IVF clinic delivers little miracles
Experts at fertility clinic help prospective parents achieve their dreams of raising a family
Dr. Hananel Holzer, Medical Director of the McGill Reproductive Centre at the MUHC.
Having children is a joyful, much-anticipated part of life – but sometimes, unexpected issues with fertility can dash the hopes of would-be parents. Dr. Hananel Holzer, Medical Director of the McGill Reproductive Centre at the MUHC, is a physician who has been described as “a miracle worker” by grateful patients. Dr. Holzer and his team use leading-edge medical technology to help prospective moms and dads turn their dreams of raising a family into diaper-changing, sleep-deprived reality.
“Infertility, defined as a year of trying to conceive without contraception, is an all-too-common medical issue,” says Dr. Holzer. “As many as 15 per cent of couples trying to conceive will encounter a problem. Fertility treatments like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can help.”
Until recently, these expensive IVF treatments were not covered by the provincial health plan. Many couples opted for multiple embryo implants to boost their odds of success – and the rate of multiple pregnancies and resulting premature births soared. In 2010, the Government of Quebec passed an act to address both these issues. Bill 26 provides government funding for infertility testing and treatment, including IVF. It also encourages couples to opt for single embryo implants, which are less likely to result in premature births.
“Premature births are associated with potentially serious health issues as well as substantial expenses to the system,” explains Dr. Holzer. So, in the long run, reducing the number of multiple pregnancies is safer for mothers and babies and also reduces costs.”
Since Bill 26 went into effect, the clinic has more than doubled its patient load. However, by improving patient flow and making more effective use of existing facilities, the MUHC has accommodated this huge increase without greatly increasing costs. “We make very effective use of resources, says Dr. Holzer. “Our team provides excellent clinical care with excellent results.”
The McGill Reproductive Centre is a leader in fertility treatment, and is at the forefront of research in areas such as fertility preservation and egg freezing. Clinician-researcher Dr. Patricia Monnier, another member of the team at the MUHC Reproductive Centre, is known for her research into causes of the higher level of risk associated with medically induced pregnancies.
While research is vitally important, it is the high rate of successful pregnancies which matter most to clinic users. “We’ve provided happiness to many, many families,” says Dr. Holzer. “On my table, there is a card from a patient which says: ‘Doctors are known to heal. You are known to create miracles.’”