11 Questions You Should Ask a Fertility Doctor before a Treatment Abroad
Finding out that one person in a couple could be having a fertility problem is not an easy revelation to accept. However, there are different types of fertility treatments today which can help you conceive and the answer should be in one of those treatments. Depending on where you live, some of those treatments might be unavailable or might be much cheaper abroad, which is why a lot of people decide to leave their home countries for a fertility treatment.
When going abroad for a fertility treatment, you have to choose a clinic wisely. To this end, we propose asking questions to the doctor that works in that clinic and note down the answers. Once you do this, you will have the information required to compare and make the right decision. The following questions will help you get as much information as you should need.
1. Why aren’t we able to conceive?
This is the question on all couple’s minds when they find out that they can’t conceive. The problem is that there is no single answer to this question, as there are a lot of factors involved. The doctor would have to perform various tests and see what is going on. If you have already done some tests, you could send the results to the doctor in question and see what he or she can tell you from them.
2. Which treatment do you recommend to start with and why?
Once the doctor has looked at the tests and provided an answer to why you aren’t able to conceive, you should ask him about the recommended fertility treatment. All fertility treatments should be personalized for each individual couple, as every infertility situation is unique. The doctor should give you an extensive answer as to why they think the treatment they are proposing would work. Take down notes and be sure to ask for a second opinion, in order to be sure.
3. Are there any side effects that we should be wary about?
Each treatment comes with its own possible side effects, which should not manifest on every occasion. The doctor should go through all of them and explain which side effects are mild and bearable and which could have a more serious impact on your health. Ask this for every recommended treatment so that this can be a factor when choosing which treatment you should receive. Also, ask about the chances for multiple births, as some treatments have a higher possibility of having twins or triplets.
4. What is the live birth rate of this treatment?
Notice that you shouldn’t ask about successful pregnancies here, but about live births. The thing is that most fertility clinics report success rates as successful pregnancy rates. The problem is that not all successful pregnancies from fertility treatments resolve in a live birth, as there are also cases of stillborn children. A good doctor will be upfront about this and will tell you how things stand. If they refuse to answer, and insist on successful pregnancies rate, then you should seek another doctor.
5. What is the cost of the treatment and how many cycles does that cost cover?
Fertility treatments are usually carried out in multiple cycles to ensure maximum efficiency, or if the previous cycles have failed to produce results. This, of course, affects the price of the treatment. As you are going abroad, you need to know how much money you will need (since going abroad for any treatment is not covered by medical insurance). Make sure that you are properly informed about the costs of the treatment, the number of cycles that will get you, and also ask about the cost of the medications and tests. In some cases there are all charged separately, but there are also treatment packages which include all of these and more.
6. How long ago was the clinic established?
The time that the clinic has been around for shows how much experience in dealing with infertility the clinic has. This does not mean that the newer clinics don’t have experts and are not good, but the more the clinic has existed for, the more situations they have been through. Experience is always important, for any treatment, so you should definitely consider it to be an important factor in making your decision.
7. How many treatments does the clinic do per year?
This one is up to your personal taste. Some couples prefer to choose clinics which do a large number of treatments yearly, as it shows that they have experience and that they are highly efficient. On the other hand, other couples prefer smaller clinics, with fewer patients per years, because they feel that they may get an adequate and personalized care there. This one is up to you, there are no bad choices, however, don’t be awed if the doctor comes out with a really large number. It might mean that you will not get the attention that you deserve.
8. Does the clinic do screenings for genetically transmitted diseases?
This will show you how seriously the clinic takes its patients. When trying to conceive, you have to worry about what will happen if you do conceive. A lot of clinics have started offering screenings for genetically transmitted diseases, such as Down syndrome, which may not be active with the parents, but it may manifest in the offspring. Be sure to ask whether this will be a part of the treatment. It shouldn’t be the decisive factor whether they do or don’t do these screenings, but it should definitely make it into your consideration.
9. Will we be treated by the same doctors for the duration of the treatment?
Having the same doctor for the whole duration of the treatment is extremely important. Since most fertility treatments are personalized, it is vital that you have a doctor who will be dedicated to you. This doctor will know all about your situation and it will lessen the chances of something going wrong with the treatment due to human error.
10. What happens if we don’t conceive?
If the treatment is unsuccessful, you should know what further options are at your disposal. You should also find out how much time has to pass before you can try again. See if the clinic offers some discount on further cycles and further treatments.
11. Is the treatment legal in your country?
Different countries have different laws about fertility treatments and therapies. Some therapies that are perfectly normal in some countries might be a license-losing offense in others. Be sure to check with the doctor about the legality of the treatment, but also look for other sources, just in case.
Choosing a fertility treatment is a very stressful situation for the couple trying to conceive, especially if it is done abroad. It involves a lot of costs, a lot of research and a lot of nerves about the future. In order to make the right choice, you have to be informed about all the options and about how they can play out. By asking these questions, you will be on the right track.
If you ever need any other information or help about choosing a treatment abroad, we are always there to help, contact us!