Since our humble beginnings, Fertility Answers has been committed to Acadiana, helping couples build the families they dream of.
Since 1999, Dr. John Storment and the physicians and staff at Fertility Answers have been committed to helping couples in Acadiana build families. Having just graduated from a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship in Vermont, Dr. Storment chose to move back to Lafayette, his hometown, to establish the first full-time infertility practice in the area.
In the beginning, our facility had no in vitro fertilization lab and no staff with any experience in infertility. Our clinic literally started from scratch and for the first two years, Dr. Storment accompanied his patients to an IVF lab in New Orleans for all IVF procedures (retrievals and transfers). With the goal of increasing access to care in Acadiana, Dr. Storment began the designing and planning of an IVF lab here in Lafayette. After a year of planning and construction, we trained new surgery staff in IVF procedures and opened the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Center (ART) at Women’s & Children’s Hospital in October of 2001.
Our goal has always been increasing access to infertility care in Acadiana.
Over the last 19-plus years of practicing in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in Acadiana, we have experienced many “highs” and even some “lows.” Early on, protesters who opposed IVF could be found marching on Ambassador Caffery Road outside of our office. But by initiating dialogue with protesters and those opposed to IVF, we were able to explain specifically what the procedures involve and the many misconceptions that were being circulated in the community about it. We also openly discussed how we can accommodate almost every objection to IVF and still help couples build their families. We held forums open to the public to answer questions about IVF and infertility.
Since then, the subject of infertility has become more easily discussed in public at least in part because of our aggressive education efforts. In addition, as our success grew and more patients conceived and delivered, the word was out that IVF is a viable means to help couples build families. Our first year in practice we completed 40 IVF cycles with a 35% pregnancy rate. Last year we completed over 130 egg retrievals and 154 embryo transfers. Of the 154 transfers, 100 of them conceived yielding a 65% pregnancy rate.
In 2014, we expanded Fertility Answers to Baton Rouge by acquiring an existing fertility practice located at Woman’s Hospital. This practice (like most fertility practices in the US) included the IVF lab and procedure suites within the confines of the office space. Over the last 4 years, we have upgraded all of the equipment with state-of-the-art technology and our pregnancy rates in Baton Rouge have improved and now mirror those successes here.
In our quest to bring our patients the very best in infertility care, Fertility Answers joined with Ovation Fertility in 2017, a national group of IVF and genetics labs that share research, experience and best practices. Through this partnership, we have tremendously improved our IVF platform and our range of services, most notably in genetic testing, to provide our patients with improved clinical outcomes. In other words, more babies!
In June of last year, we were informed that Our Lady of Lourdes intended to purchase Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Because Catholic hospitals object to certain medical procedures (IVF included), we were informed in December of Women’s and Children’s plans to terminate our IVF program to allow the sale to proceed.
With this reality, we considered many options of how to best serve our patients and still be committed to Acadiana. These included building a lab at another non-Catholic hospital, having all patients travel to Baton Rouge for their procedure, or expand our current office in Lafayette to include a brand new state-of-the-art IVF lab.
Fertility Answers is committed to Acadiana with the opening of a new state-of-the-art Lafayette IVF lab in late 2019.
Our choice is one that shows we are committed to Acadiana and the success that our patients have experienced thus far. Building a new lab in our Lafayette office will give our Acadiana patients the access to care they deserve and an even better chance of building their family. Plans are complete and construction will begin February 2019 with the hopes of performing our first IVF procedure late 2019. In the meantime, we will still see all of our Acadiana patients for consults, office procedures and ultrasounds in our Lafayette office with only egg retrievals and embryo transfers needing to travel to our Baton Rouge clinic.
While we regret the inconvenience to our Acadiana IVF patients during the next several months, we hope that our past commitment to our patients is a sign that our future commitment is still as solid. We’ve come a long way. Our team has grown as have our success rates. We look forward to our future with incredible optimism and we thank all of our patients for their understanding.