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Fertility Journeys

Klinikk Hauskens Couple Terri & Kieran Update

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Kieran & Terri McDonnell

It’s time for our next catch up with our couple, Terri and Kieran with the latest news on their pregnancy.

Terri writes…
Since our last update it’s been a very exciting few weeks. We left our fertility journey update at the agonising 2 week wait to find out if the treatment had worked. After what felt like the longest time ever and a lot of worry, we are pleased to say it has worked and after around 10 pregnancy tests and the doctor confirming that I was pregnant we are over the moon to confirm that we are having a baby! This is so amazing for us both that we have got this far, we feel like it’s a dream that actually happened for us. It’s been really hard to believe but also so exciting at the same time.

I had a scan at 6 weeks and also at 8 weeks just to confirm everything was ok and to try and put my mind at rest. Even though there was not much to see we could see a little heart beat which was just an amazing experience. I still couldn’t believe I was pregnant even after so many things confirming it. I have been very worried something may go wrong, so Kieran and I kept it to ourselves. We have only told our close friends and family who already knew about the treatment we recently had although we have been dying to tell everyone!

I have had some funny situations, morning sickness, being tired all the time and trying to disguise the fact that I am pregnant from everyone that didn’t know. However after how long we have waited for this I do not care what’s thrown at me.

I am now 13 weeks pregnant and just had my 12 week scan where the midwife has confirmed our baby is growing as expected and the heart beat was beating strong. The baby was sleeping on the scan so we kept trying to wake him/her up to get some measurement sizes, but the little one was happy all curled up!

We have been given a due date of around the start of March 2017. We are now a lot more relaxed and are just enjoying everything that’s new to us. We are getting ideas together on the nursery, what pushchair we want to buy and looking at baby clothes etc. It’s a very exciting time for us and we both cannot thank Klinikk Hausken enough for what they have done for us. We would never have got through the last few weeks without the help and support of the clinic and we cannot thank them enough for the gift they have given us. We would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone in the future.

Klinikk Hausken explains how treating couples abroad is a delicate balance of face to face, telephone and Skype support

At Klinikk Hausken we believe that to achieve great results we need to invest our time and attention to couples seeking treatment at our clinic. And this is something that we uphold throughout the treatment process.

Dedicated doctor and nurse

It’s is very important to us that our couples feel supported at every stage of their treatment. This is why we assign a dedicated doctor and nurse to each couple. The doctor will take all the time needed to put together a treatment plan ensuring that this is the best way forward for the couple.

The dedicated nurse is a large part of the couples life during the treatment process. Being able to talk to someone who can help ease the stress and worry they sometimes feel during treatment. We have seen that this kind of support is often a relief for our couples.

International contact

We provide a dedicated support person from our international contact team who will help with everything you need regarding your travel and accommodation. They will also be your first point of contact when you call the clinic. We know how stressful it can be going away and also preparing for treatment. There is no need for couples to worry about not being able to speak Norwegian or what to do when they get here as again the international contact team provides support, help and reassurance.

How does it work?
One of the reasons for choosing treatment outside of the UK is often financial. However, one of the biggest reasons couples travel for IVF is that the NHS are unable to fulfill a couples request for IVF. We understand that there is a level of comfort when dealing with the known or familiar, so when we are contacted by couples from the UK we know the first step of the process is to make them feel comfortable and to inform them of what to expect. This helps couples to be in the best possible position to make an informed decision.

First contact

When a couple contacts us they have usually done a lot of research online. They may have already met us at a UK show or found us whilst searching the internet. Also by checking out various forums they can quickly make an opinion of which clinic will work for them. It’s always helpful talking to other people who have “been there and done that”.

The process of booking a consultation abroad can be difficult when trying to organise around work and home commitments. At Klinikk Hausken we understand how this can be difficult and that is why we offer free evening Skype sessions with Dr Hausken. You could be having your consultation in the comfort of your own home with a cup of tea (maybe even a biscuit).

Meet your nurse

A couple of days after your initial Skype session with our doctor you will be introduced to your nurse. They will guide you through the whole treatment process and will then be your point of contact if you have any questions or concerns. They work very closely with your doctor to make your treatment as stress free as possible.

Pre-treatment

The first stage of your individual treatment plan can be done at home with the full support of your doctor and nurse from Klinikk Hausken. Your treatment plan will be posted to you and prescriptions will be sent electronically to our UK pharmacy Fertility2U. They provide a home delivery service which is one less thing for you to worry about.

Couples usually develop a close relationship with our nurses. They go through everything with you in great detail to ensure that you understand and are comfortable with your treatment plan.

Your doctor is also available if you want to talk through the procedure again or want to discussion with him of any changes or concerns that you might have.

Arriving in Norway

When the time comes for you to travel to Norway we will need you to stay for one week starting from a Friday. When you arrive at our clinic our experienced and dedicated team will guide you through the week ahead and make sure that you are cared for and supported during your stay.

Post treatment

Our care does not stop when you travel back to the UK. We are there to support you. If there is anything you need we are only a phone or Skype call away. After a positive pregnancy test you start your regular checkups with your GP in the UK. We provide you with a copy of your medical files so you can discuss your treatment with your GP.

Our Fertility Journey couple

We are over the moon for Terri and Kieran and that everything is going well with the pregnancy. They have been keeping in touch throughout and it’s so exciting whenever they send over the latest ultra sound picture. The team wish them the very best and we can’t wait for the next update.

We hope Terri and Kieran felt their experience with the clinic was as unique and positive as they are as a couple and soon to be parents.

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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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