When you finally make the decision you want to do IVF, that’s just the first hurdle, next you have to choose your clinic. And that process can be really tough as there are so many amazing places out there with their own selling factors, so where do you even start? How do you decide which one is best for you? Should you go aboard for treatment? I went through a bit of a process when it came to choosing ours, but ultimately it fell down to four main factors which I’ve shared with you below.
This ultimately was the most important factor for us when choosing. After looking online for a good month, I narrowed my search down to three clinics, two were in London and one was in Woking (which is about 20 minutes from where we live). What you need to think about is, depending on what protocol you’re put on, once you start IVF you are often in and out of the clinic every few days, so how easily you can get there and back? Can you easily drive or get the train there from your home or place of work? In my first week for example, I was in twice for a scan, then in the second week I was back for another scan then two days later I was back in for Egg collection (which is done under a general anaesthetic) Scans are usually at flexible times, but for something like egg collection your clinic may want you in at 7am, so how will you and your partner get there? I read a few blogs where women went abroad for treatment but this wasn’t something we considered, 1, because of the kid and not being able to leave her with anyone for the length of time you’re away for, and 2, we wanted to be treated here in the UK. Its a personal decision. Something else to consider was if you have children already, can you drop them off to nursery before going to appointments (with our daughter, I didn’t want her in any of my appointments, she’s just too distracting!) or do you have family close by who can help? You don’t want to add anymore stress because of having to arrange crazy drop-offs, to an already stressful time.
All clinics have to display their statistics online, so the three that I ended up homing in on, I looked at and compared their statistics. For us it was a no brainer because the clinic closest to us, had the best overall statistics for our age group. If you have your heart set on somewhere but their statistics aren’t good, this is something you really need to think about and perhaps challenge the clinic about.
Of the three clinics that we considered, two had been recommended by friends and one a family member had used. You will read lots of pros and cons about clinics online, but actually being about to talk to people about their first-hand experiences really helps.
Most clinics have open days so try and get along to one of these if possible. With the clinic we chose they didn’t have any open days but you could book in to be shown round by a nurse and ask any questions. As soon as I looked round our clinic I felt at ease, it was really nice, the nurses were all great, these things helped with the overall decision making.
Last but not least, it can come down to how you feel about a clinic too, statistics and location aside. If you really REALLY want to use a clinic that’s quite far away, because you feel it’s great, then so long as you’re prepared and ready to do the distance then go for it. Sometimes you have to go with your gut on these things.