Healthwatch: Help for couples experiencing infertility


Green Bay (WFRV) Infertility effects more than 7 million people in the US, that is one in 8 couples. 

There is one option that is helping local couples start the family they thought they’d never have. 

The fertility clinic at Aurora BayCare Medical Center has helped hundreds of couples become parents through in vitro fertilization. 

Two month old Arlowe is Ashley and Derek Blaszaks’ little miracle, “She is super good, that’s I think we’ve been blessed with an easy going child,” said Derek Blaszaks, Arlowe’s dad. 

But conceiving Arlowe was not easy. After more than 6 months of trying unsuccessfully to have a child the couple went to Ashley’s OB-GYN looking for answers, “It turned out that I had endometriosis as well as two large cysts on both my right and left ovary,” said Ashley Blaszaks, Arlowe’s mom. 

Ashley needed surgery- and there was a possibility she would never be able to conceive, “If there was endometriosis just too much of it they might have to remove my ovaries if not my entire uterus,” said Ashley. 

The uterus or ovaries did not have to be removed- however, “There was still way too much scar tissue from the endometriosis they don’t think Id ever be able to get pregnant naturally,” said Ashley. 

So the couple turned to fertility specialist Dr. Frank Wittmaak- at Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s Fertility Clinic, “Endometriosis can cause cysts on the ovaries  and those cysts that distort the normal anatomy then its hard for an egg to find its way into the fallopian tube and get fertilized,” said Dr. Frank Wittmaak, reproductive endocrinologist, fertility specialist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s Fertility Clinic. 

Dr. Wittmaack believed the couples best option to conceive was through in vitro fertilization, “We stimulated Ashley with medication to create multiple eggs that we then harvest and fertilize in a dish and create embryos from those little fertilized eggs that can then be put back into the uterus,” explained Dr. Wittmaak.

The couple also chose to do preimplantation genetic screening of the embryos, “That reduces the risk of putting genetically abnormal embryos, it reduces the risk of having a miscarriage and it also allows us to only put one embryo at a time without compromising the success rate of the in vitro fertilization cycle thereby reducing the number of twins,” explained Dr. Wittmaak. 

“We felt that doing that gave us extra insurance that our embryos were strong,” said Ashley. 

The couple still has 2 frozen embryos- possible siblings for little Arlowe, “When you are first told you may never be able to have kids that we still have the option of possibly having two more which is really special and I feel like we wouldn’t have had that if it weren’t for Aurora,” said Ashley. 

The the Aurora BayCare Medical Center Fertility Clinic is the only one in Northeastern Wisconsin who performs IVF. 

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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