Patient Story

Abby & Shawn

Sperm Production Disorders
Isaac E. Sasson, M.D., Ph.D.
Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania
Davidson, NC
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Shawn and I were married after being together for 6 years. We both knew we wanted to have kids and quickly decided to grow our family. I knew I may face some difficulties due to prior reproduction issues but nothing was confirmed or diagnosed until after a year of trying.

The diagnosis

We went to see a specialist and within weeks I was headed into surgery to confirm that I had endometriosis. The diagnosis was a tough pill to swallow but all hope wasn’t lost. They encouraged us to try on our own for another 6 months post-surgery. After 6 months with no success, our reproductive endocrinologist suggested a sperm sample to get a full picture of what might be going on. Turns out, my husband’s sperm had low count, poor morphology, and low motility.
Our doctor at the time gave us a very low percentage chance of ever conceiving on our own, and encouraged us to try IUI. We did two rounds of IUI with no success and felt very discouraged. We questioned our desire to be parents and explored all other options. It was so overwhelming and every option was such a risk and so expensive. We decided to take a year to ourselves and save money and we stopped exploring our options. It was nice to regroup but with every friend or family member who had a baby my heart broke a little more. I couldn’t believe I would have a childless life but yet that seemed to be my fate.

Learning about SGF’s Shared Risk 100% Refund program

After a year we seriously pursued the costs of IVF and adoption and met with several fertility clinics. Everyone made me feel like a number and a stat and put enormous pressure on us to make a decision quickly. Nothing felt right and with low odds of success, all of our options were very expensive. I felt like it wasn’t going to happen. Then I received an email from Shady Grove Fertility. They had purchased my old fertility clinic and had this too-good-to-be-true program called Shared Risk 100% Refund. I remember forwarding it to my husband and I said sounds like a scam but I kind of want to check it out.
I scheduled to meet with Dr. Sasson at the Chesterbrook, PA location within weeks of receiving that email. Our consultation with him was like no appointment I had ever had. He took the time to get to know us and our journey so far. He had reviewed our medical history and clearly explained what he thought was our best course of action and why he felt confident that Shared Risk was a good and viable option for us.
He never pressured us, he just said he felt he could help. His vote of confidence was the first I received from a doctor and with a good explanation of why he thought IVF would work for us. He didn’t sugarcoat the process or the fact that it was a lot of bloodwork, shots, and monitoring but that it was possible.
He gave us hope, and the program he offered gave us a full refund if unsuccessful. Or if we couldn’t emotionally proceed, we still would receive a refund – this was the peace of mind I needed. It gave us the ability to take a chance on our dream.

Our IVF treatment journey

My first round of IVF we transferred two fresh embryos, which did not result in a pregnancy. My heart was broken. Dr. Sasson gave us space and time to heal and when we were ready he explained what he learned and would do differently next time when we were ready. About 6 months later we did another round of IVF. I over-stimulated after my egg retrieval and we were unable to proceed with a fresh transfer. Again, emotions were high and my heart broke a little but I trusted his judgment to let my body heal before transfer. This time, we were able to freeze four embryos and proceed with a frozen embryo transfer.
A month later we transferred one high-quality blastocyst. I experienced an early miscarriage or chemical pregnancy. It was the first time I ever received a positive pregnancy test and although that was the lowest I had been, after that loss, part of me was so grateful we had even made it that far.
I took the holidays off to enjoy time with family and friends and mourn the quick loss of our little one. We decided to try again and transferred two embryos. With finally became pregnant with one healthy beautiful baby girl!
It was unbelievable!!! All the shots, appointments, tears, and fears were worth it to carry my child for 9 months and deliver a healthy child! I knew I would do it again because no matter how low or sad I became, becoming a mom and building my family was the biggest win of my life and worth it all.

Round two

Fast forward 2 years and we decided to transfer our last frozen embryo. All the nerves and fears and concerns returned. We had since moved to North Carolina but knew we still wanted to use Shady Grove Fertility and Dr. Sasson so we went through a frozen embryo transfer with offsite monitoring. Dr. Sasson still called the shots and ultimately performed the transfer. I am now typing this 7 months pregnant with our 2nd Shady Grove Fertility miracle!

Working with Dr. Sasson and the SGF team

We wouldn’t be a family if it wasn’t for Shady Grove Fertility and the Shared Risk Program. Dr. Sasson’s faith in our ability to have a child and his calm, confident demeanor made all the difference. I am so grateful for him and my nurse Jami Baab every day when I hug my daughter, Cecily, or feel this new baby moving inside me. It’s surreal to have come so far. Thinking we may never have kids to an almost family of four. We are blessed.
Thank you to the whole SGF team. I tell anyone I know struggling to go see them. It could change your life, it changed mine!


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