Few people have to use IVF as their only hope for conceiving a child. Unfortunately, the cost of the IVF procedure may be a huge obstacle for many. I have been receiving quite a bit of inquires from my patients about the possibility of flying to other countries and arranging IVF procedure there for much lower cost. One of my patients decided to take a leap of faith and fly over to the Check Republic in order to have her IVF done there. After doing quite a bit of research, she picked a reproductive clinic in town of Brno where the staff seemed more than prepared for a visitor interested in IVF tourism. I am thankful that she was kind to share her experience and answer a few questions:
How did you arrange your IVF trip to the Check Republic?
We used the Reprofit International Clinic in Brno. This was scheduled for us through My IVF Alternative (MIA), a US contact who made sure that we had all of our health records and tests done, advised when to start which medications, and acted as a go-between for Reprofit. MIA also arranged for our accommodations, airport transfers, and someone to take us to our appointments (there were 4 appointments total).
Did you have any problems along the way?
One issue that I had with MIA was that they claim to assist you with getting your medications for free. Although they did send me the paperwork to apply for the medications through a US non-profit, they did not let me know that I needed a US doctor to write me the prescription until after I had paid for their services. This ended up costing us an additional $1700 because my doctor would not help me with the prescription, so I could not use the non-profit. If MIA had told me this detail in advance, I would have researched other options. I felt that this was a bit sneaky on their part. When I called them with my concerns about this extra cost, my contact in Phoenix labeled me a “problem case” when she accidentally sent an email to me rather than the owner of MIA.
Where did you get your medications before the trip?
I ended up getting the prescription for the ovulation drugs through a British company, using the prescription from Reprofit, which was less expensive than using my local pharmacy.
How was your experience at the clinic in Brno?
The clinic in Brno was very clean and professional. I went in twice after my arrival for ultrasounds, to make sure that I was responding to the ovulation drugs. The third visit was to retrieve my eggs, and for my husband to give his sperm sample. After the egg retrieval, I could call daily to see how the fertilization process was going. The last visit was to have the embryos implanted. The staff was very nice to work with, and all of the people we saw spoke English. I would highly recommend this clinic.
Any recommendations about the city of Brno?
Brno is a pretty boring city, especially if you stay there the entire 2 weeks needed for this procedure. Be sure to make arrangements to travel – Vienna is nearby via train, as is Prague. We ended up renting a car with a GPS so that we could explore more of the area and only stayed in Brno around the times of our appointments.
Would you do this again? Any other tips?
I would go back for another IVF at Reprofit if needed – but book it directly through them. We ended up pre-paying all 2 weeks hotel/apartment through MIA, plus we had to pay for our hotel nights when we were not staying in Brno (a price we were willing to pay to get out and see other areas). There are many hotels within walking distance to the clinic, but we would rent a car again. Plus, MIA’s website says that they assit you with travel arrangements to visit outside of Brno. This is not true. When we asked our local contact about travel, she was not any help. We had tried to make some of our travel arrangements prior to leaving the US, but were advised that it was best to wait until we arrived in Brno.
If you have not traveled internationally before, I do recommend using a go-between, like MIA (there is another Reprofit in Zlin and they have a similar company like MIA who books US couples). But, if you consider yourself pretty adventuresome, you could easily do this on your own.
I am happy to report that my patient’s IVF trip was a success. She is currently expecting a baby girl.
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