ACRM

8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fertility Doctor for IVF

Infertility is one of the most emotionally trying experiences a person can go through, and reaching the point of needing to choose a fertility clinic can be heartbreaking. All you want is a baby in your arms, and all you know is that it shouldn’t be this hard.

Nobody ever asks to struggle with infertility. For couples desperate to build their families, being unable to achieve and maintain a pregnancy can chip away at their core, adding stress and heartache into even the most stable of relationships. That stress only increases when it’s time to choose your clinic and doctor. You want to make a choice that will give you the best chance of success. But what, exactly, does that look like?

The truth is, there are many factors that contribute to success in IVF, and the right clinic for one couple may not be the right clinic for another. So let’s discuss some of the considerations you and your partner may want to talk about before making this monumental decision.

Here’s the list of factors we’ll cover.

Click on any of the factors to head straight to them:

  1. Cost
  2. Personal diagnosis
  3. Standard of care
  4. Wait times
  5. Male vs Female doctor
  6. Success rate
  7. Technology and practices
  8. Credentials and reputation

 

1. Cost

While the ultimate goal is of course bringing home a baby, it’s fair to acknowledge that cost may play a role in which clinic you decide to go with. After all, if you could find success with one clinic for half the cost of another, why wouldn’t you choose to spend less?

But it’s important to remember that financial assistance is often available for most couples. Government co-funding can provide up to 75% (capped at $7,700)  per IVF cycle at public hospitals. The amount of (ART) co-funding varies, depending on the citizenship of the couple and other factors. Most clinics also allow you to use your Medisave (which provides up to $15,000 per patient over the course of subsequent IVF cycles), making it completely possible to reduce your costs and receive the best care possible. While it is fair to want to save money throughout this process, choosing a clinic that best meets your needs (and one that can therefore provide you the best chance of success) is important too.

2. Personal Diagnosis

Have you had past IVF failures or successes? Or do you or your partner have a medical condition such as PCOS, endometriosis or azoospermia that may be contributing to your fertility struggles? If so, all of that information is valuable—and there may be clinics that specialize in treating patients just like you. 

At ACRM, we offer a consultative approach. Our medical team takes your specific condition, needs, and response to medications into consideration when determining the individualized protocol you should receive. 

 

3. Standard of Care

Let’s be honest: Not all clinics are created equal, and many simply aren’t in the position to provide you a level of personalized care. You may see several different nurses and doctors over the course of your treatment, sometimes feeling like you are on an assembly line of patients. 

Ideally, you should find a clinic with dedicated doctors and nurses who know you by name and remember the intricacies of your case. Feeling comfortable and familiar with the people who are treating you helps to reduce the anxiety of fertility treatment. 

 

4. Wait Times

Are you willing to wait months to be seen? Or to have big gaps between appointments? What about the wait times when you arrive at the clinic for an appointment that has already been scheduled?

Reducing your stress during this time is incredibly important to the success of your cycle. So ask questions of the clinics you’re considering about wait times and overall procedure convenience.

5. Male vs. Female Doctor

Embarking upon IVF can leave a couple feeling incredibly vulnerable, and it often involves getting up close and personal with the medical team. Some women have strong feelings about working with a male doctor, and honoring those feelings of discomfort is important if you fall into that category. But for other women, simply choosing the best doctor available is the only goal in mind.

We can understand the potential discomfort. At ACRM, we’ve had patients who have initially been hesitant about the idea of a male doctor as well. Thankfully, they took the time to meet Dr. Lim before making a final decision. In getting to know him, they quickly realized how rare the level of empathy, patience and care he brings to his work truly is, allowing them to feel much more comfortable with the idea of working with him. All are happy they chose ACRM, and Dr. Lim, to this day.

6. Success Rate

Individual success rates can vary based on a number of factors. As our bodies age, fertility starts to decline, with the chances of becoming pregnant naturally after 40 going down quite a bit. Stress, medical conditions, and lifestyle choices can all also play a role in your individual odds of achieving a pregnancy. 

But paying attention to a clinic’s overall success rate can sometimes help couples determine where they might have the best hope of success. After all, if one clinic has helped 10 percent more couples achieve and maintain a pregnancy compared to another, it’s fair to say they may have a better handle on what individual patients need.  

7. Technology and Practices

Some clinics have grown and changed as fertility technology has expanded, while others haven’t quite yet caught up with the advanced direction fertility medicine is heading You need to ask yourself how important it is to you to have a clinic that is remaining ahead of the latest advances.

At ACRM, we are a full-service clinic with an in-house laboratory. That means every appointment you have, every test and procedure you need, and every stop along your fertility journey will take place at the same location. We do our own scans, diagnostic tests, and IVF procedures—all with your best interests at heart.

8. Credentials and Reputation

One of the best things you can do when choosing an IVF clinic is pay attention to the credentials and reputation of the doctor on staff. Ask around, read online reviews, and look for any information you can find about that doctor’s background and how his or her patients feel about them. 

At ACRM, we are proud to have Dr. Lim Min Yu, MBChB, FRCOG, leading our team. He has been in this line of work for over a decade, earning his medical degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and serving as program director of OBGYN residency at NUH before coming to work as the medical director at ACRM. Today he is chairman of the Singapore International Representative Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Vice-President of the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Singapore (OGSS). He is well respected by his peers, and most importantly, his patients absolutely love him.

 

Summary

In summary, here are the 8 factors again:

  1. Cost
  2. Personal diagnosis
  3. Standard of care
  4. Wait times
  5. Male vs Female doctor
  6. Success rate
  7. Technology and practices
  8. Credentials and reputation

Deciding which clinic and IVF doctor to choose is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make on the path to bringing home your baby. Yes, it is a stressful choice, but you can reduce that stress by choosing a clinic equipped to meet your needs. The more research and consideration you give this decision now, the better your odds of success will be.

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