GIVF Fertility eNews
August 2007


World-renowned for its pioneering work in infertility and genetics, GIVF developed or perfected many of the treatments and techniques used today in other centers. 

Worldwide, GIVF is responsible for over 14,000 pregnancies.

Find out how we can help you. Call us today at 800.552.4363.

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So Many Choices! Building Families Using Donor Egg or Adoption

FamilyPhyllis Martin, LPC

Struggling with infertility means you are likely struggling with family building choices and scenarios with which you probably have very little experience. Families are built many ways these days and deciding which way to proceed can be confusing, scary and stressful. Emotions, finances, marriages, insurance plans, religious beliefs and soul searching all impact which way a person will go on the family building path. Adoption and donor egg are two methods that require changing the image of how you will parent, but allow for the opportunity to parent happily.

Adoption is a choice that has been around for centuries and is widely accepted and disclosed. The adoption field is full of resources, studies, support and information. These days, when a couple is determining if they should adopt, they have to first become informed of the various ways to adopt. Information gathering from reputable resources takes time. Couples must decide between international adoption and domestic adoption, and whether to use an adoption agency or do a private adoption.

Adoptive couples regain a sense of control during the adoption process. Couples often feel better about their infertility once the adoption process is chosen and underway. Talking with other adoptive parents is an excellent way to find out what to expect and how to make the transition from infertility to parents in waiting. Benefits of adoption include being able to parent and having both parents able to share in the entire process unlike medical treatments that fall most heavily on the woman. Intended parents are often able to decide many things about the child; they will feel most comfortable parenting such as sex, age range, ethnicity and some health related issues.

Donor egg, which is often compared with adoption because the child born is not genetically related to its mother, has only been around for two decades. The success rate for donor egg IVF treatment continues to climb and this family building option is getting more and more popular. In fact, success rates for donor egg treatment are far higher than for traditional IVF. However, many people not touched by infertility are still unaware of this choice. The newness of this family building option, as compared to adoption, means that there is a lack of longitudinal studies and resources specific to donor egg families. This can be frustrating for couples looking to gain insight on how to make decisions and what to expect.

Donor egg couples begin to regain control by picking a donor and experiencing pregnancy. Since donor profiles include physical, personal, familial and medical histories, patients can regain some feeling of control of the situation by being able to choose traits that are the most important to them. Benefits of donor egg include being able to experience pregnancy together, and using the intended father's sperm brings the comfort and genetic connection to this family building choice.

Each method for building a family can be wonderful and each has its own set of decisions to be made. Make a pro/con list, consult with your medical team, join a support group, interview adoption agencies and seek a consultation with a proven IVF clinic that offers donor egg services. Deciding is a process and each step takes you closer to your goal of parenting.

For more resources on both donor egg and adoption, contact or

What's New at GIVF


FREE PATIENT SEMINAR "FERTILITY 101". Rhonda M. Hearns-Stokes, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. will present an informative fertility facts seminar on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 7 PM. The seminar will be held at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center on the University of Maryland campus.  For more information on this seminar, please click here.


NEW PATIENT SUPPORT GROUP. GIVF is proud to announce the formation of a new support group for patients undergoing treatment for infertility. The IVF support group will meet monthly, led by Phyllis Martin, LPC. Discussion will focus on topics such as how to face questions from friends and family about the absence of children, how to deal with the mixed emotions regarding friends who get pregnant easily, and how infertility diagnosis and treatment can effect a marriage as well as self esteem. This program, which will be provided free of charge, is a companion to the highly successful donor egg support group offered by GIVF. Click here to contact Phyllis Martin.  


TWO CYCLE DONOR MULTICYCLE. GIVF is now offering a program that allows patients the option to do up to two donor egg cycles for a base fee of $16,800. To schedule an appointment please call (888) 834-2229 or click here for more details.


EGG DONOR SELECTION OF MORE THAN 160 DONORS. GIVF is very pleased to announce that its highly respected donor egg program now offers more than 160 fully screened donors, many of whom are immediately available. To view the donors online, click here. To schedule an appointment please call us at (888) 834-2229. 

ANDY DORFMANN CHAIRS SESSION AT WORLD CONGRESS. Andy Dorfmann, GIVF's head embryologist, has been invited to chair a session at the prestigious 14th World Congress on In Vitro Fertilization to be held in Montreal, Canada on September 15-19, 2007.






It Takes Two to Tango:
Male Infertility


Since it is the woman who carries the baby in her womb, too often it is unfairly assumed that when a couple is childless it is due to factors involving the woman. This is decidedly not the case. From a reproductive standpoint, it is the job of both partners, the male and the female, to produce and deliver gametes (eggs and sperm) of sufficient quantity and quality to support conception and normal embryonic development. Anything that interferes with the production and delivery of the gametes would be expected to contribute to a couple's infertility. Since the gametes come from both partners both the male and female may contribute a couple's infertility. Reproductive statistics show that approximately one-third of infertility is due to the male, one-third is due to the female, and the remaining one-third is due to both partners.

A diagnosis of infertility can elicit strong emotional responses from both the male and female. The male's reaction to a diagnosis of male factor infertility may be quite strong. Due to the real or perceived stigma society attaches to what is seen to be an important component of masculinity, men diagnosed with male factor infertility may feel guilt, inadequacy, isolation, and loss of self esteem. As a coping strategy, the male may suppress his emotions regarding his infertility which may result in sexual dysfunction, depression and hostility. Proper counseling should be offered to and strongly considered by the couple to assist them in negotiating the psychosocial intricacies of infertility.

Most infertility is very treatable. Recent advances in assisted reproduction technology, e.g. ICSI, have enabled men to father children who would have had little chance of doing so ten years ago. For the male, the first step is a physical examination and semen analysis to determine that sperm production and delivery are not impeded. A medical history is important to identify any pervious trauma to or infections of the reproductive tract, surgery, lifestyle practices, medications, or other potential impediments to normal reproductive function. Because the male may contribute to a couple's infertility, the evaluation of male sperm function is important and an essential first step in achieving what both partners desire: a baby!


In July, GIVF reached a landmark: 14,000 IVF pregnancies worldwide. GIVF opened in 1984 with five employees in Fairfax, Virginia and about twenty IVF pregnancies in its first year. Today, GIVF has 200 employees working in six states and two provinces in China. GIVF has helped thousands of patients to become pregnant.

GIVF's first IVF baby, now a woman, is in college and among the first IVF children worldwide to enter the age at which family building becomes an issue for a new generation.

Copyright 2007 Genetics & IVF Institute