One of the questions Intended Parents ask often is “Can you recommend a good doctor?”. Other variations of that question are “Should I stay with my current doctor?”, “Should I move to a doctor closer to where the egg donor lives?”, and sometimes “I’m not sure if I should move doctors or not – what do you think?”.
Here are the answers to those questions, in my opinion…
1) “Can you recommend a good doctor?” Yes, we can provide recommendations to you.
We have been fortunate enough to work with many of the top Reproductive Endocrinologists (”fertility doctors”) in the country, and from those experiences (and client feedback) we have a good sense of who most of the better doctors are. We base our recommendations on a number of factors, including:
- General reputation and feedback from past patients
- Quality and professionalism of the office staff (front office, nursing, etc.)
- General compliance with current “industry standards”, including information such as number of embryos typically implanted, compliance with common testing, administration of medication, etc. (Note that since we are not physicians, we cannot comment, and would not deign to comment, on any particular doctor’s medical protocol. However, when we see a lower success rate and highly unusual protocol used, we get concerned…)
- General office “vibe” (for example, many clinics with in-house programs are very negative towards working with egg donor agencies.)
- Specific success rates (sometimes per SART, sometimes per our own information or in-house statistics.)
Note that we do not limit our work to any particular group or clinic, but as we gather first-hand information, we will use it to help our clients make the best choice for them.
2) “Should I stay with my current doctor?” “Should I move to a doctor closer to where the donor lives?” That all depends…
I believe that the most important criteria in choosing or keeping your physician include:
- Your comfort level with and trust in your doctor. If you love your doctor and totally trust him or her, as long as they are supportive of using an egg donor from an agency, definitely keep that doctor. I think that if you are calm during the process, and are willing to do what your doctor says because you trust in that doctor, you are more likely to have a successful cycle. This is only said from anecdotal evidence and other’s opinions, but being in a good place psychologically as you’re on buckets of hormones (and going through a somewhat surreal process) can’t help but benefit you. Does statistical research confirm that? I don’t know – but it sure seems logical.
- If finances are an issue (as they generally are) and you choose an egg donor from another city, you might want to consider moving to a doctor in that city. However, if you love your current doctor, the difference in dollars is probably irrelevant – certainly in the long term. If you do choose to use or keep a doctor in a city far from where the donor lives, make sure that you’re aware of the outside monitoring costs as early in the process as possible. (The finance person at the doctor’s office, along with our cycle coordinator, can help you with that.) The less surprises that happen in this process, the better.
All of BHED’s clients are assigned a Cycle Coordinator – a senior member of our staff who follows your case through from the time you choose your doctor until retrieval (and often, beyond.) The Cycle Coordinator will be in regular contact with your doctor’s office from the time you sign your contract with us, and she will alert you if we have any unexpected challenges with the doctor’s office. Most of the time things work out just fine.
Note that we stay with you until you become pregnant or you decide to discontinue trying. Your choice of doctor is certainly an important part of this process, and is one of the keys to the success of your pursuit to begin or build your family.
We look forward to helping you realize your dream through egg donation!