Supporting IVF Couples – The Options Available

Following on from my recent IVF Lottery post, I wanted to thank everyone for their incredible response. It was shared across the internet reaching the likes of specialist IVF groups like Fertility Network UK and as the blog of the day on Mumsnet.

It’s been nice to share my experiences and be honest about what I’ve done, how I felt and some of the knowledge I picked up along the way. There were a lot of personal questions emailed through. Some about me and Mrs P, and some about the process.

For those that emailed personal questions I hope I answered all of your questions. For those around the processes and treatment opportunities I didn’t feel qualified to be able to help and give educated advice. The good news is that when I was researching the previous post, I came across someone with a great name; Dorothy from EggDonationFriends.

There are three people that I know called Dorothy and she’s one of them. A really unique name and we’re lucky to have picked it. Dorothy is one of the key contacts for anyone looking at the possibilities of findings clinic with egg donation capabilities both here in the UK and those abroad too.

Hopefully this interview with Dorothy can help those that need the additional advice, support or guidance.

Hi Dorothy, thanks so much for answering a few questions, if one person reading this get the information needed that can give them the child they’ve dreamed about, it’s all worth it, right?

Yes, indeed. EggDonationFriends Team has gathered a wealth of knowledge about infertility treatments over the years and we believe it shouldn’t go to waste. Even if we are able to help one couple to find the best IVF clinic for their needs and they become happy parents, we feel we have achieved our goal. We want to be a part of movement to bring change in how IVF clinics think, operate and in their patient approach – we think it is crucial.

Thanks for your input on my first post, what do you make of the NHS IVF Lottery?

The NHS recommendations as for the IVF are not binding and it is only up to local NHS providers to decide what to offer which we think is unfair. According to the NHS around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving – this is approximately 3.5 million people in the UK, which is a staggering number. The NHS should provide access to IVF for all men and women who meet the criteria. These people are desperate to start IVF treatment as soon as possible; many of them are ready to use private clinic services to realize their dream. Over the past years we have observed a growing number of fertility patients who are willing to travel to get treatment at a clinic which offers transparent conditions and professionalism.

We were so fortunate to have ‘Won the lottery’ so to speak. But there are those that have messaged me about failed attempts and families who already have a child. What are the other options besides just through the NHS?

There are always private clinics in the UK but we’ve found that they can be out of some families’ budgets so they look at more affordable experienced clinics in Europe and in search of anonymous egg donor.
More and more British couples are travelling abroad for IVF treatment. Medical tourism is not a new phenomenon as the demand is there which the BBC covered in this great IVF success story.

Having been through the process, looking back there were so many options and we were lucky to have our own eggs. What advice would you give to help clear up some of the jargon around fresh/frozen and 3/5 day transfers.

Here’s a great webinar video around the difference between fresh and frozen, not too long and hopefully gives you more of an insight.

PreGen a fertility clinic in Spain that conducts over 1,650 cycles a year, supported us with a webinar earlier this month. While offering treatments up to 50 years old, they’re reporting a 67% success rate so who better to help with guidance. Catch it again here with a full run down of terms and definitions: https://www.eggdonationfriends.com/day-3-day-5-embryo-transfer-whats-better-whats-difference/.

One of the most personal questions was around ages. One couple had been unsuccessful and has been told that because the wife is mid 40s using donor eggs will enhance their chances. Is this true?

I’m probably not the best person to ask but I have some great advice from Dr. Uliana Dorofeyeva from Intersono who ran one of our webinars last month. At their IVF clinic in Ukraine they do not recommend stimulation with own eggs over 45. It is best to do the treatment with donor eggs to boost the chances of a healthy full term pregnancy. Here’s the Webinar.

We were so lucky to have a first time cycle work but I’ve had a few lovely messages from those that have gone through multiple cycles and have failed. Are there reasons why or things to do to improve chances if it doesn’t work?

Dr. Uliana Dorofeyeva advises you should continue your treatment however your fertility doctor needs to make sure that you are thoroughly screened. That should include the medical investigation of your endometrium, your immune system and also screening of the embryos. We know that embryo quality plays a crucial role here. If you have any hereditary conditions it may be worthwhile having screening prior to treatment. It could save you a lot of time in the long run.

So if after screening it turns out there is an issue with Egg quality, will it be a lengthy process and will it mean years of waiting for prospective parents?

If they were to look outside of the UK for donor eggs the waiting is usually not long. The fertility doctors from Assisting Nature said the waiting list in Greece is very short with access to a new donor in two months or from a cryobank with a large number of vitrified oocytes (fancy words for frozen eggs).

Thank you for offering up some solutions to those facing various fertility issues. It’s a much bigger challenge as you’ve pointed out with it affecting 1 in 7 but I hope we can offer support or positivity to just one couple and make a difference. Reading about what you’re doing at EggDonationFriends.com, I can imagine you’re spreading positivity and providing options for families all over the world.

Being an English site, the patients we help come not only from the UK, Ireland, the USA or Australia. We do get a lot of enquiries from Germany, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, South Africa, Italy, France or Spain. Infertility knows no boundaries. If you are new to our platform, check our NEWS section where we publish news about upcoming webinars, interviews with doctors/clinics, reports, etc. and our Best IVF Clinics Rankings which can be downloaded for free – they help you compare the clinics and make an informed decision. If you want to find reliable IVF egg donation clinics on EggDonationFriends.com, you should also read our article about egg donation success rates and the ways in which clinics present their IVF statistics. It’s a must read before you start your treatment.

If you want to tell us your story, ask a question or simply say ‘hi’, drop us a line on Facebook, Instagram or through the online contact form.

For any couples visiting your support platform for the first time, what would you recommend for them to do first as it’s pretty overwhelming all the articles, webinars and directories?

I would suggest starting off with our Clinic Matching Test (Help me find a clinic) – it is a free tool for patients. Let us do the work for you – you simply specify your budget and treatment needs and we send you a list of 3 IVF clinics that match your needs and budget. Please note that these clinics are not chosen randomly but matched to your requirements specified in the form. The three selected clinics can also contact you directly so you don’t have to waste time or money on e-mails or international calls. Remember that our services are and will be free.

Dorothy, thank you so much for your guidance to key sources and support. We were so lucky to have been successful and I understand how fortunate we were. There are so many couples that are disappointed daily, some give up and a lot carry on, hoping, clutching onto a dream. If their support network is as open and helpful as you’ve been, I’m sure they’ll be very comforted and re-assured.

Thank you.

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