Doctor's care extends to treating couples for infertility
Pasquale Patrizio, MD, MBE
(December 2012) Yale's Pasquale Patrizio, MD, MBE, was named among the top one percent of reproductive endocrinologists in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
U.S. News collaborates with Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd., publisher of America’s Top Doctors®, a consumer directory based on nominations by other doctors. The list includes 331 top reproductive endocrinologists. Castle Connolly added Dr. Patrizio to a more selective list of 90 doctors who have achieved national recognition for outstanding work.
“I’m happy with the way my career has evolved, but this recognition was a nice surprise,” says Dr. Patrizio, who is the director of both the Yale Fertility Center and the Reproductive Endocrinology clinical practice, and associate director of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility division. He established and directs the Program of Fertility Preservation for cancer patients at Yale, which works in close collaboration with Smilow Yale Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.
The Yale Fertility Center offers all proven services to women facing infertility, including in vitro fertilization, pre-implantation genetic diagnoses and oocyte (or embryo) freezing.
Dr. Patrizio, who is internationally known for his work and discoveries, is especially concerned with treating couples, since 40 percent of cases of inability to conceive are due to male infertility. In addition to his knowledge of female reproduction, his training includes andrology (male diseases affecting the male reproductive system), and his clinical work is supported by the Yale Sperm Physiology Laboratory, an andrology research and diagnostic program.
“Very few specialists are able to treat infertility in both men and women as a couple,” Dr. Patrizio says. “Typically, male infertility is treated by a urologist, while a woman will see a reproductive endocrinologist. The opportunity for both partners to see one doctor can be very comforting during a very stressful time.”
Dr. Patrizio is a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine at Yale, but his passion for the field goes back to his days as a medical student at University of Naples in Italy. “I chose this field because it’s very new, and it deals with the mystery of life and not the tragedy of death,” he says. “What are the processes that provide and regulate the making of gametes (eggs and sperm), and how an egg is fertilized and the resulting embryo develops to finally produce a live birth? I’ve always been fascinated by such biological questions, and at the end, it’s really like trying to find an answer to how life begins.”
Dr. Patrizio came to Yale in 2004 from University of Pennsylvania, where he was director of the Male Infertility Program and a postdoctoral student in bioethics. He also studied reproductive endocrinology at University of California in Irvine, andrology in Italy and cryobiology in Israel.
One of his most recent and exciting projects is coming up with a way to better inform women who postpone childbirth because of careers or other reasons, so that they will think about their reproductive options—including egg and embryo freezing—while they are young.
He has also devoted research toward finding ways to provide successful infertility treatment without the side effect of multiple pregnancies. “We’re working on methods to identify competent embryos, so that we can choose the best embryo to work with,” he says. “Actually, we are also working on how to identify the most competent egg for fertilization.”
Dr. Patrizio said some of the credit for the Top Doctors recognition should go to his coworkers and support team. “A good team is always critical. It’s never a one-person job. We have a great group of enthusiastic people treating our patients,” he says.