Ask Dr. Sher- Open Forum

dr geoffrey sher ivf infertility You are not alone. Dr. Sher is here to answer your questions and support you.

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Dear Patients,

I created this forum to welcome any questions you have on the topic of infertility, IVF, conception, testing, evaluation, or any related topics. I do my best to answer all questions in less than 24 hours. I know your question is important and, in many cases, I will answer within just a few hours. Thank you for taking the time to trust me with your concern.

– Geoffrey Sher, MD

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23,354 Comments

Courtney T

Hi i just had my 3rd beta numbers are going up slowly first 96 second 122 third 155. Doctor wants to stop meds and have an ultrasound and labs next week. We transferred 2 hatched blastocyst is it possible i am still safely pregnant they want me to stop because they think it could be ectopic. Only from betas haven’t done any ultrasound yet would it be safe to keep taking meds this is 4th FET first was great made it to 18 wks 2days but delivered early stillborn. Second chemical pregnancy last nothing and this is our last chance can’t emotionally or financially go again thanks any advice is much appreciated.

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

This points to abnormal implantation. I think we should talk!

Implantation dysfunction is unfortunately often overlooked as an important cause of IVF failure. In the pursuit of optimizing outcome with IVF, the clinician has a profound responsibility to meticulously assess and address this important issue if IVF success is to be optimized. This is especially relevant in cases of “unexplained IVF failure, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) and in women suspected of having underlying anatomical and immunologic factors. Doing so will not only maximize the chance of a viable pregnancy but enhancing placentation, will at the same time promote the noble objective of optimizing the quality of life after birth.”
IVF success rates have been improving over the last decade. The average live birth rate per embryo transfer in the U.S.A for women under 40y using their own eggs , is currently better than 1:3 women. However, there is still a wide variation from program to program for IVF live birth rates, ranging from 20% to near 50%. Based upon these statistics, the majority of women undergoing IVF in the United States require two or more attempts to have a baby. IVF practitioners in the United States commonly attribute the wide dichotomy in IVF success rates to variability in expertise of the various embryology laboratories. This is far from accurate. In fact, other factors such as wide variations in patient selection and the failure to develop individualized protocols for ovarian stimulation or to address those infective, anatomical and immunologic factors that influence embryo implantation are at least equally important.
About 80% of IVF failures are due to “embryo incompetency” that is largely due to an irregular quota of chromosomes (aneuploidy) which is usually related to advancing age of the woman and is further influenced by other factors such as the protocol selected for ovarian stimulation, diminished ovarian reserve (DOR)m and severe male factor infertility. However in about 20% of dysfunctional cases embryo implantation is the cause of failure.
Anatomical Endo-uterine Lesions: This blog article will focus on implantation dysfunction and IVF failure due to:
• Anatomical abnormalities in the uterine cavity (e.g. scarring, polyps and encroaching fibroid tumors)
• A thin endometrial lining
• Immunologic rejection of the embryos
Several studies performed both in the United States and abroad have confirmed that a dye X-Ray or hysterosalpingogram (HSG) will fail to identify small endouterine surface lesions in >20% of cases. This is significant because even small uterine lesions have the potential to adversely affect implantation. Hysteroscopy is the traditional method for evaluating the integrity of the uterine cavity in preparation for IVF. It also permits resection of most uterine surface lesions, such as submucous uterine fibroids (myomas), intrauterine adhesions and endometrial or placental polyps. All of these can interfere with implantation by producing a local “inflammatory- type” response similar in nature to that which is caused by an intrauterine contraceptive device. Hysterosonography (syn; HSN/ saline ultrasound examination) and hysteroscopy have all but supplanted HSG to assess the uterine cavity in preparation for IVF. HSN which is less invasive and far less expensive than is than hysteroscopy involves a small amount of a sterile saline solution is injected into the uterine cavity, whereupon a vaginal ultrasound examination is performed to assess the contour of the uterine cavity.
Endometrial Thickness: As far back as in 1989 I first reported on the finding that ultrasound assessment of the late proliferative phase endometrium following ovarian stimulation in preparation for IVF, permits better identification of those candidates who are least likely to conceive. We noted that the ideal thickness of the endometrium at the time of ovulation or egg retrieval is >9 mm and that a thickness of less than 8 mm bodes poorly for a successful outcome following IVF.
Then in 1993, I demonstrated that sildenafil (Viagra) introduced into the vagina prior to hCG administration can improve endometrial growth in many women with poor endometrial development. Viagra’s mechanism of action is improvement in uterine blood flow with improved estrogen delivery…thereby enhancing endometrial development.
Immunologic factors: These also play a role in IVF failure. Some women develop antibodies to components of their own cells. This “autoimmune” process involves the production of antiphospholipid, antithyroid, and/or anti-ovarian antibodies – all of which may be associated with activation of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the uterine lining. Activated NK cells (NKa) release certain cytokines (TH-I) that if present in excess, often damage the trophoblast (the embryo’s root system) resulting in immunologic implantation dysfunction (IID). This can manifest as “infertility” or as early miscarriages). In other cases (though less common), the problem is due to “alloimmune” dysfunction. Here the genetic contribution by the male partner renders the embryo “too similar” to the mother. This in turn activates NK cells leading to implantation dysfunction. These IID’s are treated using combinations of medications such as heparin, Clexane, Lovenox, corticosteroids and intralipid (IL).

I strongly recommend that you visit http://www.SherIVF.com. Then go to my Blog and access the “search bar”. Type in the titles of any/all of the articles listed below, one by one. “Click” and you will immediately be taken to those you select. Please also take the time to post any questions or comments with the full expectation that I will (as always) respond promptly.

• A Fresh Look at the Indications for IVF
• The IVF Journey: The importance of “Planning the Trip” Before Taking the Ride”
• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) for IVF: Selecting the ideal protocol
• IVF: Factors Affecting Egg/Embryo “competency” during Controlled Ovarian Stimulation(COS)
• The Fundamental Requirements For Achieving Optimal IVF Success
• Use of GnRH Antagonists (Ganirelix/Cetrotide/Orgalutron) in IVF-Ovarian Stimulation Protocols.
• Human Growth Hormone Administration in IVF: Does it Enhances Egg/Embryo Quality and Outcome?
• IVF and the use of Supplementary Human Growth Hormone (HGH) : Is it Worth Trying and who needs it?
• The BCP: Does Launching a Cycle of Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS). Coming off the BCP Compromise Response?
• Blastocyst Embryo Transfers Should be the Standard of Care in IVF
• Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Measurement to Assess Ovarian Reserve and Design the Optimal Protocol for Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in IVF.
• IVF: Approach to Selecting the Best Embryos for Transfer to the Uterus.
• Fresh versus Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET) Enhance IVF Outcome
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): A Rational Approach to Hormonal Preparation and How new Methodology is Impacting IVF.
• Genetically Testing Embryos for IVF
• Staggered IVF
• Staggered IVF with PGS- Selection of “Competent” Embryos Greatly Enhances the Utility & Efficiency of IVF.
• Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGS) in IVF: It should be Used Selectively and NOT be Routine.
• IVF: Selecting the Best Quality Embryos to Transfer
• Preimplantation Genetic Sampling (PGS) Using: Next Generation Gene Sequencing (NGS): Method of Choice.
• PGS in IVF: Are Some Chromosomally abnormal Embryos Capable of Resulting in Normal Babies and Being Wrongly Discarded?
• PGS and Assessment of Egg/Embryo “competency”: How Method, Timing and Methodology Could Affect Reliability
• Endometrial Receptivity Array (ERA): Is There an actual “There, There”?
• IVF Failure and Implantation Dysfunction:
• Diagnosing and Treating Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID)
• The Role of Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID) & Infertility (IID):PART 1-Background
• Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID) & Infertility (IID):PART 2- Making a Diagnosis
• Immunologic Dysfunction (IID) & Infertility (IID):PART 3-Treatment
• Thyroid autoantibodies and Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID)
• Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction: Importance of Meticulous Evaluation and Strategic Management:(Case Report
• Intralipid and IVIG therapy: Understanding the Basis for its use in the Treatment of Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID)
• Intralipid (IL) Administration in IVF: It’s Composition; How it Works; Administration; Side-effects; Reactions and Precautions
• Natural Killer Cell Activation (NKa) and Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction in IVF: The Controversy!
• Endometrial Thickness, Uterine Pathology and Immunologic Factors
• Vaginally Administered Viagra is Often a Highly Effective Treatment to Help Thicken a Thin Uterine Lining
• A Thin Uterine Lining: Vaginal Viagra is Often the Answer (update)
• Cervical Ureaplasma Urealyticum Infection: How can it Affect IUI/IVF Outcome?
• The Role of Nutritional Supplements in Preparing for IVF
• The Basic Infertility Work-Up
• Defining and Addressing an Abnormal Luteal Phase
• Male Factor Infertility
• Routine Fertilization by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): An Argument in Favor
• Hormonal Treatment of Male Infertility
• Hormonal Treatment of Male Infertility
• Antisperm Antibodies, Infertility and the Role of IVF with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
• Endometriosis and Infertily
• Endometriosis and Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID) and IVF
• Endometriosis and Infertility: Why IVF Rather than IUI or Surgery Should be the Treatment of Choice.
• Endometriosis and Infertility: The Influence of Age and Severity on Treatment Options
• Early -Endometriosis-related Infertility: Ovulation Induction (with or without Intrauterine Insemination) and Reproductive Surgery Versus IVF
• Deciding Between Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
• Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Who Needs it & who Does Not: Pro’s & Con’s!IUI-Reflecting upon its Use and Misuse: Time for a Serious “Reality Check
• Mode of Action, Indications, Benefits, Limitations and Contraindications for its ue
• Clomiphene Induction of Ovulation: Its Use and Misuse!
ADDENDUM: PLEASE READ!!
INTRODUCING SHER FERTILITY SOLUTIONS (SFS)
Founded in April 2019, Sher Fertility Solutions (SFS) offers online (Skype/FaceTime) consultations to patients from > 40 different countries. All consultations are followed by a detailed written report presenting my personal recommendations for treatment of what often constitute complex Reproductive Issues.

If you wish to schedule an online consultation with me, please contact my assistant (Patti Converse) by phone (800-780-7437/702-533-2691), email (concierge@SherIVF.com) or, enroll online on then home-page of my website (www.SherIVF.com).

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT SFS!

Geoff Sher

reply
Heather Gilbert

Hello Dr. Sher,

Thank you for your helpful and informative blog. I wanted to get your opinion on the cause of total fertilization failure with ICSI. I am 42 years old and have had just completed my 7th cycle of IVF. The last 3 cycles are blastocyst banking cycles with no testing or transfers. For the prior 6 cycles, fertilization rates using both conventional IVF and ICSI are an average of 76%, with the lowest fertilization in a cycle being 64%. For the 7th cycle, we had 25 eggs retrieved, 19 mature, and had 0 fertilize with ICSI. We are shocked by this given our prior history. The clinic has said both the sperm and egg were excellent quality, and they cannot find any reason for the total fertilization failure. Do you know what may have caused this? Thank you!

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

Something is not quite right! Perhaps you should talk to the lab director to find out if anything went wrong there.

I think we should talk!

Geoff Sher

PH: 702-533-2691

reply
Andi

Dr. Sher,

I have enjoyed reading your blog, and providing such useful information on those going through the IVF journey.

I am 41 and here are my most current labs for back ground info.

Labs from last cycle on 3rd day:
AMH: 1.69 ng/mL (may be lower because of Vitamin D deficiency according to one of your articles)
VITAMIN D, 25-OH, TOTAL 24 ng/mL
VITAMIN D, 25-OH, D3 24 ng/mL
VITAMIN D, 25-OH, D2 <4 ng/mL
FSH 7.1 mIU/ml
ESTRADIOL 28.4 pg/ml

Labs from last cycle on 6th day:
LH 3.8 mIU/ml
FSH 10.6 mIU/ml
PROGESTERONE 0.16 ng/mL
ESTRADIOL 110.6 pg/ml

Labs from last cycle on 9th day:
LH 3.5 mIU/ml
FSH 13.5 mIU/ml
PROGESTERONE 0.24 ng/mL
ESTRADIOL 417.2 pg/ml

I am aware of your recommended protocol of taking a GnRH agonists (ie. Lupron) overlapping Birth Control Pill for a few days to suppress luteinizing hormone (LH) especially for older women. My doctor instead has me take Birth Control Pill (Estrace 2mg) and low dose progesterone medication called Provera (10 mg) instead which he says also suppresses LH. What are your thoughts on using progesterone to suppress LH vs. GnRH agonists in relation to egg quality?

Thanks for your insight.

reply
Andi

Dr. Sher,

Do you see any downside to using Provera vs. Lupron as it seems Provera is less expensive as well?

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

Absolutely I do!

All gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists act by rapidly expunging reservoirs of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland. GnRH agonists can be administered by intramuscular injection (e.g. Lupron, Lucrin, Buserelin; Superfact; Gonopeptyl; Aminopeptidyl etc.) or through intranasal administration (lNafarelin, Synarel). The intramuscular route which insures more even absorption is preferred.

At Sher-IVF we prescribe leuprolide acetate (Lupron) to launch moist IVF-controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) cycles. Lupron is very similar in structure to gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) . As such, its initial effect, (for about 2-4days or so), is to stimulate the pituitary gland to produce both LH and FSH .As soon as the pituitary starts to recognize the difference in chemical structure between the Leuprolide and normal GnRH, it profoundly reduces its output of biologically active LH and FSH production. This is referred to as “pituitary down-regulation” and the effect continues for as long as Lupron therapy is maintained uninterrupted. The initial increase in FSH and LH production during the first 4-6 days of leuprolide therapy is accompanied by a transient, but very significant increase in estrogen release by the ovary. The initial rise in LH and FSH production results in a rise in estradiol, and the subsequent pituitary “down-regulation” is followed by a precipitous fall in blood estrogen levels, until gonadotropin or estrogen administration commences.

The reason that GnRH-agonists are administered to women receiving Gonadotropin therapy for IVF is because of its ability to suppress LH and so prevent a premature rise in LH which is most likely to occur in older women or those with have diminished ovarian reserve. When this happens, the cells lining the follicles undergo premature change (premature luteinization), compromising further follicle development and egg/embryo quality. Such premature premature luteinization (previously referred to as “premature LH surge”) severely compromises further follicle development as well as egg/embryo quality. Women with reduced ovarian reserve (who are resistant to ovarian stimulation) are most susceptible to this happening

There is often talk of “agonists “over-suppressing” ovarian response to gonadotropins. The reason for this concern is that agonists probably compete with FSH for receptor binding sites on the granulosa cells that line the ovarian follicles and produce estrogen…and so can blunt ovarian follicle response to FSH. However, since antagonists apparently do not exert the same effect, by supplanting Lupron with an antagonist prior to starting gonadotropin therapy), avoids this problem (see the agonist/antagonist conversion protocol -A/ACP is below). While both antagonists land s block LH activity, antagonists do so much more rapidly (within hours) than agonists (within a few days).

Risks of taking Lupron: Risks associated with taking Lupron, short periods of time in IVF, are in my experience rare and side effects are mild. Long term use (especially when depot-Lupron is administered) is another matter altogether. In fact people who take Lupron for long periods are more prone to certain health risks. They include changes in heart rhythm and electrical signals in the heart, slow heartbeat, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and bone softening. As such, I never prescribe long term Lupron usage to my IVF patients.

Use of Lupron in COS for IVF: At Sher-IVF I launch controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) for IVF by putting the woman on a birth control pill (BCP) for 10-25 days, to suppress ovarian response to FSH/LH. Thereupon, Lupron is overlapped with the BCP for 2-4 days. Then thee BCP is discontinued and daily Lupron therapy is continued until menstruation ensues. By varying the length of time on Lupron it is possible to control the timing of the onset of menstruation and reduces the incidence of cycle cancellation due to ovarian cyst formation. Menstruation will usually occur 4-7 days after stopping the BCP. Thereupon, one of two variations in approach is taken. Either the long Lupron approach or the agonist/antagonist conversion protocol (A/ACP) is used. With the A/ACP, Lupron is supplanted by low dosage antagonist therapy. In both cases daily Gonadotropin (FSH and LH) injections are concomitantly initiated and continued with the agonist or antagonist until the day of the hCG trigger. In some cases of markedly diminished ovarian reserve, we preempt the initiation of gonadotropin therapy with “estrogen priming”. It involves twice weekly injections of estradiol valerate for 8-10 days and then we initiate Gonadotropins therapy which is continued until more than 50% of the developing follicles reach at least 12mm in diameter. The addition of estrogen in this way could improve ovarian response to gonadotropins as well as endometrial response to estrogen stimulation. In both the long Lupron approach and the A/ACP daily shots of antagonist or antagonist are continued up to the day of the hCG trigger. The egg retrieval (ER) is performed 35-37 hours following hCG administration.

Lupron (Agonist) “Flare (Short” Protocol: Some IVF physicians advocate the use of GnRHa (Lupron)- flare protocols in which the administration of Lupron, therapy begins at the same time that ovarian stimulation with gonadotropins is started (usually with the onset of menstruation). The proposed benefit of such an approach is that the GnRHa will cause the woman’s pituitary gland to release large amounts of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which would augment the administered dosage of FSH and thereby synergizing the growth of ovarian follicles. The problem associated with this “flare” approach is that concurrent with the GnRHa-induced FSH luteinizing hormone (LH) also surges. In older women and those who have diminished ovarian reserve, the out-pouring of LH can cause the ovarian connective tissue (stroma or theca) which produces excessive male hormones (predominantly, testosterone). While some testosterone is essential for optimal follicle growth, too much testosterone can compromise its development as well as egg/embryo quality. Since older women and women with diminished ovarian reserve often have increased LH production as well as an overgrown of ovarian stroma/theca (i.e. hyperthecosis), a further GnRHa-induced increase in LH can so elevate local ovarian testosterone levels as to severely compromise egg/ embryo “competency”.

The Lupron (Agonist) “trigger”: It has been suggested that the preferential use of an “agonist (Lupron) trigger” in women at risk of developing severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) could potentially reduce the risk of the condition becoming critical and thereby placing the woman at risk of developing life-endangering complications. The argument is that the Lupron “trigger” by causing an LH surge to occur will reduce the risk of severe complications due to OHSS. The problem with using this approach, in my opinion, is that it is hard to predict how much LH will be released in by the pituitary gland. Often times, the magnitude of the LH surge induced by Lupron, is not sufficient to promote maximum and orderly egg maturation in the 36-38 hours prior to egg retrieval. The result is that eggs are more likely to be chromosomally irregular (aneuploid) when the Lupron “trigger” is used. So, in my opinion, while the Lupron “trigger” might well reduce the severity of OHSS-related complications, this benefit often comes at the expense of egg/embryo quality and outcome. For this reason, I personally prefer to use hCG for the trigger, even in cases of ovarian hyperstimulation hyperstimulated, with one important proviso…that being that is she underwent “prolonged coasting” in order to reduce the risk of critical OHSS, prior to the 10,000-unit hCGu “trigger”.

Lupron use in embryo recipient cycles: In cases of egg donation and gestational surrogacy, embryo donation and with frozen/thawed embryo transfers (FET) undergo a similar regime of BCP/agonist preparation as do those who undergo ovarian stimulation, except that instead of receiving gonadotropins injections, these women receive daily estradiol valerate injections. Thereupon, progesterone therapy (administered by intramuscular injection and/or by vaginal administration) is added for several days. The combination of estrogen and progesterone therapy prepares the uterine lining for embryo implantation. Lupron therapy is discontinued 5-7 days prior to Embryo Transfer (ET) in such cases.

There is little need to be alarmed at what at first might seem to be a complex treatment regimen. Extensive studies on non-human primates, as well as limited human evaluations, indicate that Lupron is relatively harmless to both mother and baby. The drug is eliminated from the system within hours of discontinuing its administration. At Sher-IVF we discontinue Lupron therapy at least 5-7 days prior to transferring embryos/blastocysts to the woman’s uterus. The administration of subcutaneous or trans-nasal agonist is rarely associated with significant side effects. Some women experience temporary fluctuations in mood, hot flashes, nausea, and symptoms not vastly dissimilar from PMS. No serious long-lasting side-effects have been reported.

The subcutaneous injection of Lupron is relatively painless. Unfortunately, the drug will incur a modest additional financial burden. Lupron administration as described above (for ovarian stimulation), spares women the inconvenience and frustration of unnecessary cancelled treatment cycles with gonadotropins. As such, the use of Lupron in reality reduces the overall cost of ovulation induction

Geoff Sher
PH: 702-533-2691

reply
Robin

Good evening. I tested normal for everything except for slightly elevated prolactin which was remedied with cabergoline and how I’m on bromocriptine. I conceived naturally last year but miscarried at 8 weeks, it was a missed miscarriage… testing was done on the tissue and came back normal. I just did my first FET with a top quality PGS tested normal embryo and it failed… doctor said my lining looked good and was a perfect transfer… do you think elevated prolactin levels could have been part of the cause for the miscarriage and failed FET? Even though I’ve been on my meds? Thank you kindly.

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

No I do not believe this. However, there is likely an implantation issue.

Implantation dysfunction is unfortunately often overlooked as an important cause of IVF failure. In the pursuit of optimizing outcome with IVF, the clinician has a profound responsibility to meticulously assess and address this important issue if IVF success is to be optimized. This is especially relevant in cases of “unexplained IVF failure, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) and in women suspected of having underlying anatomical and immunologic factors. Doing so will not only maximize the chance of a viable pregnancy but enhancing placentation, will at the same time promote the noble objective of optimizing the quality of life after birth.”
IVF success rates have been improving over the last decade. The average live birth rate per embryo transfer in the U.S.A for women under 40y using their own eggs , is currently better than 1:3 women. However, there is still a wide variation from program to program for IVF live birth rates, ranging from 20% to near 50%. Based upon these statistics, the majority of women undergoing IVF in the United States require two or more attempts to have a baby. IVF practitioners in the United States commonly attribute the wide dichotomy in IVF success rates to variability in expertise of the various embryology laboratories. This is far from accurate. In fact, other factors such as wide variations in patient selection and the failure to develop individualized protocols for ovarian stimulation or to address those infective, anatomical and immunologic factors that influence embryo implantation are at least equally important.
About 80% of IVF failures are due to “embryo incompetency” that is largely due to an irregular quota of chromosomes (aneuploidy) which is usually related to advancing age of the woman and is further influenced by other factors such as the protocol selected for ovarian stimulation, diminished ovarian reserve (DOR)m and severe male factor infertility. However in about 20% of dysfunctional cases embryo implantation is the cause of failure.
Anatomical Endo-uterine Lesions: This blog article will focus on implantation dysfunction and IVF failure due to:
• Anatomical abnormalities in the uterine cavity (e.g. scarring, polyps and encroaching fibroid tumors)
• A thin endometrial lining
• Immunologic rejection of the embryos
Several studies performed both in the United States and abroad have confirmed that a dye X-Ray or hysterosalpingogram (HSG) will fail to identify small endouterine surface lesions in >20% of cases. This is significant because even small uterine lesions have the potential to adversely affect implantation. Hysteroscopy is the traditional method for evaluating the integrity of the uterine cavity in preparation for IVF. It also permits resection of most uterine surface lesions, such as submucous uterine fibroids (myomas), intrauterine adhesions and endometrial or placental polyps. All of these can interfere with implantation by producing a local “inflammatory- type” response similar in nature to that which is caused by an intrauterine contraceptive device. Hysterosonography (syn; HSN/ saline ultrasound examination) and hysteroscopy have all but supplanted HSG to assess the uterine cavity in preparation for IVF. HSN which is less invasive and far less expensive than is than hysteroscopy involves a small amount of a sterile saline solution is injected into the uterine cavity, whereupon a vaginal ultrasound examination is performed to assess the contour of the uterine cavity.
Endometrial Thickness: As far back as in 1989 I first reported on the finding that ultrasound assessment of the late proliferative phase endometrium following ovarian stimulation in preparation for IVF, permits better identification of those candidates who are least likely to conceive. We noted that the ideal thickness of the endometrium at the time of ovulation or egg retrieval is >9 mm and that a thickness of less than 8 mm bodes poorly for a successful outcome following IVF.
Then in 1993, I demonstrated that sildenafil (Viagra) introduced into the vagina prior to hCG administration can improve endometrial growth in many women with poor endometrial development. Viagra’s mechanism of action is improvement in uterine blood flow with improved estrogen delivery…thereby enhancing endometrial development.
Immunologic factors: These also play a role in IVF failure. Some women develop antibodies to components of their own cells. This “autoimmune” process involves the production of antiphospholipid, antithyroid, and/or anti-ovarian antibodies – all of which may be associated with activation of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the uterine lining. Activated NK cells (NKa) release certain cytokines (TH-I) that if present in excess, often damage the trophoblast (the embryo’s root system) resulting in immunologic implantation dysfunction (IID). This can manifest as “infertility” or as early miscarriages). In other cases (though less common), the problem is due to “alloimmune” dysfunction. Here the genetic contribution by the male partner renders the embryo “too similar” to the mother. This in turn activates NK cells leading to implantation dysfunction. These IID’s are treated using combinations of medications such as heparin, Clexane, Lovenox, corticosteroids and intralipid (IL).

I strongly recommend that you visit http://www.SherIVF.com. Then go to my Blog and access the “search bar”. Type in the titles of any/all of the articles listed below, one by one. “Click” and you will immediately be taken to those you select. Please also take the time to post any questions or comments with the full expectation that I will (as always) respond promptly.

• A Fresh Look at the Indications for IVF
• The IVF Journey: The importance of “Planning the Trip” Before Taking the Ride”
• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) for IVF: Selecting the ideal protocol
• IVF: Factors Affecting Egg/Embryo “competency” during Controlled Ovarian Stimulation(COS)
• The Fundamental Requirements For Achieving Optimal IVF Success
• Use of GnRH Antagonists (Ganirelix/Cetrotide/Orgalutron) in IVF-Ovarian Stimulation Protocols.
• Human Growth Hormone Administration in IVF: Does it Enhances Egg/Embryo Quality and Outcome?
• IVF and the use of Supplementary Human Growth Hormone (HGH) : Is it Worth Trying and who needs it?
• The BCP: Does Launching a Cycle of Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS). Coming off the BCP Compromise Response?
• Blastocyst Embryo Transfers Should be the Standard of Care in IVF
• Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Measurement to Assess Ovarian Reserve and Design the Optimal Protocol for Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in IVF.
• IVF: Approach to Selecting the Best Embryos for Transfer to the Uterus.
• Fresh versus Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET) Enhance IVF Outcome
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): A Rational Approach to Hormonal Preparation and How new Methodology is Impacting IVF.
• Genetically Testing Embryos for IVF
• Staggered IVF
• Staggered IVF with PGS- Selection of “Competent” Embryos Greatly Enhances the Utility & Efficiency of IVF.
• Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGS) in IVF: It should be Used Selectively and NOT be Routine.
• IVF: Selecting the Best Quality Embryos to Transfer
• Preimplantation Genetic Sampling (PGS) Using: Next Generation Gene Sequencing (NGS): Method of Choice.
• PGS in IVF: Are Some Chromosomally abnormal Embryos Capable of Resulting in Normal Babies and Being Wrongly Discarded?
• PGS and Assessment of Egg/Embryo “competency”: How Method, Timing and Methodology Could Affect Reliability
• Endometrial Receptivity Array (ERA): Is There an actual “There, There”?
• IVF Failure and Implantation Dysfunction:
• Diagnosing and Treating Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID)
• The Role of Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID) & Infertility (IID):PART 1-Background
• Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID) & Infertility (IID):PART 2- Making a Diagnosis
• Immunologic Dysfunction (IID) & Infertility (IID):PART 3-Treatment
• Thyroid autoantibodies and Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID)
• Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction: Importance of Meticulous Evaluation and Strategic Management:(Case Report
• Intralipid and IVIG therapy: Understanding the Basis for its use in the Treatment of Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID)
• Intralipid (IL) Administration in IVF: It’s Composition; How it Works; Administration; Side-effects; Reactions and Precautions
• Natural Killer Cell Activation (NKa) and Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction in IVF: The Controversy!
• Endometrial Thickness, Uterine Pathology and Immunologic Factors
• Vaginally Administered Viagra is Often a Highly Effective Treatment to Help Thicken a Thin Uterine Lining
• A Thin Uterine Lining: Vaginal Viagra is Often the Answer (update)
• Cervical Ureaplasma Urealyticum Infection: How can it Affect IUI/IVF Outcome?
• The Role of Nutritional Supplements in Preparing for IVF
• The Basic Infertility Work-Up
• Defining and Addressing an Abnormal Luteal Phase
• Male Factor Infertility
• Routine Fertilization by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): An Argument in Favor
• Hormonal Treatment of Male Infertility
• Hormonal Treatment of Male Infertility
• Antisperm Antibodies, Infertility and the Role of IVF with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
• Endometriosis and Infertily
• Endometriosis and Immunologic Implantation Dysfunction (IID) and IVF
• Endometriosis and Infertility: Why IVF Rather than IUI or Surgery Should be the Treatment of Choice.
• Endometriosis and Infertility: The Influence of Age and Severity on Treatment Options
• Early -Endometriosis-related Infertility: Ovulation Induction (with or without Intrauterine Insemination) and Reproductive Surgery Versus IVF
• Deciding Between Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
• Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Who Needs it & who Does Not: Pro’s & Con’s!IUI-Reflecting upon its Use and Misuse: Time for a Serious “Reality Check
• Mode of Action, Indications, Benefits, Limitations and Contraindications for its ue
• Clomiphene Induction of Ovulation: Its Use and Misuse!
ADDENDUM: PLEASE READ!!
INTRODUCING SHER FERTILITY SOLUTIONS (SFS)
Founded in April 2019, Sher Fertility Solutions (SFS) offers online (Skype/FaceTime) consultations to patients from > 40 different countries. All consultations are followed by a detailed written report presenting my personal recommendations for treatment of what often constitute complex Reproductive Issues.

If you wish to schedule an online consultation with me, please contact my assistant (Patti Converse) by phone (800-780-7437/702-533-2691), email (concierge@SherIVF.com) or, enroll online on then home-page of my website (www.SherIVF.com).

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT SFS!

Geoff Sher

reply
Alterego

Hello,

I have a first ultrasound on 13th August today after frozen embryo transfer on July 15th. They were able to see Flickr for heartbeat but not able to hear any sound.They mentioned it’s 6 week 6 days today but gastetinoal sac is little behind and size measure 6 week 2 days.

Is this normal? Will it result in normal pregnancy?

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

I would not worry now. It is still too early. Do another US in a week. By then you should have a definitive answer!

Good luck and G-d bless!

Geoff Sher

reply
mekayla

Dear Dr Sher,

I am 39 and easily conceived naturally age 36 and have a 3 year old.

When trying to conceive a 2nd child after 6 months I went for hormone tests:
My progesterone was normal but LH and FSH was abnormally high at around 15. My AMH was 5.7. AFC 8

I have now had 3 round of ivf as follows:
Short protocol 300 menopur 150 gonal f. Resulting in 4 eggs but only 1 normal egg, arrested before blast.
Second round long protocol, down regulation then 300 menpopur cancelled as only 2 follicles growing.
Third round short protocol (same drug doses as previous short). Cancelled as only 1 follicle growing.
Fourth round protocol: 225 memopur 5mg letrozole (cd3-8). Only two follicles growing.

My AFC has always been 8 but this round it has dropped to 4.
I’m wondering if these are the right protocols for me or whether I need to try something different.

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

Respectfully Mekayla,

You have significantly diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) and in my opinion, your protocl for ovarian stimulation needs careful review and revision.

Women who (regardless of age) have diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) have a reduced potential for IVF success. Much of this is due to the fact that such women tend to have increased production, and/or biological activity, of LH. This can result in excessive ovarian male hormone (predominantly testosterone) production. This in turn can have a deleterious effect on egg/embryo “competency”.
While it is presently not possible by any means, to reverse the effect of DOR, certain ovarian stimulation regimes, by promoting excessive LH production (e.g. short agonist/Lupron- “flare” protocols, clomiphene and Letrozole), can in my opinion, make matters worse. Similarly, the amount/dosage of certain fertility drugs that contain LH/hCG (e.g. Menopur) can have a negative effect on the development of the eggs of older women and those who have DOR and should be limited.
I try to avoid using such protocols/regimes (especially) in women with DOR, favoring instead the use of the agonist/antagonist conversion protocol (A/ACP), a modified, long pituitary down-regulation regime, augmented by adding supplementary human growth hormone (HGH). I further recommend that such women be offered access to embryo banking of PGS (next generation gene sequencing/NGS)-selected normal blastocysts, the subsequent selective transfer of which by allowing them to capitalize on whatever residual ovarian reserve and egg quality might still exist and thereby “make hay while the sun still shines” could significantly enhance the opportunity to achieve a viable pregnancy
Please visit my new Blog on this very site, www. SherIVF.com, find the “search bar” and type in the titles of any/all of the articles listed below, one by one. “Click” and you will immediately be taken to those you select. Please also take the time to post any questions or comments with the full expectation that I will (as always) respond promptly

• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) for IVF: Selecting the ideal protocol
• IVF: Factors Affecting Egg/Embryo “competency” during Controlled Ovarian Stimulation(COS)
• The Fundamental Requirements For Achieving Optimal IVF Success
• Ovarian Stimulation for IVF using GnRH Antagonists: Comparing the Agonist/Antagonist Conversion Protocol.(A/ACP) With the “Conventional” Antagonist Approach
• Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Measurement to Assess Ovarian Reserve and Design the Optimal Protocol for Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in IVF.
• The “Biological Clock” and how it should Influence the Selection and Design of Ovarian Stimulation Protocols for IVF.
• A Rational Basis for selecting Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) protocols in women with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
• Diagnosing and Treating Infertility due to Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in Older women and Women who have Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR): A Rational Basis for Selecting a Stimulation Protocol
• Human Growth Hormone Administration in IVF: Does it Enhances Egg/Embryo Quality and Outcome?
• The BCP: Does Launching a Cycle of Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS). Coming off the BCP Compromise Response?
• Blastocyst Embryo Transfers Should be the Standard of Care in IVF
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) versus “Fresh” ET: How to Make the Decision
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): A Rational Approach to Hormonal Preparation and How new Methodology is Impacting IVF.
• Staggered IVF: An Excellent Option When. Advancing Age and Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) Reduces IVF Success Rate
• Embryo Banking/Stockpiling: Slows the “Biological Clock” and offers a Selective Alternative to IVF-Egg Donation.
• Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGS) in IVF: It Should be Used Selectively and NOT be Routine.
• Preimplantation Genetic Sampling (PGS) Using: Next Generation Gene Sequencing (NGS): Method of Choice.
• PGS in IVF: Are Some Chromosomally Abnormal Embryos Capable of Resulting in Normal Babies and Being Wrongly Discarded?
• PGS and Assessment of Egg/Embryo “competency”: How Method, Timing and Methodology Could Affect Reliability
• Treating Out-of-State and Out-of-Country Patients at Sher-IVF in Las Vegas:
• Traveling for IVF from Out of State/Country–
• A personalized, stepwise approach to IVF
• How Many Embryos should be transferred: A Critical Decision in IVF.
• The Role of Nutritional Supplements in Preparing for IVF
• Premature Luteinization (“the premature LH surge): Why it happens and how it can be prevented.
• IVF Egg Donation: A Comprehensive Overview

___________________________________________________
ADDENDUM: PLEASE READ!!
INTRODUCING SHER FERTILITY SOLUTIONS (SFS)
Founded in April 2019, Sher Fertility Solutions (SFS) offers online (Skype/FaceTime) consultations to patients from > 40 different countries. All consultations are followed by a detailed written report presenting my personal recommendations for treatment of what often constitute complex Reproductive Issues.

If you wish to schedule an online consultation with me, please contact my assistant (Patti Converse) by phone (800-780-7437/702-533-2691), email (concierge@SherIVF.com) or, enroll online on then home-page of my website (www.SherIVF.com).

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT SFS!

Geoff Sher

reply
Leisl

Hello Dr. Sher,
I had an embryo transfer on 7/8 – two 5 day blastocysts (donated)
7/18 – HCG 10
7/20 – HCG 10
7/23 – HCG 81
7/26 – HCG 161
7/27 – HCG 219; us done but no sac
7/31 – HCG 656; us done but no sac; ridge more defined
8/4 – HCG 2017; 5 mm sac seen but nothing else
8/11 – HCG 9317; 10 mm sac seen but nothing else
The next us is scheduled for 8/20; the doctor has been very pessimistic since the second HCG of 10 and basically gives almost no chance of this being okay. Is it possible an embryo implanted late or is just slow to develop and will show up soon?
Thank you for anything you can share.

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

I am afraid…I concur with your RE’s opinion!
It looks like a “blighted ovum.

I would prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Your next US will be definitive!

Geoff Sher

reply
Leisl

Can I ask… is that primarily because of nothing being seen yet on the us, or are the numbers themselves also an issue?

Thank you.

reply
Angela

Hello,

I have an odd situation. I had a miscarriage on June 11th. It was very early & HCG was followed down to zero. After one cycle, we tried again. My lmp was on July 13th and jokingly, I took a pregnancy test and was shocked to see a faint line. This was on July 31st. 2 weeks & 4 days after my period. I obviously was concerned so kept testing with first response. The next day, the line got darker and then on 8/4,8/5, and 8/6 began to almost completely fade away. I chalked it up as chemical and waited for the miscarriage to happen. Took another test on 8/9 and to my surprise it was darker. Took a test again on 8/11 and it was very dark. Got betas on 8/11 and they’re at 132. Go back tomorrow to draw again….

Any idea why this might have happened? I’m currently only 1 day past my missed period so betas are within range, just not within range obviously of my first positive test. Is there any chance I might have ovulated twice?

One egg sped down & didn’t implant correctly? The other is sticking? Kind of like vanishing twin. I’m also worried about ectopic. I seen where you mentioned recovering implantation. Would that be possible in this situation?

I’m so anxious and ready to know what’s going on. Any thoughts is so appreciated.

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

Only time will tell. Ultimately an US in about 2 weeks time will be definitive.

Good luck!

Geoff Sher

reply
Confused

Hi Dr.Sher,

Can you please help to give me your opinion on my below HCG and Progesterone levels? I am very pessimistic that this pregnancy will be viable, however the nurse I’ve spoken to continues to be optimistic and my doctor wishes to continue with my 7-week US visit next week (Aug 19th). I have been unable to find any similar stories that lead me to believe there is any chance this pregnancy could be viable.

HCG Levels
July 31: 98.93 (Progesterone 18.51)
August 3: 143.7 (Progesterone 15.37)
August 5: 209 (Progesterone 14.74)
Aug 12: 2516 (Progesterone 13.13)

Many thanks!

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

The pregnancy is clearly in jeopardy. I have however see such cases culminate in viable pregnancies. The US should be definitive.

Good luck!

Geoff Sher

reply
Heather Gilberds

Hello Dr. Sher,

Thank you for your informative blog. I have a question about total fertilization failure. By way of history, I am 42 years old and just completed by 7th cycle of IVF. For the past 3 cycles, we have been doing blastocyst banking. I am a high responder, and typically have between 14 – 18 mature eggs retrieved. Across all cycles, average fertilization rate is 76%. I just completed a cycle where 25 eggs were retrieved, and 19 mature. But we had total fertilization failure with ICSI. Given our prior fertilization rates, this is a shock to us. Do you have any sense what may have gone wrong?

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

The older a woman becomes, the more likely it is that her eggs will be chromosomally/genetically “incompetent” (not have the potential upon being fertilized and transferred, to result in a viable pregnancy). That is why, the likelihood of failure to conceive, miscarrying and of giving birth to a chromosomally defective child (e.g. with Down Syndrome) increases with the woman’s advancing age. So it is that older women have a reduced potential for IVF success. Much of this is due to the fact that such women tend to have increased production of LH biological activity which can result in excessive LH-induced ovarian male hormone (predominantly testosterone) production which in turn can have a deleterious effect on egg/embryo “competency”.

While it is presently not possible by any means, to reverse the age-related effect on the woman’s “biological clock, certain ovarian stimulation regimes, by promoting excessive LH production (e.g. short agonist/Lupron- “flare” protocols, clomiphene and Letrozole), can make matters worse. Similarly, the amount/dosage of certain fertility drugs that contain LH/hCG (e.g. Menopur) can have a negative effect on the development of the eggs of older women and should be limited.

I try to avoid using such protocols/regimes (especially) in older women and those with DOR, favoring instead the use of the agonist/antagonist conversion protocol (A/ACP), a modified, long pituitary down-regulation regime, augmented by adding supplementary human growth hormone (HGH). I further recommend that such women be offered access to embryo banking of PGS (next generation gene sequencing/NGS)-selected normal blastocysts, the subsequent selective transfer of which by allowing them to capitalize on whatever residual ovarian reserve and egg quality might still exist and thereby “make hay while the sun still shines” could significantly enhance the opportunity to achieve a viable pregnancy

Please visit my Blog on this very site, http://www.DrGeoffreySherIVF.com, find the “search bar” and type in the titles of any/all of the articles listed below, one by one. “Click” and you will immediately be taken to those you select. Please also take the time to post any questions or comments with the full expectation that I will (as always) respond promptly

• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) for IVF: Selecting the ideal protocol
• IVF: Factors Affecting Egg/Embryo “competency” during Controlled Ovarian Stimulation(COS)
• The Fundamental Requirements For Achieving Optimal IVF Success
• Ovarian Stimulation for IVF using GnRH Antagonists: Comparing the Agonist/Antagonist Conversion Protocol.(A/ACP) With the “Conventional” Antagonist Approach
• Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Measurement to Assess Ovarian Reserve and Design the Optimal Protocol for Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in IVF.
• The “Biological Clock” and how it should Influence the Selection and Design of Ovarian Stimulation Protocols for IVF.
• A Rational Basis for selecting Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) protocols in women with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
• Diagnosing and Treating Infertility due to Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in Older women and Women who have Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR): A Rational Basis for Selecting a Stimulation Protocol
• Human Growth Hormone Administration in IVF: Does it Enhances Egg/Embryo Quality and Outcome?
• The BCP: Does Launching a Cycle of Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS). Coming off the BCP Compromise Response?
• Blastocyst Embryo Transfers Should be the Standard of Care in IVF
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) versus “Fresh” ET: How to Make the Decision
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): A Rational Approach to Hormonal Preparation and How new Methodology is Impacting IVF.
• Staggered IVF: An Excellent Option When. Advancing Age and Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) Reduces IVF Success Rate
• Embryo Banking/Stockpiling: Slows the “Biological Clock” and offers a Selective Alternative to IVF-Egg Donation.
• Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGS) in IVF: It Should be Used Selectively and NOT be Routine.
• Preimplantation Genetic Sampling (PGS) Using: Next Generation Gene Sequencing (NGS): Method of Choice.
• PGS in IVF: Are Some Chromosomally Abnormal Embryos Capable of Resulting in Normal Babies and Being Wrongly Discarded?
• PGS and Assessment of Egg/Embryo “competency”: How Method, Timing and Methodology Could Affect Reliability
• Treating Out-of-State and Out-of-Country Patients at Sher-IVF in Las Vegas:
• Traveling for IVF from Out of State/Country–
• A personalized, stepwise approach to IVF
• How Many Embryos should be transferred: A Critical Decision in IVF.
• The Role of Nutritional Supplements in Preparing for IVF
• Premature Luteinization (“the premature LH surge): Why it happens and how it can be prevented.
• IVF Egg Donation: A Comprehensive Overview

______________________________________________________
ADDENDUM: PLEASE READ!!
INTRODUCING SHER FERTILITY SOLUTIONS (SFS)
Founded in April 2019, Sher Fertility Solutions (SFS) offers online (Skype/FaceTime) consultations to patients from > 40 different countries. All consultations are followed by a detailed written report presenting my personal recommendations for treatment of what often constitute complex Reproductive Issues.

If you wish to schedule an online consultation with me, please contact my assistant (Patti Converse) by phone (800-780-7437/702-533-2691), email (concierge@SherIVF.com) or, enroll online on then home-page of my website (www.SherIVF.com).

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT SFS!

Geoff Sher

reply
Heather

Hi Dr. Sher. I have a sad story. This past February 2020 at 1 month shy of age 42 I conceived di/di twin boys through a medicated IUI (222Menopur, 1/2vial per day Omni, Ganirelix, double Ovidrel trigger). We did amnio and they were chromosomally normal. Sadly in July at 24w, 1 day one sac ruptured and I went into labor 24hrs later. They think the pPROM was from chorio but path only showed a “faint trace of chorio”. MFM’s don’t think it was an incompetent cervix but we just don’t know. Unfortunately our babies only lived a couple hours. and we’re completely devastated as these are our only children. Here’s my questions:

1) We’re considering IVF to bank as many embryos as we can and will freeze 4 at Day 3 and push the rest to day 5. We don’t plan on pgs testing because of studies and damage to embryos . How soon after birth would a retrieval be recommended? I’m 42.5 and every month matters. Would my pregnancy hormones have a positive/negative effect on quantity and quality of eggs?

2) After we bank embryos we’re planning on going back to IUI since it worked for us 6m ago. Is this a good plan?

3) Isn’t my protocol of 225Menopur, etc. essentially a mini IVF? We had 4 follicles 34 hours before trigger at 14,14,15,19 which got us our boys.

reply
Dr. Geoffrey Sher

I am so sorry for your loss. However, your treating OB must be on the look-out for a shortening (efacing) cervix which could have been the cause of your loss. If present, it would require the insertion of a cervical cerclage at around 14 weeks.

Question:

1) We’re considering IVF to bank as many embryos as we can and will freeze 4 at Day 3 and push the rest to day 5. We don’t plan on pgs testing because of studies and damage to embryos . How soon after birth would a retrieval be recommended? I’m 42.5 and every month matters. Would my pregnancy hormones have a positive/negative effect on quantity and quality of eggs?

A: Embryo banking is a good choice to try and make hay while the sun still shines. However, it is essential (at your age) the the protocol used for ovarian stimulation be individualized. Also, I would take all embryos to blastocyst, do PGS and only bank the competent one’s.

2) After we bank embryos we’re planning on going back to IUI since it worked for us 6m ago. Is this a good plan?

A; I would not because the chance of success with IUI (a procedure that I introduced into the field in 1984), is extremely low at your age. I would stick with IVF.

3) Isn’t my protocol of 225Menopur, etc. essentially a mini IVF? We had 4 follicles 34 hours before trigger at 14,14,15,19 which got us our boys.

A: The older a woman becomes, the more likely it is that her eggs will be chromosomally/genetically “incompetent” (not have the potential upon being fertilized and transferred, to result in a viable pregnancy). That is why, the likelihood of failure to conceive, miscarrying and of giving birth to a chromosomally defective child (e.g. with Down Syndrome) increases with the woman’s advancing age. In addition, as women age beyond 35Y there is commonly a progressive diminution in the number of eggs left in the ovaries, i.e. diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). So it is that older women as well as those who (regardless of age) have DOR have a reduced potential for IVF success. Much of this is due to the fact that such women tend to have increased production of LH biological activity which can result in excessive LH-induced ovarian male hormone (predominantly testosterone) production which in turn can have a deleterious effect on egg/embryo “competency”.
While it is presently not possible by any means, to reverse the age-related effect on the woman’s “biological clock, certain ovarian stimulation regimes, by promoting excessive LH production (e.g. short agonist/Lupron- “flare” protocols, clomiphene and Letrozole), can make matters worse. Similarly, the amount/dosage of certain fertility drugs that contain LH/hCG (e.g. Menopur) can have a negative effect on the development of the eggs of older women and those who have DOR and should be limited.
I try to avoid using such protocols/regimes (especially) in older women and those with DOR, favoring instead the use of the agonist/antagonist conversion protocol (A/ACP), a modified, long pituitary down-regulation regime, augmented by adding supplementary human growth hormone (HGH). I further recommend that such women be offered access to embryo banking of PGS (next generation gene sequencing/NGS)-selected normal blastocysts, the subsequent selective transfer of which by allowing them to capitalize on whatever residual ovarian reserve and egg quality might still exist and thereby “make hay while the sun still shines” could significantly enhance the opportunity to achieve a viable pregnancy

Please visit my Blog on this very site, http://www.DrGeoffreySherIVF.com, find the “search bar” and type in the titles of any/all of the articles listed below, one by one. “Click” and you will immediately be taken to those you select. Please also take the time to post any questions or comments with the full expectation that I will (as always) respond promptly

• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) for IVF: Selecting the ideal protocol
• IVF: Factors Affecting Egg/Embryo “competency” during Controlled Ovarian Stimulation(COS)
• The Fundamental Requirements For Achieving Optimal IVF Success
• Ovarian Stimulation for IVF using GnRH Antagonists: Comparing the Agonist/Antagonist Conversion Protocol.(A/ACP) With the “Conventional” Antagonist Approach
• Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Measurement to Assess Ovarian Reserve and Design the Optimal Protocol for Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in IVF.
• The “Biological Clock” and how it should Influence the Selection and Design of Ovarian Stimulation Protocols for IVF.
• A Rational Basis for selecting Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) protocols in women with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
• Diagnosing and Treating Infertility due to Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
• Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) in Older women and Women who have Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR): A Rational Basis for Selecting a Stimulation Protocol
• Human Growth Hormone Administration in IVF: Does it Enhances Egg/Embryo Quality and Outcome?
• The BCP: Does Launching a Cycle of Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS). Coming off the BCP Compromise Response?
• Blastocyst Embryo Transfers Should be the Standard of Care in IVF
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) versus “Fresh” ET: How to Make the Decision
• Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): A Rational Approach to Hormonal Preparation and How new Methodology is Impacting IVF.
• Staggered IVF: An Excellent Option When. Advancing Age and Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) Reduces IVF Success Rate
• Embryo Banking/Stockpiling: Slows the “Biological Clock” and offers a Selective Alternative to IVF-Egg Donation.
• Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGS) in IVF: It Should be Used Selectively and NOT be Routine.
• Preimplantation Genetic Sampling (PGS) Using: Next Generation Gene Sequencing (NGS): Method of Choice.
• PGS in IVF: Are Some Chromosomally Abnormal Embryos Capable of Resulting in Normal Babies and Being Wrongly Discarded?
• PGS and Assessment of Egg/Embryo “competency”: How Method, Timing and Methodology Could Affect Reliability
• Treating Out-of-State and Out-of-Country Patients at Sher-IVF in Las Vegas:
• Traveling for IVF from Out of State/Country–
• A personalized, stepwise approach to IVF
• How Many Embryos should be transferred: A Critical Decision in IVF.
• The Role of Nutritional Supplements in Preparing for IVF
• Premature Luteinization (“the premature LH surge): Why it happens and how it can be prevented.
• IVF Egg Donation: A Comprehensive Overview

______________________________________________________
ADDENDUM: PLEASE READ!!
INTRODUCING SHER FERTILITY SOLUTIONS (SFS)
Founded in April 2019, Sher Fertility Solutions (SFS) offers online (Skype/FaceTime) consultations to patients from > 40 different countries. All consultations are followed by a detailed written report presenting my personal recommendations for treatment of what often constitute complex Reproductive Issues.

If you wish to schedule an online consultation with me, please contact my assistant (Patti Converse) by phone (800-780-7437/702-533-2691), email (concierge@SherIVF.com) or, enroll online on then home-page of my website (www.SherIVF.com).

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT SFS!

Geoff Sher

reply

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