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  1. #1
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    Default IVF Spain - Egg donor cycle - my review :)

    This post is for others who are searching the internet for any information, something that will help give you the strength to make a decision that will change your IVF journey and your life completely. God knows I looked high and low for anything and I found other ladies who had been to the clinics I was looking at and they kindly talked to me about their experience too.

    I will post this in all the IVF forums I’ve lived in over the last several years and I’ve been a silent observer for the most part of it. In the beginning I used to chat quite freely and often but over time it was always me staying on after others had got their babies or decided to move on from IVF, I hung around, hung on and soon enough I’m certain people would feel sorry for me and I hated that. People would ask me why I kept going on when we had so many failures and it would hurt my feelings, so I ended up just being a silent observer in forums for a number of years.

    It’s currently 2018 and my husband and I began our IVF journey in 2011, we went through 18 transfers all up over a period of 6 and a half years, it was the 18th (lucky!) transfer that we finally got pregnant and it was first transfer with IVF Spain.

    I’ll try and detail this as much as possible (in a brief way!) so you can consider our experience but before I share the experience, I would like to say – our baby boy has just turned 4 months old and I still look at him and marvel how he is here, we took a leap of faith, a chance in something different and it worked, it worked for us where nothing else did and no one could tell us why. I think I will always be looking at him in awe thinking we are so lucky he’s here and how lucky we were to find IVF Spain and how they finally gave us the family we had been working on for so long, from start to finish, it took 7 years to finally meet our baby.

    It began when I was searching the internet for donor egg information, we just had our last transfer (17th!) using our own material and it failed again. After it failed I called the science lab from the clinic like I usually did and the embryologist said to me “have you considered donor egg as something has got to be wrong here”. Initially I was upset at his directness and lack of consideration after everything we had gone through, after how much money we had spent with them…. But that feeling lasted all of five minutes as he was right, something was wrong… it was insane to continuously do the same thing and expect a different outcome, so I started to look into it.

    Granted – most couples don’t wait 6 and a bit years and 17 transfers later before they consider things out of the box. We HAD and DID consider lots of things before this! I even looked into surrogacy but it’s illegal in most Australian states to engage in a commercial surrogacy agreement with anyone overseas so that put a halt on that idea (we considered moving states as well!), I was grasping at straws and thinking of anything but up to this point hadn’t really given using a donor egg too much thought because I wanted it to be ‘mine’ and ‘ours’.

    We didn’t know why our IVF wasn’t working as time and time again I was told my uterus was lush and looked perfect for transfer.

    I reviewed quite a few clinics online, I literally hunted for info on all of them and all clinics had their good and bad stories, even IVF Spain. But, the difference with IVF Spain compared to the others – the complaints about them were more on a communication level than anything else at all. Plus, overall; they had the best client reviews. I knew dealing with an overseas clinic there would be a communication breakdown, but we were at breaking point and thought this would be our last attempt at having a family and our last IVF cycle.

    We initiated the contact, they responded with a friendly email and we made an appointment with one of their doctors where we could talk via Skype. It cost us $240 AUD. During our chat with Dr Alverez, we asked lots of questions and documented her responses. My husband and I gave what we would ask great consideration before the call and had all our questions written down before the call so we were ready and lots of questions were generated from her responses.

    After chatting with the doctor and being happy with our communication with her and her level of knowledge …. As by this time; we were veteran IVF’ers!! We had been around the block a few times so she had a tough audience (so to speak!) but she was very good at reassuring us they knew what they were doing.

    We decided to go with their package that include PGS using donor egg. We were extremely nervous about dealing with an overseas clinic, worried about the amount of money it was going to cost and most importantly – the outcome.

    My husband went to Spain before me to provide his sample, he had to go there before the egg pick up was completed with the donor; once the egg pick up was complete, they did PGS and we had 5 good blastocysts. After all the failures we’d had, I kept thinking something was going to go wrong and I was worried about transfer.

    I went to Spain by myself as my husband and I decided to reduce costs, we’d do it this way. We have pets and both have/had high demanding jobs so it was difficult for the both of us to take the same time off work. I stayed in Madrid, flew in on a Tuesday, gave myself the Wednesday and Thursday to recover from the long haul flight from Sydney, transfer was on the Friday and I flew home on the Saturday.

    I stayed in Madrid as I felt there would be things for me to do there that were relaxing, I went to the museum and did a relaxing trip to Toledo. The day before transfer I was awake at around 3am and cried for several hours, I was so worried about what I was about to do, worried it would fail, wondering how my husband and I found ourselves feeling so desperate and in despair…. I’ll admit, it was really hard being there by myself but I had no choice but to pull through and pick myself up. It was a really tough day for me and I stayed in bed for most of it. The following morning (transfer day), I took a renfe train from Madrid to Alicante, I arrived mid-morning and waited at the clinic for the day till transfer in the afternoon. They were so lovely, so reassuring…. They let me FaceTime my husband during transfer and I can honestly say – it was unlike any other transfer I’ve ever had! After transfer I stayed still in a flat position for about 30 minutes, I got my prescription for my two week wait, there’s a chemist nearby so they filled it. Then I took the renfe train back to Madrid to arrive back in the evening.

    We transferred one blastocyst and our one little blastocyst is now our four month old son. Somehow everything we’ve been through seems so meaningful as everything we have done and endured led us up to this. We now have our son. We have four more blastocysts waiting for us, we will probably go back for another transfer next year or the year after but for now, we are enjoying the time we have and I literally stare at him and cry with happiness as I can’t believe he’s here. Not to mention, after almost 7 years of pounding my body with IVF medication, I’m enjoying having it back. No more needles, steroids and constant poking and looking at my lady parts….. I feel free almost!

    Looking back on our experience, there’s a few things I’d probably change and they are:
    I’d stay in Alicante the night before and the night after transfer.

    I’d do anything to have had my husband be there for support, not just for me but for him as well. It was a very difficult time and I felt so much grief the day before, it was a really difficult time for me.

    The things I regret that I didn’t do is:

    Meet my international contact at the clinic that we’d been emailing over a period of months and who had been giving us all the information and instructions on what to do. I found it odd they didn’t want to touch base either.

    Meet Dr Alverez.

    Spend longer in Spain before transfer – I love their culture, the people and the country is just gorgeous!

    The things I found extremely difficult throughout this process:

    The communication. It was strained sometimes, and we were so concerned after receiving an email that was addressed to another couple. We wondered how personalised the communication was. I would remind myself – this would happen anywhere. Even in the two clinics I dealt with in Australia – they were amazing most of time (just like IVF Spain) and there was even a time where one very prominent popular well-respected clinic here lost our paperwork so they had no idea what was going on! But, having said these things -the communication should be improved as it doesn’t take much effort or time to provide peace of mind, I’d say most international patients of theirs have been through extremely tough times before engaging with them and they should really take the extra time out to provide a more personalised communication along with reassuring their patients that there’s a timeline and the timeline will be followed so there’s nothing to worry about.

    Dealing with an international clinic is difficult as it’s not as easy as picking up the phone when you a question, things can be lost in translation and at times we would panic a tad.




    Obviously there’s a lot of in between stuff that happened apart from what I’ve mentioned here, you can 100% contact me personally if you like and I’m more than happy to answer any of your questions. After everything my husband and I have been through, if I can help just one other person/couple out there who are looking for something different or some advice or some help – I’m happy to help where I can.

    xx

    Edit to include this - we decided to do egg donor overseas as we didn't want to know who the donor was, we don't want our child having contact with their donor or vice versa and we don't want a third party to have input to our child's life. Our baby surprisingly has my characteristics and will no doubt have my traits as I'm raising him. As far as I'm concerned - he's my baby.
    Last edited by Ves; 12-10-2018 at 05:55.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ves View Post
    This post is for others who are searching the internet for any information, something that will help give you the strength to make a decision that will change your IVF journey and your life completely. God knows I looked high and low for anything and I found other ladies who had been to the clinics I was looking at and they kindly talked to me about their experience too.

    I will post this in all the IVF forums I’ve lived in over the last several years and I’ve been a silent observer for the most part of it. In the beginning I used to chat quite freely and often but over time it was always me staying on after others had got their babies or decided to move on from IVF, I hung around, hung on and soon enough I’m certain people would feel sorry for me and I hated that. People would ask me why I kept going on when we had so many failures and it would hurt my feelings, so I ended up just being a silent observer in forums for a number of years.

    It’s currently 2018 and my husband and I began our IVF journey in 2011, we went through 18 transfers all up over a period of 6 and a half years, it was the 18th (lucky!) transfer that we finally got pregnant and it was first transfer with IVF Spain.

    I’ll try and detail this as much as possible (in a brief way!) so you can consider our experience but before I share the experience, I would like to say – our baby boy has just turned 4 months old and I still look at him and marvel how he is here, we took a leap of faith, a chance in something different and it worked, it worked for us where nothing else did and no one could tell us why. I think I will always be looking at him in awe thinking we are so lucky he’s here and how lucky we were to find IVF Spain and how they finally gave us the family we had been working on for so long, from start to finish, it took 7 years to finally meet our baby.

    It began when I was searching the internet for donor egg information, we just had our last transfer (17th!) using our own material and it failed again. After it failed I called the science lab from the clinic like I usually did and the embryologist said to me “have you considered donor egg as something has got to be wrong here”. Initially I was upset at his directness and lack of consideration after everything we had gone through, after how much money we had spent with them…. But that feeling lasted all of five minutes as he was right, something was wrong… it was insane to continuously do the same thing and expect a different outcome, so I started to look into it.

    Granted – most couples don’t wait 6 and a bit years and 17 transfers later before they consider things out of the box. We HAD and DID consider lots of things before this! I even looked into surrogacy but it’s illegal in most Australian states to engage in a commercial surrogacy agreement with anyone overseas so that put a halt on that idea (we considered moving states as well!), I was grasping at straws and thinking of anything but up to this point hadn’t really given using a donor egg too much thought because I wanted it to be ‘mine’ and ‘ours’.

    We didn’t know why our IVF wasn’t working as time and time again I was told my uterus was lush and looked perfect for transfer.

    I reviewed quite a few clinics online, I literally hunted for info on all of them and all clinics had their good and bad stories, even IVF Spain. But, the difference with IVF Spain compared to the others – the complaints about them were more on a communication level than anything else at all. Plus, overall; they had the best client reviews. I knew dealing with an overseas clinic there would be a communication breakdown, but we were at breaking point and thought this would be our last attempt at having a family and our last IVF cycle.

    We initiated the contact, they responded with a friendly email and we made an appointment with one of their doctors where we could talk via Skype. It cost us $240 AUD. During our chat with Dr Alverez, we asked lots of questions and documented her responses. My husband and I gave what we would ask great consideration before the call and had all our questions written down before the call so we were ready and lots of questions were generated from her responses.

    After chatting with the doctor and being happy with our communication with her and her level of knowledge …. As by this time; we were veteran IVF’ers!! We had been around the block a few times so she had a tough audience (so to speak!) but she was very good at reassuring us they knew what they were doing.

    We decided to go with their package that include PGS using donor egg. We were extremely nervous about dealing with an overseas clinic, worried about the amount of money it was going to cost and most importantly – the outcome.

    My husband went to Spain before me to provide his sample, he had to go there before the egg pick up was completed with the donor; once the egg pick up was complete, they did PGS and we had 5 good blastocysts. After all the failures we’d had, I kept thinking something was going to go wrong and I was worried about transfer.

    I went to Spain by myself as my husband and I decided to reduce costs, we’d do it this way. We have pets and both have/had high demanding jobs so it was difficult for the both of us to take the same time off work. I stayed in Madrid, flew in on a Tuesday, gave myself the Wednesday and Thursday to recover from the long haul flight from Sydney, transfer was on the Friday and I flew home on the Saturday.

    I stayed in Madrid as I felt there would be things for me to do there that were relaxing, I went to the museum and did a relaxing trip to Toledo. The day before transfer I was awake at around 3am and cried for several hours, I was so worried about what I was about to do, worried it would fail, wondering how my husband and I found ourselves feeling so desperate and in despair…. I’ll admit, it was really hard being there by myself but I had no choice but to pull through and pick myself up. It was a really tough day for me and I stayed in bed for most of it. The following morning (transfer day), I took a renfe train from Madrid to Alicante, I arrived mid-morning and waited at the clinic for the day till transfer in the afternoon. They were so lovely, so reassuring…. They let me FaceTime my husband during transfer and I can honestly say – it was unlike any other transfer I’ve ever had! After transfer I stayed still in a flat position for about 30 minutes, I got my prescription for my two week wait, there’s a chemist nearby so they filled it. Then I took the renfe train back to Madrid to arrive back in the evening.

    We transferred one blastocyst and our one little blastocyst is now our four month old son. Somehow everything we’ve been through seems so meaningful as everything we have done and endured led us up to this. We now have our son. We have four more blastocysts waiting for us, we will probably go back for another transfer next year or the year after but for now, we are enjoying the time we have and I literally stare at him and cry with happiness as I can’t believe he’s here. Not to mention, after almost 7 years of pounding my body with IVF medication, I’m enjoying having it back. No more needles, steroids and constant poking and looking at my lady parts….. I feel free almost!

    Looking back on our experience, there’s a few things I’d probably change and they are:
    I’d stay in Alicante the night before and the night after transfer.

    I’d do anything to have had my husband be there for support, not just for me but for him as well. It was a very difficult time and I felt so much grief the day before, it was a really difficult time for me.

    The things I regret that I didn’t do is:

    Meet my international contact at the clinic that we’d been emailing over a period of months and who had been giving us all the information and instructions on what to do. I found it odd they didn’t want to touch base either.

    Meet Dr Alverez.

    Spend longer in Spain before transfer – I love their culture, the people and the country is just gorgeous!

    The things I found extremely difficult throughout this process:

    The communication. It was strained sometimes, and we were so concerned after receiving an email that was addressed to another couple. We wondered how personalised the communication was. I would remind myself – this would happen anywhere. Even in the two clinics I dealt with in Australia – they were amazing most of time (just like IVF Spain) and there was even a time where one very prominent popular well-respected clinic here lost our paperwork so they had no idea what was going on! But, having said these things -the communication should be improved as it doesn’t take much effort or time to provide peace of mind, I’d say most international patients of theirs have been through extremely tough times before engaging with them and they should really take the extra time out to provide a more personalised communication along with reassuring their patients that there’s a timeline and the timeline will be followed so there’s nothing to worry about.

    Dealing with an international clinic is difficult as it’s not as easy as picking up the phone when you a question, things can be lost in translation and at times we would panic a tad.




    Obviously there’s a lot of in between stuff that happened apart from what I’ve mentioned here, you can 100% contact me personally if you like and I’m more than happy to answer any of your questions. After everything my husband and I have been through, if I can help just one other person/couple out there who are looking for something different or some advice or some help – I’m happy to help where I can.

    xx

    Edit to include this - we decided to do egg donor overseas as we didn't want to know who the donor was, we don't want our child having contact with their donor or vice versa and we don't want a third party to have input to our child's life. Our baby surprisingly has my characteristics and will no doubt have my traits as I'm raising him. As far as I'm concerned - he's my baby.
    Hi @Ves

    Thank you so much for this post, and congratulations on your beautiful baby.

    My husband and I are about to transfer our last PGD normal embryo (it will be my 8th transfer) and if this one doesn't take, we've decided to go to Spain or Greece for a donor egg cycle. I was initially looking at Embryoland in Greece based on all the positive reviews on bubhub but IVF Spain seems to have much better success rates.

    Can I please ask you a few questions? How long did it take you from first contact with the clinic until your transfer? Also, what did the cycle and FET cost? We will also do PGD as I've had 4 early miscarriages and want to avoid another at all costs. Also, did Dr Alvarez look after you the whole time or did you have to see/speak to whoever was available?

    Thanks again for all the info.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unicorn78 View Post
    Hi @Ves

    Thank you so much for this post, and congratulations on your beautiful baby.

    My husband and I are about to transfer our last PGD normal embryo (it will be my 8th transfer) and if this one doesn't take, we've decided to go to Spain or Greece for a donor egg cycle. I was initially looking at Embryoland in Greece based on all the positive reviews on bubhub but IVF Spain seems to have much better success rates.

    Can I please ask you a few questions? How long did it take you from first contact with the clinic until your transfer? Also, what did the cycle and FET cost? We will also do PGD as I've had 4 early miscarriages and want to avoid another at all costs. Also, did Dr Alvarez look after you the whole time or did you have to see/speak to whoever was available?

    Thanks again for all the info.

    @Unicorn78

    Good luck for your next transfer, I have everything crossed for you.

    I'll do my best to answer any questions.

    It took us five months from initial contact to transfer, that involved doing a mock cycle as well so they can monitor how your lining reacts to the medication.

    We selected to do their egg donation exclusive plus + PGS package, that cost 13,700 euro, we engaged with a few other items as well, such as embryoscope - which was amazing (I think that was 400 euro) as we have photos of our son's first cell division.... it's so wonderful to have, I still get emotional just thinking about it and will probably watch it again after posting this to you!! ) The expected pregnancy rate with this package was 75% - 90%.

    We spoke to Dr Alverez with our Skype meeting, she looked after my husband when he went there to provide his sample before the egg pick up but she didn't do the transfer. Another doctor (Dr Szlarb) did the transfer, I was a bit anxious about this but she was wonderful and reassuring, the entire team during the transfer was fabulous. I'll be quite honest and say - before getting into the area to do the transfer, I was so worried they had forgotten me but I shouldn't have been as once I was through that room, they took very good care of me and they were lovely.

    In terms of contact with the clinic prior to attending there - most (95%!) of our contact is with an international contact person, at times it was frustrating as there is absolutely a communication barrier due to the language difference and no doubt dealing with my husband and I may have been frustrating as we deem ourselves quite aware of the process and generally know what to expect and what we
    should
    expect. The person who was our contact was quite patient with us and probably knew by the time we had reached them, we were a bit nervous and would respond typically within a day. There were a few times I had questions I didn't want to wait an entire weekend to receive a response so I'd just call and one of their international contact specialist helped me.


    You mentioned you'd be doing PGD, it would be completely different to PGS though as PGD is diagnostics and PGS is screening..... I'm sure IVF Spain would chat with you a bit more about that but as you'll be using a donor egg, you might not have to. I thought we'd be doing the same thing and they told we didn't have to. When they did pick up. they retrieved 9 eggs, they did PGS on 8 of those 9 as one didn't start cell dividing and out of the 8 blastocysts, 5 were perfect.

    They are lovely to deal with, I found Alicante to be gorgeous and wished I had planned to stay there for the night before transfer and the night of but next time when we go back for another, we'll be staying in Alicante.

    I looked at Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Israel and the US. I had been researching for a few years but kept doing another cycle thinking "the next one has to work" but it took the embryologist to say that to me to knock some sense into me. It was either do a donor cycle or give up completely. All clinics have pros and cons but some clinics have more cons than pros! The advice I can give you on this front is - contact people who have actually used the clinics, successful cycles and unsuccessful cycles. Some people will complain because a clinic they used did something wrong by them and when they fill you in, you will (at times) gasp at the sheer audacity of the clinic and feel very bad for them. Other people will complain no matter how good they have it.

    IVF Spain was the one I found that had excellent results, there was still complaints about them but no different to mine in my review. It was only on a communication level but everything else was seriously top notch. Being around the block a few times with IVF, I was on the look out at every step for failings as I was so paranoid dealing with an overseas clinic but being an experienced IVF'er yourself, you'll probably do the same I wish I relaxed a bit more during the lead up to transfer but it was pretty difficult.

    Good luck and please let me know if you have any more questions and I'm happy to help After everything we've been through, I feel so amazingly blessed to be able to share this information and I hope it helps. xx.

    Edit to add this info: I looked into donor egg for a long time but wasn't prepared to give up my own input so every time it come to crunch time, I'd put it off. But, it didn't stop me from talking to other people who had used all the clinics I'd looked into. We have only told my husbands parents we used a donor egg as I worried how my family would treat the situation, it's funny - they tell me all the time how much he looks like me, my close friends tell me how much he looks like me too! I'm on maternity leave and get to spend my days with him and I'm starting to see his little personality come out, he's going to be like me, as he already has some of my characteristics - the way I laugh, how I hold my hands together.... it's amusing but wonderful. People worry about bonding with their baby after using donor egg but I've had no problems on that front, he grew in my body, we bonded before he was even here!

    Really wishing you lots of luck... and sorry for too much info!!!

    Last edited by Ves; 15-10-2018 at 22:17. Reason: add info

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  6. #4
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    @Ves Thank you so much for taking the time to provide all that information. I did mean PGS, not PGD sorry. That package sounds good. It must be lovely to have a record of your precious son's first cell division too! I've sent off an email to IVF Spain so fingers crossed they get back to me soon so I can working on my fall back plan Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unicorn78 View Post
    Thank you so much for taking the time to provide all that information. I did mean PGS, not PGD sorry. That package sounds good. It must be lovely to have a record of your precious son's first cell division too! I've sent off an email to IVF Spain so fingers crossed they get back to me soon so I can working on my fall back plan Thanks again!

    You're very welcome.

    The embryoscope time lapse is awesome! I can't believe we have it.

    I wish you the very best of luck with your transfer. I'm happy to help with any other info/questions about our experience in our journey if it'll help you with your IVF journey.
    Last edited by Ves; 18-10-2018 at 07:29. Reason: add info

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    Thank you for this post! Spain might be a better option for us than Greece for a few reasons and it's so nice to read someone's experience

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    Really appreciate you providing this review. It is great to hear your success! It gives me hope. Do you know if they have an age limit?

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    Hi @Ves,

    Congrats on your little one and thanks for sharing information on your journey. You are one strong lady! We are on cycle 6 and still trying to have faith and keep hope alive. We are at the stage where we still don't know if it's embryo quality or my body rejecting embryo implantation. We have had 2 chemical pregnancies and 3 BFN results. We've now done PGS testing here and the embryos were all normal but unfortunately, they didn't stick. How did you make the decision to go overseas and know to go down the donor path? Any insights you feel comfortable sharing would be great, I appreciate it.

    Also, how come you flew home the day after transfer? I didn't realise you could fly so soon after? Did the clinic advise this was okay?

    Thank you so much

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    Hi ladies, I just got a BFN from my last little PGS tested embryo so now am pursuing donor eggs.

    I am tossing up Spain or Greece but leaning towards IVF Spain. I'm planning on sending my info off tonight and arranging a skype consult ASAP. I'd like to be doing a cycle by February next year so need to get the ball rolling!

    Is anyone interested in chatting as we go through this process?

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    Hi @Unicorn78

    Sorry about the BFN xx

    I also just got a BFN today on my last own egg cycle and am getting the ball rolling on donor egg (well double donor for me as I’ll use a sperm donor too).

    Would love to cycle in Feb or March if I can.

    I’m still deciding on country. The US is leading for me at the moment, as I can get an ID release sperm donor, but not much of a thread for that one!

    Anyway best of luck and happy to chat - we might be looking at different clinics but I guess a lot of the journey is similar no matter where you go!

    R


 

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