Getting a child is a blessing from God. However, research and experience have revealed that some individuals will not be able to make their own babies naturally; as a matter of fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in five couples in the world have infertility. While many do all they can to complete their families, some take the bold step of accessing technology through IVF.
The very process of using assisted reproductive technology comes with its challenges including steep investments in time, hope and money. There will be lots of probing, prodding and anxious monitoring of cycles. There may be lots of uncomfortable hormone injections. The patient will have to expose her physical and emotional vulnerabilities to the trust of strangers in the white coat. The patient might have to come to terms with painful setbacks in the course of the journey.
For those who have been through this before, they know that taking such a decision and staying by it is always very tough but the end result is always worth it. According to popular fertility expert, Dr Abayomi Ajayi, ‘everything about IVF is decision. The quality of the decision made by the patients will to a large extent determine how successful the whole process will be’’
Taking a cue from what the expert had said above, City People’s DAMILARE SALAMI 08155134152 brings you ten things to look out for when choosing an IVF centre, enjoy.
QUALITY OF MANAGEMENT AND CERTIFICATION
First thing’s first: Do the doctors have the highest training possible in infertility and reproduction? Are they board-certified REIs (Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialists)? Some practices use the term “fertility specialist” to describe a person that does not have these credentials, and frankly, that’s not giving you to best chance to achieve your goals. What makes an REI doctor your best option? The robust medical journey that these doctors experienced give them the best tools to hear your unique situation and know what the next steps are. In addition to the four years of medical school and four years in a residency for obstetrics and gynaecology, they must complete three years of speciality training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
Then, after eleven years of intense training, they must pass certain knowledge-based tests (both written and oral) in order to be considered “board certified.” In short, Board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologists are your elite option in family-building.
RANGE OF SERVICES OFFERED
If you’re new to the infertility game, you might be surprised to find out that there are other options than just heading straight to in vitro fertilization (IVF). While it offers the highest success rates by far, it is the most invasive and very expensive. Make sure you’re choosing a clinic that offers you a variety of treatments and not a one-size-fits-all approach. Some examples of other treatments include timed intercourse, intrauterine insemination, surrogacy, and cryopreservation options.
During your initial consultation, your doctor and/or fertility team should get to know you. Once they hear your story and know everything there is to know about your diagnosis, they will be able to recommend a family-building game plan based on the treatments they offer.
Often times, the first round of treatments can start with timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI). These options can include a protocol of medication to assist in egg production and an ovulation trigger. The timed intercourse option is just that – private intercourse on the clock. An IUI involves inserting a sample from your partner or donor inside the uterus, giving it the better chance to fertilize an egg.
While your journey might not include timed intercourse or IUI, it’s nice to know that the clinic offers it. A clinic with broad treatment options will give you the best chance for not only success but a positive experience.
Testing is another key component that makes up modern, state-of-the-art clinics. Make sure the clinic offers pre-genetic testing. This is usually administered during your initial rounds of testing and examinations and will report whether you or your partner are carriers of any genetic mutations (i.e. cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs disease, and sickle cell anaemia).
Another important test you might be interested in is pre-implantation genetic screening or PGS. This is where your embryos created from IVF are biopsied (totally safe) and tested for their number of chromosomes. This type of testing can also expose potential chromosomal abnormalities. All this information helps your doctor and embryologist choose the best embryo for transfer.
QUALITY OF THE TECHNOLOGY
Some of the smaller fertility centres do not have their own Embryology and Andrology lab onsite, while the larger ones might. Either way, it is of the utmost importance that your clinic uses the highest standards in quality control within the labs they utilize. An embryology lab is where embryos are created (by fertilizing an egg with sperm), nurtured, and prepared for transfer. While an andrology lab is where sperm is collected, analyzed, and prepped for IUIs or send to the embryology lab for egg fertilization.
Where are their labs located? How are the samples/embryos/other items transferred to and from the labs? What quality-control procedures are in place to make sure nothing ever goes wrong? Ask these questions – it’s important you feel 100% comfortable with every aspect of the journey… even the parts you don’t see.
IVF SUCCESS RATES
Put simply, it is important to ask about success metrics. A fertility clinic should be able to fertilize over 70% of the eggs that they inseminate with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). Of that 70%, 40-50% should be able to transform into blastocyst embryos when they reach the 5th or 6th day of culturing. The other statistic you may see is the ‘success rate’, which refers to the percentage of embryo transfers that result in a clinical pregnancy.
In the US, fertility centres must publish their success rates to a database, though there are concerns about how the clinics report their data. The situation in Canada can be even harder to navigate, as Canadian fertility clinics cannot advertise their success rates due to anti-commercialization regulations surrounding healthcare. This is something the regulators in Nigeria could enforce so as to help patients in decision making
The good news is that prospective parents can, and should, ask their clinic specific questions as part of their IVF decision-making process. Clinics who are confident in the science, technology, and people that make up their Embryology Lab will likely be happy to provide you with details.
CHECK THE COST
The cost of IVF treatments and diagnostic procedures are usually high because of complex procedures and expensive medicines used in the treatment. However, some IVF hospitals offer affordable rates as a part of their campaign and to increase the success rates. Check for the list of IVF hospitals that offer affordable prices and also satisfying all other checklists before choosing IVF clinic.
DOES THE FERTILITY CLINIC OFFER SUPPORT SERVICES?
You might think all that goes into fertility treatment is a bunch of lab coats, microscopes, and medical procedures. Nope! There are so many ways to supplement your journey that are proven to increase your chances of having a baby. Does the program have a nutritionist that will help you eat fertile-friendly foods or manage a particular health issue? Is there acupuncture on-site? (Did you know that laser acupuncture before and after an embryo transfer can increase your implantation success rates by up to 15 %?) . What about a social worker or counsellor? You and I both know the strain this can put on your mental wellbeing, your relationship, and your day-to-day life. Are there support groups or fertile yoga available? (Fertile Yoga has been proven to decrease sadness and stress and increase hopefulness for infertility patients!) Supplemental offerings are not only a perk but necessary for some patients.
QUALITY OF ANCILLARY STAFF
Aside from your Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), there will be interaction with other staff members of the clinic: embryologist, nurses and other designated staff who’d be expected to provide feedback on a periodic basis concerning your progress in the TTC journey. There will be anxiety-laden occasions, hence it is important that the fertility clinic has friendly, professional and empathetic staff human beings handling these sensitive tasks.
ACCESSIBILITY OF PHYSICIANS
This measures the ease of access to one’s designated physician. This is a useful measure to watch for the prospective parent, as it is important to go with a caring provider that is also easily within one’s reach at various stages of the TTC process. We have compiled the ranking based on users’ experiences.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT (POST-TREATMENT)
One of the most daunting issues with assisted reproductive technology is that there’s really no huge guarantee of success. In the United States, the success rate among women less than thirty-five years is forty-eight per cent (48%). While a lucky minority would beat infertility on their first try, the average patient “will cycle 2.3 to 2.7 times before success” (Fertility IQ).
A sizeable percentage would require even more cycles than the average, and the adoption of multiple strategies before achieving success. This means that before that bouncing baby comes, there would be attempts that end up in failed cycles and possibly, miscarriage. It is therefore important to choose a fertility clinic with sufficient expertise in providing the much-needed counsel and support to the patient post-treatment.
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10 Things To Look Out For When Choosing An IVF Centre was last modified: June 2nd, 2021 by
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