17 Feb IVF overseas: why European clinics lead the way
IVF treatment abroad continues to make sense for many UK couples. There are two reasons why: lower cost and better care. We’ve long criticised the provision of IVF in the UK. The cost of IVF continues to rise in the UK, and it’s risen more after Brexit. If no-deal happens, expect even higher UK prices for fertility care.
Repeat IVF attempts increase the likelihood of success. That’s particularly relevant for the over-40s, where 6 in 7 own-egg IVF cycles fail. When you’re 43, it’s 19 in 20. So more couples, ineligible for state funding, go private. If demand for treatment goes up, and with the UK out of the single market, private IVF clinics in the UK will hike their prices even higher.
The rip-off cost of IVF in the UK is a big reason for considering IVF abroad. Fertility clinics in the EU are also more consistent in their quality of service. Ethical standards are high. Many of our patients report slightly cavalier attitudes to their care at UK clinics. These include a lack of thoroughness in their pre-treatment tests, poorly managed treatment plans and awful aftercare.
Europe leads the way in assisted reproduction services. Figures from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology support this. Not including Asia, over 70% of worldwide fertility cycles are carried out in the EU. That’s over 500,000 cycles a year. The market will be worth over 5 billion euros by 2022. The UK fertility sector has grown too, but prices remain stubbornly high.
Rising living costs in the UK are squeezing household budgets, post-Brexit and post-Covid. So UK couples are looking at ways to save money on their fertility treatment, which many regard as an important purchase they can’t postpone for long. While the right-wing press suggests travelling overseas for treatment is a risk, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to EU fertility clinics.
When we started our agency, the average price of an IVF cycle in the UK, including routinely over-priced medication and extras like blastocyst culturing, was around £6,000. Today, it’s £8,000. That’s three times the cost of our Czech clinic. Market forces have inflated UK treatment prices, while EU clinics remain respectful and reasonable in their charging structures.
So shop around. If you’re thinking of having IVF treatment or donor eggs, have a look at EU clinic prices and their enviable standards of care. You may also want to read about our own treatment success story abroad. Good luck!