Sharp rise in IVF treatment abroad

IVF treatment abroad

The number of women seeking IVF treatment abroad has risen dramatically. Largely thought to be down to the recent cutbacks in free IVF treatment in the UK, what many patients do not realise is that treatment abroad does carry some potential risks and considerations which should be carefully evaluated.

Below, we’ll look at why couples are choosing to seek IVF abroad and the things you should consider before heading to another country for treatment.

The cost factor – patients try to avoid hidden costs of IVF

Cost is by far the biggest reason women are seeking IVF treatment abroad. In the UK, many are finding it much more difficult to gain access to NHS treatment due to the recent cutbacks.

Private IVF treatment in the UK can seem very costly in comparison to the prices listed on websites for clinics abroad; even taking into account the travel and accommodation expenses. So, if the cost of IVF can be a lot cheaper in other countries, why shouldn’t you consider travelling to undergo treatment? Well, there’s a number of reasons you should exercise caution when seeking treatment abroad.

Understanding the potential risks of seeking IVF treatment abroad

What many patients do not realise is that different countries do not have the same regulations as the UK in terms of fertility treatments. Therefore, without first researching what the regulations are, patients could find themselves in a tricky situation later in life.

For example, those requiring donor sperm or eggs, won’t necessarily be able to know where they came from. Some countries operate on an anonymous basis where the donor can remain completely anonymous. This would mean the child wouldn’t be able to find out who their biological mother or father was.

You should also consider the qualifications and experience of the clinic. As with cosmetic surgery procedures, some foreign clinics offer lower cost treatments because they don’t have the same experience or qualifications as the specialists within the UK. So, you may be offered an unbelievably low rate, purely because the clinic doesn’t have a lot of experience with IVF. This is an important factor to look out for as the less experienced and qualified they are, the less chance the IVF will work, and the more chance complications will occur.

It’s also worth noting that not all foreign clinics avoid hidden costs. So, just because you’re heading out of the UK for treatment, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay additional fees and the tempting price listed on the website might not be quite the deal it seems.

As you can see, there are numerous factors to take into account before jetting off abroad for IVF. You also need to consider the support you’ll be offered abroad. IVF treatment can have a significant psychological impact and if any problems do occur, you’ll need to be able to contact the specialist. Not all private clinics in the UK charge extortionate fees and finance plans, and IVF packages may be available.