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IVF FLORIDA In the News

At IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates, our skill, passion, and dedication to providing care of the highest standard have made us one of the premier fertility centers in Southern Florida. As a result of our success, our physicians and our practice are often featured in published articles and news stories. The following articles represent just a sample of the media attention our practice has received:

FREE Information Session

Mark Your Calendars. Our next FREE New Patient Seminar is coming soon!

December 6th, 2017 at 6pm at our Margate Office 2960 N SR 7, Suite 300, Margate, Florida 33063

To RSVP please call 954-247-6217 or email
 IVFFLINFO@integramed.com


Making the decision to proceed with advanced reproductive treatments can be an emotional and financial burden. And trying to determine the best possible route for you can even be harder. To help you learn more about causes of infertility and the options that are available to you, we offer a series of seminars and workshops that are absolutely no cost to you. Whether you wish to speak with a physician or learn more about affording treatment, we are here to help.  

 

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Zika Virus Information

For the latest information and to learn more about the Zika Virus, click here to visit the CDC, or call the Florida Department of Health Zika Virus Information Hotline, 1.855.622.6735.

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Support NIAW 2017

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, help others by making a donation to RESOLVE.

Your gift will ensure that as long as there are women and men suffering from infertility, RESOLVE will provide needed support, education, and advocacy programs in local communities. DONATE NOW Back to Top

Egg Freezing Info Session

Biological clock ticking? Understand your fertility and take control. Join us for an Egg Freezing info session and cocktail event with Dr. Marcelo Barrionuevo and Dr. Carolina Sueldo at Bulla Gastrobar in Coral Gables on Wednesday, May 31 from 6- 8 pm. RSVP Today at 954-295-1206 or to maria.bryan@integramed.com Back to Top

New Fertility Clinic Now Open in Coral Gables

The physicians and staff of IVF FLORIDA are proud to announce the opening of our new fertility clinic in Coral Gables. Located right on the Miracle Mile, we look forward to welcoming you to our new office. To schedule an appointment, click here. To read more about the new office, click here.

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IVF FLORIDA Opens Boca Raton Fertility Clinic

We are proud to announce the opening of our new location. We welcome you to visit us at the IVF FLORIDA Boca Raton Fertility Clinic, where our staff is committed to providing exceptional care to patients with fertility concerns. Please contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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IVF FLORIDA Named Top US Reproductive Endocrinologists 2016

The fertility specialists at IVF FLORIDA are honored to be selected to the 2016 US News & World Report list of Top US Reproductive Endocrinologists.

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Attain Programs Available at IVF FLORIDA

IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates is the exclusive provider of the Attain® IVF Flex Plans in our region, which provides you multiple IVF cycles for a single, discounted fee.

Learn more about the Attain IVF program by watching these informational videos:
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Top 10 Myths and Facts about Male Infertility

1. MYTH: Infertility is a woman's problem.

FACT: It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in 35 percent of the cases, a male problem in 35 percent of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20 percent of cases, and unexplained in 10 percent of cases, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility evaluation. Common male infertility factors include azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced) and oligospermia (few sperm cells are produced). Sometimes, sperm cells are malformed or they die before they can reach the egg. In rare cases, a genetic disease such as cystic fibrosis or a chromosomal abnormality causes infertility in men.

2. MYTH: Testicle size is what really matters.

FACT: Men of all body weights enter a level playing field when it comes to paternity, but small testes can indicate a testosterone deficiency and possibly infertility. Small testes can make a man feel tired, lose muscle, gain weight, lose sex drive, and may carry a higher risk of developing testicular cancer. Testicles that are15 ml to 35 ml are considered in the normal range.

3. MYTH: The heat from laptops and hot tubs do not kill sperm.

FACT: One hour of laptop use raises testicle temperature by almost 3o C, potentially putting sperm count at risk. Testicles are located outside the body because they need to stay cooler. Men who are trying to conceive should avoid sauna and hot tub use. A University of California at San Francisco study reported in the September 17, 2007 New York Times showed men who were regularly exposed to high water temperatures (about 30 minutes a week) through hot tubs or hot baths, showed signs of infertility, with impaired sperm production and motility. Researchers also found this infertility could be reversed quickly: after the men stopped their exposure to wet heat, half had a mean increase in total motile sperm counts of 491 percent after three to six months.

4. MYTH: The biological clock has no impact on men's fertility.

FACT: According to a study reported in the Aug. 1, 2006 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, sperm quality starts to go downhill after age 35 and indicates that paternal age is a significant risk factor for miscarriage. The study of almost 14,000 pregnancies, conducted at Columbia University, showed that women with partners ages 35 or older had nearly a threefold increase in spontaneous abortions compared with women whose partners were younger than 25. Researchers found that the risk of miscarriage of a fetus conceived by a father over age 40 was 60 percent greater than if the father were 25 to 29, irrespective of other factors that have been linked with increased miscarriage risk, such as the mother's age, maternal diabetes, poor maternal health and smoking during pregnancy. The increased risk of miscarriage does not just apply to fathers in their 40s, however.

The miscarriage risk in a pregnancy involving a father aged 35 to 39 was three times higher than the risk if the father were under 25.

5. MYTH: Overweight men are just as fertile as men of average weight.

FACT: "One in 10 infertility problems in men may be weight related," says David D. Hoffman, MD of IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates. Research from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences showed that men with increased body mass index (BMI) were significantly more likely to be infertile than normal-weight men. A 20-pound increase in men's weight may increase the chance of infertility by about 10 percent. The majority of men who participated in the study were more than 30 years old. Obesity affects nearly one-third of the adult American population (approximately 60 million). According to the American Obesity Association, the number of overweight and obese Americans has continued to increase since 1960, a trend that is not slowing down.

6. MYTH: Conception gets easier after your first child.

FACT: "Many of the male patients we treat were married later in life or in the course of their second or third marriages found they were unable to conceive—even if they had children from a previous marriage," says Marcelo J. Barrionuevo, MD, of IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates. "Sperm quality is clearly impacted as child-bearing is increasingly delayed – for both men and women. It is already well documented that fertility declines because of a limited number and quality of eggs for women as they get older, so this is research should alert men to similar issues due to environmental issues and other poorly understood factors that deteriorate sperm quality over time."

7. MYTH: Men stop making sperm after a vasectomy.

FACT: Men continue to make sperm regardless of how long it has been since they had their vasectomies unless other factors come into play, such as injury to the testicles, exposure to chemicals or toxins, and certain serious medical problems.

8. MYTH: Bicycle seats cause damage to the testicles.

FACT: Evidence regarding bicycle seats pertains to erection, not fertility. A seat that causes numbness could potentially damage a man's erection. However, there is no evidence to show that fertility is affected.

9. MYTH: Tight clothing contributes to low sperm count.

FACT: Evidence shows that tight pants and underwear have no effect on sperm count. There is really no difference in boxers versus briefs, tight jeans versus loose pants.

10. MYTH: Women, not men, benefit from nutritional supplements to enhance their chances of conception.

FACT: Men who take selenium (200mg/day) and zinc (50mg/day) have improved the number and quality of sperm. In addition, a low-glycemic diet for men has been demonstrated to have beneficial effects on sperm.

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Freezing Sperm and Eggs Give Couples Hope for the Future

Facing chemotherapy and surgery, cancer patients opt to preserve sperm, eggs

BY BOB LaMENDOLA | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

When he heard the diagnosis — prostate cancer, surgery needed — Neal Rosenblum was crushed that the treatment would destroy his ability to have more children.

Now a year later, the self-employed Hollywood engineer and inventor lives cancer-free, and he and his wife last week tried for a baby through in-vitro fertilization using his sperm frozen before the surgery left him sterile. Rosenblum, 41, is one of a growing number of young cancer patients freezing sperm and eggs in case surgery, chemotherapy and radiation end their reproductive futures. For men, it's a fairly successful process.

But for women, egg freezing is still experimental, with high hopes but uncertain success. What's more, some fertility doctors are upsetting their colleagues by marketing egg freezing as a mainstream technique for healthy women who want to bank young eggs so they can delay pregnancy.

"It's not responsible. We do not know this is safe yet," said Dr. Moshe Peress, medical director of Boca Fertility, who does not freeze eggs and does not recommend it unless a woman has no other choice.

Rosenblum and his wife, Jennifer, spent about $5,000 plus $75 per quarter in storage fees — health insurance covers little — to put his sperm on ice. In the weeks before cancer surgery last August, he made five visits to IVF FLORIDA fertility clinic in Pembroke Pines to make deposits.

"We wanted our son Alex to grow up with a sibling," Rosenblum said. "I thought freezing would be my only shot at having another baby."

In-vitro procedures involve extracting eggs from the woman and sperm from the man, then either mixing them in a petri dish or injecting sperm directly into eggs. The resulting embryo is then implanted in the womb.

The Rosenblums now have at least 15 chances at pregnancy. The first embryo made from frozen sperm did not survive implantation. The process is not cheap. Their in-vitro bill stands at about $30,000 after their second IVF try.

New approach boosts success

Babies have been conceived with frozen sperm since the 1950s, but the odds have risen as a result of a relatively new technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which a single good sperm is inserted into an egg. Even so, only about one-third of young cancer patients bank sperm and only a few percent use it, recent studies show. That's partly because many cancer doctors do not discuss the options for patients who may lose fertility during treatment, said Dr. Kenneth Gelman, a Cooper City reproductive specialist.

"It tends to get missed. Oncologists have more serious issues to be dealing with," Gelman said. "But the patients should be made aware of their future fertility concerns, so they can decide if they want to freeze their sperm before the treatment begins."

Dr. Mark Soloway, Rosenblum's cancer doctor and chairman of urology at the University of Miami medical school, said sperm freezing is becoming more common because male cancer patients in their 20s and 30s are on the rise. Higher awareness of cancer means more and younger men get tested, diagnosed and treated, he said.

Female cancer patients in South Florida have fewer choices because egg freezing has only been done here for about a year, and only a handful of clinics do it as part of research studies. The procedures are not yet approved for wide use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The first baby was born from a frozen egg in 1986, but compared to sperm or embryos, eggs do not freeze well. The outer shells harden. If ice crystals form on the inside, the egg dies. The thawing process claims some. Those that survive are not as likely to fertilize, and in the womb, they are not as robust as fresh eggs, fertility doctors said.

In 2005, Italian researchers unveiled a new quick-freeze method using liquid nitrogen that may solve the icing problem. In certain overseas labs, success with frozen eggs reached 30 percent, exciting fertility specialists such as Dr. Harold F. Rodriguez at the Center for Assisted Reproductive Embryology.

The practice in Plantation now offers egg freezing to women as part of a study by a California company seeking FDA approval for a freezing system, Rodriguez said. Couples in the study pay about half of the normal $12,000 cost of in-vitro. Of the eggs collected so far, he said, most sit in storage. Five have been thawed, fertilized and implanted. Two resulted in pregnancy, but neither survived beyond eight weeks.

"We view egg freezing as something that's going to be revolutionary," Rodriguez said. "Women will be able to freeze their eggs, then go through their careers and then get pregnant when they are later in their careers, in their 40s and 50s."

But such statements distress some fertility doctors, who warn against hyping the highly profitable procedure to over-40 women.

The odds of a woman getting pregnant erode after age 35, from a peak of 30 percent down to 10 percent at age 40 and 5 percent at 42. Some of the decline is due to lower-quality eggs that could be replaced by frozen young eggs, but experts said older women have other biological barriers to conception.

Plus, egg freezing lags other reproductive methods. Michigan researchers reported in October that about 5 percent of frozen eggs led to a pregnancy, compared to 34 percent of IVF procedures using fresh eggs resulting in babies and 28 percent of IVF using frozen embryos.

With only about 200 babies born from frozen eggs, the FDA wants more data to be sure the process does not cause genetic damage to the babies. While there's no evidence it does, there's not enough of a track record to rule it out.

"There is no good data yet. I think it will remain an experimental therapy for a while longer," said Dr. Steven Ory, a partner at IVF FLORIDA in Margate, Pembroke Pines, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens. The practice offers egg freezing only to women with cancer or who can't get pregnant otherwise.

The professional group American Society for Reproductive Medicine urges fertility doctors to use the procedure only under experimental conditions.

"It works, and it's going to get better," said Dr. Karine Chung, founder of a fertility program at the University of Southern California. "The way it's being marketing, it's not being entirely truthful to the potential clientele that's it still early in the game."

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Donor Eggs Increasingly Scarce as National Trend Toward Use Increases IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates finds increasing need for egg donors

MARGATE, FLORIDA– A national trend toward using donor eggs in fertility treatments underscores an urgent local need for egg donors, say fertility experts at IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), use of donor eggs rose from 9,066 cycles in 1999 to 10,389 in 2000. This rising trend has resulted in an increased demand for egg donors.

Women, on average, are having their first child at about age 25, almost three years later than the 1970 average for first-time moms, according to a study by the CDC. Further research indicates that women are waiting later in life to have children, many postponing motherhood till as late as their 40s. IVF FLORIDA is encouraging potential donors to contact their donor egg program.

"Because of the time and effort required to donate, egg donors are often motivated by a sense of their ability to help couples in desperate need," said Wayne S. Maxson, M.D., founding physician at IVF FLORIDA. "Egg donors provide hope to couples that very often are close to losing all hope of ever having a baby."

Potential egg donors must be between 21 to 32 years old and can be anonymous or a friend or family member the patient chooses. It is increasingly common for donors to be chosen who physically resemble the recipient mother and even share common interests. The recipient patient carries the pregnancy – comprised of her male partner's sperm and the donated egg or eggs – in her uterus.

"The screening process is critical to the selection of egg donors," said Maxson. "Medical history, including a physical examination, testing for infectious diseases, genetic testing, screening for inheritable diseases, and psychological assessment are all a part of the egg-donor selection process."

There are numerous issues to consider before a couple chooses egg donation in order to have a baby, according to Maxson.

"Egg donation is an increasingly viable option for older women wanting a family," said Maxson. "However, couples should seek out continued support and information from their infertility specialists regarding the process of donor selection and what the couple can expect throughout the egg retrieval and implantation process."

Although the in vitro fertilization process is relatively simple, use of hormones, emotional considerations and family dynamics all play a part. Dr. Maxson recommends emotional and psychological support always be included. "Consultations with our team psychologist are an intrinsic part of the process," he says, "because the experience is made that much more joyful when couples have knowledge, understanding and full support built into their infertility treatment." Consultations provide opportunities to explore a variety of concerns, such as questions about parenting a child not genetically related, donor selection options, whether or how discuss to egg donation with friends and family, and if, what, and when to tell a child about their assisted conception.

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IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates Named to the List of Top Physician Practice Groups in the South Florida Business Journal's 2013 Guide To Healthcare List

IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates Named to the List of Top Physician Practice Groups in the South Florida Business Journal's 2013 Guide to Healthcare List.

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IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates Offers IntegraMed's New Enhanced Refund Program for Donor Egg Recipients

MARGATE, FLORIDA – IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates announced today they are the exclusive providers in their area of an enhanced refund program for donor egg recipients, a new option offered in the IntegraMed® Shared Risk® Refund Program. The new package will be offered exclusively by selected members of IntegraMed's network of participating fertility centers.

The cost of medical treatment is just part of the expense of in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor eggs. Typically, almost half of the total expense is due to out-of-pocket expenditures for identifying and screening the egg donor. The new enhanced package from IntegraMed covers a comprehensive list of services in addition to the costs of the standard medical procedures included in the Shared Risk Refund Program. Patients now have the option of including the costs for donor screening, donor compensation, case management and advanced embryology services such as blastocyst culture, assisted hatching, cryopreservation of embryos and embryo storage for the first 6 months.

Patients may elect to enroll in the standard donor egg recipient program, which covers medical treatment for the egg donor and recipient only, or the new enhanced program, and pay a flat rate up front. In both the new program and the standard program, donor egg recipients are eligible for up to three IVF cycles and unlimited frozen embryo transfers (using eggs retrieved during the stimulated cycles performed during program participation) at no additional cost.

As with other Shared Risk Refund Program offerings, if IVF treatment using donor eggs should fail, up to 100% of the fees paid to IntegraMed will be refunded. IntegraMed's refund guarantee makes this new option the most prudent way for patients to spend their money on IVF treatment. They will either take a baby home or get their money back. "We're offering this new program in response to the needs of our patients who are donor egg recipients," said IVF FLORIDA reproductive endocrinologist. "While success rates of treatment with donor eggs are very high, nearly half of all patients will need more than one cycle to be successful. The enhanced Shared Risk Refund Program helps them manage the majority of the costs involved with donor eggs, so they can stay in treatment and get what they want, a baby."

Planning for more than one IVF cycle can help reduce the stress and anxiety of treatment, and increase the opportunity to have a child. The IntegraMed Shared Risk Refund Program now offers an array of options to make IVF treatment manageable, from the basic option for IVF patients to the new enhanced refund program for donor egg recipients.

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IVF Experts Launch New Egg Freezing Program for Cancer Patients

Latest research boosts confidence that radiation, chemotherapy and surgery patients can preserve fertility through vitrification method

MARGATE, FLORIDA – Advances in the safety and success of human egg freezing are fueling new hope for cancer patients wanting to preserve their fertility, say experts at IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates (IVFF), who today announced a new cryopreservation program for women of reproductive age undergoing radiation, chemotherapy or cancer surgery.

Recent research indicates considerable gains in helping women whose cancer treatments could limit future reproductive potential, said Steven J. Ory, M.D., who on Thursday January 31 will officially kick off IVFF's new program in a presentation to physicians of the West Palm Beach Cancer Institute.

"New research data should be reassuring to women whose best option for giving birth might be to freeze their eggs till after cancer treatment," said Ory, who just completed a one-year term as president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Frozen eggs that fertilize, develop into viable embryos, and implant are as likely to result in healthy children as fresh eggs. For patients with partners, freezing embryos may even be the best option, he added.

IVFF recently received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for its egg freezing procedures following a rigorous process of review of possible risks associated to patients. "Receiving an IRB approval is significant in the evaluation of any new medical technology because it provides standards and quality control," said Ory. Doctors are encouraged by research about the vitrification process, a faster freezing process that improves the viability of an egg. In this process, the egg is cooled at an extremely rapid rate, which eliminates the formation of ice crystals in the egg, which can severely damage the egg's chromosomes when thawed. The egg is stored in liquid nitrogen until time for thawing and fertilization. Vitrification is also used with great success for patients undergoing IVF procedures who have more embryos than are required for a fresh embryo transfer.

The first successful pregnancy using a thawed egg was reported in 1986, when the survival of eggs following thawing after a slower freezing technique was very low, with an overall success rate of about 1 percent implantation per frozen egg. According to the newest guidelines released by the ASRM in October 2007, rates for the slow-freezing method have increased to 2 percent live birthrate per egg thawed using slow freeze methods, and a 4 percent live birthrate per egg thawed using vitrification.

Recent studies showed that vitrified/warmed eggs survived better than the slower method, at a rate of 73 percent compared to 66 percent. Additional data found 272 clinical pregnancies from embryos created with frozen eggs showed 93.8 percent had normal results for eggs that had preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

Ory appears at 7:30 a.m. January 31 with the West Palm Beach Cancer Institute in association with Fertile Hope, a national organization dedicated to providing support to cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility. The chemotherapy and radiation that treats cancer can destroy both women's and men's ability to conceive children. "We are pleased to be able to help patients who face the emotionally overwhelming medical challenges of life-threatening illness," he said. The Palm Beach Cancer Institute is located at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

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Thirty Years After First IVF Baby: What Did the Future Really Bring?

With Louise Brown's birthday July 25, South Florida fertility expert reflects on evolution from uproar to acceptance – along with new ethical & sociological issues

MARGATE, FLORIDA – As English postal worker Louise Joy Brown approaches her 30th birthday July 25 as the world's first "test-tube baby," one of the first American doctors involved in in vitro fertilization (IVF) reflects from his South Florida practice on how routine the once-explosively-controversial medical procedure has become. At the time of Brown's birth in 1978, "most infertility practice related to tubal surgery for women, which wasn't very successful," said Dr. David Hoffman of IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates and past president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

"Once we were able to retrieve eggs vaginally to use for IVF, the field changed radically. Fortunately, much of the initial paranoia about test-tube babies has been eclipsed by widespread education and acceptance of the medical benefits."

Hoffman was in his residency with the team at the University of Southern California that facilitated the birth of the second IVF baby in the United States in 1982. Since then, he said, much of the initial ethical worries over the "brave new world" have given way to virtually universal acceptance.

"Reproductive endocrinology [the specialty of IVF physicians] is the only medical field that reports its outcomes to the government and has FDA inspection of embryology labs and oversight of all third-party reproduction," Hoffman said. "And the majority of reproductive specialists follow the practice guidelines established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine."

Instead, Brown's birth has lead to unforeseen developments and medical advancements that few could have predicted over the last three decades – accompanied at the same time by the rise of new ethical and sociological questions that have put their maturing specialty under a wholly different kind of lens than was the case in 1978.

During the last few decades, advancements in embryology technology and now-normal procedures such as ultrasound have dramatically improved reproductive medicine with higher success rates and healthier babies, Hoffman said. In vitro pregnancy rates continue to soar far beyond those in the first decade of IVF, when most women had a 5 to 10 percent chance of conceiving through IVF. (Today, the national average for the rate of conception is better than one in three.)

Since 1993, the development of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) allowed for the treatment of male factor infertility, and recent forays into donated human eggs and genetic screening have mushroomed in popularity among couples who not long ago would likely have not been candidates for IVF.

"From gender selection of unborn babies to deciding who has rights to be parents, we probably will always face unresolved issues around embryo technology both within the medical community and society at large," Hoffman said.

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EmbryoScope Technology Now Available in Florida

IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates first in the state to offer revolutionary technology that monitors embryo development from conception.

The latest in cutting-edge technology, The EmbryoScope, is now available to couples seeking fertility treatment in Florida at IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates.

The EmbryoScope is a sophisticated and noninvasive technique that frequently photographs a single embryo's development from unfertilized egg to the blastocyst stage over a 7 day period of time.  Comprised of an incubator, microscope and time-lapse camera embryo development is monitored from the time of conception, allowing fertility specialists to select the most viable embryos during in-vitro fertilization treatment.

To learn more about this new techonology available at IVF FLORIDA, read more on our blog.

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Dr David Hoffman Featured on South Florida News Channel Discussing Latest Advances in Fertility Treatments

South Florida's CBS4-Miami recently featured IVF FLORIDA in a story on the use of EmbryoScopes, a new incubator technology that dramatically improves the success of fertility treatment. IVF FLORIDA is proud to be one of only 12 Fertility Centers nationwide and the only one in the state of Florida with EmbryoScope technology.

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For young women with cancer, discuss fertility early, South Florida experts say

Cancer treatments can make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for a woman to conceive. The course of treatment, the cancer type and the patient’s age determine how high that risk is.

BY JACQUELINE SALO JSALO@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Like many young female cancer survivors, Kelly Lara could never silence her fears that she might not be able to have a child.

Lara, 22, was only 3 when she was first treated for leukemia. Through chemotherapy treatments, she went into remission when she 6, but 10 years later the cancer returned in the form of an ovarian cyst. Doctors at Miami Children’s Hospital informed Lara there was a risk of infertility with treatment.

“I knew I always wanted to be a mom,” said Lara, who lives in Kendall. “When they said there is going to be some difficulties getting pregnant from the treatment, it shocked me. I was devastated.”

Cancer treatments can make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for a woman to conceive. The course of treatment, the cancer type and the patient’s age determine how high that risk is.

Treating the reproductive organs leads to the greatest risk of infertility. Dr. Ziad Khatib, director of neuro-oncology at Miami Children's Hospital, knew that if they performed radiation on Lara’s entire abdomen, it could very well render her unable to have children.

“We kept going back and forth with treatment options because we wanted to save my life and save my future chances of giving birth,” Lara said.

Khatib and Lara decided the best option would be targeted chemotherapy and radiation, focusing only on the ovary containing the mass and protecting the other ovary.

Lara responded well to the treatment and went into remission in December 2010. But she was still not out of the dark when it came to conception.

“I always had that fear of the unknown, especially since they tell you that infertility could be a reality,” Lara said. “Would I have a child?”

Last year, her concerns vanished with the news that she was pregnant. Her daughter, Leah, was born in March.

“When I first found out, I freaked out because I was so excited,” said Lara. “It was a blessing."

Lara says she was fortunate to have doctors who considered not only how to fight the cancer, but her life after the battle.

“It is important that they put everything on the table,” Lara said. “Doctors should do all they can to help better my chances or anyone thinking of having children in the future while treating the cancer. It was very important that they were listening to me.”

The American Society of Clinical Oncology updated guidelines in 2013 that advised physicians to discuss the risk of fertility with cancer patients as early as possible and refer them to a reproductive endocrinologist promptly.

Dr. Marcelo Barrionuevo, a reproductive endocrinology and fertility specialist at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, says it is especially crucial to help the patient make a decision earlier rather than later to avoid delaying treatment.

Some women opt to freeze their eggs before treatment to increase the likelihood of pregnancy. That option, however, can postpone treatment by a few weeks since the procedure is aligned with a woman’s menstrual cycle.

“We work very closely with the cancer specialist in going the extra mile to communicate with the patient and expedite the process,’’ said Barrionuevo. “We all as a team try to make it very simple for them so it won’t delay treatments or add more stress.”

Alina Bogdan, 29, was initially not afforded these options. Bogdan, a native of the Cayman Islands, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August 2010. Doctors there told her she would have to undergo a hysterectomy to remove her ovaries and cervix.

Bogdan was in a relationship and she and her boyfriend were were discussing marriage and children.

“I did not want to give up on my dreams,” Bogdan said. “I was talking to doctors and they told me, ‘You’re not realistic.’ ”

Bogdan sought a second opinion in South Florida, where she became a patient of Dr. Nicholas Lambrou, medical director of minimally invasive gynecological surgery at South Miami Hospital. Instead of performing a hysterectomy, Lambrou was able to pinpoint the abnormality using robotic surgery and removed the cyst.

“The procedure kept her organs that were not affected intact and gave her a much quicker recovery,” Lambrou said. “She went home the next day and she is now in remission.”

Not only is Bogdan cancer-free, she is expecting. Her then-boyfriend became her husband and she is scheduled to deliver her baby at South Miami Hospital at the end of May.

“It is a miracle,” said Bogdan. “I was struggling for my life and now I am going to deliver a baby.”

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IVF FLORIDA featured on Miami's WPLG Channel 10 News:

Dr. Barrionuevo discusses possible causes of infertility and available treatment options.

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Florida's Top Infertility Practice Acquires Palmetto Fertility Center in Miami and Opens New Location

IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates expands to six locations and nine reproductive endocrinologists

MARGATE, FLORIDA, March 5, 2012 – IVF FLORIDA Reproductive Associates, a partner center of IntegraMed’s (INMD) Attain Fertility Centers, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Palmetto Fertility Center in Miami Lakes, with a medical team consisting of Dr. Graubert and Dr. Cabrera along with a highly specialized team of clinicians.

The acquisition of Palmetto Fertility in Miami Lakes adds one of the leading fertility centers in Miami to the IVF FLORIDA fertility team of experts. Palmetto Fertility has been providing highly successful fertility services to patients for over 15 years. This partnership extends IVF FLORIDA's presence in Miami-Dade to now include Miami Lakes in addition to its existing Kendall location.

"Joining IVF FLORIDA provides the opportunity to take our practice to the next level," states Dr. Graubert. "We are now part of a larger, more comprehensive fertility practice comprised of 9 reproductive endocrinologists in addition to a team of over 100 highly specialized fertility experts."

“At IVF FLORIDA, we are constantly working to improve access and convenience for the thousands of people who seek our services each year and we are thrilled to provide additional service locations with highly skilled staff, which is exactly what our partnership with Palmetto Fertility allows,” said Dr. David Hoffman, of IVF FLORIDA.

"We are proud to add such an impressive fertility center to our existing operations, Palmetto's success rates speak for themselves and this partnership now provides greater access to our fertility team throughout Miami." According to IVF FLORIDA's Chief Executive Officer, Justin Enoch, "We have received numerous patient requests to expand our presence in Miami and Palmetto Fertility provides the clinical excellence and synergy we were seeking.”

To further expand patient access to IVF FLORIDA's fertility team of experts and its unique compassionate and personalized patient fertility treatments, IVF FLORIDA in February added a new office location in Wellington.

“We are pleased to provide the expert and customer friendly services offered by IVF FLORIDA. Our new locations in Miami Lakes and Wellington will offer patients a new alternative, in a small, intimate, and personalized setting, and provide access to the state’s leading fertility program,” said Mr. Enoch.

IVF FLORIDA now has six locations throughout southeast Florida: Kendall, Miami Lakes, Pembroke Pines, Margate, Wellington and Jupiter.

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Fertility Financing

If you would like to pursue IVF or other fertility treatments but are concerned about the cost, IVF FLORIDA can help. Learn more about our fertility financing solutions.
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Egg Donor Process

IVF FLORIDA is proud to partner with Donor Egg Bank USA. Learn how egg donation and sperm donation may offer new hope to couples struggling with infertility.
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