Fairfax, VA – SGF is the largest fertility center in Virginia, and has been serving Northern Virginia with highly specialized and personalized fertility care for over two decades. With seven locations in Northern Virginia, the addition of our newest physician, Nicole Doyle, M.D., brings our state total to 13 reproductive endocrinologists and 1 reproductive urologist. SGF Fairfax’s lab director recently shared just a few of the ways their lab is helping more people conceive.
SGF’s embryologists have always undergone a rigorous and comprehensive training program, and at SGF’s IVF Center in Fairfax, that’s no exception. The SGF program takes 4 to 5 years to complete and requires trainees to progress through a robust series of mentorships, on-the-job training, and scaffolded exposure to different procedures. “Our embryologists learn procedures in isolation, and practice them over and over and over again, often taking months to master each one before receiving the necessary clearance to perform the procedure unassisted,” shared Jim Graham, MS, Laboratories Director.
SGF, a national network of IVF centers, completed over 15,000 IVF cycles in 2017, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology’s (SART) latest preliminary data available.
The SGF Fairfax IVF Center is home to the ninth lab operated by SGF, joining the largest freestanding IVF laboratory in the United States in Rockville, Maryland as well as Towson, MD; Chesterbrook, PA; Manhattan, NY; Richmond, VA; Atlanta, GA; Tampa, FL; and Santiago, Chile.
The Fairfax office laboratory is accredited by the Joint Commission and operates under the leadership of nationally and internationally known Jim Graham, laboratories director and Michael J. Tucker, BSc, Ph.D., FIBiol, HCLD, director of Shady Grove Fertility’s IVF and embryology laboratories.
“While our Fairfax lab is no different in following our already stringent training requirements, having increased space allows us to do even more training. Now, we have double the amount of equipment with which we can train new embryologists more effectively, and we can offer more frequent exposure to a variety of procedures,” added Graham.
SGF is known for cultivating a culture of continuous innovation. “We have always been dedicated to advancing our technical capacity and knowledge within the area of reproductive science. We don’t wait for others in our field to figure out the latest techniques; we actively engage in research ourselves,” shared Eric Levens, M.D., board certified reproductive endocrinologist and Medical Director of the Fairfax lab.
Within the Fairfax lab, SGF continually investigates new IVF techniques. “If I had to summarize how determined we are to improving embryo cultures, I’ve always said, even if our efforts result in one more pregnancy out of 1,000, our time was well spent, as we know that one more pregnancy means another family goes home happy as a result of our combined efforts,” added Graham.
Like all SGF labs, the Fairfax IVF Center follows a system of both active and passive patient identification whereby team embryologists verify identities and maintain a one-patient-per-hood rule. This robust chain of custody procedure, which remains the gold-standard in reproductive medicine, has made it possible for SGF to increase its lab capacity and size without compromising the quality of patient care.
Another not so well known advantage that SGF’s labs offer is isolated incubator spaces for embryos. “The longer we can leave embryos undisturbed to develop, the more likely they are to become high-quality, viable embryos,” added Graham. “Thanks to a substantially increased number of isolated incubator spaces in the Fairfax lab, we can better leave cultures undisturbed.”
The use of isolated chambers at SGF represents a major improvement in the IVF process. In many other labs around the nation, spaces are shared by multiple patients—meaning the environment for one patient’s developing embryos would impact another each time an embryologist needs to access the embryos of another patient using the same space.
“Because we can keep embryos in a more controlled, consistent environment, we can ensure optimal pregnancy rates for our patients,” Graham adds.
Assisted reproductive technology continues to develop daily. Each year, new advancements in techniques, new tools to enhance success, and new procedures and protocols become available. “SGF continues to not only develop our services, but also our science so that we can continue to deliver on our promise and provide patients the best possible support,” adds Levens.
The SGF Fairfax IVF Center offers patients access to highly specialized, comprehensive fertility care, including fertility and ovarian reserve testing and diagnosis; semen analysis; hysterosalpingogram (HSG); low-tech fertility options; in vitro fertilization (IVF); donor egg, sperm, and embryo; genetic screening and testing; gestational carrier; egg freezing; fertility preservation for patients with cancer; and LGBTQ family building. To schedule an appointment with an SGF physician, please call the SGF New Patient Center at 1-888-761-1967 or submit this brief online form.
About Shady Grove Fertility (SGF)
SGF is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence with more than 85,000 babies born and counting. With 38 locations throughout FL, GA, MD, NY, PA, VA, D.C., and Santiago, Chile, we offer patients individualized care, accept most insurance plans, and make treatment affordable through innovative financial options, including treatment guarantees. More physicians refer their patients to SGF than any other center. Call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.