IVF 101 & more with Dr. O’Shaughnessy

Hey Denver, did you get to meet Dr. Althea O’Shaughnessy from Conceptions Reproductive last week on our free IVF webinar? If not, we had a chance to sit down with the good doctor after the meeting to talk more about infertility and IVF.

If you’re having trouble getting or staying pregnant for six months or more, it might be time to talk with Dr. O’Shaughnessy or any Conceptions provider to get the facts about the right infertility treatment for you. We also had a few minutes to learn more about what makes Dr. O’Shaughnessy tick including dancing and sci-fi books and movies. Doctors are people too!

Q: Who or what made you want to become a fertility specialist?

Medicine always interested me especially surgery. I was really interested in surgery but at the time it was not a lot of programs were supportive of female providers. I thought about oncology but not the right fit for me, so during my OB/GYN rotation, I discovered reproductive endocrinology. At that time, many of the solutions for infertility were surgically based.

Q: What should patients expect on an IVF consultation at Conceptions?                  

They should expect that I’m going to listen to their history and needs. Treat them like an individual. Patients will spend about an hour with me, then meet with my nurse, and if needed time with a Conceptions financial counselor.

Every patient is different and has a different set of hopes and anxieties, we understand. Patients who have been somewhere else here in Denver are often looking for more information, support, and success. Their first consult is very different than someone totally new to the process and needs a more step-by-step pace.

Q: Do patients understand how different IVF is performed center to center?                        

No, not at all. At Conceptions, we’re committed to safe and effective care which can be measured in CDC reported success rates and the percent of singleton deliveries. Patients should be careful about treatment or financial options that seem too good to be true.

On a new infertility consult, we try not to unpack too much and overwhelm the new patient or the second opinion patient. Once we chart a course, we start to consider the right fertility treatment options. For many patients, there is a clear benefit to IVF with PGT-a and frozen embryo transfer or FET.

This paradigm of IVF, PGT-A, SET, and FET has generated success rates that are 10-20 pts higher than the national average. We are focused on single embryo transfer (SET) which using this paradigm is just as successful but offers fewer risks.

Q: Did Dr. Google do a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology?                           

No, Dr. Google did not go to medical school as far as I know. Look, there’s plenty of content but not enough context when it comes to infertility on the internet. I send all of my patients to the ASRM patient portal for the most accurate and reviewed information on everything from IUI to IVF and everything in between. Here’s the link to the ASRM patient portal, www.reproductivefacts.org

I also would discourage patients from spending too much time on patient pages or social groups. Everyone’s experience is different. Also, the CDC and SART sites are good to gather success rate information.

Q: Favorite Book or Movie?                                                                                             

Any sci-fi gets me, anything anytime. (Note: We couldn’t pin her down on Star Trek or Star Wars). I was really interested in becoming an astronaut when I was younger, so space and science have always interested me. I think if someone said I could go to space tomorrow, I would!

Q: What do most people not know about you?

I love to dance, mostly jazz. Dance and music go hand in hand. I love Latin music, Tito Puente and Arturo Sandoval are some of the greats.

Q: Care to tell us what your first concert was?

Wow, great question. I’d have to say Sly and the Family Stone, maybe 1971 in Central Park, New York City. See, I’ve always been about family.

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