If 2012 is the year you’re hoping to have a baby through infertility treatment such as IVF, it can be hard to decide which fertility clinic is the right one to choose for your treatment.
With many clinics seemingly showing high success rates and claiming that only they have the expertise to help you, it’s difficult to work out exactly which one to go to.
Here are some useful tips you should consider before choosing a fertility clinic:
Don’t read too much into results:Don’t take a clinic’s word for it. Remember all licensed clinics report their official statistics (pregnancy and live birth rates) to the HFEA (www.hfea.gov.uk) so check their site too. The figures should be treated as an indication only of how successful the clinic is. Don’t be tempted to go for the one with the highest figures, it doesn’t give any kind of guarantee of success – you will have your own individual circumstances and history.
Fees – do they add up? Clinics will happily tell you what a typical cycle of IVF costs, but beware if one clinic seems much cheaper than others. This will mostly be because they won’t include all the associated costs you have to pay, such as consultations, screening fees, tests and drugs. Make sure you get a good idea of all inclusive costs, so you know what to expect to pay in total.
Counselling – is it just lip service?All licensed clinics are required by law to offer counselling, but does the clinic have an experienced in-house team to help you whenever you need it? At Manchester Fertility we have two in-house counsellors for all of our patients.
Will you be joining the queue?Does the clinic have a waiting list if you need treatment with donor sperm, IVF, ICSI, ovulation induction and IUI? At Manchester Fertility, we have a strong sperm donor programme and there are currently no waiting lists for these treatments.
Is your sperm donor actually from the UK? if you need treatment with donor sperm ask the clinic where they source their donor sperm from. Some clinics import all their sperm from Europe, but it’s you that pays to get it shipped over. All Manchester Fertility’ sperm donors are from the UK.
How long has the team been in place?Continuity, experience and expertise are vital, so check how long the clinic’s senior staff and consultants have been there. At Manchester Fertility, many of our staff have been with us since we launched in 1986.
Extra, extra – are you paying more?Be sure the clinic offers a wide range of infertility treatments, and uses the latest technologies available, such as blastocyst culture and transfers. But make sure you check if these types of services are included or classed as an extra option which you have to pay for. At Manchester Fertility we don’t charge patients who undergo blastocyst transfers and we don’t charge for using breakthrough products such as ‘EmbryoGlue’ which helps embryos to implant.
Who decides how many embryos? :Does the clinic decide how many embryos to transfer in your treatment, or do you have a say? Following a change in HFEA rules, clinics are now meant to follow a single embryo transfer policy – where only one embryo is transferred to help reduce the risk of multiple births. Will your consultant advise you accordingly?
Can you see for yourself? Good fertility clinics will welcome you to their facility so you can tour it and get a feel for the staff and the team who will be helping you through your treatment and beyond. Manchester Fertility holds regular free open evenings, both on general infertility treatment, donor insemination and egg-sharing.
Whichever fertility clinic you choose, we wish you the very best as you embark on your fertility journey.