Going abroad from the UK for fertility testing and treatment, like IVF, is becoming an increasingly popular choice, as there are many benefits. Here’s what you need to know from Gaia’s partner, Emma, Co-founder of Your IVF abroad.
Having IVF abroad
Having fertility treatment, like IVF, abroad is a great option for most people seeking private testing and/or treatment, regardless of whether you have previously had treatment in the UK.
There are a number of reasons for this:
- More options for testing and treatments
- More accessible for example around BMI, age, donor options
- Cheaper like for like vs the UK and other places
- Generally no waiting lists
- Experienced medical professionals with impressive work experience
- More options for donor conception and plentiful supply
- Chance to have a holiday at the same time as fertility treatment
- Time away from the stresses and strains of home life
- Unable to access NHS funded fertility treatment
There are also many clinics that are very well set up to serve international patients and ones that speak fluent or good English so ensure that you importantly understand and are understood.
What is the cost of IVF abroad?
The cost of having IVF abroad with ICSI is significantly cheaper, like for like, than in the UK, where an average round of IVF with ICSI is £8,000. The cost varies depending on the destination, the clinic you choose and your exact treatment plan.
However, in my experience of helping clients to source treatment in Europe the price of own egg/sperm IVF with ICSI for example starts from around €2,300, up to around €4,500 and will often includes other services that in other countries may be charged for in addition, like some consultations, ultrasounds, blood-work and additional laboratory techniques.
Donor laws and regulations around treatments like donor egg, donor sperm and embryo adoption and donation vary significantly depending on the country you choose to have treatment in. Clinics will vary in their donor screening and recruitment processes, as well as in their treatment of donors and how they are compensated. Not all countries will serve all people and for all types of donation and some do not allow it at all.
There are also some countries who will not be able to match to all ethnicities and how donors are matched will vary depending on the clinics processes and laws in that country.
The number of times a donor is allowed to donate and the age limits for this will also vary, along with whether donation is anonymous, non anonymous or if there is an option for either. The level of information available about your donor will also vary, as will the number of times they will be allowed to donate.
Best clinics abroad
The best clinic abroad for you is one that is safe and ethical, in the right location and that can best meet your needs and serve your personality. There are some excellent clinics abroad, but there is no one size fits all. We are all different people with different needs, personalities, likes/dislikes and budgets.
Also, it is important to remember that not all fertility testing and treatment offered is the same at every clinic, communication styles differ, as do prices and specialisms and destination is important in making sure you are somewhere you want to be and in a country that is safe, politically stable and can offer you the treatment you need, with your unique set of circumstances. We are all individuals and all fertility treatment is not the same at every clinic
Where is IVF most successful?
It is difficult to say where IVF and other fertility treatments are most successful and this is because the way in which success rates are recorded, presented and measured and different in different clinics and countries, plus sample conditions, sizes and conditions vary, therefore it is not possible to say which destination offers the most successful treatment. It is important not to focus solely on a clinic’s success rates for these reasons and I recommend instead you ask them what they project your chance of success to be if having treatment with them.
Best countries for IVF
Europe is a popular continent for fertility treatment. However, the best countries for you to have testing and treatment like IVF is dependent on your circumstances, desires and budget. There is no one size fits all.
I recommend starting with a destination/s in mind and then researching whether you are able to have your desired treatment there. Some countries may not offer the treatment you would like, or they do but not to someone in your circumstances, such as for example those who are single or in a who are in a same-sex couple.
I also recommend considering the political landscape and safety of that country, how easily accessible it is from home, the cost of living, travel and accommodation, along with the availability of accommodation and weather conditions. It is also important to be somewhere you feel comfortable too.
It is important that you do your due diligence and make sure that the destination you choose is safe and politically stable. You need to ensure your safety, that the clinic is registered, well regulated and ethical.
You also need to understand the laws and intricacies of donor conception if this applies, such as the screening, recruitment and compensation processes of selecting donors at your chosen clinic.
When is the right time to consider going abroad for fertility treatment?
Some people consider going abroad following unsuccessful treatment in their own country that was for example NHS funded, or following private treatment. Then there are others who decide to go abroad straight away and make going abroad their first choice. There is no wrong time.
How do I get started?
At Your IVF abroad, we offer a free short step by step guide that explains the process of having fertility treatment abroad in places like Spain.
If you require more information or support then Emma offers a wide variety of services to people who are interested in having fertility testing and treatment in European countries. You can find out more about her services here.
For more free information, Emma hosts a podcast and has a blog.
The most affordable way to start and protect your IVF.
The Gaia Plan offers a flexible and affordable way to pay for the treatment you need to have a child, with financial protection if you don’t, and support throughout. For UK residents, we can provide our Gaia Plans to most clinics in the EU. Complete a short questionnaire to find out how much it would cost at your chosen clinic. You can find our eligibility criteria on our Eligibility page.