Alternative Treatments for Infertility

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 15, 2015

Studies show that acupuncture has a placebo effect in improving pregnancy rates during IVF cycles.

Authors: Elena Yanushpolsky, MD, is an infertility specialist with the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Yanushpolsky is also the Director of the BWH’s Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth.

When conventional fertility treatments do not result in successful pregnancies, couples suffering from infertility often search for alternative or complementary treatment options. Before considering these complementary treatments, it’s essential that patients have a good understanding of the associated risks and benefits, and overall effectiveness, much as they would with conventional therapies.

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IVF Helps Deliver a Gift worth Waiting For

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 29, 2013

Leah Miriam Urovitch was born on March 30, 2013, healthy and one day ahead of schedule.

Leah Miriam Urovitch was born on March 30, 2013, healthy and one day ahead of schedule. But her parents, Josh, 45, and Lisa, 43, had been waiting for this little girl for years.

Josh and Lisa were married in 2009, and, because of their ages, they started trying to have a baby right away. They continued trying to conceive naturally for more than a year before deciding to seek professional help.

In 2011, they reached out to Dr. Elena Yanushpolsky, an infertility specialist with the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery (CIRS) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). At that point, the primary options for Josh and Lisa were intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatments or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

For IUI, the male partner’s sperm is collected and then injected into the female partner, usually on two consecutive days at the time of ovulation. IVF, on the other hand, is a more involved process and can be broken down into four steps: using medications to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs; surgically removing the eggs; fertilizing and incubating the eggs; and returning the eggs to the uterus by means of a catheter.

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The Other Half of the Fertility Equation: Male Fertility

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 10, 2013

Don't forget the other half of the fertility equation - male fertility.

Today’s post was written by Dr. Elena Yanushpolsky, an infertility specialist with the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Yanushpolsky is also the Director of the BWH Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth.

A couple, both about 33 years old, recently came to my clinic after trying to conceive for 18 months without success. After evaluating both of them, we learned that their inability to conceive was due to the husband’s infertility. This couple’s situation is not unusual. In 20-25 percent of cases, infertility can be attributed exclusively to male factor problems, and an additional 10 percent of couples have male infertility in addition to other factors.

The first step in evaluating whether male infertility is a factor is a detailed health history. Once adequate sexual performance has been confirmed, the next step is a semen analysis. This test measures several characteristics of a man’s sperm, including the number of sperm (volume and concentration), the shape of the sperm (morphology), and the ability of sperm to move (motility). If the results of the semen analysis are abnormal, the test is repeated in three to four weeks. If the second test is abnormal, a man will be referred to a urologist for further evaluation.

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When to See a Fertility Specialist

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 23, 2013

Dr. Elena Yanushpolsky

Today’s post was written by Dr. Elena Yanushpolsky. Dr. Yanushpolsky is an infertility specialist with the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Director of the BWH Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth. She discusses when its time to see a fertility specialist.

As a couple, you’ve been trying to conceive for several months without success. Should you keep trying or should you consult a fertility specialist? The correct answer is that it depends. Here are some things that can help you determine how soon to see a specialist:

  • Getting Ready:  It’s important for both partners to have a general health evaluation with a primary care doctor before seeking fertility evaluation and treatments. Many illnesses can have an impact on a couple’s fertility.

I also recommend that my patients maximize their chances for conception by using urine ovulation predictor kits which can be purchased over the counter. Other ovulation detection methods, such as basal body temperature measurements and cervical mucous evaluations can be used, though they are less precise than urine ovulation predictor kits.

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