Fertility Support Abroad
Enquiries for overseas fertility treatments have increased by 59pc in the past six months alone, according to new research by private healthcare. The numbers of Irish people enquiring about IVF procedures in the Czech Republic has increased by a whopping 465pc in the last 12 months, with requests for information about the same treatment in Spain more than doubling during this period.
Denmark and the Czech Republic
are popular not just in terms of advanced IVF treatments but also because donors are likely to be close enough to our Celtic colouring, which is considered important in areas such as egg and sperm donation.Meanwhile, in Ireland, IVF enquiries have dropped by more than a fifth this year. As well as Denmark, Spain, and the Czech Republic, the United States is also a destination of choice.
Fertility treatments such as IVF have become increasingly popular in recent years, with a number of well-known mums like Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley and Nicole Kidman all speaking openly about how it helped them to conceive.
One Round of IVF In Ireland Costs min. €4,662.
The Czech Republic, Patients are Paying €2,651
with Many Couples Needing Several Attempts at IVF
Before It's Successful, the Treatment Cost can Be a Major Factor!
However, Dr John Waterstone, Medical Director of the Cork Fertility Clinic, believes that while a small number of Irish people may be travelling for IVF, the biggest draw are overseas egg banks, which are not available here."There is a smaller number travelling for IVF treatment because there is the perception that it is cheaper abroad," he explained.
"The Czech Republic is a big destination for that, but by the time you factor in travelling and staying somewhere, then it may be that it's not actually that much cheaper at all. The big reason why women from Ireland are going abroad for fertility treatment is for egg donation, where their eggs are not of a good enough quality to conceive.
"Egg donation is one thing that we can't do adequately in Ireland at the moment because we don't have a supply of anonymous egg donors," Dr Waterstone added.
"So we have a link to a clinic in Spain, where our patients go. Some of our patients will also go to the United States because the success rate is extremely high for egg donation there. We are linked with a clinic in the States where they will actually guarantee you a baby or your money back."
"I feel that you are better off staying in Ireland for IVF services and then for donor eggs, we can now freeze the man's sperm, fly it out, create the embryos and you can even have your embryos brought back into Ireland."
Mr Keane disagrees with a perception that Irish people are travelling overseas because they feel these clinics have more experience and expertise than fertility clinics in Ireland.
"It's not that they see the services as being better outside, I think people see it as being cheaper or they are accessing a service they cannot get here," he explained.
"I think the services in Ireland are excellent."
However, Mr Keane did concede that there are treatments available elsewhere, including IVF-related procedures, which have not yet been introduced in Ireland.
According to one 33-year-old woman, who had two failed IVF procedures in Ireland before going to Spain, where the procedure was finally a success, Irish people are travelling for more than financial reasons and egg donation."The main reason for going abroad was to avail of the expertise that clinics with higher patient turnovers have to offer," she explained.
"There are lower numbers doing IVF here, you get the sense that the expertise and the most up-to-date treatment options might not be available.
"I know a few girls my age, who like me, went abroad after two failed cycles. All of us conceived abroad using our own eggs."
Another woman (37), who is 20 weeks pregnant after travelling to Prague for her third IVF treatment, is more critical of Ireland's fertility sector.
"It was for male fertility that we went. I always felt that my husband needed a procedure done and they wouldn't listen to me here, so I asked them in Prague to do it. That operation is the only reason I'm pregnant," she said.Source: Sunday Independent
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