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Fertility Journeys

IVF Spain Offer Another Couple The Chance For Free Treatment



IVF In Spain

We are very pleased to welcome back for the 4th consecutive year our exclusive Spanish partner IVF Spain for a new Fertility Journey.

Tone writes…
I was invited to go and spend a couple of days with the team at IVF Spain and meet our Fertility Journey couple Em & Julie who are going to have their embryo transfer on the 22nd of December. With the weather in the UK cold, wet and grey I didn’t need to be asked twice.

It’s my first visit to IVF Spain and after an early start to Stanstead airport to catch my plane to Alicante. After a quick 2-hour flight I arrived to beautiful clear skies and sunshine. IVF Spain had arranged for a taxi to pick me at the airport and take me to the clinic.

At the clinic I was by greeted by Claudia who took my bags and made sure I was comfortable in their waiting room. Whether she knew I was coming or not I felt like I was being welcomed home. Although it can be a worry as to what to expect when visiting clinics in the UK or abroad, IVF Spain was warm and welcoming and thanks to the air conditioning it was cool inside.

I was met by Katie from their Patient Care Team and Karine from their Marketing team who gave me a guided tour. I’m sure like many patients who travel for treatment I was amazed at how big their clinic was and by how many staff they had. With private waiting rooms for clients, medical and nursing teams and the 3 laboratories on-site. Once you arrive every step of your journey happens under one roof. They have a pharmacy a few minutes walk away to make sure you receive all of medication before heading home.

After my tour I sat down with Katie, Karine and Dr Alvarez who will be treating the couple selected for the 2017 fertility journey with IVF Spain.

Tone: Kate & Karine thank you for the tour. One of the questions I get asked a lot when talking to our readers about travelling for treatment is “Haven’t I got spend weeks there?”

Katie: Firstly, there’s a misunderstanding about the amount of time you will need to spend in Alicante. For your first visit you would need to come out for one day to meet the First Visit team and your doctor. If your meeting is in the morning we recommend you come the night before and then fly home after your consultation. If your meeting is in the afternoon you can travel early but stay one night as you could be with us for a few hours. We want you to be relaxed and have time to discuss any concerns about your treatment plan as there is a lot information for us to cover. We also need to perform tests while you are here.

Tone: Once they’ve had the first visit what can the couple expect.

Katie: Once you had your consultation with the doctor and all tests are done, we explain how and when to take medication and you will be given a “treatment plan” including your timeframe to return to the clinic for treatment. Finally, you are introduced to the follow up team who will look after you until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

** Tone**: What about their treatment appointment? Are they here for a couple of days? Katie: Once the couples are booked in for treatment visit they will need to be Alicante for 7-10 days. If they are using fresh sperm the husband can come for the first 3 days and then return home but most couples stay together for the whole process.

Tone: You have a large team here. How do you manage patient care between departments?

Karine: Every day at 2pm there is a half-hour to one-hour team meeting which is attended by at least two team members of every department. This meeting is mandatory and we close the clinic phone lines during this time. Each patient’s case is discussed with the doctors sharing their knowledge and reviewing treatments. This can be helpful when dealing with difficult cases. For our patients this means that every day they have the doctors, biologists, nurses, donor team, first visit and follow up assistants. Even the marketing team are in the same room and involved with our patient’s journey from start to finish. It means every department of the clinic is kept informed and follows the patients journey while identifying any problems or concerns and providing a learning hub for the support teams so they understand a patient’s treatment plans.

Tone: Dr Alvarez, thank you for taking some time out of your busy day to meet with me. You’re treating Em & Julie tomorrow. Is there any difference in treating a same sex couple vs a heterosexual couple?

Dr Alvarez: No. It’s quite simple and each couple are treated as individuals. This can be a long journey for them but we always think of our patients as already being pregnant which makes them feel at ease and positive about their treatment.

** Tone**: I’ve never heard of doctor talk about a patient that way. It must be refreshing for your patients.

Dr Alvarez: It is and Em & Julie had already decided that Em was going to carry the baby so that made it easier.

Tone: Wasn’t that a problem for Julie?

Dr Alvarez: No. I spent a lot of time talking to them both and understanding their needs. Julie said it was the first time a doctor had spent time to ask her about her needs which made them more relaxed.

Tone: Do you think your patients feel worried about being offered a treatment they might not need?

Dr Alvarez: Not at all. The doctors don’t know the prices of any treatments. We focused on facts which comes from our testing and our years of experience.

Tone: So what’s the plan for Em & Julie tomorrow?

Dr Alvarez: Tomorrow she is getting pregnant! We will transfer the embryo with Julie sat next to her watching the process. They can watch everything on a screen and see the embryo being implanted and afterwards they get an ultra-scan to take away.

Tone: So why should someone come to IVF Spain and what makes you different from other IVF clinics?

Dr Alvarez: Our treatment philosophy is focused on the couples requirements. We are not afraid to invest money in the latest technology to ensure our couples receive the best treatment.

Tone: Dr Alvarez thank you for your time and I hope all goes as planned tomorrow.

The next day I met with Em & Julie and as you can imagine they were slightly apprehensive but excited about the next stage of their fertility journey. They told me that after their treatment Em would be having acupuncture and then spend a few more days in Alicante before heading home to the UK. I decided to let them relax and unwind and we will be catching up with them in them in the new year.

My visit to IVF Spain is almost over but your journey could be about to start. The Fertility Journeys was created to help couples who could not afford fertility treatment or as with Em & Julie, couples that needed that extra bit of care.

Inge Kormelink, Head of Strategies & Policies at IVF Spain, writes:

We look forward to welcoming a couple to our clinic in Alicante in 2017 and building on the great success of previous years. Previous participants are now happy parents, so here is your opportunity to join us on this life changing journey.

The IVF Spain Foundation is a non-profit making organization created in 2012. The Foundation focuses on two objectives: 1) supporting the creation of families through the ´Amadrina´ sponsoring programme; and 2) investing substantially in research, training and teaching. It also supports the Fertility Journeys Project.

The Foundation firmly believes that money should not be an obstacle for anyone who wants to conceive a healthy child. Therefore, we are very committed to the Fertility Journeys project organised by Fertility Road magazine, which provides a wonderful opportunity for a couple to undergo fertility treatment using the latest technology in reproductive medicine.

At IVF Spain we have a first-class scientific team equipped with the most advanced medical equipment in assisted reproduction. The team consistently achieves high success rates in clinical complex cases, such as repeated miscarriages, implantation failure, genetic or immunological problems.

All three laboratories at IVF Spain are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and have sufficient autonomy for testing without the need to outsource. Therefore, we are able to identify causes of infertility and provide effective clinical solutions in a timely manner.

The Technical Inspection Association (TÜV – Technischer Überwachungs-Verein) certificate is provided by an independent organisation and uses a series of rigorous controls to undertake quality measures. We are pleased to confirm that our success rates have been validated by this authoritative voice – according to the 2014 data, we can boast a 54-80% success rate depending on the type of treatment, thus confirming IVF Spain as one of the leading clinics in the field of assisted reproduction.


IVF Spain are offering two couples free fertility treatment in 2017.

One couple (or single women) will have a free night at a 4-star-hotel + free first visit (around 4 hours) + free serology tests + free first fertility treatment (including donor sperm if needed).

The second couple (or single women) will have a free night at a 4-star-hotel + free first visit (around 4 hours) + free serology tests + 50% discount on first fertility treatment (including donor sperm if needed)

As part of the Fertility Journeys project patients agree to share their story through videos and interviews made by the IVF Spain team. We recognise this as a vital educational tool which helps raise awareness of fertility problems and outlining the positive outcomes.

If you wish to share your journey with us without any cost then please use the form below before the 15th of March 2017. We would be grateful if you could tell us your story – do provide us with information about your age, the number of previous cycles you have underwent, the reasons behind your decision to consider fertility treatment and a current photo. After the deadline, we will contact all those who have applied to setup Skype calls and find out more information about your circumstances.

We will announce our decision a month after the deadline so that the couple may start fertility treatment at IVF Spain with their first consultation before the 10th of June. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – we look forward to hearing from you, welcoming you and helping you realise your dreams in 2017.



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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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