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Infertile patients cannot afford to wait for treatment while their eggs get older.

Dr. Sherman Silber, Infertility Center of St. Louis, is offering video consultations for patients who need to plan now for their treatment while stay-at-home orders are in place. He is talking to and evaluating patients in their home to comply with social distancing measures.

Dr. Silber is discovering that patients actually prefer this method of telemedicine consultation over the conventional office visit. Patients have conveyed that “it is so much more convenient and less stressful” to have a telemedicine personal consultation than to take a day off from work to travel to the doctor’s office and sit with other nervous patients in the waiting room.

The COVID-19 pandemic is thus changing much of the way we will do things in the future, and for the better. “Our patients are surprisingly much happier with this approach. Of course, at some point we need to perform hands on treatment. But with this new manner of seeing patients, we can come to the right diagnosis and treatment plan for most patients more efficiently, quickly, and painlessly, with no loss of personal one-on-one communication.” This is a very welcome new era of telemedicine that has been forced on us by the current difficult times.

Assisted Hatching – Improving Success of IVF

To get feedback from patients who have undergone treatment at our Center, click here to go to the Patient Comments page.

If you have any questions, you may call us at  (314) 576-1400.

Click Here to Watch the Assisted Hatching VideoAssisted Hatching Video

Assisted Hatching: Excerpt from “How to Get Pregnant With the New Technology, Updated and Revised”

Another attempt at improving the pregnancy rate while avoiding the surgical approach of GIFT or ZIFT has been the idea of “assisted hatching”. The concept of this procedure is that based on the fact that the embryo normally sits around in the uterus without any effort to implant until around day six. Until day six, the embryo keeps growing within its very tough zona pellucida (outer shell). But on day six, that zona pellucida begins to thin out, and the embryo then eventually “hatches,” just like a chicken out of an egg. It is at this moment of hatching that the embryo, now called a “blastocyst,” actually implants into the uterine lining, the endometrium. It is at this moment, around day seven after fertilization, that pregnancy actually occurs, and this free floating ball of cells finally becomes a part of the mother. One theory to explain the perplexing phenomenon that most IVF embryos do not result in a pregnancy has been that this thinning of the zona and hatching of the embryo may be defective and some way impeded in embryos that have been cultured in vitro.

The solution to this problem would be to microsurgically thin out the wall of the zona pellucida of these embryos on day two, just prior to transfer. It was hoped that this micromanipulative process to the embryos might provide a necessary extra bit of help that would obviate the need for surgical procedures such as GIFT or ZIFT to improve the implantation rate. This proposition is very difficult to prove with certainty, but in many centers, including ours, assisted hatching is performed on most embryos, and the results have thereby improved. It is a beautiful procedure and a wonderful rationale and in women who have failed to get pregnant through the transfer of perfectly good embryos, the standard approach at the present should be to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to do assisted hatching.

Image of a healthy blastocyst hatching.
A healthy blastocyst hatching.


To get feedback from patients who have undergone treatment at our Center, click here to go to the Patient Comments page.

If you have any questions, you may call us at  (314) 576-1400