Infertility Tests Every Aspect of a Couple's Life
Infertility Tests for Every Aspect of a Couple's Life
Beyond the Cookie Cutter continued...
Although diagnostic tests can sometimes be dragged out for as long as 18
months, Daniel Kenigsberg, co-director of Long Island IVF in Port Jefferson,
N.Y., advises finding a specialist who will get the testing done in about six
weeks and who includes successive options if one course of action fails. He
also advises that couples truly understand their chances of conception every
"Even if you were to restore a couple's fertility to normal, they'd
still only be getting pregnant at a rate of about 20% per month. If people
don't understand that basic premise, infertility can become especially
stressful because somebody will get a fertility drug or insemination for one
month and think it's gotta work."
Couples may be limited to certain programs or treatments by their insurers,
and in states with mandated coverage patients are often referred more quickly
to in vitro fertilization than they are elsewhere. But experts encourage
arguing with insurers if need be. "I think that insurers for the most part
want the patients pregnant in less tries, too, but sometimes they're not
looking at the success rates as closely as the patients are," says Dr.
Michael Zinaman, director of reproductive endocrinology at Loyola University
Medical Center in Chicago.
The Numbers Game
Success rates for in vitro fertilization, which average about 23% per
attempt by most recent statistics issued by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and cost an average of $10,000, are important to compare, of course.
That's true now more than ever since some clinics have jumped significantly
ahead of others, with some success rates as high as 50% for women 35 and under
due to improvements in the procedures and lab conditions, says Dr. Zinaman.
But Dr. Silber suggests that couples also consider a program's cancellation
rates, which can make its success rates appear higher than they otherwise
might. Programs in high-population areas with long waiting lists often cancel
in vitro procedures for women with smaller egg harvests because the pregnancy
rate will be lower. "Their overall business plan may be to cancel 20% of
their cycles -- that way their overall pregnancy rate will appear 20%
higher." He recommends that cancellation rates be no higher than 5%.