If you’re thinking about travelling for IVF donor egg treatment abroad, it could be for any number of reasons. Some countries simply don’t allow it under law or you may be facing a long waiting list at home. Whatever the reason, there are a few key questions that you should ask your egg donation clinic abroad before you make your final decision.
Here is our guide to the questions you should be asking the donor egg clinics you contact in your search for the right treatment.
1) Find out the facts about costs
Egg donation costs abroad are likely to be significantly cheaper than at home, even after you’ve included your travel expenses. However it’s important to make sure that you have the full facts about costs, as donor egg clinics can vary in what they include as standard.
We’d recommend asking whether embryo freezing is included, along with any tests and scans. Your egg donor will need to take medication to stimulate egg production so you should also check whether these are included. There may be packages available to help you reduce costs. If you’d like to know more about the potential costs you can use our IVF costs calculator.
2) Are the donor eggs exclusively yours?
Egg donation clinics vary in their individual practices. Some will match you with a donor who donates eggs solely for you. Others will use donated eggs with more than one recipient.
Egg sharing can reduce the overall cost to you. You’ll need to think about how many other people you’re happy to share with. Some donor egg clinics will limit sharing to two recipients, however this isn’t always the case. There is a risk that not all of the donated eggs will fertilise or progress to allow a successful pregnancy and it’s worth keeping those risks in mind.
3) Who matches your donor with you?
We’d always recommend finding out how the matching process works. Does the clinic have a specialist team in place and how do they make the decision? In the UK recipients are given information about the donor. The donors themselves can provide a personal statement to enable recipients to choose.
Before you choose an egg donation clinic ask them what information you are allowed to have about your potential donor. You could also ask whether you are able to have a role in the decision yourself.
4) Can you ship your embryos back to the UK?
If the egg donation process is successful you may have additional embryos that can be frozen. Whilst you could opt to return to the clinic abroad for further treatment, you may prefer to have additional treatment at home if it’s needed.
Ask whether your clinic is able to ship frozen embryos back to the UK so that they’re available closer to home if necessary.
5) Are you able to find out whether the donor has been pregnant before and if so how many times?
You may already have come across the term ‘proven donor’. The law on donations can vary from country to country. For example, in Spain up to six children can be born from the same donor, including their own.
Whilst clinics will preserve donor anonymity you may be given some information about their background. It’s worth asking whether the donor has been pregnant before and, if so, how many times. This may help you to make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with the donor your clinic recommends, or about which donor to choose.
Individual IVF clinics will be happy to answer these questions and if not then you should question why not. IVF abroad requires a lot of research and clear thinking but if you choose the best IVF clinic for you, you will reap the rewards.
You may be interested in reading: Donor Egg Abroad? Countries to Consider