Frequently Asked Questions
How common is infertility?
One in eight couples struggle with infertility.
How can I compare fertility centers? What questions should I ask when choosing a practice?
Be sure that the center employs board certified or board eligible specialists in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. This way you know the doctors have had extensive training in the area of infertility.
Ask how long have the center has been doing this successfully. If you need IVF or other advanced reproductive techniques, then ask for the center’s pregnancy rate. The most important statistic is the “clinical” pregnancy rate per egg retrieval procedure. “Clinical pregnancy” means that the pregnancy has been verified by ultrasound. This rate should include at least a 12 month period of time to accurately reflect the overall success rather than quoting the one “lucky” month that had a high pregnancy rate. Beware that some centers will make misleading claims, quoting inflated success rates based on “chemical pregnancies”. “Chemical pregnancies” are pregnancies that are lost early — before it grows enough to be seen by ultrasound. Another deception used by some centers is to quote success rates “per embryo transfer” which ignores the patients who underwent an egg retrieval procedure but did not successfully recover mature eggs or where no embryos developed to be transferred into the uterus.
Beware of hidden costs when you are quoted out-of-pocket expenses for IVF. For example, the cost of cryopreservation (freezing) of embryos and the cost of preparing the uterine lining for the transfer of the thawed embryos may add considerably to the basic cost. Ask the center how often they avoid the fresh embryo transfer and thus need to resort to the frozen embryo transfer. Some programs offer egg sharing (where an infertile woman undergoes IVF and shares half of her eggs in return for receiving the fertility treatment at a reduced cost). You could be increasing your risk of hyperstimulation and decreasing your chance of becoming pregnant if you are receiving higher than normal doses of medication in order to produce more eggs so you can share them with someone else.
How do we know when it's time to move to IVF?
Do any insurance companies offer fertility treatment?
I'm 40 years old. Is it too late for me to try fertility treatment?
When should we see a doctor to help us get pregnant?
On average, pregnancy occurs by 3 months of trying. If you are age 35 or over, then you should seek medical attention if you are not pregnant after 6 months of trying. A younger women may try for up to 12 months, provided she has fairly regular menstrual periods. If you have irregular menses or if you had pelvic surgery, then it is suggested that you see a fertility specialist.
What options do I have if my husband had a vasectomy?
After my second child I had my tubes tied, but now I’ve remarried and would like to have another child. What are my options?
I’m afraid of using fertility medications because of the risk of having quadruptlets. What is the actual risk?
The injectable gonadotropin medications have been reported to produce twins in up to 20% of pregnancies. Triplets can occur in up to 5% of pregnancies. Having greater than triplets from the injectable medications is rare (less then 1% of pregnancies). In-Vitro Fertilization results in up to 40% twins. However, we are returning a limited number of embryos to the uterus (often only 2); and thus, the chance for triplets ranges from 0-10% depending on the number of embryos transferred.