THE road to parenthood was a rocky one for a Skipton couple who, after being unable to conceive naturally, found the cost of IVF too high in this country.

Not qualifying for NHS funding and forcing them to pay privately, they sought treatment abroad and now have a happy, healthy toddler.

Adam Haslam, 36, and his wife, Emma, 39, from Skipton, have launched a new IVF abroad service which aims to facilitate high-quality and affordable fertility treatment at a range of European clinics – after their own experience of infertility left them reeling at the ‘extortionate’ cost of British IVF.

‘Your IVF abroad’ is the brainchild of Emma and Adam who had successful IVF at a clinic in Prague and now draw on their own experiences to organise similar packages across Europe for patients wanting to take advantage of quality care, high success rates and lower costs.

The pair were forced to navigate the lonely and potentially expensive road of UK assisted reproduction having been given a double infertility diagnosis shortly after their wedding in 2014.

Though they did not have any children, Emma, who, then aged 34, was perimenopausal and Adam, who had low sperm count and motility, were deemed ineligible for funded fertility treatment due to NHS rules in their area dictating that Emma needed to have a body mass index of under 35.

The devastated couple began researching the cost of private packages in the UK and quickly realised it was beyond their means.

Emma, a former pupil at Skipton Girl’s High School, who is now an experienced children and families support worker, said: “Learning that the NHS wouldn’t treat us was hard as I’d worked really hard to lose a huge amount of weight and it still wasn’t enough. Yet if we’d lived in another area I would have been treated, it’s unfair that the rules are different depending on your postcode. And then we saw how much one round of IVF would cost at a private clinic - around £6,000 upwards, not including the medication - and just felt totally sick.

“Like many people, we simply didn’t have that kind of money lying around. It was only when we heard about treatment being much cheaper abroad, but with impressive success rates, that we dared to hope.

“One in seven people in this country are struggling to conceive and the problem is not going away. NHS funding in many areas has been reduced or removed entirely”

After in depth study, the pair settled on a clinic in Prague and after three rounds of IVF are now proud parents to their son, Albie, born in 2018.

Adam, who works in finance at Skipton Building Society, added: “Discovering the clinic in Prague changed our lives beyond all measure. Three rounds, including all our medication, travel and hotel cost the equivalent of just one round of IVF in the UK – the saving we made is absolutely staggering.

“We understand that people might be overwhelmed at the thought of going to a foreign country for their treatment at what is already a very stressful time. But with our help it simply doesn’t have to be any more challenging than in the UK.

“We take care of all the logistics from helping our clients choose the right clinic, to setting up SKYPE consultations with medical professionals, to booking flights and hotels, filling out the necessary paperwork and sourcing medication. Depending on which treatment a person is having, timings often have to be very specific to tie in with a woman’s own cycle – it’s a very intricate process but we’ve done it ourselves and take care of every aspect so our clients do not have to and that removes a huge amount of stress. As well as sorting the practicalities we can also offer emotional support as we know what our clients are going through.”

Emma and Adam, have already helped one grateful couple to have a baby at another clinic in the Czech Republic and aim to bring hope to others in the same situation.

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