CHOOSING A CLINIC
6 Factors You Should Consider
Caution – not all fertility clinics are equal! Take your time and do your homework.
A few things to bear in mind when looking for an egg freezing clinic:
Currently clinics are not required to publish egg freezing statistics and success rates
Experience and skills can vary widely across clinics as vitrification is a relatively new technique
Many clinics have little to no experience thawing and inseminating frozen eggs to date as so few women have come back to use their eggs
The good news is things are changing fast. SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) is in the midst of revamping their reporting to include fertility preservation. Also, the quantity of available data will improve due to the soaring growth of egg freezing coupled with the steady increase in the number of women coming back to use their banked eggs.
How to Evaluate a Fertility Clinic
With all of the various costs involved, it is imperative that you carefully review the clinic’s pricing structure with their business office to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what is and is not included. Before you sign the dotted line, make sure your estimate includes the following key items:
Remember: hormone stimulation medication will not be included in a clinic’s fee. Once your doctor creates your stimulation protocol, you will need to purchase your medication directly from a pharmacy.
Egg retrieval (including Doctor and Anesthesiologist fees)
Monitoring during stimulation(blood tests and ultrasounds)
Annual storage fees (first year is often free)
Second cycle discount (if applicable)
Although SART does not currently report on specifics of egg freezing results (i.e.- eggs vitrified, warmed, and fertilized) it is still worth spending some time reviewing a clinic’s IVF statistics. The thawed embryo transfer rates are the most comparable to those one would expect with vitrified eggs.
While favorable IVF results do not translate linearly to egg freezing success, they can nevertheless provide a snapshot of a clinic’s overall expertise and experience. After all, egg freezing can be likened to the first half of an IVF cycle.
A few things to look out for when reviewing the data:
Age of patients – Success rates will be skewed higher the younger the patient population
Number of transfers – These results can serve as a good indication of a clinic’s IVF experience
Number of embryos transferred – More embryos transferred equals more likelihood of pregnancy and multiple births
Percentage of transfers resulting in live births – Or baby rate is perhaps the most important piece of data