How to choose a fertility clinic

Choosing a fertility clinic to help you in your struggle to fall pregnant is an important decision. Read these tips to help you find the right one for you.

There comes a time at which you know that it’s taking longer than it should to fall pregnant. Your doctor is also concerned and before you know it you are being told that you may be infertile. “It’s a deeply distressing discovery; a turning point that suddenly alters your entire outlook on life and brings a whole new dynamic to your relationship. But, it’s not the end of the road,” says Wijnland Fertility Clinic’s psychologist, Lizanne van Waart.

The treatment of infertility has gained enormous ground in the last decade with new technology greatly increasing the chances for successfully overcoming infertility. The global average for success is 50% per cycle – with many South African clinics surpassing these numbers.

If you suspect you are having problems conceiving, or if your doctor has suggested you may be infertile, it’s recommended that you visit a fertility clinic. There is a lot of new information to take in, so what should you be looking for?

The most important thing, says Van Waart, is that you feel comfortable with your chosen clinic. You should have an instant connection with the environment and the staff. You need to feel respected, and able to trust the clinic with your case. If you don’t feel this connection, don’t be afraid to try another one.
In addition, you should be wary of any clinic who assures you that you will have a baby at the end of the process. There are no guarantees and no absolutes. Your clinic doctor should be able to tell you the truth and the facts, without giving false hope.

Here are some other factors to consider:

  • You can access a list of South Africa’s accredited fertility clinics on http://www.fertilitysa.org.za/ from SASREG – The South African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy
  • Your fertility doctor should discuss a long term plan with you. For each patient the programme will be different.
  • Does the clinic offer emotional support and counselling to patients?

Getting your partner to come with you to the fertility clinic is very important, not only so that you can both draw on the support and expertise available, but also so that you each experience the journey first hand. “One in two marriages do not survive infertility,” says Van Waart, “but going through infertility together can deeply enrich a relationship and bring the gift of great personal growth.”

WebMD suggests that you ask the following questions of a fertility clinic:

  • How long has the fertility clinic’s Medical Director been there?
  • How long have the doctors and technicians been there? High staff turnover can be a sign of bad management and can contribute to mistakes.
  • Which procedures do you do, and how often? Make sure that the clinic has a wide range of infertility treatments available.
  • What does treatment cost? Beware of clinics that offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t get pregnant — the doctor may have a financial incentive to treat you more aggressively than you want.

For more information, visit www.wijnlandfertility.co.za. 

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