How to choose a fertility clinic

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If your doctor has advised you that you have a fertility problem or you have been trying for a baby without success, the pressure can feel overwhelming. You will no doubt have numerous questions going around your head whilst also feeling anxious and experiencing plenty of uncertainty. If you have been advised that you need fertility treatment such as IVF, you will again need to evaluate which clinic you wish to attend. It can be a time-consuming process at a period when you feel that time isn’t on your side, with different clinics making a variety of claims.

As a trusted fertility clinic in Bangkok, we appreciate the pressure that you feel and try to ensure that treatment options are explained in a straightforward way, in terms that you understand. We aim to give you as much information as possible, allowing you to go away and make an informed choice with your partner. Choosing the right fertility clinic may be one of the toughest decisions you ever have to make, and you need to understand what factors you need to consider.

What is the treatment available?

At First Fertility, we offer a comprehensive range of fertility treatments for both male and female partners, including egg freezing, IUI, PGD and, the most common form of fertility treatment, IVF. We always take the time to explain each treatment to patients and what they can expect, and indeed, this should be the case with any fertility clinic. The clinic should be prepared to answer any questions you and your partner may have and address any concerns. 

If we take IVF treatment as an example, in most circumstances, drugs will be used to deliberately alter the regular menstrual cycle with the process often referred to as “down-regulation”. In laymen’s terms, it involves taking medication to make the ovaries produce significantly more eggs than they would during the normal cycle. The female will be required to take medication for approximately four weeks and maybe in the form of injections or oral medication. The emphasis is on maximising egg quality before they are harvested. The drugs may cause some minor side effects, which your doctor will explain.

Understanding success rates

For almost all couples, the first thing they will want to know is their chances of success. Naturally, choosing the clinic with the best success will be a priority, but you must understand the data available. With significantly differing success rates reported between clinics, you must make sure that you are comparing like-for-like stats. Some clinics will publish “successes” as the number of females who became pregnant, while others may be numbers that had a live birth. 

While all of the stats are almost certainly accurate, they can be misleading in how they are presented. To make a fair comparison, you should compare the same statistic from all the clinics. Regardless of the stats they publish, they will, or should have, access to all figures. If they are unwilling to disclose this information in a reasonable timescale, it may be a cause for concern.

Other factors that you should consider are that you are comparing figures for the same type of treatment. Success rates can vary considerably between some treatments, and some less reputable clinics may choose only to publish the results for treatments with the highest success rates. Again, you should always make sure that you have the correct information that will allow you to make an informed decision about which fertility clinic you wish to attend.

Some clinics are also known to adopt a selection process for who they are prepared to treat. While this can potentially be beneficial for the patients, it can once again to misleading results being published as success rates will almost inevitably be higher. Understanding national and international averages regarding success rates will give you a good benchmark about what to expect. Questions should be raised about results that are notably different from the standard. 

If you are having trouble understanding the data that has been presented to you, don’t be frightened to ask questions and even seek independent advice.

Facilities

The quality of the facilities, the equipment and the experience of the medical professionals can vary significantly. We would, therefore, recommend that you visit any clinic before making a final choice, as well as reading reviews and getting feedback from others in a similar situation. The doctors should provide you with details of their training and experience if requested, and most will be delighted to do so. At First Fertility, we have some of the best fertility equipment in Bangkok, and as we keep abreast of medical advances, this will increase your chances of success.

Waiting times

For most fertility clinics in Bangkok, waiting times for treatment are relatively short and will probably be determined by the preparation, if any, the patient requires before treatment commences. As time can be of the essence for some couples, this is something that you should ask about at your initial appointment. 

Counselling services

We always explain to couples that there is never any guarantee of success with the treatments we offer. Ensuring that couples are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared for what could be a stressful time is essential. All clinics should offer some form of counselling service should the patients experience further disappointment.

The cost

Finally, you will need to address one of the biggest points regarding fertility treatment: the cost. Procedures such as IVF are expensive, and couples need to be aware of the financial strain that it may place on their family. You will need to establish what the total cost of your treatment will be, and you should find this out at the earliest possible opportunity. Be aware that some clinics may quote a price, but there could be significant extras that you haven’t budgeted for. Again, getting a total cost at the outset is the only way to make a fair comparison.

We strongly advise against selecting a clinic on cost alone. If the chances of success are significantly lower, you could be wasting your money. You should consider all factors and then make an informed decision.

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