Facing Fertility Issues on the High Plains


The gift of life looks a little different for some families in 2014.

"Infertility's one of the most complicated things that we do here at our office, because there's so many different facets to it," Dr. Brian Eades, a local OB/GYN said. 

Fertility issues are nothing new, but the ways in which couples or individuals can create a family have become much more expansive.

One of Dr.Eades patients, Amanda Dawson had her own family with three kids when she decided to act as a surrogate for another Panhandle couple.

"It was always just on my heart and in my mind," Dawson said, "When my friends said that their friends were looking for a surrogate, I just remembered having that desire to do that. We contemplated it for a couple months and just tried to figure out if it was the right time for us. If it would work with our family."

Beyond surrogacy, some people choose in vitro fertilization or embryo adoption. 

That's where things can get complicated in our area. Locally, preliminary courses of treatment are available to men and women facing infertility, but when considering advanced procecures like IVF, they'll have to go somewhere else.

"It wasn't that long ago that in order to have an in vitro cycle, you had leave town for a month," Dr. Eades said. 

"All in vitro fertilizations are usually referred to either our Lubbock program at Texas Tech in Lubbock, or of course patients are welcome to go to any program around the country," Dr. Robert Kauffman, with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center said. 

That was the case for Dawson. She traveled to Las Vegas for procedures as a surrogate. That's the other thing about advanced procedures, they can be expensive

"They had the ability and the resources to go and to pay for that, but a lot of people don't," Dawson said.  

At the end of the day, Dawson says, helping one family to grow was worth it.

"You know, knowing it was their embryo, it was their baby, I really was just a carrier. And I was able to give them this gift, and seeing them with him was awesome. It was so good," Dawson said.

A good ending to one couple's infertility, and a beginning of a new family.

The hope for many facing infertility.

"You have to really embrace that difference you see in patients," Dr. Kauffman said. 

Patients, who this day age have so many more options.

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