“We live in London. We already had 3 treatments in the UK. One natural IVF, one mild IVF with small doses for only 4 days, and the third was short Buserelin protocol. That was 9 days. The reason we went for those treatments was because I had some breast lumps, and I wanted to try natural IVF without any drugs. So we chose that clinic in the UK, but it didn’t work. So the third time we tried with drugs. It didn’t work. I had 4 eggs collected to fertilize but they didn’t plant inside.
The clinic said, since I was 44, and the quality of my eggs (oocyte quality) was low, my next choice would be with donor-egg-ivf, but I wanted to try one more time with my own eggs, and I wanted to try with a different fertility centre. I looked on the internet and found EMBIO: good reviews, lots of information, good value for money.
We contacted Dr Paraschos by email, and he replied very fast. He looked at the medical history, and suggested something that we’d never heard before in the UK: Tandem IVF. We found it very interesting. In the UK all we were told to do was standard IVF. With my breast lump history, what I had in mind was not to put too many drugs in my body. Two clinics in London suggested mild IVF. The best fertility clinics in London won’t give you that many infertility solutions. Standard ivf is very, very expensive in London. Private ivf in London is expensive.
We spoke to some friends. One of my friends got pregnant doing IVF. So we tried ivf abroad at EMBIO. We were impressed by the reviews and the amount of information. The doctor gave us information and was helpful without any commitment on our part. We weren’t obliged to be treated at EMBIO. And he was very friendly. He asked for some medical history, the results from London, so he could give us an idea about our options. He explained tandem ivf. He said I only needed to be 3 days in Athens and I could be supervised in the UK, but I wanted to be supervised at EMBIO, so I chose to be 3 weeks in Greece. In the UK it’s very difficult to go to the GP and have them refer you to the hospital through the nhs for your ivf scans. To go private is too expensive. In London IVF monitoring via the NHS involves a lot of paperwork, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll take you for the scans. From day 6 you need to be monitored and all those scans are expensive in the UK. At EMBIO you don’t pay for the scans. So with 6 scans, it’s almost all our vacation days in Greece. We went to the Athens Mall, the Acropolis, Plaka…
Everything was arranged for us in the best way: accommodation and a taxi came to the airport and picked us up. We cannot praise enough Maria, their travel agent and the IVF coordinator.
We were impressed how clean everywhere was in Athens, and everybody speaks English in the shops, the streets, everywhere, and the taxes are very low. You can trust people. They won’t try to cheat you.
Another thing which was helpful was that we could buy the drugs from the UK because ivf drugs are cheaper here than in Greece. The IVF coordinator at EMBIO gave me the drugstore in the UK where I could buy the IVF drugs using the Greek prescription. In the UK normally you can’t buy drugs with a prescription from another country. But the IVF coordinator had all this info. It’s an ivf clinic arranging for everything (pharmacy, phone numbers, emails, everything). Very helpful.
All in all, it’s very easy to go to EMBIO in Athens. In one week we had arranged for everything. They have a system that makes everything so easy for patients to come from abroad. All the information is readily available. In one week we arranged for everything (accommodation, drugs, everything), which was amazing. I gave the IVF coordinator a rough estimate when I expected my period, and she arranged for everything.
Another thing about tandem ivf at EMBIO: There is no waiting list. You don’t have to wait 2-3 months as in the UK for an egg donor. Very easy. Everything in one place. I trusted EMBIO from the first email.
They don’t charge a fixed ivf fee. In the UK they put a list of extra bits which I may not need and they charge everyone the same.
The doctors in one of the private ivf clinics we went to in London were Greek. Very nice people. That was one of the reasons we thought about coming to Greece for our IVF. The difference is that at EMBIO you can do everything in one session. You don’t have to make another appointment, another day for this, another day for that. No queueing for scans as in London. At EMBIO all is done in one visit. Greece is a good choice for your ivf treatment.”