One in eight couples are affected by infertility and, during the holidays, many people feel particularly disappointed that starting or growing their families has proven to be more difficult than they expected. However, infertility can be evaluated easily by a board certified reproductive endocrinologist, who can help find the cause with four basic tests.
Dr. Erika Johnston, who sees patients in SGF’s Richmond, VA office, joined NBC 12 to discuss the holiday woes surrounding infertility, as well as the different diagnostic tests and treatment options available to patients.
“The holidays bring out some of the frustration and anxiety that we see in our patients, and perhaps even heightens their resistance to engage in care and evaluation.” Dr. Johnston explains, “In four simple, easy tests, we can help to identify some of the challenges they’re having in trying to start or grow their families.”
Dr. Johnston Describes the Four Steps of Fertility Testing:
- Bloodwork: “What we’re trying to understand is a woman’s egg count or egg reserve. That can be done with two simple blood tests. We’re evaluating, compared to chronologic age, if her egg reserve looks similarly favorable or if it’s concerning in being too low or even too high.”
- Ultrasound: “Often times we do an ultrasound and what we’re looking for is structure. We’re looking at the ovaries, pelvis, and uterus to determine if there are any benign growths or benign cysts that can be creating a blockage for the egg or sperm to transport through.”
- Semen Analysis: “For our patients who have male partners, we look at the count of the sperm, the movement of the sperm, and the shape of the sperm to determine if it can cause a pregnancy.”
- X-Ray: “We take an x-ray of the patient’s uterus to determine if there is a blockage in the tube that can be inhibiting their success in trying to start a family.”
Affording Testing and Treatment
“The good news is a lot of our diagnostic testing is typically covered by most major health insurances and we’ll often investigate insurance coverage for our patients to try and maximize the coverage that they have through their benefits,” Dr. Johnston states.
Click here to view our list of accepted insurances.
When in need of fertility care, people often ask, “how will I pay for treatment?” The good news is 90% of patients have coverage for their initial consult and 70% have some level of coverage for diagnostic testing or treatment. In addition, we have many exclusive programs such as Shared Risk 100% Refund Program, Shared Donor Egg, and Shared Help Discount that put your dream of becoming a parent within reach.
Fertility Treatment Doesn’t Always Mean IVF
“I’ve really enjoyed helping people grow their families through in vitro fertilization,” Dr. Johnston continues. “We have a lot of opportunities for advanced reproductive technologies, but the reality is that less than 50 percent of patients are going to need those services. Most couples can actually conceive with low-tech solutions. At Shady Grove Fertility, we really feel like we’re offering innovative, thoughtful, step-wise care to try and maximize low-tech solutions for these couples.”
Basic treatments require less medication and fewer monitoring appointments with a lower cost. Many of our patients find peace of mind in knowing that they have simple and affordable options to consider. Because the caring staff at Shady Grove Fertility truly believe in and practice personalized care, we tailor each treatment modality to meet the unique needs of each and every single patient we see.
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