Lancaster Physician Summer 2021 - 30

L A N CA S TERMED I CALSO C IET Y. O R G
Perspectives
" I don't take a myopic approach, " said
Butts. " I look at patients holistically and
consider how their overall health can affect
fertility and pregnancy. "
Butts celebrates the advances made in
the field of fertility treatment during the
past four decades, but shares the concern
that treatment is not equally available to
all who need it.
" I view this as a justice issue, " she said.
" If people want to have a family and we can
help with that, that's what we should do. "
That help should not be limited to a man
and woman attempting to have a baby,
she said, but extended to members of the
LGBTQ community and women seeking
to pursue a family on their own.
Butts estimates that only about 25 percent
of people who could benefit from fertility
treatment services receive them but is optimistic
that more and more people will gain
access and eventually costs will go down.
Telehealth has been a boon in enabling access
to care in this area during the pandemic, and
she hopes it will continue.
" Telehealth is one of the best things to
come out of this crazy time we live in, "
she said.
In addition to IVF treatments, which have
advanced greatly in the U.S. since the birth of
Elizabeth Carr in 1981, Butts is enthusiastic
about improvements to the technology of
freezing eggs and sperm.
While sperm and eggs have been frozen
for later use for many decades, the process
LANCASTER 30
PHYSICIAN
Although the topic of fertility issues is
sensitive and conversation about it often
difficult, Butts encourages anyone having
trouble conceiving to speak with friends
or family members who have had similar
experiences, or to seek help from an experienced
professional.
of freezing eggs has been greatly improved
thanks to a relatively new technique known
as vitrification, which flash freezes eggs,
making them better suited for use.
" Once vitrification was established as
an option, we became much more adept at
freezing and saving eggs, " explained Butts.
" That's huge for someone like a 24-yearold
who learns she has leukemia and needs
chemotherapy, because she can freeze her
eggs, which gives her an option for having
babies in the future. "

Lancaster Physician Summer 2021

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