Why Your Fertility is Safe in Our Hands

Posted: 3/19/2020 by Dr. John Schnorr

Today I wanted to take some time to share a little about Coastal Fertility Specialists and tell you why we do what we do. Coastal Fertility Specialists is a physician owned and operated fertility practice. Early on in developing Coastal Fertility Specialists it was clear to us that the diagnosis of infertility and the desire for a family is a tremendous stress to a couple. In fact, several studies have demonstrated an impact similar to a new diagnosis of cancer.  The infertility diagnosis leads to many questions about if they will ever get pregnant, can they afford to get fertility treatment and will their child be normal.  This thought process then drives a cascade of emotions including depression and anxiety.

In an attempt to address these challenges, Coastal Fertility Specialists developed a mission and value statement focused on making the world a better place by helping couples achieve their reproductive goals in a nurturing and compassionate environment while maintaining pregnancy rates in the top 10% of the country.  Since we are all products of good teachers and mentors, our secondary focus is improving fertility treatment across the United States by teaching the next generation of physicians, nurses and embryologists. Fulfilling our teaching mission has driven us to be the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at the Medical University of South Carolina for the last 20 years.

Persistence is by far the best predictor of success and keeping patients in the game by providing compassionate, nurturing and supportive care is key to their success. That of course is easier said than done and has driven us to develop a team of clinicians and embryologists with like-minded purposes in life.  Through a careful recruitment process along with training and treating employees the right way, we have employees who have now been with us for over 21 years with an average employment length of 8.5 years. This brings passion, wisdom and experience to the patients which could not otherwise be obtained.

The leadership team also believes that to get pregnancy rates in the top 10% of the country it’s about the quality of the embryology lab! There is no doubt that both good doctors and embryologists are required to have a good program, however, truly leading programs have a higher quality laboratory environment that results in better embryos, higher pregnancy rates and lower miscarriage rates. To accomplish that goal, we have developed a regional office system which has allowed us to focus additional resources into one embryology lab.  Through this approach we now have four subspecialty trained embryologists who are cross trained in all aspects of embryology including ICSI, assisted hatching, embryo biopsy, and embryo and oocyte vitrification. Doubling down on what matters, we have an onsite, PhD trained, HCLD Laboratory Director Dr. Jeff Gray to monitor day to day operations. Having an onsite Laboratory Director is a significant benefit, however, due to costs; this is something a small minority of programs have chosen to implement.

A leading laboratory team also needs a high quality laboratory infrastructure and as such we have deployed a laboratory environment that uses a charcoal and HEPA air filtration system which has air flow and filtration functions which are 7 times higher than a traditional operating room.  We are currently using fourth-generation incubators and isolettes to minimize any impact from the external environment on the eggs, sperm and embryos.  Through our regional office system, the majority patients now have access to a top tier laboratory with 95% of their care within 20 minutes of their homes.

The result of this patient-centered approach has been Coastal Fertility’s three consecutive national patient satisfaction awards which are rewards based upon direct patient feedback.  Our pregnancy rates have also been among the top in the country, and are reported to the federal government annually based upon a 1992 law. Each clinic’s federal data can be found on our society’s website at www.sart.org. We are proud of our team and what we have accomplished. We encourage you to review our pregnancy rates and any other centers pregnancy rates online.

For your convenience, our 2019 pregnancy rates are below.  We certainly are not perfect but strive to be perfect. We look forward to helping you make your dreams of becoming parents a reality. Call 843-883-5800 to schedule a New Patient Appointment.