What should be the first thing people do to learn about their options?

Before starting and embarking on a treatment or exploring that you might need such a treatment, it’s important that you do a good level of research. First, it would be more introspection at your end as to what may be your top three or top five criteria that might be important to you.

There is plenty of information available nowadays. A good starting point would be to go onto the HFEA website and that gives you the information which is published information and public domain for the outcomes, treatments, and success rates for the treatments. It also gives information on treatment whether it’s using your own gametes, using donor gametes, or whether it’s a frozen embryo replacement. It also has a comparison to assess a couple of clinics so you can narrow down the search criteria for certain miles within the radius where you are looking. Use this tool and shortlist certain clinics.

If you’re chasing success rates for the treatment, then that’s something where you would be able to get an unbiased opinion of the different clinics and how they’re performing. What is an important point to note though is that the success rates that are published may not exactly be replicable in your case. You do have to be aware of that it may be a useful guide but it is only a guide.

What the next important thing is when you’re looking for fertility clinics would be to understand why you would need such kind of treatment. If there are the clinics in your area, and if they are they providing the kind of the services that you’re looking for?

Besides the services being provided and the success rate, you also have to look into the criteria that are important to you. If you’re a professional woman, constrained with your time, and you would rather have more flexibility of choices then you need to inquire at the clinic whether there are early evening and weekend appointments, or how you would be able to integrate the treatment as part of your professional diary. These are some of the aspects that you need to know when you are choosing the clinic for you.

Another important aspect is also where the clinic is located. Can you access the clinic? You will have to go to the clinic at least five to seven times as any IVF or assisted conception treatment. The other would be; do they provide continuity of care? Who the fertility specialist would be, are you going to be able to develop the confidence and trust and handle the responsibility of taking the care without going through undue stress?

If you also need a female gynaecologist we need to inquire with the clinic whether they have the permission to provide a female gynaecologist for each of your appointments. These are all the factors you need to consider when you’re trying to shortlist or identify a suitable fertility clinic for your treatment or potential treatment in a foreseeable future.