IVF Abroad – Where Are You Going For Treatment?

IVF abroad

Are you considering IVF treatment abroad? For many people who reach the end of their NHS funding or perhaps are now considering egg donation, travelling abroad for IVF seems like an option to ponder.  This option isn’t attractive to everyone, and after careful thought, some people decide that they would rather access treatment at home. However, throughout Europe, many do seek IVF treatment outside of their home country usually because of IVF laws restricting some types of treatment,  long waiting lists, or perhaps because the cost of treatment abroad is cheaper.

The number of  destinations offering treatment is growing every year and this makes the choice even more difficult. Popular countries to travel to are Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece, South Africa , USA and Cyprus to name a few. Sometimes it is the reputation of a particular clinic which drives people to a specific country.  Spanish and Czech IVF clinics are really popular with people from the UK because they offer cheaper treatment than what’s available at home, and practically no waiting lists for egg donation treatment.

Egg Donation in Spain and the Czech Republic

Egg donation abroad has traditionally meant Spain. Some clinics in the UK have a relationship with IVF clinics in Spain particularly to facilitate this type of treatment. Spanish clinics are for the most part modern, accessible and staffed by a team specifically trained to coordinate people travelling from abroad. IVF costs are slightly lower than the UK, but the biggest advantage is the fact that there are many egg and sperm donors available to the clinics due to the anonymity laws which leads to shorter waiting times for treatment.  Spain is a well-trodden path and feels a safe option for some people.

The Czech Republic is now flourishing as an alternative destination to the more traditional options. The country has over 30 IVF clinics, and at least 3 have opened since 2011. The main focus is in Prague and Brno but there are other cities with IVF clinics offering affordable treatment. Czech clinics follow the same structure as Spanish clinics in having an International Team in place to ensure that coordination of treatment is smooth and trouble-free. Due to anonymity laws in the Czech Republic, clinics here also have many egg and sperm donors available to them and so waiting time for treatment is usually short. The Czech Republic offers treatment at a much reduced cost compared to the UK – for some treatments almost half.

Spain and the Czech Republic have many laws passed by the state to ensure IVF treatment is well-regulated. And the clinics must have inspections before they can be licensed to practise. So if you are considering IVF abroad and have a check list of must-have’s which include short waiting lists, low cost and state-regulated treatment, then Spain and the Czech Republic tick all those boxes.

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4 comments

  1. Lucia Grounds

    I just wanted to point out a few inaccuracies in your article. Firstly, the expression ‘Fertility Tourism’ is one I thought was not used any more. It certainly has many negative connotations in my opinion. I do understand that you and people who write for you have relationships with clinics abroad, but you are giving inaccurate information to your readers.

    Waiting lists for egg donation in the UK are not long anymore. There are egg donation agencies and other clinics that recruit egg donors and also off egg share. Some European/South African clinics have now set up satellite offices in the UK and are offering UK compliant donors. The CARE group, the Lister, the London Women’s Clinic, London Egg and Sperm bank all offering ID release donors.

    Of course people choose to go abroad for many reasons, cost etc. but they need to have all the facts to make their decision. Real children are affected by those decisions and being confident in your choice of clinic can be key for those children. My children were conceived in Spain and I have very little information on their donors which is a real issue for them.

    Don’t forget that many clinics abroad favour multiple embryo transfer which can be risky for mother and babies. The change in the UK anonymity law was 12 years ago, so to keep using that as a false comparison with waiting lists in clinics abroad is disingenuous.

    Please give your readers accurate information so they can make informed choices and remember that real children with real feelings are the result of treatment.

    1. Mike Roberts

      Hi, you are commenting on a post from 2013. Obviously things have changed.

  2. Lucia Grounds

    Thanks Mike! I didn’t realise. However, things have not changed enough and more and more people are choosing clinics abroad with no counselling or support around the issues for their children and for them. Especially worrying is the number of clinics transferring multiple embryos.

    People choose to go abroad for many reasons. I just feel they need more support and information about the choices so they feel happy and confident with the clinic they eventually choose. You may be able to have treatment in the UK with the advantage of an ID release donor – so don’t discount it immediately!

    1. Mike Roberts

      Nothing has been discounted and people have more choice than ever as to where and the type of treatment they are offered. Whether an article is 3 or more years old or new today people will look to find answers to the to their questions. Nothing is discounted.