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Archive for the Category » Egg Donor Program «

December 05th, 2011 | Author:

California IVF Prepares for an Exciting Year Ahead and Celebrates with Family


The California IVF Family

In 2011, California IVF signed a collaboration agreement to take over fertility services for the UC Davis Department of OB/GYN, purchased a competitor’s facility in Sacramento and added three physicians to its roster. This coming year, California IVF will continue to expand and build the practice so we can help more patients in the Northern California region and from around the world.

Some of the most recent updates include: the installation of a new California IVF sign at our Sacramento facility, finalized renovation plans to bring a modernized IVF center to the Northern California region early next year, and new work with researchers at UC Davis to improve our ability to assess male fertility and embryo competency. ?Our California Conceptions Donated Embryo Program continues to grow and is providing an embryo adoption alternative for Canadian and Australian couples faced with restrictive oocyte donor laws.


Dr. Ernest Zeringue and Alisa Zeringue Enjoy the Picnic


Toddling Around the Party

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Category: Adoption, Egg Donor Program, In Vitro (IVF), Infertility, IUI - Insemination, Main  | Tags:  | Comments off
November 25th, 2010 | Author:


??????????????????California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has released our November 2010 edition of our infertility newsletter titled “Babies in Davis”. In the first edition of our infertility newsletter, we discuss what it takes to make us more than just a fertility center. Our extended family and the referrals from the Sacramento area doctors help make us the successful clinic we want to be and our patients deserve. We are very aware that our patients would rather get pregnant on their own without having to go to the local infertility clinic.  When patients see our help, the California IVF family is happy to adopt new members into our family so we can work together to provide the best possible chances of having a baby.  Our family is what makes us great.Photos from the previous reunion fill the pages of our newsletter along with other interesting stories and announcements. California IVF has announced a donor embryo program know as California Conceptions, an egg freezing program, and recently launched our online egg donor application. It has been a busy year for the staff and infertility doctors at California IVF: Davis Fertility Center.  Continuing to expand our services is important in our efforts to provide our patients with the very best infertility treatments.
Rounding out the newsletter is a brief article on surgical services for our infertility patients.  Many of our patients seeking infertility treatment help with inseminations (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) are not aware that our doctors perform many infertility surgery procedures to help correct problems that affect fertility.  Among these surgeries are myomectomies, or surgeries to remove uterine tumors that can prevent pregnancies, hysteroscopies to correct uterine polyps and remove a uterine septum, and tubal ligation reversal surgery which allows a woman to have her tubes put back together after a tubal ligation surgery.

Stay tuned for more interesting developments including an option to sign up to receive our newsletter via email.  Once again, we would like to give thanks to our family that was able to make it to our third annual family reunion.  It was a rainy day but that didn’t stop our event!  It was a great day of “babies and bellies” in the park.  Photos from our events as well as an electronic copy of our newsletter can be found at http://www.babiesindavis.com/.
 
 © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

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November 16th, 2010 | Author:

An embryologist is a scientist that works with sperm, eggs, and embryos. This field of work is known as embryology. Embryologists can work in human or animal embryology. Animal embryologist can help with breeding programs for a zoo, repopulation of endangered species, and breeding of livestock. Human embryologists work with infertility programs with the goal of helping couples have a baby.

The embryologist in an in vitro fertilisation program (IVF) plays a vital role in the journey to pregnancy for a couple struggling with infertility. During the course of infertility treatments, the embryologist will be involved from the start to finish of an in vitro fertilization – IVF cycle. During the testing phase before IVF treatments, the embryologists will prepare the embryology lab for infertility treatments by regulating and testing environmental conditions in the embryology laboratory including temperature, air quality, and humidity. Ordering supplies and the culture media, or liquids used to grow the embryos, is also a necessary step when preparing to start an IVF cycle.

Testing of sperm and freeing sperm samples from couples about to undergo treatment is another job of the embryologist during the testing phase Often, an embryologist will also work in the role of an andrologist, which is an individual that works with sperm.

In the IVF program at California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc., our embryologist Deborah Johnson conducts an educational seminar before patients undergo the egg collection procedure, or oocyte retrieval. This “egg class” is designed to introduce infertility patients to embryology and terminology used in an embryology laboratory.

During the egg retrieval procedure, embryologists receive test tubes containing liquid removed from the ovaries. The embryologist will search this fluid under a microscope and identify the eggs. The eggs are collected together and placed into petri dishes for the remainder of the IVF process. The embryologist is also responsible for fertilizing the eggs with sperm by conventional insemination techniques or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

ICSI is a more complicated procedure that involves using microscopic instruments to remove the cumulus cells surrounding the egg, allowing the embryologist to assess egg maturity and egg quality. After the sperm preparation procedure, an individual sperm is injected into each egg. When ICSI is not needed, sperm are placed in the dish with the eggs after the sperm preparation or sperm washing procedure is completed.

The day after the sperm and eggs are combined, the embryologist checks for fertilization by examining each egg under the microscope. Eggs that did not undergo ICSI will need to have the outer cells removed so the embryologist can perform the fertilization check. The fertilized eggs, or zygotes, are placed into an incubator that has been regulated to control gas mixture, temperature, and several other conditions. Optimal conditions in the embryology laboratory will allow the zygote to progress to the cell division stage, at which point the zygote becomes an embryo. The embryologist will check on the embryos and change the culture media as needing during the 3 to 5 days before the embryo transfer procedure.

Embryologists also perform embryo biopsy procedures on embryos at day 3 or day 5. During the embryo biopsy procedure, an embryologist must rely on experience to remove a single cell from an embryo while minimizing the risk of damage to the embryo. The embryologist will work with the laboratory performing the genetic test and coordinate the handling of the cells and test results. The embryologists skill at performing micromanipulation procedures on embryos can play a vital role in the success of IVF.

Using micro-surgical techniques, embryologists may also perform assisted hatching on embryos. During this procedure, microscopic tools are used to thin the outer shell of embryos and make a hole in the zona pellucida to facilitate the hatching process. The embryologist will also assess the quality of the embryos and provide the infertility doctor with a report on embryo quality. This information is used to determine if there are any issues with poor embryo quality that could affect the chances of a pregnancy.

When the best quality embryos are identified, the embryologists will load the embryos into the transfer catheter and work with the doctor to perform the embryo transfer procedure. Any remaining embryos that are not transferred and appear to have the capability of making a pregnancy, are frozen for later use. The embryologist is responsible for the cryopreservation of extra embryos during the IVF process.

Embryologists usually obtain their training in biologic sciences. Many embryologist gain their initial experience in animal laboratories before transferring into human IVF. Over the last few years, embryology training programs for human IVF have been formed. It is likely that there will be more of these programs in the future. Regardless of the training background of an embryologist, hands on experience is one of the most critical factors in an IVF lab.

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has some of the most experienced embryologists with over 30 years combined experience. Their experience allows us to easily adapt to developments in embryology that will help our family maximize our patient’s chances of having a baby.

— © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

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Category: Egg Donor Program, In Vitro (IVF), Infertility, Main  | Tags: , , ,  | Comments off
November 06th, 2010 | Author:

Natural pregnancy rates are affected by age and the average woman’s chance of conceiving on her own during a 12 month period of time decreases as she gets older. Advanced Maternal age is one cause of infertility.

  • 20-24 year old women have a 86% chance of conceiving in 12 months
  • 25-29 year old women trying to conceive have a 78% chance of getting pregnant within a year
  • 63% of women between the ages of 30-34 attain pregnancy naturally with 1 year
  • At 35-39 years old, most women have a 54% chance when trying to get pregnant over the course of one year.
  • After 40, a woman who is trying to conceive over 1 year has a 36% chance of pregnancy
  • By 45, only 5% of women conceive a child naturally after one year of trying for a pregnancy

In addition, after 1 year of not conceiving, there is only a 5% chance of getting pregnant by waiting an additional 6 months to 1 year. Another way to view this information is by a woman’s chance of getting pregnant per month. During the first year of trying, a woman at age 23 would have an approximately 25% chance of pregnancy each month, whereas a woman at age 40 would have a 13% chance of pregnancy each month.

The decline in a woman’s chances of getting pregnant is not related to a woman’s health or how young she feels. The main cause for this decrease in the chances of getting pregnant lies within the genetics of the egg.

As a woman ages, the quality of the eggs deteriorates. The decline in quality causes an increased risk of chromosomal problems within the eggs, which leads to fewer normal eggs and an increased risk of miscarriages due to chromosomally abnormal embryos such as Down syndrome. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGD)of embryos is one way to detect chromosomally abnormal embryos.

There are not any known medications or treatments that can change the effects of age on the eggs, since the problem lies within the genetics of the eggs. When a woman’s ovary is being formed, the body sets aside cells that will make up the eggs within the ovary. A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have in life. The eggs have not finished their cell division and still contain 2 complete sets of chromosomes. Before an embryo can be formed, the egg must finish separating the chromosomes so that the egg will only contribute one set of chromosomes that add to the set of chromosomes provided by the sperm. Over time, the ability of the egg to separate the chromosomes normally starts to decline, and there will be an increase in the number of chromosomally abnormal eggs. Many eggs will stop living because of the abnormalities, though a woman may still ovulate normally. Some embryos will be formed from an abnormal egg, but most of these pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.

In addition to the increase in chromosome abnormalities, the number of eggs available for fertility treatments will also decline. In a normal menstrual cycle, only one egg survives and goes through ovulation. During fertility treatments, medications are used to increase the number of eggs produced. As a woman ages, the number of eggs available, or “ovarian reserve,” decreases. Having fewer eggs available can result in lower pregnancy rates with fertility treatments. There are tests available to try to evaluate “ovarian reserve,” but these tests are often inaccurate. A normal ovarian reserve test does not imply that a woman has a better chance of getting pregnant and will not undo the effects of age on her chances of getting pregnant.

There are tests that can be used to detect abnormal eggs and embryos with genetic problems.  These tests are referred to as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, PGD, and pre-implantation genetic screening, PGS.  There are various techniques for looking at genetic material from embryos before pregnancy.  California IVF continues to push forward with new clinical infertility treatments to help with recurrent pregnancy loss, testing eggs before pregnancy, and gender selection.

When an egg from a donor is used, pregnancy rates are generally not affected by age. Women who are interested in becoming an egg donor are younger, screened for infectious diseases and generally provide excellent chances for another woman to become pregnant. Additionally, women using donor eggs would be more likely to have extra embryos which could be used in a frozen embryo transfer so the overall pregnancy rate is even higher than depicted. Donor eggs are often used as an option for women who are unsuccessful using their own eggs or who have reached an age where their chances using their own eggs become too low.

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January 19th, 2009 | Author:

This post is intended for egg recipients

Getting Started: If you elect to participate in the anonymous oocyte recipient program this information will be held in confidence. At the completion of your cycle your donor will not be informed of the outcome of the cycle. It will be up to you and your partner to decide with whom to share this information, including your obstetrician, should you conceive. We recommend that you consider who you will inform and the potential consequences of this decision prior to beginning a cycle of receiving anonymous oocytes. The oocyte donor’s identity is also protected and you will not be given any information about her. We will discuss our screening and matching procedures with you and make an attempt to incorporate any special requests that you may have in the selection of your donor. If you should use a known donor, she must meet the same screening criteria as our anonymous donors. Charges for the cycle with either anonymous or known donors is the same with the possible exception of donor compensation. It is your decision to choose whether or not you want to compensate a known donor.

A medical and genetic history form needs to be completed by you and your partner. This information will need to be returned to us before we can begin the matching process. In this form you are asked to provide physical characteristics (height, weight, hair and eye color, and blood type) and genetic/medical history of both partners. Donors are matched with these characteristics as closely as possible. We also require that both partners have screening lab work obtained prior to beginning a cycle. The evaluation will also include an assessment of the uterine lining as well as other general health information. If your partner’s sperm is being used, a semen analysis will also need to be performed.

For more information visit: http://californiaivf.com/donor-eggs.htm

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January 19th, 2009 | Author:

Getting Started
Thank you for your interest in becoming an Oocyte (egg) donor at California IVF. The goal of our program is to provide eggs anonymously to women with unable to produce quality eggs on their own. Ovarian failure is one of the leading causes of infertility and may occur for many reasons. Delayed child-bearing, radiation or chemotherapy therapy for cancer, autoimmune diseases and surgical removal of the ovaries are a few of the causes of ovarian failure. Women of advanced age are also candidates for donor oocytes. Donor oocytes provide couples with little or no chance of achieving a pregnancy a > 65% chance of conceiving each cycle.

Donating eggs is not an easy process and will require a commitment of time and energy. Couples with whom you may be matched will be investing a large amount of money for each cycle. In addition to their financial investment, people become emotionally committed to their treatments. It is extremely important that you are willing to complete the process once begun. Please let us know if at any time you decide that you are unwilling to participate in this program and your profile can be removed from the registry.

Once you are given an introduction to the screening and treatment process, you will be given the opportunity to proceed. The screening process will involve blood work, an ultrasound, and a psychological evaluation. For the psychological evaluation, you will meet with a psychologist who will talk with you about why you want to be a donor, and her staff will administer a psychological test called the MMPI. The interview and test are not difficult or threatening. Additional tests may be required in certain circumstances. You will not have to pay for any of the testing or screening procedures. We do however, encourage you to use your current health benefits to receive your annual Pap smear screening and routine gynecological exam. Copies of this information should be requested and brought with you to your initial appointment.

For more information visit: http://californiaivf.com/Egg-Donor.htm

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