Published: Jan. 12, 2009
Updated: Mar. 14, 2011
Duke's Susannah Copland, MD, and her colleagues at the Duke Fertility Center help families grow their numbers.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process in which eggs are fertilized in the lab and then put back into a woman to increase her chance of pregnancy. IVF helps women and couples who face one or more obstacles that decrease their chances of getting pregnant. Reasons to turn to IVF include past damage to the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, significant scar tissue, abnormal sperm count or motility, or failure of other fertility treatments.
Certainly the expertise of the physicians is a big factor, along with the expertise of the lab personnel and the compassion and support of the nurses and staff. And of course, success rates are very important.
We are fortunate to have one of the most successful IVF programs in the United States. After an investment in one of the country's few certified, ultra-pure laboratories, we saw a 30 percent increase in IVF success rates.
There are undetectable chemicals in the environment that are toxic to sperm, egg, and embryos. IVF benefits from an ultra-sterile, sealed environment. Duke's facility was only the 15th fertility clinic worldwide with such a high level of complexity and cleanliness -- and still one of the very few in the country.
Duke Fertility does have a donor egg program -- a resource for both donors and recipients. We can match an anonymous donor with a woman who requires donor eggs to help her become pregnant.