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HRC Rancho Cucamonga - Blog

The following area consists of relevant news and events as well as informative material and stories by the staff at HRC Fertility, Rancho Cucamonga. Please subscribe to our Blog and receive up to the minute information from HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga serving the Inland Empire.

Dr. Norian Attends Families Through Surrogacy Conference

2016 families through surrogacy conference dr norianDr. John Norian of HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga recently attended the "Families Through Surrogacy" U.S. Conference.  During the conference, Dr. Norian was able to meet with intended parents and surrogates and also share with peers the latest in surrogacy.  

To learn more information about the excellent HRC Rancho Cucamonga and Inland Empire surrogacy program, please click here.  Also, if you would like to set up a consultation with Dr. Norian about surrogacy, please fill out our online request an appointment form.

 

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Eat Your Way to Improved Fertility

Patients often ask whether their eating habits are affecting their fertility. There is evidence to suggest that modifying your diet may be a natural, low-cost option to improve your chances of conceiving, especially if you have certain infertility diagnoses, such as irregular ovulation and PCOS, or are undergoing IVF.

The Nurse's Health Study (NHS), one of the largest investigations conducted on female health habits, has provided clinicians with important information about the effect of diet on a women's reproductive system.

Why diet can have a positive or negative impact on fertility

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are all essential nutrients in a diet. Each plays an important role in maintaining proper hormonal balance essential for ovulation and menstruation.

Too many simple carbohydrates can increase blood sugar and insulin levels. This, in turn, contribues to insulin resistance which then disrupts the interplay with each other. Fats, which provide the building blocks for steroid hormones (such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), can also turn genes on or off, stimulating or calming inflammation and influencing cell function.

Pay attention to the type of carbohydrates, proteins and fat

According to the NHS, women who ate highly refined carbohydrates or fast carbs (white rice, french fries) were 92% more likely to have had ovulatory infertility than women who ate "slow" carbs (brown rice, oatmeal, dark bread). These two types of carbohydrates vary in how fast they impact blood sugar.

Large population-based studies found that consuming more protein from plants and less from animals resulted in less ovulatory infertility. The study concluded that consuming five percent of total calories as vegetable protein (beans, nuts) rather than animal protein (meat) was associated with a more than 50 percent lower risk of ovulatory infertility.

Unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive and other vegetable oils, can improve fertility by improving insulin sensitivity while trans-fats do the opposite. Trans-fats are typically found in fast food and many commercially prepared products.

The type of food you consume is more significant than the amount

One of the most interesting findings from among the 18,555 women in the NHS is that quality is more important than quantity. Interestingly, the total amount of carbs was not connected with ovulatory infertility; rather, it was the type of carbs, ie. fast carbs versus slow ones. The same was found for fats; diets rich in trans-fats were particularly bad for ovulation and conception.

Is a Mediterranean diet the answer?

A Mediterranean diet is abundant in fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, olive oil, and a moderate amount of dairy and wine. Two recent studies have noted that women who consume this diet had improved fertility, including higher IVF success. In one study, the consumption of vegetable oils rich in linoleic acid and Vitamin B turned out to be an important positive addition to a diet. Both studies warrant more investigation.

Increase your folic acid and vitamin B intake

Folic acid and other vitamin B vitamins improve the likelihood of ovulation and fertility and prepare you for pregnancy. Furthermore, women who consume iron supplements or diets rich in non-heme iron (primarily found in fruits, vegetables, and beans) also had decreased rates of ovulatory infertility. Numerous studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency may be determintal to reproduction.

Men are affected, too

Men can help optimize their fertility by maintaining a healthy weight; men who are obese have lower testosterone levels, increased insulin resistance and decreased semen parameters. According to a Danish study, high saturated fat in men is associated with lower sperm concentration and total counts.

HRC physicians continually strive to improve fertility treatment and pregnancy outcomes in ways that also can enhance your lifestyle, overall health and the way you feel about your body.

We suggest starting a diet that includes more carbohydrates, plant-based proteins and unsaturated fats while supplementing it with folic acid and vitamin B--two steps with potentially significant impact.

 

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Help! I’m Being Overrun with Hormones – Hers!

sad couple2Hello, and happy National Infertility Awareness Week. In recent years, the hard work of many people, including those coping infertility, organizations who support those living with infertility such as Resolve.org and medical professionals who provide interventions to fight infertility, such as HRC Fertility – Pasadena/Rancho Cucamonga, have brought much needed help to those struggling to conceive. These efforts need to be applauded as so many people have received hope and resolution to their infertility as a result. Although more progress is needed in regards to supporting all those who face the disease of infertility, there is one population who remains significantly underserved in this arena and they are we guys - the men who so want to be a father, yet are not able to be due to either their own infertility issues and/or that of their partner. If this is you or the man you love, I am here to tell you that the desire to be a parent is a man’s world too! 

You do not need to look any further than the animal kingdom to know that the instinct to be a father is as natural as it gets. Lions, wolves, rams and elephants (to name few) fight in order to have their bloodlines continue. If you and your partner are challenged with infertility you may not need to fight in that same way; however, it is a battle nonetheless. Rest assured that your desire to be a father is as natural as anything on the planet. 

Speaking of the “fight,” one of my main goals in providing counseling services to men and their partners who are battling infertility is to help you fight the disease and not one another. One of the common struggles that I hear men say is: “I’m being overrun by her hormones!” The following are a few strategies for coping with her hormones and the emotions they may bring. 

Do not take it personally. When in the course of your infertility journey that your wife/girlfriend/partner is prescribed infertility medications, it possible that her hormones will be impacted, leading to a heightened range, depth and irrationality in her emotions. Remember, most likely this has nothing to do with you. It is the drugs talking (along with her own heart-break and frustration in dealing with infertility.) Your job in these situations is to be comforting and supportive. Focus on how to best do so. 

Be empathetic and understanding. Remember this hard on her too. Plus she’s the one taking all those medications. Although the mediations are hopefully helping the infertility issues, they are also wreaking havoc in her body so to speak. Odds are that she likely doesn’t like being so emotional and that it is no piece of cake for her either. 

Ask how to support her. At times it may seem like everything you do in an effort to understand and be comforting is the wrong thing. This can be beyond frustrating. However, the best way to know how to support your partner is to ask and have her make it explicit. But here is a little tip: often the best time to ask is not in the heat of the moment, but rather when she (and you) is not so emotional. At that point you both will be able to think about and communicate your needs rationally. And yes, it is okay to tell her how the tense moments affect you, just be sure to use “I” statements in regards to how you feel about certain things, and not play the blame game. It is also a good idea to have a debrief session after an emotional time (once you both are calm) or after a procedure or an injection, etc. to check in with her to ensure that you both support one another in positive ways.

Take care of yourself. This should be an essential component throughout your infertility journey, but especially when your emotions are being taxed. Do whatever you like to do to recharge your batteries. Be it sports, cars, art, cooking, a hobby or whatever; make time for it. In addition, I highly recommend that you make a part of your self-care something that is health/exercise related. The stress relief, the endorphins release, the emotional decrease and the overall health benefits will make you feel better. 

In the end, remember that the two of you are in this together, even though you have different roles to play. Figuring out how to best support one another is one of the greatest gifts you can give to each other at this time. Also remember, “this too will pass.” She will not always be taking infertility medications and her doing so now, along with all the interventions you are doing, is a part of your “fight” for fatherhood. When that happens, it will all be worth it and you will feel like the king of the jungle.

About the Author:

Fred Harlan, MA, MA, MFTI is a resourceful Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMF 74125), who specializes in helping men cope with infertility, be it their issue or that of their partner, and with couples who seek to strengthen their relationship. Fred experienced the challenges of infertility firsthand as he and his wife struggled through eight years of infertility before becoming parents.

Fred is an expert in communication and interpersonal relationships. He is a skilled educator and speaker having taught and spoke in university, professional and community settings. He holds masters degrees in Clinical Psychology and Speech Communication, and a BA in Theatre. 

Fred works in private practice in Thousand Oaks, CA. He enjoys sports, the arts, and most of all, and doing anything with his wife and son. 

Hello, and happy National Infertility Awareness Week. In recent years, the hard work of many people, including those coping infertility, organizations who support those living with infertility such as Resolve.org and medical professionals who provide interventions to fight infertility, such as HRC Fertility – Pasadena/ Rancho Cucamonga, have brought much needed help to those struggling to conceive. These efforts need to be applauded as so many people have received hope and resolution to their infertility as a result. Although more progress is needed in regards to supporting all those who face the disease of infertility, there is one population who remains significantly underserved in this arena and they are we guys - the men who so want to be a father, yet are not able to be due to either their own infertility issues and/or that of their partner. If this is you or the man you love, I am here to tell you that the desire to be a parent is a man’s world too!

You do not need to look any further than the animal kingdom to know that the instinct to be a father is as natural as it gets. Lions, wolves, rams and elephants (to name few) fight in order to have their bloodlines continue. If you and your partner are challenged with infertility you may not need to fight in that same way; however, it is a battle nonetheless. Rest assured that your desire to be a father is as natural as anything on the planet. 

Speaking of the “fight,” one of my main goals in providing counseling services to men and their partners who are battling infertility is to help you fight the disease and not one another. One of the common struggles that I hear men say is: “I’m being overrun by her hormones!” The following are a few strategies for coping with her hormones and the emotions they may bring. 

Do not take it personally. When in the course of your infertility journey that your wife/girlfriend/partner is prescribed infertility medications, it possible that her hormones will be impacted, leading to a heightened range, depth and irrationality in her emotions. Remember, most likely this has nothing to do with you. It is the drugs talking (along with her own heart-break and frustration in dealing with infertility.) Your job in these situations is to be comforting and supportive. Focus on how to best do so.

Be empathetic and understanding. Remember this hard on her too. Plus she’s the one taking all those medications. Although the mediations are hopefully helping the infertility issues, they are also wreaking havoc in her body so to speak. Odds are that she likely doesn’t like being so emotional and that it is no piece of cake for her either.

Ask how to support her. At times it may seem like everything you do in an effort to understand and be comforting is the wrong thing. This can be beyond frustrating. However, the best way to know how to support your partner is to ask and have her make it explicit. But here is a little tip: often the best time to ask is not in the heat of the moment, but rather when she (and you) is not so emotional. At that point you both will be able to think about and communicate your needs rationally. And yes, it is okay to tell her how the tense moments affect you, just be sure to use “I” statements in regards to how you feel about certain things, and not play the blame game. It is also a good idea to have a debrief session after an emotional time (once you both are calm) or after a procedure or an injection, etc. to check in with her to ensure that you both support one another in positive ways.

Take care of yourself. This should be an essential component throughout your infertility journey, but especially when your emotions are being taxed. Do whatever you like to do to recharge your batteries. Be it sports, cars, art, cooking, a hobby or whatever; make time for it. In addition, I highly recommend that you make a part of your self-care something that is health/exercise related. The stress relief, the endorphins release, the emotional decrease and the overall health benefits will make you feel better. 

In the end, remember that the two of you are in this together, even though you have different roles to play. Figuring out how to best support one another is one of the greatest gifts you can give to each other at this time. Also remember, “this too will pass.” She will not always be taking infertility medications and her doing so now, along with all the interventions you are doing, is a part of your “fight” for fatherhood. When that happens, it will all be worth it and you will feel like the king of the jungle.

About the Author:

Fred Harlan, MAMA, MFTI is a resourceful Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMF 74125), who specializes in helping men cope with infertility, be it their issue or that of their partner, and with couples who seek to strengthen their relationship. Fred experienced the challenges of infertility firsthand as he and his wife struggled through eight years of infertility before becoming parents.

Fred is an expert in communication and interpersonal relationships. He is a skilled educator and speaker having taught and spoke in university, professional and community settings. He holds masters degrees in Clinical Psychology and Speech Communication, and a BA in Theatre.

Fred works in private practice in Thousand Oaks, CA. He enjoys sports, the arts, and most of all, and doing anything with his wife and son. 

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Breast Cancer and Your Fertility

By Jennifer Yates, MC, LMFT

Fertility options for women diagnosed with cancer.Breast cancer affects 1 out of every 8 women. She’s your best friend, she’s your mother, your cousin, your aunt… maybe she’s you. There is so much hope and support out there and in October we celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, because there are so many reasons to celebrate. One of these reasons is the advancements in the fertility field. Women with breast cancer, or women who carry the BRCA gene (BRCA stands for breast cancer susceptibility gene. Both BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes known as tumor suppressors, which normally prevent cancer from developing) can take steps to ensure that this gene is not passed down to their child.

What are the fertility options for women who have been diagnosed with cancer or who carry the BRCA gene?

This is highly individualized. A lot depends on the patient’s age, the importance to her of having children, her family history and the particular mutation she has. But the options of egg and embryo freezing are truly remarkable. Couples where one partner has such a mutation have a 50 per cent chance of having a baby with the same mutation so these techniques allow them to cut this risk to between 0.1 and 10 per cent depending on the accuracy of the diagnostic test developed for their specific mutation.

Egg and embryo freezing are accomplished in a manner just like IVF. A woman takes medications to induce her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. If a woman has a male partner, or is willing to use donor sperm, she can fertilize her eggs and freeze embryos. Then there is the use of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) whereby an egg is fertilized through IVF and, three days later, the embryo, now consisting of 6-10 cells, is examined to see if it is carrying the breast cancer mutation. If a BRCA mutation is found, that particular embryo is not chosen for implantation, ensuring that the women's children will not carry the mutated gene. This is useful for any couple or woman utilizing IVF or for women who want to freeze their embryos.

Egg freezing is an option for women who might not yet have a male partner, but know they may want children at a later time. Once frozen, eggs can be stored for years. When a woman is ready to conceive, the eggs are thawed, fertilized, the embryos are grown (and tested for BRCA mutation(s), if desired) and then transferred to the uterus. If a woman freezes her eggs at age 29 and then uses them years later, her chances of conception are essentially what they were when she was 29 years old.

All of this information adds hope to the growing population of women utilizing fertility treatments in order to conceive. Science assures that this gene will not be passed down to a woman’s child, thus making the gene less and less prevalent over the coming years. As we focus on Breast Cancer Awareness month, know that while finding a cure is at the forefront of this race, the strides made in supporting women with cancer and/or the BRCA gene remain a leading contender in keeping hope alive.

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Complete Chromosomal Screening with IVF

Dr. John Norian along with the staff of Fertility Authority authored the following article about "Next Generation Sequencing" preimplantation genetic screening. To read the full article, please click here to go to the Fertility Authority website.

Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, October 8, 2015

Several techniques have been developed to screen the chromosomal DNA of embryos created with IVF. This is commonly referred to as PGS, preimplantation genetic screening; however a better term might be complete chromosomal screening (CCS). PGS determines if an embryo contains the correct number of chromosomes (46,XX for a female and 46,XY for a male), and can identify embryos that have the normal number of chromosomes (euploid) or the abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploid).

Next Generation Sequencing, the most current iteration of PGS, is a different, deeper way of doing PGS, according to Dr. John Norian. The current PGS techniques use array-CGH which probe each chromosome hundreds of times to determine the proper number of chromosomes. Next Generation Sequencing, as its name implies, uses sequencing instead. It involves biopsying a day-5 embryo (blastocyst), amplifying the DNA and determining euploidy. “We amplify the DNA to determine if there are two copies of each chromosome by sequencing multiple conserved regions of each chromosome,” Norian says.

“The core group of patients I recommend PGS to are women who are at risk for aneuploidy – women who are in their mid-to-high 30s, and particularly low 40s, who are at risk for Down syndrome and other chromosomal errors,” say Norian, a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. " In addition it gives us more information as clinicians, diagnostically, to better understand why people are not getting pregnant.”

HRC Fertility is currently using Next Generation Sequencing for PGS, and Norian is involved with a clinical trial looking at the technology for better selection of embryos with IVF. He’s very excited and optimistic with the preliminary data. “Next Generation Sequencing is going to allow us to be safer as reproductive endocrinologists. It’s going to allow us to put back fewer and healthier embryos; more importantly, to do single embryo transfers while maintaining high pregnancy rates.” According to Norian pregnancy rates of up to 75 percent are being reported.

Next Generation Sequencing in its current iteration requires frozen embryo transfer. “There are arguably benefits to frozen embryo transfer,” Norian says. “So long as you have a good, robust embryology lab that’s very used to freezing, thawing and vitrifying embryos, that’s where you’re going to have the highest success. I think there’s benefit for frozen embryo transfer in that you more closely mimic the natural cycle, at least in terms of the estrogen levels, while not over stimulating the lining.”

Norian says that with PGS and Next Generation Sequencing, “We have much more valuable embryo data and it allows us to put back a single embryo with confidence.”

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LGBT Community Fertility Treatments

Jennifer Yates, MC, LMFT

HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga LGBT OptionsFertility treatments provide couples and individuals with an opportunity to start a family….all couples. The desire to have a baby is universal and knows no bounds by race, religion, or sexual orientation. Staying informed about current LGBT issues surrounding fertility treatments can help you navigate your journey to becoming a parent.

There are a number of fertility treatments available for LGBT couples and individuals who are seeking to build a family. These treatments include:

  • IUI – Intrauterine Insemination, also known as artificial insemination, places donor sperm directly into a woman’s uterus at the time she is ovulating.
  • Donor Eggs – Donor eggs can be used to address a number of concerns. Potential parents can select a donor based on a number of criteria to find a donor that is perfect for their needs.
  • Donor Sperm – Donor sperm may also be used to address various concerns. Sperm donors may be selected on criteria including physical characteristics, family history, and education.
  • Surrogacy – Gestational carriers may be used when a couple is unable to carry a pregnancy on their own. This is an option that is well suited for gay men.
  • IVF – IVF treatment is used with surrogacy as well as to treat infertility if IUI is unsuccessful or not an option medically.
  • Adoption – not a fertility treatment, but an option for gay males (or anyone) in lieu of finding a gestational carrier.

For lesbian couples selecting a sperm donor has its options. A commercial sperm bank will give you very specific information about sperm donors, including ethnicity, higher education, occupation, physical characteristics, blood type, and more. Most sperm banks will provide the donor profiles for a fee.

If you choose to use a male friend or colleague as the sperm donor, you can make arrangements for the donor to undergo rigorous screening. The “directed donor” sperm will be frozen, quarantined and released to you only after repeated testing of the donor (at least 180 days later). The ASRM Guidelines advise using sperm only from donors who fulfill the same rigorous criterion as for anonymous donors.

For men, considering who will be their gestational carrier has its option as well. Many gay men have found relatives or friends who are willing to be a gestational carrier for their baby. Many others use surrogacy agencies to connect with women who want to be carriers with prospective parents. A gestational carrier must have at least one previously successful pregnancy and delivery and be both physically and mentally healthy. Regardless of how you find a carrier, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel to understand the laws and needed steps/contracts associated with third party reproduction.

A family is a family is a family, whether gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered. Love is the common denominator and the connection that brings all of us together. #lovereallywins

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Strengthen Your Marriage on your Journey Through Infertility

Marriage and InfertilityMy title is Marriage and Family Therapist.  When it comes to infertility, this can be a loaded job description.  Let’s focus on the word marriage (or any committed relationship) first.  As you probably know throughout fertility treatments one’s marriage becomes tested, strengthened, stressed, strained, then renewed, strengthened, supported, and back and forth until you may start feeling alone, rather than part of a team.  Then we have the word family.  You are in the midst of trying to create a family because you were told you had obstacles.  Even though science is most definitely on your side with IUI, IVF, egg freezing, surrogacy, embryo donation, egg donors and so much more, the emotional toll is real and it is hard.

Men and women are affected by infertility equally with roughly 40% of infertility attributed to a male factor, 40% to a female factor, and 20% to unexplained or mixed causes. Infertility often causes many men and women to experience a sense of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which may leave them feeling damaged and unworthy of their partner’s commitment. With a healthy foundation of love, trust, respect for one another, and commitment most couples can weather anything – but not without some help at times.  What to do when things get rocky:

  1. The road of infertility can lead to depression, anxiety, and other hurt feelings.  Talking to one another is key, and the way that you talk to one another is actually the most important thing.  Using “I statements” and taking responsibility for your feelings is tantamount. Instead of “This whole thing is making me miserable!  You make me feel like it’s my fault and all I want to do is stop trying!” Or….”I feel really sad and frustrated that this is taking so long.  I know there is no one to blame but sometimes I feel like it is my fault and that you do too.  It makes me feel defeated and hopeless”.  Can you see where the first statement might start an argument and the 2nd statement would likely lend to support, caring, and a loving response?  Which leads us to….
  2. Don’t play the blame game.  Putting any energy on laying fault on someone or something is only going to lead to feelings of inadequacy, resentment, guilt and hurt feelings.  Think of yourself as a team heading into this journey together, side by side.
  3. De-stress – together.  It’s great to practice relaxation alone but doing things together such as exercise, taking a vacation, going on dates, joining a support group or seeking counseling are all ways to strengthen your relationship and  reduce stress at the same time.
  4. Don't live cycle to cycle. Even though it is emotionally difficult to do, take some time off between treatments. Talk about all the other aspects of your life and relationship that have always been important to you and act on them. Think of enjoyable activities and make plans to do them. Try hard not to let becoming pregnant be the sole key to your happiness. Sex should still be romantic, fun and playful!

    One woman with fertility problems stated, “Making TTC (trying to conceive) a chore is no help either. Focusing so much on timing, cervical fluid, sex, and all of that is not only going to stress you out, but your partner as well. Putting so much emphasis on sex as being a “job” is only going to decrease your chances.”  Which segues into….
  5. Have fun, laugh, and live your life!  No amount of mental energy is going to make this road any faster, it will actually do the opposite.  Remember there is a little baby on the other side of this hill, and this is the last time it will be just the two of you.  Savor every moment, as I’m sure you know, your lives will be forever changed once you bring that new addition home.

Your marriage can grow, strengthen and thrive —remember that you are in this together and that you have what it takes to succeed on your journey!

Jennifer Yates, MC, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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The Depressing Effects of Infertility

Jennifer Yates, MC, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Depression and infertilityYou’ve been through it all and you are still not pregnant. Hormone injections, progesterone, IUI, IVF, egg retrieval, 5 day transfer….only to find out once again that you are not pregnant. Your emotions and hormones have been on a roller coaster ride that you are ready to get off. The longing, the hope, the fear, the loss, the waiting…..

While no one likes the thought of being depressed, it is important that you know the symptoms so that you can seek help and get the treatment you may need. In this community of infertility, it is not surprising that depression is highly common. Unfortunately not everyone has the same level of awareness about depressive symptoms and it goes untreated or dismissed as part of the process. Given the stress and anxiety that go with IVF or IUI or any procedure related to infertility, it is not surprising that there will be a level of sadness that goes with it, even if you are successful (can someone say hormones??). Knowledge is power, so take a look at the symptoms below to see if it sounds like you.

Depressive symptoms include:

  • Persistent aches and pains or physical ailments that do not get better with treatment
  • Wanting to harm oneself in any way
  • Eating too much or loss in appetite
  • Difficulty focusing or becoming more forgetful
  • Sleeping too much or too little, waking frequently or having trouble falling asleep
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Lack of motivation or loss of pleasure in once enjoyable activities
  • Easily angered and/or often tearful (mood swings)

Everyone has a few of these at one time or another, but in order for you to be clinically depressed, you’ll have at least 3 or 4 of these over an extended period of time. It can vary from person to person, so if this sounds like you, it would be a good idea to seek professional help.

Time for a change? There are things you can do right now to cope with what you are going through.

Deep breathing – it’s not as easy as you think. Oftentimes we breathe from our chest instead of from our stomach, which actually can ADD to feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Put your hand on your stomach and inhale deeply for 4 seconds, making sure your stomach expands on the inhale and it’s not your chest that is heaving upwards. Hold the breath for 3 seconds, then gently exhale for 4 seconds. Try this at least 4 or 5 times and you will feel more calm.

Seek support – finding others in the fertility community that are going through the same trials and tribulations would be a great way to connect to those who will get what you are experiencing. Also, it’s not professional support it’s important to lean on your partner, your family and your friends. Talk about how you are feeling. Expressing your emotions vs. holding them inside is key to getting “out of your head”.

Exercise – Do what you like - i.e. don’t force yourself to go to the gym if you hate the gym. Take a walk outside or get into a game of volleyball if that’s your thing. Yoga is especially awesome because it also has a meditative component. Interestingly exercise is now being scientifically proven to be as effective as anti-depressant medication.

There are many more coping skills out there – journaling, meditating, listening to music – you have to try what works for you. While it may be difficult at time to remain hopeful, science is working in your favor. Keep your chin up and pull from the strength that is not only inside you, but surrounding you in the people that care about you.

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From PCOS to Parenthood

HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga is proud to share the success story of baby Jack and his parents who recently undergone the PCOS procedure under Dr. John Norian.

Please take a few moments to watch the video below to see their heart warming story!

 

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PCOS didn't stop this mom to be!

A mother explains her struggle with PCOS and how she was referred to HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga and Dr. John Norian for answers!

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HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga 2014 Holiday Card

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HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga 2014 Holiday Video

Enjoy a short video of the wonderful times and new friends we met in 2014 at HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga. We look forward to what 2015 bring us!

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What is an Embryologist?

Lindsay Dearden didn't set out to become an embryologist for a reproductive facility.   In actuality, if you asked college freshman Lindsay – about many years ago what she would have predicted for her future career she would have been steadfast in her response - "To become a Veterinarian".  In fact, her schedule at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo was filled with science coursework. Yet, as many career choices happen- opportunity knocked.  Lindsay was offered an opportunity to sign up for an animal embryology program.  She fell in love with the program and the work involved and soon realized that a career with embryology was her calling.  "I can see myself doing this!" Lindsay recalled as her primary thoughts.

From college Lindsay continued intensive studies in the embryology field and eight years ago started working as an embryologist. There is "tons and tons of training involved", Lindsay mentioned. "You need to have a really strong in science background."  Lindsay, now a seasoned embryologist, knows all to well to well that today's reproductive medical experts need to keep up with continual changes in the field of reproductive medicine.

Lindsay agreed to give our HRC Fertility Rancho Cucamonga blog readers an inside look behind the doors of our embryology lab, where she has worked for two years.  Below you will see the bloggers initials (LS) and Lindsay's (LD).

Question:

LS:  Lindsay, can you list the top three things that occupy your day the most at the embryology lab?

LD:   We are busiest with egg retrieval, embryo transfers and sperm analyses.

Lindsay then offered this explanation as to what is entailed with her work:

The doctor will aspirate each follicle on the ovaries and collect the follicular fluid in a tube.  We, as embryologists, will pour the fluid from the tubes into a petri dish, search through the fluid, and pull out and clean each egg.  Simply said, egg retrieval is when an embryologist, with the help of a state of the art high-powered microscope, maneuvers through the fluid collected from the ovaries of a female patient.  The egg would then be separated from the fluid.

The egg retrieval process then involves cleaning and inseminating the egg, either using a process called co-incubation or ICSI.  Co-Incubation is a more "natural" method that involves allowing the sperm to fertilize the eggs in a fluid medium, similar to how it would happen naturally within the body. 

Question:

LS:  What is your role during an embryo transfer?

LD: I assist the doctors by loading up the instrument and assisting with the actual transfer.  The morning of the scheduled embryo transfer, I will grade the embryos by scoring them based on how well they are growing and developing.  For a day 3 embryo transfer, we hope to see embryos that are at a 6-8 cell stage.  For a day 5 embryo transfer, ideal embryos for transfer will have become a blastocyst.  A blastocyst is an embryo with a fluid-filled cavity containing a cluster of cells called an inner cell mass(ICM).  The ICM is the group of cells that becomes the baby.

After scoring the embryos, we will confer with the doctor as to which embryo will be transferred.  We will then aspirate the selected embryo into a transfer catheter and assist the doctor with transferring the embryo back into the patient.

Question:

LS:  What types of sophisticated equipment do you use at the HRC Fertility lab?

LD: WE have high-powered microscopes that zoom in and you can really see a lot- like the individual sperm quality.  We also have a lot of liquid nitrogen for cryopreservation.  And, we have incubators where the embryos are grown in a secure environment.

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