When you start exploring the possibility of IVF treatment abroad, you’ll probably find yourself wondering what the experience will be like. If you’ve already had treatment at home the procedure itself will be familiar but the whole experience is likely to be quite different. Here’s our guide to show you what an IVF journey abroad may look like.
Choosing your clinic
After treatment at home, when your options are limited by your location and your GP’s referral process, looking at clinics abroad can be overwhelming. We’ve spoken to people who’ve considered having treatment in Spain and the Czech Republic, to countries as far afield as South Africa!
Whilst you should consider how far you’re willing to travel, it’s also important to look at results. This site allows you to search for clinics and provides information including success rates for each one. You can learn more about what the IVF statistics mean here. You should also ask questions regarding the treatment itself and what is included in the price. Often, asking questions will also give you a feel for the level of service that a clinic offers and whether you’ll be well looked after.
Communicating with the clinic
Each clinic will have their own preferred means of communication. Using email can help overcome any time difference. Before you have treatment you’ll need to have various tests which your clinic will be able to guide you through. Some will be able to carry out tests for you, or you may need to have these done at home, either privately or via your GP.
Crucially, you’ll need information from your clinic to arrange treatment windows. Timing the treatment well can give you the best chance of success so close communication is essential.
Preparing for your IVF journey abroad
In many ways, preparing for your IVF journey abroad is a lot like organising a holiday. You’ll need to book your flights and somewhere to stay. The only difference is that you may need to travel at short notice. There’s also the possibility that your dates may change depending on your test results. It’s worth looking for flights and accommodation that allow you to change or cancel your booking at short notice without incurring a penalty. Some clinics have a relationship with local hotels that could allow you to book at a preferential rate, or change your booking easily if necessary.
If you need to book time off work you’ll need to consider how much information you want to give your employer. Can you arrange leave easily and vary it if your plans change?
Having your treatment
If you’ve had good communication with your clinic the treatment itself shouldn’t bring too many surprises. A good clinic will often have patient co-ordinators to help you have straightforward treatment, but also to make sure you enjoy the rest of your time away.
Whilst it may be daunting travelling abroad for treatment, your IVF journey doesn’t just have to be a medical one. You could spend a few days before or after your treatment treating yourself to a holiday and enjoying the sights. Choosing a country you’d like to visit could even help you to decide on a clinic.
Back at home
Once you’re back at home, the waiting begins. You’ll need to wait for the full two weeks after treatment to ensure that you don’t get a false positive. Hopefully you’ll have some happy memories of your trip to distract you while you wait. It’s a good time to relax and reflect on your IVF journey so far and to look after yourself while you wait for your result.
Did your IVF journey sound like this?