Take time to study any fertility clinics you’re considering. Fertility testing and treatment can be expensive and time-consuming, so pick carefully.
Choosing the finest fertility clinic near me is subjective. Your friend’s favorite clinic may not be yours. Ask your friends, doctor, insurance company, and local support group for clinic referrals, but research them yourself.
Clinic study reveals:
- CDC fertility clinic report (more on that below)
- SART website (includes outcome stats for clinics)
- By calling or visiting a clinic
- By talking to patients (found through local infertility support groups)
- By consulting with your doctor
A clinic’s doctors determine its success. You may be given one doctor or visit several on a rotational basis, depending on the clinic. Both have pros and cons, but you want one doctor as your main contact and case manager.
When Choosing A Doctor, Consider:
- Are they patient? Can testing and treatment questions be emailed? If they won’t meet with you before you pick them up, they may not see you as a patient. Not answering your inquiries right away isn’t good.
- Where did they train? Are they endocrinologists? Are they ASRM members? Since when do they treat infertility?
- Does your clinic have an andrologist? Urology? ART? An andrologist and/or urologist can cooperate with a reproductive endocrinologist to treat male infertility. Endometriosis or structural difficulties require a reproductive surgeon.
- Are they linked with hospitals? Is your insurance accepted? Even if your insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatment, you’ll require hospitalization coverage.
- What’s the clinic director’s tenure? The other employees? The longer they stay at the clinic, the smoother operations are.
- Does the clinic have reproductive endocrinologists? Who will manage your case? Who will you meet during your visits? Complex cases benefit from teams. Alternating doctors might feel impersonal.
Financial Questions Include:
- Is insurance accepted? How about insurance claims? If not, will they give you insurance paperwork?
- What do testing and treatments cost? Your insurance covers what? What’s included in the prices? Does IVF pricing include drugs and monitoring? Embryo storage? If not, what’s the cost?
- Are there payment plans? Will you have to pay anything in advance? What? What happens if you cancel IVF before egg retrieval?
- Do you provide financing? Does the facility accept Attain Fertility Centers or ARC Fertility Program financing? Do physicians or staff receive bribes or financial incentives for fertility financing? (If yes, be sure the financial program is best.)
- IVF refund program? These services cost a big upfront fee but offer a money back if you don’t conceive after a specified number of cycles. Be wary of clinics that push for greater ovarian stimulation or transfer too many embryos to increase success rates. Make sure the refund program gives you a vote on how many embryos are transplanted and the time to recuperate between rounds (more than a month).
Ask The Doctor:
- What’s the treatment age limit? FSH cutoff?
- Where are testing and treatments performed? Does the clinic have an on-site lab? If outside the clinic, how far?
- What techniques are available? IVF? ICSI? Blastocyst transfer or ART? Where are the procedures done? What hospital? Can tests and treatments be done closer to home if you live far from the clinic?
- What donor/surrogacy possibilities exist? Do clinics have donation programs or must you hire an agency? If they offer a donation program, may you utilize an agency instead? Donate embryos? What if you give spare embryos to an infertile couple or science? Do they help?
- What procedures do they recommend? Will they try ovarian stimulants or IUI before IVF? They’ll attempt how many IUI cycles? One clinic’s treatment approach may be better for you than another’s.
- How many embryos per cycle? The doctor or patient determines how many embryos to transfer. ASRM advises transferring one embryo each cycle for women under 35 with a fair prognosis. For 35-37-year-old women with a decent prognosis, they recommend transferring two or three embryos. For ages 38 to 40, transfer no more than four; for 41 and 42, no more than five. Even at age 42, they recommend transplanting no more than three blastocyst embryos every cycle. Every circumstance is different.
- Who cancels the cycle if the reaction is poor? Can the cycle be sustained even if success is unlikely?