FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Infertility

 

  1. What is infertility and who does it affect?

Infertility happens due to various diseases and conditions that affect the reproductive system. Over seven million* Americans struggle with infertility, which is the inability to become pregnant after a prolonged period of regular, unprotected sex. If you are unable to conceive for 12 months of having unprotected intercourse, you may have an infertility issue. An evaluation at RMA of Southern California should help determine the root cause. In some cases, your medical history, unique physical findings, age, and other factors may necessitate an earlier evaluation and treatment plan.

*Citation: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 

  1. When should I make an appointment?

If you’re under age 35 and have been unable to get pregnant or stay pregnant after twelve months of trying, it’s time to investigate your options. You may speak with a fertility specialist or your OB/GYN about your concerns. If you’re over age 35 and have tried unsuccessfully for six months or longer, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

 

  1. Does infertility affect men and women equally?

Male and female infertility rates are roughly equivalent. About 30% of all infertility cases are due to issues with female partners, and 30% are due to issues with male partners. The remaining 40% of cases result from issues in both parties and often escape explanation*.

*Citation: Resolve.org

 

  1. What are RMA of Southern California’s monitoring hours?

We strive to make it easy for our patients to receive care on a schedule that works for them, and our Los Angeles office has early morning hours so you can get the treatment and attention you deserve at a time that works for you.
 

  1. What insurance plans does RMA of Southern California accept?

Medical insurance coverage for infertility treatment can sometimes be complicated and hard to understand. Some insurance providers may provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, while others simply do not. An individual’s coverage for infertility treatment will depend on many variables like: the state you live in, the insurance provider, and your individualized plan.

We have also encountered situations where providers that offer infertility and IVF coverage usually have restrictions in place, so we recommend that you reach out to your insurance provider or employer prior to seeking any type of infertility treatment.  As stated above, you will receive a thorough benefit check prior to your initial consultation, however, it is always best to be your own advocate and understand your benefits.  We are consistently growing the number of insurance companies we will be contracted with in the coming months.

 

  1. Do you offer programs for uninsured patients?

During your initial consultation all patients receive a thorough financial consultation to discuss the fees associated with the testing and/or treatment your physician recommended during the consult.

RMA of Southern California offers various financial options to uninsured and insured patients. All patients will be able to take advantage of   Pharmacy promotions, financing companies to secure a loan if needed and various options to offset the financial burden of your treatment.

An RMA of Southern California our financial consultant will  discuss the available financing options with you. Please email all financial questions to our Manager at mdimashkie@rmasocal.com even before your initial consult.

 

  1. How do I know if fertility preservation is right for me?

The RMA of Southern California fertility preservation program helps many men and women retain a positive attitude about starting families. We originally developed this service to help our patients overcome the infertility complications often associated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. A cancer diagnosis does not have to cancel your plans of building a family. Additionally, the fertility preservation program also helps our patients struggling with autoimmune disorders, ovarian cysts, and family histories of early menopause. Many young women opt for fertility preservation so they can start their families at a time that works best for them.

The RMA of Southern California team will discuss fertility preservation options with you prior to starting cancer treatment or other procedures.

 

  1. Does RMA of Southern California support patients from the LGBT community?

We understand the issues facing members of the LGBT community when it comes to building families. Many LGBT patients struggle to figure out how to start and grow their families and face various obstacles. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation recently recognized RMA as “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality.”

The RMA of Southern California team presents LGBT patients with various reproductive services, such as donor sperm, egg donation, gestational carriers, and IVF procedures.

 

  1. What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Can it be treated?

Many women suffer from this common disorder, and most of them discover it when they first start looking for answers about their infertility. Five-10% of women of reproductive age have PCOS, making it one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women of childbearing age*. While the exact cause of PCOS remains unknown, many believe it to be caused by genetic traits passed down through family lines.

Women who suffer from PCOS typically experience higher testosterone levels, irregular periods, oily skin, and acne. Various treatments for PCOS exist, but these treatments only improve the symptoms and do not cure the disease. Diet and exercise can help obese women with PCOS maintain a healthy body weight, which will alleviate most of the symptoms of PCOS. Oral contraceptive medications may also help regulate some of the associated hormonal imbalances such as excess hair growth, acne, and irregular menstruation.

*Citation: Resolve.org

 

  1. What is Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS)?

More than 60% of all miscarriages happen due to chromosomal abnormalities, and the incidence of such miscarriages increases with age. Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) is a genetic screening process that evaluates all 23 pairs of human chromosomes to search for any aneuploidy, or abnormality. An aneuploidy describes an embryo with too few or too many chromosomes.

CCS aims to analyze embryos so that only the most viable are selected and transferred. This is an incredibly valuable tool, especially for women over 35 years of age or couples who have experienced multiple failed IVF cycles. Screening embryos prior to implantation helps prevent pregnancy losses and achieves higher implantation rates.

 

  1. What is Single Embryo Transfer (SET)?

In past years, fertility doctors would transfer multiple embryos during IVF procedures to offset the consistently low implantation rates. Single embryo transfer (SET) is the process of transferring a single embryo at the blastocyst stage. The embryo is carefully selected from a pool of several embryos for the greatest chance of successful implantation.

Multiple embryo transfers entail various risks that women can now avoid thanks to SET. Multiple embryo transfers often led to increased chance of Caesarean section procedures, carrying multiple babies, longer postnatal recovery time, and various other complications. The RMA-FL can team can also help prevent the myriad of medical complications that may affect twins or higher multiples during pregnancy and beyond.

 

  1. What is Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)?

 A FET procedure is the cycle of thawing and transferring a frozen embryo retrieved from a donor egg cycle or previous fresh IVF cycle back into the woman’s uterus. FETs are proven to increase implantation rates and support positive obstetrical outcomes. FETs also allow for better connections between the placenta and mother due to healthier implantation processes.

 

  1. What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

IVF is one of the most commonly seen acronyms in the fertility treatment world and is one of the most widely recognized fertility treatments. IVF isn’t right for everyone, but this option is highly effective. US fertility clinics reported more than 200,000 successful IVF cycles in 2015 alone*.

Many factors may graduate patients to IVF, such as genetic diseases, age, recurrent miscarriage, egg quality or quantity issues, sperm quality, medical history, and other factors. Your RMA-FL team will closely monitor your IVF cycle using several critical methods and steps. Some of these steps could include:

  • Ovarian stimulation.
  • Egg retrieval procedures.
  • Extended embryo cultures.
  • Embryo transfer or frozen embryo transfer.
  • SelectCCS/ Comprehensive Chromosome Screening.
  • Embryonic biopsy.

*Citation: Sart.org

 

  1. What is the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)?

SART is the primary organization for professionals in the medical field who focus on assisted reproductive technologies (ART). SART represents most of the ART clinics in the United States and upholds a mission to establish and maintain the standards for ART in the US so patients receive the highest possible quality of care. IVF is one of the most well-known ART practices. SART strives to build and maintain high standards in ART to better serve patients across the country.

 

  1. What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

In some infertility cases, sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer of an egg for various reasons. For fertilization to occur, the head of the sperm must attach to the outside of the egg and push into the cytoplasm inside the egg. This is where fertilization takes place.

When an egg’s outer layer is too hard or too thick to penetrate, ICSI and IVF can be performed to help fertilization happen. During an ICSI procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.

 

 

Do You Have a Question Not Addressed in Our FAQ?

You can speak with your RMA of Southern California care team for updates during your treatment, and you can visit us online or contact us for more information at any time.