My theme this year is IVF/ICSI, a process we’re starting at the moment and today it’s T for Travel.
Unless you’re really lucky and live right next door to the clinic or hospital where you are receiving IVF treatment, there’s going to be a fair bit of traveling in your future. I guess I’m probably an extreme case when it comes to travelling to hospital appointments, since I live on a small Scottish island and therefore my journey to hospital takes upwards of two and a half hours (each way) because there’s a boat involved.
If you do have the option of choosing where you receive treatment, getting to the hospital is an important factor to consider. When we decided to try private treatment two years ago, a major factor in picking the Nuffield (alongside success rates, the staff, the facilities and the information they were able to give us during an open day we attended) was the ease of access in getting to the place.
I know that there was a fertility clinic in Ayr we could have used but that would be a two hour journey on the bus, whereas the trains were far more direct for the Glasgow one. Towards the end of your treatment, you’re probably going to be uncomfortable and you might be dealing with side effects that make long journeys difficult, so it’s something to be aware of.
In fact, there can be discomfort in travelling even at the very beginning of treatment. During our cancelled cycle I had to have an injection right in the bum cheek, which meant that I really did not appreciate the bumpy taxi ride back to the train station!
We will take the car for some parts of the treatment (the cost of taking a car off of the island can be somewhat prohibitive). Especially towards the end of the ‘stimulation’ (growing the follicles) phase, when walking and sitting and just being a normal person can be uncomfortable. Those’ll definitely be car trips. As will any appointments that require sedation.
Obviously, if you’ve got a car and you don’t live or work far from your clinic you’ll be able to drive yourself for much of the process. With the exception of any appointments like egg collection when you’ll be knocked out and would need someone else to drive you home.
If you’ve got a friend or family member having treatment be aware that they will have considered many factors if they’ve been able to choose their clinic; getting there will probably be one of the things that helped them decide (though it’s unlikely to have been the only factor), it’s really not worth asking them why they couldn’t pick somewhere closer if it seems like they’ve got a long way to travel for each appointment. And if you’ve got a car and they don’t, maybe offer to run them to an appointment or two. They might not take you up on the offer, but it’ll show them you’re thinking of them.