The Doctors met Natalia and Randall, who claim they experienced a nightmare while working with a fertility clinic. Plus, we share questions to ask a prospective fertility clinic.
In an effort to get pregnant, the couple first attempted to transfer two fresh embryos, but Natalia did not get pregnant. They say they still had hope as they had two frozen embryos to try with, which were being stored at their fertility clinic. They say they later decided to work with another clinic and moved their two frozen embryos to a new facility.
Just before the frozen embryos were slated to be implanted, the couple was notified that there were actually no embryos in the device that was transferred from their original clinic to the new facility.
"I literally collapsed to the floor and was sobbing. I could not believe it," Natalia recounts. "Those were our final 2 embryos. That was my only chance to become a mother. Those were lives, our babies, and they're gone."
OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry explains this is not a common occurrence but is possible. She recommends doing plenty of research when deciding on a fertility clinic and notes that the CDC has a database of fertility clinic success rates. She says the price of procedures can differ by the thousands and notes that just because a clinic charges a lot does not mean it is the right location for you.
The Doctors suggest asking these questions when deciding on which fertility clinic to work with:
- Make sure the clinic has good quality control and strong ethics.
- Ask a lot of questions at each one you visit, such as: How long have the medical director, doctors, and technicians been there? High staff turnover can be a sign of bad management and can contribute to mistakes.
- Which procedures do you do, and how often? Be sure the clinic has a wide range of infertility remedies and is familiar with the latest technology
- Do you have age limits for treatment? If so, it's a good sign that the clinic is concerned about ethical issues.
- When you do a procedure that involves fertilizing the eggs outside the woman's body and then putting them inside her, who decides how many eggs go back in, the patient or the doctor?
- What does treatment cost? Don't choose strictly on price, it's good to know costs ahead of time so you know what you're getting into.
- If you call the clinic and they say they're too busy to answer your questions, try elsewhere.
- They may not have time for your questions once you're a patient, either.