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Instituto Bernabeu - experiences?

341 replies

Botanica · 26/10/2018 17:37

Just starting out on exploring this avenue after four failed attempts at IVF. It still feels like a large leap to make as I still had hope that I might be successful with my own eggs but starting to come to terms with this and now looking into alternate options.

My clinic works closely with IB in Spain, and I'd love to hear experiences from anyone who has been through a donor cycle with them. How did you find the whole process? What worked well and not so well? Any advice that you can share?

OP posts:
An0ther · 19/02/2021 01:44

Has Spain opened the boarders up for uk travelers ? I might be able to go ??!?? I looked at Spain’s travel advice and it’s changed and I know I can fly if having a medical procedure. My husband wants to know if he can come with me as my career as I have a disability that affects my cognitive function but no proof he is my carer as we didn’t apply for benefits. ???

gfhun · 19/02/2021 08:58

Last time I checked border was still closed to uk travellers at least 2nd March.
I need to go to Alicante to FET but unsure if I start cycle now. Rumour has it that Spain will be added to the red list. I wouldn’t be able to afford or be capable spending 10 days in a hotel room on my own.

Babi16 · 19/02/2021 09:30


@SJen, I hope the clinic has been able to give you some clarity about their entry requirements. The impression I get is that selection and pre-treatment requirements they may ask will be based on individual circumstances.

@gfhun, Indeed, it does look like Spain and the States may be added to the red list in the near future. @An0ther, I think they should reasonably allow your husband to accompany you as your carer once traveling is feasible.

An0ther · 19/02/2021 09:59

Oh my I hope it doesn’t go on red list like you we couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel for that amount of time or money, which leads me to wonder if I haven’t traveled to Spain how much we owe them so far?? If we had to cancel and find an English clinic ?

Mari0000 · 01/03/2021 21:47

Hi all, writing from Madrid with FET at IB scheduled tomorrow at noon. Second time with DE, first time in Italy failed (had only 1 blasto) so fingers crossed. As per Doctor's update today, on day 3, we have 1 grade A, 2 grade B. We will know the final numbers tomorrow, day 5.
Traveling from Italy to Madrid was easy with a PCR test.
We have also been very happy with our Doctor and coordinators, they made the process very easy.

An0ther · 01/03/2021 22:34

has spain lifted the travel ban ? or do you live in spain
i hope everything goes well.

PinkGold · 02/03/2021 00:44

@An0ther the travel ban is specifically for flights from the UK because of the UK variant of coronavirus. Residents of other European countries can enter Spain (but the border with Portugal is also closed because of the Brazilian variant).
The Spanish authorities are reevaluating this every 2 weeks, the current restrictions are in place until 16th March so I expect the next announcement to be made on 10th or 11th March.
It will be a nightmare if Spain goes on the red list, already complicated enough!

If you haven't paid Instituto Bernabeu already maybe you can consider your options for treatment in the UK.

@Mari0000 good luck with the FET.
Can I ask if they check any hormone levels before or after? Just curious to know if blood tests involved at that stage. Thanks and hope all goes well.

Mari0000 · 02/03/2021 00:52

@PinkGold correct re:flights.

Apologies, it's a fresh transfer tomorrow.

Since starting the mock cycle, the only blood tests have been to measure progesterone (and ultrasounds to check endo thickness). However, before getting to this point I've had to send a long list of tests, including hormones.

PinkGold · 02/03/2021 02:01

Don't apologise @Mari0000, I should have realised when you mentioned it would be day 5 tomorrow.
I have a long list of blood tests to do too but it's actually progesterone levels I'm concerned about so that is good to know, thank you.
I had a chat with Chiara before, not sure if she is your coordinator but she seemed very friendly. Sending good transfer thoughts.

An0ther · 15/03/2021 17:08

Wondering what to do
-ask ib how much we owe them as we are keen to have embryo transfer as soon as possible as we want to re assess our options.

I’m 42 and my husband is older my mum is ill and has just phoned me to say she will give me the money she wants to meet her grandchild before she dies.
I believe there are long waiting lists in the uk.
We want to keep costs to a minimum and we know that at some point our tests we have had will run out of time.

PinkGold · 15/03/2021 20:24

@An0ther what contract have you signed with IB? Have you had any tests done by them? I don't know how far into the process you are.

I think from reading other threads that some UK clinics don't have waiting lists, may even have egg banks?
Look over your paperwork with IB and perhaps make a few enquiries here in the UK.

An0ther · 15/03/2021 21:45

We haven’t had any tests done and not even been out to Spain yet we were weeks before we were due to go and have the procedure and Spain was closed and we were unable to go

PinkGold · 15/03/2021 22:44

Well in that case @An0ther I shouldn't think you owe anything except possibly your consultation fee if you haven't paid it yet.
I thought maybe you had embryos already or had started some treatment and were part way through.
In your position I'd just crack on and contact UK clinics. Once you've got some ideas of timelines you can make a proper decision.
I will say it's a complete pain to travel now, I went to Spain a few times during lockdown but with the added expense of at least 4 PCR tests now (1 to leave the UK, 1 to get back in and 2 during quarantine) plus the sheer hassle of it all and limited flight options, I wouldn't contemplate starting out with a foreign clinic.

An0ther · 16/03/2021 07:25

Thankyou we have written an email to Spanish clinic to see our options and contacted an English clinic too. Just upset me when my mum said I want to see my grandkid before I die

PinkGold · 16/03/2021 22:08

That must be difficult to hear from your mum, sorry to hear she is ill. Maybe you can explain that you'd obviously want your child to meet her but for her not to think the process is a guarantee, if you feel like it would be more pressure.

Hope you get encouraging news, if you contact several clinics and ask about their donor programmes you'll have an idea of waiting times.

Francescaaa · 21/03/2021 13:29

Thank you to all on this thread! I’m looking to do one OE ivf round at IB.

With my age and my partner’s teratozoospermia we've been told it’s only a 10% chance here in the U.K. clinics apparently.

Background: I’m 42 and have done as many tests as I can on the nhs first plus had DH gets his semen analysis twice. I’m paying privately for scan and amh tomorrow at a clinic here and then having my first call with IB Wednesday.

I’m thinking with all the lockdowns it might be worth staying out there for the entirety of the treatment. Has anyone done this?

PinkGold · 21/03/2021 13:46

Hi @Francescaaa you currently can't travel to Spain from the UK (assuming that's where you are based) unless you are a Spanish national or resident.

I personally would not commit to anything abroad right now if I didn't have to but my embryos are with IB so I have to go back.
I'd postpone the call until UK travellers are allowed to enter Spain.

If Spain do decide to allow travellers from the UK soon and you go for it then yes absolutely stay there for the duration of treatment. I've done this before and it is probably the best option anyway given how tricky travel is at present.

You'll need a PCR to enter Spain, another one to come back to the UK and then another 2 tests during your UK quarantine (which you need to arrange and pay for before you land back in the UK).

@An0ther how did you get on with your enquiries?

An0ther · 21/03/2021 16:07

Yup clinics here have very long waiting list and massively expensive. So by the time Spain opens we would only just get chosen for the embryo process in the uk

PinkGold · 21/03/2021 22:51

That's a shame @An0ther I thought some UK clinics had egg banks but don't know the costs involved compared to Spain.

I actually haven't found it any cheaper going to Spain compared to staying in the UK and have actually ended up spending a lot more by choosing treatment abroad but chose it because of the package available and their success rates.

gfhun · 22/03/2021 10:02

Agree with PinkGold, works out more expensive. All tests and scans that are included in the Spanish package I had to pay for here in the Uk.

An0ther · 22/03/2021 11:47

I live in the north and just wondering if there was anywhere I have missed?

PinkGold · 22/03/2021 12:00

Yes @gfhun I've spent a few thousand extra on ultrasounds (over multiple cycles) and they've often been at short notice or I have a scan and IB say 'have another scan in 2 days' or 'have a blood test' which would all be included if I were in Spain.
That's before factoring in flights and accommodation and is not due to coronavirus.
Extra costs due to coronavirus, last year had to have antibody tests which were pricy at the time, then the cycle was abandoned.
For mock cycle I had to pay to have an injection administered, an extra £100.
Lots of extra costs.

@An0ther if I were you I'd be contacting every clinic in London or other areas of the UK that does donor egg treatment and comparing wait times and prices.

If you were prepared to go to Spain then travel within your own country would be relatively speaking a doddle.

It will be much easier to get on a train and stay somewhere in the UK than it will be to get to Spain and you're allowed to travel for medical reasons.
The cost/inconvenience of you and DH doing 4 PCR tests each and 10 days quarantine would surely outweigh the cost of a self catering apartment, never mind the travel costs to Spain.

Mari0000 · 22/03/2021 12:21

I'd like to add that PCR tests for two of us, back and forth, cost us €440!!

However, after transfer I got a BFP and I'm due to have my first US on Wednesday, and if all goes well, every penny will have been worth it :)

PinkGold · 22/03/2021 12:45

Many congratulations @Mari0000 that's wonderful news. Good luck with the scan on Wednesday.

Amyone travelling from the UK will likely have to spend more than that on PCR tests though, we would need one to enter Spain, one to return to the UK, and another on days 2 and 8 of the 10 day quarantine. I've found a very cheap provider of the tests in Spain but not so cheap in the UK.

Did you have to quarantine in Italy? I think you travelled at the best moment!

Mari0000 · 22/03/2021 12:52

@PinkGold thanks!

Fortunately any travel from Italy within the EU does not require quarantine. Just a PCR test 72hrs before entering Spain and 48hrs returning to Italy. We could've opted not to test on our return, in which case we would've had to quarantine.

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