How to Choose the Best Fertility Clinic | Top 10 Tips | Future Family
If you are considering going to a fertility clinic, congrats! Fertility clinics have helped millions of people grow their families and can help figure out how to help you have a baby. But when do you know you should see a fertility doctor? It is recommended that it’s time to talk to a fertility doctor if you:
- Have had more than one miscarriage
- Are a woman under 35 who has been trying to conceive for more than a year
- Are a woman over 35 who have been trying to conceive for more than six months
- Are a woman over 40 who is trying to conceive
If you fall into any of those categories, then now is a great time to start looking at fertility clinics. You may be thinking, “are all fertility clinics the same?” and based on working with some of the best clinics in the U.S. we can tell you that they are all different and have unique approaches and advantages. The right fertility doctor will be able to tell you which fertility treatment is most effective and how it can help you become a parent. While finding the best fertility doctor can seem overwhelming, here are some easy tips to help you narrow your search and find the perfect one for you.
#1: Determine what’s important to you
While the obvious first objective is to bring a healthy baby into the world, taking care of yourself is just as important when going through IVF. Do you want to have a more intimate relationship with your team? Then you may want to consider a smaller clinic. Are you more interested in having a bigger team with more resources? If so, you may want to consider a larger, more researched-based clinic, connected to a university.
#2: Ask a friend
While everyone’s IVF experience is unique, you can learn a ton from asking someone who’s been through it before. What clinic did they go to? What were they looking for? What did they like and dislike? Not only will this help you decide if you want to go to their clinic, but also help you figure out what exactly you’re looking for in a clinic in general.
"Obviously, success rates are incredibly important to us, but we definitely take a great deal of pride in how many of our clients come from referrals," says Dr. Natalia Grindler at Conceptions Reproductive Associates of Colorado. "IVF is a deeply personal experience, and referrals let us know that we are trusted providers in the community."
If you can’t get a friend recommendation, you can always check with your OBGYN for references.
#3: Location location location
Regardless of the specifics of your treatment, IVF requires quite a few visits to your fertility doctor. So think about how far you want to travel. Even though it may not seem like a huge deal at first, planning around a long trip for every appointment is an easy stress to avoid if you prioritize location in your search. Some people are fine with a longer commute if they connect with their doctors.
#4: Office hours that work for your schedule
Finding time for all of the fertility clinic appointments can be very hard if you are working a full-time job. It’s important to see if they have some days with earlier hours or evening hours that can fit it into your schedule. If not, what are their weekend office hours and can they perform embryo transfers on the weekend as well?
#5: Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies Certified
The Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) is the primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of IVF. The mission of SART is to establish and maintain standards for fertility treatments so that you receive the highest possible level of care. In order for a fertility clinic to be approved by SART it must meet the highest standards for quality, safety, and patient care. Think of SART certification as the gold standard for professionalism and medicine in fertility treatments.
#6: Ask what are the fertility clinic’s success rates
Most fertility clinics are more than happy to talk about their success rates, but make sure to ask about what are their success rates around any specific areas that you feel will impact you, like success rates in our age group or dealing with IVF patients with PCOS for example.
#7: Live birth rates to IVF cycles
Just as success rates matter, the number of cycles it took to get the live birth matter as well. Are those live births connected to multiple embryos implanted to yield the higher live birth rate? Asking how many embryo transfer cycles did it take for IVF to be successful is a key question to ask. You should look for a fertility clinic that has the highest success rate with the lower number of cycles.
When you’re researching a clinic keep in mind any specific circumstances that you have and see if you can find a place that has had some success in that area. Do they have partnerships with egg donors? Do they have experience with surrogacy? More importantly, what do their success rates look like for IVF treatments similar to what you think you’ll need?
#9: Trust Your Gut
On your quest to find a fertility doctor, don’t forget to do a gut check. For many people IVF is unlike any medical procedure they’ve ever experienced. It can be beautiful, intense, and emotional. It’s really important that you do a gut check with your clinic - that you feel welcome and safe, and that you are receiving the best possible care.
Tour your clinic before you decide (if you’re comfortable). What’s their bedside manor like? Do you feel like you could ask the fertility doctor any questions? How does it look inside? Do you feel comfortable here? How are the front desk staff?
Check out the clinic’s social media. Does it feel authentic? Do these seem like professionals you can trust? Sometimes they’ll even host live virtual events on their social channels like IVF 101. Sit in on one and see how they behave. Remember, it’s totally ok to pass on a clinic simply because you don’t feel good about them - your comfort is key.
#10 Cost and financing
Budget should not prevent you from pursuing fertility treatments (that’s literally why we’re here), but figuring out your fertility financing can help you feel like you can move forward with IVF. It’s easy to get sticker shock when you are told IVF can cost upwards of $10,000-$15,000, but there are solutions. Some states require insurers to cover some costs, and some states don’t offer IVF insurance at all. When researching a clinic you should make sure they accept your insurance. You should also check to see if your insurance covers your IVF medications or just the cost of your treatment.
Future Family can help make the financial side of things less complicated and daunting with our fertility financing. We offer low-interest fertility loans that make paying for your fertility treatments much easier. Not only do we help spread out the cost of your treatment to make IVF more accessible, we also consolidate all of your bills into one simple payment so you have less to keep track of during an already intense period.
In addition, when you work with Future Family you have access to our Fertility Coaches who are all registered nurses to answer any question. They are in your corner and will be by your side every step of the way.
Finding a fertility clinic might seem a little overwhelming, but prioritizing what you want and need specifically will really help narrow down your choices. Remember, regardless of who you end up choosing, trust that they want to help you succeed in IVF and have your best interest at heart.