Before choosing a fertility clinic, it’s important to do your research. Not all clinics are created equal. Services offered, success rates, cost, and reputation can vary drastically from one place to another.
You’ll want to start by researching your local clinics and what services they provide. Some clinics focus on egg freezing alone, while others offer a multitude of services from sperm freezing to IUI to creating embryos through IVF and more.
If you plan to freeze your eggs at an egg freezing only clinic, be sure to consider a plan for using your frozen eggs in the future. If the lab at this clinic does not handle sperm, fertilize the eggs, or perform embryo transfers, you’ll eventually need to transfer your frozen eggs to another clinic that is capable of these services when you’re ready to use your frozen eggs to get pregnant.
Depending on your fertility plans, you’ll want to make sure that the clinic you choose offers the services necessary to reach that goal.
Not all doctors are created equal. When searching for a fertility clinic, look up the doctors at the clinics that you’re considering. There are resources like Healthgrades and others that allow you to find patient reviews for many doctors. You may also consider the following for each provider at each clinic:
years of experience
fertility research they wrote or contributed to
areas of specialty (endometriosis, immunological issues, recurrent miscarriages, LGBTQ, etc.)
Like doctors, some embryology labs are better than others. Make sure to look into whether your lab has good rates of successfully freezing, fertilizing, and thawing eggs or embryos.
Success rates of a clinic are an important factor in choosing where you’ll seek treatment. You want to make sure that you’re getting the best chance of success, especially when so much time, money, and stress go into your treatment. There are two common ways to find success statistics. First, check the clinic’s website. They often will display success rates.
Another great place to find clinic success rates and other clinic information is through the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, also known as SART. According to SART, as of 2018, 86% of IVF clinics in the United States were SART members, making it a great place to go for more in-depth information about each clinic you’re considering.
If you’re interested in egg freezing, look at success rates in regards to how many egg freezing cycles a clinic has completed and any statistics regarding egg thawing and fertilizing.
If you’re interested in conceiving, check out statistics on live birth rates per cycle as well as statistics around fertilization, implantation, and pregnancy statistics like singletons versus multiples or if the births were preterm versus full term.
Cost is a huge portion of the research involved before starting fertility treatment. Not all clinics charge the same fees. Depending on reputation, clinic or network size, and clinic location, the fees will vary. Keep in mind you may get what you pay for if you choose the cheapest option. Make sure you have confirmed the quality of the clinic and physicians before selecting based on price.
If you want to know more about price, check out our article about the cost of IVF.
Another consideration is insurance coverage. Each clinic may not accept the same fertility insurance plans.
It's important to check with your insurance provider to see which fertility clinics are in-network in your area.
If you have multiple clinics to choose from, sometimes the deciding factor can come down to the facility itself. Check out the clinic either online or in-person. Are the location and parking convenient? How long does it take to get there? Is there public transportation available from your home or workplace? You’ll be visiting the clinic frequently and sometimes daily at different times during your treatment. Choosing a clinic that’s easy to get to can prevent additional stress.
You may also want to check out the interior of the clinic. Oftentimes, this would be done during an initial consultation. Does the environment feel welcoming? Do you feel comfortable there? Is the lab and medical equipment new and well kept? Again, you may be spending a lot of time at your clinic and you want to make sure the one you choose is a good fit for you!
You can always book an initial consultation at more than one clinic. Meeting the doctor, seeing the facility, and hearing the proposed plan of treatment can make a huge impact on which clinic feels right for you.
There are lots of ways to find patient reviews for fertility clinics and fertility doctors. There are informal reviews through social media groups and fertility forums as well as reviews through search engines like Google and fertility sites like FertilityIQ.
A lot goes into researching a fertility clinic and it is important to choose one that fits you and your diagnosis. Taking the time to learn about your options can help to narrow down the best place for you.