Katie Couric Hosts Shady Grove Fertility to Discuss Male Factor Infertility

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Katie Couric interviews Shady Grove Fertility patients, Sarah and Dave, about their experiences trying to conceive. Isaac E. Sasson, M.D., Ph.D. helps the Katie audience understand the causes and treatment of male infertility.

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Katie Couric discusses male factor infertility with Shady Grove Fertility patients, Sarah and Dave

We're conditioned to believe that when something bad happens to you, it's your fault or you did something wrong. But in my case it was simple: it was just the way I was born.

Last Friday, July 10, on her syndicated talk show Katie, Katie Couric addressed a topic that is prevalent amongst sufferers of infertility but is not widely talked about: male factor infertility. With an estimated one in eight couples afflicted with some form of infertility, 40 percent of those are due in some measure to male factor and 10 percent is a combination of both partners. However male infertility continues to be a subject that is not discussed openly leaving many men feeling inadequate. Helping Couric shed light on and explain just how common male infertility is were Shady Grove Fertility successful patients Sarah and Dave Gross and Dr. Isaac Sasson from the Chesterbrook, PA office.

Fertility treatment begins with testing to evaluate the fertility of each partner. Women’s testing assesses hormone levels, ovarian reserve, and quality of that reserve. For couples like the Gross’ who had been trying to conceive for almost a year it was the semen analysis that held the answer to their problem as Dave had virtually no sperm.

For reproductive endocrinologists like Dr. Sasson at Shady Grove Fertility deciding on the most effective course of action begins with an examination of the patient’s medical history to look for factors that may show risks for male factor infertility. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, current medications, smoking, obesity, and past surgeries.

When they were told by a nurse that their only options for children were donor sperm or adoption, the Gross’s were open to adoption and while they understood that donor sperm was a viable option they decided that personally it was not for them. Moving forward with treatment, Sarah and Dave went through three in vitro fertilization procedures none of which resulted in a pregnancy. Dave told Katie that after Sarah’s third miscarriage the doctor said, “Whenever it’s the time for your sperm to kick in, to produce the egg, it just dies out. It’s just really poor quality.”

With a severe form of male factor infertility Dr. Sasson explained the crucial role of the embryologist in a more concentrated treatment. He explained, “For men like Dave they need a much more aggressive treatment. And they were very successful with it. They did in vitro fertilization with ICSCI which stands for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection where the embryologist is able to find just a very few sperm. So, we would get eggs from Sarah and if we got 10 eggs from Sarah, I just need 10 sperm from Dave. And under the microscope the embryologist is able to pick up one of those sperm and inject it into the embryo for fertilization.”

For Sarah and Dave, the IVF with ICSI was the right procedure and today they are the proud parents of 13 month old twin girls. Dave had some final words of wisdom for men who may be suffering from male factor infertility, “There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’re conditioned to believe that when something bad happens to you it’s your fault or you did something wrong. But in my case it was simple: it was just the way I was born.”

To learn more about understanding your fertility: http://www.shadygrovefertility.com/understanding-fertility-and-conception.

Watch Dr. Sasson and the Gross’ on Katie here: http://katiecouric.com/videos/one-mans-struggle-with-infertility/.

About Isaac E. Sasson, MD: Isaac E. Sasson, M.D., Ph.D. FACOG received his medical degree and doctorate in genetics from Yale Medical School. He went on to complete his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and his sub-specialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Sasson is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Originally from Monmouth County New Jersey, Dr. Sasson is married with three children. Dr. Sasson is available for new patient appointments at Shady Grove Fertility’s new IVF Laboratory and office in Chesterbrook, PA outside of Philadelphia.

About Shady Grove Fertility Pennsylvania: Shady Grove Fertility, America's largest and most progressive fertility center, has four offices in Pennsylvania located in Reading, Harrisburg, BalaCynwyd, and a full-service, state of the art center and laboratory in the Philadelphia region at Chesterbrook. Comprehensive services at Chesterbrook include IUI, IVF, Donor Egg, Andrology services, as well as the resources to comprehensively address patients' needs: medical, emotional, and financial. Our caring and compassionate staff throughout Pennsylvania includes four board certified reproductive endocrinologists, exceptional medical support team and experienced embryology laboratory staff."

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