If you are having difficulty getting pregnant, there are many fertility specialists and clinics to turn to. That's a good and bad thing.
Because there are so many places specializing in fertility treatments, you need to first weed through your options by doing online research or calling the clinic directly. If you feel comfortable, reach out to local moms' groups and ask if anyone has had a positive experience.
Once you have a list of two to five options, set up in-person consultations with a specialist at each practice and bring the below questions from Marina Nicholas, author of the book 3 Steps to Fertility: A Couple's Guide to Maximizing Their Ability to Conceive.
20 questions to ask a fertility clinic or specialist:
1. How long has the clinic been established?
2. How many treatments are carried out a year?
3. Are there any restrictions to treatment at the clinic? Age? Negative screening for AIDS tests or hepatitis B and C? Overweight (BMI must be less than 30)?
4. Does the clinic offer genetic screening for Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis or other genetically transmitted diseases?
5. What is the live birth rate per treatment cycle started, per egg collection, per embryo transfer?
6. How many pregnancies resulted in multiple births? Singletons? Triplets?
7. What percentage of live embryo transfers were carried out versus frozen embryo transfers?
8. What tests will I need to have before treatment begins?
9. Why do I need to have each test?
10. What is the process? How many days will it take?
11. How soon can I start treatment? Waiting times?
12. How many times will I need to visit the clinic? Daily? Twice a day? Take time off work?
13. Will there be any side effects from the treatment?
14. What will happen if we don't achieve pregnancy? How long before we can try again?
15. What is the cost of treatment? Cost of drugs? Cost of tests?
16. What payment methods do you accept?
17. How often will we be billed?
18. Will we see the same doctor/team members throughout the treatment?
19. Is the clinic open every day including weekends and bank holidays?
20. What counseling and/or patient support group is available to us?
Take detailed notes during your visits. Then, make a list of pros and cons for each clinic and specialist to help you decide. You will be spending lots of time with the clinic staff and health care professionals so it's important to consider answers to all 20 questions.
See all fertility content on HealthyWomen.org.