Cara Murray

Recent Posts

Infertility Secrets and Privacy | New on Fertility Authority

by Cara Murray

What is the difference between infertility secrecy and privacy?  The Fertility Authority has published Lisa Rosenthal's new blog exploring this question and its impacts.  To read the piece, click here: "Infertility Secrets and Privacy".  In our Facebook age, where we live with the contradictions of TMI sharing and virtual isolation, her considerations are especially timely.  Lisa will be contributing to Fertility Authority on a regular basis.  We'll keep you posted!

 

Topics: Support, Community

Cancelled Tonight Only: No Fertile Yoga or Prenatal Yoga, Thurs. 5/16

by Cara Murray

Cancelled for Tonight: No Fertile Yoga or Prenatal Yoga

Thursday, May 16, 2013, Only

 

Fertile Yoga and Prenatal Yoga are cancelled tonight, Thursday, May 16, 2013.  We apologize for the same-day notification.  Thursday classes will resume next week as scheduled.  See you next week!

 

Fertile Yoga in Brookfield, CT on Friday

Fertile Yoga in Boorkfield, DanburyYes, Fertile Yoga class in Brookfield, CT is on as scheduled tomorrow night, Friday, May 17, 2013.  Please join us from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.


YogaSpace 777 Federal Road Brookfield, CT


Fertile Yoga is free. Classes will be on-going; come every week or once in a while, whichever suits you. Come alone or bring your spouse, partner, friend or family member. Yoga, meditation and deep relaxation can help men and women experiencing the challenges of infertility. Fertile Yoga helps couples relax and relaxation can help one make more satisfying decisions, communicate more clearly with their doctor, and sustain treatment with a more positive perspective.


What you need:


• comfortable, loose fitting clothing
• a yoga mat
• bottle of water
• two pillows (optional)
• avoid eating one hour before class


Fertile Yoga was created and is taught by Lisa Rosenthal RYT -200 (Registered Yoga Teacher). Lisa is a former fertility patient, who has been working for over 2o years as a national patient advocate for couples going through infertility. Lisa is uniquely qualified to understand the specific stresses and challenges that couples trying to conceive encounter. Fertile Yoga is designed with different diagnoses and treatment plans in mind. It is a gentle, restorative class that includes meditation.

 

Questions?  Contact Us.

Topics: Yoga

All RMACT Offices (Norwalk, Danbury & Stamford) Are Open

by Cara Murray

All RMACT Offices (Norwalk, Danbury & Stamford) Are Open

CT Fertility Doctors

All RMACT offices (Norwalk, Danbury, Stamford) are open and ready to treat you with the utmost respect and professionalism. Danbury has had its power restored. We look forward to seeing you there.


Sending best wishes to all who are still recovering from the storm.

 

Please contact us with any questions.

RMACT Infertility Doctors Receive 2012 Patients' Choice Award

by Cara Murray

Two RMACT Infertility Specialists Receive 2012 Patients' Choice Award

Two infertility specialists from Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), Drs. Spencer Richlin and Joshua M. Hurwitz, are recipients of the “Patients’ Choice 2012” award. The award is given to only five percent of the nation’s 870,000 active physicians and dentists based on ratings from millions of patients. Infertility patients work with infertility doctors to identify the cause of infertility and to create a treatment plan for a successful pregnancy

 

Millions of patients go online each year to rate their doctors on various components of care, including accuracy of their diagnosis, the amount of time they spent with the doctor, and the doctor's bedside manner and follow-up care. Patients' Choice reviews these rankings and other quality measures to compile its yearly list of award winners.

 

Fertility Specialist Dr. Joshua M. Hurwitz“I’m impressed by the strength and spirit of my patients, so it is tremendously touching to be honored by them,” says Dr. Hurwitz, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist who has six “Patients’ Choice” awards. In addition to his partnership and private practice at RMACT, Dr. Hurwitz is the Division Director of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility services in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences of Danbury Hospital and is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is also an assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is a member of the Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists, Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. He has published numerous abstracts, articles and book chapters on reproductive aging, in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing and reproductive hormones, ultrasound, and bioethics.

 

Fertility Specialist Dr. Spencer Richlin“Awards such as this reflect the work and passion of a strong team,” says Dr. Richlin, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and Surgical Director at RMACT. “Each RMACT patient is partnered with a fertility team that consists of a nurse coordinator, patient coordinator, financial advisor and a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist.”

 

In addition to being a partner of RMACT, Dr. Richlin is Division Director of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Norwalk Hospital. He has been published numerous times, including coauthoring the "Infertility" chapter in the text Avoiding Common Errors in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins). Dr. Richlin’s main interests are reproductive surgery, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a cutting edge technology called Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), which safely evaluates biopsied embryos prior to transfer.

 

About Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT)

RMACT specializes in the treatment of infertility, including assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS). RMACT, Fairfield County’s largest fertility clinic and egg donation center, is one of 11 leading In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) centers nationwide chosen by In Vitro Sciences to participate in its Centers of Excellence program. RMACT has offices in Norwalk, Danbury and Stamford, and affiliate New York fertility clinics serving Putnam and Dutchess counties. RMACT also offers infertility treatment financing and support services through RMACT Integrated Fertility and Wellness Center, such as nutrition counseling, massage therapy, psychological counseling, acupuncture and yoga.

 

The RMACT team of Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologists includes Drs. Mark P. Leondires, Spencer S. Richlin, Joshua M. Hurwitz and Cynthia M. Murdock. All physicians are members of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) and the Fairfield County and Connecticut Medical Societies. RMACT’s IVF laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and CLIA; other accreditations include the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM). For more information visit http://www.RMACT.com or find us on Facebook.

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Topics: reproductive endocrinologist, RMACT Doctors, Patient Stories

Dr. Leondires Quoted in Article on Male Obesity and Conception

by Cara Murray

RMACT Medical Director Dr. Mark Leondires Comments on New Studies on Male Obesity and Conception

Dr. Mark Leondires, Medical Director at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), is quoted in the August 24, 2012 blog posting on Fertility Authority's website about male obesity and its role in conception.  More studies are emerging that indicate both men's age and men's health are significantly important factors for conception and outcomes.  Read more from Dr. Leondires's comments and about the recent studies themselves:

male fertility

Male Obesity and More Play a Role in Conception

When couples are trying to conceive, women's weight, stress levels and age are often the focus. But now several studies are shining the spotlight on men and how their age and health affects their fertility.

"There is a growing body of literature which speaks to the overall health of the male partner in subfertile couples and outcomes," says Mark Leondires, a fertility doctor and medical director of RMACT. "Specifically, there are two recent publications in Human Reproduction, August 2012, and Fertility and Sterility, August 2012, which speak to a negative effect on sperm quality and embryo quality. Pregnancy rates in obese men with the use of ICSI did not overcome this effect. The authors reported an 85 percent decrease in the odds of live birth in men with abnormal BMI as compared to normal BMI.

"Clearly, more work needs to be done in this area, but there is a strong suggestion of a negative correlation between obesity and pregnancy," he continues. "This is both a call to arms for male partners to take better care of themselves and for the fertility community to educate male partners better."

To follow are some of the studies that were reported on in the last few weeks.

Male Obesity is Bad for Sperm

Australian scientists at the University of Melbourne Department of Zoology have discovered that a man's obesity negatively affects his sperm and leads to:

  • smaller fetuses
  • poor pregnancy success
  • reduced placental development

The scientists generated embryos from both normal weight and obese male mice. The obese mice had been fed the equivalent of a western fast food diet for 10 weeks.

 The found that the rate of embryo implantation into the womb and fetal development decreased in these animals by up to 15 percent. Also, the placental weight and development was significantly less for embryos created from the sperm of obese males.

As of 2010, 35.5 percent of men in the United States were considered obese. Many doctors advise women to lose weight and get fit before trying to conceive. The Australian researchers advise that men do the same. The study is being presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology 2012.

Male Mice Pass on Anxiety to Their Daughters 

Another mouse study conducted at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and published in Biological Psychiatry has found that anxious fathers may pass along psychological disorders to their daughters. The researchers say that when young men are exposed to unstable lifestyles, their sperm cells change, which increases the risk of anxiety as they get older and increases the risk of psychiatric disorders in their daughters.

How did they figure this out? They exposed adolescent mice to chronic social instability (where the cage composition of mice was constantly changing). Then they analyzed the behavior of the offspring of the mice that had been stressed. They found that the female offspring demonstrated anxious and stressed behavior, as well as abnormal social communication. The male offspring, who did not exhibit the these behaviors, reproduced with non-stressed females, and guess what? Their female offspring inherited the anxiety as well!

The researchers are now looking for biochemical changes in the sperm of stressed fathers that could cause the inheritance of anxiety disorders, and they hope their work will cause other scientists to investigate whether there is the same effect on humans.

Age of Father Matters for Gene Mutations 

The big news this past week was that the age of the father when a baby is conceived matters with regard to passing on gene mutations for such conditions as autism and schizophrenia. Read the story: Older Age of Father Linked to Autism, Schizophrenia in Children.

SOURCE: Fertility Authority | a blog by Claire, August 24, 2012

Topics: Male Infertility, Wellness, Nutrition

New Study Finds Weekly Fertility Shots Work | Dr. Richlin Weighs In

by Cara Murray

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and FSH

A recent study has found that weekly injections of fertility hormones, known as FSH or follicle stimulating hormone, which are used to stimulate the ovaries during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, work as well and are as safe as daily injections.  

 

In June, Fertility Authority reported on this recent finding and interviewed Dr. Spencer Richlin, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT).

 

These weekly injections have been approved for use in Europe since 2010, and CT Infertility Specialist Dr. Richlin expects the FDA to grant approval for its use in the U.S. within the next year or two.  

 

Administering FSH once weekly as opposed to once daily adds convenience and reduces stress for those undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) fertility treatment.  The Fertility Doctors at RMACT will continue following this research with interest.  

 

Read the full article from Fertility Authority below:

Weekly Fertility Shots Work as Well as Daily, Says Study

by Leigh Ann Woodruff, June 20, 2012

Fertility Medications

When a woman undergoes in vitro fertilization (IVF), typically she gets a daily shot of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in order to stimulate the ovaries and help produce multiple eggs. Now a new study has found that long-lasting weekly injections of fertility hormones are as safe and effective as the daily injections.

 

The longer-lasting FSH is called corifollitropin alfa, (brand name ELONVA®) and it has been approved for use in Europe since 2010. Corrifollitopin alfa has the ability to initiate and sustain multiple follicular growth for an entire week, so a single subcutaneous injection may replace the first seven injections of any conventional daily recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH) preparation for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.

 

"In a typical IVF cycle, patients take seven to 11 days of shots," says Spencer Richlin, M.D., a fertility doctor and Surgical Director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut. "This new weekly injection will allow them to take one to three shots. Patients who don't like needles, find the shots uncomfortable, or have trouble being in a private place at the same time everyday will appreciate the convenience of a weekly shot."

 

The weekly injections are not available in the United States yet. "We are waiting for FDA approval," Dr. Richlin explains. "We ssume they will be here in the next 1 to 2 years."

 

Researchers compared weekly and daily hormone injections in a Cochrane systematic review, which is a systematic review of primary research in human health care and health policy and is internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. The scientists included data from four trials involving 2,335 people in their review and found no difference in pregnancies or serious side effects between the two regimens. The review showed that women given medium doses of the new long-lasting hormone on a weekly basis are equally likely to become pregnant and are no more likely to have a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy than those receiving daily FSH injections.

 

"Based on the study, there is no question that when it is approved in the U.S., reproductive centers will use it," Dr. Richlin says.

 

In a statement, the study authors said that further research is needed to establish whether corifollitropin alfa is as effective in women who respond poorly to fertility hormones and those who hyper-respond and produce higher than expected numbers of eggs. In addition, there is limited information about patient satisfaction with the longer-acting FSH. According to Merck & Co., Inc., the makers of the drug, the most frequently reported side effects during treatment with ELONVA in clinical trials are Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), pelvic pain and discomfort, headache, nausea, fatigue and breast complaints (including tenderness). These side effects are found with daily FSH injections, too.

 

"For some patients, daily shots are stressful," Dr. Richlin says. "Anything we can do to make the journey easier is very important to our patients."

 

Topics: Fertility Treatment

TV Features RMA Infertility Specialist on IVF Single Embryo Transfer

by Cara Murray

WTNH News 8 | In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Single Embryo Transfer

On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, in a special TV segment about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and single embryo transfer, News 8 (WTNH) featured Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Spencer Richlin, Infertility Specialist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT).  When building your family through IVF treatment, there are a few key factors to consider in determining whether single embryo transfer is the best choice, explained Dr. Richlin.  Age, reproductive history, and fertility treatment history are all relevant variables in predicting pregnancy success rates.

Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) in CT at RMACT

When single embryo transfer is not the best option for pregnancy, Dr. Richlin discussed a relatively new technology that is available to avoid multiple births, called Comprehensive Chromosome Screening or CCS, a type of genetic screening for embryos.  CCS enables fertility doctors to identify and select embryos that do not contain abnormalities, thus achieving higher implantation rates and fewer pregnancy losses.  RMACT is the only fertility center in Connecticut offering this new technology to patients.

 

Visit News 8, WTNH, for the full article.  Watch the video below:

A second look at IVF: wtnh.com

 

Topics: CCS - Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening, Fertility Treatment

RMACT Takes Another Step Toward Healthy Pregnancy | Join Us!

by Cara Murray

Walk With Us For Healthy Pregnancy

Healthy PregnancyHelp Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) take another step towards healthy pregnancy!  This year, we will join thousands to walk in the annual March for Babies, in support of the March of Dimes, by walking in Danbury on April 29, 2012 and in Stamford on May 6, 2012.  Throughout Connecticut, during late April and early May, a total of nine events will take place across the state, aiming to raise $1.2 million.

Making Strides for Healthy Babies

The March of Dimes notes that this is the nation’s oldest walk fundraiser honoring healthy babies as well as those who need help to survive and thrive.  The March for Babies has raised a total of $2 billion since it began in 1970.  The March of Dimes uses these funds to help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies; to fund research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ lives; and to provide comfort to families who have a baby in neonatal intensive care.

Join Us to Support the March of Dimes

Join us for either walk in Danbury or in Stamford, or to make a pledge to March of Dimes.  The money we raise for March of Dimes supports healthy pregnancies, which, as you know, is a priority of our fertility clinic RMACT.  The babies and parents who benefit are our friends, colleagues, families and neighbors. 

Click me

 

We're looking forward to walking with you!

Topics: pregnancy, March of Dimes Walk

Fertility Yoga Class Cancellations: 3/15 & 3/16 ONLY

by Cara Murray

Fertility Yoga Update

Fertile Yoga and Pre-Natal Yoga are cancelled this week: March 15th & 16th

No class to be held on March 15th in Norwalk or on March 16th in Danbury/Brookfield.  We'll look forward to seeing you the following week!

Our Fertile Yoga classes are ongoing in conjunction with RMACT's Integrated Fertility and Wellness Program.  As always, spouses, partners, friends and family are welcome to attend.  CT certified yoga instructor Lisa Rosenthal, founder of Fertile Yoga, is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and our featured blogger on PathtoFertility – a fertility treatment support and news blog.