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Choosing a Fertility Clinic

Embryology

There are many questions you should ask when choosing an infertility clinic. One important consideration is: are the physicians board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility? Studies show that specialist care increases the chance of pregnancy and reduces cost. Some doctors advertise as infertility specialists even though they have no formal advanced training.

The clinic should offer a full range of services including intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF. IUI cycles where injectable fertility drugs are used should be monitored by a specialist to reduce the chance of side effects and because too many eggs can develop leading to multiple births (>3). If this happens, a full service clinic can convert an IUI cycle to an IVF cycle where the chance of multiples is much lower.

The Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) monitors IVF clinic success rates and advertising. Success rates are reported to SART and the Centers for Disease Control every year. All reputable fertility clinics are members of SART.

Many factors, such as female age, affect IVF success rates. SART members are required to report rates by age, cycle starts, the number of multiples, etc. IVF success rates are usually higher in women under 35 years old and a clinic that doesn't report to SART might exaggerate their rates by only advertising results from this age group.

Donor egg IVF, egg freezing/storage, genetic screening and other assisted reproductive technology procedures, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), should be available.

The embryology laboratory is critical to IVF success. Review the training and education of the embryologists and the laboratories certifications.

Infertility treatments can be expensive and the clinic should offer programs that make them affordable.

Infertility is stressful and the staff should be compassionate and caring. You can review the number and quality of physician reviews at the online rating sites and some clinics post their internal patient surveys. Your first appointment gives you the opportunity to ask questions and become familiar with the specialist and staff.

See summary of infertility diagnostic and treatment services offered by Reproductive Care Center.

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