A “Sweet” update on "The Fertility Chase" couple

We have an update on a family featured in “The Fertility Chase” which aired on weTV (Women’s Entertainment) cable network in May. Guy Walter Costello was born on Father's Day, June 20, at 7:48 a.m., weighing seven pounds, four ounces. The proud parents, Amy and Walter Costello, tell us, “Guy is amazing and this whole experience has been so very special.” Click here to read more about the Costello family’s journey and their experience on “The Fertility Chase.” Congratulations to the proud new parents!

Tune in to WEtv on May 22 at 8:30 a.m!

This Saturday “The Fertility Chase” will recap our segment on embryo donation and the story of Amy and Walter Costello. The show will air at 8:30 a.m. on WEtv, the Women’s Entertainment cable television network. For more information, visit www.dreamababy.com or call 239-275-8118.

Don't forget to tune in to The Fertility Chase this weekend!

Don’t forget – “The Fertility Chase” airs on this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on WEtv. A story appeared this week in the Naples Daily News featuring a Naples couple’s journey through infertility: http://bit.ly/aG8fnk

View our segment from NBC-2 News!

In case you missed it, our practice and two of my patients were featured last night on NBC-2. Their compelling story can be seen here: http://www.nbc-2.com/Global/story.asp?S=12440725. For more information on embryo donation and the latest fertility news, visit www.dreamababy.com.

Check us out tonight on NBC-2!

Tune into NBC-2 tonight at 5 p.m.: Reporter Marisa Brahney will share the story of “The Fertility Chase,” a new cable tv series airing May 15 on WE (Women’s Entertainment) television, featuring me and two local patients. The story chronicles their experience with embryo adoption and surrogacy – a true testament to the miracle of modern medicine, friendship and the pursuit of motherhood. For more information, visit www.dreamababy.com.

The Fertility Chase, Episode 1, WE TV, 5/1/2010

My wife and I woke up this morning and watched the pilot show of “The Fertility Chase”. I felt the show did a wonderful job in portraying the emotional trauma that infertility patients go through. I thought the visual graphics, filming and editing was excellent. I applaud Exodus Productions for their very hard work in bringing this topic to others. Overall, they did a truly wonderful job.

The Reproductive Medicine Group, also here in Florida, did a great job discussing basic infertility. Dr. Goodman appeared extraordinarily comfortable in front of the camera. I have a high level of respect for these physicians and have asked their group to render a second opinion on a number of my patients.

I did agree with Dr. Lessey that it is very important to carefully evaluate the couple and search for the diseases that cause infertility. For my readers, the definition of unexplained infertility means that there has been a complete evaluation, including a normal laparoscopy, and that no diagnosis was found. It seemed as though many of Dr. Lessey’s patients really had not undergone the full evaluation so the term “unexplained infertility” in the segment may have better been termed “incompletely evaluated infertility”.

I feel that the usefulness of a laparoscopy in the treatment of endometriosis is controversial. There is (inconsistent) data that shows pregnancy rates do improve slightly following the diagnosis and treatment of stage I or II endometriosis with about 1/3rd of the patients conceiving within eight months of surgery. This would seem to differ slightly from the 50% in three months that was quoted by Dr. Lessey and I would encourage him to publish his data so we can all benefit from better his procedures and techniques.

It is uncertain that the surgical treatment of the more advanced stages of endometriosis (III & IV) improves overall pregnancy rates. I would absolutely agree that treatment of all stages decreases symptoms in the fast majority of the patients but fertility is a different issue. I feel there is room for discussion regarding the ultimate usefulness of laparoscopy in the infertile patient.

The comments regarding stress and holistic medicine were an intriguing segment. I agree that life is too short to be unhappy and/or stressed and that we should all seek methods to better cope with stress and try to be as happy as we can be. The effects of yoga, massage, acupuncture, exercise and other holistic treatments on fertility is a very complex issue. There is supporting data that stress management may reduce the number of miscarriages slightly but increasing pregnancy rates is a more challenging process. I wholeheartedly agree that all infertility patients should do what they can be become as healthy as they can and find a balance in their lives regarding work and family. To depend on a holistic approach as the only approach, however, may unintentionally delay diagnosis and treatment and potentially harm patients.

Remember that most infertility couples are getting pregnant on their own at a low 1-3% per month so anything that takes place during the month of conception is thought to have made the ultimate difference. The Internet, and even some published data, is full of “cures” that were most likely coincidence rather than truly causing a successful pregnancy. Since 1-3% of most infertility patients will get pregnant on their own every month, it becomes important to design studies that discover true cause and not just coincidence. These are complex issues and more carefully designed research needs to be done in this area before clear conclusions can be made.

I look forward to the next week’s segment on oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing), a very important area of expanding research. Oocyte cryopreservation has tremendous potential for many women. It may provide women an unprecedented level of control regarding the timing of having children beating the biologic time clock through reproductive technologies.

Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
Reproductive Endocrinologist

Southwest Florida fertility specialist, patients featured in new nationally televised series, ‘The Fertility Chase’

Local fertility patients and physician, Dr. Craig R. Sweet, a reproductive endocrinologist and medical director of Specialists in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, will be featured in a new independently produced television series “The Fertility Chase” scheduled to begin airing on May 1, 8:30 – 9 a.m. EST on WE tv, the Women’s Entertainment cable television network. The launch of the series, produced by Exodus Productions, coincides with National Infertility Awareness Week, April 24 – May 1, a week dedicated to raising awareness about infertility, a condition affecting 7.3 million Americans. The segment featuring Sweet and his patients is scheduled to air on Saturday, May 15 and will highlight the issue of embryo donation.

One local couple featured in the show, Walter and Amy Costello from Sanibel, underwent in vitro fertilization following diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis, a leading cause of infertility. Under the care of Sweet and his staff, the couple implanted two embryos and chose to save their remaining four embryos to try for more children in the future or to donate to another infertile patient.

Through a process called cryopreservation or embryo freezing, excess embryos resulting from in vitro fertilization are stored for future use. An estimated 500,000 embryos are currently in cryopreservation in the United States.

“In addition to minimizing the opportunity for multiple births, cryopreservation gives families the opportunity to have more children in the future,” says Sweet. “In the event that patients choose not to transfer and use all of their remaining embryos, our patients are given the option to donate them to research or to other infertility patients who have chosen embryo donation to build their family.”

“In our case, we hope to use our embryos to grow our family someday,” says Amy. “However, should we decide not to do so, we have indicated our wishes to give the gift of life to another family through embryo donation.”

Less than two weeks after the Costello’s own embryos were implanted, the couple received long-awaited news: “We are expecting a baby boy, due on June 20, Father’s day,” says Amy. “It was a long, emotionally and financially difficult journey, but we couldn’t be happier. We are truly blessed.”

Specialists in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, P.A. is a reproductive endocrinology practice providing comprehensive and compassionate reproductive endocrine care including IVF, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), egg donation, embryo donation, gestational surrogacy, conventional surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, cryopreservation of ovarian/testicular tissue, sex selection, gynecology, genetics, endocrinology as well as menopausal diagnostic and treatment services.

For more information, visit www.dreamababy.com. Become a fan of Dr. Sweet on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. Become a fan of The Fertility Chase on Facebook.

Check us out on national TV!

Several of my patients and I will be featured in the new independently produced television series “The Fertility Chase” scheduled to begin airing on May 1, 8:30 – 9 a.m. EST on WE tv, the Women’s Entertainment cable television network. The launch of the series coincides with National Infertility Awareness Week, April 24 – May 1, a week dedicated to raising awareness about infertility, a condition affecting 7.3 million Americans. The half-hour program produced by Exodus Productions will run over the course of eight weeks. To see a preview of the show, visit www.dreamababy.com and click on The Fertility Chase icon in the top left-hand corner. For more information, call 239-275-8118 or visit http://www.dreamababy.com