04 Oct Finding the Right Fertility Specialist for You
5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Fertility Specialist
These are the things that make the difference when it comes to getting the personalized fertility treatment you are looking for.
1. Length of time the center (and physicians) has been in business
Longevity matters because it is a sign of success all on its own. Pay attention to the length of time the clinic has been in business and peruse the fertility specialist bios to see how long they’ve been working in the field. Optimally, you want to find a place that has a blend of doctors with decades under their belt (wisdom and instinct are potent tools in this business) and newer specialists who are eager to embrace innovative fertility treatment techniques and technology.
For example, we recently threw a retirement party for Dr. Bruce Bateman, who started the IVF program here in Charlottesville in 1986. We also celebrate the successes of Drs. Williams, Smith, and Goodman, who have a spectrum of fertility specialist experience ranging from 5 to 20 years between them.. These are the types of well-rounded specialists you want to benefit from at your chosen fertility clinic.
2. Identify the clinic’s culture and approach to fertility
Some clinics have specialists who are solo within their clinic. Others have specialists from a range of backgrounds/focuses who work collaboratively. We feel the latter is the best way to treat infertility, so our doctors work together as a cooperative group.
On that same note, we consider our patients to be a part of our team. It is our sincere goal to help you conceive and to meet your emotional needs during your treatment. As your treatment proceeds, we will make decisions together. Of course, that type of cooperative inclusive approach is not the same for every fertility clinic, so take time to read websites and patient testimonials to get a feel for the clinic’s culture and patient approach.
3. Identify fertility statistics pertaining to your situation
Treating a 29-year-old woman with PCOS (typically plenty of healthy eggs waiting to mature) can look very different than treating a 42-year-old woman with low ovarian reserve. Similarly, fertility treatments for a healthy woman with a partner who has poor sperm quality are handled differently than couples with unexplained infertility. Therefore, a clinic’s generalized “IVF success rates” are not always relevant to you.
If you have a known infertility diagnosis, you want to find a fertility center that has higher-than-average success rates treating women/couples just like you. If you don’t have a fertility diagnosis yet, look at fertility success rates for your age range and across the spectrum of treatments for a better idea of what your chances might look like.
4. They are distinguished in one or more ways
Again, spend time reading about their physicians and any special awards or distinguishing factors that support their quality of care and patient relationships. Things to look for include:
- Designation as an OptumHealth Center of Excellence
- Consistently garnering “Best Doctor Awards” in their region
- Celebrate their nursing team and other staff members
- Membership with industry-revered organizations such as RESOLVE, SART, CAP Accreditation, etc.
You’ll find this information on their website, but you can always ask for this kind of information.
Other ways fertility clinics set themselves apart from the rest include:
- Having conveniently located offices
- Hiring warm, friendly, and caring staff members (you should feel good about every personal encounter you have with a clinic’s staff, nurses, clinicians, and physicians)
- Making you feel comfortable when you’re in the office (it may start to feel like a home away from home if you participate in multiple rounds of IUI or IVF cycles)
5. You feel confident and comfortable in their presence
Infertility testing, facing a diagnosis, fertility treatments – all of these place our patients in a highly vulnerable and sensitive position. Patients need to feel 100% safe, confident, seen, heard, and valued in that space. These are the qualities you want to feel when meeting with prospective clinics.
Honor your gut instincts. If you’re wavering between two clinics due to a very minimal difference in success rates, go with the one you feel the most comfortable with. Your ability to remain as calm and relaxed as possible benefits your fertility chances, so working with a compassionate team always pays off.
Virginia Fertility & IVF is proud to boast that our fertility specialists offer all of the above. We would love to get to know you better and help you choose the best fertility clinic for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation.