UT Southwestern Medical Center offers the latest advances in fertility management, such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and vasectomy. Our infertility program is dedicated to both accurate assessment and effective treatment.
Each year, our specialists evaluate hundreds of couples, including women with the most complex gynecologic and endocrine problems. By assessing both partners’ fertility profiles, our specialists are able to determine the precise treatment regimen for successful fertility management.
Treatment Plans for All Fertility Issues
We understand the concern and frustration involved when it’s difficult to achieve a successful pregnancy. Fortunately, many conditions that make getting pregnant a challenge are treatable.
Infertility is usually defined as the inability to conceive after a year of trying, but some couples can benefit from seeking help sooner. Patients over age 35 who haven’t conceived after six months should talk to their doctor about a fertility evaluation. Recurrent pregnancy loss or a history of three miscarriages is also a cause for evaluation.
Women who might need earlier medical intervention include those who have had pelvic infections, previous tubal pregnancies, surgery, radiation to the pelvic area, or chemotherapy.
Due to the complexities of fertility issues, we offer a comprehensive range of evaluation and treatment options for both women and men. Evaluations include:
- Genetic testing
- Hormonal testing (to monitor ovulation)
- Hysterosalpingogram (evaluation of the uterus and fallopian tubes using imaging technology)
- Hysterosonography (saline-infusion sonography)
- Laparoscopy (for diagnosis and treatment of reproductive disorders)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography (ultrasound test of the pelvic organs)
Complete semen analysis, such as volume, sperm number, sperm movement (motility), and sperm shape (morphology)
- Genetic testing
- Hormonal testing
- Referral to a urologist
- Sperm banking for fertility preservation in men preparing to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy
We also offer prepregnancy evaluation, which includes evaluation of a couple’s history followed by testing that can include infectious disease testing as well as genetic testing for cystic fibrosis in patients of Northern European descent, Tay-Sachs disease in Ashkenazi Jews, and sickle cell disease in African-Americans.
Conditions That Affect Fertility
Some common reproductive disorders that can influence fertility include:
- Menstrual abnormalities
- Polycystic ovary syndrome: A common condition that can produce symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth or acne, and the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries
- Premature ovarian failure: The development of ovarian failure with loss of eggs and estrogen production before the age of 40
- Tubal disease: Damage to the fallopian tubes caused by infection, endometriosis, or other processes, which can prevent sperm from reaching the egg or prevent the embryo from moving through the tube into the uterus
Once a fertility problem is discovered, we can develop an individualized plan based on the patient’s condition, medical history, goals, and preferences. If the problem conceiving is more complex, we offer many safe and effective fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization.
UT Southwestern’s fertility treatments include:
- Egg donation
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer
- Gestational surrogacy
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Intrauterine insemination
- Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy to treat infertility and uterine anomalies
- Microsurgery for reversal of tubal ligation
- Ovulation induction: Medicine taken by a woman either orally (clomiphene citrate) or by injection (gonadotropins) to increase the number of mature eggs produced
- Prepregnancy counseling and evaluation
- Sperm banking
- Vasectomy reversal
- Zygote intrafallopian transfer
Cancer-Related Fertility Preservation
With today's breakthroughs in cancer treatments, a high percentage of people younger than age 45 are making full recoveries. Though cancer treatments save lives, they can affect fertility.
Our fertility specialists offer a range of proven, advanced preservation options and, just as important, timely access to therapies when days can be critical. Our fertility physicians are available daily for cancer-related fertility referrals and can see patients within 24 to 48 hours of calls, often beginning fertility preservation therapies right away.
Among the proven fertility preservation therapies available at UT Southwestern are:
Some experimental techniques such as in vitro oocyte maturation are also currently under development.
Our fertility physicians work in tandem with specialists in related fields. One example is working with gynecologic oncology physicians on surgical techniques to limit radiation doses to the ovaries, a procedure known as ovarian transposition.
We offer specialized infertility counseling services to support patients during the evaluation and treatment process.
We’re proud that our research efforts are helping to develop new diagnostic tests and treatments that are used all over the world. Talk to our doctors for more information on our clinical trials.