Looking for the best fertility doctor in your area?
If you’re in Philadelphia, you’re in luck – Philadelphia Magazine just released its Top Doctor list, and RMA of Philadelphia doctors Dr. Arthur Castelbaum, Dr. Jacqueline Gutmann, Dr. Martin Freedman and Dr. William Schlaff all made the peer-nominated list!
Not sure how to find the best fertility doctor in your area? We’ve put together a checklist of what to look for in your fertility doctor – so you can be sure you’re taken care of.
The best fertility doctors will have:
Did you know that every clinic is required to report their IVF success rates to the government, and they appear on sart.org? If a clinic has high success rates, that means the doctors are doing a good job helping women get and stay pregnant. Do your research and choose the best fertility doctor at a clinic with a high success rate by live birth.
Single Embryo Transfer
Today’s IVF standard is single embryo transfer. That means the best fertility doctors only transfer one embryo into a woman’s uterus, not two. Because new technology now allows doctors to choose the healthiest embryos, and because double embryo transfers often result in twins (which are associated with a higher possibility of pre-term delivery and longer NICU stays), you should be looking for doctors who have a record of single embryo transfer.
Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS)
Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) is a form of genetic testing that allows doctors to identify abnormalities in embryos before implantation – and only transfer healthy embryos. Technology like this is a must for those considering IVF, and the best fertility doctors will not only work for a clinic that offers the service, but encourage the screening for their patients to maximize chances of a healthy baby.
Traditionally, doctors have performed genetic testing like CCS by taking a biopsy of an embryo when it is very young – usually around day three of the embryo’s growth. But recent science has shown better results from taking a day five (blastocyst) biopsy for two reasons, both of which relate to the number of cells in an embryo. First, since older embryos have more cells, taking a biopsy from a day five embryo doesn’t dramatically harm the embryo. Second, since doctors are taking more cells from an older embryo, they can make a more confident judgment about overall embryo health. Fertility specialists who perform day five embryo biopsies are using the latest, safest techniques.
Behind every good doctor is a good embryology lab. These labs are the heart of every fertility practice, and the better the technology and professionals running the lab, the higher the chances of success. Ask around – who’s got a state of the art embryology lab? The better the lab, the better the fertility doctor, the better off you are.
Doctors working for clinics that perform their own research – or better yet, doctors who perform research and publish themselves – are literally leading the way in this field. All the innovations that have raised success rates and made parenthood possible for millions of people around the world have come from doctors who spend time probing the most complex questions – until they find an answer that becomes a breakthrough. Doctors doing their own research have an added layer of credibility in the field and are more likely to practice the most advanced science.
Doctors who listen, sympathize and offer treatment plans unique to each patient are the heroes of this industry. Having someone who is experienced in practicing this kind of compassion can give you the support you need when you need it.
Choosing the best fertility doctor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your infertility journey. Follow the checklist above and you’ll be in good hands!