Dr. Elena Lapina, Medical Director and Co-founder of the O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic:
“For many years my medical practice has been aimed at helping women in the field of gynecological surgery and fertility treatment.
As a surgeon, I fully share the philosophy of caring attitude towards a woman’s reproductive system. And this means that any surgical intervention should not only help, but also preserve the maximum integrity of each tiny cell.
As a fertility specialist, over many years I have been devoting myself to those patients to whom almost no one could offer a path to the birth of their child. I'm talking about the women who were diagnosed with cancer and who had to go through chemotherapy; about the women who, before we met, had gone through more than 5 - 10 embryo transfers which did not lead to their long-awaited goal — the birth of their child.
When Dr. Olga Zaytseff offered me to take part in the creation of the O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic and help the patients who already have a long story of fertility treatment behind them, I realized that this was a great opportunity to introduce into the medical process a special approach to treatment that will allow to help more women.
My approach combines two elements that influence the IVF success. On the one hand, the most common reason for IVF failure lies not in a woman, as many patients believe, but in the embryo. This means that even ideal conditions in a woman's body will not help in case the embryo’s internal program leads to a stop in its development. On the other hand, a strong and competent embryo needs the support of a balanced maternal environment that will increase the chances for an embryo implantation and contribute to a successful pregnancy and childbirth.
My vision of an impeccable fertility treatment is a medical process organized in such a way that a woman’s body is at its best by the time it meets a morphologically good and genetically healthy embryo.
There are patients who are exhausted by a concomitant disease, multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles or stress…. My medical experience tells me that in such cases it is important for a patient to make a stop called "Self-care". It will make possible to see what is important to support in the body of this particular woman with her unique, one-of -a-kind history and her state of neuroendocrine and immune factors in order to minimize the number of embryo transfers until an on-going pregnancy and live birth are achieved.
Therefore, to ensure a stable embryo implantation, an on-going pregnancy and a live birth within a minimum number of IVF cycles, we should follow three principles.
3 Principles of IVF Success:
1. Maximum Information at the Start
The first principle of success for our patients, who have already come a long way in their fertility treatment before meeting us, is to collect as much information as possible about the kind of medications that were used for ovarian stimulation, the body’s response to these medications, the egg collection process, the development of the embryos. And most importantly — as this lays a foundation for a future success — to know how you feel? What is your emotional state? What are the differences in your feeling of your body, health and mood, if you compare yourself now and yourself when you were at your top form?
All this is important because, quite paradoxically, the most obvious causes of infertility, such as fallopian tubes obstruction, lack of ovulation, and male infertility, are most easy to overcome in the course of treatment. However, in a situation where there are no visible obstacles and a couple should have already become happy parents without any help of a fertility specialist, but this still hasn’t happened after a long period of trying, especially in this case it is necessary to collect information piece by piece, look for hidden answers and use a systematic approach to human biology.
2. Measure Twice…
The second principle of success is to process all the information received from a patient by at least two fertility specialists. In our clinic, first the expert doctor develops a treatment strategy for a patient, then a second opinion from another fertility specialist of the clinic is strictly required. If the strategies of our two doctors diverge, then I step into the process as a medical director. Intuitively, each patient already follows this approach: a patient visits for a consultation one specialist, then another, and then, perhaps, even a third one. This way a patient collects all the opinions and tries to create the ideal treatment model herself. This makes a patient not only the manager of her treatment process, but also makes her fully responsible for the outcome of the treatment. Should it be so? How many patients dream of passing the responsibility for the process and results to the clinic, and use these saved resources for their own health!
At the O.L.G.A. Clinic we are interested in the birth of your child as much as you are, because the only thing that we consider to be the result of our work is the birth of your baby. We share with our patients not only the joy of their success, but we also take on their financial risks in case of a failure. We are also ready to release you from this difficult role of being a project manager of your own treatment. We ourselves will collect several opinions of several specialists and create the most beneficial for you treatment plan aimed at achieving your on-going pregnancy and live birth.
3. Each IVF Cycle as a last chance
The third principle of success is to make the most effective decisions at any point in the process, as if it is a person’s life which is at stake.
I approach each treatment process as my only chance which I cannot lose due to any external circumstances, for example, workload, problems in the family or in the world... This feeling has always been with me, and I believe that to a great extent it is this feeling which allowed me to achieve such considerable results in fertility medicine. It works for women who are about to undergo chemotherapy when there is no opportunity to do the second-third-fourth cycles of IVF. There is only one chance to receive the eggs so that after recovering from an oncological disease this woman could become a mother.
Such an attitude of the team towards the treatment process was established at the O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic. And this encourages us to get the most homogeneous cohort of mature eggs in each IVF cycle, without losing any during stimulation and egg collection; to continue the process in the embryological lab in the most delicate and expert manner; to work carefully with every embryo, believing in each of them with all our hearts and doing more than many would do; to invest enough attention and time in the thorough preparation of a woman for the embryo transfer, pregnancy and childbirth.
When you entrust us with your story, we will start by carefully and thoughtfully collecting all the necessary information, then analyzing it, combining several expert opinions, and building a strategy as balanced and verified as if it were the only chance."