Source: Huffington Post – June 8, 2015
Huffington Post blogger Heather Huhman recently provided suggestions of how to evaluate a fertility center—including when to seek a second opinion.
According to Huhman, it’s not enough to pick the closest center that accepts your insurance. Analyzing a center’s success rates should also play a part in your decision. Many women see pregnancy as a measure of success, but Huhman said looking at live birth rates can give you a better idea of a center’s track record.
But success rates alone do not tell the whole story of a fertility center. Other factors that should be taken into consideration are a center’s willingness to accept patients who may not be successful during a first round of IVF, and adoption of best practices set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, such as single embryo transfer.
Another aspect to consider is whether a center’s doctors are board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. However, trusting your doctor and his or her plan of care is one of the most important aspects of the process. Centers that provide other treatment options outside of IVF show that they are not just concerned with moving forward with the most expensive treatment option available.
Your doctor should develop a plan of care that is unique for you. Huhman notes that you should always seek a second opinion if you are not comfortable with your doctor and his or her decisions. The staff at the center you choose should also celebrate your successes and be a source of support when needed.
From Our Expert, Dr. Ronald Feinberg
“RADfertility strives to give every one of our patients the best individualized care possible.”
I think the recommendations posed by Heather Huhman are good rules of thumb to use when choosing a fertility center. Overall, patients should feel comfortable. They need to feel safe to discuss their entire medical history and talk about aspects of their life they wouldn’t normally talk about with other people. I always tell my patients that they have to let me know what their boundaries are, so we can develop a treatment plan based on those limits.
A fertility center should ideally give patients significant time with their doctor, and I believe this is what makes RADfertility unique. The reason we schedule adequate time for new patient appointments is because we want to get to know you, we want to make sure we have all your medical information, and want you to have time to ask questions. Our excellent clinical staff offers a lot of their time for clinical testing so the doctors have time for these important consults.
At the first appointment, I will typically go over a patient’s entire medical history, any prior treatments they’ve had, and then I go over some specific things—their age and whether they have conditions that would affect their fertility—to try and educate them about their chances for pregnancy. I also outline the process and review what tests we are going to perform, and why we are going to perform those tests. Patients will also meet with their coordinator and our financial team at that time. I want patients to have all that information upfront so they understand their care and know what to expect going forward.
The article also places an emphasis on finding doctors who are board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) by the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Each board certification is obtained after a thorough written and oral exam from leaders in the field to ensure doctors are providing excellent, medically sound patient care. Board certified doctors complete a review every year and take a new exam every 6 years. At RADfertility, all four of our doctors are board certified in both OB/GYN and REI.
Choosing a fertility center that has a diversified set of treatment options is also important. We realize that every patient is unique, and may need other treatment options depending on that patient’s needs. RADfertility offers a spectrum of patient care through our Family of Services programs, and creates treatment plans that can incorporate Fertility Wellness, Reproductive Surgery, Genetic Counseling, Donor Services, and Fertility Preservation.
Patients for whom IVF is the right treatment have additional family building options within our IVF programs. RADfertility offers traditional IVF, embryo culturing with our EmbryoScope®, and pre-implantation genetic screening through our IVF for ME™ program. Our center has practiced single embryo transfer (SET) since 2006, which is one of the safest and healthiest ways to have a baby with assisted reproductive technology. RADfertility has one of the lowest numbers of average embryos transferred in the United States, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
With these treatment options, we hope that everyone who comes to us is successful, but we also want to be honest. We don’t want our patients to choose a treatment plan that won’t work for them. There can be a discrepancy between what a patient’s goals are and what is going to be the most successful option for them, and it is up to us as reproductive endocrinologists to create a plan together with our patients that will ultimately fit their medical, emotional, and financial needs.
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"I feel so lucky to have found RADfertility. I tried two other clinics before I expanded my search and found RADfertility. I drive an hour each way to go to them but I don’t regret a thing. They are so caring and so professional. Every time I message them they respond quickly. Every time I see them they have a friendly smile and warm welcome. They explain everything so well and I never feel lost in the process as I did elsewhere. They also took the time to figure out what was wrong. Other clinics threw up their hands, said 'I don’t know' and pushed me to try IVF."
"Dr. Feinberg and the entire staff at RADfertility are absolutely amazing. The receptionists, coordinators, nurses, and lab staff are compassionate, caring, and straight forward. I’ve had a 12-year infertility journey and I’ve tried other clinics but RADfertility was the only one I felt at ease with. They answered any questions that I had and were there any time I needed them. My coordinator, Amy, was the absolute best and always had my back. Dr. Feinberg’s dedication to his patients is incredible. You are not just a number there, you are a person with individualized needs and care."
"My journey with RADfertility and Dr. McGuirk started when my husband and I were trying to conceive and were having difficulty. We went to RADfertility, where we met Dr. McGuirk. I always say she changed my life and 'fixed' me. Dr. McGuirk is always learning more about endometriosis and how to help her patients. She’s brilliant and truly cares for you! I’m eternally grateful to her and everyone at RADfertility for their unwavering support, love, and care."
"Every step of our journey was tailored to us. We were treated so respectfully. Every detail was clearly explained and we felt so comfortable. Rhonda Wright was a Godsend and inspiring. I highly recommend this place! I cried when my weekly appointments were done and I 'graduated.'"
"The staff and doctors are amazing. It will feel like home every time you walk in the door. They gifted us with our miracle baby and we couldn’t be happier. I will always recommend RADfertility above all others!"
"RADfertility's staff has heart and provided me with exceptional health care. I knew I was in good hands and felt like we were in this together. The doctors and nursing staff always answered all of my questions and provided thorough information about all of my options. I am so fortunate and appreciative of the care that I received at RADfertility. They go above and beyond."
"I cannot begin to explain how wonderful RADfertility is. We were frustrated with trying to start a family and it not working for us. The entire team of doctors and nurses made us feel comfortable and hopeful that we would be parents. We experienced so many ups and downs but we never felt like we were on our IVF journey alone, we had our RADfertility team every step of the way. If you're looking for a supportive team on the IVF journey, look no further. RADfertility is the absolute best."
"Dr. Schillings always kept us informed and never gave up on us. She always explained our options and risks with each procedure. She called us personally when there were any issues or sensitive subjects to cover. Dr. Schillings was the first doctor that had answers for us and wanted to help us have our miracle baby!"
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Medical Arts Pavilion 2
Newark, DE 19713
Silverside Medical Center
2700 Silverside Road, Suite 2A
Wilmington, DE 19810
Eden Hill Medical Center
200 Banning Street, Suite 240
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 602-8822
Fax: (302) 602-8832