You can access infertility treatment here in the UK on the NHS, as long as you meet the age and health criteria and have been trying to conceive naturally for a long enough period. However, in reality, the availability of infertility treatment varies widely across the country, leading many couples to seek the treatment they so desperately need elsewhere. Even with one or two rounds of NHS infertility treatment, many couples still do not conceive, and with UK costs in excess of £4,000 per cycle of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), they simply cannot afford to continue treatment here.
Popular countries for infertility treatment
There are a huge number of countries to choose from when it comes to infertility treatment abroad, including some that are not normally considered in the mainstream medical tourism market. Not surprisingly, the most popular destinations are those that offer the lowest prices and the best value over all. You can compare prices for fertility treatment abroad, online.
These countries, ranked by the cost of a single cycle of IVF treatment, include:
Czech Republic £1900.
Other costs and considerations
Choosing your country for infertility treatment involves much more than looking at the cost of a single cycle of IVF. You also need to look at the cost of travel and accommodation, as well as how comfortable you will feel at a time when you are at your most vulnerable. This is why Spain is as popular as the Ukraine, despite being almost three times the price. When couples think about where they want to be when they undergo such highly personal and emotional treatment, the sunshine and laid back warmth of Spain can seem much more appealing than a chilly former Soviet Republic.
Unless you are very lucky, chances are you will probably have to make more than one visit to your chosen infertility treatment destination, so people tend to choose places close to home that are easy and affordable to get to. India may have some of the lowest prices in the world, with over 500 clinics and huge experience in the field, but it is not somewhere that most UK couples can afford to visit more than once. With low cost budget flights, however, European clinics are much more practical and popular.
What else should you think about?
Of course, price is not the only consideration when choosing an infertility clinic abroad. There are also a number of legal, moral and ethical issues that affect the choice of destination for your IVF treatment. For example, many UK couples are attracted to places like the Ukraine and Russia because of the easy availability of surrogate mothers, while others are attracted by laws that protect the identity of sperm donors and egg donors, such as those in the Czech Republic and Greece. In other cases, such as in Turkey, infertility treatment is not even an option unless you are a married, heterosexual couple.
Different countries are popular with couples in different circumstances, and it is important to select your country carefully based on your own situation, rather than just on price or location.