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6 Services to Look For in Your Fertility Doctor

For couples who are struggling to conceive, fertility clinics offer a ray of hope. However, understand that not all specialists can offer the full range of services. Most couples seek out fertility doctors to find out what is wrong, without considering what comes next. Then when it’s time to choose a treatment, or in the event that the couple wants to try an alternative, they have to work with a different provider. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, look for these six services before choosing which clinic to visit.

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

fertility

Image via Flickr by Instituto Bernabeu.

One of the most common fertility treatments is in-vitro fertilization. During the two-week cycle of an IVF treatment, mature eggs are fertilized in a lab and then implanted in your uterus. Your eggs and your partner’s sperm can be used, or it can be done using donor eggs, sperm, or embryos.

A Donor Program

On that note, you’ll also want to make sure the clinic you choose operates a donor program. Although IVF will ideally involve your eggs and your partner’s sperm, it is good to have a donor program to fall back on. Most clinics will allow the use of known donors, such as a friend or family member, as long as they meet the same eligibility criteria as participants in the anonymous donor programs.

Surrogacy

In some cases, when it would be impossible or unsafe for a woman to carry a pregnancy, surrogacy is the best way forward. A surrogate pregnancy can be accomplished in two ways. First, the surrogate could conceive via artificial insemination and be both the birth and biological mother of the child. Second, doctors can implant an embryo created through IVF using the sperm and eggs of the intended parents.

Fertility Drugs

Although IVF has helped many couples conceive, it’s far from the only option. Make sure your fertility doctor offers multiple ways to get pregnant, including the use of fertility drugs and timed intercourse. For some couples, that’s all it takes — so if a specialist recommends IVF right off the bat without considering less invasive (and less expensive) options first, that could be a red flag.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

If something has been preventing a partner’s sperm from reaching a woman’s eggs, intrauterine insemination can be a simpler option than IVF. Your doctor may also suggest a combination of IUI and fertility drugs to increase your odds of conception, even if there is no known barrier preventing fertilization.

Surgery

Until the development of IVF, surgery was the only treatment for certain fertility issues, such as blocked fallopian tubes. Reproductive surgery is less common now and is not typically the first recommendation, but it can still be a good alternative to IVF in some cases. There are a few different approaches to reproductive surgery, including endoscopic surgery, laser surgery, and microsurgery, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Before choosing a specialist, research all of your options, taking into account the services offered and any other factors that are important to you. The more treatments, programs, and procedures your fertility clinic can provide, the better off you will be.

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