Why people travel abroad for IVF

The ability to bear children is something which is a given for most women, and often seemingly taken for granted, but for those who struggle to conceive the process of getting fertility treatment via the NHS can seem both frustrating and unduly delayed.

Often they face multiple obstacles and restrictions, and there are many criteria which have to be met to assess whether a couple is eligible for treatment on the NHS. The following is an example of the typical conditions:

– You must be under 39

– Your BMI (Body Mass Index) must be less than 30

– You must be a non-smoker and prove this through a breathalyser

– You must be teetotal, or close to

– There must be no previous children for either party

– You must have a diagnosed infertility reason, OR 3 years unexplained infertility

Improve_sperm_mobilitySome of the restrictions and obstacles seem more crazy than others. For instance, as an example case, Jane, a woman with no children, meets and falls in love with Steven, who has one child from a previous relationship. They want to have children together, but aren’t able due to infertility issues on her side. The NHS will not help them, purely because Steven already has a child. The fact that the child is of no relation to Jane means nothing and the criteria state she is not eligible for any help. If she wants NHS help she has to leave Steven for another, childless man – a ridiculous notion to most – or stick with him and pay the huge costs associated with private care in the UK.

How fair is it to deny a couple the chance of providing them their first child, or a sibling for an existing child that may well only have one biological parent in the family.

Taking another example into consideration, it is true that IVF is a costly process and if a woman is significantly overweight, or over the age of 40, then the treatment is far less likely to work. Therefore you could see it as ‘wasting’ precious and expensive treatment, which may well have worked on someone who was younger and slimmer. However this is a massive generalisation and does not take into account what is normal for each individual woman.

So should the NHS invest more in assessing each patient on an individual basis?

A recent article considered this view:  “One idea is that the HFEA (Human Fertility and Embryology Authority) should issue forms to be completed as part of the qualifying criteria, the idea being that they would look at the likely welfare of the child, income levels of the family, the structure of the family unit and also take note of any criminal records. But again, why should IVF patients be subjected to this when there are millions of people who would fail the eligibility assessment falling pregnant naturally every day?”

However there is another option that avoids the obstacle course that is NHS fertility treatment, that avoids needlessly breaking up the family unit in our example case, or penalising a woman because of her partner’s child.NHS pay for treatment abroad

This is by going abroad for fertility treatment. The number of patients saving money by going abroad for medical care has been increasing steadily for the last decade and, with expensive treatments like IVF, huge amounts can be saved at private medical centres abroad, without sacrificing the quality of care. In fact most patients find their level of care abroad exceeds their experiences in the UK.

Many find that when the NHS, or even private clinics, will not or cannot help they have found a solution that was preferable and better by travelling to experienced, well known clinics and hospitals abroad.

At Body Bureau we try to make this process as easy as possible for patients. With our London Pre-Assessment Centre our clients can choose to have their consultations, follow up, and preparation done in the UK meaning they only actually need to be away for 4-6 days for the actual implantation procedure.

This saves them both time and money as otherwise they would have to make at least two trips and stay away for the entire treatment process, around 3 weeks.

For more information please see our website or call +44 (0) 207 617 7301