The struggle to conceive can make you feel like a failure, and a ticking biological clock can make you desperate to start treatment right away, but it’s essential to do your research before choosing a fertility clinic. You need to be 100% sure you can trust these people, from the moment you walk in the door until the moment you give birth.
Follow these steps to find the right fertility clinic for you:
1. Research the tests and procedures – and the costs
There are several types of infertility treatments, all with their own tests, procedures, and costs. It’s important to know what you’re in for, what you’re willing to go through, and what you’re willing to pay before you start looking for an infertility clinic.
It should be noted that OHIP does cover some fertility treatments and provides reimbursement for others at tax time. You can find out more on the Ministry of Health’s Fertility Services page.
2. Compile a list of options
If you live in any kind of city you should have access to multiple fertility clinics. The more options you have, the better. IVF clinics are businesses, and while the best doctors are 100% in your corner, not all IVF clinics are created equal.
Finding the best IVF clinics is a little tougher than researching other businesses, because most people don’t openly discuss fertility issues. This means you’ll have to skip asking friends for advice and go straight to Google.
Aim to compile a list of at least five different options.
3. Look at live birth rates
Knowing the number of cycles that result in a pregnancy is great, but it’s even better to know how many of those pregnancies are successfully carried to term. Every failed treatment or miscarriage reduces the chances that the next one will be successful, so you don’t want to take any chances.
If you can’t find either of these numbers on the clinic’s website, run the other way. All those people want is your money.
4. But take those success rates with a grain of salt
Some IVF clinics improve their numbers by turning away “hard” clients, those who aren’t able to conceive. Others accept these patients with open arms. This lowers their success rates, but it shows a deeper commitment to helping everyone who wants a child have one.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell which clinics are successful because they refuse difficult cases apart from fertility clinics that accept everyone unless you’ve been through their application process. The best way to get this information is by looking for reviews on third party sites. If people have been turned away, they’ll be angry, and some are bound to share their stories eventually.
And if you do end up at one of these clinics and they refuse your business, don’t take it to heart. You don’t want to work with those people anyway—you want to find the doctor who will be 100% in your corner, no matter how long or difficult the process is.
5. Pay attention to how long the head staff have been there
There are always a variety of factors involved when somebody leaves a job, but high turnover is often a sign of poor management, and that can lead to mistakes that cost you dearly. The head staff of the clinic now doesn’t have to be the founders, but most of them should have been around for at least a couple of years.
You may not be able to find this information on the website, but they shouldn’t hesitate to answer it when you call.