Infertility is a $4 billion dollars a year industry. Not everybody has your best interests at heart. You need an advocate to walk beside you, warning you of financial and medical pitfalls and giving you the tools you need to make the best decisions for you and your family.
How to Pick an Infertility Consultant
There aren't any guidelines or rules about who can become an infertility consultant and you have a number of choices. How do you know which infertility consultant is the best fit for you?
Knowledge is Key
Did you know that there are tests that your health insurance covers under wellness care but might not pay for at a fertility clinic? Did you know your husband's exercise routine - (or his waistline) can affect his fertility? Or that clinics regularly "fib" about their success rates? If your infertility consultant doesn't teach you about all of this, you need to carefully consider how you allocate your precious resources.
Who are they serving?
Ask tough questions. Are the consultant paid to make referrals? It may not look like payment, but they might accept "donations" from professionals. Beware if they do -- you can't trust that their referral is based on your needs and not their own. Look for someone who doesn't take money from the infertility industry.
Many women have experienced infertility and find that they want to encourage others. However, many infertility consultants do not have any education or formal training in women's reproductive health or infertility.
Respect is earned
You don't just need someone to keep you company; you need someone that other doctors, health care providers and fertility partners know and trust. There needs to be evidence of their ability over time.
Read their work
Just because someone says they are knowledgeable doesn't make it so. Can you go read their books to verify their credentials? Can you read reviews of their research or publications?
Fees are reasonable
Some infertility consultants are only for those with deep pockets. Be wary of services that cost more than a cycle of IVF.
As difficult as third party reproduction can be for heterosexual couples, gay and lesbian couples can face even greater challenges. You need an infertility consultant who works with everyone who wants to build a family and knows professionals who feel likewise.