How to stay organised and calm when planning and preparing to have fertility treatment abroad
Updated: Nov 10
How do you stay organised and calm when planning and preparing to have your fertility treatment like IVF, IUI, egg donation and egg freezing abroad?
I've got some top tips for you and then something that I want to share with you. at the end as well, but let's dive in.
I would say that as a person, I'm quite lucky that organisation comes naturally to me. However, staying calm in my own shiz storm, maybe not so much, but organisation, generally yes.
I am also a complete control freak and I like to be, or at least like to feel somewhat in control, particularly on this journey with infertility, which I’m sure you will resonate with.
I know I don’t need to tell you that infertility is super hard and then when we start to research, plan and have fertility treatment there is so much outside of our control, right? So even as someone who is naturally organised I still found the process of organising my own fertility treatment abroad overwhelming at times, what with all the researching, planning and logistics, plus there is more to do and plan when you're going to go abroad.
And despite being organised usually, I ended up with stuff all over the place at times, which did not help. I also had all of my thoughts and feelings as well, just swirling around my head, which again was not helpful.
And of course all of this is normal, but after having IVF abroad myself four times and then fast forward to now and I've since become the go-to fertility treatment abroad expert and I have worked with hundreds of people around the world now to help them to start and grow their families with safe fertility treatment abroad that is more accessible, affordable and supported. So I've picked up many hints and tips along the way and I will share a few of them with you.
5 top tips
I suggest creating a separate email folder/folders so that you can keep all of your emails in the one place/ the right place. So it could be that you have an IVF abroad research folder and you put everything in to cover that stage and then as you move through the process and have chosen a clinic, you may start another folder. You will be surprised as to how many emails you will send and receive during the planning and preparation stages of having fertility treatment abroad. This will also help cut down on the mental clutter as well and make you feel more under control.
Use subject headings are super useful in email, so if you put subject headings in your emails to the clinics, they will likely reply to that email so their reply will be under the same subject heading and it can help you to search to quickly find something.
Well in advance check the time left on your passport to make sure that you've got enough validity left to cover travelling home following your fertility treatment. Since Brexit here in Europe there have been changes, but it’s worth checking this no matter where you live and it's good housekeeping anyway to set twice yearly reminders anyway. So go and do it, go and do it straight after reading this blog post so you don’t forget. You don't want to be ready to go and have your fertility treatment, only to find out you need a new passport. And you don't need that stress. Depending on where you're travelling from and to you may also need a visa, so that's worth looking at in advance as well.
Track and log when you've taken your medication and also set reminders to take your medication on your phone. It’s likely that wherever you are your phone will be with you and this can be a really useful tool to help you to remember where you are up to with taking your medication and to help you not to forget to take it too. For example your protocol may dictate that you need to take your medication in the morning and evening and in this example I would suggest that you find a time that's going to be a time you can stick to every day to take that medication. I used to try and think about when I would most likely be home on the majority of days of the week, so for example 7am and 8pm and set my reminders to take my medication then. In addition I would set a daily early morning reminder to review that day ahead in case I was away overnight and would need to pack some medication.
The next thing I would say is to document and keep everything together in one place. You’ll need somewhere to keep all of your practical stuff like all of your printouts etc together. I also suggest journaling your thoughts and feelings as you move through this process, which will help you to support yourself emotionally and help you to recognise how you're feeling and how the journey might be showing up for you so you can look after yourself. It can also serve you as a fertility treatment diary so you can refer back. In terms of all the practical stuff it just really helps keep everything in one place outside of your email folders. You can do this in a notebook ,or you can do it in a dedicated planner or journal.
When I was in the planning stages and when having my fertility treatment abroad, there was no planner or journal out there specifically for having fertility treatment abroad. And quite unbelievably, until recently there wasn’t one either and more people in my community requested I create one. And so I did. I jumped at the chance to be honest because I knew that I could create something at a really accessible price point for people and I knew how helpful this would be for so many. I would have loved a planner and journal dedicated to this when I needed it and so I’m going to share a few details with you in a moment. If you want to grab a copy you can click/copy and paste this link into your browser https://amzn.to/3NhUMhR or search ‘Your IVF abroad planner’ on Amazon, or click/copy and paste the link further down.
Let me tell you some more about it.
So the first thing to say is that it's not just for IVF. I know that's in the title, but that's because that's my company name - Your IVF abroad. This planner and journal is for anybody considering fertility testing and treatment abroad anywhere in the world and for treatments like IVF, IUI, donor conception, egg freezing it will help you. The only thing that it isn't for is for surrogacy. It’s a handy, A5 size, and it's for people who want to keep their thoughts and plans organised and to feel more calm and in control. It includes a three month dateless calendar and there are sections to hold your clinics’ details, including those that you're reviewing for consultation and your chosen clinic details. There are loads of sections for notes and a place to hold your treatment protocol and other useful, important information as well. Plus, you can easily track your costs there and reference your treatment plan and notes, track key dates and plan your questions for consultation with the clinic doctors. Plus, there's a handy medication checklist section to help you keep on top of everything. And I've also included a glossary of terms, so it's a rundown of all the common fertility treatment acronyms and abbreviations, so all the jargon so that you'll always feel like you know what's happening and can feel in control in your journey. Plus, to take this stress out of the going abroad bits, there's also a pre-travel checklist and a place for you to know anything you'd like to do or see your destination to help you get the most out of your time away as well. And then finally, there are some two week wait survival tips and a journaling section so to help support you with your thoughts and feelings as well as you move through the process.
My aim with this is to help you to feel organised, more calm and more in control and give you something you can go back and look at in the future.
If you want to grab a copy, you can click/copy and paste this link into your browser https://amzn.to/3NhUMhR, or search for ‘Your IVF abroad planner’ and it will come up on Amazon.
Co-founder Your IVF abroad