The road to parenthood can be confusing and overwhelming, primarily because it can be difficult to figure out where to start if your family-building goals include fertility testing and treatment. As a Progyny member, our team of dedicated Patient Care Advocates (PCAs) will be with you every step of the way and can help you with one of the first things you need to decide, which fertility clinic do you choose.
With the Progyny network you’ll be in good hands when pursuing treatment with one of our premier providers. We know that even with that knowledge, the decision can be overwhelming so let’s dive into what to consider when choosing a clinic.
The Progyny Network and Our Outcomes
Progyny has an expansive provider network and we are honored to partner with the best practices in the US. We work with Reproductive Endocrinologists, who are fertility specialists by training. We continually monitor all in-network clinics to ensure their practices comply with the highest standards, evidence-based treatments, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines. When considering adding a new clinic to our network, all of their outcomes are reviewed and we ensure that all of their providers are credentialled. We trust our providers to make the best decisions for their patients and created a fertility benefit to support that. There is no mandated treatment, such as IUI before IVF, as our goal is to ensure that members get the best treatment for them the first time.
Progyny outcomes are not only better than the national average, but Progyny members have superior outcomes at the same clinics due to our comprehensive benefit design. All Progyny authorizations include coverage for all standard of care procedures necessary within a treatment cycle so that your physician can provide you with the best possible care.
As an example, Progyny covers genetic testing, called PGT-A, which allows our doctors to test each embryo created in an IVF cycle and determine which are most likely to lead to a successful pregnancy and live birth. While we don’t mandate that PGT-A is performed, we believe that our members should have access tothe best standard of care procedures to give them the best possible outcomes, which is a single, healthy pregnancy.
Different Types of Clinics
While all the clinics in the Progyny network are held to the same standard, they differ in many ways. Some are large centers with multi-physicians, perhaps affiliated with a large hospital or network, while others are boutique clinics with one or two physicians. Neither option is better or worse, but it’s important to understand the differences before selecting the best fit for you.
What Should I Consider when Selecting a Clinic?
Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself when selecting a clinic.
- Are there specialties within fertility? A fertility specialist is a reproductive endocrinologist, or someone who treats individuals and couples in order to achieve pregnancy or preserve fertility for the future. While all reproductive endocrinologists (REIs) are trained to treat all individuals on all paths to parenthood, infertility is a complicated disease with many facets. If you have a specific diagnosis, it’s important to ask a prospective clinic if their physicians are experts in your diagnosis. Some examples of diagnoses that affect fertility are PCOS, endometriosis, and fibroids. Progyny ensures that all of our partner clinics are comfortable providing care for all family dynamics including single parents by choice and couples, both heterosexual and those in the LGBTQ+ community. However, it’s a good practice to let your prospective clinic know your unique needs to ensure that you’d feel affirmed and comfortable with your practice. Your comfort means a lot. Speak to your PCA if you have specific questions about your journey.
- Should I choose my clinic based on the specialty in treatments, their clinical outcomes, or my doctor? The answer to this question differs from person to person, and it’s important to consider which is most important to you when selecting a clinic. You should choose a physician with whom you feel comfortable but understanding that your goal is to build your family, what is most important to many patients is the outcomes at a clinic. Outcomes are their success rates in terms of helping patients achieve pregnancy, either immediately or in the future (following fertility preservation). Pregnancy outcomes are primarily driven by their embryology lab and most physicians would tell you that the lab is the most important part of a fertility journey that includes IVF. It’s also important to keep in mind that your primary physician will determine your treatment plan and protocol, and you’ll likely also see all providers in the office for visits such as monitoring and even procedures (insemination, retrieval, transfer). Some members may have a preference in terms of the gender or sex of their provider, and be aware that you’ll likely meet with their colleagues as well if it’s not a single practitioner.
- Does location matter? Yes, we think it’s important to keep location top of mind when choosing your clinic as you’ll likely have to be there many times a week for at least a few weeks while in treatment. During IVF or egg freezing, a woman is required to get bloodwork and an ultrasound in the morning (known as monitoring) every few days. While some choose to drive a bit to get to these appointments, location should be a deciding factor when weighing options. We recommend that you choose a clinic near your home or office for convenience, however with 600 clinics in the Progyny network nationwide, some members also choose to travel across the country to have care at a clinic they strongly desire. While this adds cost (travel cost) it is an option with the Progyny benefit. You can choose any in-network Progyny Provider in the US. Please find the list here. If you don’t see a provider in your area, please reach out to your PCA for assistance.
- What are the hours of operation at the clinic? Most clinics are open for consultations and some diagnostic procedures Monday through Friday 9am-4pm or so. They have morning monitoring hours for those in treatment cycles from 7am-9am roughly. Be sure to check with your prospective clinic and ask them what their hours for scheduled visits are as well as morning monitoring. You should expect to have 1-3 scheduled visits prior to starting a treatment cycle and then 5-7 early morning monitoring appointments during the cycle. The only days you’ll likely need to take off of work entirely are for an egg retrieval as an example.
- What happens when I get pregnant? Congratulations, this is the best possible outcome! Once a successful pregnancy is achieved, the REI will monitor your early pregnancy before transitioning care over to an OBGYN. Most patients typically start seeing their OBGYN when they are about 8 weeks pregnant.
- When should I get a second opinion? Trust your gut—if you feel something isn’t right, you should consider your options for a second opinion! If you feel you are not getting your questions answered, are not being heard or validated, or if you simply don’t feel the chemistry is right, you can look at other options in your area (or beyond). Some members decide to have a second opinion if their first couple of treatments fail or have suboptimal results. The beauty of the Progyny benefit is that we have 600 clinics nationwide, so you’re never tied to a clinic that isn’t working for you. Check with your PCA to see how many consults you have available to you in a calendar year.
- What resources can I use to help find a clinic? You can speak to your PCA who can direct you to our Provider network to help you locate a clinic near you. Your PCA will not steer you to a specific clinic but can help with letting you know about the clinic itself. Some patients speak to their friends, family, or colleagues who have undergone fertility treatment for a personal referral. We understand that not everyone is comfortable disclosing that they are beginning their own fertility journey, however.
To find reviews of fertility clinics in your area we recommend:
You can find information on outcomes at each clinic at https://www.cdc.gov/art/artdata/index.html. Keep in mind that there are many factors that go into a clinics’ outcomes and that Progyny members tend to have better outcomes even as compared to non-Progyny members at the same clinic. However, many patients use CDC to get more information about their clinic choice.
Finding a doctor perfect for you is the first step for effective fertility treatment. Not sure if a clinic is in network? Use the Progyny Provider Search Tool to verify. Armed with the questions to consider and a better understanding of what you want, give your PCA a call and begin building the family of your dreams today! All Progyny members also have access to a Clinical Educator, a nurse who can assist you if you’d like added help in choosing a clinic. Reach out to your PCA to set up a conversation with a Progyny Clinical Educator.