RMACT Provides Fertility Testing for Teachers in July

by Laura Oreilly

RMACT Provides Fertility Testing for Teachers in July

 

For all that teachers give to our community and our schools, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is proud to offer free fertility testing for female teachers. Connecticut and New York teachers can visit any of RMACT's four locations for an anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) blood test. AMH is an excellent measure of a woman's ovarian reserve, the remaining strength of a woman's eggs, which naturally declines with age. Whether they are interested in starting a family now or planning for the future, an AMH test provides women with information about their reproductive and fertility health through a simple blood test.

 

RMACT's medical staff will conduct blood draws and AMH tests from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the fertility practice's locations in Danbury, Norwalk, Stamford and Trumbull on a walk-in basis during these time periods. To learn more, click here

 

"Teachers understand the power of knowledge, and we want to give them this important information about their fertility and their reproductive health," says Dr. Joshua Hurwitz, a board certified reproductive endocrinologist and partner with RMACT. "This knowledge is essential for a woman to make important decisions about her fertility options whether she is interested in starting a family today or in several years."

 

Teachers who come to RMACT will have their blood drawn and will receive a phone call from an RMACT nurse with results within 10 business days. The AMH blood test can be drawn at any time of a woman's menstrual cycle, even if she is on Birth Control Pills so there is no special scheduling required.

 

AMH levels are widely recognized as a reliable indicator of a woman's reproductive potential; however, it does not give the full picture. For a more thorough understanding of their fertility, patients should schedule an individual consultation at RMACT that includes a complete diagnostic work-up. For women, this diagnostic testing includes AMH, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and hysterosalpingogram (HSG). For men, who contribute to up to 40 percent of infertility issues, diagnostic testing includes semen analysis. Both partners will also discuss their family and medical histories during their initial consultations.

 

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). For more information visit http://www.RMACT.com or find us on Facebook.

Topics: Testing, Financing Infertility Treatment

Free Fertility Testing for Women in Connecticut

by Greg Zola

RMACT Offers AMH Testing on October 24 at Its New Trumbull, CT Office

 Free Fertility TestingTRUMBULL, CT (October 17, 2013) – Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is offering free anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) tests for women who want to know more about their fertility and reproductive health at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 24 at RMACT’s Trumbull office: 115 Technology Drive, suite C200. RMACT’s Fertility Testing Seminar will be comprised of two parts: a short seminar about fertility led by Dr. Shaun Williams, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist, and AMH testing conducted by fertility nurses.

 

 AMH testing can help fertility specialists and patients to have a better understanding of their reproductive health today, as well as act as a benchmark for future diagnosis. Women with low AMH levels have several options. If they are considering having a family, they may decide to start trying in the near future. If they are not ready to start a family, they can continue to monitor their egg reserve and seek further diagnostic testing. Alternatively, they can freeze eggs for the future. In 2012 the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lifted the “experimental” label for egg freezing, largely due to an advanced freezing technique called vitrification that freezes eggs in just minutes.

 

Alyssa Sperber, an RMACT patient who froze her eggs earlier this year, says: “As I entered my mid-thirties, I was focused on my career and was about to start business school. I want to be able to have a family in the future, so I went to RMACT for diagnostic testing. Without an AMH test, my doctor would not have had enough information to determine that I should pursue egg freezing and I may have missed my chance to start a family.”

 

AMH is a protein secreted by small follicles in the ovary that decreases gradually over a woman’s reproductive years. AMH levels are measured by a simple blood test that is one of the best markers of a woman’s fertility potential (ovarian reserve). Women who come to the RMACT event will have their blood drawn and will receive a phone call from an RMACT nurse with results within 10 business days. Since AMH is not affected by estrogen and other hormones, it can be tested at any point in the menstrual cycle and even in patients on birth control pills. Healthy women under 38 years old typically have AMH levels of 2.0 - 7.0 ng/ml.  

 

 “The advances in fertility treatment over the past decade give us more hope, but age is still the number one factor in infertility,” says Dr. Shaun Williams.  “The earlier we start working with a patient, the more options we have. Even women who aren’t ready to have children right now benefit from knowing more about their reproductive health. AMH testing is one of the most flexible, most informative tests we have.”

 

Testing AMH levels is widely recognized as a reliable indicator of a woman’s reproductive potential; however, it does not give the full picture. For a more thorough understanding of their fertility, patients should schedule an individual consultation at RMACT that includes a complete diagnostic work up. For women, diagnostic testing includes AMH, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and hysterosalpingogram (HSG). For men, who contribute to up to 40 percent of infertility issues, diagnostic testing includes semen analysis. Both partners will also discuss their family and medical histories.

 

 To preregister or for more information, please go to: http://www.rmact.com/events

 

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). For more information visit http://www.RMACT.com or find us on Facebook.

Topics: Fertility clinic, AMH - Anti-Mullerian Hormone, Testing

The Future of Genetic Embryo Screening Has Arrived: CCS

by Robin Mangieri

Every few years, a reproductive technology comes along that revolutionizes infertility treatments for patients. Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) is, arguably, one such technology. Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut in partnership with Dr. Richard Scott of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (www.rmanj.com) are proud to announce that we are the only fertilty center in Connecticut who can offer patients access to this important tool.


New Haven's WTNH-TV station focused on CCS in a recently aired story by Jocelyn Maminta:

What Is CCS (or Comprehensive Chromosome Screening)?

Aneuploidy is the term used to describe any embryo with either too many or too few chromosomes.   Most people are not aware that aneuploidy is the cause of greater than 60% of miscarriages, as well as the most likely reason that  patients do not get pregnant from an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.


The purpose of CCS is to analyze, select and transfer only embryos that do not have abnormalities in their number of chromosomes. Screening embryos in advance can help achieve higher implantation rates and fewer pregnancy losses, particularly for women 35 or older, couples with multiple-failed IVF cycles or implantation failure, and couples with repeated miscarriages.


Potential CCS Advantages: Technologies Screen Embryos for All 23 Pairs of Human Chromosomes

The more traditional technique of identifying aneuploidy in IVF embryos was performed with an older technology called fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). FISH has many technical drawbacks including the fact that it can only study, at most, 11 chromosome pairs out of all 23 pairs of chromosomes.   Therefore 12 or more chromosomes, then, are not examined, resulting in only partially screened embryos which can lead to miscarriages or infants born with chromosomal disorders.    Additionally, FISH requires removal of only a single cell on day 3 of development.  This greatly decreases the accuracy of the testing and may even harm the embryo as there are only 6-10 cells at that stage of development.  In fact, several well-regarded research studies have shown that using FISH on day 3 embryo does not improve outcomes over traditional IVF.


Conversely, during CCS, we obtain 5-10 cells on a day 5 or 6 embryo called a blastocyst.  Biopsying the embryo at a more advanced cell stage dramatically increases the accuracy of this testing and minimizes potential damage that the biopsy can cause on the embryo because it has several hundred cells by then.


Another advantage to CCS is that we can greatly reduce the odds of a couple having multiple pregnancies (twins or triplets). It arms clinicians with the knowledge that they are transferring the most chromosomally fit embryo, therefore precluding  the need to transfer multiple, unscreened  embryos in the hope that one will be healthy enough to create an ongoing pregnancy and a healthy baby.


For more information about CCS, or to speak with one of our board-certified reproductive endocrinologists and infertility specialists, please contact us.   We’re here to help.

Topics: PGD, Testing, CCS - Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening, Fertility Treatment, RMACT Doctors

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, awards, Curing Infertility, Dr. Richard Scott, News, Testing, CCS - Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening, Embryo, Fertility Treatment, Freezing