Many people are travelling abroad from the UK for fertility treatment as the cost can be a lot less than in your home country.
You might wonder though, if the money you save on the cost of treatment would be used on multiple flights and accommodation. Well, when looking at the process, you might be surprised to learn that you do not need to spend the duration of your IVF treatment abroad, as many clinics abroad work in conjunction with clinics in the UK. If you choose not to spend the entire duration of your treatment abroad, you might actually end up making only one brief visit to the clinic.
Here, we explain the process:
Step 1. Do you research and speak to clinics.
If you are considering travelling abroad for your fertility treatment the first thing to do is give the clinic that you are interested in a call and have an initial chat. During this first conversation, you can ask as many questions as you need to, to get a feel for the clinic. We suggest you have our clinic checklist next to you whilst you are on the call so that you can make sure you are asking key questions to help you eventually make a decision. You want to ensure that the clinic is trusted and authorised, that they speak your language and that they provide proper aftercare once you return home.
Step 2. When you have made a decision on a clinic
When you have decided to go ahead with a clinic, the clinic will send you an email with information about the clinic. You will also be sent a form to fill out with questions about your medical history, including questions about any tests you have already had.
This medical information will help your doctor get a better understanding of where you are at before you have your consultation with him/her.
A Skype consultation will be arranged for you and a consultant, and you will be assigned an International Coordinator who will be with you throughout your IVF journey. The aim of the consultation is to discuss your medical history and organise relevant fertility tests that are needed to start the process.
Tests can be carried out in your own country, at a clinic that works with your chosen clinic abroad, to reduce the time you need to spend abroad. Your coordinator will work with your GP or health professional to ensure medical details are shared and that your appointments for initial tests are organised.
There are many fertility tests (learn more about the tests needed before an IVF journey here) but your clinic will want to see the results of at least 3 tests before any treatment is planned:
- AMH blood test
- Full gyneocologic scan
- Semen analyses
Step 3. Your first in person visit to the clinic
If you choose to have your initial tests abroad, your visit will last about four hours. This includes diagnosis, ultrasound and blood tests and semen analyses and a consultation with your doctor. Test results are usually back between 1-2 days, so during this visit you will receive your personalised treatment plan, medical prescriptions and drugs.
If you have had your blood tests and ultrasounds in the UK, you still do not need to visit the clinic abroad at this point. If the test results are OK, meaning no complications, you will receive your personalised treatment plan via email and start your stimulation with the guidance of your clinic.
Medication and stimulation
If you have visited the clinic abroad for an initial consultation and diagnostics but are not staying abroad for the duration, you can take your medication back home with you. You will be given a justification letter for the airport security. However, should you decide, you can buy your medication at a pharmacy in your home country.
Once you get back home, you begin your course of fertility drugs. Throughout this period, you can talk to your lovely patient coordinator over the phone about any concerns you may have, you really aren’t just left alone.
Your patient coordinator will have put together your schedule of medication usage and dosage, along with scan appointments in advance. Scans that monitor the development of your follicles will be carried out at a clinic in the UK if you decide you want to stay in the UK for them.
When you have completed your course of medication, your patient coordinator will tell you when to jump back on a plane to head back to the clinic for egg retrieval and transfer.
Ten days after the transfer, your doctor can do a pregnancy test
If the test is negative your clinic will check to see if there are any remaining frozen embryos for a frozen embryo transfer cycle. If not, and you have a wonderful positive pregnancy result, your doctor will advise you on the next steps.
Watch the video below between IVF babble Co Founder Sara, and Zuhal Tascioglu, UK Director of IVF Turkey to learn about the process in more detail: