Is Magarelli Fertility Affordable or Cheap?

Is Magarelli Fertility Affordable or Cheap?

Some facts are needed that will help us understand cheap vs. affordable.

The Details Behind Magarelli Fertility

At Magarelli Fertility, our Affordable IVF utilizes the finest technologies available. We prescribe the same medications used by every other IVF center in the U.S. The media we used is hailed as the best in the industry for embryo culture. Our incubators and embryology lab were designed and certified by the leading IVF lab designer in the country (Antonia Gilligan Ph.D.). And besides, Dr. Magarelli has designed and built 5 IVF centers (most IVF doctors have never built an IVF lab)! Dr. Mag was also instrumental in the design of the stem cell labs at the University of New Mexico and a molecular biology lab at Michigan State University.

Our air handling system for embryos exceeds every known standard in the industry; it is over 40 feet long and attached to our building. We are a CAP certified, FDA approved IVF center. Our embryologists have been trained by the best in the industry and are both lab inspectors for CAP (College of American Pathologist).  Each IVF and FET patient receives an individualized IVF/FET optimized protocol that is inspected, daily, by Dr. Magarelli and his team to determine if the patient is responding optimally, both in the quantity of egg retrieval and the quality of those eggs/embryos.

Comprehensive Care

We add Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to our services because Dr. Mag believes in One Medicine: all healthcare practices are utilized to enhance IVF outcomes including the well-published, world famous CMAP protocol that Dr. Magarelli and Dr. Cridennda invented (Cridennda Magarelli Acupuncture Protocol). Dr. Magarelli recommends his patients utilize optimized nutraceuticals to enhance outcomes. Dr. Magarelli and his team also spearhead new technologies designed to reduce inefficiencies and optimize local and remote monitoring to reduce costs and improve patient compliance, and thereby their IVF outcomes.

What Sets Magarelli Fertility Apart?

Well, then what is the difference between Magarelli Fertility IVF cycles and others? Well, our IVF process is a 3-month program of care; IVF prime month, IVF stim month, and FET month are all included in the standard fees. All embryos are frozen and then transferred in another cycle to augment the chances for implantation (there are no extra fees for these services). Unlimited ultrasound and blood work is included as is up to 7 days of embryo culture (even the slow-poke embryos can make babies – unlike most IVF centers that stop at day 5 and discard embryos.)  Also, we do not charge additional fees for longer culture.

ICSI, Assisted Hatching (if needed), ultrasound guided embryo transfer, and the final pregnancy test are also included. We even include up to 12 months of free extra-embryo storage on and off site, too, so you can await the outcome of your pregnancy prior to paying for storage. There is no limit on the number of embryos we culture or biopsy. Neat, huh?

Understanding the Cost of IVF

Happy couple getting IVF

So why is Magarelli Fertility Premium IVF $8,000 when most other program’s IVF cycles are $15,000+ and may not include FET cycle, 3 months care, unlimited US, etc.? The answer = efficiency and choice.

Every aspect of the IVF process has been optimized for delivery of the finest product with the least amount of wasted time, personnel, and supplies thereby lowering the costs. The fees charged for IVF in the U.S. are completely arbitrary. In most states, IVF is not mandated by insurance companies so it is up to the owners of the IVF centers to set prices.

What is really dangerous about today is that there are many venture capital firms that are purchasing IVF centers, so they set the prices not for what the patients can afford, but for the shareholders’ profits and returns on investment. Yikes! So, EVERY IVF center can match Magarelli Fertility’s fees no problem, IF they are willing to work harder, be more efficient in the provision of their services, and finally reduce the profits they expect.  We want a fair profit for excellent work, and Magarelli Fertility is growing leaps and bounds because folks reading this blog understand. All IVF centers provide regulated care; there are no shortcuts you can take in the U.S. and call yourself a regulated IVF center.

So, you’re seeking a baby and you would like to have one ASAP? We get it. You want the best care (Rolls Royce, right?) You want people that know your name and care about you and provide you-centered protocols and management? Magarelli Fertility has all of that, and more!

Well, there you have it…Live long and Reproduce!

Thinking About IVF Treatment? This is Where to Start on Day One

Thinking About IVF Treatment? This is Where to Start on Day One

Star date 190101-01:  If you’re a Star trek fan, you certainly understand this reference. This is my Day 1 Blog for Magarelli Fertility, and mostly for you, our patients.  My goal is information, knowledge dissemination, and power.  Why Power? Well, what I’ve come to realize over the last 30 years treating infertility is that patients simply don’t know about fertility. Sadly, even today infertility is a mystery to most doctors and healthcare providers. What I hope is that you find these blog posts a resource for decision-making based on the best knowledge about infertility and its management out there. I’ve always believed that as a profession (M.D., Ph.D.) my job is not only care, but education and professional advocacy for our dear patients.

Healthy Bodies, Fertile Bodies

“Healthy Body is a Fertile Body” and “One Medicine™” are terms I coined.

First, One Medicine™ is defined as medicine that utilizes the best of all practices: allopathic (Western), TCM (Eastern), cultural medicine (Mom and Grandma’s “health tips”), and others, to create or recreate a healthy body. Healthy being defined as a body, mind, and spirit that reflects the maximum potential of that organism: you.

Healthy Body is a Fertile Body™ is best understood as a mantra for couples/individuals to practice when it comes to assisting your assistors (me) in creating One Healthy Baby™(OHB), another term I coined as my goal for all couples being cared for by fertility professionals. There are many factors that can affect someone’s fertility, and these factors “should” be changed into behaviors (even temporary) that augment rather than decrease your fertility. Here are some examples.

The Power of Vitamins

Serum vitamin D and percentage of embryos that are Aneuploid graph

Aneuploid means abnormal embryos. So the more vitamin D in your bloodstream, the fewer abnormal embryos. Neat huh!?

IVF Success Rates and Folate / Folic Acid Graph

This data suggests that if men take an antioxidant, the live birth rates in their partners increase two- to three-fold.

Well, there you have it. Star date 190101-01: Live long and Reproduce! Remember a Healthy Body is a Fertile Body!

 

The Benefits of Testing Before IVF Treatment

The Benefits of Testing Before IVF Treatment

Do you have eggs? Then you need a blood test. Do you have sperm? Then a semen analysis (or access to donated sperm) is a must. Are the fallopian tubes open? An HSG or surgery should happen. Finally, is the uterus a safe place for the baby to grow? You’ll need an HSG or diagnostic hysteroscopy. Then, and only then, can options for treatments make any sense.

Here are some examples of pitfalls that most non-fertility doctors and patients fall into:

My husband had a baby with another woman so he does not need to get his sperm checked!
Men can stop making sperm in one day (maturation arrest)

I had a baby before, so I don’t need to have my eggs, uterus, or fallopian tubes checked!
Pregnancy is not like a water pump that is primed once and then keeps working. Each cycle is unique and aging impacts fertility in women and men.

Let’s try clomid and see how it works!
How does the doctor know your tubes are open or that your partner has sperm?

We were successful with IUI 10 years ago (when 30 years old) and now at 40 we want to do IUI again!
Same answer as above, as well as, men can stop making sperm at any time, also impact of age on uterus and fallopian tubes can not be underestimated… check first, treat after you KNOW what the issues are.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, try clomid first!
What about the 42 year-old that is rapidly losing her eggs? Is it worth the 6 months of failure before appropriate treatments are started?

So, what does this all mean?

Here are some decision examples:

1. 21 year-old woman: never pregnant, normal tubes and uterus, not ovulating, sperm parameters are acceptable (count, motility and shape of sperm).
a. OI – 15 % chance of success per try
b. OI/IUI – 25 % chance of success
c. IVF – 45% chance of success
d. IVF with Chromosomal Testing – 75% chance per try

2. 36 year-old woman: never pregnant, normal tubes and uterus, not ovulating, sperm ok.
a. OI – 3 % chance of success per try
b. OI/IUI – 8 % chance of success
c. IVF – 30% chance of success
d. IVF with Chromosomal Testing – 60% chance per try

3. 40 year-old woman: never pregnant, normal tubes and uterus, not ovulating, sperm ok.
a. OI – <1 % chance of success per try
b. OI/IUI – 1 % chance of success
c. IVF – 6% chance of success
d. IVF with Chromosomal Testing – 45% chance per try

There are many other factors, especially regarding sperm. If the sperm parameters demonstrate even one abnormality, then the pregnancy rates for OI alone and OI + IUI drop by more than half.

Contact us today to learn more, or check out last week’s blog on infertility treatment options.

What Types of Infertility Treatments Are Available?

What Types of Infertility Treatments Are Available?

Many couples ask “what are the treatments that we can use to try to get pregnant?” The answer is simple: the ones that work for you! This is not a glib answer either. Many times couples reach the RE&I physician after being “treated” for infertility by non-fertility experts. The likely reasons for the failure of these treatments is the lack of personalization necessary to provide optimized treatments. Testing before treatments is the critical first step in the journey to a healthy baby!

Infertility Management Options

Options for fertility management are based on time, money, desire, need, family view, and your personal values/ethics.

1. Test first
One test, the HSG, is noted to have an almost 15% effectiveness rate for pregnancy. Folks get pregnant after HSG.

2.  Lifestyle changes
A healthy body is a fertile body!

  • Alcohol, tobacco and street drugs (legal or not) impact fertility, so just say NO!
  • Vitamins such as Vitamin D3, antioxidants, Myoinositol, DHEA, omega 3 fatty acids (and more) have demonstrable impact on pregnancy rates.
  • Reducing carbohydrates, going on the Keto/Paleo diet, and/or increasing consumption of non-packaged foods can and do help the body prepare for pregnancy.
  • Reducing excess body fat with low carb diets, and moving more, can and do positively impact pregnancy rates and ovulation rates.
  • A diet can help a patient with PCOS start ovulating and therefore get pregnant, so food can be medicine

3. Acupuncture
Dr. Magarelli and Dr. Cridennda created the CMAP protocol used in the treatment of infertility with IVF and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and have proven acupuncture helps modulate the stress hormones cortisol and prolactin. Acupuncture also has reduced miscarriage rates and ectopic rates when used in combination…this too is a treatment.

3. Ovulation Induction (Clomid, Letrozole, Injectable medication)
This is a method to help a woman ovulate and make available eggs for intercourse to function.

  • Please insist on getting ultrasounds during the cycle and use a trigger shot (HCG) to ensure ovulation occurs. Also, demand a Progesterone level approximate on day 21 of your cycle to ensure that you actually ovulated–it may show that you need more progesterone to keep you pregnant.
  • The OI can be done with timed intercourse or IUI (see below).

4. Intrauterine Insemination (putting sperm inside the uterus)
This can help couples where there is a male factor succeed. Over 50% of all infertility couples have a male factor contributing to their infertility. This is usually and should be combined with OI (see above).

5. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is the process of fertilizing eggs outside the body. There are many options for this.

6.  IVF with Chromosomal Testing of the embryos is a method of taking a few placenta cells from the embryo and sending the cell for genetic testing to pre-determine which embryos are “normal” or not.

Myths and Misconceptions about IVF

Myths and Misconceptions about IVF

Since the late 1980’s, IVF has become the mainstay for treating infertile couples that have been frustrated with timed intercourse, watchful waiting, sayings like “just relax it will happen,” failed Clomid treatments or IUI treatments, unhelpful surgeries, and more. But why is IVF so revered? Because it works! When I first started in the field of reproductive medicine the Time’s magazine headline was about how IVF “only” works for 25% of the patients. This implied that it was not a good choice – Far be it! What they failed to understand was that a) Fertility in 20-year-olds is only 20% per month and b) these successful patients (25%) would never, in all past human history, been able to procreate. So 25% was actually miraculous!

Pervasive myths about IVF

Fast forward to now, and IVF is a commodity with an unclear definition that carries many myths and misconceptions with it. But don’t worry–we are going to help dismantle those myths so you and your family can better understand the truth about IVF. If you have a concern or question we haven’t addressed below, you can always contact us, too.

The most common myths about IVF:

  1. You will have a high order pregnancy (i.e. twins, triplets, quadruplets).
  2. Your pregnancy chances are low.
  3. IVF medications cause cancer.
  4. IVF isn’t affected by lifestyle.
  5. It is too expensive.
  6. It’s possible to regrow eggs in your body.
  7. Age doesn’t matter.
  8. It only takes one sperm to get pregnant.
  9. Some IVF centers have special ingredients that get people pregnant faster.

IVF Myth #1 – If I do IVF I will become an Octomom

Fact: Today, most IVF centers do elective single embryo transfers (eSET). Also, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine strongly recommends only 1 embryo be transferred for all patients, regardless of age. So triplet rates or more have plummeted. Also, Clomid (oral fertility medication – given by many types of non-RE&I doctors) is the #1 cause of higher order (triplets and above) pregnancies–NOT IVF.

IVF Myth #2 – If I do IVF my pregnancy chances are only 15 to 20%

Fact: The average national pregnancy rates based on over 200,000 IVF cycles done in the US is over 40% live births for patients younger than 30 and if patients use IVF and add PGT-A (genetic testing) and Frozen Embryo transfer (like all HQA patients), then their pregnancy rates hover at about 60%.

IVF Myth #3 – IVF medications “cause” cancer

Fact: Published data has repeatedly dispelled this myth with excellent population based studies. What they found was that it wasn’t the medications that created the slight increase (slight) in cancers in infertile women, it was the mere fact of being infertile (no pregnancy and no breast feeding) that put women at higher risks for some cancers.

IVF Myth #4 – IVF can overcome all poor lifestyle choices

Fact: No, it can’t. Alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, caffeine, poor nutrition, etc. have repeatedly been shown to negatively impact natural fertility (Sex) and IVF in all its forms. Lifestyle choices can even impact whether the embryo grows normally or not (Aneuploidy).

IVF Myth #5 – IVF is Very, very expensive

Fact: HQA has pioneered High Quality AFFRODABLE fertility care. The average IVF cost runs $23,000 including meds in the US. At HQA that fee is $ 10,700 ($7700 for procedures and $3000 for meds on average). The average IVF with PGT-A (genetic testing of embryos) in the US is about $36,000 with meds. At HQA that fee is $16,000 ($11,000 for procedures and $4,000 for meds).

IVF Myth #6 – We can regrow eggs, I saw it on TV

Fact: There are studies of mice that demonstrate that there may be cells in the ovary that MAY have the potential to grow new eggs, but for humans (so far) that is not possible and not likely for 5–10 more years.

IVF Myth #7 – I am a very healthy woman over the age of 40, so my eggs must be viable

Fact: All women, healthy or not, lose 10,000 eggs every month since birth, and slow down egg loss at puberty to 1,000 lost per month after age 13 until they run out of eggs, which we define as menopause. Yes, time is associated with reduction in the numbers of eggs; however, time (aging) is associated with the increase in the number of abnormal eggs, too. Such that at 44 years of age, over 95% of all eggs found in the ovary are abnormal. Whether you are rich or not, healthy or not, your biologic clock does tick tock. By the way, most pregnancies in “famous” couples that occur after age 45 are likely due to donor eggs.

IVF Myth #8 – It only takes one sperm to get pregnant

Fact: It takes about 100,000,000 sperm in the vagina to get 100,000 into the uterus to get 4,000 to the egg in the fallopian tube to get 1 in! In IVF, myth becomes reality. In the procedure ICSI, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, it truly only takes 1 sperm to fertilize an egg! Super helpful for males with low counts, poor motility, and/or non-swimming sperm.

IVF Myth #9 – IVF centers have “special sauce” to help couples get pregnant

Fact: the vast majority of IVF centers in the US use store purchased media, ICSI needles, incubators, and supplies and most centers buy them from the exact same vendors. All RE&I doctors must pass the same exams to practice medicine and are regulated by the exact same governmental and medical agencies to ensure common compliance in all rules and procedures. No IVF practice can experiment on patients or should (see recent story of genetic engineered children in China), so standards of care MUST be adhered to. Finally, simply check out the CDC: the average pregnancy rates have NOT changed for the past 10 years, or if they have it’s only based on the use of new technologies and not new locations or new doctors/embryologists.