Choosing to have IVF abroad
IVF, or in-vitro fertilisation, is a well-known medical procedure, offered to those experiencing difficulties in conceiving. But, quite apart from being a scientific process, it is also the means of creating your child. Though it may not be the preferred way to conceive, that doesn’t mean that conception via IVF is any less valuable and therefore the way and location in which it is carried out is of paramount importance.
Procreation of the species is a basic human function and the urge to carry and give birth to a child is one of the most compelling emotions that a woman can experience. Fortunately for most this is not an issue and five out of every six couples attempting to conceive will do so easily. However, for one couple out of six they will need to seek specialist treatment on their route to conception. Medical tourism is something which has become more and more commonplace over the last few years and IVF is no exception to this, in fact it is one of the fastest-growing areas of medical tourism.
Alternative Fertility Treatments
It is important to remember that there are many options available before resorting to IVF. These range from taking fertility drugs such as Clomid (which stimulates ovulation) to having IUI. The latter is a laboratory procedure used to separate the slow, or non-moving sperm, from the ones with normal rates of motility. The selected sperm is then washed and placed in the uterus around the time of ovulation. All of these other options are less invasive and therefore tend to be both preferred and explored first. However, the success rates are low and if alternative assisted reproduction techniques do not work, then patients may want to consider having IVF treatment abroad.
The IVF procedure itself involves the surgical removal of eggs from the woman which are then combined with sperm and fertilised outside the body before being implanted in the uterus. The technology used for this is sophisticated, complicated – and expensive. It is usually comparatively easy for couples who need the extra help in conception to be identified, but it can be a lot harder for them to actually receive this treatment. The IVF procedure in most countries is subject to stringent guidelines and although the treatment available varies tremendously from postcode to postcode, these rules do make it difficult for some to access the services they need. For example, in the UK, IVF treatment is usually restricted to women under the age of 42 because the chances of success fall from 32.2% in women under 35 to 1.9% in women aged over 44. This reasonable but tough approach is understandable in a state-funded environment.
So what happens now ?
Clinics abroad have been recognising that there is additional demand for IVF for decades. There are many women who fall outside of their country’s guidelines but still wish to have a child and that demand needs to be met somewhere. Statistics from De Montfort University show that 85% of couples are self-funding their IVF treatment, hence the increased numbers seeking cheaper treatment abroad. Gradually, IVF clinics abroad have been able to observe what is available in the patient’s home country and fill in the gaps that it leaves. Lower overheads and overall costs mean that the clinics abroad can afford to charge lower prices to their patients while still maintaining extremely high standards and incredible pregnancy rates.
Why have IVF abroad ?
Patients around the world are realising that there is an alternative between government treatment and its endless waiting lists and the very expensive private options in their own country. For example, one round of IVF treatment carried out privately in the UK costs around £10,000 and, with the success rate for the procedure placed at just 22% nationally, the first round is unlikely to result in a pregnancy.
Travelling abroad for IVF treatment provides a faster result within a much more achievable financial framework. IVF with ICSI at the Cyprus IVF Centre costs just over 3,000 euros or £2,250 including a 200 euro contribution towards accommodation. Even taking into account travel expenses, IVF in Cyprus makes it possible for a couple to fly out, have a holiday and receive the treatment for half the cost of the treatment alone in their own country.
The idea of holidaying at the same time as IVF treatment has become so popular that many overseas clinics, including Team Miracle at Cyprus IVF Centre, now offer special packages which involve the full IVF treatment, plus hotel accommodation and airport transfers. There are other motivating factors though. More reasons for seeking treatment abroad include a shortage of donor eggs around the world, anonymity legislation surrounding donor treatment, dissatisfaction with care elsewhere, long waiting lists and most importantly, much higher success rates abroad.
Does a low cost treatment mean low success rates ?
Definitely not. Team Miracle at Cyprus IVF Centre had an average success rate of 77% in 2015 for all patients with an age range of 23 – 59 years old. This is considerably higher than the UK national success rate and that of other European countries.
IVF is a complex area of medicine and there are a number of factors which work together to influence IVF success rates. The skill of the fertility doctor, the techniques and equipment used, the egg and sperm quality and the quality of the endometrium are all important variables which will affect your result. When we perform IVF at Cyprus IVF Centre, we ensure that every single factor is meticulously dealt with to the best of our ability in order to maximise your chance of pregnancy.
Travelling abroad can be daunting at the best of times, never mind when you are travelling for potentially life-changing treatment. Having trust in the medical staff is of vital importance. Dr Firdevs at Cyprus IVF Centre is the only medically-qualified, female obstetrician, gynaecologist and IVF expert in North Cyprus and she personally oversees the treatment of all patients during their time in the IVF centre. As with many scenarios, communication is key. Perhaps more so at this time than at others, but the language skills of the medical staff are of utmost importance.
The reasons for having IVF treatment abroad are many and varied and it looks like the IVF patients are set to become one of the biggest groups of so-called medical tourists that exist – it is thanks to high quality fertility clinics abroad such as Cyprus IVF Centre by Team Miracle that this is happening.