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Healthcare: Women's Health & Maternity

How to Choose a Fertility Clinic

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Our physicians are devoted to managing the entire spectrum of reproductive disorders from teenage years to menopause and beyond.

While in vitro fertilization (IVF) receives a great deal of media attention, it actually accounts for only a small percentage of all infertility treatment in the United States.

At Baylor College of Medicine, our fertility specialists can often help patients overcome infertility with a variety of other methods that are less complex and expensive than IVF, even in the most challenging cases.

We are highly experienced in helping patients suffering from the following conditions:

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Endometriosis

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Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue – tissue that lines the inside of the uterus – grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can cause painful menstrual periods, abnormal menstrual bleeding and pain during or after intercourse. It can also be asymptomatic. Endometriosis may be treated surgically, with medications, or a combination of both. For more information, see Endo-Online - Endometriosis Association.

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Irregular Cycle

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A normal menstrual cycle is considered to be 28 days long with ovulation occurring on day 14. However, women may ovulate days before or after the cycle midpoint or cycles may be longer or shorter than 28 days or not occur at all. Metrorrhagia is irregular menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods while oligomenorrhea occurs when menses are greater than 35 days apart. Irregular cycles may be caused by hormonal imbalances, stress, change of diet or exercise program.

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Hirsutism

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Hirsutism is excess hair growth in women occurring around the mouth, on the chin, neck, chest and back. Hirsutism may be caused by high androgen levels due to polycystic ovarian syndrome, Cushing's disease, inherited conditions and some medications. Family history or ethnicity may also influence the occurrence of hirsutism.

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Hyperprolactinemia

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Hyperprolactinemia is defined as an elevated level of the hormone prolactin. Excessive prolactin can cause irregular menstrual cycles or the lack of menstrual periods.

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Perimenopause

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Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for one year, normally occurring between ages 45 and 55. The period leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, meaning "around menopause." During perimenopause, ovulation is effected by shifts in hormone levels, causing changes in a woman's menstrual cycle. Perimenopause can last for up to 10 years.

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

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PCOS is a disorder in which the ovaries produce excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens) and develop many small cysts. Symptoms commonly include heavy, irregular or missed periods as well as acne, excessive hair growth on the face, obesity and infertility. For more information, see POCSupport - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association.

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Premature Ovarian Failure

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Premature ovarian failure occurs when a woman's ovaries fail to function normally, producing normal amounts of estrogen and regularly releasing eggs, before the age of 40. Symptoms of premature ovarian failure include irregular or occasional periods, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, irritability and decreased sexual desire.

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Recurrent Miscarriage / Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

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Consecutive pregnancy losses (usually more than three) before 20 weeks gestation are considered recurrent pregnancy losses.

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Uterine Fibroids (Leiomyomas)

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Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus. They develop from the smooth muscle cells of the uterus and can interfere with pregnancy. The cause of uterine fibroids is unknown. Since they require estrogen to grow, they often shrink after menopause when estrogen levels naturally decrease.

When pregnancy is the goal, our focus is on helping you get there as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

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Uterine Fibroids (Leiomyomas)

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Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus. They develop from the smooth muscle cells of the uterus and can interfere with pregnancy. The cause of uterine fibroids is unknown. Since they require estrogen to grow, they often shrink after menopause when estrogen levels naturally decrease.

When pregnancy is the goal, our focus is on helping you get there as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

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Make an Appointment

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Phone: (832) 826-7500

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Ob/Gyn Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology

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(including treatment of premature ovarian failure, hirsutism and irregular cycles)

William E. Gibbons, M.D.

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Texas Children’s MyChart

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Easy, convenient access to your obstetrics and gynecology medical records. Learn more.

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Eleven Questions You Should Ask

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1. How long has the program been established?

Experience counts when choosing a fertility clinic. The Baylor College of Medicine fertility program was established in 1983 and has an international reputation for excellence. More than 1,000 babies have been born through our program.

2. What are the program's pregnancy rates?

Care must be exercised when comparing success rates among different fertility clinics. Some clinics reject patients with a poorer chance for pregnancy, which makes their cumulative pregnancy rates higher than those that offer treatment to all patients. Baylor College of Medicine specializes in difficult-to-treat cases, often taking on patients rejected by other clinics. Our pregnancy rates are published annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3. Is the program a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)?

Yes, Baylor College of Medicine is a member of SART. SART requires its members to follow ethical guidelines, follow procedures to limit multiple pregnancies, undergo lab certification and inspection, and maintain strict standards.

4. Are all of the physicians board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology? Do the physicians who direct the program actually work on site and participate in patient care?

Although OB/GYNs can work in the area of infertility without board certification in REI, we feel it is a critical aspect of the training of physicians who work with fertility patients. All Baylor College of Medicine fertility specialists are board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Many programs operate as satellite programs with the medical director acting as a consultant in an off-site location. All Baylor College of Medicine fertility specialists are located on site and are directly involved in patient care.

5. Is the program affiliated with a hospital?

Yes, the Baylor College of Medicine's fertility program is located within the Texas Medical Center and is affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center. Clinics affiliated with a hospital are better able to coordinate patient care when hospitalization is necessary.

6. What services does the program offer?

Some clinics promote in vitro fertilization (IVF) as first-line therapy for patients with almost all types of infertility, while other clinics reserve it for cases where all other therapies have failed. The former practice dramatically inflates a clinic's pregnancy rates. Baylor College of Medicine offers a wide range of services including IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and specialized services such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). We are committed to helping all women who are seeking a successful pregnancy, with a focus on the least expensive, least invasive techniques first before resorting to more complex and costly intervention.

7. Does the program offer treatment for male factor infertility?

Yes, Baylor College of Medicine does the highest percentage of male factor assisted reproduction cases in the nation. This question is particularly important for couples who already know that the male partner has a fertility problem. Male factor contributes to approximately half of all cases of infertility. Baylor College of Medicine, in affiliation with Dr. Larry Lipshultz of the Scott Department of Urology – a world-renowned expert in male infertility – provides a wide range of services including ICSI and specialized sperm retrieval techniques.

8. How many embryos are transferred?

Baylor College of Medicine follows the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) guidelines with respect to the number of embryos transferred. However, these treatment decisions are individualized for each couple.

9. What does treatment cost?

The program should disclose in writing the costs for treatment and diagnostic tests. Baylor College of Medicine outlines the cost for its services in its information packet, which is available to all prospective patients.

10. Does the clinic have a donor sperm/donor egg program?

Yes, Baylor College of Medicine has both a sperm and egg donor program.

11. Does the clinic offer psychological counseling?

Seeking treatment for infertility can be a stressful experience; psychological counseling can help patients cope with that stress. Baylor College of Medicine partners with certified mental health professionals to provide psychological counseling to patients when needed.

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Texas Children's Hospital MyChart

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Easy, convenient access to your obstetrics and gynecology medical records. Learn more.

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At Baylor College of Medicine, our highly acclaimed fertility specialists have more than two decades of experience helping patients fulfill their dream of having a family. Since 1983 we have helped patients conceive and deliver more than 1,000 babies, celebrating success even in the most difficult cases.

We offer expertise in the entire spectrum of female reproductive disorders, as well as the evaluation of male infertility, and excel in dealing with complex fertility issues. Our physicians are board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, with subspecialty certification in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

As faculty members of Baylor College of Medicine, a world-renowned medical and research center, our physicians are uniquely positioned to offer patients the latest advancements in reproductive care. Serving as clinicians, educators and researchers, combined, they are exposed daily to leading-edge research, kept abreast of the latest innovations in reproductive technologies and techniques, and challenged regularly as they train the next generation of reproductive specialists.

Our fertility experts are widely published in their areas of expertise, sought-after speakers in national and international forums and scholarly societies, and continually recognized for their contributions and expertise in the field of reproductive medicine.

Our physicians are supported by a highly skilled, bilingual support staff of technicians, ultrasonographers, and nurses specialty-trained in reproductive medicine.

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Meet Our Team

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William E. Gibbons, M.D.

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Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Larry I. Lipshultz, M.D.

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Professor, Scott Department of Urology
Chief, Division of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery
Medical Director, Laboratory for Male Reproductive Research and Testing

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Staff

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  • Polly Haley, RN
  • Jae Hernandez, RN
  • Daneeka P. Hamilton, MP - Andrology Laboratory
  • Ursula Williams-Holt - Medical Assistant
  • Sandra Derilek, MS, CGC - Genetic Counselor
  • Stephanie Dennison-Casmere - Financial Counselor
  • Kim Akina - Division Administrative Coordinator II
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Texas Children's Hospital MyChart

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Easy, convenient access to your obstetrics and gynecology medical records. Learn more.