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.

About Sibling Embryo Transfers…

How does it work when you come back to Southeastern Fertility for a sibling embryo transfer? That’s the topic of this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility” (below) with Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John David Gordon, IVF Nurse Lynda McCollum and a special guest.

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.

How does it work when you come back for a sibling embryo transfer? That’s the topic of this week’s Talk Fertility. Here are Dr. G, Lynda and a special guest.

Posted by Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery, PLLC on Friday, September 18, 2020

 

Why You Need a Full Bladder for Your Embryo Transfer or Trial Transfer

Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Nurse Lynda McCollum explain why you need to have a full bladder when you come in for embryo transfers and trial transfers. Check out the latest edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility” 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.

Why you need to have a full bladder when you come in for embryo transfers and trial transfers, in today’s Talk Fertility.

Posted by Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery, PLLC on Friday, August 21, 2020

How We Handle “Extra” Embryos

Learn why you will never have a dilemma about what to do with remaining embryos when you go with Southeastern Fertility -plus enjoy a little sci-fi nerding out- in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

To schedule your free 15-minute online consult with Dr. G, 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.

How We Handle "Extra" Embryos

Why you will never have a dilemma about what to do with remaining embryos when you go with Southeastern Fertility, plus a little sci-fi nerding out, in this edition of our Internet show "Talk Fertility."

Posted by Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery, PLLC on Friday, July 17, 2020

Deep Dive FAQ: How many eggs should I fertilize?

Author: John David Gordon, MD

From time to time I will take one of the FAQs from our new website and use this blog to discuss the question in more depth…this is one of those times…so here we go…

Patients considering IVF often ask me how many eggs do I think that they will get and how many should they fertilize. Those are excellent questions and I believe that all patients need to carefully consider what to do before jumping onto the fertility treatment treadmill…

In the world of IVF we are facing an ever increasing crisis caused by our inability to address the huge number of frozen embryos being created by fertility clinics. In our efforts to help patients we are contributing to the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the very patients that we are so desperate to help.

This issue was one of the reasons that ultimately led me to make the big move from Washington DC to Knoxville. There is no way that we are ever going to be able to get ahead of this problem if we don’t address the decision making process that has led to the fertilization of so many eggs in the first place. It is hard to get patients to consider the possibility that having extra embryos could ever be a bad thing and yet time and time again during my 23 years of treating infertility I have seen patients agonize over what to do with their extra embryos.

The difficulty in making a disposition decision is not limited to patients who are religious or Christian or conservative. Once patients have a child following IVF their perspective on how they regard these extra embryos that are stored in liquid nitrogen tanks at their fertility clinic often shifts dramatically. These embryos are no longer nondescript clumps of cells…They are something more. They are something special. They are something unique.

At Southeastern Fertility we carefully discuss with our patients how many eggs to fertilize before the IVF process even starts. We offer both Natural Cycle IVF and Mini-Stim IVF as options to avoid the temptation of fertilizing too many eggs. In our Stimulated IVF Program we limit the number of eggs fertilized but are happy to freeze the extra unfertilized eggs for future use. If clinics fail to counsel patients appropriately then the problem will only get worse. A recent segment on the Today Show (and another featuring yours truly on local TV) highlighted this very issue and suggested that if we do not take steps to address this issue, then it is only a matter of time before the government decides to address it for us.

FAQ 24.  How many eggs should I fertilize?

Our recommendation to all patients is that they consider fertilizing only as many eggs as embryos that they are willing to transfer either now or in a future FET cycle. Since we are very comfortable with freezing unfertilized eggs we recommend that patients carefully consider this decision so as to avoid the difficulties inherent in deciding what to do with frozen embryos once a couple no longer wishes to use them to have additional children. Although the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) has matched thousands of donated embryos with recipients, there are estimated to be over 1 million frozen embryos stored in IVF clinics across the United States. At Southeastern Fertility we are committed to helping resolve the problem inherent in storing these embryos indefinitely by avoiding the creation of too many surplus embryos.

Dr. G says “Hello Knoxville!”

Author: John David Gordon, MD

It is with mixed feelings that I ended my nearly 20 years at Dominion Fertility a little over 6 months ago. I am so proud of the wonderful staff at Dominion and so thankful to the patients who trusted me to be their fertility specialist. I rejoiced in their successful pregnancies and mourned along with them in the failed treatments.

When I arrived here in Knoxville back in July, it was like coming home without realizing that I had ever been away…The amazing staff at Southeastern Fertility and the wonderful people who make up the National Embryo Donation Center have been so welcoming to me….a Bostonian by birth no less! We have quickly found a wonderful church and have begun making friends.

It is a real pleasure to work alongside Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, and with our combined 50 years of fertility practice, we have had some very interesting discussions about the care and treatment of the infertile couple.

Slowly I am learning how to pronounce the names of local towns without the staff bursting into laughter, and I have been introduced to all sorts of new cuisine, including Petro’s Chili and Chips…

Over the coming days, weeks and months I will be blogging here on the brand new Southeastern Fertility website and covering a wide range of medical questions. This blog will also keep everyone updated on practice events including our Trying 2 Conceive Tuesday (T2-CT)…[It’s not my fault… I’m a Star Wars fan and if we can have R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8, then why not T2-CT?]. Well, if anyone has a better name for our upcoming in-office information sessions then feel free to email me…

Fondly,

DrG