Selecting your artificial reproductive technology (ART) program is an importantstep in addressing your infertility struggles. There are several importantquestions to ask regarding credibility, cost, convenience, and details ofthe program. The following series of questions are suggested to help guideyou in selecting your ART program.
- Does the program adhere to the guidelinesset forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine(ASRM)?
- Is the program a member of the Societyfor Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)?
- Is the IVF lab accredited by the Collegeof American Pathologists and SART or by the JointCommission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations?
- Are the physicians board certified in reproductiveendocrinology and infertility?
- Does the program report its results to theSART Registry and the Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention?
Regarding Cost and Convenience:
- What pre-cycle screening tests are required, whatare their costs, and will insurance cover the tests?
- How much does the ART procedure cost, includingdrugs per treatment cycle?
- Will I be required to pay in advance? If so, howmuch, and what payment methods are acceptable?
- If applicable, whose responsibility will it beto submit any bills to the insurance company?
- What is my financial obligation if the treatmentcycle is canceled prior to egg recovery or embryo transfer?
- What are the costs of embryo freezing, storage,and transfer?
- How much work am I and my partner likely to miss?
- If necessary, what kind of help is available forlow-cost lodging?
Regarding Details About the Program:
- How many physicians will be involved inmy care?
- To what degree can my own physician participatein my care?
- What types of counseling and support servicesare available?
- Whom do I call (day or night) if a problem surfaces?
- Do you freeze embryos (cryopreservation)?
- Are donor sperm, eggs or embryons available inyour program?
- Do you have an age or basal follicle stimulatinghormone (FSH) limit?
- Do you consider ICSI? If so, when, and what isthe cost?
- Do you do assisted hatching? If so, when, andwhat is the cost?
- How many eggs/embryos are normally transferred?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)is a good source of information to obtain ART outcomes for each reportingprogram in the United States. It is important to find out if there havebeen any significant changes in the program since the initial release ofthis information in 2000, including:
- Personnel changes
- Changes in the approach to ovarian stimulation,egg retrieval, embryo culture, or embryo transfer
- Change in the number of cycles
- Change in the miscarriagerate, live birth rate per cycle started, or the multiple pregnancyrate
Adapted and reprinted by permission from the AmericanSociety of Reproductive Medicine