Seeking Private IVF and fertility treatment?
If you have tried to become pregnant for a reasonable period of time, then you may start the fertility treatment journey with many questions in your mind
Taking the first step towards seeking help with conceiving is one of the most difficult step. Most couple experience a range of emotions and questions. Many patients usually have some fertility tests with their doctor or local hospital before considering private fertility treatment.
When taking first steps, it is not uncommon to be anxious and there are many questions that may come to your mind. The five common questions that most come to our patient’s minds are:
- What is the cause of my infertility?
- Where should we go for IVF treatment?
- What is fertility treatment?
- Will the IVF treatment work?
- Can we afford IVF treatment?
What is the cause of infertility?
Vast majority of couple will conceive after 1-2 years of trying naturally. Only a small proportion of men, women or couples may seek help. For some, such treatments are the only way to build family. Almost one in six couples will seek help about difficulties with conceiving. But not everyone will require fertility treatment. A third of couples may face difficulties in conceiving due to female factor, whilst another third may suffer from male factor infertility. In the remaining third, it may be unexplained infertility, which means that there is no identifiable problem with ovulation, both fallopian tubes are free of any blockages and that the semen analysis is normal.
When understanding causes that may lead to female factor infertility, the common ones are irregular or absence of ovulation, blocked fallopian tubes or any other co-existing conditions such as, endometriosis. One of the most common conditions that causes irregular ovulation, also called anovulation, is Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Besides this there can be other causes such as thyroid disorder, hyperprolactinaemia, or other hormone conditions that disrupt the process of follicle development and ovulation.
Similarly, men may suffer from male factor infertility due to a variety of reasons. This can be infection, groin or testicular surgery, undescended testes during childhood, varicocoele, other medical disorders, genetic conditions such as Klinefelter syndrome and a number medications that you may be taking for a diagnosed medical illness. This may result in various abnormalities on semen analysis such as low sperm count, motility or low normal sperm morphology.
How do I choose the best fertility clinic near me?
There are a number of ways you can find out more about the fertility clinics in your area or further away where you may wish to seek help. You may speak to your Doctor to find out if you are eligible for NHS funding of your treatment. However, a significant number of patients choose private IVF treatment because they either do not want to wait, or have heard that private fertility clinics may offer better results and service. There are also situations, where patients change their private fertility clinics. This could happen for variety of reasons, including failed IVF treatment, miscarriages, and lack of continuity of care.
Choosing the right private fertility clinic is an important decision. When choosing your clinic or fertility specialist, you may like to consider the following aspects:
- Can you choose your fertility consultant/specialist?
- Does the fertility clinic offer continuity of care from appointment to appointment?
- How easy and flexible could this be for you to be able to manage your other priorities as well?
- Do you enjoy a good rapport with your fertility specialist?
- Does your fertility Consultant listen and empathise with your situation?
- Is it easy to understand the total cost envelope for fertility treatment?
- Is the clinic in a location that you will be able to visit multiple times?
- Does the clinic offer early morning, late evening and weekend appointments that fit in with your schedule?
- Does the clinic deal with patients in similar clinical circumstances to yours?
- Does the IVF doctor or specialist take integrated approach towards the treatment?
Before you decide on a fertility clinic, you can attend open clinic or patient evening. This will offer you an opportunity to get more information about the clinic, services and whether the clinic is best fit for you. You may also seek information from the Infertility Network UK or Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
What is the best fertility treatment for me?
There is a lot of information about fertility options coming from many sources these days. It is difficult to judge the reliability of the information available at many sources. Each patient has a unique clinical situation and requires an individualised treatment plan. The best way to get a good overview of your options is to meet with a fertility specialist or gynaecologist at your chosen fertility clinic. Following initial consultation and fertility tests, your specialist will advise on your treatment options. At London IVF and Genetics Centre, our specialist will work in partnership with you and discuss your circumstances that are preventing you from conceiving and your best solutions.
Will the IVF and fertility treatment work?
The success rates of infertility treatment have improved considerably over the last few decades. We are however still far away from ensuring that every single patient who starts the fertility treatment journey has a guarantee of getting pregnant at each attempt.
It is important to understand fertility treatment success rates. These depend on a number of factors, such as the women’s age, the cause of infertility, her ovarian reserve, the outcome of her previous treatments, any co-existing medical conditions, lifestyle factors, and the quality of eggs, sperms and embryos.
When looking at fertility clinic success rates, you should seek further information to understand how they have been derived and how the clinics express their success rates. Some clinics may choose their best success rate at any given point, whereas others may publish most recent pregnancy rates. You can also understand more about success rates at Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Can I afford fertility treatment?
A significant proportion of patients have to pay for their fertility treatment. Before starting treatment, you should seek clarity as to what the total cost is likely to be for all aspects of the treatments.
A common frustration expressed by patients is the lack of clarity about IVF treatment costs. Make sure your chosen fertility clinic gives you a clear idea of your anticipated total cost. It’s fine if the total cost of treatment varies slightly from the initial estimate. But having a rough ballpark helps you to manage your budget and avoids unexpected higher costs later that can be stressful.
While cost should not be your key factor in choosing a clinic, it is important to discuss the details of the treatment cost, what is included, and what extra add-on costs you should consider before starting treatment.