by Dr Michalis Kyriakidis, MD, MSc
Gynaecologist in Assisted Reproduction, Embryolab Fertility Clinic
Our daily lives are becoming more and more stressful and demanding. Planning for a child can hardly keep up with the pace! More and more people are postponing starting their family. This delay can present fertility issues and a dilemma that had never been contemplated . . . IVF and how do you choose the right fertility clinic.
Sometimes trying to choose the right clinic can seem quite a struggle, but let me list some tips here that may be useful to help make the right decision for you.
Certification and quality assurance
The first thing that every couple should think about is the certification of the clinic that you may be considering. Is it licensed by the National Authority for Medical Assisted Reproduction? What is the quality criteria and how does the clinic keep to these? Is there any independent organisation that guarantees the quality of services provided? The search therefore begins by checking out the certifications and distinctions of the clinic you are considering.
Distance can bring us closer!
Nowadays, treatment for some infertility issues is quite accessible to couples. It is possible that an IVF clinic may be located close to home. Is this the reason to go for the first clinic you find? The answer is definitely no. It is worth travelling, even for a few hours, to visit the right clinic for you and consult leading scientists. It may seem difficult at first, but in the end it will work out better for you.
Size sometimes matters
It makes perfect sense for a large clinic to have both the technological development and the clinical experience to handle even the most demanding situations. A clinic that chooses to offer the full range of reproductive medicine is perhaps more likely to focus on the couple’s problem individually, offering the appropriate treatment.
The first impression counts!
Once a couple decides, an initial appointment should be scheduled at the clinic they have chosen. It is important that a trusting relationship is built between a couple and their doctor as this is fundamental for the successful outcome. However, there are more questions that need to be answered:
How do they greet you?
All staff should be friendly and pleasant as they will be with you throughout the treatment and its important to feel comfortable with the environment during the process.
Is the clinic open all year round?
Is there anyone you can talk to outside of working hours? Sometimes the most important thoughts and questions arise at the most inappropriate times! It’s good to know that the clinic’s staff will be available at the other end of the line if you have any questions.
What tests are needed?
Does the clinic offer the full range of treatments? The clinic and the physician should provide a complete overview of the appropriate pre-treatment examinations so that the couple knows exactly the prognosis and treatment to choose. However, additional support should be available, such as psychological support, acupuncture or nutritional support, to optimize the outcome.
The cheapest clinic is not always the right choice
Surely, the cost of treatment will play a decisive role in the couple’s decision? But beware, because hidden charges or low quality services may be hidden behind that low price.
While the list of questions may go on, my key advice is to evaluate your options and follow the clinic and physician who ultimately gains your trust