A possible complication of hormonal ovarian stimulation is known as “disproportionate and excessive reaction of ovaries”, also known as “hyperstimulation syndrome”. Ovaries respond to the medication even after patients stop taking it and after egg retrieval has been completed. Ovaries are still enlarged and women feel pressure in her lower abdomen (“abdomen fullness”). In these cases, a patient returns for check-ups while starting a new treatment to improve her condition and reverse the symptoms. In most cases, the excessive ovarian reaction to the stimulation stops on its own. According to the literature, 1-2% of patients suffer from hyperstimulation syndrome. It is also important to note that this condition does not endanger a woman’s fertility.
Due to the monitoring and precision of the treatment specifically carried out at our clinic, there have only been 2 reported cases of hyperstimulation syndrome since 2010 (both very mild cases). No cases have been reported since 2012. As a result, our patients avoid the discomfort associated with this condition and no cycles are cancelled, which is in part contributes to our high success rates.
Ovarian stimulation has been used in fertility treatment for over 30 years. All around the world, teams of doctors have been trying to verify whether this stimulation increases the risk of tumorous diseases in ovaries. The largest and most wide ranging study took place in Israel and lasted over 20 years. The outcome and this study as well as all other existing studies indicate that there is no increased risk of tumorous diseases from using hormonal ovarian stimulation.
Ovarian stimulation is considered to be a safe medical procedure, which does not influence a woman’s health or fertility.
Treatment expenses at Unica differ according to treatment type and may be different for every individual couple depending on their situation. Our coordinators and doctors will gladly inform you about treatment types and their pricing. If your treatment is eligible for insurance reimbursement, our in house team will prepare all the requisite documentation which can be completed directly by the insurance company itself.
We are happy to provide you with a price quote after we receive preliminary information about what your treatment at Unica may entail. The price of treatment begins at EUR 2900.
According to the Czech legislature, woman may undergo fertility treatment up until the age of 49. The average patient at Unica is over the age of 40 years.
Unica began offering oocyte donation treatment in 2003. As such, we have a long-standing and successful experience with this procedure. It was perfected in cooperation with the specialists at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem (a leading Gynaecology and Obstetrics Clinic in Israel), whose patients eventually underwent treatment at Unica. Since 2014, Unica has been in association with McGill University in Montreal.
Act no. 373/2011 Sb., regarding Specific Care Services, states that reproductive cells must be donated by an anonymous male/female for fertility treatment.
A clinic authorized to offer methods and procedures in assisted reproduction, is obligated to ensure the maintenance of mutual anonymity between a donor and an infertile couple and between a donor and a child born thanks to the assisted reproduction treatment. A clinic that has performed health eligibility in an anonymous donor is obligated to store the data about the health condition of the donor for the period of 30 years since the fertility treatment. The clinic is obligated to issue information about donor health condition to an infertile couple or a person in legally full age born based on assisted reproduction treatment while following the anonymity principle.
Donation is thus fully anonymous in the Czech Republic whereby the Law simultaneously sets criteria for all potential donors. Unica’s internal rules for donor selection are however considerably stricter compared to those set by the Law – Unica only allows women aged between 18 to 33 years of age (they are typically university students - for more information, see question “Who is an egg donor at Unica clinic”) compared to 35 years old which is the upper age limit set by Czech law.
Most often the patients are women who do not produce quality eggs naturally. That being said, recipients of donated eggs may also be:
- Women who repetitively went through treatment using IVF methods and no quality eggs were retrieved or only non-quality embryos developed.
- Women who are in an age category where statistics show they currently produce only lower quality eggs unable of being fertilized, or emerged embryos are defective and unable of perfect development.
- Women whose ovaries were not developed or were removed during surgery.
- Women who suffered from premature ovarian failure (menopause) and no longer menstruate.
- Women who have undergone genetic testing and are shown to possess a chromosomal defect that may be transmitted to an offspring.
In the Czech Republic, woman may undergo fertility treatment up until the date of their 49th birthday.
Unica has a dedicated donor center conveniently located in Prague where donor examinations are taken place and donors are selected.
Donor selection respects blood type, Rh factor as well as physical features including eye and hair color. Above all, we try to respect all individual requests of our patients to the extent possible, such as a particular talent, character, education etc.
Based on these requests we usually select 3 to 4 of the most suitable donors from our database from which the patients ultimately make their final decision. The donor selection process is thus a collaborative process between Unica and the patient.
Oocyte donation is legal in the Czech Republic in which donation must be fully anonymous (for more information, see “What does the Czech legislature say about the egg donation treatment?”).
During donor selection and treatment planning, the patient’s coordinator is present and always available to communicate and answer question in the patients language of preference.
Receiving a treatment from Unica usually requires 2 visits:
- Visit by the male partner to collect sperm. This visit occurs on the day the oocyte is retrieved from the egg donor. Presence of the female partner is not necessary for this visit.
- Visit by the female recipient for transfer of the embryo, after the embryo has been cultivated for several days (typically 5 days). The male partner does not necessarily need to be present for this visit.
It is possible to organize to visit the clinic for a consultation before the beginning of the treatment. This visit is not mandatory and can be done by phone or videoconference. If the consultation takes place in person, the sperm sample of the partner can be cryopreserved. The advantage of this is that it is not necessary to travel to the clinic on day of the ovarian puncture in the donor.
The typical visit of our patients involves a weeklong trip to the Czech Republic. The male usually donates his sperm at the beginning of this week and then return to the clinic 3-5 days later to transfer the embryo into the female patient. During these 3-5 days (in between sperm collection and embryo transfer) there are various techniques that can be applied to increase the chances of success of becoming pregnant.
Treatment using donor eggs can be started immediately, without any waiting time. Thanks to our long-term experience with oocyte donation and our reputation of providing the best possible donor care (for more information, see question “Who is the donor?”) we have a sufficient amount of young women registered in our donor database who are willing to help immediately. These donors are properly tested and ready to be paired with a matching recipient to ensure their availability and eligibility to become donors.
Since the embryos originate from oocytes obtained from young women, the success rates are very high, even during the first cycle. Based on sperm quality, more than 50% of patients conceive during the first cycle.
Ovarian stimulation of the donor is synchronized with the preparation of the mom to-be. All matured eggs obtained from one donor are granted to one recipient. In the laboratory, the eggs are then fertilized with the recipient’s partner’s sperm, which is done using the most modern and safe techniques available in the industry. After several days, an embryo is transferred into the uterus of the expecting mom who then carries her pregnancy until the day she gives birth.
The word hormone already causes fear and concerns in many women –it may be fear of weight gain, cancer, or other unpredictable and undesirable effects. This is the reason why it is so important to clarify that an adverse influence on a woman may be caused by oestrogens, which are not used during ovarian stimulation. Oestrogens directly influence mammary glands in the breast and a uterine lining, thus the menstrual cycle. In some circumstances, a tumorous growth in these tissues may be provoked. Other hormones do not pose any danger to women. During our ovarian stimulation, women do not receive any oestrogens.
In a natural menstrual cycle, an oocyte maturates in a tiny sac, so-called follicle, under an influence of the pituitary hormone FSH – follicle-stimulating hormone. The growing follicle produces the female hormone oestradiol. The oestradiol influences uterine lining growth. When a follicle reaches size of about 25mm, it ruptures and an egg is released, ovulation takes place while oestrogen production stops. The oestradiol level thus drops and in some women the oestradiol drop may co-occur with a slight spotting. A ruptured follicle forms a corpus luteum, which produces progesterone, a hormone present in the second half of the menstrual cycle.
In order to obtain oocytes during ovarian stimulation for an in vitro fertilization imitates the natural menstrual cycle. Ovaries are just stimulated by a higher amount of FSH in order to support maturation of more oocytes. The thing is that when more oocytes are fertilized, the probability of quality embryo rises, which also means higher probability of conception. The stimulation procedure is the same in the case of a woman using the retrieved eggs for her own pregnancy or if she donates them to another woman.
During this controlled stimulation, more follicles mature on the ovaries and those follicles produce a proportionally higher amount of oestradiol. The stimulation itself lasts approximately 10 days. Follicles are then punctured under ultrasound guidance and suction is gently applied to aspirate oocytes and follicular fluid. At this moment, the oestradiol production terminates and the oestradiol level rapidly drops.
A woman is thus only exposed to higher oestradiol level for 6 days, which does not have any significant influence on her organism.
If a woman conceives and everything develops with success, the placenta produces a hundred times higher oestradiol level than the one produced during the course of ovarian stimulation and a woman is exposed to its influence during two thirds of the pregnancy, thus for six months. The single risk emerges only with a long-standing oestradiol intake in menopause treatment.
Weight gain, a risk of uterine, or breast cancer does not pose any threat during several days of oestradiol intake either. The whole process is therefore completely safe.
Recipients are treated with the appropriate amount of oestrogen with special attention given to their uterine lining. There is no stimulation treatment. Hormonal doses and medicine are tailored to each individual patient. We look to replicate as close as possible the woman’s natural process. Preparation of every patient is tailored based on individual needs in order to prepare the endometrium to be as healthy as possible for the transfer.
All eggs obtained from the donor are given to the matching recipient. We always pair one recipient with one donor. Typically, this represents between 10 to 12 mature eggs. Following fertilization, the embryos are cultivated in the laboratory via a treatment known as prolonged cultivation.
During the five-day cultivation, most defective embryos typically stop developing which leaves only the healthiest embryos ready and available for transfer and which have the highest chances for successful development.
Donor eggs are fertilized with sperm provided by the recipient’s partner on the day of the ovarian puncture in the donor. However, the partner can have his sperm cells frozen and stored at our cryobank, in which case he does not need to come on the day of the puncture. In the case sperm cells have been frozen, they are then thawed and used for egg fertilization. The recipient arrives at the clinic directly for the embryo transfer. To keep the chances of pregnancy as high as possible, individual eggs are fertilized with the selected sperm using the ICSI method. If sperm analysis indicates additional complications, our doctors may recommend using PICSI or IMSI, which are two special fertilization methods which can increase the chances of pregnancy.
Embryos are developed for 5 days and are transferred on that same day into the uterus of the recipient. In the large majority of cases, we transfer one embryo, but have the ability to transfer up to a maximum of two embryos.
We recommend that you change as little as possible in your daily routine after embryo transfer. There is no indication or proof that bed rest increases the chances of treatment success. Our clinic does, however, recommend 3 days of decreased physical activity (no sports, no intercourse etc.)
It is always the couple being treated who decides on how many embryos are to be transferred. We typically transfer one embryo. If the couple wishes we can transfer up to two embryos (in the case 2 embryos are transferred there is the possibility of having twins).
It is possible to freeze non-transferred embryos, if the number “healthy embryos” on day 5 allows for it. This process of cryopreserving embryos is known as vitrification. If the first transfer is not successful, the couple may have a second transfer from the original cycle using embryos that were initially frozen.
Conception success when transferring thawed embryos is lower when compared to transferring fresh embryos (it is about 25-45%) as some of the embryos may have been damaged during the vitrification process.
To obtain more information, contact one of our coordinators by filling out a simple form here or by sending an email to our email address email@example.com
We have two clinics in the two biggest cities of the Czech Republic, Brno and Prague, that allows you to choose the most suitable location for your treatment.
Office Park Nové Butovice - building C
Bucharova 2657/12, Praha (see the map)
Prague is a very accessible city by train and benefits from high quality transit services (IC and EC trains) and direct connections from Vienna, Graz, Berlin, Hamburg, Bratislava, Budapest and other European cities.
We will gladly arrange your transportation from the international airport in Prague. Should you have an alternate method of transportation we would be glad to provide you with advice and suggestions.
Barvičova 53, Brno (see the map)
Brno is a very accessible city by train and benefits from high quality transit services (IC and EC trains) and direct connections from Vienna, Graz, Berlin, Hamburg, Bratislava, Budapest and other European cities.
We will gladly arrange your transportation from the international airport in Vienna, Bratislava or Brno. Should you have an alternate method of transportation we would be glad to provide you with advice and suggestions.
Barbora Jonasovacoordinator EN
Barbora Jonasova has been part of Unica’s team since 2011 and highly appreciates the personal and friendly approach provided by her colleagues as well as the diversity and uniqueness of her profession. She feels that the role of being a coordinator is a mission; satisfaction and joy of patients are her top priorities. She places great value on the precision and promptness of her communication and she keeps the patient’s security, safety and trust as most important. As an open-minded person, she strives to understand her patients and help them experience a smooth and stress free process during their treatment.
Ana Horgcoordinator SRB, CRO, EN
Ana Horg has been with Unica since the second half of 2013. In her profession, reliability and stability are the most important values and as such, she always communicates with patients promptly and fluently. Her responsiveness and attention to detail are the basis of her truly personal touch.