This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.

Bonus Episode: COVID-19 – Telehealth in Your Fertility Journey

Just because most in-person fertility treatments are paused due to COVID-19, doesn’t mean you can’t chat with your doctor, discuss a protocol, and get the ball moving forward while in quarantine.

In this bonus episode, we are sharing a panel conversation that explains how telehealth can help you get started or continue moving along on your fertility journey during COVID-19. Learn what to expect, how telehealth differs from an in-person visit, and how treatment in the clinic will look with new social distancing and safety precautions in place.

Host: Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

Experts: Lissa Kline, LCSW, Vice President, Member and Provider Services at Progyny, Dr. Alan Copperman, Reproductive Endocrinologist at RMA New York and Medical Director at Progyny, Dr. Jonathan Kort, Reproductive Endocrinologist at RMA Northern California, Dr. Philip Chenette, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Pacific Fertility Center, and Dr. Gerard Letterie, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Seattle Reproductive Medicine

For additional resources, check out Progyny’s blog post on telehealth, Progyny’s COVID-19 Resources, and to listen to other family building stories visit Progyny’s Podcast page. 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility.

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at thisisinfertility@progyny.com.  

Host

Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children. 

Guests

Alan Copperman, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist, RMA New York and Medical Director, Progyny

Dr. Alan B. Copperman is Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility as well as the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Copperman is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and also serves as Medical Director of RMA of New York. He is also the Medical Director for Progyny. He is an experienced and respected clinician, has published numerous manuscripts and book chapters on reproductive medicine, and has co-authored hundreds of scientific abstracts on infertility, in vitro fertilization, egg freezing, ovum donation and genetics.

Dr. Copperman is frequently quoted in print and digital media (Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, Daily News, WebMD, SELF, Health.com, Parenting magazine, Parents.com, Refinery29) and is featured on local and nationally-televised news shows including Fox 5 NY Live, CBS This Morning, Huffington Post Live, Anderson Cooper 360 and 20/20. Dr. Copperman has been named to New York magazine’s list of Best Doctors sixteen years in a row, and Castle Connolly and SuperDocs have annually recognized Dr. Copperman as one of the top fertility doctors.

Jonathan Kort, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist, RMA Northern California

Dr. Jonathan Kort is an established specialist in reproductive endocrinology and the author of many medical publications and textbook chapters in the field of infertility science.

Dr. Kort completed his Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) fellowship at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, where he conducted cutting-edge research on non-invasive measurements of eggs to predict their future development potential, as well as research in genetic screening. During his time at Stanford, he also completed training in embryology and is certified as a technical supervisor in embryology and andrology. He completed his OBGYN residency at Stanford University Hospital, during which he completed original research into egg freezing, the impact of weight loss on fertility treatment, and ovarian reserve. Dr. Kort received his M.D. from Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Kort’s clinical focus areas include diminished ovarian reserve, hypothalamic amenorrhea, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), reproductive surgery, and gamete/embryo selection. He has a particular interest in patients with a history of poor embryo development during IVF. He sits on the editorial board of Fertility and Sterility, has published textbook chapters on gamete and embryo selection, and was the recipient of the Stanford Child Health Research Institute Grant (2017) which helped develop new ways of using pre-implantation genetic screening for embryo selection.

Dr. Kort followed his father into the field of reproductive medicine and credits his father with helping develop his bedside manner. “My philosophy is, treat patients like family and make sure no question is left unanswered or concern unaddressed.”

Philip Chenette, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Pacific Fertility Center

Dr. Chenette is one of the “Best Doctors in America” as rated by his peers and is a recognized “Top Doctor” in consumer guides to top medical care. Dr. Chenette is a past recipient of the American Fertility Association’s (AFA) Family Building Award. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor with the Volunteer Clinical Faculty (VCF) in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Chenette’s compassion and experienced approach to treating complex infertility conditions places him among the very best fertility doctors and fertility specialists in the nation.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Chenette is an internationally recognized Board Certified specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He obtained his MD degree from Indiana University Medical School in 1983, graduated with Honors in Academic Medicine, and was selected to participate in the Clinical Scholars Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). After completing residency training at Magee-Women’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh in 1987, Dr. Chenette completed fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1989.

After fellowship, he was appointed to the teaching faculty at Northwestern University in Chicago. While on the faculty, Dr. Chenette started the prestigious and successful IVF program at Northwestern. Dr. Chenette joined Pacific Fertility Center and moved to San Francisco in 1991. In 1992 he joined the San Francisco Center for Reproductive Medicine where he served as Director of IVF. In November of 1999, Dr. Chenette along with his partners merged practices to form Pacific Fertility Center.

As a researcher, Dr. Chenette has authored a number of articles that have been published in various national and international medical journals. He is engaged in advanced research projects in computer embryo imaging to improve pregnancy rates, Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) as a way to enable single embryo transfer, and in egg freezing. Dr. Chenette speaks several computer ‘languages’ including SQL and Objective-C. Dr. Chenette’s fertility research into unique embryo transfer techniques resulted in US patent #5,360,389 “Methods for endometrial implantation of embryos”.

Dr. Chenette has spent the last twenty years specializing in the treatment of patients with complex infertility diagnoses and women over 40. In clinical care he emphasizes Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) to minimize the risk of chromosomal disorders like Downs’ Syndrome and to maximize success rates while minimizing risk. He brings advanced management techniques like SixSigma to fertility clinic management. He is director of Pacific Fertility Center’s Egg Freezing Program. Throughout his career, Dr. Chenette has dedicated himself to the pursuit of excellence in medicine. Dr. Chenette was also the president for the 2018 PCRS meeting. He also serves on Progyny’s Medical Advisory Board.

In his free time, Dr. Chenette enjoys spending time with his family and playing the piano, oboe, and guitar, piloting a plane, skiing and bicycling.

Gerard Letterie, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Seattle Reproductive Medicine

Family is incredibly meaningful to Dr. Gerard S. Letterie; helping others build theirs is one of the most rewarding aspects of his work. His goal is to make patients feel engaged, embraced, and heard throughout their treatment. The experience is about walking a path forward and getting to the point where everyone feels as though they explored every option, did everything they could and is at peace with the outcome.

Dr. Letterie brings decades of esteemed service, research, and technology design to SRM with the merger of Northwest Center for Reproductive Sciences. A board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist, and a fellow and diplomat in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Physicians, Dr. Letterie has authored more than 125 scientific articles and 25 chapters and monographs on infertility and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). He is an ad-hoc editor for several journals including Fertility and Sterility, Human Reproduction, American Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Gynecology Clinical Genetics, Journal of Pelvic Surgery, Drug, and the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. The second edition of his text “Surgery, Assisted Reproductive Technology, and Infertility” continues to serve as a reference for practitioners in infertility and reproductive endocrinology.

Dr. Letterie began his medical career serving in the United States Army Medical Corps for 12 years of active duty and eight years of reserve duty, ending in 2002. Prior to his military service, he completed REI Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. From 1991 to 2003, he practiced as a clinical reproductive endocrinologist at the Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology at Virginia Mason Medical Center. Dr. Letterie continues his military affiliation by serving as a consultant at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, and is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle and member of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology as an examiner.

Dr. Letterie is the designer of several surgical instruments and modifications, including the first catheter for ultrasound-guided embryo transfer, currently used in IVF centers around the world. His research interests include fertility preservation in cancer patients through hormonal protection and oocyte freezing, and as an elective option in patients who want to preserve fertility.

The Puget Sound Consumers Guide recently selected Dr. Letterie as a leading infertility practitioner, and he is listed in Guide to America’s Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists for 2004–2005 by the Consumers Research Council of America. Dr. Letterie has also been named one of Seattle’s Top Docs for the past several years.

Dr. Letterie sees patients at the Seattle location. Passionate about fitness, exercise and diet, Dr. Letterie is on the water sculling by 5:00 am four days a week. He also enjoys creative writing.

Lissa Kline, LCSW, VP of Member and Provider Services at Progyny

Lissa oversees the Patient Care Advocates and the Provider Relations Team. She worked at Columbia University Medical Center for several years in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Involved in Patient Services and the Donor Egg Program, she loved working with patients while they underwent fertility treatment. Lissa graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.