As some of you may know, I recently froze my eggs. Through my experience with CCRM, I learned so much about my body. While I can only speak to what questions came up for me when it comes to egg freezing, I hope these questions to ask a fertility clinic help you in some way in whatever your fertility journey looks like for you.
I already knew I wanted to do this procedure through CCRM after reading about them in the book It Starts With The Egg, but once I went in for a consultation and began my protocol there were a few questions that came up that I think other people could benefit in asking when they find the fertility clinic that is right for you! Here is a round up of the top 5 questions that you may consider asking…
Who will take care of me?
There are a lot of questions – big and small – that will come up throughout this process. Whether it’s to clarify scheduling or to discuss symptoms and side effects from some of the medication, it’s important to know who your point of contact is. With CCRM, I found it super helpful that I had a dedicated nurse to contact. She was very familiar with my file and medical history. If for some reason she wasn’t available, my doctor had a whole nurse team that could support me.
After speaking to some friends of mine who have gone through IVF with other clinics, it turns out that a dedicated nurse isn’t always the case! With some of the smaller, more boutique clinics, it turns out sometimes the point of contact is the doctor him/herself. That can sometimes be hard with communication when the doctor doesn’t have a support staff to help out with more attentive care.
Along with this question make sure to ask if there is an after hours support line to call. Luckily with the clinic I went to they have a doctor on call to answer any questions you may have that come up outside of normal business hours. When giving myself the trigger shot (the shot that triggers ovulation right before the actual procedure), this can happen at any hour in the night. My shot was scheduled for 10:30pm. Given the importance of the shot itself I had some last minute questions to ask the doctor and it helped my anxiety so much knowing that I could still connect with someone.
Does the clinic have a discount with any specialty pharmacies?
The cost of egg freezing is a lot and the medication costs can range quite drastically! I literally saved thousands of dollars on my medication because CCRM was able to give their patients a discount through their relationship with one of the specialty pharmacies. I called other pharmacies and the cost would have been 3x what I paid!
If the financial aspect is something you are nervous about, make sure to ask this question up front because that could make a difference to you!
How many protocols does the clinic have?
Not all clinics use the same protocols on their patients. A protocol is essentially the treatment and medication method to give each person. Some only have a handful of protocols, and others have more than that. It’s good to have a better understanding of how this will work with your clinic. With CCRM, the nurse told me right from the beginning that my doctor will customize the protocol to my body and my needs. I’m all about personalized health care (we are all unique!) so I really loved hearing that!
Where is the storage of my eggs going to be?
Some clinics actually don’t have storage on site or in their own facility and they themselves pay rent to use other clinics’ facilities. I prefer when everything is under one roof, which luckily it is with CCRM.
Will you retrieve all eggs or just the mature eggs?
CCRM retrieves all eggs – even the baby ones that are not mature and most likely not viable when being transferred. Not all clinics will do this and they will only retrieve eggs that have reached a certain size. For me, I think, since we’re dealing with science, who knows what science and technology will be able to do in a few years. Perhaps the smaller eggs will some how be able to be used, you just never know and I like that CCRM retrieves everything they see.
I hope that these questions to ask a fertility clinic helped you as you navigate your fertility journey. Again, this is my personal journey through egg freezing. There may be other questions that come up if you are considering IVF or other fertility methods.