Pride and Joy #2: Making the Magic Happen
PRIDE and JOY #2: For Men - Making the Magic Happen
In our previous blog, Pride and Joy - Men’s Guide to Making Babies, we touched on considerations for men as they begin to build their family via egg donation. Now that you’ve done your research and know more about the process, the first step to making the magic happen is choosing your fertility clinic and doctor.
The Fertility Team
There are approximately 500 fertility clinics across the United States, so how do you select a clinic and fertility doctor, also known as a Reproductive Endocrinologist (“RE”)? The terms ‘clinic’ and ‘RE’ are often used interchangeably because the RE or fertility specialist is always part of a specific clinic where the procedures will take place. In choosing one, an intended parent is choosing the other by default.
In addition to your top-notch RE, you will meet the clinic team. At most fertility clinics, the team includes:
- An embryologist (a specially-trained scientist who handles your precious eggs and sperm outside the body)
- Coordination staff
Each clinic has a lab that is associated with it. The lab is key and will be headed by an embryologist. In fact, many say that a clinic is only as good as its lab.
Get to Know Your Options
Know your options, and think about what works best for you:
- For many, selecting a fertility team is a matter of choosing from the clinics located in their own geographic area.
- Some choose a doctor based on national reputation, regardless of location.
- Many clinics are now part of a consolidated network with partner clinics throughout the US. This can be helpful for outside monitoring.
- Some clients prefer a large, bustling clinic with several REs on staff, while others are looking for a more boutique service, with just one fertility doctor at the clinic.
While you consider the above, Fertility clinics publish success rates on the website of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) every two years. This will list the number of reported fertility cycles, broken down by type of cycle.
Is Consistency Key?
When recommending clinics to our clients, we tend to favor those where each RE has a dedicated third-party fertility staff so that you, your egg donor and your surrogate, will all be seeing the same people each time. If your egg donor lives out of state, this will be considered a travel cycle, - the donor may be monitored at a clinic near her home, and then she will travel to your clinic around the 7th day after she begins her hormone injections.
Having consistency ensures that everyone knows your story and offers a sense of support throughout the process. This can be particularly important if you are an international patient since you don’t want to waste precious time making the staff familiar with your story each time you connect. Feeling confident and supported by your medical team will also go a long way toward a stress-free journey.
Finding Your RE and Clinic
As you start researching and interviewing different clinics and doctors, here are a few good questions to ask when you are interviewing clinics:
- Do they work with men wanting to create families?
- How many same sex couples have they worked with?
- How many single men has the clinic worked with?
- How many egg donor cycles do they do each year on average?
- How many surrogate cycles do they do each year on average?
- Does the RE have a dedicated staff that you and your surrogate will see each time you visit?
Interview and visit (if you can) as many contenders to find your best personal fit. When you are narrowing down your choice of clinics, think about this:
- What kind of impression did they make?
- How did you feel about the clinic facilities (if you visited in person) You, your donor and your surrogate may spend a lot of time here - did it feel like a warm, welcoming environment?
- Do they offer a video consultation
- Meet with the RE as well as the clinic team.
The reality is that it takes a well-coordinated team including the RE, embryologist, nurses and the rest of the staff to orchestrate every step in the fertility process. Each person plays a part in helping you successfully create your family.
Do you want to talk more about your options as a man using third party fertility? Book your consultation today and we’ll send you our ebook, The Donor Concierge Men’s Guide to Making Babies.
In our next blog, we will look the egg donation journey:
How to Choose an Egg Donor
The first question we ask of any intended parent is: “What has your journey been up to this point?” No one grows up thinking that one day they will be choosing an egg donor to build their family. It can be a slow and painful evolution in thought to get to this point. But if you have made that journey and feel you are ready to start looking for an egg donor. Some things to consider::
- Look at where you are emotionally
- Understand your options
- Increasing your chances by finding an egg donor who
- will provide optimal results
- Most REs will recommend you go with a repeat egg donor but keep in mind that it is always best to look at both first time and repeat donors because they can see that the donor stimulated well and they can see if the last IP achieved positive results. But it will limit your options dramatically and repeat donors charge higher fees
- First time donors can have ovarian reserve screening so that you will have a gage as to the likelihood that she will be a successful donor
- Remember that egg donation will increase your chances of having a child to at least 50% and usually much higher
- Hope for the best but realize no one can give you a 100% chance of success
- Be aware that just as it has been a leap for you to consider using an egg donor, it is also a leap for a woman to decide to be an egg donor. She is making a courageous leap in deciding to donate