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Starting a fertility journey is a monumental chapter in so many lives – one filled with dreams, hopes, and a world of emotions. For couples and individuals looking for help in their quest to conceive, the choice of a fertility clinic can change the trajectory of this journey. The right clinic becomes a partner in this significant undertaking, offering expertise, guidance, and unwavering support.
Having lived experience with endometriosis, our founder, Ana G. Herrera lost her capacity to have children, and is hence deeply attached to the subject of fertility. In this blog, she will discuss the type of questions to ask (and answers to expect) when choosing the right fertility clinic.
The fertility business is a money-making machine.
The fertility clinic’s revenue has been growing over the past five years – and is expected to total $7.9 billion in 2023, with profit margins set to reach 10.0%.
Considering the appeal and the fact that 1 in 4 couples struggle to conceive, it’s a process that requires careful research, and a deep understanding of your needs. It involves more than a simple internet search or a recommendation from a friend.
You or anyone you know going through this process should have the right tools when it comes to asking all the questions. Please share this list. Preparation is everything, and humbly speaking, I hope to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to make the right choice.
What questions shall I email or ask clinics prior to a consultation?
- If in the US: Are all of your fertility doctors board-certified and members of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists? (If not in the US, find out the relevant Society in your country)
- How many years have you been offering egg freezing? How many egg-freezing cycles do you conduct per year? They should have been offering egg freezing for more than 2 years with a minimum of 50 egg-freezing cycles per year.
- Is your clinic open 7 days a week / 365 days a year? This might only be important in case you want to do your cycle over major holidays. In particular, many clinics close in December
- Who does the monitoring during stimulation? Will I see a doctor vs. a nurse practitioner or an ultrasound tech? Ideally, your doctor. This allows lovely continuity of care and assures that nothing falls through the cracks. It also ensures that patients get the medical and emotional support needed during the process. That said, some clinics might have a nurse practitioner or Ultrasound tech at a satellite monitoring clinic which is to make it more convenient for the patient to get to.
- How often will I see my doctor during the process? Ideally, you’ll see them on most visits but because the clinic should be open 7 days a week, your doctor may have some days off and you may see another doctor.
- Will I have a nurse advocate or a single point of contact assigned to me for the duration of the process? Ideally, yes, though this is more of a personal preference as it will streamline a lot of your communication. This is especially true if the clinic has several doctors, it’s a good thing if the doctor has a team nurse and medical assistant, IVF coordinator, and even a new patient scheduler as that limits the number of people you’ll have to speak with.
- Of the women who have frozen their eggs, how many have come back to use them at your facility? And how many resulted in live births? (At least one but the more the better.)
- What is your “oocyte cryo survival rate?” Not lower than 80%. Between 85%-90% is considered good.
- What percentage of fertilized eggs survive to day 5? Ideally around 50%
- Do you culture your embryos beyond day 6 when creating embryos from frozen eggs? Ideally yes. Some doctors say this is important because many frozen-thawed eggs take 7 days to get to a stage where they can be used for genetic testing. Most clinics discard embryos if they don’t make it to blast by Day 6
- Where will my eggs be stored? Good information to know, especially if they are being stored offsite.
- What monitoring systems do you have in place for the nitrogen tanks? Ideally, each storage tank should have its own separate monitor to ensure proper tank temperature and liquid nitrogen levels.
- What are your backup procedures in case of a power failure or natural disaster (e.g. earthquake)
- Can I transport my eggs to another fertility clinic to use or store them? Think about this if you’re looking to change countries; check the law. It’s your legal right to use or store your eggs where you choose. However, most clinics suggest you keep your eggs in the same place you plan on using them in order to reduce any issues that could arrive during transportation.
- What is the initial consultation fee and what does it cover?
Whilst researching the right clinic, prepare your body as best as you can for the best chance to conceive.
Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, researchers believe there is a link between magnesium deficiency and infertility, particularly in women. In a number of studies, women with infertility have been found to have low levels of magnesium in their blood, and in a small study, infertile women who were supplemented with magnesium and selenium all became pregnant within 8 months.
It’s known that magnesium helps maintain a good blood supply to the womb and is vital for the production of progesterone, “the pregnancy hormone.” Low magnesium intake is also linked to chronic inflammation, which is one of the drivers of aging and is associated with poor egg quality and poor fertility outcomes.
That isn’t to say taking magnesium will work miracles for every woman who struggles to conceive – there are a whole host of factors that contribute to infertility. However, it’s worth making sure you get the recommended levels of this mineral (and others).
Magnesium is not just important whilst trying to optimize fertility and get pregnant, but during pregnancy itself too! Magnesium deficiency in pregnancy has been associated with a higher risk of problems with the placenta, miscarriage, and premature birth.
Try ours: as it’s transdermal, it’s gut-friendly …and will gently release magnesium into your body. – Check out our bundle promo and get it delivered with Prime directly from our website!
Do you have a particular subject you would like me to cover? Do not hesitate to email me!
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