Choosing a Fertility Centre
We understand that choosing the right team to help you with fertility problems is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Often women or couples are referred to a particular clinic by word-of-mouth. Even if you are given a recommendation, it is wise that you do your own research in advance of visiting a clinic. It is to your benefit to be an educated consumer and know what to look for.
Does the clinic have an exclusion or restriction process prior to IVF treatment?
- For example, age restriction on women or women with very poor prognosis which may limit their chances of getting pregnant
- Restriction on body mass index (BMI)
Time is stressful and long waiting time could be frustrating. You may ask your fertility specialist to determine the period of waiting before treatment begins
Services and facilities offered
- Type of fertility treatment
- Supporting services offered, for example HSG (hysterosalphingogram Test), free fertility counselling, testicular biopsy, blood test, pap smear etc.
- Whether a clinic has any freezing and storage facilities so that any spare embryos collected can be used in any possible further treatments you may need
- Lab Standards – The heart of the IVF centre is the embryology lab and the quality of the lab is crucial to giving you the best of getting pregnant with fertility treatment. Technical expertise in the lab is equally important such as lab training, experience, and depth of knowledge with continuing education ensures that the lab incorporates the modern technology.
Fertility treatments often require frequent appointments, sometimes even daily appointments. Because of this, it is important to take the distance and location of your fertility clinic into consideration.
Embryo transfer policy
What is the clinic’s policy on the number of embryos to transfer?
The main emphasis of fertility treatment is to avoid the risk of multiple pregnancies. With single embryo transfer, the risks are minimised, resulting a greater success in achieving healthy pregnancy. (A Fertility centre may place up to two embryos in women under 40 and a maximum of three in women above 40)
You should also ask what the multiple birth rates are and information on the risks of multiple pregnancies
Fertility Success Rates
It is important to know the success rates of clinics that you are considering. The statistics you will be particularly interested in are:
- The clinical pregnancy rate, which tells your likelihood of getting pregnant, also called success rate
- The live birth rate, called the take-home baby rate
The success rate of your chosen centre should be around the national average. This success rate however, should be used only as a general guide you should not use them as a personal prediction of your own chance of success. Keep in mind that a clinic’s success depends on many factors and variables.
- Based on patient diagnosis, fertility clinics may have preferred more of one particular procedure and less of another in comparison to other clinic.
- Some clinic may have high success rates for the treatment if they are using a donated sperm or egg for treatment as donated sperm or egg are thoroughly screened and of a high quality.
Support groups and counselling
Emotional hurdles and challenges may arise during a fertility treatment. You may ask whether the clinic provides the following:
- Support group – Sharing experiences and learning how other couples overcome them can help you remain positive throughout the journey
- Counsellor – Some centres provide counselling for free while others charge for it
Language barrier could make your treatment journey complicated, find out the whether the Fertility centre offers interpreters and/or translation services before you proceed
Fertility Treatment Cost
You will want to know the costs ahead of time. When looking into the cost of IVF you will find that costs depend on your individual circumstances. It is important to ask exactly what is included when you are given a quote for the cost of an IVF cycle.
Several questions to ask include:
- What is the cost for a complete IVF cycle (itemised quote)
- How and when payments are required
- What is the possible additional cost that might arise from a complication of the procedure
- What is the cost if a treatment cycle is cancelled
- What are the payment options available
While cost is an important consideration, it should not be the determining factor when selecting an IVF Clinic. Your health and safety should be the first priority.