Not everyone can become pregnant easily. And for couples looking to start, grow or expand their family, not getting pregnant when you want to can be a highly emotional and stressful time.
For those who want to pursue becoming pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), it’s important to find the best institution available. Here are five questions to ask if you are considering IVF:
1. What is it?
In-vitro fertilization is the fertilization of an egg, outside of the body. In simple terms, the egg is put with the sperm and once fertilization has been confirmed, the egg is transferred back to the uterus to implant. Usually a number of eggs are retrieved at one time to increase the chances of a successful fertilization. Medications are used to stimulate the growth of an adequate number of eggs prior to the retrieval process.
2. What does it cost?
Exact costs can only be determined once your situation is assessed and an individualized treatment plan has been created. As costs can vary greatly from person to person, or even cycle to cycle, make sure you understand the costs before proceeding. Some provincial assistance may be available depending on where you live. If you have private insurance, you should check with them to see if they will cover any of the costs.
Make sure you keep all of your receipts as some costs may be used as a form of federal tax credit. Also, ask your clinic if they offer any financial assistance programs you may qualify for.
3. How can you apply?
If you qualify for IVF treatments through your provincial medical plan, your family doctor will need to refer you to the fertility clinic. If you are not eligible for assistance under the provincial plan and want to apply directly, the clinic will have an application process that each person will need to go through.
Call or visit the fertility clinic for instructions on how to get started. Once your application or referral has been received, the clinic will reach out to set up an appointment for your initial consultation.
4. What are the clinics goals, values and success rate?
IVF is a big decision. Make sure you know what the clinic’s goals and values are and that they are essentially the same as yours. Talk to them about what your expectations are and understand the reality of your personal situation. Find out the success rate for people in your situation and with similar circumstances.
5. What qualifications do the doctors have?
As with any doctor, you’ll want to know what qualifications your fertility doctor has. How long have they been performing IVF treatments? What is their background and education? Where has the doctor studied and practiced? Can they give you any references?
Considering IVF treatment is something that can be a life-altering decision. Make sure you have all of the facts you need beforehand, because having a baby is one of the biggest and happiest decisions you’ll ever make!