Patient Story

Lauren & Greg

Advanced Maternal Age
Secondary Infertility
Kara Khanh-Ha D. Nguyen, M.D., M.P.H.
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
York, PA
Polyp removal
Timed Intercourse

In July 2016, we welcomed our daughter, Eleanor, after a mostly uneventful pregnancy. In February 2020, just before the world shut down for COVID, we decided to try to expand our family of three to a family of four. 

As I had with our daughter, I began tracking my ovulation through an app and using OPKs. 

Months went by with no positive pregnancy tests. In December 2020, we got two pink lines on a pregnancy test and called our OB’s office to confirm via bloodwork. In January 2021, we miscarried that pregnancy. That miscarriage – and my looming 40th birthday – pushed me to contact UPMC Magee-Women’s OB/GYN to get a referral to fertility specialists. 

Finding fertility care at SGF

Dr. Steven Rood referred me to SGF, which had locations in Mechanicsburg and Lancaster (we live in York), and which he had worked with before. Because of our faith as Roman Catholics, we knew that in vitro fertilization (IVF) wouldn’t be an option for us, but we were pleased to see that SGF offered many options that did align with our faith values. 

Our initial consult was with Dr. Kara Khanh-Ha D. Nguyen in May 2021. We explained that we wanted to have a second child, we were experiencing unexplained secondary infertility, and that my age made this urgent for us. She assured us that SGF would be able to help us get answers, and that my age wasn’t an insurmountable barrier to having another child. 

She immediately ordered what felt like dozens of blood tests for me, one of which was a thyroid test. Results indicated I have low thyroid levels, so Dr. Nguyen prescribed levothyroxine. She also ordered tests at certain times of my cycle to determine if I had fallopian blockages (no), if my ovaries were releasing eggs (yes); or if I had any physical abnormalities that would prevent achieving or maintaining a pregnancy. An intrauterine scan determined I had a polyp on my uterus, which was removed surgically in August 2021, just before my 40th birthday. 

At every step of the process, we were deeply impressed with and grateful for SGF’s patient services team and doctors, who were always just a phone call or portal message away and who answered my million questions with grace, kindness, and infinite patience. 

Two pink lines

In January 2022, Greg turned 40 and I was half-way to 41, and we were almost a year into a treatment journey without any success. We had resigned ourselves to the reality that it might not happen for us, and while we were disappointed, we were happy with our little family of three.  

In February 2022, I accepted a new job with a mid-March start date and was excited about a new professional chapter. What I didn’t know when I started the new job is that we were also going to be having a new personal chapter as well – in late March 2022, we got two pink lines on a pregnancy test on a Saturday morning!  

I immediately called SGF’s weekend patient line to ask for bloodwork, which they ordered same-day. The initial blood work confirmed the pregnancy, and subsequent weekly tests confirmed my HGC levels were increasing as they should have been. 

In early April, we had our first ultrasound and got to see the first images of our tiny son. It was too early to hear the heartbeat, which was a little nerve-wracking, but a follow-up ultrasound two weeks later confirmed a heartbeat and viability, which made us cry with relief and delight. 

Welcoming William

At the end of April 2022, we were discharged to our regular OB’s office for the duration of the pregnancy. Although considered a high-risk pregnancy because of advanced maternal age, a history of pre-eclampsia, and a previous miscarriage, our pregnancy with our son was largely uneventful. I got COVID in September 2022, which raised my risk of pre-eclampsia and resulted in some additional tests. Because our daughter had had to be induced at 41 weeks, 2 days, our OB determined I would be induced in week 39. I had hoped that our son would choose to arrive on his own, but he did not. 

On Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, we were admitted for induction at UPMC Memorial Hospital in York. At 3:52 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, William James Gross was born, weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz, and measuring 21 inches long.  

We are so grateful to have completed our family and we are so, so thankful to SGF for helping us on our journey. 


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Dr. Kara Khanh-Ha D. Nguyen
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, location
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