Monday, August 25, 2014

Help from IVF'ers needed

I've been thinking more and more about the IVF process which includes thinking about the clinic I'm currently using.

I'm not unhappy with my clinic all but, since I'm moving on to IVF, I want to make sure I'm going with a place that will give me the best shot at getting pregnant.

The truth is, we chose our current RE because we were going to be paying out-of-pocket for IUI and price was a major factor. And, let's be honest, you don't have to have graduated first in your class to do an IUI.

But, now we have insurance that will pay for IVF and it's something that requires so much more precision than IUI. We need to know we have access to the best option in our area.

So the question to my readers is this: what do you ask when you're interviewing RE's?
How do you make comparisons beyond the typical "success rate"? I don't want to rely solely on success rate statistics because too many contributing factors go into that figure.

I know there are clinics who won't treat women over a certain age, or BMI or AMH/FSH level because they don't want their success statistics to be diminished.

My currently clinic is honest with you about the odds of getting pregnant based on your personal situation but they don't turn women away because the likelihood of it working are minimal.

What data do I use to compare clinics?
How do I know if they have a good assisted hatching program?

Please, any information or guidance you have regarding this would be immensely helpful.

Thank you in advance!


  1. This was really tough for me because I live in a major area with quite a few amazing clinics, plus my state has a booming commercial surrogacy business. I thought this article was helpful.

    In the end, it was clear I had several good clinics to choose from, and I chose the one that got a friend of a friend pregnant with twins at 43. My doctor is mean, the office is very cold, and they are just unpleasant. But I'm not looking for a BFF or someone to hold my hand. That is definitely the last criteria I would use.

    1. I could not agree more! I don't need a friend or someone who will be gentle with me. I need to get pregnant in the short time I have left.
      I'm unconcerned with whether or not I will see the same doctor every time or if a nurse or doctor will be doing ultrasounds.

      My research is telling me more and more that what I need to know most is the competency of the lab technicians. The people who will be handling my precious eggs and embryos and doing the assisted hatching.

      Thanks for the link, too. I'm going to check it out now.

    2. That was the best (and most truthful) article I've read regarding fertility clinics.
      And based on their criteria, I have a good one because they don't turn women away because their odds are low.

      I also live in an area (Washington DC) where there are tons of great clinics to choose from. And, the one I'm going to is even one of them.

      But again, how do I know they are have the best lab staff? Sure, success statistics are part of it but not the whole picture.

      Since my clinic is small, they do about 100 IVF's a year. That's extremely small compared to the big clinics (some of which do over 600 a year). So does that mean the big clinics have the more experienced staff? Maybe, maybe not.

    3. There's so much out there about the doctors and jack about the labs, it is really frustrating.

      Do I know the clinic's sonogram tech or nurse or anyone really is the best out there? No. But I know they work for my doctor who teaches this stuff at the (amazing) local med school, so I trust them to have some quality control. I also know the doctors at the practice publish a lot of crazy stuff about the lab, so surely that must mean something?

      But yea, the lab techs are nameless, low-level employees I know nothing about, which is scary.

    4. I think I might be using the word lab tech incorrectly. I suppose the person I need to know about is the embryologist (or so I just read). I need to organize my thoughts more and do a little bit more research to make sure I'm understanding the roles of the people behind the scenes dealing with my eggs/embryos.

  2. I don't have much advice to offer I'm afraid. Basically I just went with the clinic that I found a few decent online reviews of, and which seemed ok - a very naff way to choose the kitchen which you hope will cook your babies. But they seemed to offer every latest development, and just felt right... that's all there was to it really.

  3. The NHS doesn't assign you a clinic based on where you live?