* Author Topic: My experience – Visiting clinics in Kiev to decide on my next step  (Read 17058 times)

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Offline OOZ

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I just flew home after numerous visits to the IVF clinics in Ukraine, Kiev. After hearing so much about doing and IVF abroad, I wanted to see it for myself, if this is something I should proceed with. After my unsuccessful attempt of IVF in UK, which was the one NHS gratefully provided to me, I decided to look into doing IVF in the foreign clinic. It seemed so logical to me, I can save lots of money, I have relatives living in Kiev, I speak the language and can easily communicate without interpreters. Yes, it looked very logical to me.  Now after spending a couple of weeks in Kiev I can say that the main outcome of my trip is further confusion.

I started my week with visiting reproductive services agency in Kiev, who helps you to deal with issues on embryo donors, surrogacy and IVF support. I wanted to hear about their services on embryo donors and about surrogacy option. Somehow in my mind I thought that surrogacy is an ultimate final option that would be available to me if everything else fails, I imagined that this is something you should consider after failing 10 IVF cycles. I wasn’t ready to go by this route but I wanted to hear more about it. I found their unidentified office, was offered coffee and was invited into the office. My appointment was with Ludmila, who was very pleasant and personable. She did start her conversation with asking me how old I was. I guess their clients usually are a bit older than me. She went over the process and gave me a print outs with their pricing breakdown. Overall the sum came to an estimate of around 40K US. I know this is a lot but is it possible to put a price on another human life, happiness, a dream? However, after my first visit to an IVF clinic, I was told that this option is not available to me.

I visited clinic “Mat I Ditya” on recommendation of the IRITSA agency. My initial impression of the clinic was favourable, pleasant reception, clean and welcoming. However, I can’t say that about my impression of my first interactions with their doctor. He started with mentioning that I came on recommendation of the agency, does this mean I’m thinking of surrogacy? I answered yes and after I explained my logic he said that just because “I want to shift this burden on the shoulders of the surrogate” this is not a good reason to do a surrogacy and no clinic will do surrogacy for me at this point. I felt ashamed; maybe I am completely wrong to even consider it?

I obviously started with going over my history which was interrupted twice by the phone calls which the doctor accepted and a fax which was brought to him in the middle of my appointment. I just felt like he was distracted. He also wasn’t paying full attention to my words either, and not due to language issues or my accent, I have none. I felt like I had to repeat myself as I really felt like he misunderstood, misheard or just hadn’t paid attention.  It felt rushed.

Couple of his comments really rubbed the wrong way with me, like direct criticism of the UK clinic. His logic was alright; do additional testing and then we will see but probably even before the end of the visit I felt like I wouldn’t return here.

My next appointment was the next day at the clinic “Nadiya”. Nice new building, they just have moved, pleasant environment and my appointment went much better, I felt. The doctor really took his time to look through every document I have brought, which I took as a good sign. There were still a couple of comments on the protocol used by the UK, which this doctor found favourable and gave praise to his UK colleagues. When I mentioned that I don’t live in Kiev, I was basically told that this is my problem, which is absolutely true but somehow I expected more guidance and support. I was given an extensive list of additional tests I would need to complete to move forward with doing and IVF at this clinic and I went to discuss it with the reception. One of the things on the list was hysteroscopy among the blood test for hormones. I realized that this would be taking some time for me to do in the UK and asked them about the cost and possibility to do it there. It was around $500 and yes, they had an opening for me for next day. I signed up.

I arrived in the morning and was taken into the room where there were three other girls lying on the beds having IVs. They all looked really young. A bit alter I was taken into the operation room, where everything from that moment just felt wrong. I wasn’t talked to, I wasn’t explained anything, there were a couple of interns there that I wasn’t told would be there, even before I was under anaesthetic the doctor started to put the instruments inside me a bit rough. I felt treated like a piece of meat. I remember the nurses were walking me to the room which was across the operating room; I felt really thirsty and wanted to use a toilet really bad. When half awake I asked for those things, I was told that I’m not allowed to drink for another 20 min and I don’t really need to go to the toilet it just feels that way. 40 min later, still no water I felt more awake and started talking to the only girl left in the room. I guess I started talking to her assuming that she is also having either some treatment or going through IVF. She later clarified that she is an egg donor. Now, it downed on me that the rest of the girls were donors too. I had a nice chat with her but I do admit that it felt strange. She told me that she is doing it because her family needs money and she would receive around $1000 for this donation. She told me that she had a really bad case of OHSS the day before, when I asked her on what doze of the drugs she was, she wasn’t sure, but though she had around 15 eggs taken out (they do pay per egg). This slightly created a suspicion in me that she had more than 15 eggs, but I decided not to tell her.

My final visit was to ISIDA, the biggest clinic in the Ukraine, handling more than 4000 cases per year, or so they told me. The clinic have impressed me, very large building and immaculate offices. The doctor I had an appointment with also did not pay much attention to my words, constantly playing around with his ipad and making sarcastic remarks to everything I had to say. He snapped in front of me at the nurse, which I just found disturbing, and was rough when performing the ultrasound. He had a lot to say about clinic Nadiya, which I was just finding so unprofessional, why did he feel like him constantly talking down the other clinics will make me feel better about theirs? He was abrupt and unpleasant and when I left the office I set down and just cried, I felt like I was so confused about all this, he made me feel so small and insignificant, this is not how you should be feeling after leaving a doctor.

I’m so confused about all this experience, maybe I’m wrong, I should be stronger and be able to take all this because I’m fighting for this child I want so desperately, but why does it feel so wrong? Yes, I would probably safe lots of money, ok, some money but maybe I just don’t feel strong enough to go through doing IVF in another country due to additional hustle and discomfort. Maybe it’s all just my attitude, maybe I’m being just to intolerant and spoilt?

I guess I realised that after living in the US and then UK for more than 12 years I have become westernised. I want some customer service, I don’t believe in “only result matters”; infertility also a journey and this is my choice at least to decide how I want to travel it. 

I guess I’m deciding to do another IVF here in the UK and then… who knows when my account depletes completely I will probably revisit this idea once more.


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    Offline roze

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    Dear OOZ,
    I am sorry your experience was so negative. I have to say I didnt have that experience at all at ISIDA as I dealt with Larisa who has fantastic communication skills  however I would hedge a bet that the doctor you saw was Dr Oleg Berestovy who from my own encounters is a bit of a rude sod to be  honest but he is a very successful doctor and has been material in both my pregnancies even though he was ill for my ET itself last time he was the dr in charge of my case. He lost it the first time when I wanted Larisa to come in with me for the ET itself and started getting cross.  I do think however you probably had more of a true experience as you spoke the language. However I dont think I was ever under the illusion that former Soviet block countries were going to be a cushy number- life is hard there and even harder due to the recession. There is probably a lot of pressure on clinics therefore to perform. I think also there is less handholding in general . Having said all of that, I found that ISIDA delivered the goods when everything else had failed so I am always grateful to them.
    Again, I think people may treat you differently and more honestly as you speak the language and probably I never picked up half of it but I would honestly give it some thought before moving away from the Ukraine. I had a lovely time in Spain at IVI Barcelona and Madrid with some lovely doctors and interpreters who really looked after me but I never got pregnant there. In addition I went for years to US run clinics in London. Everyone was very pleasant but to be honest it now seems as if they just took my money ; its only at ISIDA did I feel that anyone had fully considered why I never got pregnant even though the odds were good. 
    If I was to go through this again which Im not I would still go back to ISIDA even if money wasnt an issue as I think the medical care if not the handholding was top notch.
    If you do want to talk to anyone further try the abroadies threads where people might be able to discuss the exact clinics with you.
    best of luck in whatever you decide.

    Just need to add that the opinions expressed on this thread are personal opinions and not ff opinions

    Offline karla2012

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    I want to say that my experience in Kiev was also FRUSTRATED I was in BIOTEXCOM clinic and we took an eggs donor package. Since the first moment I did not like the clinic very much but I thought "results are important and only that", the package included accomodation in a "villa" we were NEVER TOLD that we have to share shower and wc with other 4 persons, so that was the first thing, but I still wanted to keep focused on results and not on those "little things", ok the netxt visit we decided to stay in a hotel, the taxi did not arrive at the airport (transfer was also included) the problem is that I had to take a taxi at 2 am!!

    Ok started the procedure, we were not told when it take place, only one week before we were told!, ok started with the experience traveling there again and my husbad gave his sperm and we were asking for the results of it, and we always get the same response, the responsable person fr the lab is not available but as soon as he comes we send u the results by email, (one day, 2, 3, 4, 5, nothing!), not even information about how many eggcells did the donnor get, nothing!! THAT WAS JUST THE BEGGINING

    The day of the transfer and I was still waiting for the info how many egg cells they got, NOTHING!, they took me to a bed (with 5 more beds) to wait for the operating room, my super bed had HAIRS!!! so it was not a clean bed, I made a super effort because at that point I was really under stressed and angry.

    Ok after 30 minutes they transfer me to the operating room ready for the transfer and when I was ready they told me we are transfering 4!! JUST THERE!! without asking me before, without telling me how was the quality of the sperm, the quality of the eggscellls nothing!!

    And the doctor was more than 25 minutes!!! trying to make the transfer, she could not enter so all these time the emrions were there sufferring to enter! it was so hard and painful and I really felt like you said a piece of meat there!!

    They have a monitor where they NEVER show you where are they depositing the embryons, NEVER! after that they transfer me to the resting bed and gave a copy of the monitor then I asked ok where are the embrions here I do not see anything, they answer: U CAN NOT SEE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO SMALL!!! ok my God! I never expected to see them running or singing!!! but at least a little mark to show were they are!!
    I said I need to pee please, they said yes in 10  minutes come the nurse to help you, ok those were the longest 10 minutes of my life, it was really painful and after 1.5 hrs!! I had to stand up and look for a tolliet from my self!! they just FORGOT ME!
    Something else? I did not get any list of what to do and what not do do after the transfer!!

    The doctor NEVER talked to me, I understand the language is a problem but never asked anything abou how I feel nothing!

    Nothing! After 2 weeks when we got the results (NEGATIVE of course) they said the embrions had a very high quality, but and that is it!


    Offline March

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    Oh dear... that is very disturbing. I was considering going to Kiev for treatment... and now your post has just put me off. I know this feeling of being none but to be truthful all ex Soviet republics almost the same... nevertheless  if they can get results I will go through it. I am advised to go for egg donation treatment because of past medical history (breast cancer which I fought and now allowed to  try to conceive but not with my own eggs as it will be too aggressive and might bring cancer back). I have been considering Spain IBILAB recommended by King's College in London although the treatment will cost greater figure than being treated in Ukraine. 

    Offline DaisyMaisy

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    • What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
    We went to kiev and now have twins born through surrogacy. The clinic obviously do normal ivf. I can highly recomended the clinic. Feel fee to pm me.


    Offline Richi

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    Congratulation DaisyMaisy

    I hope you enjoy the time with your babies. I get my baby in 4-6 weeks  :)


    Offline napy

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    Hi Richi,
      How is everything going?  Do you have your baby yet?  Hope all is going well for you.


    Offline sevaltek

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    Hi DaisyMaisy, Hi Richi

    May i ask which clinic did you worked with, in Kiev?



    Offline DaisyMaisy

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    • What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    We worked direct with a clinic in Kiev. We didn't go through an agency. Xxx

    Offline miamiamo

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    DaisyMaisy-is right, why not directly contact a clinic? Altra Vita (Russia, Moscow) -one of the best (and reliable) fertility clinic in Russia, Next Generation clinic Saint-Petersburg.  You can check clinics on egg donationfriends, although I am not sure if all listed clinics offer surrogacy, as the service also shows Repro Genesis Brno. As an option think on Georgia, I have seen some ads/posts ref surrogacy in Georgia on forums. Good luck xx