Meet Us Monday: Helen Ortojan year in review

Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver looks back at their achievements over the past year.

Maligayang bati!

Isang taon na naman ang nakalipas at pinagmamalaki kong sabihin na maraming magandang nagaganap dito sa Genesis. Matagumpay ang aming open houses at egg freezing event. Ang pinaka-unang eEva baby ng Genesis ay pinanganak na rin.

Noong nakaraang  Oktobre, ako ay nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na makapunta sa ASRM convention sa Hawaii. Para sa akin, ito ay isang magandang karanasan dahil sa mga bagong updates at mga bagong pag-aaral para matulungan ang mga pasyente sa kanilang infertility issues.

Kami po dito sa Genesis ay nagkakaisa sa aming layunin na matulungan ang lahat sa kanilang hangarin na magkaroon ng kumpletong pamilya.

Kami din po ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng sumuporta at naniniwala sa aming kakayahan. Patuloy po  kaming tutulong sa inyo. Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat.

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We are proud of the many positive things that have happened at Genesis over the past year, like our successful open houses and egg freezing event. As well as the birth of the first EEVA baby in Canada achieved through our clinic.

Last October , I had the opportunity to attend the ASRM convention in Hawaii . It was a great experience because I got to learn about new updates and new studies to help patients with their infertility issues.

We here at Genesis are united in our goal to help all of those hoping to complete their family. We are deeply grateful for all of the support from our patients and believe in our abilities to help make their dreams a reality. We look forward to helping you in the year to come. Thank you!

 

Wellness Wednesday: Independently Verified Pregnancy Rates

In 2013, Genesis Fertility Centre became the first and only clinic in Canada to independently verify our clinical results. We did this to improve transparency about our clinic’s pregnancy rates and translate for patients procedural success rates that are often reported in different ways.

In the U.S., reporting of pregnancy rates by fertility clinics is mandatory, audited and identifiable. In Canada, 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.

At Genesis Fertility Centre, we believe that singleton pregnancies are healthiest for mothers and babies as multiple implantation’s increase the risk of pre-term delivery and obstetrical complications.

Between January 2011 and December 2012, Genesis’s elective and mandatory single embryo transfer rate was 18%.

In 2013, elective day-five single embryo (eSET) utilization increased to 76% for eligible women under age 37 (table 3).

Elective single day-five embryo transfer (eSET) in women under age 37 at Genesis Fertility Centre (independently verified, January 2013 - July 2014).

 

What do these numbers mean?

Pregnancy rates may be reported in several ways due to various definitions of pregnancy (see Table 4). The denominator against which positive pregnancies are measured also vary:

  1. The start of an IVF cycle, i.e. the start of fertility medication
  2. Egg retrieval
  3. Embryo transfer

We report according to fresh embryo transfer.

Independently verified pregnancy rates (%) per fresh embryo transfer for Genesis Fertility Centre (January 2013 - July 2014).

 

Why do we report according to fresh embryo transfer?

Many patients now choose to freeze their embryos for later use rather than proceed with embryo transfer immediately. Also, some patients with poorer prognoses or more challenging histories (e.g. AMH levels of <0.5; multiple previous failed cycles at the same or different fertility clinics) may have poorer progression to transfer, i.e. no embryo to transfer. In the past, these patients may have been denied a chance to try. We take pride in accepting these “challenging cases” provided the patients understand the prognoses. We are honoured to help them build their families.

Not all egg retrievals result in embryo transfer:

  • Fertility preservation for patients with cancer or other medical issues
  •  Cryopreservation of embryos for later use due to:

i. Genetic screening (day-five embryo biopsy and freezing while awaiting results of testing)
ii. Risk of ovarian hyperstimulation
iii. Uterine factor infertility
iv. Other, e.g. personal or health reasons

  • No eggs retrieved (this occurs at a frequency of <1% in a normal responder)
  •  Failed fertilization (occurs in <5% of cases)
  • Failed embryo development (occursin <1% of cases)

We intend to post our pregnancy rates according to age, AMH levels and previous attempts on our website to allow patients to interpret their individual circumstances. Stay tuned!

*Biochemical pregnancy rates are defined as positive blood tests done 17 days after the embryo transfer.

Meet Us Monday – Shalyn Arejola and her trip to Thailand!

It was great to be able to end 2014, and begin 2015, with a trip to Thailand. I visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

Some highlights of the trip I would like to share, in no particular order, include:

  • Spending the day with newly rescued Elephants. These elephants were rescued from being abused (logging, trekking, circus, etc). The rule was that we were there fore the elephants, not the other way around. We fed and bathed them. No riding :-). They were a pleasure to spend the day with.

Genesis Fertility Centre employee visits an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

  • Food, food and more food! So many things to eat, so little time. We tried lots of street food, restaurants that didn’t have any English on their menu (these were the best!), and my favorite of all, the Northern Thailand Specialty “Khao Soi.” It is a curry-based broth with both soft and crispy noodles.

A Genesis Fertility Centre employee enjoys some Khao Soi while visiting Thailand

  • New Years Eve in Chiang Mai – The floating lanterns everywhere made me feel like I was in a storybook. They were beautiful to watch and fun to light up and release with our 2015 wishes scribbled on them.

A Genesis Fertility employee spends her New Year in Thailand.

  • Thai Cooking Class – Besides learning to cook delicious food, we got to tour and learn the main Thai ingredients at the market.

A Genesis Fertility Centre employee takes a cooking class while vacationing in Thailand

  • The view of Bangkok from skybar – one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen.

Genesis Fertility Centre employee visits Thailand

  • Colors and details – Thailand is such a colorful country. I lost count of the different taxi colors that existed in Bangkok. And their architecture (specially the temples) have such intricate details. It was beautiful.

Genesis Fertility Centre employee visits Thailand

 

There were so many other places I wanted to explore and so many more things to do. Clearly, two weeks was not enough. But now it’s back to work with all of the lovely people at Genesis Fertility Centre!  See you soon!

 

Wellness Wednesday: Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening & Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Genesis Fertility Centre is committed to fertility patient care, and screening for chromosomal abnormalities can help reduce the probability of a failed cycle, miscarriage or abnormal pregnancy from an IVF cycle. At our clinic, we offer both comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS; Table below) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

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Genesis pregnancy rate for CCS patients of all ages (2014).

What is Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening?

CCS, also known as preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), allows fertility specialists to identify a chromosomally balanced embryo for transfer with 98% certainty. Screening embryos prior to implantation can help achieve higher success rates and fewer pregnancy losses, particularly for women over 35 years old, patients with multiple-failed IVF cycles, implantation failures or repeated miscarriages.

For women under age 35, more of their embryos will be balanced (euploid). Nevertheless, there are some younger patients who prefer CCS. An example would be unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss or previously chromosomally abnormal pregnancies.

Due to age-related infertility, for women over age 38, most of their embryos will be abnormal (aneuploid) and CCS can help reduce the time needed to successfully conceive by avoiding the transfer of an abnormal embryo.

What is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and how is it different than CCS?

PGD is a test offered to patients who have a high risk of transmitting a known single-gene defect to their child, such as Tay-Sachs disease, haemophilia and cystic fibrosis.

If you would like to speak with one of our nurses about CCS or PGD, please call us at 604.879.3032

Meet Us Monday: Jas Grewal

Andrologist at Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver

 

Hi there! My name is Jas! You will find me in the laboratory where I work as an Andrologist.

I was born in Coventry (west midlands) UK and went on to graduate from the University of Nottingham. I arrived in Canada in 2008 and I love my life here! I never tire of Vancouver’s beauty. Every morning on the drive into work the mountains take my breath away.

Speaking of Vancouver’s finest… I met my husband out here so it looks like I’m here to stay! My immediate family still live in England and I miss them very much, but with technology such as FaceTime the world definitely feels like a much smaller place.

I love cups of tea and watching Coronation Street when I get home from work, so I guess some things never change! On my days off I like to spend my time catching up with my family and friends. The weather has been great this summer for BBQ’s.

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to travel a fair bit. One of my most treasured memories was our honeymoon to Tanzania and Zanzibar. I often find myself missing the golden plains of Africa on Monday mornings!

But, in all honesty I do love coming to work. My coworkers and I are a close team. Outside of work we spend time with each other. We care for our patients and also take care of each other. We all take immense pride in what we do. It’s a wonderful feeling making a difference in the lives of others.

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