Infertile patients cannot afford to wait for treatment while their eggs get older.
Dr. Sherman Silber, Infertility Center of St. Louis, is offering free 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 free 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.
Natalie Morales: Back in September we brought you our Born Today series that included a live IVF procedure, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman has been keeping up with the couple. Dr. Nancy, good morning.
Nancy Snyderman: Hey Natalie. This is an amazing young couple who allowed us into their lives. We first met Jessica and Derek in St. Louis when they started their fertility treatments, and we’ve been following their journey toward parenthood. So after so many years of trying for a baby without success, this morning we have an exciting update.
Jessica Menkhausen: I want to be positive, and I think we’re going to have twins. And I think they’re going to have red hair and blue eyes. [laughing]
Nancy Snyderman: After being challenged with fertility issues for almost a decade, 33-year-old Jessica Menkhausen and her fiancée Derek are a heartbeat away from starting their family.
Dr. Silber: That’s really the moment of conception.
Nancy Snyderman: That moment, captured on live TV for the very first time, In Vitro Fertilization. [previous clip] This is now a fertilized egg.
Dr. Sherman Silber, a fertility expert at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, performed the procedure, and days later transferred two embryos into Jessica’s uterus. Ten days later, they got the results.
Dr. Silber: Well guess what. You’re pregnancy test is positive …
Jessica Menkhausen: That’s amazing! [laughing] We got a baby in there. [laughing] Maybe two.
Nancy Snyderman: The couple shared their excitement live on our air.
Jessica Menkhausen: Just so ecstatic. So overwhelmed with joy. We feel so blessed.
Nancy Snyderman: But the journey had just begun. Seven weeks into the pregnancy, what would the first sonogram reveal?
Jessica Menkhausen: Hopefully we get to hear the heartbeat, or heartbeats.
Dr. Silber: Today we’re gonna be looking for one or two fetal sacks to tell her if she’s got twins or not. And we’re looking for a fetal heartbeat of 130 to 140. Then we know this is a healthy pregnancy.
Nancy Snyderman: After a brief meeting with their doctor to go over expectations, finally the moment had come.
Nurse: Well that’s the heart right there. And as I scan through that, I’m only seeing one. One sack with a really good heartbeat.
Dr. Silber: Beautiful heart beating. Good fetal length. It just looks perfect.
Jessica Menkhausen: I can’t say that I’m disappointed because I’m happy that there’s one. It kinda looks like a little baby.
Nancy Snyderman: One picture. One heartbeat. And for this couple, a priceless moment.
Jessica Menkhausen: It’s been such a long journey to get to this point. I’m just so excited. I’m so glad that we’re pregnant. [laughing]
Derek Manion: I can’t stop looking at it.
Nancy Snyderman: They’re a wonderful couple. As for Derek and Jessica, that strong heartbeat means of course they’re well on their way. She has had morning sickness, we all know what that’s like. Most of us know what that’s like, and for most of us who know, this kind of exhaustion is just the good sign of good things coming.
Natalie Morales: We’re thrilled for Derek and Jessica. What are the realities though of successful IVF these days the first time around like that.
Nancy Snyderman: Honestly it really means going to the right center. Because we always think infertility has to do with women. A lot of times it’s men and it’s age related. You want to go to a center that does it well, and remember – it’s not just getting pregnant. It’s a live, healthy baby.
Natalie Morale: All right. Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Thanks so much!