Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2014 Top Doctor: Millie Aliva Behera, MD

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FERTILITY

Med School/Year Graduated: University of Saskatchewan, 1999
Years in Practice: 15

Who or what inspired you to become a fertility specialist?
Early in my OB-GYN residency, I shared many joyous moments with families during childbirth. On the other hand, I also saw the pain and struggles of those that couldn’t experience that opportunity. It didn’t seem fair. Becoming a mother myself really reinforced my dedication to helping others achieve their dreams of having a family. Even now, thousands of amazing baby stories later, I am still in awe of the delicate complexity of human reproduction.

What distinguishes a fertility specialist from a rank-and-file obstetrician?
We have a symbiotic relationship. I help couples achieve pregnancy and a healthy first trimester, then they “graduate” from our program to their obstetrician for delivery. Typically, most fertility specialists are board-certified in both OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

Has a patient ever requested implantation of multiple embryos, à la the Octomom? What do you tell them?
Thankfully, not. Multiple pregnancies are risky to both the mother and the babies, thus it’s an outcome we try to avoid. We have such high pregnancy success rates with IVF that we usually recommend a safer approach, like single embryo transfer. My aim is to help couples have one healthy baby at a time. Occasionally twins can happen, but we try not to even joke about more than that!

What’s the biggest fertility myth you’ve encountered?
Many couples believe that once they see a fertility specialist, they will need to do extensive and expensive treatments. This is not always true. There are many options that can help improve chances of pregnancy based on specific underlying causes.  

Do you have any favorite old wives’ tales or superstitions about fertility?
My favorites are the ones that people believe will predetermine a baby boy or girl... like various foods, supplements, lotions, and even standing on your head for hours after sex.