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Top Considerations for Choosing a Fertility Clinic

A blog by Dr. Sonya Kashyap, Genesis Fertility Centre, August 12, 2014

You have just left your doctor’s office. She has told you that your best option for conceiving the child you so desperately want is to have in vitro fertilization (IVF). You look at the piece of paper the receptionist has given you with the name and contact information of the fertility clinic your doctor has recommended. You trust your doctor but there are so many questions! How do you know that this particular fertility clinic is the best place for you? There is a lot on the line here. Now, added to the physical, psychological, and emotional cost of infertility you are facing a significant financial cost.

Unfortunately, there are a very small number of provinces in Canada and states in America that provide coverage for fertility treatment. Ultimately, all fertility clinics are commercial enterprises competing for your business. Similar to being comfortable with your doctor, you want to feel comfortable with the fertility clinic that is providing your treatment. As a starting point, the websites of fertility clinics will provide information regarding services offered, statistics and fees. Statistics regarding success rates can be used as a marketing tool. Typically, high success rates will attract more patients. How to interpret success rates will be the subject of another blog however, knowing if the success rates have been independently verified is important. Fees also don’t necessarily reflect the quality of services provided. For example, higher fees may be a result of major investments to achieve high quality services.

In Canada, the medical systems of most provinces will cover the cost of consultant appointments and diagnostic tests leading up to in vitro fertilization. This creates the opportunity to get the “feel” of a fertility clinic before undertaking expensive fertility treatments.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • How long has the fertility clinic been open?
  • Who is the laboratory director and what is their reputation?
  • How experienced are the embryologists?
  • Are the pregnancy statistics independently verified?
  • Has the consulting doctor at the fertility clinic completed a reproductive endocrinology fellow ship? Where, and are they board certified?
  • Is there psychological counseling support available?
  • What nursing support will you receive during your fertility treatment?
  • Does the fertility clinic have accreditation through a governing body?

Here are some observations to make:

  • Are your questions being answered to your satisfaction?
  • Do you feel you have a connection and that the fertility clinic feels like a good fit for you?
  • Do you feel like the fertility clinic team is fully invested in your outcome?

There are likely other questions will want to ask in relation to your personal situation. Having as much information as possible before making that all important decision will help.

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