State College Magazine

Fertility services for couples in Happy Valley

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When a couple is trying to start a family and are having difficulty getting pregnant, it can cause a great deal of stress. For these couples, Geisinger offers fertility treatment in the immediate region.

Infertility, for most couples, is difficulty getting pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least one year. Issues with fertility can stem from both partners and are more common than you may think, according to Lydia Shively, a physician assistant at Geisinger Healthplex State College specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

Shively grew up in Sandy Ridge and attended Slippery Rock University for both her undergraduate degree in biology and master’s degree in physician assistant studies.

“I feel very grateful to be the first fertility provider working full time at the Geisinger State College clinic and serving the community I grew up in, especially in a career that gives me the opportunity to change lives with the treatment we provide,” she says.

Both men and women can have fertility issues. For women, risks of fertility issues increase with age, starting in the mid-30s. Common causes include:

  • Age (for women, being older than 35)
  • Cancers and their treatments
  • Endometriosis
  • Lifestyle (e.g., smoking, excessive stress, extreme weight gain or weight loss)
  • Ovulation disorders (e.g. polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

“Dealing with infertility can be an unexpected and immense stressor in people’s lives,” Shively says. “We approach each patient with compassion to ensure they feel well supported throughout their fertility journey both physically and mentally.”

Couples who have been trying to conceive for a year without success should consider seeing a fertility specialist. However, this timing may vary based on age and the situation. The goal is to determine the cause of infertility and create a care plan that’s tailored to the couple’s specific needs.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, tubal issues, recurrent pregnancy loss, male factor issues and unexplained infertility are some of the factors that may contribute to fertility issues.

“We complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine the best treatment option with an individualized approach for each patient and their partner,” Shively says.

Geisinger offers treatments including:

  • ovulation induction with fertility medications
  • timed intercourse
  • Intrauterine Inseminations (IUIs)
  • preimplantation genetic testing
  • reproductive surgery as well as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Additionally, treatments utilizing donor sperm, donor egg and donor embryo are available. For patients wanting to preserve their fertility, Geisinger offers egg cryopreservation (freezing).

“Our goal is to help patients grow their families,” Shively says. “Many patients have had success with us, and we are excited to extend these options to the people of the State College and surrounding areas to make fertility care more easily accessible.”

To make an appointment with Lydia Shively log onto MyGeisinger or call 800-230-4565.


Lydia Shively PA-C specializes in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) at Geisinger Healthplex State College.

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