It is very difficult to choose a fertility clinic. This is a very important issue for every couple who wants to have a baby. Currently, there is a myriad of clinics specializing in the treatment of infertility. Each of them offers a huge number of services and options. In such competitive environment, clinics lured customers talking about their successes and a variety of services and benefits. Couples who are needed IVF will be overwhelmed after reading a great number of articles and trying to figure out what is true and what is just a beautiful advertising. Success rates are a very important indicator, but you shouldn’t pay attention exclusively on it when you choose a clinic. Here are some simple steps to help couples choose the right clinic.
Signs of a bad fertility clinic
You can’t understand that a clinic is good until you learn to see the signs of a bad clinic.
Step 1. Avoid clinics where the doctor works part-time. Many doctors working in IVF clinics, also work in hospitals (full-time), taking delivery or providing other types of gynecological services.
But why this might be a problem?
Firstly, a doctor, who works part-time, will not be able to provide you with full service and do your best to help you conceive and bear a child. They are almost all the time will be busy with their main job. Success rates in such clinics will be too low.
Secondly, in these clinics doctors will not be able to provide individual attention for every patient. In some clinics, an embryologist comes once or twice a month. But every woman produces eggs with different intensity. The eggs can’t adjust to the embryologist’s schedule.
Step 2. Be wary of clinics that offer the narrow list of services in comparison to other clinics. It is especially important to pay attention to whether there is the possibility of embryo freezing. The good clinics have this service. If you chose the clinic that does not offer such service, give up your intention to undergo IVF here. If the clinic is not able to store frozen egg, probably, your egg will be donated somewhere else without your consent.
Step 3. Beware of clinics that do not want to show you their facilities and equipment. Some clinics buy poor, old or used equipment. Such equipment is rarely well served. Undergoing IVF in these clinics, you run the risk of getting an infection or other complications.
Examination of credentials
You should check out some of the facts and the credentials of any clinic before signing the paper.
Step 1. Check how long a program has been existing. As a rule, the longer the clinic operates, the more its experience. In addition, its work is time-tested. And it is likely that the clinic has proved its effective operation.
Step 2. Find out success rates of your clinic. Check the claimed success rates and those ones that provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They provide data almost about all the fertility clinics.
Be careful studying success rates. Some clinics refuse to treat patients if they consider that they have too little chance of becoming pregnant. So clinics strive to maintain high success rates. It is better firstly to check with clinic’s policies, without paying attention to the percentage of pregnancies.
Step 3. Check whether the clinic is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology or SART. This organization monitors its members, causing them to adhere to certain ethical requirements and arranges checks to make sure that all rules and regulations enforced.
Step 4. Make sure that all the doctors in the clinic are board certified. Check that all the doctors in the clinic work on site. So doctors will be able to assist you as soon as it is needed.
See a list of services offered by the clinic
If you are familiar with the list of available services, you will understand if you get what you want in the clinic or not.
Step 1. Make sure that the clinic offers IVF for women with different types of infertility. There are clinics which set aside IVF for an emergency when all other options of fertility treatment have been tried. Some clinics do this in order not to spoil their success rates. You should look for a clinic that offers a wide range of services to help you get pregnant.
Step 2. Find out whether the clinic that you have chosen treat male infertility. It may well be that the problem is not you, but your man. Sometimes woman’s treatment fails. In this case, a doctor checks male fertility. If you choose a clinic in which male fertility is checked, you may avoid many unnecessary procedures. In addition, you will not have to change doctors or clinics, if the problem is detected.
Step 3. Get to know everything about the prices. Each clinic should have a list of prices in writing form. On the one hand, you need to choose a clinic that is available for you. On the other hand, you cannot save on the quality of medical services. Your task is to choose a middle ground, explore insurance plans and pricing policies of the clinic.
Step 4. Find out if there is an opportunity to consult with a psychologist at the choosing clinic. Fertility treatment is stress, not only for women but also for the couple as a whole. This is a very big advantage if the clinic has a staff psychologist, who will help to cope with stress in such difficult time.
What else you should know
Pay attention to clinic environment. Ideally, it should be quiet and calm in a clinic. Of course, in any establishment there are days when chaos is inevitable. But such a situation should take place rarely and be carefully monitored. Infertility treatment will be for you like a ride on rough roads, but in any case you need to feel the support of doctors and be sure that everything is under the control of specialists.
As for the range of services, it should be wide enough. This is necessary in order to have had the opportunity to choose for yourselves the best treatment option.
In addition, a good clinic should pay attention to both partners.
For many people, it is important that the clinic was ready to collaborate. Find out whether the clinic agrees to additional services (acupuncture, massage, etc.), and if not, why not.
In such a delicate matter, as the treatment of infertility, teamwork is very important. Meet the staff, check how they are competent in their field, check whether the clinic has accreditation. In addition, it is helpful to know what the experience of working your doctor has. What is the staff turnover in the clinic? The frequent change of employees can lead to errors.
Also carefully review the success rates, but do not consider them as the main factor, because clinics often go to different tricks in their counting.