Contrary to popular belief, not all fertility clinics or doctors are the same. They may vary by specialty, practice, success rate, costs, and more. Rather than committing yourself to the first clinic you see, take the time to do some research. Here are a few factors you should consider when searching for a reproductive endocrinologist:
- Infertility Specialties: Many people think that in vitro fertilization is the only viable fertility treatment, but that's simply not the case. Between 85 to 90% of infertility cases can be treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures; IVF is not always necessary. While some clinics specialize in IVF treatment, they should not be the first place you visit.
- Costs and Coverage: Be sure to check with your insurance provider before you begin any treatments to see what might or might not be covered. Some states require coverage of infertility treatments; other providers do so voluntarily or under certain conditions. Understand what you can afford before you take on treatments.
- Communication: Your ability to speak openly with your endocrinologist may be the most important factor of all. Treat your first meeting like an interview, where your doctor is the prospective hire. Ask about their past successes and challenges, as well as how and whether you will be able to reach them on evenings or weekends in the event of an emergency. Take note of how the support staff treats each other and whether you feel welcome or comfortable in the clinic environment.
Choosing a reproductive center and endocrinologist for help with infertility may be one of the best and most important decisions you ever make. When you and your partner are struggling to conceive, don't be afraid to ask for help. Modern reproductive medicine can help make tiny miracles, if only you know where and how to look.