Pregnantish Survey Reveals Why Millennials Leave Fertility Clinics

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A new survey from, the first media site helping people navigate infertility, reveals six key reasons why women leave their fertility clinics or doctors. The survey, co-sponsored by EMD Serono and CooperSurgical, reveals the importance of doctor-patient relationship-building as a key factor to patient retention. With these new survey findings - and the help of a panel of medical experts - pregnantish has developed a set of relationship guidelines for healthcare providers to help optimize communication and connection with their patients.

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It is exhausting changing practices, having to fill out more paperwork and seeing if you 'click' with the doctor. - Camerin, 33, trying to conceive for 8 years

In an era when more and more top-tier employers offer fertility benefits such as egg freezing and IVF, a new survey by pregnantish, the fertility community and content site, reveals today the top six reasons patients decide to stay with or change fertility doctors.

Based on responses from more than 1,000 fertility patients who swiftly completed the survey without any incentive but getting their feedback to healthcare providers, the study underscores the importance of relationship-building in ensuring they do not give up on practitioner-led fertility assistance.

The median age of the confidential survey’s respondents was 33, with an average of four years of trying to conceive.

“This report reflects the changing face of infertility,” says pregnantish Founder and author Andrea Syrtash. “It’s important to ensure that providers understand what motivates patients so they do not give up on the process or practitioner-led fertility assistance.”

According to a recent Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Workforce Survey, nearly 1,300 reproductive endocrinologists currently practice in the U.S., while every year, more than 75,000 babies are born with the help of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) —a number that has doubled since 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"As the number of patients and providers grow, so too does the need for open communication," says Syrtash, a noted relationship expert and author of numerous books, including Cheat on Your Husband and He’s Just Not Your Type (and That’s a Good Thing). “Increasingly, today’s fertility patient is a Millennial who wants a much more active and self-directed role in her treatment and is seeking a supportive connection with her doctor and practice. Today’s patient is more of an advocate than ever before,” she says.

“Every fertility patient wants to feel seen and heard — and every practitioner wants a thriving practice, but both sides experience extreme time and communication challenges,” adds Syrtash. “We found that while few patients want to change doctors, patients will make the leap if they don’t feel that the relationship is working.”

"(I left because) I did not feel a connection to the clinic. It felt like I was just another patient and when you spend this much money, you need to feel important." — Ranzie, 28, trying to conceive for 18 months

"I value a doctor who says this isn’t OK. This shouldn’t be happening. That validation is important." — Samantha, 28, trying to conceive for three and a half years


Real Talk About Why I Left My Fertility Doctor finds that the top reasons patients leave their doctor include:

  • 23% I felt the treatment/approach was not tailored for me
  • 18% I didn’t feel heard
  • 14% I couldn’t afford it
  • 9% I could no longer make the logistics work
  • 8% I felt like I was just a number
  • 8% My treatment wasn’t working

By contrast, the top four reasons patients choose to stay with their fertility practice are:

  • 29% The clinic accepts my insurance
  • 26% I am enrolled in next steps in my treatment
  • 25% I feel a connection with the clinic’s staff
  • 20% I feel optimistic about my treatment

And what patients value most in their fertility doctor include:

  • 24% I feel my doctor is a good fit for me
  • 13% I feel like my doctor is open to exploring treatment options that are right for me
  • 11% I feel a connection with my doctor
  • 10% I feel listened to and cared for by my doctor

Using these findings and in consultation with an Advisory Panel of experts, pregnantish has developed relationship guidelines for healthcare providers to help optimize communication with patients in the time they already spend together. These guidelines and the free Real Talk Series Workshop and Tools, were made possible by third-party Co-Sponsors EMD Serono and CooperSurgical Fertility and Genomic Solutions. Both were based on the “Real Talk Four E’s Protocol,” which encourages all healthcare provider team members to empathize, encourage, educate and empower patients, walking them through common scenarios and patient frustrations that can prevent optimal outcomes. Healthcare providers who take the time to complete a workshop and learn key tools to help foster strong patient-provider relationships will be recognized on the Pregnantish Verified Network. Learn more at

“In the end, it’s about helping to strengthen the patient-provider relationship so patients don’t leave treatment prematurely,” says Syrtash, “and so it’s a win for all who have the shared goal of creating healthy babies and happy families.”

Pregnantish Relationship Guidelines and Real Talk Series Workshop were written in consultation with Pregnantish Advisory Panel members Dr. Serena H. Chen; Dr. Aimee D. Eyvazzadeh, MPH; Dr. Eric J. Forman, HCLD; Dr. Jason Griffith; and Dr. Julie Lamb and the help of data scientists. The study is based on a confidential survey of 1,060 patients, conducted February to April 2019.

About Pregnantish Inc.
Pregnantish, a healthcare media company, launched in early 2017 to elevate the conversation about the process of getting pregnant with the help of reproductive science and technology. Today, a diverse cross-section of readers come to pregnantish first to find the content, support and events they need to travel their own fertility journey.
Pregnantish is now home to the Pregnantish Verified Network, featuring fertility healthcare providers and other partners committed to improving the patient-provider relationship through the pregnantish “Real Talk Series Workshop” To learn more, visit

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