Choosing a fertility clinic can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Assisted conception is an expensive process and you want to get it right, so just how do you choose the right fertility clinic for you? We sat down with Dr Gorgy, one of the UK’s most esteemed IVF experts and Co-Director of London’s The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy. He told us that every couple needs to ask the following questions when choosing an IVF clinic:

How are the IVF success rates looking?

‘Admittedly, success rates are not an exact science because some clinics specialise in complex, difficult-to-treat cases. But they are a good starting point.’ 

‘At The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy our success rates are excellent, especially when we take into account that we specialise in treating complex cases (couples that have experienced recurrent miscarriage and previous IVF failure elsewhere).’

Are the assessments sufficiently thorough?

Dr Gorgy said: ‘A reputable clinic will require evidence of rigorous testing to determine the cause of your infertility. And if there is any more screening required they will have the expertise and means to do it – they will never assume. What’s more, they will ensure a male partner’s semen has been analysed before any treatment begins because any issues with sperm can determine the best type of fertility treatment to use. What’s more, your IVF/ICSI cycle should be rigorously monitored with scans, urine and blood tests so that your hormone levels can be assessed throughout the process – this is vital.’

Does the clinic work with state of the art equipment?

‘IVF is a high-tech process and not all reproductive technology is created equal,’ Dr Gorgy told us. ‘For example at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy we use advanced technology to help select your best embryos for implantation – because choosing the most suitable embryos is key to IVF success.

‘Usually in IVF/ICSI, embryos are removed from the incubator every day to check their development. This can expose them to unfavourable conditions, particularly temperature-wise. What’s more, normally only five or six images of the embryos are taken to assess their development.’

In contrast, here at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy we use the Embryoscope. The Embryoscope is a high-tech incubator specially designed to recreate the optimum conditions for nurturing embryos in a lab. It features a microscope and camera that monitors the embryos, capturing pictures of them every 10-20 minutes (around 5000 images in Time Lapse Imaging). This allows us to check the embryos without taking them out of incubation or exposing them to unfavourable conditions – indeed without disturbing them at all. Our embryologists monitor the progress of your embryos through close analysis of the pictures and video recording, meaning our selection of the strongest embryos for implantation can be much more precise.

Our clinic is the result of a £1million new installation, providing our patients with a state of the art IVF lab and operation theatre. Patients can receive the most advanced care in inviting surroundings, without having to travel off-site.

Does the clinic offer comprehensive services?

‘Assisted conception is not a one-size-fits-all process,’ Dr Gorgy says. ‘It’s stressful enough as it is without discovering that you need to go somewhere else for certain tests or treatments mid-way through. Here at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, we provide a comprehensive set of treatments from gynaecology care to endoscopic surgery. We are also one of only a few UK clinics that offer reproductive immunology interventions.’

Do you feel comfortable with the fertility doctor, the staff and the surroundings?

‘You will be going on quite the journey with your fertility doctor, so it is imperative that you feel supported,’ Dr Gorgy says. ‘Unfortunately, feeling a little intimidated or being rushed out the door is still all too common. You have to know that you can ask all the questions you need and that your concerns will be listened to.

‘You will want to be going somewhere where the staff are friendly and helpful too, so when you visit a clinic pay attention to the general atmosphere. And it’s not just a woman that needs to feel at ease – men will be depositing sperm samples and it’s very important for them to feel as comfortable as possible doing so.’

Will you have continuity of care?

‘It’s very helpful to feel a sense of consistency throughout IVF – it can make a big difference psychologically,’ Dr Gorgy. ‘Really, you want to be seen by the same consultant from first consultation through to aftercare.’

Does the clinic offer embryo, sperm and egg (gametes) storage?

You want to have all the options available to you, should you require for example donor sperm. And you may wish to keep your unused embryos from one IVF cycle for a future cycle.

Will you be provided with a full list of costs upfront?

‘Costing should be completely transparent: consultations, screenings, drugs, blood work etc., in addition to the treatment itself,’ said Dr Gorgy. ‘That way you won’t have any financial surprises at an already stressful time. Here at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy our fees are very reasonable and our costing is transparent.’

To find out why our success rates are among the UK’s highest, call The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy for a consultation on 020 7224 1880.