With the average fertility consultation setting patients back a couple of hundred pounds it’s important to ensure you get value for your money. We’ve put together some information to help you prepare for your first IVF appointment.
First thing is first, you should consider what you want out of the consultation. If you’ve been trying for a baby for longer than the ‘normal’ time based on your age there is a chance you will need some form of treatment. To find out what the medical time periods are click here.
If you have been trying for longer you many want to do the investigative tests before your first appointment so the 30 to 60 minutes spent with the doctor can be focused solely on your circumstances.
- Female hormone tests (ask your clinic which they prefer)
- Female ultrasound scan
- Male Semen Analysis
If you don’t, and the doctor decides you have been trying for a reasonable amount of time, they will ask you have the tests done and return for a follow up appointment. This will be an additional cost.
There is no right or wrong answer. Some people prefer more face time with their doctor and therefore may prefer two appointments regardless of the additional cost. It’s up to you to decide.
Once you are in the appointment here are our top tips. You should also ask if you would benefit from our Access Fertility programmes.
We offer 2 and 3 Cycle Refund Programmes as well as our Multi-Cycle Programme. To find out more about our programmes Click here.
How many patients do you treat like me?
It’s important to know how many women the clinic treats every year. You should also ask them how many women your age have had the same or similar treatment protocol to you. And lastly you should ask them how many of those patients gave birth. We have more advice here about success rates.
How long does the process take the average patient?
Some clinics are able to accommodate patients starting treatment based on their next menstrual cycle dates. Others require several visits before treatment can start or have a waiting list. The answer could impact when you decide to start IVF.
Is there anything I can do to improve my chances?
There are lots of small lifestyle tweaks some patients can do to increase their chance of IVF treatment working. Some of these include losing or gaining weight to ensure you are in a healthy weight category, quitting smoking, cutting alcohol and reducing stress. This can make a significant difference to things like sperm quality, saving you the cost of ICSI. However, that is not always the case so you should talk about it with your doctor.
Are all of these treatment options evidence based?
IVF treatment is constantly evolving and there are many new techniques, treatment options and supportive services. Some of them come about as a result of extensive scientific research, others from smaller studies and others from a general belief that anything that helps a patient be in a ‘good space’ during treatment. It’s good to know the difference as it can impact your decision – and the IVF cost.
How many visits will I need to make to the clinic?
It’s good to have an accurate idea about what treatment entails and what sort of time commitment is needed. It’s also good to ask them how early/late they do treatment scans as this might impact where and when you have treatment.
Can you circle everything I will likely need?
This is important, you are going to hear a lot of abbreviations and words you will likely not have encountered. Don’t be scared to ask the doctor or someone at the clinic to identify everything at the start. When I worked in clinics in London I would sit down with the patient and go through the price list with them identifying everything they will definitely need and anything they might need. Get a clear financial picture from the start so there are no surprises down the road.
We’re proud to partner with some of the best clinics across the UK. Discover our Partner Clinics to find out which one is the right clinic for you.
Our team are on hand to chat things through if you’d like to know more about our programmes. You can contact us Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm Get in Touch . As always, we wish you the very best of luck in your fertility journey.