How to Choose Your Fertility Clinic?
So you and your partner have decided to start IVF. The next step is to determine which fertility clinic to go to. How do you choose between fertility clinics out there, especially when there are so many good ones. Is there one that is truly the best?
As with everything in health and medical, there is no clear cut “best” fertility clinic. There will always be some pros and cons involved for every choice. The important thing would be to know what we want. Once we have picked a clinic and started IVF, it would be advisable to not look back and give in your all.
In this article, we aim to list down a few important points to consider when choosing your fertility clinic:
1. What treatments and testing does the clinic offer?
Variety of treatments
IVF is a treatment with one of the highest success rates amongst various types of infertility treatments. However, it is also the most invasive and costly one. There are other treatment options that you may want to try before doing IVF.
Choose a clinic that has a variety of treatment options, such as timed intercourse, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and cryopreservation.
While your journey to conceiving may not include the other types of treatments, a clinic that has a wide range of treatments will give you the best chance at getting pregnant.
Make sure that your clinic offers pre-genetic testing and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). The availability of testing will allow your doctor to choose the best embryo to be implanted in your uterus. This increases your chance of a successful IVF journey.
2. What are the IVF services and technologies available?
One of the major factors that influence the pregnancy success rate of IVF is the technology and laboratory equipment used in the clinic. Smaller fertility clinics may not have their own lab onsite.
The main reason is that better equipment helps your little embryos to develop better. Better embryos have a higher chance of developing after being implanted. Thus, it is important to have a clinic that ensures high-quality control with the labs that they are utilizing.
That being said, it is important to manage our own expectations that advanced laboratory equipment does not guarantee a 100% success rate. Also, the cost would likely be higher with the addition of more features.
If cost is not an issue, we would definitely advise to go for all the additional features. But when cost is an issue, it is important to choose the best available options.
We will try to understand your condition and provide you with choices to match what you are looking for or require.
3. People, vibe and emotional support
At the end of the day, every fertility clinic is made up of people. They are the soul that powers you through your IVF journey. An IVF journey is one that demands a lot of time, energy and effort. Hence we believe that you should choose a clinic that you feel comfortable in.
When it comes to picking a fertility clinic, consider the following:
- Can you expect to see one doctor every time? Bigger clinics may mean that you will see a mix of practitioners. Smaller clinics will likely mean that you have more one to one time with the doctor that you choose.
- Is the staff at the clinic pleasant? The IVF journey may take months or even years. As such, look for a clinic in which the staff are able to answer any questions that you might have.
- Is there adequate support? Look for a clinic that is able to provide the emotional support that you need.
It is hard to tell how a fertility clinic is like just observing from the outside. Our fertility advisors at Fertility Space would try to match you to a fertility clinic that would make you feel at home.
Location may not be a big factor in choosing your clinic but you should consider a clinic that is not too far away. A clinic that is close to home will:
- Reduce travelling stress
- Reduce costs
- Allow you to build a relationship with the clinic
Fertility treatment is no doubt going to be very costly. It may be the case that you may not be able to afford certain clinics, especially when considering that you may need several IVF cycles before getting pregnant.
Here are a few things that you should ask concerning the cost of IVF:
- Does my insurance cover the cost?
- What does the general fees cover? Some clinics have a lump sum ‘package’ fee. Find out what is included and what is not.
- Is there anyone who can help with the fees? In Malaysia, couples can now withdraw a certain sum from their EPF savings for IVF treatments.
6. Pregnancy success rate
The main reason we embark on our IVF journey is to get pregnant. Hence, success rates are important. They are a testimonial of how well a fertility clinic has done over the years. It would be good to go to fertility clinics with higher success rates.
Recommendations and reputation are important. Find out how a particular clinic is doing before making your final decision.
Do remember that different fertility clinics may offer different treatments and have different patient populations so it’s also wise to take the published success rate of the clinic with a grain of salt.
Questions to ask a fertility clinic
Here are some things you can ask the clinic to ensure that you pick a fertility clinic that has high-quality control as well as good ethics.
- How long have the doctors, nurses and other staff worked at the clinic?
- What are the procedures available and which are the most often used? Make sure that your clinic has a good number of treatment options. Your clinic should also be up to date with the latest technology for fertility treatment.
- How involved will you be in the process? For example, who decides how many eggs will be transferred to your uterus if you choose to do IVF?
- Is there an age limit for treatments?
- How much is it going to cost?
If the clinic is too busy to answer your questions, it’s best that you check out other clinics that are available. Our team of advisors at Fertility Space can help you prepare a personalised questionnaire and guide you in choosing a clinic that is best for you.
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