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Fertility Journeys

IVF Spain Return As Our Official Fertility Journey Clinic Partners

For our first update we visit our official clinic partners IVF Spain, following Anita and Simon’s challenging journey with the Alicante-based experts.

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IVF Spain

For our first update we visit our official clinic partners IVF Spain, following Anita and Simon’s challenging journey with the Alicante-based experts.

At IVF Spain we are proud to announce that, once again, we will be part of the exciting project Fertility Journeys. This has been a hugely original, inspirational, global project that we have endorsed fully, and to sign up for a third year is a privilege. After all, we know how important it is for people with fertility problems to fulfil their dream of becoming parents. Considering that treatment is provided free of charge for one lucky couple, we hope that the economic factors which control so much of our lives should not always be a barrier to starting or extending a family.

So for the third year, and together with the support of the IVF Spain Foundation, a new family will have the opportunity to start an egg donation fertility treatment working with the medical team of Dr Aizpurua. The IVF Spain Foundation is a non-profi t organisation established by the IVF Spain fertility clinic in 2012. The foundation focuses its efforts on two essential aspects: supporting families through the ‘Amadrina’ (sponsoring) social programme, and committing to research, training and teaching. Under the chairmanship of Dr Jon Aizpurua, the multidisciplinary team – committed to both causes – collaborates on a daily basis for the IVF Spain Foundation to play a significant role with families being helped.

The couple we have been supporting through the journey, Anita and Simon, recently travelled to Spain in order to make their latest visit to the IVF Spain fertility clinic. They are very excited about the treatment and are looking forward to a happy conclusion – namely being able to form the family they have always dreamed of. They were due to come to IVF Spain on December 28 – when this piece was going to press – for an echography and then on January 5, 2016 for their embryo transfer. The doctors and the entire team have put all their effort and hope into achieving successful implantation and, of course, fulfilling Anita and Simon’s dream.

IVF Spain pays special attention to providing comfortable patient care. People sometimes think that begins and ends with specialists, but the reality is the attention to detail goes right the way down to furniture distribution, the colours used in each room and other elements of decoration. Everything has been chosen carefully following the Feng Shui principle in order to make couples feel as settled and relaxed as possible. We complement this with holistic treatments such as acupuncture. These kinds of treatments have been scientifically demonstrated to improve responses to fertility medication and, ultimately, increase pregnancy rates. After all, a comfortable state of mind promotes blood fl ow and relaxes patients before and after treatment, thus signifi cantly reducing stress.

But our attention to detail goes even further. The therapeutic, technological and biotechnological equipment found at IVF Spain is exceptional compared to most Spanish clinics, and as a result the clinic ranks among the most advanced in Europe. We have a flow cytometer for semen analysis, genetic tests to analyse the endometrial receptivity, preconception genetic testing to avoid monogenic diseases, protamine tests to improve male fertility, specific genetic screening protocols that improve the chances of pregnancy, technologies to predict the viability of embryos and many other technologies that ensure our visitors are in the best and most experienced hands.

IVF Spain devotes all its effort to obtaining and retaining the best pregnancy rates and does not hesitate when it comes to improving progress and scientific knowledge. This line of action has meant the consolidation of IVF Spain as a globally regarded reference point in research applied to assisted reproduction, as evidenced by the recognition and the impact their scientific work has had throughout 2015.

During the annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine – one of the fertility world’s most important conferences, where the latest developments in assisted reproduction are disclosed – IVF Spain attracted great interest with two revealing scientific studies. Each study has demonstrated that the use of the growth hormone on patients with poor prognosis improves the implantation rate, based on the use of a protamine ratio as a new marker for male infertility.

Another important event for IVF Spain has been its recent participation in the most important national meeting on embryology organised by the Association for the Study of Reproductive Biology (ASEBIR), where the reproduction clinic has been recognised for excellence in scientific innovation by the Scientific and Organising Committee. Out of the 11 presented studies two important procedures were awarded the highest honour:

Embryobranking With PGS
Thanks to this technique embryos are generated and accumulated after several cycles (usually two to four) and ultimately analysed using the Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). Its function is to detect both numerical and structural chromosomal alterations with the aim of transferring embryos with a normal chromosomal content. The chromosomal alterations increase with age, hence it is advisable to apply the PGS to patients older than 38 years.

Sperm Vitrification
Unlike traditional freezing, through this process we achieve an improvement in survival of the semen sample after cryopreservation. This improvement allows patients to use the sample obtained during the first visit. This way it is possible to achieve better results and, hence, it prevents the male partner from travelling the day of the embryo transfer.

The aim of focusing on innovation and technological advances in fertility lies in the need to offer patients the highest pregnancy rates – 70% to 85% depending on the type of treatment and placing the clinic above the Spanish average according to the data provided by the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society) – as well as providing a satisfactory solution to the most complex and difficult cases.

Repeated miscarriages, implantation failure and male fertility factors are the primary causes of not achieving pregnancy. Detection is as important as applying an appropriate treatment for each patient, hence IVF Spain has a mechanism for an early detection of factors that constitute the cause for not achieving a successful pregnancy.

In short, in most cases, having a multidisciplinary team at our disposal, capable of implementing the advances in reproductive medicine, makes a difference when trying to achieve the desired pregnancy.

On behalf of the entire IVF Spain, we wish you every success and happiness for 2016 and we would like to send you our best wishes, that in the year ahead all families can fulfil their dream of conceiving a healthy baby.

More information can be found on the IVF Spain website www.ivf-spain.com

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Fertility Journeys

Free IVF Treatment With Gennet City Fertility Clinic

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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
  • PICSI – IMSI
  • 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

WHAT ARE WE OFFERING TO FERTILITY ROAD READERS?

A FREE IVF TREATMENT DRAW & 50 FREE INITIAL CONSULTATIONS

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 APPLY

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.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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.

THE ACTUAL PROCESS

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.

FREE IVF CYCLE SELECTION CRITERIA

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.

50 FREE INITIAL CONSULTATIONS SELECTION CRITERIA

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.

TO APPLY PLEASE CLICK HERE

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Egg Donation

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

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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

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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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