Finding the right medical assistance under any circumstances can be a formidable task. Infertility treatment involves some complicated medical decisions, but because infertility is so often a private struggle, most couples don’t know whom in their lives they could turn to for referrals- if they even feel comfortable asking for suggestions at all. Even so, friends, family, and even media outlets like the internet can often provide contradictory information, making it extremely daunting to make a consciously informed decision, and all the more important that each patient finds the most appropriate physician to advise, support and guide them through the procedure of the treatment. The reproductive endocrinologist will direct medical testing and the appropriate treatment. For such a crucial stage in the reproductive life of a couple, it is imperative that they consider the following few factors before choosing a specialist:
The fertility clinic’s success rate:
Ideally, a clinic should list success rates of IUI and IVF, divided into categories of age, embryos transferred, etc. When it comes to statistics, the clinic with the highest percentages of successful live births would seem like the most viable option to select, but that’s not necessarily true. There’s the fact that some clinics may not accept “hard” cases — while others do not have any problem accepting them. So, educate yourself on the clinic’s public success rates, but understand they might not tell you the whole story.
The reputation of the fertility specialist:
Your OB/GYN could recommend a specialist best suited for your needs. Always ask why the specialist is recommended, and do your own research online and from other patients you may know of. If your insurance covers fertility treatments, investigate the specialists from their networks. Always consider factors like age, experience and training of the specialist you consult with. Younger physicians may be more open to cutting-edge treatments and technology, while older ones would have seen a wider range of cases and would have a deeper understanding of the treatment process.
Make sure the centre offers multiple treatment options:
It is crucial to find out whether or not the fertility centre offers multiple options for successful conception, and not just IVF, which is significantly more expensive than other, simpler options like Clomid and timed intercourse monitoring. If the specialists are recommending IVF without at least informing you of the available alternatives, that is a major red flag, and you should reconsider consulting with that particular physician.
Proximity of the fertility centre:
Location is a crucial factor in selecting your fertility specialist, because you may be required to meet with your doctor on a regular basis once the treatment process commences. Make sure that both the centre and specialist you choose operate on flexible timings, and can accommodate your work schedule and other commitments. You should not feel like the process of infertility treatment is at any point interfering with your day to day itinerary.
Apart from all these imperative factors, there are a few other things to take into consideration before you finalise an infertility specialist for yourself. It is important that the rest of the hospital staff makes you feel comfortable, they communicate efficiently and endearingly you, and that the centre gives you a sense of optimism and confidence in the treatment you’ve decided to undergo. In addition, find out about things like payment options and hospital affiliations of the centre before you commence treatment, to avoid hiccups along the way.