Every Fertility Clinic is Different
There are over 400 fertility clinics in the US, each offering a different set of medical protocol, standard of care and specialists with different expertise. To help you choose the right clinic, it is important for you to know what things to consider when comparing clinics.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a fertility centre is its location. Throughout your treatment, you will be required to visit the clinic several times for consultations, follow-ups, monitoring and induction of IVF cycles. Choose clinics that are not only close to you but also easily accessible via your preferred form of transport.
History & Success Rate
- Does the clinic have an overall good history and feedback from past patients?
Reviews provide transparent insight into a clinic’s quality of service and overall satisfaction from patients who have received treatment there. Therefore, it is the most effective way of assessing a clinic’s suitability.
- Does the clinic have competitive success rate for your age group? If so, what’s the average number of IVF cycles a patient goes through to have a baby?
Both success rate and associated number of IVF cycles are important aspects to be considered when selecting the right clinic. Choosing the clinic with competitive statistics can save you money and more importantly time. Find out more about success rates and IVF cycles here.
- Has the clinic had any major changes in its staff, offered treatments and protocols?
The quality of a clinic is undoubtedly dictated by the skills and experience of its healthcare providers. Past reviews and statistics may not accurately reflect the current state of a clinic if it has undergone major revision of staff structure.
This also applies for offered treatments and associated protocols.
Eligibility for Treatment
Eligibility for certain treatments varies greatly among clinics.
Criteria may include:
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Health history
Many clinics do not display treatment eligibility online, so you may wish to find out whether you qualify by requesting a free nurse call. You can do this by visiting each clinic’s page on our website.
Tests, Treatments and Costs
Preliminary tests are conducted to determine possible cause(s) of infertility. This information is can be found on our website (if published by clinics).
However, you should enquire about what’s required of you or your partner for these tests. For example, for semen analysis, how is the sample collected and where is it analysed?
Some clinics do not offer genetic screening services. So, if this is something you wish for prior to IVF, you may like to reach out to your clinic.
The outcome of your tests will dictate the treatment you will receive. Most clinics offer common fertility treatments like IVF and ICSI.
The biggest variation is the pricing of these treatments, which is available on our comparison platform. Be alert for hidden fees such as hospital day surgery costs, embryo freezing and storage costs as these are not included in displayed treatment costs. Find out how much IVF really costs here.
Standard of Care
The standard of care is predominantly dictated by personal preference. High-end clinics usually offer better service and care to their patients. For example, while providing more affordable treatment, bulk billed clinics usually do not have as high standard of care as ‘gap’ clinics.
That said, the standard of care does not reflect the success rate of have a baby. For example, you may have a higher chance of having a baby at a clinic that has relatively lower standard of care.
Here are some of the things you may like to consider:
- What patients have said about their experiences with the clinic and specialist
- Complementary services e.g. patient support groups, lifestyle management support
Besides the clinic itself, it is also worthwhile to look into its affiliated facilities.
- Surgery Facility
Egg extraction is usually carried out at either private hospitals or facilities privately owned by fertility clinics.
This process entails additional hospital day surgery and anaesthetist fees that are not included in the treatment cost. Clinics that provide more comprehensive care can be more expensive than privately owned surgery facilities.
- Fertility Laboratory
Fertility laboratories are where IVF is performed. Therefore, a good laboratory plays a major role in a clinic’s success and more importantly the outcome of your treatment. You may like to look into a laboratory’s history and background.
Egg and Sperm Donor Programs
If you and your partner are considering using donor eggs or sperm, it is essential to ensure the health status and history of the donor are ideal. Ask your clinic about the donor selection process and where the gametes (eggs and sperm) are sourced from.
In addition, some clinics may require you to look for your donor. Ask your clinic about donor requirements and any required procedures to be done on your end. You may also like to enquire about the cost associated with using your own donor egg or sperm for IVF.