PHILADELPHIA, PA – Their story began back in college, when Joe and Sue met. While they dated a while, their timing together wasn’t meant to be and they parted ways. Fast forward 11 years later to when they happily reunited and decided it was time to marry. “I like to joke that perhaps if we got married younger, we wouldn’t have needed fertility treatment to start our family, but then we wouldn’t have known we were both carriers for cystic fibrosis. So everything really does happen for a reason,” shared Sue.
By the time they tied the knot, Joe and Sue were in their 30s and decided to start for a family right away. In fact, they were secretly hoping for a honeymoon baby, but unfortunately, after a few months of trying, Sue decided it was time to seek help after a nagging feeling that something might be wrong.
Call it intuition, but that nagging feeling led the Smiths to a center in Long Island, NY where they both underwent genetic screening only to discover they were both carriers for the same genetic disorder, cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that would necessitate in vitro fertilization (IVF) with pre-implantation genetic testing to isolate the genetic defect in order to avoid selecting and transferring an embryo that would have the disease itself.
Unfortunately for the Smiths, eight IVF cycles and multiple fertility centers later, they still weren’t pregnant. While making the decision to move on to donor egg treatment, in which Sue would use an egg from another woman instead of her own, was not an easy one, but it seemed necessary at the time, as none of the Smith’s embryos even made it to the blastocyst stage, which is considered mature and viable.
“I felt like every doctor I went to just kept using the same protocol. Treatment felt like I was in a fertility factory and no one would listen to my concerns. I had done a lot of research on endometrial receptivity analysis (ERA), a test that helps avoid implantation failure by establishing the best day for embryo transfer. When I brought it up to my doctor at the time, he completely dismissed me saying, ‘nope, doesn’t pertain to you.’”
Treatment was also starting to take a serious toll on the Smith’s bank account. “No one in the area offered any type of guarantee program, but then my therapist told me about Shady Grove Fertility’s Shared Risk 100% Refund Program and everything changed for the better when we came for our first appointment. The entire staff was amazing, especially Mallory, Abby, and, of course, Dr. Sasson. He reviewed my medical history and suggested we try ERA with donor egg. I knew in that instant that I was in the right place. Dr. Sasson listened to us and, for once, I didn’t feel like I was in a factory. I finally felt hopeful,” added Sue.
“SGF’s refund guarantee programs are designed to give patients peace of mind. During a time often marked by frustration, confusion, and sometimes grief, reducing anxiety for couples by offering them a financial safety net is often a game-changer,” adds board certified reproductive endocrinologist, Isaac E. Sasson, M.D., Ph.D., who serves on SGF’s Board of Directors and who sees patients in SGF’s Chesterbrook, PA location.
SGF’s premier financial program, Shared Risk, ensures patients take home a baby or receive a 100% refund. And with more than 82 percent of participants who are using their own eggs taking home a baby, and more than 85 percent of participants who are using a donor egg taking home a baby, the Smiths felt confident with their decision.
“A lot of couples come to our practice genuinely concerned about the cost of fertility treatment, and it’s a very reasonable concern. When couples need IVF, which comprises only about 50 percent of the treatment cycles at SGF, we encourage them to consider our 100% treatment guarantee program—this is a tremendous program, and there’s nothing else in the world like it. We will guarantee that you will deliver a baby from IVF treatment or you will receive all of your money back. It will let you participate in up to six IVF cycles and any frozen embryo transfers as you need. And the outcomes are either a delivery or receive a full refund,” shared Sasson. “That’s why so many couples come to see us. Because in every other center that doesn’t provide a guarantee program, if you’re not successful after your first treatment cycle, to try again you pay again, so costs can skyrocket very quickly. But in our practice, you go right into your next cycle and try again. All through that time, you and your doctor are working on maximizing success and improving outcomes. So ultimately, you and your doctor are aligned in achieving the same goal,” adds Sasson.
The ERA results indicated that Sue needed one additional day of progesterone after all, and the couple became pregnant on their very first transfer with SGF.
“We were pregnant! I had never been pregnant before in my whole life. I couldn’t believe it actually worked on our first try at SGF,” shared Sue.
Nine months later, the Smiths welcomed a perfect and healthy little boy and shared this advice for others, “Do your research. There’s a lot of information out there so it’s important for you to be educated about your journey. My research led us to SGF, where we found the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program and Dr. Sasson who knew ERA could make the difference in my protocol. It’s so important to be your own advocate. I felt that my previous fertility centers did not have my best interest at heart, so I left. I kept changing centers until I found the right place. Trust your gut. It’s not okay to feel like you’re in a factory. Dr. Sasson provided wonderful care in a personalized way,” added Sue.
“Also, find someone to talk to about your experience. Find a support group or therapist. You’d be surprised at how many people are dealing with infertility, which is why it was important for me to share my story,” shared Sue.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sasson in Chesterbrook, PA, or at any of SGF’s other 35 domestic locations, call the SGF New Patient Center at 1-888-761-1967 or fill out 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 36 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.
*Pseudonym used to protect anonymity, per patient’s request.