Success With ICSI | Infertility Center of St. Louis
If you have any questions, you may call us at (314) 576-1400.
“Dr. Silber is world leader & pioneer of the most widely used in vitro fertilization techniques. His patients fly in long from distances all over the world for treatment at his fertility center and, he is happy to take care of the most difficult cases with warm personal attention and great technical skill.“
Dear Dr. Silber, Dr. DeRosa and all of the wonderful staff,
When my husband was diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager, sperm banking was almost an afterthought. Luckily, a single sample was obtained and frozen before the chemotherapy left him infertile. We met 12 years later and never dreamed achieving pregnancy would be a problem. After all, we had frozen sperm.
We first sought help in September of 2009 at a local fertility clinic in Baltimore, Maryland. We were devastated to learn that the sperm sample was limited in quantity and quality. The doctors advised us to consider a sperm donor or adoption.
Several weeks later, I woke in the middle of the night and started researching IVF and ICSI in situations where sperm quantity was limited. I was delighted to learn that Dr. Silber was an expert in making dreams come true for couples like us. I immediately called the Infertility Center of St. Louis the following day and arranged for my husband and I to fly to Missouri to meet with Dr. Silber and his team.
We were immediately impressed with Dr. Silber’s confidence and the professionalism of his entire team. He was not afraid to take us on as patients and, most importantly, Dr. Silber gave us options that did not involve a sperm donor. We made plans that day to return to St. Louis for an IVF cycle.
Prepping for IVF from across the country was amazingly easy and I cannot say enough about the competence of Dr. Silber’s staff. I NEVER worried about anything the entire time because I knew Karah would be calling faithfully with instructions. She was always available to answer any questions, no matter how silly they seemed. In July 2010, I underwent IVF/ICSI with my husband’s frozen sperm. Thirty six weeks later, we welcomed our beautiful and healthy twin daughters into this world.
It hardly seems enough to say “Thank You” for all you have done for us. Dr. Silber and his team have made our dreams come true and we are so thankful that there are people who have dedicated their lives to helping infertile couples like us. We thank God everyday for our little blessings!
Anthony Caterina, Joyce Zmuda, Mary and Sonia
Dr. Silber and staff,
Since we met the Hunters in Brussels, December 1993, we have spent one weekend a year together. This picture was from our latest weekend in Indianapolis.
These five teens are all straight A student, all involved in the school bands and sports. We are so thankful to have and know them!
David and Tracy Greenwell
Note from Dr. Silber:
This family is part of a group of families who helped me pioneer for the first time ICSI and IVF for couples in whom the husband had absolutely no sperm in the ejaculate, but for whom we retrieved sperm [technical video] (for the first time in medical history) from the husband’s testis or epididymis to fertilize the wife’s eggs. This project began far back in the mid-1980’s, and these families were true patient pioneers. They are to be congratulated for being among the first to do this. Now, 25 years later, millions of otherwise sterile couples have had children because of the efforts of families like this.
After 3 years of infertility we learned the results of my husband’s SBST for azoospermia and we were devastated. We were told that our chance of conceiving was 0%. The doctor recommended we put our money towards adoption or donor sperm. The test discovered that my husband has a very rare genetic anomaly. He is a Turner’s mosaic. This means that half of his cells are XO with no Y chromosome causing him to apparently make no sperm. We were in such disbelief that we decided to get a second opinion from the other reproductive group in town.
By this point it was late 2007 and we were beginning to think that children were just not in God’s plan for us. In January 2008 after watching an episode of “Private Practice” I was searching on the internet for information on testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and if it would work for Tracy’s anomaly. That is when I came across Dr. Silber’s name. After more searching on the internet I decided to order his book, “How to Get Pregnant.” His book gave my husband and I hope again. We decided that if anyone could make our dream of having a baby come true it was Dr. Silber and his team at the Infertility Center of St. Louis.
On February 4, 2008, we boarded a plane and went to meet Dr. Silber for a consult. He was intrigued by our case and certain he could help us achieve a pregnancy and have our miracle baby. With his expertise in infertility and his routine use of ICSI he gave us a good chance of finding sperm hiding in tiny numbers in the testicle. That to us was wonderful news. A year later we boarded another plane to St. Louis and began our 2 week period of monitoring and medication leading up to retrieval and implantation.
The office staff is wonderful. They are willing to help however necessary and are very knowledgeable. They called every night to let me know how much medicine to take and answer any questions.
My husband’s testicular sperm extraction was successful and Dr. Silber was able to get enough sperm to fertilize all 13 eggs and even to freeze a few extra sperm for future use if necessary. Three days later I returned to St. Luke’s to have two embryos implanted. Two weeks after the implantation we received a phone call letting us know that we were finally pregnant. We both cried in elation! On October 26, 2009, after many years of hope and devastation our miracle was born. Without Dr. Silber and his wonderful team we might have given up on our dream of having a family.
Tracy, Heather and Brayden
Hello Dr. Silber,
Randy and I were married when I was just 18 and at that time I did not care that he had had a vasectomy. It was actually a relief. When I hit 30, however, my biological clock started ticking and as I got older its sound was growing louder to the point that I could not ignore it anymore. Being in Italy, we contacted a local hospital to find out what our options were. We were naive and very hopeful, so we got on the list and waited for a year and a half to do our first ICSI. Because of the vasectomy, at the hospital they took some samples from my husband’s testicles and froze some semen. The first time we did the ICSI (January 2004) the fertilized oocytes stopped multiplying after 6/8 hours; the second time (September 2004) we had 3 beautiful embryos but a negative pregnancy test; the third time (July 2005) we had 2 poor quality embryos.
At this point I realized that this was the wrong way to pursue this. I felt that the doctors and geneticists were not experienced enough and I had had enough hormones and drugs. At the US military base I had gotten from the library Dr. Silber’s book, “How to Get Pregnant” and, since I was home resting after the last unsuccessful embryo transfer, I began to read it. When I got to the vasectomy section and how it did not matter how long the vasectomy reversal had been done (in my husband’s case 27 years and since everybody that we had contacted were talking about antibodies produced against a man’s semen) I was elated. I read this part to my husband, who (to my shock) actually said he was willing to have a reversal. I write “to my shock” because his vasectomy had been very painful (no anesthesia had been used during the procedure) and it had always been a sore subject to him before.
Anyway, when he said he was willing I contacted Dr. Silber’s office around 20th July of 2005 and the following 7th September the procedure was done in St. Louis.
We had no way of knowing what Dr. Silber would find during the operation, but despite the fact that the vasectomy had been sloppy, the reversal (thanks to Dr. Silber’s enormous ability as a microsurgeon) was a complete success. We followed Dr. Silber’s recommendations (rest, sitz baths, jock strap) and even with a flight from St. Louis back to Italy, Randy (by now 53) healed very well. In February I had unusual bleeding between two periods and contacted my gynecologist (with whom we had done the ICSI procedures) and after a few blood tests, I (by now 37) was told that my ovaries were getting old and that my uterus was inflamed. I got a series of medicines to take as soon as I finished my following period and that was all we needed, because on May 10 we got a positive pregnancy test. Our daughter Francesca was born on Christmas day 2006: perfectly healthy at 6 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long. It was great to have been able to have a baby “the old fashioned way” and always felt blessed. When Francesca was 2 years old I thought that we could have a second baby. We had a few setbacks, so we could not “get to it” right away, but in summer of 2009 we started. I’ve always followed Dr. Silber’s recommendations: having sex every other day with the woman on her back and stay there for 30 minutes. It took us 3 months and in the beginning of October we got another positive pregnancy test. June 7 2010 (I was 41 and my husband 58) our daughter Emma was born: another perfectly healthy baby, although chunkier (8 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long). What a perfect outcome.
Thank you, Dr. Silber, for everything and we wish you and your team a Happy New Year,
Randy and Giovanna (Jo) Stevens
My name is Jennifer and my husband’s name is Keith. When we first met, Keith told me that he had Cystic Fibrosis and had received a double lung transplant 5 years earlier. I knew that that we would never have any children of our own, at least the natural way. I started researching our options and found Dr. Silber’s website. I knew that with the sperm retrieval, IVF and ICSI, we would be able to have hope of having our own child.
We decided to get married in March of 2010. When we sent our invitations to the wedding, we included a note about our decision to try and have a child of our own. We asked that everyone give money as a wedding present. The response was amazing! We were given over $15,000 from family and friends. My parents and Keith’s Dad, along with all of our savings made up the rest that we needed.
In July of 2010 we started our journey. After many, many shots, a sperm retrieval, egg retrieval and embryo implant, we found out that we were pregnant! We were so excited because our dream had come true. And then after 9 short months and 24 hours of hard labor, on April 9th 2011, LouEllen Gale Harvel was born. She weighed 6 pounds 6 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. She was the most beautiful baby we had ever seen. She looked just like her Dad, which I am thankful for.
I can’t imagine what Keith felt when he looked at his daughter for the very first time. After so many years of thinking that having a child of his own was impossible, he was given a miracle. Keith has had a hard life due to his Cystic Fibrosis and lung transplant. He tells me everyday that he is so thankful to have me and LouEllen in his life. He says we make life worth living!
During our journey we never gave up hope. We want to thank: God, Dr. Silber, Dr. Pineda, their staff, everyone that gave us money, and all of the prayers. If it weren’t for all of these people, LouEllen wouldn’t be here today. She is our miracle!
LouEllen is now 6 months old. She just cut two teeth, rolls all over the place and laughs all the time. It is amazing at how fast she is changing. She brings up so much joy and turns any bad day into a good day.
We hope to go through one more round of IVF with Dr. Silber this winter. We pray that we are able to give LouEllen a little brother or sister.
With many thanks,
Keith, Jennifer and LouEllen Harvel
Clay City, IL
Dear Dr. Silber and Staff,
Well, somehow almost two years have passed since we last saw Dr. Silber, and I wanted to take some time to say a most sincere THANK YOU for helping my husband and I to fulfill our commitment to God and one another in becoming parents! Our fertility road at first seemed rather hopeless when, after a year and a half of trying to get pregnant, we discovered that the hernia surgery my husband had at the age of sixteen left him with absolutely no sperm in his ejactulate. The first couple of fertility clinics we came in contact with just didn’t seem to have the right fit for us. My husband’s mother, a registered nurse, suggested to us that we look up Dr. Silber. Are we ever glad we did!
The compassion and professionalism we found at the Infertility Center of St. Louis was unmatched by any of our previous experiences. We were overjoyed when Dr. Silber told us about ICSI, and within a few months we were well on our way to starting our family. After an unsuccessful first embryo transfer, I was nervous about the second. I was impressed once again on the day of transfer number two, when Dr. Silber came in and explained to me that, due to the unique curvature of my pelvis, he felt a surgical embryo transfer was the answer. I appreciated his attention to detail and felt that he was really in tune to our individual situation.
On May 24th, 2010 at 35 weeks we welcomed Jack and Abby into the world, each a little over 5 pounds and 18 inches. They have been a complete joy to our lives and I am so thrilled to be able to stay home with them; watching them grow and change into the happy, curious, and twin-scheming masterminds they have become in their 16 months. Our story foes not end there! We will be back to see you all again when we are ready to expend the Augenstein household. (However, on the precipice of the terrible twos two times two… it won’t be for a little while longer!)
A couple’s journey with infertility is a life interrupted. When the course you had set for your lives becomes suddenly and forever changed, it can seem like a great inconvenience. Without firm belief in the goodness and care of God, we can spend years mad at ourselves, others, or even Him because we did not get to the accomplish what we originally set out to do. However, it is during these times when we should look to God most, in graceful surrender, and allow Him to lead us down the path he has predetermined for us. Again, I am so very thankful that our “life interrupted” led us to you. Matthew 12:28-29: “Come to me, all you weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jennifer & Guy Augenstein
St. Louis, MO
Dear Dr. Silber,
We had quite the ride, trying to conceive, but feel extremely lucky it only took us 2 cycles to achieve our daughter Natalie, who is now 13 1/2 years old.
I remember Dr. Silber’s words… “With Persistance, yet Patience, you will conceive.” So as one dream was ending for us, another one was already beginning… Rob and I jumped right back into IVF, and decided to try a second cycle. We did need the assistance of ICSI, something none of the other doctors at the time even offered. My husband’s sperm count was very low and the motility as well was extremely low, but Dr. Silber assured us that he was having success with some of these new procedures! I remember him being such a confident man, and that’s what attracted us to him. He never beat around the bush, or gave us false hope….He just was very professional and honost. Again, I go back to his words above! It stuck with us and thank God, because we now have our daughter Natalie. She’s a little part of both of us, which we “NEVER” thought we’d have.
So please let him know we think of him often, and will forever be grateful!
Rob and Debbie Needy
Dear Dr. Silber,
We can’t begin to thank Dr. Silber and all of his staff for everything that they have done for us! From the moment that my husband went to his hometown doctor and was told that his vasectomy reversal was not going to work and I looked up Dr. Silber on the internet, our lives changed DRASTICALLY… for the better! Dr. Silber helped my husband have a successful vasectomy reversal which resulted in freezeing sperm at the time this as well. We were very happy that this was done because shortly thereafter, we found out that between my fertility issues and my husbands issues we needed to use that frozen sperm and the ICSI procedure to conceive. Thankfully Dr. Silber was able to assist us with this and we gave birth to a healthy baby boy 7 years ago, named Logan. WHAT A BLESSING!
We have told Logan about this process from the start. He has always wanted to meet Dr. Silber so when we were able to see him this September, it was certainly a dream come true for our family! Thank you again Dr. Silber! You truly mean the world to us!
Jody, Sarah & Logan
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
- Fertility expert Dr. Sherman Silber gives hope to infertile men and women
- “IVF Worked For Them” – AOL Health
- Minimal ovarian stimulation (mini-IVF) for IVF utilizing vitrification and cryopreserved embryo transfer (PDF, 406K)
- Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
- Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Vasectomy Reversal
- Tubal Ligation Reversal
- Egg Donation
- A Special Message From Dr. Silber About Your Biological Clock and Preserving Your Fertility
- Preserving Your Fertility
- Egg, Ovarian Tissue, Embryo, and Sperm Freezing
- Sperm Aspiration
- News Coverage of Ovary Transplantation
- Read Q&A article about mini-IVF
- Hokey ideas about raising sperm count
Also listen to Dr. Silber’s radio commentaries:
Listen to Dr. Silber’s internet radio chat on msnbc.com. (47:26 min.)
Listen to Dr. Silber and Joan Hamburg discuss the exciting new procedure for determining exactly how long a woman has left on her biological clock. (25:52 min.)
If you have any questions, you may call us at (314) 576-1400.