It is both exciting and daunting to start pursuing fertility treatments, so it can be hard to know where to begin. There is a lot of research required before you can commit to a clinic that is a perfect balance for your needs and your budget. Although your GP will be able to make recommendations tailored to your requirements, the specialist they suggest may not be within your price range.
If you’re looking to achieve a pregnancy and are considering seeing an obstetrician gynaecologist that’s within your budget but aren’t sure where to start, this list will help you make your first steps.
Think About Your Needs and Wants
You may already have a fair idea of your needs and wants, but it’s a great idea to sit down and write down everything you’re seeking from your fertility journey. Going into the journey with a clear understanding of what you need will allow you to have the best chance of success with your assisted reproductive treatment.
For example, if you’re looking into embryo transfer, you’ll need to consider what the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) or Invitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment involves, as well as Medicare rebates and out-of-pocket costs. It’s also important to look into ICSI and IVF success rates to determine whether or not this is the right treatment option for you.
The cost of your fertility treatment plan will also depend on the complexity of your or your partner’s personal needs. Your GP will be able to help you organise your thoughts in this department so you can relay your fertility care needs to potential specialists most accurately.
It is also crucial to consider your comfort during the entire process. You need to find a specialist that you feel comfortable with from the very first fertility assessment until the baby is born. Feeling comfortable with your medical professionals is paramount as they may be conducting blood tests and performing exams on your reproductive system.
Prepare Your List of Questions
Once you’ve got a clear understanding of your needs and wants, write down a list of queries you will have when calling clinics and specialists. Writing your questions down will help to prepare you so you don’t forget anything. This will give you a way to compare and narrow down your choices.
Common topics to ask specialists about include:
- If they offer bulk billing, or how much they cost so you can assess the cost against your Medicare Safety Net or private health insurance.
- What they specialise in – some may offer donor programs, while others are specifically an IVF clinic.
- How many people may be involved in your treatment plan.
- Where procedures will be performed, as some may simply do them at the clinic while others work out of a hospital.
- How often you’ll need to come in during your IVF cycle or other fertility treatment.
Research The Different Kinds of Fertility Specialists
Once you have your questions, it’s time to begin the research stage.
Google can be very useful to find which specialists are closest to you and whether they will be suitable for your needs and wants. It is the quickest and easiest way to source location and contact information. Most specialists and clinics nowadays will also have a website that breaks down the different treatments they offer.
Word-of-mouth recommendations can also be a very strong indicator of whether a specialist will be right for you, so it may be worthwhile gently asking friends or family who have been through fertility care if they have any suggestions.
Remember, each clinic will offer a unique set of specialisations including ICSI and IVF, same-sex family planning, donor egg and sperm treatments, ovulation induction, surrogacy, or general reproductive health care.
The final step to starting your journal is calling around to find out the answers to all your questions.
To make collecting information easier, it is a great idea to make a spreadsheet with the specialists’ names, contact details, and the list of questions you are asking. After each call, you can fill out the spreadsheet with all the information you received so you can compare each specialist and find out which will offer you the best value for money.
If you are seeking fertility care including IVF in Queensland, Dr Kelvin Larwood is a Sunshine Coast-based obstetrician-gynaecologist with years of experience and would love to help you. Call 07 5478 4470 or email email@example.com to make an appointment.