How to find the right fertility clinic

So, you decided it’s time to have a baby. You’ve pinched your pennies and decided it’s time to see a fertility specialist. So, how do you pick one? The process is a very personal one. It’s not just about picking the best doctor, because if your infertility treatment doesn’t go as planned, you want someone who can be there for you emotionally as well.

According to DocShop, there are close to 500 IVF clinics in the United States. That’s a lot, and it might seem overwhelming to get started, but don’t worry. We’re here to help.

First, look up the clinic’s success rate. Even though it’s important to have a trusting and nurturing connection with your fertility specialist, you also want to make sure they’re successful and accomplished in what they do. Similarly, see which areas they’re successful in - is it IVF? Surgery? IUI? You want a doctor who can offer you guidance but also whose plans are in line with yours.

The best way to find fertility success rates is through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent’s ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) Success Rates report. Fertility centers are required to report to the CDC every few years.

As crazy as it sounds, you can also look up Yelp reviews for a lot of fertility clinics around the country. That way, you can get an honest opinion about a center’s patient services and quality control. It’s important you feel at ease and comfortable during this process. Finally, make sure you’re prepared with the right questions. We found this list on DocShop, so you can go into your consultation confident and ready to see if this is a great fit between you and your fertility specialist:

1.     How expensive is a cycle of treatment? You want to make sure you can afford this. Make sure you get a specific number after you figure out insurance. Demand transparency here.

2.     How many patients do you see each year? While a lot of patients may be a great seal of approval, you don’t want a doctor who is too distracted or busy with other patients. You can receive some great, personalized care from a smaller clinic. It’s all about finding the right balance.

3.     Which treatments do you offer? Remember that fertility required two people (http://www.myatlantichealthsolutions.com/fertility-infertility-resources-for-patients/2016/5/16/the-top-three-male-infertility-treatments). If necessary, make sure your clinic of choice can cater to all of your and your partner’s needs.

4.     How much control does the patient have over treatment decisions? You want to make sure you have a say over the length of your cycle, medications, and the number of eggs that are implanted. Decisions like this are often at the discretion of your fertility specialist, but make sure you let your limits/thoughts be known.

5.     Who is eligible for IVF at your clinic? If the fertility clinic has specific guidelines in place for who they help, it means you know if you’re in the right place. If your clinic is willing to help any age, any health, and any fertility conditions, it might be a red flag. Either they are not very specialized or their focus is on patient volume and money.

All in all, make sure you’re comfortable and your voice is heard. For this process to work, you need to be vocal. Ask questions, make suggestions, and be honest about what you’re feeling - both physically and emotionally, and if you have a great experience, make sure you leave a Yelp review for the clinic so other wanting mothers can have the same experience.

By Joanna Hynes

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