The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Stamford CT, 2009
Affordable options allow couples to pursue 
fertility treatment in tough economic times.
International Surrogacy introduced at NEFI.

 

For many couples the dream of  becoming parents cannot be put on hold even during difficult economic times.  This is especially true for women who are 35 years and older, when fertility is declining.   Dr. Gad Lavy, founder and director of New England Fertility Institute presents couples with affordable fertility programs, allowing couples to start treatment as soon as possible.

 

New England Fertility Institute now offers a variety of financial options to assist couples who do not have medical insurance to cover their fertility therapy.

 

AFFORDABLE OVULATION therapy:  A flat fee covers up to three cycles of ovulation therapy and insemination, the first therapy for may couples.

 

AFFORDABLE  IVF:   A  variation of the standard in vitro fertilization process. The cost is reduced by using less medications.  Even though fewer embryos are produced and in most cases no embryos area available for freezing,   The cost of this program is approximately half the cost of traditional ( standard) IVF.

 

IVF ASSURANCE: This program allows patients who qualify, to pay a flat fee for treatment which includes 6 IVF cycles.  Patients receive a refund of up to %80, if pregnancy is not achieved.

 

INTERNATIONAL SURROGACY:  Gestational surrogacy has become a viable option for women   unable to carry a child to term.  New England Fertility Institute's gestational surrogacy program is among the largest and most successful in the northeast.  Last year, New England Fertility Institute expanded its gestational surrogacy program internationally by establishing collaboration with one of the most respected programs in India.  Thus the cost of the procedure is significantly less, yet the chances of success equal those in the U.S.  The gestational surrogates receive excellent medical care and are closely supervised through out their pregnancy.

 

New England Fertility Institute will host an evening of complimentary financial consultations, March 12th, starting at 5:30 pm in their Stamford office. Ms. Debra Degirolomo, financial counselor will conduct private consultations. To RSVP, please email mwelch@nefertility.com or call 203-325-3200. Refreshments will be served and couples will receive a complimentary resource  packet.   

 

The From INCIID the Heart Fund

The From INCIID the Heart Fund  

Serono --- PROUD SPONSOR OF FROM INCIID THE HEART IVF SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

 

 

 
Please let us know if you want your donation to go directly toward paying for the expenses of the "From INCIID the Heart" Program" which continues providing donated cycles of IVF to recipients with medical and financial need but without insurance to cover the procedure. 

 

Read about the From INCIID the Heart Program here.
The first and only national IVF scholarship program.

Donate to INCIID.
INCIID is a 501 c 3 charity and donations to it or the Heart Fund are tax deductible to to the extend permitted by law.
 
 
 

 

Fertility Rescue Program

Fertility Rescue: 
Ensuring a Cancer Diagnosis Doesn't Derail the Dream of Future Family

 

When a young woman is diagnosed with cancer, the rush to treatment is immediate.  The patient is thrust into the world of cancer and the primary hope is recovery.  Sometimes the patient is aware their fertility could be impacted, but overwhelmed and exhausted they put the "fertility issue" aside and pursue cancer treatment.

Sometimes the fertility issue is not even addressed. In a 2009 survey from Moffitt Cancer Center, it was reported that only 46% of oncologists discuss fertility preservation with cancer patients of child-bearing age. Very often, the oncologist is focused exclusively on beating the cancer and helping the patient regain a normal life. If they are aware of fertility preservation, they are reluctant to refer to patients to what they believe is an expensive procedure.

Yet fertility preservation for cancer patients is becoming an increasingly important issue. Of the estimated 1.5 million men and women who were diagnosed as having cancer in 2010, approximately 10% are younger than 45 years. The two leading cancer institutes in the world, the National Cancer Institute and Mayo Clinic, both came out with papers in January 2011 urging oncologists to encourage fertility preservation.

Given this growing need for more information and access, Sher Institute is launching a new program called Fertility Rescue, offering a $10,000 egg freezing cycle at no cost. Previously Sher Institute had offered a 50% discount through an organization called Fertile Hope through their Sharing Hope Program. Through Sharing Hope, Sher Fertility Institutes treated dozens of cancer patients from across the country. Now, we are taking the next step by offering the service at no cost. No other clinic in the country or the world offers egg freezing for free.

The core idea was to put Sher Institutes' egg freezing technology to philanthropic use. This technology allows us to genetically test eggs prior to freezing them so the cancer patient knows what is available to them when they go to use the eggs at a later point in life. This is called CGH - comparative genomic hybridization - we published on studies using CGH in 2006 and 2007.

Fertility Rescue is truly a "gift" from the Sher Institute doctors and clinical staff. We are all about creating and building families. We feel cancer patients should have a right to plan for theirs without the burden of additional emotional and financial concerns.

More and more people are surviving cancer and they should have the right to plan for a future family. There is no "catch" or hidden cost.

If you would like to learn more about the Fertility Rescue Program, here are the steps you need to take:
Have your oncologist or physician provide a referral to Sher Institute 
Contact Sher Institute to schedule a consultation with a doctor 
At your consultation, your doctor will set up a timeline for expedited egg freezing and assign you a nurse coordinator to assist you throughout the process.

Thanks to Fertility Rescue, Sher Institute can help cancer patients keep the hope of a future family alive.

Central Illinois: (309) 689-0411
Dallas: (972) 566-6686
Las Vegas: (702) 892-9696
New Jersey: (908) 781-0666
New York: (646) 792-7476
Sacramento: (916) 568-2125
St. Louis: (314) 983-9000

Press Release: Class Action Law Suit Filed Against Blue Cross Blue Shield of California

October 26, 2007

PRESS RELEASE

[For Immediate Release]

 

A lawsuit charging Blue Cross of California with failing to offer infertility benefits required by California law was certified as a class action on Tuesday.  This will allow the class representative and her attorneys to seek an injunction directing Blue Cross to offer much broader infertility coverage to group health plans covering employees of governmental entities and many religious institutions.  Blue Cross currently offers only a limited benefit of $2,500 a year, and requires plan members to pay 50% co-pays.

According to attorney Mark F. Didak of Los Angeles, who represents the class, California Health & Safety Code and Insurance Code require health plans to offer infertility coverage on the same terms as they cover other health conditions, without lower coverage limits or higher co-pays.  “The benefit should cover all infertility diagnosis and treatment services ‘consistent with established medical practices,’” Didak said, “except that health plan providers are not required to offer coverage for the actual laboratory procedures involved in in vitro fertilization.”  The last part is important, says Didak, because health insurers typically refuse to pay for anything associated with in vitro fertilization, which can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 per cycle.  “The law only allows them to not offer coverage for the lab procedures, which usually cost between a few hundred dollars and $1,500.”  Didak hopes to persuade the court to issue an injunction that might serve as an example to the health insurance industry by clarifying what infertility benefits must be offered and which ones they can choose not to offer.

The lawsuit was filed in 2006 by plaintiff Deborah Dunn Yeager and is pending before Judge Victoria Chaney of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Prof. Dunn Yeager, who teaches communications at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, enrolled in a Blue Cross plan at work believing it covered infertility problems, only to have her benefits claim denied.  Her college, she discovered, had not been offered infertility coverage on the terms required byCalifornia law.  The statutes, Health & Safety Code section 1374.55 and Insurance Code section 10119.6, also mandate that “every plan shall communicate the availability of that coverage to all group contractholders and to all prospective group contractholders with whom they are negotiating.”

Up to 15% of all couples of child-bearing age suffer problems conceiving.  The problems are often treatable, many times with relatively inexpensive methods.  “When the California Legislature passed the law requiring health plans to offer this coverage in 1989, they found that infertility ‘affects millions of Californians,’” said Mr. Didak. “The Legislature also found that ‘[i]f properly treated, successful pregnancies can result in 70 percent of [infertility] cases,’ but that ‘[i]nsurance coverage for infertility is uneven, inconsistent, and frequently subject to arbitrary decisions which are not based on legitimate medical considerations.’”

Mr. Didak continued, “what’s clear is that if infertility coverage is always offered as the law requires, it will be sold more often, solving the problems the Legislature was trying to address.  It will also bring the price of coverage down as more and more groups purchase it.  Blue Cross will no longer be able to deny necessary medical treatment to people who want the chance to start a family or have another child.  It’s one of the most fundamental rights any person has.”

 

[For more information, please contact class counsel Mark F. Didak at (310) 689-7022 or mdidak@selmanbreitman.com.]

The Octuplet Debacle: Where do we go from here?

by Geoffrey Sher, MD

The entire debacle surrounding the IVF “Octuplets” raises serious ethical issues. .At the same time, it sounds an alarm that it is time for all well intended people involved in Reproductive Health Care, to take action.

The situation itself is nothing short of outrageous. Not only does it represent an example of “medical science gone wild”, but it evokes the concern about the unregulated field of Reproductive Medicine and asks the question, “Is this field on the verge of being out of control.” There can be no pussy-footing around the fact that the Hippocratic Oath which binds physicians to “do no harm” was ignored in this unfortunate case.

Most women going through IVF are desperate to have a baby and many are even willing to cast safety to the wind, abandon all cautions, and virtually do anything it takes to achieve success. Such women are highly vulnerable to the (fortunately) few reckless medical practitioners who might exploit such desperation.  
The problem with high order multiple births (triplets or greater) is that in about 50% of such cases the severe premature births that commonly occur in such cases, result in death or severe developmental complications such as cerebral palsy, psychomotor retardation, blindness and mental retardation; conditions which severely compromise the quality of life after birth and lead to devastating financial, social and societal hardship.

There is undoubtedly an urgent need to protect uninformed IVF consumers from the few reckless IVF physicians who are willing to transfer of large numbers of embryos simply to improve pregnancy rates at any cost. It is such deplorable practice has led to a virtual explosion in the incidence of IVF-induced high order multiple births. What is urgently needed is stringent enforceable regulations that limit the transfer of numerous embryos, especially to younger women (under 35 years) where the incidence of high order multiple pregnancies is the highest.

Many countries outside the United States already limit the number of embryos that are allowed to be transferred and it is time that we step up to the plate as well.

The recent introduction of genetic tests such as comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) allows for the identification of those embryos that are most likely to propagate a viable pregnancy. With these new methods that can more than double the IVF baby rate per embryo transferred, we can approach IVF with the goal of one embryo – one baby.  Yes, the time is fast approaching that the transfer of but one (1) embryo will result in one healthy baby more than 60% of the time. Indeed such genetic embryo markers that can improve the efficiency of the IVF process reduce miscarriages and minimize the risk of chromosomal birth defects such as Downs Syndrome could provide a “better way” to help patients safely build their families successfully.

No physician seeks to limit the freedom by which he or she practices medicine. On the other hand, when outrages such as this occur, it is time to go back to the drawing board to re-examine and revamp existing policies so as to avoid similar catastrophes from occurring in the future.
GEOFFREY SHER MD
SHER INSTITUTE FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (SIRM)

Please feel free to send us your comments. We may publish them in our next newsletter.

Dr. Sher is an active member of the board of directors of INCIID. He is an avid advocate for ethical treatment of patients. Dr. Sher helped INCIID launch the From INCIID the Heart Scholarship Program in 2004 and remains an  active participant. He is an outspoken advocate for women and their families in their quest to become parents.

Press Release: FCI Seeks IF Patients for Clinical Study

(February 2008 - Chicago, IL) Fertility Centers of Illinois S.C., (FCI) along with several other large infertility practices nationwide, have been selected to participate in a Phase III Clinical Trial for an investigational drug supports pregnancy and is used with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). FCI seeks up to 200 patients to take part in the study and is offering one cycle of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at no cost to all that meet the study criteria.

 

All patients taking part in the study will be required to take daily injections of gonadotropins to prepare the eggs, similar to a typical IVF cycle. Half of patients will be randomized into a group taking the FDA approved drug and the other half will take the investigational drug. Randomization to the progesterone treatment group will occur after a patient has reached egg retrieval.

 

Initially, participants of the study must be seen at the FCI River North office; however subsequent monitoring can be performed at either of the In Vitro Fertilization Centers at Highland Park or River North. Oocyte retrieval and embryo transfer will be performed at the designated IVF facility.  Following embryo transfer, additional embryos can be frozen, but at the cost to the patient. As with all drug studies, strict criteria for participation apply. Please visit www.fcionline.com for further information about the application process and criteria for inclusion and exclusion from the program.

 

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ABOUT FERTILITY CENTERS OF ILLINOIS

Fertility Centers of Illinois, S.C., is one of the nation’s leading infertility treatment practices, providing advanced reproductive endocrinology services in the Chicago area for over 25 years. FCI has more babies born than the next ten centers combined with high success rates that are recognized throughout the nation. In addition to a team of nationally recognized reproductive physicians who stay current on the latest technology and procedures, FCI patients have access to many other unique support services, such as professional counseling from a licensed, Ph.D. clinical psychologist, patient advocates and innovative financial options. FCI is part of IntegraMed, the nation's largest and most reputable network of fertility centers and has multiple offices conveniently located throughout the Chicago area. For more information visit www.fcionline.com

Ceres Fertility announces preliminary study results

Fertile One™ Improves Sperm Quality 
in 70%+ of patients

 

 

MSan Diego, CA April 15, 2003: Ceres Fertility announced today that Fertile One, a fertility supplement for men, increased overall sperm quality in over 70% of all patients treated. In clinical trials currently underway, fertility experts have observed that men who have supplemented their diet for three months with Fertile One have a major improvement (>50%) of the total normal-motile sperm forms. In addition, fertility scientists conducting the trial are discovering some reduction in the amount of DNA fragmentation following Fertile One supplementation. ”Patients using Fertile One are experiencing an unprecedented positive increase in all categories of the study,” said Bruce Thomsen, President and CEO of Ceres Fertility. “A number of Fertility Clinics have had their patients initiate Fertile One therapy. Patients having initial problems conceiving can greatly benefit from this treatment. The expenses of infertility care can be staggering. Fertile One in an effective low cost treatment that could help the fertility challenged male.”

 

Fertile One is a scientifically formulated dietary supplement manufactured by Ceres Fertility designed to improve both sperm count and overall sperm quality. Fertile One is a proprietary blend, comprised of amino acid, vitamin, mineral and herbal components. Individuals wishing to optimize their fertility potential should supplement their diet with Fertile One.

 

“A diet supplemented with Fertile One will typically result in a significant increase in the total number of morphologically-normal motile sperm,” said Dr. William Roudebush, PhD, HCLD, Director of Research at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA) in Atlanta, Georgia, which is conducting a trial of Fertile One’s efficacy. RBA has also seen a reduction in the amount of DNA fragmentation on the part of patients being studied. DNA fragmentation has been cited in several publications as a cause of infertility.

 

Founded in 2001, Ceres Fertility, Inc. is a leader in reproductive healthcare, specializing in services, supplies, consulting and new technologies for fertility specialists and their patients. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to aid most areas of the fertility sector.

 

For further information regarding Ceres Fertility,
www.ceresfertility.com 
e-mail: cfinfo@ceresfertility.com
phone: 877-237-3748
 

For further information regarding the Fertile One™ study, please contact the Principal Investigator:

William E. Roudebush, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor, Physiology
T 864.455.9842
F 864.455.5267
 

 

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