How To Choose a Fertility Clinic

Choosing a fertility clinic can sometimes be a challenging an experience as clinics will offer various technologies. Several clinics will claim to be the best in the field. At the end of the day,  patients might not always experience what they were promised. This can lead to disappointment and frustration. However, going through fertility treatment can be a pleasant experience with proper guidance from the clinic and its staff. That’s why we decided to write this guide on how to choose the best fertility clinic for you and your partner. In this article, we have some tips that will help you make the right decision when choosing an IVF clinic.
Here are some tips for finding the right fertility clinic:

  • Research online
  • Talk with friends and family who have used clinics in the past
  • Check out the details of the team members and the faculties involved.
  • Years of experience with the core team are important
  • Check if it is a one stop clinic (if facilities for sonography,  consultation,  counselling, hormone testing, and daycare are all available in one place )
  • Take a prior appointment
  • Observe the ambience and the environment of the clinic.
  • The availability of doctors and staff is important. Approachable staff and team members make the experience easier
  • Whether the clinic is equipped with the latest technology.

Factors to consider when choosing a fertility clinic

– Is the clinic registered and certified?
– Are the latest techniques available
– Is the team up-to-date on the latest advances in the field?
– It’s important to ask how many technologists and embryologists man the laboratory.
– Does the clinic keep upgrading itself as per the advancement in new techniques?
Are there enough authentic reviews about the clinic Reviews are the perfect reflection of patients’ experiences and satisfaction.
Many clinics boast of having high success rates. One should also note the number of cycles that the clinic carries out every month.
– Is the clinic located in a densely polluted area? The location and surroundings of the clinic can impact the environment of its IVF lab. Pollution around the clinic may hamper its air quality leading to instability in the VOC levels, thereby affecting the success rates.
– Are there any support groups available? Many clinics have counsellors who provide counselling thus providing relief from stress for couples undergoing treatment.

How to decide on the type of IVF clinic centres

Here’s how you will choose an IVF centre.
Do you want a clinic that is dedicated to fertility? Or do you prefer a larger hospital-based clinic, such as one that offers maternity services and other reproductive care?

Whether you want a dedicated fertility clinic or a hospital-based clinic is purely your choice. However, a hospital-based clinic is always preferable. The advantage is that there is easy access to other medical resources and departments available (genetics, counsellors, psychiatrists, pathology, sonography, anaesthesia, ICU ) So a pt need not be referred to another centre. Having all facilities in a house in a hospital-based centre saves time and improves the efficiency of services

What are the benefits of joining a larger network of fertility specialists? 

The advantage of having a larger network of fertility specialists is there is an exchange of medical experience and knowledge which helps in improvising the treatment plan and in turn benefitting the patients

Questions to consider when choosing an IVF doctor

When choosing a fertility doctor, you want to ensure you’re working with someone who is qualified and experienced.
Here are some questions to consider when choosing an IVF doctor:

  • What type of practice does the doctor have? Is it a large hospital or clinic, or does it focus only on smaller procedures like IUI?
  • How many years of experience does the doctor have? Some doctors specialise in certain types of procedures related to IVF and may not perform routine gynaecological and obstetric procedures. In that sense, they are completely dedicated to IVF, while other doctors may be practising general Ob/Gyn for decades without special expertise in ART.
  • Is the doctor affiliated with any specific hospital or clinic?
  • How many patients has your fertility doctor helped get pregnant?
  • Are they internationally recognized for any innovations or scientific advances? Does the centre have any pioneering techniques that they have invented? Infertility treatment such as IVF requires a high degree of scientific background and technical skill. Clinics that have greater scientific expertise among their doctors and laboratory staff are beneficial. Some doctors may be world leaders in certain procedures or may have innovated and perfected advanced procedures.
  • Choose a doctor who has time to listen to your history and is not judgemental.

Questions to Ask About Procedures and the Fertility Clinic’s Lab

The best fertility clinic will be happy to answer your questions and address your concerns. Here are some questions you should ask:

  • How many babies are born each year and what is the success rate of IVF? This will give you an idea of how successful their clinic is.
  • Is the clinic involved in cutting-edge infertility research? Do the doctors at the clinic publish research papers in peer-reviewed international journals? Clinics that conduct research in infertility have deep insights into the latest and most cutting-edge infertility treatments. A strong research base also ensures that the clinic practises evidence-based medicine.
  • Do they have an in-house lab? This can help ensure the accuracy and quality of tests performed in-house by your doctor rather than outsourcing them to another facility.
  • What is the success rate for ICF for women in different age groups This will reflect on the expertise of the clinic?
  • Ask the doctor what type of treatment would work best for you and your partner.
  • What are the advances in technology that the clinic uses? It can help you increase your chances of having a baby. For example, some clinics offer IVF with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), which is used when male infertility is present. Some clinics offer embryo screening and genetic testing before transferring embryos into the uterus to ensure that they are healthy. Sperm cryopreservation is another advanced technology that helps a man store his sperm for future IUI or IVF.
  • When you are looking for the right fertility clinic, make sure that they have the proper certifications and medical licences. In India, there are NABH certifications and IVF clinics  are enrolled under the National Registry of ART clinics.

Things to consider while choosing an IVF clinic

You should also take into consideration these points before finalizing a clinic.
– Convenience: How far is it from your home and work? Are there other clinics that are closer but do not have good reviews? At times, fertility clinics are located in metropolitan areas and you would have to stay at a nearby hotel during the IVF procedure. The staff would be well versed with accommodation close to the clinic and may also be able to get you discounts for longer stays.
– Type of treatment: When you’re choosing a fertility clinic, it’s important to consider the type of fertility treatment that they offer. The four most common types are:

  • IVF (in vitro fertilization)
  • ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)
  • PGT (preimplantation genetic testing)
  • IMSI (Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection)

– Reviews: What do other people have to say about the clinic? Has it been accredited by any professional organizations? You can reach out to the people who have undergone ART at that clinic.
– Quality of Staff: It is important to know the length of service of the staff and what are their qualifications. Do they appear to be friendly and approachable?
– Safety: It would help you to see the facilities of the centre.
– Additional services: Does the clinic offer anything other than standard fertility treatment? Does the clinic have a counsellor to assist you in choosing your options?
– The approachability of the clinic: In case of a question or problem, it is important to know who you should contact outside working hours.
– It is important to consider success rates. You should be mindful of the way the clinic presents the data when examining success rates. There are three common ways of presenting success: births per embryo transferred, births per egg collection, and births per cycle of treatment.

Read more: Egg Freezing Process in India

Make sure you make the right choice for yourself or your family.

We hope this article has helped you to find the right fertility clinic for you. If you’re unsure where to start, always consider the treatment options and how they relate to your situation. We also want to encourage you not to rush into starting treatment. Correction of vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems and high blood pressure is important before commencing treatment.

Read moreDo’s and Don’ts after your Embryo Transfer