If you and your partner have been trying to become pregnant without success, it can be difficult to know when it’s time to get someone else involved. Finding the right fertility clinic can seem like an overwhelming feat; depending on your location, there can be dozens of options nearby. But even if your options are more limited, how do you choose the right fertility clinic for you? We’ll explore when to visit a fertility clinic, exactly where to find one, as well as some reviews and recommendations to find the right partners to help build your family.
Not getting pregnant as soon as you’re ready may seem like reason enough to visit a fertility clinic, but there are some specific criteria to consider. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, recommends seeing a fertility specialist if you meet the following criteria:
Up to that point, you may have been discussing your fertility with your primary care physician or gynecologist. While they may be able to give you some basic information or perform general gynecological procedures, most will refer you to a fertility expert if you meet any of the above criteria.
What’s the difference between a gynecologist and a fertility expert? Well, it’s just that – a fertility expert specializes in issues related to fertility and is truly an expert in treating infertility. When it comes to having a baby, you want to be in the best possible hands.
People choose a fertility clinic for a variety of reasons. For some, it may be as simple as a referral from their primary care physician or gynecologist. If you live in one of the 15 states that currently offer some degree of infertility treatment coverage, insurance parameters may impact your decision.
The criteria for which you’re seeing a fertility specialist can have an impact on what clinic you choose, too. Depending on your fertility history, or what tests and procedures you’ll require, you may find that a doctor at one clinic is better suited to meet your medical needs.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) keeps a federal database of fertility clinics, which can also be a useful resource. The 1992 Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act requires the CDC to publish an annual ART Success Rates Report. Stats are several years behind (for example, current data is from 2016); while the information is not in real time, it will give a picture of a clinic’s success rates. The hard stats are a good place to start, whether or not you have personal recommendations or referrals.
When it comes to price, fertility treatment costs can vary widely; from the type of treatment plans and options, to the number of procedures and even clinic location, it’s difficult to give a concrete number. However, RESOLVE estimates the average cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) at more than $8,000. Medication can cost an additional $3,000-$5,000, and any specialized tests increase the cost from there. If you ultimately pursue third party reproduction with an egg donor or gestational surrogate, expenses increase significantly. While the price tag may feel overwhelming, there are several ways to finance fertility treatment.
Health insurance is the best option, but not all states are equal when it comes to coverage. Regardless of your state’s stance on insurance for infertility, it’s worth exploring your options first. Some employers will ultimately offer fertility treatment coverage as part of the company’s insurance plan.
Your fertility center may be able to offer assistance, too – many clinics offer financing to help manage the cost of treatment. They may also be able to connect you with pharmaceutical company programs to help with medication expenses.
Loan and financing programs are attainable options for many intended parents; RESOLVE offers a compendium of infertility financing programs and infertility treatment scholarships and grants to help make infertility affordable. Private loans may also be an option when financing gestational surrogacy or egg donation. CapexMD will work directly with your fertility clinic or agency as you finance your treatment.
It’s important to do your due diligence in your fertility clinic research to find the best fit – and get the best possible results. While it may seem that the most obvious choice is the clinic with the highest success rates, it doesn’t always tell the full story. Be sure the clinic is transparent with their results, and be sure you’re taking into consideration your individual situation and needs. Reviews and recommendations, whether they are from your current doctor, friends or even insurance can help narrow the options, but you ultimately need to follow your gut to select the best clinic for you.
If you find that you’ll be working with an egg donor or gestational carrier to build your family, be sure that the agency and fertility clinic can work together. At ConceiveAbilities, we are well versed in working with a wide range of clinics all over the country. We make collaborating with clinics and centers easy because of our experience; we understand the importance of exceptional communication and adapting to individual protocol. You can learn more about just some of the clinics we have partnered with in the past. Working together, we can reach the common goal – successfully building your family.
To get more information about our egg donor and surrogacy programs, contact our team. We are here to support you in every step of your journey.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.