Most of today’s technology is all about entertainment. But there are also workhorses in the technology world. At Northwest Fertility Center, we employ those workhorses, also called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), to help give miracles a gentle nudge.
In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) has been one of Dr. Stoelk’s specialties since 1987, resulting in hundreds of babies. This process begins with fertility medications, followed by egg removal and fertilization. We then transfer one or two developing embryos into the uterus. This completely bypasses the fallopian tubes and is the only possible way for many couples to conceive.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a high-tech procedure in which a single sperm cell is picked up in a tiny glass needle and injected directly into the egg. Usually we’ll do this procedure only if there are severe sperm problems present, such as sperm antibodies, where previous attempts at in-vitro fertilization (IVF) have failed. This procedure has revolutionized our ability to deal with the most challenging sperm problems. Northwest Fertility Center was the first in the area to achieve pregnancy through ICSI and now has hundreds of successes with this technique, often where the sperm specimens were extremely poor.
Previously, no treatment was available for those problems other than donor sperm insemination. Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) is a good option for men who do not have any sperm in the semen but do have sperm in the testis. The sperm cells can be obtained by a minor surgical technique and then used to fertilize the wife’s eggs by IVF and ICSI. This is a highly effective alternative to vasectomy reversal for some men, especially advisable in men with a long-term vasectomy when sperm antibodies are usually present.
Donor Oocyte In-Vitro Fertilization is employed if the woman is unable to produce viable eggs. In that case, another woman might be chosen as an egg donor. Eggs are harvested, fertilized using the husband’s sperm and transferred into the wife’s uterus. Northwest Fertility Center was the first to perform this high-tech method in Oregon. Success rates are excellent.
Gestational Surrogacy In-Vitro Fertilization is employed when health conditions, such as a badly damaged uterus, prevent a woman from carrying a child. In those cases, we find a surrogate mother to carry to term. We’re proud to say we were the first in Oregon to successfully perform this procedure as well.
Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive technique Dr. Stoelk uses to treat endometrial conditions that lead to infertility or heavy, often painful periods. Endometrial polyps, uterine septum, adhesions and some fibroids can be removed through hysteroscopy.
Removal of Fibroids may be necessary when these benign tumors cause pregnancy loss, heavy vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain. As many as 40% of women 35 and older have uterine fibroids. Thanks to medical advances, hysterectomy is no longer the only answer. Other techniques allow us to remove the fibroids and leave the uterus intact, although it often depends on the size and position of the fibroids.