In the age of internet chat rooms and ‘Dr Google’, patients are being empowered to make decisions on their fertility treatment without having to solely rely on a GP’s recommendation.
However because everyone’s circumstances are different, someone else’s successful experience may not describe your own. So if you are considering fertility treatment there are a number of key features you can look for in a clinic that will help you decide whether your interests are being placed first.
What to look for in an IVF clinic:
- Patient Centred Care – Every patient’s circumstances are different, so your treatment plan should be tailored specifically to your individual needs. Your clinician should be able to explain in detail what is wrong, why they are recommending certain treatment, the pros and cons of different treatment options and the costs.
- Diagnosis Directed Treatment – Accurate diagnosis and treatment of underlying problems in some situations may restore fertility without the need of assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation. Be cautious of clinics that recommend a one-size-fits-all approach towards treating infertility or who recommend complex and expensive treatment options before exploring other possibilities.
- Laboratory Standards – While all fertility clinics are licensed and accredited there are questions that can be asked. Are electronic witnessing systems in place to minimise laboratory errors? Are the most advanced incubators and laboratory equipment being used? Are you given flexibility with your treatment options or are you repeating the same processes in vain?
- Does the clinic go above and beyond? For example: Do they provide convenient parking? Are SkypeTM consultations offered to spare you unnecessary travel? Are there opportunities to provide feedback? Do they encourage you to feel actively involved in making decisions regarding your own treatment? Is there a willingness to accommodate feedback, good and bad, and utilise it to improve the treatment experience for all patients? Offer complimentary treatment options, while maintaining a core of evidenced based medicine?