Tandem IVF Treatment

Tandem IVF Treatment

Patient’s embryos from own eggs and embryos from donor eggs can be combined together and multiple embryos can be transferred both giving the patient a chance of success with own and donor eggs.

Who is a Suitable Candidate for Tandem IVF Treatment?
Tandem IVF Cycle refers to IVF treatment where both the female patient and an egg donor receive IVF medication to stimulate their ovaries at the same time. Near East University Hospital IVF Centre is one of the very first clinics in the world who adopted Tandem IVF treatment in order to give the female patient a chance of pregnancy with her own eggs while preparing an egg donor simultaneously as a back-up plan.

Tandem IVF Cycle can be utilized by women with decreased ovarian reserves who do not respond to IVF treatment in an optimal manner. Alternatively, it can be a solution for women with repeated IVF failures with their own eggs. The principle behind a tandem cycle is to provide the patient with as many good quality eggs as possible so that a positive result can be achieved. While the patient undergoes IVF treatment to produce oocytes (eggs), there is also an egg donor who undergoes a similar treatment to produce a number of eggs to be utilized by the patient (recipient). By combining two sets of eggs retrieved from both women, a large pool of eggs become available for use during the IVF cycle.

The female patient who would like to opt for a tandem IVF cycle should still have some ovarian function. If there is no ovarian function left, and the ovarian reserves have been completely exhausted, then opting for “IVF with Egg Donation” will be a better idea so that the female patient does not undergo a stressful IVF cycle with all the stimulation drugs to obtain no eggs in the end. We usually recommend that the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) level of the female patient is higher than 0.2 ng/mL and there are at least 1/2 antral follicles in the ovaries so that a tandem cycle can be utilized.

Overview of Tandem IVF Cycle

Gaining great popularity within the last few years, Tandem Cycling allows women with lowered ovarian reserves to have a chance of pregnancy using their own eggs, but at the same time having a back-up egg reserves through the use of an egg donor. This way, the patient has a shot at pregnancy using her own eggs as well as young and fertility proven donor eggs as well.

A tandem cycle allows you to receive a lower dose of medication since you will only be needing a few good quality eggs. At the end of the IVF cycle, couple can choose any combination of donor/own eggs to use for the embryo transfer. This also allows you to have a go with your own eggs first and freeze donor’s eggs for a future cycle without facing the cost of two separate cycles should you end up having a sufficient number of eggs with a good quality rating.

A tandem cycle is a great option for older women and for women with elevated FSH, therefore, diminished ovarian reserve levels. A tandem cycle can be seen as investing in two different stocks to divide the risk of your investment, so the risk is minimized. A tandem cycle gives you the option of using your own eggs as well as young and healthy donor eggs in a single IVF cycle. The steps involved in a tandem IVF cycle are exactly like the steps involved in “IVF with ICSI” treatment. The only difference is, you are provided with an additional set of eggs to use at the end of the procedure. However, just like in an egg donation cycle, patients are asked to provide with the following information for an accurate donor matching process:

– Female patient’s physical features (skin, hair and eye color)
– Female patient’s menstrual period information
– Female partner’s picture for a more accurate matching
– Female and male partner’s blood types.

For an effective donor matching, we will ask that you fill out a patient application form so that our donor coordinator can effectively identify the most suitable matches either based on your own physical features or any other specifications you may request in your egg donor. Another important consideration we like to use as an important parameter is the donor’s previous donation pregnancy history. Most of our egg donors have proven pregnancies via previous donations.

In principle, even though you are using an egg donor, you will still be undergoing standard IVF+ICSI procedures where your own ovaries will be stimulated to obtain eggs. This necessitates that you are thoroughly examined and assessed for fertility so that our IVF specialists can identify the right treatment protocol for you along with the most suitable medication regimen. For initial testing and assessment, our specialist doctor will inspect your clinical condition to plan an investigation.

In a tandem cycle, you will end up with two sets of eggs, one of your own and one from your egg donor. Legally, we are able to transfer up to three embryos in a given cycle, therefore, given that both sets of eggs result in viable embryos for transfer, you will be able to decide how many of your own embryos and how many embryos created with donor eggs you would like to have transferred.

You should keep in mind that a tandem IVF cycle is most suited for women whose ovarian reserves have been depleted but not completely exhausted. It is important that you still have regular menstrual cycles and that you still ovulate so that you can be considered for a Tandem IVF Cycle. Otherwise, if you have no antral follicles in your ovaries and you no longer ovulate, you should consider “IVF with Egg Donation” as an option.

How to Get Started?

Success with IVF treatments is like a multi variable equation, therefore, the more information we have about important factors, the more effective of an assessment we can make. Just like in other fertility treatments, the starting point of a tandem IVF treatment cycle is testing. Given that the female patient will undergo ovarian stimulation to produce oocytes, we will need to make an assessment of ovarian function so that our fertility specialists can design a suitable treatment protocol which will optimize the outcome of your IVF treatment.

Tandem IVF Cycle at North Cyprus IVF Centre necessitates the following information as the first step in treatment:

A recent hormone profile of the female patient. These are FSH, LH, Estradiol, Prolactin, TSH and AMH hormone tests to be administered (some of them on day 2 or day 3 of the menstrual period). These tests will give us information about the patient’s ovarian reserves and fertility level.
-A trans-vaginal ultrasound scan for ovarian and uterine assessment. With this scan, our specialists will need to know how many antral follicles there are in each ovary. With the uterine assessment part, we will want to make sure that there are no visible problems that can interfere with a successful pregnancy (such as fibroids, polyps, free fluid in the uterus or structural and morphological problems).
-Information on how regular menstrual periods are, if menstrual cycles have become irregular, that might be an indication of menopause or ovarian failure. The patient’s hormone tests mentioned above will be used to confirm such a diagnosis if applicable.
A semen analysis report for the male patient with the following parameters included: Volume, count, motility, morphology, pH and round cell count. The semen sample should be provided after 2/4 days of abstinence. Shorter or longer abstinence periods are not desired.

The first thing would be to obtain as much information as possible regarding your infertility assessment and then we will identify the steps ahead.

Once assessment has been made, we will ask that the patient fills out our form for an effective donor matching process to be initiated.

Cost of Tandem IVF Cycle at Near East University Hospital IVF Centre

The cost is inclusive of the medical treatment received at our facilities, your egg donor’s compensation, egg donor’s medication and all of your consults with your IVF specialist at our clinic. Costs that are not included in this figure are as follows:

Preliminary tests and scans to be performed before your treatment program can be designed. Given that majority of our patients come from abroad, we design our treatment so that the preliminary work is carried out locally so that you can come to Cyprus to finalize your treatment. This means that your local doctor or scan center will charge you their own price for these tests. However, initial tests and scans should not cost you more than 400-500 Euros. The cost can be much lower depending on your country and whether you are able to get some of the tests done via your public or private insurance.
Your infectious disease screening. These tests need to be administered by our own lab as a measure to minimize the risk of blood-borne pathogen contamination in our embryology laboratory. This safety measure aims to protect our patients’ gametes.
Medication that you will use will also cost extra. The cost of medication will depend the dosage to be administered and the country where you obtain them. Medication prices can be very different across the world. However, given that your treatment protocol will likely be a milder one in order to obtain a low number but high quality oocytes, you should expect to pay less than the cost of standard IVF medicine
Accommodation and travel expenses are also not covered in the cost if your treatment.

Please contact our fertility specialists for more information on our Tandem IVF Treatment.

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