Arlene J. Morales, M.D.

Dr. Arlene Morales, MD | Fertility Specialists Medical Group, San Diego CA

Reproductive Endocrinology, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Education & Training

  • Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Goucher College in Baltimore
  • Medical Doctorate at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Internship and residency programs at Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Fellowship at the University of California, San Diego

About Dr. Morales

Growing up in a family of doctors, Dr. Morales always knew the healthcare field was the career path for her. The topic of women’s health was always a topic of discussion at the family dinner table. Her decision to become a physician came much sooner than for most people, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to become a surgeon. Dr. Morales began taking college classes in 9th grade and eventually moved to be a full-time college student shortly thereafter.

As she completed her medical training, in vitro fertilization (IVF) was in its infancy. This infertility specialty combined many of the topics Dr. Morales was interested in focusing on in medicine: technology, psychology, ethics and surgery. These are all still elements that drive Dr. Morales’s passion and commitment to her patients.

Dr. Morales founded Fertility Specialist Medical Group in 2000 with the intention of creating a clinic that serves everyone in need – no matter their situation – and focused on their family-building goals, not just the next pregnancy. When she founded FSMG, the IVF industry was a male-dominated field. Overcoming this disparity to create a successful clinic is something of which Dr. Morales is exceptionally proud.

If she had not gone into medicine, Dr. Morales would have enjoyed being a humorist. Her humor filters into her daily life and interactions with patients and staff. By finding levity and opportunities to experience joy in the most trying of times during fertility treatment, Dr. Morales hopes to keep her patients’ spirits high and focused on their long-term goals.

Dr. Morales is nationally recognized as a leader in reproductive medicine and has been named a Top Doctor in San Diego Magazine repeatedly for the past 15 years. While she values these accolades, she still believes coming in to work and helping others is her greatest privilege.

Infertility Together

Our philosophy of care

Fertility treatment isn’t about making miracles. It’s about expertise, cutting edge science, perseverance and hard work. It is also about compassion, understanding and acceptance. We treat people, not numbers.

A lot of practices aren’t philosophically aligned. FSMG is a whole team of pros behind one philosophy, believing strongly that patients should choose a fertility practice because its philosophy aligns with theirs.

Every FSMG physician practices by this philosophy daily: Infertility Together.

Learn more about our practice

Outside of the office

Dr. Morales met her now husband in college and the two have been happily married for over 35 years. During that time, the couple have raised two independent, successful daughters. Dr. Morales believes the best thing she taught her daughters was to be resilient and optimistic, a sentiment she tries to instill in her patients as well.

When not spending time with her daughters and husband, Dr. Morales is very active, enjoying biking, hiking and even “slow jogging” 23 half-marathons! She is also an integral participant in the San Diego medical community. Her areas of interest are bioethics, oncofertility and physician wellness (avoiding physician burnout). Dr. Morales strongly believes improving this area will enhance the quality of patient care.

Some of Dr. Morales’ ongoing community involvements include current administrative service for Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Sharp Memorial Hospital

  • Bioethics Committee, chair
  • OB/GYN Supervisory Committee
  • Physician Wellness Committee
  • Oncology Advisory Committee
  • Medical Staff Nominating Committee
  • Breast Program Leadership Committee

Research and publications

Recent

  • Lindheim SR, Morales AJ: Operative ultrasound using an echogenic loop snare for intrauterine pathology. Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, 2003 Feb; 10(1):107-10.
  • Lindheim SR, Morales AJ: GnRH antagonists followed by a decline in serum estradiol results in adverse outcomes in donor oocyte cycles. Human Reproduction, 2003 Oct; 18(10):2048-51.
  • Ravichandran K, McCaffrey C, Grifo J, Morales A, Perloe M, Munne S, Wells D, Fragouli E: Mitochondrial DNA quantification as a tool for embryo viability assessment: retrospective analysis of data from single euploid blastocysts transfers. Human Reproduction 2017 Jun; 32(6):1282-92.
  • Wells D, Ravichandran K, McCaffrey C., Grifo J, Morales A, Perloe M, Munne S, Fragouli E: Reply: Mitochondrial DNA Quantification- the devil in the detail. Human Reproduction 2017 Oct; 32(10):2150- 2151.

  • Morales AJ, Murphy EA, Krush AJ: The bingo model of survivorship. II: statistical aspects of the bingo model of multiplicity 1 with application to hereditary polyposis of the colon. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 1984 April; 17(4):783-801.
  • Murphy AA, Kettel LM, Morales AJ, Roberts VJ, Yen SS: Regression of uterine leiomyomata in response to the antiprogesterone RU 486. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1993 February; 76(2):513-7.
  • Kettel LM, Murphy AA, Morales AJ, Rivier J, Vale W, Yen SS: Rapid regression of uterine leiomyomas in response to daily administration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist. Fertility and Sterility, 1993 October; 60(4):642-6.
  • Morales AJ, Nolan JJ, Nelson JC, Yen SS: Effects of replacement does of dehydroepiandrosterone in men and women of advancing age. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1994 June; 78(6):1360-7.
  • Kettel LM, Murphy AA, Morales AJ, Yen SS: Clinical efficacy of the antiprogesterone RU486 in the treatment of endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Human Reproduction, 1994 June; 9 Supplement 1:116-20.
  • Reinsch RC, Murphy AA, Morales AJ, Yen SS: The effects of RU 486 and leuprolide acetate on uterine artery blood flow in the fibroid uterus: a prospective, randomized study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1994 June; 170(6):1623-8.
  • Parthasarathy S, Morales AJ, Murphy AA: Antioxidant: a new role for RU-486 and related compounds. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 1994 November; 94(5):1990-5.
  • Holden JP, Butzow TL, Laughlin GA, Ho M, Morales AJ, Yen SC: Regulation of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 during the 24-hour metabolic clock and in response to hypoinsulinemia induced by fasting and Sandostatin in normal women. Journal of Society of Gynecologic Investigation, 1995 JanuaryFebruary;2(1):38-44. Updated February 2018 Page 8 of 30
  • Murphy AA, Kettel LM, Morales AJ, Roberts V, Parmley T, Yen SS: Endometrial effects of long-term lowdose administration of RU486. Fertility and Sterility, 1995 April; 63(4):761-6.
  • Murphy AA, Morales AJ, Kettel LM, Yen SS: Regression of uterine leiomyomata to the antiprogesterone RU486: dose-response effect. Fertility and Sterility, 1995 July; 64(1):187-90.
  • Rossiter JP, Repke JT, Morales AJ, Murphy EA, Pyeritz RE: A prospective longitudinal evaluation of pregnancy in the Marfan syndrome. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1995 November;173(5):1599-606.
  • Kettel LM, Murphy AA, Morales AJ, Ulmann A, Baulieu EE, Yen SS: Treatment of endometriosis with the antiprogesterone mifepristone (RU486). Fertility and Sterility, 1996 January;65(1):23-8.
  • Kettel LM, DePaolo LV, Morales AJ, Apter D, Ling N, Yen SS: Circulating levels of follistatin from puberty to menopause. Fertility and Sterility, 1996 March; 65(3):472-6.
  • Morales AJ, Laughlin GA, Butzow T, Maheshwari H, Baumann G, Yen SS: Insulin, somatotropic, and luteinizing hormone axes in lean and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome: common and distinct features. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1996 August; 81(8):2854-64.
  • Ciaraldi TP, Morales AJ, Hickman MG, Odom-Ford R, Olesfsky JM, Yen SS: Cellular insulin resistance in adipocytes from obese polycystic ovary syndrome subjects involves adenosine modulation of insulin sensitivity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, 1997 May; 82(5):1421-5.
  • Laughlin GA, Morales AJ, Yen SS: Serum leptin levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: the role of insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1997 June; 82(6):1692-6.
  • Arroyo A, Laughlin GA, Morales AJ, Yen SS: Inappropriate gonadotropin secretion in polycystic ovary syndrome: influence of adiposity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1997 November; 82(11):3728-33.
  • Olive DL, Pritts EA, Morales AJ: Evidence-based medicine: study design for evaluation of treatment. Journal of American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy, 1998 February; 5(1):75-82.
  • Brady WA, Kritz-Silverstein D, Barret-Connor E, Morales AJ: Prior oral contraceptive use is associated with higher blood pressure in older women. Journal of Women’s Health, 1998 March; 7(2):221-8.
  • Murphy AA, Santanam N, Morales AJ, Parthasarthy S: Lysophophatidyl Choline, a chemotactic factor for monocytes/T-Lymphocytes is elevated in endometriosis. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1998 June; 83(6):2110-2113.
  • Murphy AA, Palinski W, Rankin S, Morales AJ, Parthasarathy S: Macrophage scavenger receptor(s) and oxidatively modified proteins in endometriosis. Fertility and Sterility, 1998 June; 69(6):1085-91.
  • Murphy AA, Palinski W, Rankin S, Morales AJ, Parthasarathy S: Evidence for Oxidatively Modified LipidProtein Complexes in Endometrium and Endometriosis. Fertility and Sterility, 1998 June: 69(6):1092-1094.
  • Kettel LM, Murphy AA, Morales AJ, Yen SS: Preliminary report on the treatment of endometriosis with lowdose mifepristone (RU486). American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1998 June; 178(6):1151-6. Updated February 2018 Page 9 of 30
  • Ciaraldi TP, Morales AJ, Hickman MG, Odom-Ford R, Yen SS, Olefsky JM: Lack of insulin resistance in fibroblasts from subjects with polycystic ovary syndrome. Metabolism, 1998 August; 47(8)940-946.
  • Morales AJ, Haubrich RH, Hwang JY, Asakura H, Yen SC: The effect of six months treatment with a 100 mg daily dose of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on circulating sex steroids, body composition and muscle strength in age-advance men and women. Clinical Endocrinology, 1998 October; 49(4):421-432.
  • Morales AJ, Murphy AA: Endoscopic treatment for endometriosis. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 1999; 26(1):121-33.
  • Shanti A, Santanam N, Morales AJ, Parthasarathy S, Murphy AA: Autoantibodies to markers of oxidative stress are elevated in women with endometriosis. Fertility and Sterility, 1999 June; 71(6):1115-1118.
  • Amato P, Morales AJ, Yen SS: Effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on insulin sensitivity, serum lipids, and body composition in healthy, nonobese, older men and women. Journal of Gerontology Series: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Online, 2000 May; 55(5):M260-3.
  • Lindheim SR, Morales AJ: Comparison of sonohysterography and hysteroscopy: lessons learned and avoiding pitfalls. Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, 2002 May; 9(2):223-31.
  • Lindheim SR, Morales AJ: Operative ultrasound using an echogenic loop snare for intrauterine pathology. Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, 2003 Feb; 10(1):107-10.
  • Lindheim SR, Morales AJ: GnRH antagonists followed by a decline in serum estradiol results in adverse outcomes in donor oocyte cycles. Human Reproduction, 2003 Oct; 18(10):2048-51.
  • Ravichandran K, McCaffrey C, Grifo J, Morales A, Perloe M, Munne S, Wells D, Fragouli E: Mitochondrial DNA quantification as a tool for embryo viability assessment: retrospective analysis of data from single euploid blastocysts transfers. Human Reproduction 2017 Jun; 32(6):1282-92.
  • Wells D, Ravichandran K, McCaffrey C., Grifo J, Morales A, Perloe M, Munne S, Fragouli E: Reply: Mitochondrial DNA Quantification- the devil in the detail. Human Reproduction 2017 Oct; 32(10):2150- 2151.