Eleven Questions You Should Ask

1. How long has the program been established?

Experience counts when choosing a fertility clinic. The Baylor College of Medicine fertility program was established in 1983 and has an international reputation for excellence. More than 1,000 babies have been born through our program.

2. What are the program's pregnancy rates?

Care must be exercised when comparing success rates among different fertility clinics. Some clinics reject patients with a poorer chance for pregnancy, which makes their cumulative pregnancy rates higher than those that offer treatment to all patients. Baylor College of Medicine specializes in difficult-to-treat cases, often taking on patients rejected by other clinics. Our pregnancy rates are published annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3. Is the program a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)?

Yes, Baylor College of Medicine is a member of SART. SART requires its members to follow ethical guidelines, follow procedures to limit multiple pregnancies, undergo lab certification and inspection, and maintain strict standards.

4. Are all of the physicians board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology? Do the physicians who direct the program actually work on site and participate in patient care?

Although OB/GYNs can work in the area of infertility without board certification in REI, we feel it is a critical aspect of the training of physicians who work with fertility patients. All Baylor College of Medicine fertility specialists are board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Many programs operate as satellite programs with the medical director acting as a consultant in an off-site location. All Baylor College of Medicine fertility specialists are located on site and are directly involved in patient care.

5. Is the program affiliated with a hospital? 

Yes, the Baylor College of Medicine's fertility program is located within the Texas Medical Center and is affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center. Clinics affiliated with a hospital are better able to coordinate patient care when hospitalization is necessary.

6. What services does the program offer?

Some clinics promote in vitro fertilization (IVF) as first-line therapy for patients with almost all types of infertility, while other clinics reserve it for cases where all other therapies have failed. The former practice dramatically inflates a clinic's pregnancy rates. Baylor College of Medicine offers a wide range of services including IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and specialized services such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). We are committed to helping all women who are seeking a successful pregnancy, with a focus on the least expensive, least invasive techniques first before resorting to more complex and costly intervention.

7. Does the program offer treatment for male factor infertility?

Yes, Baylor College of Medicine does the highest percentage of male factor assisted reproduction cases in the nation. This question is particularly important for couples who already know that the male partner has a fertility problem. Male factor contributes to approximately half of all cases of infertility. Baylor College of Medicine, in affiliation with Dr. Larry Lipshultz of the Scott Department of Urology – a world-renowned expert in male infertility – provides a wide range of services including ICSI and specialized sperm retrieval techniques.

8. How many embryos are transferred?

Baylor College of Medicine follows the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) guidelines with respect to the number of embryos transferred. However, these treatment decisions are individualized for each couple.

9. What does treatment cost?

The program should disclose in writing the costs for treatment and diagnostic tests. Baylor College of Medicine outlines the cost for its services in its information packet, which is available to all prospective patients.

10. Does the clinic have a donor sperm/donor egg program?

Yes, Baylor College of Medicine has both a sperm and egg donor program.

11. Does the clinic offer psychological counseling?

Seeking treatment for infertility can be a stressful experience; psychological counseling can help patients cope with that stress. Baylor College of Medicine partners with certified mental health professionals to provide psychological counseling to patients when needed.