Well, yes and no. It's true that many fertility clinics offer similar routine services, and have done so for some 7.4 million women throughout the country -- 11.9% of the U.S. female population. But when you're seeking advice and treatment for something so personal, you'll want to do some asking around before you settle on any one doctor or clinic.
Here are some of the questions you should ask, either to yourself during your research or in-person with an expert, when deciding on a fertility center for your consultation or treatment.
- How much do they charge?
While there's a general ballpark range you can expect to pay for IVF treatment, the costs do vary by clinic. You'll want to take your budget into account, as well as your insurance. There are currently 15 states in the U.S. that have laws mandating that insurance providers cover some of the costs of infertility treatment; make sure your clinic accepts yours.
- What age women do they service?
Some clinics specialize in the treatment of young women having problems conceiving because of medical or biological issues; others are well known for treating older women whose biological clocks are simply ticking away. On the other hand, you may require a specialist in male infertility.
- What types of technology do they use?
Anywhere from 85% to 90% of all cases are treated in fertility clinics using drug therapy or surgical procedures. Even so, new technology is being developed all the time. A clinic with the latest knowledge and know-how is a good sign that they're committed to the cause.
- What's their success rate?
One of the most important indications of a clinic's quality and reputation is its success rate. Most places should be happy to brag about their accomplishments. If not, you might want to reconsider that particular place's effectiveness.
- Do they offer any other support services?
Infertility can be a very emotionally trying issue, even when you've begun the steps to correct it. Ask if your fertility clinic offers anything like support groups, nutrition advice, fertility yoga, or other services to promote a full sense of well being.