There may come a time when trying to make a baby that you need a little extra help. And not from, like, a coach who’s hanging out next to your bed and shouting encouragement. But rather from a fertility clinic staffed by professionals who want to apply the full awesomeness of reproductive science and technology to the loins of you and your lady love. When it comes time to looking for a little assistance in the sperm and egg joining department, here’s what you need know.
READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to IVF
When To Look For A Fertility Clinic
You shouldn’t be turning to your search engine of choice to look for clinics until you’ve given the beast with 2 backs its due (or have experienced a few failures). That’s because it can take some time to conceive after the barriers have been removed. And the last thing you want to do is start spending thousands of dollars needlessly.
That said, here are some circumstances that might prompt you to fire up the Google:
- A year of standard trying without results
- Multiple miscarriages
- Poor sperm analysis
- Advanced maternal age (older than 35) without conception for 6 months
- If otherwise advised by a general practitioner
Prepare For Your Clinic Journey
This is not a cart placed in front of a horse. You need to know that going this route will cost some scratch and be psychologically draining. So you need to be prepared for these eventualities. Here are some things to think about.
What does it cover? Unless you have some platinum coverage, it’s probably not going to make a dent in the bulk of fertility clinic costs. However, it is likely that a health savings account will allow you to funnel your tax-free funds into fertility treatments. Either way, make sure your finances are sound or you at least know how deep you’re willing to sink.
Treatment for infertility can be a lonely process. So get your support system in place. Don’t be afraid to talk with trusted companions. And don’t hesitate to become involved with social support communities built around issues of infertility. Not only will they help you commiserate, but they also may give you to some good ideas you may not have encountered.
Thanks to federal government, there’s one tremendous source of research available to all couples looking at fertility clinics. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) reports regularly on the success rates of fertility clinics around the U.S in the Assistive Reproductive Therapy (ART) Success Rates reports. These success rates are collected from across the U.S, and are easily searchable by zip code or state. They offer an overview of what services the clinic provides along with how many successful births have resulted from those procedures.
Investigation And Consultation
Once you’ve tracked down a couple of clinics you’d like to look into, give them a call to schedule an initial consultation. This call may be enough to decide if they’re right for you. If they’re rude on the phone and seem to have little time for you, the issue likely won’t be resolved by becoming a patient.
Once in, there are a slew of questions to ask that will help you understand if the clinic is right for you. You’ll want to be a detective. Notice how the place looks, how the staff greets you, and whether or not it has the right vibe.
In the consultation, you’ll want to make sure the doctor isn’t pushing you straight towards in vitro fertilization (IVF). So ask about the variety of treatments offered and cost. You’ll also want to ask about age limits for procedures to get a sense of their ethical standards (to know they’re not okay with working with 60-year-old ladies or something).
One revealing question is how many eggs they recommend implanted during IVF. The generally agreed upon standard is one fertilized egg. That’s because multiples not only increase the risk of twins, but also the risk of complications due to twins. This great post explains why and offers a ton more questions to consider.
Know When To Leave
Just because you’ve started with a clinic does not mean you have to stay with them. If you ever feel your clinic is emotionally distant or unexcited about getting your partner pregnant, it may be time to jet. The same goes if you feel pressured to enter into any procedure you’re not comfortable with. After all, going through these treatments will be stressful enough without the added pressure.
And if anyone suggests they come by your place and cheer you on. Tell them thanks, but no thanks.