Fertility Tourism: Why Are More People Going Abroad For Fertility Treatment?

When struggling with fertility, many aspiring parents will seek help. From assisted conception such as IVF to medicines and surgical procedures, there are a number of alternative ways to attempt conception. In recent years, we have seen a rise in fertility tourism with more and more people going abroad for these treatments rather than staying in the UK. But how does this work? Fertility tourism can be more accessible than we might initially think. Though there are a number of factors to consider before making any decisions. 

What Is Fertility Tourism?

Fertility tourism, also known as reproductive tourism, is a type of medical initiative that requires patients to travel to another country for fertility treatment. According to the NHS, approximately 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving. Yet there has been a decrease in NHS funding for IVF fertility treatment over the past few years, prompting many to turn to fertility tourism. 

Is It Cheaper To Get Fertility Treatment Abroad?

The price is often significantly lower elsewhere when comparing private medical treatment in the UK to other European countries. In Greece and Spain for example, you can expect to pay anywhere from £2,000 to £4,000 per cycle. Despite this seeming expensive, it is actually rather affordable compared to many private care clinics in the UK. Plus, a number of overseas IVF clinics will offer package deals which guarantee no added costs. This is a real benefit for those looking to manage a budget while seeking fertility treatment as it ensures they won’t be faced with significant hidden fees. 

Why Choose To Go Abroad For Fertility Treatment?

The main reason people choose to go abroad for fertility treatments is due to the cost. Despite having to pay for flights in order to access treatment, many European locations still work out cheaper than the fertility options in the UK, particularly if the treatments abroad are at an all-inclusive rate.

However, cost is not the only factor to consider. Many treatment-seekers have found that access to NHS options is largely location-dependent. With long waiting lists and sometimes a shortage of egg donors, opting for IVF fertility treatment on the NHS has proven problematic in recent times. Therefore, if you are looking into fertility treatment options, be sure to take cost, waiting times, and accessibility into consideration as you may be surprised at what you find in terms of your best fertility options. 

What Are The Best Countries For Fertility Treatment?

There are numerous countries across Europe that offer fertility treatment for those coming overseas. Due to the ease of travel and affordable pricing, the following are the most popular destination countries chosen by patients according to experts:

  • Spain
  • Czechia
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark
  • Belgium

These countries offer clinics with state-of-the-art technology, along with fewer legal frameworks for patients to navigate. Though it is important to remember that your fertility experience may vary from clinic to clinic depending on their facilities, pricing, accessibility, types of treatment, and operations.

Also, it is worth noting that religious beliefs and history can largely determine how a country may approach fertility care. Therefore, it is advised to speak to an expert or advisor about the fertility options available and which country and/or clinic to choose before agreeing to any fertility treatments abroad. 

Is Fertility Tourism Right For Me?

Despite offering a number of benefits, fertility tourism may not work for everyone. Establishing whether or not you should attempt fertility tourism will be based on your budget, availability, and personal circumstances. If you are hesitant about going overseas, it could be worth having a round of fertility treatment with the NHS first. However, this may require a long waiting period so your options are very much dependent on your own time scales. Fertility tourism is not a one-size-fits-all but it can provide a lifeline for many who are struggling to conceive naturally.


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