The choice of a fertility clinic is probably one of the most important decisions you'll ever make if you’re struggling with your fertility. That’s because this is an emotional journey and you need to be comfortable when in treatment. In this article we’ll outline a few key things to look for when choosing a fertility clinic
Search for a fertility clinic
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's "Search for a Clinic" service is readily available to narrow your search by specifying a location and "fine-tuning" it by filtering for detailed treatments and services.
Most clinics have free ‘open evenings’ or/and free 15- 20 minutes consultations that you can attend so you can gauge the services they offer, with virtual guided tours of the facility included.
What to look for when choosing a fertility clinic
A good fertility clinic isn't just one that can help you get pregnant. It should also have empathetic staff, competitive prices, easy-to-follow paperwork, and great personal support.
Financial implications, success rates, policy on multiple births, and the level of support provided are a few things to be aware of, so we’d also recommend checking out the clinic's patient Google reviews to get a sense of the care given to patients.
You should also think about the clinic's location and whether they can accommodate your schedule, such as early morning or late evening appointments. Check if the clinic's service is open seven days or has an on-call doctor should there be an emergency.
The success rate for all treatments should be stated on the clinic's website, broken down by age, the number of embryos transferred, and live birth rate. Ask for a copy of the company's success rate report if it doesn't appear on the company's website. It should always be easily accessible to you.
A lot of data can be mind-boggling, and the reports can be hard to comprehend at times. Instead of fixating on the percentage of cycles that result in a pregnancy, you should focus on the live birth rate.
It is possible to have the same treatment cost remarkably more in one clinic than in another just a few doors down since fertility clinics set their own prices. You must compare the costs from different clinics because the cost of treatment can be broken down in different ways.
Eligibility for treatment
Eligibility for treatment varies from clinic to clinic, and some clinics have a set criterion with age. The general age limit for using your own eggs is 45 years old, and with donor eggs is 49 because it gives a benchmark for clinics to work with, and for patients to be aware of their declining fertility.
Clinics need to be transparent on their success rates in different age groups.
Body mass index (BMI) is an important issue when choosing a clinic – there will likely be a BMI cut off limit which fertility clinics will not treat because there is an increased risk of a negative outcome or a miscarriage with higher BMI.
Preimplantation Genetic Testing
In recent years Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) or (PGS) has been introduced using high-tech methods to test embryos for genetic and chromosomal abnormalities.
However, please note, not all clinics offer testing. Women in their late thirties and early forties should consider this technique, especially if they have had previous unsuccessful IVF treatment or miscarriage.
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