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  • Writer's pictureYour IVF abroad

My journey of primary infertility and fertility treatment in Europe

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

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!

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.

But, as it turned out, it wasn’t quite that simple!

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 around £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

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.

To find out more about the process of having fertility treatment abroad I have created a free step by step short guide for you to get clarity on the process without the overwhelm and fear and so you can see if fertility treatment abroad could be right for you. Just click the link below:

Love Emma xxx


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