Marshall Health Network IVF pregnancy rates exceed national average

Thursday, January 18, 2024

William N. Burns, MD, FACOG, specializes in general infertility in women, reproductive endocrine disorders and in vitro fertilization.

Cabell Huntington Hospital’s (CHH) Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine, a member of Marshall Health Network, exceeded the national average for in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy rates in 2023, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

In 2023, the Center’s success rates for patients younger than 35 years of age were 75% compared to national success rates of 51.1% for patients of the same age group. The Center has either exceeded or matched national average success rates every year since its inception in 2004. It houses a specialized IVF laboratory where staff perform microscopic procedures such as sperm preparation for egg retrieval, embryo transfers and cryo-preservation of sperm and embryos. The entire process is performed locally.

“Because we are a smaller program in a smaller city, we are able to devote a greater amount of time and attention to each case, which is reflected in our higher success rates,” said William Burns, MD, FACOG. “We are extremely proud of our pregnancy rates, and we want to make sure those in our region and across West Virginia dealing with infertility are aware of the high-quality care available to them in Huntington.”

Under the direction of Burns, the techniques used at the IVF laboratory have become increasingly advanced over the years.

“One strategy that has become integral to our success is embryo cryopreservation, which is often referred to as freezing,” said Burns. “This allows the transfer of fewer embryos at one time thus reducing the chance of a multiple pregnancy, such as twins or triplets, which we know can increase the risks for the mother and babies.”

In addition to the IVF program, the Center also offers and encourages several simpler treatments for infertility – some of which are not commonly available nationally – for both men and women. It also offers fertility preservation for those facing circumstances that may affect their ability to conceive at a later time, such as cancer treatment.

As a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist, Burns specializes in general infertility in women, reproductive endocrine disorders and in vitro fertilization. He also serves as an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

For more information, please call Marshall OB/GYN at 304.691.1400. Appointments are available in Huntington and Teays Valley. To view the success rates for 2020-2022, visit the Center's website.