Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A 411 on Fertility Abbreviations

Are you new to the “Trying to Conceive” club? Don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact there are forums, support groups and blogs for just about ANY topic you may want to research or involve yourself with. What you may not realize is, there are abbreviations for almost EVERYTHING. We’re talking medical stuff here; can you really spell “Intrauterine Insemination” off the top of your head? Obviously it’s easier to shorten it up as IUI. The Virginia Center of Reproductive Medicine has compiled a list of the most frequently used menstrual, fertility and reproductive health abbreviations and acronyms to help you along during your TTC journey. We hope you find it helpful!

AF: Aunt Flo — menstruation/period
BBC: BabyCenter
BBT: basal body temperature
BC: Birth control or before children
BCPS: birth control pills
BFN: big fat negative (after taking a pregnancy test)
BFP: big fat positive (after taking a pregnancy test)
BM breast milk, or bowel movement
CD: cycle day
CF: cervical fluid
CM: cervical mucus
CS or C/S: cesarean section
DPO: days past ovulation
EBF: extended breastfeeding, exclusively breastfeeding
EBM: expressed breast milk
EDD: estimated due date, or expected date of delivery
EWCM: egg white cervical mucus
FF: formula feeding
HPT: home pregnancy test
IC: incompetent cervix
IUI: intrauterine insemination
IVF: in vitro fertilization
L&D: labor and delivery
LP: luteal phase
MC or M/C: miscarriage
O: ovulation
O’d: ovulated
OPK: ovulation predictor kit
PG: pregnant or pregnancy
PPD: postpartum depression
RE: reproductive endocrinologist
SD: sperm donor
TTC: trying to conceive
US or U/S: ultrasound
VBAC: vaginal birth after cesarean section

VCRM would be delighted to assist you in your dream of becoming a parent. Please visit our website to learn more about us: http://www.vcrmed.com/about-us/why-us/

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What to expect after an embryo transfer

The IVF treatment cycle consists of several parts. In this article, we will be focusing on what to expect after an Embryo Transfer and the activities you can engage in.
Five days following the Egg Retrieval the patient will have the Embryo Transfer (ET). The procedure only takes approximately 15 minutes; afterwards, a patient will remain in a horizontal position for about 15 minutes. She will then be discharged to leave.
Directly after the Embryo Transfer patients should go directly home or to your hotel and take it easy for 24 hours. This does not mean staying in bed. You can do all your regular activities but avoid strenuous exercise or carrying heavy objects.
You may have some watery discharge. This is from the vaginal wash and not the embryos “coming out”.
The day after your transfer, you may resume light normal activities.It is important to stay on all your medications. These medications support the uterine lining and help maintain a pregnancy. These are usually estrogen & progesterone through pill, injection, or vaginal suppository.
We advise our patients to avoid travel for 24 hours so that they are near their doctor in case any complications, such as bleeding, arise.

If you are ready to learn how VCRM and Dr. Sharara can help your dream of having a baby, then please complete the Request A Consultation form or call us at 703.437.7722.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Trying to conceive with Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are very common benign, smooth muscle cell tumors that affect 25% to 40% of reproductive-age women. Multiple studies have found there is an association between fibroids and infertility, especially when fibroids are large, in the uterine cavity, or compress the cavity. There are several explanations as to why uterine fibroids may reduce fertility:
*Fibroids change the position of the cervix (the vaginal opening to the womb) and may affect the number of sperm that can travel through the cervix
*Changes in the shape of the uterus can interfere with sperm movement
*Blockage of the fallopian tubes by the fibroids
*Affecting the blood flow to the uterine cavity where the embryo would implant.
*Changes in the uterine muscle may prevent movement of the sperm or the embryo
Dr. Sharara at the Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine can help determine if fibroids might be hampering your ability to conceive. Treatment options vary depending upon the age of the patient, the severity of the symptoms and the size of the tumor(s).
To Schedule a Consultation, please visit http://www.vcrmed.com/ or call 703-437-7722.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

FAQ about IUI-Intrauterine Insemination

Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine prides itself on providing each patient with the utmost personal care and attention. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about fertility treatments and the procedures involved. Below, we have composed a list of most frequently asked questions about the Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) process and associated responses.

Who should consider IUI?

Patients suffering with low sperm count, decreased sperm mobility, unexplained fertility, hostile cervical condition or ejaculation dysfunction can all benefit from an IUI procedure.

How is IUI done?

IUI with washed semen is a technique that places prepared sperm directly into the uterus using a catheter. IUI bypasses the vagina and cervix where many sperm are otherwise lost, thus the number of motile sperm available to fertilize an egg is increased.

When should the IUI procedure occur?

An IUI procedure is performed around the time of ovulation.

Does the procedure hurt?

Most women consider IUI to be fairly painless, similar to having a pap smear. There can be some minimal cramping afterwards, but often what is felt is ovulation-related rather than from the IUI.

Can sperm fall out?

Once sperm is injected into the uterus it doesn’t fall out. Occasionally there is wetness after the IUI procedure but this is related to the catheter loosening the cervical mucus.

How long after IUI should implantation occur?
Implantation generally takes place 7 days days after ovulation/your IUI procedure.

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

It is highly recommend that the patient wait two weeks before taking a pregnancy test to prevent a false positive due to hormones and injectibles.

What is the success rate for IUI?

Success rates will vary with the couple’s original diagnosis and the number of cycles of IUI.  The pregnancy rate per cycle of insemination is 15-20%.  The pregnancy rate may be as high as 30-50% in couples undergoing three cycles of IUI. 
The use of fertility medication, such as Clomid, Tamoxifen, or injectable Gonadotropins, increases the chance of pregnancy. The pregnancy rate using Clomid/Tamoxifen is about 15-%, and that of injectables/IUI is about 20-25%, but these rates are age-dependent and are significantly lower in women > 35. The multiple pregnancy rate is about 5% with Clomid or Tamoxifen (mostly twins), but increases to about 20-25% with injectable gonadotropins (some may be higher-order multiples, i.e triplets or more).

How many IUIs should I try before moving on to IVF?
It depends on what you can afford and what medication you are taking. If a couple doesn't have success after four ovulatory cycles on injectables with well-timed IUI, it would be time to consider IVF.

If you are considering IUI or other fertility treatments, we invite you to Contact Us

The patients at VCRMED are taken care of by a single physician who knows everything about their specific case. We believe this care results in faster success. We would love to assist you in making your dreams come true.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to choose a Fertility Center

It is estimated that there are almost 500 Fertility Clinics throughout the United States. So when a woman or couple begins to explore Infertility Therapy, there are a lot of options to consider. There are a variety of Fertility Clinics to choose from:

·      Sole Practitioner
·      Small Practices
·      Large, Full Service Practices
·      Networks
·      University and Hospital Clinics

The sole practitioner or smaller practices offer a more personable experience, with more direct access to your doctor than larger practices or universities.  Full service practices usually have the laboratory and other resources on site, which is convenient for women however communication is usually done through nurses and staff. In fact, you may even have the uncomfortable experience of seeing a different doctor each time you have an appointment.

IVF, IUI, or any Infertility Therapy is a costly investment. Each clinic’s’ cost will vary, and it is important to ask exactly what is included for the service. While cost is an important consideration, don’t let it be the determining factor.

When selecting a Fertility Clinic, it is important to review their success rates. It is suggested to compare multiple clinics fertility reports and choose a center that has above average success rates. Choosing a fertility center with higher success rates may help woman and couples achieve positive results quicker and at a lower cost.

The Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine (VCRM) is a unique Fertility Clinic because it offers its patients the best of both worlds - a boutique and personalized setting as well as a highly successful onsite laboratory. At VCRM, patients are guided through their evaluation and treatment by the same physician who is initimately familiar with their specific situation. This allows the practice to create a highly custom treatment plan for each patient and the results speak for themselves.

In 2013, VCRM had 76% better live birth results (delivery of an actual baby) than the National Average! VCRM has also been rated very highly in the Washington DC area by the Washingtonian magazine. Additionally, an independent data aggregation website ranked VCRM #2 in the United Stats for its results in patients between 35-37 yrs of age.

We invite you to learn more about us and what makes our Fertility Center unique by visiting: http://www.vcrmed.com/about-us/why-us/

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What is IUI and how does it work?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the most common type of artificial insemination. IUI is most often prescribed as an infertility treatment in cases where couples have been unsuccessfully attempting to get pregnant for an extended amount of time and other causes of infertility have been ruled out. The IUI procedure consists of five steps: 

Step 1
Fertility drugs are prescribed to stimulate the growth of two to three eggs to maturity. Typically, Clomid®, Tamoxifen, or Letrozole (Femara)pills or Gonadotropin injections are given to nurture the growth of follicles, which cause ovulation to take place

Step 2
Monitoring of the drug treatments is conducted to measure the growth of follicles and to control the drug doses based on the patient. Because fertility drugs can produce multiple eggs, monitoring is also needed to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies. Blood tests are used to measure estrogen concentrations, and an ultrasound is used to measure follicular development

Step 3
When monitoring shows the maturity of at one to three follicles, the patient receives an injection of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which induces ovulation

Step 4
Here, the actual artificial insemination (IUI) procedure is performed.  On the morning of ovulation, a sperm sample is provided by the male partner, prepared for the IUI. With a catheter, the washed and concentrated sperm sample is inserted through the cervix, into the uterus of the woman. The IUI procedure is fairly painless and uncomplicated

Step 5
Usually two weeks after the IUI procedure, a pregnancy test is performed

Success rates will vary with the couple’s original diagnosis and the number of cycles of IUI.  The pregnancy rate per cycle of insemination is 15-20% at best.  The pregnancy rate may be as high as 30-50% in couples undergoing three cycles of IUI.

To learn more about the VCRMED IUI procedure and costs, you can visit: http://www.vcrmed.com/iui-success-rates-virginia-center-for-reproductive-medicine-in-reston-va-virginia/

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine announces 2013 results and earns

distinction as one of the Top IVF Clinics in the US

Washington DC metro based VCRM posts 76% better results for live births through IVF than

the national average

Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine (VCRM) is excited to announce the results of its calendar year 2013

IVF treatment cycle.

The clinic administered achieved the following results in 2013:

* 66.7% live birth rate for women in 35-37 age group (21 cycles performed)

* 51.3% for women under 35 (39 cycles performed)

* 35.1% for women 38-40 (37 cycles performed)

* 22.2% for women 41-42 (9 cycles performed and 2 live births achieved).

Of particular note, > 50% of cycles in women less than 38 had an elective single embryo transfer (eSET) (one

of the highest use of eSET in the US). VCRM has been at the forefront of programs trying to decrease the

multiple pregnancy rate and therefore the complication rates for mothers and babies, a practice we started in


These live birth results for IVF treatment are in fact one of the best that VCRM has enjoyed during the clinic’s

distinguished history. Detailed results are available in the 2013 National results for ART, released March 3,

2015 on the Society of Assisted Reproduction (SART) website.

SART is the primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of assisted reproductive

technologies (ART) in the US and it publishes an annual report of birth outcomes from its member clinics. The

information is disclosed for patients to make informed decisions and compare success rates with different

FACT: When compared to the National averages published by SART, Virginia Center for Reproductive

Medicine posted 76% better live birth results.

This stat confirms that VCRM patients have a 76% greater likelihood of delivering a baby each cycle, which

ultimately means that couples challenged with fertility can achieve their goal of having a baby sooner while

experiencing lesser emotional and financial toll.

Additionally, Fertilitysuccessrates.com – an independent IVF data aggregator website – ranked VCRM second

in the nation in 2013 for “Best IVF Clinics In United States For Women 35-37 Using Fresh Embryos”.
Dr. Sharara, Founder and Medical Director of VCRM, stated, “2013 was a banner year for the practice and we

are very proud to be mentioned among the Top IVF clinics in not only the Washington DC metro area but also

the entire United States.”

About Dr. Sharara:
Dr. Sharara is a world-renowned expert in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His practice (VCRM) is

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located in Reston, Virginia and has a reputation for consistently posting one of the highest success rates for

ART on the East Coast. The clinic prides itself on its “boutique” setting along with its personalized and

customized treatment plans. Dr. Sharara regularly treats patients from around the globe and the clinic has

become the go-to place for many patients who have failed to achieve success at other fertility centers.

*A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment

approaches, and entry criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.
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Contact Information

Dr. Fady I. Sharara

Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine

(703) 437-7722