Fertility Research Foundation Profile & Guide
The Fertility Research Foundation (FRF) began its activities as a comprehensive treatment and research facility in 1964, and SPHI was established in 1990 as a subdivision of the Fertility Research Foundation. Our primary function is to diagnose infertility problems and to provide the necessary treatment following a comprehensive evaluation. A yearly average of 2,000 new patients come to the foundation through referrals from the medical community, the media, and former or current patients.
Our staff includes specialists in gynecology, genetics, urology, sex therapy, endocrinology, immunology, radiology, bacteriology, pathology, and psychology. The initial visit consists of the following procedures:
- Female: consultation, examination, bacterial testing, genetic evaluation.
- Male: consultation, semen analysis, and possible hormone studies. When the above mentioned procedures are completed, a treatment plan is recommended by the attending physician.
If genetic reasons are suspected, a referral is made to our geneticist for further evaluation and/or examination.
The pressure of infertility can cause many complex and distressing emotional symptoms. As part of our comprehensive approach, every patient is offered psychologist consultations at any time during the course of evaluation and/or treatment, if necessary. Our Counselor is also available should the patient wish further help during the course of treatment.
Essentially, the role of the Foundation is to identify the probable reasons for infertility and to provide appropriate treatment and emotional support which, hopefully, will lead to pregnancy. Prevention of human infertility is another aspect of our sister organization, Society for the Prevention of Human Infertility (SPHI), since we believe infertility is preventable.
To help alleviate the attendant anxieties and confusion facing new patients in an infertility work-up, our medical staff will be available throughout the process to assist with any questions that may arise.
These will vary according to the diagnosis. For the woman, this may include correction of ovulatory problems by induction of ovulation with various drugs, tubal surgery designed to restore patency of function, treatments of infections or inflammatory conditions, and treatment of immunological disorders. If indicated, advanced technology treatment is suggested and administered. All new procedures such as IVF, GFT ZIF, and Gender Selection are also available. For the male, correction of a varicocele (enlarged blood vessel in testicle) and hormone therapy are used. Included with the above treatment schedule is a consultation with our Counselor on the third or fourth visit.
Infertility can cause many complex and stressful feelings; given our comprehensive approach, we hope ultimately to resolve your difficulties - physical as well as emotional. All aspects of Advanced Reproductive Technology (ART) e.g., IVF, Embryo Transfer, ICSI, Induction of Ovulation, IUI, and Gender Selection for family balancing and genetic abnormalities, are provided.
The couple will be asked to complete a registration card, after which they will be seen by the Patient Representative who will record the couple's medical history. The Patient Representative will explain the workings of the Foundation and briefly describe the routine treatments, which are to follow. Following this introduction to the Foundation, the couple will be examined by a member of the medical staff. At the end of the examination, the couple will again see the Patient Representative.
The female patient will be seen by a staff member who will weigh her, take her blood pressure and prepare her for a physical and pelvic examination by the doctor. The doctor will then meet with the couple and outline a plan of investigation.
There are five basic tests in an infertility work-up, which almost all patients require: basal body temperature recordings, tubal patancy tests (to determine if tubes are open), Post-coital examination (test after intercourse to determine if cervix is receptive to sperm), semen analysis (check on sperm count and activity), and endometrial biopsy (test to determine if lining of uterus is ready to receive and support fertilized egg). Further tests include mycoplasma cultures, sperm antibody evaluation and bacterial cultures.
Following the above, an endoscopy evaluation may be requested. This is a day-surgery procedure. The male portion of the infertility work-up may include a semen analysis, blood work-up, mycoplasma cultures and sperm antibody tests. A urological consultation for the male is usually recommended.
Because genetic problems can be at the root of infertility, a genetic evaluation is an important part of a fertility investigation. This consists of a careful review and discussion of the medical and family histories of the couple conducted by the genetic counselor.
"Fertility Source Book," available at Amazon, a comprehensive source of information, fully explains the above procedures.