Fertility treatment abroad – FAQs

Fertility treatment abroad that's 70% cheaper than UK clinics? Tell me more!

Our partner clinic in the Czech Republic has some of the lowest fees for IVF, donor-egg and donor-embryo treatment anywhere in Europe. Yet its success rates are superb and its quality of care first-class. We know, because we’re successful patients of the clinic ourselves.

Is having IVF in Europe a step too far?

Absolutely not! Each year, around 10,000 UK couples travel to mainland Europe for fertility treatment. With an average IVF cycle costing £8,000 in the UK (add in all the extras and see for yourself), patients have had enough. Just like us, couples struggling with infertility have discovered they can save thousands of pounds by having their IVF treatment abroad. Even factoring in travel and accommodation expenses, you’ll still save a fortune off your total bill by going abroad. We live in tough economic times. Why pay more than you need to for your fertility treatment?

Why is the cost of IVF so much cheaper in the Czech Republic?

It’s quite hard to answer this question. You could just say different countries have different markets. But Lord Winston, the eminent fertility expert, is on record for saying some UK clinics are charging up to three times more than they should. “A combination of avarice on the part of the clinics and desperation on the part of the women is driving this market,” he said in an interview with The Independent newspaper. We agree. In contrast, the cost of fertility treatment abroad at the Czech clinic is half that of many UK clinics.

The Czech Republic sounds a long way away. Is it?

It’s a common misconception that the Czech Republic, an EU member state, is miles away somewhere near Siberia! Geographically, Brno, the clinic’s location, is actually closer to London than Madrid. The Czech Republic borders Germany in central Europe and you can fly to Brno in around 90 minutes from the UK. The international airports of Vienna and Prague are also nearby. So you can get there from most major airports in the UK.

Why should I use Your IVF Journey?

As English-speaking former patients of the clinic, are are its exclusive UK agency. We manage every aspect of your fertility treatment abroad, making the process more bearable and less stressful. IVF treatment abroad can be an anxious experience. Our partner clinic is an outstanding fertility centre but its staff are very busy and don’t have the time or resources to give you the level of support we can. The clinic has therefore asked us to help and support every couple before, during and after their treatment.

So is Your IVF Journey a personalised service for IVF in Europe?

Yes – and more. We coordinate your treatment timetable and handle the logistics of your preparation and schedule. We always show you kindness and compassion. Your IVF Journey is run by fellow IVF patients. You’ll receive personalised guidance and support from day one. When we were having treatment, support was what we really wanted. Now we’re ready to use our experience to help you on your journey.

So were you successful with your treatment?

Yes – Becky had successful donor-egg treatment at the clinic in October 2012!

Personalised support sounds good. Does your service have any other benefits?

Yes. Patients get discounts on fertility medication via our Prescription Price Promise scheme, discounts on selected hotels in Brno, massive reductions on currency-exchange payments, the very best prices on pre-treatment scans and tests in the UK – and more. We’ve arranged these competitive prices with trusted third-party suppliers. You could save up to £1,000. We saved £300 on medication alone on our last trip because we knew where to go for each item on the prescription.

Do you accept patients from countries other than the UK?

Yes. As well as helping UK patients, we also accept couples from other parts of Europe, including the Republic of Ireland, Germany and France. We also accept bookings from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries across the world.

How much does it cost?

We believe in totally transparent pricing. We don’t inflate treatment costs or add mark ups. The treatment prices we quote are exactly the same as the clinic. We charge a modest agency fee of between £350 and £395, depending on your treatment. Alongside managing your entire treatment, we give you a range of added-value benefits like pre-arranged discounts on medication, Czech accommodation, currency payments and UK scans and tests. The savings will almost always outweigh the agency fee you pay us. You also get additional advantages, including subsidised airport pick-up from four airports, a 30-page travel and relaxation guide, priority booking (donor-egg patients) and agency fee discounts on future treatment. See our prices for more details.

Can you explain your ‘treatment guarantee’?

Our sincere wish is that you fall pregnant on your first attempt having IVF in Europe. If for any reason you don’t, we’ll halve our agency fee altogether on your second attempt when you book through us. In addition, under your contract with the Czech clinic, all donor-egg patients who don’t fall pregnant after two attempts will pay just 50% of the treatment fee for a third cycle. This is explained in the clinic’s ‘shared risk’ document, which includes other guarantees and price reductions.

What does the Your IVF Journey process involve?

From the moment you get in touch, we take you through the whole process, step-by-step. We explain the treatments offered by the clinic, help you complete the medical questionnaire and other documentation, explain your treatment protocol (which can be complicated) and pass on medical instructions. We arrange your booking, help you get discounts on medication, currency, hotels and pre-treatment scans and tests, and stay in close touch with you throughout the process. Whatever treatment you choose – standard IVF, IVF with donor eggs or donor-embryo IVF – it can be an emotional journey. As patients ourselves, we truly understand the ups and downs of the process. That’s why we’re on a mission to make great-quality IVF in Europe more affordable and less stressful for everyone.

What makes you different from other fertility websites?

We’ve come across websites that are rather impersonal and corporate. Rest assured Your IVF Journey is about as un-corporate as you can get! Ben and Becky Saer, Your IVF Journey’s founders, are patients of the clinic, not a faceless corporation. We formed our agency to help people. We champion the services of a wonderful IVF clinic and support patients all the way.

So you’re not a fan of UK clinics?

We had treatment at IVF clinics in the UK, in London and the Midlands, and weren’t that impressed. The fees were way too high and we received questionable service. We found the standard of care while having our fertility treatment abroad to be in a different league: pristine facilities, unfailingly professional staff and an absolute commitment to our success. So our experience has been negative in the UK and positive in the Czech Republic – where Becky got pregnant!

So it’s a short break combined with treatment?

Yes. Combining your fertility treatment abroad with a ‘holiday’ is a very good idea. Why break the bank in the UK, juggling procedures around work and commuting, when you can have a relaxing, cost-effective IVF vacation in a pleasant Czech city? It’s a compelling alternative to the costs and stresses of UK treatment. Our mantra is: don’t give up – go abroad!

I may be interested. How do I get things going?

First, get in touch with Becky Saer, our patient coordinator. She’ll explain our service and the treatment options offered by the clinic. Once you’re ready to take things further, come back to us and we can pencil in your treatment date. We’ll send you a medical questionnaire on behalf of the clinic, which asks for information on you and your partner’s fertility history. Based on your answers, the clinic may ask for more information or tests to be carried out (for example, blood tests or a check of your uterus and fallopian tubes). In most cases, the clinic will be able to prepare your personal treatment protocol straight away. We’ll pass this on to you, together with your medical prescription.

How long are waiting times?

There are no waiting times for treatment, other than for donor-egg IVF, where the waiting list is about six months. However, under Your IVF Journey’s exclusive agreement with the clinic, egg-donor IVF patients can ‘jump the queue’ and have their transfer within 8 to 10 weeks from medical approval. That includes finding your donor!

Even though there are basically no waiting times, does my body need to be prepared for treatment?

Yes, your treatment protocol and prescription will tell you how to prepare medically before you travel. Preparation time for IVF patients is six to eight weeks. For embryo donation using FET, it’s four to six weeks. For egg-donor IVF patients, it’s about six weeks.

Do I have to take birth control pills?

As part of your treatment protocol, the clinic may advise you to take monophasic birth control pills for a while after all your pre-treatment tests are completed. These help your body prepare for treatment on an exact day, making it easier for you to book travel and accommodation well in advance (saving your money).

Can I travel with my fertility medication in my hand luggage?

Yes. We can provide a letter from the clinic on request, confirming that you need to travel with medication in your hand luggage. The clinic says in the letter that you’re having treatment with them and that the IVF medication must stay with you in the cabin.

How long do I have to stay in the Czech Republic?

It depends on your treatment choice and protocol. IVF patients should plan on spending around ten days in Brno. Egg-donor IVF recipients stay for a week. For embryo donation/adoption, this is a frozen-embryo transfer in most cases (with no egg retrieval or embryo development) so your trip is just two days.

Should I stay in bed after my embryo transfer?

The clinic asks you to rest for the remainder of your transfer day – but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in bed. They advise you not to do any strenuous physical exercise or heavy lifting. Try to relax, eat well and look after yourself. You can travel home the same or next day.

How can I make my stay in the Czech Republic as enjoyable as possible?

Your IVF Journey has written a Travel and Relaxation Guide for you. This is a very useful document. We compiled all the information based on our personal experience. We’ve listed all the best places to stay at, visit and explore in Brno and we’ve reviewed all the nicest places to eat. You can also travel further afield to the wonderful cities of Vienna (90 minutes away) and Prague (two hours away). The Travel and Relaxation Guide takes you through all your travel options, whether you stay in Brno or venture further afield.

At what age should I consider egg-donor IVF?

Due to the decreasing quality of a woman’s eggs, egg-donor IVF, rather than standard IVF, is usually recommended by the clinic for women aged 42 or over. Some women by this stage, or earlier, may not produce eggs at all – making egg donation a strong contender. However, every patient is different and the clinic will base its advice on your completed medical questionnaire.

Are there any legal issues around egg-donor IVF at the clinic?

Czech law allows donor eggs to be transferred up to the recipient’s 50th birthday – though women over 45 may be asked to have a mammogram prior to treatment at the clinic. And egg recipients must have had a gynaecological examination (ultrasound, STDs, etc) at least six months before treatment.

Are egg donors anonymous in the Czech Republic?

Yes. Under Czech law, egg (and sperm) donors remain anonymous. In the UK, donor-conceived children have the legal right to trace their natural parents when they turn 18. This may be one reason why waiting lists for donors remain so long in the UK. Anonymity, together with the steady supply of young and healthy donors in the Brno area, means waiting lists for donors are very short – a key reason to consider egg-donor IVF in the Czech Republic.

Do egg donors undergo any screening before commencing treatment?

Donors are rigorously tested. They undergo clinical, genetic, psychological and sexual-health examinations, as required by Czech and EU law. IVF in Europe is stringently regulated. 

How old are donors?

Most donors are aged between 18 and 30, ensuring optimal egg quality.

Why does the clinic need to know my blood group for egg-donor IVF?

The clinic asks this to ensure blood-group compatibility between you, your partner and your donor. Female partners may also want to match their blood group with the donor’s. This might be relevant if you don’t want your child to know that he or she may was donor-conceived, perhaps for personal, religious or cultural reasons. However, there is no medical need to match blood types,as long as they are compatible.

Does the clinic have non-Caucasian egg donors?

No, only white-skinned donors are available.

Can I bring a present for my egg donor?

The process is anonymous. But you are welcome to give a small present as long as it doesn’t identity you or attempt to identify the donor. The clinic will check your gift and message to see if they are appropriate.

How many embryos are usually transferred?

With IVF and egg-donor IVF, one to two embryos are usually transferred. This depends on the number, quality and viability of any developed embryos, your age and the clinic’s medical opinion. Ultimately, you make the final decision.

And how many embryos are frozen after an IVF or egg-donor cycle?

The clinic will freeze as many as they think are viable. These are usually grade-1 embryos, often at the blastocyst stage, and so have a good chance of surviving the vitrification and thawing process and going on to implant.

So how will I know the quality of the embryos produced?

On the day of egg retrieval at the clinic, the clinic will give you an embryonic development sheet. This illustrates the likely development of cultivating embryos, from egg retrieval day to transfer day (which will be either day three or day five of the process, depending on the progress of your actual embryos). The sheet also reminds you about your medication and gives you a telephone number at the clinic to call each day to check on the embryos’ progress.

The clinic uses the ICSI method when mixing sperm and eggs. Is that a good thing?

ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) involves a single sperm being injected into each egg. This process often gives couples the best chances of fertilisation. It also means that when only small amounts of good sperm are collected (for example, from men with low sperm counts or poor morphology), fertilisation is still possible. The clinic uses ICSI as its default fertilisation process. UK clinics routinely charge several hundred pounds extra for doing ICSI. In fact, one London  clinic charges £1,395 and an extra £610 for blastocyst culture! With the clinic, ICSI, blastocyst culture and many other ‘extras’  are all included in your package price.

What exactly is embryo adoption?

Embryo adoption, or embryo donation, involves a sperm and egg donor. In a remarkable act of generosity and altruism, local Czech donors consent to their eggs and sperm being frozen and donated to couples seeking a child. As with egg donation, the clinic will try to match the physical characteristics of the donor(s) to you and your partner. Embryo adoption is, we think, one of the most exciting developments in IVF today. Many are seeing it as an alternative to traditional adoption. When you consider the current difficulties with adoption services in the UK, embryo adoption is a consideration for those who cannot create a child naturally or through other fertility methods.

After I have my transfer – whether I choose IVF, egg-donor IVF or embryo donation – when do I do a pregnancy test?

The date will be on your treatment report, which the clinic gives you after your transfer. Every patient is different, but most are advised to take a home-pregnancy test (HPT) no earlier than 12 days post day-five ET (embryo transfer) and no earlier than 14 days post day-three ET. Whatever the outcome of the HPT, you will be asked to continue to take all your prescribed medications until the results of your HCG blood test, which the clinic may ask you to have at least two days following the HPT. The clinic will advise you not to stop taking your prescribed fertility medication until it says so. Let us know your blood test results and we’ll get straight on to the clinic and relay its advice.

Why do I have to have my HCG levels tested?

HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone produced in pregnancy. An HCG test, also known as a beta HCG, measures the quantity of HCG in your blood. Knowing the amount of HCG is more accurate than just detecting it in your urine.

How do I pay for my treatment?

Once you’ve decided on your treatment date, you’ll receive our invoice stating the appropriate agency fee. See our prices for this fee. We’ll forward the clinic’s invoice for donor-egg patients soon after, which is a deposit for your treatment, and you’ll pay the balance of the treatment fee on the day of transfer at the clinic. For all other treatments, you’ll pay the full treatment fee at the clinic on your transfer day, although you can save money by sending your euro payment in advance using our Currency Exchange Saver service.

Will Your IVF Journey support me after my fertility treatment abroad?

Of course. We help you right up to your pregnancy test. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you for a successful outcome. Remember: we’re been through this ourselves, so whatever happens please keep in touch.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not medical advice. You should not rely on it as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provider. See our Terms of Use.

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