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IVF in Eastern Europe – Five Things You Should Know

IVF in  Eastern Europe – Five  Things You Should Know 

Treatment in Eastern Europe is cheaper, but…

….this is partly because the fertility drugs are cheaper in these countries. You’ll probably know that everything’s cheaper in Eastern Europe – cheap food, cheap vodka, cheap hotel insurance. You also need to be aware that you will received a different service in Eastern Europe. Check to find out what kind of aftercare is included in the package you opt for. Find out all you can about the clinic you have chosen before making a decision, and be mindful that standards of regulation differ from country to country. Discuss with your GP if you are in doubt. On the plus side almost all the care staff you will encounter will speak English, and the doctors there keep up with all the latest developments in IVF treatments.

Treatment in Eastern Europe is more successful, but…

…be aware that this is partly because they use different treatment techniques to those of the US and UK. Clinics implant more embryos per cycle, which means the success rates seem higher. This is fine, but be mindful that this could mean more chance of a multiple birth, with the attendant increase in the chance of birth defects. This said, the occurrence of multiple births is dropping progressively as treatments improve.

Treatment for IVF is getting harder to obtain in the UK…

The UK Government limits IVF treatment to one cycle per couple, where the woman is between 23 and 39, a cause of infertility has been diagnosed and after they have been trying to have a baby naturally for two years. In some areas of the country it is even harder to secure treatment. For many this only leaves the option of private treatment open to them.

Fertility Tourism is increasing…

It is good news is that Fertility Tourism to Eastern Europe is increasing. The trend could increase further too. Some 4% of medical tourists get fertility treatment, and this number is likely to rise as financial pressures limit the number of IVF rounds couples are entitled to on the NHS. An new EU directive on cross-border healthcare, which was passed in January 2011, comes into force in 2013 which will make things easier too. The directive establishes patients’ rights to be reimbursed for treatment they receive in other EU countries, and could lead to more West Europeans travelling to Eastern Europe for care. As with anything which is in demand, if there is a good customer base it’s easier to find out what you will be signing up for. Make full use of forums to find out about other people’s experiences and make sure you find out all you can about what to expect when you arrive. Word of mouth and recommendation is invaluable, so don’t neglect to ask all you can of your friends in the forum.

It might be tough being abroad…

Many women overlook this side of the Fertility Abroad deal, but a bit of planning can make it much easier. You may need to be away from home for between three to five weeks during treatment. Some women find this very difficult and stressful. In a country where you don’t speak the language it can be a really lonely, isolating experience.  To you’re your time away from your loved ones more bearable make sure you find out as much as you can about the area you will be staying in before you set off. Is there an ExPat community you could meet up with, for some instant socialising and interest? Get onto the internet and find a forum for people who speak your language and will be local.  Why not be open about why you’re visiting? Other women can be very supportive and might be happy to share your joy or support you should things not go to plan. You could also ask good friends to come out and visit you in your chosen country and plan some good days out for when they arrive. You could write a diary or blog to keep your friends up to date with your progress – it might be useful for other women to see how your trip has gone. A video diary is another idea. Anything to keep you engaged during the treatment will make the time pass more quickly.

The Message Is Clear

Fertility treatment is a difficult path to choose, whether at home or abroad. The message about travelling abroad is very clear however. Yes there are advantages, but do your homework first, and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.

 

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