IVF in Greece Reviewed by Experts
We have been learning more about IVF in Greece from experts based in clinics throughout the country. In this article, you will find comprehensive information relating to IVF Greece reviews direct from the professionals entrusted with the responsibility of creating families for the thousands of international patients who travel for fertility treatment.
For the uninitiated Greece has emerged as one of the top fertility destinations for international patients. If you browse any of the online patient forums you will see questions and comments about IVF in Greece, patient reviews of clinics in cities like Athens and Thessaloniki as well as requests for the names of fertility units who offer the best IVF treatment in Greece.
With so much information available about IVF with own gametes, IVF with donor eggs in Greece and IVF with donor sperm in Greece it is not surprising that patients can become overwhelmed and not sure where to turn to get a balanced perspective on what IVF treatment in Greece really looks like. This article collects IVF Greece reviews from those individuals who have dedicated their careers to help patients pursue their dreams of parenthood and makes the whole process of gathering information that much easier.
So, if we were to sum up our experience of discussing IVF treatment in Greece with its professionals it would be this.
Greece offers high quality IVF treatments that are very cost effective, are provided by experienced clinicians who have, at their fingertips the most up-to-date scientific and medical technologyin clinics that are tightly regulated by the independent, GreekNational Authority of Assisted Reproduction. Liberal laws ensure that most individuals and couples can access a range of diverse treatments and donors without the need for a waiting list and be secure in the knowledge that clinics offer some of the best success rates in the world.
IVF Greece – reviews
During our IVF in Greece campaign, we sought the answers to many of your questions and concerns including what treatments are available in Greece, how clinics are regulated, where international patients come from, what levels of care and support can patients expect, how the fertility profession is contributing to the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge, donor availability and the certification process that clinics and practitioners are obliged to follow.
Take a read through some of the following IVF Greece reviews to gain an appreciation of what the country has to offer and if you interested to hear more follow the link to access a short video brought to you by the expert speaker.
The fertility market and a history of reproductive medicine in Greece
Dr Pantos provides a snapshop of how medical tourism, and particularly fertility tourism, in Greece has evolved rapidly over recent years. Today the ancient home of medicine welcomes thousands of medical tourists from over 67 countries including the United States, Australia, UK, and across the European Union, Asia and Africa. Greece offers 44 IVF units that collectively undertake over 20,000 IVF cycles each year. Dr Pantos believes the rise in fertility tourism has been driven by the rising standards offered by fertility clinics, the country’s ability to offer first rate tourism packages, the diverse range of treatments offered which are supported by liberal laws and the relatively low cost to the patient. IVF centers in Greece offer a range of assisted reproduction treatments that is comparable with anything seen in Europe or further afield. The country continues to embrace new and evolving technologies and research including the use of groundbreaking treatments such as Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment (PRP) where a patient’s plasma is used to rejuvenate ovaries that are not performing as well as they should be. On behalf of the fertility profession of Greece, Dr Pantos extends an invitation to all patients to enjoy everything Greece has to offer, from its climate to its illustrious history as well as an excellent track record in helping couples achieve the dream of pregnancy.
Presented by: Konstantinos Pantos, MD, General Secretary of the Hellenic Society of Reproductive Medicine, and Founder and Head of Medicine at Genesis Athens.
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IVF treatment in Greece: quality, regulation and safety
In this presentation, Angeliki Katasapi asks the viewer to place their trust in Greek IVF centres and talks about the infrastructure which exists to ensure your experience of IVF treatment in Greece is a good one.
Despite Greece’s fairly liberal fertility laws, it has become one of the most highly regulated countries. Today, the National Authority for Assisted Reproductive Care ensures each IVF centre applies EHRES (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) compliant strict guidelines and practices as well as the latest scientific, legal and ethical principles around assisted reproductive care. It undertakes audits, monitors success rates and results to ensure transparency and issues appropriate licenses to treatment providers.
The Greek Government also demand that each IVF centre implements and follows a quality management service based on the European standard EN15224 which applies to healthcare providers and this infrastructure has proved very effective in ensuring that all IVF centres in Greece provide a consistently high standard of care. A standard of card which has been particularly welcomed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The international patient can therefore be reassured that each IVF centre in Greece has been assessed by the National Authority for Assisted Reproductive Care and offers a high degree of professionalism, care and treatment. An assessment and certification provided by an independent body which is repeated on a regular basis.
Presented by: Angeliki Katsapi, Director of Temos Hellas, International Healthcare Accreditation Assessor
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Research and emerging treatments and techniques offered by IVF centres in Greece
In this succinct but technically proficient presentation, Dr Simopoulou considers why Greece has become one of the leaders in cross-border reproductive care and describes two examples of innovative approaches which have been employed to address patients who are experiencing ovarian insufficiency.
In terms of fertility tourism, this past decade has seen Greece emerge as one of the world’s top destinations. The reasons for this development are numerous but Dr Simopoulou points to the country’s competitive treatment pricing schedule, the lack of waiting time for patients, the experience of providers and the level of patient care and support which is offered. Add to this, liberal laws which single women and those up to the age of 54 to access treatment and you can begin to see why the country has become such a favourable destination.
Dr Simopoulou then describes the interesting development and adoption of two treatments, Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment (PRP) and Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT) which have the potential to treat ovarian insufficiency. Whilst saying that it is early days for both treatments and randomized clinical trials will test the efficacy of both in time, this displays the Greek desire for research and scientific advancement and another reason why international patients with challenging conditions should consider the country as a destination.
Presented by: Mara Simopoulou, PhD, Associate Professor Physiology-Embryology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School
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Where do international fertility patients travel from and why are they coming to Greece?
This presentation equates the country’s ability to host international fertility patients to its rich tradition of welcoming and befriending visitors of all nations over the Centuries. Multilingual practitioners and treatment providers, competitive costs and a liberal legal framework ensure the country is a popular destination for those patients seeking fertility treatment. One of Greek’s unique selling points is that many of the IVF centres in the country recognise the importance that wellness plays in successful fertility treatments and consequently the traveller is able to book packages that combine treatment and relaxation.
Greece offers the international patient much. From anonymous treatments which use diverse, young, and healthy donors to preservation techniques like social egg freezing, all offered at a fraction of the cost that some other countries offer.
The average amount of time that the international patient spends in Greece is 10 to 15 days but often the climate and care package offered is so agreeable that they often stay for the full term of their pregnancy. There are many reasons why a patient would come (and stay) therefore!
IVF customer care in Greece – what does it look like?
The Greek approach to customer care is summarised very well in this presentation by Chrysa Karakosta from the New Life centre in Thessaloniki who explains the multi-layers which collectively make this approach so favoured by patients.
Good customer care is essentially knowing all the wants and needs of the patient(s) and catering for them. This is achieved by offering individualised treatment plans provided by experienced professionals; the availability of a multilingual, international team dedicated to offering support to international patients; the ability to access and meet the professionals who will deliver treatment, a fully effective state of the art laboratory and the security and safety that is offered in abundance in Greece.
A key point made by Karakosta is that low cost does not equate to low quality; the feedback received from satisfied patients is testimony to the high quality offered by the country’s IVF centres and this will become apparent to anyone researching the possibility of receiving treatment in Greece.
In short, customer care is one of the most significant drivers for IVF centres in Greece and as such, much investment, including resources and time is made to ensure the international fertility patient receives the best possible care and support.
How does the law regulate IVF treatment with own eggs in Greece?
The fertility law in Greece is fairly liberal which means that medical practitioners are able to work with a great deal of freedom and are able to create treatment plans which are individualised and based on the specific health and diagnosis of their patient.
There is however specific legislation in place regarding the number of embryos that may be transferred to the patient and at present, there is an upper age limit of 54 for women seeking treatments. The country however does not deny treatment access based on other considerations such as BMI where no restrictions or eligibility criteria are in place.
Frozen preservation of embryos is automatically offered for five years and there is the possibility that this may be extended in certain cases. In terms of the number of embryos that can be transferred the following rules apply: for women under 35 who use their own eggs one or two embryos can be transferred. For women aged between 35 and 40 who use their own eggs one or two embryos can be transferred for the first two cycles then up to three embryos may be transferred. For women over 40 who use their own eggs four embryos may be transferred.
What is the Greek legislation regarding IVF with donor eggs?
This presentation from the Founder of the Assisting Nature centre in Thessaloniki examines what legislation exists to support and safeguard the care and interests of patients requiring IVF with donor eggs.
All egg donors in Greece are anonymous which means that only non identifying information can be given such as the physical characteristics of the donor, their age and their level of education. Women donors can be aged up to 35 and can only be responsible for the birth of up to ten children.
Dr Papanikolaou confirms that all donors are strictly screened to ensure that they are proven fertile and are physically, psychologically and genetically healthy and IVF with donor eggs is open to married or unmarried women as well as those without a partner.
For women who receive donor eggs, only two embryos are allowed to be transferred. Strict guidelines around the use of IVF with donor eggs is further testament to the ability of Greece to provide a high-quality service to those travelling for treatment.
What is the legislation in Greece regarding sperm donation?
In this presentation, Dr Kyriakidis provides an in-depth explanation of the rules regarding sperm, egg, and embryo donation in Greece.
The core foundation of sperm donation in Greece is that it is given anonymously and voluntarily. Donors should be aged under 35 and are screened physically, biochemically, psychologically, and genetically. Sperm donations are then frozen.
Success rates using sperm donation are particularly good in Greece with clinics reporting rates of between 55% and 60% for a live birth rate with every transfer.
Patient recipients are usually required to make two trips to Greece for an initial evaluation and then for the subsequent embryo transfer and many Greek clinics also offer the possibility of having initial tests and scans and partner facilities in the patient’s country of residence, ensuring they are not away from home for an unnecessary time.
Although Greek law states that women should be treated until the age of 54 Dr Kyriakidis concludes the presentation with the view that patients should only present themselves up until the age of 49, thus giving themselves time to prepare for any subsequent treatment.
Presented by: Michalis Kyriakidis MD, MSc Medical Head of the International Department at Embryolab Fertility Clinic
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What is the qualification process for egg donors in Greece?
Dr Dovas provides a comprehensive analysis of the qualification process for egg donors in Greece in this presentation. As donors are treated as anonymous, only non-identifying information can be shared with the recipients. This includes such things as age group of the donor, if they have previously achieved a pregnancy, their height, weight, skin, hair or eye colour and whether they are left or right handed!
All donors are screened comprehensively to ensure they are physically, mentally and genetically fit to donate and clinics examine the donor’s family history to ensure they are a good candidate. Screening tests include those to detect any infectious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases as well as carrier type and genetic tests.
Donations from egg donors may be used fresh or may be frozen dependent upon the needs of the patient although as Dr Dovas indicates the performance of thawed frozen eggs compared to the use of fresh eggs does have an impact on the outcome of the treatment. According to Dr Dovas, the use of fresh donor eggs may improve the success rates by 10% to 15% compared to the use of frozen eggs.
The use of fresh or frozen donor eggs is a discussion you should have with your treatment provider but both are offered by clinics throughout Greece.
The donor-recipient matching process in Greece (sperm, eggs, embryos)
Dr Papatheodorou discusses how clinics match recipients with donors in this engaging presentation.
As donors are anonymous in Greece recipients usually only receive very few details about the donors. In some clinics extended profiles of donors are offered which give the recipients a little more information. This might include baby photographs of the donor, voice type, personality, family history, education, and their hobbies.
The maximum number of families that can be created by a sperm donor is 10. Donors have to be aged under 40 and are screened for chromosomal, abnormalities, more common genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis and sexually transmitted diseases.Patients can generally order a donation from a registered bank or via the clinic.
For egg and embryo donors the maximum age is under 30 and donors are screened, medically, gynecologically, genetically and psychologically.
For all donors, there is a highly selective process and matching is undertaken to find the best possible match including blood group and main phenotype characteristics like skin type, hair and eye colour, weight, and height.
Dr Papatheodorou concludes by saying that some clinics have developed their own matching procedures including the use of AI to ensure that recipients are matched with the most appropriate donor available.
Presented by: Achilleas Papatheodorou PhD, Laboratory Director and Senior Clinical Embryologist at Embryolab Fertility Clinic
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What is the availability of egg donors like in Greece?
Dr Tsakos confirms that egg donor treatment is legal, regulated and readily available in Greece in this short presentation.
A “great experience” is what welcomes all patients seeking egg donation treatments in Greece according to Tsakos and this is assured by top levels of safety, quality, and success.
Though it is not legal to advertise for egg donors in Greece, the altruistic nature of the Greek people means that there is a constant flow of donors and enough availability for the needs of the international patient. As such there are no waiting lists and generally, a donor can be identified and matched within a couple of weeks of the initial appointment and the treatment process can begin very shortly afterwards.
International patients can therefore be assured that there are no issues with the availability of egg donors in Greece and the diverse pool of donors which most clinics can access means that patient requirements can invariably be met.
How much does IVF treatment with own eggs cost in Greece?
Dr Bimpa provides an engaging and informative presentation that discusses the cost of IVF treatments in Greece.
According to Dr Bimpa IVF treatment costs in Greece are on average, half what you would expect to pay in the U.K.; 30 to 50% cheaper than most central European countries and one-quarter to one-fifth of the price of IVF treatment in the U.S. or Australia. As a rule of thumb IVF treatment with your won gametes would cost in the region of 2,000 – 2,500 euros. You will need to check with individual centres whether additional services like assisted hatching or time-lapse monitoring are free of attracting an extra cost.
The cost of IVF treatment is obviously a significant reason for choosing to undergo IVF in Greece, but it is not the only reason. Join Dr Bimpa in this presentation to learn how IVF centres in Greece provide highly individualised care which is based not solely on high success rates but also on cost-effectiveness and ensuring the safety and satisfaction of the patient.
IVF centres in Greece take ethical practice very seriously and combined with excellent standards of patient-centred care they, as Dr Bimpa suggests, represent exceptionally good value for money.
What levels of state supervision exist in Greece and how are IVF centres regulated?
This presentation provides a comprehensive outline of the level of state supervision there is over the work of IVF clinics in Greece and discusses the certification process in the country.
The law in Greece is considered solid, clear, and open-minded regulation and it is applied and overseen by an independent body, the Greek National Authority of Assisted Reproduction. The Authority is an independent body that keeps an eye on treatment providers to ensure they correctly undertake scientific protocols, data collection, provide authentic and transparent success rates, issues authorisation licences and validate centres every three years to demonstrate they are continuing to abide by best practices and standards.
It is obligatory that all registered IVF centres in Greece have an ISO quality management system certification in place and this proves to the patient that a certain level of customer satisfaction has been achieved.
All senior professionals in the Greek centres have to demonstrate academic proficiency with a related degree and have worked in the fertility field for at least two years in a recognised treatment centre.
Patients seeking reassurance that IVF centres in Greece are regulated and safe are recommended to watch this video by Dr Karpouzis, who provides a clear and honest appraisal of the legal framework which governs fertility treatment in Greece and the independent body which ensures your care is the best it can be.