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Research Program

Why research matters

Shady Grove Fertility is a national leader in fertility research and is one of the few fertility centers in the country to employ a full-time dedicated research staff. You may ask, “Why does a private fertility center take the time, effort, and expense of doing research?" The answer is multifold:

We view it as part of our humanitarian responsibility to “give back” to the field.
At Shady Grove Fertility, the volume of patients we care for gives us tremendous insight into best fertility practices. Therefore, the data we can collect in a few months may take many other centers/physician groups years to gather. We take the responsibility of ‘giving back’ to our field through research very seriously—for the benefit of all fertility patients, not just our own.

It keeps us at the forefront, performing best-in-class medicine.
In our constant pursuit of excellence, we continually scrutinize our practices, protocols, and methodologies—always seeking a better, safer, more efficient way of helping patients overcome infertility. This commitment to continual improvement keeps us at the forefront, innovating and refining, which ultimately provides better outcomes—not just the treatment of our patients but of those across the country who may never even meet one of our doctors, through our publications and presentations at national meetings.

We gain access to the newest medications and treatment protocols, which can greatly benefit our patients.
For patients who participate in clinical research studies, among the benefits: access to new medications before they become available to the public and/or access to treatment at potentially a lower cost.

We have the privilege of training the next generation of Physician Scientists in Reproductive Medicine.
All of the physicians at Shady Grove Fertility are grateful for the knowledge and skills they acquired at academic medical institutions as fellows in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Shady Grove Fertility is honored to participate in academic teaching and clinical appointments through various obstetrics and gynecology residency programs. Shady Grove Fertility also participates in the highest level of training and teaching through a partnership in the combined National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Walter Reed Fellowship Program.

Our research is inspired by our spirit of collaboration.
We are an active participant in pharma-sponsored, multi-center clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of new medications, therapeutic devices, and treatment protocols, and are typically enrolling patients in at least one or two such clinical trials at any given time. Participation in these trials is completely voluntary and follows a transparent process of independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and careful informed consent. These trials allow our patients to have access to these new options and can also reduce costs of in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles and/or medications for those patients volunteering for these sponsored trials.

We also have an extensive program of unsponsored research, including “in-house” clinical trials and reviews of our extensive records of treatments and outcomes. This research has involved issues such as optimizing embryo culture and embryo cryopreservation, embryo viability, assisted hatching, indications for and clinical value of pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT), endometrial receptivity, oxidative stress and infertility, and elective single embryo transfer (eSET).

Research Studies Currently Enrolling Patients
Every year, Shady Grove Fertility is a major contributor to the annual scientific meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the national organization dedicated to the field of reproductive medicine. Over the past several years, Shady Grove has presented the results of dozens of research studies at the ASRM annual meetings. Many of these studies are eventually published in the world’s leading scientific journals for reproductive medicine, such as Fertility and Sterility or Human Reproduction.

Our research equips us to help patients feel more confident in their treatment decisions.
We’ve invested tremendous resources to help patients feel more confident in their decision making and increase their baseline knowledge. In fact, Shady Grove Fertility is one of the few fertility centers in the country to employ a full-time dedicated research staff, under the leadership of Kevin Richter, Ph.D. In fact, it was by SGF's director of research, Dr. Richter, that the advent of the Richter Predictor, an exclusive success rate prediction instrument became a reality. Based on 15,000 treatment cycles from 10,000 SGF patients since 2009, the Richter Predictor leverages our own outcomes to determine probability, offering patients tremendous value and insight when making difficult treatment decisions.

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