The Fertility Industry: How to be a Smart Shopper
Since the birth of the first surviving septuplets in 1997, the fertility treatment industry has blown up with "an estimated $2 billion or more in annual sales of drugs, devices and other treatments ... with annual growth of 20 percent projected for the industry through the turn of the century," according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Now, with one in six couples experiencing some sort of fertility challenge, competition is fierce, as some couples will spend tens of thousands of dollars or more in hopes of having a child.
But along with this hope, there are also several potential pitfalls for these consumer couples to be wary of. As with other fast-growing industries, there are those who will take advantage of certain situations in order to make a lot of money. Some doctors might become involved in the fertility business without the proper credentials, and some of those doctors with the right credentials might charge an outrageous amount for the quality of their services. Because the term "infertility specialist" is so broad, almost any OB/GYN can classify him or herself as one if they have treated patients for infertility. Unfortunately, the term is not recognized in the medical field, so no specific credentials are required to use it.
This is just one of the reasons why it is so important for couple who may even suspect they have a fertility problem to know how to go about getting the best medical care available to them. All too often, couples with infertility issues choose a doctor who "specializes in infertility" out of the phone book or on the Internet, and then trust that doctor to give them the proper care. Avoid making your decision this way at all costs, as you could be wasting a lot of money, as well as precious time and energy. Physicians who truly specialize in infertility are considered "Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology," a phrase you should always look for when looking for a doctor.
One of the smartest things you and your partner can do when you're struggling with infertility is to educate yourselves as much as possible on everything related to fertility and infertility treatment. This includes knowing how to choose a physician and clinic that will meet your needs, as well as knowing how to ask all the right questions to ensure you will receive the proper medical care you deserve. For more information on what questions to ask and how to find a good doctor, click here.