Choosing the right clinic for your treatment: why the ‘best’ may not be the ‘right’ one for you

Professor Alan Thornhill
Fertility Expert & Coach, The Fertility Guy
From this video you will find out:
  • What criteria should you consider when determining the “right” clinic for your specific needs?
  • Why the “best” clinic might not always be the most suitable choice for your individual circumstances?
  • What factors should you weigh when deciding between different clinics, aside from reputation and rankings?
  • What resources are available to help you research and compare clinics effectively?
  • Are there any common misconceptions you should be aware of when choosing a clinic for their treatment?

Choosing the right clinic for your treatment: why the ‘best’ may not be the ‘right’ one for you

In this session, Professor Alan Thornhill, Fertility Expert & Coach, shared invaluable insights on navigating the world of fertility clinics and finding the perfect fit for your unique needs and preferences.

Choosing the right clinic for your treatment

It’s essential to note that the “best” clinic may not always be the right one for you. It’s important to take various parameters and considerations into account when selecting a clinic. It’s about you, your unique needs, and finding the perfect fit.

Prof. Thornhill highlighted a few aspects worth considering before choosing a clinic. IVF can be expensive, and most people require multiple cycles for success, clinics are becoming busier, impacting your choice of clinic. Another thing is that the IVF industry is undergoing consolidation, affecting the landscape of available clinics. Finding the right clinic will require effort on your part. It’s not an easy task, but it’s worth it. The good news is that there are many IVF clinics globally, and more treatment options and regulations are making treatment safer.

Finding the perfect clinic in an imperfect world is a challenge. Imagine if every clinic worldwide offered identical treatments, expertise, success rates, pricing, and compliance. While that’s an ideal scenario, it’s far from reality. Factors like location, age group, treatment type, and cost all vary significantly. You’re unique, and the right clinic should align with your specific needs.

Like a cactus thriving in the desert or a tropical plant in its own environment, you are unique and require the right environment for your IVF journey.

When choosing the right clinic, success rates are essential, but they’re not the only factor. Consider location, age group, treatment type, flexibility, cost, and patient well-being. It’s not a one-size-fits-all decision.

Trusted Resources

Where should you look for trustworthy information? While there’s no perfect method, here are some resources to consider:

  • national registries: start with your country’s national registry for validated data, mainly for success rates.
  • international independent curated resources: look for international, independent sources that provide a broader view of clinics.
  • local independent patient-led resources: patient-led initiatives like “Fertility Mapper” can offer valuable insights, although they require more reviews to become reliable.

Funding options

When considering fertility treatment, funding plays a crucial role. If you live in a country that offers free or partially funded IVF, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of going completely private or accessing funded treatment. This decision affects both your financial situation and your time. The wrong treatment or long waiting times can impact your success rate and mental state.

Public clinics are often considered free or funded, while private clinics may offer more treatment options. Public clinics may have long waiting lists, especially post-COVID. Private clinics are generally more costly due to various factors, including the use of additional treatment options or add-ons.

Setting your priorities

Before you embark on your fertility treatment journey, it’s essential to define your priorities and red lines.

  • wish list: start by listing your priorities, which can include location, success rates, cost, timelines, and a supportive environment
  • red lines: identify aspects that you’re unwilling to compromise on, such as the gender of the treating doctor, the country where the clinic is located, or specific ethical considerations

Understanding ratings, reviews and success rates

Ratings and reviews can be helpful, but also misleading. It’s essential to assess the credibility, independence, and number of reviews when considering them. Ensure that the reviews are credible and not biased. Sometimes, a single negative review may not reflect the overall quality of a clinic. Check if the reviews are independent and not manipulated by the clinic or other parties.

Success rates in fertility clinics can be misleading if not understood correctly. It’s crucial to compare success rates accurately, keeping in mind the denominator and numerator used in the calculations. Ensure that you’re comparing clinics with similar success rate metrics to get a meaningful comparison.

Comparing success rates accurately is vital to making an informed clinic choice.

Compliance and legal considerations

Compliance with local laws and regulations is essential in fertility treatment. It ensures safety, honesty, transparency, and a level playing field. Non-compliance with regulations can lead to legal risks and potential issues in your treatment cycle. Compliance indicates a commitment to honesty and transparency in clinic operations.

Financial planning

Proper financial planning is essential for fertility treatment. Set a budget, consider multi-cycle packages, and explore financing options. Additionally, establish personal boundaries to protect your physical, emotional, and ethical well-being.

Next steps

  1. Explore available resources and gather information about fertility treatment.
  2. Consider a free fertility coaching session to get personalized guidance and support.
  3. Reach out to professionals who can assist you in making informed decisions on your fertility journey.

In conclusion, when it comes to fertility treatment, taking the time to assess your priorities, understand ratings and reviews, success rates, finances, etc., and consider legal compliance and personal boundaries can help you make informed decisions that align with your goals and values.

- Questions and Answers

I want to ask about shipping frozen eggs. Are the eggs usually okay, or is it problematic? I live in the US. Any tips on where to go?

Shipping frozen eggs abroad can be a delicate process, but it’s done routinely and safely. It’s not something you need to worry excessively about. To ensure a smooth process, work with a reputable clinic and courier service recommended by the clinic. They should have experience in handling frozen eggs. I can’t give specific recommendations, as it depends on your location and other factors, but doing your homework is crucial to make an informed choice.

Is PGT-A considered safe? Are the success rates too good to be true?

The safety of Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) is a complex topic. It can be performed safely when done correctly in reputable clinics. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential downsides, such as the possibility of discarding embryos that may still result in healthy pregnancies. Success rates can vary, and while it has benefits, it’s not without its controversies. Patients should have detailed discussions with their healthcare providers to understand if it’s suitable for their specific situation.

What do you think about IVF clinics in North Cyprus? Can you provide any advice on them?

I can’t make sweeping statements about specific IVF clinics in North Cyprus or any other location. However, I recommend conducting thorough research. Check for any recent scandals, regulatory changes, or issues related to the clinics in North Cyprus. Visit the clinics’ websites, request virtual consultations, and use your judgment to evaluate their suitability for your needs. You may also find reviews on international platforms helpful.

In the Netherlands, we have age restrictions, but in Cyprus, it’s possible to go until age 55. This makes choosing a clinic challenging. Any advice on this?

Age restrictions can indeed complicate the choice of a clinic. If you face age-related restrictions in your home country, consider looking into clinics in other countries that may have more flexible regulations regarding age limits. Reach out to these clinics to inquire if they might consider your case on an individual basis, as discretion may be allowed in some cases. It’s essential to explore all available options to make an informed decision.
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Professor Alan Thornhill

Professor Alan Thornhill is a fertility expert with over 25 years of experience and more than 100 scientific publications in IVF. Specifically, he’s a clinical scientist (specialising in embryology and genetics). Uniquely, he’s worked in IVF and diagnostic laboratories, research, clinical and business management, and even with the UK’s fertility regulator. Working in US and UK-based IVF clinics and consulting globally, he’s been involved in the IVF journeys of thousands of couples (both professionally and personally). He’s helped and advised patients, friends and strangers with issues including low sperm count, sperm and egg donation, genetic testing, surrogacy, treatment overseas and more. He currently works in the biotech industry, and his personal mission is to provide his unique brand of fertility coaching to people in need of help.
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Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka is managing MyIVFAnswers.com and has been hosting IVFWEBINARS dedicated to patients struggling with infertility since 2020. She's highly motivated and believes that educating patients so that they can make informed decisions is essential in their IVF journey. In the past, she has been working as an International Patient Coordinator, where she was helping and directing patients on their right path. She also worked in the tourism industry, and dealt with international customers on a daily basis, including working abroad. In her free time, you’ll find her travelling, biking, learning new things, or spending time outdoors.
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