Hey Denver, join Dr. Jasmine Chiang from Conceptions Monday, October 25th at 6 PM for a free and informational In-vitro Fertilization 101 Webinar. If you’re having trouble getting or staying pregnant for six months or more, it might be time to talk with Dr. Jasmine Chiang or any Conceptions provider to get the facts and answers about the right infertility treatment for you.
Click here to learn more about the session on Monday, October 25th
We had a few minutes to learn more about IVF and what makes Dr. Jasmine Chiang tick including sci-fi movies and musical favorites. Doctors are people too!
Q: What’s one of the more common questions you get from first-time IVF patients?
Dr. Chiang: 99% of the time is about the process and how much time is needed. Patients are planning their personal and professional lives around an IVF cycle. It’s important that they make time for this treatment. And it’s important as providers, we recognize that our patients are people with other issues they might be working around.
There are many parts to IVF so both patient and partner need to have a good understanding of what is needed of them as far as time. Successful IVF care is really two parts process these days and many weeks from cycle start to retrieval and transfer. Between the use of PGT-A and FET which have been demonstrated to improve success rates, a cycle is about 90-days give or take.
Q: How important is PGT-A to the contemporary IVF process?
Dr. Chiang: Very important. PGT-A helps us figure out which embryos are more likely to become a healthy pregnancy and delivery, versus those that will end up as a failed cycle or worse a miscarriage. About 90% of our patients opt-in for PGT-A as a part of IVF.
PGT-A opens up the opportunity for embryo banking which improves options for patients and the ability to build their family, one healthy baby at a time.
Q: Do patients understand the connection between age and fertility?
Dr. Chiang: In a general sense yes but it’s only once we talk about egg quantity and quality diminishing over time does it make sense. While some patients over 38 might have good quality and quantity, typically they are the outliers.
In my fellowship at the University of Alabama, I did research studying egg health and mitochondrial impact. Mitochondria convert energy from food into a form that cells can use. My research showed that poor mitochondrial health creates poor egg quality. While our success rates are well above the US average, we still have a lot to learn to help 100% of patients overcome infertility.
Q: Should patients, especially older patients graduate to IVF sooner?
Dr. Chiang: I don’t like to push my patients into IVF but the success rate data speak for themselves between doing another IUI or moving onto IVF. But everyone must make their own choice which is influenced often by cost or insurance coverage too. Some patients move to IVF after just one IUI others will move on after a few more cycles.
Is IVF performed the same everywhere?
Dr. Chiang: No, it’s not. At Conceptions our paradigm routinely includes extended culture, embryonic biopsy, PGT-A, single embryo transfer, and frozen embryo transfer. These steps are critical to reducing time in care and improving success rates.
Again, I think our success rate data published by the CDC illustrates how we are different from other choices. That’s the best marker for patients. With IVF the quality and staffing of the IVF lab has a huge impact on success rates too! We have a great team here in the lab at Conceptions! Both doctors and patients need to trust their lab to support success by using the latest techniques and an unwavering commitment to quality.
Q: How should patients evaluate the cost of IVF from one center to another?
Dr. Chiang: These are tough times financially for most people, the housing market in Colorado is crazy expensive right now. Patients have little money or time to waste. I know these are hard choices i.e., this center is less expensive than some other center, so patients need to bounce cost against success dates. Patients need to do some homework when it comes to validating care based on cost.
Sometimes, price denotes value. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Q: Who or what inspired you to become a physician?
Dr. Chiang: For me, it was at a very young age. I’ve always been interested in medicine and helping people get better – whatever the issue. There’s a book that really inspired me called “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. The book follows physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer and his work fighting tuberculosis in Haiti, Peru, and Russia.
Also, I have two cousins in healthcare, and they influenced and paved the way. I got to shadow them as young person and they helped me on my path. If I wasn’t in medicine, I think environmental sciences, maybe work for the EPA for US Forestry Service. We only have one planet; we have to take care of it.
Q: Do you have a favorite book?
Dr. Chiang: Oh, easy “Cutting for Stone” by doctor and author Abraham Verghese. The story is about twin brothers, orphaned by their mother’s death and essentially forgotten about by their father. Highly recommended!
Q: Favorite flick?
Dr. Chiang: Anything sci-fi. Gattaca is one of the movies that if it’s on I’ll stop and watch. And unlike Dr. O’Shaughnessy, I’m more of a Star Wars person than Star Trek.
Q: First Concert?
Dr. Chiang: Wow, I’m not sure I should answer that. Not because I’m a doctor but because I don’t want people to think I’m not cool. But if you really need to know, it was Blink-182 at the Meadows Music Center in my hometown of Hartford, CT. Docs can rock, too!