Many clinics offer fertility treatments, but how do you choose the right one for you?
Here’s a guide to asking the right questions and deciding what will suit you.
At a glance
- You need to meet certain criteria to qualify for NHS treatment
- The options available can be a bit of a 'postcode lottery'
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than a year - or you’re over 35 and it’s been six months - it’s a good idea to have a chat with your GP about fertility treatments . Carried out in hospital, or at specialist clinics, there are quite a few key treatments to choose from. No single treatment is best for everyone, so staff will help you choose which one will give you the best chance of getting pregnant.
Can you get treatment on the NHS?
What’s available varies widely across the UK - and waiting lists are shorter in some areas than others. You also need to meet certain criteria to qualify for treatment, and this varies too. So how much choice do you have, and where do you go for treatment? The best thing to do is chat to your GP and find out what the situation is for you in your area. The good news is all patients have the right to be referred free of charge to an NHS clinic for the initial investigation, and often for treatment too.
If you can’t get treatment on the NHS, it’s worth considering private treatment. This does cost, and there’s no guarantee of success, but it often means you can move things along more quickly, and enjoy more choice. Your GP can help you find a good clinic, but the most important thing is to choose one that’s licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) - a government organisation that regulates all UK fertility clinics.
It is important to choose a private clinic very carefully, after asking a few key questions:
- Which clinics are available?
- Which treatments are offered?
- What success rates do their treatments have?
- How long are waiting lists?
- What costs are involved?
Make sure you ask for a personalised, fully-costed treatment plan that explains exactly what is included, such as fees, scans and any necessary medication.
Close to home
It’s also worth thinking about location and practicality. With some treatments you’ll be visiting the clinic a lot, so have a think about how much travelling you’re happy to do.