For couples who unable to conceive or experience difficulty trying to conceive, working with a qualified fertility specialist can help realize their dreams of becoming parents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 76,930 infants were born as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in 2016.
Choosing a fertility specialist to help you with your journey is deeply personal and can be overwhelming. To increase your chance of success, you may want to consult with more than one reproductive endocrinologist before making a decision about which you feel is the best fit for you.
Here are five questions to ask before choosing a fertility specialist:
1. What is your clinic’s fertility success rate?
A reputable fertility specialist will have this information readily available and should be able to answer any questions you have about the context of their report as there are many factors that can affect these results. It is important to consider both the number of live births and the number of pregnancies.
Understanding these success rates is especially important for in vitro fertilization and can help you manage your personal expectations. You may also want to ask if there are any previous patients you can speak with about their experience or patient testimonials you can review.
2. What training and board certification do you have?
A physician may offer fertility services, but many are only trained and board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. A true fertility specialist will have completed an additional 2-3 years of training beyond the four years of obstetrics and gynecology residency to become a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist.
A smaller number of physicians will have also completed their board certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, as well as obstetrics and gynecology from the American Board of Obestrics and Gynecology. Given the emotional and financial investment that fertility treatment often entails, make sure you are choosing a physician that has the highest level of training and expertise in their field.
3. What types of technology do you use?
The science behind fertility is constantly evolving, so it’s important to find a clinic that utilizes the most up-to-date reproductive technologies such as robotic surgery, embryo genetic testing and tissue cryopreservation.
The most recent advances in technology have improved the ability to select embryos that are more likely to result in a live birth by eliminating those with chromosomal abnormalities from being transferred.
4. What treatment plan do you recommend?
Following an initial consultation with a fertility specialist, you should have a general idea of the next steps and timeline for how long the process will take. The right fertility specialist will take the time to answer any questions or concerns you might have about your treatment plan including why a particular treatment option is best for your unique needs compared to others.
It’s also important to consider the financial obligations associated with your treatment plan. Whether a fertility clinic accepts your health insurance plan is certainly a factor to consider, but keep in mind that the clinics that take your particular insurance may not necessarily be the ones you feel the most comfortable with.
5. What type of support do you offer patients during their fertility journey?
Fertility treatment can be a mentally, emotionally and physically challenging experience. Choosing an experienced and qualified specialist should be a priority, but you should also consider what the clinic offers as a whole particularly in terms of support. Do they offer counseling services or support groups? Do they partner with therapeutic providers such as massage therapists or yoga instructors? What types of educational resources do they provide? Is the support staff welcoming and compassionate? You will have the greatest chance of success with a team to support you through the ups and downs of your fertility journey.
Why Choose Carolinas Fertility Institute
The physicians at Carolinas Fertility Institute have decades of experience helping patients achieve their parenting dreams through personalized care and state-of-the-art treatment methods. To schedule an appointment, call 844-686-2233 (Charlotte) or 336-448-9100 (Triad) today.