When your OB/GYN tells you to seek out a fertility specialist you’re faced with the task of finding the right fit for your individual needs prior to even knowing what those needs are or may be. After all, you haven’t even started your fertility journey yet, how do you know which fertility clinic and fertility specialist will be right for you? Some need warm and fuzzy fertility doctors who will hold their hand, while others decide based off of statistics and success or by experience and reputation. Finding the right doctor for you can be challenging, which is why I’m here to share some tips for choosing the right fertility doctor before you start your fertility journey.
Word of Mouth on Success Rates
Your best friend may have gone to a fertility specialist whom they loved and had great success rates with their IVF cycle the first round, or your mother may have gone to medical school with so and so who is a great reproductive endocrinologist. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that’s the right doctor for you. Everyone’s treatment options and fertility diagnosis is different and it’s important to research doctors that specialize in what your specific issue may be. If you have a known autoimmune issue there are fertility doctors who further specialize in that. If your male partner has a certain diagnosis you may want to look into a doctor or a fertility clinic that has a good urologist on staff. It’s important to focus on the actual specialty than on the opinion or outcome of others. On that note, be wary of who has had success rates and where, because their journey could be completely different than yours. Remember, your friend or family member’s success rates with a specific fertility doctor doesn’t guarantee yours.
Do the Years Matter When Searching for a Fertility Clinic?
Experience and (usually) reputation are weighed on heavily when it comes to the healthcare industry. Quite often people want to know where their doctor studied and graduated from or how long they’ve been in practice and what they are known for. But are you setting yourself back by going for more mature doctors based on the number of years someone has been in practice for? When it comes to the medicine of fertility and searching for a fertility center, I often think the answer to that is yes. This is because fertility treatments are still relatively new. Today, more advancements in fertility treatments and reproductive medicine are being made, and newer doctors may actually have more fresh ideas, techniques and more assisted reproductive technology based on more up-to-date research. So, don’t rule a doctor out merely on their years of experience or a clinic’s success rates if they’ve only been in business for a few years.
A few other things that are important to pay attention to is the treatment cost and insurance coverage at each fertility clinic. The fertility journey can take a big toll on your mental health, but can also be very exciting and have you eager to get started. Keep in mind that fertility treatments typically aren’t just one treatment. There are many such as initial consultations, IVF (vitro fertilization), IUI, embryo transfers, donor eggs and other treatment plans that could be apart of your fertility treatments. If you’d really like to do some more research try checking out SART, a website that includes all fertility clinics success rates.
Do your research and remember to keep an open mind going into this process. Your know what’s best for you, you’ve got this!
Dr. Teddy Bear Versus Dr. Robot Fertility Specialists
When it comes to choosing between the warm & fuzzy doctors versus success rates and other hard facts, I always say to stick the latter with Dr. Robot. There are so many great fertility resources out there now (such as us, Robyn!) that your emotional and mental support can rely on. Your doctor, doesn’t always have to be that resource. So, when it comes to choosing your doctor you can focus primarily on skills, statistics and successful fertility treatments.
If you need the extra TLC you can elect to have outside providers in addition to your primary fertility specialist – such as what I provide with my Fertility Together business. You shouldn’t not choose a good medical practitioner with abundant success by the numbers just because you don’t appreciate their stern or overly professional tone and manner.
However, this is not to say that it doesn’t matter if you vibe with your fertility doctor or not. Because, it absolutely matters! It matters to a certain extent and you don’t want to dread where you are being treated, especially because you’ll likely be spending a good amount of time there. But if you do choose a doctor that you think will give you the best chance at success and they’re just not as jovial as you’d like, see if you can find your fertility support elsewhere in addition to the great medical care that you’ll be receiving.
Just keep in mind throughout your journey that everyone’s fertility and body is different. A doctor that worked for your best friend, could not work for you. So, do your research and remember to keep an open mind going into this process! You know what’s best for you, you’ve got this!