In our world, if you have the cash, you can have everyone else do the heavy lifting for you.
The irony here is that my husband and I do NOT have a lot of cash. But we are still having someone else do the lifting when it comes to IVF abroad because it’s not as expensive as one would think.
As I was researching having donor egg IVF in the Czech Republic, every now and then I would come across mention of a company based here in the US (Atlanta, GA, to be exact) called MyIVFAlternative. It is essentially a concierge service run by a Czech woman (Magdalena Cogbill) married to an American man. They have been through IVF here in the US and at Reprofit. Their purpose is to help couples who have been railroaded by the US $ystem make their dreams come true in another country. They partner with the Reprofit International Clinic in Brno, Czech Republic.
The first thing I did was check out the website to see exactly what they were about, and how much this service was going cost. I put my googly-eyed “I want a baby” thinking to the side and did as objective of a read as I could (partly because I didn’t want to get scammed and partly because when I brought this to my husband, I knew I would need to answer questions a lawyer was going to ask). In any case, I do like a lot of in-depth detail when researching, and I was impressed with how thorough the site was.
So what, exactly, does MyIVFAlternative do? For $599, Mag and her team of associates facilitate communication between us and the clinic, make reservations for the appointment dates, take care of any and all questions pertaining to the process, meds, travel, Czech, the clinic, etc. She also provides a detailed travel guide for coming to Czech (sightseeing, hotels, travel, etc). For an additional $300, we receive: a personal hostess/point of contact while in Czech, transportation to our accommodations upon arrival in Brno, a local cell phone pre-programmed with important phone numbers, transportation to scheduled appointments at the clinic, assistance with sightseeing/travel plans, transport to the airport from hotel after our stay, and a 45 minute therapy at the local salt caves. Basically, they make the trip as stress-free as possible by handling all of the details. I think I would have been comfortable planning our trip entirely, as I have planned trips abroad on my own. My husband, however, 1) has never been to Europe and 2) knows me exactly well enough to know that I obsess over every little detail of planning an event, and tend to stress a little in the process. In light of this, he thought it would be better if – should this option pan out – we take it and run.
After spending a lot of time reading and checking out other women’s experience with both the clinic and the service (both very positive, from what I found), I went ahead and emailed Magdalena. Her response was quick and very friendly. In the end, we did decide to go with her.
I know this type of service won’t be for everyone out there. But if you’re looking for answers to determine 1) if it’s legit or 2) if this is the path for you, then hopefully this info can help you on your own journey. For the inquisitive, I have another post in the works with all of the questions we had going in.