How to Choose an Infertility Clinic
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Madsen says that any doctor can hang out a
shingle that says "Infertility Specialist," but patients should check
the fine print for the words "reproductive endocrinologist."
Then it's time to schedule a consultation, and,
to a certain extent, let instinct take over.
"Infertility treatment is very different
than getting treated for a stomachache by an internist. You need to feel like
you're part of a team," Madsen says. "You've got to feel comfortable
with that staff and physician, that you are cared about. If, for some reason,
the pit of your stomach is saying, 'This is not the right place for me,' it's
You'd also better make sure there actually is a
team, Madsen says: "Does the program have support? A psychologist on staff,
a social worker, support groups. It will certainly help the couple survive
Another consideration is making sure the clinic
is open seven days a week, because, as Madsen puts it, "a woman's ovulation
waits for no man." It's important to select a clinic that's convenient to
reach, as infertility treatment requires sometimes-daily office
Assisted reproductive technology enabled
Stephanie Plaut, 37, of Irvington, N.Y., to give birth to twins two years ago.
She says it helps to know what kind of relationship you're looking for before
settling on an infertility doctor.
"I knew I was going to be very
involved," she says. "I wanted to be able to get a straight and direct
answer. So it meant for me having a doctor who was kind and caring, and one who
was not going to get his back up if I had a question."
She found one, but at points during her
treatment it hardly mattered. "It really is a clinic. You have to be
willing to accept the fact you're not always going to see that doctor. You're
going to interact with other members of the staff."
It took many interactions with the medical
community before 39-year-old Ellen Bender found a successful infertility
treatment. The New York lawyer saw two obstetrician/gynecologists and a
reproductive specialist before getting the news that she harbored poor-quality