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Fertility clinic recognized as one of nationís best

November 2004

by Anne-Kathleen Kreger

The average woman is born with her lifetime supply of eggs - approximately 300,000 - which mature as time goes on. After a woman experiences puberty, the monthly ovulation cycle begins. The ovary releases one egg, which heads toward the fallopian tube, where a chance encounter with a sperm could cause fertilization.

But for more than 6 million American women and their partners, this textbook case is not the norm. It is estimated that more than 1 in 6 couples is unable to conceive without some form of medical intervention.

Town & Country magazine recently recognized the nationís best fertility clinics. A physician-led team selected 12 centers nationwide, among them the Health Science Centerís South Texas Fertility Center.

The other centers include those at Johns Hopkins, the Cleveland Clinic and Stanford. The Health Science Center was the only center in the Southwest to make the list.

"It is clearly an honor to be selected," said Robert S. Schenken, M.D., Health Science Center professor and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology. "The other clinics listed also are based in prestigious universities. We are in good company."

The article lists Dr. Schenken as a noted physician who sees patients at the center.

Dr. Schenken is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology with subspecialty certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). The other two Health Science Center faculty physicians at the center - Robert Brzyski, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, and Craig A. Witz, M.D., associate professor - also hold the REI subspecialty certification.

The fertility center averages 340 patient visits a month and offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic options for couples. Treatment includes endoscopic surgery, microsurgery, ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

After two years of trying to conceive without success, Austin resident Dawn Pratt was referred to Dr. Witz.

"Itís worth the drive from Austin," said Pratt, who became pregnant after IVF.

Her son is now 3 years old, and thanks to the center, Pratt has a new challenge - explaining to her son that he soon will be a big brother.

This fall Pratt again underwent IVF at the center, and her second baby is due in June 2005.


Fertility Facts:

  • Infertility is a disease that results in the abnormal function of the reproductive system.

  • Infertility affects 6.1 million women and their partners, about 10 percent of the reproductive- age population.

  • 1 in 6 couples is unable to have a child without some form of medical intervention.

  • In the past two decades, few areas of medicine have advanced as rapidly as infertility treatments.


American Infertility Association and The American Society for Reproductive Medicine


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Updated 7/30/14