Fertility Clinics: 5 tips to find the right one
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infertility affects some 186 million people in the world, we frequently find fertility clinics and institutes that advertise on social networks and there is a wide range of treatments with a wide variety of prices. Choosing the best fertility clinic for you can be a difficult task, which is why we want to offer you recommendations on what to look for in them.
The best clinic is not only the one that can provide you with the most effective treatment, it is also one that has empathic staff, clear prices, simple administrative processes, and emotional support.
take your time to research
Don't just choose the first place you found online or the first one that answered the phone. Fertility treatment is a big step that can take a lot of time and money, so you want to choose what is best for you. You can find information about the clinic or hospital at:
- Their website
- Public data. For example, on the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society) website you can find information
- Talking to a representative of the clinic or institute
- With current or former patients
- Interviewing with the doctor or clinic specialist
Consider doctors and specialists
The experience and competitiveness of gynecologists, embryologists and specialists are the most important part of a fertility clinic. Depending on how the clinic operates, you may have one doctor assigned to you or see several on a rotating basis. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, but it is recommended that you have a primary contact who will handle your case.
When choosing a doctor or specialist you should consider the following questions:
- Do they take the time to answer all your questions? Can you ask questions by email or phone during treatment? If they are not willing to meet with you or answer your questions before choosing them, it may be a sign that later, when you are their patient, you will not be their priority either.
- Don't be afraid to ask about their professional experience, credentials, degrees, and specializations.
- You can ask if they have an embryologist, urologist, endocrinologist, or other professionals. Having a multidisciplinary team is a great advantage
About costs and financing
Most private clinics have staff who will take care of the financial aspects, they should be able to answer your questions about fees, available payment methods and help you discuss your options and alternatives.
Considering fees and guarantees is very important when choosing a fertility clinic. Considering that not all couples/individuals are successful on the first try, you should try to maximize your chances without compromising the quality of your treatment.
Questions to consider regarding financing include:
- Do you accept health insurance? Do both members of the couple have to be insured? Is the clinic staff in charge of making claims and paperwork with insurance? If not, do they provide you with the necessary documentation to obtain insurance coverage or reimbursement?
- How much do the tests and treatments cost? Are they covered by my insurance? What do the prices include? For example, does the price of IVF include medication or follow-up? Does it include embryo freezing?
- Do you have financing programs? When do you have to make the payment? Do you have any kind of interest? When doing IVF, how much do you have to pay if the cycle is canceled before the egg retrieval? What happens if it is canceled before the embryo transfer?
- If the clinic is not in your city or country: do they have accommodation options, discount plans with nearby hotels?
About the procedures and the laboratory
It is important to investigate about the laboratory, if they have their own laboratory or use an external service. About the staff, the experience of the embryologist and if they have their own donor bank or work with an external bank.
Other important questions may be:
- What procedures are performed in this clinic? Do they do IVF? ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Injection)? PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis)? Blastocyst transfer or egg retrieval? Are there other assisted reproductive technology options? If you live in another city, can you do certain tests and procedures closer to your home?
- About donor treatments: Do you offer embryo donation services? What happens if you decide to donate any of the embryos you have left over?
Important aspects about the clinic that you should keep in mind
- Location of the clinic: Not everyone is lucky enough to live near the clinic they need. Travel time is an important factor to consider, especially if you are going to do IVF, as you may have to visit the clinic many times during your treatment. Also, if you come from another city or country, you have to take into account the accommodation and the free time that you and your partner must have to travel.
- Is the staff nice?
- Do they answer your questions? Are you attentive by phone? Or do you feel that they are rushing you or do not answer you in time?
- What days and at what times is the clinic open? Are there extra hours early or in the afternoon, so I can have check-ups before or after work? Are you open on weekends? If not, how do you handle transfers that need to be made on a Saturday or Sunday?
- Are there specific times outside of business hours that you can call with questions?
- Do you offer psychology or therapy services? Nutrition? Alternative therapies like acupuncture?
Another important factor to consider is the clinic's success rates. Having the highest success rate does not necessarily mean that the clinic is the best. Some clinics avoid accepting difficult cases or refuse to treat women over 40 with their own eggs, and this can skew the results. It is also essential to find out about live birth rates and not just pregnancy rates, we recommend consulting the success rates according to the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society) and from there compare with those shown by the clinic (the data from the SEF reflect the average of all clinics in Spain).
Choosing a clinic is a very personal process, the clinic that worked for your friend may not be the best option for you, so we recommend that you take your time and evaluate several options so that you can choose the site that is most suitable for you. you and for your needs.