Jon Ward

Recent Posts

Offices Closing Due to Inclement Weather: Thursday February 13th, 2014

by Jon Ward

Due to inclement weather on Thursday February 13th, 2014, the following offices will be closing early:

  • Norwalk and Danbury are closing at 12:00pm
  • Trumbull is closing at 10:00am
  • Stamford is closed all day

If you have an appoinment, please call the office to confirm. Thank you.

-The RMACT Patient Care Team

Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In Cancelled 12/18/13

by Jon Ward

Notice: All Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In classes are canceled on Wednesday 12/18/13.

We apologize: Due to the inclement weather and concerns for icy roads this evening we are canceling Ladies Night In and Fertile Yoga.  


Everyone’s health and safety is our main priority. We hope to see you back at yoga on January 8th in Trumbull or join us in Norwalk on Thursday or Brookfield on Friday for Yoga.


The next Ladies night in for Trumbull is January 22. 


Thank you,

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RMACT Team

Topics: Support, Yoga

RMACT Trumbull office will be closed Monday April 15th.

by Jon Ward

Our Trumbull office will be closed this coming Monday April 15th. Norwalk, Danbury and Stamford will be open for business as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Thank you,

 

~RMACT Team. 

Clinic Q&A: Talking Egg Freezing with RMA of CT

by Jon Ward

Dr. Shaun Williams Reproductive Endocrinologist RMACT Fertility Doctor CT Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut is a fertility clinic with three locations in Connecticut and two in New York. Shaun C. Williams, M.D., a fertility doctor with RMA of CT, recently answered questions about egg freezing in Connecticut and New York.

How long has your RMA of CT been performing egg freezing?


RMA of CT has been performing egg freezing since 2010.

Who are you offering egg freezing services to? What types of patients?

We work with patients who have different reasons for freezing eggs. Some patients have been diagnosed with cancer or other medical conditions that require medical treatment that has the potential to damage their eggs and ovaries.

We also work with women in good reproductive health who are not ready to have a family and therefore elect to vitrify, or freeze, eggs. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recently determined that the freezing and thawing of egg cells is now a proven method for preserving a younger woman's ability to have children, removing the technique's "experimental" label which has been in place since 2008.

What does your clinic consider the optimal age for egg freezing?  Do you have a cut-off age?

Fertility cannot be determined by one number — not a woman’s age, not even one test result. That is why we like to determine the best fertility plan for each patient individually. As is true with all available treatment options, a woman’s best chance to conceive using her own eggs is during the early part of her reproductive life. Just as pregnancy rates following IVF begin to decline after age 35, so too does the likelihood of success when frozen eggs are thawed and used during an IVF attempt. The “ideal” age for egg freezing is when eggs are the healthiest, between the ages of 18 and 24. However, not many individuals have the forethought or resources to consider this option at this early age. But women who understand that pregnancy chances decrease rapidly after 40, being able to preserve eggs between the ages of 35 and 40 may give them a better chance to conceive in the future if the circumstances for pregnancy are not yet appropriate.

To help understand what an individual’s likelihood of success would be, we take into consideration many factors, including:

  • A woman’s reproductive history
  • Her family members' reproductive history, and
  • Evaluations of current ovarian function, such as hormonal markers (FSH, AMH) as well as ultrasound determinations of egg quantity (antral follicle counts)


The process of egg freezing is relatively quick — typically, egg retrieval occurs during the menstrual cycle of the month following a patient’s first visit. After a patient has completed a consultation with a fertility specialist and had all of her questions answered, she can start preparing for egg retrieval. First, the patient will have an ultrasound of her uterus and have blood tests taken, including FSH, which is taken on day 3 of a woman’s menstrual cycle. During the next three weeks, the patient will take birth control pills and fertility medications. By her next menstruation, she is ready for egg retrieval. It is especially important for cancer patients or anyone delaying medical treatment to understand that egg retrieval will take place about three to seven weeks from her first doctor’s appointment.

Although we do not have a cut off age, a woman’s reproductive health and her chances of having a successful pregnancy decrease significantly after 35 years of age. We counsel our patients based on this clinical data and the results of her diagnostic testing.

Once eggs are frozen, where are they stored?

We store vitrified eggs on site at our location in Norwalk, CT. Our embryology lab is extremely sophisticated, with continuous monitoring, security and power source.

How long do you feel eggs can be stored safely?

There is not enough clinical data to know exactly how long vitrified eggs will remain viable, but it generally thought that they will last many, many years. The vitrification process freezes eggs without crystallization, so theoretically they could be viable indefinitely.

Is there a cut-off age that you recommend for women to have eggs thawed, fertilized and transferred in a cycle?

Women who have eggs stored should monitor their reproductive health regularly and maintain good health overall. Before eggs are transferred, patients should undergo diagnostic testing, including a pelvic exam and assessment of her uterus. ASRM recommends that patients who are over 45 years old should have a more thorough evaluation, including an assessment of heart function and risk of pregnancy-related diseases. Above the age of 50, women should consider using a gestational carrier (or surrogate) during advanced treatments.

Has your fertility clinic had live births from frozen eggs?

The number of patients who are interested in freezing their eggs has been relatively small compared to other fertility treatments; however, we are encouraged by the positive results that these patients have had. RMA of CT currently has a patient who is pregnant from eggs that she froze a few years ago, and I have personally been involved in over 70 pregnancies using frozen eggs, both from donors and fertility preservation.  

With the recent change in ASRM’s classification, we anticipate more women being interested in vitrification.

What is the price range for freezing eggs, and what does that range cover?

Freezing eggs at RMA of CT costs about $10,000. This includes cycle monitoring, retrieval and lab fees, anesthesia and cryopreservation of oocytes for the first year.

Cancer patients should also look into their options through Fertile Hope, a non-profit that provides information and resources for cancer patients. Fertile Hope runs a program called Sharing Hope, which works with companies and clinics to arrange for discounted services and donated medications for eligible female cancer patients.

What are the reasons a woman would NOT be a good candidate for freezing her eggs?

Before any of our patients puts time and resources into freezing their eggs, we conduct diagnostic testing to ensure that the patient and her eggs are healthy. This testing tells us if a woman’s ovarian reserve is healthy and if she is a good candidate for egg vitrification. Basically, a woman’s likelihood of conceiving with frozen eggs is no better than her current likelihood of conceiving with IVF. If factors are identified that may indicate a lower likelihood of success with a fresh IVF cycle, these factors still apply when the eggs are thawed. The likelihood of success in the future must be weighed against the cost of the treatment to determine if this process is right for a woman to consider.

What is the most exciting aspect of ASRM lifting the experimental label? How do you think this will change the face of fertility treatment?

ASRM’s decision and the recent advances in vitrification can enable patients to fulfill their family dreams in the future; however age is still an important factor to consider. This Practice Committee of the ASRM based their decision on a report titled “Mature Oocyte Cyryopreservation,” which examined nearly 1,000 published papers. The report urges caution, stating: “Marketing this technology for the purpose of deferring childbearing may give women false hope and encourage women to delay childbearing. Patients who wish to pursue this technology should be carefully counseled.”

By lifting the experimental label, we hope that more women will consider freezing eggs as part of their family planning in their 20s. This change in thinking could open the door for many patients who delay having a family. This also allows more options for choosing donor eggs through frozen donor egg banking, similar to the prevalent and well accepted use of donor sperm through donor sperm banks. This can allow more women to pursue pregnancy through oocyte donation at a lower cost.
 
What should a woman look for in a clinic that does egg freezing?

First and foremost, ask what types of certification the practice has for its embryology lab and doctors. I recommend working with board-certified reproductive endocrinologists.

The most advanced form of egg freezing is called vitrification, and it has the greatest success rates. Ensure that any practice you are considering working with is experienced with the vitrification process, which involves cooling eggs to a very cold temperature very rapidly. The antiquated method of “slow-freezing” is still used by many clinics for embryos and sperm, but this method is unacceptable for egg freezing.  And be sure that the vitrified eggs are stored on-site through a system that is protected with back up power and 24-hour monitoring.

Contact us by clicking here if you are interested in egg freezing.

Thank you to Fertility Authority for conducting this interview.

Topics: reproductive endocrinologist, Fertility Treatment, RMACT Doctors, Egg Freezing

RMACT Fertility Doctor is “Top Doc” for Excellence in Infertility Treatment

by Jon Ward

Dr. Spencer Richlin Recognized by Peers

Ct Fertility Doctor | Fertily Specialist Fairfield County For the second consecutive year, Dr. Spencer Richlin, Surgical Director and Fertility Specialist with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), has been honored by his peers by being rated a “Top Doc.” Castle Connolly’s 2013 list of Fairfield County’s Top Doctors of will appear in the January/February issues of Fairfield Living, Greenwich, New Canaan-Darien, Westport and Stamford magazines, all of which are published by Moffley Media and are on stands now. 

 

“I feel privileged to be in the reproductive endocrinology field during a time when so many new advances are making it possible to help patients realize their dreams of a family,” says Dr. Richlin, who is the Division Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility at Norwalk Hospital along with his responsibilities at RMACT.  “And to have this work recognized by my peers through this award is simply amazing.”

 

Moffley Media’s list is compiled by the renowned healthcare research firm Castle Connelly Medical Ltd., which conducts a rigorous, peer-reviewed assessment of local doctors by their peers.

 

Dr. Richlin is board certified in both Reproductive Endocrinology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  He has published several articles and co-wrote with his RMACT partner, Dr. Mark Leondires, the fertility chapters in a new textbook titled Avoiding Common Obstetrics and Gynecology Errors, published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

 

Dr. Richlin received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, and his medical degree from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He completed two internships, one in Emergency Medicine and one in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Richlin served his residency at Stamford Hospital in Stamford Connecticut from 1995-1999, where he was named Berlex Best Teaching Resident.  He then completed his subspecialty fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Within the reproductive endocrinology field, Dr. Richlin’s main interests are reproductive surgery, in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor egg pregnancies and a cutting edge technology called Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), which safely evaluates biopsied embryos prior to transfer. Dr. Richlin takes a personal interest in his patients, and finds fertility preservation for cancer patients especially rewarding.

 

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 & 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.

Topics: reproductive endocrinologist, reproductive medicine, Financing Infertility Treatment, Fertility Treatment, RMACT Doctors

Connecticut's Health Wellness and Sports Weekend

by Jon Ward

Stamford Hospital Health Wellness and Sport EventStamford Hospital Offers Health Wellness & Sports Expo 2012

 

When: Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: the new 400,000 sq.ft Chelsea Piers Connecticut, 1 Blachley Road, Stamford. 

 

According to TMK Sports & Entertainment's Media Alert, this weekend is Connecticut's health wellness and sports weekend. Governor Malloy issued an official statment proclaiming September 22 & 23, 2012 as Stamford Hospital Health Wellness & Sports Days in the State of Connecticut. Mayor of Stamford Michael A. Pavia, in a similiar annoucement, issued an official proclamation proclaiming September 22 & 23, 2012 as Health Wellness Sports Weekend in the City of Stamford. Both of these two official declarations will be on display at the Stamford Hospital Health Wellness & Sports Expo 2012.

 

This Health Wellness & Sports Expo 2012 event will feature: free health screenings, “Ask the Doc” with top physicians, Mobile Wellness Center, Paint the Town Pink for breast cancer and more including:

  • Jamie McIntyre, dietician from Grade A ShopRite, and Dr. Carlon Colker, Fairway Market’s health and nutrition consultant, will provide tips on healthy eating and samples.

  • Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m: News 12’s “12 on Health” reporter Gillian Neff will greet attendees.

  • Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County Food drive: All are encouraged to bring one or more nonperishable food items in exchange for free raffle tickets to win healthy door prizes or purchase tickets for $5. All food and proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the weekend.

  • Additional exhibits include alternative medicine, integrated nutrition, weight management, fitness programs, spa and beauty treatments, financial health, green technology, and lifetime sports.

For more information call 203-531-3047 or visit TMK Event Marketing.

Topics: Health, Wellness, Exercise, Events