While a fertility clinic visit and fertility treatments aren’t as prevalent as a trip to Starbucks, there are definitely many options to choose from. And unless your BFF or your OBGYN points you in a certain direction, deciding where to direct your care can be difficult. Whom you see and where you go can be the difference between walking away with a baby and walking away with nothing more than the same fertility issues, more side effects and never ending payment plans.
5 Must Ask Questions When Looking for a Fertility Clinic
Upon arriving for your first visit to any fertility clinic, you should have a list of questions the fertility specialist should be able to answer. Below are a list of important questions you should consider before walking into any fertility clinic.
1. Fertility Clinic Success Rates:
Fertility treatment options are moving fast. To quote our friend Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast…if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The same goes for fertility treatments! As a result, you need to make sure wherever you go for treatment options not only knows this but also practices fertility medicine on their toes.
A clinic’s success rate means being up to date with the newest techniques, treatment plans, and latest procedures. Furthermore, you want to check the success rates of the clinic and fertility specialist you are visiting and what they are doing to get those success rates. Are they putting in multiple embryo transfers to get a pregnancy, or can they achieve those success rates with a single embryo transfer? Although your goal may be to have a brood, one healthy baby at a time is the safest way to go.
2. Practice Styles:
While we all went to medical school followed by a residency and fellowship to become board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologists, the way physicians practice medicine can be very different. Some are talkers, and some are quiet. Some like to chat on the phone, and some prefer to email. While some move fast, and some move slow. Make sure that who you select as a fertility doctor matches your needs and personality. The fertility journey can be lengthy; you want to make sure you find someone who has the “death do us part”-type of feel. While you can certainly get a divorce if things get rocky, starting over puts you back at square one (minus some valuable time).
3. Take a number; we’ll see you in an hour:
Unfortunately, many fertility clinics have started to resemble factories. Patients are shuttled in and out like cattle going down an assembly line. Waiting rooms are littered with patients, and you can go an entire IUI or IVF cycle without seeing a fertility doctor who knows you by name. The IUI and IVF process is daunting and emotionally draining. It’s a process filled with hope, stress and lots of waiting around.
Before you commit to a specific fertility clinic, ask around about how the clinic functions and what previous patients who have been treated there have experienced. While it may not change your decision about where you decide to be treated, it will prepare you for what lies ahead during these big lifestyle changes.
These partnerships can be lengthy; you want to make sure you find someone who has the “death do us part”-type of feel.
We all have busy lives and schedules. Trying to squeeze in time to chat with your mom can be a challenge. Therefore, it’s important that you know when both your fertility doctor and fertility clinic will be available. Not only to speak to you, but also to see you. As we said, IUI and IVF treatments can have you filled with questions and anxiety, and all you may want some days is to just talk to your doctor. Just like personalities, you want to make sure that your schedule can effectively merge with their schedule in case you need any medical advice.
5. Honesty is key:
Sugarcoating the situation when it comes to your ability to have a child can become a “sour” situation. You need to make sure that the fertility specialist you are seeing is honest with your medical history and test results. Honest about the chance of the any treatment being successful, and the clinic’s ability to help you achieve your goal of having a baby.
6. Health Insurance:
While many fertility treatments are not covered by health insurance plans, it doesn’t hurt to ask if that specific fertility clinic takes your health insurance in any way…even to give a small discount. Treatment costs can be extremely expensive, so it doesn’t hurt to see what the clinic offers.
There are many resources you can leverage when searching for the right clinic for fertility issues. Ultimately only you will know what feels like the right fit. Friends, family and colleagues can offer sound recommendations. And, sites like Fertility IQ and My Fertility Navigator can be great resources as well. They are thoughtfully designed to help make navigating your fertility journey easier.