I’ve Become The Expert We Needed When We Had IVF Abroad.
Hi - We’re Emma & Adam!
After a twist of fate, an accidental ‘reply all’ message, and a series of embarrassing events, I met my now-husband, Adam. After just two dates, I knew he was a keeper…
After a whirlwind romance and travelling the world together, Adam and I were married and ready to start a family.
But, as it turned out, it wasn’t quite that simple!
Our Fertility Journey
After trying for a year with no success, the fertility tests delivered a devastating double blow: We discovered I was perimenopausal, with low AMH levels and very few follicles; meanwhile Adam had sperm motility issues and a low sperm count. The doctors explained that we had only a 3-5% chance of conceiving and that it wasn’t going to happen naturally. IVF was the only option.
We were turned down for NHS IVF treatment due to BMI, and even after losing six stones, I was still considered ‘overweight’ in my NHS postcode lottery area, and we were sent away with no help or advice. With very little money for private treatment, we moved back in with my parents to save every penny, but with the average round of IVF with ICSI in the UK costing upwards of £10,000, and the average couple needing three rounds of IVF, we felt utterly defeated.
We began having consultations with clinics in the UK but found the process extremely frustrating. Each consultation cost around £250, and getting a realistic idea of costs prior to the appointment was almost impossible, resulting in us spending almost £1,000 on consultations with clinics that were completely out of our budget. The lack of transparency we experienced around costings did nothing to gain our trust, nor did the impersonal service that made us feel like just a number.
Our IVF Abroad Story
As well-travelled - and at this stage, desperate - people, we started looking into IVF treatment abroad, but could find very little information anywhere…
How could we know who’s registered, regulated, ethical and safe?
What clinics would be a good fit for us personally and medically?
How do the laws in another country differ and impact us?
Where can we have the treatment and how might things be different there?
Where should we avoid having treatment?
Would they speak good English?
How does the process work?
What should we expect when we get there?
What if something went wrong?
Could it really be cheaper?
And IS cheaper really a good thing when it comes to IVF?
Each question we frantically typed into google returned an overwhelming mix of sometimes conflicting and sometimes wrong information.
So, we searched instead for someone who could help us navigate this unfamiliar and confusing situation. We were desperate for clarity and a plan. We needed help, but there was no help available: We were on our own.
It was overwhelming, and we were terrified we had little time to waste, frustrated to have spent two years frantically trying to jump through the NHS hoops, only to have the goalposts changed. But at the time, I needed something to throw my energy into, so we persevered.
The more I researched, the better IVF abroad began to sound: The success rates were fantastic, and the costs were a fraction of the UK clinics.
Our consultation experiences were worlds apart from the UK, with a clear and direct summary of the process, our chances and the costs, delivered with honesty and care. They also explained that double donation was our best option, and would significantly increase our chances of conceiving from 3-5% to 60%-70%; not an option the UK clinics even discussed with us!
We landed on using a clinic in the Czech Republic. It was a short flight, and the cheaper end of the European fertility market, which meant we could afford three full rounds of donor IVF, including flights and accommodation, for the same price as one round in the UK.
On average, it takes three rounds of IVF to successfully conceive, so we felt confident we were giving ourselves a better chance by going abroad. We knew there was no guarantee IVF would work and we didn’t have an endless pot of money, so we wanted to give our money the best possible chance to work for us, with no regrets. I’m incredibly happy to share that it did work! And simply put there was no more money so if we had stayed in the UK for treatment we wouldn’t have our little boy now.
After our third cycle of donor IVF, we welcomed our beautiful baby boy in 2018.
I remember Adam saying to me: ‘I really wish we had a fairy godmother of fertility treatment to help us make impartial and informed decisions to help us and there are so many questions you don't even know you're going to have when you set off on this journey, let alone where to get them answered!’
Your IVF abroad
Following the birth of our son, in 2019 we set up Your IVF abroad and set our mission: To make IVF and fertility testing and treatment globally more transparent, affordable, accessible, safe, ethical and supported for more people. Independently helping people to make impartial, informed decisions that are right for them based on non-biased, accurate information, giving people some control back in the process of fertility treatment and the best possible chances of expanding their family, with no regrets and without wasting any more time.
Now, at Your IVF abroad we make the daunting process of finding a safe, world-class clinic that best suits your needs and/or organising fertility treatment overseas simple, by using our own positive experience of IVF abroad and years of research and clinic collaborations to help individuals and couples do the same. By offering impartial, non-medical information and advice, we aim to empower you to make informed decisions about your fertility treatment and provide you with the information and support you need practically and emotionally, leaving the medical side of things to the experts at the clinics.
We know from experience that there will be many questions along the way, and you’re bound to feel anxious.
We know from experience that there will be many questions along the way, and you’re bound to feel anxious. Having fertility treatment is stressful enough, and going abroad adds a layer of complexity that can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re doing it alone. However you don’t have to do this alone, we are here to help with this.
We also know that superior customer care, value for money and reduced waiting times are well worth it, if you know what you’re doing. That’s why we now use our knowledge and experience to provide the support we wished we had when we had IVF abroad, to ensure our clients don’t experience the same frustration and helplessness we felt and we promise you will never feel alone.
“Emma you’re the best. You are a Fairy Godmother to many of us”.
Plus, with our support, you’ll understand the intricacies of the laws in different countries, the specialisms and strengths of clinics and be protected from the risks of unregulated, unsafe clinics with poor practice donor welfare, false promises and shady ethical practices.
The private and safe IVF clinics we work with in Europe offer low cost and high success rates and we facilitate the best, affordable fertility treatment available, organised for you from the UK, independently matching you with the right clinic for your individual needs. You can trust that our advice is 100% independent because we never take a commission from the clinics we work with, and if clinics do offer commission our clients will receive this as a discount on their treatment, saving them hundreds of euros.
As an advocate, speaker, podcaster, campaigner and writer for the infertility community, and on donor conception, Emma has established herself as the go-to expert in fertility treatment and IVF abroad, and following her own experience of infertility and treatment abroad, she is proud to have helped 100s of people globally to grow their families this way too.
Want to Learn More?
We’re honoured to have been interviewed and Featured In a book The BFN, a range of publications, including the Daily Mail, Stylist Magazine, and Men's Health, as well a number of Podcasts, including Big Fat Negative, The Worst Girl Gang Ever, The Stork and I, and The Fertility Podcast. Read more here.
If you’d like to find out more about our story, IVF abroad and the wonderful clients I work with, you can listen to my Podcast: IVF abroad with Emma Haslam.
You can also read my blog here.