We are delighted to be welcoming back IVF Spain as one of our Fertility Journeys partners for 2015. The Alicante-based clinic is well into the swing of things now with its chosen couple, Anita and Simon, who are embarking on an egg donation programme. Here’s what’s been happening over the last two months.
Anita and Simon write…
We both greatly enjoyed our first visit to IVF Spain in Alicante and were looking forward to starting the treatment as soon as possible. From the start, we have known we’re in very good hands and would be supported to the end.
We received a huge amount of information regarding the next steps, together with an assurance of help and support with two-and-a-half months of planning and pre-treatment medication before our next visit. Our spirits had been high and we could not wait to get to the transfer cycle.
Everything started very well, as planned, with constant support from the clinic by email and phone. We knew we’d be able to cope with the demands, and were using clinics in the UK for medical tests, ultrasound and biopsy procedures. We could not believe that the IVF treatment could be so easy and stress-free and could not wait for our last cycle and the trip back to Alicante.
So it was soon time to plan the last stage – the trip to Alicante. We had waited for this for so long and could not wait to get there. We booked the flights and found a lovely, peaceful hotel close to the Alicante clinic, a place where we both could rest after a busy day, preserving as much energy as possible.
But almost like dreams come true and they feel so close for us to achieve, so life can often throw in setbacks and disappointments, and unfortunately this disappointment arrived just a few days before we were due to head back to Spain.
One of the drugs to be taken in the lead-up to the treatment ended up causing me a huge amount of pain and discomfort. The side effects have been very strong, even bringing about menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, sweating, a painful abdomen and ovary, headaches, dizziness, painful arms, bone aches and sleepless nights. It hasn’t been at all pleasant and has left us both feeling extremely low. The side effects were out of my control and I could not do anything to halt them. I’ve never felt so bad and unhappy in my life! Everything had to stop until I am fully recovered from the ordeal.
So, this is a setback and, obviously, I have been left feeling very discouraged. We had to postpone our flights and the lovely hotel and still there is a question mark over when we will be able to return to Alicante to finish the treatment, because obviously I’ll need to ensure that I’m back to 100% fit. It has been five weeks and I think that within another week or so I’ll be back to normal.
There is no sign of my delayed period, which the medication halts, but I know it could stay away for up to 10 weeks. Of course, I hope I do not have to wait this long given that we intend to travel back to Spain by the end of July. I still need to do some blood tests and an ultrasound. So now it’s a time to wait and hope that we will be able to start our last cycle of treatment soon, and that it will bring happiness. Waiting is not an easy thing, but it teaches us patience and we are both trying to stay positive, retaining the hope that all will be well in the end.
We’ve received so much encouragement from the staff in the clinic following this setback, and we’re grateful for that, and of course remain optimistic, focusing on getting back to full health so we can have our first embryo transfer.
Inge Kormelink writes…
In the last issue of Fertility Road we introduced Anita and Simon. In March we welcomed them for a first visit to our IVF Spain Centre here in Alicante. Kind and loving, they were seen by Dr. Herrera, who has been a member of the medical team at IVF Spain since 2012.
Anita and Simon had been trying to conceive for many years. They had gone through several IVF cycles with very poor responses leading to negative pregnancy tests. They knew that egg donation would be their next step. At IVF Spain we are very interested in our patients’ medical backgrounds and Dr. Herrera spent two hours with our guests during their first appointment. Anita was examined and was relieved to finally learn why her previous implantations had failed. She never had evidential proof so this was a big moment. The reason was that 80% of egg donation success is based on egg quality and, unfortunately, the quality of Anita´s eggs was very low.
They also understood that 10% of success was related to immunology. At IVF Spain an immunological check-up was performed – we use a flow cytometer and receive immunology results within 5-7 days. We also perform immune therapy if we see any issues as well as examining the number of natural killer and TH1 and TH2 cells that may hinder implantation. This information is extracted not only through blood work but also by performing a biopsy of the lining of the uterus. Anita received immunology treatment right away to help with her implantation issues.
The other 10% of implantation success is due to blood clotting. At IVF Spain we test clotting using the modern test Recombine. This way we can exclude common blood disorders, for example Factor V mutations or protein CNS resistance. Treatments are then undertaken in the event of these clotting issues.
They were delighted to discover the entire preparation process for egg donation could take place in the UK and they discussed with the medical team the timings – when Anita should be in Alicante for the egg pick-up, and then fi ve days later the date of embryo transfer.
At IVF Spain we always perform a test or mock cycle where we can adjust the medication dose in order to ensure the lining of the uterus is in an optimal condition for implantation. This means that, at the time of the real cycle, Anita will have the ideal and properly adjusted dose of medication for her body while the donor undergoes, in parallel, an IVF cycle to grow the donor eggs for her treatment. This way, Anita is preparing her uterus in the UK while the donor is developing the donor eggs in Spain. At IVF Spain this process ensures the best results.
Anita and Simon, who are delighted to have been selected for the Fertility Journeys project, had been visiting several clinics when they decided to try again with IVF Spain. According to the average success rates in Spain published by the Spanish Fertility Society (SEF), IVF Spain ranks well above the Spanish average in both IVF and ICSI as part of egg donation cycles. Where the Spanish average is 38% in IVF/ICSI, IVF Spain reaches 49%, and with regard to egg donation the clinical pregnancy rate of IVF Spain is 64% compared to the national average of 54%. These figures are the result of a thoroughly chosen philosophy based on innovation, personalised patient care and a high commitment to implementing cutting edge technology, which sets IVF Spain apart from others.
Of course, there have been some challenges this month, but we hope to be able to proceed with treatment in the coming weeks, as Anita and Simon overcome these expected challenges. We are absolutely confident we will get to the embryo transfer stage, and cannot wait for this milestone.
We are confident that IVF Spain can assist you in achieving your dream of becoming a parent. Therefore, we welcome any patients from overseas who wish to explore making that step. As well as attending annual UK events such as The Fertility Show and Routes To Parenthood, we are also available for a free medical consultation 365 days a year. Simply email [email protected] to request yours today!