Why people travel abroad for IVF

The ability to bear children is something which is a given for most women, and often seemingly taken for granted, but for those who struggle to conceive the process of getting fertility treatment via the NHS can seem both frustrating and unduly delayed.

Often they face multiple obstacles and restrictions, and there are many criteria which have to be met to assess whether a couple is eligible for treatment on the NHS. The following is an example of the typical conditions:

– You must be under 39

– Your BMI (Body Mass Index) must be less than 30

– You must be a non-smoker and prove this through a breathalyser

– You must be teetotal, or close to

– There must be no previous children for either party

– You must have a diagnosed infertility reason, OR 3 years unexplained infertility

Improve_sperm_mobilitySome of the restrictions and obstacles seem more crazy than others. For instance, as an example case, Jane, a woman with no children, meets and falls in love with Steven, who has one child from a previous relationship. They want to have children together, but aren’t able due to infertility issues on her side. The NHS will not help them, purely because Steven already has a child. The fact that the child is of no relation to Jane means nothing and the criteria state she is not eligible for any help. If she wants NHS help she has to leave Steven for another, childless man – a ridiculous notion to most – or stick with him and pay the huge costs associated with private care in the UK.

How fair is it to deny a couple the chance of providing them their first child, or a sibling for an existing child that may well only have one biological parent in the family.

Taking another example into consideration, it is true that IVF is a costly process and if a woman is significantly overweight, or over the age of 40, then the treatment is far less likely to work. Therefore you could see it as ‘wasting’ precious and expensive treatment, which may well have worked on someone who was younger and slimmer. However this is a massive generalisation and does not take into account what is normal for each individual woman.

So should the NHS invest more in assessing each patient on an individual basis?

A recent article considered this view:  “One idea is that the HFEA (Human Fertility and Embryology Authority) should issue forms to be completed as part of the qualifying criteria, the idea being that they would look at the likely welfare of the child, income levels of the family, the structure of the family unit and also take note of any criminal records. But again, why should IVF patients be subjected to this when there are millions of people who would fail the eligibility assessment falling pregnant naturally every day?”

However there is another option that avoids the obstacle course that is NHS fertility treatment, that avoids needlessly breaking up the family unit in our example case, or penalising a woman because of her partner’s child.NHS pay for treatment abroad

This is by going abroad for fertility treatment. The number of patients saving money by going abroad for medical care has been increasing steadily for the last decade and, with expensive treatments like IVF, huge amounts can be saved at private medical centres abroad, without sacrificing the quality of care. In fact most patients find their level of care abroad exceeds their experiences in the UK.

Many find that when the NHS, or even private clinics, will not or cannot help they have found a solution that was preferable and better by travelling to experienced, well known clinics and hospitals abroad.

At Body Bureau we try to make this process as easy as possible for patients. With our London Pre-Assessment Centre our clients can choose to have their consultations, follow up, and preparation done in the UK meaning they only actually need to be away for 4-6 days for the actual implantation procedure.

This saves them both time and money as otherwise they would have to make at least two trips and stay away for the entire treatment process, around 3 weeks.

For more information please see our website or call +44 (0) 207 617 7301

7 Easy Ways to Boost Sperm Health

Around half of all fertility problems in relationships are down to the male partner, and more specifically, their sperm health.

Sperm mobility This article helps to advise men how to increase the quality and quantity of their sperm, but firstly, what is considered healthy and unhealthy?

“The term ‘healthy sperm’ indicates that the sperms are abundant in number, with at least 15 million sperm cells present in one mililitre of semen sample (40 million/ejaculate), they have a normal shape and structure and they have their motility intact. If any one of these qualities in majority of your sperms is missing, they are unhealthy.”

So having unhealthy sperm could mean you are infertile and your sex drive could be lowered. To help, here are some key steps to boost your sperm quality and quantity courtesy of The Health Site.

Eat right: This has to be the first step if you want to keep your fertility intact. The effects of eating unhealthy junk food may not be evident right away but it’s going to affect your reproductive system in the long run. This could be one of the reasons why more and more number of men are now suffering from erectile dysfunction and infertility. A simple, healthy diet should be rich in protein; fruits, vegetables and fibre can do wonders to your reproductive health.

Exercise: Your sperm quality is bound to degrade with age. But if you keep yourself active when you’re young, you will not face too many problems in your sex life later. Being too thin and too fat, both have been linked to significantly low levels of testosterone, loss of interest in sex and poor erections. So, exercise well and lose some weight if needed. Remember, too much exercising can also affect your fertility. So, keep it moderate.

Reduce your alcohol intake: There is a lot of evidence suggesting that heavy alcohol consumption can cause infertility in men. According to a study, having more than one drink every day can lower the secretion of testosterone, the male reproductive hormone required for healthy sperm production, and increased sex drive or libido. Another study showed that 5 units of alcohol can trigger changes in the levels of reproductive hormones and degrade sperm quality in young men. Alcohol can also change the structure of your sperms and make them immotile.

Cut on tobacco: Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens like cadmium, lead and benzo-a-pyrene. Smoking one pack of cigarettes can significantly increase the level of cadmium in your semen, while lowering the zinc levels. Cadmium can damage the DNA of your sperms, killing them, reducing them in number. If you and your partner are finding it hard to get pregnant, and you smoke, it is vital that you quit.

Sperm Count and fertilityDitch recreational drug use: It’s also no surprise that recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine have been linked to the inability to perform sexually, also leading to infertility, and so should be cut out as well. Use can cause lowered seminal fluid production, lowered blood supply to the penis, poor sperm quality and lowered sperm count.

Don’t stress: A healthy mind is the key to a healthy body. If you keep your mind occupied with tackling unnecessary stress, all the functions of your body will get affected, including your sexual organs. A high level of stress hormones in the blood can lower sperm count, affect sperm production and also affect your sperm quality.

Minimise exposure to heat: Some studies have linked increased exposure to heat with lowered sperm count. So, if you’re planning to become a father, try to stay away from hot bathtubs, overly-hot showers and Jacuzzis for a while. Using them for a long time can obstruct your testicles and harm healthy sperms. Also try not to wear clothing that is too tight around your genitals, such as skinny jeans.

How Body Bureau Can Help:

There are many reasons a couple experience difficulties in conceiving, but Body Bureau can help. We have regular London consultations for treatment that takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city. As an EU country it abides but all the same high standards and regulations and is in the UK but at about 50% (IVF from only £1275),  of the price of other private health and IVF clinics. Also we can offer affordable Egg (from £4000), Sperm, Embryo donation services in our partner clinic in Prague, Czech Republic.

No waiting lists, success rates above UK average, newest methods, assessment consultations and after-care in London, most modern clinics. For more information and book an appointment, call us NOW 0207 617 7301 or email us info@bodybureau.co.uk.

Trial Confirms Clinical Benefit of Time-Lapse Monitoring

Large Prospective Randomized Trial Confirms Clinical Benefit of EmbryoScope® Time-Lapse System

AARHUS, DenmarkSeptember 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

The success rate of assisted reproduction was significantly increased by the use of revolutionary time-lapse technology

A study accepted for publication in the renowned scientific journal Fertility & Sterility, confirms that a revolutionary and clinically certified technology can substantially increase the success rate in assisted reproduction.

The use of the EmbryoScope® time-lapse system significantly increased ongoing pregnancy rates, implantation rates as well as significantly reduced early pregnancy loss.

These are results from one of the world’s largest multi-center fertility clinics, IVI, based in Valencia Spain. The current study was conducted as a follow-up to a large retrospective analysis, which reported in 2012 that the combination of undisturbed culture and a customized embryo classification algorithm gave higher pregnancy rates. The data presented now confirm a relative improvement of more than 20 percent in clinical pregnancy rates by using the EmbryoScope® time-lapse system compared to standard evaluation procedures.

In the current study, 843 patients were randomized between treatment in the EmbryoScope® time-lapse system and standard incubation. Embryo evaluation in the time-lapse system made use of a customized morphokinetic model applying morphology and time-lapse variables to select embryos, whereas standard morphology was used in the standard incubation system. Patients receiving EmbryoScope® treatment using a morphokinetic model were 23.2% more likely to have an ongoing pregnancy as well as 35.7% less likely to experience an early pregnancy loss. Dr. Marcos Meseguer and his team have made thembryo monitoringis algorithm, which is available in IVI laboratories.

“This is the largest trial to date to study the clinical benefits of time-lapse technology on clinical outcomes, and we are delighted to confirm our previous findings,” says Dr. Meseguer, who conducted the survey. “IVI has always been at the forefront of offering our patients new and better treatments, and we were one of the first clinics in the world to offer the EmbryoScope® time-lapse system routinely to our patients. This also confirms that the research we have conducted in developing a customized embryo evaluation model will improve our efforts to help childless couples achieve the dream of parenthood.”

The results reflect the benefit of using a customized evaluation model, which was developed by analyzing outcome results from previous treatments and combining this with the superior incubation in the EmbryoScope® time-lapse system. A previous study conducted by IVI indicates that improved incubation alone could not account for the large improvement in clinical outcomes observed in this study.

“Unisense FertiliTech recognized the need to create advanced software to allow clinics to design and use models customized to their own clinical practice,” says CSO Niels Birger Ramsing. “We continue to invest resources to improve these software tools and to develop start-up embryo evaluation models which can be readily used by a wider range of clinics.”

 

The EmbryoScope® time-lapse system has been in clinical use since 2009 and has since been used for more than 200,000 patient treatments in 46 countries.

CEO Michael Reeslev says: “These results confirm outcome improvements reported from a number of clinics using our system and we are delighted that the prospective randomized controlled trial shows that our technology offers significant benefits to clinics and their patients.”

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Body Bureau offers embryo monitoring with Time-Lapse Imaging at its donation clinic in the Czech Republic. Contact Us today for more information.

Fertility Infographic

How Body Bureau Can Help:

There are many reasons a couple experience difficulties in conceiving, but Body Bureau can help. We have regular London consultations for treatment that takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city. As an EU country it abides but all the same high standards and regulations and is in the UK but at about 50% (IVF from only £1275),  of the price of other private health and IVF clinics. Also we can offer affordable Egg (from £4000), Sperm, Embryo donation services in our partner clinic in Prague, Czech Republic.

No waiting lists, success rates above UK average, newest methods, assessment consultations and after-care in London, most modern clinics. For more information and book an appointment, call us NOW 0207 617 7301 or email us info@bodybureau.co.uk.

More about our infertility treatments.

Main Reasons for Egg Donation Abroad

 There are many reasons why thousands of patients are choosing to go abroad for egg donation every year.  Not least because of the restrictions put on services by public health services like the NHS in UK, which mean many couples are either ineligible for help, or eligible but have to queue on long waiting lists, further affecting their chances of success.

We take a look at the main reasons UK couples are going abroad:

 

Affordable_Egg_donation_abroad

Image: www.facebook.com/OrangeStudioEdita

1) Higher Success Rates. There is no proper research why this is, but success rates in some clinics abroad are probably higher for egg donation because the donors in those countries – which allow anonymous donation – tend to be younger and healthier. This of course has an impact on the likelihood of success as their eggs are much better quality, leading to better outcomes of the procedure.

2) Egg donation abroad is cheaper. It is definitely cheaper to go for treatment in some European countries than in the USA or UK. For example, IVF with egg donation in our Czech Republic clinic cost from around £4000/€4500/$6600 comparing to an average price of £8000 in the UK, €7000 in Spain or $16000 in USA. Travelling abroad does require some extra outlay, such as travel and accommodation, but often even after adding all these costs together it is possible to save up to 60% when comparing totals, so it is always worth considering the option of going abroad. Companies like Body Bureau can help to save even more as we offer pre-assessment, consultation and aftercare in a London-based clinic. This helps to reduce the time you have to spend abroad significantly, as your treatment can start in your home country.

Egg Donation in Czech Republic Prague

Image:www.facebook.com/
OrangeStudioEdita

3) Donor anonymity. This alone can convince some parents to travel abroad for treatment.  For instance, in the UK donor anonymity legislation was changed in 2005, allowing people the right to seek identifying information about their donor once they reach 18. This is not acceptable for many couples so they decide to have IVF with egg donation in a country where their donors remain anonymous forever by local law. UK donor anonymity law also effects the supply of both egg and sperm donors, as many potential donors are put off from donating in the first place because they do not want their identity to be revealed in the future.

4) Lack of egg donors in the country you reside in. In some countries, like the UK, there is a perceived shortage of egg donors because historically the financial compensation for donors was very low. Recently the regulatory body in the UK – the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority – increased the amount of compensation available to donors, so situations should improve slightly. However, long waiting lists still exist – something deeply unacceptable for many people, as time is not an abundant commodity for people looking for infertility treatment.

5) Better care and personal approach. For those who have had a bad experience in terms of treatment or doctors in their own country (privately or NHS), they often have a much better experience dealing with clinics and coordinators from abroad. They often find them much more keen to help, to listen to their problems and to offer the most appropriate treatment options available for each individual couple, avoiding expensive, ineffective methods.

6) Availability of certain techniques.  Some methods and procedures may not be allowed or be readily available in their own country so people have travel abroad for them, for example; gender selection, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, embryo monitoring, egg/embryo freezing etc.

How Body Bureau Can Help:

There are many reasons a couple experience difficulties in conceiving, but Body Bureau can help. We have regular London consultations for treatment that takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city. As an EU country it abides but all the same high standards and regulations and is in the UK but at about 50% (IVF from only £1275,  of the price of other private health and IVF clinics. Also we can offer affordable Egg (from £4000), Sperm, Embryo donation services in our partner clinic in Prague, Czech Republic.

No waiting lists, success rates above UK average, newest methods, assessment consultations and after-care in London, most modern clinics. For more information and book an appointment, call us NOW 0207 617 7301 or email us info@bodybureau.co.uk.

More about our infertility treatments.