Fertility Solution’s December Patient Seminar Summary Hosted by Dr. Kowalik
Each month Fertility Solutions hosts a FREE Patient Seminar. The seminar is an opportunity for potential patients to meet one of our physicians, discuss treatment options, review financial programs, learn about Fertility Solutions goals, and enjoy a complete tour our facility.
Dr. Ania Kowalik hosted the December seminar
This month, Dr. Ania Kowalik discussed tubal reversals as a fertility option. Tubal Reversal is a viable option to restore fertility to women after a tubal ligation. By rejoining the separated segments of the fallopian tubes, tubal reversal may give women the chance to become pregnant again. When the “tubes are tied”, the doctor performing the procedure uses one of the following options to close the fallopian tubes: clipping or banding them shut, cutting and removing a section of the tube or, burning them closed.
Any of these methods can be surgically reversed. The question is: Who is a candidate for a reversal?
Each patient and each situation is unique. Characteristics that are reviewed with your doctor prior to the decision are: maternal age, menstrual cycle regularity and male fertility factor (sperm count and motility). Drs. Carol Anania and Ania Kowalik perform tubal reversals at the Newton Wellesley Hospital in a day surgery environment.
Fertility Solutions offers a Tubal Reversal Package of $7800. The success rates for tubal ligation are comparable to the IVF option (based upon maternal age).
Please join us next month, January 22 at 7PM for an opportunity to discuss your fertility choices with our own Dr. Moragianni.
Employee Recognition Series: Ashlee Beckwith, Medical Assistant
Fertility Solutions is proud to announce the staff member who was chosen for December’s Employee Recognition Initiative: Ashlee Beckwith, Medical Assistant
Also known as “The Face of [Fertility Solutions] Woburn”
“Ashlee is awesome!” – comment from a November 2013 Patient Satisfaction Survey
Ashlee started her career in the fertility field as an OR tech at Fertility Centers of New England where she realized she had a real passion for this field and decided to earn her MA at the American Career Institute in order to become a medical assistant (2010). Ashlee joined Fertility Solutions shortly after graduating from ACI, and plans to attend North Shore Community College for a Nursing degree this January.
“I love my job. I am lucky to have the opportunity to create a positive impact on people every day. From the time the patient walks in the, I try to make their experience as positive as possible by providing compassion, and creating a pleasant environment. It’s such a privilege to work in a field where we get to help make dreams come true for so many couples. It’s truly rewarding! I also enjoy the hands-on work with [the] amazing physicians at Fertility Solutions. It’s a pleasure working with every one of them.” – Ashlee Beckwith
Dr. Pei-Li Huang, Owner and Physician at Fertility Solutions says, “Ashlee has gentle hands and an even kinder heart. She brightens the day of all she comes in contact with, from the patients who come in almost daily for blood work and the doctors who work with her. She shows a genuine compassion and has an encouraging and personal word for everyone she talks to.”
We’d like to thank Ashlee once more for her real, and genuine passion. Ashlee’s continual drive to learn inspires us all, and we are grateful she is a part of the Fertility Solutions team.
Ashlee with Woburn’s “Fertile Myrtle”, the fish.
Fertile Myrtle is a true staple of our Woburn location
Breakfast with Fairfax Egg Bank
We recently announced our partnership with Fairfax Egg Bank on our website and on social media. Fairfax Egg Bank is known as “the trusted source for donor eggs” and Fertility Solutions is proud to be a regional partner of such an esteemed establishment.
On October 18th, Fertility Solutions hosted a breakfast with a group from Fairfax Egg Bank, the group included: Andrew Dorfmann, MS, Laurence Udoff, MD, and Jennifer Machovina.
We are happy to share a photo from the breakfast:
We are so so pleased to begin this regional partnership with Fairfax Egg Bank. For more information of this partnership and our frozen egg donor program, please see our donor egg bank page.
RESOLVE Conference 2013
Since 1974, RESOLVE New England, a non-profit organization has worked to assist those who struggle with infertility through educational programs and support groups. Each year the organization hosts the “largest consumer fertility conference of its kind in the United States”.
This year’s conference was held on November 2, and Fertility Solutions’ Dr. Vasiliki A. Moragianni and Marketing Director Maryanne Gaffney were both in attendance. Maryanne manned the Fertility Solutions booth at the conference for the entire day where she spoke with patients and exhibitors.
Dr. Moragianni and Maryanne Gaffney at the Fertility Solutions booth
Both Dr. Moragianni and Maryanne really enjoyed attending the conference!
Dr. Moragianni gave two talks during the conference, “Infertility 101” and “Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologist”. Dr. Moragianni also moderated a lunch session on “Donor Conception and Surrogacy”. When she wasn’t giving talks or moderating a session, Dr. Moragianni was available the entire day as a RESOLVE board member.
Dr. Moragianni at the Resolve Conference
Fertility Solutions even held a raffle at the event in which the winner won a free consultation!
Dr. Moragianni and Maryanne Gaffney both had a terrific time at this year’s RESOLVE conference.
Employee Recognition Series: Laura Palmatier, Financial Coordinator
Fertility Solutions is proud to announce our first employee recognition post! The first of our employees to be recognized in this new series is: Laura Palmatier, Financial Coordinator.
Also known as “The Financial Guru in the Fertility Industry”.
Laura began her career in the rules and regulation of insurance in 2000 at a local insurance company. In 2007 Laura decided that she wanted to have a closer working relationship with patients and doctors, and that she wanted to utilize the insurance knowledge she gained over the years.
“I wanted to provide more one-on-one assistance to patients going through fertility treatment. I love helping patients with all of their questions whether it is insurance or billing questions or concerns they have. Fertility can be a stressful time and I hope I can ease the financial/insurance stress that patients go through. It is great to work for a group of physicians that truly care about their patients and have so much passion for what they do.” – Laura Palmatier
Dr. Carol Anania, Partner and Reproductive Endocrinologist at Fertility Solutions says, “Laura has been a critical member of our team here at Fertility Solutions. With the ever changing insurance rules, regulations and coverage, she has been able to provide critical financial information and options with care and compassion. It is our privilege to have her as a member of our group.”
Thank you Laura for all of your hard work and dedication to patients, we are so glad to have you on our team here at Fertility Solutions.
Open House for International ASRM Attendees
Fertility Solutions staff were proud to attend this year’s ASRM conference. ASRM or the American Society for Reproductive Medicine was established in 1984 and “is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the art, science, and practice of reproductive medicine”. ASRM now boasts over 500 members in 16 countries.
This year’s conference was held in Boston, Massachusetts. On the 17th, Fertility Solutions hosted an open house in our Dedham office for International ASRM attendees, some of which had traveled all the way from Moscow, Russia and Romania. Our staff is working to expand our outreach to the international fertility community, and as a part of this effort, we were happy to host visiting ASRM attendees who traveled across continents in order to take part in this yearly event that encourages medical innovation.
Fertility Solutions is looking forward to further developing our International Patient Program. This program was designed to cater to the needs of our international patients specifically, and we’ll be announcing more information about this program and its features in the future. For now, we’re very pleased to have Dr. Vasiliki Moragianni – the former director of an International Patient Program affiliated with Harvard Medical School join our practice. Dr. Moragianni has extensive experience treating couples from other countries. We’re also excited to announce that in the future we will be offering remote Skype consultations for our international patients.
Stay tuned for more details and announcements about Fertility Solution’s International Patient Program. For now, we have some great photos of our Open House event below that we’re happy to share with our readers:
Photo includes Dr. Vasiliki Moragianni, Dr. Carol Anania, and event attendees
IVF Physicians from Moscow, Russia
Dr. Carol Anania with Nitrogen tanks
Gena Ratiu, Embryologist, showing our lab
Gena Ratiu in discussion
A group photo at the event
We had such a great time speaking with some of ASRM’s International attendees. Remember to stay tuned for announcements regarding the expansion of our International Patient Program.
Posted in Fertility Solutions, General
Tagged American Society for Reproductive Medicine, ASRM, Dedham, Dr. Carol Anania, Dr. Vasiliki Moragianni, Event, Gena Tiu, International patients, International Program, Romania, Russia
Fertility Solution’s September Patient Seminar Summary Hosted by Dr. Anania (Part 2 of 2)
Last month, Fertility Solutions held a very informative and fun afternoon of interactive discussion on various fertility topics. It was led by Dr. Carol Anania who answered a number of questions from the attendees, including:
What should I do to prepare for my fertility consultation?
In preparation for your consultation, the more information that we have to review, the better prepared we will be to fully discuss your individual fertility plan. We highly encourage all parties involved to participate in the initial consult as well as completing our online patient survey, forwarding all medical records for any party involved in the process, and preparing yourself with any and all questions that you may have to encourage a clear and transparent discussion with your fertility doctor.
Fertility Solutions was born from the concept that each patient is an individual and each story is unique. Our goal is to offer the most frequent and direct contact with your physician. Our staff is knowledgeable about each patient and ready to assist you in your journey. A recent patient wrote:
“I would like to thank Dr. Anania and the entire staff at Fertility Solutions for the dedicated care and positive support they provided during multiple rounds of IVF. What I appreciated the most was Dr. Anania’s ability to communicate information so that we could weigh the pros & cons of each decision. She was always optimistic yet realistic in her analysis. Thankfully we are now blessed with a 2 month old baby girl! This would not have been possible without Fertility Solutions.” – D.J.
Our next seminar date will be held on Monday, October 21. For more information, contact Fertility Solutions.
Fertility Solution’s September Patient Seminar Summary Hosted by Dr. Anania (Part 1 of 2)
Last month, Fertility Solutions held a very informative and fun afternoon of interactive discussion on various fertility topics. It was led by Dr. Carol Anania who answered a number of questions from the attendees.
What are my options if I/we need either sperm or egg donation?
This is a common discussion in the fertility process and is unique to each patient and patient choice. The use of third party reproductive options is vast and can be very rewarding.
Sperm donation can come from many sources. At your fertility consultation, the options that would best work for your personal experience will be presented. Some of the common options include sperm donation from a male known to you (fresh or frozen) or choosing anonymous frozen sperm from a sperm bank.
Egg Donation has become a growing option due to dramatically improved egg freezing techniques; there has been a shift in the traditional paradigm of egg donation options. In 2012, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lifted the “experimental status” on egg freezing. Recipients can now choose between fresh or frozen donor eggs. Whether fresh or frozen the prospective donors are subjected to the same comprehensive and rigorous standards mandated by the FDA and as recommended by ASRM.
Our next seminar date will be held on Monday, October 21. For more information, contact Fertility Solutions.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Testing and Treatment Offer Hope
Miscarriage is a devastating experience that can be both physically and emotionally draining. It can take time, support and professional help to heal the mind and body after a pregnancy loss, especially when you’ve been trying to conceive for months or maybe even years. Many women have faced the devastation of one or more miscarriages, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies result in miscarriage. While many women will experience a miscarriage, most will go on to have a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby following a pregnancy loss. Some women (approximately 1%) experience the loss of multiple (three or more) pregnancies, which warrants a thorough medical evaluation for recurrent pregnancy loss.
Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is typically defined as three or more miscarriages prior to 20 weeks gestation. These losses can be caused by hormonal imbalances, chromosomal ab- normalities, maternal anatomical abnormalities, infections, or idiopathic or ‘unknown’ causes. Pinpointing a cause can help you and your doctor identify the most effective treatment to assist you in achieving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. It is important to point out that even if an exact cause of RPL is not found, the odds are still in your favor. Over 60% of women who are diagnosed with idiopathic RPL will go on to have a healthy baby. According to the NIH, even if you have suffered 3 or more miscarriages, you are statistically more likely to carry your next pregnancy to term than to suffer another loss. Below, we discuss a few of the causes of RPL, along with the testing and treatments available to help increase your chances for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Endocrine or hormonal causes of RPL can include advanced maternal age (or a high FSH level), hyper or hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or luteal phase defects. Advanced maternal age (>35 years) and a high blood FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) level are usually seen together. The higher the level of FSH in the blood (tested on day 3 of the menstrual cycle), the lower the quantity and quality of eggs in the ovaries. This decreased quality can increase the risk for chromosomal abnormalities, which can cause abnormalities in the developing embryo, leading to miscarriage. Fertility treatment can help in most cases of advanced maternal age and increased FSH levels because it decreases the time spent trying to conceive, and fertility drugs increase the amount of follicles (eggs) recruited during a cycle, giving better odds that a good-quality egg will be released for conception.
Thyroid disease of any kind can have a negative impact on pregnancy, as the thyroid’s purpose is to keep balance in the metabolic and hormonal processes in the body. Thyroid imbalances are easy to detect via lab work- and if abnormalities are detected and treated, it can improve the outcome of subsequent pregnancies.
PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a disorder of metabolic and endocrine systems in the body. In PCOS, an excess of male hormones is typically seen along with an increase in insulin in the blood and multiple small cysts on the ovaries. Due to the hormonal disruptions seen in PCOS, women with PCOS may experience an increased risk of miscarriage. PCOS can be managed with lifestyle changes and/or medication to greatly decrease negative symptoms and increase healthy pregnancy outcomes. Weight loss and maintaining a low-carbohydrate diet, along with moderate exercise can help control PCOS. Metformin or other blood sugar-regulating drugs can help keep insulin levels in a normal range to further regulate the body and promote healthier obstetrical outcomes.
A luteal phase defect can coincide with another disorder, such as PCOS or thyroid disease. Luteal phase defects are caused by inadequate secretion of the hormone progesterone during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase of the cycle begins after ovulation and lasts right up until menstruation. This critical point in the cycle is when an embryo, if present, attempts to implant into the lining of the uterus. Progesterone is responsible for causing the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) to thicken in preparation for pregnancy; if this thickening does not occur, the lining of the uterus may not be adequate to support the proper implantation of an embryo and sustain a healthy pregnancy. If you suspect you may have a luteal phase defect or PCOS, consulting with a reproductive endocrinologist should be considered. Progesterone supplementation in the luteal phase can be prescribed to increase endometrial thickening and to prime the uterus for pregnancy. Ovulation induction or IVF can expedite the conception process, and early pregnancy monitoring can be offered until you are tapered off of progesterone supplementation and referred back to your OB/GYN. Getting the proper testing to identify an endocrine problem as the culprit in RPL is the first step to finding a cause, fixing or treating the problem and helping you go on to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Anatomical abnormalities of the uterus can cause pregnancy loss by inhibiting the growth of the developing fetus or disrupting the delicate implantation process of the embryo and placenta. Having an abnormally shaped uterus, uterine fibroid, polyp, adhesions (scar tissue), or septation can be identified by minimally invasive imaging procedures, like a hysterosalpingogram, sonohysterogram or hysteroscopy. If an anatomical abnormality is found, surgery may be able to correct the abnormality and can greatly improve future pregnancy outcomes.
Inherited chromosomal abnormalities are not the same as the random chromosomal abnormalities that can occur during cell division and cause early miscarriages. Inherited chromosomal abnormalities are not common and account for less than 5% of couples facing RPL. Performing a blood karyotype (chromosome analysis) on both partners can diagnose an inherited genetic cause to RPL. A parent can carry a genetic abnormality in their DNA and be completely asymptomatic and unaffected, but a developing embryo that receives inadequate genetic material due to parental abnormalities has a high likelihood of miscarriage. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, balanced translocations (when part of one chromosome is attached to another chromosome) are the most common inherited chromosomal abnormality. Patients found to carry an inherited chromosomal abnormality should seek genetic counseling, and may benefit from IVF with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), in which an embryo can be tested for genetic disorders prior to being transferred into the uterus. IVF/PGD technology has brought hope to one of the most difficult to treat causes of RPL.
Chronic inflammation caused by a low grade infection in the uterus (endometritis) can increase the chances for miscarriage and infertility. The cervix is designed to keep bacteria out of the uterus, but during miscarriage the cervix may dilate when expelling the tissue from the uterus.This dilation, or a surgical dilation for any intra-uterine procedure (including D&C procedures following a miscar- riage) could potentially allow bacteria into the uterus. An endometrial biopsy can diagnose a condition like endometritis by taking a small tissue sample from the inside of the uterus. The tissue sample is examined under a microscope to identify signs of infection and inflammation, and antibiotics can be prescribed if an infection if found.
Thrombophilia (hypercoagulability) disorders can affect the way your blood clots and can interrupt blood flow during pregnancy. According to the March of Dimes, 15% of people in the United States have an inherited thrombophilia. While some women have a history of abnormal blood clots, those without a history or symptoms will not know, without proper testing, that they have this disorder that can lead to RPL. Because the embryo and placenta need adequate blood supply upon implantation in the uterus, tiny blood clots that impede blood flow can be devastating and cause loss of pregnancy at any stage. A blood test, known as the ‘thrombophilia panel’ can detect many of the common thrombophilia disorders. Treatment with low-dose aspirin and/or heparin can improve blood flow and ward off blood clots which can increase positive pregnancy outcomes in women with this disorder.
Most lifestyle factors do not cause RPL, but optimizing your health can help you physically and emotionally, as you work with your doctor to overcome RPL. Cigarette smoke must be avoided-it can damage the quality of your eggs, increase blood pressure and interfere with blood flow to the uterus, increasing the risk for miscarriage. Alcohol intake is obviously off-limits during pregnancy, but excessive alcohol intake even before you know you are pregnant can increase the risk of miscarriage. Recent studies have shown an association between caffeine intake and miscarriage, so try to eliminate it (or strictly limit it) from your diet. Prenatal vitamins containing folic acid should be taken daily prior to conception and during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube and other birth defects, and to ensure you do not develop iron-deficiency anemia. A healthy diet and moderate exercise can boost physical and emotional health, and promote good blood flow in the body. It is important to know that pregnancy loss is not a result of something you did or did not do. Unfortunately, so many factors are out of your (and even your doctor’s!) control when it comes to conception and pregnancy, so learning what we can control in regards to our own health can be empowering and helpful long-term.
While RPL is a disease separate from infertility, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, like the physicians at Fertility Solutions™, can offer great hope to patients through the use of advanced technology to test and treat the many conditions associated with RPL. Fertility Solutions™ physicians have vast experience testing and treating RPL conditions including, but not limited to, genetic abnormalities that require IVF with PGD, uterine abnormalities that require surgical intervention, and hormonal disorders, such as PCOS or luteal phase defects. The good news is that even with the diagnosis of RPL most patients will go on to achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Miscarriage is an experience that can leave you feeling sad, helpless, angry, guilty and depressed, and can affect every aspect of your life. It is important to take care of yourself and reach out for support when you need it most. Support groups and counseling are a good way to help channel your emotions and find the best coping strategies as you heal. While you will never forget your losses, always have hope: advances in medicine have created many new options for the testing and treatment of recurrent pregnancy loss and have helped millions of women overcome the medical obstacles that once stood in the way of their dreams.