Choosing a Fertility Specialist or Clinic

Posted by ATMAJA'Z

The best fertility doctors are experts in their field with a successful track record as well as the ability to empathize with their patients during this emotionally-charged experience. Some of the things to keep in mind when selecting a fertility specialist include: his or her training, expertise, track record, and code of ethics.

While some Obstetrician/Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) can treat some forms of infertility, many do not have the necessary training or experience to offer couples the most cutting-edge fertility treatments available. Therefore, consulting with a Reproductive Endocrinologist may be a better option. These physicians have not only completed an OB/GYN residency, but have also received an additional 2-3 years of specialized training in treating infertility. If a Reproductive Endocrinologist has the words “board certified” after his or her name, it signifies that he or she has passed additional written and oral certification exams. In some cases, men experiencing infertility may need to consult with an Andrologist, a doctor specifically trained in male infertility issues.

It is a good idea to confirm whether certain tests and procedures are provided by a specific Reproductive Endocrinologist. Additionally, couples should ask whether the tests and procedures can be carried out in the doctor’s office or if they will need to see another specialist.

Couples should always feel they have access to their doctor, even if they are being treated in a group practice or by a large infertility treatment center. While 24/7 access to a provider is unrealistic, there should be protocols in place that allow couples to receive a timely response to their inquiries. It’s also a good idea to find out how their “on call” policy works in case of an emergency.

Success rates can be a good indicator of a fertility specialist’s expertise; however, couples need to make certain they are looking at the success rates for their specific fertility condition, their chosen course of treatment, and their age. Care should be taken not to over-rely on the statistics, however, since the numbers can be overly optimistic that a couple will be able to fill their crib after the treatment.

Couples should also reconcile their own feelings with their endocrinologist’s with regards to such topics as age limits for fertility treatment, the number of embryos to be implanted during in-vitro fertilization, and what happens to any embryos that are not implanted. Should the couple find themselves feeling uncomfortable with the doctor’s responses to these types of questions, they may wish to switch to a provider who more closely shares their views

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