Growing numbers of people in the UK are choosing to travel overseas to have fertility treatment. Everyone has their own reasons for making this choice, but there are some common factors that are driving people towards overseas care. Some people are tempted by the lower costs and other benefits but increasing numbers of people are also finding it harder to access fertility treatment in the UK.
Fertility Treatment in the UK
Fertility treatments such as IVF are available in the UK, through both the NHS and private clinics. For many people, having their IVF treatment in the UK will be the best option. However, it has become more difficult to get fertility treatment though the NHS due to restrictions on eligibility. Many NHS trusts have introduced stricter criteria over recent years. In some parts of the country, it is now impossible for women over the age of 35 or for men who are overweight to qualify for IVF treatment.
Only 12% of the Clinical Commissioning Groups that set guidelines for local NHS trusts now offer three cycles of NHS to couples under 40 and all of these trusts are in one part of the UK, in the Greater Manchester area. If you don’t live in this part of the country, then you may struggle to access fertility treatments like IVF through the NHS. Some NHS trusts aren’t able to provide any fertility care at all, so patients in these areas won’t be able to have IVF unless they visit a private fertility clinic.
Some people who have been denied IVF treatment on the NHS have turned to private clinics in the UK instead. Private clinics are willing to treat a broader range of patients and there are no limits on the number of IVF cycles that you can have. You will also be able to choose your own fertility specialist and to arrange appointments faster and more easily. However, this isn’t always the right choice for everybody. More people are now turning to the other alternative, which is to seek private fertility treatment overseas.
Going Overseas for IVF Treatment
Many fertility clinics in countries such as Dubai, Bahrain and Greece are able to provide high quality care at lower costs than private clinics in the UK. As the fertility services available in the UK have become more limited due to issues with NHS funding, more people are taking advantage of these overseas clinics.
One survey of people who were considering or already having IVF treatment in the UK found that:
- 93% would consider going abroad for IVF
- 68% were tempted by the lower costs of international care, compared to private care in the UK
- 47% would go abroad to benefit from shorter waiting times for treatment
- 28% were interested in the wider range of fertility treatment options available overseas
Clearly, there are many reasons why people consider having IVF overseas. Arranging treatment in another country isn’t always the first option that you will think about, but with restrictions on NHS care it can be the best choice for you.
Benefits of Having IVF Treatment Abroad
If you are considering your options for IVF or other fertility services, then there are some significant benefits to travelling overseas:
- The costs can be significantly lower than for private care in the UK. If you aren’t eligible for treatment on the NHS, then this could be the most affordable choice, even with the added costs of transport and accommodation. However, it can be tricky to find the best prices on international IVF when you’re unfamiliar with other healthcare systems. You can easily get caught out by hidden extras, such as blood tests that aren’t included in the price you’re initially given. One of the ways that we help is by ensuring that you avoid these kinds of traps so that you know upfront how much your care will cost.
- Get your treatment at a top private clinic. International patients have a lot more choice about where they will be treated, so you can choose the best clinic and the most experienced fertility specialists. We can help you to find the right clinic, wherever you want to be treated.
- More options for egg and sperm donation. While it is possible to use egg and sperm donors in the UK, it can be easier in other countries where there are more willing donors. However, it’s important to understand the different regulations in each country so that you can make an informed choice. Donors can remain anonymous in some parts of the world, so you will need to decide if this is right for your family.
- You can make the whole experience calmer and more enjoyable by combining it with a trip overseas. Many couples find it easier to relax when they’re away from home, which can make the treatment easier. Having IVF in another country can also make it feel more like a holiday than a medical procedure.
Arranging Your Fertility Treatment in Another Country
Although there are many benefits to travelling overseas for IVF treatment, there are also some potential issues. It can be difficult to know where to find the best overseas clinic for IVF treatment. You might also be faced by difficulties such as language barriers, depending on where you want to have your fertility treatment. It can also be difficult to know which fertility clinics provide the best services, especially as some may make misleading claims about their success rates in countries that aren’t as carefully regulated as the UK.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on gong overseas for IVF treatment. If you’re considering travelling to another country for IVF treatment, then we can provide the support and advice you need. We have lots of experience arranging fertility treatment in the UK and overseas, so we will be able to organise everything for you. We’ll ensure that you get the best care, at the most affordable prices, with as little stress as possible.