How should a fertility clinic help patients feel they are in control of their fertility treatment?
The perspective of this question is told by our embryologists Lab Director, Suzanne Degelos and Technical Supervisor, David Hickman.
It’s not just technology that improves opportunities for pregnancy success,” said Dr. Suzanne Degelos. “It’s communication of the technology to the patient and her family so they can make informed choices that give them the best results from fertility treatments, fertility medication, and overall fertility care.”
Dr. Degelos, PhD, and embryologist David Hickman, M.S., M.T., take the time to communicate with patients and families. They meet with them individually, are available to them and lead fertility classes that make fertility science easier to understand. “Fertility treatment often requires decisions based on information few patients and families encounter in their life experiences.” Dr. Degelos said. “they need help to understand what is available to them, how the fertility process works, and how it fits in with their beliefs and life experiences. We need to be good scientists and good communicators.”
Dr. Degelos has known the value of clearly communicating how fertility technology works to patients for many years.
“Twenty years ago when I interviewed with Dr. Koulianos, I told him I wanted to work with patients not just in the lab. I do my best work when I know the needs of the patients I am working to help. Success in the fertility field comes from cutting edge science combined with reducing stress for patients by helping them be comfortable with the fertility treatment processes they are using. David and I must put the same effort into communication with patients as we do into science. So along with improving our science and incorporating new science, David and I also translate the science we offer into understandable information that helps our patients make the best decisions for their individual cases.”
Professional training and work isn’t the only way Mr. Hickman has experienced fertility treatment. He and his wife were fertility patients themselves and successfully conceived a healthy baby boy who, along with his two daughters, is the light of their lives.
“Lots of people have been successful with fertility treatment,” Mr. Hickman said. “but it is still a new emotional struggle for each couple. They need information they can use to make important decisions. But there is more to it than just information. They need to know what this information is coming from fertility scientists, physicians, and nurses who have compassion and will make the effort to help patients understand their options. Many staff members at The Center in all three of these positions, were fertility patients. This helps all of us focus on compassion while we carry out the work of our specialties. I believe that dual focus has a lot to do with the success of our patients.”
Dr. Degelos and Mr. Hickman specialize in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. They use their knowledge and experience to select the sperm and eggs most likely to become a healthy child and bring them together to become embryos. They also provide vital services such as egg freezing and embryo freezing, and genetic testing.