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.

  1. Myth 1: Fertility treatments always mean IVF 
  2. 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.
  3. Myth 2: IVF is a sure thing
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Moving Forward

The loss of a pregnancy is heartbreaking, but when this happens repeatedly, it can be devastating and confusing for the parents. A careful review of the circumstances and a comprehensive evaluation can often lead to a strategy with the outcome of a family.

Although random miscarriages are common, only 1-5% of people will suffer from repeated losses. According to American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is defined as having three or more consecutive miscarriages. According to ACOG, about 5% of women have two or more consecutive miscarriages and 1% will have three or more. The risk of recurrent pregnancy loss is higher in women who are over the age of 35 or who have had a previous miscarriage.

What causes RPL?

Most recurrent pregnancy losses result from chromosomal or genetic abnormalities. The abnormality may come from the egg, the sperm, or the early embryo. Ovarian aging can also be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, which is due to poor egg quality. As woman age their eggs decrease in quantity and quality.

Another factor could be an abnormality in the uterus. Some women may be born with an irregularly shaped uterus and some women may develop abnormalities with their uterus over time. Another possibility is scar tissue that has developed from previous procedures.

If you have suffered two or more miscarriages, you should talk with your provider. Your doctor might suggest one of these treatments to help reduce your risk for miscarriage.

Surgery

  • Surgery can fix some problems like extra tissue in the uterus, fibroids, or scar tissue. Correcting the shape of the inside of the uterus can often lower the chance for miscarriage.

Genetic screening

  • In about 5% of people, one of the parents has a chromosomal issue. The parents’ blood can be analyzed to see if this is a factor.

According to Dr. Mackenzie Purdy, MD, 60-70% of patients will go on to have a live birth. You can learn more about recurrent pregnancy loss here.

Contact us today to speak to a provider about recurrent pregnancy loss.

What is Male Infertiliy?

Infertility is a common problem among couples, and while we talk about it as a women’s issue, men deal with it too. Infertility due to the male partner is known as “male infertility.”

Fertility issues are just as likely to come from problems in men as they are in women. According to the Dr. Shannel Adams MD, FACOG, it is estimated that 30-40% of couples struggling with infertility have a contributing factor of male infertility. While it is estimated 20% of couple’s struggling with infertility male infertility is the only factor. Male infertility is defined as abnormal sperm count and lack of pregnancy after one year of trying. Usually, that inability to sustain a pregnancy is a problem with the sperm count, motility, or morphology. In addition to the number of sperm a man has, the shape and movement or swimming of the sperm is also important. A problem in one of these three areas can cause male infertility.

What is a normal sperm count?

A sperm sample should contain millions of sperm. Because of this, sperm is measured in ‘concentrations.’ Normal sperm concentration come in a wide range, but 15 million sperm per milliliter is a good benchmark.

What about sperm motility?

High ‘swimming’ sperm count is also important. A portion of your sperm will swim, and it is the swimming sperm that increase your chances of achieving a pregnancy.

What is a normal sperm morphology?

Sperm are very tiny. Morphology refers to the size and shape of the sperm. Sperm must be a certain shape to penetrate an egg. You want 4% of your sperm count to be a normal shape.

To learn more about what is considered normal sperm watch Dr. Erica Louden, MD, PHD explain it all here!

A semen analysis will provide information on your sample discovering if there are any issues with count, motility, or morphology. A semen analysis is a laboratory evaluation of the semen after it has been collected at home or in the clinic. Learn more about a semen analysis and what a normal SA is here. Once results from the semen analysis are in, you and your physicians can discuss your options. Here are some available:

  • Sperm freezing can preserve high quality sperm.
  • Sperm donor
  • IVF and gestational carrier can provide an option for couples, especially same sex male couples, to have the families they’ve always dreamed of.

To learn more about male infertility or to get a semen analysis, contact us today!

Family Building for LGBTQIA+

June marks the beginning of Pride Month, commemorating the Stonewall Riots and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. June 1 also is #LGBTQFamiliesDay, created for individuals, families, and allies to celebrate and support LGBTQIA+ families. Family comes in many forms and everyone’s path to their family is unique to their journey. No matter what your journey is, anyone who struggles to build a family should have the opportunity including the LGTBQIA+ community. According to Resolve, between 2 million and 3.7 million children under the age of 18 have a LGTBQIA+ parent.

For most LGTBQIA+ single people and couples, the journey to building your dream family can have a different path than what may be considered “traditional”. At Vios, we are far from “traditional” ourselves and are an ally for the LGTBQIA+ community, here to help those wishing to become parents.

Recently, in the state of Illinois a bill was passed changing the definition of infertility providing insurance coverage to the LGBTQIA+ community. HB3709 amends the IL Insurance Code to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility shall be provided without discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, Sex, or sexual orientation. It removes provisions stating that “infertility” means the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse or the inability to sustain a successful pregnancy. You can read more about this bill here.

There are three necessary components to make a baby: eggs, sperm, and a uterus. Thanks to improved medicine and technology, as well as generosity from third-party donors, same sex couples and single individuals have more options than ever to build the family of their dreams. From sperm donation and IUI, InVoCell for reciprocal IVF, egg donation, and gestational carrier Vios Fertility Institute can help bring the pieces together for all our patients. LGBTQ+ individuals and couples do not necessarily have a diagnosis of infertility so pregnancy rates per cycle are generally high in these cases.

If you need help financing your treatments learn more about our financing partners here!

We Welcome Center for Reproductive Health and Dr. Scott Springer to Our Team

Vios Fertility Institute Physicians, Dr. Springer, Dr. Jeelani, Dr. Beltsos, and Dr. Louden.

We are proud to officially announce the acquisition of Center for Reproductive Health, a widely-respected fertility practice founded by Dr. Scott Springer with locations in Crest Hill, IL and Geneva, IL. Read our full press release here.

A board-certified physician who specializes in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Springer became disenchanted early in his career with the standard practice business model that had nurses and technicians doing most of the work.  While still early in his career, Springer desired a better way to serve and care for his patients, so in 2001 he introduced the Center for Reproductive Health with a commitment to providing fertility treatments in a one on one personalized patient setting.

Vios is 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 including Dr. Roohi Jeelani and Dr. Erica Louden, will join Dr. Springer in serving patients at the Crest Hill and Geneva locations.

“We are honored to have Dr. Springer join the team and bring his incredible reputation, passion and expertise for building families to Vios,” explains Dr. Beltsos.  “We are excited to partner with him to increase our services and access to fertility care to the Western and Southwest suburbs of Chicago.”

Vios Fertility Institute now has 11 locations in the Chicagoland, Milwaukee, and St. Louis regions and accepts a wide range of insurance options. To schedule an appointment, click here.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it has become more important than ever to take care of your mental health. Patients coping with an infertility diagnosis can experience the same stress levels as patients battling a cancer diagnosis. At Vios, providing care and awareness for all aspects of health to patients is high priority. We have partnered with organizations like Wildflower Center for Emotional Health (CHI), Fertility RallyUniquely KnittedHope Against Infertility (MKE)The Broken Brown Egg, Fertility for Colored Girls and similar organizations to provide support for our patients.

There are also activities and mechanisms you can do at home to help cope. Having an arsenal of coping skills to deal with everyday stresses and anxiety can help with one’s mental health. Some coping skills are:

1. Surrounding yourself with people who can support you.

2. Meditating to relax.

3. Music to distract your mind.

4. Going to places that bring you joy.

5. Having mantras and phrases to support yourself.

We encourage anyone dealing with a mental health illness to reach out for support and health. Some resources are the National Alliance on Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationMental Health Resources and American Psychiatric Association.

 

NIAW 2021 Treatment Cycle Giveaway

To kick off National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) in a BIG way, we’re excited to announce a treatment cycle giveaway!

One lucky self-pay recipient will receive a free egg freezing, IUI, InVoCell, or IVF cycle, excluding medication or add on services, from any of our available clinic locations. The cycle must be completed in 2021.

To enter:
1) Schedule and complete your New Patient Consult with any Vios Fertility physician between April 19, 2021 and May 31, 2021.

2) Like Vios Fertility on Facebook.

2) Follow @viosfertility on Instagram.

And that’s it! The winner will be notified by June 4, 2021. We ask that the winner be willing to share their experience publicly on our marketing channels. The winner can remain anonymous, sharing sentiment and thoughts without images or name, if desired.

To schedule your new patient consult, call us at 866-258-8467 or complete our contact form.

Current patients: want to be included? Email [email protected] and let us know you want to be included by Friday, April 23 at 5 PM central.

(Fine print: Only “self-pay” patients are eligible to receive the prize; if you have insurance coverage for fertility treatment you will not qualify. Diagnostic testing is not included in the giveaway. Patients will be expected to cover the cost of medication and any other services not offered directly from Vios Fertility Institute for the purpose of one fertility treatment cycle including, but not limited to, cryopreservation, PGT, Zymot, Violet, or OB services. The winner may choose to utilize these services, at the recommendation of their physician, and at the patient’s own cost. Treatment cycle protocol specifications will be determined by the winning recipient’s Vios physician. Treatment must conclude by December 31, 2021. The winner is expected to share thoughts, anecdotes, and quotes for marketing purposes and may remain anonymous in doing so. This giveaway is not transferable and has no cash value. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook.)