Invia Fertility

    Specialists Blog

    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

    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

    Tips to Make Your Blood Draw Easier

    With the monitoring of your blood and stimulation medication injections, fertility treatment can make you start to feel like a pin cushion! Nobody likes having their blood drawn and most people do ... 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

    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

    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

    Is There Really a Male Infertility Crisis?

    "Is there a male fertility crisis? I hear sperm counts are decreasing!" There has been controversy about this topic and many, many news outlets have reported on it. Researchers are also studying it. ... 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

    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

    White Blood Cells in Semen - When Are They a Problem?

    One of the first steps in fertility testing for any male infertility issues is a semen analysis. A semen analysis gives a good representation of the male’s quantity and quality of sperm, as shown in ... 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

    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

    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

    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

    Top 5 Questions About Recurrent Pregnancy Loss / Multiple Miscarriages

    When a diagnosis of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is reached after multiple miscarriages, there are many things to consider, including the causes, tests, and common treatments of RPL. read more

    Frequently Asked Questions About Embryo Donation

    We have been offering embryo donation at InVia Fertility Specialists since its inception in 2002. Although adoption has been around throughout history, the use of donated embryos for building ... 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

    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

    Good News for PCOS Patients (Yes, Really)!

    There are a few things that I would really like patients to know about PCOS and infertility. Yes, it is upsetting to get this diagnosis. However, I find this diagnosis is the BEST of all infertility ... read more

    Endometrial Polyps and IVF: What You Need to Know

    Endometrial polyps are growths that are attached to the inner wall of the uterus that extend into the uterine cavity. They are usually benign (not cancerous) and are a common finding in women of ... 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

    Does Pre-Treatment Weight Loss Improve Outcomes for PCOS Patients?

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)is the most common cause of infertility in women. PCOS is often associated with obesity. Obesity, however, is NOT a diagnostic criteria for PCOS, as it can also occur ... 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

    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

    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

    Flu Shots and IVF: What You Need to Know

    I am frequently asked by patients whether to get vaccinated for the flu. The answer is an unequivocal yes! Whether a woman is trying to conceive, just found out she is pregnant, or is well into her ... read more

    Should We Only Transfer Frozen Embryos?

    The technologies for successfully freezing embryos have now been available for more than twenty-five years. With improved freezing techniques, the success rates with frozen embryo transfer (FET) are ... read more

    5 Frequently Asked Questions About Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI)

    Can’t I just take the meds and have intercourse instead of inseminations? Doing an insemination around the time you are ovulating will increase your chance of achieving a pregnancy. During ... read more

    Marijuana and Fertility: What Are the Effects?

    As with smoking cigarettes, there's a connection between marijuana and fertility, and it's not a good one. Use of marijuana has a negative impact on trying to conceive, for both male and female ... 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    You Just Need to Relax! Clueless Comments and What to Do About Them

    Many years ago there was a show on TV called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” The host would ask kids questions, and they'd come back with priceless comments that were spontaneous and socially ... 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

    Ten Quick Tips About Endometrial Thickness

    Good eggs and a healthy embryo aren't enough to assure pregnancy during IVF. A receptive uterine lining (endometrium) is also critical for successful implantation after embryo transfer. A commonly ... 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    What Does My hCG Level Mean?

    So you're in the IVF process, and now you’ve waited the long 10-16 days for your first pregnancy test. Your hCG level comes back positive. Congratulations! Then the panic sets in. Is my number too ... read more

    Does the shape of the sperm (morphology) matter?

    For many decades, we focused mainly on sperm count and motility when doing a semen analysis. For the past 25 years or so, especially with the advent of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility ... 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

    What Dietary Supplements Can Help Fertility?

    Recent studies have suggested a relationship between the diet of both partners and fertility, including the impact of obesity. Dietary supplements for fertility are one of a number of things that ... read more

    Christy and Ryan's InVia Fertility Journey: 18 Years, 4 Children!

    Christy and Ryan H. first became patients of Dr. Karande’s back in 2001. All four of their children have been born with help from him and InVia Fertility Specialists! Here, Christy explains the ... 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

    Megan and Phil’s InVia Fertility Journey

    My husband and I met at the young age of 19. We met one night in Philadelphia through a mutual friend and essentially fell in love. I know it’s extremely cheesy, but it’s the truth. We were both in ... read more

    What to Expect at a Male Fertility Examination

    The male partner can sometimes be overlooked when couples try to conceive. Approximately 15% of couples pursuing a pregnancy experience infertility. Within these couples, a “male factor” is the sole ... read more

    FAQ for Gay Men: Sperm Provider Selection, PGS

    There are many choices to make in starting a family as a gay male couple. Let's say you've chosen a fertility clinic that has a track record of success serving same-sex couples, and you've secured an ... read more

    What is the difference between IUI and IVF?

    A common question patients ask is, “what is the difference between IUI and IVF?” To some that may come as a relatively easy question to answer, but without the background knowledge of either term one ... 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

    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

    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

    Preimplantation Genetic Screening: How Age Affects Number of Eggs

    For more than a decade, we have been screening embryos for chromosomal number abnormalities (aneuploidy) at InVia Fertility Specialists. The technical term used for this process is preimplantation ... read more

    Will I Have Trouble Getting Pregnant with a Low AMH Level?

    One of the commonest questions I get is from women with low AMH (anti mullerian hormone) levels who are having trouble getting pregnant. These women are often frantic and worried that they will never ... read more

    A Positive Pregnancy Test After IVF | What’s Next?

    You've been waiting for this for so long and at last your pregnancy test after IVF is positive. Now what happens? Well, in spite of the fact that you might want to shout the good news from a rooftop, ... read more

    Frozen embryo transfer: natural vs. artificial cycle

    It is now more than 30 years since the first live birth after transfer of a frozen (cryopreserved) embryo (Zeilmaker et al., 1984). The ability to successfully freeze embryos had a profound impact on ... read more

    3 Key Steps for Handling the Stress of Infertility

    Feeling stress is part of our biological survival mechanism as human beings. It is a signal that danger is impending and action must be taken to seek safety. While it is a simple matter to obey ... read more

    The Egg Donor Screening Process

    One of the questions I get asked the most is about our donor screening. How thoroughly do we screen our donors? What does the screening entail? read more

    Does COVID-19 Vaccination Affect IVF Success Rates?

    With the use of COVID-19 (COVID) vaccines, we are slowly recovering from the COVID pandemic. There, however, remain a significant percentage of individuals that refuse to take the vaccine due to ... read more

    Does COVID-19 Vaccination Affect Your Period?

    The number of people infected by COVID-19 (COVID) is decreasing and the pandemic appears to be in the process of resolving. A major contributor to the control of COVID is the availability and wide ... read more

    Should You Tell Your Children You Used an Egg Donor?

    A recent study showed the majority of parents of egg donor conceived children intend to tell their children – but many put off that conversation. If you've used an egg donor, there are many things to ... read more

    You Might Need an Egg Donor IF….

    How can you determine if you need an egg donor as opposed to doing IVF using your own eggs? Many factors come in to play in making this decision. Ultimately, it's all about the egg quality. In this ... read more

    What to Do if You Don’t Qualify to Be an Egg Donor

    It’s a scary, unexpected thing, when as an egg donor you have your hormones drawn and an ultrasound performed, and then are told you don’t qualify medically for an egg donor program. In addition to ... read more

    Why I Chose to Donate My Eggs: An Anonymous Egg Donor Explains

    This post is from an anonymous egg donor who responded to a comment on the blog. I liked it so much that I am posting it as a separate post. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank her ... read more

    Can Endometriosis Cause Cancer?

    While many people understand why and how endometriosis causes infertility, fewer know whether endometriosis can cause cancer. This is one of the key questions addressed by a group of experts from The ... read more

    Don't Delay Frozen Embryo Transfer After Failed IVF

    Many times women are concerned after experiencing failed IVF with a fresh embryo transfer if it is best to move right along into another cycle for a frozen embryo transfer. They wonder if there are ... read more

    How Does Endometriosis Cause Infertility? | InVia Blog

    Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus (endometrium) “escapes” and implants on structures outside the uterus. The endometrial tissue outside the uterus is affected by hormones ... read more

    Embryo freezing: how long can they stay frozen?

    Successful embryo freezing dates back to 1984. Since then hundreds of thousands of babies have been born from successful frozen embryo transfers. Embryo freezing usually occurs when there are excess ... read more

    Symptoms after IVF Embryo Transfer - The Two-Week Wait

    After months or years of having trouble getting pregnant, all the action and the excitement of taking injections, going for scans, monitoring your blood test results and admiring your embryos is now ... read more

    What is endometriosis? Endometriosis and IVF

    Endometriosis is a condition where cells that normally line the uterus begin to grow on the outer surface of the uterus and can invade the ovary, causing blood-filled cysts called endometriomas. ... read more

    Top 5 Things You Should Know about Egg Quality and IVF

    When undergoing an IVF cycle you have a lot on your mind. If you are like most people, egg quality is typically not first on the list. However, egg quality is one of the single most important aspects ... read more

    Timeline with images of embryo development in IVF

    Many fertility patients are curious about what exactly happens in the embryology lab, from the time their eggs are retrieved to the time they are transferred. When people have answers to their ... read more

    Imaging Endometriosis on Ultrasound | InVia Fertility Blog

    Let me describe a common clinical situation to you. It goes like this: read more

    Diagnosing Endometriosis: What the Symptoms Are, Why It Takes So Long

    Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus (endometrial-like glands and stroma) is present outside the uterus. These implants are sensitive to hormonal changes and result in chronic ... read more

    Why Fertility Doctors Shouldn't Give hCG Booster Injections

    I have by now answered several questions from readers who tell me they have a positive pregnancy test. They will often give me their pregnancy test result and ask me if the level is okay. On further ... read more

    Can the level of hCG in blood tell me whether my pregnancy is a healthy one or not?

    You've had an embryo transfer, and now it's time for a pregnancy blood test. You may be wondering whether the hCG level in your blood predict how healthy your very new pregnancy is. The short answer ... read more

    Ten Facts on Pregnancy After 45

    Today it has become increasingly common for women to achieve their educational goals, find a partner, and establish a career path before they consider having children. It often takes years to obtain ... read more

    Top 10 Facts About Vaginal Progesterone and Assisted Reproductive Technologies

    I have written previously on the role of progesterone (P) and the various methods of administering P. Historically, during the early days of IVF, P was administered exclusively via intramuscular (IM) ... read more

    Donor Recipients: A Visit With the Mental Health Professional

    The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has as part of its practice guidelines that a couple wishing to engage in an egg donor recipient cycle must visit with a mental health professional. ... read more

    Is it safe to use Zofran during pregnancy for morning sickness?

    Morning sickness in pregnancy is common. In fact, over half of women will vomit during pregnancy, and 80% will have some level of nausea. In most cases, these symptoms improve by the end of the first ... read more

    Optimizing Implantation

    Once a healthy, developing embryo is successfully transferred into your uterus, it has to attach itself to the uterine lining and then grow there, a process known as implantation. For successful ... read more

    Understanding Progesterone, the Hormone of Pregnancy

    Progesterone is a steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle and is essential for pregnancy. Progesterone also has many roles relating to the development of the fetus. read more

    Have Insomina During Fertility Treatment? Here's What Helps.

    Having trouble sleeping? 1 in 3 people do, according to the CDC. For women who are trying to conceive, chronic sleeplessness can interfere with hormone balance, affecting ovulation and menstruation. ... read more

    Will COVID-19 Affect Male Fertility? What We Know So Far.

    The sudden resurgence of COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant has once again upended our lives. In recent months, medical and media attention has been on the impact of COVID infection on ... read more

    Understanding the Causes of Failed IVF

    A failed IVF cycle is heart-wrenching. Your dreams of a pregnancy are shattered, your hard-earned money has gone down the tube, and you do not know what to do next! As humans we all need explanations ... read more

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