You’re on the hunt for a fertility specialist and clinic and you’re comparing the various centres. It’s so confusing sometimes, so at City Fertility Centre we’ve decided to help explain the difference.
Fundamentally, there are two types of IVF clinics: limited-service and full-service. The difference is usually that one offers limited fertility services (for example, IVF treatments such as ICSI and frozen-embryo transfer), while the other offers the entire spectrum of services, including pre-IVF solutions (such as artificial insemination, ovulation induction, ICSI, frozen-embryo transfer, testicular biopsy, aspiration and sperm extraction for vasectomy patients, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis testing, fertility preservation, donor programs, and surrogacy).
When beginning to investigate the cause of your fertility issues, limited-service clinics will usually offer non-operative investigations (such as blood tests, ultrasounds and semen analysis), while full-service organisations will offer non-operative and operative investigations (for example, laparoscopy, tubal surgery, HyCoSy), which is important if you want a comprehensive and accurate diagnosis to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Normally at limited-service IVF clinics everyone proceeds to IVF, while at full-service clinics many fertility issues can be solved in pre-IVF procedures and treatment options such as artificial insemination or ovulation induction.
Should you need to proceed to an IVF cycle, you will require ovarian stimulation to produce eggs. At a limited-service/low-cost clinic, you will normally receive a mild stimulated cycle, which results in fewer follicles and therefore fewer eggs. On the other hand, at a full-service clinic you will normally receive a fully stimulated cycle to give you the maximum chance of producing up to 10-12 eggs and reducing the potential need for another IVF cycle to achieve a pregnancy.
Other differences between the two types of IVF services often include waiting periods, choice and consistency of doctors and time with them, and availability of success rate information.
The price difference between limited-service and full-service clinics is mainly due to the variation in costs between a mild stimulated (lower medication costs) and fully stimulated (higher costs) cycle, as well as the difference in time spent with a fertility specialist.
At City Fertility Centre, we know that everyone makes decisions for different reasons, and choosing an IVF clinic is no different. So we encourage you to do your research and think about the difference between limited-service and full-service clinics, and what might suit you and your circumstances best, before making your selection.
For more information, please visit our page: How We Compare to Discount Fertility Clinics.
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