More couples are seeking treatment, new options in Roanoke, Lynchburg

Demand growing for infertility services, new office opens

By Jenna Zibton - Anchor

ROANOKE, Va. - 10 News is taking an in-depth look at infertility - sharing the new treatments, struggles, medical technology, cost of infertility and more. You can find more of those stories by clicking on the Only on 10 tab at the top of wsls.com.

There is more demand for infertility services, as couples struggle to have a baby.

There are two providers most people use in our part of Virginia.

The Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia is in Charlottesville. It just opened a satellite office in Lynchburg because about half of their patients come from there and Roanoke.

At the new clinic, they can see patients for evaluations, testing and more. 

"We've been the only regional IVF program here since it was first started in 1986, so we're one of the earlier programs in the southeast. Roanoke patients have been coming to see us that whole time because we're the only IVF laboratory that services the area and that continues to be the case. Same thing with Lynchburg, so we're very pleased to take care of the region's patients," said Dr. Chris Williams, Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia medical director.

Patients can also see specialists at Carilion Clinic Reproductive Medicine & Fertility. There used to be a six-month waiting list until they added a new doctor last fall, Dr. Adrienne Gentry, who says the waiting list is now down to about a month.

You can get many infertility services done in Roanoke, but some procedures for IVF, like egg retrievals and embryo transfers, require you to go to UNC Fertility in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dr. Gentry says she would like to offer all infertility services in Roanoke but building an IVF lab costs millions of dollars and they need to show there's a demand here.

She says they are taking their biggest batch of IVF patients, 20, to North Carolina this month for treatment.

Dr. Laura Smith with the Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia explains what to expect for your first visit to a fertility specialist in this web extra video. 

There are also some commonly ordered fertility tests. Dr. Smith discusses those in the video below:

There is an infertility support group that meets in the Roanoke Valley. Contact Laura West at (540) 312-2409 or thewests14@verizon.net for more information.

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