Choosing a Fertility Clinic
Opting to have fertility treatment is a major decision. You might have thought that’s the hard bit over with, but it’s equally important to give careful thought to choosing a fertility clinic. If you’re looking for a clinic, here are some ideas of the issues you could consider.
In the first instance, you’ll need to decide whether you’re having treatment on the NHS or privately, as this will, in part, determine which clinics are available to you. Even if you opt for the NHS, there still should be several possibilities to choose from, albeit not as many as with private treatment. You can also discuss the options with your doctor, consultant or specialist and they can advise as to which clinics are available in your area.
As a general guide, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) provide a guide to fertility clinics across the UK, highlighting the areas they all specialise in, so it’s a good idea to check their website for details when you’re first trying to find out which clinics exist.
In the course of making your decision, there’s a whole host of different factors to consider.
Reputation and Success RateThe reputation of a clinic and their success rate is likely to be high on your agenda, and rightly so. You need to have confidence in the clinic you’re going to and the practitioners who you’ll be working with. Although the success rate for fertility treatment depends in part on everyone’s individual circumstances, this is important to consider too, especially when you’ll be spending thousands of pounds on treatment.
Available TreatmentsSome clinics specialise in certain areas and don’t offer every treatment, so you’ll need to look at what’s on offer from different clinics. Again, you can use the HFEA’s resources to help you with this and find the best options for you. Don’t be afraid to phone and speak to someone at the clinics and ask them directly. It’s also worth asking questions about the treatments, such as how often certain procedures are carried out and if there are any age limits.
LocationYou may find a top notch clinic that’s highly recommended, but if it’s a long way from where you live, it may be totally impractical. When you’re considering the location, be realistic. It needs to be convenient and easy to get to, both from your home and workplace, as you may need to make regular trips there. For example, once some types of treatment begin, you may need to visit regularly and it will only add to the stress if it’s awkward to reach.
PriceIt’s a tough issue, especially when you don’t want to put a price on the chances of a baby, but price is inevitably a factor that many people will have to consider. The same treatments do vary from clinic to clinic, so it’s worth checking up on.
Check out the StaffThis may sound strange, but it’s worth reading up on the biographies of the doctors and experts at any clinic you’re interested in and see how long they’ve all been working there for. If a clinic has had a high turnover of staff, for example, then it could indicate potential problems, such as poor management, and it may be better to opt for another clinic where staff have been stable and there for a while.
When it comes down to it, your choice of fertility clinic is very important. You’ll be having crucial treatment carried out and need to ensure you feel comfortable, safe and well treated by the clinic. So go with your gut feelings and carefully pick the clinic that offers the best for you.