Becoming a Parent
Wilmington Fertility Center offers treatment and hope
The journey to parenthood can be among the most challenging experiences in life especially when things don’t go as expected. DR. DONNA R. SESSION is a reproductive endocrinologist and was recently named medical director of the new Wilmington Fertility Center. She brings twenty-five-plus years of specialized experience to one of the few in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers in Wilmington.
Wilmington Fertility Center is a member of the Boston IVF fertility treatment network where fertility doctors and scientists create treatment plans for infertility. The Wilmington center offers treatment options including IVF; intrauterine insemination to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes; genetic testing to boost embryo implantation, reduce miscarriage and identify hereditary disorders; male infertility evaluations; LGBTQIA fertility care; and egg freezing for individuals who want to preserve family options until the time is right.
Other treatments include oncofertility which bridges oncology and reproductive research for options for the reproductive future of cancer survivors; single-parenting options; polycystic ovarian syndrome care; and both donor egg and donor sperm procedures.
Session attended medical school in the 1980s at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia at the encouragement of her father, a pediatrician. IVF was quite innovative at that time. DRS. HOWARD and GEORGEANNA JONES were launching the first-ever IVF treatment program in the county at the school and ultimately made history by assisting in the first IVF pregnancy in the U.S.
“The Joneses’ unique achievement truly spoke to me and directly influenced my decision to pursue a career in helping individuals and couples achieve parenthood,” recalls Session who says Georgeanna Jones was a life-changing mentor to her.
Georgeanna Jones, who herself was confronted with balancing a career and the possibility of becoming a mother, encouraged Session to not delay her own family-building journey. “She was a role model for all women and all people. Her life story and work is tremendous and inspiring,” Session adds.
The most challenging aspect of Session’s role as a fertility doctor is also what drives her. “Every patient is unique. And that’s not a cliché. It’s the truth. Human reproduction and an individual or couple’s ability to become pregnant is unpredictable by nature,” Session says. “I’m grateful to be a part of an organization that has vast experience with difficult cases.”
Session shares advice for anyone who wants to become a fertility doctor: “Become truly selfless. Put yourself directly in the shoes of your patients. Every word you speak and every patient interaction matters. Feel the emotions your patients are experiencing and channel it. Be by their side. Give them hope.”
Session concludes, “My hope and dream for the center is that local residents feel empowered by this new local healthcare option, that our care is accessible and trusted, and that there’s an engrained, local support system for all people if they wish to build a family.”
To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to michaelclinephoto.com.
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