Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review

As promised here is a review of our experience with myivfalternative.com and the clinic Reprofit.

Why myivfalternative?
At first H and I were a little skeptical of using an online company for something that was so extremely personal and critical to us. We wanted to make sure that we weren't going to be scammed - I had heard so many horror stories of people being taken advantage of during their journey to building their family. I did a lot of research about them looking for women who had used their services and what their outcomes had been. I found a few blogs from women that had used their services and also found a message board of women using the clinic Reprofit that also talked about using their services. We felt comfortable enough to move forward with them. We liked the idea of having a contact in Brno that would pick us up from the airport/bus/train and take us to our hotel, and also to/from our clinic appointments and then also drop us back at the airport/bus/train. Also, the person in Brno spoke English so if we had any language barriers she would be able to helps us. Additionally, you are given a cellphone to use so that you can communicate with your coordinator there and also the clinic. You will also have a coordinator stateside that answers all of your questions, makes sure you have your meds, and is basically the liaison with the clinic. Our North American coordinator was Sue - she was amazing, always answering our emails on time or arranging phone calls if necessary. And, our coordinator in Brno was Denisa, she made us feel at home and made sure we knew what to expect at the clinic. Also, as part of the service, Denisa took us out for a real Czech meal. The biggest thing that swayed us was that myivfalternative clients have priority over patients that contact the clinic directly. Instead of having to wait a year, our wait was about 3.5 months from the time we signed the contract with Mag.

Cost
The cost at the time of signing up with this company was $7870 USD which includes the donor's fee, the IVF & ICSI, Freezing of embryos for one year, donor's drugs, as well as the fee for Mag's services. We also had sperm frozen there which cost 50 Euros (70USD). Our total spent including spending money, flights & accomodation was $12500-ish. This would pay for about a third to a half of what it costs in Canada/US for the same procedure.

The Clinic
I had heard nothing but great things about this clinic. This message board at Fertilityfriends.co.uk is specific to treatment in the Czech Repbulic and there is a ton of information about Reprofit. The clinic recently expanded, it is bright and modern. Most of the nurses speak English as well as other languages in addition to their Czech. Dr. Stepnan Machac is the lead doctor and is amazing. He just goes by his first name, pronounced Stefan. On the day of retrieveal, the surgery room was very modern and bright, they play technopop/relaxing music in there which I found slightly strange. We had a different doctor for the transfer - Marcel - he looks really young, but is 35 years old. He speaks English, but it's not great and he doesn't have very good bedside manner, but he gets the job done. The one thing to note about this clinic is that they do not give you pictures of your embryos so you have to remember to take a camera with you so that you can take a picture of the screen in the surgery that they use to show you the embryos. Oh, and after retrieval you call on days 2 and 3 to find out how your embryos are doing. You're given a number to call between 1pm and 2pm. If it's the weekend, it can be tough to get an answer because the Dr. is seeing patients and answering that line. On the day of my first appointment to have my ultrasound, we were sitting in the waiting room and we noticed that there were other couples like us but also single, much younger women as well. So the donors are in the same room with you. We may have seen our donor.

Donors
The women are young usually between 19 and 24 although ours was 29 years old and proven. You are able to describe in as much detail as you would like, the donor you are looking for to match you. I also sent a picture of myself to them. The donors are completely anonymous, you basically get age, hair colour, eye colour, height, complexion, education (if you ask for it), if they cleared the std and genetic testing and also if they are proven. This suited me since I became completely overwhelmed with other places that allowed you to see pictures. I became too worried about finding a clone of myself and it created too much stress for me.

Brno
It's the second largest city in Czech and the city centre is very nice. We stayed at the Hotel Europa which had very good rooms and includes breakfast with your stay. It's about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the city centre, but I think it was worth staying there as it's much quieter there and there's also a big park for walking/jogging just up the road. We didn't do many touristy things in Brno as we were lucky enough to have free accomodations in Prague and that is where we spent most of our time. The Student Agency bus costs $11 per person one way to/from Brno and Prague. It's about a 2 and a half hour ride - they play a movie that you can listen to in English and offer hot chocolate/coffee as part of your fare.

Overall Experience
Both H. and I are very happy with our decision to use myivfalternative and the clinic Reprofit. We would definitely use them again if necessary. Some poeple have said that paying the extra fee for Mags's business rather than going straight to the clinic is a waste, but for us it took a lot of the worry out of things. We didn't have to worry about a language barrier or figuring out how to get to and from our hotel or clinic. I guess it's whatever floats your boat.

Oh, I forgot, there are other services offered - e.g. PGD, donor sperm, donor embryo, regular IVF. I don't know about forwarding frozen sperm there, but I think it could probably be done.

ETA - The clinic freezes the embryos and keeps them in Brno, you cannot ship them back to Canada (that I'm aware of).

6 comments:

Janice said...

Thanks for the review. I have a question..what do they do with the extra embryos? Do they freeze them and keep them there? Or do you have them sent to Canada?

Kate said...

I would totally go the same route for DE IVF. Heck, our cycle was $11000, and no Czech vacation was involved!

Lost in Space said...

Great recap! It sounds like your experience with them was really positive which I hope translates to the same thing on a pee stick. (-;

Phoebe said...

Thanks for the comprehensive review. I'm hoping the good news follows your positive experience.

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