Category Archives: Brno

Brno

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One of the pleasures of having treatment overseas is you get to have a holiday at the same time, and Brno turned out to be a lovely place to spend a relaxing few days.

Brno is the Czech Republic’s 2nd city, situated in Moravia in the South East of the country. It’s surprisingly easy to get to from the UK. It has its own airport with direct flights from Stansted or Luton and it’s only a couple of hours away from Prague, Vienna and Bratislava (Slovakia) so you can fly into any of these airports and use the excellent local trains or buses. There’s a wide selection of hotels and apartments to suit all budgets and tastes. We used booking.com due to the favourable cancellation policy for most places.

It’s a university town with three large universities and a number of smaller ones. Interestingly, one of the major universities is Mendel University named after the “father of genetics” who lived here. Not surprisingly many of the egg donors at Reprofit are from the 89,000 students who study in the city.

Brno is a beautiful city, we were so impressed by all the old buildings and lovely parks, especially Luzanky Park (visit Park Lane Cafe whilst you’re there for a delicious hot chocolate). It feels safe to walk around and we had no problems with language, many of the coffee shops and restaurants had English menus. And it’s just so cheap to eat out and, of course, for anyone not alcohol free, Czech beer is superb. Lots of things to do aswell….the zoo, Spilberk castle, cathedral, technology museum, botanic gardens, the rather gloomy ossuary (collection of human bones – we gave it a miss as it didn’t seem to fit with the purpose of our visit!), Villa Tugendhat (book well in advance of your visit) plus various museums and galleries. There are lakes and caves nearby as well as various events…local festivals, a fireworks competition and the annual MotoGP at Masaryk Circuit. Oh, and shops, how could I forget?! Time to stock up on clothes and shoes as the prices are very favourable compared with the UK.  And with Prague, Vienna and Bratislava within easy reach you really shouldn’t be bored.

It’s a beautiful place, blessed with a relatively mild climate and we had a really relaxing, sunny few days.

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My Treatment – Brno

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So we arrived in Brno early afternoon on a Wednesday and settled into our apartment before heading out for a little wander around and to find something to eat. We stayed in the centre and were immediately impressed with this lovely old city.

The journey to Reprofit was so easy the next morning. The ticket machine for the trams was in English as well as Czech and the electronic display in the trams shows the stops. Reprofit is close to the Exhibition Centre and, thanks to Google street view, I recognised the building immediately.

We were impressed with the clinic from the moment we stepped out of the lift. Friendly, efficient, clean, light, professional. Somehow even walking into the clinic raises your hopes that this might actually work. We needed to show our passports and fill in some paperwork  so sat at one of the little café style tables in reception. Then one of the coordinators took us to a small room and talked us through the treatment, took the copies of our blood test results, gave us a chance to ask any questions and left us with various leaflets with key information, phone numbers etc on them. All leaflets are professionally printed in English, include pictures of how embryos develop and what we should expect on each day after fertilisation. I sat and read them word for word when we returned to our apartment later on.

We were then returned to reception before Mike was asked to go with one of the nurses to give his sperm sample. Thankfully, he doesn’t get stressed easily but I know from online forums that lots of men really worry about their ability to “perform” on the day. Mike was hugely impressed by the thought that Reprofit have put into this, they have clearly tried to make everything as relaxed as possible. Mike went to a completely separate “men only” part of the clinic, totally cut off from anyone wandering past and very private. He was shown to a small room and given written instructions in English to follow and then asked to make his way back to reception in his own time. He was then left alone. The room will only open from the inside so no danger of anyone walking in and was apparently spotlessly clean and simply furnished. As you would expect there are magazines and a dvd player to help the men along if needed. After the deed is done (😉), there is small hatch in the wall and the instructions told Mike to open his side of the hatch, place his sample inside, slide the door shut and ring a bell. The andrologists can then open their side of the hatch and retrieve the sample. Very civilised!

Mike returned to reception and was then picked up again by a nurse to give a blood sample, it seems Reprofit are meticulous when checking for STDs – at this stage this level of professionalism was no surprise to us.

So, back to reception and then it’s the turn of both of us to meet our doctor so we are taken together to another consulting room. Once again, everything friendly and professional. We were informed the egg collection from our donor had gone well that morning and that 10 eggs were collected (yay!), we discussed again the procedure for us to contact the clinic for updates on our embryos and also had an initial discussion about how many embryos to put back on day 5. The doctor then performed a scan on me himself and he was obviously delighted with the results – the additional oestrogen had done the job and my lining had improved to 9.6 with the holy grail of the triple stripe which even I could see on the screen (although this means I had an optimal lining, I know people are also successful without the triple stripe). I had also started taking the progesterone that morning which, all being well, I would take until my 12th week of pregnancy.

We were so excited when we left the clinic. We felt we were in very good hands and, so far, everything was looking good for us. We made the most of a lovely sunny day in Brno and strolled back to the city centre hand in hand daring to believe that, maybe, just maybe, our future might include a child.