Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Choosing the right fertility clinic !

One of the most crucial decision while taking fertility journey is choosing the fertility clinic. This will be the place where you will end up making frequent visits, so it better be a good and conducive place ;-) And hence its but prudent to do a thorough research before picking the place where you will be heading for advice on your fertility treatment. 

I spent almost 2 months before I narrowed down to the place I wanted to go for my IVF cycle. Below are some of the criteria that I used in deciding my IVF clinic:

  1. How good is the Doctor at listening? Listening is an art (specially active listening). A very important characteristic of a good doctor (specially a fertility expert). Most of the people who go to a fertility expert are in low morale and low self-confidence. It is very important that the doctor gives you enough time to listen to all your fears, apprehensions, and is able to give you hope. One of the fertility experts that I met was very upfront in telling me that since I am more than 35years of age, I should also look at the option of donor egg. Now I must tell you that I do not have any so-called hormonal  imbalance / tubes / ovary malfunction and I have seen ladies in their 40s having a healthy pregnancy. So such statements about donor eggs even before the doctor gave me a chance to use my own eggs, put me off completely from her. What hope could I get from such a person! Some of the fertility experts that I met were so positive in their discussions that even though they were saying that my chances were low as compared to others but it still gave me lot of hope. I do not want to give up before giving myself a fair chance on trying to get pregnant.
  2. How busy is the doctor? If you are at a place which a choc-a-block full of people and the doctor is there only for an hour or two, she might not give you the due attention. While speaking to her, see if there is an urgency from her side to close the conversation and see you out of her room. I prefer a doctor who will have time for me (and I don't mean to say that she should sit with me the whole day but someone who makes you feel that at that moment you are the only person whom she is to treat)
  3. What are the IVF protocols that the doctor follows and on what basis does she decide which one is best for you. Is she ready to be a little experimental or does she follow everything by the book. I met one fertility expert who told me on day one what kind of medicines will she use on me (this was without even studying my investigation reports); that made me realize that I am a mere statistics for her! Whereas some of the experts that I met said that they can tell what protocol they plan to use after they see some of my reports. Also they mentioned that they keep changing the dosage of the hormones based on what how my body responds to it. This gave me lot of comfort cause as per the fertility experts admitting that science has still not understood female fertility completely so if the doctor is willing to study my response and then keep giving me whatever is the optimum level of hormones I might stand a better chance. I am not just another patient for her, I am someone whom she is paying due attention and time.
  4. Is the doctor reachable in case of any emergency and or for ad-hoc advice. Check on the options of being able to reach the doctor via phone. Some of the doctors are happy to share their mobile numbers also. 
  5. Distance from your place of stay - During the IVF cycle, you will be needed to visit the clinic frequently (atleast 6-7 time during the entire IVF procedure). There are some clinics which need you to be at their place everyday during the 12-14 day procedure duration. So make sure you are prepared for the travel to and fro.
  6. How is the Support Staff? See how the nurses are at the place. I always prefer a place where I see positivity around; it automatically puts you in a relaxed frame of mind which is very important when you are undergoing fertility treatment.
  7. Does the clinic specialize only in fertility OR are they also in general gynecology. I visited couple of places where I found that they had both gynecology & fertility departments with common waiting area. In the first glance, when I saw many pregnant ladies sitting there it gave me the feeling that this place has huge success rate. But when I learned that most of these ladies were the ones who did not have any fertility issues and conceived naturally, it kind of put me off. I realized if I keep coming to this place, I might get more depressed thinking of all the people who very soon will be mothers BUT I will still be struggling with the hope of assisted conception. I dropped these places from my radar as I also doubted on their fertility expertise.
  8. Check on the cost of IVF at the clinic. Some quote different price for IVF & ICSI and some have a common package even if you go for IVF rather than ICSI (which is a much advanced form of IVF). Make sure you understand what will be the additional costs as you go along the IVF path. Some places include the cost of all the scans and blood test Whereas some charge extra for it. Ask the clinics if they do any refund of the IVF package you paid, should there be a situation that the procedure has to be aborted mid-way. 
  9. Check on the success rate of the clinic. However I kept that as last of my evaluation parameter since IVF success is a very individualistic thing. Two people with same fertility problem, undergoing exactly same IVF protocol can have very different results. So for me knowing the success rate is a feel good factor for me but not the deciding criteria.
  10. Lastly, see how comfortable you feel sitting in that place. How comfortable you felt while talking to the doctor.
I visited many IVF centers and checked on all the above factors and in the end decided that place where I wanted to go. I do not know whether the decision is right or not But all the visits that I made to this clinic have re-emphasized that until now my decision has been good.


  1. Choosing a fertility clinic is a very important stage in any couple's life. Read on to know more about the different things to take note of when making that crucial choice.

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  2. Choosing a fertility clinic is a very important stage in any couple's life. Read on to know more about the different things to take note of when making that crucial choice.

    Fertility Clinic