Thursday, 23 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge: T is for Travel

This is the twentieth of a series of posts that I’m posting during the A to Z Challenge; that’s a blogging challenge where you aim to post a blog post for each letter of the alphabet throughout the month of April (with Sundays off for good behaviour). During my first A to Z Challenge I wrote about infertility, which I’m sort of revisiting during A to Z Challenge 2015.

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.


  1. Oh this is important I think with anything involving health. If one has to endure needles and pills etc... and then one has a long journey back, one would be exhausted. If one can help out a friend, then I say help out the friend as they need it

    1. Yes, it can be really grueling, for some things more than others. A shopping trip on the mainland can be really tiring, but for hospital appointments it's twice as bad. I imagine it's much the same for people who have similar journeys to and front their hospitals.

  2. Wow, that's quite a journey each way. I'm fortunate to have several hospitals less than a half hour away. (Not that I'll be trying this. Too old and single.)

    1. We do have a little cottage hospital on the island and a bigger hospital about fifteen/twenty minutes away on the mainland but not many NHS hospitals offer IVF treatment.

      I often think there has to be a better way of doing it, perhaps having satellite hospitals for scans and tests and then going to the big one for everything else. That would cut down on some of the travelling. ;-)


Let me know what you think. :-)