Choosing to pursue fertility treatments is a big decision. A key part of that decision should be finding the right fertility clinic and physicians. There are many excellent fertility doctors out there, but you should feel comfortable and confident when you choose which is the right fit for you. To make the task a bit easier, we’ve come up with some important questions to ask before choosing a fertility specialist.
1. Are the Doctors Board Certified?
The doctors at a fertility clinic should not only have training and certification in obstetrics and gynecology but additional education and credentials for reproductive endocrinology and infertility. To become a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, physicians complete at least two years of extra training in addition to four years of OB/GYN residency. Make sure you have access to a doctor with the highest level of expertise.
2. Will My Insurance Cover This?
For many people, this is one of the most important questions to ask before choosing a fertility specialist. The clinic can tell you which carriers they are in-network with. However, there are many different policies offered by insurance carriers, so you should also consult with your insurance provider about what types of fertility services are covered. If you have concerns about paying for your fertility treatments, many clinics have financial assistance services. For a list of insurances accepted at Carolina Conceptions, visit the cost section of our website.
3. Are You Transparent About the Cost of Treatments?
You should make sure that will you get estimates for the costs of consults, fertility testing, and potential treatments before you commit to a specialist or clinic. Ask if you will get full explanations of what the procedures will entail and what it will cost. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions, as being thorough can help you avoid unwelcome surprises when you get your bill. Make sure that any quotes include everything required in the fertility treatments. Some quotes will leave out the cost of medications involved in procedures like egg retrieval, so be sure that cost is included.
4. What Kind of Testing and Treatments Do You Offer?
As you start your fertility journey, you should be aware of the different testing and treatments available. Most fertility clinics offer procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI), but even within these treatments, there are different methods and technologies available. Ask about how they feel about newer technology and treatments. If you want to explore every possibility on your fertility journey, you might want to choose a fertility specialist who uses cutting-edge medical technology and processes.
5. What are Your Success Rates?
When choosing a fertility specialist, this is a good question to ask. Most reputable fertility clinics report their success rates with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). You can look up the national averages as well as results from specific clinics to see how they compare. As a quick reference, according to the CDC, the national success rate of a single embryo transfer is:
- 37.1% for women under 35
- 28.7% for women 35-37
- 15.9% for women 38-40
- 7.3% for women over 40
6. How Much Experience Do Your Doctors Have?
There’s nothing wrong with qualified younger doctors, they have to get experience somehow. But you might want to look for a practice that has a lot of combined experience. When choosing a fertility specialist, it’s good to look for a balance between experience and openness to innovative methods.
7. Who Do I Contact with Questions?
Chances are, you’ll have questions in between your appointments. Ask if they have ways to communicate without you visiting the office. Some fertility specialists will give you an email address to communicate directly with them or provide you with a number to call for after-hours issues, including emergencies. Be clear about your expectations about communication and accessibility.
8. Who Will I See During My Visits?
Many fertility clinics have several doctors on staff, so if it’s important for you to see the same person at each visit, be upfront about that and see if the clinic can accommodate. However, you might want to consider the team approach that many clinics take to care. Each doctor may be especially skilled in certain parts of the process. Seeing different physicians during different parts of treatment cycles can increase success rates and produce results sooner than a single physician.
Make An Appointment
If you’re choosing a fertility specialist in the Raleigh area, Carolina Conceptions offers comprehensive and compassionate care to patients with above-average success rates. With over 70 years of combined experience, our expert team can help you no matter where you are on your fertility journey. If you have questions or concerns about infertility and possible treatment options, call (919) 782-5911 to make an appointment.