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

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.

Lithuania Voted Best Value Destination for Dental Treatment

Vilnius’ Old Town surprised researches with how affordable its accommodation was; and, as a result, ClinicSearch.com has rated Lithuania best value destination 2014 for dental treatment in Europe.

In a research 15 countries were compared for ease of travel, affordability of accommodation, and price of dental treatment. The results demonstrated that apart from Lithuania, Turkey, Poland, Hungary and Latvia made up the top five.

Dentistry abroad, Lithuania

Dr Ieva Day-Stirrat

Dr Ieva Day-Stirrat, principle dentist at ‘Odontika’ said: “The price of treatment is naturally lower than in the UK and Scandinavia, with dental implants’ prices being less than £500, which is significantly lower than in the UK.     Wages are a determining factor here, with the average wage being less than ¼ of the UK’s average. However, the quality of treatment and guarantee are more important factors that in fact influence people’s decision to travel.”

Norwegians and Danes have been investing in Lithuania for years and have been taking advantage of the affordable dental treatment prices. Dental procedures, from crowns to root canals, cost 40-60 per cent less than in the western countries. “Norway is very close,” Dr Ieva explains, “people can hop on a plane in the morning and go back in the evening!”.

Ongoing uncertainty in Western economies and the diminishing availability of National Health Service dentistry in many countries result in a continued interest for people searching for clinics abroad. Recommendations and word of mouth – are still key decision-making factors for people choosing a reliable clinic when travelling abroad for dental care.

You may contact Body Bureau to get further information about dental treatment abroad. Call us NOW on 0207 617 7301. Body Bureau case managers will be more than happy to give you detailed information about dental services in Lithuania.

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

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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.

 

Sperm Count and Fertility – Why Are Rates Dropping and What Can Be Done.

Sperm Count and fertilityOnce upon a time, not so long ago, difficulty in conceiving and problems with fertility were seen to be mainly a female problem. Women all over the world would have to undergo endless tests, and only then would the man be asked to undergo testing.

But thankfully times, and attitudes, have changed with the knowledge that in 4 out of ten couples, infertility is due to male causes. This means in many cases the diagnosis stage is quicker and couples can be given the right treatment for them earlier.

However studies show that male fertility is dropping. A survey of 26,609 men in France showed a drop in fertility measured by their sperm count.

Sperm samples from these men were analysed and showed a 32% drop from 74 million/ml in 1989 to 50 million/ml in 2005.

This result, although a worrying decline, should be not strike fear into our hearts juts yet. 50 million sperm/ml is still well over the limit for normal fertility, which is 15 million/ml. So the lower sperm count a man has, the longer it will take him and his partner to conceive, not that they won’t conceive at all.

However any drop below 40 million/ml may become significant when taken together with his partner’s own fertility issues, if they have them as the fertility of a couple is the sum of their fertilities.

For instance if a woman, as many do in this day and age of longer life-spans and high-pressure careers, decides to wait until after she is 35 to try and conceive then her fertility will have dropped from an earlier age, and will continue to drop a significant rate going forward.

Even a young, healthy couple has no more than a 25% chance of conceiving in any one menstrual cycle.

Add to this, that her partner’s sperm count may have dropped below 40 million/ml they may find themselves trying for a baby for a lot longer than hoped. This can lead to impatience or even desperation, and after trying for a long time couples often decide to find a quicker option in IVF or similar procedures.

Research indicates that a sperm count of under 40 million/ml leads to a rapid fall in the chance of conceiving, so it would be best for would-be fathers to cut out all those things known to reduce their sperm counts. These include smoking, drinking, obesity, sitting down all day at a desk or in a car and wearing tight underpants, which can lead to an increase in heat in the testicles which are designed to try and the keep sperm inside cool.

As with many things, focusing on a good, healthy diet and keeping fit is the best way to keep your body working optimally, which hopefully in turn will keep your sperm count high.

But, women can help their sons too. It’s known that the size of a man’s testicles, and therefore his sperm count, was determined when he was growing in his mother’s womb.

It is understood that if a pregnant woman drinks or is obese, this can lead to small testicles in their son meaning, as always, our choices can affect our bodies in all sorts of ways.

Keep it natural and healthy!

 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 only £1275) of the price of other private health and IVF clinics.

No waiting lists, success rates above UK average, newest methods, assessment consultations and aftercare in London, most modern clinic in Lithuania. 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.

How A Man’s Lifestyle Can Affect Fertility

It is known that 15 percent of families experience infertility problems of some sort and 5 percent will never have children at all. Infertility affects a family painfully – both the men and women who face problems with infertility experience many different reactions and feelings.

On the subject of men’s infertility we are talking to our doctor, Associate Professor Endocrinologist Birute Zilaitiene.

– In how many cases is infertility caused by male health problems?

– Various sources state that in couples suffering from infertility 40 percent of the time the cause is down to female factors, 40 percent male factors, 10 percent due to immunological incompatibility, and the last 10 percent of causes remain unclear.

In about a half of the cases of infertile families investigated by our clinic, research showed that the couples couldn’t conceive due to the pathology of the man’s sperm.

However it is true that a woman’s fertility can compensate for a man’s mild infertility problems, and so it is possible for couples to have children without medical help.

– How do men react to the problem of infertility?

– The good news is that more and more men are taking much more responsibility and most come for the necessary tests, often well supported by their wives during these difficult family periods. Often the couple raises the natural question – what we ourselves can do to improve a man’s fertility, and increase the possibility of conception.

– What causes a man fertility problems?

– Current research identifies five key determining external factors:

1. Age. A woman’s fertility starts to decline gradually from 32 years of age, with a significant decrease from the age of 35 years, and a man’s sperm quality begins to deteriorate from about the age of 45 years. There is evidence that partners of men over 45 years of age need up to five times longer time to become pregnant, compared with those of men aged 25 and younger.

It is also known that there are higher rates of newborn abnormalities found in the children of older men. Assisted reproductive techniques can not help to solve age-related infertility.

 2. Obesity. Obese men often have impaired fertility due to lower testosterone levels and higher rates of erectile dysfunction, but there is evidence that even at normal levels of testosterone in these men, their sperm quality is often worse than when compared with normal weight men.

 3. Smoking. It has been shown that smokers suffer impaired fertility more often than non-smokers, mainly due to sperm DNA damage.

 4. Alcohol. There is a proved connection between alcohol consumption levels and the probability of conception. What does the research show?

Partners of men consuming more than 20 units of alcohol per week (more than 250ml of 40 percent-proof spirits) need more time to become pregnant than those whose husbands are drinking less alcohol.

When planning a pregnancy it is safest if the couple do not consume alcohol at all. If this is not possible, a maximum of two standard alcohol units consumed per day, and there should be limited impact on the quality of semen (25 ml of spirits or a pint of beer).

 5. Sexual intercourse at the correct time. It is recommended to have a sex the three days before ovulation (including the day of ovulation) during the period.  It is generally recommended to have sex every 2-3 days to ensure better sperm quality. However, according to recent data, there is no evidence that conception was lower having sexual intercourse every day.

Unfortunately, these above factors are often ignored, and argued against by the success of other couples, regardless of their age or addictions. This is the wrong approach, because each couple’s fertility is entirely individual.

It is not possible to overcome genetic anomalies, or severe damage to spermatogenesis due to previous surgeries, oncological treatment. There are circumstances that are not always dependent on the couple, such as their age, but a healthy lifestyle and regular sex are all available means to change couple’s fertility.

 – Can diet have impact on man’s fertility?

– The question about nutrition and its relationship with fertility is frequently asked. So far, there is no final, definite answer, but some studies have shown that foods rich in antioxidants may increase the chances of conception.

Such food can be attributed to beta-carotene-containing products – carrots, spinach, tomatoes, papayas, cherries, melons, peaches, vitamin C-rich kiwi, pineapples, melons, and various berries, broccoli, cabbage, lemons and other citrus fruits.

Vitamin E is also beneficial, and with the food – lettuce, peanuts, almonds, coconuts, grains, flakes and zinc-containing products – asparagus, potatoes, vegetables, eggs, fish. It is most likely that a healthy diet ensures normal functioning of the reproductive system.

– Is it correct that male fertility may be affected by wearing too tight clothes or frequent visits to saunas?

– There are well-known adverse effects of heat on spermatogenesis. It is therefore recommended to avoid tight clothing, and spending long periods in the bath or sauna.

– So having a healthy lifestyle can solve the problem of infertility?

– Lifestyle changes are important, but often, unfortunately, they are not a sufficient tool to solve all male fertility problems.

The desired result can be achieved only after andrological tests and the application of appropriate medical interventions.

Unfortunately time is not a great ally for couples – and a partners age is one of the most important factors determining the likelihood of getting pregnant.

Considering IVF treatment? Body Bureau can help you to fulfil your dreams to start your family. More about our infertility treatments.

Up to 60% savings (IVF only £1275), no waiting lists, success rates above UK average, pre-assessment consultations in London, most modern clinic in Lithuania newest methods. For more information and book an appointment, call us NOW 0207 617 7301 or email us info@bodybureau.co.uk.

Having a Hysteroscopy can help solve infertility problems

A hysteroscopy is a diagnostic procedure performed to examine and evaluate the changes in the uterus and carry out necessary surgical operations. How is such a modern surgery implemented and what are it’s strengths? We talk about it with our Northway Medical Centre’s obstetrician-gynaecologist, dr. Rolandas Ziobakas.

obstetrician-gynaecologist Rolandas Ziobakas Hysteroscopy

Q – In what cases is there a need to perform a Hysteroscopy operation?

A – A hysteroscopy is often performed as part of  infertility treatment, as well as some other reasons (for example, failure to remove uterine contraceptive coil).

A hysteroscopy is usually performed when the patient has endometrial polyps or myoma, which are deform the uterine cavity; or when there’s a suspicion of endometrial hyperplasia (hypertrophy). These endometrial pathological changes can cause pain, along with irregular and heavy periods. During a hysteroscopy we carry out an accurate diagnosis and then remove uterine polyps or myoma. After this procedure the patient’s abnormal bleeding stops. If a woman complains about significant and prolonged bleeding during menstruation or irregular uterine bleeding, and the bleeding cannot be treated simply with medication, hysteroscopycal ablation surgery is usually recommended. This endoscopic procedure often becomes an alternative to hysterectomy. When there is an unexplained bleeding from the uterus during the postmenopausal period, diagnostic hysteroscopy helps to identify the cause of the bleeding, which can be a malignant tumour in the uterus.

 Q – You mention that a hysteroscopy can be carried out for infertility treatment. Does this mean that having the operation can increase the possibility a woman has for getting pregnant?

A- Yes, this method is suitable for those who cannot conceive or carry a foetus. Infertility may be caused by abnormalities in the uterus such as intra uterine adhesions,  the presence of a uterine septum, myoma, or uterine cavity deformation. Cervical internal adhesions may occur after previous uterine intervention procedures (e.g., uterine curettage operations due to heavy bleeding), or uterine abnormalities confirmed only after endoscopic operations.

After a hysteroscopy it is possible to evaluate, diagnose or rule out the suspected illness. If a woman has experienced several consecutive early recurrent miscarriages, a hysteroscopy would help determine a possible reason for this. For example – a malformation like a partial uterine septum, which can be removed. More often, it is enough to make a small surgical correction before success in conceiving is achieved. However, when this method is inefficient, medical treatments or assisted reproductive techniques can be adjusted.

Q –  Is this method suitable for all women?

A –  Hysteroscopy cannot be performed if a woman is pregnant, suffering from genital inflammation, cervical cancer, or if she has serious health problems. In this case she would be examined and treated using other methods.

Q –  How the hysteroscopy is performed?

A –  The patient is more often under general, usually intravenous anaesthesia during the surgery so she does not feel any pain. The surgeon will use a device called a speculum to open up the walls of the vagina. They will then insert the hysteroscope (a thin telescope-like device) through the cervix, into the uterus with a small amount of fluid for the uterine cavity to widen. The gynaecologist inspects the cervical canal and uterine cavity – all clearly visible on a nearby monitor. If the doctor finds any pathological changes – he removes them. If there any suspicions of a endometrial condition, a biopsy test is performed – a little piece of tissue is taken.

We perform a particularly sustainable hysteroscopy, using thinner than usual instruments. Because of this the patient feels less discomfort after the surgery.

Q – What are the benefits of hysteroscopy? And what about recovery?

A –  A Hysteroscopy is done all at clear sight, so any uterus disease diagnosis is very reliable. After surgery, the pain is minimal as there are no incisions or wounds in the abdomen,  so there is no risk of wound infections. In addition, the patient can be discharged on the same day after surgery, and on the next day she would be ready to return to work. For a period of one to two weeks after the surgery it is not recommended to swim or to use tampons.

 

Hysteroscopy in private clinic costs from £950 including anaesthesia and 1 day after-care in the clinic.

Click here for the list of infertility treatments we offer, and prices.

 Contact Us NOW to make an appointment. 

Info@bodybureau.co.uk  Tel. +44 (0) 207 617 7301