Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Genetic Screening: The Next Frontier

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a technique used for screening the genetic makeup of an embryo before it is used to make a pregnancy. This can be useful when a couple is aware that they have specific genetic disorders, or when couples wish to screen for genetic abnormalities during the IVF process.

Genetic abnormalities become more likely as a woman advances in age. By the time she reaches her mid-30s, around 60% of the embryos created are abnormal and this percentage will rise as time passes. Advancing age is one of the largest hurdles to having a successful IVF. The genetic information acquired through this procedure can be very useful for patients with recurrent pregnancy loss and allow us to be sure we are using genetically normal embryos.

In addition to screening embryos for genetic abnormalities, patients are able to use PGD for gender selection to help them have a boy or girl – assuming they have a baby of the opposite gender already. As the success with PGD improves, more patients are able to consider genetic testing in combination with their IVF cycle.

Improvements in embryo biopsy techniques, freezing of embryos, and more accurate genetic testing has led to a wider acceptance of PGD procedures. At California IVF we have used genetic screening techniques since 2006, and pride ourselves in remaining at the cutting edge of advanced genetic screening technologies. As seen with any medical procedure, there are some risks to think about when considering PGD. Contact us at California IVF to learn more about this technique and how it might help in your own unique situation.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

RESOLVE’s 2013 Northern California Walk of Hope

RESOLVE’s 2013 Northern California Walk of Hope was an absolute success. The doctors, staff and patients of California IVF are thrilled to have gathered together in our very own community to support RESOLVE’s effort to break the silence about infertility and empower a population that is very dear to us-- the 1 and 8 couples diagnosed with infertility. With the grand fundraising total of $57,392 and over 427 registrants at this event at Crocker Park in Sacramento, California IVF is proud to announce that we were recognized as the largest corporate fundraising team.

The Walk of Hope featured a 1-mile walk around Crocker Park followed by a variety of activities for attendees of all ages to participate in. Team California IVF brought a colorful presence to the event, with an abundance of bright teal t-shirts and a balloon-covered booth featuring personalized twisted balloons and branded goodies for those that took the time to support this important cause. Our staff had a wonderful time demonstrating the warmth and familial culture California IVF offers and providing education about the different options at our clinic for treating infertility. Kat Maudru, the emcee of the event sported a California IVF t-shirt as she announced RESOLVE’s various awards for the event’s participating sponsors.

California IVF would like to thank everybody who walked with Team California IVF at the Walk of Hope. We look forward to continuing our partnership with RESOLVE, an organization with a very important mission to improve the lives of men and women living with infertility. We strongly encourage anybody interested in learning more about Assisted Reproduction and family-building options in a state-of-the-art, compassionate, and patient-centered clinic to visit our website. You can view the photos of Team California IVF at the 1st annual Walk of Hope on our Facebook page.

Monday, December 5, 2011

California IVF Update - Family Reunion Photos, Sacramento Fertility Center, UC Davis Research #ivf

In October 2011, California IVF Fertility Center hosted our annual "babies and bellies" event. Patients from all over Northern California came to Davis for a day in the park with the fertility specialists and staff that helped to take part in their successful pregnancy. It was a beautiful, sunny day to celebrate overcoming infertility with friends and family as well an eventful past year at the clinic.

The California IVF Family

In 2011, California IVF signed a collaboration agreement to take over fertility services for the UC Davis Department of OB/GYN, purchased a competitor's facility in Sacramento and added three physicians to its roster. This coming year, California IVF will continue to expand and build the practice so we can help more patients in the Northern California region and from around the world. 

Some of the most recent updates include: the installation of a new California IVF sign at our Sacramento facility, finalized renovation plans to bring a modernized IVF center to the Northern California region early next year, and new work with researchers at UC Davis to improve our ability to assess male fertility and embryo competency. Our California Conceptions Donated Embryo Program continues to grow and is providing an embryo adoption alternative for Canadian and Australian couples faced with restrictive oocyte donor laws. 

Dr. Ernest Zeringue and Alisa Zeringue Enjoy the Picnic
Many of the journeys to pregnancy were difficult, but it's easy to see from the photos that the end result was well worth the effort. There is no greater joy than the joy experienced by being a parent to a happy and beautiful baby. We are always excited to be reunited with our former patients and see the impact we have had on their lives.

Toddling Around the Party

Friday, October 14, 2011

California IVF Fall 2011 Fertility Newsletter Online

The last six months has been an exciting time of change and growth for California IVF.  This edition of the newsletter takes a look at many of the changes including the acquisition of a Sacramento-based fertility clinic and the unique collaboration with UC Davis Health System.  Taking on the clinical services of these two centers has allowed California IVF to expand staffing to include the addition of two more female fertility specialists and increase our interaction with male fertility specialist Dr. John Gould. 

Dr. Gould is a board certified urologist specializing in male fertility disorders ranging from abnormal sperm counts through vasectomy reversals and surgical extraction of sperm.  Dr. Antoni Duleba, professor and interim chairman of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UC Davis Medical Center's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, began seeing patients at our Davis office earlier this year.  Dr. Duleba heads our research collaboration which will unite the clinical and research efforts of the division to improve the quality of care to Northern California area fertility patients.

Dr. Satin Patel joined the practice in October of this year and brings with him a well rounded professional background including research on PCOS.  Dr. Patel has an excellent rapport with patients and staff alike and has been very valuable in contributing to the future development of California IVF.  After renovations of the Sacramento office are complete, Dr. Patel with join a team of trained staff at the Sacramento office to provide more convenient access to many patients in the Sacramento region.  Dr. Patel is currently seeing patients in Davis.

California IVF is excited to hold our annual family reunion event in Davis this weekend.  Nicknamed "bellies and babies", the event gathers many of our former successes and their children.  Everyone enjoys a fun filled reunion in the park with great food, photo opportunities, and networking with other couples that have been able to overcome infertility through the help of California IVF

Check back soon for photos and videos of the event.

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

California IVF Family Reunion Photos Online

In October 2010, California IVF: Davis Fertility Center hosted our annual "babies and bellies" event in the park.  Patients from all over the Sacramento region descended on Davis for a day in the park with the fertility specialists and staff that helped to take part in their successful pregnancy.  Rain threatened the even but was not able to stop the majority of our family members from showing up with their bundles of joy.

Many of the journeys to pregnancy were difficult, but it's easy to see from the photos that the end result was well worth the effort.  There is no greater joy than the joy experienced by being a parent to a happy and beautiful baby.  We are always excited to be reunited with our former patients and see the impact we have had on their lives.  The event seems to get better each year, thanks to the hard work of the California IVF staff and a host of volunteers.  Thank you to all of you that made the event possible and the volunteers that put their photographic skills to work. 

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in 2011.

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

Friday, February 25, 2011

New study shows stress does not affect IVF treatments

A common question asked by patients undergoing infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) is about the impact of stress on the chances of pregnancy.  Patients are frequently faced with stressors including busy work schedules, time away from work for treatments, and the stress of dealing with infertility.  A recent study on the impact of stress and IVF outcomes shows women are just as likely to become pregnant when they face life's stressors as women that do not face similar stress.

Fertility centers have always been concerned about the effect of stress on fertility treatments and the chances of becoming pregnant naturally.  While this study provides some relief, doctors at California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. still encourage women to reduce stress whenever possible.  One avenue that has been beneficial to many patients is acupuncture combined with infertility treatments.  Patients seeking help through clinical psychologists also report significantly lower levels of stress.

California IVF physicians and staff seek to reduce the stress experienced by patients undergoing IVF by providing extensive information and education about the IVF process.  Medication teaching, embryology's "egg class", and detailed explanations by the doctors help to put patients at ease.  We continue to stand behind our commitment to treat our patients as family.  Having difficulty getting pregnant can be stressful, but getting help should not be.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center Newsletter Now Online

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has released our November 2010 edition of our infertility newsletter titled "Babies in Davis". In the first edition of our infertility newsletter, we discuss what it takes to make us more than just a fertility center. Our extended family and the referrals from the Sacramento area doctors help make us the successful clinic we want to be and our patients deserve. We are very aware that our patients would rather get pregnant on their own without having to go to the local infertility clinic.  When patients see our help, the California IVF family is happy to adopt new members into our family so we can work together to provide the best possible chances of having a baby.  Our family is what makes us great.Photos from the previous reunion fill the pages of our newsletter along with other interesting stories and announcements. California IVF has announced a donor embryo program know as California Conceptions, an egg freezing program, and recently launched our online egg donor application. It has been a busy year for the staff and infertility doctors at California IVF: Davis Fertility Center.  Continuing to expand our services is important in our efforts to provide our patients with the very best infertility treatments.
Rounding out the newsletter is a brief article on surgical services for our infertility patients.  Many of our patients seeking infertility treatment help with inseminations (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) are not aware that our doctors perform many infertility surgery procedures to help correct problems that affect fertility.  Among these surgeries are myomectomies, or surgeries to remove uterine tumors that can prevent pregnancies, hysteroscopies to correct uterine polyps and remove a uterine septum, and tubal ligation reversal surgery which allows a woman to have her tubes put back together after a tubal ligation surgery.

Stay tuned for more interesting developments including an option to sign up to receive our newsletter via email.  Once again, we would like to give thanks to our family that was able to make it to our third annual family reunion.  It was a rainy day but that didn't stop our event!  It was a great day of "babies and bellies" in the park.  Photos from our events as well as an electronic copy of our newsletter can be found at
 © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Does an Embryologist Do? #Infertility #IVF

An embryologist is a scientist that works with sperm, eggs, and embryos. This field of work is known as embryology. Embryologists can work in human or animal embryology. Animal embryologist can help with breeding programs for a zoo, repopulation of endangered species, and breeding of livestock. Human embryologists work with infertility programs with the goal of helping couples have a baby.

The embryologist in an in vitro fertilisation program (IVF) plays a vital role in the journey to pregnancy for a couple struggling with infertility. During the course of infertility treatments, the embryologist will be involved from the start to finish of an in vitro fertilization – IVF cycle. During the testing phase before IVF treatments, the embryologists will prepare the embryology lab for infertility treatments by regulating and testing environmental conditions in the embryology laboratory including temperature, air quality, and humidity. Ordering supplies and the culture media, or liquids used to grow the embryos, is also a necessary step when preparing to start an IVF cycle.

Testing of sperm and freeing sperm samples from couples about to undergo treatment is another job of the embryologist during the testing phase Often, an embryologist will also work in the role of an andrologist, which is an individual that works with sperm.

In the IVF program at California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc., our embryologist Deborah Johnson conducts an educational seminar before patients undergo the egg collection procedure, or oocyte retrieval. This “egg class” is designed to introduce infertility patients to embryology and terminology used in an embryology laboratory.

During the egg retrieval procedure, embryologists receive test tubes containing liquid removed from the ovaries. The embryologist will search this fluid under a microscope and identify the eggs. The eggs are collected together and placed into petri dishes for the remainder of the IVF process. The embryologist is also responsible for fertilizing the eggs with sperm by conventional insemination techniques or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

ICSI is a more complicated procedure that involves using microscopic instruments to remove the cumulus cells surrounding the egg, allowing the embryologist to assess egg maturity and egg quality. After the sperm preparation procedure, an individual sperm is injected into each egg. When ICSI is not needed, sperm are placed in the dish with the eggs after the sperm preparation or sperm washing procedure is completed.

The day after the sperm and eggs are combined, the embryologist checks for fertilization by examining each egg under the microscope. Eggs that did not undergo ICSI will need to have the outer cells removed so the embryologist can perform the fertilization check. The fertilized eggs, or zygotes, are placed into an incubator that has been regulated to control gas mixture, temperature, and several other conditions. Optimal conditions in the embryology laboratory will allow the zygote to progress to the cell division stage, at which point the zygote becomes an embryo. The embryologist will check on the embryos and change the culture media as needing during the 3 to 5 days before the embryo transfer procedure.

Embryologists also perform embryo biopsy procedures on embryos at day 3 or day 5. During the embryo biopsy procedure, an embryologist must rely on experience to remove a single cell from an embryo while minimizing the risk of damage to the embryo. The embryologist will work with the laboratory performing the genetic test and coordinate the handling of the cells and test results. The embryologists skill at performing micromanipulation procedures on embryos can play a vital role in the success of IVF.

Using micro-surgical techniques, embryologists may also perform assisted hatching on embryos. During this procedure, microscopic tools are used to thin the outer shell of embryos and make a hole in the zona pellucida to facilitate the hatching process. The embryologist will also assess the quality of the embryos and provide the infertility doctor with a report on embryo quality. This information is used to determine if there are any issues with poor embryo quality that could affect the chances of a pregnancy.

When the best quality embryos are identified, the embryologists will load the embryos into the transfer catheter and work with the doctor to perform the embryo transfer procedure. Any remaining embryos that are not transferred and appear to have the capability of making a pregnancy, are frozen for later use. The embryologist is responsible for the cryopreservation of extra embryos during the IVF process.

Embryologists usually obtain their training in biologic sciences. Many embryologist gain their initial experience in animal laboratories before transferring into human IVF. Over the last few years, embryology training programs for human IVF have been formed. It is likely that there will be more of these programs in the future. Regardless of the training background of an embryologist, hands on experience is one of the most critical factors in an IVF lab.

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has some of the most experienced embryologists with over 30 years combined experience. Their experience allows us to easily adapt to developments in embryology that will help our family maximize our patient’s chances of having a baby.

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Infertility Supplements and Dietary Aids

Infertility problems affect millions of couples in America. As the stress of infertility increases, it is common for people to search for answers on the Internet and printed sources such as magazines. Much of the information and advice available to women trying to conceive has not been written or reviewed by an infertility specialist. Even worse, much of the information is simply not true, and can lead to couples to take medications or treatments that may actually decrease their chances of getting pregnant.

It is important to understand that any medication or dietary aid that is labeled with the words “nutritional supplement” or “dietary aid” are classified as food items by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that these supplements are not regulated by the same laws that regulate medications. Laws pertaining to medications require that new medications are equivalent or better to existing medications, and these medications can not be misrepresented in terms of their effects and side effects. Nutritional supplements do not even have to contain any medications, and there is not government oversight to protect against harmful contamination in these medications.

Most of the dietary supplements advertised to help with infertility have no evidence supporting the proposed benefits. Unfortunately, the nutritional supplement market for infertility is a multibillion dollar industry. As long as there are individuals that will believe the marketing hype surrounding infertility diet aids, these products will continue to be sold. These products are frequently packaged like medications and the advertisements frequently report that the effects are clinically proven. Other than a potential false advertising claim, there are no restrictions on how these supplements are marketed, and no requirement to test the quality or effects of these supplements.

Scientific studies on some of these compounds showed very harmful contamination and broad ranges of chemicals and hormones that can have harmful effects. Infertility specialists are frequently asked for their opinion about these supplements and often encounter resistance when patients are advised to stop using these supplements. Most of this faith placed in these nutritional supplements comes from the marketing and hype placed on these nutritional aids and vitamins. This marketing does not take into account the well-being of infertility patients, but instead seeks only to make a profit. Infertility doctors are committed to the health and well being of their patients and keep up to date with all of the evidence-based treatments designed to improve an infertile couple’s chances of having a baby.

Vitamins may play a role in overall health, however, patients do not need to take anything more than a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin. It is recommended that women trying to conceive take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid (folate). In certain circumstances, women may be advised to take additional vitamins or other nutritional supplements, but should do so only under the advice of a physician or other health care provider.

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. does not support the use of dietary supplements or nutritional aids, and remain concerned that many of these nutritional aids may have harmful effects in addition to being very expensive. There is no evidence that nutritional supplements for male and female infertility will have any benefits on the chances of having a baby. Please inform your physician of any and all nutritional aids, dietary supplements and vitamins that you are taking.

Our infertility doctors fully support and educate our patients about healthy eating and diet changes that can help women get pregnantDiet can have a big effect on PCOS and having a baby.  A balanced diet and healthy lifestyle including exercise and avoiding smoking and smokers can help improve a woman's fertility health and chances of conceiving.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pregnancy Success Rates May Improve With Genetic Testing of Day 5 Embryos

The “buzz” at the ASRM Annual Meeting in Denver, October 2010, was biopsy of Day 5 (blastocyst) embryos with subsequent genetic analysis. Current embryo biopsy techniques focus on Day 3 embryos for pre-implantation genetic testing (PGD) of embryos.

Day 3 embryos are usually composed of 6-8 cells, and one cell is removed, fixed to a slide, and analyzed in the lab. Having only one cell to work with, though, can be a negative in several ways. Firstly, there’s always the chance that the material from one cell will not be enough to provide a sample for analysis. Secondly, there is the somewhat complicated issue of mosaicism.
As cells grow and divide, genetic mistakes can happen. Since the embryo is made up of several different dividing cells, it’s possible that some of the cells divide normally, while some of them create genetic mistakes during their division.

The result can be a mosaic embryo—one that has some normal cells and some genetically abnormal ones. The concern with embryo biopsy on Day 3 is that with removing only one cell, how do you know that all the other cells have the same genetic makeup?

Studies show that embryos that make genetic mistakes have a high tendency to correct themselves by the time they reach the blastocyst (Day 5) stage. In other words, the normal cells continue to grow and divide, forming a healthy embryo, and the genetically abnormal cells disperse. This phenomenon is called self-correction. So a significant concern with Day 3 embryo biopsy is that a single cell can be analyzed and identified as abnormal, leading to discarding of that embryo, while in fact, it could undergo the process of self-correction, leading to the discard of a perfectly fine embryo.

Day 5 embryo biopsy has definite advantages over Day 3 biopsy. Day 5 embryos generally have 100-150 cells, so usually 10-15 cells can be removed without harm. This allows a larger sample to test. The test is also run at the later, Day 5, stage, which allows for self-correction to happen. Also, by the time the embryo reaches the Day 5 stage, it has formed two separate structures: the inner cell mass, which can become a baby; and the trophectoderm, the outer cells which will form the placenta. The cells removed in the biopsy come from the trophectoderm, leaving the inner cell mass intact.

The major disadvantage of Day 5 biopsy is in the time it takes to run the genetic tests. The blastocyst stage is when the embryo would begin to burrow in and implant in a woman’s uterus. So by the team an embryo reaches blastocyst stage in the lab, it can only be transferred into a uterus or frozen for storage. Genetic testing may take several days, so an embryo that is biopsied on Day 5 must be frozen until the results are available. This would involve a scheduled future transfer of the normal embryo in another cycle, after preparing the uterus with hormones. Fortunately, improvement in embryo freezing techniques, primarily the use of vitrification, has made this option a successful alternative. It was revealed at the 2010 ASRM Annual Meeting that some centers are also working to shorten the time the diagnostic testing takes, so that the biopsy could be done early on Day 5 and allow transfer early in the morning the following day, with excellent pregnancy rates.

About Dr. Laurie Lovely:

Sacramento Infertility Specialist Dr. Laurie Lovely is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She has received a research grant from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for her work on the effects of hormones and the endometrial lining. She presented a prize-winning paper on the effects of stress and infertility at an annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Additional professional interests include pubertal problems and reconstructive tubal surgery including tubal ligation reversals.

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Northern California Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento and Roseville.

Trying to Conceive After 35? Advanced Maternal Age, #Infertility and Getting Pregnant

Natural pregnancy rates are affected by age and the average woman’s chance of conceiving on her own during a 12 month period of time decreases as she gets older. Advanced Maternal age is one cause of infertility.

  • 20-24 year old women have a 86% chance of conceiving in 12 months
  • 25-29 year old women trying to conceive have a 78% chance of getting pregnant within a year
  • 63% of women between the ages of 30-34 attain pregnancy naturally with 1 year
  • At 35-39 years old, most women have a 54% chance when trying to get pregnant over the course of one year.
  • After 40, a woman who is trying to conceive over 1 year has a 36% chance of pregnancy
  • By 45, only 5% of women conceive a child naturally after one year of trying for a pregnancy

In addition, after 1 year of not conceiving, there is only a 5% chance of getting pregnant by waiting an additional 6 months to 1 year. Another way to view this information is by a woman’s chance of getting pregnant per month. During the first year of trying, a woman at age 23 would have an approximately 25% chance of pregnancy each month, whereas a woman at age 40 would have a 13% chance of pregnancy each month.

The decline in a woman’s chances of getting pregnant is not related to a woman’s health or how young she feels. The main cause for this decrease in the chances of getting pregnant lies within the genetics of the egg.

As a woman ages, the quality of the eggs deteriorates. The decline in quality causes an increased risk of chromosomal problems within the eggs, which leads to fewer normal eggs and an increased risk of miscarriages due to chromosomally abnormal embryos such as Down syndrome. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGD)of embryos is one way to detect chromosomally abnormal embryos.

There are not any known medications or treatments that can change the effects of age on the eggs, since the problem lies within the genetics of the eggs. When a woman’s ovary is being formed, the body sets aside cells that will make up the eggs within the ovary. A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have in life. The eggs have not finished their cell division and still contain 2 complete sets of chromosomes. Before an embryo can be formed, the egg must finish separating the chromosomes so that the egg will only contribute one set of chromosomes that add to the set of chromosomes provided by the sperm. Over time, the ability of the egg to separate the chromosomes normally starts to decline, and there will be an increase in the number of chromosomally abnormal eggs. Many eggs will stop living because of the abnormalities, though a woman may still ovulate normally. Some embryos will be formed from an abnormal egg, but most of these pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.

In addition to the increase in chromosome abnormalities, the number of eggs available for fertility treatments will also decline. In a normal menstrual cycle, only one egg survives and goes through ovulation. During fertility treatments, medications are used to increase the number of eggs produced. As a woman ages, the number of eggs available, or “ovarian reserve,” decreases. Having fewer eggs available can result in lower pregnancy rates with fertility treatments. There are tests available to try to evaluate “ovarian reserve,” but these tests are often inaccurate. A normal ovarian reserve test does not imply that a woman has a better chance of getting pregnant and will not undo the effects of age on her chances of getting pregnant.

There are tests that can be used to detect abnormal eggs and embryos with genetic problems.  These tests are referred to as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, PGD, and pre-implantation genetic screening, PGS.  There are various techniques for looking at genetic material from embryos before pregnancy.  California IVF continues to push forward with new clinical infertility treatments to help with recurrent pregnancy loss, testing eggs before pregnancy, and gender selection.

When an egg from a donor is used, pregnancy rates are generally not affected by age. Women who are interested in becoming an egg donor are younger, screened for infectious diseases and generally provide excellent chances for another woman to become pregnant. Additionally, women using donor eggs would be more likely to have extra embryos which could be used in a frozen embryo transfer so the overall pregnancy rate is even higher than depicted. Donor eggs are often used as an option for women who are unsuccessful using their own eggs or who have reached an age where their chances using their own eggs become too low.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sacramento Infertility Specialists Celebrate Conception, Pregnancy and Babies at Family Reunion BBQ

The Sacramento infertility specialists and staff at California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, hosted a family reunion BBQ on October 17th to celebrate “overcoming infertility”.

Former fertility patients who are now pregnant or have successfully delivered babies were invited to bring their families to the annual event. Most of 100 plus children who attended the were conceived using treatments offered by California IVF such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), artificial insemination (IUI), egg donors, embryo adoption or tubal reversal surgery.

California IVF Director Dr. Ernest Zeringue says, "Seeing patients overcome infertility and get pregnant is one of the top reasons for choosing to become a fertility specialist. Most local fertility centers do not get the chance to see patients after a positive pregnancy test and hearing a baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound. We like to meet the children who help bring into the world and see the joy a baby brings to our former infertility patients.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Social Media and Infertility - California IVF Goes Mobile

Social media is changing how California IVF connects with the world. We can now be found on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In. Social media continues to expand at a rapid pace.  California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has updated it's web presence by adding new social media outlets.  Using these new avenues for information distribution, we hope to bring the latest clinic updates and infertility news to a wider range of interested readers.

Our new mobile enabled website is now ready at  Standard web browsers will show this content as a very narrow column of text that is not as easy to read as our standard web content at  The mobile site features basic content in an easy to view format with links to more relevant information. 

As social media continues to expand, California IVF will continue to evaluate new and exciting ways to bring information to a broader audience.  Over the coming years, infertility clinics may rely more on social networking than static web pages.  We are working on several other exciting initiatives for content delivery.  Until then, please visit us at the following locations:



Google Buzz


We will be adding more soon so be sure to check our website for updates. We hope you enjoy our infertility news and updates about the latest infertility treatment options.

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. is a private practice infertility treatment clinic in Northern California with services for Pacific area infertility patients that need help having a baby.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nobel Prize for IVF Pioneer Highlights How Far Local Fertility Clinics Have Come in Helping Patients Get Pregnant

As a Sacramento area fertility doctor who regularly helps patients struggling with infertility get pregnant with the help of in vitro fertilization (IVF), Dr. Zeringue said. "Dr. Robert Edwards' win of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine highlights just how far advanced reproductive therapy has come since the first succesful IVF, "test tube" baby was born in 1978".

Because of his work, the once revoluntionary and seemingly impossible task of fertilizing eggs outside of the womb is now commonplace at fertility centers across the country and around the world.

However, even as reproductive technology moves into new and exciting areas like the pre-implantation genetic screening of embryos (PGS), we will more than likely never get to look completely "under the hood" or know exactly why some people's eggs and sperm just don't seem to work. In many ways, this lack of knowing is what binds fertility experts with couples struggling to get pregnant.

Everyone is looking for a "glimpse behind the curtain" to find out why the magic and mystery of conception and child birth seems evasive to some potential parents. It is this basic human link between cutting edge fertility science and a woman's need to have a child that will drive the newest innovations in reproductive technology.

As Dr. Edward's probably knows, the latest technological advances may never compete with seeing the joy patients feel when they are finally pregnant and on their way to having a baby.

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists in the Sacramento, Roseville and greater Northern California area.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Donated Embryos and Adoption as Options for Having a Baby

When couples are not able to have a baby without help, they may often consider donor eggs or adoption to build a family.  Donated embryos offer couples a very affordable alternative.  Embryos from in vitro fertilization procedures can be donated to a couple wanting to have a baby.  These embryos are then placed into the uterus, or womb, of the intended mother.  Since donors have waived their rights to the embryos, the resulting pregnancy belongs to the couple receiving the embryos.  This means there are no legal challenges or problems with parental rights.  The intended parents are able to enjoy pregnancy and have a baby of their own.

Pregnancy using donated embryos is sometimes called "embryo adoption".  Since the intended mother carries the pregnancy and gives birth, and there are no legal challenges to parental rights, the use of the term adoption is not accurate.  Pregnancy using donated embryos is usually much more cost effective that other forms of fertility treatments.

Donors that provide embryos have also been screened for health risks including inherited disorders, mental illness, and other traits that would be undesirable to most parents. It is not possible to avoid all health risks and birth defects, but this is true for any pregnancy.  Usually, the background information on the donors will be made available to the recipient couple.

Donated embryos are usually in limited supply compared to the long waiting lists of people searching for donated embryos.  In an effort to minimize the waiting times, California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has formed the California Conceptions Donated Embryo Program.  It is the goal of this program to make donor embryos readily available to people that are not able to afford other forms of infertility treatments, are not able to find embryos available for donation, or face problems with adoption due to age or financial barriers. 
California Conceptions Donated Embryo Program is an service of California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc.  The program offers patients an excellent opportunity to become pregnant using donated embryos.  Our success has allowed us to offer a 100% refund plan to qualified recipients.  Individuals and couples that are interested should explore our California Conceptions Web site to learn more about joining this unique donated embryo ("embryo adoption") program.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. announces online donor application and donor database

Fertility treatment using donor oocytes is an excellent option for couples struggling with infertility, who are unable to produce quality eggs on their own and want to take advantage of a highly successful method of becoming pregnant.

Using this option, eggs are taken from an egg donor, usually a woman in her 20’s who is healthy and has no history of infertility. The eggs are fertilized with the sperm from the recipient’s husband or partner. One to two embryos are transferred into the uterus of the recipient.

Infertility treatments with donor oocytes are associated with a 75% to 85% chance of success on the first try. Embryos that were frozen during the first treatment are available for transfer at a later time; further increasing the chances of having a baby.

Egg donors are screened for medical and psychological abnormalities using a variety of tools. In the past, donors completed a written questionnaire which was then mailed to the clinic for review. With the introduction of online applications, California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. is able to streamline the application process. The online donor application will also speed up the review and selection process for oocyte donor recipients.

Oocyte donor recipients are now able to review profiles electronically, view photographs of donor, and make their selection in a more efficient manner. This is a welcome addition to our already successful donor egg program. California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has given patients some of the highest possible pregnancy rates using donor eggs. Maintaining a large database of donors will allow us to have a broad selection of donors available for matching and also allow us to select the best candidates to participate in our donor egg program.

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Infertility FAQs - How Many Eggs are Women Born With?

At birth, most women had around 2 million ooctyes or eggs contained within immature folliciles.

According to a recent article in "Sexuality, Reproduction and Menopause":
  • At 28 weeks' gestation, a developing female fetus has a maximum of 6 to 7 million immature eggs
  • At birth, around 2 million eggs remain within immature follicles
  • At puberty, there are about 500,000 follicles remaining
  • At 38 years of age, around 25,000 follicles remain
  • From 38 to about 51 years of age, follicle loss accelerates until the ovaries stop working
--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. male and female infertility doctors in Northern California near Roseville, Sacramento, Fairfield, Stockton and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why is in vitro fertilization (IVF) so expensive?

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. strives to make in vitro fertilization (IVF) a cost effective approach to maximizing the chances of pregnancy. We understand the additional stress finances place on patients wishing to get pregnant and that for many, the cost of starting or continuing treatment is a barrier to pregnancy.

Cost, Overhead and the Modern Embryology Lab

The combination of physician, embryologist and staff experience along with our modern embryology laboratory, which creates an environment that mimics the human body, is why we can help women get pregnant with in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, in addition to high staffing costs, maintaining a high tech lab contributes significant overhead and affects the cost of treatment. Major lab systems include the:

Air System – Designed by a specialized engineer, this system creates a positive airflow that pushes air out of the lab, limits temperature fluctuations within 1-2 degrees and constantly removes contaminants with four Hepa filtration units. It is inspected annually for clean air compliance and maintains a 96% seal from the outside world.

Gas System – The oxygen concentration of normal air is toxic to embryos. Specialized incubators, microscopes and handling techniques protect the embryos and maintain a gas mixer that optimizes growth.

Microscope System – Given the tiny size of embryos, high powered microscopes fitted with mechanical manipulation devices are required to perform treatments such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or embryo biopsy for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

Safety System – This system continuously monitors the lab for proper air and incubator temperatures and gas levels as well as the liquid nitrogen level of frozen embryos and semen samples. If there is a power outage, our diesel generator automatically starts and can run for several days without refueling.

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. uses its modern embryology lab to increase the effectiveness of fertility treatment and patient pregnancy rates. If you have any questions regarding the embryology lab and its affect on the cost of treatment, please ask. We remain committed to helping patients realize the joy and miracle pregnancy can bring.

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Northern California Fertility Doctor Joins Genetic Testing Clinical Study to Help Roseville and Sacramento IVF Infertility Patients Get Pregnant

Getting pregnant using fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization is stressful for any couple. But for couples in which one or both partners has the potential of having a child with a genetically based disease like Tay Sachs or Gaucher’s disease can be frightening. A new genetic screening under clinical study gives at-risk IVF patients a fuller glimpse of their developing embryos.

Until now, IVF patients have had to choose between testing for chromosome abnormalities like Down Syndrome or single-gene hereditary disorders like Tay Sachs. A new screening from Redwood City, Calif. based Gene Security Network combines single gene hereditary disease testing and a 24-chromosome comparison into one test.

Dr. Ernest Zeringue, founder of California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. says “this test will offer at risk couples an additional tool for increasing their chance of pregnancy while minimizing the risk of having a baby with a genetic disorder.”

While new technology can not completely relieve the worries of getting pregnant, this next step in the genetic testing of embryos will help at risk patients make more informed decisions about their best options for bringing home a healthy baby.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sacramento Area Infertility Support Group for Fertility Patients

California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. encourages its patients to seek group support for general infertility issues as well as during advanced reproductive therapy like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The Infertility Support Group of the Sacramento area is one resource for all Northern California women struggling with infertility to turn to so they do not have to struggle with getting pregnant alone.

The Infertility Support Group of the Sacramento area is a peer led support group for women that provides a place to discuss the emotional impact of infertility. Women are provided a welcoming space to discuss treatments for infertility like IVF and artificial insemination as well as alternatives like using acupuncture to help with stress and increase ovulation. Recommendations and experiences with Sacramento area infertility doctors and clinics many also be discussed openly and honestly.

Women with fertility issues may want to contact the Sacramento Area Infertility Support Group if any of the following statements apply:

  • I'm feeling lonely and isolated because of my infertility.

  • I have very few people to talk with about my infertility.

  • No one understands how infertility is affecting me.

  • My husband is the only one I have who provides emotional support in dealing with infertility.

  • Infertility is affecting my work and career.

  • I feel that my life plan is out of control because of infertility.

  • I'm having trouble navigating my medical treatment options for infertility.

  • I can't decide when "enough is enough" of infertility treatments like IVF, IUI and fertility medications like Clomid.

  • Holidays and coping with family and friends is becoming more & more difficult the longer I deal with infertility and answer questions about why I am not getting pregnant or having a baby.

For more information about the Sacramento Area Infertility Support Group, email your questions or comments to Christine at

Bimonthly Meetings take place on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month in the Sacramento area.

Visit for more information about infertility issues and a list of Northern California Support Groups

--> © California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. - Male and female infertility specialists serving the Sacramento, Roseville and the greater Northern California area including the San Francisco Bay Area.