Dr. Schillings Reflections: 2016
As always, when I reflect upon the year I am amazed at how far the practice has come and how we continue to improve fertility care for our patients. The ability to reach out to a wide variety of patients continues to grow to include 30 states and 22 countries. We hope that this broad geographical expansion is more than our IVF success rates being over 50% above the national average but also due to the high level of expertise and care delivered by our staff.
In July, improvements were made to the preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). In addition to determining abnormal numbers of chromosomes, PGS by neXgen, allows us to find embryos that are mosaic and/or have parts of chromosomes missing or duplicated. These chromosome abnormalities have been shown to lower implantation rates and increase birth defects. By using better quality embryos, higher success rates can be expected. At RMAPA, we continue to move closer to the goal of “one healthy embryo to have one healthy baby.”
Emerging scientific evidence is showing an increased risk to a pregnancy through an IVF cycle with a fresh embryo transfer. By freezing the embryos and using them in another treatment cycle, the risks from overstimulation of the woman’s ovaries are reduced and pregnancy success is increased. RMAPA’s goal, in 2017, is to move all fresh IVF embryo transfers to frozen embryo cycles; minimizing the risks to both moms and their babies.
We are very excited to announce that in August of 2017, we will be adding a new physician to the RMAPA staff. Dr. Aicha Gueye, M.D. will join our team upon completing her fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic. Her vast skills in robotic surgery, reproductive biology, and IVF will greatly benefit the patients of RMAPA. In addition to seeing patients, Aicha will be providing OB/GYN residents, medical students, and community educational events.
As in previous years, the RMAPA staff continues to volunteer at local and national charitable organizations; such as The March of Dimes/ March for Babies, New Bethany Ministry, The Firely Foundation, Dispensary of Hope, and the American Heart Association. Events held were held in the office during Infertility Awareness Week, Breast Cancer Awareness month, and National Heart Month.
Our annual Tree of Hope has seen an increase in the number of “leaves” (pairs of feet), year after year. Our forest of trees are displayed in the patient exam room hall and serve as a sign of hope to those waiting for their dream of growing their family to become a reality. A new addition to our main waiting room is our Baby Book; this book is filled with photos shared with us by former patients. We are honored that our past patients send us photos of their little miracles; providing encouragement to those just beginning their fertility journey.
I wish a Happy and Healthy New Year to all!
Wendy Schillings, MD, FACOG