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Invia Fertility

Specialists Blog

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

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

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

Embryo Transfer: A Critical Step in the IVF Process

Embryo transfer is arguably the most critical step in the IVF process. On the surface, it seems like a relatively simple procedure. The embryos are loaded in a catheter and the physician deposits ... 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ... 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

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

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

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

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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