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Monica Halem, MD, FAAD - Interview

Monica Halem, MD, FAAD - Interview

Endofound Medical Conference 2017 "Breast, Ovary and Endometriosis" October 28, 2017 - Lotte New York Palace Hotel

Monica Halem, MD, FAAD

The New York Dermatologic Surgery Cosmetic Laser Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine


Interviewer: Hey, we're joined now by Dr. Monica Halem. Thank you so much for being here with us today. Just give us an overview of the reason why you're here today.

Monica Halem: I'm here today to really talk about something that had happened to me. I struggled a lot with fertility, and underwent something called PGD testing, or PGS testing, and when I was told about the PGS testing, way back when, I was told that it was close to a hundred percent. Then when I decided to have another child, we tested embryos. I had a lot of day 5 embryos and they all came back as abnormal. My doctor at the time, Dr. [Braverman 00:00:53] had this amazing idea of telling me that it might be that their testing isn't a hundred percent, and would I like to give it a try, and try to put one of these abnormal embryos back.

I thought he was crazy, and then decided, you know what? I am sort of at the end of my fertility journey, and would give it a try. I knew the risks, although I didn't have the risks in my heart, I had them in my head. We put four abnormal embryos back, and one of them took. I got pregnant, and was very nervous about the results. I wasn't sure what to do. We did the CVS testing, and it came back as a normal girl. I have a baby daughter, 20 months old, my second daughter.

So this embryo probably would have never been transferred. It was designated as abnormal by this PGS testing, and yet she's this, normal, amazing girl that I have.

So, I'm here today at this conference to really bring light to the fact that women have options, and that this PGS testing is not a hundred percent, and before you throw away embryos -- because that's what's been happening -- is really, you have options. So that's one thing.

The other thing I'm here to talk about is the immunology part. I also suffered from immunology problems, and suffered many miscarriages because of my immunology issues, and had to address that as well before I was ever able to carry a baby.

Interviewer: After having a quote unquote "abnormal" embryo transferred, and reading literature about things that they would have done in the past, what is it like to get that phone call to say, "Hey, everything is okay. Everything's all right." What's that like?

Monica Halem: Yeah. It was really ... I was scared. I was scared, so she's definitely a miracle, this little girl.

Interviewer: Okay. Well thank you so much for being here with us today.

Monica Halem: Thank you.

Interviewer: I really appreciate your time.

Monica Halem: Yeah, thank you for having me.