Are you thinking about travelling abroad for fertility treatment? Or have you been forced abroad due to the current IVF ‘postcode lottery’ taking place in the UK?
Whatever your reason, have a read of what some of the top fertility experts in Europe are advising you to be aware of before taking the plunge.
The UK’s Fertility Show in Manchester, held at the end of March, had a whole host of expert seminars on offer for visitors.
One of the most popular was on the subject of planning your treatment abroad.
Introduced by Fertility Network UK chief executive, Aileen Feeney, who advised the audience that it is important to make informed decisions on whether to go abroad using only trusted information and resources.
She first introduced Monica Aresta of Portugal’s Ferticentro Clinic.
Monica outlined her country’s legal situation and what you should take into consideration when choosing which country to complete treatment.
She said: “Most of our patients come from the UK and Ireland. We have good links with doctors and the reason that people travel to us is that we are lower in cost, the treatment can be conducted privately, there is also less pressure.”
She said that patients considering treatment abroad should look at four areas, cost, safety, setting and healthcare.
When looking at costs, a patient should ask themselves if they are getting value for money, safety questions that should be asked are whether the staff are adequately qualified to treat you, is it a small or large clinic and should that be a consideration to how you are safely treated?
She also said researching the clinic’s setting is crucial. Is it attached to a hospital that has adequate facilities, such as a operating room and onsite consultants, surgeons and embryologists?
Dr Salome Lopez Garrido, from Urvistahermosa, based in Spain gave a talk on the experience of having treatment abroad.
Dr Lopez told the audience that 40 per cent of European patients travel to Spain for fertility treatment, egg donation and embryo adoption.
She said the reason was that it was due to the costs being more affordable, with between a 30 to 60 per cent reduction in the cost compared to where they live.
She said Spain also had some of the most advanced technology and the Mediterranean diet meant that it was one of the healthiest places in the world, with high success rates.
She said: “When travelling abroad for treatment some of the main advice I can offer is recognise experience, make sure the clinic has a good reputation, watch out for unreliable success rates, one IVF cycle will not give you a 75 per cent success rate, it is just not possible and distrust any clinic giving you any kind of guarantee. No-one can offer you a guarantee – a lot of it is marketing – what you want is real data.”
Jon Hausken, from Klinikk Hausken, of Norway discussed short protocols and the possible future using robots and virtual intelligence.
He said that his clinics in Norway have similar regulation and rules to the UK regulator, HFEA and that people only have to travel 90 minutes to Norway from Manchester for treatment. The clinic generally uses short protocol and patients can begin treatment back home and travel to Norway for egg collection and further treatment in a day.
He told the audience he believed IVF would advance rapidly in the future.
He said: “I believe that robotic procedures will help to increase the success rates of IVF in years to come. The future is in virtual intelligence and imaging.”
Are you thinking about going abroad for your treatment? Or have you been abroad and had a successful treatment? You may have had a bad experience, email us and let us know your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org