The path to parenthood isn’t a straight line. Everyone’s experience is unique, which is part of why having a little guidance while navigating your fertility journey can be crucial. That’s exactly where CCRM Fertility comes in. CCRM Fertility is a leading resource in fertility treatment, research and science that’s here to help you realize your reproductive goals. It’s made up of 11 centers in North America, has over 40 physicians, 22 PhDs and 560 employees, all of whom are committed to providing you and your family with convenient and world-class care.

We caught up with one of CCRM Fertility’s reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Wael Salem, to discuss some common questions you may have about fertility, plus why CCRM Fertility is different from other providers out there. First off, though, remember that getting pregnant isn’t necessarily as easy as it may seem…and that’s perfectly normal. “Fertility depends on many parts of a complex process to go just right. In other words, the stars have to align to have the chance of conceiving,” says Dr. Salem.

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So, how do you know when it’s time to see a fertility specialist?

Dr. Salem first recommends trying an ovulation prediction kit. If you find out that you’re not ovulating, talk to your doctor to rule out polycystic ovarian syndrome or another condition. But if ovulation (and intercourse) is happening regularly, try getting pregnant for “12 months if the female partner is younger than 35 and for 6 months if they’re over 35,” says Dr. Salem. “After this period of time, it’s recommended that couples seek a fertility evaluation.”

OK, but what’s a fertility evaluation?

A fertility evaluation consists of blood tests to check your ovarian reserve and estrogen levels, as well as other hormones, and an ultrasound of the uterus and fallopian tubes to check the health of your uterus and ovaries.

An evaluation doesn’t automatically imply you’ll need a fertility treatment: “Many times it’s just important to know if there are any obvious reasons why a pregnancy has not yet started,” explains Dr. Salem. (Examples could include azoospermia, meaning there’s no sperm in the ejaculate, or blocked fallopian tubes.) “In these cases, we wouldn’t want to go through the stress of trying each month when an underlying issue needs to be addressed.” The good news? “Depending on the workup findings, a solution is almost always available,” he says. “That treatment solution has to be tailored to your priorities, timeline and future reproductive goals.” 

Why CCRM Fertility?

Whether you’re interested in IVF (in vitro fertilization), egg freezing or egg donation, CCRM Fertility has you covered. But what makes them different is that they’re constantly investing in new technology and techniques. In fact, their specialists actually pioneered and optimized protocols that are widely practiced in the industry today, including comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS), which uses a sampling of cells from the developing embryo for genetic testing. CCRM Fertility leverages its own data from in-house lab operations, proprietary research and statistics to set the gold standard for fertility care and treatment. 

Their doctors are renowned in the field, fellowship-trained and have served as speakers at national conferences, consultants to other IVF practices, or are teachers in their own right. And their statistics speak for themselves: CCRM Fertility’s dedication to lab operations produces high-quality CCS results, so they achieve some of the highest IVF with CCS live birth rates in the U.S. Case in point: On average, it takes patients at CCRM Fertility 1.2 IVF cycles to get pregnant—versus the national average of 1.6.* That’s probably why more than 100,000 babies have been born through fertility treatments at CCRM Fertility and nine out of 10 patients would recommend them to family and friends. (There’s also plenty of glowing patient testimonials on their site to read for yourself.)

Anything else should I know?  

Yep. Not only can you visit CCRM Fertility to discuss your options IRL, but you can opt for a virtual appointment instead if you prefer. They also have tons of resources on their comprehensive website, from accessible blog posts on understanding your menstrual cycle, to a library of fertility educational videos and help with treatment costs and payment options. Head over to the CCRM Fertility site now to continue your fertility journey armed with the info and support you need. 

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 (*National average is based on 2016 SART data. Consolidated CCRM Network data is tracked and reported by CCRM – It includes the following locations: CCRM, CCRM MN, CCRM OC, CCRM Toronto, Houston IVF, CCRM NY, CCRM Atlanta)

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