Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
- Our Team
- Diagnostic Services
- Treatment Options
- Donors and Surrogacy
- LGBT Family Building
- Fertility Preservation
- Financial Guidance
- Patient Resources
Welcome to Women’s Health Consultants!
Infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss can be heartbreaking for women and couples who are trying to begin or expand their families. Dr. Mary Wood Molo, board-certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, is committed to doing everything possible to help her patients have a baby. All patients – from those experiencing pregnancy loss, delays in conception, or those with complex histories who have not yet experienced reproductive success – are welcome.
At Women’s Health Consultants, we keep our practice small to offer patients personalized care and strong, trusting relationships with our physicians. After a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, your physician will offer an extensive review of available treatment options, paying particular attention to the pros and cons of each alternative. After thoroughly exploring and discussing multiple possibilities, your physician will include you in the process of selecting the best course of treatment. Patients are partners in their care and are involved in the decision-making process from beginning to end.
From pinpointing the causes of infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss to discerning the best possible path to conception, our team strives to provide guidance and emotional support through every phase of testing and treatment. At Women’s Health Consultants, no one is “just another patient.”
At Women’s Health Consultants, we see patients with a variety of female and male infertility factors infertility, including but not limited to:
- Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Tubal Factor Infertility
- Decreased Ovarian Reserve
- Fragile X Pre-Mutation Carriers
- Mullerian Anomalies
- Ovulatory Disturbances
- Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
- Single Mother by Choice
- LGBT Family Building
- Fertility Preservation
- Unexplained Infertility
When to seek help
Generally, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that patients under 35 who have been having unprotected sex for one year and patients over 35 who have been having unprotected sex for six months seek a consultation with a fertility specialist. At Women’s Health Consultants, we understand that there are many nuances to fertility issues, both physical and emotional, and recommend that you seek treatment for any of these additional reasons:
- If you have a history of endometriosis, PCOS, or are the carrier of a genetic disorder and have been told by your gynecologist that it may be difficult to conceive
- If you are over 38 and trying to conceive, we recommend a full fertility work-up prior to the six month period in order to decide the best course of action
- If you have a family history of early menopause, difficulty conceiving, or miscarriage
- If you have absent or infrequent periods
- If you have had previous abdominal or gynecological surgery, suffered from pelvic-inflammatory disease (PID) or other sexually transmitted diseases
- If you have known structural anomalies of the uterus or other gynecologic organs
- If you have endocrine (hormonal) disorders, such as thyroid disease
- If you have been monitoring ovulation without a positive result
- If you have suffered two or more miscarriages
- If your partner has a history of undescended testicles or low sperm count
If you have any other concerns that have not been mentioned, or wish to discuss fertility options and future planning, we also offer preconception counseling. At that point, your physician can discuss options and timing for testing or any other work-up she may recommend.
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Physicians and Clinical Staff
Medical Director of the IVF Program at the Rush Center for Advanced Reproductive Care
Director of the Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Rush University Medical Center
Assistant Professor in the Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
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Basic Infertility Evaluation
The basic infertility evaluation (BIE) involves many routine tests to evaluate key female and male factors in the reproductive process. During your initial evaluation with your physician, tests will be ordered that suit the individual needs of you and your partner. As the monitoring of an entire cycle requires many visits to the office, please make accommodations to your work and home schedule to complete all of your testing.
Bloodwork is usually performed at every visit to our office. We monitor your hormone levels through bloodwork and routinely draw certain hormones (Estradiol, Progesterone, Luteinizing Hormone, and Follicle Stimulating Hormone) to track follicular growth, ovulation, and ovarian reserve.
Transvaginal ultrasounds are performed in office to evaluate the uterus and ovaries, particularly follicular development and growth, and are used in conjunction with bloodwork to evaluate the female’s cycle. These ultrasounds can also be used in the diagnosis of fibroids, abnormal bleeding, or other conditions.
The purpose of the FemVue procedure is to evaluate the fallopian tubes to determine if they are patent (open). The uterine cavity is also evaluated for any abnormalities that may need to be addressed.
Saline Ultrasound (SIS)
A saline ultrasound evaluates the uterine cavity for any potential abnormalities or filling defects.
Post Coital Test (PCT)
The post-coital test is performed to evaluate the interaction between the female’s cervical mucus and her partner’s sperm around the time of ovulation. The test is performed in office prior to a transvaginal ultrasound.
Similar to a transvaginal ultrasound, the 3D ultrasound is performed to evaluate the uterus, but it focuses on evaluating the uterine shape to rule out any potential anomalies. The 3D ultrasound is performed in the luteal phase of the cycle.
Analysis of the partner’s semen is necessary for a complete fertility evaluation. The test will require a requisition form, provided by our office. The patient or partner is responsible for making an appointment with Rush Andrology Department, located in Suite 119 of the Professional Building. To schedule an appointment, call (312) 563-4024. Your partner will need to abstain from ejaculation 3-5 days in advance of this test, but no more than one week. If transporting a sample from home, additional consent forms are necessary.
Patients have the option to undergo genetic testing, referred to as the Family Prep Screen, to learn about any inherited diseases they may carry that could affect their future family. This test is performed by Counsyl and provides your physician with better information regarding potential issues related to conception and pregnancy.
To learn more, visit https://www.counsyl.com/
A Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an outpatient X-ray procedure used to perform an evaluation on the patency of the fallopian tubes and the uterine cavity. Similar to a FemVue in evaluation, HSGs differ in that they inject contrast dye through the cervical opening into the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Depending on the reason for your initial visit, your physician may recommend that an endometrial biopsy be performed to ensure that the lining of the uterus is healthy. Endometrial biopsies are usually performed on patients with a history of abnormal uterine bleeding or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
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Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
An intrauterine insemination involves washing the sperm and injecting the sperm straight into the uterine cavity. Sometimes, your physician will recommend an intrauterine insemination, which can help alleviate certain issues with mild-to-moderate male factor infertility, cervical mucus insufficiency, or unexplained fertility. The sperm sample is produced, washed, and processed at Rush’s Clinical Andrology Lab (Suite 119), then transported to our office for the procedure. An appointment with the Andrology Lab will be required.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In Vitro Fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure often referred to as IVF. In the process of IVF, a women’s eggs are extracted from her ovaries then manually injected with a male’s sperm in order to create embryos. One or more embryos is then transferred back to the women directly into the uterine cavity. IVF is usually reserved for those with such fertility issues as endometriosis, moderate to severe male factor infertility, blocked fallopian tubes, ovulatory issues, or unexplained infertility.
There are 5 phases of IVF Stimulation:
1. Ovarian Stimulation
During the first phase of the IVF stimulation cycle, a patient will take medication to recruit multiple follicles. This medication is self-administered and the patient is monitored closely through blood testing and ultrasound to follow the development of the follicles. Once your physician thinks your eggs are matured enough, you will take a trigger injection of HCG to prepare the follicles for their removal. This trigger injection is timed and dictates when the egg retrieval will take place.
2. Egg Retrieval
Egg retrieval is performed by your physician in the Rush Center for Advanced Reproductive Care, located in Suite 217 of the Professional Building. The patient is placed under light IV sedation while the eggs are removed. This is an outpatient procedure and once the patient feels well enough she can return home.
Once the eggs are collected, the embryologist will count and identify the mature eggs and inject them with the partner’s sperm. The embryologist will continue to monitor the development for the next 3-5 days and determine, in conjunction with your physician, whether or not the embryos should be transferred 3 days or 5 days after the egg retrieval. If there are additional embryos that will not be transferred, they can be frozen for future use.
4. Embryo Transfer
When it has been determined whether there will be a Day 3 or Day 5 transfer, you will return to the Rush Center for Advanced Reproductive Care for your embryo transfer. The transfer is performed by your physician with abdominal ultrasound guidance to ensure the embryo(s) are placed accurately in the uterine cavity. Once the transfer is complete, you will return home and your physician will recommend 48 hours of decreased activity.
In the event of enlarged ovaries, an abnormal uterine lining, or the need to perform tests on the embryos, all embryos may be frozen and transferred at a later date.
5. Follow-Up Ultrasound and Blood Tests
Patients who undergo embryo transfer will be asked to return to the office for bloodwork and ultrasound monitoring in the days after the transfer. A pregnancy test will be drawn between 7-14 days after the transfer. Ultrasounds and other blood tests will be performed to monitor other hormones to determine if any changes to medications will be necessary.
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
A Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is a cycle in which a previously frozen embryo from a fresh IVF cycle or donor egg cycle is thawed and transferred back into the woman’s uterus.
A hysteroscopy is an outpatient procedure, performed with the patient under anesthesia, to evaluate the uterine cavity. Your physician will use a hysteroscope, a slim tube with a light and camera, which she inserts through the cervical opening to assess the uterus for any abnormalities. Such irregularities could include fibroids, polyps, adhesions, scar tissue, a septum, or any other conditions that affect the patient’s fertility. If any irregularities or abnormalities are discovered, corrective action can be taken at that time.
Sometimes during evaluation, it is discovered that one or both fallopian tubes are blocked. In certain cases, the patient can have an outpatient procedure that will cannulate (open) the fallopian tube(s). This procedure is performed in the Interventional Radiology Department. Interventional radiologists will place a catheter in the uterus, then inject contrast dye through the catheter to identify the blockage. Once identified, another catheter is threaded through the fallopian tube to open the blockage.
A laparoscopy is an outpatient procedure in which a laparoscope, a small tube-like camera, is inserted through an incision in the belly button to evaluate the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes externally. This procedure can aid in the diagnosis of endometriosis, scar tissue, fibroids, and any other abnormalities. If any defects are found, instruments can be inserted through the same incision point in order to take corrective measures.
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Women’s Health Consultants does its best to provide patients with the support and information necessary to achieve their goal of becoming parents. Patients with differing fertility issues have many options in the continuation of their treatment and care.
There are many options for patients who have decided to move forward with egg donation. Women’s Health Consultants works with the patients to help them find the best candidates for egg donation, as well as to assist in the medical evaluation of potential candidates. We want to ensure that patients know all their options when deciding between fresh egg donation and frozen egg donation. We work with three donor agencies, who have provided many of our patients the opportunity to begin or expand their families. All donors and recipients go through extensive screening mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which cover infectious disease screening. Other aspects recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine include genetic disease screening and general health issues.
Women’s Health Consultants works with patients to help them choose the best candidates when exploring sperm donation. Patients have the option to use frozen samples from one of the country’s licensed cryobanks or use someone that they already know. Thorough screening is performed by the cryobanks prior to allowing a male to donate sperm. Should patients decide to use sperm from a known donor, the same testing will be performed prior to insemination at our office. Your physician may recommend that bloodwork be drawn prior to selecting your donor. This may assist you in your selection process.
Deciding upon a gestational carrier can be a very challenging process. Women’s Health Consultants is here to provide its patients with the best possible emotional, medical, and financial counseling during this time. Whether you use a known donor or you go through an agency, the candidates will be interviewed and screened by your physician to ensure that they are medically sound to carry a successful pregnancy. Candidates will undergo extensive blood testing recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, as well as go through a psychological screening to cover potential psychological risks associated with the gestational carrier process, including the effects of relationships with her family and the intended parents. Women’s Health Consultants is also here to provide guidance in selecting legal counsel for contracts required in this process.
Embryo adoption is a lesser known option of third party reproduction for those with fertility issues. Couples who have gone through IVF and have embryos remaining can choose to donate those embryos to another couple for implantation. If you decide that embryo adoption is something you wish to pursue, your physician can discuss all the potential options and the necessary steps in the adoption process.
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At Women’s Health Consultants, we are proud to help lesbian and gay couples achieve their dream of becoming parents with the assistance of fertility treatments. After an initial consultation with your physician and diagnostic testing for each interested partner, your physician will meet with you to review options and develop a protocol that works for you.
Reproductive Options for Lesbian Couples
Lesbian couples have the option of undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor sperm in order to start or grow their families. In some cases, reciprocal IVF is performed in which one partner’s eggs are fertilized with donor sperm and placed in to the other partner’s uterus to carry the pregnancy.
Reproductive Options for Gay Couples
For gay couples attempting to start or grow their families, an egg donor will be required. Couples can go through a donor egg agency, or use a known donor who has gone through all the necessary FDA screening and was determined to be fit to donate her eggs. They will also require a gestational carrier, which can be found using a surrogacy agency and will require clinical evaluation prior to treatment.
Reproductive Options for Transgender Patients
Transgender men and women have the option of undergoing fertility preservation treatment prior to their transition. To learn more, please schedule a consultation with one of our physicians to fully understand your options.
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Elective Egg Freezing
Elective egg freezing is an option for women who wish to delay having children, but want to ensure that when they do wish to have children, advanced maternal age is not a negative factor. These women, usually in their late twenties or early thirties, choose to freeze their eggs in order to use their own eggs in the future when the timing is better. It is becoming much more popular as more and more women are waiting to have children as they pursue higher education or advanced career paths. The process for egg freezing is similar to the IVF process, though there is no transfer of embryos back to the patient. The patient will be on injectable medications for up to two weeks before the eggs are retrieved and frozen.
Fertility Preservation Prior to Treatment
Some women may wish to preserve their fertility prior to undergoing chemotherapy or radiation that will affect the pelvic area. The options available are dependent upon the oncology treatment schedule. For those with more time prior to their treatment, egg or embryo freezing is an option. For patients whose treatment will begin sooner, there are some medications that can be used in an attempt to shut down ovarian function with the hopes of allowing for ovarian function to return after treatment.
For additional cancer support, visit www.GildasClubChicago.org
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We know that fertility treatment can be a stressful time for patients, both physically and emotionally, and we want to ensure that your financial stress is limited. We feel that the more patients know about their own insurance coverage and potential out-of-pocket expenses, the better equipped they will be in deciding whether or not to move forward with treatment.
Accepted Healthcare Plans
We currently accept the following Healthcare Plans:
- Aetna: PPO, POS
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois: PPO
- Cigna: Open Access Plus, PPO, POS
- Cigna/Allegiance: Rush Employees
- Great-West Healthcare: PPO, Open Access Plus
- Humana: PPO, POS
- MultiPlan: PPO
- United Healthcare: PPO, POS
*Please be advised that there may be insurance plans not listed above that provide out-of-network benefits. We will verify insurance coverage prior to your initial consultation to verify your specific benefits. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider to ask questions about your coverage. Refer to Questions to Ask Your Insurance to ask more detailed questions. Please note that in rare cases, your insurance provider will provide Women’s Health Consultants with incorrect information. Should any discrepancies occur, you are responsible for payment, but are encouraged to dispute the issue with your provider.
*Please be advised, we do not take HMO or Medicaid plans.
Our Front Desk Staff will ensure that your insurance is verified prior to your initial visit. As a courtesy, we verify infertility benefits. We recommend that patients also call their own insurance to verify benefits and understand their coverage. Our staff is trained to answer basic insurance questions regarding coverage, co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses. We also ask that patients bring their current insurance card to every visit to ensure that we have the updated insurance at all times.
Our Insurance Coordinator is trained to answer more complicated questions and speaks directly with your insurance company to verify your benefits. He is also in charge of receiving prior authorizations for procedures should they be required. If you have any other questions that the Front Desk cannot answer, feel free to contact the Insurance Coordinator. Our Insurance Coordinator is available Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm.
Our Billing Coordinator works closely with our billing company and can answer questions regarding insurance filings, balances due, self-pay pricing, out-of-pocket expenses, and related issues. Our Billing Coordinator is available Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm.
Women’s Health Consultants uses AEM Billing Service. Patients are encouraged to call AEM with any denials, balances due, or more complicated insurance questions.
Phone: (773) 283-1409
Based on the service provided, you may receive bills from companies other than Women’s Health Consultants, such as Quest Diagnostics, anesthesiology, or other professionals. If you have any questions regarding bills from those companies, we ask that you contact them directly with your questions.
Fertility treatments and services can be quite expensive, especially for those without insurance coverage. Luckily, this does not have to mean that patients cannot move forward with treatment. Loans specifically designated for fertility treatments are becoming more readily available for patients. If fertility loans are of interest, our Billing Coordinator can provide you with information on a multitude of options.
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To schedule clinic appointments, you can call the main appointment line. Any questions regarding bloodwork, medication, or next steps should be directed to the Nursing Line. All calls will be triaged according to their urgency. Less urgent calls or those that do not include specific details, such as first and last name, phone number, and what the call is regarding, shall be returned within 72 hours.
Appointment Line: 312-942-3824
Nurse Line: 312-942-3835
Specialty Pharmacy Contact Information
Fertility medications are specialty medications and not available at your local pharmacy. It is the patient’s responsibility to call for refills on medications and coordinate with their specialty pharmacy to ensure medications are delivered on time. Questions about pricing of medications should also be directed to your specialty pharmacy, which is dictated by your insurance company.
- Accredo Specialty Pharmacy: 877-222-7336
- Braun Pharmacare: 773-549-0634
- Briova Specialty Pharmacy: 855-427-4682
- CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy: 877-408-9742
- Freedom Fertility Pharmacy: 800-660-4283
- Optum RX: 800-791-7658
- Rush Professional Office Building Pharmacy: 312-563-2245
Though the clinical staff will teach all patients how to take their injectable medications, there are many resources online that also provide step-by-step video instructions.
When a couple deals with problems of infertility, attention is focused on the physical aspects of the problem. The goal of “getting pregnant” becomes a journey through medical procedures. The emotional aspects of infertility are often neglected, although how one feels during this journey is equally important.
We understand that fertility treatment can be a very stressful and emotional time for patients. We have found that some patients have benefited from counseling during this time. If you or your partner wishes to speak with someone to help deal with the emotional aspects of fertility treatments, we will be happy to provide recommendations.
Many patients have found that acupuncture, yoga, and meditation have helped reduce stress and improve chances of success. Patients have worked with a number of acupuncturists in the Chicago area. We can provide recommendations should these services interest you.
Smoking affects blood flow to the ovaries and the cervical mucus in females and reduces sperm count and motility in males. We recommend that both partners discontinue smoking prior to attempting conception. Smoking has also proven to be a vasoconstrictor, which can impair blood flow through the placenta to the fetus, resulting in low birth weight infants.
Alcohol and Drugs
We recommend reduced consumption of alcohol for both men and women while attempting to conceive. Alcohol can reduce sperm production and cause increased sperm abnormalities. Alcohol consumption while pregnant is not recommended for females, and can gravely affect brain development in the fetus. We recommend that marijuana use is ceased prior to attempting conception, as it can affect egg quality in females and sperm production and quality in males. Complete abstinence from recreational drugs is recommended while preparing for conception and subsequent pregnancy.
Diet and Vitamin Supplementation
A healthy and balanced diet comprised of fresh foods that are not processed or full of trans fats is one of the best things you can do for yourself when attempting pregnancy. A multi-vitamin containing folic acid is a good supplement as well. Folic acid taken before and during pregnancy can reduce the risk of many birth defects. If healthy nutrition is a struggle, we can provide recommendations for nutritionists that can help.
Exercise and Weight Management
For maximum fertility, we recommend patients stay close to their ideal BMI. If you are greatly overweight or underweight, you can develop ovulation problems. Exercising regularly and staying fit can help control your weight, reduce stress, and prepare your body for pregnancy.
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NOTHING BUT WONDERFUL
“I have had nothing but a positive experience with Dr. Wood Molo and her amazing team (including Nurse Rene). Being her patient has been nothing but wonderful. Dr. Molo is warm and compassionate and works with you to see that you get the best care and result. She stood by us during our battle with infertility, including a devastating miscarriage and was very encouraging during that time. We now have a beautiful one year old as a result. I highly recommend her!"Victoria
Angie & Kyle
ALONG FOR THE JOURNEY
"You think having a baby will be easy. You'll decide when to start a family, get pregnant, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Sometimes the journey to your little miracle takes longer than you expected and it can be filled with many tears and a heavy sadness. You feel alone and hopeless. But then, you walk into your first appointment with Dr. Mary Wood-Molo and suddenly, you don't feel alone anymore. You have hope, you feel cared for, and things look brighter again. Dr. Wood-Molo and her staff showed Kevin and I compassion, kindness, and love. They sprinkled the tough days with humor, held our hands when we were scared, gave us hugs during the hard times, but most importantly, gave us hope. After some struggles and tears, we completed our "square" with two amazing children, Nora and Ryan. We are forever grateful for Dr. Wood-Molo and her determination to find a way to make our dream come true."
GRATEFUL FOR THE BLESSING THEY BROUGHT OUR FAMILY
"Being a patient of Women’s Health Consultants has been extraordinary. The whole staff is professional. They are very supportive. I am grateful for the blessing that they brought to my family, our little boy, NC. I am thankful that Dr. Wood Molo has been part of my journey. She is professional, supportive, and caring in so many ways. She has brought such happiness to our family."A.C.
DR. WOOD MOLO HAD MORE FAITH IN ME THAN I HAD IN MYSELF
"When I was 40 I sought reproductive help from another fertility group where we went straight to IVF. I went through that process twice, got pregnant once but shortly thereafter had a miscarriage. For several reasons, I wasnt confident that I was getting the best care, and received a recommendation from a trusted doctor to try Dr. Mary Wood Molo.
After my first consultation with her, I was so relieved and impressed to meet such a relatable, warm and down-to-earth doctor with an incredible "bedside manner". Science isn't my thing, and she was able to "dumb it down" for me to understand what my body was doing and what my choices were. The next four years brought me three successful pregnancies at ages 42, 43, and 44 through IUI - giving my husband and I the family of 5 we dreamed of.
The group at Women's Health Consultants, too, are amazing. It's very familial and uplifting, which I believe is necessary during this very mentally, physically and emotionally taxing time.
I sing Dr. Wood Molo's praises to anyone and everyone who will listen. I love to talk about my journey as it was so successful and I truly owe it all to Dr. Wood Molo."Julie
THERE IS NO DOCTOR WE WOULD TRUST MORE
"There is no doctor we would trust or recommend with this process other than Dr. Wood-Molo. She was with us during our 3-year roller coaster journey, and she never lost hope, especially when we were close to doing so. As soon as you meet her, you immediately know that this is her passion and that she genuinely cares for you. You're not just a number as with typical physician offices as she wants to know you personally. Dr. Wood-Molo is sweet, kind, compassionate, and she is the best at what she does. Dr. Wood-Molo made our dreams come true with our little miracle, and we could never thank her enough."Alina & Sean