Planning my 1st IVF abroad

(20 Posts)
SharnaMH Wed 13-Nov-19 11:56:11

Hi, I am looking for some advice if possible. I have had all test done and ready in theory to start the meds on 23rd Nov ish. We are looking to attend the Gynem Clinic in Prague. I am obviously very nervous as it is our first try. Have been looking into it for months but now that it could be next week, I am freaking out just a little.
Can anyone help in answering a few worries for me?
1. What if i am late or early, will it affect my traveling? should I book an open flight or get return flight at a later date i.e. when in prague.
2. Can anyone recommend insurance companies that would cover this procedure?
3. Is there anything I should think of in relation to doing it abroad?
Any help and advice would be great and so overwhelmed with everything it would be nice to hear from others xx

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justbeingelle Wed 13-Nov-19 12:01:55

Following this with interest, it's something DH and I have been considering.

JeNeBaguetteRien Thu 14-Nov-19 08:38:34

Hi Sharna
I'm currently abroad for treatment so understand the nerves before coming.

I don't know what protocol your clinic have prescribed, or if you're on the pill to control when your period will start. I wasn't on the pill so needed an ultrasound on day 1 or 2 of my period in order to get the go ahead from my clinic to start my stimulation medication.

Do you have your medication already?

I did book my flights at short notice which means they were a bit expensive. Often it's better to not buy the very cheapest fare as some of the more expensive options allow for changes to flights (usually you pay a supplement).

Will you be travelling with medication? My clinic provided a letter for airport security so I could bring my meds as hand luggage as the hold luggage is exposed to very low temperatures which could affect the medicine.

I stayed in the UK for most of my stims which meant I had to pay for ultrasounds and send results to my clinic. If I'd been in the city where my clinic is these monitoring scans would have been included, so it's something to consider, though obviously more time abroad means more accommodation costs. For me it would have probably worked out the same financially but I needed to be in work.

Regarding work I've been able to work from home some days while abroad which has reduced the amount of leave needed.

I didn't take out any specific insurance other than travel insurance though others may have done.

Anything else you think of I will try to answer.

SharnaMH Thu 14-Nov-19 17:54:28

Hi @JeNeBaguetteRien

Thank you so much for responding.

I hope things are going well.

I am wondering weather to postpone until the new year (January) as I feel a little unprepared. I feel a little anxious about it all even though I have asked every question under the sun. Tempted to just plan a visit to the clinic to hopefully help me relax a little as I would in theory know what to expect.
What would you recommend as it sounds like this is what you did?
I have found an insurance company who specifically cover IVF abroad, unsure of costs yet though, awaiting on a quote.

I haven't been sent my meds, I have been told I will be sent a prescription for me to collect but I am worried this will incur another fee. However, if collected from the clinic direct they are included.

It is such a hard thing to decide on isn't it, I just feel so overwhelmed.

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JeNeBaguetteRien Fri 15-Nov-19 14:45:13

It might not be a bad idea to wait until the new year if you're not feeling ready, flights and accommodation can be expensive at Christmas.

My first consultation with my clinic was via Skype. They wanted karyotype tests done and the usual STD checks etc, it was actually cheaper to get them done at the clinic than in London so I did visit, but was already committed at that point.

Check that about the meds being included or not, I can't imagine the meds would be free of charge at your clinic (it would be great if they are though!)
I got mine through Fertility2u and they were the cheapest I could find, they work with many clinic abroad, though some people have suggested Asda or Stork.

Are you doing IVF with a partner? Wil they travel with you?

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 15-Nov-19 14:48:15

Have they given you a date for rough ec and et - if needed I would leave a month

Our fell Dec 28 and jan 3 and flights were silly money compared to when we went later for our fet as the first abroad attempt failed but got eggs to freeze

I found abroad really easy and stress free compared to uk

You should have an English speaking co ordinator to help out with stuff

SharnaMH Wed 04-Dec-19 11:16:17

Hi All, I have just come back from Prague. Decided to go and visit to get a feel for things and then start the ball rolling in Jan on my next cycle. We have decided to go with Gynem Fertility and I have to say I find them fantastic. Extremely accommodating and understanding.
I asked so many probably ridiculous questions and I have to say they were really thorough and ensured all questions were answered.
We also brought our medication home to ensure we could start in Jan. They weren’t included in the package but still a lot less than we were expecting.
The package option is very reasonable too in relation to price, there are optional things to have as additional costs if we like to improve our chances which defo seem worth the extra as they offer discounts on a lot of it too. They can support with accommodation too and have deals with some hotels and apartments so have said they can help in arranging this closer to the time if we would like.
So far so good and looking forward to get started in the new year.

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SharnaMH Tue 21-Jan-20 16:51:54

Well, I am here in Prague starting my 1st cycle. Very nervous about it all but excited too. Started my 1st injection (clexane) Sunday and introduced another (Recovelle) Monday. Have the first scan Friday morning.
1st injection was a little daunting but once done I was fine, really doesn't hurt (that could be down to how bloody cold it is 🤣 can't feel my body it's freezing 🥶)
Found ridiculously cheap flights £60 rtn and a great air bnb as we need to be here for 18days in total. Could come and go but feel it's good to have a break away for both of us and leave all stresses back at home such as work.

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Blondeshavemorefun Thu 23-Jan-20 07:34:44

Good luck

RedPandaFluff Thu 23-Jan-20 10:59:58

Good luck @SharnaMH - let us know how you get on. I had IVF in Prague twice (different clinic) and although there were some challenges, I found the clinic, technologies and practices to be very good, probably ahead of the UK. I'm crossing my fingers for you!

Citygirl2019 Thu 23-Jan-20 15:22:58

Good luck. Have my fingers crossed for you

SharnaMH Mon 27-Jan-20 11:36:17

Thank you all for the nice wishes x

Had first scan Friday, they said it was going well and we're pleased to see 10 follicles so booked me in to return again today.
Feeling a little flat today though after the 2nd scan. They said can't see the left side and the right side I only have 6 and they are not big enough yet so have another scan booked for Wednesday. Was expecting the retrieval to take place Wednesday so getting a little nervous that my body is not playing ball.
Clinic still amazing and could see I was a little worried and reassured me that it should be fine and this is normal for the timing of my cycle apparently. I am continuing on Clexane, Recoville and cetrotide for another 2 days with everything crossed that the little buggers grow. It's the Cetrotide that should be pushing them to grow. Hopefully the egg retrieval will take place either Friday or Sat confused xx

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RedPandaFluff Mon 27-Jan-20 12:29:49

Don't worry @SharnaMH - I only had five eggs retrieved, but out of these five I have one embryo in the freezer and my beautiful six week old baby girl! It really does just take one good one.

Try to be patient and go with the flow - sometimes it helps to see the first cycle as an experiment to see how your body reacts to the drugs etc.

SharnaMH Mon 27-Jan-20 12:57:51

Thank you for your kind words x I am so pleased to hear you have a little one 😊 congrats xx feeling hopeful xx

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SharnaMH Mon 03-Feb-20 13:18:54

Here's my update....
Had my egg retrieval on Friday. I was a nervous and emotional wreck as been sedated scares the crap out of me. But I survived the whole 2 hours of been asleep 😴 was updated as soon as I woke up how many they had retrieved, which was 15 in total, my husband was told that 6 were quite large and the rest fairly small. They then ensured I had all the correct medication and sent me on my way. When arrived back to the apartment all I wanted to do was sleep which I did to my husbands annoyance (I do snore quite loudly).
Saturday I was told to start progesterone tablets not the most pleasant thing to do but I am sure there is worse to come. Due to having very low progesterone I have also been given an injection form to take once a day too and to take with my Clexane.
Sat I was given an update that 8 have been fertilised which we are over the moon about. Monday we should have another update.
I was surprised that I didn't have any discomfort down below, the only thing I am suffering from is constipation and it is awful, I am so blocked up and have lost my appetite which is defo not like me. I have tried fibre (shreddies) drinking lots of water, sent the hubby out for apples and also lactulosa which I am told by the clinic is ok to have at this stage. Fingers crossed it works as i am so uncomfortable.
Just had an update and all 8 are progressing and have been told the stages etc but unsure what they mean at the moment so waiting for clarification, they all say level 1-2 so Hoping that's good.
I hope everyone is well, sorry for babbling but I don't have anyone to share this with other than my husband, so it feels nice to share and hope that it is helping someone else preparing to go through the procedure.

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RedPandaFluff Wed 05-Feb-20 10:18:58

That's great news, @SharnaMH - eight fertilised is a great number to start off with! Don't be disheartened when you lose a few over the next few days - as a rough guide you can usually expect about half of them to make it to blast stage . . . but as we were saying before, you just need one good 'un grin

Please keep updating us, and remember you'll get loads of support on here during the torturous two-week-wait flowers

SharnaMH Wed 05-Feb-20 14:28:35

Went for implantation today but sadly I am not well enough due to OHSS. A little disappointed but on a positive note I have 3 fertilised which are going to be frozen.
Last few days have been awful though, very blocked up and constantly sick but glad it has been identified and I now need to wait for my period and symptoms will disappear hopefully.
Prague hospital is not the nicest and was definitely an experience, not many people spoke English so I was very reliant on google translate. Gynem were amazing, throughout they helped in speaking with the hospital, sorting taxi and much more. They knew I didn't want to hear things were not going ahead today but they were so thoughtful and positive which helped me process things a lot easier.

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RedPandaFluff Wed 05-Feb-20 15:21:24

@SharnaMH oh I'm so sorry to read this! OHSS is so frustrating. You must be disappointed and being in hospital over there sounds very difficult.

It's probably very hard for you to see a positive at this point, but I see two. First of all - wow! You have three frozen embryos! That's GREAT! Secondly, some people think it's better to wait for a cycle before embryo transfer, as it allows your body time to regulate itself again, and success rates for frozen embryo transfers are on a par with fresh these days. It's disappointing though, every day seems like a month when you're going through IVF, the waiting is torturous. I did four cycles and it was gruelling. Delays were agonising.

Look after yourself and take it easy!

SharnaMH Wed 05-Feb-20 17:47:13

Thank you for your kind words. Was wanting it so bad and was very emotional initially but to be honest lying in bed now trying not to be sick 🤢 I feel it’s definitely the right thing to do. It’s meant to be an exciting time but there is no way I could savour the moment if that makes sense 😊

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SharnaMH Mon 16-Mar-20 19:14:03

We had a transfer two weeks today. All went well and was very straightforward. Met a few others from the UK when there which was nice, speaking about similar experiences.

Was told to arrange a blood test for today to see if the transfer has been successful. Unfortunately, it came back as negative. I am very disappointed for obvious reasons. The first thing i want to do is arrange my next visit but with the COVID-19 outbreak this will be extremely difficult. So I will have to use this time to grieve. Sounds daft me saying I need to grieve something that didn't actually work but I feel so empty and such a failure. I have to talk myself into staying positive, so on the bright-side we have two embryos waiting in the freezer and hopefully at some point we can try again.

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