The Shady Grove Fertility state-of-the-art embryology, andrology, and endocrine laboratories have reached national and international distinction for offering highly sophisticated laboratory procedures.
SGF has one of the most stringent, long-standing chain of custody protocols in the industry that was developed and continuously refined over the last 30 years. In 2021, SGF deployed RI Witness™, by CooperSurgical, to advance safeguards at every step of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle with the most sophisticated technology available to protect patient samples.
Shady Grove Fertility has embryology, andrology, and endocrine labs in:
- Atlanta, GA
- Chesterbrook, PA
- Denver, CO
- Fairfax, VA
- Houston, TX
- Manhattan, NY
- Norfolk, VA
- Richmond, VA
- Rockville, MD
- Tampa, FL
- Towson, MD
All SGF labs are equipped with the very latest technology and are accredited by the Joint Commission and are operated under the distinct leadership of nationally and internationally known Michael J. Tucker, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Director of SGF’s IVF and Embryology Laboratories.
Our embryology labs are also accredited by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), an organization whose mission it is to establish and maintain standards for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to ensure patients receive the highest possible level of care. SART clinics meet the highest standards for quality, safety, and patient care. SGF reports birth outcome data to SART on an annual basis.
Our laboratory staff are responsible for the entire laboratory along with every egg that enters and every embryo that leaves. Each day starts with an audit of the incubators, media, and embryos in culture. The team then communicates the progress of each embryo in the laboratory to the patient’s individual medical team. Once they complete this daily audit the team then starts receiving eggs from the fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) retrievals, preparing frozen and fresh embryos for transfer, and freezing eggs and embryos for later cycles all while maintaining a pristine laboratory to promote the safety for both the staff but also the eggs and embryos within the facility.
Much of the success of our practice rests on the reliability that comes from our embryology team’s diligence to follow every protocol exactly, be accountable to every patient they treat, and the extreme dedication to their jobs and patients 7 days a week 365 days a year.
Quality control is our #1 priority
At Shady Grove Fertility, making sure the right sperm end up with the right egg or that the right embryo is transferred to the right patient is the absolute, most important thing to our practice. An examination of the inner workings of our embryology laboratories demonstrates a combination of well-designed methods and well-trained personnel who maintain Shady Grove Fertility’s unblemished record for quality.
Shady Grove Fertility has one of the premier andrology departments in the country. Our andrology centers are certified by several accrediting organizations including the Joint Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Our team of andrologists, along with supporting staff, analyze and process over 20,000 specimens each year. We handle each specimen critical attention to both patient identification and quality control.
With semen analysis a critical component of all initial infertility work-ups, our patients interact with our andrology team at specimen drop off. At this time, one of our andrologists will greet you to review your paperwork, check your government issued form of identification, usually in the form of a drivers license or passport, and answer any questions you might have. If your distance from the office (more than 2 hours) prohibits you from collecting a semen sample at home you may schedule an appointment to use one of our private collection rooms.
What happens to my sperm sample?
Formal procedures govern how we meticulously confirm identity of all sperm samples at each stage of processing in our Andrology Center, including during:
Patients will receive their semen analysis results from their ordering physician—OB/GYN, primary care physician, urologist, or reproductive endocrinologist—within a few days. Upon review of your results, your physician will make a recommendation regarding next steps, which may include additional semen testing.
For Shady Grove Fertility patients, your reproductive endocrinologist often discusses the results of all diagnostic work-up tests during your follow-up visit.
Shady Grove Fertility’s endocrine laboratories have received accreditation and distinction by the several accrediting organizations including the Joint Commission, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Act, and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
Given the time-sensitive nature of reproductive medicine and infertility treatment in particular, our highly specialized and reliable Endocrine Lab staff use the most advanced automated systems to process thousands of blood samples every single day. The results of blood testing in our lab assist in:
- Diagnosing reproductive issues
- Monitoring your response to ovarian stimulation medications while in cycle whether it be during basic treatments or in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Identifying the optimal time for retrieval of your eggs during an IVF cycle
- Confirming a pregnancy by processing a beta blood test
- Ongoing research in reproductive biology
Daily quality controls and calibrations are top priorities in our Endocrine Laboratory to produce the most precise and efficient results.
As a patient who is cycling through treatment, (sometimes daily) morning monitoring allows your physician to precisely track the progress of your cycle during the ovarian stimulation phase and adjust medication dosages as needed. Monitoring appointments typically last 15 to 20 minutes, and consist of an ultrasound and bloodwork:
- The transvaginal ultrasound measures the growth of the egg-containing follicles and the thickness of the uterine lining, both of which should be increasing throughout the stimulation phase.
- A blood sample makes it possible to measure the level of estradiol, or estrogen—another indicator of the growth and maturation of the eggs. Estradiol levels will rise as the follicles grow.
In the afternoon of a monitoring appointment, you can expect a phone call from your nurse with updates including any changes in medication dosing and coordination of your next monitoring appointment. This is also an opportunity to speak directly with your nurse and ask any questions regarding infertility treatment.