Fertility tourism increases as NHS treatment declines and private care costs rise

Fertility tourism increases as NHS treatment declines and private care costs rise

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A drop in NHS funding for IVF fertility treatment is leading to an increase in more women seeking the treatment abroad.

Whether or not a local authority will fund the NICE-recommended three cycles of IVF varies from one local authority to another, and many other factors such as the health and age of the prospective mother may disqualify a women from any NHS treatment available. A single cycle of IVF at a private clinic costs approximately £7,000 and there are often additional costs, such as embryo glue to aid implantation and genetic screening which are not included in the headline cost.

For a couple facing the possibility of three or more rounds of the treatment, it’s no surprise they’re looking for cheaper alternatives.

Lower cost IVT treatment overseas

Ukraine, Turkey and Lithuania offer some of the lowest prices for IVF treatment at just over £1,000 per cycle. Even some of the more expensive options, such as almost £3,000 in Greece or up to £4,250 in Spain are still significantly cheaper than private care in the UK. Many overseas centres also offer package deals which promise there will be no added extras tacked onto the quoted cost and any required care is included in the price. This is a huge help to those people looking to plan a family and manage their budget for fertility treatment.

Research your options for the best possible care

The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority advises anyone thinking of having treatment abroad to do their research, as fertility treatment is not regulated in the same way outside the UK. This research should include standards of care but also, if using a donated egg or sperm, the potential rights of the donor in the future.

Value and transparency of pricing drives fertility tourism

The Fertility Network UK charity and online hub Fertility Clinics Abroad recently published their own investigation into the reasons why patients head overseas for treatment, with the most popular destinations being Spain, Greece, Czech Republic, France, Denmark and the USA. They believe that the trend for fertility tourism will continue for as long as the treatment remains inaccessible to many in the UK. The cheaper, all-inclusive prices offer women clarity and reassurance that their treatment will fall within a set budget.

With the budget playing such a central role in such a life-changing decision, it’s important to consider how much the currency exchange will impact that total cost. A currency exchange specialist charges lower fees and is able to offer better rates than the average high street bank, and will be able to provide guidance on the best way to pay for your treatment depending on the clinic’s requirements. It’s worth making sure you maximise every element of your budget because once you hear the pitter patter of tiny feet, every penny is going to count.

Find out more here to start your international transfers.

 

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