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  1. Recurrent Miscarriages: Debunking the Myths

    The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) redefined recurrent miscarriage as two or more consecutive pregnancy losses, by 20 weeks of gestation, as opposed to the previous criteria of three or more consecutive losses. Approximately 5% of couples trying to conceive are diagnosed with recurrent miscarriage or recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL).

    At Brown Fertility, our goal is to help patients achieve their dream of becoming parents by debunking common miscarriage myths while providing proper diagnoses and appropriate care.

    Myth #1: “It’s something I did…”

    Oftentimes couples may be tempted to place blame on themselves to explain their pregnancy loss. However, miscarriages do not occur due to a missed prenatal vitamin or by the mother’s emotional state or physical activity. The majority of early miscarriages are due to chromosome problems with the pregnancy, meaning that the embryo had abnormal chromosome counts, leading to nonviable pregnancy.

    Rarely, there are conditions in which patients have a “chromosome translocation” in which a healthy couple’s chromosomes are rearranged, which leads to mishaps when egg and sperm chromosomes come together. These instances are easy to diagnose with a blood test and can be overcome by testing embryos for chromosomal abnormalities and implanting healthy embryos through the use of IVF with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

    A woman’s immune system may also play a role in recurrent pregnancy loss. Thrombophilia or clotting disorders, hormone abnormalities along with hormone imbalances, thyroid disease and diabetes can also contribute to pregnancy loss. These factors can be screened for and addressed through various treatments.

    Finally, there could be a uterine abnormality that leads to miscarriage. This can be diagnosed through an ultrasound, HSG or hysteroscopy. These will screen for possible uterine defects, fibroids, polyps or adhesions.

    Myth #2: “I will never have a baby.”

    Although devastating, both mentally and emotionally, to hear “try again,” the odds of a successful pregnancy are still very high. In fact, according to ACOG, even after multiple losses a woman has a 65% chance of conceiving and carrying a full-term pregnancy.

    The decision on when to try again is a personal choice that should be decided between you, your spouse and your medical provider. But overall, the prognosis of recurrent miscarriage is encouraging.

    Myth #3: “You should wait to consult a physician…”

    In the past, women were told to wait until they had three consecutive miscarriages before seeking intervention. That is no longer the rule. With modern improvements in genetic testing and infertility treatments, couples can identify genetic problems earlier and how to prevent future heartache. Brown Fertility offers the latest genetic screenings and looks forward to consulting patients’ on their options.

    It is important to remember there is a lot of misinformation that can be found on recurrent miscarriages; but with our expert team at Brown Fertility, combined with the latest testing and screening options, we would be privileged to help those achieve their dream of growing their family.

  2. Gender Selection: Choosing Your Girl or Boy

    There are two primary motivating factors that lead couples to choose the path of gender selection.

    • Family Balancing: Couples can use sex selection as an elective process to diversify gender in the household.
    • Medical Necessity: When specific gender related disorders are at high risk, screening for sex and identifying chromosomally normal embryos leads to the greatest chance for a healthy and successful pregnancy.

    Treatment Options

    The most successful method for gender selection includes IVF with Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS). PGS is available to all patients using IVF to conceive, whether they are experiencing infertility or are undergoing treatment specifically for balancing their family. PGS is performed via embryo biopsy following in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and allows the patient to select the gender of the embryo before being placed in the uterus. After the biopsy, the embryos are analyzed for both karyotype chromosomal health and for gender.

    While PGS is not used to determine a specific disease diagnosis, it is used to screen for missing or extra copies of chromosomes (i.e.: Aneuploidy). This will help couples either select healthy embryos with a normal number of chromosomes or avoid conditions such as down syndrome.

    PGS is also helpful in preventing gender linked diseases from being passed on by allowing couples to use sex selection to increase the chances for a healthy baby. For example, couples may choose PGS for gender selection to decrease the chances of the child developing hemophilia or x-linked diseases. Both of these diseases are shown to be male dominant. In these cases, sex selection can be performed choosing to implant only female embryos.

    PGD is Pre-Implantation Genetic testing of embryos which are similar but a detailed analysis further down into a chromosome for mutations is performed.

    Accuracy and Success Rates

    PGS has proven to be safe and highly successful. Statistics show an accuracy rate of 99.9% in determining the baby’s sex.

    Furthermore, the transfer of a single healthy embryo helps to reduce the chance of a twin or triplet pregnancy, and increases the chance of a single healthy baby being born.

    Conclusion

    The popularity of gender selection with PGS is indicative of parents’ desire to have more control in the health of their child.

    To learn more about gender selection, please contact us at 904.260.0352 in Jacksonville or Tallahassee or 407.244.5515 in Orlando.

  3. Provider Spotlight – Emily Opdycke, ARNP

    Emily Opdycke, ARNP has been a part of Brown Fertility since 2012. She came to the clinic with over a decade of nurse practitioner experience in women’s health. She received her nursing degree from the University of North Florida in 2003, where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. Emily then earned a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. She is currently a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health and Sigma Theta Tau (Lhambda Rho Chapter). Emily also holds certifications in the National Certification Corporation, ACLS, and basic life support.

    Some of Emily’s specialties include performing history and physicals for assessing, diagnosing and implementing a plan of care for couples experiencing infertility. She manages infertility treatments such as timed intercourse, insemination and IVF cycles.  Emily spearheads Brown Fertility’s successful IUI and timed intercourse program; this program is modeled after Brown Fertility’s IVF program and has a more conservative approach. The purpose of the intrauterine insemination is to increase the woman’s ability to become pregnant by washing the sperm to enhance its motility and by mechanically placing the sperm closer to the egg. It has a less invasive approach by using a small flexible catheter.  Emily works collaboratively with the physicians, the embryologist, andrologist, nurses and medical assistants to provide adequate care for patients.  Her expertise shows through her professionalism while remaining personable and respectable.

    Emily is a mother to three children and has been married to her husband for thirteen years. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching football, traveling and art. She also likes to spend time at the beach and plays volleyball in a recreational league.

    About Brown Fertility: With more than 30 years of combined experience and the management of more than 5,000 IVF cycles, Dr. Samuel E. Brown and Dr. Rafael A. Cabrera are dedicated to Conceiving Miracles™. Brown Fertility offers a fully comprehensive array of fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization, egg donation and artificial insemination and is home to Florida’s most state-of-the-art IVF center, which produces some of the highest pregnancy rates in the country. Brown Fertility has earned a reputation for not only producing excellent outcomes and offering affordable treatment options, but also for providing patients with the one-on-one attention and the compassionate care they deserve (see our testimonials). Visit www.BrownFertility.com for more information.

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    Media Contact:
    Nicole Haggerty, Director of Marketing
    nahaggerty@brownfertility.com
    904.260.0352
     
     

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“Throughout our journey to conceive, Dr. Brown became so much more than our reproductive endocrinologist. He became our therapist, problem-solver, cheerleader, and—most importantly—our friend.”Greg & Dana