Rescue Me

This video is all about rescue missions. When it comes to frozen embryos, we do them all the time here at Southeastern Fertility!

Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum explain (and yes, we do have a couple more of Dr. G’s treasured animal stories for you!).

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Learning God’s Hard Life Lessons

Infertility is so hard to bear. Yet, seen through the eyes of faith, it can become redemptive. Jacob & Beth say the lessons they learned through infertility and the premature births of their twins prepared them to deal with other, longer-term trials in life. Through it all, they’ve come to trust God more and learned to serve others well. Be inspired by their journey in this episode of Southeastern Fertility’s “Hope, Faith, & Infertility” podcast. Some helpful time stamps are below:

1:00 Running into PCOS, infertility

2:15 Finding fertility answers with Dr. Keenan at Southeastern Fertility

5:25 How the premature births of Jacob & Beth’s twins tested their faith

11:40 How Jacob & Beth’s infertility struggle helped prepare them to deal with Jacob’s chronic pain, and how all of it has drawn them closer to God

14:35 How God uses perseverance and hard things to mold and shape us; how to deal with hard realities that don’t make sense to us

17:30 How struggles have made Jacob & Beth better listeners & encouragers who can help others

20:00 The life perspective Jacob & Beth are trying to pass along to their kids

21:40 God’s faithfulness isn’t contingent on whether He answers our prayers the way we want

Rate, review and subscribe to “Hope, Faith, & Infertility” wherever you listen to podcasts.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Putting Our Fertility Journey in God’s Hands

Alyssa and Jonathan’s infertility journey was far from easy. Yet it ultimately grew their faith and reaffirmed they could entrust themselves to God’s loving care.

In this episode of our podcast “Hope, Faith & Infertility” below, learn how an IUI led them to the gift of their second son Waylon, finally giving big brother Jimmy a sibling.

Alyssa felt so good about her experience with Southeastern Fertility, she even ended up joining the team!

Rate, review and subscribe to “Hope, Faith & Infertility” wherever you listen to podcasts.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Will Eating Pineapples & Fries Help Your Embryo Implant?

Could eating pineapple really help your embryo implant? What about wolfing down some french fries from Mickey D’s? We’re looking into those fertility-related superstitions (and many more) in the brief video below. Here are some helpful time stamps:

1:50 Can going to the bathroom after a transfer make you lose the embryo? What about getting into a car wreck?

2:20 Can taking a home pregnancy test before you get a blood test lead to a negative pregnancy attempt?

4:30 Can eating pineapple help your embryo implant?

5:45 Does eating McDonald’s french fries help promote successful embryo implantation?

7:10 Is loading up with water going to help lead to a successful transfer? What about acupuncture?

8:05 Should you have intercourse the night before a transfer?

8:35 Is it okay to shower after an embryo transfer?

9:15 Can you get on a plane after an embryo transfer?

9:35 Will eating and drinking exclusively warm food and beverages affect your embryo transfer?

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Better Than Winning It All With The Vols

When Andre and Jessica got married, they were blending two families. Next came the faith-testing challenge of trying to have a child together. In this episode of our Hope, Faith & Infertility podcast below, learn about their journey and how Southeastern Fertility was privileged to come alongside them. This couple has enjoyed great success in business and athletics -Andre was actually a member of the legendary 1998 Tennessee Volunteers national championship football team!- but they say welcoming Tyson to their family tops it all.


Rate, review and subscribe to Hope, Faith & Infertility wherever you listen to podcasts.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

The Fight of His Life, While Awaiting New Life

Bryce received a devastating diagnosis as his wife Genevieve carried their Southeastern Fertility twins. Let their story of courage, faith and prayer work its way into your soul during this episode of our Hope, Faith & Infertility podcast.

Rate, review and subscribe to “Hope, Faith & Infertility” wherever you listen to podcasts.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

I Feared Multiples Deeply. Then Came the Triplets.

Erin used to dream she had triplets and woke up considering those dreams to be nightmares. She didn’t think there was any way she could parent so many kids at once. It took actually having triplets for her to realize she was wrong. In this episode of our Hope, Faith & Infertility podcast below, Erin -now a mother of four- unpacks her journey with host Mark Mellinger. Find out how she and her husband navigated infertility, the vital role her faith played, and even get some helpful tips on resources for moms raising multiples.

Rate, review and subscribe to Hope, Faith & Infertility wherever you listen to podcasts.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

We Didn’t Go All The Way To IVF

Jennifer and Matt had their first child very easily, then encountered the heartache of secondary infertility. They wondered if the dream of growing their family would ever become reality. In this episode of our Hope, Faith & Infertility podcast (video version below), Jennifer explains how that dream came to life. It’s an encouraging journey that didn’t require them to go all the way to IVF.

Rate, review and subscribe to Hope, Faith & Infertility wherever you listen to podcasts.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Bravely, Prayerfully Pursuing Parenthood

Kendra and Eric knew Eric’s spinal cord injury, which left him a paraplegic, could make having children difficult. In this episode of our podcast Hope, Faith & Infertility, hear the story of how this couple is bravely and prayerfully pursuing parenthood, including driving several hours from home to find a fertility clinic that aligns with their values. You’ll also learn about Hannah’s Heart, a radio show Kendra has begun to help those struggling with infertility or grieving miscarriages.

Rate, review and subscribe to Hope, Faith & Infertility wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also enjoy the video version of each episode by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

“Infertility Can Make or Break Your Faith”: Madison & Toby’s Story

First a miscarriage, then infertility. It hasn’t been an easy road for Madison and Toby. Hear how the stretching of their faith has strengthened their faith as they pursue embryo adoption, in the latest episode of our Hope, Faith & Infertility podcast below.

Rate, review and subscribe to Hope, Faith & Infertility wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also enjoy the video version of each episode by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Ingrid’s Story: A Natural Cycle FET Christmas Gift

Ingrid traveled hundreds of miles to Southeastern Fertility to have the physician she trusted perform her Natural Cycle Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). Now she’s expecting the best Christmas gift possible. Be inspired by her story of infertility and faith on the debut episode of our new podcast Hope, Faith & Infertility!

Rate, review and subscribe to Hope, Faith & Infertility wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also enjoy the video version of each episode by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

One Last Shot: Jon & Kristie’s Southeastern Story

Sometimes one last shot at a dream is all you have. And sometimes that’s enough. Jon and Kristie Weaver are living proof.

Jon and Kristie’s romance started years ago amid the sun and the sand. “Jon and I met at a sand volleyball game at a friend’s house in 2009. He played. I watched,” Kristie shares. 

Their relationship blossomed from there. Eventually, it led to wedding bells. Both Jon and Kristie longed to expand their joy by adding children to their home. So they became concerned after a year of trying to get pregnant with no success. “Our diagnosis was unexplained infertility,” Kristie says. “ I was 37 at the time, which made me ‘advanced maternal age’, I soon found out.“  

They weren’t sure exactly what to do next, but they knew where to go to look for answers. “We were referred to Dr. Jeffrey Keenan for a fibroid removal in 2016.  It only made sense to return to Southeastern Fertility when we struggled to get pregnant,” Jon and Kristie say. “After several cycles of IVF with Southeastern Fertility, we ended up getting pregnant using our last frozen embryo.  We found out at nine weeks that the embryo split and we were having twins!”

Indeed, that’s just what happened. A few months later, Kristie gave birth to Jones and Jackson. “They are the most amazing twins in the world.  They love to eat, laugh, listen to music, and play,” Jon and Kristie say. “They light up every room they enter and have filled everyone’s heart to the top with love and laughter.”

It sure wasn’t an easy road to get to Jones and Jackson, but Jon and Kristie are glad they hung on during their sometimes white-knuckle ride. Having the Southeastern Fertility team by their side lightened their anxiety during the most intense stretches. “Dr. Keenan, the nurses and the rest of the staff mean the world to us! I truly feel like we are family,” Kristie says. “I always had a hand to hold if my husband had to work, a shoulder to cry on if things didn’t go as planned, and words of encouragement when I needed it the most.  If they weren’t here I probably wouldn’t have my boys, and I would be missing out on all of the wonderful relationships I made during the whole experience.”

If this had been a baseball game, you could say the Weavers were down to their last strike with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. And then- a dramatic home run! It’s the kind of Cinderella story we at Southeastern Fertility can’t believe we get to be a part of. And yet, we’re mindful that we’re not ultimately the ones in charge of it all. Jon and Kristie agree, summing it up this way: “We cannot say enough nice things about our experience at Southeastern Fertility. The knowledge, skill, and expertise combined with the love, empathy, and encouragement of the staff made us feel like we were right where God wanted us.”

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Southeastern Fertility Earns Coveted Gold Seal from The Joint Commission for Patient Safety, Quality of Care

Southeastern Fertility has earned a coveted distinction recognizing its strong commitment to patient safety and quality medical care, becoming Knoxville’s only fertility practice with an IVF Laboratory accredited by The Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission has awarded Southeastern Fertility its Gold Seal of Approval® for Andrology & Embryology Accreditation. Southeastern Fertility received the accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

Southeastern Fertility underwent a rigorous review on February 2, 2021. During the review, a team from The Joint Commission evaluated compliance with standards spanning several areas, including embryology, andrology, embryo/oocyte/sperm cryostorage, and emergency management, among others.

The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“As the Medical Director here at Southeastern Fertility, I could not be more proud of our outstanding team and the excellent care that they provide to our patients,” says John Gordon, MD, Southeastern Fertility Medical Director. “As the only accredited IVF Laboratory here in Knoxville, we are happy to offer Natural Cycle, Minimal Stimulation and Traditional Stimulated IVF to couples in need of Advanced Reproductive Technologies (ART) and looking for a life-affirming fertility clinic that is anxious to support them in their journey.”

Dr. Gordon adds, “I know that our National Embryo Donation Center patients, who travel from outside of the Knoxville area in many cases, will be reassured of the quality of our IVF program.”

“We commend Southeastern Fertility for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, The Joint Commission CEO.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Farragut Press Touts Role of Southeastern Fertility, Dr. John Gordon in Historic Birth

Our hometown newspaper, the Farragut Press, recently reported on the role of Southeastern Fertility in the historic 1,000th embryo adoption birth facilitated by our nonprofit partners at the National Embryo Donation Center. The NEDC is the first embryo adoption program in the world to surpass the 1,000-birth milestone.

Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John David Gordon had the honor of performing the transfer that resulted in the birth of Emmie Sue to proud parents Josh and Ashley Brookhart.

You can check out the article by clicking this link. We’ve also included the text of the article, which sheds good light on why Dr. Gordon moved to Knoxville to join Dr. Keenan at Southeastern Fertility, verbatim below:

Farragut’s own National Embryo Donation Center has become the first embryo adoption program in the world to reach the milestone of 1,000 births.

When Emmie Sue Brookhart, “adopted” as a frozen embryo, was born healthy Sunday, Oct. 18, in Davenport, Iowa, to parents Josh and Ashley Brookhart, she became the 1,000 birth facilitated through NEDC.

NEDC physician Dr. John David Gordon performed the successful frozen embryo transfer through the NEDC’s medical partner, Southeastern Fertility, earlier this year.

“I am just so happy to have been part of Josh and Ashley’s journey,” said Gordon, who joined the practice in 2019, partnering with Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, NEDC president and medical director. “Every single one of those 1,000 babies has their own unique story, and these successes are a result of the amazing team effort put forth by the NEDC.

“Embryo adoption is a fantastic option for many couples that struggle with the issues inherent in assisted reproduction. Since joining the team at Southeastern Fertility, I have an even greater appreciation for the outstanding work done by the NEDC to coordinate the embryo adoption process.”

“Starting and running the NEDC, in addition to an academic and clinical medical practice, has been a huge amount of work, but I would do it all over again without hesitation,” said Keenan, who brought Gordon on board to help with the SF workload. “I would have never predicted, 20 years ago, that the NEDC would turn into the largest, most experienced and most successful embryo adoption clinic in the world.

The NEDC opened in West Knoxville in 2003, forming as a direct result of a vision cast by Christian Medical & Dental Associations CEO Dr. David Stevens, who saw the need for a high-quality, scientifically and ethically sound way to honor the dignity of the human embryo.

Since then, the faith-based organization has gained distinction as a leading comprehensive non-profit embryo adoption program whose purpose is to protect the lives and dignity of frozen embryos that would not be used by their genetic parents and to help other couples build the families they have longed for via donated embryos.

Embryos have been donated to the NEDC from all 50 states, and couples have traveled to Knox County from all over the United States, as well as some foreign countries, for their embryo transfers.

Gordon’s start here

It was for these very reasons that Gordon, a third-generation physician, agreed to partner with Keenan in 2019.

He said as his reproductive endocrinology career unfolded, “Moral dilemmas came up regarding fertilizing embryos and what to do with them afterward,” Gordon said. “It became hard to wrestle with,” especially as he learned there are currently more than one million frozen embryos with unknown futures.

“When my patients ended up with too many eggs, there was the situation left with what should be done with them,” he added. “Do you continue freezing them? Destroy them? That was a huge dilemma for me.”

Already praying about the situation, meeting Keenan helped Gordon see what his next professional step needed to be.

While Gordon readily admits, “I don’t like change. My daughter even said to me that I hate to even change toothpaste brands,” he, his wife, Allison, and Susannah — their youngest of four children — moved from the Washington, D.C., area to Farragut last year.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Should You Worry About Cramping & Spotting After an Embryo Transfer?

It’s not uncommon for women to experience a variety of physical symptoms in the days following an IVF embryo transfer. These symptoms can include cramping, spotting and more. So when is it time to worry, and which are probably no big deal?

Southeastern Fertility IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum says mild spotting or bleeding is generally nothing to worry about. Cramping is also likely not cause for concern. In fact, these can all potentially be good indicators that the transfer is on its way to yielding the hoped-for results.

On the other hand, if you’re experiencing sharp pains or excessive bleeding, it’s time to call the physician’s office and let them know what’s going on. These are potentially troubling signs.

For more detail on what is generally cause for concern and what is likely not, check out this brief conversation below between Lynda and Southeastern Fertility’s Mark Mellinger.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Keith, Amanda, River and Emmaline: A Southeastern Story

You never know just what sorts of great finds you’ll discover at a home improvement store. Sometimes, as in the case of Keith and Amanda McFarland, such finds can even be life-changing. Lowe’s, where they were both working back in 2006, was where they first connected. 

The relationship blossomed into marriage. Surely children and a home with a white picket fence would follow, right? “We wanted to have children to complete our family, to experience life as parents, and to give and provide in a loving Christian environment,” Amanda says. But it wasn’t that simple. Amanda and Keith ran into the heartbreaking roadblock of infertility.

“We couldn’t figure out why we weren’t getting pregnant, what was taking so long, and why everyone else we knew was getting pregnant so easily,” Keith and Amanda remember. So they started looking for answers.

Their search led the McFarlands to Southeastern Fertility. They knew they were in good hands with Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, but there were still several steps ahead on the road to having children. Both Keith and Amanda had surgery to improve their chances of conceiving. They also tried IUIs (intrauterine inseminations) without success. Finally, they opted for IVF.

That was when the McFarlands say they saw God’s hand powerfully at work. After two cycles of IVF with Southeastern Fertility, they’ve finally welcomed two children into the family: River, 2, was born in 2018. Emmaline, just 4 months old, followed in 2020. “River is 100 miles per hour from sun up to sun down. He gives the best hugs and kisses,” Amanda shares. “Emmaline loves to be held and talked to. She has the best smile, is starting to laugh, and has some killer eyelashes.”

Keith and Amanda half-jokingly sum up life as parents this way: “They both have stolen our hearts, and all of our time.” And they wouldn’t trade it for the world. Neither would their extended family, which loves seeing Keith and Amanda enjoying their long-held dream of parenthood and the happiness River and Emmaline have brought to their lives.

Looking back on their experience, the McFarlands feel blessed to have been connected with the team at Southeastern Fertility. “Dr. Keenan and the staff have meant a lot to us. They were all very understanding and always there for us when we needed something,” Keith and Amanda say. “If Southeastern Fertility wasn’t here, we may not have been able to experience all of this wonderful madness and a love so big for our children. God has been good to us and we’re thankful that He pointed us in their direction.”

Dr. Keenan, Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and the entire Southeastern Fertility family are thrilled for Keith and Amanda, and for so many others whose dreams have come to life through our work. We’re privileged to walk alongside infertile couples every day in a way that’s hopeful and compassionate. An old slogan from none other than Lowe’s actually captures our spirit well: Let’s build something together.

To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Chet & Anita’s Natural Cycle IVF Story: A Southeastern Fertility Interview

It costs way less than Standard Cycle IVF, and there’s no need for all the medications. Southeastern Fertility now offers the little-known option of Natural Cycle IVF. It worked for Chet and Anita. Maybe it could be your answer, too. Check out the interview below to hear this couple’s inspiring story firsthand!

HOPE starts with a conversation. If you think NC IVF might be worth discussing when it comes to your own situation, call us at 865-777-0088 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Chet and Anita's Natural Cycle IVF Story

It costs way less than Standard Cycle IVF, and there's no need for all the medications. Southeastern Fertility now offers the little-known option of Natural Cycle IVF. It worked for Chet and Anita. Maybe it could be your answer, too. Check out this interview to hear this couple's inspiring story firsthand!Hope starts with a conversation. If you think NC IVF might be worth discussing when it comes to your own situation, call us at 865-777-0088 or go to the "Contact Us" section at southeasternfertility.org to schedule a consultation.

Posted by Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery, PLLC on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here.

T.J., Megan, & Baby Carter: A Southeastern Story

Let’s be honest. Most high school romances, well, just don’t work out. Bring together two immature, relatively inexperienced people, and it’s no wonder the odds are stacked against them. That’s why high school sweethearts who turn into lifelong loves seem so novel. But it still happens. Just look at Southeastern Fertility couple T.J. and Megan Seiber.

“Megan and I first met in gym class our freshman year,” T.J. says. “We began dating during the summer going into our senior year and haven’t looked back since!” 

In fact, they actually did a lot of looking forward, right from the start. Both planned to become education majors in college and commit to a life of serving young people through teaching. They knew that wouldn’t be limited to the classroom, either. Children of their own were definitely in T.J. and Megan’s plans for the future.

“We loved watching our students grow, but, shortly after marriage, we knew we were ready to watch our own children grow,” the Seibers share. “Because of Megan’s previous PCOS diagnosis we knew that starting a family might take a little longer than normal, but were not expecting to be faced with infertility.”

However, after a year and a half of trying on their own without success, Megan’s doctor suggested they start taking a deeper dive to look for answers. That was when T.J. and Megan turned to Southeastern Fertility and Co-Director Dr. Jeffrey Keenan. “With the help of Southeastern Fertility we discovered that we had male factor infertility as well,” Megan and T.J. remember. “What we thought would take a few months to achieve ended up taking over three years.”

The infertility diagnosis came with so many agonizing questions that no one could answer. Having children seemed to come so easily for most young couples. Why did this have to happen to them?

Excruciating as the reality of their infertility was, Megan and T.J. never doubted they were in good hands. “The more we found out about Southeastern Fertility, the more we were drawn to the office,” they say. “We chose Southeastern Fertility because of their beliefs that every embryo is a life, Dr. Keenan’s incredible success rates, the kindness of the office staff, and the respect that was shown to us during our initial consultation.” 

Best of all, their treatment with Southeastern Fertility produced the long-hoped-for result: T.J. and Megan’s daughter, Carter Ray, who’s now six months old. “Carter is so full of joy. She has all the sass of a 16-year-old packed into her six-month-old self,” the Seibers say. “Her dramatic facial expressions will always show you how she is feeling. She loves to swing, chew on her lovie, and eat broccoli.  We never fully realized how big the holes in our hearts were until God filled them with Carter.”

Looking back on their long road, T.J. and Megan see Southeastern Fertility as not just a medical clinic. They see it as a place of hope where Dr. Keenan, Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and the entire team really listen and care. “If it were not for Dr. Keenan and Southeastern Fertility, we could still be working to start our family,” they share. “We absolutely love all of the office staff and nurses. We feel listened to every time we come in, and our questions are always answered. At the start of our pregnancy there were some concerning issues, and Dr. Keenan went above and beyond to make sure our baby was safe and continued to grow.” 

It’s humbling to be part of this inspiring new chapter in T.J. and Megan’s still-going-since-high-school relationship. After all, we’re not the ones writing the story. “Carter is more than we ever prayed for. We go to bed every night and wake up every morning full of gratitude for our little girl,” T.J. and Megan say. “Her story has blessed many of our friends and family and showed how God is always in control and is always on time. Hindsight truly is 20/20, and we now know that every hiccup was just part of God’s plan that led us to our daughter.” 

To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Trigger Shot or No Trigger Shot…That is the Question..

Author: John David Gordon, MD & Ciera Roberts, MSN, APN, WHNP-BC

One of the questions that patients often ask us in the office here at Southeastern Fertility is whether or not to use an HCG trigger shot for the timing of an intrauterine insemination (IUI). So is it better to use a trigger shot than to use an at-home ovulation predictor kit? The answer is (drum roll please): There isn’t one correct answer.

We aim to do an IUI at the optimal time in a treatment cycle. The optimal timing of an IUI is at the time ovulation occurs; therefore, it is important to be able to accurately predict that time frame. Ovulation is triggered by a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), which is released by the pituitary gland, when the ovarian follicle or follicles become mature. The egg is released from the follicle about 36 hours after the LH surge.

When we plan to use an HCG trigger shot, the patient is monitored via transvaginal ultrasound and hormone blood tests at intervals until the ovarian follicle or follicles are determined to be mature. Once we estimate that the follicle is ready (usually when it measures 18-22 mm in average diameter), an injection of HCG is administered. HCG is very similar to LH and thus the trigger shot serves as the LH surge, and IUI is scheduled accordingly anticipating that the egg(s) will be released about 36-42 hours following the HCG injection.

How does this compare to using an at-home ovulation predictor kit (OPK)? Well, in most patients the LH surge will be detectable in the urine after the surge is noted in a blood test. Usually the egg is released the day following a positive OPK. So, an IUI is ideally performed the morning after a positive OPK. Patients will typically begin testing on cycle day 12 and test every day until the test is positive.

Current research indicates no significant difference in either clinical pregnancy rates or live birth rates when comparing home monitoring of ovulation with OPKs to ultrasound monitoring and HCG triggering. Therefore, the choice is patient specific.

If your schedule doesn’t allow the time commitment for multiple ultrasound visits and lab draws, and you are confident in your ability to do in-home monitoring, then OPKs may be the best option for you. However, if you have had difficulty interpreting OPK results in past cycles, or you’re simply afraid that you might miss the positive result, then ultrasound monitoring and HCG trigger shot may reduce your anxiety and uncertainty. Using a trigger shot also takes some of the guesswork out of the timing of an IUI, and may be beneficial if there are potential scheduling conflicts near ovulation (such as you or your spouse leaving town on a business trip).

The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong answer, and you should talk to your doctor about what is going to be most beneficial for you.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Dad is Dad, However it Happens

Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and the crew are looking ahead to Father’s Day -and marveling at technology like ICSI that makes fatherhood possible for a lot of dads- in this video!

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Tools of the Trade

It’s a cool tool that’s actually meant to serve the auto industry, but it can help us retrieve some pretty important stuff in the IVF/embryology lab!

In the video below, Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon & Lab Supervisor Sarah Atkinson are introducing you to The Claw.

Plus, another of Dr. G’s treasured dog stories!

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

A Three-Strike Approach

Baseball isn’t the only realm in which you get three strikes.

In the video below, Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon unpacks why he thinks it’s wise to take a “three-strike approach” to fertility treatment.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

What Are You Learning?

As with anything, knowledge is power when it comes to reproductive medicine. So, what are you learning on your journey?

More on that -and the wild return of Dr. G’s skunk adventures!- in the video below!

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

When Is It Time To Move On?

When is it time to move on?

That’s always a hard question, but especially when you’ve been going through a particular course of fertility treatment without the hoped-for results.

In the video below, Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum are helping you think this topic through.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Welcome to the Team, Lisa!

Folks, we’re excited! Our nonprofit partners at the National Embryo Donation Center are welcoming new NEDC Patient Coordinator Lisa Kozsan to the team!

Lisa originally hails from Texas and, as you’ll see when you meet her in the video below, she has an amazing heart for the work of embryo adoption and embryo donation carried out by the NEDC.

By the way, don’t worry: NEDC Patient Coordinator Christa Carter’s not going anywhere. The NEDC has just grown to the point where it needs two of her now in order to serve families better!

We’re proud to be the medical partners of the NEDC, and we join them in thanking God for this growth.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.