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TODAY Show Features IVF Egg Retrieval in BornTODAY Series
a blog by Kim Griffiths, September 24, 2013
If you happened to catch the TODAY Show this morning, you probably witnessed a first for the field of reproductive medicine- egg retrieval and fertilization performed on live TV!
Dr. Sherman Silber and his team at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, used intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to fertilize several of Jessica Menkhausen’s eggs in front of millions of viewers.
Menkhausen was diagnosed with endometriosis at a very early age and suffered two ectopic pregnancies in her 20s. As a result, she had both fallopian tubes removed and knew the only way she could conceive one day would be with the help of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“Why public IVF?” you might ask. Menkhausen and her fiancé, Derek Manion, agreed to film their IVF procedure to raise awareness about infertility, and help other women overcome their fear of pursuing a fertility consultation and treatment. Despite the fact that success is not guaranteed, and IVF is an expensive chance to take (national average cost of IVF is $12,000 per cycle), Menkhausen believes the shot at motherhood is well worth the risk.
“Even though we would have to take out a loan to pay for the procedure, the additional financial burden is small compared to the joy a baby would bring to our lives. I began the first round of medicine to get my body prepared in mid-August. An individual should not live in fear right? Not that this decision is a monumental as World War II, but the quote from President Franklin Roosevelt kept replaying in my head, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,’ Menkhausen wrote in an article on TODAY.com.
Following healthy development of her embryos, Menkhausen will return to the hospital on Friday for embryo transfer. Approximately two weeks later, she will have her blood drawn to determine if her beta hCG levels indicate a pregnancy has been achieved.
This segment is part of a weeklong educational series, #BornTODAY, which features the various journeys to parenthood including prenatal and postnatal care in the world today and technologies, like IVF and ICSI, which make pregnancy possible.