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Tandem IVF Cycle

Overview & Cost of Tandem IVF Cycle

Women with diminished but not completely exhausted ovarian reserves are suitable candidates for this treatment option. Women with previous IVF failures or women in older age brackets may be suitable candidates for this treatment depending on other assessed parameters.
Success with Tandem IVF Cycle is similar to success rates with donor eggs. This is because the patient is provided with embryos made with her own eggs as well as donor eggs. If pregnancy is not achieved with own eggs, then the donor eggs act as back up.
Female patient is required to undergo testing as explained in our “Infertility Testing” section. The male patient is required to undergo a semen analysis. Depending on your unique condition and previous history of infertility, additional testing may be required.

The cost of a Tandem IVF cycle at North Cyprus IVF Centre is 5,500 Euros, which is inclusive of your donor related expenses as well as own medical treatment. However, your preliminary local tests, medication, accommodation and flights are extra.

What is Tandem IVF Cycle?

Gaining great popularity within the last few years, Tandem IVF Cycle allows women with lowered ovarian reserves to have a chance of pregnancy using their own eggs, while having a back-up egg reserve through the use of an egg donor. With this fertility treatment option, we offer a chance of pregnancy using own eggs while keeping donor eggs as a back up plan should the patient’s own eggs fail. This way, we offer two treatments in one, both maximizing your chance of IVF success and keeping your treatment cost at a minimum.

Tandem IVF Cycle refers to IVF treatment where both the female patient and an egg donor receive treatment to stimulate their ovaries at the same time. North Cyprus IVF Center is one of the very first clinics in the world who adopted this revolutionary IVF treatment in order to give patients a chance of pregnancy with their own eggs while preparing an egg donor simultaneously as a back-up plan.

One of the main advantages of tandem cycle is that it allows you to receive a lower dose of medication compared to a standard IVF cycle. This is because you will already receive a number of donor eggs at the end of your IVF treatment so rather than trying to maximize the number of eggs obtained in your own cycle, we focus on obtaining just a few that can potentially give us a viable pregnancy. Higher dose of medication doesn’t necessarily correspond with a higher number of eggs. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that higher doses of stimulation can lower the quality of eggs, especially in poor-responding women. In standard IVF cycles, it can be seen as risky to aim for just a couple of eggs by keeping medication dosages at a minimum, but in a tandem cycle, this is a risk worth taking. Lower doses of drugs, while reducing the number of eggs to be obtained, can improve the quality and that, in itself, could possibly improve your chances of success with your own eggs. At the end of the IVF cycle, patients can choose any combination of donor/own eggs to use for the embryo transfer.  This also allows you to have a chance 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 and quality of eggs with your own cycle.

Who is a Suitable Candidate for Tandem IVF Treatment?

Tandem IVF treatment cycle in Cyprus

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 at the end of an IVF cycle. 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 becomes 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 if the likelihood of obtaining viable eggs is grim. For an effective assessment, we recommend that the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) level as well as the antral follicle count are measured. If the female patient’s AMH is higher than 0.2 ng/mL and there are at least 2 antral follicles in the ovaries, a Tandem IVF cycle may be attempted.

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 an “egg recipient form” so that our donor coordinator can effectively analyze your request and 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 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, please make sure that you review our “Infertility Testing” section.

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 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 3/4 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 donor/recipient form for an effective donor matching process to be initiated.

A new IVF Approach: Tandem Cycle with Cytoplasmic Transfer

Now, at North Cyprus IVF Center, we offer a breakthrough technology in IVF Treatments combining Cytoplasmic IVF transfer with a Tandem IVF Cycle. The idea is, women with lowered ovarian reserves suffer from both a low count of eggs and a reduced quality of eggs due to possible mitochondrial defects and/or genetic deformities as a result of oocyte aging. With our new Cytoplasmic Tandem Cycle, we use some of the donor eggs for their cytoplasmic content and discard the genetic content. We take the cytoplasmic content and inject it into the patient’s own eggs. That way, we keep the genetic material of the patient’s eggs intact, but provide them with a better host environment in order to improve oocyte quality.
The rest of the donor eggs can be fertilized with the male partner’s sperm for the tandem cycle, giving us good quality embryos created using the donor eggs as a back-up plan in case the patient’s own eggs do not give us desired results. Alternatively, 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.

This combination of cytoplasmic IVF and Tandem Cycle is currently the most technologically advanced approach where chances of success are maximized with own eggs as well as donor eggs.

Tandem IVF cycle using cytoplasmic IVF transfer - the latest IVF technology.

Cost of Tandem IVF Cycle at North Cyprus IVF Centre

The cost of a tandem IVF cycle at North Cyprus IVF Centre runs at 5,500 Euros. This 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 will cost 200 Euros. 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. For more information on accommodation and travel arrangements, you can visit our “Accommodation” and “Travel” sections.

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