Fertility treatments are expensive and sadly some have very low success rates.
This is why it's important that you find out some things about the fertility clinic or center you intend to use, to ensure it's the best for you before dropping your hard-earned money.
At this point I feel the need to point out that the fertility hospital your friend considers good might not be the best for you. So while you can ask your doctor and friends for recommendations but be sure to do your own investigation.
When finding the fertility clinic that's best for you, you can find information about hospitals;
- on their websites
- by speaking to a clinic representative over the phone or in person
- by speaking with current or former patients
- by meeting and interviewing your potential doctor at a consultation
Considering the Fertility Specialists
Whichever doctor is assigned to you, you need to consider the following;
- Is the doctor patient enough to answer your questions? If the doctor is evasive and unwilling to answer your questions up front, you need to have a rethink.
- How many reproductive endocrinologists work at the clinic? Does the hospital have a team of doctors that will handle your case or will you be assigned one doctor? A team is the best if your case is complicated although meeting different doctors during every appointment may feel impersonal.
- How long have the staff members been with the fertility clinic? This is important because the longer the staff members have been working with the clinic, the more the clinic is likely to run smoothly.
Financial questions to ask;
- How much do the fertility tests and treatments cost? You need to know the total cost of the fertility package you are going for, for example, when you're told the price of IVF, does it include medications, monitoring and embryo storage? If it doesn't, what's the total cost?
- Do they have a payment program? Do you have to pay in advance? If so, how much?
- Do they have an IVF refund program? These kind of programs require that you pay a large advance fee but promise to refund part of your money if you don't get pregnant after a number of cycles. If the fertility clinic have a refund program, make sure they allow you have a say in how many embryos are transferred as some will push you by transferring too many embryo so as to increase the chances of pregnancy.
- How much do embryo freezing, embryo transfer and storage cost?
- If you have to stay in the clinic does the clinic have a discounted options for lodging.
Questions to ask about the procedure and the fertility clinic's lab;
- Is there an age limit for fertility treatment?
- Where are the fertility tests and procedures performed? Do they have a lab or will you have to go far away from the clinic?
- What procedures do they offer at this clinic? IVF, ICSI, IUI? And are the tests performed in the clinic or elsewhere?
- Do they have donor or surrogacy options or do you have to find one on your own?
- How many embryos are transferred in one cycle? And does the patient have a say in how many embryos to be transferred?
- Has the lab been accredited?
- Does the lab perform embryo preservation? What about egg and sperm? Where are they stored?
Things to Consider Before Choosing A Fertility Clinic
- Location: If it's far from where you live, you might need lodging and time off work
- Are the staff nice and courteous?
- What days and hours of the week is the clinic open?
- Can you call at any time to ask questions or get updates or are there particular hours?
Consider the success rate of the clinic although that a hospital has a high success rate doesn't mean it's the best. So if the fertility success rate is greater than average especially the birth statistics for your age, then the fertility clinic is good enough.