Dr Sonya Kashyap speaks with Pulse 107.7 FM to speak about IVF and Infertility Awareness Week. To listen to the full interview click below.
In 2013, Genesis Fertility Centre became the first and only clinic in Canada to independently verify our pregnancy success rates.
Why did we have our clinical results independently verified?
We did this to improve transparency about our clinic’s pregnancy rates and make it easier for patients to understand our success rates.
In the U.S., pregnancy rates reporting by fertility clinics is mandatory, audited and identifiable. In Canada however, success rates reporting is voluntary, de-identified and unaudited. Websites may contain only biochemical pregnancy rates and use different denominators, making it virtually impossible for patients to compare the success rates of different fertility clinics.
At Genesis, we ensure validity of our pregnancy rates annually through third-party auditing conducted by two independent, unrelated industry organizations: Fertility Authority, a leading authority in patient advocacy, and IVF Reports, an authority in IVF standards.
Vancouver, B.C. – September 24, 2014 – The first baby in Canada conceived with the assistance of the Early Embryo Viability Assessment (Eeva®) Test at Vancouver’s Genesis Fertility Centre was born this past August. Olivia, born to Darla Macey-Nicholson and Craig Nicholson, was conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the help of novel embryo development information provided by the Eeva®Test.
The Eeva® Test, which is exclusively distributed in Canada by EMD Serono, a division of EMD Inc., Canada, is a significant innovation for reproductive technology. The test is a tool which helps embryologists in assessing the embryo most likely to develop for implantation, ultimately aiding fertility experts achieve better outcomes for their patients. Developed by Auxogyn Inc., a company dedicated to advancing women’s reproductive health, the Eeva® Test is based on patented technology developed by StanfordUniversity researchers. This team of university researchers is world-renowned for pioneering techniques in time-lapse imaging of stem cells.
“We are honoured to have helped conceive the first Eeva® baby in Canada,” says Dr. Sonya Kashyap MD, medical director of Genesis Fertility Centre. “It demonstrates that Eeva can act as a tool to improve success rates of IVF in addition to increasing patients’ overall experience to achieve pregnancy. These are our two most important goals.”
By Susan Lockhart, PhD, MBA, BScN
In the scientific community a number of studies have looked at the impact stress has on the outcomes of fertility treatments. While the results are interesting, there has not been strong evidence to suggest that stress itself has either caused infertility or has a negative impact on fertility treatment outcomes. However, most people who have had the experience of infertility would agree that while stress hasn’t necessarily caused their infertility, infertility certainly has caused additional stress in their lives! Now, add fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the increase of stress can be exponentially higher. Leading up to IVF can be an intense experience. Infertility itself is a life crisis, usually an unanticipated event. Tests, procedures and probing into one’s intimate personal information can, and often does, produce stress. Overall, infertility can impact one’s psychological, emotional, and physical well being. Once the decision is made to pursue IVF there is the additional financial burden. IVF undoubtedly adds to an already stressful situation.
A few years ago, I conducted a study of women and their partners undergoing IVF. At the beginning of their IVF treatment (which was the first day of blood test and ultrasound monitoring) patients were asked to record their level of stress experienced during their IVF treatment at certain time points: the start of IVF treatment, during hormone injections and monitoring, egg retrieval, waiting for fertilization results, embryo transfer and waiting for pregnancy test result. Not surprisingly, the highest levels of stress for women were waiting for fertilization results and waiting for the results of their pregnancy test. What was interesting was that men recorded their highest stress levels at the same time points as women but with lower scores overall.
So how does this information help? For the health care providers at Genesis, it reinforces when our patients need the most support. For those going through IVF, it alerts them when they need to have self-care measures in place. Previous blogs have focused on ways to help ease stress and increase well being when dealing with infertility and infertility treatment. We will explore in subsequent blogs the different stages of the IVF treatment cycle and what you can do to reduce stress and increase quality of life during this challenging time.
Our medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, has recently begun running with Dr. Spence Pentland of Yinstill Reproductive Wellness. On their run, the two doctors were both inspired by the supportive nature of their outings and saw it as an opportunity to talk about their work in the fertility field. From this inspiration stemmed the idea for Fertility Friends Walk/Run Club Vancouver.
Genesis and Yinstill have decided to partner in a walk and run group (running is typically discouraged for women who are undergoing stimulation for IVF treatments, which is why we would like to invite you to also walk). Employees of both clinics, patients undergoing treatment, those who are struggling to conceive and members of their support group are welcome to come out and enjoy some physical activity, Vancouver’s gorgeous scenery and the company of others who understand the pain of infertility. During Wednesday mornings at 6am beginning August 20, 2014, we will depart from the Jericho parking lot (East) towards the Spanish Banks for a 3 km run round trip. We invite all of you to join in this opportunity to improve your health in a supportive environment.
These days, more and more people are taking up the practice of yoga as a way to keep themselves fit and healthy both physically and mentally.
Yoga itself has long been lauded as bestowing upon its practitioners many direct and indirect health benefits from increased flexibility to reduced blood pressure, but is it safe to practice yoga during pregnancy?
Our medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, responses to the National Post article published on June 22, 2014: The fertility clinic guessing game: Canadians have no way to find out success rates of pricey IVF treatments.
In 2013, Genesis Fertility Centre became the first and only clinic in Canada to have independently verified success rates. Our success rates are some of the best in North America due to our attention to detail, dedication and consistency. We also have introduced the newest and advanced technologies, such as egg and embryo vitrification; comprehensive chromosomal screening; and trophectoderm biopsy which are among the services we provide that can assist with increasing the chance of conception.
I believe we have a responsibility to make the process as transparent as possible for patients. This includes reporting success rates in terms of a denominator, be it cycle started or embryo transfer, and also in terms of differentiating between biochemical, clinical and live birth rates. In addition, we see the importance of identifying separate categories for success rates per frozen embryo versus those which are screened for chromosomal abnormalities.
By: Dr. Sonya Kashyap
When couples envision starting a family, natural conception is typically the first thing that comes to mind; therefore it can be quite the shock when it is discovered that in vitro fertilization, or IVF, may be their only option. The idea of creating life in a lab can be a difficult concept to grasp for those who are used to the normative form of conceiving and are unfamiliar with the more technical side of fertility. New patients often want to know if their estrogen levels are normal, if their number of eggs is normal, etc. To be sure, there is nothing normal about this process. However, that is not to say we cannot work to make it as natural as possible.
By: Dr. Sonya Kashyap
The comments published on May 12’s edition of the National Post with regards to “Pregnancy is a want, not a need,” were very disheartening to read. I understand that the opinions in the article are not meant to be hurtful, but as a fertility doctor, I would like to bring to light that infertility is not a choice, much like many other medical conditions that public health care treats on a regular basis.
The staff at our fertility clinic are avid supporters of individuals and couples having children when they think they are ready. As Canadian Infertility Awareness Week approaches at the end of May (24-31), there’s no better time than now to consult with your family doctor about options for maintaining and extending your fertility.
One option of extending your fertility is to have your eggs frozen.
Our medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, wrote an opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun explaining why people should consider egg freezing as an option should they choose to have children later in life.