Reproductive partners celebrates 10 years

Reproductive Partners recently marked its 10-year anniversary as one of the leading resources for couples confronted with infertility.

“We’re very proud that in those 10 years we’ve built probably one of the best in vitro fertility centers in the country,” said Gabriel Garzo, M.D., medical director and an assistant clinical professor of reproductive medicine at UCSD.

Garzo said it is his team of caring professionals that accounts for his group’s success.

“What we do is not a secret,” he said. “I think the difference is how you do it, and that’s when it comes down to the people.”

Working with associates Sanjay Agarwal, M.D. and Deborah Wachs, M.D,, and a staff of 18 that includes laboratory and nursing personnel, Garzo focuses on providing individualized care for each patient.

Analyzing the myriad variables that affect each couple differently is one reason the practice achieves more successful implantations, Garzo said.

The field of infertility has seen a number of significant advancements and changes in procedure since Reproductive Partners first opened its doors.

“One of the major changes in the last few years is the average number of embryos transferred,” Garzo said.

Ten years ago, women were typically implanted with several embryos in the hopes that one would develop into a full-term pregnancy. For many women, this resulted in the birth of multiples.

“We very quickly realized that was too many,” Garzo said.

Today’s technology allows physicians to screen embryos at five days rather than three, affording them a better assessment of which embryo has the highest likelihood of implantation.

Garzo obtained his medical degree from the University of Chile, then completed residencies in general surgery at the University of Manitoba and obstetrics/gynecology at Toronto General Hospital.

Before accepting his current position in 1991, Garzo served as an infertility specialist and director of the in vitro fertilization laboratory at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla.

When he first started in the specialty of infertility, Garzo said he was excited about a 24 percent success rate. That has since increased to 50 percent.

“It was very hard when we were not so successful, because this treatment is so intense. It’s a major event for our patients,” he said. “Now we can help the majority of them. What we want to do is push the limit and get as good as we can.”