Posts

14
Jun

LGBT Pride Month Support and Teleworkshop

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sunflowerJune is LGBT Pride Month, and CNY Fertility Center is celebrating by offering awareness and resources for family planning.  We are pleased to have worked with so many families from the LGBT community, and we love being an active resource locally in Syracuse, Albany, and Rochester, New York.
We have the capability to facilitate a wide variety of cycles, to meet your specific family’s needs.  We recognize that there are many decisions to be made when entering into family planning, so we are offering a free Fertility Support Teleworkshop on Monday, June 17th focusing on LGBT specific needs.  This teleworkshop will be led by our Support Coordinator, Lisa, and head of our Albany Nursing Team, Justine.  During the call we will review cycle and emotional support options, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.  For call information, please email Lisa: Lstack@cnyfertility.com
For our support opportunities, both in-office and virtual, please check our CNY Fertility and CNY Healing Arts calendars.
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If you are interested in a more private one-on-one support situation, Lisa Stack is our CNY Fertility Center Support Coordiator, she offers her services as a lay support person and can be contacted by email at lstack@cnyfertility.com.
If you are interested in an initial fertility consultation either over the phone (if you live out of the NY State region) or in-office, please call our toll-free number at 800.539.9870 or request a consult here.
 
 

3
May

NEW Donor Embryo's Available as of May 1st, 2013

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Donor Embryo Cycle - CNY Fertility CenterOur Donor Embryo program was established over the past couple of years, with very positive outcomes, as an alternative option for Recipients looking to try a Donor Egg Cycle.  This unique program differs greatly from our Donor Egg cycles, but offers just as much hope and opportunity for the creation of family.  The embryos available are those remaining from other patients’ IVF cycles.  These patients have decided that they do not wish to transfer these embryos, and would like to give that opportunity to someone else.
Similar to the nature of the Donor Egg cycles, the donor profiles (of both egg and sperm) are available online, and they have completed a similar medical and social history – see below for the current list.  While the recipient does not have the ability to choose the sperm used, there are many benefits to this program.  These embryos are readily available, and all of the testing has been completed, so cost and time are both greatly decreased (embryo cycle costs here).
We have donor embryos available right now, as of May 1st, 2013, if you’re interested in exploring this option:
You can call our office toll free 1.855.CNY.EGGS or send an email:
Patricia Breh – pbreh@cnyfertility.com
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12
May

April's Journey to Fertility: Every Baby Truly is a Miracle

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April is a CNY Fertility Center patient and has been on her journey to fertility for approximately three years. April will share candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face. CNY Fertility Center has locations in Syracuse, Albany and Rochester, NY.
Week 73:  Every Baby Truly is a Miracle
If I had to identify the most important lesson I have learned during my four year journey to fertility it is this: every baby truly is a miracle. Think about it. The majority of us probably just thought we would try to get pregnant, and within a month or two it would happen. We failed to recognize the intricate timing needed for everything to be just right and for everything to work in our bodies; not only does there have to be mobile sperm and a fertile egg, but there have to be balanced hormone levels to support the pregnancy. Aside from that, there are a number of other factors that go into conception and pregnancy. If you are reading this blog, you are probably recalling all of the details that allow conception to occur and pregnancy to thrive. We know all so much about these details because we have been to multiple appointments, endured consistent and invasive tests, and have had serious conversations with our partners about issues we never even knew existed. We have had to examine which choice would be the right one when the last procedure didn’t work. We have learned of so many other pregnancies that just naturally occurred.
We know babies are miracles because we have endured the emotionally exhausting and physically demanding world of infertility. The United States just celebrated National Infertility Week, and I wonder how many Americans were even aware of that fact. How many individuals have any concept of what it is to fight for a baby, for what comes so easily to others? I also wonder how many women really understand the “miracle” of their bodies working, of their babies being healthy, of their pregnancies thriving. There is so much pain in this journey; yet the beauty of pregnancy and motherhood is miraculous. Perhaps the miracle will not come in the form you thought it would. In fact, for those of us who have been on this journey for years, we know it is time to examine alternatives to family building, and I just hope that each one of us can continue to go back to the very essence of motherhood, which is that every baby truly is a miracle. Biological babies are miracles; babies conceived through the use of a sperm donor are miracles; babies conceived through the use of an egg donor are miracles; babies that are a result of IVF or IUI procedures are miracles; surrogate babies are miracles; adopted babies are miracles. You are a miracle!
As I move forward on my journey, I intend to continually focus on the fact that every baby is a miracle. I want to be pregnant and give birth to my baby, but my baby may not arrive in the traditional manner. Nonetheless, he or she will be our little miraculous blessing. I can’t wait to welcome our baby into our home, no matter how he or she gets here.
Wishing you many miracles,
April all year
april.allyear@yahoo.com

30
Mar

Questions for our Egg Donor Coordinator

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Do you have any pressing questions that you would like our Donor Coordinator, Kari Gardner, LPN to answer?  Submit them as a comment or email me, and I will get them answered for you in video or article format!
 
It is important for you to feel secure and confident during your treatment, so we want to make sure you have all the information you need!
 
Any and all questions are welcome!
Lisa
Lstack@cnyfertility.com

28
Nov

The Embryo Donation Process

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Our Embryo Donation Program offers a wonderful opportunity for our clients with embryos remaining from their cycles.  This program allows you to donate your embryos to another client, who is unable to conceive with their own gametes.  Working closely with our donor team, you have the opportunity to help another family achieve their dreams.
The process of donation is quite simple.  From the moment you begin, you will have access to member of our team at all times.  They will explain each step clearly and patiently, so that you feel completely comfortable.  To begin, we suggest you contact our Donor Coordinators and ask any initial questions you may have.  Once we hear from you, we will send out a packet of information along with consent forms, and a questionnaire.  The questionnaire will give the prospective embryo recipients an idea of your medical history, and social background.  While the process is completely anonymous, the more detailed information you can give, the better.
Once the embryos have been selected and adopted, we will bring you into the office to complete the required FDA testing.  This tests for infectious diseases, and a few other criteria that need to be fulfilled to satisfy FDA requirements.  The testing takes approximately 10 days to return, and once complete the recipient family will begin the process for a frozen embryo transfer.
The beauty of embryo donation is that it offers the donating family a sense of closure and satisfaction, while also creating opportunities for a recipient family in need.  If you feel that the Donor Embryo Program is something that would compliment your experience at CNY Fertility Center, please don’t hesitate to contact our donor team.  They are ready to guide you through this unique and loving process.
For more information regarding the Embryo Donation Program, please contact our Donor Coordinators:
You may contact the Donor Team by calling 800.539.9870 (toll free)
Or via email:
Pati Breh: Pbreh@cnyfertility.com
Stephanie Rogers: Srogers@cnyfertility.com
Kari Gardner: Kgardner@cnyferility.com

We look forward to hearing from you. Our donation team would be happy to further explain the cycles available to you.  Please visit our website for more information: http://cnyfertility.com/donor-gametes/donor-profiles/embryo-donor-profiles/

27
Jul

How do you know when you’re ready for a donor cycle?

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At CNY Fertility Center, we are able to offer our patients many ways to help them conceive.  One of the most unique is the Donor Program (eggs, sperm, and embryos).  Within the Donor Program our patients have an incredible opportunity to work towards their goal of parenthood, while utilizing donated gametes or embryos.  As wonderful as these cycles are, many of our patients feel perplexed about deciding when the time is right to begin.  Taking that step into the world of the Donor Program can appear challenging and intimidating, but there are a few ways to determine if you are ready.
Many of our patients claim to ‘just know’ when the time is right.  They feel as though they have done all they could have, using their or their partner’s gametes.  At that point the decision feels simple and natural.  If you feel an instinctual pull either way, trust that feeling.  Your mind and body have a wonderful way of letting you know what should come next.
Some patients may not have that clear sense either way.  To help yourself come to that intuitive feeling, place yourself in that moment.  Assess the emotions that arise when you consider what it will feel like to take those initial steps.  Do you feel hope, anxiety, or excitement?  Do you feel like it is too soon?  Then, imagine continuing along the same path you are on.  Do you feel comfortable?  Are you anxious that you should be doing more?  Try to gauge what your reaction would be in each situation, and compare the two.  This may help further the conversation, and offer a bit more direction.
As you are considering a donor cycle, be sure to have an open and honest conversation with your partner, if you are in a relationship.  Also know that we would be happy to discuss any of your concerns with you, and help you work towards the next step.
For more information regarding Donor Egg or Donor Embryo cycles, please contact our Donor Coordinators:
You may contact the Donor Team by calling 800.539.9870 (toll free)
Or via email:
Pati Breh: Pbreh@cnyfertility.com
Stephanie Rogers: Srogers@cnyfertility.com
Kari Gardner: Kgardner@cnyferility.com

We look forward to hearing from you, and creating the family you have always wanted.
Our donation team would be happy to further explain the cycles available to you.  Please visit our website for more information: http://cnyfertility.com/donor-gametes/

22
Jul

April's Journey to Fertility: Hope versus Reality

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April is a CNY Fertility Center patient and has been on her journey to fertility for approximately two and a half years. April will share candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face. CNY Fertility Center has locations in Syracuse, Albany and Rochester, NY.
Week 57: Hope versus Reality
Every single month, I tell myself that I may have actually gotten pregnant naturally, but that never happens. I am not even sure why I still think that might happen. Perhaps the insanity of infertility has finally taken over my better judgment. Or perhaps I think a natural pregnancy is still possible because I have friends who, despite years of infertility, have become pregnant – naturally. But those stories do not solve my problem. Although they certainly provide hope in what seems to be a hopeless situation, they do not provide a solution. We have to find the solution to our family building challenges from within.
As a result of these conflicted feelings, I have recently been asking myself when is being hopeful unrealistic and when is being realistic pessimistic? I have come to the following conclusions:
There is always hope because there are always options. When men are infertile, there is the option of donor sperm. When a woman’s egg quality is questionable or poor, a couple may choose to use donor eggs. Surrogacy is also a possibility for women who may not be able to carry a pregnancy to full term themselves. And there are many babies and children who need homes in adoptive families. As long as my husband and I are open to our many family building options, there is hope that we will be mothers, fathers, parents. (Granted, this is an incredibly simplified breakdown of a couple’s options and there are many emotional and technical details related to each of the above, but the importance of remembering that there are many possibilities is invaluable.)
Openly discussing possible next steps means we are choosing to be informed. Exploring all of the possible paths to parenthood does not mean we are pessimistic about our current path or that we have lost hope. Rather, it means we have faith that we will be parents, no matter how we build our families. We understand that a child is a gift, no matter from where that little being comes.
Most importantly, when we remember there are many ways to build our families we may relieve some of the pressure we feel as we proceed through an assisted cycle. We want any medically supported cycle to work and to be successful. Yet if we know there is a next step, then we may feel more at ease as we proceed through the unknown.
Open to all possibilities,
April all Year
Click here to read all of April’s previous blog articles on her Journey toward Fertility.

22
Jun

Donor Cycles: Do you tell your family?

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At CNY Fertility, we are proud to offer many options for those trying to conceive.  Among those options, the Donor Program is most often welcomed with open hearts, and curious minds.  While many of our patients are grateful for the opportunity to conceive with donated eggs, sperm, or embryos, they may also experience concerns regarding how much information to disclose about their cycle.  Do you tell friends and family that you are using donor gametes?  How do you answer the potential questions?  Do you tell your child?  At what age?

It is important to realize that all of these concerns are valid, and healthy.  As you are rehearsing these potentially challenging conversations, know that it is out of love and protection of the family you have worked so hard for.  Your concern shows your maternal/paternal desire to protect your child, as well as preserve their happiness and privacy.

So how much do you disclose?  It is up to you.  While this decision should not be made hastily, it is important to listen to your inner voice.  Imagine yourself in the potential conversation, and sit with those emotions for a few moments.  It is normal to feel some anxiety and apprehension, but what do you feel overall?  Does it feel like it would be a relief to tell your family?  Or does it feel like a decision best to be left private?  There are no correct answers here.  Whatever you decide will be best for your family.  You are not obligated to disclose either way.

Remember that it is normal to feel apprehension when trying to decide how much to tell, and to whom.  A rehearsed ‘script’ can alleviate some of this anxiety, and can also prevent you from disclosing too much information while you are in the moment.  Also, it is important to make sure you have had an honest discussion with your partner, to be sure your plan is clear.  Whatever you decide will be best for your family, and you never have to apologize for your choices, or explain yourself.

If you would like more support on this subject, please feel free to join us at any of our Circle of Hope support group meetings.  Meeting information can be found on our CNY Fertility Calendars: http://cnyfertility.com/discussion/calendar.php
For more information regarding Donor Egg or Donor Embryo cycles, please contact our Donor Coordinators.
You may contact the Donor Team by calling 800.539.9870 (toll free)
Or via email:
Pati Breh: Pbreh@cnyfertility.com
Stephanie Rogers: Srogers@cnyfertility.com
Kari Gardner: Kgardner@cnyferility.com

We look forward to hearing from you, and creating the family you have always wanted.
Our donation team would be happy to further explain the cycles available to you.  Please visit our website for more information: http://cnyfertility.com/donor-gametes/

21
Jan

Solo Mothers

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IVF in single women with donor eggs and donor sperm
CNY Fertility Center has locations in Syracuse, NY Albany, NY and Rochester, NY. Fertility treatments are affordable and include low cost IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). Our caring and experienced staff provides confidential treatments for heterosexual couples, same sex couples and  unmarried individuals who are looking to conceive. CNY Fertility Center offers donor eggs, donor sperm and donor embryos. In this article we will explore the options for solo mothers using donor eggs and sperm IVF to create their family.

There is virtually no method for trying to conceive which has not been explored in this day of increasingly progressive options. There can be many different match ups between the sources of the sperm and eggs, thanks to the structure of the IVF technique. It seems that where there is a will, there is a way.

Over the past 20 years, the new class of “solo mothers” has emerged. This is an example of the strength of the drive for reproduction, despite seemingly overwhelming odds. One study focused on 11 single Israeli women who required both eggs and sperm from anonymous sources. These women’s biological clocks had indeed run out, as their average age was 46. Prior to treatment, these women were intensively interviewed regarding issues of older parenting and the living adjustments that would have to be made.

In most countries, it is only financially stable women with college educations who choose to become mothers in this fashion. In pro-baby Israel, the national health care system actually encourages this further, as it provides infertility treatment for producing up to two children up to the maternal age of 51, without regard to marital status. Out of the small Israeli study group, three women had not attended college.  Upon follow-up, socio-emotional development and mother-child relationships seemed satisfactory. All the women reported the highest possible levels of satisfaction with parenthood.

Several of these women were working full time; however, they were depending on extended families and day care facilities during those hours. Interestingly, the lack of a genetic bond did not seem to be a concern for the women: The gestational bond seemed quite strong and was distinguished from adoptive situations. This information may be of help to others considering egg donations.

It is known that IVF can produce multiple births, and this may carry some health risks for the children. In the small Israeli study, one set of twins had suboptimal health after a premature birth.  Certainly this risk is an important one to remember, if a single parent. The amount of work and time involved may be greater than “normal,” if circumstances such as this arise. Replacement of single embryos is a consideration for women in this situation. And that might mean an increase in the number of attempts to have a child; therefore, it might increase IVF cost.

Methods of low cost IVF can be applied in the pursuit of conception for the single woman. Egg donors may have low gonadotropin stimulation for fresh cycle therapy. Egg banks using frozen eggs are also now a realistic option to pursue. This is because the splitting of batches of donated eggs among two or more recipients lowers the cost of IVF.

There is debate on what to tell the child. Concerns have been raised about the previous secrecy involved and much increased openness with the children has been advocated. This and other related topics are covered in a recent book by Angela Best Boss and Evelina Sterling. It is of note that the writers provide a professional counseling service at www.myfertilityplan.com.   Also we recommend the referenced article published in Women’s Health on a related topic.

References:
Best-Boss, Angie and Sterling, Evelina. Having Your Baby through Egg Donation  2005.
Kirkamn M.  Egg and embryo donation and the meaning of motherhood.  Women’s Health 2003; 38: 1-18.
Landau R et al. Older single mothers and IVF with sperm and egg donation. Fertil Steril 2008; 90: 576-583

8
Apr

Disclosure and the Use of Donor Gametes

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When considering the use of donor gametes, it is important to think about and to discuss the full scope of how this decision will effect all those involved, especially the child(ren) being created. Establishing a dialogue and discussing these issues in advance is essential.

Children conceived using donor gametes (sperm or eggs) are genetically related to the egg or sperm donor. Gamete donors relinquish their parental rights to all subsequent embryos or children created using the donated gametes. Listed are some questions you may want to discuss.

1. If you won’t be the genetic parent of the child, will that affect how you feel about yourself or the resulting child?
This is a complicated issue to think about and discuss with your partner. The importance of genetic heritage is different for everyone.

2. Who, if anyone, should we tell?
A psychologist shared with us at a recent conference that non-disclosure to your child might mean non-disclosure to everyone. Many patients, who told family or friends of their
plans to use donor gametes, later regretted that decision if they were not planning to tell the child.

3. What about medical issues? What do or don’t you tell the pediatrician/doctor?
Some patients have taken on the medical background of the donor (if available) to create a more accurate picture of the child’s genetic background. Modern technology is moving further toward genetic testing, and at some point a medical question may bring up the need to disclose the truth about the child’s genetic parentage.
Although ultimately the sole decision is the parents’, there has been a trend by psychologists and other professionals encouraging disclosure and openness. To date the closest model to guide us on this topic is that of adopted children. Studies have shown that children who are informed of their adoption early in life, at an age where they can understand the concept, are usually are not adversely affected by the knowledge of their adoption.

The ethics committee for ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) has stated that disclosing the use of donor gametes, and available nonidentifying characteristics, may be in the best interests of the child(ren). Studies have shown that it is best to introduce this information earlier rather than later in a child’s life so that they can assimilate the information over time. Studies have suggested that disclosure of this information later in life may be disruptive to the child.

For more information about oocyte or sperm donation or disclosure you may contact CNY Fertility Center by phone at 800.539.9870, or email Pati Breh, one of our Egg Donor Coordinators at pbreh@cnyfertility.com or explore the resources listed below.
www.asrm.org/Media/Ethics/informing_offspring_donation.pdf
www.theafa.org