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Donor egg ivf in Greece

ivf abroad Greek clinics egg donor ivf Iakentro

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#1 ociwoman

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:29 PM

Hi there,

 

I want to share my experience so far with donor egg ivf in Greece and to give information to others who may be considering going abroad for their treatment - it's not as scary as you think!

 

CONSIDERATIONS

 

Cost:

 

A FRESH donor egg ivf in Greece, costs between 5000-6000 euros. This includes EVERYTHING except the cost of the medications that you require to prepare your endometrium for the egg transfer. Cost for your meds that you buy in Canada are approx $500 depending on what your needs are. In my case, the meds are 100% covered by insurance, so check your insurance company too.

 

The cost you pay to the clinic (we are dealing with Iakentro Clinic in Athens) includes:

 

- the donor's fee, the donor's medications, the donor's screening and donor's medical fees,

- the egg retrieval

- the sperm collection and sperm washing

- ICSI if it is needed

- assisted hatching

- transfer of 5 day blastocists

- all of the recipients medical needs at the Greek clinic

- vitrification (freezing) and storage of embryos/blasticists fo 5 years.

 

There is no agency fee for the donor.

 

You pay for your flight, accommodation and meals in Greece. The travel costs can be greatly reduced if you have your treatment in the Spring, Fall or Winter because summer travel/stay in Greece is more expensive. So choose a smart travel time.

 

The difference in cost between North American treatment and European treatment, even when you consider the travel costs is absolutely ridicuous! We looked at going to the US, and the costs for egg donor ivg would have been around $35,000 including travel, compared to $10K including travel in Greece.

 

TRAVEL REQUIRED

 

You will need to stay in Greece for 10 days. Iakentro schedules your treatment with the egg donor in such a way that you can actually plan ahead for your travel and take advantage of reduced fares. It is smart to buy a ticket that you can change travel dates without too much penalty. Same thing for hotel reservations - choose something you can cancel without a fee.

 

Even when you add the cost of travel for Greece, it is still far less expensive than donor ivf in North America.

 

Because there is a shortage of donors in Canada, many couples (like us) cannot find an altruistic donor. We searched for a donor for a year in Canada. Everyone wanted to paid for their eggs (I am not passing judgement, just stating our reality). As you know, Canadian law prohibits paying a woman for her eggs. And now, with the recent changes the law in late 2012, it is nearly impossilbe to reimburse an egg donor for her expenses too! This is no longer a viable option for many couples in Canda.

 

We have inquired with the Canada Revenue Agency and were advised that if our doctor writes a letter to support our need to search for a donor and treatment abroad, then we can submit the cost of the treatment AND the travel expenses as deductions on our tax return. Nice!

 

It is important to note that if the treatment fails, and you had frozen eggs left over, the intended mother would need to return to Greece for another cycle. The cost of the thaw and transfer of the eggs is minimal (about 1000 euros), but the stay in Greece would be much shorter (only a few days). Still WAY cheaper than North America, even with a second trip.

 

WHO ARE THE DONORS

 

You never get to see the donor because egg donation is completely anonymous in Greece. At first, that made us worry a bit about not having full control, but after speaking with two clinics in Greece, and a British fertility nurse we know who worked in four clinics in Greece and Spain, we were advised that the Greek clinics have thousands of young donors of many different nationalities. Many are university students under 25. The clinics work very hard to match the donor and recipient based on looks (eyes, hair, complexion, height, blood type, and nationality) and also consider other "requirements" such as education, interests, etc. You provide them with a picture of yourself, one of your partner, and any kids you may have had together already and they work hard to find your match. I honestly believe that they likely choose the same donor that you would choose if you got to pick from pictures yourself. If you can make this leap of faith, you than this is an option for you.

 

Added bonus: they always idenfity a back up donor that is also very closely matched to you, just in case something does not work out along the way.

 

They will give you information on both of the donors (nothing that you can trace them with) and you get to approve the donors before proceeding. 

 

There are no waiting lists for donors. It takes about 2-4 weeks to match you with your donors because the clinics have extensive donor lists of all nationalities available. People from the UK, for example, are very big international users of Greek clinics for egg donation. 

 

Note that there is a provision in Greek law to allow the identity of an egg donor to be revealed at a later date, should there be a need to have important medical information related to the child that was born from the donor's egg.

 

 

DONOR TESTING

 

Greek clinics do more extensive donor screening than anything I have seen in Canada or the US. They screen for far more STDs, more genetic and hereditary diseases, and do a full psychological work up. And I don't just mean getting a list of family illnesses from the donor, but they actually run genetic and medical tests for certain diseases, immune issues, etc.

 

In addition, the clinic we are with only uses PROVEN donors meaning that their egg donation resulted in a pregnancy that was verified by ultrasound. The back-up donor, however, may be a first time donor.

 

One of the unique things about donor programs in Greece is that they follow the donors medically for a considerable length of time after the donation to ensure ongoing health. This is in STARK contrast to North American clinics who do not track donors in any way, much less offer free medical check-ups post donation/

 

RECIPIENT TESTING

 

I also find that Greek clinics ask for a few more tests (done in your own country) on both the intended mother and father. Not too many more, but you can see that they want to make sure that the couple is in the best health to provide the sperm and to receive the egg transfer. I am extremely expressed.

 

SUCCESS RATES

 

Greek clinics are reporting pregnancy rates (confirmed by ultrasound) around 65 to 70% per egg transfer with donor eggs.  I have heard that Spain also has excellent care and excellent success rates. They are a little bit more expensive than Greece.  American and Canadian pregnancy rates (confirmed by ultrasound) average closer to 55 with donor eggs.

 

 

QUALITY OF TREATMENT

 

European countries are leading the fertility/ivf world in terms of research and cutting edge practices. Do a google search and you will see what I mean. The UK is particularly advanced and is currently practicing the most advanced embryo selection procedures in the world with outstanding success. The other european countires are now adopting these methods as well.

 

-----------------------------------

 

Last thought: A world reknown reproductive endicronoligist from the UK recently costed out the TRUE cost of one IVF cycle. He included in his calculation the costs for all medical testing, generously paid medical pesonnel, and all overhead such as equipment, building costs, etc, and guess what the actual cost of one cycle really costs a medium sized clinic that does 2000 ivf procedures a year in the UK?

 

700 euros. ($1,000 Canadian)

 

We are completely sold on our choice, and are so happy to have found this information about ivf in Greece. Our fresh egg transfer will be at the end of July. We will be advised of the details of our donors next week, so if people show interest in this topic, I would be happy to post our experience along the way, so we can all judge for ourselves! 

 

Warm wishes and good luck to everyone. I help this may have helped someone else!

 


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#2 Curlygirl77

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:47 PM

Hi Ociwoman and congrats on your plans!!

 

We are headed to the Czech Republic for donor egg IVF in the fall, and I totally agree with all of the points that you have brought up in your post about cost of IVF in North America vs. in Europe.

 

One question for you - which dr wrote you a letter stating that it was necessary for your to leave Canada to find an appropriate egg donor program?  I was wondering if it would be the dr's at the fertility clinic, or your family doctor?

 

Good luck!!  July is coming right up!!


Diagnosed with DOR in October 2012

Surprise BFP October 2012! Chemical pregnancy

January 2013- decided to pursue donor egg IVF with my sister- she is diagnosed with DOR as well :-(

July 2013- decided on donor egg IVF in Europe, planning on early 2014 to give time to try naturally

Surprise BFP September 2013. Another chemical pregnancy :-( At the same time, a dear friend offers to donate her eggs to us! Her testing begins...

Surprise BFP October 2013!!! 

First beta 29/10- 36

Second beta 31/10- 106, right on track!

Third beta 03/11- 277

Fourth beta 09/11- only 622... doubling time more than 3 days :-( Bracing ourselves for another miscarriage.

Fifth and final beta 12/11- 1875! Tripled in 3 days. RE wondering about ectopic...  

13/11- first ultrasound- gestational sac, yolk sac and fetal pole seen! Baby measuring exactly right on for dates! We are ecstatic!!!  Too early for heartbeat so now waiting patiently for next ultrasound.

05/12- 8+6 - beautiful heartbeat of 165 heard and baby is exactly the right size (and also very photogenic).  Can't believe it!!!!!!

12/12- 9+5 - first OB appointment. New due date is July 12th by our 8 week scan. Can't believe how much baby was moving in there on the ultrasound today!!! Happy little heartbeat too.

June 17, 2014-  our little miracle baby boy born by c-section for pre-eclampsia and breech at 36 weeks!  He is so awesome.  So incredibly thankful....

 

Surprise BFP July 2015. Third chemical pregnancy. Ugh.

Surprise BFP August 2015.  Seems too good to be true.  Very cautious but holding out a bit of hope...

First beta 02/09 - 2811

Second beta 10/09 - 29 455

22/09 - first ultrasound at 7+5! Little baby measuring right on track with a beautiful heartbeat. Due date May 5th!

April 21, 2016 - our second miracle boy is born naturally after a c-section the first time.  What an experience… We are so thankful to the universe and feel that our family is now complete. 


#3 ociwoman

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 03:20 PM

Hi the Curlygirl77,

 

We asked our doctor from the fertility clinic in our home town that did our original tests and is doing the pre-egg transfer monitoring here in Canada. I have heard of other women asking their family doctors for letters as well. I guess it all depends on the individual doctor as to whether they agree to write the letter or not.

 

I wish you and your partner the best of luck with your treatment in the Czech Republic. Please come back and let us know how it works out for you.

 

Cheers!


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#4 angelal99

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:51 AM

Hi ociwoman

 

Wow , thank you very much for all this information

My husband and I stopped then started thinking

 

There are few questions came to mind

1. What are the recent changes in the law in late 2012, it is nearly impossible to reimburse an egg donor for her expenses too. Do you have a link since I was not aware of the changes

2. I have been on the fence on Europe clinics - Spain or Greece.  IVF Madrid, other spain, Cyprus or Greece

Do you some statistics or data that can help me out between the two ? or a link

3. The british nurse is there any link info that you send me

 

Still reeling

 

 

Angela

 



#5 ociwoman

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:56 PM

Hi there Angela,

 

Nice to hear from you.

 

I will answer your questions the best that I can.

 

Question 1:

 

Here is a link to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act http://laws-lois.jus...ng/acts/A-13.4/

 

You will note that the AHRA was amended on September 30, 2012. Several sections of the act were repealed (no longer in force), and several sections were added in order to shift responsibility for policing the law to Health Canada, instead of the former AHR Agency. Also, there were several sections added to beef up the policing aspect of the AHRA. 

 

Section 12 is the section of the AHRA that deals with reimbursement of donor's expenses. You will note that it is shaded in grey, which means that it has not come into force yet. As the AHRA currently stands, there is no clear indication what type of expenses can be reimbursed for donors. When you go to the regulations, section 65, you get no more information. So, there is a giant loophole in the law right now... 

 

The advice we received from our lawyer was that reimbursement for egg donation is extremely unclear right now, and given the current case that the RCMP is investigating in Toronto (google Leia Picard), we should carefully consider whether we want to use an egg donor in Canada (if reimbursing any expenses is involved). Since I work in the criminal justice field, and coming into conflict with the law could cost me my job (no matter how good intentioned we may be), we have chosen not to take the risk. But that is us. Others may feel totally fine despite the ambiguity within the law. 

 

Question 2

 

European clinics - Spain or Greece... Statistics or data that can help me out between the two ? 

 

From the research I have done, both countries appear to have much higher success rates for donor egg ivf than the clinics in Canada or the US, but most clinics in Greece are reporting higher statistics than Spain (but about 10-15%). The big difference appears to be price. Clinics in Spain are charging up to 2300 euros more than some of the Greek clinics. It all depends on where the clinics are located in Spain - for example, the clinics in Madrid seem to be more expense than other locations in Spain. I recommend that you shop around for prices and success rates.

 

Here are a few stats from the clinics that were recommended to me by the British Fertility Nurse (I will message you her contact details). She has chosen to work with these clinics because they have very good success rates and they treat their egg donors and recipients with the utmost care, respect and compassion.

 

Clinica Fertia, Costa Del Sol, Spain - 2011 success rates for fresh donor egg ivf was 57%. Cost 5000 to 6250 euros, depending on whether you choose to freeze any remaining embryos and whether you want to transfer blastocysts only instead of just 3 day old embryos. 

 

Procreatec, Madrid, Spain - 2011 success rates for fresh donor egg ivf was also 57%. Cost 6250 to 7375 euros, depending on whether you choose to freeze any remaining embryos and whether you want to transfer blastocysts only instead of just 3 day old embryos. 

 

Iakentro - 3 clinics in Greece- one in Athens, one Thessaloniki, one in Albania. 2011 success rates for fresh donor egg ivf were a whopping 68% in all 3 clinics. Cost 5000 euros - no extra cost for blastocyst transfer or freezing remaining embryos.  

 

New Life Reproductive Centre, Thessaloniki, Greece. 2011 success rates for donor egg ivf were 67%. Cost 5000 - 5700 euros - no extra cost for blastocyst transfer, but 700 euros for freezing remaining embryos. 

 

One of the factors to consider is who are the egg donors that each clinic works with? We have chosen to have our treatment in Greece because they have varied egg donor database, and many of the donors are university educated. The British Fertility Nurse (coordinator) is currently seeking out our egg donor amongst three of the clinics in Greece. I have dark hair and dark eyes and a fair complexion, so I am fairly easy to match. I spoke with the coordinator this morning and she advised us that she will get back to us next week with 2-3 donors that have been matched to my physical characteristics, blood type, and have the proven education level that we requested. We then get to chose from those. She indicated that donors at these 3 clinics are usually Greek, Russian, Romanian, or Georgian - sometimes Italian women are available too. She also indicated that she only works with donors who have donated before and the donation resulted in a pregnancy.  

 

So there you go! I will PM you the details about the co-ordinator.

 

Best of luck and feel free to ask any other questions you may have!

 

Carla


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#6 borntobreed

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:39 AM

Hi there. ..I am glad to find this section. So....where to start...we went to Barcelona last summer for a donor cycle and it failed! We had the remaining embroys shipped to Ottawa and off the four...only one was transferred due to quality! So a year later we are starting over....I too am trying to find a donor but it is heart breaking and not easy. We are now planning to go back to Europe. ..my husband and I are both European and a match should be easy enough. ..we are dark haired, olive skin, I have blue eyes however...but again not too hard to match! So....Barcelona ivf quoted us 8000euros for our treatment again. I am leaning towards greece, simply because I have never been. I would love to work with a coordinator this time as last time I did all myself and it was exhausting! Can you let me know if there is a cheaper time to travel to greece? And also which clinic you decided on and why? It is sooo stressful, especially when you go all that way and it does not work! !!

#7 My_time

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:56 AM

Ociwoman, thanks your detailed long posts.  


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Diagnosis: Repeated Pregnancy Loss + DOR + Advance maternal Age.

So far no luck with IVF attempts. Hope things take a turn soon.

 


#8 My_time

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:16 AM

 Will the Greece centre provide you with updated health information from donor in the future? for example, will you be notified if the donor finds out they carry a genetic disease?


Diagnosis: Repeated Pregnancy Loss + DOR + Advance maternal Age.

So far no luck with IVF attempts. Hope things take a turn soon.

 


#9 ociwoman

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:02 PM

Hi there,

 

I am really sorry to hear about your last cycle - especially after travelling all the way to Spain. 

 

We looked at both the Spanish and Greek clinics (note the coordinator works with clinics in both countries), and we decided on the Greek clinics because their success rates with fresh donor egg ivf are higher than Spain's. Spain's success rates were around 55%, while Greece's were 65% and higher. I believe that the reason for this is that the Greek clinics that we looked at only work with PROVEN donors. That means donors who have successfully donated before. Also, the Greek clinics insist on a few more tests  on the donor and the couple to rule out anything that could possibly reduce the chance of implantation. For example, my clinic in Ottawa only required me to have the usual tests (HIV, Hep B and C, and chlamydia), but the clinic in Greece also wants tests to rule out toxoplasmosis, CMV, syphillis, mycoplasma, ureoplasma, and haemoglobin electorphoresis in the because hese infections have been shown to dramatically reduce success. They also ask for a sperm culture (in addition to a recent detailed semen analysis) to ensure that there is no infection in the sperm that needs to be treated with antibiotics before fertilisation.  These tests can be done here in Canada and are pretty simple (one blood test and one vaginal swab for you, one semen sample for the male), and are covered by most provincial insurance plans.

 

So, I think that is why their success rates are higher - they do a few more important preventive tests on all parties, and they only use proven donors.

 

The donors in Greece usually come from the following countries: Greece, Romania, Georgia and Russia. With your colouring, you should not have too much trouble finding a match. Normally, you will be told the details of 2 possibly 3 donors that the clinic has assessed are the best fit for you, and then you choose from these...

 

In terms of clinics in Greece, the coordinator works with two of them (Iakentro and New Life Reproductive Centre). Both have  excellent success rates, top quality doctors, and state of the art facilities. The coordinator has approached both clinics for us in order to get the best donor match. We will be advised of our suggested donors next week, and then we choose and book our flights! 

 

In terms of travelling to Greece, the summer season (June, July and August) is the most expensive. Most clinics close for part of August and September (about 4 weeks) for holidays. The cheapest time to travel and stay is probably during October to March.

 

I will send you the name and contact info of the coordinator in a PM.

 

Feel free to ask any other questions. I don't mind!   

 

Cheers!


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#10 ociwoman

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 04:27 PM

Hi My-time-will-come,

 

I know that all Greek clinics do extensive screening of donors, but to be exactly certain, you would need to speak with the individual clinics you are interested in to ask them exactly what factors they would screen a donor out for, and what they are willing to share. I know, for example, that our clinic will automatically screen out women with ANY history of sexually transmitted disease, and any woman with a history of mental illness. They also test for many immune diseases. They do verify education level - donor must provide proof - and they share that information with you. 

 

I believe the key matching criteria used by the clinics to be physical characteristics such as height, weight, eye and hair colour, skin complexion, blood type, and ethnicity. We have asked for a donor with a university degree or studying in university, and we were told that would be no problem.

 

I think that the key to remember is that the longer the list of desired characteristics, the harder it may be to find a match, no matter which country you go to find your egg donor. If time is on your side thought, then take you have the luxury of taking the  time to find the right donor. :) 

 

I understand that, should it become medically necessary to know more about a child born from egg donation, the Greek government permits the clinic to make contact with the donor to obtain more information, but the identity of the donor will always remain anonymous.

 

I hope this helps. Many of the Greek clinics have great web sites and English-speaking international patient co-ordinators, so a trawl on the internet just may answer your questions more clearly. :) 

 

Best to you!


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#11 borntobreed

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 05:58 PM

Thanks so much for your help. I am going to talk with my husbabd tonight. I have given up trying here in canada...my ovarian reserve is low and I don't want to waste what little money I have left on ivf with low chances! Will you be flying into athens? Iam thinking end if sept beginning of October. If we can save a bit of money that would be great! !!
We went to Barcelona ivf....totally great experience, just no pregnancy! !! We were devastated! !!! I am so tired and the thought of travelling back to eu does not thrill me! I am going to see what greece offers. ..my husband is Italian and I am Hungarian so a match should be easy enough! !!! Keep me posted on your journey and I will do the same! !!

#12 My_time

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:57 AM

Hi Ociwoman, .Did you find any actual patient experience/reviews? If so do you mind sharing them. Thanks 

.


Diagnosis: Repeated Pregnancy Loss + DOR + Advance maternal Age.

So far no luck with IVF attempts. Hope things take a turn soon.

 


#13 ociwoman

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:18 PM

You will find on the UK web sites that there are many women who adore this one particular clinic because the Clinical Director is from the UK and she is very compassionate. I won't mention the name of the clinic or the director here, but I would not recommend that clinic because, depsite Greek law prohibiting the practice of medicine without a licence, that clinic allows that clinical director, who has no medical background, to perform fertility treatments. The clinical director is the wife of the RE who owns the clinic. I hear that she is caring, but being caring isn't enough me - you need a freakin' licence to practice medicine! (Sorry about the rant, but sheesh!!!)

 

The international patient coordinator (British fertility nurse) that we are working with will not refer patients to that clinic. On the bright side, she is not aware of any other Greek or Spanish clinic that uses non-medical personnel. It's quite strange actually the way these UK women have bonded with this Clinical Director. From what I have been able to learn from those message boards, the UK women are extremely poorly treated in the fertility clinics in the UK, and the waiting listes for egg donation are atrocious, so finding a caring British clinical director in Greece, regardless of her training, might be a bit of a God-send for them... They defend her to the end.... oh well...

 

You will find more information about Iakentro on the Greek forums - problem is, you have to understand Greek to read the entries! That being said, I was able to find two women on the message boards who are patients of Iakentro, and are also working with the British fertility nurse. We have been exchanging emails and they have confirmed everything that I have written on here so far - about both Iakentro and about the fertility nurse. It is legitimate!   

 

I will PM you the contact info for the fertility nurse... you will see that once you speak with her, she will instantly put you at ease.

 

Best to you...



#14 My_time

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:30 PM

Thank you.

Good luck!


Diagnosis: Repeated Pregnancy Loss + DOR + Advance maternal Age.

So far no luck with IVF attempts. Hope things take a turn soon.

 


#15 Adventure

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:56 AM

\



#16 ociwoman

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:38 PM

Hi all,

 

I have checked with the fertility nurse who acts as an international coordinator/fertility nurse for clinics in Spain and Greece and she has agreed for me to post her contact info here>>>

 

Her name is Ruth Pellow and she can be reached at [email protected]  Her very useful website can be found at ivftreatmentabroad.com. She is lovely and dedicated fertility nurse. She is currently living in Greece so she will usually get back to you within 12 to 24 hours, and she will call you free of charge to discuss your needs. We are thrilled with her service (I start my cycle meds in a few days!) and feel free to let her know I referred you. By the way, she coordinates all types of treatment - not just with donor eggs. She also helps with ivf with own eggs.

 

I will keep posting our experience here, but so far, things have been excellent. :)

 

Best to everyone...


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#17 My_time

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:42 PM

Ociwoman, I was searching "other" internet sites to read on clinics in Greece and somehow came across your thread about Serum. You did stir a heated debate there.


Diagnosis: Repeated Pregnancy Loss + DOR + Advance maternal Age.

So far no luck with IVF attempts. Hope things take a turn soon.

 


#18 ociwoman

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:50 AM

Hi My-time,

 

Yes I know about the other website comments! I was actually quite shocked by the feedback on that site myself.  As you know, that is a UK based site, and from what the women have writen on that site, it sounds like the UK ivf medical practitioners are horrible. Nobody had anything nice to say about being treated in the UK. Also, I looked into the UK medical system and was shocked to find how much fertility treatment actually gets done by non-medical personnel in that country.  It sounds like the UK system is over-burdened to the extreme.

I guess the women on that site were just so grateful to have found that "scientist' who treated them well at the Serum clinic, that they were willing to overlook her lack of credentials. (Good for them, but not good enough for me - sorry!)  We truly are lucky here in Canada.

 

To be clear, I verified that the medical standards in Greece are similar to Canada's - it is a criminal offence to practice medicine without a licence there, just like it is here in Canada. I also verified with Ruth what the story was about the Serum Clinic. She confirmed that the scientist does conduct treatments at the clinic, under the superivision of the RE. Ruth does not agree with that, so she will not bring patients there...  

 

But you are right, the women were pretty mean on that site!!!!!!



#19 ociwoman

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:45 AM

UPDATE

 

Hi all,

 

Just an update on where we are at with our donor egg ivf treatment in Greece.

 

As I mentioned earlier, there are two clinics in Greece that Ruth works with: Iakentro and New Life Reproduction (NLR). Iakentro has two units - one in Athens and one in Thessaloniki, while the NLR has only one clinic in Thessaloniki. Each of these 3 locations have their own separate databases of pre-approved egg donors. We have asked Ruth to request donor matches from each of the databases. We will choose our donor from these, and then go to the clinic/location that she is at. Both Iakentro and NLR are highly recommended and have very similar success rates and approaches (smaller clinics that offer attentive care to international patients). We suspect that we will be matched with donors from Thessaloniki, since we requested donors who are either studying in university or university graduates. (The two Thessaloniki clinics are located right next to Aristotle University where many of the students sign up to be egg donors.)  Also, Ruth only works with PROVEN donors under 30. Typically the donors are students in their early to mid-20's who have successfully donated before.  

 

Given my colouring, I will be an easy match. Our donors will likely come from one of the following countries: Georgia, Romania, Greece, Russia. You are matched based on physical characteristics, blood type, and any other factors you choose. The goal is that the child you may have with fit into your family.

 

The donor cycles are usually scheduled about 6-8 weeks ahead of time. Ruth made the requests for matches about 10 days ago, and they usually take about two weeks to provide you with a short-list of donors (2-3 donors per clinic). We should get news of our proposed donors any day now! 

 

Oh yes and the cool thing is that they actually have a back-up donor cycling with your chosen donor at the same time. This is done just in case something goes wrong with the donor cycle. If the back-up donor is not required, the clinic will freeze her eggs and they are offered to other patients who may want them in future.

 

The egg retrieval date is aimed for approx July 30, 2013. I was shocked that we could actually pick a date for egg transfer, but apparently, these is feasible due to the magic of birth control pills. We need to be in Greece no later than July 29th and to stay for about 10 days.

 

We have completed all the pre-cyle tests required by the Greek clinics. We did these at the Ottawa Fertility Centre which is 10 mins from our home. I find the Greek clinics ask for a few more tests to be done on the recipient couple than is normally requested here in Canada. For example, I did tests for eureoplasma, mycoplasma, hemaglobin electrophenesis, and CMV. These are not standard tests done in Canada, but they are standard in Greece. The costs were covered by provincial health insurance, so no big deal.

 

My DH has to do another detailed semen analysis at OFC on Tuesday, because the last one he did was in April of 2012, and the Greek clinics want all tests to be current within 6 months (one year for a semen analysis). DH had no issues last year, so not a concern. Also, Greece does sperm cultures to ensure there are no infections in the sperm that need to be addressed before the cycle, so this will be done from the sample DH provides on Tuesday. Again covered by provincial insurance.

 

So for preparatory testing, we are basically done!

 

We signed our satellite monitoring agreement with Ottawa Fertility Centre on May 28th. The next day, the fertility co-ordinator (Ruth) emailed the request for satellite monitoring to OFC, along with the list of prescriptions that will be required to OFC. Our RE at OFC signed off the prescription and sent it to the OFC pharmacy for us to pick up our meds. We picked up the first meds: 2 packs of BCP (Marvelon) for me. I start the pills on Day 1 of my next cycle which should start in the next two days. This way, once the donor is selected, they can synchronize both of our cycles for the end of July. The magic of science!

 

We just booked our flights to Athens yesterday (June 7). Once we know exactly which clinic we will be dealing with, we will book the flight to Thessaloniki (from Athens) if necessary. We will also book an apartment for part of our stay - will be much more comfortable to be in an apartment where we can kick back after egg transfer ... 

 

So that's where we are at: about to start BCP, about to get lists of screened and proven donors, and our flights are booked!

 

Funny, in the last 2 years, I can't say that I ever wanted AF to arrive so badly!!!!!! giggle.gif

 

Next update: probably Wednesday!

 

Cheers!



#20 Adventure

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:04 PM

. I'm just wondering how much OFC charged you for satellite monitoring?



#21 My_time

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:09 PM

Hi Ociwoman! I am surprised that they actually stimulate a second donor just as back up. Do you have to pay for medication for both donors or will you pick up the costs of the back up donor only if you use her eggs?  
 


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Diagnosis: Repeated Pregnancy Loss + DOR + Advance maternal Age.

So far no luck with IVF attempts. Hope things take a turn soon.

 


#22 ociwoman

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 12:57 PM

OFC charged $325 for satellite monitoring. We will need two blood tests and two ultrasounds to check my uterine line as we get closer to egg transfer, and we will need to pay for those (about another $300 total for those tests). I find their pricing reasonable, as many other clinics I looked at charged $1,000 or more plus the cost of testing. eusa_dance.gif



#23 ociwoman

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 07:42 PM

Hi all,

 

Another little update.

 

Day 1 of my cycle was last Tuesday, so started the BCP to be able to manipulate my cycle as needed. On Day 21 I will have a shot of Luperon to "downregulate" my July cycle (= to prevent ovulation in July). Shortly after that, I will start the other meds to prepare the lining of my uterus for egg transfer. Egg collection from our donor is scheduled for July 30 or 31st (depending on how her ovaries are responding). Egg transfer will be 3 to 5 days after collection.

 

Speaking of donors, we were given two suggested donors from the Iakentro Clinic in Athens to choose from. The process was like this: they matched me to proven donors who had the closest basic characteristics (blood type, eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, build, complexion). We had requested proven donors only (= had donated before and resulted in pregnancy), who were under age 30, and (had proof of) a unversity degree or studying towards a degree. We also asked them to match us to donors who looked like me, if possible. 

 

The clinic came back with two excellent proven donors that matched on every characteristic. One of the women is Greek, 27 years old with a degree, and the other is Romanian, 25 years old, and finishing her degree. It is so difficult to choose because they have everything we could wish for (go figure!), so we asked our treatment coordinator, Ruth, to review the donor's phots and tell us which of the two looksd most like me. We should hear back from her tomorrow (Monday) and then we will make our choice.

 

It's worth repeating that these donors are completely anonymous. Only the clinic staff know who they are. So those are things that intended parents have to be comfortable with. You can rest assured that there are no genetic diseases or chromosomal abnormalities, or STD's or other illnesses that can be passed down (the women undergo genetic testig and are screened out if they don't pass). You do need to be able to accept that you will not be provided a picture of the donor.  Not everyone can work with that. For us, everything tells us so far that this clinic wants us to succeed, and they want us to have a child who will fit well into our family, so we are comfortable with the anonymity and the lack of photo.

 

For accommodations, our treatment coordinator, Ruth, just purchased a lovely home in Athens close to the sea, and as part of her business she rents out the apartment in her home to patients she is working with. So we are staying with her for the week of the egg collection and transfer. It will be great to be close to Ruth (she's a fertility nurse) who will be the go-between for us and the clinic. She's been outstanding so far! 

 

Two days after egg transfer, we are going to take a boat over to one of the Greek islands and spend a week resting, and hopefully, growing a baby... 

 

Next update: we'll share which donor we chose!    

 

Ciao!



#24 Baby.Hopes

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:47 PM

Hi Ociwoman,

Im really grateful that I have stumbled across this journal of yours. Believe it or not I am going through the same Journey as you Egg Donation in Athens Greece through the Iakentro Clinic and staying with Ruth yahoo.gif , just being able to read everything that you have posted and relate to it makes me feel less alone!

 

My cycle started 2nd May 2013 - im due to Fly out of New Zealand Sunday 23rd June - I wont arrive in Athens until 25th June (its a very long haul for us). Im due for a scan on Friday to see if my Lining is thickening up Nicely, the nerves are getting the better of me right now and im loosing sleep!

 

Just a little bit about myself........

 

Im 25 and My Husband is 34 - I have been diagnosed with Unexplained infertility - My husband has nothing wrong on his part.
 

5 Miscarriages, 2 of them being Ectopic one of which ruptured my right tube & I was rushed to ER it was removed. The other 3 were blighted ovum's that took 9.5 weeks, 11 weeks & 5 weeks to pass Naturally.

 

IVF # 1 Negative = 5 eggs retrieved, 3 fertilised, 1 transferred at day 3 - 8 cell.

IVF # 2 Negative = 13 eggs retrieved, 8 Fertilized, Only 1 survived for Transfer on day 5 & it was a Morula.

IVF # 3 Negative = 16 eggs retrieved, 10 Fertilized, 2 transferred at day 5 but once again they were at a compacting morula stage.

 

After much soul searching and counselling, 4 years trying to conceive we reached a point where we wanted to research Egg donation. In New Zealand the laws are very strict and the egg donor has to be "apart" of your family right from the beginning - something I was not comfortable with. After doing a lot of research we found Ruth Pellow - My life changed at that very moment, she has helped me through this Journey with open arms. I have picked a Donor - she is 25 years old, Romanian & has the same features as me except she is a little bit taller (which I don't mind because im only 161cm!) we are currently cycling together - egg retrieval is scheduled for 26/27 June depending on the response from egg donor.

 

Im very excited but very anxious - Would love it if we keep in touch with our journeys!!

 

Good luck and hope to hear from you.

 

- Sarah

 


 


"At any given moment you have the Power to say: this is not how this Journey is going to END"


#25 fieldofdreams

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:39 AM

Hi Ociwoman,

 

I too am glad that you have started this.  I first saw you online in FF where I read the replies you got and couldnt believe how narrow minded they were.  The important thing to all of us is that we are doing what is right for us and knowing what you go through yourself, you just don't give negative responses to others - it's all about support, but they missed that... obviously! 

 

I too am going to be going to Iakentro in Athens through Ruth - isn't she just wonderful!  While I don't have a long travel journey like yourself (and Sarah above!), I still have the same fears, thoughts, questions, worries etc. as everyone else and going through Ruth has made it all so easy, I feel very relaxed about everything and know that I can ask Ruth anything I need to know, no matter how random!! 

 

As I won't be going out there until September, it's great to read about your journey knowing I won't be far behind.  I'm Irish but living in the UK - brief history, trying for over 7 years, unexplained, me 41, hubby 38, 3 failed IVF and now onto this.  My main reasons for picking Greece are cost and donor anonymity.  It's kind of nice to be planning a holiday around it all as well, gives something fun to focus on.  We are going to stay somewhere in Athens for 1 week and then go to one of the small islands for another week, I can't wait! 

 

We will have our donor options by the end of July (hopefully) and then it is full steam ahead.  I will be keeping everything crossed for you, and anyone else replying here, and I look forward to tagging along online with your journey!

 

F. xx


Me: 41 no issues, just age Him: 38 no issues

3 IVF rounds, unsuccesful

Now ready for donor egg & excited!






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