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In vitro fertilization (IVF) has been offered in New York since 1978, almost as soon as it was first offered in the United Kingdom. There is no greater concentration of choices that accommodate a variety of family budgets, lifestyle choices, and work schedules than the fertility clinics in New York City that are within relatively easy reach of families from any part of the state. Central Park Clinic in Manhattan (phone 212.721.4545) offers 30 years of experience both with IVF and with genetic testing. They specialize in treating couples in which both partners have reproductive difficulties.

The NYU Fertility Center is an academic center that has developed many new techniques in assisted fertility. They offer donor and non-donor in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, assisted hatching, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and genetic diagnosis and screening. A world-renowned fertility center, it has one of the highest fertility rates in the nation. The NYU Fertility Clinic can be reached at (212) 263-8990. And over 250 other clinics in New York offer not just IVF (in vitro fertilization) but also ICSI (a more recent technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which involves the injection of a single sperm into a harvested egg). Since New York offers so many options for assisted fertility in the same place, couples are far more likely to be able to find a practice that meets their needs. Even where medical standards are very high, however, it is extremely important to achieve an understanding with the clinic before beginning treatment.

Here are four of the most important considerations:

1. Make sure you receive a clear statement, in writing, of the costs of various procedures that you will and might need.

2. Make sure you have a directive, in writing, stating how many of your embryos will be implanted and that you will decide what happens with any unused embryos.

3. Make sure you can contact a physician any day of the week, and at night, throughout your enrollment in the fertility program.

4. Make sure you are treated efficiently and politely by support staff. The treatment you receive at the front desk is an indication of how you and your embryos will be treated by the physicians.

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