Evaluating a Program
We know that there are many choices when it comes to choosing an Assisted Reproductive Technology (IVF) Program. Before considering a practice to help you conceive, there are several factors you should research. Most patients do not understand that the ART Lab plays an integral role in what will ultimately affect your chances of conceiving.
Important questions to ask when you evaluate an Assisted Reproductive Technology Program:
What is the live birth pregnancy rate for patients your age?
Ask how many embryos are being transferred to a patient your age. Some clinics may appear to have higher live pregnancy rates simply because they are transferring an inordinately high number of embryos. While this will produce a higher up front pregnancy rate, it subjects the patient to a high incidence of triplets and higher order multiples. The majority of patients less than 35 years of age should have no more than two or three day 3 embryos, or one or two day 5 embryos transferred at any one time. With older patients we know that implantation rates do go down and it may be appropriate to transfer more embryos.
Ask about the program’s success with cryopreservation.
Ask what the pregnancy rate and live birth rate is for patients your age. Again, ask how many embryos are being transferred to accomplish this pregnancy rate. There are many programs that have had little, if any, success with cryopreservation. This greatly reduces a couple’s chance of obtaining a pregnancy. A good cryopreservation program is probably the single most important discriminating factor among IVF programs, as this is a reflection of the quality of the laboratory.
If your infertility is due to a significant male factor, ask what the clinic’s experience has been with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) in vitro fertilization?
Clearly this is the technique of choice for moderate to severe male factor infertility. Do not simply ask the infertility pregnancy rate, but ask how many babies have actually been born and how many couples have actually gone through the procedure.
Does the program report pregnancy data to the official CDC website?
We encourage you to look at the most recent success statistics for yourself. These can be found on the CDC website
Ask for the cost for the procedure recommended for you.
Find out the total cost including medications as if insurance covered absolutely nothing. The average cost for in vitro fertilization nationwide is around $9,000 to $15,000. GIFT and ZIFT tend to run about $1,000 to $1,500 more. Cost will obviously be higher in certain parts of the country. Get representative quotes from several different programs in your region.