So, you are looking at fertility clinics and trying to decide which fits your need best? But what metrics should that decision be made based on? We have compiled some of the most common clinic identifiers and services that patients consider before starting treatment!

1. Experience:

Egg freezing –

Nearly every fertility clinic in the US lists egg freezing as a service, but did you know less than half have ever frozen or thawed an actual egg. The freezing and thawing of eggs is an extremely delicate and technical process that needs to be handled by a team of experts who complete this process often. If you are looking to freeze your eggs, you’ll most likely want to choose a clinic that can prove they do it regularly, and have had successful pregnancies come from the process.

It is also important to consider whether the clinic you choose to freeze your eggs at is also reliable for IVF. The reality is that if you end up using your frozen eggs later in life, you’ll have them thawed, inseminated, and transferred at the same clinic where they are stored unless you transfer them to a new facility.

Pregnancy –

If you are looking to conceive immediately, you will want to go to a clinic that has a reliable amount of successful cycles under its belt. Preliminary data has shown that clinics that do more than 150 – 200 IVF cycles per year have slightly higher success. it is important to check each clinic’s success to patient ratio (especially for your specific age range).

2. Doctor Protocol:

IUI vs Mini vs Conventional IVF –

Some doctors and clinics have biases around how aggressively they want to treat patients as well as internal rules for the types of patients they are willing to treat. Many clinics have age and BMI limits that can limit the number of patients they see.

Another example of the protocol includes the decision between IUI and IVF and when to progress from the latter. While IVF is 3 – 5x more effective, it is also 8 – 10x more costly. It is important to note that the decision to go straight into IVF over IUI is usually based on factors like age, ovarian reserve, pregnancy risk factors, and more, so check with each physician you speak to about why they are suggesting that treatment plan.

3. Their Specialties:

For example, New Hope is a major leader in the “mini-IVF” and “Natural IVF” space. Our doctors believe a minimal stimulation approach, that subjects patients to fewer synthetic hormones, is preferred over more conventional IVF methods. But, this method typically delivers fewer eggs per retrieval, yet these eggs tend to be of higher quality (especially in women over 38). New Hope also specializes in low ovarian reserve patients and Mini/Natural IVF has helped many women who were previously told they could not conceive without the use of donor eggs, the opportunity to have children with their own DNA. Embodying our company mindset that you need just One Good Egg to conceive.

4. 3rd Party Thoughts:

This is a major one to consider for patients over 40 because unfortunately many clinics hold bias over allowing patients past this age to try to use their own eggs. This is because success rates with donor eggs are successfully higher. A woman in her 40s is 10x more likely to conceive with donor eggs.

Understandably though, many patients are reluctant to consider donor eggs until they have tried a few times with their own. Some doctors and clinics will refuse to cycle a patient if she insists on trying to use her own eggs past a certain age due to the low success rates. Reasons a doctor might do this include not wanting to use the patient’s time and money, protecting their own clinic’s success rates, as well as lack of experience working with advanced maternal age patients.

5. Clinic Size and Success Rates:

Large vs Small Clinic 

  • Larger clinics typically have more resources and availability for patients.
  • Larger clinics often have on-site labs that do more cycles and thus have more data available.
  • Larger clinics tend to make more mistakes until they reach the “mega clinic” level of 1,000 or more annual cycles.
  • 69% of patients at small clinics feel like they are treated with greater care and decency.

6. Laboratory:

A strong laboratory can greatly increase IVF success. But how do you determine if a clinic has a strong lab?

A laboratory’s fertilization rate should be above 70% with a blastocyst conversion rate of 40 – 50% by Day 5 to help you determine if a clinic’s lab delivers. It is also important to consider lab size and location; is it on the property or are samples sent out? Can it handle a large level of patients or is it run by only a few people? You also want to inquire about the experience of the embryologists as well as the lab conditions they keep. What kind of incubators do they use, and how often are they upgraded or replaced?

7. Billing Department:

This one is more important than you may even realize. On average IVF patients spend $40,000+ on various fertility treatments. It is important for a clinic to have a solid Billing department that is available to update you on specials, knows how to properly lobby insurance on your behalf, and continually looks for ways to save you money. To be certain, an excellent billing department may not change your result, but it will partially dictate your perception of the experience.

Why New Hope?

New Hope Fertility Center is home to world-renowned fertility specialists. We custom design fertility treatments for the individual to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Our specialists believe in putting the patient first and being with them through every step of the fertility journey. Our team is well versed in helping women of all ages reach their fertility goals and we are passionate about educating, and supporting our patients throughout their journey. If you want compassionate fertility care, New Hope is the right place for you. Call us at (347) 970-8479 or schedule your initial consultation today!