Choosing an infertility clinic

Aim to find a clinic which has suitable expertise, customer and clinical care, and offers safe and up-to-date infertility treatments at a price you can afford, in a relaxing and safe place. Look for kind, patient medical staff, and cutting edge equipment.

In some cases you will deal directly with a provider, or go through a company working as a medical tourism tour operator (a broker).  With experience, expert knowledge and contacts in the industry a broker can organise everything for you, negotiating prices and details with the hospitals and doctors directly, as well as providing a travel coordinator to organise your flights and accommodation.

If you are going directly to the hospital/clinic make initial contact via their website or by telephone to enquire about their fertility services and ask for some literature and brochures detailing more information about costs and the doctor’s professional background etc.

IVF clinic accreditation

Find out all you can about the hospital/clinic’s reputation - the more you know, the better prepared you are.  Check the accreditation of the hospital/clinic and the doctor's qualifications.  Read some of the client’s patient testimonials before you make your decision, check whether the hospital/clinic has got ISO, Joint Commission International (JCI) approval, or another form of accreditation.

You should of course ask about their success rates as these show the number of treatments carried out in a particular year and the number of pregnancies or live births that were born as a result.  However, when considering success rates, be aware that statistics can be affected by the type of patients a clinic treats; how old they were, how long they had been infertile for, and the type of treatment they diagnosed.

Ask about the most difficult patients and cases they have dealt with as some don’t want to do difficult ones as it will affect success rates.  If a clinic has more complicated cases their success rates may be lower but a clinic may have a higher success rate if it is treating fertile women who are having sperm donor pregnancies which are more straightforward.

Although fertility tourism offers a cheaper alternative, this is only the case if you go to an accredited clinic and see a properly qualified medical team.  Ensure the clinic is regulated and inspected by an official body as some countries are better regulated than others. In the UK, for example, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority regulates and licenses fertility clinics under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.

According to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, today’s embryologists require a foundation to prepare for and adapt to the new technologies, understand the relevance and application of advances in cell biology and genetics and apply good clinical practice.

Look for highly skilled gynecologists and reproductive endocrinologists who are qualified to treat complex infertility-related disorders and are preferably board certified in both obstetrics and gynaecology.

Whether you are dealing with a hospital directly or going through a broker be sure to address ALL of your questions and concerns, and request a firm estimate/assessment of costs and scheduling so that you are sure about what IS and ISN'T covered by the fee you have been quoted because you won’t want to deal with these issues afterwards.


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