Welcome to the Assisted Fertility Program!
Having a child is one of life’s most emotional experiences. Unfortunately, for the one in six couples that fail to conceive, the anticipated joy can become wrenching disappointment. Advances in medical technology have made pregnancy a reality for many infertile couples. Today, comprehensive assisted fertility services are available enabling more couples to realize their dreams of having a family.
The Assisted Fertility Program is proud to offer a comprehensive fertility program for the North Florida, South Georgia and Southwest Virginia regions. The Assisted Fertility Program infertility clinics are located in Jacksonville, Florida and Roanoke, Virginia.
Program director Marwan Shaykh, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with special certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. He is a recognized pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine. Dr. Shaykh established the FIRST in-vitro fertilization pregnancy program in North Florida in 1985, just four years after the first IVF program was launched in the United States, and has assisted in the successful pregnancies and births of thousands of happy, healthy babies.
Dr. Shaykh’s extensive training as an infertility specialist includes expertise in all ART techniques and reproductive surgery such as tubal reversal. He focuses on reproductive endocrinology, providing comprehensive infertility treatment for males and females.
The Assisted Fertility Program offers a full array of advanced reproductive technologies to help female and male infertility patients. Our clinics offer all fertility treatment options including:
- Fertility Drugs
- Male infertility, Semen Analysis
- Female infertility, Female Infertility Testing and Female Infertility Treatment
- In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Minimal Stimulation IVF
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
- Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation
- Egg donation (IVF with an Egg Donor)
- Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)
- Tubal Reversal Surgery also called Tubal Ligation Reversal
- Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treatment
- Gamete Intrafallopian Tube Transfer (GIFT)
- Embryo Freezing and Replacement of Frozen Embryos (FET)
- Egg Freezing, and Fertility Preservation
Our IVF and donor egg programs are among the most successful in the state. Our IVF program success rates are at or exceed the national average and we have the lowest prices in the region! Minimal stimulation IVF is also offered for appropriate women and it is much less expensive than standard IVF. Minimal stimulation success rates rival standard IVF success rates in appropriate patients.
Dr. Shaykh is one of a very few infertility specialists achieving comparable success rates with IVF and minimal stimulation IVF. In addition, Dr. Shaykh offers tubal reversal surgery at both locations. This surgery is an option for many women and, in some cases, has higher success rates than IVF. We offer lower cost discounted options for tubal reversal surgery.
Dr. Shaykh is committed to making it easier for couples to afford the infertility treatments they require. We participate with financing companies that offer low interest rates and work with customers with low credit ratings to be able to finance fertility treatment. To learn more about the medical financing companies we participate with please see the page on our website, financing options for IVF and Tubal Reversal treatments.
At the Assisted Fertility Program, we are totally committed to providing the most current medical and scientific services available in an environment of care and emotional support.
Call us today at 1-800-777-4831 to speak to one of our experienced fertility nurses.
Causes of Infertility Overview
Approximately 15 percent of couples attempting pregnancy experience difficulty. Female factors are responsible for 40 percent of infertility cases; male factors, 40 percent of cases; and, in the remaining 20 percent of cases, a combination of female and male factors. Under normal circumstances, the chances of pregnancy occurring as a result of unprotected intercourse during the fertile window of the cycle are about 25% per month. After 12 months of attempting pregnancy, approximately 80% of couples will have conceived. You can read more about other causes of infertility here.
Male and Female Infertility Testing
A thorough infertility assessment is necessary for us to determine the type of treatment best suited to your situation. If you have undergone infertility testing elsewhere, rest assured that these tests will be repeated only if absolutely necessary. Before starting any treatment an ultrasound scan will be performed to evaluate the condition of the ovaries and uterus. In some cases abnormalities that are evident on the pre-treatment ultrasound may require further investigation through laparoscopy or hysteroscopy.
We may also recommend a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), a procedure in which dye is passed through the cervix into the uterus and fallopian tubes under X-ray control to reveal abnormalities in the uterus or fallopian tubes (hydrosalpinx). We also conduct blood tests to evaluate ovarian function. It is important that any woman attempting pregnancy know whether or not she is immune to the Rubella virus. If you are unsure of your immunity, you will need to have a Rubella test performed prior to treatment. Other tests that may be required include:
- Semen analysis
- Blood group and type
- Assessment of the blood profile for those women at risk for conditions such as sickle cell anemia, thallasemia, and cystic fibrosis
- Anti-phospholipid antibodies (APA) for women with a history of miscarriage Screening for sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, RPR, Hepatitis B and C, chlamydia, and gonorrhea)
Click here to learn more about female fertility tests and male infertility tests.
Female Infertility Problems Overview
A woman typically produces a single egg each month as a result of various hormonal changes. The egg develops within a fluid sac in the ovary (follicle) and is released upon maturation. It is then picked up by one of the fallopian tubes and moved toward the uterus. Common female infertility problems are caused by:
- Ovulatory problems are the most common cause of female infertility and occur as a result of hormonal imbalance. This imbalance may arise within the hypothalamus, in the pituitary gland, or in the ovaries. Common culprits include stress, weight loss or weight gain, excessive prolactin production (the hormone that stimulates milk production in the breasts), thyroid gland problems, and polycystic ovarian disease.
- Tubal Blockage is another common cause of infertility in women. In normal circumstances the fallopian tubes act like fishing rods, picking up the released egg and assisting its move toward the uterus. Damage to the tubes may impede the pick-up or transport of the egg, thereby preventing fertilization. Tubal blockage can occur as a result of any infection that ascends into the tubes or that descends to the tubes from other sites in the peritoneal cavity, such as the appendix. It can also occur as a result of surgery. If fluid collects in the fallopian tubes it may be a source of chronic infection and may also be detrimental to the development of the embryo. Although some tubal blockages can be treated by microsurgical techniques, in many cases pregnancy can be achieved only through In-vitro Fertilization.
- Endometriosis is another complex problem which causes female infertility. Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to that which normally lines the womb exists at other sites in the pelvis. At the time of menstruation bleeding occurs from this tissue and may give rise to abdominal pain and painful intercourse. Blood-filled cysts may also develop within the ovaries. It is unclear why mild to moderate endometriosis is associated with infertility, but there are indications that endometriosis reduces the ability of the tubes to pick up the eggs.
- Laparoscopic laser treatment may improve the fertility of patients with endometriosis. Drug therapy is not effective. In cases of extensive endometriosis, especially in the presence of chocolate cysts (accumulations of old blood in the ovaries), correction through laparoscopy or conventional surgery may be required before embarking on IVF treatment. In-vitro Fertilization and Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer are appropriate treatments for infertility associated with endometriosis.
Male Infertility Problems
After sperm are produced in the testes they move to the epididymis for maturation and storage. Completion of this process takes approximately three months. During sexual intercourse the sperm abandon the epididymis and travel through the vas deferens, where they are mixed with fluid secreted from various glands. This mixture of sperm and seminal fluid, called semen, is deposited in the vagina of the female partner following ejaculation.
Causes of male infertility can be divided into two categories — physical abnormalities of the male reproductive tract such as epididymal or vas obstruction, and impaired sperm production. In most cases of male infertility, however, the cause is unknown. To determine male infertility a semen analysis is conducted. A normal assessment reveals a sperm count of more than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen. In normal semen, at least 50 percent of the sperm are actively moving and more than 14 percent of the sperm are shaped normally. Medication rarely improves sperm count. Until recently there has been no effective treatment for male infertility.
However, since the introduction of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in which a single sperm is injected into the egg, the success rates for couples with male infertility problems have markedly improved. Learn more about male infertility here.
Unexplained infertility affects approximately 15 percent of infertile couples. In the majority of these cases the failure to reach a diagnosis is not due to inadequate investigations, but to other factors that cannot be assessed using conventional tests. For example, it is not currently scientifically possible to determine if the eggs are actually released at the time of supposed ovulation; if the fallopian tubes are able to pick up the eggs; if the sperm are capable of reaching the site of fertilization; or, if the sperm can fertilize the egg. In cases of unexplained infertility, In-vitro Fertilization is both diagnostic and therapeutic. It can provide information about the fertilizing capability of the sperm and also bypass a potential tubal egg pickup problem.