Fertility Centers of Illinois’ clinical research team is dedicated to further pursuing advancements in fertility technology in order to provide our patients with the most recent, most proven treatment options by participating in clinical trials and research studies. Our team of revered experts regularly contributes to many leading peer-reviewed fertility journals.

We participate in many studies, both large and small. You will find the large studies posted here on our site and you are encouraged to fill out the requested forms.

We also periodically conduct small scale research projects aimed at specific populations. Due to the size of these studies, we don’t advertise enrollment for the trials. If you would like to inquire about the availability of any research opportunities, please email FCIResearch@fcionline.com.

Fertility Centers of Illinois conducts ground-breaking research that has contributed to improvements in assisted reproductive technologies and fertility treatment. Patients at Fertility Centers of Illinois benefit from working with the experts who conducted these studies;  when appropriate, patients are invited to participate in research studies.


Current/Open Studies:

Research Study for COVID-19 & Early Pregnancy – Currently Enrolling

The ASPIRE (Assessing the Safety of Pregnancy in the Coronavirus Pandemic) study is spearheaded by Drs. Marcelle Cedars, Heather Huddleston, and Eleni Jaswa at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Due to the short timeline since the appearance of SARS-CoV-2 and its associated illness COVID-19, no data is available to clarify whether there are risks associated with this new virus, particularly for exposures in early pregnancy.

We are faced with an immediate need for high-quality data to characterize the risks of COVID-19 to pregnant women. Because of our role in tracking and monitoring very early pregnancies across the United States, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) member clinics are uniquely positioned to provide critically needed answers.

There are three aims of the ASPIRE study:

  1. Determine the (a) prevalence and (b) incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout pregnancy in women whose pregnancy was documented at a SART member clinic in the United States between December 2019-December 2020;
  2. Determine risk ratios of adverse (a) obstetric and (b) neonatal outcomes in women infected with SARS-CoV-2 during early pregnancy onward compared to non-infected pregnant women; and
  3. Identify clinical, behavioral, and sociodemographic determinants that predict the risk of (a) maternal infection during pregnancy and (b) severe infection symptomatology (hospitalization, ICU admission).

This nationwide SART initiative will be coordinated by the UCSF Core Research Team. Details about this study can be found at https://ASPIRE.ucsf.edu

Please contact FCIResearch@fcionline.com for more information and additional criteria to see if you qualify.


CLARA Study – Currently Enrolling

Fertility Centers of Illinois is seeking women between the ages 18-42 with a documented history of infertility to participate in a new IVF/ICSI clinical research trial. Study subjects who meet the study entry criteria may receive the IVF/ICSI cycle and associated study medications.

You may be eligible to participate if you have:

  • Documented history of infertility, or a partner diagnosed with male factor infertility
  • A body mass Index under 38 kg/m2 inclusive at the time of screening
  • Male partner with a semen analysis within 6 months of screening
  • Regular menstrual cycles between 24-35 days inclusive
  • FSH level 1-12 within 3 months prior to study start
  • AMH level greater than 1.0
  • Documentation of normal PAP smear, TSH, Prolactin, and total testosterone
  • Documentation of a normal uterine cavity and presence of both ovaries
  • No more than two previous completed IVF/ICSI cycle
  • No more than two previous consecutive miscarriages

Please contact FCIResearch@fcionline.com for more information and additional criteria to see if you qualify. All visits will be at FCI’s River North location.


Previous/Closed Studies:

RITA Study – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Fertility Centers of Illinois is seeking women between the ages of 18-35 and 35-42 with a documented history of infertility to participate in a new IVF/ICSI clinical research trial. Study subjects who meet the study entry criteria may receive the IVF/ICSI cycle and associated study medications.

You may be eligible to participate if you have:
• Documented history of infertility, or a partner diagnosed with male factor infertility
• A body mass Index under 38 kg/m2 inclusive at the time of screening
• Regular menstrual cycles between 24-35 days inclusive
• Normal ovarian testing, FSH 1 – 15 IU/L
• Documentation of normal PAP smear, TSH, Prolactin
• Documentation of a normal uterine cavity
• No more than one previous completed IVF/ICSI cycle
• No more than two previous consecutive miscarriages

Estimated completion date: July 2021

Stress and Male Fertility – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

FCI has been offered an exciting opportunity to see if a new mobile phone app can help lower the distress levels of men who are experiencing infertility. The app is designed to provide support and coping solutions for men experiencing infertility, or men whose partner is experiencing infertility. The app contains numerous suggestions for the man himself, as well as a variety of ideas to help him provide more emotional support for his partner.

Participation in this study is simple. You don’t need to come into the clinic for any extra visits; the whole study can be done from home. You would be asked to complete some forms online when you start the study, and again 30 days later. The completion of the forms takes less than 30 minutes. All participants will receive the app for free – either when you enter the study or 30 days later. All collected information is anonymous and your medical team would not know if you were a part of the study or not. Each participant will receive a $25 Amazon gift card after the second set of forms is completed.

Hormonal Regulation of Granulosa Cell Function – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

FCI is collaborating on a research project with Dr. Carlos Stocco, senior scientist at the University of Illinois-Chicago, to determine the function of the cumulus cells (nurse cells that surround the egg).

During egg retrieval, the follicular fluid is aspirated and the egg is then identified by an embryologist from this fluid. When the egg is aspirated, it comes in a cumulus-oocyte complex (egg surrounded by nurse cells). These nurse cells are removed and fertilization is performed. Typically these nurse cells are discarded. This study is using otherwise discarded materials to learn about these nurse cells to ultimately learn more about egg function. FCI is proud to be a part of research helping to discover tomorrow’s fertility treatments.

Joint Research Study To Find Out Whether Yoga Can Help Your Fertility – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Fertility Centers of Illinois and Pulling Down the Moon are conducting a joint research study to learn whether yoga has an impact on anxiety levels and pregnancy outcomes in women going through medicated fertility cycles.  The Lead Investigators in this study are Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, M.D. of Fertility Centers of Illinois, and Beth Heller, M.S. of Pulling Down the Moon.

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are:

  1. A female patient of Fertility Centers of Illinois
  2. You recently completed an unsuccessful ART cycle (or successful cycle that ended with miscarriage)
  3. You are planning a subsequent, non-donor ART cycle within six months

Study participants will attend one of three intervention groups and complete a pre and post-test anxiety inventory questionnaire. Participants will be eligible to take classes for half-price, and will also receive free study materials valued up to $35.

  • A six-week Yoga for Fertility program
  • A six-week web-based Yoga for Fertility program with at-home, DVD based yoga practice
  • A six-week discussion-only Mind/Body Strategies for Fertility class

Yoga and Discussion-only classes will be held in Chicago – River North and Highland Park.

For more information, please contact research@pullingdownthemoon.com.

Joint Research Study to Understand Women’s Motivation for Fertility Screening – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Researchers at Northwestern University are conducting a study in partnership with Fertility Centers of Illinois to learn more about the experience of patients seeking Fertility Awareness Checkups. If you or a woman you know is considering a Fertility Awareness Checkup, has had a check-up in the past, or is in the process of doing a Fertility Awareness Checkup, we would be interested in speaking with you!

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are:

  1. A woman between the ages of 18-40.
  2. Interested in undergoing a Fertility Awareness Checkup, are in the process of undergoing a Fertility Awareness Checkup or have had a Fertility Awareness Checkup through Fertility Centers of Illinois in the past.

Study participants will be asked to complete a 30 minute-1 hour in-person interview with a researcher about their experiences with planning to undergo or completing a Fertility Awareness Checkup. Participants will also be asked if a researcher can accompany them to a follow-up visit. This is an optional part of the study and is entirely voluntary. Eligible participants who complete interviews will be provided a $25 Amazon gift card for their time. Some participants may be asked to complete a follow-up interview and will receive a second $25 Amazon gift card.
Participants seeking care at any Fertility Center of Illinois location are welcome to participate.

For more information, please email moira.kyweluk@northwestern.edu or call (803) 409-8786.
Supported by Fertility Centers of Illinois and Northwestern University
Northwestern IRB STU00205769
Principal Investigator: Dr. Thomas McDade, PhD


Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS) Research Study – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Fertility Centers of Illinois is currently seeking patients to participate in a fertility research study designed to compare two medications used for controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycles.

You may be eligible for the study if you:

  • Are between 21 to 35 years old
  • Have a regular menstrual cycle of 21 to 45 days
  • Have a history of infertility and desire pregnancy
  • Have an AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) ≥ 5 (ng/mL)

The study medications and some study-related tests and procedures may be provided at no cost to qualified participants.

To learn more about the study and determine whether you may be eligible to participate in the study, please contact Sue Jasulaitis, R.N. at (847) 916-6297 or by email.


LutrePulse Clinical Research Study – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Fertility Centers of Illinois is participating in the LutrePulse Clinical Research Study for women between the ages of 18-40 who have been diagnosed with primary amenorrhea with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and have a desire to become pregnant.

To learn more about the study and determine whether you may be eligible to participate in the study, please contact Sue Jasulaitis, R.N. at (847) 916-6297 or by email.


Early Markers of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Studies in Daughters of Women with PCOS – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Drs. Laura Torchen and Andrea Dunaif at Northwestern University in collaboration with Dr. Christopher S. Sipe at FCI, are performing studies in daughters of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome to look for early markers of PCOS risk.

Girls may be eligible to participate if they are aged 8-12 years and:

  • Have no significant chronic medical problems
  • Are not taking medications which may alter reproductive hormone levels
  • Are not yet having menstrual periods

What participants may be asked to do:

  • Answer questions regarding their medical history
  • Have a brief physical exam by a study physician, including assessment of pubertal stage
  • Have a fasting blood draw for measurement of hormones and collection of DNA
  • Some participants may be eligible for additional studies or may be asked to return annually for a similar study visit

The initial study visit would be completed at Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and would take 30-45 minutes to complete. Compensation is offered for participation. Your participation is strictly voluntary and confidential.

If you are interested in learning more about this study, please contact Dr. Laura Torchen at (312) 227-6492 or ltorchen@luriechildrens.org.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) #2006-12785, PCOS Registry – Child, Dr. Torchen. The content of this notice has been approved by the IRB.


Fertility Preservation Decision Support Aid for Young Women with Cancer: An Intervention Development Pilot Study – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron and Fertility Centers of Illinois are collaborating with the University of Illinois at Chicago to learn whether a new educational computer program can help young women with cancer in making fertility preservation treatment decisions. In addition, the researchers want to learn more about how this newly developed computer program can best help young women make this choice.

You may be eligible to participate in this innovative study if you are between 18 to 42 years of age and:

  • Diagnosed with cancer
  • Able to speak English
  • Eligible for egg, embryo, or ovarian tissue preservation (freezing)
  • Willing and able to talk or write about questions related to the decision support computer program

What you will be asked to do:

  • Answer a few brief questions by phone to screen for your eligibility
  • Complete several questionnaires about your knowledge of fertility preservation and the decision-making process
  • Complete one of two computer programs for which you will be assigned and the accompanying workbook
  • Answer several questionnaires after you complete the computer program including a few questions about your background such as your age and occupation
  • Complete an interview by phone or email to answer questions about how we might improve the computer program

It will take about 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes of your time to complete the entire study depending on how much time you take to answer questions, view the computer program, and talk or write about the computer program. Your participation in this research is strictly voluntary and confidential. Click Here for more information.

For more information about this University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing study, please contact Dr. Patricia Hershberger, Ph.D., RN at (312) 996-1305 or phersh@uic.edu.


Joint Research Study To Find Out Whether Yoga Can Help Your Fertility – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

Fertility Centers of Illinois and Pulling Down the Moon are conducting a joint research study to learn whether yoga has an impact on anxiety levels and pregnancy outcomes in women going through medicated fertility cycles.  The Lead Investigators on this study are Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, MD of Fertility Centers of Illinois and Beth Heller, MS of Pulling Down the Moon.

Study participants will attend a six-week Yoga for Fertility program for half price at Pulling Down the Moon (a $105 savings!). Women not interested in yoga,  but eager to help explore the relationship between anxiety and fertility, will also be able to take part. Yoga classes will be held in Chicago – River North and Highland Park.

  • Please print, read, and sign this Consent Form. This form is to be returned to the Fertility Centers of Illinois administration desk.
  • Log on to Mind Garden and fill out the initial research questionnaire. The questionnaire should take about 10 minutes to complete.
  • If you wish to participate in the yoga portion of the study, after filling out the online anxiety questionnaire (link above) you can contact Pulling Down the Moon at (312) 321-0004 to register for your class at the discounted rate of $110.
  • All participants (yoga and no-yoga) will complete a follow-up anxiety questionnaire 6-8 weeks after the initial questionnaire was completed.

For information about participation, you can email Beth Heller, MS.


Infertility Study For Women Age 35-42 Undergoing IVF – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

This study is testing a new follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) treatment called AFOLIA comparing it to the US approved Gonal-F. FSH helps healthy ovaries to make eggs in women.

Each patient in this study would be participating for approximately 14 weeks per cycle, similar to the amount of time spent in a regular IVF cycle.  This study requires frequent visits to the doctor’s office involving procedures such as having blood drawn, pelvic ultrasounds, self-injected medications, and egg retrieval to remove eggs for embryo-transfer. Each patient may be eligible to complete up to 3 IVF cycles.

The study drug is free of charge for all participants and the IVF procedure is offered at a lower cost than other options.

If you are between 35 and 42 years of age with the presence of both ovaries, you may qualify for this medical research program.

To qualify you must:

  • Be trying to conceive
  • Be clinically in good health
  • Have regular menstrual cycles
  • Have been told that you need in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive

To learn more about the study and determine whether you may be eligible to participate in the study, please contact Sue Jasulaitis, R.N. at (847) 916-6297 or by email.


The MultiCenter Registry with Eeva™ (MERGE) Research Study – CLOSED FOR ENROLLMENT

The MultiCenter Registry with Eeva™ (MERGE) Research Study is currently recruiting patients at Fertility Centers of Illinois.

Eeva: The Early Embryo Viability Assessment Test, is a test to be used by IVF laboratories to analyze early embryo development and to aid in the selection of the best embryo for transfer.  At the heart of Eeva is software that was designed to assess critical differences in early embryo growth and determine an embryo’s viability and the potential for further development.

The Eeva Test was developed based on landmark research conducted at Stanford University1 which discovered that early embryo growth events can predict embryo development and reflect the underlying health of the embryo.

Auxogyn Inc. recently completed a multi-center clinical trial using Eeva with 54 patients and 758 embryos. The results from the trial supported that when embryologists used Eeva in conjunction with their traditional techniques they were able to correctly identify non-viable embryos 86% of the time vs. only 58% of the time without using Eeva2.

The goal of the MERGE study is to record and evaluate the use of traditional embryo grading techniques combined with Eeva in the treatment of in vitro fertilization.

To learn more about the study and determine whether you may be eligible to participate in the study, please contact Sue Jasulaitis, R.N. at (847) 916-6297 or by email. Eeva is an Investigational device.  Limited by United States law to investigational use.

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1.  Wong et al. in Nature Biotechnology, 2010.
2.  Conaghan et al.  Fertility &Sterility, May 2013