It is so important to choose the right fertility clinic, as the impact of going to the wrong one could be costly financially and emotionally. It is essential to ensure you do your research and, where possible, imperative to know that it is registered with your country’s IVF regulatory body.
If you are in the UK, take a look at the HFEA, the UK’s independent regulator of treatment using eggs and sperm, and of treatment and research involving human embryos. They set standards for, and issue licenses to fertility clinics. They are dedicated to licensing and monitoring UK fertility clinics and all UK research involving human embryos, and providing impartial and authoritative information to the public.
If you are in the US, take a look at SART, the USA’s primary organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of IVF, or assisted reproductive technology (ART). The organization represents the majority of the ART clinics in the country. The mission of SART is to establish and maintain standards for ART so that you receive the highest possible level of care. SART clinics meet the highest standards for quality, safety and patient care.
However other countries do not have this same governance. For instance, fertility treatment in Europe is governed by the standards set out in the EU Tissues and Cells Directive. Although this establishes set standards for quality and safety that should be met in all EU infertility clinics, not all countries within the EU have accepted or implemented these standards. For this reason, do not assume your chosen clinic will follow these rules without making further checks.
ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology), the primary European body for infertility clinics, held a study in 2010 and found then that a third of countries across the world had unregulated fertility clinics.
Do not let this put you off though if you are considering travelling abroad for ivf. We have visited clinics in Spain (ivf Spain and Clinica Tambre) and India (Nova) so far and have been overwhelmed by the high standards and caring staff. We are on a mission to visit as many clinics as possible so that we can report back on our findings. (This week we will be bringing you our report on Clinica Tambre). Just make sure you do your research before you commit to anything. There is also a private IVF Abroad Facebook page that you can join so that you can ask the TTC community advice and guidance about clinics they have experienced abroad.
So, when looking in to a clinic, the first query to be made should be written evidence of the clinics success of ‘live’ birth rates, this should be listed on their websites.
The second should be what pre treatment tests they will be carrying out before going ahead. If you have an underlying issue, this needs to be assessed and treated before embarking on IVF, why spend money unnecessarily when all along it couldn’t work because of an unresolved issue.
It is also important to make sure that the clinic’s location works for you. Where possible you want to avoid hours travelling to and from your clinic everyday. Look at the opening hours, find out how easy it is to ammend appointment times and dates. Do they offer counselling? Find out if the clinic has an open day, so that you can take a look around and meet some of the staff. If you have a shortlist of clinics abroad, why not set a skype call with one of the coordinators so that you can have a conversation ‘face to face’.
Talk to the ttc comunity and ask them to tell you about their experiences of clinics that have been to, and, If you are in any doubt, drop us a line and we will help you with any queries, at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article by one of our readers, Thora Negg explains brilliantly how she chose her clinic:
We would love to know how you chose your clinic. Were you thorough in your research? Were you happy with your choice? Do you have any tips for others who are on the search for the right clinic? Do let us know so that we can share your wisdom! email@example.com