Oncofertility: Preserving Your Fertility After A Cancer Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can feel devastating and terrifying with a typically quick treatment plan put into place. Cancer treatments can take a toll on the body and can leave some women unable to conceive a child later in life. Oncofertility, the rapid preservation of eggs, sperm, and ovarian tissue prior to cancer treatment, provides those with this diagnosis options for their future family.

Survival rates among young women have greatly improved in the recent years, but infertility remains a common complication resulting from treatment.

Types of cancer treatments that can cause infertility include:

  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy targets specific mutations in your DNA to keep them from multiplying. In high doses, this can cause permanent damage to your DNA.
  • Radiation therapy. Radiation to the pelvis, abdomen, spine or whole body can cause egg quality and quantity issues
  • Surgery. In some cases, reproductive organs may be removed, which can affect fertility.

For women of reproductive age who wish to have children in the future, it is important they know there are options to preserve their fertility. Many patients see remission and go on to live healthy lives, yet the cancer treatments required may have a significant and negative impact on egg quality and quantity.

Watch this Facebook Live with Dr. Erica Louden and Dr. Ismail Mert, Gynecologic Oncologist from Advocate Health Care, as they talk through early detection strategies and treatment options for women diagnosed with breast, ovarian, or uterine cancers.

 

Vios Fertility Institute Detroit Opens With Dr. Sasha Hakman

Known as one of the “fastest growing” clinics in the U.S,” Vios Fertility Institute expands it services to Detroit, Michigan with a new location scheduled to open in November.

Vios Fertility Institute Detroit, Dr. Sasha Hakman

“This marks our fourteenth clinic as Vios expands to provide innovative and patient-centric fertility care options Detroit and the surrounding areas,” explains Dr. Angie Beltsos, CEO and Chief Medical Officer.  “We are thrilled to return home to Michigan.”

A “Michigander,” Dr. Beltsos grew up in Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor and graduated from Michigan State University. Additionally, Vios physicians Dr. Roohi Jeelani and Dr. Erica Louden are both graduates of the esteemed Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.  “We all have meaningful ties to Michigan and are excited to welcome Dr. Sasha Hakman who attended Michigan State University to our Detroit team!”

Dr. Hakman completed her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and her OBGYN residency at Michigan State University.  She earned her medical degree from Saba University School of Medicine and her undergraduate degree from University of Toronto.  Highly skilled in all areas of reproductive health, Dr. Hakman has a particular expertise and interest in fertility preservation, PCOS, access to care, and the impacts of lifestyle on fertility. 

“I’m excited to join the Vios team to help bring our unique approach to fertility care services to the Detroit region,” explains Dr. Hakman.  “I have the best of both worlds -to be in a community I love while also being able to bring new innovations and cutting-edge technology to offer a greater chance of success for my patients.”

Vios Fertility Institute provides patients with innovative, cutting-edge fertility treatment options to meet the diverse needs of patient’s family planning goals.  As a team, they strive to be open-minded and forward thinking when evaluating new data, research and technologies that have the potential to improve the care and results they provide to patients. Above all, Vios is built on a foundation of excellent medical care and patient experience.

Vios Fertility Institute Detroit is located at 26400 W 12 Mile Rd Unit 140 Southfield, MI 48034 and accepts a wide range of insurance options. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 866.258.8467 or visit www.ViosFertility.com

What is PCOS?

September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month. To close out this month we are sharing some information on PCOS.

PCOS is a common hormone disorder in women that is also the leading cause of female infertility. According to Resolve, due to the wide variety of symptoms, most women don’t get diagnosed until they begin trying to conceive and seek help getting pregnant. PCOS is one of the most underdiagnosed diseases in the world, with less than 25% of women with PCOS being diagnosed.

PCOS is characterized by three common characteristics: irregular or absent periods, excess androgens (elevated testosterone and androstenedione levels), and multiple cystic areas on the ovaries.

Other seemingly unrelated PCOS symptoms that patients might experience include:

  • Infertility.
  • Heavy periods and spotting between periods.
  • Pelvic pain during or between periods.
  • Mood changes.
  • Weight gain.
  • Fatigue, or low energy levels.
  • Excess growth on the arms, face, back, chest, abdomen or hands and feet (also known as hirsutism).
  • Hair loss or male pattern baldness on the head.
  • Acne.
  • Insomnia or poor sleep.

Please contact Vios to schedule an appointment with one of our providers if you believe you have PCOS and need help conceiving.

Dr. Angie Beltsos honored in the Most Inspiring Business Leaders Making a Difference 2021 list

We are honored to have our very own Dr. Angie Beltsos featured in CIO Views 10 Most Inspiring Business Leaders Making a Difference 2021. Dr. Angie Beltsos leads Vios as Chief Medical Officer/CEO who is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991.

Dr. Beltsos believe in patient-focused care with success not only being measured by the amount of pregnancies but patient satisfaction and teamwork amongst Vios.

Read all about Dr. Angie Beltsos and her approach to fertility here.

Welcome Dr. Jared Robins and Dr. Kari von Goeben to Chicago Physician Team

Known as one of the “fastest growing & innovative fertility clinics in the U.S.,” Vios Fertility Institute announces the addition of two doctors to their team.  Dr. Kari von Goeben, of Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine (FIRM) in Jacksonville and Dr. Jared Robins, of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Chicago, will join the dedicated group of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialists, nurse practitioners and lab directors servicing patients throughout Chicagoland with offices in West Loop, Wicker Park, Hoffman Estates, Glenview, Aurora, Crest Hill and Geneva.

Dr. von Goeben was recently recognized as one of Jacksonville’s “Top Doctors” while at FIRM.   Her areas of clinical interest include PCOS, fertility preservation, and the impacts of lifestyle factors as they are related to fertility. Dr. von Goeben completed her fellowship at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai, residency at UCLA, and medical school at Temple University. She is a current member of American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Robins served as Division Chief of Northwestern’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division among other roles.  He has been awarded multiple grants for clinical trials and research in the field of reproductive medicine and is a well-known speaker and author.  Dr. Robins completed his fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and medical school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY). He also holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Dr. Robins is a current member of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Society for Reproductive Investigation (elected member) and Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Vios Fertility Institute is co-founded and led by CEO and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Angeline Beltsos, who is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991.  Dr. Beltsos, along with Vios physicians Dr. Roohi Jeelani, Dr. Erica Louden, and Dr. Scott Springer, will join Dr. von Goeben and Dr. Robins in seeing patients throughout the Chicagoland locations.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome these two seasoned fertility experts to Vios,” explains Dr. Beltsos.  “Dr. von Goeben and Dr. Robins are highly regarded for their experience and dedication to reproductive medicine.  Both our Chicagoland team and patients will benefit greatly from their progressive and patient-centric care which aligns with the Vios mission.”

Vios Fertility Institute provides patients with innovative, cutting-edge fertility treatment options to meet the diverse needs of patient’s family planning goals.  As a team, they strive to be open-minded and forward thinking when evaluating new data, research and technologies that have the potential to improve the care and results they provide to patients. Above all, Vios is built on a foundation of excellent medical care and patient experience.

Vios Fertility Institute accepts a wide range of insurance options. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 866.258.8467 or visit www.ViosFertility.com

About Vios Fertility:

Established in 2015, Vios Fertility Institute is one of the fastest growing fertility clinics in the U.S. with 13 locations in the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Portland regions of the United States. 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. 

Preparing For Your First Appointment

After scheduling your first fertility clinic visit with a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Vios, you may be wondering what to expect from your appointment and how to prepare. Here are some ways.

What to bring:

  • Copies of your medical records from primary care physician, OBGYN, and any previous fertility evaluations you may have had. Every piece of background information that you bring could be vital, so having access to your medical records is important, especially up-to-date records.
  • A list of questions. Picking a clinic is important and having questions prepared will help you ask about the items that are important to you for your journey. Having a list of questions written down will ensure that you don’t forget.
  • A notebook to write down any instructions your provider might have or next steps. With so much discussed in the first visit, it is very common to feel overwhelmed. Taking notes during your time with a provider can help you process and remember important details.
  • Your partner if you like or if you have one. It is not necessary to bring your partner, but they are invited and encouraged to attend. This is an opportunity for your partner to be included and having them there may be helpful for you. They can provide support and will also be able to help answer questions about their medical history.

How to prepare:

Your medical records will have a lot of information but they are only part of what’s needed. Your own story and facts are also very important. Here are some other things that might be asked during your first visit:

  • Medications, vitamins, or other supplements you take. Include the amount of each and how often you take them.
  • Any medical conditions that you or your partner may have.
  • Previous evaluations or treatments for infertility you’ve had.
  • Details about your cycle. Is it regular? How long is your cycle? Is the flow especially heavy/light? Do you suffer from especially painful periods?
  • Details about your attempts to conceive.
  • How long you have been trying to conceive.
  • Any family history of infertility. Check with both sides of the family.

Beginning fertility treatment is a very personal journey, and this first visit is where it all starts. It is important to be informed and knowledgeable about every stage of your journey. To learn more about preparing for your first appointment, watch Dr. Ellen Hayes, MD, FACOG and our newest nurse practitioner Sonja Araoz answer your questions and dive into details here!

Look over our Patient Information page to see Frequently Asked Questions from Vios patients!

Debunking Fertility Myths

Fertility is a very personal and often stressful experience. There is a lot of misinformation in our society about fertility, IVF, and fertility treatments in general. Here are some common fertility myths debunked.

Myth 1: Fertility treatments always mean IVF 

  • Once you meet with a provider and test results come in, you and your provider will speak about the option that is best for you. IVF is a great solution for many but there are other options including: timed intercourse, oral medication, IUI, and InVoCell.

Myth 2: IVF is a sure thing

  • There are many factors that can impact IVF success. There are ways to up your odds by reducing some of the unknowns such as multiple rounds (2 is average), PGT testing to get the most info before a transfer, and more. At Vios, our live births and other success stats are higher than national average. 

Myth 3: Age doesn’t matter 

  • You can have issues at any age–even in your 20s or have great ease in your 40s. If you want a family in the future, protect your chances early on by taking steps like egg freezing. Statistically age does matter. Women are born with all their eggs and their eggs decrease over time. 

Our Dr. Amber Cooper sat down with Future Family to debunk some common fertility myths. Learn more about those myths here.

Announcing our newest location in the Pacific Northwest

We are thrilled to officially announce our newest clinic location near Portland, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest!

Dr. Shannel Adams and Dr. Angeline Beltsos

Vios is led by Chief Medical Officer/CEO Dr. Angie Beltsos, who is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991. The new location will feature Shannel R. Adams, MD, FACOG, at the helm – a Portland native and double board-certified OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Adams leading our Pacific Northwest office,” explains Dr. Beltsos. “Her extensive knowledge and dedication to helping people build families is completely aligned with our Vios core values of vision, innovation, teamwork, and passion. Together, we look forward to leading the way toward expanded innovative and patient-centric fertility care options in the Pacific Northwest.”

Highly skilled in all areas of reproductive health, Dr. Adams has a particular expertise and interest in, fertility preservation, male fertility, third party reproduction, and holistic care of both mind and body. She received her undergraduate degree focusing on ethics from Duke University and went on to medical school at Oregon Health and Science University where she graduated in June 2010. Dr. Adams has been recognized with many awards for her contributions to the fields of medicine, reproductive endocrinology, and family planning and has presented numerous times on the topics of Oncofertility, fertility preservation, chromosome screening technologies, and infertility.  She credits her close-knit family and strong female role models with inspiring her to choose medicine as a profession and reproductive endocrinology as her specialty. Taking care of women and playing a trusted role in their healthcare is her passion. She considers it an honor to have an intimate role in the lives of her patients as they build their family or empower themselves with preservation options.

“I’m excited to join the Vios team to help expand our unique approach to fertility care services to the Pacific Northwest,” explains Dr. Adams. “I have the best of both worlds -to be in a community I love while also being able to bring new innovations and cutting-edge technology to offer a greater chance of success for my patients.”

Vios provides patients with innovative, cutting-edge fertility treatment options to meet the diverse needs of their family planning goals. As a team, they strive to be open-minded and forward thinking when evaluating new data, research and technologies that have the potential to improve the care and results they provide to patients.

Vios Fertility Institute – Pacific Northwest is located at 2501 NE 134th Street, Suite 100, Vancouver, Washington 98686.  For more information or to make an appointment, please call 866.955.0766 or complete our online form here.

Read the full press release.

Study finds COVID-19 does not cause female sterility

Protecting your health, and the health of your future family is important. Choices like vitamins and body weight can impact your goal to have a family. A new choice for women is whether they should receive the COVID-19 vaccine but a recent study has found the vaccine does not cause female sterility.

The study, published in ASRM’s Fertility & Sterility F&S Reports, showed no effect on a woman’s implantation rates or sustained implantation rates. This study which used frozen embryos of women who had the virus, vaccine, and neither showed no difference in rates from the three groups.

If you decide to move forward with getting vaccinated which vaccine should you get? According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), all three vaccines are reasonable choices for patients undergoing a fertility journey or are pregnant. ACOG recommends the vaccine for women who are trying to get pregnant as well as already pregnant.

Getting the vaccine is your choice. Some information to remember is unvaccinated pregnant women have an increased risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19. If you get the virus while pregnant, your chances of needing intensive care and a ventilator are increased putting your unborn child at higher risk of preterm birth.

Vios is proud to support University of California – San Francisco’s ASPIRE study that seeks to assess the safety of pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage our pregnant patients to enroll and contribute to this important research.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine contact a provider or learn more here.

Patient Portal Maintenance & Alternate Contacts

The Vios Patient Portal will be down for maintenance starting at 9 PM CST on Friday, June 25 through Sunday, June 27.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

For urgent issues, please call the on call lines:

  • Chicago Region: 773-435-9036
  • Milwaukee Region: 262-518-7448
  • St. Louis Region: 314-266-2062

Thank you for your patience.