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UK couples go to Poland for IVF – interview with dr Mrugacz

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Why do more and more UK couples travel to Poland for IVF

More and more couples from UK choose to go to Poland for IVF treatment. What is the premise for that and why Poland? Dr Grzegorz Mrugacz, Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist and Medical Director of Klinika Bocian – one of the leading fertility centres in Poland – answers these and other frequently asked questions.

Why do couples from UK decide to travel to Poland for IVF treatment?

The choice to go for IVF treatment abroad, in most cases, is a very well thought out decision. Patients are drawn by high success rates as well as by reasonable prices for IVF, especially compared to the costs of the same treatment in the UK. It is also the excellent level of care, fast and comprehensive diagnostics and the international experience and expertise of the infertility specialists, which makes this option attractive for foreign patients.

Is there any fear of language barrier among foreign patients?

At our clinic, there is an English-speaking coordinator who supports the couple at every stage of their contact with the clinic as well as during the treatment process. The coordinator also provides suggestions for reasonably priced accommodation near the clinic to save the couple the effort of searching. Our team of midwives, embryologists and doctors, speak fluent English so communication is not an issue.

How long should patients plan to stay in Poland?

There are numerous convenient flight connections between UK and Poland and our patients from the UK usually decide to travel for visits and stay in Poland for a maximum of two nights. Some patients decide to stay longer, usually when it comes to the egg collection and the embryo transfer stage of the treatment. Others take some time off and combine treatment with holidays and decide to go on a tour around Poland. The length of the treatment and the frequency of the visits depend on the medical situation of the patients, whether they have been diagnosed before or had any infertility treatments in the past. Usually the full IVF cycle takes around 3 weeks.

Can you tell me more about IVF treatment?

The IVF treatment itself usually starts with the ovarian stimulation which lasts for around 2 weeks. During the ovarian stimulation, the patient takes various medications according to the treatment scheme and should be monitored at least one or two times. The stimulation monitoring aims to detect the optimum time to induce ovulation and to determine an adequate response to medication therapy.

The monitoring can be held at our clinic in Poland or at one of our partner clinics in UK, such as Ascroft Medical in Oldham, Manchester. The next step of the treatment is egg retrieval which is performed under general anesthetic and must take place at one of our clinics in Poland. The same day eggs are fertilised with the partner’s semen and the embryos are cultivated. Then, the embryo transfer will take place between 3-5 days of the embryo development. During the following two weeks, blood pregnancy test should be taken. Pregnancy is conducted as any other pregnancy at home in the UK.

In order to maximise the chances of successful treatment and to ensure as safe a future pregnancy as possible, extra attention should be given to full diagnostics of your and your partner’s reproductive health – including endocrine check-ups and infectious disease testing. Those additional procedures may insignificantly change the length of the treatment.

What are the most popular diseases among your patients?

There are so many factors and conditions impacting on infertility. Some of the patients who visit us have had several failed IVF cycles in their home country and as there was no success they are searching for other specialists and a different opinion on their case. There are also patients who have been struggling with infertility for several years but are simply not eligible for NHS treatment due to such criteria as BMI or age limit. We have many patients, aged over 40, who need to have the IVF treatment with donor eggs, but they decided not to proceed in their home country due to shortage of egg donors or donor anonymity issues. Male infertility is also a very common cause among our patients for starting the IVF procedure.

What is the success rate of IVF treatment?

I think that the success rate in Poland is something that draws patients the most. We are proud that, at our clinic, the IVF cycle success rate is 43%. However, even with such good results, our patients are never simply just a number, and every individual’s case is unique. For example, age is one of the most critical factors and success rates in age groups vary significantly.

What is the cost of IVF in Poland?

The total cost of the IVF ICSI treatment at Klinika Bocian usually ranges from approximately £2,700 to £3,000 including all the required visits, pretreatment screening and medications. The final cost though depends on the specific medical case: also, on any additional procedures and the amount of medications required for stimulation to maximise the chances.

Could you please tell us in a few words about your experience and the Klinika Bocian itself?

I have been working in the fertility treatment sector for 30 years, during this time I have helped thousands of couples to become parents. But every new baby born still brings me so much happiness and satisfaction. Klinika Bocian is one of the leading centres in Poland providing fertility treatment since 2006. At present we have clinics at Bialystok, Warsaw, Katowice and Poznań . I should say that our doctors and embryologists are fully engaged specialists with wide international experience and comprehensive knowledge in the field of fertility treatment.

GRZEGORZ MRUGACZ M.D., PH. D– Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist and Medical Director

Warsaw, December 20th 2018

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