Your fertility treatment begins with a new patient consultation with Dr. Anderson.
Prior to this consultation, the results of tests and treatment conducted by the referring physician will have been reviewed. A complete medical history will be taken and any questions regarding past treatment will be answered. A complete physical examination and pelvic ultrasound will be performed.
After completing the initial evaluation, an individualized treatment plan will be formulated, taking into account the results of all tests but also such factors as the woman’s age and duration of infertility. Additional fertility testing may be necessary. Treatment may involve ultrasound timing of intercourse, insemination with husband or donor sperm, superovulation with Clomiphene Citrate or Gonadotropins or Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures.
After Diagnosis and Testing
After the initial evaluation, fertility tests and appointments will be scheduled as needed. Fertility treatment will be structured so that the least involved, least invasive and least expensive fertility procedures are utilized. However, the individual needs of each patient often dictate a more aggressive approach, especially when age over 40 is a consideration. During the course of fertility treatment, it may be necessary to have follow-up consultations to assess progress and to structure future treatment. This insures that the fertility treatment process is as efficient as possible so that ultimate success is realized in a timely fashion.
Female Fertility Cycle Monitoring
Fertility cycle monitoring usually begins on either day 2 or day 3 of the patient’s cycle.
During this time, patients are closely monitored by ultrasounds and laboratory testing. Blood hormone levels and the size of the ovarian follicles are used to determine when ovulation will occur. If oral or injectable medications are being used to stimulate follicle production, cycle monitoring will also track the response to the medication being used.
During these office visits, the patient will have a vaginal ultrasound performed by a physician or, on occasion, an ultrasound technician. This will enable the physician to monitor the developing follicles so they can be counted and measured. There may also be blood testing performed for hormones such as an Estradiol (E2). This provides an estimation of the ovarian function and helps to monitor the response of the ovaries to gonadotropins.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination involves inserting specially prepared (washed) sperm directly into the uterine cavity. This method may be used for several reasons, including poor sperm/cervical mucus interaction or to increase pregnancy rates. IUI allows the sperm to bypass the cervix so that an increased number can reach the uterine cavity and subsequently the fallopian tubes, where fertilization usually occurs. If the woman has irregular ovulation, the physician may prescribe drugs to induce ovulation. IUI may be performed in conjunction with these medications to increase the chances of successful fertilization. Recent data suggests that increasing the number of sperm reaching the fallopian tubes by intrauterine placement may also increase the pregnancy success rate in couples with unexplained infertility, especially with the addition of ovulation drugs.
Assisted Reproductive Technology Procedures
Our Assisted Reproductive Technology (A.R.T.) program encompasses a number of procedures which utilize our advanced embryology laboratory to’aid in conception. Our laboratory maintains the standards set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (S.A.R.T.) and is certified by the College of American Pathologists (CAP)
All preliminary testing and monitoring leading up to the performance of an A.R.T. procedure is performed at our fertility clinic. All procedures are performed at the Newport Beach Surgery Center, an outpatient surgical facility. A.R.T. cycles are not performed in scheduled series but are initiated on an ongoing basis determined by the patient’s natural cycle. All office visits during an A.R.T. cycle are conducted by appointment during regular office hours.