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 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:

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:

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, – 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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appears here

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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appears here

Contact Information

Dr. Fady I. Sharara

Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine

(703) 437-7722

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): What is it and what are its symptoms?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility and hormones. Women develop PCOS when they have high levels of androgens, sometimes called male hormones. This hormone makes ovulation rare or irregular.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
  • Infrequent, irregular, or absent menstrual cycles
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Infertility due to irregular or absent ovulation
  • Increased hair growth on face, neck, stomach, back, hands, and feet
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Dandruff
  • Pelvic pain
  • Weight gain
  • High cholesterol
  • Thinning hair
  • Skin tags
  • Dark or thick skin located on the neck, arms, thighs, and/or breasts
  • Increased hair growth on face, stomach, back, hands or feet
  • Sleep Apnea

Usually women with PCOS are likely to have a relative with PCOS as well, leading researchers to believe there may be a genetic factor. Many women with PCOS also struggle with weight issues. The main culprit is insulin -.  Excess insulin in a women’s body causes a production increase of androgen, causing irregular ovulation.

Normally a woman ovulates when an egg-containing follicle develops and releases a mature egg. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome keeps those follicles from growing; the follicles build up in the ovaries and form small cysts that release estrogen and excess androgens. The combination of estrogen and androgens disrupts the production of other hormones that help ovulation to occur.  

The primary fertility problem with PCOS is the lack of ovulation or late ovulation. If a woman struggles with weight issues, losing weight will improve ovulation, and a low carbohydrate diet is key such as our own Dr Sharara’s app “The Infertility Diet” which will be available in the App Store on February 3rd. Prescribing insulin-sensitizing drugs such as Metformin helps many PCOS women ovulate on their own or respond better to drug treatment. Fertility drugs like Clomiphene and Gonadotropins may be prescribed to help ovulation occur if Metformin and life style changes are not enough to achieve ovulation. Multiple pregnancy remains a major concern for women using Gonadotropins.

Another fertility option for woman with PCOS is in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF creates the best opportunity of getting pregnant during a menstrual cycle because it gives doctors better control and allows for the transfer of a single embryo.

Dr. Sharara at the Virginia Center for Reproduction Medicine will evaluate a woman’s symptoms, review their medical records and conduct a physical exam and blood test to evaluate hormone levels to assist women with PCOS get pregnant. For more information, please visit

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trying to conceive after being on birth control

A common question we are asked at the Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine is “How long does it take birth control to wear off?”
Some women take birth control to prevent a pregnancy, while others take it to regulate their periods.
Once a woman decides to stop taking birth control to conceive, it only takes about a week for the hormones to leave your system. Your body will then begin to function on its own and produce follicles again, leading you to ovulate.
Each woman’s body is different, it may take a couple of week to ovulate and for others it may take several months. On average, it takes two to three months for your body to regulate. Whether you have been on birth control for a few months or several years, your body should go back to ovulating fairly quickly, regardless of the time period. However, if you had problems with ovulation before starting the pill, the same issues may still be there. If Dr. Sharara deems it necessary, medication to induce ovulation may be prescribed.
There are no known issues involved with getting pregnant after stopping birth control. It is recommended to wait at least one period cycle before trying to conceive. This will help Dr. Sharara determine your time of ovulation and better calculate your birth due date. 
When you are ready to conceive, you can contact Dr. Sharara at 703-437-7722 or request an appointment by visiting: