What is infertility? And who does it affect?

Infertility is when an individual cannot get pregnant after having unprotected, regular sex for a prolonged period of time. This condition affects more than 7.3 million Americans. The duration of unprotected intercourse with failure to conceive should be about 12 months before an infertility evaluation is undertaken, unless medical history, age, or physical findings dictate earlier evaluation and treatment.


When should I make an appointment?

If you’re under the age of 35 and unable to get pregnant or stay pregnant after twelve months of trying, talk to your OBGYN or a specialist about your fertility concerns. If you’re over the age of 35 and have been trying for six months without success, seek medical advice.


Are women and men affected equally?

Yes. Male infertility is as common as female infertility; approximately 30 percent of infertility is due to a female factor and 30 percent to a male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners and the cause of the infertility cannot be explained*.

*Sourced from resolve.org


What are Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California’s monitoring hours?

RMA of Northern California patients can visit between the hours of 7 – 9am for monitoring, 7 days a week.


What insurance plans do you accept?

Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California participates in several leading insurance plans, including Aetna, AmeriHealth, Cigna, Great West, Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Massachusetts, Oxford, QualCare, and United Health Care. Because coverage and authorization requirements vary, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California recommends that patients check their specific insurance coverage benefits before embarking on infertility treatment.

If Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California does not participate in an individual’s health plan, they may still be eligible for coverage for a percentage of the costs of certain treatments as an out-of-network benefit through your own insurance plan. If an individual has a nonparticipating insurance company, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California will require payment upfront for all services. Payment will be expected at the time of service for all non-IVF services and two weeks prior to the start of a patient’s cycle for IVF.


Are there programs in place for patients without insurance?

Yes. Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California offers several financing options for patients. We also participate in the ARC® Affordable Payment Plan, which helps with fertility financing and the cost of IVF or IUI. This program helps make infertility treatment more affordable through an extended payment program and allows patients to make manageable monthly payments.

A patient’s financial coordinator at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California can discuss available financing options. For more information, please call the Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California Finance team at 415-603-6999.


Is fertility preservation right for me?

For women and men facing some of life’s greatest health challenges, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California’s fertility preservation program provides critical options to stay positive about starting a family.

Originally developed to help overcome infertility complications associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the program also benefits those with conditions such as ovarian cysts, a family history of early menopause, and autoimmune disorders. Additionally, many younger women choose fertility preservation to ensure they can have a baby when the time is right for them.

Prior to cancer treatment, surgery, or other procedures, the Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California team can discuss options for post-treatment reproductive future.


How does Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California work with patients from the LGBT community?

At Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California, we present LGBT couples with third-party reproductive services like egg donation, gestational carrier, donor sperm, and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

We understand that for some in the LGBT community, determining how they can start or grow their families can be a process fraught with obstacles.


What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? And is there treatment for PCOS?

A very common disorder many women first learn about while seeking the cause of their infertility. PCOS affects 5 to 10 percent of women of reproductive age, making it one of the most common hormonal disorders in this age group. Although the exact cause of PCOS is not known, it is thought to be a genetic trait that may run in families.

Women with PCOS may experience irregular periods, acne, oily skin, and higher testosterone levels. Available treatment options do not cure the disease but rather help improve the symptoms of PCOS. For women with PCOS who are obese, diet and exercise to maintain a normal body weight may alleviate many of the symptoms of PCOS.

Women can also take oral contraceptive pills to correct some of the hormonal imbalances, which would decrease acne/excess hair growth and regulate menstrual cycles.


What is Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS)?

A type of preimplantation genetic screening that evaluates all 23 pairs of human chromosomes in search of any abnormalities (aneuploidy).

The term applies to any embryo with either too many or too few chromosomes. Greater than 60 percent of miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities, with increased incidence due to age.

The purpose of NexCCS is to analyze, select, and transfer only embryos that are euploidy (embryos that have the correct number of chromosomes).

Advance screening of the embryos can help achieve higher implantation rates and fewer pregnancy losses, particularly for women 35 years or older, couples with multiple failed IVF cycles or implantation failure, and couples with repeated miscarriages.


What is Single Embryo Transfer (SET)?

The transfer of a single embryo at the blastocyst (day five or six) stage that is selected from a larger number of embryos.

Historically, physicians had a tendency to transfer more embryos to compensate for a low implantation rate. Today, women can avoid health risks associated with carrying multiples, including increased chance of Caesarean section, longer recovery periods following birth, and other complications through SET.

Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California also can prevent the numerous medical complications that can affect twins, triplets, or higher multiples during pregnancy, premature birth, low birth rate, and respiratory issues.


What is Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)?

A cycle in which the frozen embryos from a previous fresh IVF or donor egg cycle get thawed and then transferred back into the woman’s uterus.

FETs have been shown to increase implantation rates and support improved obstetrical outcomes. FET transfers have also been known for being the “healthier” implantation process in FET cycles, allowing for a better connection between the placenta and mother.


What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, refers to the procedure most people commonly associate with fertility treatment. Steps may include:

  • Ovarian Stimulation
  • Egg Retrieval
  • Extended Embryo Culture
  • Embryo Transfer (ET) / Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
  • NexCCS / Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS)
  • Embryonic Biopsy

Patients are often graduated to IVF based on a number of factors including age, genetic disease, recurrent miscarriage, medical history, or issues related to sperm and egg quantity and or quality. While not every patient is right or ready for IVF, it has been demonstrated to be a highly effective option for many with over 200,000 IVF cycles performed by US fertility clinics alone in 2015.¹


What is The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)?

The primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in the United States. The organization’s mission includes the set-up and maintenance of ART standards in an effort to better serve its members and patients.


What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

For an egg to be fertilized, the head of the sperm must attach to the outside of the egg and push through the outer layer to the inside of the egg (cytoplasm), where fertilization takes place.

In cases where the egg’s outer layer may be thick or hard to penetrate, a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be performed along with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help fertilize the egg. During ICSI, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg.



Your patient care team will provide updates during the transition.  We also welcome your questions at any time at 415-603-6999.