How to Choose an Infertility Clinic
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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
She had a disorder called polycystic ovarian
syndrome. Through Internet research, Bender says, she found the recommended
infertility treatments for the disorder -- which didn't match the treatments
she'd been put through. She eventually contacted a British doctor who had
written a paper on the subject. He supplied the names of three doctors in New
York who specialized in treating her condition.
Two lessons she learned from the ordeal: know
exactly what you're dealing with, and don't waste time.
Bender says there's a tendency for women with
infertility problems to stay with their obstetrician/gynecologists too long,
and in turn, for some of these doctors to hang on to patients longer than they
should before turning them over to a specialist. She's married, by the way, to
an obstetrician. Three years ago, she gave birth to a daughter.
Madsen has a final bit of advice: "Read the
books. You've got to learn how to become your own best advocate. Because no one
cares the way you do about whether you bring home a baby."