What to expect
Julie: If a couple is hesitant to come into your office, what would they expect when they first meet you, and what are the first steps you take with a couple?
Dr. Lucidi: It is usually pretty straightforward, like coming to any physician. We start off by taking a history and doing a physical exam, just as any gynecologist would, since in order to get pregnant you need an egg, a sperm, and a path between them. I have an easy job because I only have to remember three things, but all of our evaluation is geared to those three things. So, we will assess whether she is ovulating with some lab tests, and we will also see what his sperm count is with a semen analysis, and we will check to see if her uterus is normal and her tubes are normal with one of several different tests including things like a hysterosalpingogram which is a test to see if the tubes are open.
Julie: And couples have hopes with third party reproduction as it is called, right?
Dr. Lucidi: Correct.
Julie: Is that something that is growing here in our area? And what types of hope does that bring to couples?
Dr. Lucidi: Absolutely. There are multiple options as far as third party reproduction. Donor again means donor sperm and donor eggs as well as surrogate carriers for women who have had a prior hysterectomy or have a contraindication to themselves being pregnant. The simplest of those options is the donor sperm, and there are anonymous sperm banks where one can get donor sperm relatively inexpensively and easily. A little more involved is using donor eggs because the eggs are harder to get and it is more inconvenient for the female to donate her eggs than males, but certainly an option and available here in Richmond. And thirdly, the surrogate carrier, as I mentioned, for somebody who has a contraindication or a medical reason that she should not be pregnant or if she does not have a uterus and physically can’t be pregnant.