Eleven Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Fertility Clinic
1. How long has the program been established?
Experience counts when choosing a fertility clinic. The Baylor College of Medicine fertility program was established in 1983 and has an international reputation for excellence. More than 1,700 babies have been born through our program.
2. What are the program's pregnancy rates?
Care must be exercised when comparing success rates among different fertility clinics. Some clinics reject patients with a poorer chance for pregnancy, which makes their cumulative pregnancy rates higher than those that offer treatment to all patients. Baylor Medicine specializes in difficult-to-treat cases, often taking on patients rejected by other clinics. Our pregnancy rates are published annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
3. Is the program a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)?
Yes, Baylor Medicine is a member of SART. SART requires its members to follow ethical guidelines, follow procedures to limit multiple pregnancies, undergo lab certification and inspection, and maintain strict standards.
4. Are all of the physicians board-certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology? Do the physicians who direct the program actually work on-site and participate in patient care?
Many fertility centers operate as satellite programs with the medical director acting as a consultant in an off-site location. All Baylor Medicine fertility specialists are located on-site and are directly involved in patient care. Like most fertility specialists at the Family Fertility Center, Dr. Laura Detti, the division chief for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Baylor College of Medicine, is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
5. Is the program affiliated with a hospital?
Yes, Baylor Medicine's fertility program is located within the Texas Medical Center and is affiliated with Texas Children's Pavilion for Women. Clinics affiliated with a hospital are better able to coordinate patient care when hospitalization is necessary.
6. What services does the program offer?
Some clinics promote in vitro fertilization (IVF) as first-line therapy for patients with almost all types of infertility, while other clinics reserve it for cases where all other therapies have failed. The former practice dramatically inflates a clinic's pregnancy rates. Baylor College of Medicine offers a wide range of services including IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and specialized services such as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). We are committed to helping all women who are seeking a successful pregnancy, with a focus on the least expensive, least invasive techniques first before resorting to more complex and costly interventions.
7. Does the program offer treatment for male factor infertility?
Yes, Baylor Medicine performs the highest percentage of male-factor-assisted reproduction cases in the nation. This question is particularly important for couples who already know that the male partner has a fertility problem. Male factor contributes to approximately half of all cases of infertility. Baylor College of Medicine provides a wide range of services including ICSI and specialized sperm retrieval techniques.
8. How many embryos are transferred?
Baylor Medicine follows the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) guidelines with respect to the number of embryos transferred. However, these treatment decisions are individualized for each couple.
9. What does treatment cost?
The program should disclose in writing the costs for treatment and diagnostic tests. Baylor Medicine outlines the cost for its services in its information packet, which is available to all prospective patients.
10. Does the clinic have a donor sperm/donor egg program?
Yes, Baylor Medicine has both a sperm and egg donor program.
11. Does the clinic offer psychological counseling?
Seeking infertility treatment can be a stressful experience; psychological counseling can help patients cope with that stress. Baylor Medicine partners with certified mental health professionals in the Division of Reproductive Psychiatry in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to provide psychological counseling to patients when needed.