Turkey is growing in popularity as a destination for IVF treatment abroad. There are over 140 IVF clinics and what makes Turkey attractive for fertility treatment is the low cost and the exotic scenery.
Unlike the other countries discussed on this website for IVF abroad, the laws in Turkey do not allow egg, sperm or embryo donation. Therefore, only IVF treatment using own eggs and sperm is allowed. Whilst this might seem restrictive, the cost of IVF treatment can be half of that in the UK and it is this that makes Turkey a destination to consider.
Turkey is not in the European Union therefore fertility clinics in Turkey do not fall under the EU Tissues and Cells Directive. However, fertility clinics in Turkey do adhere to government legislation on IVF treatment (this page can be translated). Most UK visitors require a visa to enter Turkey. It is quite easy to get, costs about £20 and is valid for 3 months. Similar visa requirements are in place for other countries e.g. USA visitors.
IVF Laws in Turkey
Compared to some countries in Europe, the law in Turkey is quite strict about who is allowed to be treated and which treatments are allowed. Egg, sperm and embryo donation treatments are strictly prohibited in Turkey, as is surrogacy. It is illegal to treat single women and lesbian couples.
What is allowed is IVF treatment using a married couples own eggs and sperm. In addition, PGS and PGD treatment is allowed. Egg freezing is allowed for the following conditions: a) cancer patients; b) diminished ovarian reserve or a family history of premature ovarian failure.
The law states:
- Egg, sperm and embryo donation is not allowed
- Surrogacy is not allowed
- Couples must be married
- Single women and lesbian couples are not allowed by law to be treated
- PGD and PGS are allowed but sex selection for non-medical reasons is not allowed
- There is no legal age limit for treatment but bearing in mind that only a woman’s own eggs can be used in treatment, many clinics will not treat women above 46 years
- Embryos can be stored for 10 years but couples should annually let the clinic know their intentions regarding storage
- There are laws on how many embryos are allowed to be transferred:
-Women less than 35 years old are allowed one embryo transferred for the first and second cycle. Two embryos are allowed with the 3rd cycle.
-Two embryos allowed for women older than 35 years old.
Safety and Quality for IVF Treatment in Turkey
IVF clinics in Turkey are inspected every six months by the Ministry of Health. The inspections take the form of a checklist. They check the equipment, staff, the physical environment and records. The Ministry of Health will licence them if deemed fit to practise.
IVF success rates are submitted to the Ministry of Health but the public does not have access to this data.