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3 Things You Should Consider About Your Fertility Clinic
a blog by Claire, December 11, 2012
If you're trying to decide which fertility clinic is right for you, you may have to dig a little deeper than fertility treatment costs and success rates to find your perfect match. As technology advances and fertility doctors perform more intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles each year, the gap between clinic success rates closes. Many clinics offer financing plans, refund programs, and competitive pricing- so when it comes to setting clinics apart from one another, what's a girl to do? There are other things that factor into the equation for choosing the right fertility clinic. We've got 3 things you probably haven't considered about your fertility clinic, but definitely should!
- Is your fertility clinic a rotating practice or a one-man operation? There are definite pros and cons to each type of practice. A fertility practice that allows you to work with one doctor will guarantee you see the same doctor each visit, but may be more of a challenge when securing appointments, planning treatments, or asking questions to the treatment team during non-scheduled hours. Depending on the size and type of practice, you may have all of your ultrasounds performed by your doctor or by a nurse or tech on staff. In a rotating practice, you will likely see your fertility doctor for all consultations and follow-up meetings, but will see whichever doctor is on schedule when it comes to the day-to-day ultrasounds and procedures. This might include seeing another doctor in the practice for your egg retrieval and embryo transfer. The benefits to working with rotating doctors in a larger clinic is they can accommodate your schedule more readily, may have a greater number of patients cycling, and may have higher success rates based on sheer number of cycles performed. But again, success rates aren't everything!
- What’s the wait time on new patient consultations? Most fertility clinics have at least some wait time, but depending on your diagnosis and age, you may not want to wait too long. Current ASRM guidelines say a woman over 35 should seek a consultation with a fertility doctor after 6 months of trying to conceive unsuccessfully. A woman under 35 should do so after one year. However, you shouldn’t spend several months waiting on an appointment when your biological clock is ticking. The solution? Schedule a few consultations. Just like your high school guidance counselor encouraged you to apply to several colleges to expand your options, you want to make sure you find the fertility clinic that is a good fit for you and can get you moving on the path to parenthood sooner than later. By all means keep the appointment with the high demand fertility doctor, but check out your other options in the meantime.
- What’s the vibe in your fertility clinic’s front office? Does it smell like sanitizing spray and all the magazines are in perfect order? Or could the waiting room stand to be spruced up? Does the staff smile and seem to love their jobs or is there high turnover and staff that’s stretched thin? The front office is a big indication of how the rest of the practice operates. Some of the best fertility clinics treat their staff well, praise them for their hard work and long hours, and make accommodations for essential staff members during inclement weather to ensure they are safe and available to patients with time-sensitive needs. If the staff is happy, the sentiment will be contagious. A smile goes a long way when you’re feeling bummed about infertility.
Choosing your fertility doctor or clinic can be very stressful, but with the help of our Patient Care Coordination team, you can leave the hard work to us. Let us know how these concerns rank on your list of important qualities a fertility clinic should have. We’ll do the research and scheduling for you! Fill out our contact form for more information.
Swing by Fertile Thoughts to let us know some other Must-Have Qualities you look for in a fertility doctor or fertility clinic.