Denmark is the IVF capital of the world, but why is it so popular?

A recent BBC World Service documentary podcast delved into the world of assisted reproduction technology on a global platform and discovered that Denmark had the biggest proportion of children born via IVF across the world

The Changing Face of Procreation looked at how the world views assisted reproductive technology (ART).

According to the two-part podcast, Denmark is only rivalled by Israel for ART, which has a much higher number of IVF cycles per million people – 5,000 compared to Denmark’s 2,700 – but a much lower natural birth rate and higher IVF success rate means that Denmark wins on the proportion of babies in the population born thanks to reproductive technology.

Many attribute the success to generous state funding and a more relaxed lifestyle, but we wanted to find out from someone who lives and breathes fertility in Denmark.

Vickie Budden is a Copenhagen-based acupuncturist and is the founder of the hugely popular Scandinavian fertility expo, Fertilitetsmessen We asked her why she believes Denmark is making big waves when it comes to ART.

“I have worked as fertility acupuncture specialist for 16 years, assisting well over 10,000 women both singles and women in couples seeking to become parents through IVF.

“Aside from my Danish clients, I also assist foreigners who come to Denmark as ‘fertility tourists’. Denmark is a highly attractive place for foreigners to seek treatment, since it is quite safe to be here even if you are on your own, and our very liberal legislations provides equal opportunities whether you are a single or gay woman looking for iui, IVF or even double donation.

“When I treat these women, I often hear that they have feelings of shame, guilt and fears, but a common denominator is that they have thought long and hard about becoming parents, it’s never something they take lightly.
“In Denmark we have a strong take on equal opportunities, and both sexes are encouraged to pursue further education. Perhaps for this reason many leave it quite late starting out building families, wanting to be well established before settling into family life.
“Some of my women have been in serious relationships that have faltered, and find that ‘all of a sudden’ they are mid to late thirties, and Mr Right still has not materialised. Their biological clock is running out, and their fertile window is closing, there simply isn’t much time left if they want to fulfil their dream of creating a family. That’s why many take it into their own hands and proceed to become solo-mums, Mr Right will hopefully come along later, but their biology simply can’t wait.
“Being a single mum here no longer is taboo. We have many internet fora for single mums. Sites where women support one another offering advice on most topics ranging from which sperm bank or clinic to use providing moral support and encouragement for one another, to advice on how to break the news to friends and family that you are planning on ‘going it alone’. Because no matter how many equal rights exists, having a child through IVF especially on your own rarely is a first choice for anyone.”

To listen to the podcast, click here

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