At some point in their lives, most women have had the thought of wanting to become a mother. Some women, unfortunately, have wanted to be a mom for as long as they can remember, but they have experienced issues with infertility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.1 million women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. Locally, South Central Obstetrics and Gynecology’s physicians are working to aid women in our community who are experiencing infertility.
Robert A. DeSantis, MD
South Central Obstetrics & Gynecology
The physicians at South Central Obstetrics and Gynecology have a passion for helping couples overcome infertility. Robert A. DeSantis, MD, states, “I have practiced for over 25 years and I have had the honor of delivering over 5,000 babies. The most enjoyable part of my job is helping a couple who are trying to become pregnant, get pregnant. Sometimes it can be simple. Sometimes it can be difficult. The most important part is to sit down with the couple, work through their goals and set a plan to achieve fertility that works for everyone.”
Local couple, Russ and Ann Griffin, remember the journey to become parents vividly. Ann states, “It is something that I have wanted for as long as I can remember. The infertility journey was long and lonely. When we moved to Laurel, I had been through many procedures and I was well along my infertility journey. We were to the point of meeting with a specialist in Jackson, because I felt like we exhausted all of our options. I learned about the services available at South Central Obstetrics and Gynecology and scheduled an appointment with Dr. DeSantis. Before I met with Dr. DeSantis, my hope was very diminished because I had previously met with so many doctors and had multiple procedures. We began to discuss options and he restored that hope for me.”
Each patient’s medical history varies and there are various lifestyle conditions that can affect infertility. Dr. DeSantis explains, “There are different procedures we offer to aid in fertility. In Ann’s case, she experienced a history of endometriosis. After walking through all the options, we chose to attempt Intrauterine Insemination (commonly referred to as IUI).”
IUI is an infertility treatment that is often called artificial insemination. In this procedure, the woman is injected with specially prepared sperm. Sometimes the woman is also treated with medicines that stimulate ovulation before IUI.
“Patients who are candidates for IUI contact our office when they are ovulating, and we normally have a window of 24 to 48 hours in which we need to get that patient in to perform the procedure. Sometimes this time frame may fall on a weekend or a holiday, but having Keith Winstead, DO, available Laurel provides more flexibility of being able to cover these patients when it is not on Monday through Friday during normal business hours.”
Dr. Winstead explains IUI further. “IUI is an in-office procedure where no sedation is required. With appropriately selected patients, intrauterine insemination gives a successful option. It is hard to put a definitive number on success rates. Most couples that are going through intrauterine insemination will successfully conceive within about three to six IUI cycles.”
After working with Dr. DeSantis through the process, the Griffins’ received exciting news. Russ explains, “It was something that was nerve racking. Several months went by because it was a tricky process, but the team worked around our schedules. The day Ann found out she was pregnant with our son, Harry, we both felt joy, gratitude, some anxiety and some fears because of how long we had worked toward this goal. We were excited to share this special moment together and with the staff at South Central Obstetrics and Gynecology. To us, having care here locally was very convenient. It was comforting and helpful.”
On May 12, 2020, Harry Griffin, son to Russ and Ann Griffin, was born in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ann recalls, “There was a time where we were not sure if Russ could be at the delivery with me. It was hard to think of, but Russ was able to be there. Because of the pandemic, family could not come to the hospital. We were unable to be surrounded by family and friends like a typical situation. It was a blessing because it provided so many special moments for all three of us. Our parents met Harry over FaceTime. The nurses and doctors at South Central Regional Medical Center could not have provided better care for us. We never felt like we were alone at any time. We had constant support and when we needed something, our needs were always met. We received excellent care.”
J. Keith Winstead, OB-GYN | South Central Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dr. DeSantis adds, “It’s an exciting day when a baby is born. During COVID-19, it dampens the excitement of not having all the family there, but we try to provide that source of comfort and excitement during these difficult times. In this profession, there are lots of highs and lows. There is nothing better than seeing a couple having their baby and running around having fun. One of the things I cherish the most about living in a small town is getting to know the patients, know their families, and who they are. I love to see the parents and their children. It makes what we do as medical professionals fulfilling and makes it all worth it.”
Dr. Winstead states, “to be able to see that come to light, I would be misleading if I said I did not get a certain degree of joy from the call of a patient who says, ‘I just took my pregnancy test and it is positive.’ That is a pretty remarkable call because they are always quick to call the office and express their gratitude and their excitement. We celebrate that excitement with them.”
Ann closed by stating, “we are so blessed to have SCRMC here in Laurel. From beginning to end, having Harry at South Central was the best decision that we could have made. I would recommend this hospital to anyone who is on the journey to parenthood. The year of 2020 has been the subject of many jokes, but for our family, 2020 could not have been better. We longed for this gift for so long. Being a mom is everything and more than I dreamed it could be. It is the greatest joy of our lives. He fills a hole that was there for so long.”
South Central Obstetrics and Gynecology is located at 1002 Jefferson Street, Suite 250, in Laurel. OB-GYNs on staff include: Rachel Cudworth, DO, Robert A. DeSantis, MD, Michael Weber, MD, Keith Winstead, DO and Stacey Nix, FNP. South Central Obstetrics & Gynecology provides complete healthcare for women, such as da Vinci Robotics Gynecological Surgery, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Infertility Treatment, Menopause Treatment and more. The clinic is accepting new patients. Medicare, Medicaid and Most Commercial Insurance plans are accepted. For an appointment, please call (601) 649-5421.