Pu­blished: 16. Fe­bruary 2022 | Up­dated: 9. May 2023 Author: Chris­toph Müller-Gun­trum | Re­viewed by Chris­toph Müller-Gun­trum


Fer­ti­lity tre­at­ment ab­road

Facts and fi­gures about fer­ti­lity cen­ters ab­road

Alt­hough the re­le­vance of the topic “in­fer­ti­lity tre­at­ment ab­road” is ste­adily in­cre­asing, only few sta­tis­tical sur­veys exist. A 2010 study by the Ame­rican So­ciety for Re­pro­duc­tive Me­di­cine esti­mates that bet­ween 11,000 and 14,000 pa­ti­ents across Eu­rope un­dergo in­fer­ti­lity tre­at­ment ab­road each year [1]. With 24,000 — 30,000 cross-border cy­cles per year [2], this means that about 5% of all in­fer­ti­lity tre­at­ments in Eu­rope are per­formed ab­road [3].

Which de­sti­na­tions are most in de­mand? For pa­ti­ents from Ger­many, the Czech Re­pu­blic is cle­arly in first place with 41%, fol­lowed by Spain with about 25%. This is fol­lowed by other count­ries such as Bel­gium, Den­mark, Greece, Poland and other de­sti­na­tions [4].

Re­asons & Risks

What are the re­asons for fer­ti­lity tre­at­ment ab­road?

Firstly, there may be ac­cess to ad­di­tional re­sources and pos­sibly a higher stan­dard of me­dical care. In ad­di­tion, pa­ti­ents often cite lower costs as a re­ason for tre­at­ment ab­road. For ex­ample, 82% of Ger­mans who have in­fer­ti­lity tre­at­ment ab­road are self-paying [1] — so cost is li­kely to play a si­gni­fi­cant role for some of the cou­ples.

A fur­ther re­ason, may be dis­cri­mi­na­tion against cou­ples wi­thin their home country due to re­gu­la­tory cir­cum­s­tances. Of the cou­ples from Ger­many see­king tre­at­ment ab­road, 11.2% are same-sex [1]. Alt­hough some hurdles to in­fer­ti­lity tre­at­ment for les­bian cou­ples were over­come in Ger­many in 2018, overall this op­tion is still only of­fered by a few cli­nics.  Lastly, there is the issue of cul­tural pro­xi­mity. Pa­ti­ents may have a per­sonal con­nec­tion to a country be­cause of their an­cestry or fa­mily, which rein­forces their de­cision to seek tre­at­ment in that country.

In ad­di­tion to he­alth and safety risks, lan­guage, in­for­ma­tion and legal bar­riers are also im­portant. This is be­cause alt­hough many fer­ti­lity cen­ters ab­road are now ge­ared to German-spea­king pa­ti­ents, the pro­cess is not al­ways easy.

The right fer­ti­lity center

What are im­portant cri­teria when choo­sing a fer­ti­lity centre?

In order to fulfil your de­sire to have a child, you should choose a fer­ti­lity clinic that meets your spe­cific re­qui­re­ments and im­portantly where you feel com­for­table. When choo­sing a clinic, there are a number of aspects to con­sider to en­sure that the the­rapy goes as smoothly as pos­sible. The suc­cess of a the­rapy de­pends on va­rious fac­tors. Both the ex­pe­ri­ence and qua­li­fi­ca­tions of the me­dical team and the tech­no­lo­gical status of the la­bo­ra­tory equip­ment (for ex­ample, whe­ther the clinic has a clean room la­bo­ra­tory) can have an im­pact on the suc­cess rate.

In ad­di­tion to the suc­cess rate, there are other is­sues that can be de­cisive in the sel­ec­tion pro­cess. Good coun­sel­ling on the choice of the­rapy, as well as per­sonal care and the avai­la­bi­lity of the doctor can help en­sure all your ques­tions and con­cerns are ans­wered. Hea­ring the ex­pe­ri­ences of pre­vious pa­ti­ents can also give an in­di­ca­tion of the qua­lity or short­co­mings of a prac­tice, this can also pro­vide a level of con­fi­dence du­ring the clinic sel­ec­tion pro­cess.

An­o­ther aspect to con­sider are the costs. To avoid sur­prises, fer­ti­lity cen­tres that main­tain a high de­gree of price trans­pa­rency are re­com­mended. In the case of tre­at­ments with donor sperm, en­sure that there is a co­ope­ra­tion bet­ween cli­nics and an ex­pe­ri­enced sperm bank, as they often offer a larger sel­ec­tion of donor pro­files and have many years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the field of sperm do­na­tion.

When sel­ec­ting our partner cli­nics, we al­ways make sure that both he­te­ro­se­xual and ho­mo­se­xual cou­ples, as well as single women are treated.
Are you strugg­ling to find a fer­ti­lity centre that is right for you or do you have ques­tions about available the­ra­pies and tre­at­ment me­thods? Our fri­endly team are happy to help you in a free con­sul­ta­tion.


1. Bolzen, S. (2018). Louise Brown, das erste Re­tor­ten­baby der Welt, wird 40 – WELT — https://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/article179900342/Louise-Brown-das-erste-Retortenbaby-der-Welt-wird-40.html
2. Czech Re­pu­blic: Re­pro­duc­tive Me­di­cine. (2015) — https://www.czechtourism.com/de/a/reproductive-medicine/
3. Human Re­pro­duc­tion. Sup­ple­men­tary Data (2016)
4. Gy­nekol, C. In vitro fer­ti­liza­tion — Ana­lysis of Data in Czech Na­tional As­sisted Re­pro­duc­tion Re­gister from the Years 2007–2011 (2012) — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23094774
5. ESHRE. ART Fact Sheet Fe­bruary 2018 (2018).
6. Fer­ti­lity Re­port Eu­rope. Eu­ro­pean Market Land­scape (2015)


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