood pressure ... read more

    PCOS and IVF Success Rates

    Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) is a highly sensitive marker of ovarian reserve. It is released by the cells surrounding follicles in the ovary. AMH levels decrease with age and may be the most ... read more

    Do I Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

    PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome. It is a common condition related to an imbalance of hormones. It affects as many as 1 out of 15 women, and is a leading cause of infertility as well as ... read more

    No Fertilization? Why Eggs Don’t Fertilize and What We Can Do

    One of the hardest parts of being an embryologist is having to tell a patient that, after all their hard work getting their eggs ready for retrieval, there is nothing good to report the next morning ... read more

    Why Failed IVF Occurs Even With “Normal” Embryos

    So, you've been through an IVF cycle. Your doctors have retrieved a good number of eggs with a good number reaching the blastocyst stage. Having counseled about the advantages of SMART IVF, you ... read more

    Getting Pregnant After 40: Chances and Options

    My previous blog addressed the chances of getting pregnant after 43 and the options for those in this age group who wish to have children. read more

    Antioxidants and Male Fertility

    I have previously written a blog on how to improve your chances of success with fertility treatment. Improving your lifestyle is a big step in the right direction. Weight loss, regular exercise, ... read more

    COVID-19 Vaccination While Pregnant or TTC: Get the Facts

    The surge in the Delta variant has prolonged the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases continue to rise, and hospital intensive care units (ICUs) are reporting that they will soon or have already reached maximum ... read more

    Same Sex and Single Parent Fertility Treatment Options

    Nothing should stop any individual or couple who wants a family from achieving that dream. There are several fertility treatment options for same-sex couples and potential single parents to grow ... read more

    hCG Levels in Pregnancies | Day 5 vs Day 3 Embryo Transfers

    Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the embryo after conception. Human embryos can produce hCG as early as 8 days after fertilization. During IVF, however, final egg ... read more

    What is Uterine Septum and How to Treat It

    A uterine septum is a common anomoly of the uterus that is seen in 1 – 15 per 1,000 women (shown in the picture at right). In this condition, the cavity of the uterus is separated by a long piece of ... read more

    Myths and Tips to Lose Weight to Get Pregnant

    Here are just a few examples of what patients on Ideal Protein learn about weight loss from our Health and Wellness Coach Lauren Wismer. read more

    Does the IVF Process Hurt?

    As a nurse doing consultations before IVF treatment, I'm often asked, "Does it hurt?" The IVF process can be intimidating, and many patients naturally have a fear of the unknown. To help ease this ... read more

    I’m Pregnant and I’m Bleeding. What’s Happening to Me?

    Bleeding during pregnancy is scary, particularly when you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time with the help of a fertility specialist. In this post, I’m going to look at different ... read more

    Early Pregnancy Bleeding: Why It Happens, What You Should Do

    Early pregnancy bleeding is fairly common and occurs in 20 – 30% of pregnancies. Vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy can be worrying, so it's only natural that if it happens to you, you're concerned ... read more

    Why Do We Freeze Slow-Developing Embryos?

    You have had your egg retrieval and are now waiting for your embryo transfer. Instead of having your transfer 5 days later, you are told that the embryos are “dividing slowly” and the transfer is ... read more

    Top 5 Takeaways from Our Getting Pregnant with PCOS Webinar

    I recently hosted a webinar for InVia Fertility covering polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). If you haven’t had time to watch it, or if you’re wondering what it’s about, here are five quick important ... read more

    Can You Lower My FSH Level?

    One of our routine tests is to evaluate egg quality is a day-3 follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level. A high FSH level indicates diminished quality of a woman's eggs (ovarian reserve). Patients ... read more

    What Can Be Done When Sperm Motility is Zero?

    The treatment of male factor infertility was revolutionized in 1992 when Palermo and co-workers introduced intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). With ICSI, embryologists use a micromanipulator to ... read more

    Getting Pregnant at 44: What Are the Chances and Options?

    A reader recently posted this question on a previous blog: I am 44 years old healthy non-smoker yoga practitioner, AMH 1.45 and FSH 9, high prolactin (25) but all else normal/good. Cycle regular with ... read more

    What is a Good First hCG Level after Embryo Transfer?

    You've seen a fertility specialist, started IVF, and gotten through the first embryo transfer. You've spent a long time waiting for good news. And finally you get it! The results of your pregnancy ... read more

    When Should You Get Started with Fertility Treatment?

    When people first start trying for a baby, they are often surprised if pregnancy doesn’t happen right away. The truth is that even a healthy young couple at peak fertility will usually need to try ... read more

    Do I Need an Egg Donor?

    Women are born with all the eggs that they will ever have. In fact, when a female fetus is only 5 months along, she has approximately seven million eggs in her ovaries. By the time that baby girl is ... read more

    Elevated Basal FSH Levels Without Diminished Ovarian Reserve

    It is now well established that elevated basal (cycle days 2, 3 or 4) follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels can be an indicator of being infertile. This decrease in fertility due to a reduction ... read more

    Understanding the Blastocyst Grading Scale | The IVF Process

    If you're undergoing or researching IVF, you may have learned that not all embryos are able to implant, and therefore sometimes the decision is made not to transfer an embryo to the patient after an ... read more

    Egg Donor and Surrogacy FAQ for Gay Men | Starting a Family

    For same-sex male couples, planning a family starts with a lot of questions—about getting an egg donor, surrogacy, and other fertility treatment options. Some of these questions can be answered by ... read more

    6 Reasons for Embryo Freezing

    Embryo freezing has become common practice, and we have been doing it successfully for more than thirty years. Previously, the technique used for embryo freezing utilized computerized freezers with ... read more

    A Guide to Fertility Treatment Abbreviations and Acronyms

    So you are reading your instructions or your prescription bottles and there are all these letters and symbols. What do they mean and why are they used? read more

    Infertility Rates Are Rising: Should I Be Worried?

    Takeaway: If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, don’t wait. See a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist! read more

    Choosing a Fertility Specialist for Transgender Parents

    There are often social challenges endured by LGBT families and parents. There is a lot of confusion and information to be sorted through, from friends, family members, Internet searches, and even ... read more

    What is Fertility Preservation?

    A common misconception is that fertility preservation is just for cancer patients. Fertility preservation is exactly what it sounds like; preserving your fertility. For women, it involves stimulating ... read more

    Single and Same Sex Parenting | InVia Fertility Center

    Single people and same sex couples that would like to have children that are theirs, biologically, can use this blog as a guide to starting the single and same sex parenting process. read more

    Does Letrozole Increase the Risk of Birth Defects | InVia

    Letrozole (marketed as Femara in the U.S.) is a drug that is approved for the treatment of breast cancer after surgery. It is also used (“off label”) for ovulation induction. I have discussed its ... read more

    What to do with One Frozen Embryo | InVia Fertility Center

    Embryos have been successfully frozen (cryopreserved) since the early 1980’s. Worldwide literature has confirmed that there is no increase in birth defects in children born from frozen embryos. The ... read more

    Egg Donation and Age | InVia Fertility Center | Chicago

    In order to maximize pregnancy rates in an egg donor program, it is very important that a good egg donor is selected. You may already know that it's important that the egg donor be in good health, ... read more

    The Difference Between Follicles and Eggs | InVia Fertility

    We often talk about follicles (affectionately called "follies") during the IVF process. But IVF patients often don’t understand the difference between follicles and eggs. If eggs aren't follicles, ... read more

    hCG Measurements Following IVF | InVia Fertility Blog

    A pregnancy test, in an IVF cycle, is generally scheduled approximately two weeks after an embryo transfer. This involves a blood test to measure the hormone of pregnancy - hCG (human chorionic ... read more

    Should We Call You With Your Pregnancy Test Results | InVia

    So, you are going through a treatment cycle and have had an intrauterine insemination or an embryo transfer. You are now in the two week waiting period for the pregnancy test results that will be a ... read more

    7 Ways Obesity Affects IVF Success | InVia Fertility Blog

    There is an obesity epidemic in America today. More than four in ten women of reproductive age are overweight or obese. Obesity increases the risk of a number of health conditions: high blood ... read more

    Birth Control Pills in the IVF Process | InVia Fertility

    You may be surprised to find out that in many cases, the first step in the IVF process is to take birth control pills. Though this seems to be counter-productive to your goal of getting pregnant, ... read more

    Top 10 Facts About Thyroids & Fertility | InVia Fertility

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the base of your neck just below the Adam’s apple. It produces several hormones, all of which play an important role in your body's metabolism-- and your ... read more

    Ultralow AMH Levels and IVF Success Rates

    We have now posted several blogs discussing the impact of anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and fertility. AMH levels predict number of eggs that will be retrieved during in vitro fertilization (IVF) and ... read more

    AMH level and menopause. Does AMH level predict age at menopause?

    Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) level is now routinely used to evaluate ovarian reserve. AMH levels decrease with age and are a more consistent predictor of “ovarian age” than antral follicle count on ... read more

    Do Fertility Drugs Cause Cancer?

    Fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles. Their use is associated with multiple ovulations and often with high estrogen levels. It would therefore be reasonable ... read more

    Top 10 Facts about Adenomyosis

    What is adenomyosis? Adenomyosis is defined as the presence of endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, which has grown into the muscular wall of the uterus. It can be diffuse or ... read more

    Adenomyosis: Its Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Impact on Fertility

    Adenomyosis is a gynecological disease where the glands from the lining of the uterine cavity (endometrium) are present within the uterine musculature (myometrium). Historically, adenomyosis was ... read more

    Dealing with Insensitive and Hurtful Comments during Infertility

    Let me be the first to say that before infertility smacked me in the face, I may have hurt or offended others by asking insensitive or even ignorant questions about their fertility struggles. I want ... read more

    COVID Vaccination: Fact vs. Fiction

    The world has now been living with COVID for over a year. Over one hundred million infections have been documented, and over two and a half million people are known to have died from COVID. During ... read more

    Endometriosis Pain: How To Manage It | InVia Fertility Blog

    Endometriosis happens when the lining of the uterus (womb) grows outside of the uterus. It affects about 5 million American women. Endometriosis is especially common among women in their 30s and 40s; ... read more

    Top 10 Questions About Endometriosis

    Endometriosis affects one in ten women in the United States, and can cause fertility problems. At InVia Fertility, we have treated many women who have this condition over the years. Here are the top ... read more

    Sperm morphology and IUI pregnancy rates

    I often get questions from patients with low sperm morphology (shape) during semen analysis. A typical question is “My sperm morphology is only 3% normal forms; what can I do?” or “What is the best ... read more

    Facts on AMH Levels and Ovarian Reserve Testing

    AMH or anti mullerian hormone level testing and ovarian reserve testing are frequent topics of questions from people who are having trouble getting pregnant. Since my last blog on this subject, a lot ... read more

    Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe for Pregnant Women?

    One year after the first cases were detected, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect daily life in the United States. It is difficult to take in the full impact of the disruption, illness and loss ... read more

    Impact of stress reduction on IVF outcome

    Infertility is a profoundly stressful experience, physically and psychologically, write Dr Alice Domar and Lauren Prince in their recent study in Sexuality, Reproduction and Menopause. The study ... read more

    Donor Egg Recipient Obesity and Live Birth Rates

    In a previous blog, I discussed data that showed a significantly reduced pregnancy rate in obese in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients. This was in regular IVF patients attempting to conceive with ... read more

    COVID FAQ's

    INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 VACCINATION read more

    Top 10 Questions Our Fertility Nurses Answer

    Fertility treatment can be stressful on your emotions, your schedule and your finances. Fortunately, you have someone in your corner the entire way: your fertility nurse! Your fertility nurse is here ... read more

    Antioxidants: A Key Ingredient in Your Fertility Diet

    Age-related infertility is something fertility clinics are seeing increasingly, as more couples work on getting pregnant after 40. It is a fact that one cannot change one's biological age. The ... read more

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