If you’ve been diagnosed with infertility, you may already be working with a fertility clinic.
By helping single people and couples identify fertility issues, and find creative solutions, fertility clinics help people become pregnant and achieve their goals of creating a family.
Despite how challenging it can be to face infertility struggles, working with a fertility clinic can be the best choice for you.
Here’s what you need to know about fertility clinics and why they’re important:
What is a Fertility Clinic?
Fertility clinics are medical clinics that assist couples, and sometimes individuals, who want to become parents but for medical reasons have been unable to achieve this goal via the natural course. Clinics apply a number of diagnoses, tests and medical treatments to achieve conceptions and pregnancies.
What Does a Fertility Clinic Do?
Although fertility clinics may not be able to assist with all of your surrogacy needs, they still play an important role in the process through the various medical services they provide:
- Fertility testing: This procedure is to ensure that the surrogate will be able to go through the embryo transfer process.
- Egg and sperm donation: Fertility clinics can help intended parents find a donor who meets their specifications and preferences.
- Egg retrieval and embryo transfer: This involves retrieving the egg from the intended mother or egg donor and transferring the embryo to the surrogate.
Fertility clinics can test and diagnose fertility problems in both males and females..
For the male, semen collection is a standard diagnostic test to ascertain problems with the semen quality, while females may undergo a number of tests including an ovulation analysis, x-ray of fallopian tubes and uterus, and laparoscopy.
They may also perform ultrasounds by a sonographer and advanced pregnancy tests.
Fertility Clinics and Infertility Treatments
- ovulation induction
- surgical interventions
- artificial insemination, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- use of an egg donor or a sperm donor
In vitro fertilization is the most well-known of the assisted reproductive technology procedures performed at a fertility clinic.
Surrogacy uses the IVF process to fertilize and implant embryos. Once intended parents select their surrogate and complete the necessary screenings and legal contracts, their fertility clinic begins the process.
If intended parents are using their egg cells, they will take medication to stimulate ovulation to produce more than one healthy, mature egg during their cycle. The fertility clinic monitors ovulation with blood tests and ultrasounds to identify the ideal day for egg retrieval. At the same time, the surrogate takes hormones to sync her cycle with the intended mother’s cycle.
After egg retrieval, the intended father provides a semen sample or the fertility clinic will use donor sperm. The eggs and sperm are combined. After a couple of days, when the embryos have developed, the intended parents’ fertility specialist places an embryo into the surrogate’s womb.
Should I Still Work with a Surrogacy Agency?
Many times, prospective parents will connect with a fertility clinic first, as baseline fertility tests can be an easy introduction to family building. However, you can also start your journey by meeting with a surrogacy agency whose reputation you trust.
A surrogacy agency helps to coordinate your surrogacy journey to make it as easy for you to navigate as possible. They will provide all or most of the services needed to complete the surrogacy part of your family- building journey. This may include:
- Matching services to find your surrogate
- Screening services to ensure both you and your surrogate are mentally, physically & emotionally ready for this process
- Coordination of information/services between fertility clinics and the agency to make sure all steps are completed
- Counseling services
- And more
Surrogacy agencies can play a valuable role in your surrogacy success.
Although the United States is becoming more of a surrogacy-friendly country, there are still states where compensated surrogacy is not yet legal. Making sure that your rights, your surrogate’s rights, and the rights of your future child are protected is the job of your surrogacy agency and their legal team.
In addition, surrogacy is expensive. It truly is the common goal shared by all involved that you complete your journey to parenthood as efficiently as possible.
You don’t want to miss a crucial step because you declined the help of an agency or legal representation. In order to emphasize this further, many clinics will not move forward with couples trying to pursue surrogacy without the aid of a reproductive attorney or an agency.
Get Started With a Fertility Clinic Today
Before you get started on your search for a fertility clinic, find out what kind of tests or procedures you may need down the road. It helps to also give some thought ahead of time to how far you’re willing to go with this process.
Infertility treatments can cost many thousands of dollars and involve strong drugs or hormones. It can also be an emotional roller coaster, so knowing your limits will keep you from being talked into some new procedure that you really don’t want and can’t afford.
When it’s time to choose a clinic, do thorough research ahead of time. One useful resource is a federal database kept by the CDC. It has the success rates of fertility centers around the country and can help you find the right one for you.
Although the fertility clinic and surrogacy agency have different responsibilities, they share one common goal – to help intended parents have a healthy, happy family.
The surrogacy journey may seem like a long road, but your support teams at your clinic and surrogacy agency are there to support you every step of the way. Choosing a provider who has your back is an important first step, and you can get started by reaching out online today.