New technology helps Houston couples overcome infertility

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - About one in eight couples has trouble having a baby. New state of the art technology in the Texas Medical Center is helping families greatly improve their chances of conceiving.

After trying to get pregnant for years, Christina and Joel Simon came to the Texas Children's Pavilion for Women Family Fertility Center. Christina told Local 2, "I never thought infertility was something that I would deal with and it's definitely been heart-wrenching."

Joel added, "We wanted to grow our family and have as many pairs of little feet running around as we could afford."

The Family Fertility Center is the first in the Houston area to use an embryo monitoring system called the EmbryoScope.

Dr. William Gibbons is the medical director of the Family Fertility Center and chief of reproductive medicine at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women.

He explained, "Normally we look at an embyro day one after fertilization and see did it fertilize. Then we look again on day three to decide how the embryo is growing and then again maybe on day five. So that's like three observations. The EmbryoScope takes a picture of each embryo every 10 minutes and so we get hundreds of pics of the embryo."

Dr. Gibbons said the IVF clinic now has specialized miniature incubators with fiber optics, providing real-time embryo monitoring in the most gentle environment.

He said, "This improves the ability of choosing an embryo that will start a pregnancy."

IVF worked for the Simons. They're expecting a baby due Christmas Day.

Christina said, "I think just having such an incredible doctor and the technology here made a world of difference."

The TCH Pavilion for Women's Family Fertility Center has also teamed up with UT MD Anderson Cancer Center for a specialized fertility preservation program for women facing cancer.

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