Monday, November 22

happy thanksgiving

eyes to see blue skies
nose to smell the rose
mouth to taste the sweet
hands to hold and squeeze
legs to carry me
heart to be gracious
soul to be bodacious
courage to move forward
love to give
open to receive
i give thanks

Thursday, November 18

You Can Have a Baby! LECTURE in LONG ISLAND!!!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 will be one of the most important nights of your life. If you have plans, cancel them. Attend this mind-blowing, information-packed, life-changing seminar!

Do you want a baby? Or perhaps another one? Have you had multiple failed cycles of IUI, IVF, or even donor-egg transfers?

Are you ready to open your heart and mind to learn about something that was successfully used to help couples get pregnant long before your great-great-great grandparents were even a twinkle in their parent’s eye? Way before the time of IUI or IVF or donor-egg transfer?

Mike Berkley, licensed acupuncturist and board certified herbalist has been treating infertility for thirteen years. He has lectured nationally to gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, acupuncturists and patients alike on the subject of complementary medicine and infertility.

Mike has created new acupuncture and herbal medicine protocols that are showing promising results. He has helped hundreds of ‘failed’ cases have babies!

In fact, Mike was the very first acupuncturist in the United States to devote a complementary medicine wellness center to the treatment and care of those trying to start or grow their families.

You are invited to attend this lecture and learn about ALL of your option. You are invited to learn how your odds of having a baby can sky-rocket with the right help!

Please be sure to bring your partner and a friend who may benefit from this ground-breaking knowledge.

Where: The Berkley Center at East Coast Fertility

1074 Old Country Road, Plainview, New York

When: Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 – 7:00pm to 8:30pm

The ball is in your court. Are you going to play to win or just sit in the stands and watch others score?

I have devoted my life to helping couples become pregnant; will you grant me the privilege to help you?


Monday, November 8


Come talk with fertility experts the first Wednesday evening of every month, 6-7:15 pm. Everyone is welcome and you do not have to be a patient at Batzofin Fertility Services to attend. There is no charge. Light refreshments will be served.

Contact Carolyn Berger, LCSW, at 914-834-6396 or for more information and to RSVP.

January 5th: “How Healthy Eating and Losing Weight Can Help You Get Pregnant: With Weight Loss Expert Kavita Jhaveri-Patel.

February 2nd : “Options in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): It Takes a Team” With Joel Batzofin, MD, Kristina Salvati-Block, PA-C, and Colleen Ryan, BS; Batzofin Fertility Services.

March 2nd: “Embryology: Choosing the Best Embryos to Transfer, Intricacies of ICSI and Much More” With Mary Schalkoff, PhD, Embryologist, Batzofin Fertility Services.

April 6th: “Can Acupuncture Help Me Get (and Stay) Pregnant?” With Mike Berkley, L.Ac., The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness, NYC.

May 4th: “Love and Infertility: Keeping Your Relationship Alive While Trying to Get Pregnant” With Carolyn Berger, LCSW, Fertility Counselor at BFS and in Westchester.

June 1st: “Yoga for Fertility” with Beth Gibney-Boulden, Registered Yoga Teacher, Certified in Fertility Yoga, Full Circle Family Care, White Plains, NY.

July 6th: “Building Your Family in the LGBT Community” With Terry Boggis, Family Policy Advocate, The Gay Center, NYC.

All talks will be moderated by Carolyn Berger, LCSW, Fertility/Adoption Counselor and Founding Board Chair of The American Fertility Association. Carolyn counsels patients at Batzofin Fertility Services.

Wednesday, November 3

A Day of Peer Groups and Professionally Led Support, Education and Roundtable Discussions for the Third Party Reproduction and Parenting Community

The NYC Gathering November 14, 2010

Upper West Side, 12:30-5:30pm

~Considering and Creating Strong Families~

A Day of Peer Groups and Professionally Led Support, Education and Roundtable Discussions for the Third Party Reproduction and Parenting Community

Topics Include:

Disclosure for Ages and Stages of Development ~ Family Communications

Known and Unknown Donation ~ Acupuncture for Fertility ~

Traveling for Donor IVF~ART Patient as ART Legal Client

Children’s Book Review ~ Creating Your Own Photo-Story book

Choice Parenting and Donor Selection ~ Nature and Nurture

Attachment and Identity Formation in Family Building

~Disclosure for Blended Families~

Participation by Clinicians, RN’s, Doctors, Agencies, Attorneys, Parents Engaging Discussion Groups

Families Sharing Support, Education, and Resources

Registration ~12:15-12:30

Lunch & Introduction ~12:30-1:00

Q&A ~1:00-2:00

Roundtable I~2:00-3:00

Roundtable II~3:15-4:15

Q&A and Closing~4:15-5:15

Workshop $75 pp includes lunch, 2nd or more adults $50, Creative Sitters Childcare $45 for the day in the Discovery Gym (adjacent to workshop).

Contact for registration

~Considering and Creating Strong Families~

Roundtable Leaders and Topics:

Nancy Kaufman, LCSW-Introduction to Professsionally Led Support Group: The Third Party Parenting Network. Nancy is a Clinician in Private Practice in NYC with an expertise in Infertility, Family-building and Disclosure.

Patricia Mendell, LCSW and Co-Chair of The AFA-Disclosure and Professionally Led Support Group. Patricia is a Clinician in Private Practice and group practice with a focus on Disclosure as the founder of The Family Building Network.

Nancy Freeman-Carroll, PsyD-Childrens Book Review & Nature vs Nurture Nancy is a Clinician in NYC with Group and Private practice in Parenting and Infertility with a focus on Womens Health, Parenting After ART and Family Counseling. She has presented at ASRM and The NYC Gathering and is a DE Mom.

Mary Fusillo, RN, De Mom, The Donor Solution Agency Owner and Healthcare Professional Former Clinic Donor Program Coordinator, and Mom to 12 yo daughter who is also attending. Mary is a volunteer through Donormoms of Houston and has presented at ASRM and The NYC Gathering.

Dr Susan Treiser, MD,PHd (attending with Nursing Staff) Co-founder and Co-director of IVF NJ to introduce clinic and lead discussion on Donor Egg and Third Party Reproduction at IVFNJ, PVED.ORG Executive Board Member and Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist. Resolve Award Winner.

Rosalind Hoffman, MD- DE/DS/SMC-Decision-making and donor selection for Choice Moms and general SMC Support. Long Island Resolve Peer Group Member.

Amy Demma, JD. When an ART Patients is also an ART Law Client: a practical discussion about navigating collaborative reproduction from the “parentage” perspective. Amy is a New York State licensed attorney working in assisted family building, primarily third-party and donor collaboration. Amy is a Vice President on the Executive Committee of RESOLVE of New England and serves on the ARTs Law Committee of the American Bar Association.

Rev. Susy Nason-Child Development and Family Communication Expert to introduce and discuss the How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk method.

Lisa Schuman, LCSW-General Support Group Lisa is on staff at RMA NY and in Private Practice in the field of Infertility,Third-party Reproduction and Parenting. She is an Adoption Consultant specializing in Disclosure, Decision-making, and Child Development and has presented at ASRM.

Mike Berkley-Acupuncture for Fertility- Mike Berkley is the Director of The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness, the first center of complimentary medicine to specialize in the treatment of infertility. He has been in practice for 13 years as a fertility practice.

Ingrid Maurer-Traveling for Donor IVF - Ingrid is a member of our community that has participated in numerous capacities in peer-support, as a guest speaker for Resolve, as a member of PVED.Org andTPPN and of course, The NYC Gathering.

Lori Goldkind-General Peer Support-Lori is a member of our on-going Womens DInner in Midtown and is a new mom via egg donation. Lori has been involved in The NYC Gathering and is a member of PVED.Org. Lori will be available to share her insights, support and experience with others who are considering or parenting via de.

Joann Paley Galst,Ph.D-Attachment, Identity Formation and Family Building: How and Why It Is Safe To Disclose. Joann is a clinician in private practice in NYC. Please see the June 2009 recap here on DONORGROUPSNYC about wonderful The AFA Teleconference that Joann led with Patricia Mendell.

Carolyn N. Berger, LCSW-Disclosure in Blended Families:When Children Come into the Family through Adoption And/Or Third Party And/Or Are Genetically Related. Carolyn is a clinician in NYC and Westchester with a practice devoted to Fertility, All Forms of Family Building and Adoption.

Judy Kottick-LCSW-Known vs Unknown Donors & Disclosure Judy is a Clinician in Private Practice facilitating Donor Parenting groups, is on staff at IVF NJ facilitating Donor and Recipient Screenings, has presented at ASRM and The NYC Gathering.

Long Island Parents via DS-will show us their photo story books, discuss their experience meeting donor sibling family, and share their journey with us.


Corroboration of my previous post on male contribution to viable embryo

We evaluated cytogenetic results occurring with first trimester pregnancy loss, and assessed the type and frequency of chromosomal abnormalities after assisted reproductive treatment (ART) and compared them with a control group. We also compared the rate of chromosomal abnormalities according to infertility causes in ICSI group.

Methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was made of all patients who were referred to the Genetics Laboratory of Fertility Center of CHA Gangnam Medical Center from 2005 to 2009 because of clinical abortion with a subsequent dilation and evacuation (D&E) performed, and patients were grouped by type of conception as follows: conventional IVF (in vitro fertilization) (n=114), ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) (n=140), and control (natural conception or intrauterine insemination [IUI]) (n=128).

Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software.

Results: A total 406 specimens were referred to laboratory, ten abortuses were excluded, and in 14 cases, we did not get any spontaneous metaphase, chromosomal constitutions of 382 specimens were successfully obtained with conventional cytogenetic methods. Overall, 52.62% of the miscarriages were found to be cytogenetically abnormal among all patients, the frequency was 48.4% in the control group, 54.3% of miscarriages after ICSI and 55.3% after conventional IVF (p=0.503).

The most prevalent abnormalities were autosomal trisomy, however, nine (11.69%) sex chromosome aneuploidy were noted in the ICSI group vs. four (6.45%) and two (3.23%) cases in the conventional IVF group and control group.

We compared chromosomal abnormalities of miscarriages after ICSI according to infertility factor. 55.71% underwent ICSI due to male factors, 44.29% due to non-male factors.

ICSI group having male factors showed significantly higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities than ICSI group having non-male factors (65.8% vs. 34.2%, p=0.009, odds ratio=1.529, 95% CI=1.092-2.141).

Conclusions: No increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities due to ART was found with the exception of a greater number of sex chromosomal abnormalities in the ICSI group with male factor infertility.

Therefore, these alterations could be correlated with the underlying parental risk of abnormalities and not with the ICSI procedure itself.

Author: Ji won KimWoo Sik LeeTae Ki YoonHyun Ha SeokJung Hyun ChoYou Shin KimSang Woo LyuSung Han Shim

Credits/Source: BMC Medical Genetics 2010, 11:153

Tuesday, November 2

Male Contribution to Viable Embryo

Centriole definition: a structure found in the cell cytoplasm (cytoplasm: all of the contents outside of the nucleus and enclosed within the cell membrane of a cell) that plays a role in embryo development.

Sperm centrioles were traced from fertilization to the hatching blastocyst stage. The sperm centriole is introduced into the egg at fertilization. As the male and female aspects of the developing embryo (called pro nuclei) fuse (called syngamy) to become a shared environment of both male and female DNA, centrioles play a pivotal role in cell division (cleavage) of the embryo.

This division, when the embryo goes from a single cell organism to a two cell organism to a four cell organism to an eight cell organism to a sixteen cell organism is called mitosis or cleavage. Sperm centrioles were detected at all stages of embryonic cleavage from the 1-cell through 8-cell stages, right up to the hatching blastocyst stage.

It is evident that the sperm centrosome ( formed from centrioles and having to do with cell division) is the functional active centrosome in humans, while the female is inactive.

Did you know? Embryos having 7-9 cells on day 3 have an increased chance of developing to the blastocyst stage. A blastocyst is a 5 day embryo and is considered to be of significant quality. Embryos with <7 cells or >9 cells are less likely to make it to the blastocyst stage.

My question is this: if a woman consistently produces 4 or 6 cell embryos during a stimulated IVF cycle is it not possible that the male partner’s sperm has some ultra structural defect whereupon centriole quality is subfunctional?

Since we know that the male contribution of healthy centrioles is necessary to facilitate cleavage of embryos to the blastocyst stage, it is my ardent recommendation that male partners of all women who are trying to conceive should also be treated with acupuncture and herbs. Even when the male partner presents within the normal range for volume, count, morphology and motility, centriole health cannot be easily determined.

Case: A female patient has 15 eggs retrieved during an IVF cycle; 10 fertilize, and 7 survive. She has 7, day 3 embryos ranging in size from 6 to 10 cells with zero fragmentation and a healthy10mm endometrial lining. The reproductive endocrinologist transfers three of these beautiful embryos and the cycle fails. Why? We do not know for sure: it could be that the embryos were chromosomally abnormal. This can be due to chromosomally abnormal eggs or sperm. It can also be due to the fact that the male centriole health and function were not optimal. This may be considered a ‘hidden’ cause of infertility.

The use of acupuncture and certain herbal medicines can vigorously stimulate blood flow to the testicles carrying oxygen and nutrients, as well as hormones from the brain, as well as electrolytes, while simultaneously carrying debris or dead cells away from the testicles. This increased delivery of the ‘good’ and increased excretion of the ‘bad’ may improve ultra structural properties of the sperm including centriole quality and function and thereby improve embryo quality and help facilitate cleavage to the blastocyst stage and thereby potentiate take home baby rates.

Summary: It is my opinion, based on clinical experience, that both partners should be treated with acupuncture and herbal medicine when wishing to start or grow a family and is having difficulty doing so.

[1] Alikani M, Caulderon G, Tomkin G, et al. Cleavage anomalies in early human embryos for transfer after in vitro fertilization. Human Reprod 1997; 12(7): 1545-1549