The practicalities of going abroad for infertility treatment

Overseas healthcare is a safe and viable option but it is important to read all you can and if possible talk to people who have been abroad for infertility treatment, scan the newspapers or TV to see which countries are getting good press for their fertility expertise.

After deciding whether being away from home to undergo infertility investigations, surgery or treatment is for you, next establish whether you will be able to go alone or whether both you and your partner should go together.  If you are going alone, ask if there is a close friend/member of the family who could accompany you, as you will want a good support system in place.

Having the infertility treatment in a country quite close to your home country is definitely advantageous for return visits and follow ups – cheaper on the pocket and more comfortable than long haul flying especially combined with the possible side effects of fertility drugs. However, if you are going on an IVF holiday or for treatment where you only need to be seen once, it is perhaps more important to choose the ‘right’ location for you, rather than the closest destination to your home country. 

Preparing for your treatment

Depending on the treatment plan you may need to develop a flexible schedule to potentially fly abroad at 24 hours’ notice (you might be put on a course of drugs for a few weeks and be on alert to get there only to discover that donor eggs are unavailable or unsuitable) so make sure your current work and lifestyle will allow for this.

Read up on local costs, the prices of meals, transport and hotels, how easy is it to travel around and whether it is considered safe to do so.  Find out about the country’s crime rates and whether you will need to have any vaccinations, and if so, how far in advance you will need to have them. If possible, see if you can time your trip with the country’s low season when travel costs (flights and hotels) will be less expensive and you can save more money overall.

Since being as relaxed as possible will increase your chances of becoming pregnant, a centre which includes relaxation and/or holistic therapies in their programme will be advantageous, as will a centre which is not too far from the airport or your hotel so that you can minimise the amount of time spent travelling and any associated stress.  Pack some familiar items to help you to feel more comfortable and relaxed in the hotel/hospital accommodation, make sure your passports are up to date and find out if you will need a visa (dependent on the country).

As with any travel abroad you are advised to arrange travel insurance to cover for lost luggage and/or other travel associated issues but be clear about the purpose of your ‘holiday’ as if it is not declared that you are going abroad for infertility treatment the insurance cover may not be properly valid, which could result in your insurer refusing to pay claims on any part of the policy - even if only for lost luggage.


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This guide helps you explore the options for infertility treatment abroad

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