Success story 36 (translated from German)

I am way older than 40 and together with my husband — I was able to fulfill our fondest wish: we have two babies now, lovely and adorable twins.

I never thought I’d ever have problems getting pregnant and so I was very upbeat about having a baby. When I was 38 years old, we decided to extend our family and everything went well, I was pregnant a couple of months later. We were really very happy, things were great! We told just about everyone. But then something happened I simply couldn’t believe; the HCG levels dropped when I was 5 wks pregnant. I was admitted to hospital immediately, took progesterone but in vain, everything was futile :-(((( That was my first miscarriage. But cheer up, we’ll try again. Unfortunately, I didn’t conceive spontaneously anymore. When the doctors diagnosed disturbed follicular maturation, we tried 3 cycles of Clomiphene, but the treatment wasn’t successful (there was one blighted ovum). So we decided on IVF fertility treatment and started doing battle with our private health insurance from then on. We haven’t received any money from them to this day.  

We went to Austria straight away, to that supposedly prime address in Bregenz. It was incredible, but I generated more than 20 eggs (including blastocysts), but still no pregnancy… So, 2nd attempt and again there were more than 20 eggs and yes! I was pregnant! And again the shocking setback: a miscarriage! ICSI had been used in both attempts because all of a sudden my husband’s sperm cells had also been of poor quality in Bregenz. Of the large number of eggs I had generated, not a single one was frozen. So we decided to consult another medical center, but there we didn’t feel comfortable either. We got the impression that we were being given short shrift everywhere. The next three tries didn’t yield quite as many eggs. But I got pregnant again – and I had yet another miscarriage. I was more than worn down. In the meantime, my husband and I had had the whole battery of genetic testing done, but they didn’t find any explanation. One final attempt with a frozen egg cell wasn’t successful either.    

What I found especially annoying was that the medical centers didn’t take good care of me; they didn’t advise any “personalized” therapeutic measures or do any tests “tailored to” our individual needs. What is more, we didn’t get any information at all about what was done in the lab — there was no documentation.

Because of the repeat miscarriages I had suffered and for financial reasons as well, we had closed the subject of IVF and had decided to adopt a child from abroad. In retrospect, I have to say that you need deep pockets for an adoption as well and the certified agencies really aren’t very fast or good for that matter.

The whole affair had frayed our nerves, we were very emotional and there was a lot of pressure on our relationship. We had a number of arguments and during one of those disputes I told my husband that I was so desperate, I might even be willing to consider an egg donation. Much to my surprise, he didn’t seem to have a problem with that either. So don’t lose heart, maybe one does misjudge one’s partner after all! I did my research on the Internet and found the medical center in St. Petersburg and Dr. Zaytseff. There is one thing I can say for sure: she is THE BEST! She provides such sensitive and compassionate care. Her German is perfect, the clinic is highly professional but at the same time the care given is highly personalized. Flights to St. Petersburg are inexpensive and we let Merkur take care of the visas. (Note: Apply for a later date of visa expiry than the one you actually need — just in case you’d like to stay a little longer after all.) They did everything in their power to find a suitable egg donor and the clinic could work well with my husband’s sperm cells (without ICSI!). Everything worked out the very first try. And we received complete documentation on the blastocyst/egg cell status as a matter of routine.

I consider Dr. Zaytseff to be super competent; it’s a shame that I didn’t consult her right from the start. I believe the physical examination and tests she does are very profound and she balances the pros and cons of an egg donation vs. other methods (sperm cell donation etc.). So, if I had to make the choice again, I would always decide to be treated by Dr. Zaytseff at the clinic in St. Petersburg — if I were single or a couple wanting a baby.

P.S.: You can also rent a vacation home apartment nearby, tour lovely St. Petersburg and enjoy the opera.