Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut Joins RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association® To Observe National Infertility Awareness Week

by Tally Jacobs

 
National Public Education Initiative Takes Place April 20-April 26, 2014
 

 

NORWALK, CT (April 10, 2014) – Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association (NIAW) will recognize the twenty-fifth Anniversary of National Infertility Awareness Week®, April 20 through April 26, joining millions of women and men fighting the disease of infertility, healthcare professionals, psychologists and other thought leaders to promote greater awareness about infertility.

 

RESOLVE works to improve the lives of women and men living with infertility. One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options.

 

“Education and awareness are our most powerful tools against infertility,” says Dr. Spencer Richlin, an RMA CT reproductive endocrinologist who will be participating in RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day on May 7, 2014 in Washington, DC.  “Through NIAW and Advocacy Day we are creating awareness about infertility among Congress and anyone who plans to have a family. After all, even patients who are otherwise healthy can struggle with infertility.”

 

Throughout the year, RMACT helps educate patients about healthy pregnancies and their fertility through individual medical care, seminars, workshops and written materials.  During NIAW, RMACT is hosting several free events in Connecticut:

 

April 23:

  • Fertility Yoga, 5:45 – 7:00 p.m., Trumbull Office (115 Technology Drive, suite C200)
  • Ladies Night In, 6:45 – 8:00 p.m., Trumbull Office (115 Technology Drive, suite C200)

 April 24:

  • Fertile Yoga, 5:45 – 7:00 p.m., Norwalk Office (20 Glover Avenue)
  • Prenatal Yoga, 7:15 – 8:15 p.m., Norwalk Office (20 Glover Avenue)

April 25:

  • Fertile Yoga, 6:00 – 7:15 p.m., YogaSpace in Brookfield (777 Federal Road)

April 26:

  • Fertile Meal Planning, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., Norwalk Office (20 Glover Avenue)

 

 

“The theme of National Infertility Awareness Week® is ‘Resolve to know more,’ and RESOLVE is delighted to work with practices and organizations across the country to call attention to the disease of infertility,” said Barbara Collura, RESOLVE’s President/CEO. “This is a wonderful week when our community comes together to rally around the cause of infertility.”

 

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 (SelectCCS). 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, Stamford and Trumbull, and an affiliate New York fertility clinics serving Putnam and Dutchess counties. RMACT also offers infertility treatment financing and support services, such as nutrition counseling, massage therapy, psychological counseling, acupuncture and yoga, through RMACT’s Integrated Fertility and Wellness Center.

 

The RMACT team includes lead physicians Drs. Mark P. Leondires, Spencer S. Richlin and Joshua M. Hurwitz, as well as fertility specialists Drs. Cynthia M. Murdock and Shaun C. Williams. All physicians are Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologists and 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. Each has received numerous awards, and all five are Castle Connolly "Top Doctors." 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).

 

 

About RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association: Established in 1974, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options. For more information, visit www.RESOLVE.org. 

 

About National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW): Founded by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, NIAW is a movement that raises awareness about the disease of infertility and encourages the public to take charge of their reproductive health. Each year the infertility community comes together for one week to focus on ensuring that people trying to conceive know the guidelines for seeing a specialist when they are trying to conceive; enhancing public understanding that infertility is a disease that needs and deserves attention; and educating legislators about the disease of infertility and how it impacts people in their state. In 2010 NIAW became a federally recognized health observance by the Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, visit www.resolve.org/niaw. 

Topics: SART, Fertility Clinic, reproductive endocrinologist, ASRM, Support, Community

CT Fertility Practice Presents Clinical Study Findings at Annual Infertility Conference

by Tally Jacobs

CT Fertility Practice Presents Clinical Study Findings at Annual Infertility Conference

Data from Five RMACT Studies Will Be a Part of American Society of Reproductive Medicine

NORWALK, CT (November 9, 2012) – Doctors from Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) shared data from five of its recent infertility studies during the annual American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Conference held last month. ASRM is considered to be the premier society for the infertility field, and only the most prestigious studies are included in the education program for attending doctors and reproductive health professionals.

 

RMACT’s five papers that are being presented at 2012 ASRM are:


o Vitrified Blastocysts Yield Equivalent Pregnancy Rates as Compared to Fresh Blastocysts, Dawn A. Kelk, PhD


o Age Related Probability of Having a Chromosomally Normal Embryo Transfer Following Trophectoderm Biopsy and Comprehensive Chromosome Screening, Dawn A. Kelk, PhD


o Pregnancy Rates of Vitrified Blastocysts Are Equal to Fresh Day 6 Transfers for Euploid Embryos Following Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening, Dawn A. Kelk, PhD


o Elevated Progesterone Level The Day Prior Oocyte Correlates with Diminished Clinical Pregnancy Rates, Dawn A. Kelk, PhD


o HgbA1c Screening in a General Infertility Population, Joshua M. Hurwitz, MD

 

The collective work from RMACT and Dr. Kelk will be presented during a day-long postgraduate program called “State-of-the-Art Micromanipulation Techniques in the IVF Lab” for embryologists and physicians. By examining results – based on both the successful and the failed IVF cycles – coming out of RMACT’s embryology lab, Dr. Kelk was able to share findings about advanced techniques such as Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) and vitrified embryo transfer. The RMACT data show that fresh and vitrified blastocysts have equivalent viability and that there is no compromise in pregnancy rates with this advanced freezing technique. In fact, embryo freezing may lead to improved pregnancy rates due to better synchrony between the embryo and the uterus. Out of 514 patients, frozen embryo transfers had a 67 percent clinical pregnancy rate, compared with 60.2% for fresh embryos.

 

In addition, RMACT’s work verifies and expands upon previously shown data that patients under 35 years old are more likely to achieve pregnancy and have fewer chromosomal disorders than older patients. Patients under 35 years old who went through IVF and CCS, where embryos are biopsied and tested for chromosomal abnormalities, had at least one embryo without abnormalities that they were able to transfer 100 percent of the time. For patients 43 years old or older, this rate dropped to 33.3 percent; for all 124 patients in the study, the rate was 75 percent.

 

Additionally, Dr. Hurwitz’s paper, HgbA1c Screening in a General Infertility Population, examines the link between diabetic and pre-diabetic patients and infertility. While the topic needs further investigation, the study shows that 24.7 percent of all patients in the study had elevated glucose levels consistent with pre-diabetes. Furthermore, 8.0 percent of these patients had blood sugar levels above the recommended limit for safety in pregnancy according to the American College of OBGYN guidelines. Hormone metabolism and production is greatly influenced by metabolic conditions; this study supports the idea that reproductive endocrinologists should include blood tests for conditions such as high cholesterol and diabetes as part of their diagnosis to increase fertility as well as optimize pregnancy health.

 

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: pregnancy, ASRM, Fertility Treatment

CCS Breakthrough Technique Identifies Genetic Embyro Abnormalities

by Grant Speer

Norwalk, CT (January 11, 2010) – Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) recently participated in a breakthrough study titled "A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial Demonstrating Significantly Increased Clinical Pregnancy Rates Following 24-Chromosome Aneuploidy Screening: Biopsy and Analysis on Day 5 with Fresh Transfer," which was led by Infertility Specialist Richard Scott, M.D. and Nathan Treff, Ph.D., of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMANJ), an affiliate of RMACT.  

About the Study

CCS Comprehensive Chromosome Screening Embryo ScreeningThis study, which earned the top research award from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in October 2010, examined technology that is the first and only fully validated system to reliably evaluate all chromosomes in a small biopsy obtained from an embryo during in vitro development. This is the first and only prospectively randomized trial showing real benefit from Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) and RMACT is the only fertility practice in New England to offer it.  

“This technology will revolutionize reproductive medicine,” said infertility doctor Mark Leondires, M.D., Medical Director of RMACT and Lead Physician for RMACT on the Clinical Study. “The purpose is to identify the best embryos for a healthy pregnancy.  By selecting chromosomally normal embryos without damaging them, pregnancy rates were dramatically increased to more than 90 percent and miscarriage rates were lower compared to the control group. This data is historic in its nature and implications.”

Sustained implantation rates were 75 percent in the study group, much higher than compared to 56 percent in the control group.  Clinical pregnancies, which are a typical result of genetic abnormalities, were significantly lower in the study group (60 percent) than versus the control group (92 percent).

“Our goal is one embryo, one healthy baby," said Dr. Scott.  "So, the driving force behind most of our research is to assess reproductive competency to better predict which embryo will most likely produce one healthy baby.  This is the first study of its kind that has shown dramatically improved clinical pregnancy rates with blastocyst biopsy, 24 Chromosome Aneuploidy Screening and fresh embryo transfer.  Though similar screening technologies are being marketed, none have been validated through the critical studies, culminating with a randomized clinical trial, which provides this high level of medical evidence.”  

The procedure starts when a couple goes through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI); the embryo is then grown to the blastocyst stage and a small biopsy of five to 10 cells is taken from the embryo on day five to six days of life. The biopsy sample then goes through computer analysis to identify any abnormalities among the chromosomes.  This process identifies chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome before the embryo is transferred into the female patient’s uterus. This error rate of the technology is less than one percent in more than 4,000 embryos tested.

What separates this technique of Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) from other PGS processes is that the embryo is able to grow for five or six days, allowing the cells to split and the chromosomal analysis to be more accurate.  In addition, since the technology can be used to find small breaks in chromosomes and even single gene disorders it defines itself as the most robust and reliable technology for evaluating pre-conception embryos available.  RMANJ has previously shown 24 chromosome analysis technology to be significantly more reliable than other existing methods.  However, with this latest clinical study, the new technology has been improved because it no longer requires freezing embryos for weeks before thaw and use.  The breakthrough is based on a shorter timeline, which has better results; the same comprehensive screening is conducted within hours instead of days.  It is the first technology of its kind that allows for assessment of blastocysts and still enables a fresh embryo transfer, which generally has a higher success rate than freezing embryos.

The study included patients seeking IVF who were less than 43 years old and had no more than one prior failed IVF cycle.  The control group underwent routine care and typical screening methods, whereas the study group underwent biopsy of the blastocyst and CCS on day five.  
 
In a related retrospective evaluation presented with this research, the study shows that this new technology dramatically decreases the occurrence of abnormal pregnancies such as Down or Turner syndromes.  This technology will allow women in their late thirties and forties, who normally have a high risk for genetic abnormalities, to nearly eliminate these risks and thereby maximize their chances for a successful pregnancy with in-vitro fertilization.  CCS represents a major step forward in helping patients have healthy pregnancies and thereby allowing them to choose a single embryo transfer to minimize the risk of twins.  

“A singleton pregnancy is the safest for mother and baby,” stated Leondires.  “This technology will allow couples to choose a single embryo transfer without jeopardizing their chance for success.  It is truly an amazing advance which will change the landscape of reproductive medicine in the future for both patient and physicians.”  

Infertility affects 7.3 million Americans and for 20 percent of infertility patients the cause is unknown, according to The National Infertility Association.  Through 24 chromosome aneuploidy screening, fertility doctors can determine which embryos are normal, increase healthy pregnancies while at the same time reduce the number of miscarriages.  The technology will transform reproductive medicine and instill confidence in transferring only one embryo, leading to fewer multiple gestations. In addition, for patients who have had several miscarriages, it can enable them to make informed decisions about their next steps, such as working with an egg donor.

About RMACT
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) specializes in the treatment of infertility.  With Connecticut fertility clinics and egg donation offices in Norwalk, Danbury and Greenwich, and affiliate New York fertility clinics serving Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, our team of Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologists offer a wide range of infertility treatments from ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (IUI) to the most advanced assisted reproductive technologies including IVF, egg donation and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGS). The RMACT team of fertility doctors 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). RMACT offers individualized infertility treatment plans in a patient-focused and supportive environment. Support services, such as, infertility treatment financing, psychological counseling, acupuncture and yoga are also available. For more information visit, http://www.RMACT.com.


Topics: PGD, ASRM, News, CCS - Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening, Embryo, Fertility Treatment, Egg Freezing

Flu/H1N1 Shot Guidelines: Pregnant Women & Those Trying to Conceive - Issued by ASRM & CDC

Robin Mangieri

by Robin Mangieri

RMA of Connecticut fertility clinic staff are receiving many inquiries into the proper guidelines for both the flu shots and the H1N1 shots for pregnant women and/or those trying to conceive.  To  provide easy access to this information we have posted the guidelines here and on our fertility clinic homepage

Following are policy guidelines issued in a joint statement issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday, October 18, 2009:

Complications from influenza can cause serious illness and even death in pregnant women.  Pregnant women with 2009 H1Ni influenza have higher rates of hospitalization and death than the general population.  As a consequence, fertility clinics should encourage patients planning pregnancy to be vaccinated for both seasonal influenza and 2009 H1N1.  for now, certain areas may have 2009 H1N1 vaccine available only for those in the initial target groups (pregnant women, caregivers of infants < 6 months through 24 years, and people aged 25 through 64 with high risk medical conditions).  Thus, women who are planning a pregnancy may need to wait for a few weeks until more vaccine is available.

Women who become pregnant should receive the vaccine as soon as it is available.  Pregnant women and women anticipating planning pregnancy should also get the seasonal influenza vaccine.  Women who are pregnant should receive the inactivated vaccine (the flu shot), not the live vaccine (nasal spray).  Women who are planning a pregnancy, and have no pre-existing medical contraindications, can receive the live vaccine (nasal spray ) up to one month before conceiving, or the inactivated vaccine (the flu shot) at any time before conceiving.

A special area of CDC's website (http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/) is devoted to additional guidance or information about 2009 H1N1 influenza for clinicians, public health officials and health care consumers.  In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a comprehensive series of materials and resources at www.flu.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1600 Clifton Rd., Atlanta GA  30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) or TTY: (888) 232-6348
cdcinfo@cdc.gov

 

Topics: pregnancy, Fertility Clinic, ASRM, Conception