10 things to consider before choosing a fertility clinic
Finding a fertility clinic is easy - but finding the right clinic can seem hard if you do not know what to look for. In this blog post we have gathered some of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a fertility clinic.
In the UK, there are a lot of fertility clinics that want to help you, and it may be tempting to just pick the first one that answers your call or shows on Google. The fertility clinic is where you will have your treatment – but this will also be the place where you discuss treatment options, have scans, learn how to take the necessary hormones, etc., which makes the clinic staff an important confidant on your journey towards parenthood.
There is no way of knowing how many visits and how long a journey you are in for, so it is a good idea to find a clinic that you trust will guide you carefully through the ups and downs of this process. That is why we recommend doing a little homework before choosing a fertility clinic. Below, we have gathered a list of things to consider before choosing a fertility clinic in the United Kingdom. Hopefully, this will help you find a clinic that matches your needs.
If you are going to receive fertility treatment with donor sperm in UK, you might want to read our blog post Getting pregnant using a sperm donor in the UK.
1. Location and transport time
Going into fertility treatment, it is impossible to know how many visits and amount of time you will end up spending at the fertility clinic. That is why the distance from your home to the clinic should be a factor. Fertility treatment will often require you to spend time away from work, as the treatment will follow your body, not your work schedule. Limiting the transport time to and from the clinic will help reduce the time away from work and other obligations – and hopefully limit any stress this may cause.
2. Licenses and government approval
One of the most important factors in choosing a fertility clinic, is whether they have the license needed and how government inspectors have rated the clinic. On the website of Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority, it is possible to search amongst all the fertility clinics in United Kingdom that are approved by the government and compare the latest reports made by their inspectors. When you start your fertility treatment, you want to feel safe and in good hands. This page is a great way to check if a clinic is compliant with the current rules regarding fertility treatment.
3. Waiting times
The demand for fertility treatments is on the rise, and some clinics may have a waiting list. If you are eager to get started right away, you should be aware of this factor and look for a clinic that offers the possibility of starting right away. However, if this means you will have to travel far, it might be worth considering accepting the waiting time and use it actively by preparing your body and mind for the upcoming fertility treatment. In this blog post, our midwife shares 10 tips on how to increase chances of getting pregnant.
4. What others say about the clinic
Before choosing a fertility clinic, it can be helpful to read what other people say about the clinic. You may ask in a forum, but HFEA’s database also includes reviews from former patients. You can also try to research the clinic on Google and see whether any reviews appear. Remember, however, that everyone’s different, and just because someone has given a negative review does not mean that you will not have a good experience yourself.
5. The clinic’s success rates
Statistics can be relevant in your search for a fertility clinic, because they typically show the average number of treatments needed to achieve a successful pregnancy. A major difference in the success rates between two fertility clinics can be a reason for you to choose one above the other, but a small difference of one or two percentage point may be down to chance. After comparing the clinics’ success rates, you can also compare the success rates to the national success rates.
It is, however, important to remember that you are not part of the statistics, which means a clinic’s success rates cannot give you an answer on how many treatments you must have before getting pregnant.
6. Speak to clinic representatives
Before choosing a fertility clinic for your treatment, it is a good idea to visit the clinic and/or talk to some of the staff. They will play an important part in making your journey towards parenthood as pleasant as possible, so why not make sure that you feel safe and understood by the staff before you begin? Many clinics offer a free one to one conversation which is a good way to find out whether you are a match.
7. The financial aspect of fertility treatment
Becoming a parent through fertility treatment can be expensive. Therefore, it is important to compare the prices between different clinics. You do not know how many rounds of treatment you will need, which is why a small difference in price could end up making a difference. Of course, the financial aspect should not be the most important factor, but it is worth to consider before choosing a fertility clinic.
8. Age limit
In the United Kingdom there is no age limit in terms of receiving fertility treatment, but clinics often have their own policy regarding the age limit of their clients. The primary reason for clinics to deny treatment to women above a certain age is the health risk associated with women above the age of 45 receiving fertility treatment.
9. Donor choices and possibilities
When having fertility treatment with donor sperm at a clinic, you do not necessarily have a free choice of donor. Therefore, if you have decided on using donor sperm from Cryos to get pregnant, you must make sure to choose a fertility clinic that performs treatment with Cryos donor sperm. Many clinics do, but some have their own selection of sperm donors or are limited to partnerships with other sperm banks.
Additionally, if you are keen on a specific type of donor – e.g., a Non-ID Release sperm donor which is by law not available for use in treatment in the UK, you may wish to travel to another country to receive treatment. This is of course up to you.
Receiving fertility treatment in another country is called fertility tourism. If you want to read a story about two women traveling to another country to receive treatment, we can recommend our blog post Fertility treatment abroad: When Phoebe and her wife went to Denmark.
10. Does the clinic offer any support groups?
Depending on how your treatment is going, you may benefit from talking to others in the same situation as you. Some fertility clinics offer their patients to join a support group orchestrated by the clinic. This might be worth looking into, because support and advice from people in the same situation as you may be the last piece of the puzzle.
Do you want help choosing a fertility clinic?
At Cryos we have a large network of high-performing clinics which offer fertility treatment, such as IUI-, ICI-, IVF-, and ICSI treatment, with Cryos donor sperm. If you would like our help choosing a fertility clinic that matches your preferences, we are here for you. Contact us directly or book a free call, in which we can go over your options.