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Fertility Journeys

IVF Spain Couple Darlene and Richard Share Their Pregnancy News

In the November/December issue we thought we’d take the time to introduce Darlene and Richard.



IVF Spain

In the November/December issue we thought we’d take the time to introduce Darlene and Richard, who also applied to be part of the Fertility Journeys project with IVF Spain. Although they weren’t selected for complimentary treatment like Anita and Simon, we stayed in touch and invited them to come across to see if we could help.

Well, after six years of trying to become parents, and following a journey that took them halfway around the world in search of answers, they met the medical team here at the IVF Spain fertility clinic. And today, they can tell the world that their dream of becoming parents will finally come true. We interviewed them at IVF Spain so they could share their experience and help those couples who find themselves in a similar situation.

How did you feel when the doctor at IVF Spain confirmed you were pregnant?

We found out I was pregnant on my birthday this year – nine days after the transfer. It was the only gift we wanted and our dream came true. We felt more confident with this pregnancy than the ones before because we trusted that IVF Spain had done a more rigorous job of making the best possible embryos. Between the TESA and EEVA these were two steps we think helped to get us better results. That being said, even though we were excited, we were still nervous after experiencing so many losses before.

One of the other things we thought about a lot was how fortunate we were to have decided to work with IVF Spain. Going through fertility treatment is a large undertaking. You want to feel confident that the best clinic is right by your side in helping you get there. We often smile as we still process the fact that we were successful (so far) and say our baby is “made in Spain” and we are proud to say that!

We have already started thinking of names – there may possibly be a Spanish name on our list, because of such a positive experience.

Interestingly enough, before we got confirmation that I was pregnant, I already ‘knew’. I believed IVF Spain did such an amazing job that our chances were so much higher. Our clinic here in the USA is plain, cold, clinical and does not have a welcoming atmosphere. You line up with 30 other women for monitoring and sit in a lonely waiting room appointment after appointment. Not at IVF Spain. From the lovely greeting to the beautiful waiting area, the entire process step by step is carefully attended to. Even on the day of the retrieval and transfer, we deeply appreciated the tea and cookies in our private area. This was so special. It allowed us to stay closely connected as a couple and feel like we made the best decisions.

Also on the day we found out I was pregnant, Richard purchased me a beautiful Buddha sculpture for my birthday. Our Buddha sits proudly on our dresser. Until we got our first ultrasound picture we had the quote from IVF Spain about making a dream a reality in the lap of the Buddha. Now our Buddha carefully holds our ultrasound photos!

Did you ever think that you had to give up the idea of being parents?

In New York after many failures, the continued response after each loss was ‘let’s just keep trying’. So we continued to try but continued to be unsuccessful. As we are into our 40s we knew that we didn’t want to be trying much longer. Financially, emotionally and physically the whole journey had taken a toll on us. We needed to be in a new environment that helped to renew our sense of becoming parents, and IVF Spain did just that. With new approaches, new doctors, new protocols. The best aspect for us is that we fully trusted the advice and direction of IVF Spain, and that was largely because of their high success rates.

What also set the clinic apart was the multitude of treatment options, its holistic nature and the caring, coordinated staff. It’s as though they make you feel like you only have one job – and that is to have a successful pregnancy and healthy baby.

So often in New York we would feel the stress of administrative tasks, calling for appointments without hearing back, not being able to get answers in a timely fashion. I often felt like I was just a small fish in a large sea of other couples trying for the same dream. And interestingly enough, you would think a New York or US-based clinic would have the best technology and care available in the world. But unfortunately that was not the case for us. IVF Spain continues to put clients at the centre of all their care.

How do you feel now about our assisted reproduction centre?

If we could give up our careers and create a satellite IVF Spain office in the US we would! We strongly believe that it has some of the best treatments available in the world. We would not have left one of the best medical facilities in New York for something similar. Our choice of clinic needed to be a significant step up on all fronts. Many other clinics we researched, even in Europe, seemed to be in remote, rural or industrial areas that were cold and unwelcoming.

What more could you ask for at IVF Spain? The lovely city of Alicante, the beach, the sunshine, the amazing food. And clean air too.

After many failures we ended up at IVF Spain and were prepared to potentially have a longer road with our treatment due to new protocols and medications. But in the end we were successful on our first try. We are now halfway through the pregnancy and still have another 21 weeks to go, but we are feeling more and more confident every day that our little girl will be with us next February.

What would you advise to others who are experiencing the same thing you went through?

We have many pieces of advice… and here would be a few thoughts:

  1. Consider what is important to you in a clinic as you research and then evaluate several clinics.
  2. Ensure that you look at the total cost of the journey; it’s the guarantees and the various options with technology that can make a difference.
  3. Never choose a clinic based on the lowest cost possible – choose the clinic where you feel a connection and where you feel at home and welcomed.
  4. Ensure that fertility treatment becomes part of your life and not your whole life. Remember to have fun, spend time with family and friends and pay attention to the things that matter.
  5. Be sure to ask questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision.
  6. Fully dedicate the time to the treatment – and clear your schedule to make it all happen. Follow all the instructions and respect the information provided to you by the doctors and clinics every step of the way. They are experts so trust their guidance, wisdom and direction.
  7. Be ready to take some risks. You won’t always know all the answers, and though there are no guarantees – there are choices and decisions you can make along the way that will help increase your chances of success. Choosing a clinic like IVF Spain is so special because they pay close attention to your past and what you want in the future and come up with the best plan possible.
  8. Take care of you and your health: in the lead–up we ensured we consumed healthy diets, took our vitamins, had plenty of exercise and invested in plenty of sleep. For us, being healthy going into treatment not only provided us with more energy to deal with all the ups and downs, but also allowed us to feel like we had done all we could at being successful.
  9. Be patient and understanding, and try to be as stress–free as possible. There are many things within your control, and there are many things that you can only trust and not control.
  10. Picture yourself being a mother or parents – it’s easy to get caught up in needles, schedules, medications and appointments.

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Fertility Journeys

Free IVF Treatment With Gennet City Fertility Clinic



Gennet City Fertility

At Gennet City Fertility we offer you bespoke fertility treatment using an individualised approach and cutting-edge technologies.

Our promise to you is that we will look thoroughly into your fertility difficulties; that we will use state of the art treatment protocols and technologies, and when appropriate, we will also ‘think outside the box’.

The members of the team at GENNET City Fertility were carefully chosen on the basis of their achievements while working in reputable units in London and overseas. Within our team, we share extensive experience of and vast knowledge in fertility medicine, assisted reproduction and the management of early pregnancy. Using this knowledge and experience we endeavour to provide you with the most expert advice and to guide you through a fertility journey that is caring, safe, professional and transparent.

At our clinic, we offer a number of fertility treatments:

  • Ovulation induction
  • IUI
  • IVF
  • ICSI
  • Egg donation
  • Sperm donation
  • Embryo donation
  • Surrogacy

We also offer many other services:

  • Joint, female or male fertility assessment
  • Egg freezing
  • Sperm freezing
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • Preimplantation genetic screening
  • Urology and Andrology
  • Surgical sperm retrieval
  • Counselling
  • Psychosexual advice
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutritionist consultation
  • Support groups and support programs.

We are a proud partner of Access Fertility which is the largest provider of IVF Refund & Multi-Cycle Programmes and Fertility Finance in the UK.

Ramesan Navaratnarajah



We are offering a free fertility treatment (IVF/ICSI) including the medication to one lucky couple. In addition to this, we will select 50 couples for a free initial consultation with one of our fertility specialists worth £200.


To enter the draw for the incredible free round of IVF/ICSI or a chance to have one of the 50 fully funded consultation appointments, please read the terms and conditions below and follow the link to the form to submit your application.


The fertility treatment prize includes initial consultation, pre-treatment tests (Antral follicle count scan, AMH blood test, semen assessment etc.), 1 cycle of IVF treatment, plus ICSI if required.

  • All medication
  • Medical and nursing appointments and care
  • All in-treatment laboratory tests and procedures
  • Monitoring and scanning costs
  • Egg Collection
  • Embryo transfer
  • Pregnancy serum test
  • Pregnancy ultrasound scan
  • Follow up consultation (if taken within three months of treatment completion)
  • Counselling
  • The prize does not include:
  • Cost of freezing embryos plus the storage of embryos.
  • Surgical sperm retrieval
  • Empirical treatments

This prize does not include any costs of having donor treatment. If the prize winner needs donor eggs or sperm we would deduct the costs of the above and the recipient would need to pay the additional costs.

The value of this prize is in excess of £6000.

This prize could not be used against surrogacy treatment.


We will contact the winner and aim to get them a consultation to start treatment as soon as possible, depending on their cycle.

Any offer of treatment is subject to the relevant Welfare of the Child checks. Patients would also need to have a BMI of less than 35 to undergo treatment.

If the applicant has travelled to a Zika affected country they would be required to wait the length of the relevant quarantine period before treatment could commence.


The successful applicants that will be shortlisted for the free IVF treatment prize must be under the age of 38 years old and with a BMI that is 19 to 35.

This offer doesn’t apply to existing Gennet City Fertility patients who are currently undergoing treatment.


The successful applicants who will be shortlisted for the 50 free consultation appointments must be under the age 50. The appointments will be offered according to the clinic’s availability.

This offer doesn’t apply to existing Gennet City Fertility patients who are currently undergoing treatment

The successful couple that will receive the free IVF cycle will not be included in the 50 free consultations draw.


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Egg Donation

IVF Spain Update Us on Claire & David and Laura & Ian Progress



Claire & David IVF Spain

During the first week of August, Claire (42) and David (35), the winners of this year’s Fertility Journey, visited our clinic for their first embryo transfer.

They were pleased to share with us the emotion and joy created by their short stay in Spain.

“We have spent some time in Alicante ahead of the transfer, relaxing in the area and preparing for our next visit to IVF Spain. Our experience with previous treatments with UK clinics has been very stressful but in Alicante, we have spent most of our time preparing for treatment by relaxing on the beach!”

Claire and David arrive at IVF Spain after having been trying to get pregnant for 7 long years and experienced 3 failed ICSI treatments with their own eggs. IVF Spain discovered that the quality of the embryos was poor and that they had always been transferred on day 3 of their development with a bad morphology. In order to increase their chances of getting pregnant, the clinic recommended an egg donation treatment – a fertility treatment which that greatly depends on matching the perfect donor to the patient.

To protect both patients and donors Spanish law requires that the donation process must be completely anonymous.  In addition, donors must be in good condition and younger than 35. Moreover, both donor and patient must share a phenotypical resemblance: hair colour, BMI, eye colour, and so on.

Dr Herea

Claire and David were grateful that so many women in Spain were willing to donate their own eggs, enabling others less fortunate, the chance of forming a family.

“We are really grateful that there are people willing to donate eggs. If we are being honest, it has taken a while for us to understand the Spanish anonymity rules for egg donors, but we have taken the time to consider this. It’s hard not having control or letting another person being in charge for something related to your baby. However, we even think now it is better that way, because the more you know, the more you want to know and we do prefer knowing nothing and leaving it in the clinic’s hands.”

There are other factors, however, that are crucial to achieving a successful pregnancy: the quality of the embryo and the microenvironment of the endometrial lining. This means that a successful pregnancy also depends on the successful communication between the embryo and the endometrial lining.

When we discovered that Claire didn’t have a single positive pregnancy test, we suggested to perform an endometrial biopsy to analyse the retrieved sample by means of the ER Map® test (Endometrial Receptivity Map) and accurately determine the receptivity of Claire’s endometrium during the window of implantation (the moment when the endometrial lining is receptive).

”The test results showed that Claire’s endometrium was post-receptive, meaning that a transfer performed on day 5.5 of progesterone (like in 70% of cases) would not end up in a successful pregnancy” explains Dr Natalia Szlarb.

“Before coming to IVF Spain, we had never heard of an endometrial study or ER Map. The fact that the endometrial study analyses the best time to transfer the embryo could make a big difference to our treatment. We were really impressed with the accuracy of the test. Our ER Map test result was post-receptive and although this was initially a concern, we later came around to the view that knowing the best time to transfer the embryo would increase the chances of success, and this might have been the reason our other treatments in the UK had failed” – Claire and David.

There are other key factors, however, to achieve a pregnancy such as the male factor. David suffers from teratospermia which implies that 96% of the ejaculate sperm cells have an abnormal morphology. Luckily, we were able to improve David’s sperm quality and fertilize the retrieved eggs.

We now wish them the best of luck!

Although it will not be until mid-September when Laura (41) and Ian (44), the 2018 runners-up visit us in Alicante for their embryo transfer, they already talked about the differences between IVF Spain and former clinics. They were impressed at how extensively their case had been studied by our fertility specialists.

“I think the longer you have treatment the more difficult it becomes. When you begin there’s a naivety along the lines of, ‘we’ll have one, maybe two goes at IVF and have a baby in our arms’. After 7 treatments (and lots of add-ons) the feelings completely change. You feel terrified that it won’t work, and you’ll never become parents. You’re scared it will work and you’ll lose the baby again (Laura and Ian have experienced 5 losses). You’re scared of physically going through the treatment as you’ve had so much. Each test and treatment creates fear – fear that it will hurt, be traumatizing, that it will give you more bad news. Then there’s the impact on your own mental health and emotional well-being. Can I handle this? What if the results say something’s wrong with me? Will I blame myself? It starts to really damage your mental health and well-being. Financially you start to feel that you’re risking everything, and it may not pay off.

For us we have renewed hope with IVF Spain. We have undergone tests that we’ve never had before (ERA, NK biopsy and KIR). We have paid for lots of very expensive blood tests and drugs but never received this kind of analysis. So, we feel as though the treatment is now specifically for us.

This creates more positivity, a feeling of being cared for and that maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to be parents.

Plus, we’re now using donor eggs. The hope starts to soar and with that comes excitement. Hope is the only thing that keeps you going and overcoming the fears I mentioned. This opportunity with IVF Spain has given us hope that we thought we’d lost.”

Laura is 41 years old and has already been through traumatic losses including an ectopic pregnancy. Due to this and to the fact that Laura suffers from recurrent miscarriage, our medical team at IVF Spain recommended an egg donation treatment to increase their chances.

The couple is thankful for the egg donation process being anonymous, as otherwise it would be really difficult to find a donor:

“For us, it’s taken some of the pressure away. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to choose a donor ourselves. But putting your complete trust into someone else’s hands is hard.

We’ve explored whether it would be better for our future child to know the donor. I think that’s something we’ll never know. But we hope that he/she will understand our decision to choose an anonymous donor. It would be good to know a little more about the heritage of the donor but then we also know that we often don’t even know our own heritage. We’ll make sure Spain is a key part of their story.

It’s also really odd to not know who this person is. What they look like and personality. What’s motivating them to help us. One of the things I’ve been really consumed with is the gratitude you have for this person. I’d like to thank them but can’t.

Anonymity means we have a chance to become parents. Without it there’d be a shortage of donors like there is in the UK. For us, this makes it a wonderful gift – a chance to hopefully find a donor that is perfectly matched to us genetically (due to the KIR tests) as well as in physical looks.

I can’t stop thinking about what our future child will look like – but I think that’s quite normal” says Laura.

Immunologically speaking, finding a matching donor for Laura is certainly a challenging task, which is why IVF Spain suggested that we find out her KIR via a blood test. Ian was also tested for his HLA-C in order to determine whether the maternal – foetal interaction will be optimal or not.

Thanks to the KIR-HLA-C genotyping test it is possible to determine if the uterine KIR and the embryonic HLA-C will both be compatible. If so, the pregnancy will carry on successfully; if not, then the most probable outcome will be an unviable pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage.

“We carried out the KIR-HLA-C genotyping and concluded that the patient had a KIR AA. It is known that KIR expressed by the natural killer cells present in the maternal part and the HLA presented by the trophoblastic cells together will influence the outcome of the pregnancy. With Laura’s KIR AA variant, the sperm would have to be HLA C1 C1 and the HLA of the donor should be as well HLA C1 C1; as her husband has a HLA C1 C2 variant, we will treat her with a medication that reduces her immune-genetic reaction. We believe that not paying attention to this issue in the past is what may have caused the implantation to fail” suspects fertility specialist Dr Isabel Herrera.

We tend to recommend a single embryo transfer, as it has been proven that on patients with an immunological profile such as Laura’s, double embryo transfers would increase the immunogenetic reaction, hindering the achievement of a pregnancy” says Dr. Herrera.

It is also known that these cases tend to have a higher risk of pre-eclampsia, late spontaneous abortion or miscarriage.

Until their transfer day the couple will try to enjoy summer just as any other couple would;

“I’ve tried to just carry on as normal. Remain healthy, take pre-conception vitamins. Reach out and get support through the Donor Conception Network in the UK and connect with other people going down the DE route via online forums. It’s quite isolating and scary so it’s important to reach out and not feel so alone.

I’m trying to relax a little – not so easy with work but it’s a work in progress. I need to get that bit sorted now treatment is on the horizon.”

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Fertility Journeys

Laura & Ian Fertility Journey Couple 2018



Laura and Ian IVF Spain

Laura and Ian are this year’s Fertility Road Magazine Runner-ups with IVF Spain. During their initial consultation with our specialist Dr. Herrera they were able to clarify all their doubts and were provided with a level of patient care, they had never experienced before throughout their 7-year-long journey. It was a completely different experience for Ian as well; this time he felt like a human being rather than a number.

You can find out more about their fertility journey here.

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