Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Jan 25, 2022
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KAREN BRADSHAW reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist

About a decade ago, an interesting trend surfaced. Women were delaying childbirth until well into their 30s and more and more were having trouble conceiving.

Karen Bradshaw saw this as an opportunity to help women. Having served a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Parkland Hospital, she decided to pursue further studies in reproductive endocrinology at the same school where she’d gotten her previous medical training: Southwestern Medical.

Now she also teaches at Southwestern. Though half her time is spent in private practice, Bradshaw, 38, says she wouldn’t want to give up her academic chores. She would hate to leave “the incredibly stimulating atmosphere of medicine on the cutting edge.

“1 love being in an academic environment where you have the opportunity to rub shoulders with so many specialists and Nobel laureates and to pass something on to training physicians.”

Bradshaw’s office walls at the medical school are covered with mysterious pictures. They are just shadows on film to the uneducated eye, but with some explanation from her, they can be seen as miracles of life.

The first shows an ovary, once barren, now full of eggs after treatment with Pergonal. Another shows a “zygote intra-Fallopian transfer” a procedure Bradshaw performed to help a woman who was developing antibodies to her husband’s sperm. Now that woman has twin babies.

Another of Bradshaw’s patients suffered from Turner’s Syndrome, a condition where a missing X chromosome results in nonfunctional ovaries. After a friend donated an egg, it was fertilized with the woman’s husband’s sperm and then implanted by Brad-shaw in the woman’s uterus.

Bradshaw believes that being a woman gives her insight into the psychological issues her patients face when confronted with infertility or a hysterectomy or sterilization.

“I feel I have something extra to give them,” she says.

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