Choosing Your In Vitro Fertilization Center (IVF Clinic)
- Posted on: Jul 17 2014
There are over 400 fertility clinics across the US, and therefore choosing the right clinic may seem frustrating to some. Many couples find fertility clinics in their locality by word of mouth. Recommendations from a friend or relative, who has previously used such services, provide a good starting point.
Also, suggestions may be sought from a couple’s Ob/Gyn doctor for a good fertility clinic. However, it is advisable to do one’s research by visiting the clinic. Here are some other factors that couples may consider to ease the process of selection.
Fertility clinics can be classified based on their sizes and affiliations, as follows:
Single Practitioner Clinics offer the advantage of a personal setting with more direct communication with the physician as compared with larger practices.
Small Practices may have between 2 – 8 participating physicians.
- Large Practices have the advantage of offering full-services, such as in-house laboratory and greater availability of resources. However, unlike smaller practices, direct communication with physicians may be limited.
- Fertility Networks consist of several participating clinics under one organization. Different financing options may be available within a fertility network.
- University-based Clinics have the benefit of ongoing academic research. Medical students or residents may accompany the physician during visitation.
- Hospital-based Clinics offer the benefit of great access to other types of medical doctors to assist in your care. Ultimately, the reputation of a clinic has to be evaluated independently of the affiliated hospital or University.
- Ø Success Rates
When choosing an IVF clinic, it is advisable to find out the typical success rates. All IVF clinics are mandated to report their statistics to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) every year. The CDC website may be consulted to learn more about a particular clinic regarding the types and number of procedures handled as well as treatment outcomes. As seen from recent statistics, our Denver IVF clinic offers very high success rates based on the number of live births for women under 35 years of age.
Certain factors are worth keeping in mind when going over the statistics of a clinic. It takes over 1 year for statistics to be published at the CDC website from the time of the treatment. Therefore, recent changes in the clinic, such as new physicians, staff and practices, may not be accurately reflected in the numbers. In addition, success rates of clinics may vary depending upon the types of infertility cases, number of embryos transferred per cycle and cancellation rates, to name a few, and the patient population during the time period evaluated.
Finally, for clinics that do not publish their statistics at the CDC website, it is important to request the clinic for success rates. Understanding how well the clinic ranks as compared with the national average is crucial.
IVF is an expensive procedure, and it is vital to know beforehand how much a clinic will charge for the same. Costs of IVF procedures vary greatly between clinics. One must also note what procedures and medications are covered in a clinic’s price estimate. Although the cheapest clinic may seem like an attractive option, one has to consider the clinic’s success rates before making a decision.
Some insurance companies cover part of the costs of IVF cycle. It is advisable to know whether a fertility clinic accepts certain insurances. A written statement of the benefits may also be obtained from one’s insurance company prior to treatment.
- Ø Physician Interview
As a final step, a couple may choose to set up an interview with the participating physician of a fertility clinic. This is a great opportunity to learn about the physician, such as his/her board certification, years in practice, number of IVF procedures performed, success rates, affiliations and availability. For IVF procedures, it is advisable to seek help from a reproductive endocrinologist. This subspecialty of physicians has undergone specialized training to handle fertility treatments.
In conclusion, the process of IVF treatment may be long and expensive. However, doing a thorough research of one’s options beforehand can greatly benefit a couple in the long run.
Posted in: In Vitro Fertilization