31 May 2018

As more and more couples face fertility struggles, many are finding their journey to a healthy baby is taking them via a fertility clinic.  But how does a patient with little or no medical experience know which clinic is right for them?  Professor Rob Norman offers his thoughts on what questions to ask when choosing a Fertility Clinic.
  1. What treatment options are available? Does the clinic prefer to start with the simplest treatment available first or are they totally focused on IVF being the only option? Is the clinic outcome-oriented for the patient and the child? Is treatment based on an emphasis on innovation and evidence-based practice backed by the latest knowledge?
  2. Is there a focus on the patient, is the service personal and is there a continuity of care with the same doctor and nurse looking after you? Are the staff emotionally engaged in outcomes for the patient or is the patient simply a number, moved from doctor to doctor?
  3. What qualifications and experience do staff at the clinic have?  Do they have subspecialty qualifications, do they participate in ongoing training, and are they thought leaders known and respected by their peers?
  4. Are the results and success rates published transparent and believable?  No clinic anywhere can offer 90% guarantee of pregnancy and live birth after 1-2 cycles of treatment and the Australian average for live birth after IVF across all ages is around 20-25%. A positive pregnancy rate does not guarantee a baby and a healthy baby is the only reasonable outcome of treatment.
  5. Is quality management and safety of paramount importance? Does the clinic have the team skills to ensure safe and appropriate care?
Ultimately, patients receiving treatment must ask themselves, is the clinic honest and trustworthy? Do you feel like the clinic has the best interests of you and your unborn baby at heart?  When you can answer yes to this, you have found your clinic.
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