Been through 8 cycles in the U.S. using both own and donor eggs. Went as high as paying a donor $17000 plus her meds, spa treatments, travel expenses, cycle costs, egg retrieval and embryo transfer. Agency and lawyer fees another extra. Also underwent anastomosis (reconnection) of fallopian tubes in the only clinic that solely does this procedure in Chapel Hill, NC. Went to three fancy IVF centers in Beverly Hills and Pasadena and Encino, CA, all boasting the highest success rates. Finally desperate, and after spending close to $100,000, I looked overseas, going to Israel for a consultation where I was referred to Reprofit in Brno Czech. (Israel gov't banned donor eggs in IVF).
Considered using myivfalternative, an intermediary based in Atlanta, GA that charges a fee and bumps you up the waiting list (at that time it was 8 months), but then again, I was already a pro being a fertility warrior and didn't need a welcoming committee or someone to hold my hand every step of the way. I was long over being emotional about the cycles. I was already more intellectual about it. (I figured the more cycles I go through I will eventually get pregnant, many studies conclude). Just needed to reserve my resources to be able to afford more cycles, hence international treatments, which costs much, much less.
Stepan was my first contact. I was very impressed at the level of our communication. Because of the wait, I ventured a cycle in Bangkok, but was not successful. When my queu was up, I headed to Brno having followed the protocol instructed to me to build my lining. My donor, I was told, was 23, a college student, and had donated before with successful results. They matched her appearance according to our preferences (dark hair, dark eyes, built like my physique which is petite). Other than that, no other information is offered (or allowed by regulation). Despite being annonymous, should there be a medical situation requiring obtaining life saving tissue from the donor, I am told this would be an exception to the rule.
The clinic was modern and sterile. Stepan is a young, good looking, happy go lucky doctor, who obviously knows his stuff. My husband, also a physician and he had many discussions about the procedures and we were very satisfied with his answers. I have some minor immunoloigcal problems that may have impeded implantation so my husband put me on 4mg decadron everyday since the start of the lupron. My lining was thick enough for transfer on the day I arrived and we opted for PGD, which is an additional cost to the EU 3900 cycle charge depending on how many embryos were fertilized.
Because of the stimulation protocol in this clinic (not aggressive), our donor did not yield a lot of eggs, however the quality was good. We transferred 3 embryos and 2 implanted. This was our first glimmer of hope of any success. Although every IVF clinic posts their pregnancy rates, it's the "take home baby" that really matters. Despite a difficult pregnancy, I delivered twin girls who are now 23 months and just beautiful and perfect.
I returned to Brno in September of 2010 for a second cycle. Unfortunately, I did not get pregnant, but I was not discouraged. In March of 2011 I returned for a third time. Incidentally, after a cycle in Brno, I think one makes a connection good enough to not have to wait the now 11 months wait time. I've always been through the "back door", with a mere 4 months wait time. I am 20 weeks pregnant currently and because I only have a singleton, so far this pregnancy is a breeze and hopefully reach full term before I deliver. Stepan has become a good friend now and I can't say enough wonderful things about him, the clinic and the good work that they do. It's so stress free, from the costs, to the wonderful vacation one can have going to the Czech Republic and neighboring places like Vienna, Bavaria, Prague, Moravia, Bratislavia. I even did a Paris stint. 2 out of three cycle success is phenomenal. The clinics in the US are so stuck up, with the docs wearing gucci ties and prada shoes, and you can't email them or call them on the phone. They act like gods, charge a fortune and, in my experience are less effective with their protocols.
To those who are about to embark on the ardous road of family building through IVF, you should really consider Reprofit. Read the blogs and judge intelligently. They are reputable, not shady, they are the #1 in Czech, better than the Zlin clinic.