What to consider when choosing a fertility clinic
At First Fertility Clinic we would like to congratulate you for making an important first step on your fertility journey – acknowledging that seeking professional assistance for what many couples consider natural is no small step and shouldn’t be dismissed easily. Next step should be finding a fertility clinic suitable to you and finding out what services may be available there.
Finding an appropriate fertility clinic is an arduous yet essential task that should not be undertaken lightly, yet can often seem intimidating and stressful. A variety of factors must come into account when making this important choice – not simply picking one with high success rates!
At first it’s essential that you establish what services are most essential to you – by this we mean which aspects of a fertility clinic must not be negotiable and which are more flexible? Perhaps you would like team members that can speak your native language. Is it important that you see a female doctor? Do you need a clinic that can help you with funding for IVF? Is it important that your clinic has egg freezing capabilities?
Cost: Fertility treatment costs can run into thousands of pounds depending on its complexity, so cost should always be the primary concern of individuals or couples searching for fertility clinics.
When considering the costs associated with fertility treatment, it’s essential to fully comprehend all elements included and excluded in any package price. Is counseling included within or will it incur extra charges?
Some clinics may cost more, yet offer services better tailored to you and your requirements.
Waiting times: What are the waiting times at the clinic? With the NHS, there is often a waiting list for treatment. Private clinics will usually not have waiting lists in the same way. For this reason, many individuals and couples often choose to go private for fertility treatment.
Success rates: When it comes to choosing a fertility clinic, it can feel like success rates are the ultimate measurement of whether a fertility clinic is right for you or not. However, contrary to this, the success rate of a clinic is not the be all and end all. It is completely normal to have small fluctuations in success rates compared to the national average.
Success rates can vary depending on the types of patients treated at a clinic. For example, one clinic may treat mostly younger patients without prior history of fertility problems. Others may specialise in helping patients who haven’t yet been successful with IVF, hence, their success rates will reflect this.
Although a success rate should certainly be considered, it’s just one part of a much larger picture. We recommend double checking a clinic’s success rates of a clinic on the HFEA website.
Accessibility: Consider not only the opening times of a clinic but also its location. You will need to be attending your fertility clinic many times so it is very important for it to be convenient for you, and for their appointment times to fit in with your lifestyle. For example, you may need evening appointments or weekend slots.
The team: First impressions last a lifetime. We recommend visiting any potential clinics in person and asking to meet the team, as these are the people who will be caring for you throughout your fertility journey. It’s essential that you feel comfortable at your chosen clinic and around the people who will be guiding your treatment – not only your fertility doctor but support staff, and even the admin team. Are they happy to spend time answering the questions you have and do you feel confident in their knowledge?
Reviews: Ask the fertility clinic to put you in contact with former patients and seek honest feedback from them on their experience at their clinic – there’s no better way of discovering its reputation! Or alternatively you could check Google reviews; keep in mind though, that unhappy customers tend to write reviews more than satisfied ones! You could also check forums for thoughts from other people on your potential clinics.
Choosing your fertility clinic
Perhaps the most important things to consider when choosing a clinic is if you feel comfortable and confident in your fertility clinics abilities. Take advantage of any opportunities that your potential fertility clinic(s) might be offering, for example open days and webinars to get a feel for them in advance. Ultimately, it’s vital to take your time choosing your fertility clinic because it’s a big decision and one that needs careful thought and consideration.