Monday, July 04, 2016

How to select the best IVF clinic

You know that which IVF clinic you choose for doing your IVF treatment can have a big impact on the outcome of your cycle. This is why you spend a lot of time in trying to find the best IVF doctor.  However, sadly most patients are not able to differentiate a good doctor and a bad doctor, and most will end up going to whichever IVF clinic their family doctor sends them to.

In the past this was a safe bet, but this is no longer a reliable method for selecting an IVF clinic the medical profession is riddled with corruption. This is why you need to do your own research before blindly trusting anyone. It's a good idea to check out the IVF clinic your family doctor goes to, but please also check out at least one more.

The truth is that there is no one best clinic, There are lots of good clinics out there, and lots of bad ones as well, and you do need to put in some effort to find one which works well for you. The secret is to find a doctor you can trust.

I wish there was a list of certified clinics in India; or that the Indian government would ask clinics to publish their success rates, so that patients could use this as a guide. Sadly, there isn't, which means you will need to do your own spadework for yourself !

If you go to a clinic which makes you routinely wait a long time, that's a red flag, which means they don't respect your time and they're not well organized.

If you don't get a chance to talk to the main doctor, that's a cause for concern as well, esepcially if you have failed many IVF cycles in the past, and are looking for individualized, specialized, personalized care from a senior experienced expert.

It's a good idea to talk to other patients in the clinic while you are waiting ( and sadly, there will be a lot of waiting in most IVF clinics ). This can be a good opportunity to share notes, so you can compare your experiences with those of others.

Similarly, if you have a doctor who seems to be too trigger happy , and orders a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy for every patient, in order to "rule out any problems" , then this can be a red flag as well.  One size does not fit all, and you don't want a clinic which follows mindless protocols for all their patients.

You don't need to become a doctor when you're evaluating an IVF  doctor . However, it's a good idea to get a second opinion , so you can ask more intelligent questions and select the right doctor for yourself.

You can get a good sense of the doctor's philosophy when you visit his website. Does he want to educate you  about infertility, so you know more about your problem , and can make well-informed decisions ?

You can learn a lot when you finally meet the doctor. Is he in a rush ? Or is he willing to sit down and discuss your concerns ? Does he address them all ? Is he optimistic and hopeful ? Is he willing to share information? Is he willing to empower you?

If your doctor refuses to answer your questions, or tries to put you in your place by reminding you  that he is the doctor, then this should be a red flag. A good doctor  will do his best to earn the patient's confidence, because he knows that IVF patients have lots of queries and doubts, and he will try to allay these before starting the treatment.

Money is always an important issue. IVF can be an expensive treatment, and there is no certainty whether the treatment will work or not. While it's true that the most costly clinic is not always the best, you should worry if a clinic charges too little, because it's quite likely that they may be cutting corners in order to reduce their costs. This may turn out to be much more costly for you in the long run.

If the doctor asks for cash payments; or money under the table; or does not give you a receipt for your payment, then you need to worry. No  honest doctor will do this - and if the doctor is willing to cheat the government, why do you think he won't be willing to cheat you as well ?

Finally, how well does the doctor treat you at the end of your cycle ? Does he provide you with complete documentation proactively and routinely ? Does he provide embryo photos ? Or does he  abandon you if your cycle has failed ?

It's true that this takes time and trouble and effort. Isn't it just much easier to go to the first one who you pick or the one who's closest to you or the one you've read about in a newspaper article? Yes, it's easier but can often be the wrong decision, which can prove to be expensive.

Need help in getting pregnant ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you !

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