Fertility Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make an appointment?
To schedule an appointment with our Fertility Center, you can call 210-450-9500 or click on the blue box at the bottom labeled “Make an Appointment”. No referral is required. New patient visits can be completed virtually via telemedicine or in person, if preferred.
Where is the office located?
The Reproductive Health and Fertility Clinic is located at the MARC Building (Medical Arts and Research Center) at 8300 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229. Our offices are on the 5th floor near the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic. All in person visits, ultrasounds, office procedures and ART treatments occur in this location. If you are scheduled for an outpatient or inpatient surgery, those may occur at other facilities. Please confirm at the time of scheduling.
What do I need to do before my first visit?
Before your first visit, it is ideal to put together any prior medical records or testing that may be helpful for your fertility doctor. Please make a list of your medications (including over the counter medications or supplements) and allergies. You will need a photo ID and your health insurance coverage to check in for your visit. If you have not set up MyChart, please do so as this is an easy way to receive and send information to the clinic and book future appointments.
What is an Infertility Specialist?
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialists complete rigorous training programs to become fully educated and board certified. They must complete medical school, a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, followed by a 2- to 3-year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Upon completion of fellowship, they must become board certified through both a written and oral examination in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. All of the physicians within our program are board certified or board eligible.
What are Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)?
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) include in-vitro fertilization (IVF), embryo transfer (to include frozen embryo transfer), oocyte cryopreservation, and the use of donor oocytes (eggs) or donor sperm. Although ART has helped many people overcome their infertility, they are not the answer for every infertile couple. Most of the time we use ART only when less complex and less expensive methods of treatment have failed. However, in certain circumstances (such as advanced age or severe male factor) we may recommend ART as first-line therapy.
During IVF, the oocytes and sperm are combined in a culture dish in the laboratory. Fertilization and very early embryo development occur outside the body, rather than in the fallopian tube. Once early embryo development is recognized, the embryos are transferred into the uterus or frozen for future frozen embryo transfer. Your physician will discuss each of these procedures with you so that the most appropriate procedure for your individual situation will be used.
Couples who are considering ART should realize that it is an intensely emotional, physically arduous, and expensive procedure. Most couples find it difficult to consider the chances for success realistically without dampening the drive that allows them to undertake these procedures. Above all, couples should explore plans for the future, whether or not their attempts at ART are successful.
Am I a candidate for ART?
Every patient should complete a basic fertility evaluation. Because of the physical, emotional, and financial demands of ART, these procedures generally are used in patients who have tried less complex and less expensive methods of correcting their infertility. The majority of patients in ART programs suffer from tubal factor, male factor, or unexplained infertility. ART candidates who will be using their own eggs should be under 46 years of age and must have
- No evidence of premature menopause
- At least one accessible ovary, and
- A normal uterus
Menopause and ovarian function are irrelevant for candidates using donor eggs. Egg recipients must be under 50 years of age and have a normal uterus. All ART candidates should be in good health and have no medical conditions that would pose a serious health risk to themselves or the child they would carry.
Participation in an ART program can be stressful and emotional. We encourage couples considering or pursuing ART therapy to attend group support sessions such as those offered by RESOLVE, a national infertility support group. We can also refer you to private counselors for individualized care.
How much does it all cost?
A cost estimate for an ART cycle is difficult to provide because some costs vary considerably between patients. In particular, the number of ultrasounds and estradiol measurements, and the amount of stimulation medications can significantly change the total cost of the procedure. However, we offer more affordable ART by providing a bundle package that includes the cost of one basic IVF cycle within this bundle, excluding the costs of medications and additional procedures such as freezing of embryos and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Because the ART procedures involve multiple steps, any patient who does not proceed to a further step is usually charged only for the cost of the completed procedures. Before initiating ART, you should discuss financial arrangements with our billing personnel.
Additional expenses to consider may include loss of wages from time missed at work, as well as expenses incurred by travel and accommodations for our out-of-town patients. In addition, the medications employed in ART procedures can be very expensive. All of these factors must be considered in determining the financial ability to participate in an ART program.
We are sensitive to the tremendous financial investment that couples make to participate in this program. We continuously strive to keep our costs manageable, and we seek funded research protocols in which ART costs for the participants may be reduced. In addition, through the efforts of our professional organizations, we are actively lobbying both at the state and national levels for insurance coverage for ART.
What are my chances for success?
Many couples are able to conceive using treatment options other than ART. Some patients may need surgery to be able to conceive naturally. Other patients may require low-cost treatments to induce ovulation or improve the odds of natural fertilization within the body. Your chances of success with any one of these treatments will depend on the underlying problem. Your physician should discuss these chances of success with you.
The chance for having a baby with IVF is dependent upon several factors, though the factor with the biggest impact is the age of the female partner. In 2019 in our program, liveborn infants occurred in approximately 48.5% of cases in women 35 and younger and in which women had embryos derived from their own eggs transferred to the uterus. The 2019 nationwide "take home baby rate," was 46.7% percent for these same women. We believe that the delivery rate or "take home baby rate" is the only real measure of success. Patients should be aware, however, that some clinics define "success" as any positive pregnancy test, or any pregnancy, even if miscarried or ectopic. These "successes" are irrelevant to patients desiring a baby.
Our clinic is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART). SART is the primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of IVF and helps to establish and maintain the highest standards for ART clinics. Updated IVF success rates for our clinic and nationally can be found on the SART website. Additionally, there is an IVF pregnancy predictor tool available on the website.
UT Health Fertility Center doctors are also faculty at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Medicine. This allows us to remain one of the most cost-efficient fertility practices in the area. Our staff is happy to answer questions about referrals, itemized diagnostic and treatment costs and billing options. The UT Health Fertility Center participates in a variety of insurance plans. For your convenience, we accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover.