Who's Who at the Infertility Clinic
To say that the process of testing and treating infertility involves many people is an understatement. The teams of people who work at the fertility centers across the world are highly trained and dedicated men and women who are there to help you reach your goal of having a baby. Here are some of the people you will likely encounter during the course of your fertility treatments.Insurance Specialist
The insurance specialist at your fertility clinic will be a good point of contact for you. While your insurance may not specifically cover infertility treatments, certain parts of the testing and/or lab work may be covered. The clinic's insurance specialist will help you apply for reimbursement or offer you handy suggestions to getting reimbursed for various parts of the treatment and testing.
Be sure to call him or her and talk about your insurance situation. You may be surprised at what she can offer you by way of assistance. Any help from the insurance company is worth it!Nurse Practitioner
A nurse practitioner may be used in your fertility clinic. A nurse practitioner has a four-year degree in nursing, plus an additional degree in advanced nursing. This degree is sometimes specialized, such as in women's health.
Nurse practitioners may be used in doing some of the procedures for testing, like lab work or ultrasounds. They may also help with certain procedures like Clomid checks or even intrauterine inseminations (IUI). Be sure to ask if a nurse practitioner will be taking part in any of your care.Embryologist
An embryologist is the person who will be responsible for handling your eggs (oocytes) after the retrieval process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). They will count the number and quality of your eggs and be responsible for overseeing the fertilization process . The embryologist will watch as your embryos mature and help with the transfer procedure, from a lab standpoint. They will also be responsible for the freezing or cryopreservation process.
Many embryologists are trained on site, in a job training type of program. However, there is a certification available from the American Board of Bioanalysis. This is usually done by way of the Technical Supervisor (TS) Certification. This includes both educational background and certification examination.Andrologist
The andrologist used by your fertility center should also be trained in the subspecialty. This can also be done by the American Board of Bioanalysis under the Technical Supervisor (TS) Certification. This certification may be particularly important to those patients who require this subspecialty with male factor infertility.Geneticist
A geneticist may be a part of the staff at your clinic or may be provided as a referral. This is particularly helpful if you have genetic issues that you are dealing with or if you have reason to believe that you need genetic testing.
The geneticist is able to offer genetic counseling both before and after a pregnancy occurs. They can discuss genetic testing options like chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis, to name a few. This is just another option for you and your family should you choose to go with either genetic counseling or testing.
A new field that is up and coming is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This involves testing the embryo for genetic problems prior to transferring it back into your uterus. This is usually offered (where available) if you are at risk for passing on a genetic disease like hemophilia.
A social worker may be a part of the care team in the fertility practices that you are looking at. A substitute may be an actual psychologist. This member of the fertility team is in place to help you deal with the strong emotions and ties that come with the inability to conceive.
The social worker can also help you in addressing ethical issues that may be brought up by certain treatments. They can help you explore various issues that you may not have thought about or dealt with before in your life. Social workers are available to help either you or your husband, or both. They can also be helpful when dealing with situations like third-party reproduction (e.g., egg donation).
Having someone experienced who you can talk to during such a difficult time is a great benefit. Often treatments leave you emotionally bedraggled and unsure. Having a social worker available can make a big difference in your outlook.