Posts

11
Oct

Hexagard May Replace IVIG Therapy for Treating Autoimmune Deseases in the Future

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imageIVIG therapy is used by fertility patients who have recurrent implantation failures or recurrent pregnancy losses. IVIG therapy is thought to repress a woman’s immune system, which may be attacking the embryo or fetus, mistaking it for a foreign body. IVIG is made up of human antibodies, derived from washed and processed donor blood. During the treatment, IVIG Therapy is meant to reduce the amount of natural killer (NK) cells in the body, and/or may absorb or block a woman’s antibodies, which are causing the body to attack the pregnancy.
Women who have tested positive for natural killer cells and have experienced multiple miscarriages or implantation failures, may opt for the use of IVIG therapy to increase their chance of conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term.
During a treatment session, IVIG is introduced to the body very slowly through an intravenous drip in the arm, possibly taking several hours. It is recommended that IVIG be administered prior to embryo transfer, and then two additional times following a positive pregnancy test.
Currently the cost of IVIG therapy is upwards toward $3000 per treatment for medications, and on average $150 for monitoring costs at CNY Fertility. The nursing costs can be submitted to insurance; however, IVIG therapy is seldom covered by insurance.
Because this medication is so costly, and autoimmune diseases affect 9 million UK citizens alone, it’s capturing the attention of public health officials in developing countries. Recently, Professor Richard Please won the Universal Biotech Innovation Prize 2013 for a project that deals with the development of Hexagard, a biomimetic to replace IVIG Therapy which would be much cheaper and approximately 50 times more effective. Read more about Hexagard here.
NOTE: Prices are always subject to change and medication costs can always vary.

11
Aug

Nutrition for Fertility: Mixed-Up Berry Pop Recipe

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Yum! Fresh, juicy berries…not only are they delicious and plentiful this time of year; they are also healthy for you and can be beneficial to men and women who are trying to conceive! They are a perfect snack as is, frozen, or used in recipes for a cool summertime treat (…and all year long)!
These wonderful sun-ripened berries are high in fiber, low in calories and packed with nutrients. Eat ‘em all—the reds, the blues, and the black ones—the more color the better—the color adds to the nutritional value as well. Anthocyanins found in red raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries act as a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage. Berries are also an excellent source of Vitamin C which enhances sperm quality as well as sperm motility. Vitamin C found in berries also helps the immune system function properly, which may be beneficial during IVF cycles.
Here’s a fun summer recipe using those plump, tasty berries!
Frozen Mixed-Up Berry Pops:
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of red raspberries
1 cup of strawberries
2/3 cup of water
Using a hand blender, combine the berries in the bowl with water and puree until smooth. You can then freeze the pureed mixture in a popsicle mold (if you don’t own one, you can use disposable mini-cups or even an ice cube tray with popsicle sticks, which can be found in the craft section at stores).
The possibilities with this recipe are endless! If you like your pop to be a little sweeter, try adding some honey or even lavender-flavored honey to the mixture. If you like a little tartness, you can add lemon juice to the mix. Even drinking the pureed mixture straight, or diluting it a bit, can make for an aromatic and refreshing drink over ice!
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If you are a new patient and would like an initial fertility consultation, click here to request a phone or in-office visit, or call us toll free with your questions at 800-539-9870.

24
Sep

Intralipids

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CNY Fertility Center in Syracuse, Rochester and Albany now offer an innovative new treatment called Intralipids to help women who have had recurrent miscarriage, multiple failed IVF cycles or multiple failed IUI cycles. Intralipids deactivate natural killer cells in a woman’s body which may prevent embryos from implanting and growing properly in the uterus.
New research has suggested that women who have experienced
recurrent miscarriages or multiple failed IUI or IVF cycles as a
result of natural killer cell activation may benefit from the use of
intralipids. Intralipids are synthetic and made from 1.2% egg
yolk phospholipids, 10% soybean oil, 2.25% glycerin and water.
It is administered through an IV 4-7 days before embryo transfer
or insemination.

Natural killer cells are regulated by the immune system. In
women who have autoimmune issues, the natural killer cells can
react abnormally to an implanting embryo, treating it as an
invading cell and signaling for the body to attack it. Studies
have found that intralipids can help to deactivate the natural
killer cells, allowing the embryo to implant on the uterine wall
and grow normally. Intralipids are re-administered 4-5 weeks
following a positive pregnancy test, to keep the natural killer
cells deactivated until the pregnancy can override the signals
being sent by the immune system.

Intralipids (approximately $100 per administration) are far less
expensive than Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) (approximately
$2000 per administration), and initial studies show
comparable efficacy for deactivation of natural killer cells and
pregnancy rates. Intralipids are well tolerated by patients with
few side effects and are created synthetically, unlike IVIG which
is a blood product. It takes about an hour and a half to two
hours for the intralipids to be administered through the IV.

For more information about intralipids call CNY Fertility Center or
ask your nurse if you are a candidate at your next appointment.

3
Sep

Intralipids, infertility and your immune system

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CNY Fertility Center, Rochester, NY - Waiting RoomGreetings from the Staff at CNY Fertility Center in Rochester, NY! The start of the Fall Season brings the expansion of our clinical services we now offer to our clients. We are now scheduling patients to receive their Intralipid Therapy with us at our East Avenue location.
Some types of infertility may be caused by a slightly overactive immune system. When this occurs the immune system can attack egg, sperm, embryo and even a developing fetus. This can result in difficulty achieving pregnancy, maintaining the pregnancy, or repeated miscarriages.
Intralipids have been shown to lower the activity of the natural killer cells component of our immune system. The method of administration is an IV infusion of 90 to 120 minutes duration and require that you are not allergic to soy or egg products,  and also do not have a history of high cholesterol or liver disease. This therapy may be something that can benefit you. For more information regarding call us at 585-244-1280 and have a great Fall!

25
May

IVIG Therapy

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IVIG therapy is used by fertility patients who have recurrent implantation failures or recurrent pregnancy losses. IVIG therapy is thought to repress a woman’s immune system, which may be attacking the embryo or fetus, mistaking it for a foreign body. IVIG is made up of human antibodies, derived from washed and processed donor blood. It is not clear exactly how IVIG works, but studies suggest that it may reduce the amount of natural killer (NK) cells in the body, and/or may absorb or block a woman’s antibodies, which are causing the body to attack the pregnancy.
Women who have tested positive for natural killer cells and have experienced multiple miscarriages or implantation failures, may opt for the use of IVIG therapy to increase their chance of conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term.
During a treatment session, IVIG is introduced to the body very slowly through an intravenous drip in the arm, possibly taking several hours. It is recommended that IVIG be administered prior to embryo transfer, and then two additional times following a positive pregnancy test.
Currently, ASRM suggests that IVIG therapy be considered experimental treatment because studies have reported inconclusive results on the positive effects of IVIG therapy for recurrent pregnancy loss patients.
The cost of IVIG therapy at CNY Fertility Center is $1500 per treatment for medications, plus $500 for nursing costs. The nursing costs can be submitted to insurance; however, IVIG therapy is seldom covered by insurance.
NOTE: Prices are always subject to change and medication costs can always vary.

25
May

Endometriosis

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Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrial tissues are displaced from inside the uterus to elsewhere in the body, such as on the outside of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tube, bladder or bowel. During a normal menstrual cycle, the endometrial lining of the uterus builds up with blood and tissue that is ready to receive an embryo. When an embryo does not implant, the lining sheds and is released through the vagina, and a women’s menarche or period occurs. With endometriosis, endometrial tissue continues to act normally, building up and shedding with each menstrual cycle. However, when it is trapped elsewhere in the body, there is no where for the lining to escape to. This can result in inflammation or cysts of endometrial blood and tissue called endometriomas, which may lead to pain, discomfort and infertility for women. Endometriosis can also lead to adhesions, which are scars in the abdomen that cause infertility.
Approximately 30-50% of women who have endometriosis have infertility issues. Some symptoms of endometriosis are painful periods, pain during intercourse, infertility, lower back pain, fatigue and pain during bowel movements at the time of menstruation. Endometriosis may have an immunological component to it, so women may also experience eczema, chemical sensitivities and allergies.
It is uncertain what exactly causes endometriosis, however there are many theories. One theory suggests that renegade endometrial tissue is backed up out of the fallopian tubes into the abdomen, however many women without endometriosis experience this phenomena as well. Another suggests that endometrial tissue is transported from the uterus via blood and lymph to other areas of the body. Researchers also theorize that it is genetic, and that women are predisposed to having endometriosis because their immune system cannot handle properly disposing of these tissues. There is also a theory which suggests that embryonic tissue that a woman retains into her adulthood can turn into endometriosis, or that certain adult tissues are able to change to endometrial tissue, under specific conditions. Women who have had surgery may experience endometriosis, suggesting that surgical transplantation is responsible.
The environment has also been studied as a cause of endometriosis. Exposure to dioxins (from incineration of certain plastics) and pcb’s (pesticide chemicals) is thought to be a possible cause. In a case study where rhesus monkeys were exposed to dioxins, 79% of the colony developed endometriosis. There is concern that the incineration of medical supplies, such as pvc tubing from medical plastics like IV lines, releases dioxins into the environment. These chemicals infiltrate pastures, are ingested by livestock and eventually passed on to humans.
A physician may initially diagnose a patient with endometriosis because of symptoms; however, a true diagnosis cannot be made until a laparoscopy is performed. While under general anesthesia, small incisions are placed in the abdomen and a laparoscope is used to visualize the endometriosis inside the pelvic cavity. The endometriosis is graded on severity. Women who have severe cases benefit more from the laparoscopic removal of endometriosis and endometriomas than women who have light to moderate endometriosis. Some women experience an increase in fertility up to approximately nine months following surgery.
Surgery by laparoscopy is the most thorough means of removing current endometriosis, but does not prevent future symptoms. The use of a hormone regimen, like birth control pills, to reduce the estrogen in the body can help with pain symptoms and the development of future endometriosis, but does not remove current endometriosis. Alternative practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which uses herbs and acupuncture, have been noted as being helpful with the management of symptoms. TCM is offered at CNY Healing Arts (www.cnyhealingarts.com).
If you think you may have endometriosis, there are options to help increase your fertility including surgery and Traditional Chinese Medicine. For more information about endometriosis call us at any one of our three centers. Syracuse 1.800.539.9870, Albany 1.866.375.4589 or Rochester 585.244.1280.