Choosing a fertility clinic can be quite a daunting task. There are so many questions to be asked, so many things to consider that it can be difficult to know where to start. The HFEA compares all licensed clinics in the UK (click on the image to the right to be taken to our HFEA clinic page).
Ultimately, your choice will be down to how you feel about a clinic when you visit for the first time. However, it’s helpful to consider some of the information you will need before making a shortlist. When you’ve shortlisted the clinics you want to visit, it’s a good idea to prepare a more detailed set of questions. We offer free fertility information evenings in a variety of locations around the area and informal visits to the clinic to help you get a feel for us. Find out more here.
It is likely that you will need to visit your chosen clinic regularly. Finding one close to home will reduce travel time and costs, helping to ease the pressure in anxious times.
As TFP Thames Valley Fertility are part of TFP | The Fertility Partnership, the UK’s largest group of IVF and fertility clinics, it may be possible for you to have some of your appointments closer to home and then come to TFP Thames Valley Fertility for key elements of your treatment programme. Talk to us if you are interested in this option.
The range of treatments on offer will vary from clinic to clinic, but typical treatments available include:
It is also worth finding out what storage facilities the clinic has, if you decide to freeze eggs or embryos, and whether it has access to donor sperm, eggs or embryos, through UK or international donor programmes.
If you are planning to undergo fertility treatment, you want to know that the clinic you have chosen has a good track record of success. You can compare success rates on each clinic’s website or on the HFEA website.
But a note of caution: clinics do not always apply the same criteria when measuring success rates. Some clinics accept only younger patients with a better chance of success, so it is important that you ask more about how they measure success. You should also ask specifically about success rates for the treatments you are considering. Our success rates are broken down by treatment and age, and are updated regularly. You can compare them to national benchmarks and other local clinics here.
Every clinic must give you clear information on its current charges, including the cost of any ‘extras’ such as drugs or surgery. Prices do vary from clinic to clinic. You can find a detailed breakdown of our prices in the prices section.
Knowing a bit about the staff at your chosen centre will help you build a picture of their expertise and experience.
Naturally, it is important that your clinic has a sound track record and good reputation. In the absence of a personal recommendation for a clinic, ask to see testimonials from previous patients, or the results of patient surveys. Learn about our success rates, testimonials and survey results in the section.
This is an essential part of your treatment, and you must feel confident and comfortable with the level of support offered by the clinic. The HFEA requires that registered clinics provide counselling to patients, but fertility treatment is a team effort, and the whole team is here to be a part of your support network.