Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 21, 2014

There are a number of treatment options for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Author: Dr. Rachel Ashby, Director of the Donor Egg and Gestational Carrier Program at the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects between five and ten percent of women. This common endocrine disorder can cause disruption in ovulatory and menstrual cycles, as well as an excess production of male type hormones, all of which can cause infertility. The cause of PCOS is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is a twenty to forty percent incidence of PCOS in women where either a mother or sister has also been diagnosed with the disorder.

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Defying the Odds: Heart Patient Welcomes New Baby

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 10, 2014

Ali Barton with her newborn son, Ethan.

When Ali Barton, 31, was about 18 weeks pregnant, she began experiencing “bizarre” swelling in her legs, sudden weight fluctuation, and intense nausea after just a few bites of food. Her local care team at the time attributed these symptoms to her pregnancy, but a few weeks later, Ali went to her community emergency department, worried that she may have a virus.

Following an echocardiogram, she was immediately transferred to Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), where a team of high-risk obstetricians and heart failure specialists were intensely focused on her care. Ali previously had been diagnosed with endomyocardial fibrosis, a rare disease that causes a thickening of the walls of the heart, resulting in difficulty pumping and fluid retention.

Ali’s physicians at BWH had never seen a case of endomyocardial fibrosis in a pregnant woman, and with no experience to go on, they were deeply concerned for the health of both Ali and her unborn baby.

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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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