This is a guest post from an expert patient from Italy.
Getting ready for an IVF cycle abroad may seem overwhelming, but with a little organisation everything will go smoothly. Thanks to a lot of experience, I have learned a few things to help me avoid any unnecessary stress when planning a cycle abroad.
The first thing to do is to contact your IVF clinic and let them know when you plan on coming for treatment so you can be sure the clinic will be open and the doctors will be there. Then it is very helpful to have a local doctor who is aware that you are going through fertility treatment and is able to help you with writing prescriptions and performing any scans that you need done locally. Make sure you let your local doctor know in advance when you'll be doing your cycle and what you'll need from him/her. It is also worth having a back up local doctor who can perform scans as well, in case your regular doctor is unable to meet you on your scan day. My local doctor is quite helpful in recommending alternates when he is not available.
As soon as your period starts, make sure to remind your doctor of what scans you'll need and when. Organisation, communication and anticipation go a long way in avoiding unnecessary stress during an IVF cycle. For example, if you know you will need to have blood work done, make sure you know in advance which blood lab you will go to, when they are open and how long it takes to get the results back. Keeping track of your medications can be overwhelming. I find it helpful to set an alarm that reminds me to take my medication. There are also many useful calendars and apps designed to help keep your organised such as this one,
Figuring out what works best for you ahead of time is one less thing to worry about, and we already have enough to worry about during our IVF cycles!
If you plan to come to Mumbai for infertility treatment, the first thing you should do is apply for a visa, either a tourist visa which is valid for 6 months with multiple entries or a medical visa. I usually wait to book the airline tickets until my day 1 of the IVF cycle so I have a good idea of the dates I need to be in Mumbai. However, given how unpredictable things can be it is always a good idea to take tickets with changeable dates, even if you have to pay a fee.
Hotels can be booked much in advance as long as you have the option to cancel/modify your reservations. Often hotels, particularly in Colaba, are fully booked so it is better to reserve your room to avoid any last minute stress. The last couple times of been to Mumbai I stayed at the President Hotel (Vivanta by Taj) and have been quite pleased. It is a very nice hotel and only a 5 minute walk from the Malpani Clinic. You can book online directly from the website and if you stay more than three you get one night free. I found that taking the plan without breakfast is less expensive, and leaves you the option of having your breakfast at the hotel or going out to one of the many restaurants in the area. Before you leave for the airport, make sure you have a print out of your flight itinerary, hotel reservations with the address, the address of the clinic, enough cash to change at the airport for a taxi to your hotel, any material the doctor has advised you to bring, and of course your passport.
Thinking about coming to India for your IVF treatment ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/malpaniform.htm so that I can guide you better !