On Sunday the 5th June we were lucky enough to catch up with Dr Potter live on Facebook! We had over 300 of our wonderful families join us to speak to Dr Potter and ask him any questions they had about the gender selection journey.
The video is available to watch below and on our Facebook page, otherwise read up on the key discussion points here about how the clinic is managing COVID-19, how the IVF gender selection process works and what to expect, success rates and more!
Open for business
DP: I want to start off by saying we are open for business as usual. There are some precautions that patients need to undertake. They will need to check in beforehand and they will wait in their car until we have a room available for them. They will come into a room that has been cleaned down and patients will be required to wear masks and all the staff will wear masks and gloves. We feel we can take care of patients safely and effectively and we have been doing so since the beginning of May.
I wanted to start with that and let you know that we have other exciting news and that is that we have had success with an Australian getting travel waivers to travel to the U.S to have this procedure. The first letter we produced has been successful and we hope this is the first of many.
Full time customer service in Australia
DP: Gender Selection Australia is incredibly unique, it’s the only service available to Australian patients and couples that has a full-time customer service representative in Australia to help guide families through the process. That is Viv and a lot of you know Viv and have probably spoken on the phone or interacted through email or the Facebook group. Viv is amazing. Gender Selection Australia is proud to help Australians with gender selection. In the past 6 years we have helped guide over 5,000 unique enquiries and so that is quite a milestone for us. GSA works exclusively with me so if you use Gender Selection Australia you will be using HRC Fertility and I will be performing your procedure.
How the gender selection process works – Getting started and testing
DP: I want to start off and I know many of you are familiar with this but I want to talk about how this works. The first step in the process involves having a phone consult with me, you will go online and you will fill out a questionnaire/medical history and then I will speak with you and go through your history with you. The next step is testing. The testing can be done before I speak to you or after. The testing involves testing your ovaries to see they are functioning. The two main indicators in this process are the age of the female and the results of the ovarian reserve panel. The ovarian reserve panel consists of blood tests and ultrasounds. The blood tests are done on the second or third day of your cycle. Also a vaginal ultrasound is performed to look at the small resting follicles. With this information I am able to give you prognostic information specific to your case and I am able to give you protocol for you and your situation to optimise your chances of success.
In reference to when to do the testing, the testing is good for 12 months. I would encourage you to do it as soon as possible, that way as soon as the travel restrictions open up you will be able to come and have your procedure. We are filling up slots towards the end of the year for Australians already. I encourage you to get your testing done and your deposit paid.
The Hope Campaign
DP: The deposit I am speaking of is the promotion for Gender Selection Australia patients, called the Hope Campaign where you will get $3,000 (USD) discount off the price. To get this you would put down a $1,000 deposit and Viv can talk to you about the details of this. Once we have all this information and you are cycling, we will arrange to have your monitoring and the pre-testing done in Australia.
Travelling to the US and undergoing the transfer
DP: Patients can come to the US and expect to be here for 12 days for fresh transfer and if you are going to do it in two trips, its about 5 days each trip. So it depends, for the majority of the patients we can do a fresh transfer if they desire to. For some people it’s hard to get away for that long and they prefer to do two trips. For the second trip, only the female having the transfer is required to come because it is just the transfer. If we do two trips, first you will do the egg retrieval and then a few months later you will return for a transfer. Or you can stay for 12 days and do the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer in one trip. After bed rest you can return home. That is how it all works.
Why GSA and Dr Potter?
DP: In terms of why GSA, why HRC, why Dr Potter? It’s because we have the longest history and most experience taking care of Australians undergoing gender selection. We are the leader in gender selection and have a long track record of achieving excellent results and pregnancies for our patients.
How is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) being managed at the clinic?
DP: With Coronavirus the way it would work is, well firstly we do not presently have a requirement for patients to be tested. Our staff, some of us have been tested. I have been tested twice – I have not had it or had symptoms of it. I was most recently tested a week ago. At this point we have been enforcing very strict hygiene protocols and have not had any cases come through our office. We have been fortunate, however we are taking this very seriously and so the precautions we take mean that you are not waiting with lots of people in a waiting room, you are not going to enter a room that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised. We also don’t allow visitors or unnecessary people to the clinic so this reduces the rate of possibility of there being a problem. Husbands and children are not waiting in the waiting room.
As far as our clinic, we are open for business and if you do come to the U.S you don’t have to quarantine. So now I will add that we have additional measures – for example you will be waiting outside/in your car or at a location close to the clinic until you are called. To enter the building you must wear a mask, you will have to answer some questions about whether you have been exposed to the virus, whether you have any symptoms, whether you have been unwell etc. You will also have your temperature taken before you even enter the clinic. Once you have entered you will be taken to the exam room. All the staff are tested every day. They will all wear masks and gloves.
What is the prognosis for healthy patients seeking gender selection?
DP: This is generally speaking for gender selection and without having your specific information this is general information. For a typical patient – that would mean firstly being fertile and has been able to have children, around 34 years old and would have had 2-3 children. That person would have a 75% chance of having a successful outcome first go. The 25% that are not successful would include a small portion who failed because there was not an embryo that was normal and desired gender.
When we do the genetic screening of the embryo we are not only looking at the gender we are looking at the chromosomes as well. In a 34 year old about half the embryos are going to be abnormal and unusable and of the other half you are going to have a 50/50 gender split. So, 1/4 are going to be usable. The implantation rate is 80%. Once you are pregnant the miscarriage rate is very low and is lower that the general population rate. It is even lower in my gender selection patients as the majority of them have proven obstetrical history. It is also low as when we do the screening, we eliminate the number one cause of miscarriage which is having the wrong number of chromosomes at conception.
DP: What I would like to do is provide you with my email address [email protected]. I want to thank GSA and Richard and Viv for all the amazing work they do. Viv has been such a godsend for our patients for all the work she does – she does a great job educating you guys about the process and guiding you along your path and achieving your dreams.
Thank you for viewing and I will try and pop in again in the next few weeks.
Have a great day, Dr Potter.
Posted by Gender Selection Australia on Friday, June 5, 2020