Fertility Solutions’ Latest Patient Testimonial
Our latest patient testimonial is a note sent from a patient to Dr. Anania:
Dear Dr. Anania,
T. and I wish to thank you and your staff for everything that you did to make our dream come true. There is no doubt in my mind why you are consistently voted “Top Doc”. You took amazing care of us over the last four years and we are so grateful to you for your persistence in our case. We are so blessed to have two healthy, sweet little girls. Thank you for being a part of this miracle. We will always be grateful. Sincerely, K & T
To read more patient testimonials for Fertility solutions, please visit our patient testimonials page.
Employee Recognition Series: Lisa Fernandes, Medical Assistant
Fertility Solutions is proud to recognize Lisa Fernandes as our March Employee of the month! Lisa is “The Providence Girl”. For all who are lucky to visit our Providence location (note the interior face lift in our photos below) will have the pleasure to encounter the kindness and compassion of Lisa – formally titled “Medical Assistant.”
“After running my family daycare of 13 years and raising three sons, I graduated from the Health Training Center in 2006 as a Certified Medical Assistant. I focused my medical career in the Internal Medical field until 2013 when I had the opportunity to join Fertility Solutions. Working at Fertility Solutions is very rewarding! There is nothing like being part of miracles in the making. My role is to help patients to feel at ease and relaxed in our Providence location, and it is the highlight of my job”
Outside of work life, Lisa is enjoys life with her fiancé at home gardening, cooking healthy, and working out. “My favorite time is spent at the beach in the summer!” says Lisa.
Fertility Solutions physician, Dr. Vasiliki Moragianni has this to say about Lisa, “Lisa is a warm, caring, and compassionate person. She is funny, and enjoys playing a good joke or two. She is very pleasant, always with a smile – she makes everyone’s day! What a pleasure it is to be working with Lisa!”
Below we have a few photos of Lisa and our office in Providence, Rhode Island which recently underwent an interior face lift:
Lisa, hard at work
The updated reception area in our Providence office
Another view of the re-vamped reception area
A view of one of our doctor’s offices in our Providence, Rhode Island location
Fertility Solutions’ Latest Patient Testimonial
Our latest patient testimonial is an honest take on the realities and rewards of infertility treatments, such as IVF:
From the first moment we stepped through the doors at Fertility Solutions, we felt welcomed and knew were making the right choice in starting our family. Whether it was bloodwork, ultrasounds, egg retrieval or transfer – EVERYONE was super kind, explained what was happening, and made us feel comfortable!
I won’t sugar coat it: IVF is tough-emotionally, physically and psychologically…a roller coaster if you will…many ups and downs. No two people are alike, nor is their treatment. Injections are painful. But, if you have faith, patience and devotion to the outcome – Starting a Family – you can make it through as well. Time seemed to pass slowly sometimes and it was easy to get discouraged…but in the end we are pregnant with healthy fraternal boy/girl twins! We would not trade our experience with IVF for anything – WELL WORTH everything we went through – and we owe it all to Dr Huang and the team at Fertility Solutions!!
Dr. Moragianni Spoke About Miscarriages In An Interview with Fox25
Dr. Moragianni appeared on Fox25 early this morning to discuss a recent study on miscarriage. In the interview, Dr. Moragianni analyzes topics such age, alcohol, weight, and work schedule in regard to pregnancy and miscarriage risk.
Please watch the video below to see Dr. Moragianni’s interview with Fox25 in full:
Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston
Employee Recognition Series: Sue Tilden, Egg Donation Program Coordinator
Sue Tilden is the Egg Donation Program Coordinator at Fertility Solutions. She has been working in the field of infertility for the past 18 years. As the Egg Donation Program Coordinator, Sue supports potential egg donors and egg donor recipients. She also coordinates Fertility Solutions’ partnership with Fairfax Egg Bank.
Sue is part of the nursing team at Fertility Solutions, located in our Dedham office. As a part of the team, Sue is always keeping the office on a happy note by bringing in her husband’s baked goods (there’s a chance this may be bribery) or as a humorist – always ready with a witty, light and innovative joke. Her self-proclaimed unhealthy relationship with Dunkin’ Donuts (decaf only!) is her secret to getting through each day. On her down time, Sue enjoys a busy family life with her husband of 20 years and her two sons, age 11 and almost 17!
Dr. Carol Anania, partner and founder at Fertility Solutions, noted: “Sue is such an important part of what Fertility Solutions embodies. She has helped countless couples navigate what can be a very difficult and stressful experience through her kindness, compassion and dedication. Sue is an important support and friend to all of us at Fertility Solutions. We enjoy her quick wit and caring positive attitude.”
Noted on our November 2013 anonymous current patient satisfaction survey: “Sue Tilden was amazing, answering all my questions in the sweetest way!”
Sue says, “I joined Fertility Solutions in 2012 and I am very happy to be working with a team of people that I both enjoy and respect!”
Fertility Solutions: 2013 in Review
2013 was an amazing year for Fertility Solutions! We’ve helped bring hundreds of patients closer to their goal, and we’ve watched with joy as many left our office for the last time, headed for their OB office following successful treatment at FS.
A few highlights from this year:
Our IVF success rates (available online) from data collected from Jan, 2013 thru June 2013 show a 47% pregnancy rate in patients under 35, and 43% for patients age 35-37!
Dr. Carol Anania was nominated to Boston’s Top Doctors for 2013, Dr. Huang was nominated to the Massachusetts Medical Society House of Delegates and Dr. Kowalik was selected to be in the Best Doctors database for 2014!
Dr. Moragianni has been reaching out to patients via radio- appearing on a half-hour medical show on the Greek-American radio program “Grecian Echoes”- offering truly fascinating and important information regarding the commonly asked questions and concerns of couples who are considering seeking treatment for infertility issues.
In early winter 2013 we announced our partnership with Fairfax Egg Bank, and we’re excited for the opportunity to provide our patients the option of using frozen eggs from Fairfax Egg Bank- one of the nation’s largest selection of frozen eggs.
While 2013 was amazing, we’re sure 2014 is going to be even better. With the opportunity to do what we love and help patients achieve their dreams of building a family, we’re aiming high and ready to exceed every goal and expectation in the year ahead! Cheers to a healthy and prosperous New Year!
More than Gender Selection: PGD Can Decrease the Risk of Genetic Problems in Babies
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a cutting-edge reproductive technology that can be used in conjunction with IVF (in-vitro fertilization). In popular culture and movies, you may have heard of this procedure being used to determine embryo gender prior to pregnancy. Science fiction films have used PGD technology as a plot to create fictional storylines based on the ability of PGD technology to pre-determine the physical characteristics of babies, such eye color, build and height, but these “designer babies” are not what PGD is intended for. This incredible technology deserves credit for so much more than the ability to identify embryo gender (or even physical characteristics). In this article, we will explore the many different indications for PGD, how it can help decrease the risk of genetic diseases and what the considerations and limitations of PGD are.
The Science of PGD
In-vitro fertilization is necessary for PGD to be performed. In a typical IVF cycle, oocytes (eggs) are removed from a woman’s ovaries and are placed in a petri dish in the lab; the partner’s sperm is added to the dish where fertilization can take place. Once fertilized with sperm, the oocytes become embryos, and are placed in a warm incubator in the laboratory for three to five days. It is during this 3-5 day period of time that PGD can be performed. By removing 1-2 of these tiny, rapidly dividing cells from the embryo, PGD technology can be used to allow scientists to screen each embryo for genetic diseases, chromosomal abnormalities and even gender. There are several screening methods available for screening these extracted cells. One method, FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization), is where the extracted cells are fixed onto a microscope slide and hybridized with fluorescent-labeled DNA probes. Each of these probes are specific for a portion of a chromosome, which can be used to identify and localize certain DNA sequences. For example, probes used for the Y chromosome will fluoresce on male embryos (only males contain the Y chromosome), and probes used to detect Down syndrome will fluoresce in a particular pattern in embryos containing a third copy of chromosome 21 (the cause of Down syndrome). A newer screening technology is CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) which is even more effective since it screens all of the chromosomes in a developing embryo. Once embryos are screened, a couple can choose to transfer only chromosomally normal embryos back into the uterus in attempt to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, birth defects occur in nearly one in every 20 pregnancies, ranging from minor anatomic abnormalities to severe genetic disorders or mental retardation. Some couples may have a greater than average risk of having a child with a birth defect depending on their ethnic, family and medical background. For example, Caucasians have a 3-10% chance of carrying the defective cystic fibrosis gene. Even though carrying this gene is asymptomatic, if your partner also carries it you have a 1 in 25 chance of having a child affected by this devastating disease. Pre-conception blood testing can be performed on you and your partner to determine if you carry this gene, and if you are both found to be carriers, PGD can greatly reduce your chances of having an affected child. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, other ethnic associations for specific diseases include:
- Sickle cell disease – as many as 1 in 10 African American’s may be carriers
- Tay Sach’s disease- Eastern European Jewish and French Canadian’s have a higher chance of being a carrier
- Thalassemia- Greek, Italian, southern Asian and Mediterranean ethnicities have higher carrier rates.
- Spinal-muscular atrophy (SMA)- Caucasian, Asian Indian, Asian, Ashkanazi Jewish, Hispanic and African Americans can have as high as a 1:50 chance of carrying this disease even in the absence of a family history of the disorder.
If you have a family history of any inheritable disorders, you should seek genetic counseling prior to pregnancy to discuss what your chances are of having an affected child.
While PGD is not recommended as a routine procedure, it can be especially helpful for patients that have a known-carrier status for genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell or tay-sachs disease, have a history of recurrent pregnancy loss, or a family history of disorders or diseases like down syndrome, spinal-muscular atrophy, Huntington’s disease, hemophilia or neural tube defects. Some women choose to use PGD in conjunction with IVF if they have failed several IVF cycles and/or are of advanced maternal age, since the chance of fetal chromosomal abnormalities increases with maternal age.
Prior to PGD technology becoming widely available, and still today, most women relied on pre-natal testing to determine the health of their unborn child. Ultrasonography, AFP, fetal cells in maternal blood testing, amniocentesis (removal of amniotic fluid from the womb for testing) or CVS (sampling and testing of placental tissue) are all excellent pre-natal tests that can help determine if an unborn child is affected by a birth defect, but can only be performed once pregnancy is achieved. If an abnormality is found, the woman must make the decision to either continue or terminate the pregnancy, depending on the severity of the fetal abnormality. Moreover, while invasive procedure like CVS and amniocentesis are highly reliable, they do pose risks, including miscarriage.
Because PGD screening of embryos is performed prior to implantation or pregnancy, it provides the information needed to transfer only “normal” embryos back into the uterus, thus increasing the changes for a healthy baby and reducing maternal stress in cases of recurrent pregnancy loss, known carrier status for a disease, or a family history of birth defects.
PGD and Gender Selection
Knowing the gender of an embryo prior to implantation can be helpful especially if a parent carries an X-linked disorder, which means the disease in question is carried on the X (sex) chromosome. A child receives 23 chromosomes from the mother, and 23 from the father, however, the father is always responsible for the gender of the child.
The mother contributes an X sex chromosome to her child, and male sperm either contains an X or a Y chromosome. If a sperm containing a Y chromosome fertilizes an egg, the gender will be male (XY). If a sperm carrying an X chromosome fertilizes an egg, the gender will be female (XX). If the mother is a carrier of an X-linked disorder, such as hemophilia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and becomes pregnant with a boy, there is a 50% chance he will be affected since he only has one X chromosome inherited from his mother. In contrast, if a man carries an X-linked dominant disorder, like Alport syndrome, 100% of his daughters will have the disease. These gender-based genetic inheritance patterns make gender selection of embryos not only useful, but potentially life-changing, since the disease rates in certain genders can be so high. In these cases, rather than testing for the actual disorder, embryos can be selected based on gender to reduce the possibility of having a child affected by a debilitating disease.
Gender selection is not only used for medical purposes, but occasionally for the purpose of “family balancing”. Some families-try as they might- seem to have one gender outnumber the other. In a family containing three sons, a daughter may be desired, and PGD can be used to specifically select a female embryo (or vice versa). Because gender preference and predominance in some cultures is a concern, PGD used for gender selection (in the absence of an X-linked disorder) is illegal in the UK and was banned in Canada until 2012. The United States doesn’t have any strict laws pertaining to the use of PGD; however, the highly respected American Society for Reproductive Medicine discourages PGD used solely for gender selection in the absence of an X-linked disorder.
Limitations and Considerations
Like any technology, there are limitations to how much PGD can do. PGD technology is used to reduce the chances of debilitating diseases in offspring but is not always 100% accurate. Due to mosaicism (the one cell screened isn’t representative of the other cells in the embryo) some embryos may be incorrectly considered “abnormal” and discarded, or may be deemed normal when they are not. In addition, PGD testing specifically looks for certain chromosomal patterns and abnormalities, but cannot screen every embryo for every kind of abnormality (there are thousands!). Pre-natal testing, such as AFP or amniocentesis may still be needed to confirm the absence of birth defects in pregnancies following PGD to confirm normal fetal development.
Other limitations of PGD include the financial burden of the procedure itself; some medical insurances cover IVF if there is a medical indication for it, but PGD is typically not covered. Without any insurance coverage one IVF/PGD cycle can cost more than $10,000 (and pregnancy cannot be guaranteed). Further, there may be no “normal” embryos to transfer into the uterus to create a pregnancy after the screening-a result that is undeniably emotionally and financially devastating.
If you think PGD may be beneficial for you or someone you love, contact Fertility Solutions™. The physicians at Fertility Solutions™ have vast experience treating patients with recurrent pregnancy loss, genetic abnormalities, infertility and advanced maternal age. With over 50 years of combined experience, your Fertility Solutions™ physician can discuss your particular risk factors, help you navigate your financial and treatment options for pregnancy through IVF/PGD, and assist you in deciding if PGD is right for you.
Two New Patient Testimonials for Fertility Solutions
Fertility Solutions recently received two patient testimonials that we’d love to share with all of our patients and blog followers.
The first patient testimonial:
Dear Dr. Anania,
On October 21, 2013, we welcomed our son, Zachary into the world. We can never thank you enough for helping us become parents. I have enclosed a picture of Zach for you. I hope you had a happy holiday and [I’m] wishing you a happy new year with many more success stories.
C., S., and Z.
The second patient testimonial:
Dear [Dr.] Ania,
Words will never be able to explain how grateful we are for your services, expertise, and incredible staff who made this possible. We are so blessed with a healthy baby boy and owe it all to you! It is so surreal and just amazing as I stare at my son every day. We can’t thank you all enough! I’m so proud to be a part of the 40+ fertility stats!!!
Take care. We may just see you soon again!
- K., J.
Employee Recognition Series: Derek Delanski, Embryologist
The latest staff member of choice for January’s Employee Recognition Series is Derek Delanski. As an Embryologist at Fertility Solutions, Derek has helped many couples whose goal is to have a baby. Derek has worked in the field of IVF for eight years. Before working in the field of fertility, Derek worked for four 4 years in Research and Development in Biotechnology. He received his BS from Fitchburg State University.
Derek Delanski is a car enthusiast who particularly enjoys to auto-x, a Bruins fan, and an avid Disney addict.
Regarding his position on staff at Fertility Solutions, Derek says:
“I have joined Fertility Solutions because of the cutting edge tools and technology our lab offers. The doctors and our lab director are easily accessible and have proven their individual concerns and care for each and every patient. As a private clinic, Fertility Solutions is able to offer the full range of fertility options for each unique case.”
Derek, working hard the Fertility Solutions’ lab
Mike Lee, Director of Laboratories at Fertility Solutions states: “Derek is our ‘Johnny on the spot’ embryologist. He comes into the lab to cover difficult situations. He is an excellent embryologist with many years experience who learned our system very quickly. He is an asset to the labs and a welcome addition to our team.”
Our team would all like to thank Derek for his enthusiasm and work ethic.