University Hospitals Brings Fertility Care to Westlake
West side fertility patients have new option for treatment
Dealing with fertility problems can be embarrassing, intense and emotional.
Adding in long drives for all the doctor appointments just makes it worse.
That's why University Hospitals' new Fertility Center, located at 2055 Crocker Road, is important, said Dr. Bryan Hecht, one of the physicians there.
"Before, our patients on the west side had to go downtown or to the east side for everything," he said.
The Fertility Center opened on Aug. 13.
The new facility offers in-house services such as semen analysis, insemination, sperm freezing, blood testing and hormone testing.
"We can give same-day results," Dr. Hecht said. "It helps alleviate the stress of waiting."
The facility doesn't just deal with infertility, but also has services for high-risk pregnancies such as genetic testing and counseling, and ultrasound. There is a separate waiting room for pregnant patients, Dr. Hecht explained, to be sensitive to the feelings of both the high-risk pregnancy patients and those dealing with infertility.
Dr. Hecht works at the facility along with Dr. William Hurd and Dr. Brooke Rossi. UH's fertility programs are run by Dr. James Goldfarb, who helped bring about the world's first in-vitro fertilization (IVF)/surrogate birth in 1986.
UH's fertility department is headquartered at the Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood.
Jeanne Herold, a sonographer who handles ultrasounds, said the facility makes things easier and more efficient for patients.
"They don't have to do an ultrasound at one place and then drive to do blood work or other tests someplace else," she said.
"It allows for continuity in their care," Herold continued. "When you're going through something like fertility problems or a high-risk pregnancy, seeing familiar faces is comforting. They know the staff here know their situation, and they can ask for someone they know and feel comfortable with."
A Tough Time
Diane Carlisle, the lead RN at the Fertility Center, said people don't always realize how difficult an experience the patients can have.
"I've seen studies that have shown that, emotionally, infertility can be as devastating as a cancer diagnosis for some people," she said.
That's another reason having a facility for patients on the west side is important, she added.
"A lot of our patients are juggling work and fertility treatments," she said. "The closer it is, the easier and less stressful it is for them."
The most common fertility problems, Dr. Hecht said, are related to ovulation, sperm, fallopian tubes, and endometriosis.
"Every case is different," he said. "I see women as young as 25 and others in their 40s. Their treatment isn't going to be the same."
Cost can be an issue. For patients who don't have fertility treatments covered by insurance, a single cycle of IVF can start at between $10,000 and $14,000, Dr. Hecht said. That cycle includes medication to stimulate the ovaries, egg collecting, fertilization, implantation of one to three embryos, and storage of the remaining fertilized embryos. Each cycle can procure between 10 to 12 eggs, but not all are successfully fertilized.
Dr. Hecht said he and the staff often help patients find sources that help cover the costs of IVF and other fertility treatments.
"Our goal is to help patients have a child in the most effective, safest and most affordable way," he said. "We help steward them through all the options to find what will work for them."