1750 South Harbor Way, Suite 200


Just talking about a problem can often make it a bit easier to deal with. So naturally, a good set of FAQs can be useful too. Below are some of the most common questions we get. If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, you can send us your question/comment using our secure online form.

Where is Northwest Fertility Center Located?

Answer: We’re located near downtown Portland in the RiverPlace Office Building near the waterfront. We’re easy to find and get to, and free parking is available. More information is available on our Contact Us page.

What is the actual success rate of each type of procedure?

Answer: Dr. Stoelk’s success rate is consistently one of the highest in the nation. Because there are so many different types of procedures and patient variables (especially age), it’s almost impossible to tally it all up into one succinct number. When visiting with Dr. Stoelk, you’ll be given all the information you need, including procedure success rates specific to your situation and age. We feel this will help make your decision easier.

Do you offer Payment Plans?

Answer: Some patients qualify for fertility loans and use this for IVF procedures. We are not able to finance procedures directly through our clinic. To learn more about financing options, please visit our Financial & Insurance Information page.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

Answer: Call as soon as possible, so we can adjust our schedule to accommodate others. Two days notice is needed to avoid charges.

Are procedures expensive?

Answer: Some treatments are expensive, especially the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. However many pregnancies can be achieved with much simpler, and less expensive methods. Only after a consultation, can real costs be determined for you and your own situation. We know that the least expensive route to success is to do things right the first time. This doesn’t mean that everyone gets pregnant on the first try, but many do. We are very concerned about your costs. That’s why our fees are usually less than other facilities, and we offer discounts to cash-only patients.  We will bill your insurance when appropriate. For more information, visit our Financial & Insurance Information page.

Will my insurance cover these procedures?

Answer: Insurance coverage for infertility varies greatly. Many health plans do not cover any true infertility treatment. Some will cover diagnostic tests. A few cover extensive treatment, even in vitro fertilization (IVF). At Northwest Fertility Center, we have our own expert on staff to help answer your questions about insurance coverage. She can help you check on your provider’s coverage. For more information, visit our Financial & Insurance Information page.

Is there a chance of having twins, triplets or more?

Answer: According the U.S. Census Bureau, the odds of naturally giving birth to twins are 1-in-32. For triplets it’s 1-in-8000. With fertility treatment, these odds are greatly increased, although the majority of our patient’s pregnancies are just one baby or twins. The stories about a woman giving birth to five or more babies are often sensationalized (for example; Octomom) and truly rare.

My partner would like to be more involved. Is that possible?

Answer: We encourage the hopeful father to accompany you, especially the initial consultation. This is when the initial game plan will be determined. Often sperm testing can be performed or set up.

If I adopt, will I get pregnant sooner?

Answer: Not really. Statistics show no significant increase in pregnancy following adoption. In addition, an adoption, while a wonderful addition to any family, can often take more time and cost more money than good, quality fertility treatments.

Can stress cause infertility?

Answer: Yes and no. Anyone who is struggling with infertility will feel stressed. And while stress can add to a couple’s anxiety, it should never be used as a reason to delay appropriate tests and quality treatments. Dr. Stoelk can pinpoint a medical or hormonal cause of infertility at least 90% of the time.

What if I have had my tubes tied?

Answer: A woman who has had her tubes tied or had a tubal ligation is an extremely common situation seen in our clinic. Often surgery to reverse the tubal ligation can be a good choice. But in vitro fertilization (IVF) can also be done, sometimes easier and more successfully.

Dr. Stoelk has consultations very frequently to assess the situation and discuss the pros and cons of both methods. The type of tubal ligation is important as well as other infertility factors such as age or sperm issues.

Do you offer vasectomy reversals?

Answer: The Northwest Fertility Center can be very helpful in evaluating your situation to determine if a vasectomy reversal would be the best choice. If so, we will refer you to a qualified urologist who frequently performs this surgery.

The decision to do a vasectomy reversal is complex. If there are no other fertility problems, the woman is younger, and the vasectomy has been in place for less than 5 years, reversal works well. If the vasectomy has been in place for more than 5 years, and especially more than 10 years, sperm antibodies are often present. This immune reaction often prevents natural fertilization, so IVF with ICSI would be much better.

Should we try for another year just to be sure?

Answer: After one year of unsuccessful attempts at conception, it’s often best to accept the help you need. And never forget that the biological clock is not a myth – it happens to every woman.

Does God want us to be childless?

Answer: Probably not. The deep desire for women to nurture children and couples to have a family is indwelt by our Creator, and many spiritual people of all faiths have successful pregnancies with medical assistance. We believe that it is important to consider all options to parenthood and to pray and consult with anyone who can give you good advice (priest, pastor, counselor, etc.) But only you as a couple can make the final choices and live with the outcomes.

If I’m in my late 30’s, should I worry?

Answer: According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a healthy 30-year-old woman has about a 20% chance per month of getting pregnant, but by age 40, her chance is only about 5% per month. Those celebrity moms who give birth in their 40’s and beyond typically become pregnant thanks to donor oocyte in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

I have always been a “larger size” woman. Is my weight really that much of an issue with infertility?

Many women who are overweight still conceive just fine. But many others (both over and under weight) will not ovulate normally, so this does lead to decreased fertility and a greater miscarriage rate for them. Even just a 5-10% weight loss can significantly improve fertility (and make pregnancy itself less complicated). A very common ovulation disorder-Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is often associated with being overweight and having Insulin Resistance. Weight loss, low carb diet, and exercise all improve insulin resistance, ovulation, and fertility.