There are many technical criteria on which to base your choice of fertility clinic abroad, and these are discussed in depth in other articles in this guide. You can choose a clinic based on:
You may also choose your fertility clinic based on the way their country treats the legal and ethical issues involved in fertility treatments, the availability of sperm or egg donors or surrogate mothers, or their policy on multiple births and embryo transfers.
However it is just as important to remember that your treatment is not only about your fertility clinic, it’s about you and your experience. It can be easy to get caught up in all the technicalities and end up picking a clinic that appears to be everything you need, yet is completely wrong for you.
Fertility treatment is a modern miracle, filled with joy, providing childless couples with the baby they thought they’d never have. However, the road to that miracle can be a long and stressful one, with many heartaches along the way. By choosing your clinic to suit your personal needs as well as your medical ones, you can make that journey that little bit easier and those struggles that bit easier to bear for both you and your partner.
Before you even start deciding how to choose a fertility clinic, it well worth spending time thinking about what you are about to do. Talk to any friends or relatives who have been through fertility treatment to find out as much as you can about their experience. What did they think was going to be important to them, and what turned out to be the important factors when they actually had their treatment?
If you don’t know anyone who has had fertility treatment abroad, look online for blogs and community sites, such as the Infertility Network in the UK, for direct feedback from real women just like you, who have been through what you are considering. Such feedback will open your eyes to many ideas that you may not have even considered, and will certainly give you far more insight than any glossy brochure or website.
In most cases, it will not just be you that is taking part in fertility treatment, so it is vital to talk to your partner too. What is important to them, and to you both as a couple? Your partner may want to be with you and involved at every stage, or may be happy to keep his distance and trust your care to fertility specialists.
You should discuss this in advance to ensure his participation can be accommodated by your chosen fertility clinic. You are creating a new life that will become a huge part of your lives, so you want the process to feel right and appropriate for both of you, and not to be merely a clinical act in an obscure foreign hospital.
You too may want the reassurance that your partner can be with you throughout, and even stay with you if you are in overnight, or you may want to be sure your existing children will be allowed to visit if they have travelled with you.
Even the little details may be significant to you. For example, some hospitals ban bedside flowers on hygiene grounds, while others do not have easy access to telephones to contact your loved ones. All of these may seem like minor issues in the overall picture of fertility treatment, but they can make the difference between a pleasant stay and a stressful, or even traumatic one.
Having decided on the personal factors that are really important to both of you with regard to your choice of fertility clinic, you should try to avoid compromising. You may be happy to sacrifice a tropical location for an Eastern European town, or even pass on the clinics with the very highest success rates in order to save money, but you should not compromise on your personal issues.
There are thousands of fertility clinics available worldwide and you should not have to give up what is important to you in order to obtain the treatment you want. When you arrive at your chosen clinic and find that all your needs have been met, you will be glad that you took the extra time to check the fine details and make sure they understood your priorities.