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Take The Fertility Quiz -or- Do I Really Need That Procedure?

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So there are Fertility Quizzes and there are Fertility Quizzes! The kind that you might expect is like the one that has been recently released by researchers at Cardiff University called "Do You Know About Your Fertility?" It is quite lovely and could be republished in any women's magazine. It is a lifestyle checker. You take the quiz and find out if you are at risk for infertility. Yes - that is one kind of "Fertility Quiz."

The other kind of fertility quiz is one that I just made up! Let's call it "Do You Really Need That Infertility Procedure?"

Sorry, but I don't have a nifty link for my made up quiz! You will just have to read it here.

So let me fill you in on a bit of inside "fertility industry" dirt. While the treatment of infertility is medicine – medicine is also big business. Now, the fertility industry (I hate calling it an industry) is not different than the "Cancer Industry" or "Addiction Industry." People are working in fields because they dig it - and because they are creating a livelihood. The problem comes when people include a lot of different procedures that up the ante on the patients bill at the end of the day.

Question One: "Do I need iCSi when we don't have male factor?"

Answer: Probably not.

Many centers are now doing iCSi rountinely on all patients. Some are actually including it in the fee, but most charge for it. They are doing this because they don't want to get to the lab and then not be able to fertilize the eggs. And yes, sometimes it happens! So to make sure that you don't have a fertilization disaster, they ask you to do iCSi. Yes - in most cases your bill will increase.

Question Two: "Do I need antibody testing?"

Answer: Probably not.

There are doctors and IVF Centers who deeply believe in some core reasons for infertility that other doctors don't buy into, such as autoimmune reasons for infertility, so they perform antibody testing. If they decide that you have an autoimmune issue the resulting treatment can be very expensive. Do you need antibody testing? Most of the world says no, that there isn't any proof (no studies), but if you are at a center that believes in this - you could be in for sticker shock.

Question Three: "Will PGD Really Increase My Chances at Conception?"

Answer: Probably not.

Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a wonderful technique that was developed to sort out embryos that had genetic diseases. But what is going on with IVF Centers that are offering PGD as a way to increase success rates? Now, this is much more controversial and has been recently debated several times in public forums such as ASRM, which recently published guidelines about the marketing of PGD as a use for increasing live birth success rates.

This controversy has surfaced again, and has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal. Recent reporting once again points to the belief held by many that using PGD to increase success rates won't do anything but raise your bill.

Well, thanks for taking my Fertility Quiz on "Do You Need That Procedure?"

And now for the medical disclaimer!

Please talk to your doctor about any testing or procedure that you are thinking of adding to your treatment. They are the best ones to discuss with you why they believe that you may need certain testing or procedures. I am not a doctor. What has been offered here is a little information to help you start a conversation with your own health care provider and perhaps save you a little money along the way.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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