Tips to Choosing an Assisted Reproductive Technology Program
Infertility struggles can be hard to come to terms with. The good news is that there are technologies available to help you conceive. The potentially bad news is that there are so many options available that it can be a challenge choosing an assisted reproductive technology (ART) program that works best for you. Here are some tips to help you with your decision.
Assisted reproductive techniques can be expensive and cost is often a deciding factor in which option a couple chooses. If you take the time to do your research, you'll be better equipped to cover the costs and you won't get any unexpected expenses.
Find out if there are any pre-cycle screening tests required and if there's an additional cost for them. Sometimes your insurance might cover the costs of these tests so check with your insurance policy.
Get a breakdown of each stage of the ART procedure you're considering. Don't forget to include the cost of drugs in your calculations. Find out if there's a fee if the cycle is canceled before egg recovery or embryo transfer. Check to see if you're required to pay any fees in advance and how much. Find out the methods of payment accepted and if your insurance company can be billed directly, if applicable.
Don't forget to determine the costs of missed work if you and your partner need to miss work for the procedure. If traveling is required, find out the cost of lodging. If you wish to freeze embryos, calculate the costs of freezing and storing them into your total expenses for the procedure.
Finding the Best Care
Not all physicians are equal when it comes to providing infertility treatment. The goal is to find the most credible and skilled doctors. Make sure the doctors are board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. If you're considering in vitro fertilization, make sure the IVF lab is accredited with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or the College of American Pathologists.
Any clinic you choose to complete an ART procedure for you should be a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). The program should also follow the guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Some programs or clinics boast of a certain success rate. Check to see if the program reports its results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or the SART Registry.
Details About the Care Received
Find out how many doctor will be involved in your care, their names and their qualifications. If you have your own physician and are comfortable with him or her, find out to what extent he or she can get involved in your care.
Ask if there's a contact person to get in touch with day or night if there's a problem. Find out about any counseling and support services available. Ask if there's an age limit for treatment or a basal follicle stimulating hormone limit. If you would like to freeze any unused embryos (a process called cryopreservation) find out if this is an option.