Couples who struggle to conceive now have another option for fertility advice and services in Edmonton.
The Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine, a state-of-the-art fertility clinic, is now open downtown. The founders of the clinic run a similar facility in Vancouver and were seeing about 100 Edmonton-area patients per year.
The privately-owned facility offers a variety of fertility care for men and women, with the most common treatments being intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The clinic houses two operating suites, a pharmacy and an embryology lab where sperm, eggs and embryos can be frozen for future use.
“Essentially we deal with all problems of human reproduction, whether it’s male factor or female factor or a combination of both,” Dr. Ken Seethram with the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine said.
There is a public fertility clinic at the Royal Alexandra Hospital but the wait time to get into the facility is nine months to one year. Because the province doesn’t cover fertility treatments, patients will pay out of pocket whether they go to a public or private clinic.
Seethram said their prices are not that much higher than the Alberta Health Services clinic and the wait time to get in is currently about three weeks. When it comes to pregnancy, Seethram said time can be of the essence.
“As you get older, unfortunately the eggs aren’t very kind and egg quality does drop overtime,” Seethram said.
“So someone who’s 40 really cannot afford to wait one or two years to be seen.”
The new clinic currently sees between 30 and 40 patients per day and so far about 1,000 patients have registered for fertility services. One of the first patients was 25-year-old Reanne Mandin. She and her husband have been struggling with infertility for about three years.
“Any time I need an appointment I call in and I’m in within a week,” she said, adding she waited 11 months to get into the fertility clinic at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
“In my opinion, to pay a little extra to come get this level of service and this level of care is worth it.”
Mandin will undergo her second round of IUI next week. She said if it’s unsuccessful, the next step will be to try IVF. While it’s been a stressful journey, the 25-year-old remains hopeful.
“I think we’re on month 40 of trying and we’ve never seen a positive pregnancy test. So it would be out-of-this world exciting to find out we’re having a baby.”
Before this clinic opened, many patients sought treatment at a private fertility clinic in Calgary.
With files from Su-Ling Goh, Global News.