Jackpot IVF – Joanna & Alan’s Spanish treatment story

Meet Joanna and Alan Who Are Receiving IVF Treatment At Spanish Fertility Clinic UR Vistahermosa

Last decade or so we have witnessed a number of unusual and unexpected events that had global impact like eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 which paralysed the entire globe, same with Covid-19 and the recent events of an unexpected brutal attack on Ukraine.

Joanna and Alan during that time faced a very personal unpredicted life situation. It did not have an impact on the entire world but for them had an impact on their personal situation.

POI…Premature Ovarian Insufficiency and menopause at what age?

Getting to know at age of 25 that you are getting close to menopause and actually going through menopause at 33…what are the odds of this happening???

10 years passed with 3 IVF cycles with own eggs, 2 miscarriages at 6 weeks, NK cells elevated level confirmation, hard decision to proceed with Egg Donor program…treatmen in Spain…That’s the last couple of years in essence. Let’s go a bit more into details.

Treatment on NHS… and horror stories in the background

Joanna was diagnosed with POI and qualified for treatment on the NHS. After the first IVF, at 6 weeks she started to bleed and immediately called the hospital. Could you guess what she heard from the receptionist? I think most of us do not have such vivid imagination…”Go home and put your legs up”…here you are with first pregnancy and you know that you are just possibly having miscarriage and you get such “caring” advice.

Joanna filed a complaint and a week after the dreadful event she received a call with apology and offer of counselling…a week too late. No after care at all! “Just horrible” Alan added. He also described the way he was treated…asked to come back to the clinic on a certain day and when the receptionist arrived asked him for “pass”. When he said that he did not get one, he was given a container and pointed out where the toilet was…the conversation was in front of 3 other unknown women. No comments here needed.

Joanna is a fighter and decided that she wants the treatment right away.

“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself”

Those words of wisdom and how to apply to treatment? Do the homework for doctors and that is what Joanna did – research on her own. Hospital proceeded the very same path: same tests, same procedure – no will to investigate, no interest. She got to know about Natural Killer cells and sent samples for testing to the USA. Turns out that she has an elevated level of NK cells. Response in the Liverpool hospital was that they will give her steroids because they do not know how to approach it.

Medical team followed the procedure but let’s look at the bigger picture. This is all about money – costs… would pausing for a while and do additional scans, tests, investigation could help? Is going blindly with the next treatment better? If yes, for whom is it better?

NHS UK – is ultrasound a luxury?

There are number of stories about IVF with NHS…only after 2 failed IVF, the tubes were checked (if they are open), the semen analysis was suggested (which is extra payed), actual embryo transfer was done blindly (!!!)….Only patients who are paying for treatment have privilege of embryo transfer monitored with ultrasound !!! We are talking about treatment recently performed…in the UK not in an undeveloped country.

Joanna fought for her third transfer to be done with ultrasound. What was happening during the actual procedure is another shocking story…Person doing the transfer wanted a couple of times to place the embryo randomly – could not see on ultrasound that the catherecter is not in the right position. Doctor (the only one in the entire Liverpool hospital) was telling her that she is “not yet in”…

Joanna and Alan said that it looks like they are not bothered at all about pregnancy rate. They have it on the list of treatments and they do it the very same way as any other procedure – you are in and out…

Enough is enough. CHANGE.

The couple were about to select one of the clinics from the private sector in the UK when UR Vistahermosa came into play.

Alan admits that he was sceptical about going for the treatment abroad but “it was FANTASTIC” – simply described. The clinic was fresh, clean and the surroundings made them welcome. The fear of the unknown, the stress and anxiety disappeared once they went there for initial consultation. They met Maria and Marta (coordinators) and all that negative thoughts disappeared. They were informed about each step, everything was explained and all seemed to be right from the very beginning.

Joanna and Alan were optimistic and reassured by the staff of UR Vistahermosa clinic that it all looks good and they see that it’s gonna work…but it didn’t.


Everything was done for them to succeed (including intralipid infusion for NK cells) but no positive pregnancy test. Marta, coordinator, after negative pregnancy tests said she will give them some time to process it and she will get back. Two weeks later in a phone conversation clinic offered another round of treatment with a different, younger donor who has proven fertility.

Probiotics were added to the medication list for Joanna and the couple flew to Spain again.

“Two weeks wait” status

The term is putting people on stress when they are even a long time ago completed the process.

At the end of February Joanna and Alan went back to UR VistaHermosa. This time 7 mature eggs from the donor were obtained and microinjected. The following day embryologist confirmed that 4 embryos had fertilized correctly and were left to develop until the blastocyst stage.

5 days later, two very good quality blastocysts were transferred.

We are waiting now for the pregnancy tests results…sending all the love and power to the little embryo.

Fingers crossed!

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    Picture of Elisabeth Telega
    Elisabeth Telega
    Elisabeth Telega is an experienced International Patient Manager. For the last 4 years she has been supporting patients struggling with fertility issues by helping them find the most appropriate fertility providers. Working on the www.FertiAlly.com project Elisabeth shared expert interviews covering various aspects of fertility. Hot topics include: embryo transfer, IVF stimulation protocols, factors affecting female and male fertility and the emotional impact of fertility treatments. Elisabeth graduated from the University of Silesia with a master’s degree in Italian Linguistics. She has been working in customer care for more than 20 years with the “make the world a better place” motto in mind.

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