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.

Egg Freezing before Cancer Treatment By HCRM on January 24, 2021

digital illustration of female eggsAt Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC, our fertility doctors offer a range of treatments to assist individuals who are struggling to conceive. However, our procedures are not just limited to infertility issues. We also provide services that assist people in the Omaha, NE, area with family planning and fertility preservation.

Egg freezing preserves eggs while they are young and healthy, so that women can ensure future fertility. There are many reasons to consider egg freezing, but one common reason is forthcoming cancer treatment. Egg freezing before cancer treatment allows women to save eggs before their fertility is potentially compromised. 

How Does Cancer Treatment Compromise Fertility?

Each patient’s cancer treatment plan is unique, depending largely on the type of cancer that is present, and how far the cancer has progressed. But whether a patient requires surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation to treat cancer, it is possible that their fertility will be compromised.

  • Surgical treatment - If cancer is affecting the reproductive system, surgery may be the best treatment option. If any part of the reproductive system is removed, it can become difficult or impossible for a woman to conceive and/or carry a pregnancy. Even tumor removal may result in scar tissue that compromises fertility.
  • Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy is a common form of cancer treatment. During treatment, medication is administered through the bloodstream. The medication is meant to kill cancer cells, but it can kill other cells as well. The health and quality of a woman’s eggs can be impacted by chemotherapy.
  • Radiation - During radiation, high-energy rays are directed at cancer cells to destroy them. Although treatment is targeted, surrounding cells can also be damaged. If parts of the reproductive system are being treated, the ovaries and eggs could be affected.

Prior to cancer treatment, women should speak to their oncologist to get an understanding of how treatment may affect their fertility. If fertility is at risk and women want the chance to conceive once they have recovered from cancer, egg freezing is likely the best option.

The Egg Freezing Process

Before beginning the egg freezing process for our Omaha patients, we will administer a series of tests to evaluate the woman’s ovarian reserve. Through these tests we can determine how many eggs are available for harvesting, as well as the quality of these eggs. As long as a woman has a good ovarian reserve, we can proceed with treatment.

To start the egg freezing process, women will take a combination of birth control pills and hormone injections for up to four weeks. These medications temporarily halt the body’s hormone production. When that cycle of medication is complete, patients undergo a two-week round of hormone injections. Injections stimulate the ovaries and promote the production of multiple mature follicles, or eggs. When eggs are mature, a final shot will be given to trigger their release.

Released eggs are harvested from the uterus. This procedure is performed while patients are sedated, so they remain completely comfortable throughout. Using ultrasound technology we guide a thin needle through the vagina and into the uterus. Eggs are suctioned into the needle for collection.

Collected eggs are immediately flash frozen. The freezing process protects the eggs from damage and preserves them in their current state. Once frozen, eggs should retain their integrity for up to 10 years, so they can be used for future in vitro fertilization cycles.

Contact Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC 

If you would like more information about the egg freezing process, the fertility specialists at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC would be happy to answer any questions you may have. To get in touch with our doctors, send us a message online, or call our Omaha clinic at (402) 717-4200.

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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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