Have you been trying for a baby for a while now, but are still faced with that single blue line? You’re not alone – up to 15% of people have trouble conceiving. It’s likely by now that you’ve hopped onto Google and your search results have suggested that you visit a fertility clinic. But what does a fertility clinic do? Let’s find out.
Fertility clinics can help individuals and couples who have both known and unknown issues with fertility. Fertility problems often fly under the radar and many couples will not realise that anything is wrong until they have been trying to get pregnant for a while without any luck.
Unhealthy lifestyle choices, a stressful environment, and underlying medical conditions (like PCOS and endometriosis) are just a few (but by no means all) factors which can contribute to fertility issues. This is where a fertility clinic comes into play.
Getting started with a fertility clinic
A fertility clinic can help individuals and couples who are struggling to get pregnant naturally. Using highly advanced, state-of-the-art equipment, a fertility clinic is able to diagnose underlying issues. They can help improve your chance of conception by uncovering the hidden problems preventing you from becoming pregnant.
Typically, a fertility clinic is home to fertility consultants, gynaecologists, embryologists, sonographers, nurses, and other highly trained medical staff to provide safety and high levels of expertise.
What does a fertility clinic do?
Let’s now take a look at what a fertility clinic actually does – ultimately, its aim is to help you conceive. Fertility clinics can help people with all aspects of fertility and related concerns, including:
- Those who are struggling to get pregnant
- Those who have tried IVF but been unsuccessful
- Those who have had recurrent miscarriages
- Those who want to preserve their fertility (egg and sperm freezing)
Fertility clinics will also offer fertility tests for those wanting to get a picture of their fertility at the current point in their life.
For men, fertility testing involves semen analysis which looks at sperm count, motility and mobility of sperm. For women, fertility testing will involve checking Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) levels to get an idea of how many eggs you have. Depending on how comprehensive the testing you opt for is, it can also include ultrasound and aqua scans which assess the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes for issues including blockages and scarring.
Frequently the issue will be identified, at which point your fertility consultant will be able to advise you of the best route forward for your personal fertility journey. They will talk you through which treatments they feel will give you the best chance of achieving your goals.
Unfortunately, in around a quarter of cases, ‘unexplained infertility’ is the diagnosis. This isn’t the end of the journey, though. It means that tests have found everything to be ‘normal’ and no reason has been found for infertility. This is a difficult diagnosis as it can feel like nothing can be done but a proportion of those with unexplained infertility do still go on to become pregnant.
Fertility clinics offer a broad range of treatments for all fertility issues, but some of the more common fertility treatments you can expect from a fertility clinic are included below:
- In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF): This involves removing eggs from the ovaries via a small surgery and fertilising it in the laboratory by adding the sperm from a partner or chosen sperm donor to allow them to be fertilised. Once fertilised, the embryo is then surgically placed back into the womb to grow.
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): Similar to IVF, this involves fertilising an egg in the laboratory, however, instead of letting the sperm fertilise the egg by itself (as above), sperm is injected directly into the egg so that it can fertilise. The egg is then surgically placed back into the womb to grow.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Less invasive than IVF, IUI involves placing sperm inside the uterus near the fallopian tubes to help increase the chances of conception.
- Reproductive immunology: People who have experienced many miscarriages may choose to have reproductive immunology, a practice that looks at the immune system and tries to correct issues with the immune system that may be causing pregnancy loss.
The choice of fertility treatment will vary greatly between individuals. The doctor may take multiple approaches towards getting pregnant as there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
How to choose the right fertility clinic
The trouble with choosing a fertility clinic in London is that there are so many to choose from. This can make opting for the right one, understandably, a difficult decision. This is why it is extremely important to do thorough research before choosing your fertility clinic.
Remember, it’s about more than just success rates – the clinic you choose will be with you throughout your fertility journey. Look for authentic reviews, read up about success stories, ask to talk to previous clients, and visit the clinic in person to meet the team – these are all steps that can help you determine which clinic is right for you.