Category: Treatment Options

What is Endometriosis?

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month and this condition affects up to 10% of reproductive-aged women. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), endometriosis is a condition where tissue from the uterus is found outside the uterus. These endometrial tissues grow and bleed just as the uterine lining does each month but this tissue outside the uterus has nowhere to go—it does not just shed from your body like your uterine lining does. This can cause scar tissue, irritation, and pain.

Many women who suffer struggle with being diagnosed so they can receive treatment.

If you suffer from endometriosis, it may be more challenging for you to become pregnant. Up to 50% of women with endometriosis may experience infertility. Endometriosis can effect fertility in several ways: diminished ovarian reserve, scarred fallopian tubes, inflammation of the pelvic structures, altered egg quality, and more. This doesn’t mean pregnancy isn’t possible though. Egg freezing and IVF are great options for women suffering.

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary from person to person; however, many women have reported experiencing:

  • Pelvic/back/leg pain between and during periods
  • Painful sex
  • Irregular periods
  • Bladder frequency and/or pain when urinating
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Digestive problems including IBS
  • Infertility
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Immune related disorders such as allergies

Diagnosis

Endometriosis can’t be confirmed through symptoms or simple tests, so it is frequently misdiagnosed. The most effective way to diagnose the endometriosis is through a laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is a procedure where incisions are made in the lower abdomen area, which is then inflated with gas so a small camera can be in inserted.

Medical Treatment

Endometriosis is still relatively misunderstood and under researched. Unfortunately, there is no current cure – the most common treatment is surgery and hormonal medication. If endometriosis is found during a laparoscopy, doctors will remove or destroy the affected areas.

Hormone treatment can be used to stop menstruation and as a result slow down the growth of endometriosis.

Other treatment includes pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

To learn more about endometriosis and your fertility, contact us today!

Understanding the Potential of Your Frozen Eggs

Egg freezing (vitrification) is an advanced reproductive technology that can offer women more flexibility with their future family planning. Egg freezing gives women the freedom and control to pause their “biological clock” until they are ready to start a family. Over the years, there has been a huge boost in the popularity of elective egg freezing and the demand for this service has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The quantity and quality of eggs begins to decrease when a woman is in her early 20s. Over time, this reduction of the number of eggs could eventually lead to infertility and other problems conceiving.

Egg freezing, also known as vitrification, offers an opportunity to intervene with this decline. As a part of the retrieval cycle, eggs are extracted, frozen, and stored until the woman is ready to use them at a later point in life. Although many refer to this process as a fertility “insurance policy,” it is important to note that no medical intervention can guarantee that. Success rates are highly dependent on the individual, her age, and her overall reproductive health. Egg freezing can be seen as a way to optimize future fertility potential. It can also help provide real autonomy for women who are looking to focus on other aspects of their career and life.

What Do We Know About the Egg, Exactly?

There is currently no standard assessment tool for the oocyte (egg) that helps answer the question of whether an egg is of high enough quality to become a viable embryo in the future. Highly trained embryologists are unable to determine the potential of the eggs by looking at them. Now, there is new, cutting-edge technology available to provide a clearer idea of a patient’s personalized chances of conceiving in the future.

A New Solution Is Available.

Future FertilityViolet egg grading report available at Vios Fertility Institute has developed an innovative technology called Violet™, an AI-enabled software solution now available at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago for women undergoing elective egg freezing. Future Fertility’s new tool, Violet™, provides patients who are seeking fertility treatment with more insight into the quality of their eggs, allowing them to work with their clinician toward a personalized, informed treatment plan. This non-invasive technology can predict the quality of the oocyte using an AI database that was developed using tens of thousands of images.

The result is a customized report – a physical document – that offers a comprehensive breakdown and image of each of the eggs retrieved from a patient. There is no comparable tool that offers transparency and scientific grading about the quality of an oocyte.

The report will assist physicians in personalizing future treatment protocols and providing a better scientific basis in patient counselling. Two recent validation studies showed a significant and robust advantage of the AI solution over all embryologists. Violet™ can predict the chances of an egg successfully fertilizing to the blastocyst stage with more accuracy than trained professionals.

Why Is Artificial Intelligence the Answer?

As mentioned, there is no standardized egg scoring system. Although embryologists can identify unique features of the egg, it is unclear about their significance. Essentially, the human eye is limited by what it can process in terms of resolution, shades of grey and pixel pattern recognition. When AI software is applied to the images of the eggs, new and important information is detected and recognized. AI is the key to unlocking the mysteries of the egg quality assessment. After the eggs are assessed, patients are provided with the Violet™ report, which includes both a summary of the viability of the cohort of frozen eggs and actual images of the eggs (a relatively rare opportunity). This is something a patient can physically keep and even share if she desires.

It is physically, emotionally, and financially demanding to preserve fertility for a later time. That is why Future Fertility has worked hard to improve the quality and transparency of fertility treatment by providing more personalized answers. Artificial intelligence allows for a more comfortable and accurate approach to fertility treatment.

At Vios, we are passionate about providing patient education and using innovative technology to help our patients achieve the fertility success they desire. Schedule a consultation with us today and ask how to add Violet™ to your fertility journey!

Should You Freeze Your Eggs?

The average age of women having their first child has increased in recent years from 21-26 years old. What is causing the increase? According to Forbes, career goals, pursuing advanced degrees, and wanting financial stability are factors.

Having goals is important but women’s fertility depends greatly on their age. By the time a woman reaches 30 she has about 200,000 eggs remaining in her ovaries, and that number continues to decrease with age.

Egg freezing is a great option for those who want to extend their fertility. Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is the process where eggs are removed from the ovaries and frozen for future use. The process begins by a woman taking medications before eggs are retrieved and frozen.

Who should consider egg freezing? According to Dr. Erica Louden, anyone! Egg quality and quantity decreases with age so if starting a family isn’t in your near future egg freezing is a great option for you. More specifically, women who will be undergoing cancer treatments, who have premature ovarian failure, and have chronic autoimmune diseases should consider egg freezing.

Assessing the quality of an oocyte before fertilization has, to date, been difficult as there is no standard assessment tool. At Vios Fertility Institute, we are one of the only fertility clinics currently offering Violet™, an AI-enabled software solution for women undergoing elective egg freezing. Learn more about Violet here.

Egg freezing is a great option for those “freezing” their fertility in time for either medical or personal reasons. Speak to a Vios team member about freezing your eggs today!

TO SCHEDULE AN EGG FREEZING CONSULTATION, CONTACT US TODAY!

To learn more about egg freezing and who should consider watch the video and read the below blogs.

ELECTIVE EGG FREEZING: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

EGG FREEZING: FERTILITY PRESERVATION FOR WOMEN

Patient FAQs: Egg and embryo storage in the TMRW platform

Vios Fertility Institute is proud to be the first fertility clinic in the world to offer the TMRW Platform to patients. The TMRW platform is the first and only automated technology platform that safely stores, manages, and identifies frozen eggs and embryos. (Read the official press release here.)

What does this mean for Vios patients? See some Frequently Asked Questions and their answers below:

What is the TMRW Platform?

Essentially, it is a high-tech embryo or egg storage tank. Typically, embryos and eggs are frozen and then stored in protective, highly sophisticated, tanks. The TMRW platform is all of this PLUS cutting-edge software – a platform – that continuously monitors and provides 1000s of data points every day to provide real time information about the precious cells stored within. This is the first and only automated platform for the management, identification, and storage of the frozen eggs and embryos used in IVF.

When will eggs or embryos first be stored in the TMRW platform?

The first embryos were moved into the TMRW platform in January, 2021. Patients who have embryos or eggs stored at Vios Fertility Institute through our Chicago IVF Lab will have their tissue placed in the TMRW platform from that point forward and we are transferring our existing inventory of eggs & embryos into the TMRW platform. We expect the TMRW platform to be available in our St. Louis region sometime in 2021.

If I want to move my existing stored embryos or eggs to the TMRW platform, how do I do this?

We are in the process of transferring ALL currently stored eggs & embryos at Vios Fertility Institute Chicago IVF Lab into the TMRW platform. There is no action needed from you, as a patient, to make this happen. We are as excited as you are! If you’d like to talk with your doctor about this, please call and make an appointment.

Does this mean my embryos or eggs aren’t safe where they are currently?

Your embryos and eggs have always been safe. Now, they will be even safer.

Vios has also always upheld the highest levels of safety and security for eggs and embryos stored with us. With the TMRW platform, we have an opportunity to utilize cutting-edge technology to continue to deliver on this promise and provide enhanced monitoring. We are proud to offer it to our patients.

TMRW has created the first and only automated platform for the management, identification, and storage of the frozen eggs and embryos used in IVF.

This does not mean, however, that the current storage system is subpar or ineffective. The standard storage system has been in place – safely – at clinics around the world, including Vios, for many years now. Any tissue stored in these tanks can be assumed to be safe.

The current practices used, however, are manual and labor intensive.

TMRW’s technology automates and digitizes the entire process, which helps reduce the risk for human error and more importantly, allows the clinic to individually track eggs and embryos 24/7 through remote monitoring, sensors and state of the art software.

This technology essentially digitizes an existing system and brings clinics up to speed with the rest of the medical field.

Will use of the TMRW platform increase my frozen egg or embryo storage cost?

The installation of the TMRW platform will not be the cause of a storage price increase.

Over time, storage costs may increase as standard operating costs increase. Information about storage cost is available and you always can discuss this with your healthcare team.

Vios Fertility Institute Patients Are First to Have Embryos Transferred to TMRW

As Egg Freezing and IVF Rates Hit New Highs, Vios Fertility Institute Goes LIVE with TMRW, the World’s First Technology Platform that Stores, Manages, and Identifies Frozen Eggs and Embryos

Chicago Couple is First to Have Embryos Transferred

 

CHICAGO, IL (February 3, 2021) – By the year 2100, approximately 300 million people will be born from in vitro fertilization (IVF), something that seemed impossible until the birth of Louise Brown in 1978. TMRW Life Sciences (“TMRW”) is determined to assist in those future births by effectively managing all frozen fertility specimens with the first and only automated technology platform that safely stores, manages and identifies frozen eggs and embryos. Today, Vios Fertility Institute – Chicago announces it is the first clinic to go live and begin storing patient specimens.

TMRW technology platform at Vios“No one undertaking IVF should ever have to worry about the safety of their embryos and eggs,” said Joshua Abram, Founder and Co-CEO of TMRW. “Three hundred million babies are expected to be born via IVF globally by 2100. With TMRW we have brought the safe storage and management of life’s most precious cells into the 21st Century.”

TMRW is the solution to a wide range of issues that have plagued fertility clinics through the years such as embryo mix-ups, incorrect transfers of embryos and catastrophic failures that resulted in the loss of thousands of irreplaceable eggs and embryos. While current methods are manual and labor intensive, they have remained unchanged since the advent of IVF. TMRW’s technology automates and digitizes the entire process, which helps reduce the risk for human error and more importantly, allows the clinic to individually track eggs and embryos 24/7 through remote monitoring, sensors and state of the art software.

Additionally, TMRW’s automated solution improves IVF by replacing the current archaic system of storage — which is not equipped to handle the soon to be hundreds of millions of fertility specimens — with a cryo-robot featuring secure, reliable technology that dramatically reduces risk and provides peace of mind.

“As we see a substantial increase in patients seeking IVF and in egg freezing – up 41% percent and 31.5% over the previous year – I am thrilled that Vios is the first fertility clinic in the world that offers TMRW to its patients,” explains Dr. Angie Beltsos, CEO & Chief Medical Officer of Vios Fertility Clinic. “IVF patients and those wanting to preserve their fertility deserve the most sophisticated care available, and there is nothing more powerful than combining our top-notch embryology services with TMRW’s game-changing technology. The peace of mind the TMRW platform offers extends to doctors, embryologists and patients alike.”

Chicago couple, Mayrav Dolgin and Renee Genova, have received fertility treatments at Vios Fertility Clinic resulting in two beautiful sons -Jonah age 2 and Elan 6 mos. They are the first patients of Vios to have their remaining embryos stored using TMRW’s new platform.

“The fertility journey can be difficult enough without having to worry about the safety of your embryos,” explains Dolgin. “Mayrav and I were ecstatic to learn that our precious embryos would be the first to be stored in the TMRW cryo-robot,” adds Genova. “Knowing that our remaining embryos will be cared for and looked after with the most advanced technology available gives us tremendous reassurance that our ability to continue building our family in the future is protected.”

The TMRW platform’s key proprietary features include:

  • A 24/7 state-of-the-art, cloud-based monitoring system that makes thousands of wellness checks on stored samples every day. TMRW’s onsite and remote communication system uses predictive analytics to proactively identify and address any safety or storage trends before they become issues.
  • Each patient is assigned an RFID tag with a unique identifier, enabling clinics to identify and track every fertility cell, dramatically reducing the possibility of mislabeled or missing samples.
  • An encrypted, HIPAA-compliant software system, providing the highest level of data privacy and security available.
  • Proprietary labware with thermal properties and proven storage freezer provides the ability to maintain safe cryogenic temperatures to safeguard eggs and embryos even without electrical power or human intervention for more than two weeks, in case of severe emergencies such as natural disasters.

Towards the end of the year, TMRW plans to launch an app that will allow patients to track their frozen specimens using a smartphone. By the end of 2021, TMRW’s platform will be used in leading fertility clinics comprising more than 30% of all IVF cycles in the U.S. The company hopes to expand into UK-based fertility clinics in summer of 2021.

About Vios Fertility:
Established in 2015, Vios Fertility Institute is one of the fastest growing fertility clinics in the U.S. with 11 locations in the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis regions. Woman owned, the Vios mission is to help patients find their way to fertility health with the highest chances of success. Vios offers innovative, scientific, and cutting-edge treatment options along with an unparalleled patient experience. www.ViosFertility.com

About TMRW Life Sciences:
TMRW has created the world’s first automated platform designed specifically for cryo-management of eggs and embryos used in IVF. TMRW’s RFID-enabled, complete digital chain of custody SaaS technology radically improves on the error-prone manual and analog methods that have gone unchanged throughout the history of IVF, significantly reducing the chances of implantation mix-ups or loss of eggs and embryos. The TMRW team includes many of the world’s most celebrated innovators in fertility, embryology, cryo-management, automation, software development and robotics to name a few of the disciplines involved. TMRW’s co-founders, Joshua Abram, Alan Murray, and Dr. Jeffrey Port, are serial tech and life sciences entrepreneurs. Their immediate prior ventures sold for a combined sum of more than $1 billion. To date, TMRW has raised $50 million. For more information, please visit TMRW.org.

 

Miscarriage Treatment Options: Dr. MacKenzie Purdy Answers Your Questions

Miscarriage is a heartbreaking reality for many as they try to conceive and, sometimes, a woman can experience multiple miscarriages in a row.

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) is defined by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) as two or more consecutive pregnancy losses. We know this is a heartbreaking loss and we are committed to helping our patients find answers and treatment options to help.

The first step is a series of diagnostic tests to understand what may be causing the miscarriages. There are some common causes of RPL including genetic, hormone imbalance, uterine abnormality, and undiagnosed medical conditions. Some reasons remain unknown despite the myriad of available testing options.

Dr. MacKenzie Purdy, a Vios physician in our St. Louis region, spoke with FOX2 in St. Louis about miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss. Watch for more information about diagnosis and testing as well as various treatment options for RPL.

After the interview, Dr. Purdy answered patient questions on the topic during a Facebook Live.

Fertility Preservation and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic female fertility preservation (aka “egg freezing”) has increased. This recent article highlights the trend in the United States.

At Vios, we’ve seen a similar increase in fertility preservation treatment.

Today, Dr. Roohi Jeelani of Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago shared her experience and expertise on the topic with Chicago’s ABC7.

The IVF Process: A Step-by-Step Inside Look

ivf processIn vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. It refers to a process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish.

After monitoring embryo development, one or multiple embryos are transferred to the uterus of a woman. If any resulting embryos remain, they are frozen through a process known as vitrification.

Typically, IVF is offered as a fertility treatment for women over the age of 40. It is also an option if you or your partner suffers from any of the following conditions:

  • Endometriosis
  • A genetic disorder
  • Fallopian tube damage or blockage
  • Fertility preservation for health conditions or medical treatments
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Previous sperm production or function
  • Previous tubal sterilization or removal
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Uterine fibroids

How to Prepare for IVF

Depending on your unique needs, you and your partner may need to undergo fertility diagnostic testing before you undergo the IVF process. Common types of diagnostic testing include:

  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – An hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a diagnostic X-ray that detects blockages of your fallopian tubes. It provides insight into any abnormalities on the inside of your uterus (uterine cavity).
  • Infectious disease screening – You and your partner should be screened for infectious diseases.
  • Ovarian reserve testingOvarian reserve testing provides a baseline of your fertility health. On day 2-5 of your menstrual cycle, a doctor will perform an AFC ultrasound and bloodwork to determine the quality and quantity of your eggs.
  • Saline Sonohysterogram (SHG) – The saline sonohysterogram (SHG) is a diagnostic ultrasound that detects abnormal structures on the inside of your uterus (uterine cavity). It provides insight into blockages of your fallopian tubes.
  • Semen analysis – A semen analysis measures three major factors of male sperm health: the count, the motility (movement), and the morphology (shape).

The IVF Process

After you undergo fertility testing and medical testing, you can begin the IVF process, which involves several steps. One cycle of IVF takes about two to three weeks, and more than one cycle may be required. Altogether, the process requires two to three months to complete.

Preparation for Ovarian Stimulation

To begin, a patient may be placed on birth control for one month. By doing so, patients can control the timing of their cycle, decrease the chances of cyst production, and synchronize follicle production.

Ovarian Stimulation and Monitoring

In a natural monthly cycle, the body usually releases one egg from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes. During an in vitro fertilization cycle, we increase the number of eggs produced to create multiple embryos for treatment.

Ovarian stimulation increases follicle production, which also increases the number of mature eggs within the ovaries for egg retrieval. To stimulate the ovaries, medication is administered daily through a tiny needle injection for 8-14 days.

While on stimulation medication, regular monitoring via ultrasound and blood tests is required. Ultrasound monitoring measures egg follicle growth, as well as the increasing thickness of the uterine lining. Blood work monitors estrogen levels, which rise as follicles develop.

Once follicle development and estrogen levels reach optimal numbers, the final medication step is a trigger shot, which allows the eggs to develop to the final stage of maturation and begins the ovulation process.

Egg Retrieval Procedure

Approximately 36 hours after the trigger shot, the egg retrieval will occur. During the 15-minute procedure, a patient is placed under sedation. Using ultrasound guidance, a needle is guided into each follicle and aspirated for collection.

The number of eggs obtained during a retrieval will vary based on the patient’s response to stimulation, ovarian reserve, age, and other factors. Some patients experience spotting, blotting, and mild discomfort. However, most patients fully recover within one or two days.

Fresh or frozen sperm can be used to inseminate the eggs. If a fresh sample is being used, on the same day as the egg retrieval, a sperm sample must also be collected. Therefore, it is best to abstain from ejaculation for two or more days prior to sample collection.

Egg Fertilization Through Sperm Injection

The eggs and sperm are taken to an embryology lab, where they are placed in optimal conditions to foster growth. The eggs can be inseminated via two methods – conventional insemination or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The eggs and sperm are placed in an incubator to facilitate fertilization and embryo development.

Monitoring of Embryo Development

Embryologists will closely monitor the growth and development of embryos, starting with the observation of fertilization. Due to various reasons such as genetic abnormality or inadequate embryo development, there will be fertilized eggs that do not develop into healthy embryos.

Embryo Transfer Procedure

Dependent upon embryo development, embryos are transferred anywhere from three to six days after fertilization. An embryologist evaluates every embryo and selects the most viable embryos for transfer.

To improve the chances of a healthy singleton baby, it is recommended to transfer one embryo, depending on the age of the patient and the quality of embryos.

Using a soft, ultra-thin catheter, under ultrasound guidance, an embryo is transferred into the uterus. Without the use of anesthesia, the procedure takes two minutes and is comparable to a pap smear in terms of discomfort.

Freezing of Remaining Embryos

The remaining embryos will be cryopreserved, or vitrified, using a fast-freezing and critical process called vitrification.

If the cycle does not result in pregnancy, the remaining frozen embryos can allow for future pregnancy opportunities. Due to scientific advances, the success rates of a frozen embryo transfer are compared to that of a fresh embryo transfer.

Pregnancy Test

Approximately two weeks after the embryo transfer, patients will undergo a blood pregnancy test to receive their test results.

Success Rates of the IVF Process

The success rates of the IVF process are higher than many other fertility treatments. However, the success rate is based on several factors, including reproductive history, maternal age, the cause of infertility, and other lifestyle factors.

In the United States, the live birth success rate for every IVF cycle ranges from 40-70%. Women under the age of 35 have a success rate of 40%.

At Vios in Hoffman Estates, Conception is Our Mission

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates and at our other locations, we aspire to make your dreams of parenthood a reality. During your initial consultation, we will discuss your medical history, your family building goals, and review available fertility treatments with you.

While we have other locations in Northern Illinois, Vios Hoffman Estates is most convenient to Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Northbrook, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and Mount Prospect.

To learn more about the IVF process and other types of fertility testing, contact us to schedule your first appointment.

Infertility Treatments Don’t Always Mean IVF

infertility treatmentsAs a common form of assisted reproductive technology, in vitro fertilization is one of the most popular infertility treatments today. However, everyone has unique fertility needs and circumstances, which means IVF may not be for you.

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates or at one of our other locations, our team of physicians will work with you to understand your future fertility goals and develop a customized plan to meet them. With a variety of fertility treatments available, we will find a solution to optimize treatment success, achieve pregnancy, and preserve fertility.

Let’s Talk About In Vitro Fertilization

Since the first successful in vitro procedure in 1978, over five million babies have been born through IVF treatments.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology in which the eggs are retrieved from a woman and inseminated with sperm from a man in a laboratory to create embryos. After closely monitoring embryo development, one or more embryos are transferred to the uterus of the woman. If any resulting embryos remain, they are frozen through a process known as vitrification.

To learn more about IVF and how it works, contact the experts at Vios Fertility Institute Hoffman Estates, read our blog article “The IVF Process: A Step-by-Step Inside Look,” or visit our In Vitro Fertilization page.

Basic Infertility Treatments

Timed Intercourse and Ovulation Induction

Timed intercourse is the simplest form of infertility treatment a couple can receive. With a limited timeframe for fertilization to occur, it is important to have intercourse at the right time. Monitoring occurs to track ovulation so that you will have a better potential for fertilization.

If a woman is not ovulating, we use a combination of ovulation induction medications to grow follicles and time the release of the egg so that intercourse can be planned to increase the chances of fertilization.

While every patient is unique, we follow a timeline to prescribe medications and monitor progress to determine when ovulation will occur and plan for intercourse.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often the first step in fertility treatment for many couples. It is a less expensive and more conservative infertility treatment option that is ideal for a lot of couples.

An IUI is accomplished by placing highly concentrated sperm directly into the uterus to facilitate fertilization and increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes.

IUI is a common treatment option for couples experiencing unexplained infertility issues, ovulation disorders, mild endometriosis, and mild male infertility issues with sperm or erectile dysfunction.

To learn more about the IUI process, contact Vios Hoffman Estates or visit our Intrauterine Insemination page.

Advanced Infertility Treatments

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

A frozen embryo transfer, or FET, takes an embryo cryopreserved from a previous IVF cycle or a donor embryo and thaws it before transferring it to a woman’s uterus. The advancements in cryopreservation techniques and the use of vitrification have allowed for increased success rates when using frozen embryos.

Once an embryo is cryopreserved, it can be stored indefinitely. A woman can use the embryos in the future at the age in which they are frozen. A frozen embryo transfer can occur:

  • After a successful fresh transfer when a woman wants to conceive her next child later
  • After an unsuccessful fresh transfer, anywhere from months to years later when a woman is ready to try again
  • When a couple decides to undergo genetic testing on their embryos, which results in the need for cryopreservation of the tested embryos
  • When a fresh transfer is not in the best interest of the patient

To learn more about frozen embryo transfer, contact Vios Fertility Institute Hoffman Estates or visit our Frozen Embryo Transfer page.

Genetic Testing (PGS and PGD)

As an additional and optional step in the IVF process, the genetic testing of embryos is incorporated after eggs are fertilized and have begun their development as embryos. By electing to do genetic testing, a patient can increase the chance of implantation and reduce the chance of miscarriage by transferring an embryo that has been tested for chromosomal abnormalities or genetic disorders.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)

With PGS, select cells are removed from the embryo and are genetically screened for chromosomal abnormalities, such as trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). PGS may be utilized if multiple miscarriages have occurred or if the female partner is of advanced maternal age.

PGS is available to all patients and can help increase pregnancy rates and decrease miscarriage rates. PGS also determines the sex of the embryo with nearly 100% accuracy.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

In PGD, select cells are removed from an embryo to test for a specific, known genetic condition. It is common for individuals or couples who have been diagnosed with or are carriers of a known genetic condition. After PDG, embryos without the genetic condition are transferred into the uterus for implantation.

The most tested genetic conditions are cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell, and thalassemia. However, with advanced technology, PDG is available for most diseases, including rare genetic disorders.

Fertility Preservation

Fertility preservation is a perfect option for women or couples who want to wait until they are ready to start a family. Fertility preservation includes egg freezing, sperm freezing, or embryo freezing.

Apart from social reasons, men and women may also consider fertility preservation if they are undergoing medical treatments or procedures that harm fertility:

  • Cancer diagnosis – For men and women who have been diagnosed with cancer, fertility preservation protects eggs and sperm before chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, which can be toxic.
  • Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) – For women who with premature ovarian insufficiency, early menopause, or a genetic predisposition to early menopause, fertility preservation preserve viable eggs or embryos for future use.
  • Autoimmune disease – Women with chronic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus may consider fertility preservation due to medications they use, which could potentially harm ovaries and cause infertility.

To learn more about fertility preservation, please read our blog Fertility Preservation & Fertility Options After Cancer Diagnosis, or visit our Fertility Preservation page.

A Variety of Infertility Treatments for You at Vios Fertility Hoffman Estates

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates or one of our other locations, our mission is to help our patients find their way to fertility health and treatment with the highest chance of success. We also provide a variety of innovative, scientific, cutting-edge infertility treatments along with unparalleled patient care.

While we have other locations in Northern Illinois, Vios Hoffman Estates is most convenient to Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Northbrook, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and Mount Prospect.

When you schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate doctors, you will learn which infertility treatments may be best for you. We also help you navigate your fertility journey by answering questions, offering financing options, and providing you with the support you need to achieve your dreams of parenthood.

To schedule your initial consultation, contact us today.

Getting Pregnant After 35: When to Get Help

getting pregnant after 35If you want to have a baby after the age of 35, you are not alone. Today, more women are focusing on their careers and finances before they start families of their own.

Although age affects female infertility, it is not impossible for women over 35 to conceive. Nonetheless, it is still important to understand the risks of getting pregnant after 35, how you can increase your chances of conception, and when to seek help.

How Aging Affects the Reproductive System

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Throughout your lifetime, the set number of eggs will decrease in quality and quantity over time. At birth, a girl is born with 1 to 2 million eggs. By puberty, between 250,000 to 500,000 eggs will remain. By the age of 37, you will only have about 25,000 eggs left.

The Challenges of Getting Pregnant After 35

The most common cause of infertility for women over the age of 35 is ovulation. When a woman ages, her menstrual cycles are regular (26 to 35) days until she reaches her late 30s to early 40s. As time passes, she begins to skip ovulation, which results in missed periods.

Other challenges of getting pregnant after 35 include:

  • It may take longer to get pregnant – Women are born with a limited number of eggs. As you reach your mid-to-late 30s, your eggs decrease in quality and quantity. If you are older than 35 and unable to conceive for six months, you should consult a fertility doctor.
  • You’re more likely to have a pregnancy of multiples – Due to hormonal changes that could release multiple eggs at the same time, the chance of conceiving twins increases with age. The use of assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization, can also lead to a pregnancy of multiples.
  • You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes – Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy and is common as women age. It can cause a baby to grow significantly larger than average, which increases the risk of injuries during delivery. Gestational diabetes can also increase the risk of premature birth and high blood pressure.
  • You’re more likely to develop high blood pressure – According to research, high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy is more common in older women. Your fertility doctor will carefully monitor your blood pressure, as well as the growth and development of your baby.
  • You’re more likely to have a premature birth – Premature births are common in older women. Premature babies may be low in weight and have complicated medical problems.
  • The risk of pregnancy loss is higher – Due to pre-existing medical conditions or fetal chromosomal abnormalities, the risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage or stillbirth) increases as women age. Women aged 35-45 have a 20-30% chance of miscarriage.
  • The risk of chromosome abnormalities is higher – Women over the age of 35 are more likely to have babies with a higher risk of chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome.

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant After 35

If you want to have a baby after the age of 35, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. While you cannot control your age or the quality of your eggs, you can control lifestyle factors that contribute to your fertility health:

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol – Heavy alcohol and drug use are associated with decreased infertility. If you want to have a baby, you should avoid drugs and alcohol at all costs. You should also clear any medications or supplements with your doctor ahead of time.
  • Eat a healthy diet – To conceive or carry a baby, you will need essential nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. You should also consider a daily prenatal vitamin a few months before conception.
  • Exercise regularly – Regular physical activity can boost energy levels and improve your overall health. It can also help you prepare for labor and childbirth by increasing your stamina and muscle strength. Before you start a new exercise program, consult your doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – A low BMI stops ovulation as the body tries to conserve energy, while a high BMI disrupts hormone levels. Before you have a baby, you should focus on maintaining a healthy BMI.
  • Schedule a preconception appointment – If you are ready to have a baby or want to discuss your options for getting pregnant after 35, you should seek help from a fertility doctor immediately. Your doctor will address any concerns about fertility or pregnancy and suggest fertility treatment options if necessary.
  • Seek regular prenatal care – Once you become pregnant, you should schedule regular prenatal visits. Your fertility doctor will be able to monitor the health of you and your baby, as well as signs or symptoms that may concern you.

When You Should Seek Help

If you are under the age of 35, you should try to conceive for a year before seeking treatment. If you are between 35 and 40, you should seek help from a doctor after six months of trying. If you are older than 40, you should schedule a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist immediately.

What Vios Can Do for You

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates or at one of our other locations, we know that every fertility journey is personal. We are passionate about changing the stigma surrounding infertility and helping couples achieve their dreams of getting pregnant after 35.

We offer a comprehensive menu of services, ranging from ovarian reserve testing to in vitro fertilization (IVF). We also offer specific fertility treatment options that may benefit women over the age of 35.

Genetic Testing

Genetic abnormalities increase as the age of woman rises, which leads to a higher risk of miscarriage, pregnancy-related complications, and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome.

As an additional step in the IVF process, genetic testing of embryos is incorporated after eggs are fertilized and begin their development. At Vios, we offer three types of genetic testing:

  • Preconception Genetic Carrier Screening – A carrier screening analyzes the potential for genetic disease, especially patients at a higher risk for certain genetic diseases.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) – PGD is commonly used when one partner has been diagnosed with or both partners are carriers of a known genetic condition. The most commonly tested genetic conditions are Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Tay Sachs, Sickle Cell, and Thalassemia.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) – PGS may be utilized if a couple experiences multiple miscarriages or if the female partner is of advanced maternal age. The test determines if there are extra or missing chromosomes.

To learn more about genetic testing, contact Vios Fertility Institute Hoffman Estates or visit our page How Healthy Will My Baby Be?.

Fertility Preservation

If you approach the 35-year milestone and want to wait to have a baby, you should consider fertility preservation, which involves elective egg freezing. By freezing your eggs, you can use “younger” eggs when you are ready to conceive, which leads to easier conception and potentially healthier pregnancy outcomes.

To learn more about elective egg freezing, visit our Protecting Against Infertility page.

Vios in Hoffman Estates Cares About Making Your Dreams of Parenthood Come True

At Vios Fertility Institute in Hoffman Estates or one of our other locations, conception is our life. We are on a mission to help our patients find their way to fertility health and treatment with the highest chance of success by providing them with innovative, scientific, cutting-edge treatment options with unparalleled customer experience.

While we have other locations in Northern Illinois, Vios Hoffman Estates is most convenient to Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Northbrook, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and Mount Prospect.

Our team of compassionate doctors is standing by ready to answer questions. To discuss your options for conceiving a family after 35, schedule your initial consultation today!