What Questions To Ask To Decide Which IVF Clinic Is Right For You?

What Questions To Ask To Decide Which IVF Clinic Is Right For You?

Picking an IVF clinic and finding a Reproductive Endocrinologist you feel good about is one of the most important decisions you will make throughout the IVF process. For that reason, we have created a list of questions you can ask your prospective IVF clinic to help determine if they are a good fit for you.

Before you get into the finer details of the clinic’s services, it’s important to lay down some groundwork first. To help weigh your available options, here are some of the major, higher-level considerations you should get from an IVF clinic before you move forward:

  1. What is the providers certification and experience?
  2. What are their success rates with IVF?
  3. Does the facility provide patient-centered care?
  4. What does the average timeline look like for the whole IVF process?
  5. Can they provide an estimate on costs for services?
  6. Is there any required pre-testing or possible restrictions to beginning the IVF process?

Once you understand how the clinic operates, what costs you can expect to incur, and what the staff and specialists’ skill and experience levels are, you can begin asking more specific questions.

What Kind of Technology Does Your Facility Use?

Not all IVF clinics are created equal. While most of them are no longer tracking menstrual cycles with moon phases, you’d be surprised to learn how behind (or ahead!) many facilities are in terms of modern technology. Some IVF clinics are more open to adopting new and innovative technologies, such as embryo biopsyfreezing, preimplantation genetic testing and electronic witnessing while others may be more reluctant. Nevertheless, the clinic’s technology and what happens in their lab may improve your chances of a successful IVF cycle, so be sure to ask what technologies the clinic uses.

How Is Genetic Testing Handled?

Genetic testing can be handled in different ways. Some clinics do in-house testing, while others opt to rely on a third party laboratory (and maybe more than one laboratory) for testing. It’s important to know that, like clinics, not all PGT labs are created equal. To see if your prospective IVF clinic is a good fit, consider asking what lab they use for the preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) of your samples and where those samples are tested. Before you ask them that, read our blog, How to Find a PGT-A Test that Fits Your Needs, which provides you with some questions you may want to ask your clinic about their chosen genetic testing lab’s capabilities and  if they are accredited for all PGT tests they perform.

What Type of Witnessing Takes Place?

Another question you should ask an IVF clinic is what kind of witnessing takes place. Witnessing is a process that happens in an IVF lab – samples and procedures are monitored for security and traceability and to prevent human error. CooperSurgical offers an electronic witnessing system, RI Witness, which uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to monitor and help safeguard your precious samples in the IVF lab. Learn more about RI Witness by clicking here. Knowing your clinic has invested in systems like RI Witness shows they are proactive about safeguarding your samples from start to finish.

What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Conception?

This one is a bit of a trick question. Consider the clinic’s answer to this question to reflect their clinical practices. If they start spouting off major myths or make you feel uncomfortable in some way, run far, far away. However, suppose they provide you with evidence-based practices and science-backed recommendations in a way that a regular, non-medical person understands. In that case, that says a lot about their clinical practices and treatment of patients.

These questions can help you determine what makes up an IVF clinic and if they are the right fit for you. Choosing an IVF clinic is an important decision, and it’s one that only you can make. You should never feel pressured to select a particular provider or specialist. Instead, it’s best to try and focus on choosing a clinic that offers high-quality, patient-centered care in a supportive and welcoming environment that best fits your specific needs.

About the author

Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo is a freelance writer, public speaker, infertility rights advocate, former stand-up comic, author of the blog, ‘The 2 Week Wait’, and proud IVF Mom. As an Infertility Subject Matter Expert as well as Spokesperson and Blogger, she has spoken at several conferences (CCW, New England Resolve, etc.), and been interviewed on news outlets such as CNN, NPR and BBC where she has demonstrated her ability to make even reproductive issues fun and educational. Her articles have been featured on the Huffington Post, Time Magazine, ScaryMommy (to name just a few), and volunteers for various organizations including Resolve, the National Infertility Association, the GMHC and Gilda’s Club.

Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo

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