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Fertility Doctor of the Month: Michael Opsahl, M.D.
Michael Opsahl, M.D., Founder, POMA Fertility, Kirkland, WA
Following a conversation with Dr. Michael Opsahl, a few things are apparent. He believes IVF should be more affordable. He believes patient education is paramount. And he practices what he preaches. FertilityAuthority is pleased to recognize Dr. Opsahl as Doctor of the Month.
Opsahl finished medical school in 1978 and a month later, on his birthday, the world’s first IVF baby was born. “What I do today didn’t exist in medical school,” he says. He was an ob/gyn who loved delivering babies, but not the lifestyle. Reproductive endocrinology allowed him to continue working with female patients - “I like taking care of women,” he says. “They are better attuned to health.” And he’s keen on the education element. “We want patients to know what we’re doing and why; we try hard to make it less mysterious,” he explains. He uses PowerPoints and pictures as educational tools with all patients.
Making IVF Affordable
“We have a great staff that tries their best to provide good service, good value, a fair price, and good quality outcome in a nice environment,” Opsahl says. POMA fertility offers two options for patients without insurance coverage for infertility treatment. The first, a flat fee for IVF that is all inclusive except for fertility drugs and anesthesia. Second, a Refund Warranty Program that refunds a percentage of the IVF cost if the patient does not have a baby. The refund program is available for one or multiple IVF cycles, and provides unlimited frozen embryo transfers.
“It seems to have struck a chord,” Opsahl says. “People realize they are getting good value. Everyone’s more upbeat. It takes the stress out of it.”
Opsahl says there are also savings to be found with genetic screening with PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) at his practice. “A limited number of embryos might not get you to the finish line,” he says. By culturing embryos from two IVF cycles, you have a high probably of finding one embryo to transfer. In the first IVF cycle, all the embryos are frozen the day after insemination. Following retrieval with the second IVF cycle, the embryos from the first cycle are thawed and cultured with the embryos that are inseminated from that second cycle. Because you only culture, biopsy and freeze the embryos one time, patients can save approximately $7,600, Opsahl says.
In addition to his clinical practice, Opshal is a reviewer for two medical journals, Fertility and Sterility and Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a member of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS), American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI), and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).
Nominate Your Fertility Doctor
Do you know a fertility doctor who deserves to be recognized for his or her outstanding accomplishments? Submit a nomination for Fertility Doctor of the Month.