Tuesday, February 28, 2012

  After deciding to go to Istanbul the next step was to make sure that we had all of our ducks in a row.  On www.IVFvacationcenter.com there are documents explaining which tests are required by Dr. Arici and the Anadolu Medical Center.  After deciding to go we the first thing that we had to do was get our medical records.  If you have done fertility treatments recently you most likely have a lot of the required tests.  The tests should be current within 6 months to 1 year.  Burcu our contact in Turkey has been very helpful by making sure that we had everything done.  We scanned and emailed tests in as we received them and she would email us back and let us know what we still needed.
   I recommend contacting your regular OB/GYN and telling them what your plans are.  You want to ask them if they will support you before and after your trip.  You will need a prescription for birth control pills before you leave and if you are pregnant after the trip you will need progesterone to support the pregnancy.  If you haven't already had a HSG or other uterine cavity check you will want to ask if they can do that test as well.  I was due for a yearly, so before I made that appointment, I called and let them know, and luckily my OB and nurse practitioner were very supportive.  I was even able to get samples of birth control.  At that time they also ordered the blood tests that I needed for my trip.  
  My husband also needed blood work so it was the perfect time for us to get established with a primary care physician.  We both scheduled physicals and our new PCP ordered the required blood work for John and also seemed very supportive of our plans.  Support from our doctors was very important to me.  In a way it validated what we were doing and made me more confident in our decision.   Don't be surprised if you need other tests.  Burcu contacted us at one point saying that Dr Arici would like us to get a complete blood count(CBC).  John was NOT happy...he is a big chicken when it comes to needles!  

 Another thing you will need to send to Turkey is your marriage license.  Couples wanting IVF must be married under Turkish law.  Make sure that you have a current passport as well.  I needed to renew mine so I went to http://travel.state.gov and had it rushed.  It was more expensive but I received it within 2 weeks.  You will need a Visa but it is purchased upon entry into Turkey and I believe is $20 US dollars.  I was told it is to be paid in your own currency.  

  My husband spent weeks looking at plane tickets and trying to find the best prices.  We ended up getting a good deal on a direct flight to Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, which is about an hour away from the hospital.  There is a closer airport called Sabiha Gochen, but it is smaller and a lot more expensive.  The hospital will pick you up at either airport.  We made sure that we had the go ahead from Dr. Arici before booking our tickets.  

    At this point we are all set to go.  All of our testing and medical records have been reviewed by Dr.Arici. We both have our passports, ordered plane tickets, ordered Turkish currency (Lira) from the bank and have family coming to stay with our boys.  Well maybe we aren't ready to fly out tomorrow but all of the major things are done.  

  I hope that if you are reading this that it is helpful.  We obviously don't know everything yet because we haven't gone but as we get further along in our plans and trip my hopes are that the information we provide good and bad will ease your decision.  We are very excited and when our trip comes along we plan on doing short blog entries and videos of everything from the hospital to the procedure to the food and accommodations.  If you have questions please leave a comment at the bottom of any post and we will get back to you.  

Stay tuned for information on the accommodations...at least what we know so far!


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