There are many factors to take into consideration, when choosing the clinic for your IVF treatment and it’s important to do your research carefully.

You may be lucky enough to have a clinic close to you that offers everything you need, at a cost that you can afford, but many people find themselves travelling further afield for IVF treatment, either within the UK or abroad.

Factors to consider may include the cost, location, treatment available, level of care, success rates, reputation, experience, quality control measures, insurance, accountability and the regulations in place. If you are considering a clinic far away from where you live, there will be more time implications, as well as travel and accommodation costs. 

No clinic, however much they charge, can guarantee IVF success. Not many people succeed with the first round of treatment, so you may wish to factor in the affordability of a second or subsequent round of treatments, just in case the first one is unsuccessful.

How much does IVF cost in the UK?

If you don’t qualify for NHS funded IVF, then you will need to pay for your IVF treatment. This varies in the UK, between £1,500 and £5,000. However, in many cases, this is just the basic charge, with additional costs charged for drugs, blood tests, anaesthetic, screening and treatments like ICSI.

You’ll need to make sure that you ask what ISN’T included in the package, as well as what IS included, in order to make accurate comparisons and budget accordingly.

Is IVF cheaper overseas?

Many people choose to go abroad for IVF, as it can work out cheaper. However, you’ll need to factor in extra costs like travel, accommodation, insurance and convenience. It’s also important to remember that some treatments that are not yet fully approved in the UK (due to insufficient testing or lack of evidence of outcomes) may be widely used abroad, so it’s important to check the safety and regulations that apply to each clinic.

How are IVF clinics regulated?

The HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) is the UK regulator for fertility clinics. It provides information and guidance about UK clinics and treatment. 

Other countries may have their own regulatory bodies, but, as guidelines and laws vary between countries, it’s important to do your research carefully.

What do I need to look for when choosing a clinic?

Before you start to research clinics, you’ll need to understand your diagnosis and find out about any treatment options that may help you.

You can then look for a clinic where the staff are trained and experienced at dealing with patients with a similar diagnosis and have a good success rate with those patients.

Gut instinct can be a great indicator, as well as recommendations, ratings, reviews and statistics.

  • Are the staff qualified and experienced in treating your individual symptoms and needs?
  • When you speak to the staff, do they seem compassionate, interested, helpful and supportive?
  • Do they take the time to listen to your needs and answer your questions?
  • Is the pricing system clear? Do you know straightaway what is and isn’t included in the package price?
  • How do the clinic store frozen embryos, eggs and sperm? Can the clinic   assure you that, in the event of power failure, there are back-up measures in place to protect them?
  • Is it a well-organised clinic, with clear information that is easy to access?
  • Have they got a team that will offer emotional support, as well as medical treatment? 
  • How long have the staff been there? (if a large number of staff stay at a clinic for a long time, it CAN be a good indicator of commitment and a dedicated, unified and positive team)
  • Can the clinic meet your needs, within your budget? 

It’s a good idea to join independent support groups. In addition to offering people to talk to, who are going through a similar experience to you, you can also find out more about different clinics and people’s user experience. 

Choosing an IVF clinic is a big decision. It will take time and thought to make the right choice for you and your personal circumstances.  

At the IVF Network, we understand that these types of decisions may leave you feeling a little overwhelmed. Our aim is to provide information on all aspects of IVF, though our dedicated channel, website and blog posts, to help you to make informed choices on your fertility journey.