You and your partner have reached the decision that it’s time to move on to IVF. It’s a tough decision to make, for sure, and one that isn’t to be taken lightly. Continue reading about how my experience can assist you in making the right decision when considering where to go for your IVF.
Hopefully you don’t share the sentiment I did years ago of “it really doesn’t matter which clinic you consult with because, once science is applied, I am almost ensured my infertility problem will be solved”. Sadly, all too often this is not the case. In my experience, the most crucial and critical step is finding the exact right RE clinic from the beginning because you and your partner will be investing a lot of time, expense, and emotions during this time and making sure you start off correctly is of the utmost importance.
So where do I start looking? Consider using the SART data to help you find the best clinic for your particular situation. SART, “Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology”, is “the primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of IVF, or Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). The organization represents the majority of the ART clinics in the country. The mission of SART is to establish and maintain standards for ART so that you receive the highest possible level of care. SART includes more than 90% of the ART clinics in our country. SART clinics meet the highest standards for quality, safety and patient care.” www.sart.org. Another great source is the Centers for Disease Control, yes the good ol’ CDC. Visit www.cdc.gov, then click on Health Topics A-Z, then on to Infertility.
What kind of information does SART and the CDC provide? Each member clinic reports its birth outcome data which will provide important information to ensure that you will make the most informed decision based on your own particular situation. The search criteria is divided into different categories (by patient age, diagnoses, average number of embryos transferred per cycle, state, etc.) which will help you to determine which clinic is best for you.
Remember, though don’t go by statistics alone when comparing one clinic to another. This is because a clinic’s patient selection process and treatment procedures can significantly affect its success rates. For example, a clinic, such as the first one that I consulted with, can refuse or discourage “challenging cases” (such as mine) and then therefore, have a higher success rate due to the “easier” cases they treated. Whereas, one that accepts these patients may appear to have a lower success rate when they actually have a high success rate for these very same ” challenging” cases.
Don’t forget that each of these clinics is a business too and successful numbers matter when reporting to SART and to the CDC. If a “hardship case” would be better off by suggesting donor eggs instead of your own, that will be what will most likely be recommended, such as it was in our case. (Consider this- by using donor eggs, the clinic would have a much higher chance of success that they can then report to SART/CDC to boost their ratings in categories such as “live birth rate”…). As far as our situation, yes I was a very difficult case with a “long shot” for success, but we decided to continue on and not opt for donor eggs. We left our home state altogether and consulted with one of the top clinics in the U.S.- The Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine– www.colocrm.com. The best decision we ever made as it ultimately brought us our miracle baby.
My best suggestion would be to look up your local clinics and see where they rank compared to each other, to others in nearby states, and to the top rated nationwide. Who are the top rated clinics and where are they located? Visit our link here to view our videos featuring the Top 10 as per the latest SART data. Lastly, focus your search on the clinics who treat a high number of patients who have the same diagnosis you do, look into what their success would be in your age group, whether the success was with donor eggs or a patient’s own, etc.
You might be fortunate enough to be located in a state with a high ranking RE clinic…wonderful news! Or your local clinics, however, might not boast the highest statistics but perhaps may instead offer a lower cost IVF as an incentive, for example. Remember, even before you start your search, consider how much time, effort and money you and your partner are willing to invest because ART is expensive and takes a huge emotional toll on both partners. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, that’s for sure. Once you both can agree on how far you are willing to proceed, the better informed you will be when taking this crucial first step.
Consider reading our article on finding the RE that’s right for you…