April 25, 2014

FCI Past Patient Guest Blog: Michelle, Shaun & Evan Doherty!

Former patient,  Michelle Doherty, 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.

Infertility has affected every aspect of our lives. It has strengthened our relationship with each other,
grown our dependance and faith in God & shown us the amazing support system of family & friends in our lives.

Having children seems like something that should be so simple but for us it has been the hardest & most gut wrenching time of our lives. For us, it shook us to our core. It showed us who we really are and what is important in our lives. There were some devastating moments but for us those moments gave way to incredible joy and blessings.

We were lucky enough to have people in our lives that had also been down the road of infertility, their knowledge was invaluable and in both cases they recommended Fertility Centers of Illinois.

April 23, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week: Dr. Eve Feinberg's Story

People often ask me if I went into the field of reproductive medicine because I was infertile.  I actually think the opposite was true, I became infertile because of my medical training.

How It All Started
I met my husband in high school. We dated for 10 years before getting married.  I have always considered myself a healthy person. I am athletic, I work out, I eat well and am a normal weight. When I started medical school, I was extremely stressed out.  I went from living in a cozy apartment surrounded by good friends to living on my own in a studio apartment in the heart of downtown Chicago.  Classes went on for 10 hours a day and I was up most nights well past midnight studying.

April 22, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week: Frozen Donor Egg - The Newest Technology in the Field of Egg Donation

The newest technology to emerge in the field of egg donation is the freezing of eggs prior to fertilization. When the AmericanSociety for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lifted the experimental label on egg freezing in 2013, frozen eggs become a mainstream treatment option offering several patient advantages.

We performed our first IVF cycles utilizing frozen donor eggs at Fertility Centers of Illinois in 2013 with great success. As frozen donor eggs continue to gain popularity, more and more embryo transfers are performed.

In 2013 alone, FCI performed over 80 embryo transfers utilizing eggs from DEB USA, with Donor Egg Bank USA completing over 700 transfers since its July 2012 launch. As a whole, Donor Egg Bank USA reports a 52 percent clinical pregnancy rate per transfer since inception, with an ongoing pregnancy rate of 45 percent. These rates are comparable to fresh donor egg pregnancy rates.

Patients are offered three main benefits by choosing frozen donor egg over fresh egg donation. First, recipients have access to a diverse donor database. FCI is a partner practice of Donor Egg Bank USA along with 27 additional centers throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

Each U.S. partner practice freezes and stores eggs in their laboratory to share across the Donor Egg Bank USA network. This allows recipient couples across the country, and even internationally, to take advantage of the national diverse donor database that the Donor Egg Bank USA network offers.

The second large advantage is the convenience and significant time saving offered to patients with frozen donor egg. Because eggs are already frozen, they are immediately available for treatment. Couples can select a donor and begin an IVF cycle in as little as one to three months.

This is in distinct contrast to a fresh donor cycle, where recipients can wait several months for a donor. After a recipient is matched with a (fresh) egg donor, the donor must be stimulated for an egg retrieval, and cycles must be coordinated between the recipient and donor. This process can take anywhere from three to 12 months.

Lastly, the cost of doing frozen egg donation is less than fresh egg donation. This is especially important to couples who have limited or no health insurance coverage. The cost of a typical fresh egg donor cycle is $25,000 - $38,000, while a frozen donor egg cycle is nearly half the cost. Donor Egg Bank USA also offers a financial program which gives couples a money-back guarantee if they don't deliver a live born baby within six donor egg treatment cycles.

For couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriage or do not have viable eggs for treatment, this new option can offer hope, convenience, and the promise of a long-awaited child.

Author Bio: Dr. Jane Nani is a reproductive endocrinologist and director of the Third Party Reproduction Center for Excellence with Fertility Centers of Illinois. She has helped thousands of patients have families since 1996, and specializes in helping individuals and couples have babies through donor egg, donor sperm, and surrogacy.

April 21, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week 2014: 8 ways to keep STRONG during Infertility

Our own Dr. Allison K. Rodgers offers some advice in this great blog post detailing how to keep your spirits up and keep yourself strong during the times you and your partner deal with infertility. Read on to see the eight ways she advises now!

It seemed to happen about twice a week.  Getting asked that question would feel like a sucker punch. I heard it everywhere….“So, when are you having another baby?”  

Usually it came from a co-worker, friend, or neighbor.  For them, this was as casual as: “what did you have for lunch” or “what did you do this weekend”, but for me it was a heart wrenching painful question. 

Studies have shown that the stress associated with infertility is as difficult as a cancer or HIV diagnosis. Through my personal journey with infertility and pregnancy loss, I learned in a very unique way about the stress that accompanies an infertility or pregnancy loss diagnosis, as well as the incredible amount of strength that it takes!

There are helpful strategies that helped me get through this difficult time and give me strength to keep going-even when things seemed hopeless. Maybe they will help you too!

Keeping a healthy body!  
Keeping a normal body weight increases your chances of success and decreases stress on your body.  Take a prenatal vitamin daily, and avoid tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine.  Staying active with moderate exercise can be a great way to manage weight and stress.

April 16, 2014

FCI Past Patient Guest Blog: Michelle Edmonds!

Former patient, Michelle Edmonds, 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.

Sitting here on the Eve of the Eve of my scheduled induction, I can tell you, writing this is so beyond   
filled with emotion, that I am not sure that any of us have the time to hear all of them!

I am a former patient of Dr. Brian Kaplan and by this weekend I will be meeting my son and daughter twins from donor eggs!  That is fully with thanks to the amazing staff, which has now become some of my dear friends! I will try my best to keep this short, as in the past two years, I truly cannot say enough about everything that has happened to me.  It’s all part of my story, the good bad and ugly.

April 14, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week Events at FCI!

To help celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week (April 20-26), we're hosting a few events for you to attend! Click on the Learn More links to sign up for the events online to reserve your spot!

4/21 | NIAW SPECIAL - Cracking the Door to Adoption - Chicago | 7PM | LEARN MORE

4/22 | What You Need to Know About Becoming an Egg Donor - WEBINAR | 7PM | LEARN MORE

4/24 | NIAW Special - Staying Balanced During Fertility Treatment; An Experiential Workshop | 8PM | LEARN MORE