February 27, 2014

What Are You Passing Down the Family Line?

Preventing Your Children from Inheriting Genetic Disease, and Reducing the Risks for Chromosomal Abnormalities

Everyone has special genetic traits that run in the family - grandma’s curly hair, dad’s green eyes, and mom’s slender wrists. These have nothing to do with a person’s health.

What Are You Passing Down the Family Line? Fertility Centers of Illinois
But sometimes, there are negative genetic traits that can be passed down. For some families, genetic abnormalities such as the breast cancer genes (BRCA1/BRCA2), Cystic Fibrosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy can be passed down the family line.

Some 7.9 million children are born each year with a birth defect. For more than half of these defects, the cause is unknown.

Other families, though, have uncovered their genetic predispositions.  If you are aware of genetic abnormalities in your family line, you may want to consider preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, as it is sometimes called.  These predispositions can be screened for prior to attempting pregnancy, as well.

PGD refers to determining whether an embryo possesses a dominant gene or pair of recessive genes prior to implantation to the uterus.

Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) can screen for chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome, which may not run in families, but are increased in women who are older, who have had miscarriages, or those who have had an abnormal fetus or child. 

So if you’re looking to start a family, what does this mean?

February 24, 2014

Free FCI Event | Making Parenting Conceivable: A Gay Man's Guide to Family Building - March 1!

Do you & your partner want children? We're hosting “Making Parenting Conceivable: A Gay Man’s Guide to Family Building” with ConceiveAbilities on March 1!

Come and learn more about surrogacy and egg donation while also taking the time to be educated about this amazing option at Chicago's Catalyst Ranch (656 W. Randolph St.) 9:30 – 12:30pm.

The exciting adventure of creating a family is a unique one for gay men and same-sex couples. Utilizing a surrogate and egg donor is complex, and the process can be magnified for gay men. However, with the right guidance, resources and preparation, this can be accomplished with ease!

Fertility Centers of Illinois and Conceive Abilities are bringing together top experts in reproductive medicine, reproductive LGBT law and psychology, as well as, families we've had the privilege of helping become a reality – to discuss the ins and outs of this unique journey to parenthood.

This FREE educational seminar will dispel the myths and give you the key tools you need to make parenthood conceivable. Sign up now to reserve your spot!

February 13, 2014

FCI Past Patient Guest Blog: Bill & Katie O’Connor

Fertility Centers of Illinois Past Patient Blog
Former patient, Katie O’Connor, wrote in her own words about her journey to motherhood with Fertility Centers of Illinois. She wanted to share her experiences so that they could help anyone who might be going through the same struggles, pain and worry. Read on to experience her journey through her eyes.
Fertility Centers of Illinois past patient blog: Katie O Connor
My journey through infertility started with my husband, Bill, and I deciding we wanted to start our family, get off the pill, and ring in 2009 with a normal annual exam at my OBGYN. I learned I had a non-existent period which lead to going through preliminary testing, trying several rounds of hormonal meds to help "jump start" my period. With nothing working, I got referred to an infertility specialist, going through WAY more testing, getting diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), to even more rounds of hormonal meds, (more than I can count) blood works and ultrasounds, and again nothing working. 
Turning the corner in 2010, I finally I got my period started - after several failed IUI (the glamorous acronym for Intrauterine Insemination, previously known as Artificial Insemination) attempts, we had our first IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) attempt. This time around included more meds (you name it I was probably on it), shots (in my stomach and my behind), tons of monitoring appointments (blood work and ultrasound), periods of stress, sadness, pain, and general "why me?". 

February 6, 2014

What NOT to Say to Someone Who is Dealing with Infertility

More than seven million Americans struggle with infertility. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who is still hoping and waiting for the child that has not yet come. Or maybe you’re one of those seven million, and wish your friends knew how to support you. 

Infertility brings its own brand of private grief. There are crushing disappointments and painful heartbreaks, along with invasive and expensive treatments. There is also hope – hope that this month will be different and the dream of parenthood will finally come true.  

The journey through infertility can be a long one, and emotional support is crucial along the way. Those who love you and are closest to you may not know what to do or say, and can unintentionally make it hurt even more.

Dr. Ariadna Cymet Lanski, a clinical psychologist who treats those with infertility at Fertility Centers of Illinois, offers these tips on what to avoid: