Northwell Health said Thursday it has opened its Reproductive, Endocrinology and Infertility Center within the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital on East 64th Street.
The center includes an assisted reproductive technology laboratory that provides patients with in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg and tissue freezing, and embryo banking capabilities.
IVF is a procedure in which an egg is combined with sperm outside a woman’s body to create an embryo that is later transferred into the woman’s uterus.
The $25 million, 11,421-square-foot facility is led by Dr. Nicole Noyes, chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility for Northwell.
The laboratory contains two video-recording “embryoscopes” that sequentially capture images of the developing embryo over days. These images are converted into movies for evaluation without disturbing the embryo itself, allowing the embryologist to see minute-to-minute changes that serve as predictors of viability.
The facility also houses a sperm collection and men's health suite.
New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health recently said it also plans to expand its current lab at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.
The popularity of in vitro fertilization in New York is expected to climb after Jan. 1, when a provision takes effect requiring many employers with at least 100 workers to cover some fertility treatments, including three IVF cycles. In vitro fertilization can cost up to $20,000 per cycle, which most patients now pay out of pocket, experts said.
The new regulations also require companies of all sizes to cover "medical fertility preservation," which includes freezing sperm for men and eggs for women in the event of medical complications such as cancer treatment with chemotherapy.
Other health systems in the region are also investing in infertility care. For example, Stony Brook Medicine in April opened its $6.5 million reproductive endocrinology and fertility center, Island Fertility. The Commack center serves 60 to 80 patients a day, Stony Brook said.
Manhattan-based New Hope Fertility in September opened its first Long Island location, in Jericho.