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News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Shady Grove Fertility, a respected leader in the fertility community who has helped bring more than 40,000 babies into this world, announced the addition of its second new physician to the Pennsylvania region this year so far—board certified reproductive endocrinologist Ryan Martin, M.D. Dr. Martin has joined the physician team at Shady Grove Fertility’s Bala Cynwyd, PA location. Ryan Martin, M.D. earned his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and completed his Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He pursued his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale University. Dr. Martin is the recipient of multiple teaching awards and was an instructor at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is an active member of American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology (SREI), the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL), and the International Society for Fertility Preservation (ISFP). Dr. Martin serves as a reviewer for various scientific journals and has published many peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, book chapters, and review articles on wide-ranging topics such as fertility preservation, fertility insurance mandates, and the biologic efficiency of reproduction. His interests include infertility, in vitro fertilization, pre genetic screening (PGS) and fertility preservation for oncologic or social reasons. “What attracted me most to the field of infertility was that I understand what it’s like to have a loss of control, which is a common feeling among those who are struggling to conceive. I can directly empathize with this in my own life,” said Dr. Martin. Following a tragic injury at the age of 12 that left him paralyzed from the waist down, the highly competitive and determined athlete spent a good portion of his youth traveling an international circuit to compete in various tennis tournaments. He then turned his competitive nature into his pursuit to become a doctor. Dr. Martin became the first wheelchair-bound student to ever graduate from Yale Medical School. “Infertility teaches you how to handle obstacles and persevere during a challenging time—something I’ve experienced both personally and professionally. I can tell my patients, ‘I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like to deal with the uncertainty. I understand what you’re going through,’ and I found that this creates a unique bond between my patients and me,” Dr. Martin adds. Dr. Martin will provide patients in Bala Cynwyd, PA with a full range of state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options for female and male infertility, as well as fertility preservation and elective egg freezing. He is seeing patients in the Shady Grove Fertility Bala Cynwyd, PA location. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Martin or any other SGF physician, call 1-877-761-1967. Dr. Martin is the second new physician to join Shady Grove Fertility’s practice in the PA region this year. Triple board certified reproductive endocrinologist, Kara D. Nguyen, M.D., M.P.H. is seeing patients in the Reading, PA location. About Shady Grove Fertility Shady Grove Fertility is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence offering patients individualized care, innovative financial options, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. 2016 commemorated 25 years of Shady Grove Fertility providing medical and service excellence to patients from all 50 states and 35 countries around the world, and over 40,000 babies born—more than any other center in the nation. Today, 39 physicians, supported by a highly specialized team of more than 700 Ph.D. scientists, geneticists, and staff care for patients in 19 full-service offices and six satellite sites throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Shady Grove Fertility physicians actively train residents and reproductive endocrinology fellows and invest in continuous clinical research and education to advance the field of reproductive medicine through numerous academic appointments and partnerships such as Georgetown Medical School, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the University of Maryland, and the National Institutes of Health. More than 1,700 physicians refer their patients to Shady Grove Fertility each year. For more information, call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.


News Article | February 14, 2017
Site: www.sciencenews.org

Human gene editing to prevent genetic diseases from being passed to future generations may be permissible under certain conditions, a panel of experts says. Altering DNA in germline cells — embryos, eggs, and sperm, or cells that give rise to them — may be used to cure genetic diseases for future generations, provided it is done only to correct disease or disability, not to enhance people’s health or abilities, a report issued February 14 by the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine recommends. The decision contradicts earlier recommendations by organizers of a global summit on human gene editing, who concluded that gene editing with molecular scissors such as CRISPR/Cas9 should not be used to produce babies (SN: 12/26/15, p. 12). Heritable gene editing is not yet ready to be done in people, says Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin‒Madison Law School who cochaired the panel. “We are not trying to greenlight heritable germline editing. We’re trying to find that limited set of circumstances where its use is justified by a compelling need and its application is limited to that compelling need,” says Charo. “We’re giving it a yellow light.” National Academies reports carry no legislative weight, but do often influence policy decisions in the United States and abroad. It will be up to Congress, regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and state and local governments to implement the recommendations. Supporters of new genetic engineering technologies hailed the decision. “It looks like the possibility of eliminating some genetic diseases is now more than a theoretical option,” says Sean Tipton, a spokesman for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Washington, D.C. “That’s what this sets up.” Diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s, which are caused by mutations in single genes, could someday be corrected by gene editing. More complex diseases or disorders caused by changes in multiple genes, such as autism or schizophrenia, probably would not be the focus of genome editing. Others worry that allowing any tinkering with the germline will inevitably lead to “designer babies” and other social ills. It raises fears of stigmatization of people with disabilities, exacerbation of inequalities between people who can afford such therapies and those who can’t, and even a new kind of eugenics, critics say. “Once you approve any form of human germline modification you really open the door to all forms,” says Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, Calif. Panelist Jeffrey Kahn, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University, says the door to heritable gene therapy remains closed until stringent requirements can be met. “It’s frankly more of a knock on the door,” he said at the public presentation of the report. The report also changes the debate from whether to allow germline editing to instead focus on the line between therapy and enhancement, Darnovsky says. “I’m feeling very unsettled and disappointed by what they are recommending.” Several clinical trials in the United States, China and other countries are already under way to do gene editing in people who have cancer or other diseases. But those therapies do not involve altering germline cells; instead they fix defects or make alterations to DNA in other body, or “somatic,” cells. The panel recommended that such somatic cell therapies should also be restricted to treating diseases, not allowing enhancements. Researchers in the United Kingdom, Sweden and China have already done gene editing on early human embryos in the lab. Recent clinical trials in Mexico and Ukraine to produce “three-parent babies” are also seen as altering the germline because such children carry a small amount of DNA from an egg donor (SN Online: 10/18/16). But those children don’t have modifications of their nuclear DNA, where the genetic instructions that determine traits are stored. Currently, researchers in the United States are effectively banned from conducting clinical trials that would produce heritable changes in the human genome, either by gene editing or making three-parent babies. The new recommendations could pave the way to allow such experiments. But the panel lays out a number of hurdles that must be cleared before germline editing could move forward, ones that may be impossible to overcome, says Nita Farahany, a bioethicist at Duke Law School in Durham, N.C. “Some people could read into the stringency of the requirements to think that the benefits could never outweigh the risks,” she says. One hurdle is a requirement to follow multiple generations of children who have gotten gene editing to determine whether the therapy has consequences for future generations. Researchers would never be able to guarantee that they could conduct such long-term studies, Farahany says. “You can’t bind your children and grandchildren to agree to be tracked by such studies.” Distinctions between therapies and enhancements are also vague. Researchers may not be able to convincingly draw lines between them, says George Church, a Harvard University geneticist who has developed CRISPR/Cas9 for a variety of purposes. Virtually everything medicine has accomplished could be considered as enhancing human life, he says. “Vaccines are advancements over our ancestors. If you could tell our ancestors they could walk into a smallpox ward and not even worry about it, that would be a superpower.” But the new technology may make it harder to enhance humans than drugs do, says Charo. Gene-editing technologies are so precise and specific that someone who does not carry a disease-causing mutation would probably not benefit from the technology, she says.


News Article | September 28, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

A U.S. doctor treating infertility in New York City made possible the birth of a baby who has the DNA of three genetic parents. John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in Manhattan performed the procedure to help a couple from Jordan who had already lost two children to an inherited neurological disorder called Leigh syndrome. The goal was to help the couple give birth to a healthy baby. The baby's mother has genes for the Leigh syndrome, which is characterized by progressive loss of mental and movement abilities that often become apparent in the first year of life. The condition often results in death within two or three years usually because of respiratory failure. The DNA for this severe neurological condition resides in the mitochondria, the cell's energy source. Mitochondrial DNA is only passed to the children through their mother. The woman already had four pregnancy losses and while she has successfully given birth to two children, they also died because of the syndrome. Tests revealed that while the woman was healthy, about a quarter of her mitochondria carry genes for Leigh syndrome so the couple asked help from Zhang, who decided to use mitochondrial transfer procedure. The procedure involved taking nucleus from one of the mother's eggs and then inserting this into another woman's egg that had its own nucleus removed. The egg is then fertilized using the husband's sperm. Zhang's team produced five embryos but only one of these developed normally. This embryo was then implanted into the mother. Nine months later, the woman gave birth to a baby boy. "Without much ado, it appears the first mitochondrial donation baby was born three months ago. This was an ice-breaker. The baby is reportedly healthy," said Dusko Ilic, from King's College London. Zhang had to go to Mexico to perform the procedure because it is not yet approved in the United States. Nonetheless, some health experts are optimistic that the procedure offers hope to parents who risk transmitting to their children genetic disorders that are potentially deadly. "This work represents an important advancement in reproductive medicine," American Society for Reproductive Medicine president Owen Davis said in a statement. "We look forward to it being an option for patients who risk transmitting mitochondrial diseases to their children." Some fertility experts, however, raised concern saying the boy needs to be monitored to ensure that the faulty DNA does not multiply and eventually cause problems. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Shady Grove Fertility, the largest fertility center in the nation—with more than 10 babies born every day—has introduced a new educational event, “Is it time to see a fertility specialist?” in response to the 65% of fertility patient respondents (n=1,005) that said they wish they had seen a fertility specialist sooner. The new in-person events are launching in select Shady Grove Fertility locations across the practice’s four state region (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.) throughout the month of February and beyond. Each event is hosted by one of SGF’s 39 physician experts and is intended to address common questions about when it’s the appropriate time to consult a fertility specialist if a couple is struggling to conceive such as: How does the length of time having unprotected intercourse in correlation with female age affect fertility potential? Why does early intervention lead to better outcomes? What are possible causes of infertility? What early warning signs necessitate seeing a specialist sooner? Is a referral from a primary care or OB/GYN needed to see a fertility specialist? What does testing for infertility entail? Is fertility treatment affordable? “Many couples who have infertility delay seeking the help they need to build their family because the unknown can be scary. Often times, struggling to conceive is private and people don’t realize how common infertility is. But the truth is, the earlier that a couple seeks a fertility evaluation, the greater their chance of having a baby. Our event is designed specifically to take the guesswork and fear out of not knowing what to expect, and replace it with hope, answers, and a first step forward,” says Ricardo Yazigi, M.D., of Shady Grove Fertility’s Towson, MD and Bel-Air, MD locations. Because age and infertility are directly related, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (and Shady Grove Fertility) recommends a fertility evaluation if a woman is under 35 with regular menstrual cycles and no pregnancy after 1 year of unprotected intercourse; if a woman is 35 to 39 with regular menstrual cycles and no pregnancy after 6 months of unprotected intercourse; or if a woman is 40 or older, after 3 months. In addition to these guidelines, there are early warning signs that necessitate seeing a fertility specialist sooner, such as: irregular menstrual periods, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, male factor infertility, premature ovarian failure, and two or more miscarriages. The Shady Grove Fertility event will also help to debunk common myths that circulate about infertility, which often lead to confusion and concern and cloud fact from fiction, as well as help new patients know exactly what they can expect from that very first consult with an SGF physician. “The goal of this new educational opportunity is to provide the community with reliable and accurate information to make informed reproductive health decisions,” adds Dr. Yazigi. The event will also introduce treatment options and exclusive financial programs that make treatment affordable for Shady Grove Fertility patients and conclude with a question and answer session with SGF physician and presenter experts. Dr. Yazigi will be hosting the inaugural “Is it time to see a fertility specialist?” event on February 2, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in Shady Grove Fertility’s Bel-Air, MD office. The events are complimentary and include a free physician consultation that can be scheduled for attendees while they are onsite for the event. For all in-person and online events in February and beyond, registration is required. View the Shady Grove Fertility calendar of events for details. Upcoming “Is it time to see a fertility specialist?” February dates and locations: About Shady Grove Fertility Shady Grove Fertility is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence offering patients individualized care, innovative financial options, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. 2016 commemorated 25 years of Shady Grove Fertility providing medical and service excellence to patients from all 50 states and 35 countries around the world, and over 40,000 babies born—more than any other center in the nation. Today, 39 physicians, supported by a highly specialized team of more than 700 Ph.D. scientists, geneticists, and staff care for patients in 19 full-service offices and six satellite sites throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Shady Grove Fertility physicians actively train residents and reproductive endocrinology fellows and invest in continuous clinical research and education to advance the field of reproductive medicine through numerous academic appointments and partnerships such as Georgetown Medical School, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the University of Maryland, and the National Institutes of Health. More than 1,700 physicians refer their patients to Shady Grove Fertility each year. For more information, call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.newscientist.com

It’s a boy! A five-month-old boy is the first baby to be born using a new technique that incorporates DNA from three people, New Scientist can reveal. “This is great news and a huge deal,” says Dusko Ilic at King’s College London, who wasn’t involved in the work. “It’s revolutionary.” The controversial technique, which allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies, has only been legally approved in the UK. But the birth of the child, whose Jordanian parents were treated by a US-based team in Mexico, should fast-forward progress around the world, say embryologists. The boy’s mother carries genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the developing nervous system. Genes for the disease reside in DNA in the mitochondria, which provide energy for our cells and carry just 37 genes that are passed down to us from our mothers. This is separate from the majority of our DNA, which is housed in each cell’s nucleus. Around a quarter of her mitochondria have the disease-causing mutation. While she is healthy, Leigh syndrome was responsible for the deaths of her first two children. The couple sought out the help of John Zhang and his team at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City. Zhang has been working on a way to avoid mitochondrial disease using a so-called “three-parent” technique. In theory, there are a few ways of doing this. The method approved in the UK is called pronuclear transfer and involves fertilising both the mother’s egg and a donor egg with the father’s sperm. Before the fertilised eggs start dividing into early-stage embryos, each nucleus is removed. The nucleus from the donor’s fertilised egg is discarded and replaced by that from the mother’s fertilised egg. But this technique wasn’t appropriate for the couple – as Muslims, they were opposed to the destruction of two embryos. So Zhang took a different approach, called spindle nuclear transfer. He removed the nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had had its own nucleus removed. The resulting egg – with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor – was then fertilised with the father’s sperm. Zhang’s team used this approach to create five embryos, only one of which developed normally. This embryo was implanted in the mother and the child was born nine months later. “It’s exciting news,” says Bert Smeets at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The team will describe the findings at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress in Salt Lake City in October. Neither method has been approved in the US, so Zhang went to Mexico instead, where he says “there are no rules”. He is adamant that he made the right choice. “To save lives is the ethical thing to do,” he says. The team seems to have taken an ethical approach with their technique, says Sian Harding, who reviewed the ethics of the UK procedure. The team avoided destroying embryos, and used a male embryo, so that the resulting child wouldn’t pass on any inherited mitochondrial DNA. “It’s as good as or better than what we’ll do in the UK,” says Harding. A remaining concern is safety. Last time embryologists tried to create a baby using DNA from three people was in the 1990s, when they injected mitochondrial DNA from a donor into another woman’s egg, along with sperm from her partner. Two of the fetuses developed genetic disorders, and the technique was halted by the US Food and Drug Administration. The problem may have arisen from the fetuses having mitochondria from two sources. When Zhang and his colleagues tested the boy’s mitochondria, they found that less than 1 per cent carry the mutation. Hopefully, this is too low to cause any problems; generally it is thought to take around 18 per cent of mitochondria to be affected before problems start. “It’s very good,” says Ilic. Smeets agrees, but cautions that the team should monitor the child to make sure the levels stay low. There’s a chance that faulty mitochondria could be better at replicating, and gradually increase in number, he says. “We need to wait for more births, and to carefully judge them,” says Smeets. Two women, one man and a baby A Jordanian couple has been trying to start a family for almost 20 years. Ten years after they married, she became pregnant, but it ended in the first of four miscarriages. In 2005, the couple gave birth to a baby girl. It was then that they discovered the probable cause of their fertility problems: a genetic mutation in the mother’s mitochondria. Their daughter was born with Leigh syndrome, which affects the brain, muscles and nerves of developing infants. Sadly, she died aged six. The couple’s second child had the same disorder, and lived for 8 months. Using a controversial “three-parent baby” technique (see main story), the boy was born on 6 April 2016. He is showing no signs of disease.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Shady Grove Fertility, a leader in reproductive medicine and clinical research, published a new study that identifies a promising new method for selecting functionally viable sperm, which shows promise for improving fertilization and embryo development for patients who need assisted reproductive technologies (ART). For decades, male factor infertility was the most difficult form of infertility to successfully treat and overcome. That all changed in 1992 with the introduction of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). While this breakthrough was able to successfully treat most cases of male factor infertility, there remain couples for whom poor sperm quality remains a barrier to treatment success. This year at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s 2016 Scientific Congress and Expo in Salt Lake City, October 15 to 19, Shady Grove Fertility scientist, Matteo Avella, Ph.D., presented a study that identifies a new sperm selection assay that helps select the best sperm—those with a greater ability to bind and penetrate eggs—in the hopes of improving outcomes for these patients (Poster Number#: P–16, Sci. Transl. Med. 335: 336ra60, 2016). This method, which has recently been highlighted in top-ranking scientific journals (Nature; Nature Reviews Urology; Science News) as well as by the international media (Daily Mail; Telegraph) could prove useful in selecting the most viable sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In vitro fertilization (IVF) is achieved in one of two ways: conventional insemination or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). For conventional insemination, the embryologist simply combines eggs and semen in a dish, giving the sperm the opportunity to penetrate and fertilize the eggs. With ICSI, instead of mixing thousands of sperm with the eggs, the embryologist selects a single sperm and injects it directly into each egg. The next day, each egg is checked for evidence of fertilization. While ICSI has dramatically improved treatment success rates in couples with severe male factor infertility, improved sperm selection holds potential to yield even better outcomes by improving chances of fertilization and development of the resulting embryos. In this study, researchers generated special microscopic beads that mimic human eggs. These beads are coated of a protein called ZP2. In humans, ZP2 is found in the zona pellucida, the egg envelope that surrounds eggs. Sperm must bind specifically to this protein in order to fertilize the egg. These ZP2-coated beads/mock eggs can attract ‘the best’ sperm and will be used for patients requiring ICSI. Given this research study identified a promising new method for selecting functionally viable sperm with superior ability to bind and penetrate the outer coating of the egg, use of sperm selected by this method may improve fertilization and embryo development for patients who need assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Researchers at Shady Grove Fertility are currently planning a larger randomized controlled trial to further evaluate the ability of this innovative technology to help patients. This study is one of many examples of how Shady Grove Fertility’s researchers and physicians strive to give patients access to the most up-to-date and effective treatment options. About the 2016 ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo The 2016 ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo is the premier scientific congress for reproductive medicine that will address state-of-the-art issues in reproductive medicine and science. Held from October 15 to 19, 2016, in Salt Lake City, UT, the theme of the 2016 Scientific Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is “Scaling New Heights in Reproductive Medicine.” The program features scientific, postgraduate, and video presentations as well as plenary lectures addressing the most pressing clinical and basic-science issues in reproductive medicine. About Shady Grove Fertility Shady Grove Fertility is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence offering patients individualized care, innovative financial options, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. 2016 commemorates 25 years of Shady Grove Fertility providing medical and service excellence to patients from all 50 states and 35 countries around the world, and celebrates over 40,000 babies born—more than any other center in the nation. Today, 34 reproductive endocrinologists, supported by a highly specialized team of 600 urologists, Ph.D. scientists, geneticists, and staff care for patients in 19 full-service offices and six satellite sites throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Shady Grove Fertility physicians actively train residents and reproductive endocrinology fellows and invest in continuous clinical research and education to advance the field of reproductive medicine through numerous academic appointments and partnerships such as Georgetown Medical School, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the University of Maryland, and the National Institutes of Health. More than 1,700 physicians refer their patients to Shady Grove Fertility each year. For more information, call 1-888-761-1967 or visit https://www.shadygrovefertility.com.


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

On Saturday, November 5 from 3:40 p.m. – 5 p.m., Patient Advocate Lisa Rosenthal of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) will participate in RESOLVE New England’s 23rd Annual Conference in Marlborough, MA. The Conference, which is the largest consumer infertility conference in the country, is an opportunity for anyone interested in their reproductive health and family building options to learn more about their fertility and current treatment options. Rosenthal, who is editor-in-chief at RMACT and writes the fertility practice’s renowned blog Path To Fertility, will lead a seminar that explores surviving versus thriving as an infertility patient. She will identify practical tools, services and ideas to counter the negative, yet common emotions that often accompany infertility. Rosenthal’s presentation will include an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and have a discussion about how to bring positive energy into their experiences. “We know, from reliable research, that infertility often causes stress, isolation, anxiety and grief,” says Rosenthal, who also co-leads peer support groups called Ladies Night In throughout Fairfield County, CT. “There are ways for patients to make their journeys more manageable. Although finding ways to thrive while struggling with infertility is not always easy, there are tools that can help make the journey feel lighter.” Rosenthal’s perspective comes from her own fertility journey, as well as years as a volunteer for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and as a patient advocate and one of the founders of the American Fertility Association, now called Path2Parenthood. For the past nine years, Lisa has continued to give infertility patients a voice through her work at RMACT, including writing a daily blog (PathToFertility.com), editing Gay Parents To Be and Single Moms To Be blogs, leading peer support groups, teaching Fertile Yoga classes and advocating on Capital Hill for fertility insurance coverage. 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 Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS). 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 now in Poughkeepsie, NY. 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 five 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.


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Maureen McLaughlin, LA.c., a certified acupuncturist, is joining the Integrated Infertility and Wellness (IFW) Program at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT). McLaughlin brings nearly 20 years of experience with fertility patients to RMACT, which now has a team of three acupuncturists to help patients realize their family building goals. Acupuncture helps fertility patients by supporting the physiological processes of the body involved with conception and reducing stress. “Through clinical studies and treatment outcomes with patients, we know that acupuncture can play an important role in supporting patients during their fertility treatment,” says McLaughlin, who first started treating patients for fertility in 1997. “It’s extremely rewarding to see the positive impact acupuncture can have on fertility particularly when pregnancy is achieved.” McLaughlin administers fertility acupuncture during the course of patients’ intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, as well as on-site treatment the day of embryo transfer. She works with fertility patients, as well as gestational carriers who help fertility patients and LGBTQ couples. Each RMACT patient’s treatment plan is individualized based on his or her unique needs and diagnosis. In 2002, McLaughlin began treating patients with a pre-and post-transfer protocol at the reproductive endocrinology practice, IVF1, in Chicago. She then became Chief Acupuncturist (2009-2016) for Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago and continued to see fertility patients from practices throughout Chicago. McLaughlin is passionate about acupuncture and its application during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. She has collaborated with doctors and nurse-midwives to assist throughout pregnancy, labor and postpartum so that the mother, baby, and family can be as healthy and vibrant as possible. As a certified labor doula, she had the honor of attending over 50 births and witnessing the miracle of the fertility cycle come full circle. “Maureen is a talented and knowledgeable acupuncturist who will help our team grow,” says Amy Matton, MS, LA.c., lead acupuncturist and coordinator for RMACT’s IFW Program, which offers nutrition counseling, mind-body training, support groups and counseling for couples and individuals. “Acupuncture is a valued part of many RMACT patients’ fertility treatment plans for its emotional and physical benefits, whether they use it in conjunction with assisted reproductive technologies or on its own.” McLaughlin earned her Bachelor's Degree from Georgetown University in 1982 and she graduated from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine (Racine, WI) at the top of her class in 1997. She went on to open a private practice in Oak Park, IL treating a wide range of conditions, including infertility. She is licensed to practice acupuncture in Illinois and Connecticut. 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 Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS). 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 office now in Poughkeepsie, NY. RMACT also offers infertility treatment financing and support services, such as nutrition counseling, individual and couples 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 five 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.


News Article | December 21, 2016
Site: www.techrepublic.com

Despite criticism over lack of gender diversity and family-friendly policies, the tech industry is far exceeding others in one area of family planning: Fertility treatments. Technology companies offer in vitro fertilization (IVF) benefits nearly 35% higher than their peers, according to a recent report from FertilityIQ, a website aimed at assessing fertility doctors and clinics. And, six of the top 10 employers with the most generous benefits listed fell into the technology category, according to patient data. The rankings considered the amount of money an employer provides for treatments and medications, exclusions, and clinic restrictions. The top 10 best corporate fertility packages are as follows: IVF treatments cost about $23,000 per cycle, according to Jake Anderson-Bialis, co-founder of FertilityIQ. Most patients are not successful on their first try, and require two or three cycles before getting pregnant or giving up, he said. Egg freezing procedures cost about $17,000, according to FertilityIQ data. "Who you work for really determines whether you get this paid for or not," Anderson-Bialis said. "Tech companies dramatically outperformed their peers when it comes to the generosity and broadmindedness of the benefits. It's interesting because we're accustomed to hearing about how tech companies make life difficult for family-focused employees and female employees." Why is tech so generous when it comes to fertility benefits? The main reason is likely the current talent war for engineers and other skilled IT professionals, Anderson-Bialis said. "Anything that ingratiates a potential employee or their spouse to take a job or stay in a job, companies are desperate to do," he said. Another reason? The age of the employee base. "Tech companies are growing up before our eyes," Anderson-Bialis said. "We're seeing these CEOs and employees come of age and go through these struggles." For example, Mark Zuckerberg is now in his thirties, and has publicly discussed how he and his wife suffered three miscarriages before having their daughter. Technology companies are also the most inclusive in their IVF offerings, allowing employees to pursue various types of treatments with no restrictions based on their situation (such as gay couples pursuing surrogacy, or single mothers undergoing artificial insemination). Intel, Facebook, Apple, and Google are the best examples of this inclusion, the report stated. Employers interested in offering these benefits should know there is a return on employee satisfaction, FertilityIQ found: Fertility patients reported feeling a higher degree of loyalty to their employer and stay in their jobs longer when their employer pays for their fertility treatments, the report found. This year, Intel quadrupled fertility benefit coverage to $40,000 for medical services and $20,000 for prescription expenses. The company also removed the previous medical diagnosis requirement for fertility benefits, making conception services available to all employees, including same-sex couples. The expanded services include cryopreservation, and storage of egg, embryo, sperm, and cord blood. "We expanded our fertility benefits in hopes of reducing the financial burden that comes with fertility procedures," said Danielle Brown, chief diversity and inclusion officer and vice president of human resources at Intel Corporation. "Knowing that the average IVF cycle costs nearly $20,000, and the likelihood of success for each cycle is around 20% to 30%, offering increased fertility benefits will help more families complete two full cycles of IVF or cryopreservation." Intel also offers a flexible workplace, adoption benefit coverage, and childcare centers, Brown said. In 2014, Facebook and Apple made waves as they became the first tech giants to offer egg freezing for female employees. But women working in tech should not rush into egg freezing or IVF options without thorough research, said Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society. "The tech industry has come under a lot of criticism for lack of diversity, including gender diversity, and they perceive this as a way to attract women," Darnovsky said. "The tech industry is also infamous for encouraging employees to work long hours, so this is a way to evade responsibility by encouraging women to put off having families until they're older, so they can lean in now." IVF failure rates are 75% across the board, varying by age, Darnovsky said. And since the American Society for Reproductive Medicine only lifted the experimental label on egg freezing in 2012, there remains little research on long-term health risks. Instead of offering fertility benefits like egg freezing, tech companies should look to adopt more family-friendly workplace policies for all employees, Darnovsky said. "It's a question of workplace culture," she said. "You have to give women and men more time off when they are birthing or adopting children, and create a culture in which both men and women take time off to care for infants. Those things are going to make it possible for women and men to be good parents and to do well at their jobs." "That's what's needed, not something that's a high tech procedure being presented as a silver bullet," Darnovsky added. For men and women in tech who do plan to take advantage of IVF and other fertility benefits, Anderson-Bialis cautions them to prepare for the process. "Working in the tech industry is a demanding field, and going through fertility treatment is a demanding process," he said. "Be realistic about how much time you'll need to go through this process, and the emotional setbacks."


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

For the second consecutive year, all five board certified Reproductive Endocrinologists at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) have earned “Top Doctor” awards. Dr. Mark Leondires, Dr. Spencer Richlin, Dr. Joshua M. Hurwitz, Dr. Cynthia Murdock and Dr. Shaun Williams have each been chosen by their peers for the 2017 list based on their exceptional patient care and stand-out results. The complete list of Top Doctors of Fairfield County is published by Moffly Media in the January/February issues of Fairfield Living, Greenwich, New Canaan-Darien, Westport and Stamford magazines. Moffly Media’s list is compiled by the renowned healthcare research firm Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which conducts a rigorous, peer-reviewed assessment of local doctors. Each of RMACT’s doctors have been chosen as a Top Doctor individually several times previously, and this is the second consecutive year the entire RMACT team of physicians has been honored. “Knowing that all five doctors are Top Doctors gives our patients additional confidence that our entire team is working together to help our patients become parents and provide the best possible care,” says Dr. Leondires, Medical Director at RMACT. “This award is the latest example of how we are the leading fertility practice in Connecticut.” Unlike most fertility practices, RMACT approaches fertility care by treating the whole patient. Before embarking on medically advanced assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as genetic screening and in vitro fertilization (IVF), the RMACT team encourages patients to improve their overall health. Factors such as body mass index (BMI), blood sugar levels and stress or anxiety can affect hormone production and reproductive health. RMACT offers a robust nutrition program, support groups, acupuncture, Fertile Yoga, emotional support, complimentary classes and counseling – for individuals and couples – through its Integrated Fertility and Wellness Program. About Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) RMACT specializes in the treatment of infertility, including assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). 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, psychological counseling, acupuncture and Fertile 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 five 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.

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