Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine:

Our Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

HCRM is dedicated to keep our patients and staff safe and healthy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. HCRM has policies and guidelines in place aligned with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local and state health authorities to help prevent the spread of illness. We are also adhering to recent guidelines that have been published by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) regarding the treatment of current and new patients.

Please review the new procedures we have put into place at HCRM:

1. All patients will receive a phone call 24-48 hours prior to the appointment and complete a prescreening questionnaire with questions regarding their travel history in the past 14 days and the presence of respiratory symptoms (fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) within the past 14 days.

2. All patients and visitors will complete the same prescreening questionnaire with a HCRM staff member prior to entering the clinic on the day of the appointment. Please allow for an extra 5 minutes prior to your appointment to complete the prescreening. It is possible that a patient may need to reschedule his/her appointment based on symptoms or travel history.

3. HCRM requests that patients come to the clinic unaccompanied, leaving their partners/support waiting for them at home or in their vehicles when feasible. We request that patients do not bring children to their appointment.

4. With the use of Telemedicine, we hope to continue to provide care to our new and current patients.

5. HCRM will reduce the frequency of clinic appointments during treatment cycle monitoring.

6. HCRM will frequently enforce infection control processes within the clinic, including good hand washing hygiene, frequent disinfecting of patient rooms and surfaces, and social distancing.

We at HCRM appreciate your ongoing support as we work together and do our part to "flatten the curve." Please contact our office at (402) 717-4200 for more information or any questions.

For current travel advisories and up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

Analyzing Your Reproductive Health 

Andrology and Other Laboratory Services and Procedures at the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC

At Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC, we realize that every couple has individual needs when it comes to infertility treatments. We offer a number of services to meet each patient's unique needs, including:

Andrology - Comprehensive Semen Analysis

Our andrology laboratory provides several different tests for male reproductive health. A quantitative analysis of semen will analyze several key qualities to gauge fertility:

  • Concentration of sperm: normally higher than 20 million sperm per milliliter
  • Total sperm count; normally greater than 40 million (total number of sperm in ejaculate)
  • Motility: the percentage of mobile sperm, normally 50 percent or higher
  • Morphology: the shape of the sperm; at least 15% as "normal" by Kruger’s strict morphology standards
  • Volume: normally, each ejaculation should contain at least 2 milliliters
  • Total motile count: total number of moving sperm in each ejaculate; should be at least 20 million motile
  • Standard semen fluid test: measures color, viscosity, and the time until semen liquefies against the norms established by the World Health Organization
  • Specialty testing is also available for low mortality, no sperm and round cell determination

Intrauterine Insemination (Artificial Insemination) Procedure

For couples dealing with mild male-factor infertility, endometriosis, anovulatory infertility, cervical infertility, some unexplained infertility, or immunological abnormalities, intrauterine insemination may be the easiest form of assisted reproductive technology available.

Just as in IVF, the woman's ovaries are stimulated with medication to induce multiple egg development. The semen is processed to remove all seminal fluids and cellular debris after specimen collection and, with the use of a very thin, soft catheter, is placed either in the cervix or high in the uterine cavity.

Sperm Processing for Insemination

Natural semen is not used for intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization procedures; it must be purified to separate the most useful, mobile sperm from any unnecessary seminal fluid, white blood cells, and cellular debris. Sperm processing also removes prostaglandins, lipid compounds that may cause cramping when injected into the uterus, from the semen. There are several methods of sperm processing, including the swim-up method, density gradient separation, and buffered washing.

By placing the concentrated and purified sperm high in the uterus, better pregnancy rates can be obtained in several fertility conditions using intrauterine insemination.

Embryo Culture

Embryo culture is the word used to describe the process that begins immediately after the removal of the eggs from the ovaries. During the embryo culture process, the eggs are combined with the partner or donor sperm to produce a fertilized egg (called a zygote). Once the egg has been fertilized, the culture process continues to promote embryo formation from the zygote. Lasting between two and five days, the embryo culture process is vital to the success of any IVF procedure.

Semen Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation is an effective method of storing sperm and semen for long periods of time while maintaining the viability of the sperm. The sample is cooled and stored in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of about -196C. Cryopreservation allows a couple to use the same sample of sperm for multiple attempts at pregnancy, or for use in artificial insemination at a later date.

Embryo Cryopreservation

Just like semen cryopreservation, embryo cryopreservation stores the embryo(s) almost indefinitely to preserve its viability for future IVF cycles.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

If the sperm has a low fertilizing capacity or their numbers are low, in order for fertilization to take place, the sperm needs to be actually injected into the egg. In order to do this, the mature egg is held in place with a specialized pipette. A very small hollow needle immobilizes and picks up a single sperm and inserts it through the shell of the egg, and the needle is then removed very carefully. The following day, the egg is checked for evidence of fertilization.

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

GIFT is similar to IVF in that the eggs are removed from the ovaries and mixed with sperm in a laboratory. The main difference, however, lies in the fact that the mixture of gametes (eggs and sperm) is then placed into the fallopian tubes for fertilization to occur, rather than in the laboratory. The embryo can then form and grow from the start in a natural environment. However, this process is only available to women who have at least one healthy fallopian tube.

Assisted Hatching (AH)

Each embryo is surrounded by an outer coating called the zona pellucida, which holds the cells of the embryo together. This outer coating should dissolve once the embryo arrives in the uterus. However, some embryos have abnormally thick or hardened pellucida, and these embryos need help to implant in the walls of the uterus. Assisted hatching is a process of thinning the shell just before placing the embryo in the uterus to increase the chance of pregnancy.

Third Party Donation

Third party donated sperm is available at the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC. Donor insemination is another service we offer to help meet couples' unique fertility needs.

Contact Us for More Information

For more information about our laboratory services, or to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled fertility doctors, contact us today.

We would like to remind visitors to our website that the information provided on the site is intended for educational purposes only. Egg donation, IVF, and all other assistive reproductive technologies (ART) are safe and effective, but they are also very complicated procedures. If you are considering either donating eggs or seeking ART procedures as a means to achieve pregnancy, please contact our practice to learn more and to find out whether you might be a good candidate.

Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine

Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine

Dr. Stephanie L.F. Gustin, Dr. Elizabeth Constance, and Dr. Elizabeth Weedin are skilled reproductive endocrinologists who offer state-of-the-art fertility treatments. An open and inclusive environment, the Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine can address different causes of infertility and help LGBTQ couples build loving families.

Contact our practice online or call us at (877) 831-3227 to schedule a consultation.

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7308 S 142nd St
Omaha, NE 68138

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