How to Find the Best Fertility Clinic

Step 1: Narrow down your options

The very first thing you should do when looking for a fertility clinic is verify that it is a member of The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (aka SART), a non-profit organization that sets the standards for infertility care. When you start with SART, you can rest assured that you are getting the highest quality of care. You can search for SART member clinics in your area here.

  • Location, location, location. Fertility treatments require constant visits to the clinic, so travel should be a major consideration. Is there a clinic near your home you like? Or is there another clinic that you love so much it may be worth the trip? Remember — you can have your “monitoring” appointments at a clinic near you, and do your major procedures (egg retrieval and transfer) at a clinic farther away.
  • Quality of the lab. Something I learned on my journey is the importance of the fertility clinic’s lab and embryology team. I recommend that the clinic you choose and its embryology lab are accredited by College of American Pathologists, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), or a similar organization. FertilityIQ has a great resource to help understand why the embryologist, your child’s first babysitter, is so important.
  • Size of clinic. This is completely up to your personal preference. I’ve gone to enormous clinics where I’ve felt like a cog in the system, but knew I was getting great care from top doctors. I’ve also gone to smaller clinics where I felt really close to my fertility doctor, but had to wait to get started since egg retrievals are often done in batches at smaller clinics. Weigh the pros and cons of small versus large clinics, and what matters most to you.
  • Costs. Is the clinic transparent about the costs? Do they tell you upfront? Is it “in-network” with your health insurance? Do they have reasonable payment plans?
  • Are they good? One cool thing about fertility clinics, is that they are required to report their IVF outcomes (pregnancies) to the CDC. You can view the data on each clinic here. Keep in mind, accurate and complete reporting of ART success rates is complicated. Clinics may have differences in patient selection, treatment approaches, and cycle reporting practices which may inflate or lower pregnancy rates relative to another clinic.

Step 2: Ask a friend

Of course, a great way to find a clinic is to ask for a referral from a friend or your OBGYN. Given that one in eight couples struggle with infertility, there’s a good chance one of your friends or colleagues has gone through this journey before you. Ask then which clinics they evaluated and who they ended up working with.

Step 3: Call your top 2–3 clinics and schedule a consultation

At your first visit, you will sit down with your doctor to discuss any challenges you have faced trying to build a family. Your doctor will ask you about how long you’ve been trying, if you’ve been having regular menstrual cycles, and how you have been timing intercourse (ovulation tests, apps, menstrual calendars, etc). You will also review your medical and surgical history to see if there are any factors that may have led to difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Step 4: Mentally prepare to move forward, and go all-in

Picking a doctor and a clinic is an exciting next step. You will likely work with a patient coordinator at the clinic to map out your treatment plan. Whether your next steps are fertility drugs, IUI, or IVF, now is the time to be the healthiest version of yourself both physically and mentally.

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