Infertility Testing and Treatment

INFERTILITY DIAGNOSTIC TESTING

Infertility is a broad condition that can be caused by one or more factors. Determining the cause of fertility problems is the key to overcoming them, so each patient undergoes a thorough testing process before beginning infertility treatment at our practice in the Chicago, Illinois area. Female factors, as well as male factors or both, may be the source of the problem. Understanding what causes infertility not only makes it possible to effectively treat it, but also helps patients cope with their condition. All individuals (couples) therefore undergo a thorough diagnostic evaluation by Dr Jacobs.

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UNDERSTANDING CAUSES OF INFERTILITY

Evaluation for all possible causes of infertility is vital because 40 percent of infertility involves men, 40 percent involves women, and the other 20 percent is a combination. Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is a frustrating form of infertility for couples and remains a concern for reproductive specialists. Women who have experienced two or more miscarriages should be carefully evaluated to see if there is a treatable condition. It is not rare for a couple to receive normal results from all of the infertility testing procedures we administer and still be unable to become pregnant naturally. This is known as unexplained infertility. It can be a frustrating diagnosis, but treatable.

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TREATMENTS (OTHER THAN IVF)

Customized Treatments for Your Unique Needs – Although In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a very well-known fertility treatment procedure, only 30 to 40 percent of patients will undergo IVF. Many of Dr. Jacobs’ couples will succeed in becoming pregnant through more traditional methods, such as fertility medications and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), or successful surgical treatments. There is good evidence that proper diet, lifestyle improvements, and nutritional supplementation can improve fertility. Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, yoga, and meditation may be beneficial, and their calming effects may indirectly help by managing stress.

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PRE-IMPLANTATION GENETIC TESTING (PGT)

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) consists of the biopsy of several cells per embryo, followed by its genetic diagnosis through different techniques, and the eventual subsequent replacement to the patient of only those embryos classified by genetic screening/diagnosis as normal.

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EMBRYO FREEZEING (VITRIFICATION)

If one undergoes a fresh embryo transfer, then any extra embryos that meet certain criteria can be vitrified (fast-freeze technology) for future use. Frozen embryos are viable to use for many years and the freezing of embryos is very cost-effective, even though it is usually not covered by insurance.

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ENDOMETRIAL RECEPTIVITY ANALYSIS (ERA*)

In my fertility practice during the past six years, I have been using a cutting-edge test called the Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA®) to improve the chances of a successful frozen embryo transfer in patients who have experienced unsuccessful IVF due to 1 or 2 frozen implantation failures. This ERA test helps reproductive endocrinologists determine the right time to transfer an embryo, and we have experienced superb results.

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FROZEN EMBRYO TRANSFER (FET) CYCLE

This protocol is preferred for the vast majority of FET cycles. For this FET cycle, you will receive natural estrogen and progesterone to properly prepare the uterine lining for the transfer. We also administer the ‘blocking’ medications, such as Lupron or Ganirelix, in order to prevent your own ovarian hormones from interfering. This type of protocol has been used successfully for over 30 years. For your convenience, with this type of protocol, the embryo transfer date can be scheduled many weeks in advance.

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RECEPTIVADx TEST

ReceptivaDxTM is a new and improved non-surgical test for endometrial receptivity that provides enhanced screening for ALL stages of endometriosis and other conditions that interfere with implantation. This is the first non-surgical test for endometriosis with high sensitivity and specificity (96%), especially useful in women with unexplained IVF failures or infertility.

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