CureTalks Fertility Talks Roundup 2017: Social Egg Freezing, High Risk Pregnancies, Surrogacy and more.

The field of fertility medicine and artificial reproductive techniques is growing at fast pace. Year 2017 was marked with a healthy baby born from an egg frozen by “automatic flash freezing” technique, beginning a new era in IVF technology. With the new year around the corner, we are hopeful that these advanced techniques will be able to give the joy of parenthood to more and more families.

We wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to our amazing experts and panelists who shared their knowledge with us on Fertility CureTalks in 2017.

Here is a compilation of the discussions we had this year.

Understanding the Medical and Legal Aspects of Surrogacy – An Option in Infertility

Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction, wherein, an agreement is made with a woman (called the Surrogate), to carry a pregnancy for a couple or a person, (called the Intended Parents), who will become the baby’s parents after birth.

Because of the medical and legal complexities and the sensitive nature of the process, surrogacy has always been a controversial issue around the world. It involves a lot of complicated contracts that intended parents as well as surrogates need to abide by. Moreover, both intended parents and surrogates need answers to many questions before embarking on this journey of surrogacy.

What is the process of choosing a surrogate? What is the expected involvement of the intended parents in surrogates care throughout and after pregnancy? How long does it take to be matched? What are the legal contracts? What is the cost involved?

In this discussion, our eminent experts, Harvard educated reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Aimee, and reproductive lawyer Mr. Greggory M Field, Esq answered these and many questions we had, including ones from Emily Dubin Field, who went through the process of surrogacy to get her daughter.



Webinar: Stress and Infertility – Understanding the Connection

I am excited to share that we launched our 30 minute webinar series on CureTalks this year 2017, and this webinar with Dr. Parijat Deshpande was the first in the series, where we discussed the connection between Stress and Infertility.

Feeling depressed when going through infertility is completely normal, since procreation or desire to have a baby is the strongest instinct in humans. However, the relationship of our mental state and fertility is a very complex one to understand, and the jury is still out on whether stress can cause infertility? So, does stress impact ovulation? Can treating stress improve pregnancy rates? How does stress impact fertility in men and women? Dr. Deshpande volunteered her time to educate us on the topic and answer these and many more questions on the topic in this hour long discussion.

A leading high-risk pregnancy expert and a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Dr. Parijat Deshpande specialises in lifestyle medicine and guides women to lower stress and improve their overall wellness to have a safer pregnancy. She helps women to optimise the mind-body connection to help them stay pregnant as long as possible so they can give their baby a strong start to life. She was also a Psychology Lecturer at UC Berkeley and is the founder of MySahana, a South Asian mental health nonprofit. Dr. Parijat is also a certified wellness coach, a stress management coach, and a certified marriage educator.



Novel Technologies to Check Male Fertility Status with Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt


Male factor infertility accounts for 50% of total cases of troubled conception. Unfortunately male infertility is not as promptly reported as female infertility which is tracked by Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology database. One key reason for under-reporting of male infertility is lesser availability of means of tracking it. When it comes to fertility testing, where women have quite a few over the counter products, men have very limited options. CureTalks male fertility advocates and panelists Kristen Darcy, Sara Naab, and Jonathan Boldt talked to Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt to learn about new options available for men and also discuss novel advancements in techniques to check male fertility status.

Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt is a board certified urologic surgeon specialising in chronic testicular pain and infertility. Very active in public engagement, he is a TEDx speaker, on-air expert and national authority on men’s health. Every June during men’s health month, Dr. Brahmbhatt and his partner organise the Drive 4 Men’s Health, a 10 day, 6,000-mile, public engagement road trip encouraging men to eat better, get active, and engage in preventative medical screenings. Currently he is co-director of The PUR Clinic (Personalized Urology & Robotics) at South Lake Hospital & Orlando Health.



High Risk Pregnancies – Causes and Care


A high risk pregnancy can be life-threatening to the mother as well as the baby, and therefore require management by a specialist. In the developed world, the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths, 60 percent of which are preventable. So, proper attention and immediate care are equally important for both the mother and the baby. Moreover, women must be well trained to tell, when they need medical attention  themselves – during the pregnancy as well as few days after delivery – in addition to the baby care training they receive. We talked to Dr. Shannon Clark, a double board certified OBGYN and maternal-fetal medicine specialist, about who falls in the high risk category, about the challenges and experiences involved in a high risk pregnancy, and the care that is available.

Shannon M. Clark, MD is an Associate Professor with roles as a clinician, researcher, and educator at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. She has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and is a reviewer for numerous medical journals. Dr. Clark has contributed to multiple “hot topics” of interest for pregnancy-related magazines, websites, and blogs related to the physiologic changes and other medical conditions of pregnancy. Inspired by not only by the experiences of friends and patients, but also by her own personal experience, she has recently taken special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35.



Social Egg Freezing, All You Should Know

Human egg freezing is a process in which a woman’s eggs (oocytes) are extracted from the ovaries, frozen and stored. These frozen eggs can be thawed, fertilized, and transferred to the uterus as embryos, when the woman is ready to become pregnant.

Egg freezing is called “social egg freezing when this procedure is used by young women for non-medical reasons to delay motherhood until they find the right partner or until they find the right convenient time to start a family.

On the basis of good evidence that fertilization and pregnancy rates are similar to IVF with fresh eggs compared to frozen eggs for young women, and that using frozen eggs does not add to the burden of birth defects and developmental deficits in the born offsprings, – In late 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) lifted their “experimental” label for egg freezing, but at the same time, both cautioned against egg freezing, owing to limited data on safety, efficacy and emotional risks involved.

On this show, our experts, reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh and sociologist Dr. Kylie Baldwin answered questions like – Who should opt for social egg freezing? What are the risks involved? Are there any guarantees? What are the success rates? – and many more. We also learnt about the current status of social egg freezing in the United States and United Kingdom along with egg freezing perspective by Valerie Landis of Eggsperience and Shalene Petricek of Nest Egg Fertility.


We will continue to feature interesting discussions on infertility as well as women’s health in the new year. If you have a topic you would like to hear discussed on CureTalks, please post it as a comment here or use our ‘Request a talk‘ option. You can also drop a line at or @curetalks @setu4in on twitter.

We at CureTalks hope to bring you more discussions on the topic of Human Fertility in the coming year 2018 to keep you abreast on the latest developments in the field. You can also listen to CureTalks discussions on ROKU channel.

Be on the look out for our announcement on the date and time scheduled for our upcoming talk on how technology may help in not only testing and diagnosing infertility problems, more and early on, but also improve fertility to a large extent with Dr. Aimee and a panel of experts involved in building fertility apps.

We at wish you all a very Happy New Year 2018.

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