We’re really pleased to chat to Dr Daniela Cummins, the Medical Director from IREMA IVF Clinic in Spain.
What makes IREMA IVF clinic unique in Spain?
IREMA is a clinic with an outstanding professional staff. What makes us different is that our team offers a very supportive care towards our patients. Also important is that we study each case carefully in order to advise the best available treatment based on each patient´s circumstances.
We are proud to say that we have excellent success rates.
Many of the treatment cycles at IREMA are egg donation cycles (47%). What experience can you offer patients who want this treatment in Spain?
To tell you the truth, we’ve got really good experience with this kind of treatment. We understand that sometimes it can be very difficult to make the decision to go for an egg donation treatment, but once in the process and after a good pregnancy and normal delivery, it’s a great experience in all senses.
During the treatment our patients will be able to rely on us at all times as we are always available to answer any enquiries that may come up.
This way, patients that are following our egg donation programme (or any other of our treatments) will feel confident and secure.
Which particular breakthrough in IVF treatment has made a difference in your opinion?
The greatest breakthrough in IVF has been, without a doubt, the ICSI (intracytoplasmatic sperm injection) technique.
Instead of placing many sperm cells next to the egg on a dish and wait for spontaneous fertilisation, the embryologist directly selects a single sperm cell and injects it into an oocyte that shows correct maturing (approximately 80%, wich is a Metaphase II cell). As only few sperm cells are required, this treatment has really made a difference for patients with a low sperm count (who in the past probably were advised not to do the traditional IVF).
In the last years, many other techniques have been discovered that help couples to achieve pregnancy: Time Lapse, MACS, PICSI, or like in some special cases EMBRYOGLUE and EMBRYOGEN.
For couples with a history of genetic diseases, PGD (Preimplantational Genetic Diagnosis) is also an important breakthrough. Thanks to PGD, only the healthy embryo´s will be transferred.
How do you think couples should prepare for IVF treatment abroad?
The best way to prepare for treatment abroad is to collect all the medical information you have of previous treatments.
In the second place, contact the clinic abroad you think is right for you and ask any queries you might have.
At IREMA, we would ask you to send us all the information of previous treatments so we can start looking into your case. If we think there are still tests to be done you can have these carried out in your country or, if you wish, at our clinic during the first appointment.
Tell us when it will be possible for you to travel for your first appointment. Our international coordinators will help you book suitable accomodation and will be happy to help you out with any other arrangement you might be needing. IREMA will send a driver to the airport to pick you up and also to drive you back to the airport on your deparure date.
If it is not possible for you to travel for the first appointment to the clinic (wich we feel is highly recommended), you have the option of having this appointment via skype or phone.
After the treatment has been agreed, we will give you all the necessary instructions.
If during the treatment you might have any questions, the best thing to do is to contact your clinic. A good clinic will give you a quick answer!
Will patients get to see the same doctor throughout their treatment?
At IREMA we always do our very best in order that patients are assisted by the same doctor and the same international coordinator at all times, also when answering enquiries via phone or e-mail.
What sort of assessment do you do before accepting a patient for treatment? Is there any special assessment for women over 40?
Before advising treatment, we need to have a look at the following blood tests :
- Rubella (only female)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Hormones (only female) in some cases
During the first appointment, we will take a swab from the vagina and cervix to rule out infections such as Chlamydia, and also a sperm sample of the male (unless the desired treatment should be done with donor sperm). If the patient has had any of these tests done already, sending us the results will be enough.
When patients visit us and decide to start an egg donation treatment using the partners´sperm, we advise to freeze a sample during the first appointment. This way, we assure that the sample is available on the day we retrieve the donor´s oocytes.
If the female is over 40 years and wanting to do an Egg donation treatment, we will request a mammography.
For women over 40 years willing to do an IVF/ICSI cycle with her own oocytes, we also ask for an ECG.