IVF abroad: Is the risk too high?

7th May 2013 in Advice

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

Would you ever consider infertility treatment abroad? In Scotland experts are warning that rising numbers of women are putting their health at risk by turning to foreign clinics for their treatment.

The main health concern is that foreign clinics in countries such as Russia, Greece and Spain routinely implant more than one embryo in the belief that this increases the chances of success. In the UK, clinics have adopted a Single Embryo Transfer policy in line with HFEA guidelines, to reduce the numbers of multiple births from IVF treatments.

Multiple birth carries considerable health risks for both mother and babies, particularly in older women, but some foreign clinics, which are not regulated, are transferring multiple embryos without concern for this risk.

Data has shown here in the UK that since the introduction of the SET policy, pregnancy rates from IVF have remained consistent, whilst multiple birth rates have dropped – showing that your chance of pregnancy is not affected by only transferring one embryo if it is of good quality and you have a good prognosis for your treatment.

So why are so many women prepared to take the risk and head abroad? Some women may be trying to avoid the waiting list for NHS IVF treatment by heading abroad, where they can undergo IVF straight away.

You can also benefit from reduced-rate IVF if you are aged 35 and under, and are prepared to share half your eggs to help other women through our egg-sharing programme.This gives you a cycle of IVF with us for £870, including all screening tests and drugs.

Are women heading abroad for donor eggs? Again – there’s no need. Thanks to the increase in egg donors through the rise in compensation to £750 per cycle, and the increasing numbers of women prepared to egg-share. Here at Manchester Fertility we can offer IVF with donor eggs, all from UK donors,. And as all our donors are registered with the HFEA, they are identifiable to any children born and have been through the necessary rigorous health screening to be accepted as donors.

If you are considering IVF or infertility treatment abroad, please do your research carefully as whilst it may appear to be a good option initially, are you really certain that the benefits outweigh the risks?

Last updated: 18th June 2021