What do I need to look for in a fertility clinic?

If you don’t qualify for IVF treatment on the NHS, then choosing a clinic for your treatment is a big decision. Factors to consider include the location, cost, success rates, reputation, treatment available, quality control, hygiene, accountability, your diagnosis (if you have one) and more. All of this takes time and it’s important to find a fertility clinic that you trust and feel comfortable with. If you put the groundwork in before you start, you are less likely to need to change your clinic later down the line.

You will need to look for a clinic where staff are used to dealing with patients with a similar diagnosis to you and have been successful with those patients. Trust your instincts when you speak to staff. Are they knowledgeable, interested and supportive? Do they take the time to listen to you and answer your questions? Is the pricing system clear? Are the frozen embryos, eggs and sperm safely secured and labelled, with a backup system in place in the event of a power cut? Is there a counselling team available for emotional support?

Do I have to stay with the same clinic for every cycle of IVF that I undergo?

When patients have taken the time and care to choose a clinic based on the factors above, there may be little reason for them to change.

In the UK, IVF clinics are regulated by the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained. Other countries may also have regulatory bodies in place, but their standards may be different to those in the UK.

So, what happens if you no longer feel comfortable with or lose trust in the clinic you are receiving treatment from?  It is possible to change clinics.

Deciding whether to leave an IVF clinic or stay

Why might people want to change their fertility clinic?

Some of the reasons may include:

  • Undergoing several cycles of IVF without success – can lead people to worry that they may have chosen the wrong clinic
  • A change of priorities or needs
  • Poor communication 
  • A medical error
  • Poor quality of care
  • Moving house

What do I have to do if I want to change clinics between cycles?

You can ask for a copy of your records and any test results from your current clinic and take or send them to your new chosen clinic.  Cryopreserved eggs and embryos can usually be shipped between clinics, at a cost, especially if needing to be shipped internationally. The staff at your new clinic will fully review your case, diagnosis and treatment plan and discuss any options with you.

Can I change clinics during an IVF cycle?

Once you have started a cycle of IVF, changing clinics during the process is not advisable. Unless you feel unsafe, it’s best to stick with the clinic you are with until the end of your current cycle. Changing mid-cycle has lots of risks attached as the IVF process is complex. 

At The IVF Network, we understand that on your fertility journey there are many choices that you will need to make and having to search the internet for what you need to know can be daunting and overwhelming. That’s why we have created a dedicated channel with experts in the field of fertility and pregnancy and why we provide information on our website and through our blogs too. By creating a bank of support, tips and advice that’s all in one place and easily accessible, our aim is to help you to be able to make informed choices during your own, personal fertility journey.