Sweet Success - The Fertility Chase

For Walter and Amy Costello from Sanibel publicly sharing their personal journey through infertility is an opportunity to help negate the stigma that is often attached to fertility treatment.

“Infertility is still somewhat of a ‘taboo’ subject and participating in the show is an opportunity to debunk the myths,” says Costello. “What many people don’t realize is that infertility is a medical condition and we sought treatment for infertility in the same way we would seek treatment for cancer or any other disease.”

After several years of trying to conceive naturally, the couple was referred to Sweet. Following laparoscopic surgery to diagnose and treat her condition, Sweet diagnosed Amy with stage IV endometriosis. One of the leading causes of female infertility, endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disease in which the cells from the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) grow outside the uterus and spread to other areas such as the pelvis and ovaries. The resulting damage can block the reproductive organs, in some cases preventing conception.

“Given Amy’s advanced stage of endometriosis, I recommended the couple consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) to improve their odds of conceiving,” says Sweet.

During the IVF process, Costello’s eggs were surgically retrieved, then fertilized with her husband’s sperm. Days later, Sweet implanted two embryos into Costello’s uterus. The couple chose to save their remaining four embryos through a process called cryopreservation or embryo freezing. An estimated 500,000 embryos are currently in cryopreservation in the United States.
“In addition to minimizing the opportunity for multiple births, cryopreservation gives families like the Costello’s the opportunity to have more children in the future,” says Sweet. “In the event that couples choose not to transfer and use all of their remaining embryos, they are given the option to destroy the embryos, donate them to research or to donate their embryos to other fertility patients who have chosen this option to build their family.”

“In our case, we hope to use our embryos to grow our family someday,” says Costello. “However, should we decide not to do so, we have indicated our wishes to give the gift of life to another family through embryo donation.”

Less than two weeks after the embryos were implanted, the couple received long-awaited news: “We are expecting a baby boy, due on June 20, Father’s day,” says Costello. “It was a long, emotionally and financially difficult journey, but we couldn’t be happier. We are truly blessed.”

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