IVF abroad – here’s a guide

March 1, 2023

If you don’t qualify for IVF funding in the UK, then you may decide to opt to go abroad for your IVF treatment. While it may be cheaper than self-funding it in a UK clinic, there are many things to consider before deciding to go for overseas treatment.

Thoroughly research IVF clinics in the UK first

The HFEA is theUK government’s fertility regulator and they provide impartial and accurate information about UK fertility clinics and treatment.

This is a good starting point from which to compare clinics in the UK and it also gives a bench mark of what to look for abroad.

Depending on which treatment centre you use, costs in the UK can vary between £1,500 and £5,000. Often, the basic charge doesn’t include drugs, blood tests, anaesthetics, screening or more complex treatments like ICSI. Even clinics offering unlimited packages with up to 100% refund still don’t include everything in the cost of their package.

The HFEA have high standards, which UK clinics must meet. You may find that clinics abroad are using new methods that have yet to be fully approved in the UK, due to the stringent testing. Using different methods may also affect the data comparison.

 

How much will IVF abroad cost?

As with UK prices, costs will vary considerably between different clinics and different countries too.

Popular destinations for IVF treatment have included Spain, Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Poland and more recently, India. The basic costs for IVF have been cheaper and more things included. However, treatment abroad also means travel costs, accommodation and travel insurance, as well as more time off work to incorporate traveling time. Unlike with the UK, there isn’t one regulatory board for you to compare everything on a level playing field, as each country will have their own regulatory body.

America has become a popular IVF destination recently, although it is reportedly more costly for IVF treatment there.

 

What should I look for in an overseas clinic?

You should consider the following questions, before deciding on a clinic:

·      Are you eligible for treatment at that clinic/in that country? Some countries won’t allow same sex couples or single women to have IVF treatment

·      Are all of the treatments medically recognised in the UK too?

·      What do the reviews say about care, cleanliness, safety, etc?

·      What IS and what IS NOT included in the basic price and how much are any additional costs going to be?

·      Is the clinic licensed and who is it accredited by?

·      How do the results compare with other clinics? Look at the results for people of a similar age to you, going through similar treatments, as this is the best way to make a fair comparison. Are the results based on successful embryo transfers, a positive pregnancy test or live births? All of these things need to be taken into consideration.

·      What are the surrogacy laws in the country, if you are needing to use a surrogate?

·      If you are needing to use donor eggs or sperm, are the donors thoroughly screened?

·      Have you got any personal recommendations from someone you know who has used the clinic?

·      Are the staff suitably qualified?

·      Are online consultations available?

·      Were your initial consultation and any follow-up calls detailed, with questions about your medical history?

·      Do you feel confident that your needs will be met?

 

Here at The IVF Network, we understand the challenges faced by couples and individuals facing infertility and the complexities of fertility treatment. Through our dedicated channel of experts, our website and our blog posts, we provide information to help you to make informed choices on your personal fertility journey.

 

References:

‘Fertility Treatment Abroad,’ Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)  

https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/explore-all-treatments/fertility-treatment-abroad/

’10 Considerations When Seeking IVF Treatment Abroad – A practical guide to seeking IVF treatment overseas.’ Medical Travel Market, March 2021

https://medicaltravelmarket.com/news/10-considerations-when-seeking-ivf-treatment-abroad

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