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40 Force: Fertility Treatment – How Does It Work?

fertilitySPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) —  It’s estimated that 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant. As medical technology advances, more and more people are turning to fertility clinics for help.

ABC40’s Emily Volz recently took a tour of the fertility clinic at Baystate Health to see how the process works.

With more and more couples delaying pregnancy, by the time they’re ready to conceive, they’re less fertile — and many face reproductive challenges. Luckily, doctors and scientists are making tremendous advances in reproductive medicine.

“This has been an exceptionally dramatic field,” says Tayyab Rahil, the director of Reproductive Biology at Baystate Health. “The first baby was born in 1979, Louise Brown, and ever since there has been tremendous developments.”

Here at Baystate, fertility treatment usually starts with a 40 minute consult to go over medical history. Then, the couple begins their testing cycle.

“We’ll order a variety of tests to try to evaluate their fertility, says Kelly Lynch, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Baystate Health. “A test to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes, a semen analysis for the husband, some laboratory work to evaluate for endocrine factors, and it takes about a month to get that testing done.”

Once the problem is identified, the couple then meets with doctors again to devise a treatment plan.

“For infertility, there are two basic treatment options for couples,” says Lynch. “One is intrauterine inseminations, abbreviated IUI, the other is in vitro fertilization or IVF.”

The procedures can be pricey, but the state mandates employers offer some fertility treatment coverage. Fertility clinics like Baystate also work with couples to tailor plan for their financial situation.

Without coverage, procedures like in vitro fertilization cost about $10,000 for one cycle of treatment. But for couples who desperately want a baby, it’s a small price to pay.

“Two to three months typically, to get a couple from coming in the door for initial consultation to discharge with a pregnancy,” says Lynch.


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