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Choosing a Fertility Clinic
Choosing a fertility clinic is an important decision in your family-building journey, but it can feel like a daunting task. In 2009, there were 441 fertility clinics that reported their statistics to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With all of those options, how can you choose the best fertility clinic for you?
Fertility Clinic Success Rates
While fertility clinic success rates are not the only factors that should be taken into consideration, they do offer important information about each clinic if they are read carefully. Fertility clinic success rates for clinics in the United States are published in the CDC's annual Assisted Reproductive Technology Report. Success rates include those for fresh, non-donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF); frozen, non-donor egg IVF; and donor egg IVF. Along with success rates, the ART Report lists the types of diagnoses treated and fertility treatments offered.
When looking through these success rates, it is important to read them carefully. Pay close attention to the total IVF cycles performed, as well as the types of patient diagnoses treated and the age breakdown of success rates.
Fertility Clinic Doctors and Staff
When choosing a fertility clinic, it is also helpful to take the whole fertility professional team into consideration. At many clinics, this includes infertility nurses, infertility therapists, financial advisors, embryologists and staff, as well as your fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist).
Personally visiting each fertility clinic you are considering can give you information that is not available in a report. Visiting will allow you to interact with the staff and observe how they treat their patients.
Fertility treatments often require frequent — sometimes even daily — appointments. Because of this, it is important to take the distance and location of your fertility clinic into consideration. While driving two hours to a clinic occasionally may seem feasible, it may not be realistic to do this daily.
However, some fertility clinics do offer satellite office locations aside from their main clinic, so be sure to inquire about that at your visit. Click here to search by zip code and find a fertility clinic near you.
Fertility Clinic Office Hours
Like location, office hours should probably not be the first thing you consider when choosing a fertility clinic. However, if you work full-time, especially in a place where time off is not very flexible, choosing a clinic with evening or weekend appointment hours for office visits, fertility testing and fertility treatments may be necessary.
Fertility Clinic Accreditations
It may also be helpful to choose a fertility clinic that is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). In order to be a member of SART, a fertility clinic must meet certain ethical and practical standards. SART creates practice guidelines and standards to ensure fertility clinics operate under the highest assisted reproductive technology (ART) standards. There are practice guidelines regarding assisted hatching, blastocyst transfer, and gamete and embryo donation, among other guidelines.
Fertility Treatment Cost
Fertility treatments can be costly, especially since more than one cycle of treatment is often necessary. You may want to choose a fertility clinic that accepts your health insurance plan or offers payment plans or financing.