It is increasingly popular for infertility clinics to offer a free cycle of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) via contests, lotteries and other hyper-marketed giveaways. These contests claim you can ‘win a baby’ with a cycle or round of IVF. While the very thought of winning a baby may turn some hopeful parents off, others may find a free IVF cycle – and the ‘baby reward’ at the end of a successful cycle – tempting, and choose to pursue the opportunity.

For those considering some type of IVF giveaway, remember the fine print – there are several important things to think about before you make a decision to proceed. Here are a few important ones:

Is IVF right for you?

You might jump at the opportunity of a free IVF cycle, but do you know that IVF is right for you?  Has a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) doctor determined you are a candidate for IVF? For example, when you come to Reproductive Medicine Associates of Pennsylvania, one of our experienced physicians will always do a comprehensive diagnostic work-up to assess your reproductive health, the results of which determine your optimal, individualized treatment plan. Those results can lead to a treatment plan of IVF or not. Sometimes, patients need just a little bit of help to get pregnant, and in those cases, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) can be a path for them. It’s important to get care that’s appropriate for you.

Does the center routinely perform Single Embryo Transfer?

If it is determined that IVF is the correct treatment plan for you, it’s also important to know the type of IVF performed at the center. Treatment breakthroughs like Single Embryo Transfer (SET), which consist of transferring only one chromosomally-balanced embryo into a woman’s uterus at a time, are the new standard of care in the industry. SET lowers miscarriage rates, reduces pre-term deliveries and preeclampsia, raises live birth rates, and nearly eliminates risks associated with twins. Does the ‘baby giveaway’ IVF center you are considering use techniques such as SET?

What are the fertility center’s success rates?

For any couple looking for infertility treatment, one of the first stops should be The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology or SART. You might be wondering what this is. SART is an organization that publicizes success rates from the country’s infertility clinics – so you can know your clinic’s track record before you invest in it.  The website is an excellent resource for comparing clinics with many new patient resources and faqs. If you’re curious about the giveaway center’s success rates, jump on and do your own research.

Will one cycle be enough?

In the fine print, these contests will usually be for only one round or cycle of IVF. Generally, additional cycles may be needed for a successful pregnancy, but with more cycles comes more cost. To offset that cost, RMA offers the financial program, CareShare. CareShare gives patients up to 6 IVF cycles and the use of Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) to achieve a healthy delivery. If a patient has gone through all six cycles unsuccessfully, RMA will refund your money, 100% guaranteed.

Do you want to safeguard your privacy?

For these types of contests, clinics will generally use your name, place of residency, photos, and other information across multiple marketing platforms to help tell your story. That includes websites, Facebook, Instagram, radio, and even TV. If you pursue one of these opportunities, be sure to read the consent forms carefully to know exactly how much will be shared.

Dealing with infertility is hard, but affording care doesn’t have to be. RMA has a number of financial assistance programs available, in addition to our CareShare program. An IVF contest can be an intriguing way to get into care, and the decision to enter is a purely personal one. And being informed is one of the best ways to make the decision – because, with infertility treatment, knowledge really is power.