IVF is expensive and since it is such a big investment, you don’t want to end up at the wrong place. So how to select your IVF clinic that will treat you as an individual and not just as a case? What are the factors to consider?
The growing numbers of infertility patients and the rising demand for IVF has led to the mushrooming of IVF clinics, many of which are not even equipped to handle these sophisticated technologies.
Sometimes even at state-of-the-art clinics patients are disappointed because they do not receive the kind of care and compassion they expect.
In our bid to tell apart good IVF clinics and bad, we’ve listed a couple of factors that could help you in choosing the right IVF clinic.
Tips for choosing your IVF clinic
1. Do not just rely on the recommendation of your Ob/Gyn
Your gynecologist may be able to recommend a really good clinic or he/she may just send you to the one that they are closely associated with. In many places, doctors also get a referral commission from other doctors. So make sure you are just not relying on a single referral from your doctor but are also looking into other factors independently.
2. Seek referrals from your friends and family
Look for referrals from people around you. Has anybody had any experience with a fertility doctor? Even if they can’t refer you a good one, someone could probably tell you about a clinic that you must absolutely avoid?
3. Do not just ask for IVF success rates
IVF success rates are misleading. Any clinic can turn the numbers to their advantage and paint a pretty picture. It is okay to ask the clinic about their previous success rates, but it should not be the sole factor to base your decision on.
Generally, if the numbers seem too good to be true, they probably are. Read more about why you should not trust IVF success rates blindly.
4. Consult with the doctor and see how you feel
The best thing to do in any case is to visit the doctor personally and see how you feel about them. Do they seem genuinely interested in helping you? Are they willing to answer your questions?
If the doctor is only pressing on a treatment without taking the time to explain or addressing your real concerns, RUN.
5. Is the doctor available for you?
IVF is not a one-visit treatment. You are going to have several visits to your fertility clinic over about a month’s time. Even if you like them at the first impression, do not make the advance deposit in your first visit.
Doctors are usually busy because they are attending to patients. And as one of the patients, you deserve sufficient time.
6. How is the staff behavior?
Is the staff courteous and patient with you or they talk to you as if they are doing you a favor? Do they try to resolve your problems or accommodate your needs?
If you do not like the staff behavior you would not feel like making those multiple visits to the clinic.
Also, the standards of any organization are best reflected in the behavior of the people working there.
So if you find a fancy clinic where the people are rude and grumpy, just leave.
7. Are they being honest?
If your IVF clinic seems too eager to get you to sign up with them, there is something wrong.
Everyone wants to grow their business, but all good doctors understand that treatment is based upon what the patient needs and NOT what you have to offer.
So avoid the clinics that try to push you into a certain treatment, without clearly explaining why it is recommended for you.
8. Is the clinic neat and tidy?
This is low on my list because I feel one would rather go to a simple clinic where people are honest rather than end up at a fancy one where the people and practices are untrustworthy.
However, it is important for medical facilities to be tidy and follow good hygiene practices to ensure safety of the patients.
If you don’t like the feel of the clinic, feel free to find another one.
9. Do they have expertise in cases like yours?
Do not just rely on the impressive profile of an IVF doctor. You must ask questions to ensure the doctor understands your specific situation. Ask for reviews of previous patients whose problem is similar to your own and see what the outcome was in their case.
10. What is their stance on donor eggs ?
IVF with donor eggs is recommended to a lot of women in their late 30s and 40s, but most patients want to use their own eggs.
You must see if the clinic is being too aggressive while pushing on donor eggs or if they are just willing to go with your own, only to keep you as a client.
The ideal clinic would assess your situation in this case, and give an honest opinion if it makes sense to take chance with your own eggs or if that would be just a wastage of time and money. Ask for chances of success with either and then make your choice.
11. Will your doctor customise the treatment?
There is something to learn from each failed or successful cycle of IVF and the doctor should be open to adapting treatment to your specific condition. After each failed cycle of IVF, the doctor should tweak the treatment and have a certain new approach.
12. Ask if we already have some reviews on them
We are constantly seeking feedback and reviews from people who have already undergone IVF treatments.
This is a great help to other infertility patients.
You can write to us to know if we already have some feedback for the clinic you are considering.
If you have visited one, please share your reviews and help the infertility community.
The process of IVF is emotionally and financially taxing and you don’t want to end up at the wrong clinic.
We are with you in finding the right IVF clinic, and hope that you are with us in helping others do so too.