California IVF Prepares for an Exciting Year Ahead and Celebrates with Family
The California IVF Family
In 2011, California IVF signed a collaboration agreement to take over fertility services for the UC Davis Department of OB/GYN, purchased a competitor’s facility in Sacramento and added three physicians to its roster. This coming year, California IVF will continue to expand and build the practice so we can help more patients in the Northern California region and from around the world.
Some of the most recent updates include: the installation of a new California IVF sign at our Sacramento facility, finalized renovation plans to bring a modernized IVF center to the Northern California region early next year, and new work with researchers at UC Davis to improve our ability to assess male fertility and embryo competency. ?Our California Conceptions Donated Embryo Program continues to grow and is providing an embryo adoption alternative for Canadian and Australian couples faced with restrictive oocyte donor laws.
The last six months has been an exciting time of change and growth for California IVF. This edition of the newsletter takes a look at many of the changes including the acquisition of a Sacramento-based fertility clinic and the unique collaboration with UC Davis Health System. Taking on the clinical services of these two centers has allowed California IVF to expand staffing to include the addition of two more female fertility specialists and increase our interaction with male fertility specialist Dr. John Gould.
Dr. Gould is a board certified urologists specializing in male fertility disorders ranging from abnormal sperm counts through vasectomy reversals and surgical extraction of sperm. Dr. Antoni Duleba, professor and interim chairman of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UC Davis Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, began seeing patients at our Davis office earlier this year. Dr. Duleba heads our research collaboration which will unite the clinical and research efforts of the division to improve the quality of care to Northern California area fertility patients.
Dr. Satin Patel joined the practice in October of this year and brings with him a well rounded professional background including research on PCOS. Dr. Patel has an excellent repoire with patients and staff alike and has been very valuable in contributing to the future development of California IVF. After rennovations of the Sacramento office are complete, Dr. Patel with join a team of trained staff at the Sacramento office to provide more convinient access to many patients in the Sacramento region. Dr. Patel is currently seeing patients in Davis.
California IVF is excited to hold our annual family reunion event in Davis this weekend. Nicknamed “bellies and babies”, the event gathers many of our former successes and their children. Everyone enjoys a fun filled reunin in the park with great food, photo opportunities, and networking with other couples that have been able to overcome infertility through the help of California IVF.
Check back soon for photos and videos of the event.
In October 2010, California IVF: Davis Fertility Center hosted our annual “babies and bellies” event in the park. Patients from all over the Sacramento region descended on Davis for a day in the park with the fertility specialists and staff that helped to take part in their successful pregnancy. Rain threatened the even but was not able to stop the majority of our family members from showing up with their bundles of joy.
Many of the journeys to pregnancy were difficult, but it’s easy to see from the photos that the end result was well worth the effort. There is no greater joy than the joy experienced by being a parent to a happy and beautiful baby. We are always excited to be reunited with our former patients and see the impact we have had on their lives. The event seems to get better each year, thanks to the hard work of the California IVF staff and a host of volunteers. Thank you to all of you that made the event possible and the volunteers that put their photographic skills to work.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone in 2011.
An embryologist is a scientist that works with sperm, eggs, and embryos. This field of work is known as embryology. Embryologists can work in human or animal embryology. Animal embryologist can help with breeding programs for a zoo, repopulation of endangered species, and breeding of livestock. Human embryologists work with infertility programs with the goal of helping couples have a baby.
The embryologist in an in vitro fertilisation program (IVF) plays a vital role in the journey to pregnancy for a couple struggling with infertility. During the course of infertility treatments, the embryologist will be involved from the start to finish of an in vitro fertilization – IVF cycle. During the testing phase before IVF treatments, the embryologists will prepare the embryology lab for infertility treatments by regulating and testing environmental conditions in the embryology laboratory including temperature, air quality, and humidity. Ordering supplies and the culture media, or liquids used to grow the embryos, is also a necessary step when preparing to start an IVF cycle.
Testing of sperm and freeing sperm samples from couples about to undergo treatment is another job of the embryologist during the testing phase Often, an embryologist will also work in the role of an andrologist, which is an individual that works with sperm.
In the IVF program at California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc., our embryologist Deborah Johnson conducts an educational seminar before patients undergo the egg collection procedure, or oocyte retrieval. This “egg class” is designed to introduce infertility patients to embryology and terminology used in an embryology laboratory.
During the egg retrieval procedure, embryologists receive test tubes containing liquid removed from the ovaries. The embryologist will search this fluid under a microscope and identify the eggs. The eggs are collected together and placed into petri dishes for the remainder of the IVF process. The embryologist is also responsible for fertilizing the eggs with sperm by conventional insemination techniques or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
ICSI is a more complicated procedure that involves using microscopic instruments to remove the cumulus cells surrounding the egg, allowing the embryologist to assess egg maturity and egg quality. After the sperm preparation procedure, an individual sperm is injected into each egg. When ICSI is not needed, sperm are placed in the dish with the eggs after the sperm preparation or sperm washing procedure is completed.
The day after the sperm and eggs are combined, the embryologist checks for fertilization by examining each egg under the microscope. Eggs that did not undergo ICSI will need to have the outer cells removed so the embryologist can perform the fertilization check. The fertilized eggs, or zygotes, are placed into an incubator that has been regulated to control gas mixture, temperature, and several other conditions. Optimal conditions in the embryology laboratory will allow the zygote to progress to the cell division stage, at which point the zygote becomes an embryo. The embryologist will check on the embryos and change the culture media as needing during the 3 to 5 days before the embryo transfer procedure.
Embryologists also perform embryo biopsy procedures on embryos at day 3 or day 5. During the embryo biopsy procedure, an embryologist must rely on experience to remove a single cell from an embryo while minimizing the risk of damage to the embryo. The embryologist will work with the laboratory performing the genetic test and coordinate the handling of the cells and test results. The embryologists skill at performing micromanipulation procedures on embryos can play a vital role in the success of IVF.
Using micro-surgical techniques, embryologists may also perform assisted hatching on embryos. During this procedure, microscopic tools are used to thin the outer shell of embryos and make a hole in the zona pellucida to facilitate the hatching process. The embryologist will also assess the quality of the embryos and provide the infertility doctor with a report on embryo quality. This information is used to determine if there are any issues with poor embryo quality that could affect the chances of a pregnancy.
When the best quality embryos are identified, the embryologists will load the embryos into the transfer catheter and work with the doctor to perform the embryo transfer procedure. Any remaining embryos that are not transferred and appear to have the capability of making a pregnancy, are frozen for later use. The embryologist is responsible for the cryopreservation of extra embryos during the IVF process.
Embryologists usually obtain their training in biologic sciences. Many embryologist gain their initial experience in animal laboratories before transferring into human IVF. Over the last few years, embryology training programs for human IVF have been formed. It is likely that there will be more of these programs in the future. Regardless of the training background of an embryologist, hands on experience is one of the most critical factors in an IVF lab.
California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. has some of the most experienced embryologists with over 30 years combined experience. Their experience allows us to easily adapt to developments in embryology that will help our family maximize our patient’s chances of having a baby.
Infertility News from California IVFCalifornia IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. is pleased to open a new blog site. Check back here regularly so you can keep updated on the latest news and announcements. We have several new announcements coming! If you are an infertility patient, doctor, or someone interested in fertility treatments, please bookmark or subscribe to our blog.
A Little Background
California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. was opened in November of 2004, by Dr. Ernest Zeringue. Dr Zeringue came to Northern California in the summer of 2001 to serve as the Division Director of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Travis Air Force Base. While there, Dr. Zeringue was responsible for training OB/GYN residents and running a very busy infertility clinic. As one of 4 clinics with a reproductive endocrinologist in the Air Force, the fertility program at Travis was a referral center for one fourth of the U.S. Many of the patients followed Dr. Zeringue to Davis for the opening of California IVF. Dr. Zeringue continues to see many military patients, some from out of state, as a result of the high patient satisfaction and references.
While patient satisfaction is a top priority, we must also strive to provide the best possible pregnancy rates. The laboratory at California IVF was designed with a singe purpose. Provide one of the best possible environments for embryo development. Our embryology lab features a purpose-built air system that meets clean room standards. A recent evaluation of our air quality demonstrated our air system was not only functioning as desired, but was performing better now than during previous assessments. Complementing this high quality air system is a full array of modern laboratory equipment. While expensive, high quality equipment is vital to a good embryology lab.
A good air system and high quality equipment must be operated by experienced and capable embryology staff. California IVF is very fortunate to have Deborah Johnson and Lisa Miller working together. Deborah and Lisa worked together at Northern California Fertility Medical Center in Roseville during that program’s peak growth. Deborah and Lisa brought their expertise and success with them to California IVF and continue to work their magic. Dr. Laurie Lovely joined the team in the Fall of 2008, and has created quite a following of patients with her friendly and compassionate approach to taking care of patients. There is no question that the patient comes first with Dr. Lovely. She loves what she does and it shows.If you would like to take a look at some of our results, check out the photo gallery at our media site BabiesInDavis.com
— California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc Male and female infertility specialists near Sacramento.