BMORE Lifestyle host, Christina Denny, recently sat down with Dr. Ricardo A. Yazigi, a board certified reproductive endocrinologist at the Shady Grove Fertility Towson and Bel Air locations in Maryland, to discuss the medical procedure of in vitro fertilization (IVF). He and Denny discussed what IVF is and how it works. Dr. Yazigi also shared important information about affording IVF and dispelled common myths associated with fertility.
What is IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure that involves one or more eggs retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and then fertilized with sperm outside the body. Stimulation of the ovaries to produce more than one egg occurs because the goal of IVF cycles is to have many mature eggs available in order to increase the chances of success with treatment.
Dr. Yazigi explained that during fertilization, embryos are formed outside of the body and kept in the laboratory for a few days in order to grow. After progressive development, the highest quality embryo (in some cases, embryos) is then placed back inside the uterus. Two weeks after the embryo transfer, the woman will take a blood pregnancy test (called a beta pregnancy test) to determine if the treatment was successful.
While IVF is often not the first step in fertility treatment, it is commonly used to achieve pregnancy; nearly 40 to 50 percent of couples going through fertility treatment utilize IVF.
Dr. Yazigi pointed out that in the state of Maryland there is a mandate for IVF, which means that insurance companies provide coverage for the treatment process. At SGF, we accept more than 30 insurance companies and about 90 percent of SGF patients will have insurance coverage for the initial physician consultation. Further, a large majority of patients will have coverage for diagnostic testing and fertility treatment, including IVF.
In addition to insurance coverage, SGF also offers many exclusive financial options including our flagship Shared Risk 100% Refund Program. This program is available for patients using IVF, donor eggs, and/or gestational carrier. The purpose of this program is for patients to take home a baby or receive 100% of their money back. Patients also have the option to opt out of the program at any time and still receive their money back.* Of the total number of patients who participate in the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program, 82% take home a baby.
*some exclusions apply
Common Fertility Myths
Fertility Myth #1: Infertility is planned.
According to Dr. Yazigi, an important myth to remember is that you will not know if you will face infertility until you start trying to have a baby, unless other known factors are present. If the woman is under the age of 35, it is recommended to see a fertility specialist if you and your partner have been having unprotected sex for over a year and have not successfully conceived. If ages 35 to 39, it is recommended to see a specialist after 6 months of unprotected sex; if 40 or older, we recommend seeing a fertility specialist right away.
Fertility Myth #2: Infertility is a female problem.
One of the most common myths is that only women can be infertile. In fact, 40 percent of infertility is because of a female factor, 40 percent due to a male factor, 10 percent is a combination of male and female factor, and 10 percent remains unknown. Because infertility is more than just a female disease, it is our recommendation that couples stick closely to recommendations of their age and time of trying and don’t hesitate if they suspect infertility. Male fertility testing is equally important as female fertility testing and should be completed in a timely fashion.
Fertility Myth #3: I’ve had one baby, I won’t have trouble conceiving baby #2 or #3.
People think that just because they already had one successful pregnancy they won’t have issues having more children. However, this is a myth. Having a successful pregnancy and then not being able to conceive again is known as secondary infertility. Age is a popular cause of this, but other causes can be internal complications from a previous pregnancy, weight gain, and male factor.
About Dr. Ricardo Yazigi
Dr. Yazigi is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology/infertility and has more than 25 years of clinical experience. Dr. Yazigi was the head of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Temple University School of Medicine, PA, from 1991 to 1997 and joined the Greater Baltimore Medical Center Fertility Center in Baltimore, MD, in 1997. He is currently an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Yazigi has published numerous scientific papers and has lectured both in the United States and abroad and currently sees patients at the SGF Towson and Bel Air Locations.
To learn more about IVF or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ricardo Yazigi or any of our other 35+ physicians, call 877-971-7755 to speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons.
At Shady Grove Fertility, we’re here to give you the caring support you deserve as you start or grow your family. As a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence, we offer patients individualized care, innovative financial options, over 30 accepted insurance plans, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. We offer patients the convenience of 19 full-service and 6 satellite locations across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. More than 1,700 physicians choose Shady Grove Fertility to refer their patients, and more than 96 percent of our patients say they would recommend Shady Grove Fertility’s 35+ physicians to a friend. With 10 Shady Grove Fertility babies born each day, your dream of starting or growing your family are within reach.