When is ICSI the Right Call?

When is ICSI, short for intracytoplasmic sperm injection, the right call for those battling infertility? Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum have some advice, and a fun demonstration of sorts, 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.

Know Your Nurses: Lynda & Kaylee

Southeastern Fertility IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum introduces you to Kaylee Zalewski, our clinic nurse who is now becoming our second full-time IVF nurse as we expand the team! That means Kaylee and Lynda will now be in charge of medical protocols for all IVF and frozen embryo transfers. Get to know Kaylee a little better in this short 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.

Don’t Let Dr. Google Freak You Out!

It’s easy to become unnecessarily alarmed when you read about fertility treatment online. But Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum urge you to not just let “Dr. Google” determine your course of treatment. They have more below in this short edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

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’re Now Doing Natural Cycle FETs!

The team at Southeastern Fertility is excited to announce something new: We’re now offering Natural Cycle Frozen Embryo Transfers (FETs)!

That means, in addition to medicated cycles, we will now offer the option to local IVF patients of doing FETs using the patient’s own natural cycle. (In case you’re wondering, the success rate is similar to that of a medicated FET.)

In practice, here’s how it will look. A patient will grow a follicle and receive a trigger shot, and the FET will normally occur about a week after the trigger shot is received.

During the time frame in between, ovulation will normally occur 36 hours after the trigger shot, and will then of course be followed by the egg collection procedure. The FET will then be the final step a few days later.

Why offer this option? There are many potential reasons a Natural Cycle FET could be an ideal route for some patients:

  1. It offers the opportunity to leverage the patient’s own hormones at a time when the uterine lining is naturally maximally receptive to implantation.
  2. Some patients with histories of blood clots may not be able to take the supplemental estrogen involved in medicated FETs.
  3. Some patients with histories of breast cancer are understandably uncomfortable with the idea of taking hormones.
  4. Other patients have already been through medicated cycles and are simply tired of all the hormone shots involved.

In order to be considered for a Natural Cycle FET, you must be a local patient with regular cycles. Our National Embryo Donation Center patients, the vast majority of whom are from out of town, will not be able to do Natural Cycle FETs.

Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum unpack this topic below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

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.

Making the Call: When is it Urgent?

When is it time to call Southeastern Fertility right away, and when can something wait a bit? Also, what are the best ways to get in touch? These are important questions if you’re a patient going through fertility treatment. Here are some quick answers to each.

When to call right away:

You’re experiencing bleeding after a positive pregnancy test. If this happens to you, definitely call as soon as you can! And in a case like this, it’s best to just call the front desk at 865-777-0088, ext. 1 or ext. 2. Taylor or Kristy will track down the nurse or team member best equipped to respond. Again, don’t dial the nurses’ desk and settle for voice mail in a situation like this! It’s crucial to get help from a live person quickly, and the front desk is your best route to receive that.

You’re having an ultrasound somewhere besides Southeastern Fertility, and you don’t have your order sheet. This could commonly happen especially with our National Embryo Donation Center patients, many of whom live out of town. If you’re at the medical facility and they won’t perform the ultrasound because there’s no order sheet, call right away and we’ll fax it to them. The front desk is also the best number to call in this situation: 865-777-0088 ext. 1 or ext. 2.

When it’s a lower-level issue:

Protocol questions are generally considered to be the next level down from the issues above in terms of urgency and priority. Now don’t misunderstand us on this one: If you’re on a medication protocol and it’s time for your dose, definitely call right away! But if it’s a question about when you need to start progesterone in oil or something similar and you know the protocol won’t start for about another week, that’s another matter. Sure, it’s a very important question. Yet it’s not imperative that you receive an immediate answer. In cases like this, just email IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum or Clinic Nurse Kaylee Zalewski and they’ll work to get you a timely, though perhaps not instant, answer. (NOTE: One reason the nurses prefer you email them for less urgent questions rather than call is that it helps them tremendously to have something in writing for a point of reference.) Lynda’s email is ivfnurse@southeasternfertility.org. Kaylee’s email is clinic_nurse@southeasternfertility.org.

Lynda and Southeastern Fertility’s Mark Mellinger unpack all this -and have a little game show fun in the process- below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

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.

Lost & Found

No one enjoys the feeling of being lost. Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum unpack why infertility can make you feel that way, and how we can help to move you to “found”, below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

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.

Endometrial Scratching: Why We Do It & When

When you’re struggling to have a baby, research suggests purposely disrupting the lining of the uterus could improve your chances of achieving pregnancy in some cases. Endometrial scratching, or endometrial biopsy, is a common fertility procedure used toward this end by Southeastern Fertility. The procedure is very safe and may be followed by mild, short-term cramping or bleeding.

There are three main circumstances in which our medical team performs endometrial biopsies:

  1. To test for chronic endometritis. This is a condition in which inflammation in the lining of the uterus could be hindering a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.
  2. Before embryo transfers, prior to the start of a cycle. Though research on this has come to varying conclusions, there is evidence suggesting a biopsy can better prepare the lining for embryo implantation. Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon compares this to pruning rose bushes, asserting that there may be something in the reparative process that enhances chances of a successful implantation and pregnancy.
  3. To test endometrial receptivity. Sometimes our medical team will advise endometrial biopsies for patients who we feel probably should be experiencing successful embryo transfers yet are not. In these cases, an endometrial scratch can help determine whether a woman’s lining may be more receptive to an embryo transfer on one particular day over another during a given cycle.

Dr. Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum unpack this topic in more detail, with their trademark brand of humor and fun thrown in, below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

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.

Everybody Loves Lynda: The Gift of Gratitude

A group of Southeastern Fertility/National Embryo Donation Center moms recently decided they wanted to surprise IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum with a shower of thank you notes, gifts and gift cards for all her hard work on their behalf. Co-Director Dr. John Gordon presented Lynda with these tokens of gratitude on Southeastern Fertility’s weekly Facebook Live broadcast.

Watch the video to see Lynda’s reaction for yourself. It’s a moment that really drives home the close, caring relationships we’re privileged to form with our families.

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.

Hollywood & Battling Infertility

Real life isn’t like the movies very often, and it’s important to make peace with that when pursuing fertility treatment. How will you respond if the hoped-for Hollywood ending doesn’t work out?

More from Southeastern Fertility’s Lynda McCollum and Mark Mellinger (plus, scroll to the 8-minute mark for what Lynda loves most about this work, and why she once wanted to be a truck driver!) below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

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.

Mini-Stim IVF, NC IVF: Factors to Weigh

Stimulated Cycle IVF seems to dominate the list of potential options when couples are undergoing fertility treatment. Certainly that can be a good and fruitful option for many, and we’re happy to offer it at Southeastern Fertility.

But it’s not the only IVF option out there. Southeastern Fertility also offers the choices of Natural Cycle IVF and Mini-Stim IVF. So why might these be more attractive options for some patients? Below are four possible reasons:

  • Simple. There’s no need for the large amount of medications involved in Stimulated Cycle IVF. This is a relief to many couples, who dread that part of the process.
  • Affordable. A round of Natural Cycle or Mini-Stim IVF will cost considerably less than a round of traditional IVF (roughly a third to roughly half the price). Check out the price comparison by viewing this chart.
  • Life-altering. The potential to achieve life-altering results -adding a child to your family through pregnancy!- is the end goal of pursuing these lesser-known options, just as it is when you pursue Stimulated Cycle IVF.
  • Ethical. IVF can present couples with ethical dilemmas, such as the difficult situation of having unused embryos remaining when their family-building is complete. Far fewer embryos are created with these alternative forms of IVF, helping patients avoid this potential ethical conflict.

Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum unpack all this below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

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.