About the Center

The WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine provides a range of health services for both women and men. These services include infertility care, other problems that affect the reproductive system, and help for individuals with gender dysphoria.

Our location on Pineview Drive, just off the J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital campus in Morgantown, allows easy access to other West Virginia University specialists in a variety of health fields. This contributes to the exceptional level of care we provide our patients.

Conditions and Treatments

Our providers offer you the best in care, comfort, and convenience in our state-of-the-art facility. We involve you in your treatment plans, and can design a therapy that suits your specific needs.

Our services include:

Female reproductive health concerns

  • Birth defects of the reproductive tract
  • Problems with puberty development
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Management of menopause symptoms

Male reproductive health concerns

  • Semen analysis
  • Hormone assays
  • Sperm preparation for assisted reproductive techniques
  • Testicular biopsy for sperm extraction

Infertility

  • Infertility testing
  • Assisted reproductive techniques

Other services

  • Hormone therapy for transgender patients
  • Nutritional counseling

 

Appointments

855-WVU-CARE (855-988-2273)

 

Female Reproductive Health

Some of the female reproductive health issues that we treat at the WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine include:

  • Birth defects of the reproductive tract
  • Problems with puberty development
  • Absent or irregular periods
  • Abnormal hair growth
  • Abnormal milk production
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Managing symptoms of menopause

Girls, puberty, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Some girls entering adolescence find they’re having problems with irregular periods, acne, unwanted hair, and obesity. These conditions, which can last for years, may be caused by hormonal problems that modern medicine can help.

The experts at WVU Medicine have years of experience treating teenagers and young adults with abnormalities of puberty and reproductive endocrinology, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). You’ve probably heard of PCOS, as it is the most common female hormonal imbalance. PCOS can begin during the teenage years, and can cause fertility problems if left untreated. Women with PCOS produce an excessive amount of male sex hormones which disturbs the menstrual cycle and ovulation.

Common PCOS symptoms:

  • Infrequent or no menstrual periods
  • Hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back or upper thighs
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Thinning hair or male-pattern baldness
  • Darkened skin around the neck or underarms
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood swings

If you have any of these symptoms, you should talk with your doctor about PCOS. There are treatments available to help you feel better and keep you healthy in the years to come.

How is PCOS diagnosed?
The healthcare providers at the WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine are experts in treating teenagers and adults with reproductive endocrinology abnormalities, including PCOS. Our team includes:

  • Adolescent medicine (teen health) specialists
  • Gynecologists
  • A registered dietician

We strive to establish a physician/patient relationship that ensures every patient’s or parent’s comfort and confidence in discussing any health issues and concerns.

How is PCOS treated?
There is no cure for PCOS, but it can be treated. We recommend a healthy lifestyle that includes eating nutritious foods and exercising which may eliminate or improve some symptoms. Medications may also be used to treat PCOS symptoms.

Birth control pills can correct hormone imbalances, resulting in:

  • Regular menstrual periods
  • improved acne and skin problems
  • Decreased hair growth

At the WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine, we will develop an individualized treatment plan for you or your teenager experiencing symptoms of PCOS.

Male Reproductive Health

The WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine provides comprehensive treatment for problems that men may experience. Some of the services we provide include:

  • Semen analysis
  • Hormone assays
  • Post-vasectomy semen analysis
  • Cryopreservation (freezing) of sperm
  • Sperm preparation for assisted reproductive techniques
  • Testicular biopsy for sperm extraction

Vasectomy reversal

Sometimes a man changes his mind about having children. Maybe he’s in a new relationship and wants to start a family, or maybe he had a vasectomy and later decides to have more children. Vasectomy reversal can renew a man’s fertility, and is available through WVU Medicine’s nationally-ranked Urology program.

 

 

Possible Causes of Infertility

Infertility is defined as failure to conceive after one year of intercourse without using contraception. Since approximately 15 to 20 percent of all couples experience some form of infertility, it is important to consider all potential causes when we do an evaluation. Diagnosis of infertility begins with a full review of the patient’s medical history and a complete physical examination. It is best if both partners attend the initial visit, as testing may be required for both.

Causes for infertility in women

  • Menstrual cycle irregularities or absence of cycle
  • Cervical conditions such as birth defects involving the cervix, prior treatment of abnormal pap smears (cryotherapy, laser therapy, cone biopsies), or exposure to specific medications that can affect cervical mucus
  • Uterine factors such as anatomical problems or exposure to certain medications that may interfere with normal uterine lining development
  • Fallopian tube abnormalities such as anatomical irregularities, obstructions, adhesions, or scarring
  • Peritoneal factors such as scar tissue or adhesions affecting the abdominal lining

Causes for infertility in men

Abnormal sperm production can be caused by:

  • Chronic medical conditions and the medications used to treat them
  • Infections
  • Environmental exposure to toxins (heavy metals or other industrial exposures)
  • Anatomical problems such as obstruction or abnormal external genitals
  • Neurological problems such as nerve injuries caused by conditions like diabetes
  • Functional abnormalities of sperm function or antibodies that might prevent the sperm from penetrating the egg
  • Endocrine conditions that affect glands other than the testes, such as the thyroid, pituitary, or adrenal gland

Causes due to couple factors

  • Timing of intercourse may be off-schedule with ovulation
  • Douches or lubricants can affect the ability of the sperm to survive within the vagina or the cervix
  • Anatomical abnormalities of the vagina, penis or ejaculation may prevent sperm from being deposited in the vagina.

 

Infertility Testing

Some of the tests our specialists use to determine the cause of infertility include:

  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
  • Ovarian reserve testing
  • Semen analysis
  • Sonohysterography

Tests for defects of ovulation
The patient can perform basal body temperatures or home monitoring with ovulation predictor kits. Ultrasound monitoring, measuring hormones, and biopsies of the lining of the uterus can also be used to assess whether ovulation is normal.

 

Infertility Treatment

Since infertility can be caused by a wide variety of factors, infertility treatment ranges from the use of medications to induce ovulation in the woman to a variety of assisted reproductive technologies (ART), which may also involve treating male partners.

Ovulation defects
The initial approach to for treating ovulation defects is to use medications to restore a normal hormonal environment that will result in spontaneous ovulation.

Cervical conditions
Various hormonal and non-hormonal therapies have been suggested, such as:

  • Discontinuing problem medications or adding other medications
  • Bypassing the cervix via intrauterine insemination

Uterine factors
Changing the type of medications used to treat ovulation abnormalities or using additional hormonal therapy can treat inadequate endometrial (uterine lining) development. Surgical therapy is required for treating anatomical abnormalities. The surgery may be able to be performed during diagnostic hysteroscopy, but sometimes the abdomen will need to be opened in order to perform the appropriate procedure.

Abnormal sperm production
Treatment of other medical conditions, use of antibiotics for infections, or elimination of toxic exposures may resolve the problem. Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) provide the opportunity for a couple to conceive when other forms of therapy are not appropriate or have been unsuccessful.

When no sperm is available or if the couple does not want to use advanced ART, then donor insemination is an option.

Couple factors
Special attention is paid to timing, and use of douches or lubricants is handled differently by the couple. Anatomical or physiological abnormalities may require intrauterine insemination or ART.

 

 

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

For many, the dream of growing a family can be complicated. At WVU’s Center for Reproductive Medicine, our doctors can help couples have a child using assisted reproductive technology (ART). These treatments help increase the likelihood of the successful union of a sperm and egg, leading to the development of a viable fetus, and, ultimately, to the birth of a healthy baby.

ART procedures and treatment we offer:

  • Superovulation and intrauterine insemination
  • In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET)
  • Cryopreservation and frozen embryo transfer
  • Fertility preservation through sperm or egg storage
  • Testicular biopsy and testicular sperm extraction (TESE)
  • Micromanipulation
    • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
    • Assisted hatching
    • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)

Superovulation and intrauterine insemination

This simplest ART procedure involves:

  • Using fertility drugs to increase the number of eggs that are released at the time of ovulation
  • Placing sperm directly into the uterus near ovulation
  • Supplemental hormone therapy may be prescribed after ovulation and continued through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy

In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET)

In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer consists of:

  • Using fertility drugs to increase the number of eggs (superovulation)
  • Removing the egg(s) from the ovary, followed by insemination, fertilization, and early embryo development in the controlled environment of a laboratory
  • Transferring early embryo is then transferred directly into the uterine cavity

Cryopreservation and frozen embryo transfer

Cryopreservation (freezing) is offered in cases where there are multiple embryos.

  • Embryos are safely frozen and stored, preserving them for an extended period of time
  • Frozen embryos are specially thawed and prepared for transferring into the uterus
  • Embryos are transferred into the prepared uterine cavity

Fertility preservation

If an illness or its treatment severely affects a man or woman’s fertility, WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine offers a solution. Eggs and sperm can be frozen, preserved indefinitely, and then thawed to use in impregnating his partner.

Learn more information about our fertility preservation services.

Micromanipulation

Micromanipulation is a laboratory term for multiple procedures that assist in fertilization and implantation of embryos.

  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) – A normal sperm is able to attach to and penetrate a special protective layer or “shell” that surrounds an egg. When there are sperm antibodies, inadequate numbers of sperm, inadequate sperm function, or unexplained failure to achieve fertilization with standard insemination during IVF-ET, an individual sperm must be directly inserted into the egg to achieve fertilization.
  • Assisted hatching – Under normal circumstances, the embryo is able to escape (hatch) from its shell, allowing it to implant normally. Sometimes, this shell is too thick and can be altered to allow “hatching” of the embryo.
  • Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis – This procedure is used for couples who are carriers for serious genetic conditions that might be transmitted to their offspring. After embryos are available as a result of IVF, one of the cells from a developing embryo can be removed and submitted for genetic evaluation while allowing the remaining cells in the embryo to continue developing normally. The couple then has the option of transferring only the unaffected embryos.

 

Resources

Success rates

Financing options

WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine continually looks for ways to help our patients with affordable payment options.

Lenders

Grants for Infertility Treatment

You may be eligible for grant funding to help cover the cost of your care.

Compassionate Care Programs

Nutrition Services

Weight matters with pregnancy

Did you know that your weight can affect your ability to get pregnant? Obesity increases a woman’s risk of developing gestational diabetes, and even increases the likelihood of a cesarean delivery. The WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine has a registered dietitian on staff to help patients make lifestyle modifications that could improve patients’ overall health and fertility.

It is estimated that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a major cause of fertility problems, affects up to 18 percent of women of childbearing age. Two-thirds of women in the United States have a body mass index BMI greater than 25, putting them at risk of developing PCOS.

This service includes:

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Goal-setting assistance
  • Introduction to new eating and fitness patterns
  • Meal planning recommendations
  • Determining appropriate calorie intake and fluid intake during pregnancy
  • Providing information about the current nutrition guidelines for pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and fertility

 

How your weight affects fertility and pregnancy

Obesity and Fertility

  • Women who store more fat on their stomachs and hips are at increased risk for lower fertility rates
  • Among obese women, infertility rates may increase by 4% per BMI unit above 25 kg/(m^2)
  • Obesity may reduce fertility among males due to reductions in androgen (sex) hormones and increases in estrogen levels

Obesity and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)

  • Obese women who are pregnant are six times more likely to develop GDM than women who have a BMI of less than 25
  • GDM increases the risk of congenital defects, large for gestational age delivery, and pre-term delivery
  • Women with a BMI greater than 35 are at the highest risk of developing GDM

Obesity, hypertension, and pregnancy

  • Hypertension is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality
  • Obese women who enter pregnancy are six times as likely to develop gestational hypertension than women who get pregnant at an ideal weight

Obesity and fetal outcomes

  • Obese women are more likely to have a cesarean section and other birth-related complications compared to women of normal weight
  • Women who have a BMI greater than 30 are at an increased risk for postpartum hemorrhage
  • Obese mothers are at an increased risk of neonatal and fetal death

Lifetime risks associated with obesity

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Orthopaedic disorders
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Ovarian and breast cancer
  • Abnormally elevated cholesterol
  • Fats in the blood

Your First Visit

  • A new patient consultation generally lasts approximately 45 minutes.
  • The visit begins with a review of your medical history, including any available medical records.
  • A complete physical exam is performed and may include a pelvic ultrasound in order to confirm or provide additional information.
  • You may have been referred by another physician and may feel that repeating the history and physical exam is unnecessary. But, this portion of your evaluation is needed to make the appropriate diagnosis and to provide you with the best therapy plan.
  • If you are seeking treatment for infertility, we encourage partners to come to the first appointment and welcome their involvement in subsequent visits.

Return Visits

  • Non-infertility return appointments will usually be scheduled in the afternoon.
  • Return infertility appointments are usually needed to perform specific tests or ultrasound monitoring. Our schedule for these appointments begins early, with the intent of minimizing disruption to your daily schedule.
  • For those who are traveling longer distances, later appointments are also available, but certain tests will need to be scheduled at specific times during the day.
  • It may be necessary for you to be seen on weekends or holidays. Such appointments are usually scheduled between 8 am and 10 am.

 

I-Chung Chen, PhD

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Assistant Professor, Center for Reproductive Medicine
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Melanie Clemmer, PhD

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IVF Laboratory Director, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Associate Professor
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Ryan Heitmann, DO

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Associate Professor: Center for Reproductive Medicine
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Richard Meter, MD

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Assistant Professor, Center for Reproductive Medicine
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Shon Rowan, MD

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Associate Professor, Center for Reproductive Medicine
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Helenia Sedoski, MS, RD, LD

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Pediatric/Adults, PAGP/CRM
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Center for Reproductive Medicine

Address

1322 Pineview Drive Morgantown, WV 26505

Obstetrics and Gynecology – Uniontown, Pa.

Address

211 Easy Street Uniontown, PA 15401