Infertility resources come to Idaho Falls

By Sarah Glenn
For the Journal

IDAHO FALLS — One out of every eight couples who try to conceive have trouble becoming pregnant or they experience a miscarriage, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Survey of Family Growth. Even a young healthy couple with normally functioning reproductive systems have only a 20 percent chance of conceiving in any given month.

Dr. Deirdre Conway

Dr. Deirdre Conway

“Incidents of infertility haven’t changed much in the past 10 years but people are certainly talking about it more,” said Dr. Deirdre Conway, a specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility with the Utah Fertility Center. “Most of us have at least known someone who has struggled with infertility.”

On Oct. 1, the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center will host a 6 p.m. seminar for those who struggle with infertility. Conway will present at the session and leave time for both group and one-on-one questions.

Conway graduated from Penn State University and went on to earn her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. While a resident at New York University, she won numerous teaching awards, has collaborated with the nation’s leading infertility experts and holds nine different awards for her work. Conway completed a three-year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and infertility at UCLA Medical Center, and is board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

“We are very lucky to have her in our community,” said Coleen Niemann, a spokesperson for EIRMC.

The resource is rare for women in southeastern Idaho, who otherwise have to travel to Boise or Salt Lake to receive in vitro fertilization services.

Neither Conway nor Neimann were aware of any other reproductive endocrinologists seeing patients in the area.

Recently, Conway started spending two days each month at EIRMC seeing patients who struggle with infertility.

“I hope to build that up over time,” said Conway, who lives in Utah.

In January, Conway will guide her first local patient through a cycle of in vitro fertilization — a lengthy process that requires frequent monitoring by a medical professional. Conway is also talking with two nurse practitioners who she hopes will help with patients when she is at home in Utah.

“We certainly know that there are families here that want to explore their options,” Neimann said of infertility care. “It can be costly to travel for these services.”

Cost and access are two topics that Conway plans to discuss at the Oct. 1 meeting. She will also discuss misconceptions, common causes of infertility, various treatment options and what an infertility checkup entails.

“We really want to bring this information to the community,” Conway said.

The seminar is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center Cancer Center, 3245 Channing Way Idaho Falls, ID 83404.

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