Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, has grown in popularity, with a 46% increase in egg freezing cycles from 2020 to 2021 alone! Selecting the right egg freezing clinic is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the success and overall experience of the process. In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when evaluating egg freezing clinics. Let’s dive in.
Does the clinic report outcomes to SART?
When evaluating an egg freezing clinic, it is important to inquire whether they report their outcomes to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). SART is an organization that collects and publishes data on assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, including egg freezing.
Clinics that voluntarily report their outcomes to SART demonstrate a commitment to transparency and accountability. Reporting outcomes to SART allows clinics to benchmark their success rates against national averages and ensures that they adhere to industry standards. Access to this information can provide you with a clearer picture of the clinic's performance and help you make an informed decision about the quality of care they provide.
Is the doctor dual board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility?
The expertise and qualifications of the doctor overseeing your egg freezing process are paramount. Look for a fertility doctor who is dual board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) and reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). This demonstrates the doctor's specialized knowledge and training in reproductive medicine.
Research indicates that board certification leads to better patient outcomes and enhanced communication between doctors and patients.
Achieving board certification in REI requires extensive training and education, which involves the following key components:
- Medical School: Completion of four years of medical school, where aspiring doctors acquire a foundational understanding of medicine and patient care.
- Residency: Completion of a rigorous four-year obstetrics and gynecology residency program, which focuses on training doctors in the comprehensive management of women's reproductive health.
- Fellowship: Completion of a specialized three-year reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship, where doctors gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in the field of reproductive medicine.
- Board examinations: Successful completion of two sets of examinations, including both written and oral components. The first set of exams evaluates knowledge in obstetrics and gynecology, while the second set specifically focuses on reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
By undergoing this rigorous training and successfully passing the board examinations, doctors demonstrate their competence and dedication to the field of reproductive medicine.
Does the clinic have good outcomes?
This is easier said than done, but try and assess their success rates and outcomes. You can inquire about the clinic's specific egg freezing success rates and ask for data regarding the number of eggs retrieved, survival rates after thawing, and subsequent successful pregnancies from frozen eggs. But keep in mind that a lot of this data depends on the patient population.
Another way to gauge outcomes is to look at how many cycles a clinic performs. As with everything in medicine, the more procedures a doctor does, the better patient outcomes.
So how do you know how many egg freezing cycles a clinic does? You can ask. Or you can look it up on SART. Here’s how:
- Go to Find an IVF Clinic
- Type in your zip code
- Clinic names will show up, click “Success Rates”
- You can look at Total Cycles or Cycle Starts for women in your age group, and compare across clinics
Unfortunately the data does not differentiate between cycles that are for IVF and cycles just for egg freezing. However, the egg retrieval procedure is the same for both, and a decent measure to compare across clinics.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this is clinic-level data, and does not tell you how many egg retrievals a specific doctor has performed. A clinic with two doctors will not have as many retrievals as a clinic with ten doctors.
Does the clinic offer individualized care?
Individualized treatments take into account each patient's unique circumstances, medical history, and specific goals. By tailoring the treatment plan to the individual, clinics can optimize the chances of success while considering factors such as age, ovarian reserve, and any underlying medical conditions. This personalized approach ensures that patients receive the most appropriate and effective care for their specific needs, leading to better outcomes and overall patient satisfaction.
Ask how your treatments will be individualized for your specific case. The size and volume of a practice can sometimes be an important factor in how personalized care is delivered. Trust your instincts when you first visit a clinic and meet the staff.
Do they have a good reputation?
A reputable and trustworthy egg freezing clinic should have positive feedback from former patients. Research patient reviews and testimonials to gain insights into their experiences with the clinic. Look for consistent feedback regarding the quality of care, staff attentiveness, communication, and overall satisfaction.
Recommendations from trusted sources also go a long way! Ask a friend, colleague, or even your PCP for their thoughts.
If you work with Cofertility to freeze your eggs, we can connect you with our partner clinics who also offer discounts to our members.
Do you vibe with the doctor and staff?
The doctor-patient relationship is a significant aspect of your egg freezing journey, and feeling a connection and sense of comfort with your doctor and care team can greatly impact your overall experience.
Research clinics by visiting their website and learning about the background, experience, and specific areas of interest for the physician you are seeing. During your initial consultations or meetings, pay attention to how well you communicate with the doctor and if you feel heard and understood. Trust and rapport are crucial in building a collaborative partnership with your doctor, where you can openly discuss your concerns, ask questions, and make informed decisions together. Feeling a positive connection with your doctor creates a supportive environment that can alleviate stress and enhance your confidence in the treatment process. Ultimately, finding a doctor with whom you vibe can contribute to a more positive and empowering experience as you navigate the journey of egg freezing.
Do you like the facility?
The physical environment and amenities offered by the clinic can also influence your overall experience. When visiting the clinic, assess factors such as cleanliness, comfort, and privacy. Take note of the clinic's equipment and technology, as advanced laboratory facilities can contribute to better success rates. Additionally, consider the location and accessibility of the clinic, as frequent visits may be required during the egg freezing process. Choosing a clinic with a facility that aligns with your preferences can enhance your comfort and convenience throughout the treatment.
Is the lab CAP certified?
Another crucial aspect to consider is whether the laboratory of the egg freezing clinic holds certification from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). CAP accreditation indicates that the laboratory meets rigorous standards for quality and safety in laboratory practices.
CAP-certified labs undergo regular inspections and assessments to ensure compliance with specific guidelines and protocols. Choosing a clinic with a CAP-certified laboratory reassures you that the facility follows best practices in handling and storing frozen eggs, maintaining an optimal environment for their preservation. This certification adds an additional layer of assurance regarding the clinic's commitment to maintaining high standards in their laboratory operations.
How much will it cost?
The cost of egg freezing varies among clinics and geographies. But average egg freezing cycle costs range from $10,000 - $20,000 for consultations, testing, ultrasounds, medications, and the egg retrieval, plus the ongoing cost of annual storage.
It is essential to understand the financial aspects, including the initial consultation fees, medication costs, the egg retrieval procedure, and storage fees. Some clinics may offer package deals or financing options, while others may provide additional services at an extra cost. Here are some questions to ask the clinic about pricing:
- How much does an egg freezing cycle cost at your clinic?
- How much does egg storage cost per year at your clinic?
- Do you accept my insurance?
Freeze your eggs with Cofertility
Cofertility is a human-first, tech-enabled fertility ecosystem that provides people agency over if, how, and when they have babies — today or someday. We have two programs for egg freezers:
In our Keep program, you can freeze and store your eggs for your own future use, with lower prices on things like storage and medication – as well as our team’s support and access to our community.
The Split program, which offers women a chance to both freeze their own eggs and donate half the eggs to a family who cannot conceive otherwise. If you qualify for the program and decide to donate half of your retrieved eggs, every expense associated with the egg freezing procedure — medications, supplements, travel if necessary, insurance, and 10 years of storage — are completely free of charge. We don’t even need a payment or credit card up front, as the family you match with covers all the expenses.
The benefits for of working with Cofertility include:
- Power of choice: Freeze your eggs more affordably or, if you qualify, freeze for free when you give half to a family who can’t otherwise conceive.
- Community: Our inclusive online spaces allow you to connect with others going through the process in our private online community.
- Compassion: We’ll always treat you with care, and our Split program gives you the opportunity to make someone’s family building dreams a reality.
- Data-driven: We provide you with trustworthy guidance and evidence-based research so you can make informed decisions about your fertility.
- Free egg freezing: Freeze and store your eggs for 10 years, entirely for free if you qualify for our Split program.
Ready to learn about more affordable (even free!) egg freezing with Cofertility? Fill out this quick quiz to learn about our accessible egg freezing options and see if you qualify for our programs — it only takes one minute.