09 Jan Top 10 reasons to have IVF in the Czech Republic
Deciding to go abroad for IVF treatment is a big step. Which country is best? Do you head for EU clinics, or venture further afield? Here’s our tip: proceed directly to the Czech Republic. Why? These are the top 10 reasons we went there…
1. Lower cost – by far.
The cost of treatment at our Czech IVF clinic was 70% cheaper than most UK fertility clinics. This equates to a saving of at least £3,000 in many cases. For IVF with donor eggs, you could save closer to £5,000. It’s much also much cheaper than Spain, another IVF hot spot, where prices have risen in recent years.
2. Better standard of care.
In our experience, the care we received was far better at the Czech clinic than the UK clinics we used. The friendly staff, clear communication channels and can-do attitude really impressed us. Those qualities were patchy, or non-existent, in the UK.
3. Better supply of donors.
The Czech IVF clinic we went to carries out almost 1,000 donor-egg IVF cycles a year. The waiting time was very short (it can be over a year in the UK). The Czech clinic has an excellent supply (and therefore choice) of young, healthy donors and a wider range of potential physical matches than, say, Spain.
In the UK, donors are limited and often not that young. The age of your donor is really important. Ours was just 20. But donors in the UK are often 30 or over, and some take part in egg-sharing programs, which affect your chances by reducing the number of embryos you can transfer and freeze. Egg sharing is ethically questionable, yet it persists in the UK.
4. Donor anonymity – it’s generally the better way.
Donors are anonymous in the Czech Republic, which encourages donation. In the UK, donor-conceived children can trace their natural birth parents when they turn 18. That’s one reason why the supply of donor eggs in the UK is poor.
5. High ethical standards.
Our IVF clinic has an impeccable ethical record. The Czech Republic is in the EU. Therefore, the clinic’s conduct is governed and underpinned by strict national legislation, the European Convention on Human Rights, other EC directives, and the excellent ESHRE.
6. Better success rates – across the board.
Success rates are usually much better in the Czech Republic than the UK – though you need to compare results on a clinic-by-clinic basis. For treatment with donor eggs, the Czech IVF clinic we chose has amazing success rates that totally out-performed the UK clinics we considered.
7. Less stressful environment – which really matters.
We found that having IVF in the Czech Republic reduced our stress levels. A lot. It’s well-known that stress can have a negative effect on conception chances and IVF. Being away from the hustle and bustle of home, visiting a peaceful Czech town, relaxing in our hotel, eating nice meals… it really calmed us down. We thought of our trip as a kind of holiday, though of course our treatment was never far from our mind. We honestly feel our chilled-out state was a factor in our successful treatment.
8. Convenience – the Czech Republic is closer than you think.
Our Czech IVF trip was less daunting than we had feared. On top of the short waiting times, you can fly there direct in under two hours. It’s just to the east of Germany, not somewhere near Siberia as some people think! You only have to fly out once, and you can book your trip well in advance.
9. No hidden extras – so bigger savings.
Treatment packages at Czech clinics often include extras that are expensive extras in the UK. For example, the price of our egg donation cycle included the initial consultation, blood tests, donor compensation, ICSI, assisted hatching and blastocyst culturing. Just these items can hugely inflate the cost of treatment in UK clinics.
It’s also worth noting that cutting-edge technologies are routinely used in Czech IVF clinics, including PGS testing, PICSI and MACS. Some UK clinics don’t offer all these services.
10. Trying something new – and going the extra mile.
For many couples, going abroad for IVF or donor treatment is about trying something new. It was for us, it paid off and we now have two beautiful daughters. We encourage more couples to consider the Czech Republic for their treatment. In hindsight, we wish we’d done all our fertility cycles at the Czech clinic and skipped the UK altogether. But you live and learn. Going outside your comfort zone to get what you want is part of the journey. We’re glad we made that choice.