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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I was wondering if some-one could help me know where to even start on having DE IVF in Spain.

My story is basically that I had 2 cycles of IVF in the UK the 2nd was successful and last year I gave birth to our beautiful son.  Our fertility problem seems to be that my eggs are not very good quality (altho obv we got very lucky with our son) - on my last cycle I had 15 eggs collected of which only one became a baby - I had none to freeze.  My 1st attempt was even worse...

So.... we have decided to have another go but I am reluctant to spend in excess of £6k when I don't think my eggs are very good so would rather go for DE IVF and hope that a donors eggs are better than my almost-40 year old eggs!

But now the problem is that I don't even know where to start!!  I picked Spain for no other reason than I have heard of other people who had DE IVF in Spain and were successful and also that it is close to the UK.

Is there a starters list?  Something that will help us decide which clinic/location to go to?

In general terms what are the wait lists like for DE or does it vary greatly from clnic to clinic?

I'd be really grateful for any information as I have no idea where to start with this!

Thanks, Cx
 

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Hi there

Thought might help by sharing own experience. As you will see from my profile been a long time trying with many ups and downs.  After our 5th miscarriage in 2006 we then entered new territory of finding it hard to conceive.  We tried IVF in Jan 08 in the UK but were unsuccessful.  At our review meeting our consultant gave us opinion that may be more sensible to consider DE for best chances of positive outcome.

We found it hard to accept but with understanding comes general acceptance.  We did nothing further for couple of months and then we started to seriously consider DE.  Like you though, once we had made decision to go for it we found it hard to decide what to do next and indeed to find information.  Was frustrating as we wanted to get on with it.  I rang clinic to say we had decided to try DE and was shocked to hear about UK waiting lists -obviously we now understand why there are such long waits.  Our consultant had mentioned that there was a clinic in Spain that had good reputation but did not give us the name.

Spain struck a cord for us, especially me as I had worked there 2 years (20 years ago!) and I have a Spanish degree and love spanish culture/language so seemed like natural way to go.

Then we researched over internet - Instituto marques kept coming up as good clinic. 

I contacted Infertility Network Uk and had a lovely chat with a lady there who sent me some leaflets giving information on what to consider when choosing a clinic.

Eventually we decided to contact IM in May and we have a first appt in July to see a consultant.

Hope that helps a little - its a mine field I know but you will know when something feels right.

good luck
 

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Hi Caspar I'm also at IM. I chose it because of the refund programme they do + good success rates. Here's some thoughts that VEC another poster on the IM cycle buddies thread wrote recently re some clinics in Spain. I will warn you though there is a good chance that IM will want to investigate your DHs sperm. You're only 36 and if you can produce 15 eggs but only one to transfer they will want to look at his DNA fragmentation. Another girl Lilli on the IM thread was told this and it turned out it was her DHs sperm that had a problem, and she is having another go with her own eggs. I don't know if you've thought of this but if you come over onto IM cycle buddies (link at the bottom) and ask as there are far more knowledgable women than me. I could probably find Lilli and ask her to PM you if you want.

CERAM, Marbella, Spain : about 7000 euros for egg donation with matched characteristics, four-eight month waiting list. Have a friend who has had treatment there, who is very happy with them (and pregnant). I initially rejected this clinic because the woman I spoke to on the phone sounded too homely (how silly is that?) but actually, their patient-care sounds very good.

IVI, Spain : these have branches all over Spain, and there are very active FF threads for IVI so you can visit these to get feedback from FF-ers. They cost about 9,500 for ED IVF, using matched characteristics. Last year they told me their waiting list was about 3 to 4 months, but looking at their thread, seems that their waiting list is quite a bit longer. Some clinics get better reports than others, so ask around before deciding to go there. Actually, I rejected this clinic because I thought that they had an offhand manner on the telephone.

IM, Barcelona - this is the clinic I know most about. My partner and I had our first appointment there back in July 2007. I cannot fault the doctor we saw, he spent two hours with us, going through all our notes, analysing all our test results, and had clearly done his homework in advance. They want a fairly extensive list of tests done in advance (about the same length although different tests to other Spanish clinics), and these tests must have been done within six months of treatment. Cost of one IVF DE is 10,000 euros more or less, including all meds for you and donor. They offer a refund programme, where you get three fresh attempts, plus any frozen cycles for 30,000 euros. If within this time you fail to get pregnant for at least 12 weeks, you get a 70% refund. You must complete these cycles of treatment within 18 months. Pretty good deal, although you would kick yourself if you got pregnant first go, and had spent 30,000 on doing so. Still, what price a baby, huh?

IM's plus points, and they really are BIG plus points, are that they have no waiting list to speak of. I think the longest I have heard of anyone waiting is about 3 months MAXIMUM. They also have no waiting lists for future treatment, either, so you can jump back in the saddle if your first go goes badly. THey have pretty good success rates with frozen embryos, too. Oh, and their success rates are about 45% live births with donor eggs. About the same for most Spanish clinics, but I would check that if I were you.

What's more, IM offer a back up donor. This means that if your donor doesn't stimulate well, you won't be put to the back of the queue, as your back up will step in and provide her eggs.

On top of this, IM offers the embryo adoption scheme. This is a lot cheaper (3,100), and is basically a case of going along and getting a ready-made embryo out of the freezer. In this scenario, there is less matching done with your characteristics, and what's more, as it is frozen, there is less chance of success (about 10% less). However, as IM has all these back up donors, it also has a fairly regular supply of unwanted fresh embryos, and so often people who go for the embryo adoption scheme end up having fresh embryos transferred, which gives them a better chance of success.

Hope this helps but also if you want to go to Index, Scroll down, Treatment Outside The UK, there are lots of links including Clinic reviews. May also be worth posting on the various Cycle buddies threads and asking why people chose that clinic.

Maiella - come and join us on IM Cycle buddies http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=136420.0
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank both of you so much for taking the time to reply... You have definitely helped start to unravel the seeming minefield and at least I have a small idea of where to begin.

We have a lot to think about and discuss so plan to do this when on holiday so as to give it plenty of time before we rush into anything.  One of the reasons for choosing Spain is I am mixed race altho its not immediately apparent but I have a 'Mediterranean' look which our son also has.... I am hoping that by choosing Spain a sibling wouldn't look so different, although to be honest I am not too concerned about this.  I have thought long and hard about using donor eggs and I am fine about it - I love my son, not because of his DNA but because I grew him, nurtured him, fed him, gave birth to him - the egg part for me is the 'science' part!  My DH is happy as long as I am happy!

Its interesting what you say about the sperm DNA but am not sure it will apply to us.  I am pretty certain that my eggs are the issue - I had a poor AMH result and when I had both of my EC's a high number of the eggs were vacuolated which means they don't make good embryos.  I am now 38 (was 36 when I first signed up for FF) so am under no illusions that my eggs will be any better since the last EC which was 18 months ago.

Regarding all the tests - can these be done in the UK by your GP and the results sent to Spain or do you have to have the tests done in Spain?

Thanks again for your replies!

Cx
 

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Most of the blood tests - HIV, chlamydia etc can be done by your GP or local GUM clinic!.  If you know your blood group fine -'cos most GPs won't do that - very expensive test.  If you do decide on IM at your first appt they will scan you and do a catheter test - basically like having an ET but nothing in the tube!  It's great I have cervix problems and out of all my transfers IM have been the quickest and least painful 'cos they know exactly what to do on the day - they even make notes as to where your cervix is so they can find it quickly!

Nearer the time of ET you get your scans done over here and then either email them or I usually phone them with the results.  They have lots of staff that speak English.

Good luck with whatever you decide
 
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