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Fertility Doctor of the Month: Said Taghi Daneshmand, MD
Said Taghi Daneshmand, MD, Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
FertilityAuthority.com is pleased to honor Dr. Said Taghi Daneshmand as Fertility Doctor of the Month. We recognize Dr. Danshmand for his work with patients in his clinical fertility practice at Fertility Center of Las Vegas and the importance he places on his personal philosophies and ongoing research to guide that practice.
“Research is an integral part of our clinical practice because, without research, you can’t improve pregnancy rates,” Dr. Danshmand says.
Dr. Danshmand's recent research has focused on two areas:
- eliminating and preventing the onset of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and
- better understanding endometrial receptivity — when the endometrium (lining of the uterus) is receptive to embryo implantation.
According to Dr. Daneshmand, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is one of the only risk factors associated with in vitro fertilization (IVF). “We have written some of the landmark studies on the prevention of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome,” he says. “We use a specific protocol in triggering a patient during the IVF cycle to prevent the onset of OHSS. We actually have eliminated ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in our own practice — we don’t see it anymore because of the protocols we use. That’s one big area we believe we’ve conquered.
“Our other area of research has focused on endometrial receptivity and how to get the endometrium receptive so that when we transfer the embryos back in, we have the highest chance of pregnancy,” Dr. Daneshmand continues.
For some patients who are not successful in getting pregnant with IVF, it’s not due to the quality of the embryos, he explains. Rather, it’s that the embryos missed the window of implantation, and the endometrium is no longer receptive for the embryos to attach and develop into a pregnancy.
“It’s constant work and research to find out what is the best protocol," Dr. Daneshmand says. "What we found is, based on the research, many patients actually benefit from doing a frozen embryo transfer rather than a fresh embryo transfer — there are a subset of patients who have higher pregnancy rates with a frozen embryo transfer as compared to a fresh embryo transfer. And the reason for that is the ovarian hormones that are released in a fresh IVF cycle make the uterus non-receptive in a small subset of patients. In those subset of patients, it’s actually better to create the embryos and make sure in the subsequent thaw cycle that the uterus and endometrium is receptive prior to putting the embryos back in. And we have one of the highest rates of frozen embryo transfer pregnancy rates in the country,” he adds, referring to his Las Vegas fertility clinic, Fertility Center of Las Vegas.
Both areas of research have applications for many PCOS patients, according to Dr. Danishmand. PCOS patients are at high risk for OHSS because they tend to make a lot of eggs. And in some PCOS patients, the endometrium is not receptive. For those PCOS patients who fail at other fertility treatments such as using Clomid or injectable fertility drugs, a subset would benefit from IVF with a frozen embryo transfer rather than fresh embryo transfer.
In addition to the emphasis he puts on research, Dr. Danesmand has two philosophies that guide his Las Vegas fertility practice:
- Communication with patients is the most important facet of any good physician’s practice, and
- treat the patient as you would like to be treated yourself if you were a patient.
Daneshmand stresses a few cornerstones of his philosophies. “You have to be up front with your patients,” he says. “If I’ve got a patient who’s 41 years of age, and she’s got a significantly elevated FSH level, I’m going to let her know her chance of pregnancy with IVF is less than 10 percent. If she wants to potentially proceed with the odds against her, I think that’s her right.”
And, he adds, “You have to base the conversations on the data you have at your clinic, on the research that’s out there. You have to provide a very nurturing environment, and you have to be there for them, supporting them emotionally and psychologically through the difficult times, during diagnostic testing and treatment.”
Dr. Daneshmand says he’s available seven days a week via phone and email — whether he’s on the clock or on vacation. He stresses the importance of a physician — and a team — who are nurturing, supportive, empathetic and have a good bedside manner.
He prides himself on demonstrating those philosophies at Fertility Center of Las Vegas. “It’s been through hard work,” Dr. Daneshmand says. “You can’t be successful in any field unless you put in the hours and the hard work. There are no shortcuts in life, as with anything. You’ve just got to work hard and take great care of patients.”