I hate choosing fertility clinics. There is so much to consider.
For our NHS cycle we had limited choice and went with our nearest hospital, which also had a good reputation (not that I thought much of that after I ended up with severe OHSS and they accidentally discharged me and phoned up in a panic 2 days later when they bothered to review my test results).
Once we’d used up our 1 ‘free’ cycle we had to find a private clinic. Luckily a nurse working with a friend having treatment was willing to have an informal chat and recommended what in her opinion were the top London clinics. I like to think she had no ulterior motive as her clinic was too far away for me to attend. We did end up at her first choice after an initial consultation. For us a personal approach and a smaller clinic where we didn’t feel like a number was important, though success rates played a part.
Now I know a lot more about fertility issues and my priorities are a bit different. But it doesn’t make choosing easier. In fact now I’m more nervous.
We’re probably looking at donor eggs and this means treatment abroad. In the UK the end of donor anonymity seems to have created long waiting lists, in London anyway where my clinic quoted me 8 months to a year for an exclusive donor. Also coupled with this is the slightly older age of donors here. Ultimately I’d like my child to have the option of knowing who their genetic parent is, if we go abroad the donor is anonymous, but time and cost doesn’t stack up in the UK. We’ve spent 3 years on IVF and I’m getting tired. I don’t want to have to wait. Plus we might have to try 2 or 3 times even with a donor. Money is an issue.
Spain looks likely, I know a couple of people having treatment there. Plus I have heard good things about donor success in Spain. A good friend is Spanish and also having treatment and will assist with queries if necessary, plus the hubby speaks decent Spanish. At any rate they all have English speaking doctors and liaison people. We feel comfortable with Spain.
But choosing a clinic in Spain is hard. We need a fair donor so it probably needs to be an international city. Plus we need somewhere that takes male fertility issues seriously.
We have a couple of leads to follow and are looking at clinics in Barcelona, Madrid and Marbella. We want to make a decision by Christmas so we can start treatment in the New Year.
Finding time to do proper research is also hard. I’m working long hours in my job plus I’ve started taking my running a bit more seriously now it looks unlikely I need to worry about my own eggs. But this is a really important decision to me, I have to make time for it.